After two years of shooting with a bulky DSLR, a friend invited me to spend the day with his Leica M8. A single shot changed my life. I had been trying to capture the exact color of the sunrise on the brick building across Hudson Street in the West Village in NY and I could never get my camera to replicate it, even when shooting in manual mode. With the M8, I got it with one shot. By the end of the week I had packed up and traded in all my gear to start over with my first Leica, an M9.
I couldn't wait to travel with my new gear and chose Buenos Aires as my first seeing adventure—what better place to capture living color? Toward the end of my trip, I was walking back to my hotel when I passed a framing shop. I was entranced by all the straight lines, hard edges, and 90° angles, and amused at the sight of the framemaker in the middle of it all—he, too, was all lines and angles, from his limbs to his hair to his eyeglasses. I continued past the shop, but with every step I felt the growing weight of regret for missing this opportunity to photograph something that spoke to me. So I summoned up the courage to go back.
I was still new to the rangefinder and my Noctilux f/1.0 lens, and wound up shooting everything wide open, which means the edges are a bit soft. But I love the color and spirit of these images. The last photo is my favorite — it's of his hands. I had already left the shop and the idea popped into my head. I'm so glad I went back (again). This is the final shot of every session with an artist or artisan — a visual tribute to their most vital tool: their hands.