I first started shooting Weddings on a 5D mkii which was many moons ago, I loved my 5D mkii and I still have it even though it has sat dormant on my desk for at least 6 years collecting dead skin cells or also known as dust....mmmm yummy!
That is the camera that introduced me to a full frame sensor & boy o boy when I used my sweet nifty fifty at 1.8 and it was super bokehlicious I thought I was the best photographer in the world but alas I was not! It is well used and was a really good work horse, I kinda feel bad that its basically been a paperweight all these years. The way it took photos was just a vibe (god that's a cringe word) it was nice and contrasty, didn't look too digital like the newer mirrorless cameras do, it just felt right. I've always shot completely manual on a wedding day and this camera really helped with that. Here are some snaps from the mkii:
I still do this pose to this day, I have love old photos where they are full straight faced. I think I called this pose at the time "The Hipster Towers", fun fact.
This is Mark. Mark doesn't like photos. This photo perfectly depicts Mark. I love this photo!
The 5Dmkiii's had entered my life! I used these cameras for 4 years pretty much every weekend and they never let me down, unless it was low light or you actually wanted to rely on the autofocus being accurate, I felt like 1 in 4 shots would be in focus, most would turn out really soft focus, it was probably passable as a decent image but I remember often culling photos and being like "ya kidding me" at all the photos I thought were sharp on the back of the camera but weren't when I actually got them into Lightroom. I also feel like my 35mm was to blame for back focusing rather than being in actual focus. I also have a love hate relationship with 35mm's, every. single. 35mm all started off good, I was in my magic land of unicorns and everyone using a 35mm and convincing myself its the best focal length BUT I went through 5, yes 5 35mm's from Sigma 35mm 1.4s to Canon 35mm 1.4 and they all had that soft focus, me no use 35mm's anymore! Anyway here is one of the retired 5D mkiii's that also sits on my desk as a paperweight:
This camera had seen some sh*t in its life, from red wine being poured all over it, dropped multiple times, been out in the pouring rain, surviving 45+ degree weather, it was an all round beast and I secretly think it had some sort of kink and thrived off being beaten up because this has taken over 300,000 photos which is double the shutters life expectancy and still going strong, but then again when you hold one of these it feels like you are holding a block of lead, they are that heavy, I feel like it almost has the strength of a Nokia 3310.
What also annoyed me about this camera was the RAW files looked nothing like my 5D mkii RAW's and I was forever trying to chase the vibe....Chase the vibe that sounds like what someone would say at Coachella 10 White Claws deep to a stranger who also is coincidentally "chasing the vibe"...Back on track, I feel like the mkiii lacked the personality my mkii had, to me the mkiii looked less contrasty and I couldn't recreate how my photos used to look, not the worst thing in the world because change is always good....Well not always but in some cases. Here are some of my fav snaps over the years with this camera:
The mkiii's also traveled the world with me, I took some of my favourite snaps with the mkiii's. They will forever hold a place in my heart, not a big place but a place because they helped me create memories and that's what photography is about right?
Here are some snaps from around the world with my mkiii's:
July 2020 came around and I was talking Cameras to my mate Kirk and he was talking about Canon R6's that just came out and my ears pricked up like a horses ear hearing a twig snap. I watched every YouTube that existed of them to see if I should make the leap into the unknown unicorn world of mirrorless cameras. I was sold, I bought 2 of them, when they arrived I felt like Rose in the titanic on that floating door and Jack was my 5D mkiii's, I left them for dead. I shot my first wedding with them a couple of weeks later and I was in absolute shock at how incredible the autofocus was, I changed the little star button on the back to eye tracking autofocus and the last time I had a similar feeling was playing age of empires and entering in the cheat "Big Daddy" to spawn in a car with a rocket launcher on it. I honestly felt like I was cheating, it was so accurate and no joke almost every picture I took was sharp sharp, the low light performance was just unreal as well. With IBIS I could easily hand held shutter speeds like 1/4 (which actually isn't a quarter of a second its 4 tenths of a second). With these super powers it meant I would never use a flash at a reception again, not that I ever did BUT there was on occasion the reception was super dark and the ole bounce flash had to come out (I'm not a massive fan of flash, it never really looks natural in a wedding reception regardless of how good you are with a flash, that's just my opinion).
2 years have gone past and over 100 weddings/engagements shot with the R6 and its safe to say I feel like I've used the camera enough to want to try something different. What sparked this curiosity you may be asking yourself? Well buckle up kiddo! With how good the R6's are I feel like everyone uses them or a Sony a7***(insert Sony numbers there) and everyone's photos kinda all look the same in some way, yes peoples styles are different but the raw files are very similar, from that you can put your preset on the image and make it look the way you want but they still have this "mirrorless look" to them, I feel like I can tell its shot with a Canon or Sony, the focus fall off looks a bit digital and less real life like, not all the time but sometimes its super obvious. Don't get me wrong, these cameras are amazing but I feel the need to chase for something different! Here are some of my fav snaps from the last 2 years with the R6:
July 2022 has came around and so had my feeling of change, I started deep diving into Leicas and the history of Leica, how and why they are such a prestigious optical business. I was sold! Luckily there was someone local to me selling an almost new Leica M10 so we exchanged deets and I picked it up.
Look at it! It's simple and timeless design is just....simply timeless. What I love about the Leica M10 is that it doesn't have all the fancy eye tracking, autofocus, Electronic View Finder, its just you, the camera and the triangle of light; Shutter speed, ISO & aperture. I love that this is completely manual focus, it has limitations and that sparks creativity. The photos that come out of a Leica is like nothing else, there is a reason they are one of the most renowned brand in the industry. I feel like I really think about composition more, I love using the range finder, its rewarding, using a mirrorless camera was starting to feel lifeless to me, it was just too easy with a mirrorless camera and this, this has just beamed light right into my creative beard and I cannot wait for this new journey with Leica to begin.
I also cannot wait to carry something lighter around with me all day, look at the size difference between the lenses:
If you have made it this far I want to thank you! I have kept aside a beard hair for you.