I visit Steve’s site at least twice day and I love the fun that he brings to photography. Steve kindly has allowed me to submit a short entry about a project I have been working on with five friends called One Shot.
Two years ago my second cousin passed away, Mathias Oppersdorff. He was a professional photographer for Gourmet, and a master black-and-white printer. His response to the digital revolution was to move further back into the past, first to 4×5 and then eventually to pinhole cameras, creating timeless images with printing skills that are being lost.
As “Mo’s” house was being sorted, a treasure trove of photographic equipment was revealed, including Contax, Horseman, Arca Swiss, and of course Leica. As a child with fantasies of shooting for National Geographic, I was always enamored with Mo’s Leicas, but the closest I ever came to having one was a wooden replica. That changed when we discovered a 35 and 50 cron carefully placed in red custom-made pouches.
Over the years I had lost touch with photography and sold off all my equipment except for a little Sony point-and-shoot. Mo had given me a gift in his passing, a door back to a deep passion that had slipped away over the years. Photography had been my life when I was 16, now it was forgotten. Those Leica lens were about to bring me back to creativity. My problem, however, was that I needed a goal, a reason to shoot, an audience. One night as I was fading off to sleep I schemed up that maybe I would take one shot a day for a year.
The next morning the idea stuck with me, but I wanted to share with others. There were others in my life who had also had a passion for photography ebb and flow: my father who taught me photography (Mo’s cousin), my oldest friend, two high school buddies, and another friend who I had originally met at the Maine Photographic Workshop. Inspired by a large cup of coffee, I emailed the group with a formal invitation to join and start a rarified group called One Shot. They all accepted, and so began a project that now has become a part of all our lives.
As a group we shoot with everything from medium format to iPhones. We play with Holgas, DSLRs, film developed in our laundry rooms, HDR, and of course Leicas, which is how we discovered Steve’s site. The chronicle of our lives has been remarkable; parents have been lost, children born, and wedding vows shared, and we have all been brought back to the passion for photography.
I should not be surprised, but I always remark at how picking up a camera shifts all the busyness in my life to the background, and the simple act of trying to create a picture clears away the day’s clutter. Slowly, I am learning to see again. As we move towards the second anniversary of Mo’s passing, photography has become so interwoven in our lives that we all feel that this project that was started for one year will go on and on, because our days now are in part defined by the photos we shoot.
Each of the group has chosen one photo to post here (it was tough to choose) and we thank Steve for allowing us to share our project with you.
Wing: Leica M2, 35 cron (Canada), B, T-Max 100, B handheld, Maine
Donnie: Holga, Tri-X, DC
Tony: Leica M7, 50 1.4 ASPH, C-41 pushed to 800 ISO. Photo of me and Donnie’s daughter. Maine
Harold: Canon 5D Mark II, 28-70 2.8 L, NY
JP: Nikon D2, Maine
Mathias: Likely Leica M6, 50 cron, Arabia
Shane: iPhone 4, NY
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Love the Arabia shot but with it was bigger.
I love the Arabia photo. After reading your story, it’s inspired me to shoot once a day. Thanks for the great photos and story.
The Arabia shot is worthy enough to be in a Cartier-Bresson publication!
I’m drawn to the first image, by Wing, which seems less beholding to the past than the rest, though those are good too.
Thank you all for your kind comments. This project has been a gift for all of us.
Absolutely fantastic…….thanks for sharing..
Great project you have there. Thanks for sharing…
Great story and inspirational project for all of you.
Thanks for sharing this story as well!! 🙂
Fantastic! Great story and photos!
Wing, what an incredible idea. You have some amazing moments captured here. I can only imagine what the other 364 are like.
Wonderful story, great photos
My personal ratings:
Excellent: Tony (silhoutte)
Very good: JP (Maine)
The rest soso-ok.
The story behind is fascinating.
Good that once in a while exceptional photos appear on this web page.
Très Jolies photos…Thanks for sharing
Great. Thanks for sharing the images and the story.
Thanks for the lovely short article about this project. I’ve been watching JP’s images progress over the past several months. I plan to adopt this project for my high school photo classes in Camden-Rockport, ME.- (I have done a similar project in drawing media this summer.) Fabulous to see photographers embracing both darkroom and digital techniques, as I do.
Great idea, images, and a way to extend Mo’s influence and legacy. Thanks.
Great story and so good that Mo’s legacy lives on. That kind of dedication simply should not disappear and clearly it has not which is wonderful. Great photos, really enjoyed them. Keep going! Mo is no doubt very proud wherever he is (probably shooting with Ansel).
Thanks for sharing and fine photos, great motivator to start the same, so many of us left youthful joy and openness of photography behind, lucky some have found the warmth of this medium again.
love it. keep it up.
Remarkable project! Wonderful 🙂
Some really great work, really great. The Arabia shot is stunning, the portrait of you and baby fantastic, and the Holga shot is really nice too. Inspiring.
One Shot sometimes all you NEED !
great story. i liked all the images too especially the one shot in arabia.
story was superb..! the pictures were meh (so-so).. except for the silhoutte which I thought was excellent low key photography & the Arabia shot was excellent..!
Beautiful shots and a great story!
Vraiment excellent!!! :-))
Wonderful images. Many thanks for sharing.
I’ll take JP’s
Great story. Awesome shots.
I loved Tony’s photo
Superb. All of it.