Customer Gallery: Interview with Oliver Preuss July 31 2014
When Leica photographer Oliver Preuss isn't at home in Guatemala, he's traveling the world with his beloved Leica M9 rangefinder. Oliver's love for photography started at an early age, as his father always had cameras in the house. Oliver was an early adapter of digital photography, however, shooting with the Leica M9 has allowed him to rediscover manual photography and the art of the optical rangefinder.
Oliver's Leica M-System images will be featured in our customer gallery at Leica Store Miami through September 14th. Make sure to stop by and see these beautiful prints!
Q: How do you like working with the Leica M9?
A: I loved working with the M9. It was a step back to the basics of photography that I believe I really needed and wanted. Before purchasing the M9 I hadn't manually focused a camera in a long time…I had fallen into the automated world of the DSLR's. Shooting my M9 was a truly liberating experience, and a step back into the film realm, but with the advantages of digital. I loved the fact that I had to think about a shot before taking it. I started to take less shots and putting a bit more thought into each one…a bit like in the film days. It did wonders for my enjoyment of the art of photography. Last year I moved on to the Leica M (Typ 240), which I believe is a magnificent machine and the ultimate marriage of Rangefinder and Digital technology.Q: Do you generally prefer to photograph landscapes or people? Why?
A: I love taking landscape photography. We all have had those moments when we look at a landscape or a sunset and feel our heart skip a beat…where one is in awe of nature and its beauty. To be able to capture the essence of that moment and be able to share and re-live that instant in time is an awesome feeling.
Q: Which M-System lens or lenses do you use the most? Do you have a favorite focal length for your photography?
A: My preferred lens selection has evolved over time. As my love for landscapes grew, so did my love for wide angle lenses. The workshop with Leica Store Miami in the Everglades in 2012 gave me the opportunity to try out the 21mm Super-Elmar-M…it was love at first sight. The 21mm Super-Elmar-M and my 28mm Summicron-M are always in my bag.
Q: Do you place more of an emphasis on the technical or the creative aspects of your work?
A: I believe I am more of a creative guy. The basic enjoyment of capturing a moment in time is what makes me love photography.
Q: What (or who) inspires you most in photography?
A: There are so many good and fantastic photographers out there, that it is increasingly difficult to stand out. Two types of photographers inspire me the most… those that use their photography to create awareness for a cause, and manage to do so artistically, and those that go to the ends of the world to capture that landscape that makes us want to have been there.
Q: Do you prefer color or black & white images? Why?
A: Most of the time I prefer color…simply because it is the way we look at the world. Black and white photography, however, has a beauty of its own, and can be very powerful. So I guess sometimes it just depends on the mood I’m in.
Q: What is your favorite place that you have ever photographed? Is it somewhere familiar or exotic?
A: Most of my photography happens when I am on vacation… so a lot of it involves the ocean and the beach. Because I like landscapes, the more exotic, the better. It is hard to choose a favorite place however, as every place has its magic. If I had to choose a photographic experience as a whole, I would choose the everglades workshop with Leica Store Miami and Paul Marcellini. Paul had already chosen fantastic and beautiful landscape, so it was pure enjoyment for 4 days straight. Being part of a group that likes the activity as much as one does naturally adds to the experience as one shares anecdotes, images, and photographic talents.
Q: Leica has a special place in the world of photography. What does your Leica mean to you?
A: Aside from the historical weight of the Leica name, Leica is true photography to me. No other photographic instrument will let you experience this art form as Leica does. From the moment you take that rangefinder into your hands, to the moment you focus those lenses and see what you can do with them… you will be hooked.
Q: What do you plan to photograph next? Do you have any upcoming trips or photo adventures?
A: In late September I plan to visit the Copper Canyon in Chihuahua Mexico. I can hardly wait.