Leica is a treasured and storied name in photography, having an illustrious past and a following akin to religious fanatical or Apple fans. I made it over a decade in photography without holding a single Leica camera in my hands. During this trip to Moab I had the privilege of shooting a Leica M8 Mark II which was a loan arranged by Guy Mancuso compliments of Leica itself. Let’s be clear: my usual shooting kit consists of gear totaling around $60,000, so I am no stranger to high-end gear, but shooting the M8 still felt like I was stealing breath from the devil. The prestige and aura surrounding the name “Leica” would be difficult for any non-photographer to understand.
The ergonomics, functionality, feel, pure joy of shooting this camera was truly amazing. However, once I opened the files I felt instantly disappointed. Being used to the unparalleled image quality produced by a Phase One Digital Back I am extremely spoiled. The two camera systems are not in the same price league ($4k street vs. $40k street), nor are they in the same league quality wise.
Still I loved losing my Leica virginity and look forward to the private indoctrination ceremony whereby masked Leicaphiles brand you with a Red dot (the Leica trademark). Here are some of the images I took from around of only four natural double-arches in the world (where one arch ends with the beginning of another arch).
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