It Was Forbidden

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Hotel Axelmannstein, Bad Reichenhall

For sure, Germany doesn’t suffer from a scarcity of “Es ist verboten/It is forbidden” signs. Reassuring to see that even these decay, loose their strictness and their statement, and nothing remains than an empty frame.


  1. I would add: and this is good! Even more reassuring it would be when this inflation of orders cut be cut back again. Sometimes I have the feeling that even the most self-understanding rules have to be backed up by explicit orders, otherwise responsability could wander from the wrong-doer to the not-forbidder. And we still do not have that super-abundance of lawyers encouraging people to sue everybody for everything. Alas, their numbers are growing…

  2. I really like this. You seem to be getting along well with your new little camera. It’s funny how quickly we can adapt to something new, when it’s the right something…

    1. Carl, I never wanted to acknowledge that a different camera could effect so much – I’d like to see it as a tool for the eye, not much more. I hope there is a difference between the gearheaded lust for something new and the acquisition of a completely different camera…
      The other really interesting camera (system) for me would be m4/3, the way you went. Two things stopped me to follow that path: A camera body with the 20mm lens, and this is the only somewhat pocketable combination, will cost 3 times as much as the LX3. And even with only a small lens lineup covering focal lengths from 24mme to 60mme, not only the price, but also volume and weight again go into the direction of a DSLR setup. It would mean a system change. And as I am not selling any prints but creating pictures just for myself, the better image quality of m4/3 can’t balance the additional cash to be shelled out. But I am still tempted.

  3. How are you adapting to the LCD? I find that I can’t.

    I didn’t expect to, but really worked hard at learning. Adjusted the neck strap until it could work as a brace when the camera was extended to optimum focus distance for the bottom of my bifocals, but it’s still ridiculously unsteady compared to the classic “Leica gesture” of the small camera held to your face.

    It’s not only that. With that gesture, you can spend almost no time looking through the camera, always looking at your subject matter directly with the camera held at the ready, only raising the camera for a moment to focus and shoot when something happens. This just isn’t possible if you are trying to look at a 3″ TV screen held 18″ in front of you. Maybe younger eyes can refocus faster than mine, but moving my attention from the actual world to that little TV screen and back again is a wrenching change of perspective, while using the Leica gesture, even with a crummy EVF viewfinder like the GF1’s (early Leica viewfinders were really crummy, too, and people made some pretty good stuff with them anyway) is fluid and fast and successful. When the game is afoot, I might switch between looking at the world and making a potential framing a dozen times in as many seconds. The whole style of work is impossible with an LCD. I’ve figured out that the LCD can be useful to get the camera into weird positions my head won’t reach, but that’s about all I ever use it for.

  4. I agree that using the LCD is not always such a pleasure – now that we have good sunlight once again, it can be really a pain to see what you are capturing. (During winter the LCD works rather well.) And as my “age sight” is getting on, looking both close and far isn’t so easy either.

    But on the other hand, I usually don’t look at precise details when taking a photograph – the big features are what I’m composing with.

  5. Carl, Juhaa: Using the screen instead of the viewfinder certainly is uncomfortable and and in some situations less successful than a real camera finder, as I also head to experience during the maypole festivities yesterday. For a certain type of landscape photography like the image above it works very well, and it also makes you less visible in a crowd – you become the typical tourist, not the conspicious photographer. But eyesight (I also wear bifocals, but not strong enough to reasonably see the display – the strong ones caused migraine) is a problem, I constantly peer under the lower rim of my glasses, and on the necessary distance I see more contours than details. But for many of the quieter images I don’t see this does not have to be a disadvantage, it is more like a thumbnail view on the computer, or a blurred view, that works out relationships of areas or strong linear elements.

    What works well – and what I do like – is composing square images, something I could not achieve in the DSLR viewfinder up to now, that mental switch simply didn’t work. While I don’t hesitate to crop an image afterwards – not up to the ‘cropinosis’ David Vestal mourns about – composing in 3:2 for 1:1 simply was not possible. Here I see the native 1:1 mode of the LX3 as a valuable training instrument.

    For the other images, the DSLR remains the tool of choice. I will continue to use it, the LX3 is much more a complement than in any way a replacement.

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