It’s not secret that I’m kind of a mountain bike nerd, and I have even been lucky enough to be a credentialed photographer at a couple of World Cup races here in the USA. It’s an intense assignment, that’s physically taxing and mentally tough because you typically only get one shot to try and capture the competitors during their race runs. That’s why this video about photographer Hoshi Yoshida’s efforts to cover the world cup with a film camera and a manual focus prime lens so fascinating.
Yoshida shoots with a Leica M6, which is one of the most popular film cameras in the Leica M series. All the camera functions (with the exception of the meter) are completely mechanical, so it doesn’t need battery power to work. The M7 that came after it had more modern features, but also wasn’t as reliable or “pure” in the eyes of many shooters.
The video is a little sappy, but I really like that he includes some of the screw up shots. For some reason, a screwed up film photo is always more interesting than a screwed up digital photo.
I still have no urge to bring my film cameras to a mountain bike race, but I’m glad some people still do. I love seeing David Burnett’s images from the Olympics that he shoots on a large format land camera.