It was Saturday 21st November 2015, the day I was honoured to finally meet with the great American photographer, teacher and youtuber Mark Wallace, and yes he uses the famous Leica MP 240. If you are really into photography and watch youtube to improve yourself, then I think you could know him. It was an amazing experience for me and of course Mark was kind enough and let me play with his 15k USD camera, and you know what? It was awesome!
In this article I will share this wonderful day with you.
As you can guess by now, this day will stick in my head for quite some time for sure, It all started on Friday 20th November 2015. Just one day before the amazing event. For me at first just it was an ordinary Friday. After work I just relaxed, checked the Facebook notifications and found out, that one of my favourite American photographer Mark Wallace is going to have a Photo Walk in Prague. So for me, it was no brainer, and I went there the next day.
The meeting point was set in front of the statue of Wenceslas the Saint (one of the most recognised Czech statue), located on Vaclav (Wenceslas Square) at 3pm. I was really excited and came early and patiently waited for him. As usual, there were so many people around the statue. There were some guys waiting with me as well, but I was not sure, if they were waiting for Mark of someone else. After a while I saw a tall man coming towards me wearing a red hiking jacket and a very stylish black Leica camera around his neck. I look up into his face and sure, it was Mark Wallace. Yes, he looks just like in all his youtube videos.
So all of us who were waiting for Mark, gathered up and introduce ourselves. Most of us were from Prague, but there was a guy who came all the way from Ostrava, which is one of the biggest cities of Czech rep., located north east from Prague (around 372 Km, hmm big fan indeed). At first we were all starring at Mark’s Leica 240MP, he noticed and asked us: “show me your weapons” :-D. I showed him my precious Sony A6000, he was surprised how small and light it was, and I think he liked it a lot :-). It turns out there were no Canon users among us that day, Most the guys were using Nikon D7100 or Fuji X series. One guy had a small Sony NEX 6 with the amazing german gem the Zeiss 28mm F2.8 (lucky guy, for sure).
After a short introduction with all the photowalk members, we all walked down the street towards the Charle’s Bridge. So during the walk, we met a protest parade against using animal fur, I managed to take some snapshots with my 35 years old Canon nFD 35mm F2 lens.
Mark wanted to shot Charle’s Bridge from a different angle, so we came to Manes Bridge. Even though it was cold, the weather was perfect, nice clouds not so windy and the sunset was magical. Mark managed to take a beautiful image for his next episode of the series called “Exploring photography”.
You can check the video and Mark final image on this link here.
Really nice image indeed, I also managed to create my version of this beauty as well:
After while we had to go to Starbucks located in Wenceslas square. Why? Reason no. 1, it was getting really cold outside, reason no.2, because Mark arranged another meeting point there for the people, who came late.
At Starbucks, each of us bought a warm beverage, went upstairs and just chill while waiting for newcomers. We sat here for almost two hours and during this time, Mark taught us, how to use his Leica rangefinder, and after playing a little bit with the camera, I can now surely say, that I love Leica. Why? Let’s just say it is something you would have to experience yourself to understand :-).
We managed to ask Mark many questions. It was a great conversation and I learnt a lot from him. As we talk with each other, we eventually found out that most of us are either working as IT specialist or used to work as one of them. Mark also confirmed this interesting statistics and told us that most of his attendees has or had an IT background.
When we finished the launch, few more guys had to go home, especially those who does not live in Prague. Before that, I asked Mark to have picture with me.