I believe in black & white photography, the simplicity, the endless classic and most of all since the advent of colour, black & white photography often connotes something «nostalgic», historic or anachronistic and I simply love it, and it has by the years slowly become my photography DNA.

To make this project complete in the matter of containing a common thread from start to finish, I had the magic possibility to use The Leica M Monochrom during the entire period. Due to my project I chose my theme to be human related and in black & white. I love to photograph people in all stages of life, I feel that in this case nothing was better than carrying a Leica on my shoulder. For me, about 9 of 10 times, the Monochrom or any other Leica often worked as an «icebreaker», a «door opener» to get in touch with the most amazing people, and this gave me the opportunity to retell my stories by using photography as a media.

The camera size plays an necessary role for me. It is important that the camera is not intimidating. When people observe a character with a DSLR camera and an enormous lens coming towards you, they often seek cover, meanwhile I feel the opposite with the Leica. The camera is compact, and sincerely stealthy. I feel that people often get drawn to it. It reveals a special magic that binds the human race and awakes the sudden interest for photography. Leica is not just a passing trend, it is and has always been the red dot symbol of everlasting quality and durability.

Since I am a Black & White visionary, and being a sucker for ambient light, The Leica M Monochrom has for me become the impeccable tool for my evolving projects. The Leica M Monochrom and the 50mm is for me a foolproof match. For me the Leica M Monochrom is absolutely a precious little thing that you instant fall in love with.

I give you LA, Los Angeles or even the city of angels, it’s up to you what you want to name it. It is a metropolis with beaches, ports, nightlife, traffic, strippjoints, amazing residents and it gives you a true American experience and the best of American lifestyle. People cut themselves off from their ties of the old life when they come to Los Angeles. They are looking for a place where they can be free, where they can do things they can’t do anywhere else.

I had a superb periode when I was down here due to the Leica workshop. I met so many fantastic and amazing citizens of Los Angeles, and captured many stories by photographic memory to use for future projects. I must say that LA is a BIG city, and having a plan of what to do and where to go can sometimes be of necessity. But it is also lovely to be free of all plans and just let the day develop in the direction of what steps you take.

Don’t walk where everybody else walks. That’s my personal experience. Make your own path, and I promise you new places and new objects will appear, and that will give you amazing photo opportunities. Remember: Who dares wins.

The LA workshop was particularly challenging. The instructors, Andreas and Bjørn, gave the participants the ultimate task: Take eight portraits and choose your own theme, and we had to stick to our chosen theme and project all the way. We had an evaluation every night to receive feedback from the instructors and the other participants. This was very helpful in improving our own projects.

Underneath you will see some photographs taken with The Leica M Monochrome from my project: Darkstreet Boys – Post War Characters.

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

Alan Thomas Duncan Wilkie

During this workshop I got the chance to develop my own skills, meeting new people with the same passion for photography and most of all have the chance to create photographic moments that I will remember for the rest of my life. I would like to give a great thanks to Bresson for the ultimate experience due to this workshop.

If you are feeling a little more curious about more photography from Los Angeles, please take a look at my website for more images, or follow me on instagram.

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes” — Abraham Lincoln

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Leica M Monochrom


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