Shooting at Sope Creek


A couple of weeks ago I did a shooting with Chandler at Sope Creek which offers a lot of rocks and ruins. The shooting was quite interesting, both from a technical setup as well as location point of view – here are some details. Also make sure to check out Ken Gray’s shots from the shooting.  

It is quite interesting how looking at those pictures right now while finalizing the post brings back the atmosphere of that day. It was one of those few days in March that were surprisingly warm after several days of rain and cold. Right around the time of this shooting there was also a lot of noise about the new Leica M and how it trashes the M9. What still puzzles me in all these discussions is this general perception or belief, that the moment a newer and better camera is released, it immediately renders the old one incapable of delivering high quality pictures although it did just a day ago – I will come back to this hopefully sometime in the near future in a separate post. So I brought my M9P with a 35mm Summicron along to complement my OM-D with the 75mm beast and to show that the M9 can (still) deliver – usually I use it almost exclusively for street and urban photography. Now you might think, that there is quite a gap in focal length between 150mm and 35mm but I disagree. I had a pretty good idea beforehand of what I wanted to shoot. The OM-D for everything tight and close up and the Leica for wider shots where the model takes up only a small fraction in the frame. At the moment the 75mm on the OM-D is my go-to lens for most of my fashion/editorial/portrait work. I am in love with the 4:3 aspect ratio, especially in portrait orientation. It is a bit more rectangle-like and for 3/4 lengths shots I can easily include some of the surroundings. The Leica with 35mm is a completely different camera: first of all it is a rangefinder and as such shooting with it is slower and everything is manual. You really have to work it hard to get what you want. Every photo taken feels like some real work done. You really need to think about your shots. In consequence you get a completely different type of photo. More constructed, slower, less spontaneous (which can be good and bad).

The setup. High key shots in late afternoon light on a slightly overcast day in early March. The overcast day allowed me to shoot bare camera which was quite helpful given that I shot at a 150mm equivalent, i.e., too far away for an on-cameara fill and the terrain was inaccessible enough (water and huge rocks) to make it impossible to setup lights.

The location. We shot at Sope Creek.


Camera: Olympus OM-D
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 200
Lens: Olympus 75mm f/1.8

Camera: Leica M9P
Exposure: f/2, 1/250, ISO 160
Lens: Leica Summicron 35mm

Lighting. Natural light only. Spot metered the face and added about +0.3 to +0.7 EV. White balance set to keep natural skin color (easily done in post processing when shooting RAW).

The shots.




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7 thoughts on “Shooting at Sope Creek

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