Dear rangefinder enthusiasts and classic photographers,
Thank you for allowing us to share some news and random thoughts with you.
M Vision 2019 Atelier: A Photographic Rite of Spring
Making it through any Montreal winter is an accomplishment in itself, but this M-Vision workshop will be a milestone, our 20th year of presenting Montrealers with a reason to embrace photography and have fun on a fine springtime day.
I’m thrilled to announce M Vision 2019 will be held in the cultural hub of our city, the Plateau, for 50-plus years the meeting place for everything and anything that has to do with creativity, arts, gastronomy and the Bohemian life.
From May 24 thru 26 in a beautiful studio on Mont-Royal Avenue, we will listen, look, be enthralled and inspired by our two eminent hosts, Roger Lemoyne and Dominic Nahr. We will explore the current state of photojournalism and consider what constitutes photo reportage in an ever-changing media environment.
Both Roger and Dominic have ably demonstrated that photojournalism remains a persuasive means to communicate important aspects of the human condition. Whether famine in the Horn of Africa, forced migration in the Middle East, or the longterm effects of natural disasters in the Caribbean, photojournalists not only report but help shape the narrative, guiding the efforts to remedy what ails.
If you want to partake in this intensive, 3-day workshop, please click on the link: https://www.camtecphoto.com/en/mvision. Workshop is full. Please email us if you wish to be on the waiting list.
Cue the Q2
People who visit the Boutique to talk Leica cameras and photography in general, often catch me waxing poetic about the Leica Q. No, it’s not the first time a manufacturer has offered a precision, compact camera with a fixed lens, but when introduced 4 years ago, the Q brought the concept to a much higher level. (A noninterchangeable-lens camera with a fixed focal length has an architecturally inherent quality advantage over interchangeable-lens cameras, especially those fitted with zooms.) Starting with the exquisite 28mm Summilux f1.7 lens mated to a 24mm x 36mm sensor, Leica engineers then turned their attention to making essential controls operate intuitively. What they produced was a nearly perfect camera to create walk-around images! This is the reason the Leica Q was their best-selling camera ever.
Fast-forward to March 2019. Coincidentally, I was visiting the new Leica factory in Porto at the time of the highly anticipated announcement of the Q2. The camera remasters the strengths of its predecessor while adding weatherproofing, an ability to withstand even more rough handling, doubling the size of the battery housing and battery capacity, and even improving upon the controls with better placement and finish. The Q2 has achieved a level of precision that provides the photographer with tactile and audible feedback, making the operation of this camera a complete joy. The Summilux f1.7 has been kept, and the sensor has been updated to 47 megapixels, doubling the resolution. The viewfinder has also been upgraded. The Leica Q2 is perfeKtion to the power of 2!
That was the good news, now for the bad: the Q2 has generated the most interest and preorders in the history of Leica. If you want to acquire this gem, I strongly advise placing an order at your favourite Leica dealer! We’ll do our best to deliver while the grass is green and the flowers remain in bloom.
Down the Hudson
Bar none, the best photographic exhibition in North America is not at a museum or gallery, but housed in an old hangar over the Hudson River called Pier 94. Over 100 galleries bring their best collections to AIPAD, the busiest photographic art exhibition and fair in North America.
I’m never tired of rediscovering the old classics like David Heath, Danny Lyon and Helen Levitt.
I am equally enthralled by discovering how photography continually reinvents itself and presents us with new artists producing meaningful, beautiful oeuvres. Two of this year’s most rewarding finds stood apart from the pack by employing uncommon methods and hard work.
Rania Matar: Her tireless quest to document and bring to light the mindsets and sense of being of women of all ages and in all places, is demonstrated in collages of portraits that are piercing and poignant observations into growing up and growing old today.
William Furniss: Using his 6x6 film Hasselblad to create a grid of panoramic architectural views and cityscapes, results in technically compelling and aesthetically beautiful assemblages. The process he pursues is challenging, combining the best of traditional silver-halide photography with the digital medium.
It was a pure joy to rediscover the quirky, graphic, visual genius of André Kertesz and the simple, observational talent of Helen Levitt. The large retrospective of Kertesz spanned his long career, and was punctuated with insightful observations and moving quotes.
A collection of colour photographs by Helen Levitt was masterfully printed in the 1990s using dye transfer technology. The result is her typically unembellished images with a refreshing twist. The New York neighbourhoods which she lovingly documented in the 1950s and 1960s, have a clarity and immediacy we don’t normally associate with colour film photography.
Up the 401
April showers bring May flowers and remind us that Contact is just around the corner. Classically Toronto, it’s the biggest photo festival on the continent, with venues spreading and sprawling across the GTA.
Comprising hundreds of exhibitions, talks and educational sessions, too much of it for my liking falls into the realm of pictures supporting two pages of text informing the viewer of the photographer’s purpose and creative process. Fortunately, there are notable exceptions. Here are 3 that caught my attention:
This extraordinary, compassionate and erudite Canadian photojournalist brings his thoughtful perspective to a city that has suffered through prolonged disasters and played host to too many photographers making an inventory of poverty and tragedy.
By embracing a disciplined and out-of-the-box approach to the wide-ranging structures created by twentieth-century Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik, the photographer brings a longtime affection for architecture along with a unique modus operandi, to what otherwise could have been a dry, visual disquisition.
This is a collection of photographs that not only impresses at first sight, but given time for reflection and consideration, grows in importance and appreciation.
He’s a living legend from the halcyon days of film photography. You know many of the iconic images. Even with the passage of time, they still brim with optimism, curiosity and heartwarming content. This is one exhibition guaranteed to excite and rekindle your passion about photography and its power to promote change!
New, Class Glass From Our Friends at Cosina Voigtlander
The Kobayashi et fils team at Cosina Voigtlander have been busy updating and reinventing their lineup of classic, M-mount lenses. The new additions are compact, very well made, and build on the Voigtlander aesthetic with superior optical quality and rugged engineering.Two additions that are seriously worth checking out:
Nokton 50mm F1.2: The Nokton 50mm f1.1 was a renowned performer, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that the F1.2 is not a refresh, but an entirely new design. Less than half the size and weight and of its predecessor, more importantly, the minimum focusing distance was reduced to 70 centimetres from 1 metre. If you are a fan of the 50mm focal length, look upon this as a nonstandard of the standard 50mm.
Ultron 35mm F2 ASPH: An entirely new addition to the line, this compact and smooth-focusing medium wide angle with one aspherical element is destined to become a most sought-after lens for both digital and analogue photographers. It’s remarkably well corrected for any lens, especially one at this price.
Always looking forward to your comments.
Jean Bardaji and Daniel Wiener