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Not Everyone Needs a Leica

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While shopping the local camera store, I happened to overhear a teenage-looking customer inquiring about some gear. He wanted a certain type of lens, but was actively rueing the fact that the lenses his friends were using cost more than he was able to spend. He asked to see a lens he could afford, listened to the clerk tell him it wasn’t as good as the glass his friends were shooting, got discouraged, and ended up leaving the shop with nothing.

I must admit, the whole thing kind of bothered me.

It’s been a few days now, and I keep catching myself thinking back to that dejected-looking kid at the camera shop. I wish I had gotten his attention as he walked out the door. I wish I had asked him what camera he was shooting, what kind of subjects he likes to shoot, and if he had a Flickr account where I could check out his shots. I wish I had shown excitement that he was a new photographer, and told him to keep at it. I wish I had asked him to see his camera, and been impressed by the machine he’d have pulled from his bag- whatever camera that might’ve been.

But I didn’t do any of that. And that’s a real shame.

Thinking on it since then, it seems that there exists in photography an almost unhealthy preoccupation with names and numbers. Some folk look askance at all but a select few makes of camera, even though any camera would be rightfully regarded as pure sorcery to human beings from any other era than our own. Even so, to some shooters these incredible machines capable of capturing the photons of our universe just aren’t all that good, on account of their lacking a certain name, digit, or engraving.

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Why Everyone Should Shoot a Wide Angle Lens

At its very best, photography presents the viewer with something previously unseen. Some of the best photographs are the ones that show a far away place, a seemingly impossible event, or an unimaginable situation. These shots usually come from those annoyingly well-traveled and worldly photographers whose websites, blogs, and Instagram accounts we mere mortals enviously follow.

But fear not, for us plebeian scum it’s still possible to make compelling and inspired photos, even if our budget for travel and gear is a bit limited.

And one of the simplest ways to increase the dynamism and visual interest of our images is by using a wide-angle lens. By widening our angle of view, we’re able to capture shots of the world around us in a way that’s exquisitely uncommon and decidedly more compelling than when shooting with a standard lens.

But just how much, and in what ways can wide-angle lenses impact your photography? Let’s find out.

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What’s a Prime Lens and Why You Need One (or Five)

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Prime lenses are amazing marvels of optical wonder. And even though they’ve been around for as long as photography itself, there are still people out there who don’t shoot them, and may not even know what they are. If this sounds like you, worry not! We’re here to tell you what prime lenses are all about and why you need to be shooting them.

Whether you’re a new photographer or a seasoned shooter, and whether you’re shooting a classic film machine or the most advanced digital camera, shooting prime lenses can help improve your technique and aid in the creation of exceptional images.

These single focal length lenses provide unmatched performance over their zoom counterparts. And while they ask a little more of the user, the benefits to shooting primes far outweigh the drawbacks. In fact, we’re hard pressed to think of any substantive drawbacks at all!

So, let’s get to it. Here are a few simple reasons you need to shoot primes.

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On Photographing the Homeless – A Dialogue

Should we photograph the homeless

It’s my belief that the writer’s job is to ask questions.

The very best writers treat questions as if they were fledgling birds found dazed and disheveled at the base of a tree. The writer cups the question in his hands, whispers to it, warms it with his breath and releases it into the wind. He doesn’t direct it or tell it where to land. He only helps it to fly.

As the founder of CP, I spend a lot of time thinking about photography, cameras, and what it means to make pictures. Recently I’ve been craving some street photography, and it seems that my busy schedule may soon afford me an opportunity to do some street shooting, which is fantastic. I’m really looking forward to it.

But for more than a year now, a certain question has been gnawing at me that pertains to the craft and ethics of street shooting, and after a year of occasional rumination I’m no closer to a resolution. Specifically, the question involves photographing the downtrodden, impoverished and homeless among us.

So without judgement, condescension, or pretense, I’d like to air some thoughts on the topic and hear what our readers have to say. Maybe together we can work out what it means (if indeed it means anything) to photograph those less fortunate than ourselves, and whether or not we should do it in the first place.

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4 Reasons Why the Leica M2 is Better Than the M3

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The Leica M2 is just a simplified and cheapened version of the M3, right? Yeah, it’s a good camera, but if you’re going to buy a Leica M why not buy the best, why not buy the original? Right?

Well what if we told you that there are valid reasons for using an M2 over its legendary predecessor? What if we told you that, today, the M3 is actually the worse of the two classic rangefinders, and that anyone looking to buy an M3 would be better served shopping for an M2?

With clear understanding that we’ve already sent half of you running for your pitchforks, hear us out. Both cameras are amazing, and a case can be made for each, but we honestly think at this moment the M2 is best.

Here are four justifications for our heretical blaspheming.

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