Budapest-Ukraine Road Trip

Budapest-Ukraine Road Trip

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

September 2017


Leica Shoot Out

Well Overdue

I had originally booked to visit Ukraine in July this year (and Poland) but due to my Ironman triathlon training commitments I decided to forgo both model photography trips and rebook them after the event.  I wanted to try to get to Ukraine before the cold weather came so booked it as soon after the Ironman as I could.  I also rebooked Poland (to come!).  After no overseas model photography shoots since I think May 2017 it felt like it had been forever.  I was more than ready for this one!

Camera Gear

  • Leica M240 digital camera body
  • Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 lens
  • Leica M3 film camera body
  • Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 lens
  • Leica M4-P film camera body
  • Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4 lens

Cameras and Film

I have been to both Budapest and Ukraine quite a few times now so I tried to select cameras, lenses and film stock different to previous trips. I wanted to take a medium format camera but had taken the Fuji GF670, Fuji GA645 and Mamiya 6 in the past and was not overly impressed with the results compared to a 35mm film Leica.  I think if you load a Leica with professional standard fine grain film they can capture super sharp high clarity images even with the smaller 35mm film format.  I’ve had great success in the past combining in particular the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO lens with  the fine grain black and white Ilford Pan F50 film.  I wanted to bring the Hasselblad but I didn’t have sufficient capacity in my hand luggage so settled for 2 Leica film cameras, one to shoot colour film and one for black and white film. I also tried to pack more rolls of colour film as I normally shoot mostly black and white. For colour film I bulk loaded a batch of Kodak Motion Picture Vision3 200T film which is tungsten balanced but I use it with a 81B colour correction filter in daylight. I also had some daylight balanced Vision3 50D to use but less of it.  For black and white film I selected what I believe is the best with regards to image quality (sharpness and clarity) and took Ilford Pan F 50 and Ilford Delta 100 film. For low light I packed some Kodak T-Max 400 film as I like the fine grain and some of my usual bulk loaded Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222 which has such great latitude and seems to work in almost any light.

Leica M Lenses

When taking Leica film cameras rather than a different film camera brand such as Hasselblad, Mamiya or Nikon, I have the advantage that I can pack one set of lenses to use on both the digital Leica M 240 and the Leica film cameras.  Last time I was in Ukraine my M240 needed recalibrating so I used a 35mm Voigtlander Skopar lens stopped down to ensure I had a deeper depth of field. I was also using speedlights a lot for flash photography.  In contrast, for this trip I wanted to use less flash and shoot with a shallow depth of field. My obvious lens choice for available light photography is the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0. Digital photos to me can look very boring but the Nocti lens shot wide open can add a lovely filmic / painterly soft look to a photo and it is these imperfections that make the photos perfect (for me anyway). I like the small size of the compact Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 lens and it balances nicely on my Leica M3. It is also very sharp wide open.   I packed the 50/2.5 for those reasons but in hindsight I wish I had packed the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 as it is more suited to available light photography. I find the Leica Noctilux 50/1.0 can be a little too soft at f1.0 when shot on film (for many film stocks I’ve tried) whereas the Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH can work well at f1.4 with film.  Lastly I chose the Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.4 lens for a wider view yet suited for available light also. Again in hindsight next time I may pack 3 50mm lenses plus a 35mm for occasional use. It is frustrating to use two focal lengths side by side as I will stand in a place to compose for say a 50mm lens then when pick up the camera with the 35mm lens on the perspective is different and I need to walk forward for the same crop as seen with the 50mm, only to then step back again when I switch to the 50mm.  I think I’m currently back to being a 50mm shooter as my most used focal length. 35mm can feel too wide yet 75mm – 90mm can be too long/ tight.


Budapest was only a short visit and hello to models en route to Ukraine.  I had two nights in Budapest city centre so booked three models each day. On day one the first model didn’t arrive nor even bother to write. Luckily the next two models were some of my most reliable in Budapest so they came prepared. What I learnt the most from the day is regardless of a model looks, the models I can make the best photos with are those that are as excited as me about making the pictures. Two creative minds on a photoshoot can lead to some amazing results and in particular I love models that are also stylists. They piece together really interesting clothing combinations and somehow source garments that you rarely see on the high street.  I was really happy with days photos despite the morning being wasted by a no show. The digital images I was seeing on the M240 LCD using the Leica Noctilux lens looking very promising.

I only had one evening in Budapest so even after a busy day shooting and not much to eat as soon as the last model left I grabbed my running kit and drank a quick coffee then did a sunset run along the River Danube. So beautiful and enjoyable. The perfect end to a perfect day!

Day two had another bad start with another cancel but I was tired so made the most of it and had some extra sleep. The rest of the day was two more reliable models so luckily stress free. I think the big difference for day two is the model had their own vision that was not my preferred arty style so having less input made it more like going through the motions. Day 1 I shot nearly 3 rolls of film. Day 2 I didn’t shoot a single frame! I think the longer I do photography the more selective I become, both in terms of models I work with but also the styling, location and general mood.  I only shoot film when I feel the capture deserve it.  Film doesn’t suit every photo, I think, or for me anyway. To be more precise, if the light does not interest me when shooting digital I will not reach for a film camera. Light is everything.


Normally when I shoot in Ukraine I fly into Slovakia from the UK and then get a bus over the border to Uzhgorod. For this trip I decided to fly to Budapest, then bus from Budapest to Slovakia, stay there overnight then get my usual bus from Slovakia to Ukraine.

That was the plan anyway. I am quite relaxed as a person and I arrived to the bus station at the exact time of departure and missed my pre-booked bus.  Luckily I was able to find another bus going to Slovakia 6hrs later that would arrive in time to catch my connecting bus to Ukraine. The long time waiting was less painful than feared and I arrived in Uzhgorod on Day 3 ready to shoot.


Window Light

Day 3.  I had a quick one hour shoot with an agency model I knew from last year and then my model friend arrived on her train from Kiev.  We set to work and had an extremely enjoyable and productive first day using the light right through until sunset. I can’t wait to see the photos!

Day 4 started with a pre-breakfast lingerie shoot which just showed the amount of thought and planning going into trying to make the nicest pictures.  Once we were both dying of hunger we stopped for breakfast. In the afternoon we shot a few more looks right up until it was time for the model to catch her 16hr return train back to Kiev. A very enjoyable first two days in Uzhgorod and the bar had been set high for others to try to follow.  I felt very fortunate a model would want to travel 16hrs (each way) for a photoshoot.

Leica M240 B&W

Day 5 was supposed to be my first full day working with local models friends with five models booked back to back morning til night. Sadly three of the five models cancelled putting me on a bit of a downer after experiencing such highs in the two days before.  The sun and warm 28 degree temperatures we had been enjoying also gave way to a day of mostly rain. The last model, my first ever in Ukraine six years ago, braved the rain and we shot under a bridge before retreating for coffee and cake.

Leica Fashion Photographer

Day 6 was my last in Ukraine so I’d booked in five more models. Luckily my endless hours on social media trying to organise all these shoots paid off and I had no cancellations.  Even the sun came back out for us!  I shot with a wide mix of ages and experience and I think I discovered a new super model at the age of only 15.  When I first came to Uzhgorod I shot with a 15yr old girl and now she’s based as a model in Paris (the last I heard).  I also had a lot of fun catching up with friends and it’s lovely when they seem genuinely thankful that I came back to visit them.  I was dead on my feet again when the last model finished but still decided to fit in one more run along the river despite being dark.  I even made two new friends on the pull up / dips bars outside one of the housing blocks.  It is probably not that common for ‘tourists’ to mingle with the local but I enjoyed it. A great memory to end my time in Ukraine.

Leica Noctilux 50mm f1

Night Bus

The original travel itinerary was to stop off at a hotel in Slovakia on my way home via Budapest. After realising the night buses were not that painful I cancelled my hotel and booked a night bus instead. That gave me a full last day in Ukraine but also now some extra time in Budapest to fit in one last shoot.

My taxi was at midnight to go to the bus station. I jumped in the taxi, an old Lada Niva I remember well as a child and said ‘autobus station to go to Slovakia’. The driver said ok and we speed off along the empty pot holed roads, without a seat belt sitting in the passenger seat. (It is considered rude to wear a seat belt). I tried to show a driver an iPhone map photo of the bus station and he replied ok ok Slovakia. I soon realised he had misunderstood me and we were driving at speed in the opposite direction to the bus heading direct to Slovakia! To cut the story short I managed to make him stop the car and by describing roads and various Uzhgorod landmarks he understood and I managed to catch the night bus to Slovakia. The bus trip was great except we arrived to Slovakia 2hrs early.  It was perhaps 15 degrees colder than Ukraine and I now had a 3hr40 minute wait in a dark and deserted bus station. I wore all my clothes trying to keep warm but was very relieved to see my bus arrive to take me to Budapest. I slept the entire journey like a baby, including dribble!

Back in Budapest

A model friend from a few days earlier met me at the bus station in Budapest and we had a very enjoyable and hopefully successful shoot.  I suggested we shot at the location and it gave very different backdrops to the rest of my Budapest images. A good decision. We then also shot a bit more on the metro travelling into the city before I caught my bus to the airport.

CV Nokton 35mm


I believe the number of rolls of film I shoot on a trip is a good indicator as to how successful it was. I managed to use ten rolls of 36(/37) exposure 35mm film and for once I think more colour than black and white.  I was trying to push the equipment and materials to their max to see what I could achieve so I’m interested to see the results. In particular using fine grain film with the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 shot at f1.0-f1.2-f1.4. I don’t think I stopped the lens down beyond f1.4.  I fear at f1 the photos will still be too soft (for my taste) but I wanted to try so I know my equipment limits.  Another sign of success for me was every film photo was taken with available light which I was keen to do (after so much flash film photography in the last 12-18 months). It’s easy to make light but harder to find it.  To again push myself I took no reflector to bounce available light so I’m excited to see how we got on.  I tried to mix up my styles even using the above mentioned parameters and I also shot outside as much as I could to use the locations.  Where possible I tried to not photo a model against a wall and kept the lenses close or at to their widest apertures. (The opposite of when I was doing a lot of flash photography and had the lenses stopped down (higher f. stop for a greater depth of field)).

I know many photographers prefer the diffused light on an overcast day for taking portrait photographs but for me I love nothing better than blue skies and direct sunlight.  Living in the UK where we often have cloudy weather I found I really appreciated the sunny days of Budapest and Uzhgorod. If I simplify things, the entire model photography trip was just one big light hunt! I think I need to relocate to a sunnier warmer destination. San Francisco perhaps!

Overall I was really happy with my week away and I don’t think I would have changed anything other than pack the hugely missed Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens to use with the Leica film cameras.  I really wasn’t feeling the 35mm focal length and I would have been happy with only 50mm lenses. The best performer of the trip was without doubt the mighty Noctilux 50f1 lens.  The cameras were fighting over the Nocti as I wanted to use it to shoot film with but also to get the instant gratification when using the Noctilux on the digital Leica M240 and seeing the image on the LCD.  I don’t feel at any point that I missed not having a medium format camera.  Previously I have enjoyed the high flash sync speed (1/400-1/500) of most of the medium cameras to control ambient light when using flash. As I did nearly all available light photography the fast (f1.0-f1.4) Leica M mount lenses were much more suited (than f2.8-f4 MF lenses).  I am interested to see what the smaller 35mm film format Leica cameras achieved.

I think I write this and the end of every blog post I share but I’d like to think some of the images to come are my best yet.  I certainly tried!  Coming soon.

Big Thanks

I’ve not named models individually throughout this post but a huge thanks to models Eva, Nadja, Lili, Galyna, Inna, Dana, Angel, Nikoletta, Franciska, Alexa, Maryna and Valeria. It wouldn’t be possible without you.  Also apologies for the models I didn’t see this year.  I know I missed quite a few of you in Ukraine due to time constraints but I hope to be back again next year!



Related Posts


Polish Models on 35mm

Polish Models on 35mm

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

September 2016

In contrast to my last few model photography trips where I packed big lights, light modifiers, light stands, monopod, medium format film cameras, medium format digital cameras, a mass of batteries, chargers, memory cards, big bag of 120 black and white film and 120 colour film I thought I needed to get back to basics.

Camera Bag

For this trip I had the digital Leica M240 plus Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 lens, the analog Leica M6 plus 1950s Leica Summicron 50 f2 DR lens, the compact Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4 lens for if I need a wider angle and then the tiny 1960s Olympus Pen-F half frame camera.

I planned to shoot black and white film in the Leica M6 and used a 35mm bulk film loader to roll myself some Kodak Plus X film to bring. I hope the lower contrast look of the film will add to the vintage and less perfect look of the photos. I brought the Olympus Pen-F to shoot some colour film as the weather forecast was blue skies some days.  I loaded a roll of 35mm Fuji Provia 100f E6 slide film which I bought in B&H, New York when I did my second workshop there in January.  The half frame gives me 72 shots from a standard 36 exposure film roll.

The film photos are to please me and the digital Leica M240 photos are to give to the models to use for their portfolios.  The digital camera is also great to warm up the models and for a preview to show them the look I am going for. I metered all film photos with the M240 as I just replicate the same settings on the film cameras, using the M240 in M mode. To keep it simple and for a change I used available light for all except one shoot where I also used my speedlight to boost light levels.


As with most of my model photography trips I looked forward to catching up with familiar faces but also to work with a few new models too.  I had the usual multiple cancellations for a variety of reasons but overall we did well.  The models that did meet on the whole gave 110% effort and almost all had made personal sacrifices to be able to meet me making them even more focused to have a great shoot.

Model Photography – Poland

Here are some sample from some of photos I have worked through so far:

Leica M 240 (Digital)


Leica Noctilux Bokeh


Leica Noctilux Portrait


Leica Noctilux 50mm f1

Agata (& ATR Gear Clothing!)

ATR WEAR - Polish Chick


Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4


Polish Model


Leica M240 + Noctilux


Leica M6 (Analogue) + Kodak Plus-X Film


Kodak Plus-X Fashion


Kodak Plus-X Portrait

Kodak Plus X Film


Leica M6 + Kodak Plus-X

Kodak Plus-X Bulk Film

More to come from the other models when I get chance..

The colour film has not yet been developed but I did shoot the roll of Provia and a roll of AGFA Vista 200 Plus so wish me luck with those! 🙂


35mm Ilford FP4+ 125 Film (2)

35mm Ilford FP4+ 125 Film

(Part 2)

Matthew Osborne Photography

35mm Ilford FP4+ 125 film was the first film I ever tried, in my late Grandfathers 35mm Yashica MG-1 back in 2012.  FP4+ film has a classic grain structure and negatives often have a vintage low contrast grainy appearance.  I find the grainy appearance of FP4+ and Kodak Tri-X 400 can sometimes be too much for my female portraits shot on 35mm film so I wanted to try to minimize grain when developing.

I bought 3 rolls of 35mm FP4+ last year to try it again (vs the Kodak T-Max 100 film I used mostly in 2013-2014) and last weekend I decided to load a roll in my 1950s Leica M3, with Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 lens at f1.  I developed the FP4+ film at box speed in 1:100 Rodinal, semi stand developed for 45 minute at 21 degrees.  Negatives were scanned with my new Epson v800 scanner at 2400dpi using an Epson v600 35mm film insert (placed on the v800 glass).  Please see the results below.  I think this film has a lot of character and it is up there with my favourites.

Leica M3 + 35mm Ilford FP4 plus

Studio Shoot - Film

35mm Ilford FP4+ film - M3 & Noctilux

Leica Noctilux + Ilford FP4+ film

Ilford FP4+ in Rodinal 1:100

Ilford FP4+ & Leica M3 / Noctilux

Here is some of my early film days photography with Ilford FP4+ 125, both 120 and 135 formats – Part 1

Ilford Black & White Film

2014 Wedding: Sam & Chris

Wedding: Sam & Chris (Leica Noctilux Wedding)
Coventry Wedding Photographer (away in Gloucestershire) /

July 26th, 2014
Wedding Venue – Highnam Court, Gloucestershire

Leica M9 Wedding Photography

Low Light Church Wedding

Leica M9 Wedding

Facebook Cover Photo

It was my second visit to Highnam in Gloucestershire as I was there last year for Paul and Deb’s wedding.  Deb’s was one of Sam’s bridesmaids so you may recognise her!  We had the wedding ceremony at Highnam Church then moved across the field to Highnam Court for the rest of the day.

Here are a selection of photos from Sam and Chris’s wedding day.  The couple opted for a mixture of digital wedding photography and medium format film photography.

Digital Photos – Leica M9 + Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 at f1 was used for most of the day (including all group photos at f1)(excluding some 21mmf2.8 & 28mmf2 wide angle lens shots, some 90mmf2 Summicron photos for the speeches and the 75mmf2 Cron photos for detail images).

Film Photography – 1980s Fujica GS645 medium format folding film camera + 120 Fuji Pro 400H film (lab developed and scanned with an Epson v600 scanner)

645 Wedding Film Photography

Fuji GS645 Wedding

Fuji GS645 Wedding Portrait

Medium Format Wedding

Fuji GS 645 Wedding

To book a Leica wedding see here for more details
*Medium format film photography is also available using various film cameras including Mamiya RZ67 and Fuji GF670, a choice of film formats, 6×4.5, 6×6, 6×7 and both roll film and Polaroid film

Leica Noctilux Wedding

Leica Fashion Shoot Poland

Leica M9 Location Fashion Shoot
Matthew Osborne Photography
Sopot, Poland, August 2014

Sopot Beach, Poland

I recently returned from another three day location shoot in Poland, this time at the beautiful beach resort, Sopot. I stayed at a hotel on the beach so it was perfect to use as a base for beach shoots.  When I last visited in June 2014 I stayed in the city of Gdansk and took model portrait photos with an urban backdrop.  The photos had a soft natural look using little or no makeup for most of the girls and each wore their own clothes.  It was just me working alone with one model at a time, and six girls over three days. Malwina at Malva Models supplied me with all the models.

For this visit to Sopot I worked closely with Malwina beforehand to organise makeup/ hair stylists, some new models and wardrobe (stylist to provide clothing).  I wanted to give some of the photos more of a fashion look and this to me is a result of a good model, strong poses and hard lighting (not always), enhanced further by a great makeup artist and hair stylist.  When shooting Leica fashion photography in the UK I rely heavily on lighting as this is one of my strengths. I have various strobes, speedlights and light modifiers and use these to light models both in the studio and on location. I believe available light can always be enhanced by artificial light in every situation if done correctly. I often keep my model photo shoots simple, relying on lighting and a strong model and then directing the clothing style, hair and makeup (and assisting with all three if needed!).  When there are fewer people involved we can work fast and efficiently.  That said, sometime I need the help of others to help to try to take my photos to the next level.  This was one of those occasions.  I communicated in advance the clothing styles I wanted to shoot, the location, the makeup style, and selected models with the look I wanted. The more effort you put in before a shoot the better results you will achieve, right down to details such as the choice of shoes and accessories.

I was traveling light to Poland from the UK again with just a 10kg hand luggage allowance.  This would really restrict the amount of camera gear I could take.  I wanted to pack at least one speedlight but in the end decided to rely on just a reflector as though as it was a beach location so there should be plenty of available light both direct light and diffused light (from above) and reflected light reflecting off the sea and sand, regardless of whether a clear sky and sunshine or an overcast day.  (My preference is at least some broken cloud cover, especially when shooting with speedlights in the UK).

The camera equipment I finally decided on was as follows –

  • Leica M9 digital camera body
  • Leica M2 35mm film camera (loaded with 35mm Kodak T-Max 100 black & white film)
  • Fuji GF670 Pro medium format film camera (loaded with 120 Fuji Pro 400H & 120 Kodak Porta 400 colour film)
  • Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 T lens (as my main lens for sharp images)
  • Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2 lens (if I needed a wider angle)
  • Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 (for soft portraits and to use in low light)

Why my choice of 50mm lens?
On my last trip I took a Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 and the Noctilux.   I used the Noctilux for the majority of the images.  I like to cycle my lenses and dust them off now and again for a run.  I have used the Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 very little since I bought it, before the Leica Summilux ASPH 50 f1.4, the Leica Summicron 50mm f2 and other older 50mm lenses?  If you read one of my older posts I wrote the Planar is too sharp for portraits.  That said I have got used to sharp by using the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO so thought would pack it as it is both small (39mm filter thread and focuses close at 0.7m) (Noctilux and ZM Sonnar do not focus as close).

Would I chose the same camera lenses next time?
No. The Planar was great and was used for perhaps 90% of the daylight images but the weight of the Noctilux was not worth it for this style of photo shoot.  Fashion photos often look better sharper to see the clothes details so sharper lenses are more suited. Lenses that are sharp when shot wide open such as the ZM Planar just get sharper stopped down.  That said I prefer the rendering of the Zeiss ZM Sonnar over the Zeiss ZM Planar.

My lens choice needs to be a balance of weight and quality.  For this reason next time I think I would pack my current favourite studio lens, the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO that focuses at 0.7m and is very sharp and the small and compact Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f1.4 for a wider low light lens. I took this lens to Ukraine last year and loved the results despite it not being as sharp wide open as some of my other lenses.

So how was my photography trip to Sopot?
Each day of the three days was completely different.

Summary –

Day 1
Two model shoots, Sara and Zuza (“Zuzanna”), and clothes stylist Marta providing all the clothes for the day.
Day 2
Three model shoots, Magda, Vicky and Marta, clothes stylist Marta and MUA (hair and makeup) Joanna.
Day 3
Two model shoots, Sara (second shoot) and Paulina only and an evening Engagement style shoot with Teresa and Wojciech.

In more detail –

Day 1
I arrived midday into Sopot so only had a half day of photos.  Sara was a new model so I was giving much more direction during the shoot. Marta kindly helped hold the reflector for some photos. We didn’t use an MUA.  Zuza had shot with me before so we worked fast and made use of the daylight we had before dark.  Everyone seemed pretty exhausted by the end so we stopped before 8pm.
Day 2
Starting at 9am, as I knew makeup always takes a long time model Magda and MUA Joanna arrived and got started. We got some music on in my hotel room and time just flew past. Marta arrives to help select clothes for each girl and we were still doing makeup. We finally got outside and started shooting and for the rest of the day I overlapped the models so would be shooting with one girl while another model was with the MUA. This meant we didn’t stop but luckily the girls ordered in pizzas for us and I provided some rounds of coffees from the hotel restaurant to keep us all going! As more models arrived it was a squeeze in the hotel room but we worked around each other.  The weather was changeable so during the showers we shot inside then went out when it stopped.  There was a cold wind on the beach so we kept the girls wrapped between photos and worked fast.  The last two changes for models Marta and then Magda were in the dark but we still got some photos.  Here the Noctilux lens became a life safer with an f1.0 aperture.  Makeup had slowed down progress vs. Day 1 but combined with the clothes and head pieces made for some hopefully strong images.
Day 3
We had no clothes stylist or MUA so it was me working alone.  This tends to be fast but it can be hard to hold a reflector and manual focus the Leica M9 camera at times.  One model was not able to attend so I got some down time to review my images.  I had Paulina in the morning that I met last time in Gdansk then Sara again from Day 1 as I knew we could get good results working 1-2-1. It is often easier on new models when there are fewer people involved. In the evening I had asked model Teresa to bring her boyfriend Wojciech for a couple shoot / engagement session styled look. Wojciech had not had photos before but they worked flawlessly together and with my direction and their love for each other it made for some really strong and romantic photos.

Fuji GF670 medium format film fashion
Despite it being a rush for much of the trip I was still determined to do some medium format film fashion photography. I managed to shoot two rolls of 120 colour film using the Fuji GF670 in the 6×6 film format to get 12 photos per roll. In hindsight as always I wish I had shot twice that number. Next time! I will share the results once the film is developed.  I also shot almost a full roll of 35mm Kodak TMax 100 on the Leica M2 for a more gritty look (to be stand developed in Rodinal (R09)).

Here are a few photos of some of the models  from the trip.  I don’t currently have my laptop so have used LR3 to process the images (without the finishing touches in Photoshop Elements).

Leica Black and White
Zeiss ZM Planar Bokeh
Available Light Photography
Zeiss Planar Portrait
Leica M9 + Zeiss ZM Planar 50
Romantic Dinner for Two

I will post a separate selection of images once film is developed for the Leica M2 and Fuji GF670 here at, some colour fashion looking photos once I have Photoshop, and also some more of the engagement style images at

Related Posts

Travelling Light (Part 1)

3 Days, 6 Models, Poland

Fuji GF670

Featured: MOTW – Zuza

Featured Model of the Week (“MOTW”) : Zuza

MatthewOsbornePhotography – Model Photographer
This is a new feature to share some of my favourite model photography/ fashion and beauty images from a selection of the best models I have had the pleasure of working with over the last few years, both here in the UK and overseas.  Photos have been captured with various camera equipment and you can see the details by clicking on the images.
Model – Zuzanna (“Zuza”)
Location – Gdansk, Poland

I met Zuza on my last trip to Poland when shooting with a model agency in Gdansk. We only spend perhaps 3 hours together taking photos but within that time I was able to capture so of my perhaps best portrait images. We had no wardrobe person, no makeup artist, no hair stylist, no studio, no lights, just the basics, a camera, a lens and a 5 in 1 reflector. The equipment used was a Leica M9 rangefinder camera and a Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2. Zuza brought her own clothes and style along to the shoot and I styled her with the garments she had and posed her accordingly. All photos are daylight lit only. Zuza seemed to have this very relaxed not really bothered personality yet when I pressed the shutter it instantly looked like some stylised photo that had taken a whole team hours to prepare. The entire shoot was effortless and Zuza was a real pleasure to work with. I hope to work with her again on my next trip to Poland.

Here are some sample images from our shoot. I was taking photos as B&W JPEGs + DNG (colour):

Leica M9 Fashion
Vintage Leica M9
Facebook Cover Photo
Leica Noctilux
Leica M9 Poland
Leica M9 + Noctilux f1
Natural Beauty
Leica Fashion Location Shoot
Leica M9 + Noctilux
Noctilux Portrait

I hope you liked them?
Look out for my “MOTW” blog posts for more model photography photos going forward!

Leica – Travelling Light (2)

Leica: Travelling Light – Packing for a 10kg Photography Trip Abroad (Part 2)

Billingham Hadley Digital

I have another Leica location shoot abroad fast approaching so am trying to decide what camera equipment to take again.  It is another trip to Poland to shoot with a local agency, this time based in the Polish coastal city of Sopot.  I have a hotel organised on the beach so am hoping the weather will be kind to us.  I have also arranged for stylists and makeup artists to get involved to allow us to hopefully get some more high fashion images.

So what camera gear to take?  I have reviewed the approximate weight of some of the items I would like to take and per the internet information available the details are:

Speedlight + Batteries – 1100g
Fuji GF670 Folder 6×6/6×7 – 1000g
Fuji GS645 Folder 6×4.5 – 750g
Leica M9 Body (+Battery) – 600g
Leica M2 Body – 580g
Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 – 580g
Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO – 430g
Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 – 230g
Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2 – 244g
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 – 175g
Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5 – 156g


After my last visit the items I missed the most were (1) a speedlight (2) medium format film so I have recently bought two compact folding medium format film cameras, the Fuji GS645 and Fuji GF670 for some medium format film photography.  On my last visit I was in the city so amongst the buildings there was less available light.  This time I am on the beach (hopefully) so should have more light to use a reflector with.  For the reason I think I will leave the 1100g speedlight at home.  The Fuji GS645 has an occasional sticking shutter so I rather take the Fuji GF670.  The digital Leica M9 camera is a must as it is my main workhorse.  I am also tempted to take the Leica M2 film camera so I can shoot 120 Kodak Portra 400 colour film and the 35mm Kodak T-Max 100 black and white film.  The next choice is my main portrait lens for the trip. The Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 was fantastic last time but I thought maybe I should take the super sharp Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO as it is for young skin fashion models.  Still to be decided (but I think I will probably take the Noctilux!).  For a second lens for the M2 the tiny Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 could be the ideal choice but I will decide between that and the larger sharper Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2.  Lastly I want a wider lens so hope to take the Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2 as I like the 28mm focal length.  The super compact Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar would easily fit in the bag but I think will be too wide for my needs for this trip.

I hope to work with some of the models I met on my last trip together with a few new faces.  Here is a reminder from my last visit – Zuza (Leica M9 + Leica Noctilux 50mm f1)

Leica M9 Fashion

As always I will share some of my favourite images and my thoughts once I get back.



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Travelling Light (Part 1)

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