Daily Inspiration #337 by Dylan McArther

Dear Steve,

I’m 19 years old and a future photography student. I’ve been shooting for the past 3 years and next month is coming onto my second year on film, I picked up a Leica M3 for bargain and have never looked back. I’ve been following your blog since around the time I first got my Leica and continue to keep up to date with it everyday at work. (I have a lot of downtime at work). I am self-taught, so far I am developing and printing everything in my basement I’ve even been messing around with some 4×5 film in a cheap graflex that I picked up and it has been a pleasure to work with it.

The images are taken in about a year span of my life. I lived in Italy for 8 months and a few of them are from there. The rest I took in Toronto. All of the images other than the 5 people against the wall were taken on TRI-X. I shoot with a 50mm summicron (ridged) or a 28mm Zeiss Biogan which is my main lens.

I hope you enjoy the photographs as much as I do. Keep up the great work Steve.





  1. Fantastic shots Dylan. I had a look through your flikr shots too, as you have a great collection, and a wonderful eye for creating a moment. You have a real cohesive style to your images. Excellent stuff!

    I agree with the last post…not sure you need to be taking or teaching a class in photography! A great daily inspiration! 🙂

  2. Hey Dylan

    You’ve got more talent then most people twice your age! You’ve got the “eye” and that is the most important part of photography. Keep up the amazing work and you might want to think about teaching a class rather then taking one.

  3. Hi Dylan,

    nice work!

    One aspect I think “add” a lot to your pictures is the lack of modern items. And I looked through all the pictures on flickr, too. I.e. no cell phones (except one:-), no laptops, car models that give you the earliest point the a picture could have been taken while not a definite point in time, “timeless clothing”, and so on.

    Street photography are so much more than snaps taken on the street. To me your choice of film, B&W, and content go very well together.

    Much appreciated!



  4. Excellent work -keep shooting shooting and more shooting -spend money on Art Books -not Gear – learn whatever techie stuff you need for your vision to grow and it will in it’s own time and last of all never listen to old guys like me!!

    Best Wishes

  5. Id just like to say THANK YOU to everyone for the nice comments and I’m happy you all enjoyed my work. It was great to hear your thoughts and positive comments about my work and hopefully a future in photography.Thanks again!

    -ps Steve could you change Mcarther to McArthur?

  6. Hi Dylan,

    sorry when I am the only critical response but it might help you to improve.

    Your photos are excellent for a 19 years old using a M 3 -no question.

    But if you want to develop as an artist or even make a living from photography you have to look forward and not back.

    Get some inspirations for example at the gallery of LFI (Leica Fotography International), look at the S 2 magazine and gallery, google David Lachapelle, Andreas Gursky, Steve McCurry etc.

    Picasso once said that it took him only a few years to paint like the old masters (he was there when he was just a young teen) and then a lifetime to paint like child.

    We humans like to dig in the past although the future is all we have left.

    Best regards

    • No worries I wouldn’t even call it critical more so just giving some advice, Thank you for sharing some of the names with me I know McCurry and Andrease but not David. Same with LFI I’ve had a few shots make it into the mastershots pool which I was proud of but certainly there are some really remarkable images there. Ill also give the s2 magazine

      I just picked up a series of books that life published on photography about 8-10 books. That covers everything from printing to the historical aspect. Slowly making my way through them.

      • Hi Dylan,

        I forgot to mention one photographer who comes very close to the style I like as well as his photos are technically “five star”, his name is Ming Thein:


        He uses M 4/3rd as OMD, Pen, D Lux and compacts, old and new, and FF like Nikon 700/800 and Leica M 9.

        This is quite a difference in price and pixels but his quality as a shooter exceeds all his gear!

        You might know my sometimes cynical comments on this page like “b&w and a bit unsharp and everybody likes it and thinks its like HCB”.

        HCB’s photos are actually clear and most times sharp as well. But as good and influential he was, this is history.

        I paint a bit like Cezanne because I cannot do it better!

        Create something, don’t duplicate!

        Best wishes

  7. Dylan, forgot to mention….the photographic foundation you are building by learning on manual gear will help you throughout your life, even as you undoubtably will move to more automated equipment. Kudos

  8. REally nice work Dylan! Great stuff.

    BTW I’ve been a photography “student” for over 40 years 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for sharing these images with us. I don’t think you can find a better rangefinder than the M3. I duplicated in error when I bought the Leiica MP. Thanks again………

  10. Usually I don’t comment on daily “inspirations”, but these are awesome, all of them. And every one is better than the winner of the last contest 😉
    I see some Gary Stochl-ness in the first and the last one, especially the last one, which I consider a good thing.

  11. Dylan. Just keep on doing what you are doing and keep using film.
    We need more like you.
    Seriously good. I like the out of focus areas in your shots.
    Like to see more of what you can do here!

  12. Great stuff!

    Nice to have film pictures shown as it leads to a whole thread of comments only about the pictures!

    I’m sitting in an airport lounge with an M3, MP and a bag of Tri-x right now. I’m glad to be able to report ( to those interested) that HK, Bangkok and Phnom Penh airports all happily complied with hand inspection of both film and cameras.

    On the down side, don’t expect to buy any B&W film in Cambodia. As far as I can tell there is none anymore.

  13. Brilliant work Dylan. Been following your stuff since I ran into you randomly in Toronto last year.
    Awesome work.

  14. Excellent! Really great street photography. They’re all good, but #2 is superb. It makes me wonder who she’s looking at, or maybe waiting for.

  15. Nice work Dylan love your shot of mayor ford lol on your site
    See you in Kensington market I’m moving back to Toronto and often hang
    out there with my camera

  16. Wow! Dylan, you’ve got the gift for seeing “the moment” and piecing together all the little intangibles which go into making your superb images. (Your Flickr site’s filled with great images, too!) I wish you well with your future explorations. Don’t ever let issues of gear take precedence over what you’re seeing in your mind’s eye – really, I believe that you’ll easily produce fantastic images even with a simple point-‘n-shoot digital! Cheers!

  17. I think that photography should be what you should continue to persue-you have a great eye (19 eh?)and could be another Weston or Bresson. LOVE the second shot-it’s an instant classic-hope it’s on your wall…

    thanks for sharing your amazing work Dylan

    Greg Hall

  18. After looking at your photographs on this “Daily Inspiration” I had to see some more of your work on your Flickr portfolio, and I was most impressed.

    I find a lot of the so called street photography is instantly forgettable, but your work shows you have a very good eye for catching those moments in time, and at 19 years of age a very mature vision.

    Keep photographing and you will go far.

  19. Great stuff.

    I see a lot of art and photo school grads looking to assist and/or intern and seldom see anything slice of life this compelling.

    Good job!

  20. Very nice, I’m 28 and just picked up my first M3 last month, nice to see you starting earlier haha. Keep up the good work.

  21. Frankly, #1 and #3 are powerful for me. Actually, I wish I shot those ones. 19 year old? Wow… just keep on it’s almost perfect !

  22. There’s been some excellent young photographers featured here recently, this set raises the bar again.

  23. Great stuff, nice work. What interests me about film is how it renders in certain instances. It’s not better then digital I think. It’s just that I would have never thought of processing a file in that way. So therefore it’s inspiring. Btw 1 and 4 are the most intersting to my eye.

    • The 2nd pic is incredibly mesmerizing. I keep coming back to it. I love way the film brings out the depth and texture. Such a simple fleeting moment captured perfectly.
      This is so inspiring. That is truly an example of why people still shoot with film.
      Keep it up. Hope to see more of your work here.

      : )

  24. That’s some seriously cool work there, Dylan. Nice one – and it’s always interesting to be shown your home city in a new way.

    Looks to me like you possibly know as much as you need to about photography already, so just give some thought as to whether the best investment in your future is to spend several years & tens of thousands on a degree or other course, or what might happen if you spent that time & money on film and processing, and just hitting the streets.

    Not saying I know what the answer is either way; just saying ask yourself the question, don’t automatically assume that learning and growth HAS to come via academic study…there are many paths.

    • Get the degree. You never know what life is going to hand to you and having a college education will make the unexpected that much easier.

  25. Awesome work my man. The m3 is by far my favorite machine to work on. Do you use an external finder for the 28mm biogon or just wing it like i do?

    • haha noo you wing it? Trying to take a portrait must be a bit messy but I’m sure you’ve gotten use to it by now but I picked up I think its a voigtlander finder? it has 21mm and 28mm frame lines… I should of got the smaller one.

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