Saturday Links, rants, and prints!

Saturdays are great…

I love Saturday. I usually wake up, grab a coffee in my awesome coffee maker, and then I sit at my desk and browse different sites and see what has been happening all week while I was sitting in my hole working on this website! It’s pretty peaceful around my house on these mornings and I enjoy taking some time to browse a few websites that I didn’t have time to during the week. Today I am waiting for spring to arrive. I know its a month or more away but I CAN NOT WAIT for the warm weather. That is when I get into the habit of shooting EVERY DAY and I love it!

Anyway, here are a couple of cool links and rants for the week….

Super Cool link…

This guy has some talent. Check out this miniature town this guy made and how he photographed it to make it look like eerily real. The shots look like that of a real town but they are all miniature models, cars, buildings.

This leads me to facebook. I love facebook and the link you see above was sent to me by a guy I have not seen since grade school. He found me on facebook and then he shared a cool link with me, which I can now share with you! Join me on FB anytime!

Photo Workshops…

I have been seeing quite a few “photo workshops” lately where you pay $4, $5 or even $7 thousand dollars to get instruction from a self proclaimed guru. I agree that we could always learn new things and improve our photo skills but some of these workshops seem to be getting out of hand. Some are EXCELLENT yes, but some flat out suck and just can not see paying thousands of dollars for some of these that are being offered.

I would rather take that $5,000, $6,000 or $7,000 and take an exotic vacation and get some real world “trial and error” learning. But even better and cheaper than that, I would just take THIS course from Thorsten Overgaard. It is a cool online course that you can do in the comfort of your own home and it’s 1/15 the cost of some of these “on location” workshops. I have heard some good things about it and I may sign up myself. I’m hoping Thorsten can give me a discount ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s 16 lessons with assignments and personal critiques from Thorsten. Same as an on location workshop but available to the masses.

Seriously though, Thorsten has always been one of those guys that I look up to. Great photographer, great guy, very helpful, and I am happy to help send people his way because he is a true professional and very good at what he does.


Ever since posting my Interview with Megan Baker (see it here) lots of photographers who consider themselves “purists” have been in an uproar over her use of Photoshop. Lots of controversy and many of these guys have been e-mailing Megan with their views. Let me once again get this out there…It’s 2010, not 1939. These days Photoshop can be used to enhance an image and make it “art”, ย and the results can be striking.

Megan has put a few “before and after” samples on her blog of those photos that you saw in the interview. To me, I would buy a large print or two of her “after” but not the before. They would look so cool on my wall and I see them as “Fine Art” much like a hand created painting. I am not sure why anyone would have an issue with it. Look at Ansel Adams! His photos are some of the most manipulated in history but he enjoyed huge success that the ultimate goal for most photographers is it not?

The Elusive “new and improved” 35 Summilux ASPH and the D-Lux 4 remains in the Leica line up…

Lots of rumors about the new version of the 35 Summilux ASPH lens from Leica. Many say it should be announced next week, so who knows. Let me say this…well no, I better not. Just wait for the announcement!

Speaking of Leica…I have once again been getting the itch t0 shoot the D-Lux 4! Some of you may remember it was my wifes camera and we sold it to fund the Olympus E-P2. Well, guess what? We both miss that little D-Lux 4! The D-Lux 4 is an amazing little compact and I CAN tell you with 100% certainty that it is NOT being replaced in this next announcement from Leica when they announce their new goodies, whenever that may be. The D-Lux 4 stays in the line up and for a small compact it is so versatile with superb quality, warranty, looks and feel. You can still buy one HERE. We love the E-P2 but the D-Lux had a great macro mode, superb color, exposure and looked pretty sweet in its brown leather case ๐Ÿ™‚

Another used M8 at B&H and the M9 image Database…

BTW, B&H has another used Leica M8 for sale. Prices seem to have stabilized on the M8 and it is still a terrific camera. Just be sure to get those UV/IR filters. I had some e-mails from a few who bought the M8 last week and they asked me why the blacks were purple. The filters are expensive but IMO MANDATORY with the M8 and M8.2 if you want that nice Leica color.

Also, last week I launched the “Worldwide M9 Image Database” for those who shoot with an M9 or for those who want to view images taken by an M9. There aren now 4 pages of photos so be sure to check them out and rate a few if you like! Also, if you shoot with an M9 be sure to register and submit your photos!

Prints For Sale!

I have been getting a few requests for prints of some of my Abandoned Homes images lately and I have one that I printed at 20X30(of the image below) ย for my wall, and it looks amazing. It was shot in a small rural town that only has a few residents left. In this town there is no store, no gas station, nothing. Just a few houses that are being lived in and a whole bunch of houses like the one in the image. The town of Rinard, IL probably will be non existent in another 10 years so I have been trying to document the houses and actually plan on attempting to chat with and shoot some of the residents soon. The image below is now available as a print and is the first in a series of 7 that will be offered.

“Abandoned Winter – Rinard 2010” by Steve Huff

Shot with the M9 and 35 Summarit, this image has tremendous detail and it looks stunning printed in Black & White. I did not buy a frame for my 20X30 yet but when I do I will post a pic of it. Anyway, this is one of the images that has been requested lately so I have decided to offer prints of it for sale to see if it can help raise money for the site, and maybe some for me too ๐Ÿ™‚ If anyone out there would like an 8X10, 16X20 or 20X30 here is what I have available:

  • 8X10 Archival Print ย – $25 plus $5 ship. (allow 5-7 days)
  • 16X20 High Quality Archival Print – $50 plus $5 ship. (allow 2 weeks)
  • 20X30 High Quality Archival Print, $110 plus $5 ship (allow 2-3 weeks)
  • 20X30 limited edition – hand signed and numbered. Only 15 of these are being made available – $175 plus $10 ship (allow 2-3 weeks) (Sold 3 already! Thanks!!!)

Just recently I have sold one of my Abandoned Building prints to a dentist office of all places (one of this sites readers) and it looks so cool on their wall. If you are interested just contact me and let me know what size you want. I can accept credit cards through google checkout and would not charge you until the print ships. I would e-mail you an invoice, simple as that! The 8X10’s will ship fast but the 16X20 and 20X30’s go to my printer and it’s a two hour drive ๐Ÿ™‚ As for the tech info on processing of the above image, I kept it simple with a B&W conversion with Silver Efex Pro in stock at Amazon here and some light dodge/burn, just like the old days of the darkroom ๐Ÿ™‚

Cool Blog…

Also, if you are looking for a kick ass wedding photographer check out Riccis Valladares. He does some amazing wedding work. He also shoots street and his tool of choice are Leica M film cameras and the M9. I also enjoy reading his blog.

Novoflex Leica M to M4/3 Adapter for sale… SOLD

After using this a few times to mount my M lenses to the E-P2 I realized that if I am going to use my M lenses it is going to be on my M. Therefore, I decided to sell this adapter at a deep discount. I bought it new from B&H Photo. You can see their descrip and pic here. Anyway, it is a superb quality adapter, made in Germany and I will sell it for $209. This is a $60 savings and the adapter is like brand new in the box. I can accept check, MO or credit card via google checkout. If you want it, contact me and let me know. First come, first served! Oh, free priority mail ship! USA only on this. SOLD!


Today has been ONE YEAR since I started this site. Well, since I started it at the old site, I have went from 100 views per day to over 16,000 views per day. Incredible! But what sucks is that I worked 3600 hours on the site in the last year. Double full time, and the income generated from the site was well under minimum wage for the hours I put in! Running this site costs me a fortune but my passion is so high for photography that I keep going. I wanted to take this spot to thank all of you who have visited me over the past year and I hope you continue to do so!

Also, thanks to those who have purchased from my B&H Photo and Amazon links. This is the only source of income for the site and I only get a teeny % of any sales that come from the links on this site. It’s funny because last week at Amazon my sales consisted of cookie cutters, socks, panty hose, a few books, some blu ray discs, spices and a blender. This kind of stuff helps me tremendously because at the end of the month it adds up and I may get a couple hundred dollars out of it (My monthly web host bill alone is double that) so thank you all for your Amazon and B&H Purchases. You can use the links at the top right to shop these stores anytime. You pay the same prices but I get a tiny cut. Many of you have helped me out in this way already so again THANK YOU!!!!!

Also, I want to thank all of you who have submitted “Daily Inspiration” images as well as thank those who have taken time out of their own busy schedules to write guest articles for this site. Thanks to Ashiwn Rao, James Klotz, Micky Faas and future guest writers Amy Medina and Max Marinucci. I REALLY appreciate and enjoy your work! If anyone else is interested in writing for this site, just let me know!

Rant mode engaged…Yes I have ads on this site…get over it!

The thank you above leads me into a rant. I received an e-mail last week saying I have to many ads on my site. Huh? I have my one B&H Banner on the right, and you have to scroll down to see it. I have my “support this site” and “search B&H” boxes on the right top. The other ads you see are those placed by Google at the top of every page, and sometimes within articles and reviews. I have no control over these ads and google places them according to the content of ย the page. Google ads are the third way that this site brings in money and let me tell ya, it’s nothing to write home about. Most sites take 4-5 years before they can even make $30 a day with google ads. I have been up a year so you can guess where I am at. If this site did not have any ads, it would not be up right now. It only exists because of two reasons: 1. The ads that pay for the hosting every month which is currently $400. 2. Because I choose to keep this site going while making an insanely low amount of money for the hours I put in.

Remember, this is 100% free. I do not give teaser articles or reviews and say “click here to subscribe and read my full review”. I could do that (and probably make a ton of cash) but I feel it is better to give as much info as you possibly can for free so the masses can see it. To do this requires advertising just like with a Magazine. But, I do not load up the site with 3rd party ads. Instead I choose to promote the two shops that I myself shop from on a regular basis because I know they are top shelf. By doing this I get that tiny percentage of any sales that come as a result of a link on this site. So, bottom line, these “ads” are necessary. If they come down, so does the site. So to the dude that e-mailed the complaint about having “too many ads” I suggest heading over to the other online sites and forums where there are even MORE ads!

Ahhh, I feel better now.

And since today is this websites one year anniversary, I am taking the day off tomorrow to enjoy it with my Family. ย There will still be a daily inspiration posted though:)

Coming Soon for Feb…

Crazy Comparison – M9 vs E-P2 High ISO, Zeiss 35 Biogon F2 Lens review, Zeiss 85 Sonnar F2 review, An informative Film article by Max Marinucci, and a cool article by Amy Medina. I am happy to report that Ashwin Rao will also be submitting quite a few very informative articles in the coming months.

Until next time…get out there and shoot!



  1. Some of Megan’s photos are a bit over-baked for my taste, but others are absolutely gorgeous. She’s clearly talented. I’m all for using photoshop in “fine art” photography. Obviously, If a photojournalist clones out people and/or things without telling us, that’s dishonest. Journalism requires the “neutral” eye.

    Time does march on. We have to realize that within 20 years consumer software will be so good (and computers so powerful) that renderings and real photos will be difficult to tell apart.

  2. Happy birthday to, and congratulations to Steve. This is a great site for us Leica enthusiasts. I wholeheartedly enjoy your reviews, and your personal touch you bring to every post. This site was actually an inspiration when we started our own site three months ago. Keep it up!

    Here’s to year number two! (And three, and four… ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thanks EVERYONE for the comments! I took off on Sunday so just now getting back on to check everything. Again, thank you ALL!! Some cool posts coming today, so check back!

  4. Excellent piece and congrats on a year of this great site!!! Excellent work and I’m looking forward to what you have up your sleeve (or I should say, in your camera bag) this year!

    Thanks for all the hard work, Steve!!

  5. Bonne fรชte mon ami.
    I think the first response by Harald could also be directed to you Steve, especially #2, #4, #6.
    I am not the only who looks forward to your crazy comparisons, daily inspirations, interviews and guest articles. I check your site at least twice a day and I must admit that I am easily influenced by your choices.

    I’ve changed the way I take pictures ( my wife was wondering why I was taking so many shots of people I didn’t know today at the Quebec winter Carnaval), and I’m waiting for an M9 and will probably sell my DSLR and I agree with Francis, you deserve a little something, you can even make it optional….

  6. LOL…Sweet… Training, congrats controvercies and a rant…Good show. Thanks for all the usefull links… I still think you should call an assignement once in a while, no evaluation just a motivation tool for us. Hey I used your infos quite extensively, anypaypal or checkout for donations (Haiti is getting the bulk but your website still desrves a lill something).
    Have fun doing it.

  7. Anyone who doesn’t use photoshop for image enhancements, whether subtle or overt, is missing an incredibly valuable tool. Photoshop is one of the most useful software programs ever created. This remains true even if you decide to never process a photograph on photoshop.

    Any “Purist” that gives a young girl with obvious talent for both photography and post-processing an ounce of slack for utilizing photoshop is a moron.

  8. Peace, wow I haven’t heard that in a while ๐Ÿ™‚ But I agree with ya Max. I too have lived long enough to know that no matter what you do or how it looks… there will be people who can’t handle your opinion or your likes. So you go girl (Megan) and don’t look back.

    And thanks Steve, I too will try to support this site as best as I can. Keep it going
    Peace out ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Got to love controversies ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been in business long enough to know that they are the life and blood. People love them, they create dialogue, disagreements, and, as long as they remain civil, they are indeed a good thing. Megan is a young photographer and she’s experiencing all she can, including playing around with Photoshop to create something new and unique. Do I like it? No. But that doesn’t mean that someone else won’t or that is not correct. It is what it is and art is subjective. What I find to be crap, someone else thinks it’s gold. It’s all good and it’s what makes the world go ’round. Lighten up people. I hope Megan is smart enough to not let anyone knock her down and continues to pursuit whatever feels right to her.

    Once again, THANK YOU STEVE. You got a great, informative site and it’s FREE. Nothing to complain about here. Let’s all use those links when we need supplies, film, lenses, whatever so Steve can keep this going and be worth his great efforts.


  10. “Also, thanks to those who have purchased from my B&H Photo and Amazon links. This is the only source of income for the site and I only get a teeny % of any sales that come from the links on this site.”

    Glad we’re working together and we hope this is fruitful for you. All the best.

    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video

  11. “Hang in there…this page is coming soon.”

    The link to Ricci’s “about” page. I hate seeing that in a web site. Poor planning IMHO. As for the way he shoots and what he presents in his web site, he isn’t going to get many fence sitters regarding his style.

    I like Megan Baker’s work. In fact I like her musician work better than Ricci’s wedding work. I’d hire her to shoot a wedding with her documentary style but I’d pass on Ricci. Check out Steven Gross in Chicago,he was shooting weddings with Leica’s for a long time. Oprah even did a story on him.

  12. Next up – coffee maker review! Awesome Steve, I love it!

    Seriously, happy b-day, I’ve really enjoyed the site.

    As for the controversy, the computer is the new (chemical free) dark room. Get over it.

  13. Some of those stupid negative comments about Megan’s work on a certain forum are an absolute joke to be frank. People like Megan should be praised and encouraged to the hilt but sadly some people just simply are so up themselves they are not capable of praising others and they see their personal view as the only one on the planet. Dimwits! ๐Ÿ™‚

    The world of Leica seems to especially attract certain, critical elements more so than others. I had to chuckle when reading the legend that is Roger Hicks excellent Leica M9 review

    Roger said this:- “There is however a point well worth making about Leicas, that they attract false purists of all kinds. Some refuse to believe that a Leica can ever be digital, and that ‘real’ photographers use only film Leicas. The most extreme of these maintain that only the small, light, pocketable screw-mount Leicas are ‘real’ Leicas. Others say that it is heresy to use anything other than a single lens, preferably 50 mm, ‘because that is what Henri Cartier-Bresson used’.

    This last argument neglects two important points. First, they are not HCB. Only HCB was HCB, and he’s dead. Second, it’s not true. There even exist pictures of him with a 90 mm lens on one of his Leicas.”

    So there! LOL ๐Ÿ˜€

    Hey Steve, can I be nosey and ask what the “awesome coffee maker” is that you own? In the market for one right myself, can’t quite decide between the traditional (film?) & the new Nespresso (digital?) which makes a fabulous cup of coffee. Now there’s a whole debate in itself I guess.

  14. Steve I cant wait for the Zeiss 35f2 review. I am kind of on the fence for the cron v4, zeiss F2 or F2.8 !

    My view on the controvesy and to megan…
    The camera is a medium of artistic expression as much as photoshop is or can be.
    The image from the camera can be the end product or the sketch for creation. You decide. which suits your vision.

    But this medium has also been used as a means to document many stages of history. Hence, when viewing pictures we often assume some sense of realism and some feel that is the way the camera should be used for.

    To me it feels like that the pictures have an identity crisis. Is it suppose to depict reality, augment or create a different one altogether? It feels out of place but there is something good in those picture. Maybe it just is not my cup of tea.

    About being immature… I thinking to myself your only 18!? I have done worst things. You certainly make better picture than I did when I was 18! You started young and have so many more chances. Ok I am just 4 yrs older but I wish I started much earlier…

  15. i love my M8 but i am not 100% convinced that it is the right tool for a wedding with a lot of action. In a lot of Riccis photos the sharpness is not spot on or totally out of focus – but if sombody ask you can call this look “art” ๐Ÿ˜‰ – my choice would be a nikon and maybee a M as a second body if I were a wedding shooter… /Mark

  16. Steve, you should have an interview or discussion with a “purist”. It would be fun reading. Why do they believe that it is the only way to take photo’s/ present photos? What is an image/ picture in their opinion? Seriously it would very interesting reading, it would force the reader to make an opinion about the subject.

  17. Congratulations on the site and a heartfelt thanks for the hard work and sacrifice it entails.

    I check a couple of times a day a day now and the site is a part of my day.

    Keep up the great work.

  18. Happy birthday,!

    And big thank you, Steve, for this wonderful website! Couple of weeks ago I was only visiting once a day, now it’s like once an hour! I can never wait till your next review or article or photos!
    I really hope I will become a Leica-man soon as I’m just waiting for my Hassy to be sold and an M8.2 to be bought…
    Thanks again and please keep this site up, I don’t know what I’d do without it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Well I love the D-Lux 4 review and that of Jim Radcliffe and got me the New Safari Edition. Sadly thought I prefer the SLR and the DSLR’s. Therefore I must have to sell it, It maybe me that is not capable or just prefer a bokeh that a DSLR and SLR can offer. Well knowing just how you liked it, I can barter with you sir. Thanks

  20. Steve,

    Thank you for all the work you’ve put into this site. It shows! You’ve made a terrific site, and are building a community of people who like photography as much as we like cameras. Keep up the great work, and enjoy your well-earned rest day.


  21. I love the “Purist” photographer. He’s the one that espouses the sacredness of the undoctored, unedited photograph, yet stands at the counter of my shop asking me to “bring out the shadow detail a bit”, “tweak the contrast in the highlights”, and “can you dodge the skin tone just a half stop or so?” What a bunch of hypocrites.

    Megan definitely has a gift and it is incumbent on us as colleagues to be supportive and help her achieve her vision not quote chapter and verse about the rule of thirds. Following rules and convention just make a photographer conventional. An artist, a true artist, breaks convention and defines the rules. Were Karsh, Cartier-Bresson, or any other iconic photographers followers? Can you name even one? So go for it Megan. I’ll let you harass me about my printer’s colour balance any day.

  22. One more thing regarding Photoshop. What most people forget is one simple thing. No matter how much Photoshop work someone did on his or her photo, one fact remains … if the photo was crap to begin with, it will still be crap after the event. It will just be better looking crap.

    Nuff said.

  23. Steve, congrats on the anniversary! Hip,hip, hurray!!!

    After reading your comments regarding CONTROVERSY I looked up your interview with Megan and read it. (Somehow I missed it before.)
    Well said, it is indeed 2010.
    After reading all the comments there I decided to give my 2 cents, too.
    Because that article is quite a few pages ago (dude, you work too much;) I am posting it here as well. Wouldn’t want Megan or anybody else to miss it. Here it goes. Like it or not.

    Dear Megan,
    After reading everything, including the comments, I decided to say a few things.

    1. I apologize in advance for being my usual self, blunt, straight forward but honest.

    2. Awesome work! Keep rockin’!

    3. Don’t let those so-called “Purists” get to you. Frankly, most of them have either no talent whatsoever and therefore believe they have the right to tell everyone how a “good” picture is supposed to look like (particular one taken with a Leica) or they read a couple books and are completely stuck up on rules and stuff that everyone who dares to differ has obviously “a lot to learn”.

    4. Know the rules. And then break them. The most important thing you can do is to experiment. That will teach you more about photography than anything else. Remember, it’s a journey and you want to get the most out of it.

    5. About the never ending photoshop vs. darkroom/film debate … I worked for more years in advertising agencies as art director than I’d like to admit. I worked with more amazing, some of them well known photographers on an international basis than most here will ever meet in their entire life. Trust me, in commercial photography there has always been more “tweaking” going on than most people think. Until the arrival of digital entire industries existed that did nothing else but enhance a photographer’s work.
    Just because some people don’t know about it doesn’t mean it wasn’t possible. The only difference is that with the arrival of photoshop things got a lot easier and faster to do.

    6. Last but not least, be yourself. Forget what others say (unless your gut tells you to listen up). Forget even my ramblings. This is your photographic journey. Make the most out of it.

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