The rules

In this post I’ll set out the rules for the Leica Lessons year. Defining those areas Mike’s original suggestion left open for interpretation. If anyone wants to comment, feel free.

During the period of one year beginning on August 10th, 2009 and ending on the same date in 2010, I’ll only use
– One camera, which must be a Leica rangefinder.
– One lens, of fixed focal length1.
– One type of black & white negative film2

I’m giving myself one escape clause: Should it happen during the year, that someone asks me to take pictures for them for a special event in their life, I can do so with the equipment they consider most reliable to allow me to take good pictures. The key here is that the event has to be important to the other person, not necessarily to me (so if one week into the exercise, I get back-stage tickets to a Genesis reunion concert, I just better bring lots of film and do the best I can). I’m setting this opening because this has happened twice to me (once a funeral, once a wedding). Should this occur, I’ll let the person asking decide whether to trust me or several thousand Euro’s worth of Canon equipment3.

Why August? (Relatively) simple: When I decided to do this project, I did not own a Leica, so starting straight away would be a tad tricky. Furthermore, I am shooting a good friend’s wedding in July, who is counting on more than the badly exposed B&W shot’s I’ll undoubtly be making for the first few months of this exercise4. Why the 10th? It’s my birthday, so easy to remember.
The two months in between will give me the time needed for selecting and buying a Leica with matching lens, get some filters, as well as selecting a film, learning to load it5, etc.

  1. Though not specified by Mike, I’ll define that the lens must also be a Leica. []
  2. Again, as not strictly specified, I have decided to allow myself the luxury of pushing/pulling it. []
  3. I fear I know the answer. []
  4. More on that soon []
  5. Which appears to be an artform all by itself []

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