From north to south Germany it is a long way by train – not only in times of covid-19 – but if you have to wear a mask it seems much longer. Was it worth to wear my mask for eight hours in the Deutsche Bahn? It was! (By the way: the DB is always on time in times of covid-19.)
My destination was Oberstdorf, a small village in the German alps, some meters before Austria starts. Oberstdorf is well known for the Vierschanzentournee and since some years for an annual photo summit with changing topics. This year headline was ‚sports‘ next year it will be … surprise, surprise: ‚mountains‘ 😉
The program of the photo summit was a bit reduced because of the current, well known health issue, quiet understandable. Center stage is the ‚Oberstdorf Haus‘ in which manufactures like Leica, Olympus & Cano present their products, an exhibition of sport photos took place and an extended workshop program was offered.
We booked 3 of these workshops and were happy with the offered input.
Workshop #1: Leica Academy: one day with 75 mm/ f2 and a Leica camera of your choice … W ! O ! W !
Workshop #2: Color or black/ white – when to decide for which variant?
Workshop #3: The digital dark room – step by step development of RAW files in Adobe Lightroom.
Leica Academy – I never used a Leica M before and to be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll use it again in the future. Strange thing. I get complete lost during the morning hours because of the split-image indicator … on the ‚wrong‘ side of the camera … and the manual focussing. Yeeeses, everything unusual and the other way round n comparison with my day-to-day camera Olympus Pen-F. Yes, I see the point of a slowed down zen-approach photography but damned the last months I was used to fire street photos with image stabilisation and fast autofocus on the point.
It worked better in the afternoon. There is no need to talk about image quality – it is superb. The combination of the 40 something megapixel sensor and the glass quality of the 75 mm gives you a perfect setting for a small deep of field and a dream of a blurry bokeh. Fantastic … if you focus on what you want to be in focus. For me it is a iconic combination for planned portraits, flowers and details who do not move. Perhaps I give it another try next year.
Some results from my day with the Leica M with the 75 mm/ f2:
Last tip on using the Leica M: train your little finger muscles! Why? The Leica is a solid thing with some extra weight.
Additional learning outcome: never ever use a new camera with an unknown user interface concept if you have a fixed photo idea in mind. Or shorter: know your tool.
More about the Photo Summit & the other two ‚digital workflow‘ workshops next time/ next article.