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Welcome to another Conversing Cameras. This week we chat with Joel Gelin. I first met Joel through the regular Beers & Cameras meetup in San Diego. Little did I know that Joel was a musician before taking on photography. Over the past few weeks, it's been exciting to help Joel get into the Leica SL 601 system to work in tandem with his Leica R mount lenses. Without further ado, let's jump in!
Q: Your Camera Bag: What kind of gear can be found in your Camera bag today?
A: Leica SL, Leica R4S, Leica R5, Leica 3 CAM R 50mm Summicron (LATE), Leica 3 CAM R 35mm Elmarit (LATE), Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG L Mount
Q: Tell us about yourself: Who are you, what is your background?
A: I am photographer and dad of two young girls. I grew up as a musician, and was fortunate enough to record and tour, but as my career developed and family expanded, I wasn't able to pursue that art form at that level. Low and behold I discovered photography at a late age, and it unlocked the dopamine hit I used to get from playing high energy punk rock music. Now I'm a tenured Sales Directory, raising my two girls, and making as many frames as possible.
Q: The Begining: What first sparked your interest in photography and Cameras?
A: There was something alluring about catching moments. Whether with my family, my friends, or going to concerts... I found myself drawn by the idea of capturing and keeping them. With a technical sales and music background, the G.A.S came on fast and hard. I wanted to learn all things - digital, film, formats, and aesthetics.
Q: Tell us about your work. What kind of photography do you do and enjoy?
A: Most of my shooting is of my daughters. Venturing into co-parenting has led me to really value the time I spend with them, and photography is the catalyst to preserve that time. With regard to client work, my niche has been all things music. Working with bands, record labels, venues, and management companies for all things band imaging. Promotional shoots, live concerts, and studio recording sessions.
Q: What's the most fascinating thing to you about photography?
A: The most fascinating thing to me is being able to express my visions, in a shared experience. While shooting concerts, everyone involved has a different experience, yet it's shared. Capturing that from my perspective is always alluring, and I'm always hunting for the subtleties and nuances of a scene.
Q: Do you like to shoot film or digital?
A: Both. Different aesthetic for different purpose. There is something special about 35mm film. Always has been, and always will be.
Q: Who is your favorite photographer?
A: This is a tough one. So many influences. Sal Leiter & Bresson, Neal Preston, Herb Ritts... Hard to choose one.
Q: Do you have any favorite quotes about photography?
A: "Ingrained in the grain. And drunk on bokeh" - TTNG "A different kind of small"
Q: Who are some of your favorite Instagram photographers?
A: Tyler Shields
Q: What’s your favorite camera? Why?
A: Pentax 67 + 105 F2.4. Biggest regret selling. The detail and feel of that piece of kit speaks to me.
Q: You’re heading on an adventure for a week and can only take one camera & one lens. What is it? Tell us about your most minimal setup.
A: Leica SL + 50mm R Summicron. Consistent, familiar, and spectacular.
Q: What next: If you could add anything to your camera bag what would it be?
A: Leica Q.