the last days of summer

Photo take with a Leica M9P camera and Leica 90mm f2.0 pre-ASPH lens.

This photo was taken on an empty boat dock during the “golden hour” where the evening sun has a certain warmth and comfort that can’t be felt at other times of the day. This gentleman was alone on the dock enjoying the last warm rays of the summer sun on the last day of August, and this candid photograph of that moment is one of my favorites in my entire collection.

I used a Leica M9P and a Leica 90mm f2.0 pre-ASPH lens manufactured in 1983 for this shot, and I think this is an excellent example of the sense of realism that these vintage devices are capable of capturing. I’ve never been able to convey such a sense of warmth and relaxation with more modern equipment, and I’m tremendously pleased with my decision to switch from Canon/Zeiss to vintage Leica for this reason.

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valentine

Zeiss 50mm f2 Makro Planar ZE mount for Canon 5D Mark III

A black and white photo of a soft white rose on Valentine’s Day that would make a lovely framed piece in almost any area of the home. This was taken with a fairly large aperture in an effort to create a shallow depth of field with most of the image out of focus for that soft feeling that these roses had in real life. Taken with a Zeiss 50mm f2 Makro Planar lens mounted on a Canon 5D Mark III camera.

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brake for love

Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Distagon lens

A perfect image of love and happiness for Valentines Day. I came across a cab driver taking a break to say goodbye to his wife before starting his shift and couldn’t resist capturing the moment. Taken with a Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Distagon lens and cropped to a 1:1 aspect ratio. Shot at f/2.8. Looking back on this image, I wish I would have shot this at f/1.8 or f/2 to isolate my subjects a little more, but it’s still a wonderful photo that is full of feeling nonetheless.

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partnered

zeiss 135mm f2 apo sonnar used to photograph the sky

Venus partnered with a beautiful crescent moon in the early morning sky. It’s so rare to see stars in New York because of all the light pollution, but when they’re visible, it’s a gorgeous site. The blue, grey, and green undertones in the sky create a perfect canvas for this rare celestial scene. These subtle background tones will probably not show up in full details on a regular computer monitor, so be prepared to be surpassed (and very impressed) when you order this as a print. Taken with a Canon 5D Mark III and a Carl Zeiss 135mm Apo Sonnar manual focus lens at f/11 and a 5-second exposure on a tripod.

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queens canvas

zeiss 135mm f2 apo sonnar

For those of you who live in New York and don’t have an eastern exposure in your apartment, I highly recommend that you take a look in that direction early in the morning whenever you can. The sun paints on a different canvas every morning over Queens, and you’ll be inspired and impressed by what you see. The 59th Street Bridge provides the perfect architectural contrast to these soft, painterly sunrises, and this is just one more fantastic example. Beautiful image for large 20×30 or 30×45 floating canvas print. Taken with a Zeiss 135mm f2 Apo Sonnar lens at f/11, 1/1600.

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steamboat

zeiss 35mm f2 ZE mount lens

Beautiful grainy, film style photo of one of most relaxing fishing docks I’ve ever been to outside of a wonderful B&B in Mystic, CT called the Steamboat Inn. This was taken just as the sun was setting on a very cold, crisp evening in February. The water was so still that reflections were visible all the way out to the bay, and it was quiet and peaceful enough to hear a pin drop. Great photo for a classic medium-sized gallery frame. Taken with a Zeiss 35mm f2 lens mounted on a Canon 5D Mark III camera, f/5.6, 1/30 handheld, ISO 400.

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heavy

Zeiss 135mm f2 apo sonnar lens

The latest February snowstorm gave New Yorkers some of the wettest, heaviest snow of the season, and the branches of this tree are excited for it to stop. I love the cold color tones in this photo, and slightly out of focus footprints in the background that make the image interesting without taking away from the snowfall centerpiece. The light and contrast on the tree is marvelous, but the thought of this storm makes me wish for a ‘fireplace’. Taken with a Zeiss 135mm f2 Apo Sonnar ZE mount lens, 15 second exposure, f/2.8, tripod.

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tinder

Zeiss 35mm f2 ZE mount lens

Gorgeous black and white photo of flames dancing in the center of a fireplace on an incredibly cold night in Mystic, CT. The intense contrast that the flames gave this miniature scene is lovely, and the level of detail captured by the lens is only amplified by the brilliance of this natural lighting. I decided to add a level of abstractness to this photo by shooting is drastically underexposed and by locking the exposure on the brightest part of the image (the flame) to intentionally underexpose the shadows even more. This resulted in a beautiful fading effect from complete black around the edges into a bright, details image in the center… almost like a natural frame. Taken with a Zeiss 35mm f2 lens mounted on a Canon 5DIII DSLR camera, 1/40 handheld, f/5.6.

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bonsai

photos taken with Zeiss 100mm makro planar ZE mount lens for canon

Semi abstract image of the intricate and beautiful roots of a small bonsai tree. The colors in the foreground and background are gorgeous, as is the detail captured in the center of the image. I love shallow depth of field photos like this where the focus guides your eye to the subject of the image, and then the fall off to the surrounding out of focus areas allows your eye to explore the more abstract and artistic rendering of the lens. Taken with a Zeiss 100mm Makro Planar ZE mount lens for Canon.

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pines

zeiss 100mm f2 makro planar ze mount lens for canon

Black and white photo of a beautiful long needle pine in North Carolina in a town called Pinehurst which is famous for it’s pines. The single ray of sunshine gave the image some contrast, and the shallow depth of field with only a few strands in sharp focus gave it a really nice artistic feel. Perfect for a simple gallery frame. Taken with a Zeiss 100mm Makro Planar lens.

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nymphaea

Canon 85mm f1.2 lens

I love the vertical composition and the sharp, sharp focus on the petals of this tropical waterlilly, or Nymphaea if we are going to be proper about it. This image was taken with a Canon 85mm f1.2 lens which is known for it’s sharpness and beautiful soft backgrounds, both of which are showcased very well in this photograph. Perfect for a large canvas or simple gallery frame.

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painting

Zeiss 100mm f2 makro planar ze mount lens for canon

This is a photograph of a stunning sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains taken a few hours after a rainstorm passed through. The soft colors melted into an image that looks more like a painting than a photograph, and that makes this a very special image for me. This is available as 1 of 50 limited edition archival pigment prints, canvas recommended, but a simple gallery frame would be beautiful as well. Taken with a Carl Zeiss 100mm Makro Planar lens, f/8.

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after the storm

Zeiss 135mm f2 apo sonnar lens

This is the first sunrise after the snowstorm last evening. The muted greys, reds, and oranges blend so beautifully together. I haven’t seen a sunrise with a color palette this painterly in a while, and I’m excited to have this printed on a huge canvas like a 30×45. Taken with a Zeiss 135mm Apo Sonnar lens mounted on a Canon 5D Mark III camera, f/11, 1/10, -0.7EV.

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crescent

zeiss 135mm f2 apo sonnar ze mount lens photos

Beautiful black and white photo of a perfect crescent moon over Queens. Zoom in and have a look at the tremendous fine detail captured on the moon’s surface. This would make a wonderful large statement piece in a simple gallery frame almost anywhere in the home.

Taken with a Carl Zeiss 135mm f2 Apo Sonnar lens mounted on a Canon 5D Mark III camera. Tripod. 30 second exposure. Remote trigger.

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happy

zeiss 100mm makro planar ze mount lens

Black and white photograph of a very happy little Buddah statue sitting in a garden with playful shadows cast across his face. I love the off angle composition and the way the shadows seem to be making his day. Taken with a Zeiss 100mm Makro Planar ZE mount lens and a Canon 5D Mark III.

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painter

zeiss 100mm f2 makro planar ze mount lens for canon

This is a close-up artistic composition of a painter’s workspace with a playful approach to depth of field. There is almost nothing in sharp focus in this image except for the dry paint swirls where a single ray of sunlight happened to be shining across my ‘canvas‘ that is this image. Taken with one of the most artistic lenses I own, the Carl Zeiss 100mm f2 Makro Planar ZE for Canon. Shot with the aperture wide open at f/2 to create the extremely shallow depth of focus.

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blanket

Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar Lens

The sky in Asheville, NC covered with a soft down blanket made of clouds.

Taken with a Carl Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar lens mounted on a Canon 5D Mark III camera.

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soft

Zeiss 100mm Makro Planar ZE lens

The tiny leaves of this plant look like they would run so softly across your skin.

There are two ironies in this image: 1) most of the image is slightly out of focus, 2) it was taken in broad daylight on a bright sunny day. The aperture of my lens was set wide open (f/2) to give that soft feel to the photo, the shutter speed was 1/6000 to limit the amount of light coming into the camera, and my exposure compensation was -1.7 to create an even darker image. No post-processing… just good use of the camera’s features to produce the image I wanted.

Taken with a Zeiss 100mm Makro Planar lens which is famous for the soft blurry quality of its backgrounds (bokeh).

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bird of paradise

zeiss 50mm f2 makro planar ze mount lens for canon

It’s time for a warmer image to get us out of the winter rut.

This is a beautiful bird of paradise seen in San Diego. I adore the crisp focus on the water droplets hanging off the leaves (dew droplets actually), and the soft background that brings the flower right out of the photo. The morning light is so natural and comforting too. This would be beautiful in a 20×30 framed print in an entry way or beach house.

Carl Zeiss 50mm f2 Makro-Planar ZE lens mounted on a Canon 5DIII camera.

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permanent

Canon 70-200mm f2.8 II lens

The colors turned out to be so striking in this abstract shot of a graffitied city hand railing that I had to share this with you. The deep, vibrant browns and greens set apart by a perfectly horizontal horizon make this a special one for me. The impact that this photo has even though the subject matter is so simple and ordinary reminds me of another one of my personal favorites, the limited edition ‘intraordinary’ photograph.

This is straight out of the camera with no post-processing. Taken with a lens that I no longer own, a Canon 70-200mm f2.8mm II zoom lens. The 70-200/2.8II was a pretty phenomenal lens for a zoom, and I did enjoy using it, but it’s limitations compared to my other prime lenses didn’t justify the expense of keeping it. The newest version of this lens is a must-have for any documentary photographer though since the image quality and bokeh is truly top notch for a zoom lens.

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