Classic style / by Mario Mirabile

My colleague Martin called me over one day to show me one of his treasures. It was a 1930's Leica, still in its original box with accessories. He assures me it's fully functional, and I don't doubt it, given the reputation of the marque. There's something special about holding such a classic piece of engineering in your hands The heft and solidity of this little gem speak of a time when taking a photograph was a much more measured and thoughtful process than it is now.

There's no doubt that most modern cameras are far more capable imaging tools than this relic, but they lack its soul. The rapid march of technology dictates that our cameras are now almost disposable. The Olympus OM-2 I bought in 1980 served me for 25 years before I was seduced by the lure of digital imaging. Now I carefully study the specs of every new model, considering if it's time to upgrade. I've put that decision off for the present, but the next round of model updates will no doubt have me prowling the review sites and camera stores once more.

My image "Now you see me" got second place in the Artz Blitz competition I wrote about in my last post. This came as quite a surprise to me, and I'd like to thank the Kingston City Council, the judges and the sponsors for conducting the competition.

Tech talk
I enjoy the challenge of composing a still life, and I don't know why I don't do it more often. Both images were simple one light set-up with a white card reflector for fill. No fancy lighting gear -the first shot was with a desk lamp with a baking paper diffuser, the second with a large table lamp draped in white fabric to soften the light. I didn't bother correcting the white balance as the yellow tungsten cast helped accentuate the antique look. I like the composition of the second shot more that the first, but I thing it's let down by the light meter. Even though it dates from 1960, it's just not old enough to match the aesthetic of the Leica.

Both shots are focus stacked to increase apparent dept of field. RAW, processed in Lightroom 5 and Photroshop CS6. Olympus E-5, Zuiko Digital 50mm f2 macro.