Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Leica D-Lux 4: 365 Pictures

These are pictures that made it to the 365 project.

Leica D-Lux 4: Me & Mona

My friend Ramona came down for my birthday and my sister took a picture of us using the Leica D-Lux 4. I set the camera on Auto and handed it to her. This is the result.

Photo by my sister Diane.

Leica D-Lux 4: Ozzy Pictures

Wet Ozzy Toes



Wet Paws

Light & Shadow

Look at all the crap in the background of this photo. LOL!

Chin Up!


I take a lot of pictures of my dog Ozzy for my 365 project. Inevitably, I have extras. I fluctuate between the Leica D-Lux 4 camera and the Nikon D90. I love using the little D-Lux 4. I sold my M8.2 camera, to help offset the cost of some bills and my dog's surgery. I really would rather have the full frame M9, but being that prices are so high, I'm waiting a bit. Who knows? Something new could come around the corner and I could switch brands and this blog could end. LOL! Seriously, the M8.2 didn't fit me for some odd reason. (I never owned such an expensive camera before.)

I like all different types and brands of cameras. I liked the M8.2 camera, though I didn't love it. It was a lovely camera, and produced awesome files. I think the Nikon D90 is equal to it, but then the D90 surpasses the M8.2 at higher ISO settings. That really bothered me. Not having AF at times also bothered me. The M8.2 was easier on my neck to carry around though. That's due to its lenses. The Nikon cameras don't have small lenses. LOL!

I originally wanted the M9 though, and I can't help but feel I settled when I bought the M8.2 camera. I know the quality is much nicer than the M8 (or even some earlier M9s right now.) It's the sweet spot, but it isn't full frame. I really want a full frame camera. I bought the Leica M6 while I waited 6 months for the M9 to be in stock. I love film but feel that the labs are so few and far between that it's such a hassle to find a good one. Costly as well. As for the M9, by the time I got the call that mine was in at a certain dealer's shop, it was too late. I had to pay out money to other things. One day I'd like to own another Leica M digital rangefinder, but improvements have to be made for me to hand over that much cash. I'm not a rich Doctor or Lawyer. I'm retired right now.Sure, I could buy the M9 if I want to drain my account, but I'd be hurting financially for what I feel is a camera that only is equal to Canon or Nikon in the low ISO range. What's better are the Leica lenses, not so much the digital body. The Leica lenses are the thing. I still have two lenses left. I use them on my M6 film camera. The body is easier to carry around. A Nikon with a zoom lens on it can be pretty big. So, the rangefinder wins points for compactness. The Leica D-Lux 4, (and now D-Lux 5) may lack some IQ compared to a more expensive Leica X-1, M8, M8.2 or M9, but it is compact. Plus, the files are pretty fantastic.

So I take a zillion pictures of my dog with this little D-Lux 4 camera. My Nikon D90 with prime lenses is my main camera. I use the Leica D-Lux 4 for fun. I've seen the D-Lux 5 and like that too. I'm not a pro photographer and my quest for perfecting the pixels really can get annoying. I want the best quality file, but not being a pro, I really don't need a pro camera. Still...you hobbyists know how it is. I want my pictures to look fantastic. Digital cameras have come a long way to giving us a pro-quality file. So, we are almost there.

You can keep track of my Ozzy project HERE on Flickr or HERE on ZENDOG Blog. I alos have the first 365 days of this project on 365Project Website.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Leica D-Lux 4: Ozzy as Art

Ozzy doing his "crop circles". Now he has become one with the light and shadow scene. This was my pic of the day.

You can keep track of my Ozzy project HERE on Flickr or HERE on ZENDOG Blog. I alos have the first 365 days of this project on 365Project Website.

My second favorite of the day. He is almost part of the light and shadow art here.

Ozzy & three bones surfing on the beam of light.

Ozzy as part of his environment.

Ozzy ignores the camera and blends in with the shadows.

Ozzy with Three Bones

Friday, September 17, 2010

Leica D-Lux 4: More Ozzy

The one thing I love about the little Leica D-Lux 4 is that I can shoot wide-angle. I can certainly do that if I change the lens on my D90, but it's so much easier to use the little camera, though at high ISO the quality isn't as nice as the Nikon. Still, I love using the D-Lux 4 for its fun factor. The only thing it's missing is the optical viewfinder, and as I get older my eyes don't quite see things close-up without glasses anymore. It's hard to see the little red light in the meter that shows I'm close to center. All of you older, blinder folks will understand what I'm saying. LOL! If you still have perfect eye sight, then good for you. I don't! LOL! I count on the AF, which is quite nice. I actually like it better than the Nikon D90 at times. It's faster in shutter response than my Canon G9. My biggest complaint about the G9 is the slow shutter lag. This Leica doesn't seem to have it like other cameras. Well, at least I haven't noticed it. It's not as fast as the D90, but much faster than some P&S cameras I've owned. I've seen some lovely files come out of this camera by other people who own it. I'm photographing my dog mostly right now due to the 365 project. That project will be coming to an end soon. Then it's off to do another project. I look forward to photographing stationary objects. LOL!

You can keep track of my Ozzy project HERE on Flickr or HERE on ZENDOG Blog. I alos have the first 365 days of this project on 365Project Website.

Today's 365 project picture.

Light Bulb Head

Wide-Angle Close. Ozzy doesn't like the camera one inch away from him LOL!

60 Watt Bulb

Ozzy stretching. Notice the paws.
Another distorted wide-angle shot. I don't know why these types of shots amuse me, but they do. The more distorted, the better.

Ozzy with junkie background. LOL!

Lie Down!

He looks guilty.

Sunny Day

Favoring the leg.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ralph Gibson Book

I found this book used online at Alibris Books. It's a volume with over 700 pages of Ralph Gibson's work, called Deus Ex Machina, and published by Taschen. Ralph Gibson used Leica cameras throughout most of his 40 plus years as a photographer. His vision of seeing is something that I would like to emulate and improve upon. I was very lucky to find this in such great condition as it's out of print. The second and third copy at Alibris is well over 100 bucks! Taschen and Phaidon publish some lovely photography books.

Leica D-Lux 4: Ozzy

I was playing with the Leica D-Lux 4 the last few days. I sold my Leica M8.2 to pay off Ozzy's surgery bills. I still have the D-Lux 4, the Leica M6 and two Leica lenses. Once things get settled I may upgrade to a M9 or get another M8.2. Not certain. It's not like I was in love with the M8.2, but I did enjoy the files that came out of it on occasion. I think that has more to do with the superb lenses than the digital camera body itself though. If there was a way to put my M lenses on my Nikon D90, I'd do it. I think there is a way to put Leica R lenses on it, but I don't have any R lenses. LOL!

Meanwhile, I have been using the Leica D-Lux 4 as using the Nikon D90 all the time with the 50mm lens is becoming kind of dull for me. I've thought of getting the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens to have some variety, but am holding off on that purchase. I'm using the Leica D-Lux 4 camera at its widest angle instead. The files may not be as clean, but they'll suffice. I like the quality of file that comes out of the D-Lux 4. If Leica made a small p&s with a fast zoom lens and a higher IQ, maybe even higher than the X-1, I'd bet many people would jump on it. But then they'd lose money on their used M8s and new M9 cameras. Oh well.

Two Bones


Just me and my shadow...

Still favoring that back leg.

In your face!

Playing with light & shadow.

More playing with light & shadow.


The light is very bright in the morning when I shoot, so I have to embrace the lights and darks. I try not to blow out the highlights, but it's hard to do in such contrasty situations. I'm still quite pleased with the results.

I do miss the M8.2, though I haven't been using it much. It's easier to use the Nikon D90 for the Ozzy project. For all non-moving subjects, it was much more fun and creative to use the Leica camera. I don't know why that is either. It's certainly not easier. LOL! There's just something about the feel of the camera and those lovely lenses. Even the little D-Lux 4 camera has a wonderful body construction. It doesn't feel cheap. My Canon G9 is similar, but not as solid. I do like the Canon G9 for it's size though. It is big enough that I won't drop it, yet small enough to bother carrying it. The D-Lux 4 can be a tad slippery at times, even with the wrist strap on. There is something about the files though. I love them. Not as much as the M8.2, but it has a different signature. The Canon has a nice signature to it also. I know that sounds odd, but I got some great pictures out of that little bugger. I'm glad I still have it and use it!

Meanwhile, my dog is healing. That little shit cost me a bundle at the Vet's Office with his surgery, pills, and yearly visit. Oh well. He can't be replaced. A camera certainly can. Ozzy is a special dog. He's kind of like the Leica camera. He is as precious as that. It's all about his outlook on life, and attitude. I've never met or owned a dog quite like him. Strange too, because I've owned so many dogs over the years, and I've always thought that each one was the best one, until the next one came along. I don't think there could possibly be a dog to top Ozzy in character, humor, zen, playfulness, and genuinely angelic. I'm so glad I decided, (though a bit late- two months after I got him) to start a 365 project on him. I wish I did it sooner, but at least he was a puppy when I started it!

As for the contrasty, light&shadow pictures, I'm very happy with them. Especially after reading the used book I just got on Richard Gibson! Now all I want to do is photograph Ozzy in very contrasty situations. LOL!

You can keep track of my Ozzy project HERE on Flickr or HERE on ZENDOG Blog. I alos have the first 365 days of this project on 365Project Website.