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Duane Pandorf

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The main reason why I photograph with a Leica camera:

“I want simplification, not amplification or complication…I just want light controls … because photography is about light.” – Thorsten Overgaard

“A camera that gives me the joy of ownership and the joy of shooting is much more important than one with the highest number of megapixels or highest ISO performance.” – Yukio Uchida

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” ― Ansel Adams

“You just have to live and life will give you pictures.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

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“Diana” is the statue that rests atop the hill that overlooks the Biltmore Estate. For some reason I’ve never thought to stand behind her and shoot with the “castle” in the background. Yesterday the sun was shining with nary a cloud in the sky. Of course for the photographer, this is the worst time of day to be out shooting “landscape” photos but I knew that this would make an OK black and white.

The challenge was getting the shot without any people and the exposure correct. My camera can be a real challenge in bright daylight. The camera’s sensor doesn’t have any issues its just you can’t see anything on the LCD in bright daylight when wanting to review what you’ve shot. I’m not trying to make any excuses but my camera is 7 year old technology as its based off the Leica M9 which was introduced almost 6 years ago. That means the LCD is at least that old.

I also shoot RAW+JPG where the JPG file is set to Black & White. In this way when I do view the image’s histogram I have the review set to also see whether the highlights have been blown or the shadows too dark. What I’ve learned over the last two and half years is I can recover quite a bit of detail out of the shadows and I shoot to protect the highlights if I want to see detail there.

I the photograph above I was able make this one after the third shot by adjusting the shutter in 1/2 stops to ensure I could get detail in the highlights and yet keep a smooth transition from the shadow areas and see detail in Diana too.

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