Aldeburgh 2017 with the Leica M10

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Well I’ve been a slightly obsessive Leicaphile since the Leica M9 rangefinder. The M9 was cranky and slow but the picture quality was undeniably beautiful. The M240 was a brick of a camera and I struggled to fall in love with the colour and subtlety of the imagery… and now we have the M10. It is getting rave reviews already as it’s as svelt as the M film cameras, and paired down to only the most basic operations which I much prefer…. I never took video with the M240 for example. Well I believe the M10 is the real deal…. the sensor, which has been specifically made for this camera and this camera only is somewhere in the middle of the M9 and M240 in looks. It is subtle and has huge dynamic range but the colours seem more punchy from the get go. Things are looking good.

So here we are once again in my favourite haunt, the beautiful fishing town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England. It’s about 7.00am and it’s pretty bloomin cold; I’m in five layers of clothing and nice and cosy, my Leica M10 on the other hand is feeling the freeze and the brass top and bottom plate after an hours use feels like a block of ice.

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So I decided to shoot a few sunset boat shots as they might be cliche but they are irresistible…. and then I thought I’d walk back after the sun had risen to shoot some early morning light shots.

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and then it happened… after an hours use the camera, feeling as cold as I’ve known a camera, just packed up. The SD card became non readable, the thumb wheel became stiff and beautifully engineered camera from Germany became as useful as a brick.

 

I know it’s the cold and the camera is thawing out (not literally), but I am a little disappointed. My iPhone does this as well in the cold but I was a little surprised as my other two M’s didn’t suffer the same indignity….

 

Watch this space to see how Leica respond. Assuming this normal behaviour in sub zero temperatures, the camera is spectacular, but I’m left feeling a little frustrated to say the least: Update at the bottom of the article.

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Update to the article: Leica Mayfair have said that a new firmware is believed to fix the issue. They have been marvellous as usual so thanks to Yumi for looking after me. She also stated that if the problem remains she will swap it over immediately for a new one.

Studio Update No 1: 30-1-17

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My foreman on the build, the charming Ken, has let me know that weather permitting, the concrete foundations will be in within just five days of the first trial pit being dug. He has also let me know that I might not have to move out quite as quickly as I had anticipated… This was a great start to the build. So the timetable looks as follows:

Jan 2017  – Start of Build

March- April 2017 – Move out of Studio into my neighbours studio and stop studio hire

May 2017 – Main Structural Build finished and first fix starts

October 2017 – Move back into new studio

 

Fingers crossed!

 

New Studio is a GO!

owen stuart and me day 1

… and so, after 18 months of planning and discussions the new studio build has begun.

The new extension effectively doubles the size of my current studio setup and means that we will have created one L-shaped studio complex with a separate props room, a mini tv studio with separate prep kitchen, two brand new stills studios and parking for five cars. The filming studio will be for social media, and tv shoots all specialising in food and will have it’s own built in lighting rig with lights.

So it was January 20th 2017 when Stuart, my Nat West Bank relationship manager (never quite sure what his official title is) and Owen, my Quantity Surveyor and general project manager convened at my studio to finally sign the fixed price building contract and also the mortgage. Whatever way you look at it this decision will have a huge impact on my life over the next 10 years.

The impact will be reasonably painless I hope. I’ll be moving into my neighbours property at No 10, just next door to my studio, on March 6th 2017 and we hope we’ll be back to business as usual in October 2017. What a year this should be.

I’ll be updating this blog more regularly with news of the progress. The hire studio is still open for the next 6 weeks but there’s no parking at all and it might be a little noisy. Temporary reduced rates have been applied to compensate for this inconvenience.

Thanks to all the team including Greg, who’s running the show with his team and Owen architects who have been so thorough throughout.

As you might say… watch this space!