Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mike Selsky - Leica Photographer, Winner of LA X-Vario Challenge

Image Source: http://blog.leica-camera.com/photographers/interviews/mike-selsky-hunting-for-the-strange-and-obscure-in-los-angeles/

I like to read the Leica camera blog, where they regularly feature interviews with other Leica photographers. I like to see what I have in common with others, as well as our differences. The latest is an interview with Mike Selsky, fine art photographer in Los Angeles. Mike recently won the Leica X-Vario City Challenge there, which earned him a free X-Vario.

(Click Here) to read about Mike's approach to photography and his interests.

Mike's regular camera choices are a Leica M6 TTL film rangefinder, and Monochrom, Leica's black and white-only digital rangefinder. His lens of choice is the 50mm Summilux Aspheric (f1.4). This is similar to my favorite rangefinders, the M6 TTL (titanium version, in my case) with matching Summilux 50mm, and the Leica M9 (which allows me to shoot both black and white and color).

Mike seems to be a wanderer, saying:

"I enjoy exploring California with a friend, planning road trips with vague photographic goals in mind."

We also have that in common.

Mike makes images that ask more questions than providing answers. Mystery is important in his style of photography. I find it a challenge to make the questions engaging enough to draw the viewer in. You don't want a response that just says "I don't know what that is." or "Why did you take a picture of that?" Sometimes, it's better to elicit "What am I looking at here?" or "How did you make X look like that?"

One final thing Mike and I have in common: we both value the effort that goes into making a great image. For me, an image is much more valuable to me personally if I know that it was a difficult one to capture. Mike says:

"My favorite images are the ones that took the most effort to make."

Mike seems to be enjoying the new X-Vario that he won in the challenge. Congratulations to Mike. I look forward to seeing more of his work.

(Click Here) to visit Mike's blog, 2WK.

One additional note. Mike mentions that with the Monochrom, he exposes for the highlights, and brings lots of detail out of the shadows in post-processing. A quick look at his blog indicates that he underexposes a lot with that camera. A little too much for my taste. I think he needs to bring up the shadows quite a bit more in many cases. Just a little critical thought on his work.