Using Leica sets me free…
When I was asked to try the M9 somewhere in 2011 while traveling to Cuba, I hated it and fell in love at the same time. After using state of the art DSLR’s for years, I was transported back to the very first moment I fell in love with photography. Using intuition instead of speed, legs instead of zoom, skill instead of technique… It challenged me again to consciously choose every move I made. A few years later, with the introduction of the Monochrom, that choice was even more pressing. I had to decide whether to load up black and white or colour, in advance. I am convinced that making these choices that consciously, has made me a better photographer to this day.
Most of my work is shot with either the Monochrom 246 or the M240 - both small, unobtrusive rangefinder cameras - which I combine with short lenses… close to where the action really is. A 50mm and a 35mm lens are living standard in my bag, while most of the time using my favourite 24mm. With an Electronic View Finder, I turn the M into a top viewer camera. This way I can shoot portraits or situations, while having direct eye contact with the people I photograph. I believe that connecting to the people around me this way, ensures images that convey the actual feeling of the moment. I rarely use a flash... I find the light not as natural and let’s be honest; who uses a flash on a Leica rangefinder?
It was Transcontinenta BV, importer of Leica in the Netherlands who asked me to try out the M9, all those years back and I am still very grateful for it. Ever since, I have been working closely with them on many occasions. For special projects I often bring an extra lens. For example I decided to bring a 75mm Summicron for a project with autistic children in Peru. Creating a bit more distance with these kids, giving them safety and trust. In some cases it can even be a different camera altogether, like the water- and dust proof Leica XU that I used in 2017 during Holi in Jodhpur.