I took delivery of the Leica Monochrom two days before I was due to go on a road-trip around France. The plan was to spend a couple of weeks driving south before picking up my family from the train station for a relaxing week in a gite. I had stops booked at the Arles Photography Festival and Vienne Jazz Festival on the way down but other than that I was free to explore and snap to my heart’s content. I had wanted to try a Leica for a while but it was still something of an impulse purchase. I had just sold some camera gear when I spotted a used Monochrom 246 for sale that had a small knock on the side, thus reducing the price by some margin. I picked up a Carl Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 Biogon lens from the same shop and and hit the road.
I had never used a Leica before so it was an adventure in many ways. I had read about the ‘Leica learning curve’ being steep but I loved using this camera right from the start. It was intuitive and simple to use and it felt purposeful to be wandering around knowing I was exclusively seeking black and white images. I liked how the image I had taken would appear only momentarily on the screen before disappearing, leaving me free to concentrate on the next shot. As my familiarity with the camera grew I began to shoot more instinctively, only looking at my photographs at the end of the day… almost like film.