Shooting With Leica, And Photography Destinations

The Napa Valley from the fall of last year.

The thing about Leicas, compared to the latest from other camera brands, is they cost a lot and are idiosyncratic. If you’re interested in photography and becoming a better photographer, you should spend some time shooting with a rangefinder, though, because of the immediate experience and feeling of connection with the scene you can only get with that form factor.

Understanding the sticker shock of a Leica, I suggest you borrow one from a friend, visit a retail store, get a 24-hour demo or rent one from an outlet like Lensrentals. If you’re still unconvinced, the next best thing is attending one of their events and experiencing the rangefinder aesthetic for yourself.

Leica photographers attending these trips will be able to immerse themselves in stunning locations and cultures, as well as Leica photography and how they approach the art.

Leica Akademie Destination Photography Workshops

  • November 4-14, 2018, Destination: India, featuring internationally known street photographer Vineet Vohra. Visit, Jodhpur, Varanasi and Delhi during Diwali, the colorful festival of lights. This unforgettable 10-day experience is a must for any passionate travel or street photographer.
  • December 11-16, 2018, Destination: Hawaii. Explore Oahu and the North Shore with celebrated waterman and adventure photographer Jeff Johnson. Mixing breathtaking landscapes, surf culture and venerable local traditions, the itinerary offers the chance to see the island from an insider’s perspective.
  • March 1-7, 2019, Destination: Carnaval. Document the celebration of Carnaval in Barranquilla, Colombia, with documentary photographer Nicholas Pinto. Travelers will be able to become fully immersed in the pageantry and magic that make this one of the top festivals in the world.
  • July 21-31, 2019, Destination: Romania, featuring photographer Dotan Saguy. This workshop will take you off the typical tourist path and into the history and cultural cross-section of humanity that is Romania. From the architecture of Bucharest to rural village life, this trip will open your eyes to all that Romania offers.

Leica falls into that “you’re into it or not” category and is an example of why it’s important to find a system you love. The good thing is there are no bad cameras and they offer one for everyone’s style.

Of all the cameras I demo and travel with, Leica gets the most comments and reactions when held in the hand. It’s the hefty, all-metal feel, and for the M-P I have now, it has a well-worn patina on the chamfered corners.

I’ve shared how I took the Monochrome to Vegas and earlier this year I had it with me at the Joshua Tree National Park. To me, shooting in black and white is a personal exercise because the format is not as popular on Instagram as say HDRish scenes. As a reviewer of cameras, it’s also therapeutic to just reconnect with the basics of photography and not the latest mirrorless or DSLR tech.

As Jason Bradley wrote for Outdoor Photographer, in the desert, “I saw the textures, patterns, shapes, light and dark, subtle tonal gradations and fine details.”

Animated stills from Joshua Tree.

Back home from Joshua Tree, I took this street photo. There’s the Space Needle, sure, but my favorite building in Seattle is the Smith Tower.

It’s how I see Seattle, and I feel Leica best captures my view. I think it would do the same for your travels.

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