"Måla med ljus - Les Grands Moments"
The first Leica M-camera was introduced in 1954 and the first models M3 and M2 soon became the primary tool for legendary photographers who also gave the camera it's nickname Das Werkzeug which is German for The Tool.
A Leica M is a tool that requires it's photographer. To put the camera in automatic mode and hope that the picture will be good is a little bit risky and will certainly give you photos that are unusable. To make good use a Leica M you first have to understand the relationship between aperture and shutter speed and know how to read the light.
There's a certain amount of mythos surrounding the Leica M. And that is not surprising since the hand-made German rangefinder camera has been the first hand choice of many legendary documentary photographers. Many famous photographies has been taken with a Leica. That's because a Leica is a excellent tool that can deliver photographs of the highest class in the hands of the right photographer. Even if a brand new Leica M is quite expensive tool today it still a tool for professionals since it demands expertise and knowledge of a keen photographer to master it.
Previously I have been working with big and bulky professional cameras from Canon and Nikon, they are also excellent tools for professional photographers. But no other camera says that I'm serious about photography like a Leica. But I didn't choose Leica because of it's mythos. I choosed it because I prefer to work with rangefinder cameras. And I also prefer cameras with a minimalistic feel that are not filled with buttons, levers and knobs that confuses me.
I have used my good old Leica M8 on many assignments, in desert conditions in Egypt, festivals with high humidity and at high risk demonstrations. I have used it as my every day camera in winter conditions and in summertime at the beach. The good old Leica always delivers good images and I know that I always can count on it. Even if there's never models around I prefer my M8 and I will make good use of it as long as it last.
Last but not least, remember that a camera is only a tool, it's your ability to see and catch the fast moving moments of times that matters. You can even use a cell-phone or a hefty Canikon for that purpose, but according to me it's far more fun to catch the moments with a good old range-finder camera.
Text and Photo: Mikael Good
Maria and Ismael belong to the romani minority in Romania. They have 12 children and many grandchildren. They have a little house in a village outside the town Bacau in the eastern part of Romania. Their oldest children have since long married and moved out from the house and the youngest ones are teenagers and can take care of them self.
Therefore decided Maria and Ismael to go to Sweden with the hope of getting a job. Even if Maria and Ismael are 53 and 61 years old they are quite fit for their age and has experience from working in both factory and agriculture. But they didn't find work and as so many other romanian romanis they ended up as beggars on the streets of Sweden.
They use a small amount of the money that they get to pay for their own expenses but they send home most of the money to their children and grandchildren in Romania. Maria and Ismael dream of being able to buy a larger house for their family in Romania, a house where they, their children and grandchildren can live and prosper together.
Text and Photo: Mikael Good
Roma are the largest and most discriminated minority in Europe. Their level of education is lower than other Europeans. Their health is poorer, their unemployment rate is higher and their life expectancy are shorter than for other Europeans. The history of Roma in Europe is dark and through the ages they have been subjected to racial hatred and outright extermination.
The last two years Sweden and other rich countries in northern Europe has been subjected for a desperate migration from extremely poor Roma people from Bulgaria and Romania. They have no other solution than to go to Sweden hoping to find a work and get money to pay their debts and feed their hungry children. Within the European Union it's allowed for the citizens to stay up to 3 months in another EU country without work and up to 6 months if you have a work.
Although Roma people has been subjected to persecution and oppression for generations in Europe, they are a happy people as you can see in the slide-show. Despite all the difficulties they have been through, they are always close to a good laugh. Joy and music welds them together and it has become a way for them to escape from all the hatred and oppression that they are constantly subjected to.
The Roma mothers and fathers in the pictures came to Sweden with the hope of getting work. Most of them did not find work, and they had to beg on the streets to raise money for themselves and their children back in Romania. I didn't want to photograph them in the vulnerable position when they were begging on the streets. I decided to meet them in their camp. I wanted to get to know them and build relations with them in order to photograph them at their own terms. Therefore I have spent much time getting to know them at the place were they have set up their camp in Huskvarna. If possible I shall visit them in their villages in Romania and meet them and their children and grandchildren in their own environment.
The song in the slide-show is a traditional Gypsy song from Romania which is played by the Roma master musicians Catalin Vlad (guitar) and Stefanica Gheorghe (chello). The photos in the Slide Show has been taken by the Swedish Photojournalist and Social Reporter Mikael Good from Sweden and he has used a Leica M rangefinder camera for many of the pictures.
I Believe A Change Is Gonna Come - Opre Roma!
Text and Photo: Mikael Good
Ps: The daughter to one of my all time favorite documentary photographers saw the slide-show and she liked it! :)
Leica Camera AG shall soon release a budget prized camera with interchangeable lenses according to a very reliable source at the company. Leica has not given an exact date for the release of the new camera but many assume that it will be presented by Leica at a special event in Berlin on April 24. It shall be interesting to see if the new camera can challenge my good old Leica M8.
I like shooting concerts with a rangefinder camera with a 20 or 50mm lens. A rangefinder camera gives me the opportunity to capture the picture in exactly the right moment. I will work on more concerts in this spring and summer. Working on concerts is a nice way to discover new music. A band that I discovered last year was Benesser who have made a really good album. Benesser is also a very good live band.
Click the following link if you want to see the whole set:
Text and Photo: © Mikael Good, All Rights Reserved
Det här är inte en kamera som har hängt som ett fint smycke runt en hipsters smala nacke. Det här är en kamera som har använts flitigt under hela sin 50 årliga levnad. Trots sitt slitna och härjade yttre levererar den fortfarande riktigt bra bilder. Optiken är ett Jupiter 35 mm F 2.8. Ett objektiv som satt på många av de ledande ryska dokumentärfotografernas kameror innan de fick råd med tyskt glas i början av 2000-talet. Objektivet är fortfarande full användbart och jag har använt det på både analoga och digitala Leicor med gott resultat. Bilden nedan är tagen med en digital Leica och ett Jupiter 35 mm F 2.8. Objektivet är trots sin ålder fullt användbart även för kräsna fotografer som mig!
Text och foto © Mikael Good, All Rights Reserved