Leica Akademie

 By: descartes1 : December 2nd, 2019-14:54
I was lucky to spend a day at Leica Akademie several weeks ago. A very worthwhile experience if you get the chance. Here are some photos I took.

Great shots! Which Leica did you use? [nt]

 By: amanico : December 2nd, 2019-14:58
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Thanks. These are taken with the Q2.

 By: descartes1 : December 2nd, 2019-15:01
The lens is extraordinary, which is what you’d expect from a Summilux. Somehow it has a quality that makes the images look better than in real life.

Thanks, my friend. [nt]

 By: amanico : December 2nd, 2019-17:15
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Wonderful pictures.

 By: roger.goodgion : December 9th, 2019-17:27
I especially like the boy fishing. I too have a Q2. Love it.
I just need practice getting the kids I photograph to stay still ( mine is 9 and her friends and her run around).

The question often comes up: Does a photo workshop bring any value?

 By: cshimokita : December 2nd, 2019-17:06

after all...
Nothing new was presented
Too much time was spent doing XXXX
and the instructor was a dork...

At the core, photography is a simple process and
everyone who engages comes away with something...

Most workshops follow a pattern... meet everyone, 
listen to some stuff from the instructor(s), take some photos, 
post process the photos, hold feedback sessions...

... usually the best is reserved for the group feedback sessions and it's surprising
 how valuable both "receiving -and- giving" face-to-face feedback can be.

In my experience the instructor makes a difference and sometimes
a well known "master class instructor" is a very weak facilitator
plus one can and often does learn from the other attendees.
In my observation online workshops often come up being too detached.

Of the 15 or so attendees & instructors at a photo workshop I took eight years ago 
I remain in contact with six, a couple on a weekly basis... so, +1 for workshops.


All valid points

 By: descartes1 : December 2nd, 2019-17:22
In this case, it was a Q2 specific course and I wanted to learn about the functionality (especially the more technical functions) of my new Q (having come from a Nikon system which has a very different user interface).

I’m sure I would eventually learn many of these things through trial and error, but this was just very efficient and worth the cost because of the time it saved me. Also, the Leica user guide is really bad, so having a demonstration live of certain features was a great way to become familiar. Indeed, there are some helpful “hacks” I learned that are not mentioned in the guide.

Finally, if you look at the photo of the gentleman I took (who was the instructor) this shading is a technique I was working on with him. It takes some technical skill to take that kind of photo in a “street” environment, so I really enjoyed working on that.

Nice portrait of your instructor...

 By: cshimokita : December 2nd, 2019-18:23
One online course I can recommend is "Strobist: Lighting 101"... it's a free online course with exercises. While the focus is on flash lighting, there are some good tips on lighting in general... plus it demystifies the use of flash / non-natural light photography. The Leica Akademie has a good rep as useful sessions... Casey


 By: Jurry : December 3rd, 2019-00:09

May I ask what the big difference is between Nikon and your Q series?

The controls, menu and function keys are just set up differently, particularly when it comes to metering

 By: descartes1 : December 3rd, 2019-04:04
I have shot a Leica M film camera for many years but that is of course totally different. For digital, I have been exclusively Nikon, which I find to be very user friendly and intuitive. I simply had to learn my way around the Leica controls, which were initially a bit different, but now I really like the interface. TheRe is also Leica Photos App to learn which has remote capabilities and many other features, but also many software glitches which is a known problem.

Interesting view

 By: Jurry : December 3rd, 2019-00:07

Your view on the matter is interesting yet probably spot on.

In a few weeks from now I will attend one of the Nikon Academy workshops and am curious at how it will be, what I will learn and if it’s worthwhile or not

Good insight Casey 👍 [nt]

 By: Cpt Scarlet : December 3rd, 2019-01:28
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Hehe :-) (nt)

 By: Echi : December 3rd, 2019-18:45

Great insight, Casey. It's always a challenge to break this workshop cycle/pattern..

 By: Echi : December 3rd, 2019-19:36
I'm quite picky conducting workshops simply because it's not easy to give a Leica audience (critical bastards especially when it's about the M.. kinda like us over here :p) something really positive to walk away with after a day's session.

To give you an idea, I only conduct one or 2 a year with the boutique. And usually specialized ones. It takes months to create a module and just like our reasons for photographing, the raison d étre for a module should come from a place where you have something to say. And the guiding principle here is one I carry with me from corporate.. to not waste people's time.

Also, most instructors rely too much on a template and forget the needs of the day. With an M workshop, I would deviate a bit and help the boutique sell their wares by injecting my personal experiences with particular lenses for example.. this is very helpful especially with newbies.. kinda like a new watch collector asking what he or she should start with.. And then the boutique template needs to be challenged as well. Not all workshops lend itself to shooting and critique for example. I tried to nego this out as it's a proven time waster (you're not going to be a Bresson and come back an hour later with a smashing street photo.. inside a freakin' mall) but i don't always win. In fact, i think never hahaha! If it were a landscape workshop on location, I'd understand. But for a half day session, I'd rather spend that extra time looking at an attendee's portfolio if he or she brought a few snaps.

Then one needs to go the extra mile to ensure that you're able to carry your message across. In a Monochrom master class that I conducted, I lugged 10 framed exhibition prints so that the audience can see for themselves how various M cameras handle BW. It's not enough to project these things on screen, I think they have to see how it translates to print.. make them figure out for themselves if the dynamic range translates in a comparable manner digitally on screen versus paper.

So how should one approach a Leica Akademie class? With very low expectations regardless of instructor especially if it's a half day one.

1) Make sure you bring your own set of questions, ideas, or prints/images that an instructor or the class can tackle as a group or individually so that your specific need is at least addressed.

2) Enjoy the company. The Leica audience is a very interesting one. In as much as photography can be an introverted pursuit, try to come out of your shell and connect. It's not as difficult as it seems. And there are lots of learnings to be had from these rich and varied backgrounds. Just like good watch GTGs, lifelong friendships can be forged.

3) Workshops are like panning for gold and it can come from an unexpected module slide. It's not going to be a buffet of inspiration so leave all bias by the door, keep an open mind, listen, and you might just end up with a nugget or two.

At the very least, there will be coffee smile

If you made it this far, thanks for going through my spiel as I wanted to reinforce what our Mod said about workshops.

My prints for my Monochrom class which I titled as "Color Blind"

My 2018 class

Echi... given the chance, I would enjoy one of your Leica workshops...

 By: cshimokita : December 4th, 2019-07:11

... knowing the time and effort you put into the planning and preparation, to say nothing of the time behind the lens to back up the words.  The workshop I participated in eight years ago was sponsored by Leica... specifically the Tokyo Ginza Boutique where we held our final wrap-up session... it was a three day event.

Thanks for including photos from your workshops / exhibitions... nice to see some of your b&w enlargements... btw, you're hard to miss in that group photo, front and center with your Steve Jobs-ish black t-shirt ; )

Thanks for jumping in with some very detailed real world experience...


Thanks, Casey. I'd probably have you co-host a workshop instead :-) (nt)

 By: Echi : December 4th, 2019-18:33

Count me in. I've never been to one. Looks like fun! [nt]

 By: fernando : December 5th, 2019-18:58
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Good fun definitely. You never know! (Nt)

 By: Echi : December 7th, 2019-00:01

Very good

 By: Quan : December 5th, 2019-20:46
WS topic you share in the class, not that many good "instructor" especially on M (in this region) and furthermore compare BW from each of them.

Thanks! (Nt)

 By: Echi : December 6th, 2019-23:59

A couple years

 By: Quan : December 5th, 2019-20:41
when I decided to take up photography again with a big switch to RF, I did considering taking up a workshop by a famous blogger, end of the day I did not take part due to extreme costly and timing not right.
From participants of that WS, I heard that not much the instructor can do/show in our chaotic city, don't get me wrong, I do learnt a lot from his writing and I just practice and practice while seeks input from friends or more senior users of RF (not necessary older). Read and see lots of inspiring photos from various forum. My personal experience is that keep on shooting and seek sharing from friends is good enough. We need to know our gears and how to maximise it. This is just for me may be not true and work for others
Cheers and HAGWE

100% agree. And you seem to be on a good path judging from your posts :-) (nt)

 By: Echi : December 6th, 2019-23:58

Thank you Echi [nt]

 By: Quan : December 9th, 2019-00:43
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Really lovely photos...

 By: cshimokita : December 2nd, 2019-17:07
Time well spent and looks like it was fun as well....  Casey

thanks for sharing your Leica Akademie experience through the beautiful photos!

 By: terbaboom : December 2nd, 2019-17:42
i've been thinking about attending their workshop and your photos are motivating me to do so.

Why not do It? [nt]

 By: descartes1 : December 3rd, 2019-04:07
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Thanks for the encouragement about the Leica workshop experience.

 By: orahu : December 2nd, 2019-17:53
I plan to stop by the local Leica Boutique tomorrow and I will inquire about workshops. Good idea!

Good luck and enjoy [nt]

 By: descartes1 : December 3rd, 2019-04:07
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Closing the loop...

 By: orahu : December 3rd, 2019-18:23
I signed up for a workshop in February. Thanks again for the idea!

Beautifully captured

 By: W72 : December 2nd, 2019-23:32
I guess there’s some truth to the ‘Leica look’ from your selection. The Q is a lovely camera and with your good eyes yields beautiful pictures seen here.
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