Together Alone is a song by Dutch singer Anouk. A song in which she sings about her betraying her man. Heavy stuff alright and a strong title for describing the lack of fulfilling she apparently felt at that time. This title crossed my mind when I saw this man sitting on the park bench all on his own….except for the dove that seemingly is not intimidated by the man. The web is flooded with street photography showing people sitting on benches, I know, but the fact that the man sits on the very end of the bench en the dove just minding his own business I found quite funny. I hope you too. When showing my girlfriend this picture, she mentioned the white bird on the right, turning it’s back to the two. I like it when a photograph reveals these kind of details. Shot with my dear M8 paired with the lovely Zeiss ZM Biogon 28mm.
With all the focus (no pun intended) on high ISO performance these days, one might be inclined to forget about the other things that make you shoot great pictures. I don’t want to go into a rant, because that is unnecessary anyway. I understand that the aspect of high ISO capabilities can be crucial for being able to take that shot that you otherwise could not have taken. But…..working with both the Leica M8 and Leica M9 but also shooting analog, I have learned to appreciate the limitations of my equipment and to adjust my technique whenever it is what helps me to take that shot. Furthermore, it supports narrowing down my photography to the style and subjects that really resonate with me. Last but not least, it lets me appreciate the unique qualities of the gear I use even more. Naturally, this applies to shooting analog. Although not known for the high ISO performance, the Leica’s CCD sensor designed by Kodak (!) creates a truly unique look. Combined with lenses of Leica or Zeiss the results can be stunning. I don’t want to call this picture stunning, but I like it though. Shot in a very dim-lit room, at ISO 800 and wide open with the wonderful 50mm Summilux lens.
I recently visited an event in which my girlfriend had an important role organizing it. One of the artists performing was Poliana Vieira. I got this singer on my radar some time ago and she turned out to be an acquaintance of my girlfriend, which gave me the opportunity to meet her in person. Very talented and a great performer. Surely I got the M9 with me to register all wonderful things happening that evening, including this performance. You should definitely check her out. Watch her perform here.
I’ve used the film simulation of DxO Filmpack for a while now with great results. Especially the Rollei Retro simulation can really add some magic to your pictures. What has bothered me though is that this is a plugin for Lightroom rather than a preset. That means that you have to let make Lightroom make a TIFF file, export it to DxO Filmpack, do your thing and let it import it back into Lightroom. Not only is it cumbersome workflow wise, but you are not able to save the changes you have made in DxO Filmpack. Having nice results with the VSCO app on my iPhone, the Lightroom presets seemed quite interesting for that matter. So, when VSCO introduced a free version I immediately went for a test drive. This is one of the first results, made with the Kodak TRI-X simulation, with a fairly amount of grain added. I like it.