Camelthorn Trees Against a Dune









I’m about to lead the 2nd of two back-to-back photo tours in Namibia. Most of my clients are shooting with DSLRS from Canon, Nikon, and Sony, and I use Canon for my trips to Africa, but this time I brought my Leica Monochrom, a little black & white only camera boasting fantastic resolution and tonal rendering with low noise. It has its limitations. The longest lens is only a 135mm and I’m carrying only a 90. The “motor drive” is slow and the buffer fills quickly. There is no auto focus. Yet, I find the images I like the best all come from the Leica. I found the same thing working on a project in Thailand with both Canon and the Leica M9. Despite the limitations and missing some shots I could have captured with the Canon, I preferred the rendering the M9 gave me.

I’m so impressed by the performance of the Monochrom where rangefinders should be a disaster that I intend to offer a Rangefinder Workshop to Namibia in 2014. In ten days we will photograph cheetahs, caracals, endangered wild dogs, and other animals at an animal rescue facility, visit the highest dunes in the world and Deadvlei, a plain bristling with long dead trees encircled by orange dunes, engage with the Himba tribe, and photograph iconic quiver trees. Naturally, discussions will focus on composition, technique, and processing. We’ll stay at the best available lodging along the way and fly when possible to bypass long drives on rough roads. Space is limited to 6 participants. I expect to start the workshop around June 23, 2014.

I’ll have schedule and pricing information up soon. Feel free to email me with questions in advance of that posting.

Any of the Leica rangefinders will deliver stellar results. I’m not limiting this to Leica, though. Anyone using a mirrorless system is welcome because they share similar virtues and limitations with rangefinders. The workshop will be a ton of fun and yield amazing images.

See the images below for a taste of what to expect.