It would not be unreasonable to suggest that New York has been photographed more times with more Leicas than any other city in the world, with the possible exception of Paris. So when I decided to venture into the city back in the late spring with a Leica in my bag, it was not exactly an original plan. Adding my work to the enormous pile of photos taken in the streets of New York seems superfluous and self-indulgent, but I’m doing it anyway. Why? Because I can.
My chosen implement for this unnecessary little expedition was one of my Leica IIIcs wearing its matching Summitar, both dating from 1949, topped with a modern Voigtländer brightline viewfinder and loaded with Ilford HP5+. In the short time I’ve had the Leicas I’ve become quite fond of them as working tools. They fit me well, and I find them very intuitive cameras; the supposed inconveniences of bottom loading and knob wind are really not issues at all once you have a little practice.
It was a bright and sunny day, one of the first fairly warm ones after a long, cold winter. I was aiming to capture the emergence of New Yorkers from their winter dens, crawling out into the intense light, blinking and squinting as if they’d never seen the sun quite that high in the sky before and wondering what it meant. Adaptive creatures that they are, it didn’t take them long to adjust.
As usual, click any image to begin a slideshow.