Monochrome Photoshoot at Pulau Melayu

Dear friends,

Tabi basa and greetings! It has been a while since I last write my last blog post. The last one was about Garnette and Ayrton’s wedding. Another reason why I restarted this after 5 months shying away from blogging is since something happened to my Instagram account.

For no particular reason, and even after writing to Instagram, I was not able to write at my Instagram, and cannot even like my friend’s post. In a way, it is a wake up call for me. For example, my Facebook account. I have been investing a lot of time and energy to expand the audience of my Claudius Weson Photography Facebook page. The question, is what if suddenly Facebook also no longer the in-thing? Audiences will go away, to the new “Facebook”. I will have to restart again from zero. Worst case scenario, what if suddenly Facebook went haywire like how Instagram did to me? It will be another pointless waste of resources. So, I better stick with form of digital media that I have full control over it with best customer support.

The best thing about blogging is that you don’t have to be perfect to start, but you have to start to be perfect.

Gear: Collapsible Summicron

For this particular photoshoot with Viviana and her girls, in conjunction with her Catwalk Class & Photoshoot Session, I am armed with the first Summicron, which is the collapsible version. I think this beast is a good one.

I acquired this beast of a lens from a fellow Leica shooter, where he plans to upgrade. Initially, I was skeptical of the lens performance, but after using it for a while, a week to be exact, I started to get used to the focusing tab, which is metal type. For many modern Leica M users, the current plastic tab has an ergonomic shape that it feels right whenever you want to focus with it. For this particular Summicron, you will feel weird at first. I think I am being pampered by the latest generation Summicron, APO-50 (my mainstay when I am going offshore because of its reliability and its small size).

For Leica enthusiast, collapsible Summicron can be had for about RM2500 at eBay, and there is actually a lot. The challenge is to find a good copy. You have to find from a trusted seller, with rating of 99.6% and above from eBay. Otherwise, it would be difficult. I would suggest MK Kamera & All Good Friends Camera (Not Sponsored Here) since my experience with them are pleasant and they are very responsive to your query.

As for lens rendering, for me, Collapsible Summicron is a soft lens, but not as crazy as Thambar. It is at another crazier level, appreciated only by Leica enthusiast. Compared to modern Summicron, Collapsible is a good choice for photoshoot, because you will see the faces of the model is much smoother without you do a lot of editing at post-processing. That will actually leave a good impression to the model as well.

Camera: M9 Monochrom

I am using Monochrom this time because I want to experiment with my Collapsible Summicron. Back in 2017, I bought my first Monochrom because I was without Leica M. My M9-P that time was sent for service due to CCD sensor corrosion issue. I sold my Monochrom last year because I want to upgrade to get my M10-P. When I first receive my M10-P, I did not remember about my Monochrom. After a while though, I started to miss it. Then I shoot using monochrom at my M10-P, but it is not the same. The image that it created, the shutter sound, the slow shooting speed – that are the things that I missed in my Monochrom. After a bit of searching at the web, I managed to find a silver version of Monochrom, partly to reminds me of the missing Monochrom as well as the missing M9-P that I have traded for personal usage.

Experience using Monochrom has always been pleasant. After too used to M10’s blazing speed, Monochrom taught me to slow down and anticipate for the right moment. Of course I won’t use Monochrom for paid job because I don’t want to miss the moments during wedding and events. However, for photoshoot like this, Monochrom is a good choice if one would like to use its excellence in monochrome end pictures.

Photoshoot Time!

During this photoshoot, we are joined by Abang Zak and Abu, but we are kept with out own business. So, not wanting to interrupt their flow of creativity, I shoot models at my own time and pace, and my place of choosing.

It has been a pleasure working with these ladies, with one of them as young as 7 year’s old, Supang. Initially I thought I was working with matured ladies, but it seems like most of them are still studying at secondary school. How time flies!

The final images can be seen below, which I used Silver Efex Pro, a software that is popular among Leica Monochrom shooters. Enjoy! Thank you to you Vivianna and Priscilla for inviting me to this session! I appreciate it.

Your Tukang Rantek,
Claudius Weson

Claudius Weson, is a Bi-Pichin, Serian-born freelance “tukang rantek” (photographer) based in Miri.