Courtney Cania Leica IIIa Project Page - travispaigephotography

Courtney Cania - About Me

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I am a family and portrait photographer working primarily in lifestyle and documentary genres. I am driven by an insatiable appetite to create images and hone my craft. Each image is a devotion to my search for truth in the reverence of beauty and moment. I look for a trace of the divine in everything and everyone. I live with my husband, Sal, and young daughter, Penelope, in West Lebanon, NH. I have lived mainly between New Hampshire and Vermont with a few short stints beyond. I love Netflix, cherry sour ales, and grilled cheese.

My Comments on Using the Leica IIIa

I was very intimidated when I first received the Leica. Loading and unloading, winding and advancing the film, looking through one viewfinder to focus and another to compose were new challenges for me, as I primarily shoot digital with autofocus lenses.

Since I have shot film, I had a handle on lighting and film speed, but the manual nature of the camera—while art in its own right—forced me to slow down and think about whether the shot was worth the work, and how I might make the most of each click.

I skipped certain shots because of the extra steps involved in shooting the Leica, and in doing so, cultivated such admiration for photographers who worked in the industry void of our current automatic luxuries. Thus, I feel like a complete amateur using the Leica!

I lost one roll of film from loading it wrong, on which I (thought) I shot fireworks on the Fourth of July. I was pleasantly surprised with the shots I did get, somehow in focus and decently composed. I am thrilled with one particular graphic/abstract image of Collier's Cranes in the atrium of the MIT Stata Center.

This project, while humbling, confirmed my notion that taking a photo today versus 1937 is quite literally a snap.

With that said, all the electronic helpers and feedback of today’s camera technology raises my expectations for my own photography. Shooting mirrorless makes taking an in-focus, properly exposed image a breeze, but that doesn't always translate to a good image. In the art of slowing down to create an image, even if by the nature of operating the camera, the photographer is forced to be more selective, and pays closer detail to light, composition, and moment. And this, I believe, is the root of the resurgence in shooting with film and vintage cameras.

Seldom do I celebrate the serendipity of being in the right moment at the right time when shutter clicks are free with digital--there's got to be something great in those 10 frames per second, right? With the Leica, I was simply thrilled that anything developed.

Photos Taken by Courtney

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