Same style different fields | A Leica Sports photography project

Out loud reflections and thoughts about how it feels using Leica M10 to shoot non-traditional sports photography | Pursuit silhouettes, layering and context

Do I take pictures often?

I think I do. How often? Depending. I can bring my carry on camera for a half-day adventure, or because I'll be out of home for a few hours doing errands and I decide to go out with my camera. Some other times I just want to go out and take photographs because I am inspired, and I feel the urge to do it. I like to think it's some kind of impetus that is both: helpful and challenging, and I enjoy it all along the process. Since the moment I take my camera, until (anxiously) download my artwork.

But there are also great occasions to photograph, around us all the time. Regardless of the field of the event, if it arouses enough interest or admiration in you, you will surely find a great happening. That naturally engages you to do a micro-project. As it often happens to me.

Last year, I shot the Iron Man 70.3 Los Cabos. A fantastic event where pro and amateur athletes compete in a total of 70.3miles between swimming, cycling, and running activities. I have always admired sportspeople for their endurance and determination. I have never been an athlete, just a happily washed-up sportsman. Delighted about the race, if someone else is doing the running! Well, my primary purpose in last year's edition of Iron Man was trying out sports photography, using high-end sports gear. For that, Nikon Mexico was so kind to send me two amazing long-range zooms. For a moment, I was feeling like a Pro Sports Photographer, carrying big lenses with a monopod. It was quite a fantastic experience, you can find the collection following this link: Iron Man 70.3 Los Cabos, Mx.

Iron Man 70.3 Los Cabos, Mx

For this year's edition (November 2019), I decided to do it with a different approach, and finally step out of my comfort zone for a few hours.

Now, here comes a big statement: when I work, I use a Nikon D5 or the D810; For my daily life, small projects, and street photography, I use my Leica M10 + 35mm Zeiss. And that's true. Last year, I used techniques for enhancing and took advantage of the Nikon D5: the speed performance, the frame for seconds, and all that great stuff. I was trying to freeze the best sports moment available, more like a "standard" sports photograph. And I truly enjoyed to shoot with heavy gear and use different techniques, but still, it's not the real me. Technical sports photography is not really what drives me, I really enjoy using prime lenses and no zooms. My most extended focal length is 58mm and not a 500mm. I am always trying to be as invisible as possible when I shoot, to be unnoticed. And also because I really love to shoot with my Leica M10 (most of the time feels like the essentialism of photography), I decided to give her another chance to shoot an event. The first one was about shooting a wedding with a Leica, the second one would be about an unconventional approach to sports photography.

I wish I could tell the thoughts that go by my mind while I see through the viewfinder. Putting your vision into words is not an easy business; But I can surely tell you about what I love, what makes me feel happy, and what challenges me. What we usually call the eternal pursuit.

I could say sometimes a seek for chaos in my composition, and with that, I mean more information added. According to my belief in the importance of context photography.

Other times I look for silhouettes because of the minimal aesthetics they carry out. They have an easy-to-read impact and visual composition, but with not so many elements.

And some others, I just try to fit in all aspects of the chaos, using minimalism and meaningful forms. For storytelling, a strong visual impact is not just enough, it also takes a discernible reason to exist.

For that very reason, this year, I determined that I would sacrifice a little bit the narrative, to have less story and more individual great shots. Do you know what I mean? I had no commitment or client to fulfill, and I had no intention of selling the files.

I just had the desire to play around, shoot with passion, and be true to myself.

When I shoot with a Leica, I feel more freedom to pursue and play with my very own style. So, the decision to use it throughout my personal coverage of the Iron Man was pretty obvious. I was haunted by all the silhouettes, high contrasts, and incredible light that were everywhere. And this is pretty much the way I shoot, always looking for a specific pattern among people. I can say proudly and loudly that this is my way to shoot. The relentless of this quest defines my personal style in any field in which the occasion happens to develop. So we might well say, the same method can be applied to other areas of photography, Right!?

So, Honest visual storytelling for sports photography? Why not? Leica M10 for sports photography? Again, why not?

Once you cherish -and embrace, that the manual focus can be faster than an Autofocus (and this is not a contradiction), you can see the world of photography in another way. Not better, not worse, but for sure different.

I hope you enjoy this quick collection. See you around!

P.s. If you are passionately attracted to photography, it doesn't matter if you are a beginner, amateur, or a Pro. It doesn't matter either if you shoot with an iPhone or the flagship camera. There is always a good time to go out and shoot, whether occasional, random, or on purpose.

And remember: "We have more ability than willpower, and it is often an excuse to ourselves that we imagine that things are impossible." ―François de la Rochefoucauld.

Di Lusso

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