My Tribute to the Leica M: Forever Memories. On Tour with Seal. Noctilux and M.
By Steve Huff
The video below was one I have been meaning to make for years now. I had some time in my office yesterday and felt compelled to finally put it together, in words, photo and video. I posted it last night to my YouTube and it is my tribute to Leica, the Leica M and what I feel a Leica can do for one’s Photography. Remember, no camera can make one a great photographer, but some cameras, like the M, can inspire you to be the best you can be.
Hear my story below, and it does get personal, but I have no qualms about opening up and telling my story about that time I took the Leica M9 on tour ; )
Thanks to Leica, and Seal. Both of them truly changed my life for the better, and you will hear why in the video below. Enjoy.
Also, I did forget to mention in the video, but someone did ask how I was able to afford a M9 and Noctilux to shoot this tour. Well, I had the M9 at the time, which took every penny I had back then. The lens? It was Seals lens and he let me use it during the tour, and at the end, he gave the lens to me as a gift to show his appreciation for the photos I shot. Was an amazing time, amazing memories and something I will always treasure.
Enjoy. If you enjoy the video, feel free to go over to YouTube and thumbs it up and subscribe, many more videos coming from me soon.
Hi Steve, question? In today’s camera market if you had the opportunity to photograph seal for the first time what one camera two lense set up would you use?
Leica M10, 28 1.4 and 50 APO
Touching video man. You say that these days bring back the best memories of your days with the M. I just wonder, now you’re busy reviewing and writing, don’t you miss these tours?
I was busy with reviews and writing then, I write every night after shooting for this website. All of those articles are still here, just search for “seal” using the sites search function. I sometimes miss doing things like that but it’s easily fixed when I go to local clubs here in Phoenix to shoot. But I get to come home at the end of the night which is nice. Thanks for watching.
I wish you all the best, for you, your family and your amazing passion for photography. Many things changed and we all learned a good deal… I still remember fondly when we first met, driving in Thorsten’s car through Berlin, at the Leica Monochrom event 2012 🙂
One day we’ll meet again!
To the master of “real world reviews”, your Swiss friend
Yes, I remember that well, and it was great to meet you as well! Fun times ; ) Thank you!
… and congratulations to the Hasselblad! Great camera, fine company!
Not often I comment, but now I am going to. This was great. A good, honest and “real” video. Your honesty and your calm way of telling this story made it a real pleasure to watch. Thank you for putting it togehter and sharing.
Thanks for the story and information. You are an impassioned artist. Your disclosure of how you personally interfaced with your obsessions (artistry and technology) is appreciated. Your website has opened my eyes and inspired me to different aspect of photography and seeing the world. I have been shooting SLR/DSLR outdoor photography since the early 70s. I was always to shy or frightened to shoot much that had to do with people. I was more intimidated being face-to-face with people that face-to-face with a polar bear or grizzly. So I picked up a Leica Q after reading your reviews of Leicas. This camera has changed my game. I have never shot a Leica M but hope to in the not to distant future.
Thank you for the kind words, truly.
Left your site a while back—–big mistake. Have now re upped and looking forward to reading your comments and reviews.
A superb and wonderful video.
Its amazing how one door closes and another opens..
Taking the scary jump into deep water.
The result so beautiful and with feelings.
Amazing images, whether sharp or soft.
Your passion so visible.
Leica-M cameras somehow deliver to a user with experience, results that are often what truly is Not visible!
The colors more muted than “bleeding eyes” Nikon’ s vivid color.
Sharpness barely there but the passion is.
No matter how many cameras I have used, only my M is the ONE!
The M8 and M9 had CCD sensors which is my preference.
Again Steve, cheers and applause for a great blog, a stunning video and
personal thoughts so nicely done..
Thank you Jason!
Steve, my experiences with you have always been unfailingly positive because of your kindness and generosity.
I just wanted to tell you: thank you.
Thank you Peter, and I will be answering you email in a bit, just saw it. Thank you.
Amazing shots, especially when I consider the noise, the moving colour, the vibration at the time. I’m admiring the still moment in time but can still feel the sweat. Your site is a community and we love you Steve for sharing your soul, passion and humble wisdom.
Thank you Sean.
Wonderful story and wonderful images!
As you know, the M9 is still my heart. While I have played with the M10, it feels like “cheating”. When I worked in film, ISO 400 (excuse me ASA 400) was FAST! Still to this day I try to keep it to that and for that the M9 delivers files like no one else.
When I need more, I turn to my Fuji X-T2. Much more affordable. Excellent lenses. If the M9 is my heart, the X-T2 is my brain. When I need it, I need it!
I also added the GFX-50s to the mix. Why? Well I think you said it in your piece, it is capable of so much more, that it alone will make me a better photographer.
I know one day you will own another Leica. What it will be, who knows. However, I could easily see it being an M3 with you shooting Tri-X and developing it yourself. The secret to this passion is that it is a passion and doesn’t need to make sense.
Keep shooting friend!
Great pictures Steve and the video tells a touching story.
Good luck with everything you do.
Steve, this is the you that I know. Honest, sincere, genuine, passionate. It’s been a pleasure to share a small part of your Leica journey, and I hope to see you back with one again, as finances and passion permits. The M10 is a journey home, for both its pros, and its cons, and I remain inspired, to this day, to shoot it.
You will again. You are a good man, and your videos tell a story that I have heard over time, in different ways. All the best, my friend
Thank you Ashwin.
Wonderful, Steve. Thank you.
You are to be commended for this and other very sincere sharing of moments in your life. This can serve to empower others and enrich lives !
thanks for sharing the great story, including the up personal the up and downs of life. Great photographs. I photographed him in NYC, and he was real friendly with photographer, we talked in the green room about camera, he was sponsored by nikon at that time..
ps. I think there is a bug in your template, overtime I watch the videos full screen i have the AD’s overlaid on the video.
Thank you, Steve. This video is elegant, touching and informative about you and your relation with photography. Thanks a lot.
Thanks Steve! Everything that matters in it. This tribute makes your site No.1.
Loved your video
Fantastic photos- loved them
Especially loved to see you with a Leica, 🙂
Terrific photography in your video; it captures the excitement (and joy!) of a popconcert really really well. And it is obvious in your compositions how much you were into it. And well, the photo’s have an ‘organic’ look which matches the atmospere very well (in my opinion), partly thanks to the camera + lens but certainly due to the photographer as well! Don’t forget. Well you know. Maybe shoot more concerts! Thank you for the video and stevehuffphoto.com. It opens right away when I type ‘st’ in my browser address!! All the best.
Fantastic video, successfully brought in the audience into what you were experiencing, and i agreed with you steve about how leica can inspire one to be a better photographer as that’s exactly how i felt.
The M9 despite the improvements, as inevitable, still reminds a legend … and yes, very iconic
Thanks Steve, this is why I started coming to your site so many years ago, and continue to do so! And by the way, this series of images are classic, and have a classic look to them–somehow to me, bridging the gap between film and digital. A classic look that I don’t think is possible anymore with today’s super clean high ISOs. It’s almost like you captured an era as well as amazing photographs! Thanks so much for sharing this story with us, your readers.
That was a fantastic video. I wish it was longer! Terrific photos, too. What a journey.
Shooting the M9 in a dark setting was a bitch! The ISO was useful only to about 400 (800 if you had to). But the images from that Kodak CCD were exceptional. And on top of that nailing focus with the Noct… you could have traveled the world giving clinics on using the M9 and Noct together.
Didn’t you give away a camera from Seal in a contest on your website around this time?
A very nice video and a nice tribute to the M9 and your patron.
Thanks, and yes, seal donated his M9 around then and we gave it away here on the site in a photo contest.
Great images, really captures the experience.
Thanks for your passion and sincerity!
How do you think you would have done on the same tour with the current RX100?
I saw this video 10 minutes after posting. Wow. When I started to consider this strange German camera that could not compete with my 1D Mark IV, I was hit by a car while walking my dog. It took a year and 5 surgeries to walk again. Of course my camera and white lens sat untouched for almost 18 months. I found your web site while home recovering and you had just started the Seal tour and I enjoyed rereading your stories about the tour and your love for this camera, I would pendlessly study the images. I decided to sell all my Canon stuff and ended up with a Leica M9 and 50mm Lux. It gave me great joy to hold that beautiful camera that forced me to learn photography. Many
Leica cameras and lens followed but similar to you the eyes began to struggle. Your X1D review came at the right time and I have been enjoying shooting and processing those beautiful files since getting it a few days ago.
People would always ask how much did your camera cost, my response is “when you been hit by a car and spend a month as a trauma patient it doesn’t matter”. And you were thinking the same thing after your personal painful issues when you got the 50mm lux.
Interesting that when your previous wife would pose for you, she never seemed very happy.
And because of you, I developed a great relationship with Ken Hansen.
Thanks Sal ; )
Now that’s one heck of a story. I hope you are fully recovered. 🙂
If someone is to watch any of your videos, this is the one. About 20 minutes, but I wish it went another 20. This is what makes you, and your site, so unique. Excellent. All the best,
Thank you George.
Excellant video, Steve. It would have been nice to have had the X1D as well.
Wow, Steve, I am really touched! Thank you for your everyday passion, love and insights of your life, which truly fill this wonderful website with so rich stories. There is so much emotion even besides and of course for all the gear, but even more for photography itself and what it does for you and us in life, I am so glad you are there, giving us all those great stories, thank you so much!
Keep up with what you do, forever, please!
All the best, Sven
Wonderful story and video. Loved watching it and found it inspirational to my photography with the M9. Do you stay in touch with Seal who also had a tough divorce after yours? Steve, thanks for your photography site and for encouraging me to buy the M9 back in 2010.
Thanks George. I just had an hour long FaceTime with him today, was nice to catch up as it had been a while. Thanks for the kind words
Hi Steve, great contribution, great words, great memories !
I do have some more memories for you… Vienna Opera 2011-07-02
You will find yourself shooting Seal:
and some impressions:
Great you could overcome the bad time with a help of a good person.
I remember that! Thank you.
Lovely video. Too much pointless gear talk on the Internet and too little explanation of what photography really means at the basic, human, heart and soul level. You just redressed the balance. Bravo.
Exactly! This video has so many “WOW” photos that pixel-peeping gearheads would pick over, completely missing how special they were. It’s the antithesis of the craziness which is taking over photography in this bored, indulgent age.
I am grateful for that very real commentary. I found it so inspiring. Even more so when we see how positive and enthusiastic Steve has become since those days.
Thanks Steve. God willing, there will be another Leica in my not-too-distant future.