M 240 and a long over due web site overhaul

August 04, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

My photography web site has been due for overhaul for quite some time now.  Photography has always been a hobby of mine. However, I always found other more important activities to do than to refresh the website.  As a result the site was for a long time not updated with recent photos or blog entries.  I addition, many photos already present on the site were in need of an update and a refreshing touch. My FB timeline was filling up, but the web site remained unchanged.

I guess the main reason for an overhaul is a personal one: an urge to constantly improve techniques and apply new tools.  Of course, new subjects, new tools (cameras, lenses, software, etc) and hopefully newly acquired skills and experience in digital post-processing made this urge unbearable over time. Over the last year I have upgraded entire tool chain now using Lightroom 5 as my primary RAW converter.  I have added the entire NIK (now Google) photo processing suite, upgraded to Leica M 240 (after a fantastic year only using the Monochrom), developing Flash based galleries, started experimenting with studio flash systems, and available light portrait photography only using reflectors, scrims etc.  I've been so busy having fun experimenting and learning that there was almost no time for publishing. 

So, here it is, an updated site: http://www.arnehelme.com, please enjoy and give feedback if you see something you enjoy! The site will continue to be a work-in-progress project as this overhaul only got me 30% through the site.  However, I feel that with this recent overhaul there's much for quality content available. I have also reestablished an incentive and passion for keeping this project going, and that does it for me!

This year, the shift to M 240 was a major one for me.  The camera feels like a quantum lead forwards for M style photography. The new smooth and low noise shutter alone justifies this shift for me.  Of course, there are not only positive things.  As we speak my whole M system is on its way back to the factory for recalibration of the rangefinder.  Unfortunately, the camera I got is backfousing.  While the system is at the factory I have borrowed an M-E.  A fine camera, but after having used the M 240 for a while it is very difficult to look back.

I usually do black & white photography, but I really like the colours of the M 240.  During my recent trip to Italy I had the chance to practice landscape shooting in beautiful surrounding (Montemagno, Tuscany).  The following three photos were shote using Leica M 240 with Summilux 35mm FLE:

2013, Montemagno

2013, Montemagno Or converting the M 240 images into black and white using Silver Efex Pro:

As I mentioned initially the M 240 that I got is back ocusing.  Especially using the lenses such as the 1.4/50mm ASPH, the Summilux 75mm, and the 3.4/135mm it became apparent to me that a recalibration of the system was required.  It was a bit tricky to track this down, but statistically I had significantly more shots with a back focus using the new camera than I had with a demo M 240 I used earlier this year.  The Electronic Viewfinder came to good use and showed convincingly that the rangefinder was back focusing.  

The following portrait of my sister was shot after I had identified the back focus issues.  I used the EV2 external electronic viewfinder on the M 240 to obtain good focus of the Summilux 75mm at f1.4.  There's quite a lot post-processing in this picture, but it is apparent that the focus of the Summilux 75mm is spot on.

Vacation time is now over in Norway so I expect slowing down again now as speed is rapidly catching up at work.  However, I'll post/update more regularly this fall and thereby, hopefully, reducing the need of new big overhauls down the road.

Arne

 


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