Lightroom 5

 

One of my favorite publications, Hearth Magazine, has selected the images from this shoot for print in Volume 6.

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places.
[Camille Pissarro]

 
 
West Cork, Ireland. 2014.

Leica M9-P | Voigtlander Nokton 50mm 1.5 ASPH VM

 
Among the many countless blessings in my life, I am privileged to be able to share the love of photography with my husband. Besides shooting together continuously, we talk about photography every day, bounce thoughts back and forth and give each other a lot of support and encouragement in our individual work. I’m aware that this is not commonplace, and I’m very thankful.

This day will always be etched in my memory, not only for the unique light we had and how gentle, yet wild the horses were, here in these mist-covered hills by the sea, but because I shared the experience with my favorite person on earth.

Johnny’s beautiful images of the horses on film (Hasselblad and Leica) are here.

Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’
[Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland]

 
 
London, England. 2014.

Leica M9-P | Voigtlander Nokton 50mm 1.5 ASPH VM

 
Johnny and I just returned from a wonderful long weekend in London. It was my first time there and I completely fell in love with the city. Everything about it had me at hello – the culture, the people, the food, the architecture, the stylishness and international flavor. We met up with a group of fellow photographers on Saturday for a photo walk and dinner at a great pub, which was the highlight of the trip. They were all such nice people and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying seeing their shots from London as well. I’m already excited to go back, maybe for a bit longer next time.

I continue to fall more in love with the Leica M9-P the longer that I shoot it. I’m simply amazed by the filmic colors, the light rendition, and the depth and latitude of the files. This is my fifth digital since I began shooting in 2009; I started out with a Canon Rebel XSi, then quickly moved to a Canon 5D, then switched to a Nikon D700, then a Fuji X-E1, and now finally the M9. Along the way I’ve also shot a variety of film cameras; the Nikon F100, Contax 645, Contax Aria, and Olympus 35-SP. This is the first camera, film or digital, that feels 100% like home when I shoot it; where the shooting experience is perfect, composing is natural and uncomplicated, and the results come out exactly how I saw and felt the scene when I took the picture. A 50mm lens on a full frame camera is definitely where I am most comfortable, it’s the combination that matches my eye and my vision. I love shooting a rangefinder, and I love the cinematic look that the Leica gives my pictures. The cherry on top is that the M9 is so compact and sturdy that I can slip it into an everyday handbag and carry it with me everywhere.

These images have very little done to them; I have a Lightroom preset I’ve made that makes a few minor tweaks, but what you see is basically how the images come out of the camera. Which for me, as someone with years in the business of digital post work and a bit color-obsessed, is astounding.

One thing I have learned is that it’s so important to find your happy place with the gear you use. A decision for a camera should be about what gives you the results that you want to see in your work – not about brand, film/digital, megapixels or ISO performance, what is hip or cool or the latest greatest, or what your favorite photographer shoots. A Hasselblad is a super cool camera, but it wouldn’t fit my style – while it fits Johnny’s perfectly. An M9 feels exactly right for me, but it doesn’t for everyone. I picked the M9 (and my lens) because I saw “this is me; this is the look I have been missing in my pictures”. I’m so happy I did, because through finding a tool that feels like a part of me, I found my way back to being excited and inspired in my photography again.

The two most engaging powers of a photograph are to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.
[William Thackeray]

 
 
Dublin + Union Hall, Ireland. 2014.

Leica M9-P | Voigtlander Nokton 50mm 1.5 ASPH VM

 

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
[Steve Jobs]

 
♫♩♫
 
Gougane Barra, Ireland. 2013.

Fuji X-E1 | Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 | Rebecca Lily preset

 

We’ll always have Paris.
[Casablanca]

 
 
Paris, France. 2013.

Fuji X-E1 | Fujinon 35mm 1.4 | Rebecca Lily preset

 
Johnny and I had a wonderful 8 days in Paris earlier this month. It was our first time there together, and we were both completely overwhelmed with how beautiful it was. The city embodies elegance and culture – from the graceful trees to the architecture to the refined cuisine and the visible appreciation for the arts. We were able to visit the Louvre and see the Mona Lisa in person (an incredible experience), hike up to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur for a panoramic view of Paris, enjoy a boat ride on the Seine, and walk around at the Eiffel Tower. We rode the Metro a few times, met for coffee with a couple of fellow photographers, and visited a flea market to admire some French antiquities. Other than that we just walked around the 11th Arrondissement a lot, where our hotel was, and enjoyed the cafe culture, the numerous camera shops and wonderful restaurants.

I really feel incredibly lucky to have been able to travel to so many beautiful places this year. And more than that, to be able to share these experiences with the man I love, who is the most wonderful companion I could ever ask for.

My goal photographically for the trip to Paris was to shoot Tri-X black and white film on my Contax Aria. But, as it rained almost every day we were there, I wasn’t able to take the film camera out with me; and to be honest I didn’t much feel in the mood to do serious shooting while we were there. It was all so overwhelming the first time, I felt as if I needed to take that in once (or twice) before I could really understand the city and do it justice in photographs. But I did take my little Fuji out with me a few times to catch some shots for memory’s sake. When we were back in Ireland I was surprised that a good percentage of them turned out ok, and after converting them in Lightroom I was really happy that I ended up with some black and whites (and reds) from Paris after all. :)





I have inside me the winds, the deserts, the oceans, the stars, and everything created in the universe. We were all made by the same hand, and we have the same soul.
[Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist]

 
 
Lake Como, Italy. 2013.

Contax 645 | Zeiss 80mm f/2 | Fuji Pro 400H | Richard Photo Lab

Over the four weeks we traveled in Italy, I had two moments that excited me most. One was when I photographed the horse in Val D’Orcia. I was practically stumbling over myself to get that shot, in my excitement forgetting to double check my exposure and realizing afterwards that I was about five stops over. But that’s the beauty of film and a brilliant lab – it still turned out!

The second moment was here, at Lake Como, in a little boat harbor that we happened to glimpse while driving past. We debated whether to turn around, and I am really glad we did. I think I took three rolls of film just in this one little harbor.

I’m finding through shooting so many different places and situations, that certain things really intrigue me. One is definitely boats and nautical elements. Don’t ask me why that is, I grew up surrounded by cornfields. Maybe it’s a love for the water that I carry on from previous generations, like my late grandfather, who passionately loved to sail.

I love shots that remind me of movie scenes, like the horse. I almost hear a soundtrack playing in my head when I look at it, and the camera panning from the horse, with the wind blowing in her hair, over the valley and the mountains and the incredible landscape. I love movement in images, how the wind and the light can make an image feel alive.

More and more I see and feel that the mood I want to convey through my photos is calm. Too much going on in the frame distracts me (even busy bokeh is too much). I love a clean canvas, with gentle and serene elements. Maybe that’s another reason why I love shooting by the water so much. It’s so easy to convey this sense of peace.

I think it’s good to explore this as a photographer. To listen to your own heart rather than taking so many ideas from the outside; to let the inspiration speak from within and not from without.

provencexe1_4

You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.
[Mary Oliver]

 
Provence, France. 2013.

provencexe1_2

It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.
[Aristotle]

 
Provence, France. 2013.