Saturday, June 24, 2017

LEICA & MAGNUM - CONSTANTINE MANOS








Constantine Manos was born in 1934 in South Carolina to Greek immigrant parents. He went on to attend the University of South Carolina, from which he graduated in 1955. Joining Magnum Photos in 1963, he then became a full Member in 1965. This video, produced in partnership with Magnum, is a personal documentary of Manos’ wide-ranging subjects – from desegregation in the American South to life in Greece and his later work throughout America which he shot in color. One thing has remained constant throughout his career, it’s been Costa and his Leica rangefinder.

I had the pleasure of meeting Costa Manos several years ago.  Not only is he a great photographer, he also proved to be a very interesting individual, very easy to talk to.  Whenever I think of Manos, one piece of his work that continues to come to my mind is “Bostonians."  In 1974, Manos was hired by the city to create the photographs for the "Where's Boston?" exhibition, a large production in honor of Boston's 200th anniversary. The photos from that exhibit were published in the book Bostonians: Photographs from Where's Boston?  The show consisted of 4 x 6 foot (yes foot) enlargements, all shot on Kodak Tri-X, developed in a modified Agfa Rodinal developer.  It is amazing how well his Leica negatives held up, both in terms of sharpness as well as tonal range, even with those size enlargements. 


from "Bostonians" by Constantine Manos


In 1995, American Color was published, containing Manos' recent photographs of American people. A Greek Portfolio was reissued in 1999, followed by a major exhibition of his work at the Benaki Museum of Athens. In 2003, Manos was awarded the Leica Medal of Excellence for his American Color photographs.

Manos continues to photograph with Leica cameras, and is currently working on material for a second American Color collection.



Join Constantine Manos for an exciting Leica Akademie Master Class Weekend in Miami. This intimate program will combine lectures and exercises to help you move beyond simply documenting what something looks like to creating images with complexity, beauty and emotion. For more information and to register, clickhere.

Leica Master Class Weekend with Constantine Manos | Fri, Jan. 15 - Sun, Jan. 17, 2016


You can view Constantine’s portfolio at Magnum and on his website, www.costamanos.com.
For a video about Constantine Manos go to: https://vimeo.com/40615195

Constantine Manos will be the main speaker at the annual meeting of the LHSA, the International Leica society in Chicago on October 7, 2017.

For more information go here


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Thursday, June 22, 2017

LEICA CAMERAS HAVE EYE-POPPING PRICES WITH PHOTOS TO MATCH




The New York Times published an article by Nick Bilton, titled “Leica Cameras Have Eye-Popping Prices, With Photos to Match.”  It is refreshing to see that this turned out to be a well written article that avoids the typical ‘you pay for the name’ or ‘you pay for the red dot’ or worse, ‘other cameras are just as good…’  He writes:

“Today’s smartphones can take pretty crisp pictures, so buying a regular camera might sound like a waste of money. Now imagine buying a fully manual Leica digital camera that, with a body and lens, can cost as much as $20,000.

Ridiculous? Perhaps. But the hard-core photographers who own a Leica swear by its craftsmanship, lens quality and lack of bells and whistles…”

 
Leica M9, special white finish edition

He continues to explain the differences between rangefinder and DSLR cameras and lists some of the various Leica cameras currently on the market.  Of course that includes the Leica M and ME.  But he makes special mention of the Leica M Monochrom.

 
Leica M Monochrom

“Leica also offers the Leica M Monochrom, an 18-megapixel camera that can shoot only black and white. Some people might ask why anyone would buy a camera that cannot even take a color picture, but Leica has poured years of research and development into optimizing the sensor on this camera for the subtlety of black-and-white photography.

The results from the Leica M Monochrom are astounding. Pictures have the tonality and contrast that make them look as if they were shot with real black-and-white film. The M Monochrom can also shoot at an ISO up to 10,000, which allows pictures to be taken in extremely low light.”

The article makes special mention of what sets Leica lenses apart from their competition, especially in terms of performance.

“Leica makes a lens the way it should be made, with metal and glass, while everyone else is making plastic lenses that are meant to be thrown away in a couple of years,” said Ken Rockwell, a photographer and expert on cameras and lenses. “The Leica lenses are so special because they are smaller, faster and sharper.”

Mr. Rockwell notes that Leica’s lenses are still assembled by hand in Germany.

“The Leica glass,” Mr. Michel said, “adds that special ethereal quality to the image that no D.S.L.R. can match.”

 
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95

He goes on to say that the control he has with a manual Leica lens made him realize that  today’s abundance of buttons and features on most cameras often makes people take poorer pictures.

Of course the price of Leica lenses is discussed.  Rather than dismissing the Leica lenses as too expensive, he mentions their outstanding overall performance and that he would gladly give up some of his other high tech gadgets for Leica equipment.  He continues to say:

“This was true decades ago and is still true today. Henri Cartier-Bresson, considered by many to be the father of photojournalism, said in his biography, “The Mind’s Eye,” that when he discovered the Leica camera in the beginning of his career, “It became the extension of my eye, and I have never been separated from it since I found it.”

Nick Bilton finishes the article by warning that buying a Leica does not automatically allow one to take the same photos as the world’s best photojournalists.  He finishes by saying that it is not the camera that takes good pictures, that it is the person holding it.


For the complete article go here


For other articles on this blog scroll down in the column to the right to BLOG ARCHIVE

To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

All ads present items of interest to Leica owners.


___________________________________________________________________________



                                  www.classicconnection.com                                     


      www.eddycam.com 
                       
      







Buy vintage Leica cameras from 
America's premier Leica specialist 

                          
 http://www.tamarkinauctions.com/            http://www.tamarkin.com/leicagallery/upcoming-shows



Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

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Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

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Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography