The Leica File: Fourteen


A few years ago I completed a four-city tour documenting dogs and graffiti. This project started out harmless enough but then snowballed into a full on project. Featured here is an image from the New York portion of the project. All four of these books are available online, however, I’m actually in the process of editing all four books into ONE magazine piece which I will release in the coming weeks. This entire project was made with the Leica and Tmax 3200. Since the four city project I’ve also added pieces from Panama and Peru, which I will probably feature at a later date. Enjoy.

27 responses to “The Leica File: Fourteen”

  1. mike a says:

    Love the photo for many reasons but the grain just makes it sing.

  2. Jason Timmis says:

    Laughing away as I’m hearing you say ‘what shutter speeds you can handle’… that like when your mother said you couldn’t HANDLE the V8?….that it’s way too much car for you? šŸ˜‰

    (Yes FBJ, that’s a Starsky and Hutch reference not Stars Wars šŸ˜‰

    • Smogranch says:

      Truth? You can’t handle the truth. Yes, my mother still tells me I can’t handle most things in life. Even when I’m fighting a monster bass she is telling me what I could be doing better. It will never end.

  3. lionelB says:

    That set me hunting. Found it. David Moore (perhaps the greatest Australian photographer) was in Piccadilly Circus in 1955 when the light was fading. Rather than give up, he started panning slowly at 1/5 and f8. Most failed but an occasional lucky shot. He was on assignment. I hope his picture editor approved.

    It figures that things in the distance blur more but the way some patches stand out as static is still perplexing.

    Even rated at 800, I assume a pretty dense ND filter needed to get where you wanted to be.

  4. Mike says:

    Looking forward to the magazine, Daniel. I have a digi Leica languishing in a camera bag, while I and an MP go out on cycle rides. Leica cameras are expensive, but I use the mantra “what can be broken can be fixed”. The MP also comes with a five year warranty.
    Have you tried Ilford Delta 3200? Ilford supports b&w photography so I support Ilford.


    • Smogranch says:

      I’ve shot just about everything. I like the Ilford but the Kodak had far more grain, which was what I was after. The Ilford is also slower. Both of these films are nowhere close to the advertised rate, they were intended to be pushed. I’m not a fan of short term gear. Buy it now and six months later there is a new model. That is killing our planet.

    • “That is killing our planet.” Nah, the planet will be fine. Killing ourselves more like it. As George Carlin put it, when the planet gets tired of us it’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas! So true about short term gear. Unfortunately, planned obsolescence is the name of the game. Shooting last year’s camera? Fool! This year’s is much mo’ better. Well, until next year’s model comes out, at which time your current model magically transforms into a steaming pile, if the marketing hype is to be believed. Sigh.

      I think I have one roll of Tmax 3200 left. All good things…

    • Smogranch says:

      I love the “I could have never done this with the Zupperflex 2.0, but now with the 2.1 my life is so much better.” Then insert boring, overprocessed image that could have been done with Kodak DCS 520 in 1997.

  5. Mike says:

    Daniel, I have a feeling I’ll soon be selling the short term gear and staying with the MP – and film….. again.

    I love ‘Like the suburbs kind of progress’, it strikes a chord with me. I’m working on the theme.


  6. Mike says:

    Thinking about planned obsolescence, and the next big thing: no one does this better than toothpaste manufacturers. Really. I am continually amazed that I still have a few teeth left after doing without Nano Crystals with Whiter Whitening for so many years.
    Copy this sales model to camera manufacturing and it would be funny except for cameras not only being commodities, but also memory makers; little time-stoppers that make this history of our times: and the history of our times is in danger of being lost to the next big thing that unfortunately doesn’t support current hardware.


    • Smogranch says:

      Very little is being saved. Very, very little. There is no such thing as latest and greatest because there are two or three models ready for launch when something new is coming out. Consumerism over craft. For sure.

  7. Mike says:

    Daniel, I think that I should just bite the bullet and use it. I’m not sure if I like using film or just love using the film M.
    I’ve just received my first magazine from Blurb BookWright: it looks good. Blurb advertise that the printing when using BookWright will look very close to how it does on the computer screen; and it does. I’m impressed.

    Holding the magazine, produced from a totally digital workflow, does make me wonder if I’m just being nostalgic for film and rather ungrateful for what digital offers me i.e. high quality files that can be printed in either b&w or colour, adjustable ISO from photo to photo, being able to make books, prints etc. It really is amazing what is available to a photographer these days.
    I do hear what you say about relentless consumerism. I know ‘they’ want my money.

    Back to BookWright. I would love to see borders for photographs and the ability to place a photo across two pages. I’m sure they will come.

  8. Mike says:

    Thanks, Daniel, I’ll check BookWright out again. I’m not using InDesign to import into BookWright and when I checked help for borders I was informed that they are not available yet, but would be soon. Looking forward to your magazine!


    • Smogranch says:

      Ah, sorry, misread what you were looking for. Double page is doable, borders I do another way although I don’t use them much. Sorry about that.

    • lionelB says:


      I am guessing that adding a border to an image before upload will allow you to print full bleed with what looks like a border. Cheat the software.

    • Smogranch says:

      Oh ya, you can do that. YOu can also use InDesign and make WHATEVER suits your fancy. However, Bookwright allows you to make print and “E” at the same time, something I’m really enjoying.

  9. Reiner says:

    I shot all my last Tmax3200 in one big flow two years ago. Couldn’t resist. It was the best of them all. Still searching to get this look by other means and film, didn’t get even close. I’m satisfied with ilford’s D3200 processing by my Ilford lab – they got nicer grain in Ilford developer than my own workflow with Tmax developer- but oh how I miss the Kodak beauty.
    A nikon man for 23 years now, currently pushing my limits on a canonet 28 automatic rangefinder now. I love the handling of the little bugger (small,light,…) but ending at 1/30 and being forced onto the flash is mind blowing… especially when you’re getting into the flow. Maybe it’s time to get an M6/35 or M6/28 or MP/35 or MP/28 to experience “it”. Not sure how to fill in the “it”. Also I’m not sure the lady of the house will like the L prices. I’m shooting machines worth “zero” for years now you see.
    Thanks again for your very much appreciated online shared thoughts and views. Will look into your books/magazine offers.

    • Smogranch says:

      As someone just put it me, “Leica is now a company about people BUYING their gear but not a company of people USING their gear.” It’s carnival time with those prices, but hey, they have waiting lists.

  10. Mike says:

    Lionel, yes, cheat the software. I had one shot in my magazine that had light windows at the top of the frame so I thought of adding a border. Not a big problem – I like the magazines produced by BookWright. I was hoping for a ‘folded’ magazine with staples but received one with a square spine but again this is a small matter: the photographs looked good. Thanks for the tip.


  11. zeno watson says:

    Thank for some Leica File magic. I always enjoy hearing and seeing what you are up to and the stories behind a shot. Cheers Dan!

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