My first time shooting a (film) Leica

Pacific Bech, San Diego, CA

Pacific Bech, San Diego, CA

Let me be more precise. It wasn't just my first time shooting a film Leica; it was indeed my very first time shooting film altogether. 

I mean, I remember using one of those basic point-and-shoot film cameras back in the day with my mom and my brothers during our family holidays, but I had never had the chance to shoot with a SLR with some more advanced, manual controls.

Not until last week, when my good buddy and great street photographer Shay Allen came over to San Diego. He was here for work but during his free time we went shooting mostly in Pacific Beach and he let me use his Leica M4-2 w/ a Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 lens. He gave me two rolls of film Fuji Superia Xtra 400 (I ended up using just one).

The very first of the roll had to be of her...

The very first of the roll had to be of her...

In short: it was such an awesome experience!

I've been feeling quite uninspired lately, tired of social media, tired of the almost imposed immediateness of our society...it was great to slow down the photographic process; it was actually all I needed to find back that excitement and passion that got me into photography in the first place.

These days, pictures last only the fraction of a second we take to scroll down our Instagram feed, and that's pretty sad...frustrating...at least for me, someone who cares so much about the art and history of photography...

Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA
Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA

Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA

Shooting film also made me much more conscious about every single picture I was taking. I am no longer the "machine gun photographer" I used to be a while back but I still take lots of pictures every time I am out shooting. And precisely this ease to take so many pictures was, at least for me, taking away the meaning of the picture I was making at that exact moment.

I mean, when you take 50 pictures of the same moment and scene so you later can check them in your computer and find the best one, it's almost like....cheating, in a way...it's too easy....I felt that every single picture I made with that roll had much more meaning because they were the only ones I took of that scene...

I was more conscious, more careful with focusing and metering, and I enjoyed the photographic process even more...

Torrey Pines Gliderport, La Jolla, San Diego, CA

Torrey Pines Gliderport, La Jolla, San Diego, CA

With film, every single shot really matters (also in terms of money) and that made me be more present and enjoy more the whole process of wandering around and experimenting...I also felt more connected to the camera... 

It was very special to use the camera immortalized by one of my very favorite photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose biography was probably my main source of inspiration after buying my first camera.

I definitely want to get more into it and I am even considering selling one of my Fuji cameras to get one these Leicas....let's see :)

Here are some of the other pictures I made..

To see more, keep an eye on my Instagram account...I'm gonna be sharing probably all the 36 pictures there over the next days... :) 

I will be back here soon with a few words about the work I've been doing with Feeding San Diego..

Cheers!

Bernardo