Tag Archives: Leica M9

Smooth as silk

The picture you are looking at, is one of an old Mercedes Benz Estate (a W123-T to be precise). It is being used as a daily driver by one of my neighbours in Amsterdam and was parked just around the corner when it caught my eye. Battered and used, with quite a lot ‘patina’ (well, dents and rust to be honest), but revealing a beauty many vintage cars can have. Bathing in the evening light, certain details just caught my attention. Like this detail, shot wide open with the Summilux lens…smooth as silk.

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Soul mate

You find yourself in a strange dynamic being a Leica shooter. One day you are being envied and seen as a snob who has spend too much money on a camera that lacks so many features other camera’s have, the other day you are being praised for your pictures you take with it. We live in an era in which the camera itself is a statement and fashion item too, beside being just a tool for creating art of capturing moments. For some people, owning a particular camera seems to be more important than actually shooting with it. I’d guess that’s all right too…whatever floats your boat. Instagram is flooded with ‘eye candy’; just pictures of Leica’s, but also other brands, instead of pictures taken with the camera. Being a substantial financial investment (hence the second hand option I took), it attracts both haters and lovers of the brand and for different reasons. I try not to identify too much with the gear I use, but having said that…..I actually do. I do but more in the sense that this type of camera make me feel they are my soul mates. Not to state something pompously, but the less is more approach of the Leica brand really resonates with me. They really are an extension of my eyes, heart and soul. Stripping the camera of all of the non-essentials enables me to focus (not pun intended) on the key points of my photography: seeing and capturing. I recently saw two Youtube video’s, in which both the M8 and M9 are being praised, despite being ‘old’ and ‘lacking’ or expensive. It prompted me to write this comment:

Hi Mattias, thanks for the effort you have put in this video and the one the M8. It strongly resonates with how I feel using my M8 and M9 (both second hand bought). In this age of ‘low light madness’ and the need for having a camera that does it all (including video), it is refreshing to hear somebody talk about these two camera’s and their specific qualities. What I like the most about using these kind of camera’s, besides obvious things like the IQ, handling, manual focusing and build quality, is ‘the less is more’ approach of Leica. The very reason I still shoot analog besides digital. This makes it not a camera for every one, but if it is it…..it surely becomes a soul mate of you and technical specs will soon be irrelevant :-). You can check out my pictures at http://vincentvankleef.wixsite.com/lightonlight . Cheers, Vincent

Till next time, thanks for reading this post. 🙂

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Surrender

Surrender. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I look at this picture. What I’ve learned throughout the years, is that letting go of the need for making pictures results in the most valuable pictures. So, to surrender to the moment and space you are in, means you tap into your subconscious mind and great opportunities appear in front of you. That surely is the case with photography. This time I was taking a stroll through my Amsterdam neighbourhood, feeling a bit out of sync. As I was sitting on a bench staring at the water, I noticed the pattern in the water and decided to make a picture through the fence between the bench and the water. Post processing it in monochrome did the trick. Not an unique picture at all, but I like the ink-like look of the water and  the diagonal line within the framing.

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Little Wonder

As expressed in former posts like this one, I love children, actually I adore them. The cuteness of a baby, the wit of a toddler or the rebellious teenager….each fase in the development of a child is fascinating and worth photographing. So when we visited two friends who recently had a newborn, I made sure to take my camera with me. This little boy was sleeping most of the time, which he should be doing at just two weeks of age, and while my girlfriend was chatting away with the parents, I grabbed the M9 paired with the Summilux. Shot wide open and in monochrome, this combination perfectly shows us the little wonder of each new born baby. Sleeping and being cared of (and cuddled of course). Dream on little boy, dream on.

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Van Gogh

 

I am fortunate to live just a couple of minutes away of the famous Van Gogh Museum. For a lot of tourists, this museum is a must-see when visiting Amsterdam. For a good reason; both the collection as the building are impressive. The only downside of this museum is that it is packed with visitors all-of-the-time.

I like strolling through the city at night and took this picture from outside the Van Gogh Museum.  Although in monochrome, it resonates well with one of Van Gogh’s famous quotes:

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.

-Vincent Van Gogh

 

Van Gogh

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Lines of the Rotterdam Central Station

I love the Rotterdam Central Station. As I was walking back from the Kunsthal where I had met the famous photographer Peter Lindbergh and had Anton Corbijn sitting right behind me, I saw this segment of the station bathing in the evening light. I had the image pictured in my mind instantly. I made sure to use the f8 aperture in order to have the best performance of the Summilux lens (not that this lens really needed this).This picture has gained quite some praise on my Instagram account, I hope you like it too.CS Lines

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Soul Connection

This picture is inspired by a very intriguing book by Jonathan Parker, ‘The Soul Connection’, where he explains the interplay between the concepts of ego (small self), heart and soul (true self). The way Jonathan explains this very complex (at least in an intellectual sense) is truly exceptional in the sense that he is very grounded in the realm of the non physical universe. Being a therapist helps him to translate spiritual concepts to the everyday life everyone has to deal with. He teaches you to connect to your soul, your very being, to let go of ego (without being ego-less) and disidentify from the underlying patterns of the ego. In the midst of everyday turmoil of distractions, emotions, thought patterns and so forth, this is golden.

Soul Connection

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Con Brio!

My brother-in-law, that is to say the brother of my girlfriend, recently asked me to join me at going to a concert of the San Fransisco based band Con Brio in the famous Amsterdam Paradiso venue. I did not know the band but a quick Google search quickly did decide me to see this awesome band. The concert took place in the small hall, which holds I think 200 people at most. The small room created an intimate vibe but a challenging situation if you want to take photographs as well. I had to shoot at one position, with minimum light. Luckily, the band gave an exhilarating performance, matching Vintage Trouble (see this post) which resulted in a quite a bit ‘keepers’. I rarely post more than one picture, but this time I simply have to.
Con Brio con-brio-paradiso-29112016_vincent-van-kleef-11-of-19 Con Brio Con Brio Con Brio Con Brio

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BIG

A short post this time. Shot wide open with the Summilux lens, just how it supposed to be 🙂BIG

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Reflective state of mind

As I stated before in this blog, photography is sort of walking meditation for me. It calms me down and makes me more aware of my environment. I practice meditation at home too, but to be honest I enjoy this kind of calming down the mind more than just sitting down. It is something I cannot do in the companion of someone, let alone the fact that I am not in very communicative state when I am in this mode…..Who's that

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