Coronavirus in NYC photographed on the Leica M9 and Leica M10

A Look at the Coronavirus in New York City photographed on the Leica M9 and Leica M10 by John Ricard, a NYC based portrait photographer (website, Instagram):

I set out on March 18-19, 2020 to photograph the effect of the Coronavirus on the streets of New York City expecting to capture a lot of sad depressing photographs of a city in fear. I was actually wondering if I would convert the images to B&W or would that be too big a cliche. But when I hit the streets, I wasn’t seeing fear and hesitation everywhere. Instead, I encountered a sparsely populated city that was still full of life, vibrance, and hope. Sure there were people wearing masks, but there were also groups of people walking the streets, socializing and just enjoying unseasonably mild Spring temperatures in the greatest city in the world.

A Look at Coronavirus in NYC, March 18 and 19, 2020, photographed by John Ricard.


It would be nice if I could say that these (mostly young) people who put fear aside and left the security of their homes to roam the streets and subways were the brave ones -the ones who faced down the irrational fear of socialization put forth by the media and instead chose joy insecurity. But, we are so early in this crisis that there is no way of knowing if the people I photographed were courageous or foolish. This is a time of uncertainty for many citizens around the world. I’m just hoping we all come through this situation unscathed.



All images were captured using Leica M9 and M10 cameras. I recently re-bought an M9 after having sold mine to fund the purchase of the M10. I still love the look of the CCD sensor. I use the M9 for any shot where I feel I will only be shooting 4 or 5 images. The image of the gentleman on the subway who was showing all the wipes and masks he was traveling with, was taken with the M9. He was posing for me and there was no real rush to capture the shot. The guy sitting in front of the neon USA flag was also taken with the M9. I asked him for permission to take his photograph and I walked around a bit working the shot from different angles, but I wasn’t planning on shooting him for too long because I didn’t him to become uncomfortable with what I was doing.



The image of the couple walking in Times Square was taken (with permission) on the M10. I photographed 27 images in 76 seconds and I can’t do that with the M9 because of its small buffer. The image of the girl crouching in the deli was also one where I fired off quite a few images on the M10. She was energetic and happy, but also unpredictable. She gave me permission to take her photograph, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had instantly asked me to stop. So the quickness of the M10 was welcome. All images were captured on the 35mm Summicron (which I find flat and unpleasing in its rendering), the 24mm Elmarit and the 21mm Elmarit (which is damaged and can only be focused properly using live view on the M10 or by shooting at a small aperture).



I’m looking forward to hitting the streets one day soon and photographing a city that has made it through this crisis and is filled with celebration and joy on every train, corner and establishment.



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Guest post: Coronavirus in Beijing by Pierre Alivon

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