Lizard Leather For the Leica M3

Baby’s got a whole new bag…in a fashion. The black lizard skin arrived from Camera Leather, and it quickly made its way onto the Leica M3.  The process itself was quite simple. The leather has adhesive and is perfectly pre-cut for your specific camera. While there are a few minor imperfections on how I applied the pieces, I would be nit-picking to complain in any way – this kit was perfect. Taking photos of the leather also proved to be tricky, but I was not going to take out the softbox to make sure I got the texture right. If the leather looks off, then that is more my lighting than its actual texture. Unfortunately, I ordered a piece of leather at 1.5″ by 5″, and that came to me in cm. Might have been my mistake, might have been theirs. Sadly, I will just have to put in another order before I can recover the Elmarit lens base with leather.

I also procured a B+W UV filter for the 50mm Summicron lens. Given that it was in pristine condition, I felt that I should at least try to protect it despite the outrageous cost of a 39mm filter. The sales associate at Downtown Camera joked that “I always keep one of these in stock; only you Leica guys would ever pay this much for a filter though.”  Hmmm, I gave no response. At $84 I just had to accept the price.

The feel of the lizard will be really unique, but I do think that it will take some use for it to develop a luxurious patina. I am glad that I did not go for a more outlandish colour; it would have been fun for a few weeks before the regret set in. In total, I have spent about $200 getting the Leica ready for business, and I do have a soft release button coming from Seattle that has a dragon engraved on the concave brass. I am looking forward to seeing the first roll of images. I am using a roll of 36 exposure Kodak Portra 160NC, and being on Prince Edward Island helped get closer to the end of the roll.

The grieving process is a strange experience. I have been home for a day now, and I am totally spent from the funeral on Prince Edward Island; I am also considering just exactly what is important to me. The concept of this blog was to seek out what is wonderful out in the world while I can, but going back to the island forced me to question whether I really understood just how meaningful that idea is. Winter is a tough time – no sun, cold air, and not a patio to be seen for 1876 miles – but I still need to make sure that I am taking in as much as I am able.

On Sunday, I get back to business with a photo session for my old friend Katie Sawatsky and her partners in crime. They are working on a fashion blog concept for Toronto that sounds really edgy and cool; none of which I can reveal at the moment. It will be one of those “how much gear can I reasonably carry on the TTC?”  moments. I haven’t really done any fashion work per se, so this should be an interesting session. The models are not going to be from an agency, which is probably for the best. I am thinking to shoot the Canon with my Hasselblad lens set, the Hasselblad with black and white film, and the Leica with the Portra. One never knows where the next door might lead to…if I only had a moustache and some yellow shooting glasses, then I might be a real fashion photographer.

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