David Lake

My love for photography began at an early age. From as early as I can remember my godfather Ken, a professional photographer in Sheffield, was always snapping away.

At the age of twelve, after an evening I’ll never forget at Sheffield City Hall taking snaps of Roxy Music in 1972 I sold my first images at school for a few shillings! Further non-official ‘commissions’ quickly followed from Queen, Elton John and others.

Moving on forty years I find myself gazing dreamily at Helmut Newton’s battered old Billingham bag and selection of Leica rangefinder cameras in the Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin. I can’t believe it …. I have my own Billingham bag now and my pride and joy Leica M9 rangefinder camera complete with Noctilux 50mm f0.95 lens.

Although the Nikon D4 was my choice of camera for most jobs the Leica M9 really changed the way I work and over the last few years I’ve never gone anywhere without it. Many of my corporate clients include keen photographers who love trying out this great camera during the coffee breaks. It has also allowed me to take the most personal portraits ranging from a recluse in Kathmandu to a multimedia entrepreneur on the 7pm from Euston to Piccadilly ….. who is now a friend, supplier and client.

I bought the Leica M9 to make me ‘think” about my photography again. It is reliable, but requires test shots and then makes me think much more about my surroundings, the optimum mix of aperture (more test shots), shutter speed (more test shots) and ISO (more test shots). Then after manually focusing I have it! The difference in pointing the Nikon at someone (a frown) or pointing the Leica at someone (a smile) is incredible.

More recently I have upgraded the M9 to the M10 and Noctilux f0.95 lens and also replaced all of my Nikon equipment with Leica’s new flagship camera system the SL with a full range of Leica lenses (50mm f1.4, 24-90mm f2.8 and the 90-280mm f2.8).

Published Work:

2002 “Spirit” – A collection of Lomo images celebrating Manchester’s Commonwealth Games

Exhibitions:

2004 “People of the Tsunami” – A collection of portraits from the Khao Lak region of Thailand

2008 “Pole to Pole” – A collection of portraits from around the globe

2011 “Leica Postcards” – A collection of portraits taken with my Leica M9

2012 “Northern Exposure” – Leica M9 images displayed at the Portico library, Manchester