Jun 092011

Why shooting with just a 35mm lens WILL improve your photography.

By Steve Huff

I originally wrote this article to end my Fuji X100 camera review but decided to expand on it and publish it on its own. When the X100 and even the Leica X1 were announced and released, many people were complaining that it did not have a Zoom lens, or have the capability of adding another lens. I heard things like “Who wants a fixed 35mm lens” and “These cameras are useless with just a 35”.

To me, this kind of thinking is borderline nonsense as the 35mm focal length is one of the most useful, if not THE most useful focal lengths you can use! I truly believe that if you shoot with just a 35mm focal length for at least 6 months your photography will improve and so will your knowledge of composition, reading light, and even your “vision” will improve. By that I mean, the way you see things in relation to photography.

Yes, It’s true. You can not add a zoom lens to cameras like the X100 or Leica X1 nor do they have a built in zoom lens. When you invest in these types of cameras, you are investing in a 35mm camera. Just like the old days with the classic fixed lens film cameras. But I see this as a good thing and is why I also adore the Leica X1 and X100 and even a Leica M9 with a simple 35mm lens attached.

For me, it’s all about simplicity and knowing what to expect from the camera. After a couple of weeks shooting with just your camera and one 35mm lens you will start to be able to visualize in your head what your image will look like, way before you even shoot it. When I go out and spot a scene I want to photograph, I instantly envision in my head what the image will look like. I can visualize what it would look like at f/2 or f/8, I  can see how I want it framed and what my final image will look like, even with processing! I see all of this before I take the shot. I can do this because I have been shooting with prime lenses only for so many years, and the 35 has been one of the main focal lengths I use along with my 50mm.

Some Images using only the 35mm focal length.

The house below was shot with a Leica M9 and 35 Summarit, which is a GREAT lens for this type of photo. It’s funny because the Summarit has better Bokeh than the 35 Summicron ASPH, and is about half the price and a smaller lens! True!

If you click on the house image below, you can see the quality of the lens better as the detail is also there.

The image below of the old (and what I thought was an abandoned) motorhome is one of my favorites of recent times. I remember driving down a rural road and I spotted this “scene” from the corner of my eye. I immediately turned around and pulled up to this dirty, worn down, flat tired motor home. Right when I stepped out of my car I knew exactly what angle I wanted because of the tarp that was flowing towards my lens. I knew this would look amazing in black and white and when I processed the image, it was exactly what I had hoped for.

It was shot with the Leica M9 and 35 Summicron ASPH lens.

For at least a year I traveled around with my M9 and 35mm taking photos of old buildings and abandoned places. It was almost an obsession of mine, finding these long forgotten houses, shops, cars..and even gas stations. For this project, the 35mm focal length was my most valued and used lens. A 28 was always a bit too wide, and the 50 was a bit too long.

This old service station was captured deep in the mountains of Kentucky, once again with the Leica 35 Summarit. For full detail and color, click on the image.

So OK, so far all I have shown you is old buildings and a motorhome, which are all perfect subjects for a 35. What about people? Sometimes with a 35mm, if you get too close to someone they can appear distorted, but not always. I find the 35mm focal length great for portraits IF you want to include the surroundings as well, and IMO, this makes for a much nicer “portrait”. A few years ago I started finding the typical 85mm portrait “heads” somewhat boring. I like to see more of what is going on in the surroundings…the persons “environment”, which is why you have probably heard the term “Environmental Portrait” before.

In my opinion, the 35mm focal length can produce more interesting portraits than a 50, 75 or 90 IMO. Why? Because you see the environment along with the person. You see what is going on in the scene which I find much more interesting than just a plain head shot most of the time.

Below is a fire breather who was walking the streets of Vegas and anytime someone gave him a dollar or two he would breath fire on the street, stopping traffic an all. With the M9 and 35 Summilux ASPH II, this shot was easy, and i love it!

The next shot of my son Brandon was taken over a year ago with the M9 and 35 Summarit. We were sitting down to eat and I wanted to get a picture of him browsing the menu but instead he looked up at me with the “are you taking a picture AGAIN!” look. Added a Sepia tone in Color Efex which looks better when you click on the image. This shot, when viewed at the larger size, reminds me of how great this little Summarit is. A little bit classic, a little bit modern, and the lowest price Leica 35.

Even the little Olympus E-PL1 with the 17mm pancake attached is just about equal to a 35mm foal length (34) and here is another portrait I shot with that exact combo! I really like this one as you see the environment in which the Auctioneer works. This was at an auction on a hot sweaty summer day and he was standing in the back of his truck from where he auctioned off a house and belongings. It was in Illinois and probably close to 100 degrees on that day. IT WAS HOT and HUMID.

When I shot the last Seal tour I also experimented with the 35 and really loved what I managed to capture with it. Shooting concerts with a 35mm lens sounds odd doesn’t it? Seems like it would be much too short, but with a performer such as Seal, using a 35mm is ESSENTIAL as there is so much audience participation going on. Once again, getting the subject and his surroundings is key to a really great photo. This one is with the M9 and 35 Summicron ASPH.

Using the Leica X1 which has just about a 35mm equivalent lens…

Here is one more “Environmental Portrait” I shot a year ago with the M9 and 35 Summilux ASPH II. You can see that this guy is a street performer. It tells more of a story than just a headshot would.

So as you can see, the 35mm focal length is very useful and versatile. In fact, after always going back and forth over which focal length I prefer between a 35 and 50, I always go back to the 35. It just seems natural.

After shooting a camera and one lens like a 35mm for at least 6 months you will know what angle to get, where to stand and you will get out of the “Zoom Lens” mindset, which IMO, makes you lazy. There, I said it and I mean it! Zoom lenses make you lazy. Sure it is nice to have that huge and pricey 70-200 because when you are roaming around the Zoo that is what everyone else has with them, and I used to be guilty of the same thing many years ago. Once I started shooting with a 35 and 50 my whole outlook changed and I realized that 95% of my shots taken with a zoom lens…sucked!

These days when I look back at my “zoom” shots they look flat and lifeless and it LOOKS like I zoomed in on my subject. But sometimes there will be a subject that is farther away and without a Zoom you can’t get close. Maybe you can not walk up to your subject to get closer. When this happens, I change my whole approach to the shot. Instead of worrying about the subject I look around and see what I can capture within the shot WITH the subject, and this usually makes it much more interesting.

Now of course, sports shooters and wildlife guys need powerful zooms (or primes) but for most of us, including the hobbyists, it could be a great experience to just shoot with one lens and one lens only for a while, and believe me, it will improve your photography.

I could get by day to day with either a 35 or a 50. My favorite lens in the world is actually a 50, but not for its focal length. The Leica Noctilux for its gorgeous rendering. Right behind that the new 35 Summilux ASPH. I have shot with a 35 for months on end, and did the same with a 50. Did my photography suffer because of it? NO, in fact, it had the opposite effect. It IMPROVED it.

My wrap up…

Shooting ONLY a 35mm lens for say, 3-6 months, will open up your mind to other possibilities. You will not just aim, zoom and shoot but you will look around, think and ask yourself how you can get the best shot with what you have. Shooting at 35mm seems natural. You can get great environmental portraits and even normal portraits if you step back a bit. 35mm is great for landscape and urban shots. It kind of sucks you in to the image at times and is not too wide like a 24 or 28 might be, nor is it too constricted like a 50 can be in some situations.

In many ways, in my opinion, the 35mm focal length is the perfect focal length for shooting life as it happens. The things around you, the people around you, and the daily grind in general. If you have the chance, put a 35mm (equivalent) on whatever camera you own and shoot it for a few weeks. ONLY using that lens. My guess is that by the end of the few weeks you will have some amazing keepers, and you will also have learned a bit more about composition. You will also have a liberated feeling as the stress of “what lens should I use” will be gone. Just you and your 35…pretty cool.



Remember, anytime you follow my links here and buy from B&H or AMAZON, this helps to keep my site going. If it was not for these links, there would be no way to fund this site, so I thank you in advance if you visit these links. I thank you more if you make a purchase! I have nifty search bars at the upper right of each page so you easily search for something at either store! I currently spend 10-14 hours a day working on this site and the only way that I can pay for it is with your help, so thank you! Currently my traffic has been increasing but my funds to pay for the site has been decreasing, so any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

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Jun 082011

Three bag ROUNDUP!

The Artist & Artisan 7000 and 7200 and the Think Tank Photo Airport Airstream video Review!

Today I wanted to do a video on three bags that are all SUPERB! The first two I have become quite fond of, the Artisan & Artist ACAM-7000 for the days when I want to carry along my laptop, Ipad and more than one camera and lenses. The GCAM-7200 is for those days when I just want to bring along something like an M9 and two lenses, or even an M9, lens and Fuji X100/Leica X1. I retired my Domke F-803 as I fell in love with the looks, feel and functionality of these A&A Bags.

I also purchased a rolling bag from Think Tank Photo for my airport travels, the Airport Airstream. This is a semi compact roller that holds a TON of gear and can be stored in an overhead compartment on an airplane. This is a TOP quality bag that is made extremely well. Watch the video for the details!

Where to buy?

Think Tank Airport Airstream – Buy direct from Think Tank Photo for great service, and fast ship.

Artisan & Artist ACAM-7000 – Dale Photo & DigitalPopflash also has the 7000, IN STOCK.

Artisan & Artist GCAM-7200 – Dale Photo & Digital or Popflash Photo

Here is the 15 minute video review of all three! Video shot with the Fuji X100!


Jun 072011

Dear Steve,

Thanks for your great website, and also for notifying the participants to the Leica Contest that their submissions were received — not to be expected at 1300+ entries :-) While we’re at it, I would like to submit 3 pictures for your consideration in the Daily Inspiration category.

Manuel Domes



“Small scale mining in Dinagat”

These pictures show the work of artisinal miners in Dinagat Island, Philippines. These miners make a very modest living by extracting chromite using some basic tools and, most importantly, their own hands.

Taken with a Leica M8.

Jun 072011

Still shooting with the Fuji X100! Some more samples…

I am still shooting with the Fuji X100 and I have to say that this is a camera that the more you shoot it, the better it seems to get. Not really, but I think that it takes a little while to fully learn how to use the camera to get the best results. I am finding that the sweet spot, as many already know, is f/4 though I still shoot it at f/2 when I want a softer/creamier look. I also feel that the Bokeh of the lens is very pleasing.

Just wanted to post a few shots I took over the past few days with it. As always, click any image to make it bigger! If you are still looking for a Fuji X100 it seems that Amazon and B&H PHOTO get them in every week or so. Check often! I feel the camera is well worth the cost and after all is said and done, its a keeper. Can’t wait for the firmware update that is supposedly coming soon for THIS and the Sony NEX-5!

I will be taking the X100 along with me to Europe and I leave on Sunday for 5 weeks, so look for some X100 street stuff soon, as well as the M9/35 cron comparison that many of you have been asking me for. Should be interesting!

This one was shot at f/2 and pretty close up.

Even at f/4 you still get some nice out of focus background, and man, is it smooth.

At f/2.8 it sharpens up a bit from wide open..

Another wide open at f/2

f/4 and loving the colors here…

f/2 and ISO 640

and one more at f2.8…

f/2, ISO 640 – I usually have the camera set to use Auto ISO as the higher ISO settings are so clean on the X100

At f/4 the camera performs superbly.

Jun 062011

The Death of Brick & Mortar Photo Shops

This morning I awoke, planned on posting a guest article, and then head out to shoot the Sony NEX mount 28 2.8 from SLR Magic so I can get the review started. I checked my e-mail, and as I sat and read them I found one in particular that caught my attention. Some of you may remember that for a while I used to do “Question & Answer Wednesday”, and I have been thinking about bringing it back as I get so many comments and questions every day. I thought this e-mail would make for a good post this morning as it always seems like a highly debated topic when I see it on forums, sites, etc.

The e-mail that got me this morning was not so much a question though, it was about physical Photography Stores that are going out of business due to the mass amounts of online sales these days.

Here is the e-mail…

“I just read your post about the Think Tank roller bag. And something

caught my attention after listening to a recent story on the radio

about photographic retailers.


Quote: “I did just order a new camera flight bag from Think Tank.” “I

checked it out in a shop and the quality was fantastic.”


I’m sure we’re all guilty, and this is in no way meant to be an

attack. (Which is why I didn’t post it in the comments.) But just food

for thought and interesting piece regarding the competition

traditional retailers are facing online. As I’m sure they will all

need to think about changing their strategy in order to survive.


Have a listen to this radio interview with a photographic business

that’s had to close its doors after 46 years in business.


Fast forward to 25.50 to get to the interview.


Anyway, if you decide to post anything about it. No need to quote /

reference me. Rather stay anonymous. Just thought you might find the

story interesting.”

and here is my response/thoughts on this topic:

I agree about this as my local camera shop just went out of business. The oldest photo store in Pheonix. But, IMO, they deserved to go out of business! Why? I used to shop there religiously. Then about 3 years ago they started jacking up prices as they were losing money to online shops. I would go in and a camera would be $200-$500 more than online shops such as B&H Photo. When I asked if they would match the price, they said “No, and if you order from B&H you will get grey market goods“. That was a lie (and I knew it but many would take that as fact)  as B&H does not ship out grey market unless you specifically order grey market (and they tell you this, for example with their Canon and Nikon lenses).

Last year I went in to the shop to buy a Domke bag as they were a Domke dealer. I figured I would pay the extra $50 to get it now, and support the shop. I went in to buy an F-803, which they usually had on hand, and they had not a one. Their reason was that “No one buys Domke anymore” and then they tried to sell me some cheap overpriced off brand. That was an early sign of their troubles as I noticed they were stocking less and less of the good stuff.

Then there was the time they were selling the Nikon D3x at full retail, plus tax of course. I said if they cut off $200 I would buy from them (online I would have saved hundreds of dollars). Their reply was “Sorry, we can sell these all day at full price”. I kindly declined.

The store NEVER tried to compete with any kind of online shop/site, so I knew it was only a matter of time before they would be out of business. There are shops that managed to thrive by creating an online presence and are doing well, but those who did not were lazy and did not prepare for what was obviously the future of shopping. If I owned a long standing shop, I would have hired some guru to create a killer website where I could sell online at competitive prices. I would have taken a small loss the first two years to be competitive with the big guys and offer amazing personal service. That would have been the only chance to survive.

One guy that comes to mind when I think of this is Ken Hansen (email here). He used to have a huge store in New York and he felt the Squeeze years ago from B&H. Today he is semi-retired and works from his home selling only Leica and used gear, and he does quite well. He has amazing service, and stays competitive with pricing even though his profit margins are small. He has a reputation online and off. He does not have a website, but does have an online presence.

Then there are shops like Dale Photo. They created a great online website presence, and David Farkas who is the goto guy at Dale, runs a blog where he talks about gear. He created an online presence and seems to do well. Of course you have the huge B&H Photo which EVERYONE knows about! Why is this exactly? They were smart from the get go with creating their online mega site and it’s the best in the business as far as I am concerned. I’ve been buying online from them for YEARS.

Yes, I have seen many small shops change their future doom by creating a great online site and online buzz. Those who did not were lazy IMO and basically hoped things would get better, when the future is indeed online shopping.

With devices like the ipad, iphone, etc…online is the future. Period.

Also, I have to mention this… when I checked out the Think Tank bag at another local shop, it was $319 plus tax. Online I can get it for $279 and free shipping. Saving over $50. I’m not rich, nor can I afford to throw money away. The shop would not budge on the price so I ordered online. I predict they will be the next shop to go down, maybe not this year but soon.

So I can not feel sorry for the owners of long standing shops who failed to recognize the importance of creating an online presence as THIS IS the future, like it or not. Another thing I dislike about local shops was if I had to return something they acted like you were a bad person and gave you grief about it. Online is simple. Print a form and ship it back. No hassles or guilt. No restock fee (which is another problem with physical shops).

Anyway, sorry if I got on a small rant! Just feel strongly on this and when others tell me to buy in the shop, believe me, I try! The shops that are hurting just cant seem to give any deals or breaks, and paying extra so they can stay in business a few months or year longer doesn’t seem like a smart strategy. They need the strategy with an online website and if they failed to do that then it is only a matter of time. Running any business is tough, and you have to stay up with the times if you want to future proof. To those who do, it can save their business. To those who don’t then sadly they stand no chance. The shops who have yet to create an online presence, it may be too late. Sad but true.


Jun 032011

Is the new Leica M9-P coming?

The new Leica M9-P…this is the rumor that has been spread around the net for the past month or so ever since a couple of photos of Seal were spotted with him carrying around an MP style Leica, but without a rewind knob or advance lever. Heck, I saw that camera in person a couple weeks ago when I met up with Seal in Tuscon, AZ.  I’m not saying anything about it but…

…for now, let’s just say this rumor is true and that the M9-P is just around the corner. I’m guessing that an M9-P would include a nice vulcanite covering, be chrome instead of Steel Grey, have the Sapphire glass on the back and also be void of any names or logos on the FRONT of the camera. If I were making an M9-P, I would engrave the top old school style with the Leica name. I would skip the electronic frame lines and save those for the M10 later on. I would also price it $500-$750 above the cost of a standard M9 as we all know that the Sapphire glass does indeed add cost (look at the M8.2). But this is Leica, so if the M9-P is real, who knows where they will price it. $500 would be perfect IMO, $1000 would be a bit much.

If i were releasing an M9-P I would also release a black paint version, with the nice rich black paint that the film MP has. THIS would look amazing wouldn’t it? Yep, an M9 with the looks of the classic MP. My guess is that these cameras will be absolutely jaw dropping beautiful (if in fact this is what is coming in June). Would I upgrade my grey M9 towards one? In a heart beat.

I also am aware of new firmware for the M9 but my guess is that it is nothing exciting, just a bug fix or two.

Those are just some guesses of mine, nothing that really hasn’t been said on 20 other sites lately.

As for the M10, I’m still guessing that the M10 will not surface until mid to late 2012. I’m also guessing that this camera will take the M in a new direction. Just a hunch. I could be wrong. As for an X2, Im also going to say 2012. Just a gut feeling here. As for me, Im still thrilled with the performance of the M9 and it continues to deliver the results that at times, make my jaw drop.

As for this M9-P stuff, let’s wait and see. :)


UPDATE – I closed the comments on this as everything that needed to be said has been said, and I refuse to keep them open as I do not enjoy the negativity. Again, let’s wait and see what Leica announces this month :)


Jun 032011

Add some FLARE to your photos with FLARE!

An awesome app that is fun AND powerful!

Wow. About a week ago I was contacted by the creator of FLARE asking me if I wanted to try out his software and see how I liked it. It was yet another one of those “Apps” for your desktop that instantly transforms your photos into creative funky creations using presets. Wasn’t too interested so I let it sit on my desktop for a few days. One night I was bored and remembered that I downloaded this app…ah, what the hell. Worst case it is crap. Best case it is fun. Well, I ended up sitting there for 3 hours running some recent photos through the software and was very happy with what came out.

To date, Flare is my favorite “fun” photo software, but it is more than fun. You can get pretty cool and serious results with it if you play around a bit. First of all, this is for Apple/Mac only, sorry windows :) Once you download the software you get a free 15 day trial to play around with it but even if you want to buy it, it is only $20 and IMO, it is well worth it for those times when you want to add some easy, but effective effects to your photos.

There are 24 easy ONE CLICK presets included in Flare but the cool part is, you can edit those effects to make them your own. It is VERY customizable and you can adjust just about everything from within the quick and smooth interface. Watch the video above to check out the features.

You can download the App HERE and try it for yourself.

If you own a mac and want to own a copy of flare, download the trial and post an image that you used Flare on in the comments box below. The 1st five people to do so will win a free copy! I will set you up with a license code next week. I would need your name and email address to set them up, so if you are one of the 1st five email me here with the info.

Also, if you download this app you can also get more presets HERE!

Below are a few of my recent images that I processed with Flare, just using the presets! It’s a great app and makes it easy for those of us who are not Photoshop savvy to get cool results. Even the straight B&W conversion is good!

BTW, ALL images below were taken with various cameras such as the Leica M9, Fuji X100, Sony NEX-5, Sony A-33, Leica X1 and the Olympus E-Pl2.


Jun 022011

News, Updates, Announcements and more!

Hello everyone! Happy Thursday! I am sitting here drinking my morning coffee, sitting in my big comfy office chair and realizing that in less than two weeks I will be heading out across Europe to shoot the Summer Seal tour. This will be a 5 week stint for me and I am hoping to get some nice street shooting in while traveling as well. I plan on bringing my M9 along with a 24 Lux, 35 cron, 50 Noct and 90 cron. These lenses will be perfect for shooting the shows. Notice I added the 24 Lux to the mix this time. I think it will do incredible for live shows to get more audience interaction in the frames.

I will also be bringing along a Fuji X100 and maybe a NEX for video. Not sure just yet. I did just order a new camera flight bag from Think Tank. A roller bag. Last tour I was lugging around this huge camera bag on my shoulder with loads of gear, laptop, ipad, etc. This time I will be rolling along in style with THIS LITTLE GUY. I checked it out in a shop and the quality was fantastic. This way I can save my shoulders and back, and be able to carry all of my gear on the plane. Perfect! I spent two months searching for the perfect bag for flying with my gear and this was the one I ended up with. It is small, but can pack in loads of gear. I’ll fit TWO M9’s, the 4 lenses, the X100 and a NEX. I will have my shoulder bag for my laptop, ipad, cables, chargers, snacks and one camera, most likely the X100.

While I am on the tour, updates may be sporadic as there will be days where I will be without internet access. I plan on doing some street shooting articles, some guest posts, more daily inspirations and of course a few highlights from select Seal shows. Should be interesting. If any of you reading this would like to write a guest article or User Report, just email me and lets talk!

Speaking of the Fuji X100

THE FUJI X100! It appears that Fuji is going to release a new firmware for the X100 really soon, as they announced they will be doing so to correct for issues brought up in the DPreview review. When will they release it? Hopefully soon. I think if they correct some of the quirkiness that came along with the camera then it will be even harder to find in stock. So far, it has been the hottest camera of the year. Fuji dumped their Digital SLR line after the S5 pro and with the success of this X100, I think it sends a message that many of us want high quality in a small package. Retro looks? Even better! Can’t wait to see what they do with the firmware. B&H SELLS THE X100 HERE.

Sony NEX news…

The little camera that could. The NEX-5 is one of the most versatile small cameras on the market today. It has a large APS-C sensor and has the capability to mount just about any lens (with the correct adapters). It’s kit lenses have been hit and miss but there are plenty of NEX users getting gorgeous results with various lenses. The camera is small, sleek and once you get used to the menu system it is a great system. Too bad there are no real fast wider options for it. The X100 has the 35mm equiv f/2, tough to get on the Sony unless you mount a Leica 24 Summilux to the little NEX :)

But its all about SIZE and this girl “gets it”. Look at her video and see how small it is next to a Canon 5d! Wow.

I am also hearing there will be a new NEX-5 firmware release any day now that adds a slew of fun photo filters, much like the art filters of the PEN series. From what I see, Sony is getting a little more advanced though with cool color effects, posterization effects, and even a cool retro look. Should be fun.

If some of you missed this, it appears there was a leaked image of a new Sony NEX C3 which is replacing the now discontinued NEX-3..

While it looks a little cooler than the NEX-3, not sure if I like the new rounded look and monster flash but I am sure many will. Supposedly, this little guy is supposed to hit any day now. Rumors had it for a May release.

Fun Links of the week…

Has anyone ever seen the work of Spencer Tunick? He shoots nudes and is famous for gathering hundreds or thousands of people into his photos shoots, all nude. I have seen his two HBO documentaries and found his work quite interesting. He is now getting ready for his next project, a large scale nude shoot at the Dead Sea.

This couple had custom wedding rings made to mimic the look of a classic Leica lens.

Wow, love this guys site. Not only some of the most beautiful photography I have seen in a while, he shoots a ton with a Fuji X100. If you want to REALLY see what an X100 can do, visit his site NOW and check out his posts from the past weeks.

Don’t forget to visit my Facebook fan page for this site and click LIKE!

Leica announces RECORD SALES for 2011. So much for those old timers on other sites saying Leica needs to modernize their M’s for profits. As I stated a month or two ago, Leica has been raking in the sales in 2011 and IMO will continue to do so with the plans they have laid out. Go Leica!

For those who think the M9 is expensive…what about the ridiculously priced SIGMA SD1. $9700?? Insanity. This is SIGMA…Their 15MP DSLR (that they claim is 46MP) without a lens…$9700. $2700 more than an M9 that already can come close  to MF quality with the right lens, and is much more portable. Hmmm. Who is buying one?

Was just over at lensrentals.com and found that they have some of the hottest Leica lenses available, in stock, to rent. This is a great way to try out lenses like the Noctilux, 35 Summilux, 50 Summilux, or whatever you want to try! They even have the Zeiss 50 Sonnar 1.5. Check out their Leica pages! I personally can vouch for their service, they are the best online rental service I have come across, and they are a site sponsor as well!

Speaking of site sponsors, Dale Photo has the hot little Leica 35 Summarit in stock. These days it is TOUGH to find ANY Leica glass in stock, even the Summarits! This is a great lens and cheap by Leica standards.

Ken Hansen also usually has Leica glass in stock. One of the top Leica dealers, Ken is my go to guy these days when I need something Leica. He has yet to ever let me down! You can e-mail Ken at [email protected] for availability of whatever you are looking for in the land of Leica.

Oh, and do check out the all new Forums on this site! Started from scratch about two weeks ago and so far so good! It will take some time to get rolling but there are so many knowledgable people that come to this site, and there are also others who need that knowledge :) The forums are a great place to share it! Also, if you want an Avatar to show up on this site when you post in the comments or the forums, go get your gravatar! . Once you do, your avatar will show up here, in the forums, and on other blogs and sites! Only takes a couple of minutes!

Upcoming Articles

Coming in the next two weeks… A new article from David Babsky and by popular demand, a comparison between the Fuji X100 and Leica M9 with 35 Summicron. So many have e-mailed asking for this and again, these are two totally different camera systems that shoot much differently in real use. BUT, to please you, the readers, I will do a “Crazy Comparison” between the two. Should be fun :)

There will also be the new SLR Magic 28 2.8 lens review for the NEX system and a couple really cool guest reports. Of course there will be the daily inspiration posts as well. So check back daily for something new and fun in the world of photography! Until next time!

Jun 022011


It’s back but will go within minutes! Fuji X100, In stock at B&H Photo – $1199! GET IT QUICKCLICK HERE TO GO TO THE X100 ORDER PAGE!

Fuji announced they are releasing new Firmware soon, so my guess is that this camera will be even harder to get once that happens, at least for a few months. These always sell out within 15-30 minutes, sometimes quicker so if you have been waiting for one, now is the time!

Jun 012011

First Look at the SLR Magic 28 2.8 NEX “E” Mount Lens!

By Steve Huff

So I was sitting around  the house  today with my son, who I have been spending quality time with for the past 6 days and my doorbell rings! As usual in the Huff household, it was the Fed Ex man. He had a package for me that came all the way from Hong Kong…EXCITING! This package contained a lens that has not been in anyone else hands as of yet as I am the first in the world to get a hold of one. The lens is the 28 2.8 and as it sits here in my hand, it looks AND feels pretty nice on the camera.

Keep in mind, THIS IS NOT THE REVIEW for this lens! This is just a “First Look” report. The full review will be coming soon!

Stunning silver. The nEX-5 looks fantastic in Silver, especially with the new lens attached.

As many of you may have seen, in the past I have reviewed other offerings from SLR Magic like the 35 1.7 for the NEX and the “Toy Lens” for the Micro 4/3 mount.

I thoroughly enjoyed both of those lenses for their fun factor and price. SLR Magic ships them out with little manuals, full boxes, and they are all ready to mount to your camera. No adapters needed. If some of you reading this are long time readers, you may remember I was the first in the world to review another unique lens for Micro 4/3 from a company called Noktor. That lens was a 50 0.95 that I was lukewarm on. Recently, Noktor went out of business for a week or so and then re-opened their doors when SLR Magic bought them.

Yep, SLR Magic has bought Noktor and plan on re-introducing the 50 0.95 and maybe even with some new tweaks for better performance. They also have a few other tricks up their sleeves that I can not discuss, but be prepared for some VERY cool news soon from minds at SLR Magic. I’m in the loop and like what I am hearing.

But for now I just wanted to show you guys some pictures of the new 28 2.8 for the NEX cameras. Mounted on a silver NEX-5 it looks really nice. The lens is solid and feels well made, which is nice. It comes with a rear cap and metal front cap that screws on for a secure fit. The Aperture dial clicks solidly and what is super cool is this lens incorporates a “revolver” style aperture system which helps to cut down on size and helps to put out great Bokeh. The lens goes from  f/2.8 to f/22!

I have not yet even REALLY shot with this lens as by the time I was able to get around  to mounting it, it was night time. All I did was take a quick couple shots around the house at night, wide open at 2.8. What I found was that this lens is VERY Smooth to focus. Feels like a lens should feel when manual focusing. Also, it does seem like it will be soft at the edges at 2.8 but I hear it sharpens up as you stop it down. I will find out tomorrow (Thursday) and post some results. The lens feel really good on the camera. One thing I like is that it focus down to 0.24 meters, or around 9 inches. Much closer than I am used  to with my Leica glass.

click images for larger versions

I plan on taking it out tomorrow for a quick spin to see how the quality is. Oh, and FYI, this lens becomes a 42mm equivalent on the NEX due to the crop factor. So basically, this is a 42mm 2.8 lens.

One thing to keep in mind is that this lens is MANUAL focus ONLY. It will not AF on the NEX and has no electrical contacts. To some this may be a deal breaker, to others, a blessing. It does focus very easily.

It has been quite a while since the NEX was introduced…almost a year now. The bummer so far has been the lack of lens releases from Sony. So far, all NEX users have had available are the 16mm and 18-55 kit lenses along with the super huge 18-200. Where are the faster primes Sony? I know they are releasing a 3.5 macro lens soon but we want fast and QUALITY as the NEX sensor is capable of so much more than the kit lenses deliver.

Couple of quick late night shots…

A quick crop at 2.8 – click image  to see larger version with true 100% crop. Bokeh looks nice so far…

As for this 28 2.8 from SLR Magic, it should be available any time now for purchase at around $199. More info on that soon. Until then, I will be testing it out and letting all of you know how it does. Am excited to do this as I always love products like this. Fun, different, affordable and in this case, possibly great quality all the way around. Of course, the NEX is always available at B&H photo and the 5 is a great and versatile tiny camera at $699 with kit zoom. Stay tuned!

one more high iso, 2.8

This is the production lens, NOT a prototype. Mounted on a silver NEX-5 I had in house. Looking good, but how will it perform out in the real world?


May 312011

Travel Photography

By Matt Draper


Your website is quickly becoming my favourite site, it is bookmarked on my Mac and I check it everyday as I am sure a lot of others do around the world. Your posts are informative, inspiring, humorous and the fact you always show a perspective from both sides shows most importantly that you are a down to earth dude that lets everyone have a say!

I sent you three photos that I had taken in Indonesia for the “Daily Inspiration” a few weeks ago, and as I sit in my 4 metre by 3 metre room in an iron ore mine in the middle of the West Australian desert counting down the months for my M9 and 35mm lux to be delivered (camera-less after selling my Canon set up to pay for it all), I decide to write a piece on travel photography that you may want to share with your faithful readers.

As I mentioned in my daily inspiration a few weeks ago, my name is Matthew Draper I am a 25 year old carpenter with a 2 week on 1 week off roster, this allows me to travel a lot which I am very grateful for.

I love photography; it has been my passion like many others for my entire life and my goal is to one day be a contributing photographer for National Geographic. (One of my photos is currently in the editor’s stockpile that I am very happy with)

Here are a few travel photography tips and some photos to go with.

I hope in any way at all it helps.



Sure the M9 is the best travel camera around, the 7D is a quick focus/FPS master and the Canon 1D and Nikon DX series will give you more megapixels then you can poke a stick at. BUT nothing is stoping you from tacking a world-class travel photo with a compact or even disposable camera!

In saying this all of the photos taken below were shot from a 5D MKII and 24-70mm lens.

For image quality nothing will beat a fixed focal lens (35mm and 50mm being my favourite) BUT if you can handle using a bit of a slower lens something like the 24-70mm will compensate in how much of a wider range you can cover, especially when you are limited to how close you can get to a subject.

I found this one lens more then enough.

Know your camera! Study the manual before your trip, get use to focusing manually, using different modes and techniques to draw limited amounts of attention, be happy with the lens you choose to take and limit the weight of your set up.

I hated the size of the 5D, however I took it with me everywhere! to the beach, in the bush, in the rain, in the crazy heat, around my neck on a scooter or even under the seat between my backside and the engine, it handled everything! I always had it wrapped in a nice cloth and tried to minimise the size of the bag I took it in.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to take your camera EVEYWHERE you go when traveling! Always try to have a fully charged spare battery, a spare memory card, and any protective covers (I recommend a polarised filter) you can put on your lens or camera LCD. In a foreign country you never know what you are going to come across and/or when it is going to happen.



My favourite travel photos are those of the people of the country.

I feel it is important to treat locals or anyone in that matter you are taking a photo of just how you would like to be treated.

It is amazing how much more comfortable a person will feel if you learn even the smallest amount of their language and approach them with a smile and gentle greeting, sure there are times when we point shoot and run but a small conversation and shown interest will get you that much more of a pleasant subject.

A comfortable subject will give you a tighter crop; more time to compose or adjust settings on your camera and will give you a photo with a personal connection.

Remember to respect different cultures and religions; sometimes a gentle tap on the head or touch of hand can be disrespectful to others.

Don’t be scared to ask people to stand or pose in a certain way and always remember a few dollars in some countries can help someone get by for days.



Everyone has seen a picture of the Eiffel tower, the Statue of Liberty or the Great Wall of China but nothing ever really prepares us for the share ore of these sights when you get to see them IN REAL LIFE!

After you have sucked it all in and taken your happy snap under the Las Vegas sign or standing beside the Taj Mahal don’t be afraid to spend sometime getting a whole different prospective of the landmark.

Walk around it, take a photo of someone taking a photo of it, take a photo of the landmark in a window or sunglass reflection, through the hole of a fence, when the weather is out of control or even from the hot dog stand out the front.

Research your favourite photographer and/or the landmark and get some inspiration.

Think outside of the box and you may be quite surprised with what you can achieve with your own imagination and something that has been seen a million times before.



I like to take a small note pad with me, sometimes a little story of the person or place you have just shot can really be the icing on the cake to an award winning photo.

I try write the date, name of the person, name of the street or suburb and a little about them or the location.

This also aids as a bit of a travel journal which you can always look back on.

Try to get the spelling right and if you are in a rush just write a few simple facts down which you can come back to later and edit into a masterpiece caption.



If you have embarked on a journey your adventurous side is already oozing!

Be brave, get lost, walk down an alley way, past the well know tourist attractions to a local sports match or even an industrial area, this is where the real people are.

I travel on my own, this allows me to gain entry to certain places a group of people may not be welcome. I always take a local with me to certain areas I am cautious of. (it doesn’t take long to get talking to someone who is willing to show you crazy or amazing things they know of around the corner)

Get amongst it! If you are at a temple, in a cock fighting ring or knee deep in fish at a market talk to the people that work there get an idea of what it is like from their perspective, have fun and smile you will be surprised with how much closer you can get or the better treatment you will receive when it comes to pulling out your camera.

BE SAFE Always tell someone you know or trust (even someone behind the desk of your accommodation) a general idea of where you will be going for the day and what time you anticipate you will return.

Research the roads or area you will be going to and a clear way of how to get back to where you started if something happens to go wrong. Maybe take a cell phone if you have one and some I.D but never be too naïve, if something doesn’t feel right go with your gut feeling.

Next year I am off to south east Asia followed by Bangladesh, India and then Russia, I have been dreaming of spending a week photographing the ship breaking in Chittagong in Bangladesh, every post I have read on the internet says how much of a mission it is to be granted access but this is not going to stop me, I will arrive with my smile and M9 and see where I get.


These were just a few tips I thought I would share with everyone.

Thanks for reading, remember have fun and always be respectful.

I hope you enjoy the photos below. They were taken on my last trip to Bali, Indonesia



May 302011

The Olympus XZ-1 Digital Camera Review

By Steve Huff

Ah yes, the Olympus XZ-1. I was supposed to have this review up last week but with all of the Fuji X100 and Leica X1 hoopla I had to push this one back because I did not have the time to go over the images I snapped with the camera until now. I have been toting along this little powerhouse of a compact for a couple of weeks now and I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the cameras capabilities. I will keep this review short and sweet, and it will focus on my real world use of the camera and NOT charts and resolution tests.

It will also be a VERY short review as there is no need to go on and on about the camera because it just does what it does, and it does it well.

Olympus released the XZ-1 with a mission in mind. That mission was to release a small compact camera that would not only have more features, better quality and a larger sensor than others in its class, it appears they also wanted to take on some of the super compacts like the Leica X1 and new Fuji X100. While I do not feel the XZ-1 is a replacement for something like an X100, it can at times give similar results if you are printing small or shooting for web display.

Yes, in many ways, this camera can almost approach the quality of the Fuji X100 and Leica X1, and it is a smaller sensor compact! Of course, in other ways, like noise, dynamic range, and total IQ, it is not up there with the super-compacts but it is an option over the cameras that are in the XZ-1’s class, and dare I say, a better one? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on what you are looking for in a compact-ish camera.

The fact is that 90% of us really do not NEED more camera than this! Most of you reading this are most likely hobbyists who shoot and post to the web. Others may have found this page through google while searching for their 1st high quality compact digital. If that is the case, the XZ-1 is one of the best compacts I have had the pleasure to shoot with (in the smaller sensor compacts) if not THE BEST. It is also a camera that is super easy to take with you anywhere. It fits easily into the front pocket of my cargo shorts.

The Red Rocks of Sedona, in Black & White! XZ-1 at f2.5 and ISO 100 – Noise in sky is from the B&W conversion.

First off, I know there are other cameras in this class that I already really enjoy. Which ones? The Leica D-Lux 5 and Panasonic LX-5 are at the top of my compact list along with the little Ricoh GRDIII (GRD review HERE). Those are cameras I really loved and raved about right here on this site. The D-Lux 5 was my top choice for a high quality compact camera but this may have just changed with the XZ-1 just because it does so much right, and so little wrong.

What makes this little Olympus special though is its all star cast of features. This little guy has everything you can imagine or wish for in a compact camera, even a little bit larger of a sensor for even better performance over the other small cameras.

Here are the official specs of the XZ-1

10 Megapixels

The 10 million pixels in the high-resolution CCD create superior image quality. Create poster-sized prints without losing a single detail.

Large, High-Sensitivity CCD

Providing the best image quality ever in a compact Olympus camera, the large 1/1.63-inch CCD enables greater dynamic range and smoother gradations from highlights to shadows.

4X iZuiko Zoom Lens

Based on the standards of Olympus DSLR lenses, the wide aperture of the iZuiko f1.8-2.5 allows a rich and vibrant range of photographic expression. It allows faster shutter speeds in low light – and it allows for a shallower depth of field than most compact point-and-shoot cameras.

HD Movie 720p

A simple, one-touch button allows you to record movies with amazing clarity in high-definition, right from your camera.

Accessory Port

The XZ-1 includes a port for accessories including the SEMA-1 Microphone adapter set and the VF-2 live-finder, a detachable electronic viewfinder. The viewfinder easily slides onto the camera’s accessory port and hot shoe to provide 1.15x magnification for a 100% field of view. The VF-2 rotates up 90 degrees which is useful when shooting subjects from challenging angles. The external accessory port also allows for connection with the SEMA-1 external microphone adapter set for enhanced audio capture.

In-Camera Art Filters-Movie and Still Images

With six in-camera Art Filters (Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone) you can explore your artistic side while taking both still shots and HD video. The Art Filters can be applied as you shoot, no additional software required.

New Easy-to-Use Live Guide Control

Seeing the results before you shoot can change the way you take a picture. Want more vivid or muted color in your shot? Want warmer or cooler hues? Want a brighter or darker subject, or a sharper or softer background? Or maybe you want to capture the fast-moving action of your subject with a little artistic blur, or perhaps freeze the action? Simply set the camera to iAuto, press OK to engage Live Guide, then press the up and down arrows on the back of the E-PL1 to easily slide through numerous photographic effects. Make adjustments and watch the LCD as the effects are made live — before the image is captured! Live Guide also features a Tips section on how to compose a shot or shoot kids, pets, flowers and more.

Dual Image Stabilization

Dual Image Stabilization combines Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds so you can capture crisp, clear images even if the subject is moving.

In-Camera Panorama

Captures three images and stitches them together to create one amazing panoramic picture by simply pressing the shutter button and slowly panning across a panoramic scene.

AF Live View With AF Tracking

F Live View works as seamlessly as a point-and-shoot to display subjects, in focus, on the LCD the instant the shutter is pressed half way. AF Tracking locks your subject into focus right on the LCD, and constantly adjusts focus and brightness whether you or your subject is moving. With this mode, a simple push of the AF button and shutter release enables you to keep fast-moving and unpredictable subjects in focus.

Advanced Face Detection

Face Detection automatically focuses on your subjects’ faces and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures.

TruePic V Image Processor

In addition to more detail, the image sensor, combined with the next-generation TruePic V Image Processor, delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity and reduced noise, all the way up to 3200 ISO.

The XZ-1 at f/4 and only 1/50s. I must have had the ND filter on as this was a bright and harsh sunny day in AZ. Beautiful Oak Creek Canyon always provides for some nice landscapes. The XZ-1 did well here, and honestly, just about as good as the X1 and X100 did in this same scene. Hmmmm, that slightly larger image sensor seems to do the trick.

My quick and short review. What I like about this camera and my conclusion on the XZ-1 vs other compacts.

I decided to keep this review short and to the point as there are tons of other reviews out there already on the XZ-1, and loads of users who rave on and on about this camera. I’m a bit late to the game so I will basically just let you know my final conclusion, and what I like and dislike about the camera. More importantly, if I were in the market for a new compact-ish camera, would I choose the XZ-1 over the competition? If so, why?

The things I like about this little guy is that it is sleek, thin and built pretty well. It can take the Olympus EVF (one of the best EVF’s to date) and the front dial on the lens controls your settings like Aperture, ISO, etc (ala Canon S95, which this camera does indeed beat for IQ).

The XZ-1 records 720P HD video and has built in image stabilization so you wont get the shakiness in your footage, AND YES, it works pretty good. There are two macro settings, macro and SUPER macro so you can get super close to your subject. The ART filters from the PEN series are here as well, even the new DRAMATIC TONE filter. My personal fave, the grainy B&W filter is also here which is just as good on the XZ-1 as it is in the PEN series.

The lens opens up to a fast f 1.8 and the camera has a built in ND filter just like the Fuji X100. This way, if you want to shoot at 1.8 in the sun, just flick on the ND and go for it!

The Auto Focus is pretty fast and accurate as well.

It has all of the formats such as 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1 for  those square format junkies. Olympus seemed to want to be king of the compacts with this one, but os there anything I did not like?


I do not like that Olympus does not supply you with a dedicated battery charger. You have to plug the camera itself in to the outlet to charge the battery.

Also, the camera has no real grip. Sometimes it felt a little uncomfortable to hold while shooting when compared to other offerings.

Sometimes the images seemed a bit soft (at higher ISO) and the in camera noise reduction is a but too aggressive for my tastes. Sometimes the images can appear mushy when shooting higher ISO. I am not 100% convinced that the image quality beats the Leica D-Lux 5 but Olympus also gives you all the cool stuff that you do not get in the D-Lux. The art filters, 1.8 lens, control dial behind the lens barrel, ND filter, etc.

I also had an issue with the camera remembering my settings. I would set the center focus point when shooting but when the camera was turned off, and on again, it would “forget” that I had set it to center point only. Kind of irritating but not a deal breaker.

Finally, some are saying that they feel the XZ-1 is too large. Not quite a compact, and not quite a larger sensor camera. The fact is that the XZ-1 is thin, sleek, and somewhat tall. BUT it fits in my pocket no problem. I like the design and style personally.

I would say that the XZ-1 is a jack of all trades and master of most. It takes great video too, equal to the D-Lux 5 video quality.

In fact, the XZ-1 may be the most feature packed little compact camera EVER, and it is available in black or white for those that care about style as well as function. If you want a do it all easy to use camera that you can take with you anywhere, the XZ-1 may be the one you are looking for. If you do not want to mess with changing lenses and just want that ONE small camera that can do just about everything for you, this is the one folks.


Looking pretty snazzy in white!

IMO, the quality and joy of use you get from it makes it an easy recommend. It was tough to take a bad shot with this camera, wether I was messing with the art filters or shooting in Aperture priority mode. It does come in at $499 though and at that price you are awfully close to the E-PL2 kit which sells for $599. If you do not care to go up in size, I would recommend the E-PL2 over the XZ-1 for its larger sensor and overall better Image Quality and responsiveness. You would lose the macro and super macro modes though. Always a give and take. One thing to keep in mind is that when shooting with smaller sensor cameras you will get more image noise in general and it will be tougher to blur out backgrounds for subject isolation. This is another area where something like an E-Pl2 would do better. Larger sensor usually means less noise, more DOF control. But with cameras like the XZ-1 it is the size that matters, and many of us just want SMALL with big performance. The XZ-1 DOES indeed deliver on this.

SO, which compact is the best bet?

Overall, if i were in the market TODAY for a compact-ish camera that delivered the goods, it would be between this XZ-1 and the D-Lux 5/LX-5. Personally, I am not a fan of the Canon S90 or S95. Sure they are small, but when I tried out the S95 I thought it was a bit over rated and I hated the feel and build. Everyone has their own tastes though, so the key is to buy a camera that YOU like with features you want. All I can say is, the XZ-1 is the new king of compacts. It was hard to NOT like this one as it just did so much right.

The lens is good, but I am not 100% if it can beat out the lens on the D-Lux 5/LX-5. It seems softer to me, but that doesn’t stop this camera from producing great results. I applaud Olympus for releasing it! It could possibly be the compact of the year just as I think the Fuji X100 will be “Camera of the Year for 2011”.

With all of that said, I will leave you with the images I managed to snap while I had the camera. I did not shoot that many as I was always shooting the X100 over the past two weeks!

As always, click on any one of them for a larger and better version.

If you want to buy the XZ-1, I highly recommend B&H photo, which is where this one came from. Many of you know that B&H is my main camera shop of choice and I have never had one bad experience with them in over 15+ years. Their Olympus XZ-1 page is here, and if you follow my link here to buy one, I will get a teeny credit that helps support and keep this website chugging along, so thank you!


Using the Dramatic Art Filter, you can see it adds “Drama” to the scene :)

The Macro mode works well, as does the “Super Macro” mode. Up close, out of camera JPEG…

And you know me, I loved the grainy B&W filter on the PEN series, and I am happy to see Olympus add it to their compact XZ-1.

More Drama...

The Pinhole Art filter adds a vignette around the photo.

The color of the XZ-1 is really good. Typical Olympus style. Also, you can get some shallow DOF effects if you shoot up close and have the lens wide open.



Remember, anytime you follow my links here and buy from B&H or AMAZON, this helps to keep my site going. If it was not for these links, there would be no way to fund this site, so I thank you in advance if you visit these links. I thank you more if you make a purchase! I have nifty search bars at the upper right of each page so you easily search for something at either store! I currently spend 10-14 hours a day working on this site and the only way that I can pay for it is with your help, so thank you! Currently my traffic has been increasing but my funds to pay for the site has been decreasing, so any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Even if  you buy baby food, napkins or toothpicks at amazon it helps this site, and you do not pay anything extra by using the links here. Again, you pay nothing extra by using my links, it is just a way to help support this site, so again, I thank you in advance :)

If you enjoyed this article/review, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page and also be sure to join me on twitter or my new facebook fan page! Also, you can subscribe to my feed at my subscribe page HERE and read these posts in your browser or news reader! Also, the new forums are NOW OPEN on this site so get involved if you like! Thanks so much for visiting my site!

May 262011

The Stevehuffphoto.com Seattle, WA Meetup/Workshop July 23rd and 24th 2011



Hey guys, just wanted to update you all on the July 23rd and 24th schedule of events for the Seattle workshop/meetup and to let you know I have ONE SEAT remaining! I expect it to sell quickly so if you are interested, e-mail me ASAP!


This will be an exciting and fun time for all. Here is what will be happening…



Saturday, July 23rd

9:00 AM: Workshop attendees arrive at Ashwin’s home

– Top Pot Donuts (on of Seattle’s most famous donut spots) with coffee for breakfast

9:15ish: Steve’s intro & welcome

9:15-10:30: Introductions of each of the conference attendees (5 min per person)

10:30-10:45 : Ashwin Rao’s welcome, introduction, & brief portfolio slideshow

10:45 – 11:15:  Guest speaker introductions: Tim Isaac, Roger Paperno

11:30- 1:30: Morning stroll at Pike’s Place Market – An introduction to Seattle’s “street” of memories. Pike’s Place offers the most street photography of any place in Seattle, with a wide variety of photo making opportunities

1:30-2:30 Lunch at Pikes Place Chowder (sourdough bread bowl and chowdah!)

2:30-3:00 travel to & arrive at Glazers Camera for a Leica Demo; Meet with Mark Vercammen, Glazers’ Leica guru extraordinaire.

3:00- 4:00 pm: Glazers Camera –  Leica Demo with Brad Weeks, Leica’s Pacific Northwest camera representative.

4-4:30: Walk over to Glazers Rentals for Rao/Tanabe Photography Exhibit & talk on “How to exhibit and promote your work”

4:30-7  pm Return to Ashwin’s for photo editing, critique, and sharing; concurrent “Thumbs Up”/Match Technical display & gear demo at Ashwin’s

– Snacks and food on hand

7:15– 8:15: Evening sunset “postcard” photo stroll at Kerry Park

8:30- 9:30 pm Group Dinner and evening cap at Rays Boathouse near Golden Gardens

9:30-11 pm (time and attendee desire permitting): Optional later night, low light photo stroll for any interested. Likely location will be Belltown nightlife (downtown)


Sunday, July 24th

9:00- Breakfast: Mighty O Donuts and Coffee

9:15-9:45: Steve’s presentation of photos (Seal tour  & Street photography around the world)

9:45-10: 15: Introduction & Discussion Lead by Charles Peterson

10:15-11:00 Recap of the day – Lessons learned

11:00 AM – 1 PM: Photo Telling stroll – Space Needle/ Seattle Center

–  Optional ride up the needle. It’s a fun place to photograph from above as well, both the people and the city!

1:30-3 PM: Lunch at Eastlake Bar & Grill

3:30-5:15 pm: PM stroll at Discovery Park, Seattle’s “nature preserve”

5:30- 7:30 pm: Return for critique and discussion of story telling

7:30-8 pm: Prize giveaway ( a complete kick butt camera system with all accessories )

8:00 pm: Group Wrap-Up Dinner at Tutta Bella Pizzeria


Workshop Host: Steve Huff

Workshop Local Host & Organizer: Ashwin Rao


Honored attendees and contributors

Tim Isaac of MatchTechnical, creator of the ThumbsUp Grip for Leica M cameras

Charles Peterson, Rock & Documentary Photography

Roger Paperno: Pro Photographer and local co-host

Brad Weeks, Leica Northwest Representative

Mark Vercammen, Glazers Camera Leica Guru


  • Dinner is not included, but attendance is encouraged
  • Itinerary is subject to change, pending weather and happenstance

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