Daily Inspiration #101 by Nate Johnson

I have some really great stuff for you guys today with the daily inspiration. Make me want to get back to NYC ASAP! Nate wrote to me wanting to share some of his street images and I really liked what I saw. Thanks Nate!

You can see more photos by Nate at his website HERE

From Nate:

I’ve been following your site for awhile now I was wondering how one submits work for this sight. It is a wonderful site. I shoot with M8.2and M6 camera, Leica’s are the cameras I ve been shooting since 1988 (M4P) so 20 ++ years, I ve included my resume. these are images are from a one day walk in NY 2010 I would love to be a contributor to your site and give folks a chance to discuss street works.

I started photography in the early 80’s . Went to school at the Academy of Art focusing on photojournalism and social documentary photography. Went to Eastern Europe right after school in 1989 to photograph the collapse of the cold war. Returned to America and studied at Magnum photos with Eric Hartmann for one year. After that worked in world of photography, shooting for various clients. For the past 20 years, I have worked various jobs which enabled me to travel and shoot my own photo documentary projects.


  1. Thank you Cidereye! I too recently had oil spots on my M8.2 sensor. I thought I was loosing my mind when I saw it. I was travelling in a little village in Mexico when this happen & it was a very noticable spot (2 actually). I was forced to clean it with a damn Q-tip.

    I have to thanks Nate again for his photos & this little discussion. Very informative for me.

  2. @ Franz

    Well good for you that you personally don’t have such a problem, but a simple Google search will show that you that the Copal shutter used is well known for this problem on “some” cameras. Easy to test too that it is in fact oil and not dust as I have done myself. It’s a metal shutter, of course it’s got oil/lubricant on the mechanism. {sigh}

  3. @cidereye: “Oil” from the shutter of M8/M9??? I am sorry, I have used M8, M8.2 and now a M9 and had never any problem with “oil”. I have bouight in advance sensopr swabs – for safety reasons – and it was not necessary now after nearly four year to use one of them. I also have an arctic butterfly and have not used it until now. Recently I have recognised an spot in a few pictures, which was removed in a second with Giotto’s Rocket Blower.

    Beside my Leica’s I use(d) permanently Canon EOS D10, 20D, 40D, 5D and last, but not least 5D Mk II, where I have had in the past more dust “problems” – easily removed by a blower – but also never any “oil” problems from the shutter/mirror.

    I am sure, there is no “oil” necessary for a Leica M shutter.

  4. @ Daniel

    Also might want to look at Dust-Aid cleaning kit, even the great Nikon guru Thom Hogan has switched from using brushes on sensors and now recommends this method of cleaning above all others (bythom.com/cleaning.htm ).

    I have just purchased both kits myself and boy has it made a difference to my M8, in fact the main problem was not dust but in fact oil from the shutter which seems a particular M8/9 problem and if you do have oil on your sensor (you need to use swabs first, then Platinum) and you were to use Arctic Butterfly on this it would only contaminate it whilst cleaning and just make the sensor mess worse & dirtier.Take a look at their vidz and see what you think:- http://www.dust-aid.com/

  5. Hey Yorick,

    Thanks for the info, but I have one of those too & last time I tried it, it didn’t work either. I’ll give it another try. I have use various cameras over the years & I have never had one that collects so much dust as the M8.2

  6. nice pics!!
    hey daniel, try the arctic butterfly from visibledust. works great on my M8..i think the reason for the dust problem is the lack of AA filter in the M8. sucks, but the arctic buuterfly works great.

  7. I cannot stop looking at these photos. Very very nice and hopefully Nate will keep his promise to contribute more of his work.

  8. Nice shots, I’d like to see more like these, documentary / photojournalism work. As for the Leica M8.2 & M6, I have both of them as well & no matter what I do my sensor is constanly getting dirty & the ‘rocket’ blower just doesn’t cut it. And with the M6, I still have problems loading it! Yes, sometimes works like a charm & others……, 2 or 3 more attempts. I load as to the diagram?

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your work Nate.

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