Leica M Experience Day

June 25, 2015, 10am – 4pm

Join the Leica Akademie, with instructor Tom Brichta and professional photographer David Butow. at Camera West in Walnut Creek for a hands-on day with the Leica M system. Learn from the pros and then experience for yourself what the Leica M system can do for you!

This event is free and limited to just 10 participants so reserve your seat soon! Loaner equipment will be available for attendees to try out!

Contact Camera West at 925-935-1424 to register or for more information.

Tom Brichta (left) and David Butow

Tom Brichta’s passion for photography started in the early seventies with the purchase of his first SLR. When he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the late seventies, he fell in love with the outdoors and the land and seascapes of Northern California.

From the mid nineties to the present, Tom has been the Leica Camera Representative for Northern California, and a Leica North American Akademie instructor, for him, “his dream job”. He gets to work with some of the finest camera equipment, and leads photo workshops. His workshops not only have taken him throughout California and other parts of the U.S., but to other beautiful places on earth.

California-based photojournalist David Butow has worked professionally for three decades in many countries including Afghanistan, Burma, Iraq, Peru and Yemen. His photographic coverage of subjects such as the 2011 Japanese tsunami, the 2008 China earthquake as well as social issues in the United States have won awards from, World Press Photo, Communications Arts, American Photography Annual, Photo District News and others. His current project, Seeing Buddha has been published in the New York Times and National Geographic magazine.

Butow’s photographs have been exhibited in various venues such at the Asia Society and United Nations in New York and Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan, France. He is a member of Redux Pictures and has been a guest lecturer at many institutions including the Annenberg Space for Photography, Stanford University and Brooks Institute of Photography. His commercial and editorial clients have included National Geographic Books, Apple and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Leica In The Point Reyes Landscape

Leica In The Landscape
Point Reyes National Seashore
June 14 -18, 2015

Join the Leica Akademie, with instructor Tom Brichta and regional fine art photographer Michael Phaling, as they lead four days of hands-on instruction at Point Reyes National Seashore. Explore the area’s many features and focus on photographing the landscape in black and white, capturing subjects using light, texture, and form.

Attendees will relax in local restaurants after days filled with instruction, assignments, editing sessions, and critique/review. Accommodations on Tomales Bay in Inverness provide ample opportunity to leave everyday life behind while immersing in the learning process.

Photographers of all skill levels will have a great time during the workshop. All attendees should be familiar with the functions of their camera, including manual control of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

For information and registration, visit http://goo.gl/ubMs5q


Death Valley Workshop

Death Valley Workshop
Leica in the Landscape – A Discerning Eye
March 23-March 27, 2015

Discover the best that Death Valley National Park has to offer during this Leica in the Landscape program led by fine-art photographer Michael Phaling and Leica Akademie Instructor Tom Brichta. We take the guesswork out of the itinerary planning, allowing you to simply enjoy four days of uninterrupted landscape photography in one of the most beautiful and geographically diverse areas of the world.

Each day will present you with several new locations to photograph beginning with Mt. Whitney and Lone Pine Peak above the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California. A short drive then brings you to the Death Valley locations of the Mesquite Dunes, Dante’s View, Badwater, Zabriskie Point, Artist Drive, and many others.

Tom and Mike will be your guides as you develop a discerning eye towards color, form, shape, light, and content in the desert landscape. Their complimentary teaching styles, along with practical hands-on tips and techniques, will prove invaluable as you encounter one inspirational landscape after another.

For more information, visit http://us.leica-camera.com/World-of-Leica/Leica-Akademie/Calendar or contact Tom Brichta at (415) 686-1522.

Explore Monterey to Big Sur with the Leica Akademie

Join Leica Akademie Instructors Tom Smith and Tom Brichta, as you explore with them the beautiful California coast from Monterey to Big Sur.

The California coast in the spring is simply poetic. Sunny days of dazzling light play on the water, lush green countryside, spring wildflowers, misty sunrises, and astounding sunsets embellish a landscape where the rock of the land offers up its best to the sea.

Over a period of five days, you will be immersed in this dynamic landscape. You will experience the Monterey Wharf and Harbor, Pacific Grove, Carmel River Beach, Monastery Beach, Point Lobos State Reserve, Garrapata Beach, Rocky Point, Bixby Creek Bridge, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and McWay Falls. Additional stops will be made to explore the beautiful village and shops of “Carmel by the Sea.”

Topics covered include:

  • Composition
  • Exposure
  • Metering the landscape
  • Use of Filters
  • Strategies for editing and processing
  • Seeing in Black and White
  • Getting great pictures while traveling

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – Saturday, April 26, 2014

For more infö and to sign up :


The M Monochrom Leica Akademie

Join us for a full day of black and white photography in Palm Springs, CA with the unique M Monochrom on April 27, 2013 from 9am to 6pm.

Many of the world’s most memorable images were shot in black and white, and as any experienced black-and-white shooter can attest, there is still something unique, compelling, and beautiful about this traditional medium.

This one-of-a-kind workshop will let you explore this fascinating monochromatic world using the unique M Monochrom camera. This program combines a class lecture with real world shooting experience. Under the guidance of a seasoned Leica Akademie instructor you’ll gain a more profound understanding of the nuance of the M Monochrom and its ability to capture light, texture, contrast, and tonal gradation.  This workshop will focus on capturing images and getting the most out of the unique sensor used in the M Monochrom.

Topics covered include:

  • Pros and Cons of shooting M Monochrom vs. M9 and converting.
  • Test Shoot with the M Monochrom.
  • Maximizing capture from the M Monochrom, resolution and tonal range.
  • What makes a good B&W image?
  • Developing a new way of seeing.

Cost is $249 and participants will receive a $150 voucher that can be used toward the purchase of a brand new serial numbered Leica M product.

Contact us here at Camera West for more info.

760-992-5422 (Rancho Mirage store)

925-935-1424 (Walnut Creek store)