Daily Inspiration #247 by Neil Buchan-Grant

Hi Steve,

I recently had a blast shooting at a Vintage Festival in London and thought your readers might be interested in hearing about it. The festival celebrates 5 decades of British fashion, music and culture. It really was a photographers paradise with so many people turning up in immaculate period clothing and pristine cosmetics, all eager to please anyone who wanted to take their photograph! I also made things a little more interesting by arranging for two period actresses to come along and pose exclusively for me. It was an idea that worked out well as the extra time allowed me to produce something a bit more classy than the average grab shot with a stranger.

I shot mostly with the M9 and 50mm Summilux ASPH but when I needed extra reach I used the new Panasonic Lumix G3 with the 35mm 1.4 ASPH the 50 or the 75mm f2 ASPH APO, I don’t actually own any micro four thirds lenses currently. Although I can only use jpegs from the G3 the file quality was very good.

Here are some of my favourites from the weekend, firstly M9 50mm shots:

below: this is Clare Lane who modelled for me and is currently acting in a Noel Coward play in London

below: this is Lexie who modeled for me and does a lot of period drama work for television

Now these below are from the G3 with Leica aspherical glass all shot at ISO 800:

below: Adam Ant

below: 10CC

below: Sandie Shaw

More shots are of course available at the blog on my website www.buchangrant.com
Kind Regards


Neil Buchan Grant

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  1. Liked these shots very much.

    And WOW!!

    I just loved your new site (to which you provided a link above). I love the plain white space and simple layout, and the images are just gorgeous (I am bloody jealous!!). 🙂

    Good stuff. Looking forward to the results of your latest project.

    Warm regards


  2. Well well well, Adam Ant, who’d a thought it. “Prince Charming-PrinceCharming-ridicule is nothing to be scared of” Sorry folks just showing my age!

  3. Neil,

    The color in the Leica portraits is gorgeous. The concert shots are great too, but the color rendering is affected by the stage lights so you can’t really compare them.

    Are there any daylight portraits from the G3 on your site? I’d really like to see how the Panasonic does with that.

    Thank you

    • Hi Scott
      Thanks for the comments, I keep meaning to do a few with the 35mm on the G3 but when you have an M9 and a 50 lux you have to make the most of it! Most of the long candid shots from the vintage shots were taken with the 75mm on the G3 but I know what you’re after and I’d like to test it for nice portraits myself, must do it next time

  4. Steve, I love your reviews and have found them very helpful. I am an ametuer and am torn between the Leica X1 and D-Lux 5 as a pocket travel. I have owned a D-lux 2 and V-lux 1 but never an M. I am having a difficult time choosing. I really want the versatility of the Dlux 5. But fear I would I be giving up alott of IQ by going with the Dlux over the X1? In all honesty, if IQ is is really great or at least close to the X1 the Dlux would probabaly better suit me. Thanks

  5. Neil, these are superb. The portraits are just amazing. Concert photographs are not my favourite kind of photographs but that is just me, I can certainly appreciate them done well however. Nice. You do make that M9 sing with the 50, wow. Do you shoot any film these days? I am shooting with an MP and a M7 with the 50 lux using a mix of film but a lot of Portra 160NC/VC and find it creates very ‘real’ looking portraits.

    • Stephen B..Please could you put a link here to your wor?. I’m thinking about getting an M7 to use with my 50 Lux and some Portra for portrait work, rather than the M9.

    • Yes indeed, a very carefully tended tash it is too! He is none other than Atters Atteree, the ‘resident bounder’ of “The Chap” magazine. If I had a girlfriend, I wouldn’t trust him with her!

  6. Neil,

    I have looked at your pictures around the web for over a year now. It started with some of your travel and landscape pictures, but lately I noticed you show more and more shots of people. They are getting good!

    It seems you are getting as comfortable with your Leica gear as you are with the m43s:-) The little girl with the yellow headscarf and the lady in the background is great! Looks pencil sharp in front and the lady in the background is just oof enough to add to the shot, but not take anything away.

    Obviously, the effect is different with Leica on small sensors like m43s, but it works when done right:-)

    Personally I shoot quite differently than you do, but I always liked your photos – they seem happy and inviting whether places to travel to or the people you meet:-)

    Nice captures above! Look forward to more in the future!



    • Hey Knut,
      Thank you for your kind comments, I am so glad I moved from the canon system to the M system. It is not ideal for everything but the results for both moderately wide landscape and most people shots a far better. In the main that’s down to the lenses and in the main I’m talking about the 50mm lux. I think that one day there will be mirror-less full-frame system cameras all over the place with big high def viewfinders, made by companies other than (and hopefully including) Leica which will add even greater joy to using these lenses. That said I do enjoy the sheer simplicity of the M9 as it stands.

  7. Wow the last shot withnthe m9 is very solid, my fave so far from these DI series. Very impressed with the m43 low light shots. Cheers

    • Cheers James,
      At f1.4, ISO 800 and quite a lot of stage lights on the go, it didn’t turn out to be as low light as I was expecting, I ended up getting enough light to shoot on manual at 1/125s for most of the show

  8. Neil, these are great; the best I’ve seen in a while here. It’s good to see someone who knows what he’s doing with the equipment he uses.

    Adam Ant seems to be getting on a bit though…

      • LoL! I’ve mistaken him (and his Ants) more than once for Dead or alive (You spin me etc). Their leadsinger took a different road…

        Maybe you should photograph him/her once; with your photographic style that should result in some interesting images…

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