My name is Todd Hatakeyama, and like many of you, I got into photography as a hobby and enjoyed it so much that it became my career. I travel frequently, usually once or twice per month, and love to take photos of my trips. After shooting landscape and travel for years, I moved on to portraits, events, and weddings. In 2009, I opened my own studio to do photography full-time and now teach lighting workshops and sponsor local photo clubs.
My first camera was a Canon Xti DSLR with a 50mm f1.8 lens. Subsequently, I upgraded to 20D, 30D, 40D, 5D, and 5D MKII camera bodies and experimented with many lenses, from Canon, Sigma and Tamron, and eventually ended up with all Canon L lenses. For my travel I switched to the lighter Olympus E-P2 micro four-thirds system, but was just never happy with the results compared to my Canon gear.
I finally invested in a Leica M9 because of its convenient, compact size and amazing image quality. I love that I can carry one camera body and five lenses that weigh less than 7 pounds instead of 20 pounds of Canon gear. I was so pleased with how the pictures turned out that I started using the M9 in the studio with lighting, and achieved better results than I’d seen from my Canon or my friends’ Nikon gear.
Most Leica shooters I’ve encountered only use available light, but I realized that speedlights and strobes can be valuable tools for the Leica shooter. In this blog, I want to help other Leica fans discover the great effects that a little extra lighting can achieve with their Leica cameras. I’ll review different gear, give some tips on lighting setups, and share some of the travel photos I’ve taken both with and without lighting. I hope you enjoy the site and check back often for the latest posts!