All Leica M9 photos by Benji Messmer. Used with Creative Commons permission.
Leica cameras have been popular compact companions not only of street photographers, but also of on-the-go photographers. The Leica M9 in particular, despite turning 10 years old this year, remains a favorite travel camera of many today. We think we know exactly why: it gives a timeless chrome film look to those travel snaps. Just take a look at the work of Germany-based art director Benji Messmer and you’ll see what we mean!
Messmer’s Behance portfolio actually features a large collection of Leica M9 snaps, and a big chunk of it are from his travels and road trips in Asia, Italy, Spain, and USA. A lot of these photos also double as eye-catching street photography, so you can also view them as inspiration for doing street photography when visiting a foreign city.
The Leica M9, introduced in September 2009, has an 18.5 Megapixel Kodak CCD sensor that was developed especially for the model. This is most likely where the lo-fi look comes from. Sure, post processing plays a big part in creating the overall look, but we think the combination of the Leica lenses and the sensor allows the photos to have a chrome film look at the base.
Messmer’s photos show us the enduring qualities of Leica cameras, even if they’re already a decade old like the M9. They are made to last generations, something that film photographers shooting with vintage Leica cameras can especially attest to. Sure, we now have plenty of newer models to choose from, but we also can’t deny that there’s no problem keeping and shooting with an old camera.
If you’re looking for more examples of Leica M9 as an ideal travel camera, Ashwin Rao also has a great write-up and selection of photos here.