5 frames with...

5 Frames with a Leica M4-P on a Whisky Pilgrimage – By Nick Holt

Leica and film. Two words that seem to be forever linked in my mind. After playing around with a Leica Monochrom digital for a while it was inevitable that I would end up trying out a Leica film camera. After hours of pondering I decided to go for an M4-P body and a 1976 Summicron 35mm lens. My thinking was that I would save a bit of money by going with a meterless camera body and spend the majority of the cash on a vintage Summicron lens. I admit there was some trepidation in going meterless but I reasoned that it would help me build up more awareness of lighting conditions and add to the magic.

The camera and lens arrived a week before I was due to go to the Scottish island of Islay on my annual ‘whisky pilgrimage’ with a friend. I decided to leave my digital camera at home and document the trip entirely on Tri-X film. We sampled all 8 Whisky distilleries on Islay and also visited the distillery on Jura. Islay and Jura are very special places and I think I made the right choice going with black and white film. I shot 3 rolls of Tri-X on the trip, many after a whisky tasting. These 5 frames are some of my favourites and they are also the straightest!.

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    StephenJ
    November 10, 2018 at 8:31 am

    The last time I was there was 1969 but you are right Nick the western highlands of Scotland are very special, as is your choice of photographic tool.

    Having said that, I would say that you would take good snaps like those above, with or without a wee dram, with or without a proper Leica, with or without a light meter… And you would probably even make a decent snap with a digital jobby.

    In other words, excellent snaps sir, great framing and contrast.

    BTW: I like your Pythonic foot from your Paris flâneur.

    • Reply
      Nick
      November 23, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Thanks for the kind words Stephen. 1969.. wow! Some things might have changed on Islay since then but probably not the important ones! I shoot digital on most of my trips but somehow Islay seemed to scream ‘shoot film’ at me for this one. It’s always a bit of risk though. Results not guaranteed. But thats part of the magic. Sorry for not repying earlier I was away for a few weeks.

      Re: Foot. Yes.. big Python fan here!

  • Reply
    Aukje
    November 10, 2018 at 8:33 am

    I like whisky, I love Scotland, and it has been too long since I’ve shot Tri-X. Lovely images, it reminds me that I still like Tri-X, so I’m going to shot some tonight!

    • Reply
      Nick
      November 23, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Thanks Aukje.. I kept it simple on this one: One film stock and one lens. I wlould say Islay is an essential visit for you then!

  • Reply
    Dominique Pierre-Nina
    November 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Great choice. I can’t understand for the life of me why would Leica want to keep making cameras with the idea of or a sudo sole of a film camera such as the M10-D when the M2, 3, 4, 5,( 6 and 7 with light meter) are all one needs.

    • Reply
      Nick
      November 23, 2018 at 9:39 am

      Thanks Dominique, I do love the M4-p. I think it’s something of bargain in the film Leica world.

  • Reply
    CAL STEWART
    November 10, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    you knocked it out the park, mate. one of the best 5 frames, yet. great images and cool yarn to boot

    • Reply
      Nick
      November 23, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Cheers Cal! Sorry for the late reply.. was away for a few weeks. Computerless!

  • Reply
    Nick Chase
    November 10, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Great shots and I must say your pilgrimage sounds like my ideal vacation.

    • Reply
      Nick
      November 23, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Nick. Islay isn’t easy to get too but well worth the effort!

  • Reply
    Des McSweeney
    November 11, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    oooh, Bruich’laddie’, my fave without a doubt! talented photography too though 😉

  • Reply
    Hank
    November 11, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Nice shots! Who did the development and scanning?

  • Reply
    Hank
    November 11, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Nice photos!
    Who did the development and scanning?

    • Reply
      Nick
      November 23, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Thanks Hank. I used AG Photolab for these. Always pleased at the results from there.

  • Reply
    Thomas Inman
    November 11, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Beautiful and full of feeling, makes me want to take a trip there even more. That barrels shot is especially perfect.

    • Reply
      Nick
      November 23, 2018 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Thomas. Sorry for the late reply i’ve been away. Islay is highly recommended!

  • Reply
    Flavio Colker
    December 13, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Those pictures are great! Is it the whisky?

    • Reply
      Nick
      December 14, 2018 at 7:52 am

      Yes! 😉

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