Botswana is a beautiful country in Southern Africa, with a conservation-minded government and a system of safari camps that preserve intimate viewing of large numbers of animals. My family and I were profoundly moved by the experience of visiting there in August 2014. Here is a portfolio of images mostly captured in black and white (using a Leica Monochrom), though there are a dozen or so images that were captured using a Leica M and converted to black and white.
A friend of mine once said it's hard to take a bad photo in Jackson Hole. That may be true, but with all of the great photographers who live there, or who have passed through, it's hard to take a photo that hasn't been taken better by someone before you. This gallery comprises photos taken over the past decade, in different seasons, with different cameras (mostly Leica M8s and M9s, but also in the earlier shots, Leica M7s shooting Fuji Velvia. And now, some shots have been taken with the Leica Monochrom, and with the new M (typ. 240.)
Sequentially, the first photos have tended to be the more recent, but when adding some photos from the summer of 2013, I decided to work a little harder at bunching different cohorts without regard to the year they were taken. So you will see some images taken at the Jackson Hole Rodeo, or the Teton County Fair, placed next to each other.
That's one thing that has changed in my photography over time. While I will always love taking pictures of the Tetons, or at Oxbow Bend at sunset, I've long since come to believe that the town of Jackson Hole, and the people, are as interesting as the natural environment.
So think of this as a decade-long love letter to my favorite place: Jackson Hole and the greater Yellowstone. If you've ever spent time scrambling up the Teton canyons, or wanted to, think of this as a time-elapsed view of the prettiest valley and ecosystem in America. View this gallery as a slide show if you want to get a sense of what a great corner of the world Northwest Wyoming is. JB, Summer 2013
The Dumbarton Oaks estate sits at the top of the long hill that leads out of Georgetown, and as public gardens in a large city, is a magical space. Formed as an estate in 1701, well before Washington was named or became the Capitol, Dumbarton Oaks developed over 300 into perhaps the loveliest spot in a beautiful city. The main buildings were the site of the 1944 conference that led to the post-war formation of the United Nations. On the edge of the estate, there are buildings housing great art collections, including an amazing gallery of Incan pottery from Peru. But it is the gardens that I love to wander in, with a camera. The images in this gallery were taken between September 1 and October 26th, 2012, with the Leica Monochrom.
A compendium of photos taken in Washington, D.C. between April and October 2012. Shots mostly taken with the Leica M9, mostly the Summilux 35, but also the Summilux 50. Additionally, black and white images taken with the Leica Monochrom and Noctilux lead off the gallery, as they were taken most recently.
The Leica M9 seems at home in Paris, where HCB made his home. In fact, we visited the Cartier-Bresson Foundation soon after arrival -- as well as the Cluny (museum with art, particularly tapestries, from the Middle Ages), the Guimet (Asian art), of course the Musee D'Orsay, Sainte Chapelle, and Notre Dame. Special fun was to be had taking pictures of people, in the Marais, and the Luxembourg Gardens. Yes, a Leica is at home in Paris.
Leica'sNoctilux has long been the standard in fast 50mm lenses, but in 2009, they surpassed previous standards by releasing an f/0.95 variant that is, in so many ways, their finest optical achievement. All images taken with a Leica M9, which is their finest 35mm equivalent digital achievement. I'll add to this gallery on a regular basis.
This may be of interest only to a select few, but what follows are photos taken in the same place, over the course of three years, with, first, a Leica M8 and a Noctilux f/1.0, next, a Leica M9 and a CV Nokton f/1.1, and then finally, a Leica M9 and a Noctilux f/0.95.
This is not an apples to apples comparison. One batch was taken with an M8 (which was not a full-frame camera) and an old Noctilux, two batches were taken with an M9 (full-frame), but with a Nokton and then with a Noctilux f/0.95. Most, not all, of the pictures were taken at the National Cathedral in Washington, but the first two sessions were taken on a cloudy day, and the new Noctilux pictures were taken on a bright and sunny day, and with an ND filter. Still, you can get a sense of the magic of all three lenses. I love them all, but the new Nocti can't be beat.
The story is I had a Noctilux, traded it in. Then I bought a Nokton. But I traded it, and a batch of other lenses, in order to get the Noctilux f/0.95.
Pictures 1-7 were taken with the M8 and the original Noctilux (or I should say, my first Noctilux.) Pictures 8-28 were taken with the M9 and the Nokton. (Note: obviously some of the pictures were not taken at the National Cathedral... such as the images of a bar in Adams Morgan ;-) Pictures 29-33 were taken with the M9 and Noctilux f/0.95 at the National Cathedral. Finally, pictures 34 through 41 were taken with the Noctilux f0.95, but not at the Cathedral; I threw them in because I love the way this lens draws.
Not a perfect comparison, but should give a sense of the character of each. JB
In the streets above Georgetown in the Nation's Capital there is an estate called Dumbarton Oaks which sits surrounded by a cemetery dating to the city's founding. Last fall, I posted the accompanying images from the cemetery exclusively. The images posted here are taken in and around this beautiful respite from the large city in the Spring of 2010, and now have been updated with some photos taken with the M9 and Noctilux on a cool summer day after a rainstorm. (August 2010)
All images taken with a Leica M9. Lenses used include the Leica 21mm Summilux, 35mm Summicron pre-Asph V.4, 50mm Summilux Asph, and the CV Nokton 50mm f1.1, and now the Noctilux 0.95.
Here are some images taken with the Leica M9, which I consider to be the perfect camera. The camera arrived in late September, and over the next few days and weeks, I've added pictures virtually daily. I'll continue to do so. All photos taken in Washington, D.C. and vicinity. Consider this a long photo essay on my hometown. JB
In every municipality in the world there is a necropolis, a city of the dead. Washington, D.C. is known for Arlington Cemetery, but that's actually across the Potomac River in Virginia on land once owned by Robert E. Lee. At the top of Georgetown, just outside of the city center of D.C. proper, sits Dumbarton Oaks, which has housed a cemetery for more than 200 years -- a short time when compared to the catacombs of Paris or Rome, but a long time in these parts. It is a beautiful, peaceful multileveled property, and I enjoyed taking my M9 there on successive Indian Summer days in October 2009.
Note: The photos in the gallery highlighting the Leica Summilux 21 were also taken at Dumbarton Oaks Cemetery, and you can see how different it appears in less peaceful light.
Bright sunshine, cold morning. Perhaps not the best way to draw out the charms of the Summilux 21. But still, nice morning on the Mall in DC. [Partly for comparison's sake, partly for organizational reasons, the last three photos are from a prior year's visit to the Mall at Cherry Blossom time, with the images taken with the 50mm Summilux.) All images taken with a Leica M8.