Home Events Busy times at Macfilos: News, features. product testing

Busy times at Macfilos: News, features. product testing

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David Suchet launches his new book at the Leica Gallery (image Tony Cole)

The past month has been a very busy time here at Macfilos. It’s been, as they say, a blast. I’ve enjoyed writing about the things that interest me, from the visit of the Leica Society to the Duke Street showroom and gallery. To the veteran car show to the David Suchet Book launch; to the rather stunning breakfast introduction of the Leica SL2 on Wednesday.

I even found time to pay a retrospective visit to Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie thirty years after the Wall came down. In retrospect, it feels like I’ve been constantly on the go. And, come to think of it, I have.

I’ve been so busy over the past week in particular that it felt very much like being back at work, rushing to events, making adjustments to articles on the train and staggering back to the office to put the finishing touches to news stories.

Breakfast at Selfridges with the SL2 and 50mm Summilux and a croissant at f/1.4. The pastry tasted as good as it looks (Mike Evans)
Breakfast at Selfridges with the SL2 and 50mm Summilux and an innocent croissant at f/1.4. The pastry tasted as good as it looks (Mike Evans)

Bubbling on in the background, as always, is the work I do on articles submitted by contributors. Putting together Jonathan Slack’s in-depth review of the SL2 took four or five hours, for instance.

Checkpoint Charlie after 30 years, a rather tawdry tourist “attraction”. (Mike Evans, Leica M10-D and 28mm f/5.6 Summaron)

In this case, it was my own fault in failing to resize all those excellent images for upload and this caused me to miss the Wednesday deadline. When I tried to post the article it just wouldn’t work and I had to go through the pictures one by one until I found the one that was just slightly over the 2MB limit. Midway through all this frustration came an email from contributor Dave Seargeant: Why had I not published the Jono Slack article. So at least someone noticed.

David Suchet launches his new book at the Leica Gallery (image Tony Cole)
David Suchet launches his new book at the Leica Gallery (image Tony Cole)

Fortunately, we are now getting a steady stream of contributions and some, unfortunately, have been sitting in the ready-to-publish file for far longer than I would like. Please have patience.

This afternoon David Bailey will be treating us to a glimpse of Devon and Cornwall in the rain, through the lenses of his Fuji cameras, accompanied by a historical narrative featuring the seafaring Grenville family. Perhaps the best-known scion of that family is Sir Richard Grenville of “The Revenge”, immortalised in Tennyson’s epic poem. You can find out more later today.

The Blue Cottage -- Devon and Cornwall and the Grenville family (Image David Bailey)
The Blue Cottage — Devon and Cornwall and the Grenville family (Image David Bailey)

Coming up we have another Bailey epic recounting his Fuji-orientated visit to Alcatraz, a stunning project article by Dan Bachmann and a romp through Lisbon with John Shingleton. Jean Perenet will treat us on another of his tours of Slovenia with his little Ricoh compacts while Richard Scott will transport us to Japan through the lens of Leica’s first rangefinder digital camera, the M8.

In the pipeline, too, is a stunning article by my friend and fellow Leica Society member Tom Lane featuring some of his aerial photography in Yosemite, the US Mid-West and London. I’ve long been an admirer of Tom’s unique photographic approach and, finally, I’ve persuaded him to write for Macfilos.

Thomas Berger testing the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 lens on his Leica SL
Thomas Berger testing the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 lens on his Leica SL

Sooner, rather than later, we will be publishing another review of the SL2 from the experiences of a German professional photographer, Thomas Berger. Thomas has written for Macfilos before — notably his review of the 45mm Sigma f/2.8 L lens. This time he is drawing on his experiences as a beta tester on behalf of the Leica forum. As an article, it complement’s Jono’s in-depth review nicely and adds a little more praise to a camera that has been almost universally praised.

With all this going on, it’s a wonder I have time to write stuff myself, but do I intend to plod on. I try to get out to as many interesting events as possible, although, admittedly, the past four or five weeks have been the busiest I’ve experienced in over ten years of running Macfilos.

Why do I do all this when there is no tangible reward. Well, perhaps first and foremost, I do it for the social aspect of meeting and making friends with like-minded photographers all over the world. Where else would I have met such an eclectic mix of wonderful people, from Australia, Asia and all over Europe and the Americas?

We learn such a lot at Macfilos: John Shingleton discovered this 100cm-long water dragon in his garden.
We learn such a lot at Macfilos: John Shingleton discovered this 100cm-long water dragon in his garden.

But another reason is that writing and photographing for Macfilos helps keep me sane in retirement. It is a job, make no mistake, but it is one that gives a lot of pleasure and which keeps me doing what I like to do, writing and taking pictures.

Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have had the opportunities provided by such ready access, via the Internet, to people all over the world. I would have had to write for a magazine or newspaper as an antidote to retirement lethargy. I would never have been able to set up my own publication, as I have done with Macfilos.

Smartphone: At Brooklands Museum with the Panasonic S1 and 75mm Leica Noctilux-M (Mike Evans)
Smartphones are everywhere: At Brooklands Museum with the Panasonic S1 and 75mm Leica Noctilux-M (Mike Evans)

There are many mornings when I wake up bereft of ideas and entertain thoughts of giving up. But stopping Macfilos is not a decision to take lightly. It is now a fundamental part of my life and I would miss it. I’d also miss you, our readers and Macfilos contributors.

So do keep on reading. And, if you feel inclined, why not write an article for consideration. You don’t have to be a particularly good writer nor, for that matter, a particularly good photographer. I don’t consider myself a good photographer, but I enjoy trying and hoping to get better.

If you have a story to tell, perhaps about a location or a pastime (cars, motorcycles, aeroplanes, horses, whatever) knock together a thousand words or so and dust off some pictures to illustrate your theme. Why not have a go, you have nothing to lose and, I am sure, Macfilos readers would welcome you to the community.

Read here how to submit an article to Macfilos

24 COMMENTS

  1. Hats Off! to our editor for all that we appreciate on Macfilos under his stewardship: news, views, reviews, articles and sensible photographic discussions and comments which avoid the excesses so prevalent elsewhere. We also appreciate “Speaker” Mike’s Lancastrian sanity and balance like Sir Lindsay Hoyle. Heaven forbid Mike had modelled himself after John Bercow! Orderrrrr, Ordeerrrr!
    Thank you Mike and thank you all other contributors to the. blog whose articles I read with such pleasure. The world would be a meaner, harsher place without Macfilos.

    • David, For as second or two I thought you were comparing me with the twerp who previously sat in the chair. But I can live with the Hoyles, pere et fils. They are an example of good old fashioned political values without extremism. It’s something we need more of and I’m sure Lindsay will do a better job than his predecessor. But that wouldn’t be difficult since the chair is splintered and in need of refurbishment. All that said, no one had Order Order off to a pat better than Lord Tonypandy. And Betty Bloop was a rare specimen as well.

      • George Thomas,( Lord Tonypandy), and Betty Boothroyd were both great Speakers: impartial, showing no party or sectional favouritism and working strictly within the rules and conventions of the House. John Bercow displayed none of these qualities. Sir Lindsay Hoyle has already indicated he will not be in the mould of his predecessor.He is already respected by the House during his role as Deputy.
        My point is that just as a Speaker sets the tone for the proceedings and behaviour of the House, so you as Editor have set and maintained the balanced tone of discourse within Macfilos.
        It is the opinion of many observers that Bercows’ Speakership inflamed the worst aspects of an already heated situation, exacerbated by his monstrous ego and bias.
        As I said, “Hats off” to the editor of Macfilos!

  2. Just finished reading in one of your papers some group wants take ove abandoned subway train tubes in central London and make it bike paths relieve congestion regular traffic in that area! Who you going send into the tunnels to get you a story?

  3. Michael I’ll never thank you enough for the blog you are running and editing. Whatever the subjects (news, reviews …) the articles are always top notch. Your professionalism is really outstanding. Your ability to connect photographers from all over the world is just amazing. Macfilos is my first read coming back from work. Reading the articles, comments from civilized, kind people and constuctive criticism is a blessing after a day’s teaching (in a depressed area with everything that goes with it). As david would say “Hats off” and in French we would say with loud cheers “hip,hip hip hourra!!!).
    Jean

      • Thinking of your answer to my comment on the veteran cars article, I have to admit the 28mm has grown on me over the past few years using the ricoh although I like cropping 47mm with it. I also remember the output of the summilux 50mm SL which I had the opprotunity to try at a Leica workshop and that lens is absolutely amazing
        Enjoy the WE
        Jean

    • I agree completely Jean.

      Mike, we all find our time is finite in each day, but deliver a smile to 1000 people around the world almost EVERY DAY. Extremely few people achieve that. In fact, I can’t think of anyone in the world who does that single-handedly except for you.

      Thank you for being who you are and what you do!

  4. Macfilos is now the only photography blog I read every day. The quantity, quality and variety of material is amazing and always informative. I have learned more reading Macfilos than any other blog. Thank you for keeping a remarkable community of contributors represented and particularly for your articles and news.

  5. And I agree with David B. that “order” and sanity reigns, if not in the House, certainly under your writership, Mike. As an exile from Brexitville, in New York and watching the chaos grow by the day, I return after lunch with relief to your columns. And yes – Im just about to set off for Russia for a couple of weeks and Ill see what story I can make up when I return. Thanks again for all your work. Not decided yet whether to take the CL or the M or the SL….

    • Have a great time in Russia, Tony, and don’t forget to write a story for us. I am sure all readers will be interested, whichever camera you take. Now let’s see, M, CL of SL. Maybe the CL?

  6. Hi Mike,

    I have to say you do an epic job of keeping this all going in such a professional way. Sorry I spotted the missing Jono review – :)) (not really) Your email response, while clearly wrestling the article, was funny, and made me realise how much effort and energy you put in to getting this right.

    Trust me I have not come across anything similar out there that carries the same depth of articles, and breadth of such a unique community.

    I look forward to putting together more articles, although my recent plans have been turned on their head by the bloomin weather and the day job getting in the way.

    In terms of retirement, the best way to enjoy a happy and successful life is to fill everyday with something unique, and with people. Its people that keeps us going, and its people that bring enjoyment to our lives.

    Keep up the good work, and I look forward to the articles I have yet to see.

    Cheers

    Dave

  7. Hi Mike, your efforts are greatly appreciated. No other blog has your professionalism and the variety of down to earth articles from the various contributors is refreshing. It is so nice to see such a healthy positive environment on this blog. I have dramatically reduced the number of blogs that I look at as they are a waste of time and the negativity is just draining. I do not know how you do all you do but it certainly shows your competence and passion. I often check more than once a day in hope of a new treat. Thanks!!!

  8. Mike, I just want to say how many good things come out of who you are an how you are! Following Macfilos feels like being allowed in on a very agreeable, wide-ranging conversations – rich in pleasure and (for me) learning. So don’t overwork! Say to yourself what the Queen of Denmark said of herself many years ago: “I have to last” !!

    • Thank so much, John. As I have said to other commenters, the site is the sum of its parts and contributors, readers and commenters are all part of it. Thank you all.

  9. After re-reading all the above comments, it is clear that we are all agreed on the subject of Mike and Macfilos! What other blog, on any subject, has generated such agreement, such lack of negativity?

    I thought I would just add an explanation for my use of the admirably concise but utterly out of date phrase: “Hats Off”.Hardly anyone wears a hat these days but I think everyone knows what I mean.

    It is a compliment however with the most illustrious lineage. It was Robert Schumann, the composer and foremost European music critic of his time who famously wrote in the Algemeine Neue Zeitung in 1831 upon first hearing the music of a young unknown composer by the name of Frederic Chopin:

    “Hut ab, ihr Herrn, ein Genie! (Hats off, gentlemen, a genius!)”

    Twenty two years later in 1853, Schumann was also the first to recognise another young hopeful called Johannes Brahms. Schumann certainly knew his musical onions, if that is not too mixed a metaphor.

    I do not know whether Michael is a musical genius as well, quite possibly he is, but I do know we all recognise his genius as an editor and his qualities as a person. “Hats Off” I say!, after Robert Schumann.

    • David, sorry to say I am no musician, although I come from a musical family. Nothing rubbed off on me. The only keyboard I can play is a typewriter.

      In relation to “hat’s off” I was intrigued to read Jason Hannigan say “Tip me lid” in his recent article from Melbourne. I suppose it’s a similar root.

      But thanks again for your fulsome comment. You set me a high bar so I need to try hard.

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