Reposted: My Sunday Morning in Vivian Maier’s Chicago


My first outing with the Leica M9 back in 2011 was a weekend trip to Chicago. I only could afford the wonderful Leica 35mm Summarit after shelling out the money for what was my dream camera at that moment. I’d never heard of Vivian Maier at that point, as most people hadn’t. But, save for the color, this first shot I think captures a bit of the spirit of shooting on a Chicago sidewalk as she so often did. Anyway. Here’s some more. I think in some of them there is wonderful color. In others, uh… a hint of the incredible struggles to come I would experience trying to produce passable color with my M9.

L1001104 L1001167 L1001088 L1001183 L1001352 L1001177 L1001414 L1001238 L1000877


  1. Beautiful Photography! I not only live in Chicago, it is one of my favorite cities to photograph. A picture around every corner. Loved your photos. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you. In looking at these images again I’m reminded of what an incredible rush it was to freely (as one an only do with digital) use a Leica M rangefinder for the first time. Wow. I had an M7 but had only put about 3 rolls of film through it before I ran to the store to get a digital version. I just had no confidence or experience with this type of camera, and it had been so long since I’d shot film. So the M9 was like a whole new world being opened up. Iroonically, after shooting an M9 for a year and half I was then able to shoot my M7 and M6 with confidence.

      But these shots remind me of how much fun it was to simply be able to focus the camera myself. On exactly what I wanted it to focus on (not always easy) as opposed to the hyper autofocus of my Nikons.

      Anyway. Fun times. I’m going back to Chicago in two months. Going to try it all over again.


  2. A nice selection of shots. you’re getting some nice rich colours. Were you not tempted to process in B&W as well?

    I find I can carry my M9 in full sight and no one ever pays attention to it.

    1. Thank you. I’m just in love with shooting color. I have a lot of bw shots from that weekend, all indoors at an event though. I love the bw you can get with these cameras. but I really am in love with the color I’m getting now. thank you!

      1. Great colours. I personally like the one of the buildings the most. I am a Leica fan, as well as user. I have a X2 and great experiences with “her”. When I decided to buy it, I tried the M9 in the shop, you know…just to know how it feels…I was so excited my hands were trembling!
        I am living in Chile right now and sometimes I find Leica 35mm in street markets, but I cannot afford it right now (soooo expensive)

      2. But it’s a camera. A real camera. Set the aperture on the lens, shutter speed under your finger. Focus, re-frame, poof. I don’t even think about other cameras now. So it also comes with some peace of mind. Good luck. It took luck for me to acquire my gear. And a lot of time and patience. And impatience. πŸ˜‰

      1. I have in a lab at college. Never at home. I just have so much color film that I’ve spent a lot on and it’s taking up so much room in the fridge. Buying BW film and then creating a space to do that. I don’t see me doing it any time soon.

        How about you?

      2. I know what you mean about the camera…it’s like falling in love man! πŸ™‚
        Yep, I enjoy the dark room. Actually I enjoyed it. You’ll see: I had my own lab that I used to install in my bathroom, tiny, by the way. Then I moved to London and my lab stayed at Spain 😦 and then I moved to Chile and my lab stayed in Spain again. But, happy news, I went back for holidays last month and I took it with me! I have to buy a couple of things to get it complete though. I can’t wait to experience the process again. The sad part is the lack of time! 10 working hours at the office are killing me! πŸ˜›

      3. Yeah I have a little extra bathroom as well. But I think the girlfriend has just about had enough of my and my photo-stuff everywhere. πŸ˜‰ Not to mention how she seeks about strange or chemical smells.

        I almost bought EVERYTHING a few years ago. But then I started buying up all the on-sale color film I could get my hands on. I have a lot of rolls now. Too many.

        Digital Leica is a wonderful thing. But I’m serious about being at peace. I used to spend hours that ran into years looking on PBase and Flickr and then Flickriver at images taken by this lens or that camera, etc. I don’t do any of that any more. So at peace finally with my kit.

      4. I could’t agree on the digital Leica more. I used to be quite obsessed with films blah blah blah and now enjoy pixels as a little child. But you know what? I miss the smell!! Weird, I know.
        Take a lot of pictures, and please, keep sharing them πŸ™‚

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