San Jacinto, Leica M Type 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
I don’t do landscapes
We’re driving back from dinner in Palm Springs. I’ve got my Leica M and the 50mm Noctilux with me. That’s it. Back at the hotel there’s my 35mm, which I already have up for sale on Craigslist. I don’t do landscapes.
Why? Because I don’t live in the PNW or take trips to Central America. I don’t hike or camp. Even if I did get a wide angle lens, it would be to shoot people indoors. Which I would love, but it’s going to be a while before I pony up another $8k for the 21mm. Because I’m only getting the very best lenses ever anymore, for the rest of my life. Really, I’d just assume shoot with my 85mm Zeiss on my Nikon and my Noctilux - which are remarkably similar, actually - for the rest of my life. And those are two pain-in-the-ass lenses, make no mistake. Because, again, I suck at focusing. Which would make landscapes a natural for me - being that I could just stop down and not give a damn. But I do give a damn. And I don’t do landscapes.
So, there we are, driving in Palm Springs, and suddenly the radio makes a sound like a fax machine and a flood warning comes on and it sounds like there’s some serious weather coming in. So, like a storm chaser, I head right for the eye of the storm - which never happened, of course - through pristine mid-century quaffedness to see how the San Jacinto Mountains look when disaster strikes.
They look like this. At least they do on a 50mm. Not too bad.
I at least had the foresight to shoot DNG files, as I knew I was going to want as much of those gradations as possible. And while a super wide would have been fun to have, truth is, I cropped in on the 50mm here anyway. It’s just how I see the world - in smaller increments. I don’t think in 90 degrees. Never have. Even my landscapes have a portrait mentality to them. In some ways, I’m doing portraits of palm trees here. And my header image is sort of a bird portrait, if you think about it.
It’s good to know who you are. It cuts down on your disappointment when you attempt to be something you’re not. I have no expectations on landscape shots. There are probably a million things wrong with this if you asked an expert. That’s okay. I don’t do landscapes.