Beautiful Northern Lights with the Leica SL Koree Abdelrahman and his Leica SL

Half Korean Half Egyptian, born in Queens, New York now based in Alexandria –Egypt, Abdel Rahman Gabr-(Koree) is a Filmmaker and a Photographer. He captures inspiring and engaging stories and creative insights, working across a broad range of media, generating original creative insights and executions in TV Ads, Photography, and Advertising. Founder of Qube Productions & Koree Films, he grew up in a fascinating cultural melting pot consisting primarily of Korean and Egyptian families, so he was certainly no stranger to the joys and challenges of cultural diversity.

Leica HQ and Leica Egypt was kind enough to invite me to Leitz Park to attend the Leica SL launch, met great people that day and it was my first time holding the camera and testing it, it was like Christmas. I believe for me it’s the perfect camera, I can use it for sports, advertising and landscapes, so it has the benefits of many camera specs in one slim mirror less full frame camera. And of course I won’t talk about the design and built, it’s a Leica, you will always expect the best of everything.

Then during Photokina I was sharing my earlier project “Faces of Egypt” book using my Leica S system with Leica , and Jean Jacques and Saskia asked me what can you do with the Leica SL, So I told them that I am thinking of going to Norway for the Northern lights, and they we were really excited and on board with the idea. So from there we communicated till they sent me the SL to Norway.

© Koree Abdelrahman

One month after Photokina I arrived for the first time to Norway, and when I arrived the hotel the first thing I asked of course is the package that came from Wetzlar, Germany.

Once I got it I was like a child who got his favorite toy of the year.

As the first time in Norway and shooting the Northern Lights with a camera I never used in the field before is quite scary and I didn’t want to disappoint the people in Leica. So my first night I took my gear and chased the lights and I found a beautiful road going downwards the to a beach. I stopped the car up on the hilltop and I took the SL and took the photo. First of all as a first time just witnessing this amazing beautiful phenomenon was just unbelievable. I mean you can stare up at the skies all night long and sleep at daytime. But in the same time the images on the SL are coming out more then perfect, cranking up the ISO and smooth images is the results. Then I continued the whole night with SL chasing the Northern Lights all around Tromso.

During daylight my friend Maria also a photographer and I was wandering around and camping with the limited amount of hours of day light, So I tried to experience the camera as much as I can, and it’s an amazing camera.

So now the technical part and pros, I am using a Leica SL and a Leica Vario – Elmarit- SL 24-90mm f2.8-4. I cant emphasis of how amazing this lens is, its pure beauty. And it’s perfect for me shooting lifestyle photography which request a lot of hiking and moving around, so one camera and one lens is the perfect combination and range I will ever need.

For the Dynamic range, couldn’t believe when I shot all day long and color correcting the photos on light room. I was able to pull back details without compromising the quality of the photos, and when you double click on light room just seeing the clarity and colors of the picture just gives you this full adrenaline to go out there and shoot more and more.

Tromso, Norway is way up north of Norway, and it was super cold there and I was shooting from 7 am till night shooting long exposures and I still had some more juice in the battery, I had a spare one but I rarely used it.

Low light sensitivity in the camera is one of the major highlights as I am able to increase the ISO and get amazing night images from milky ways to northern lights. The sensor and processor combination delivers high-resolution images at a rate of up to 11 fps and the 2GB internal buffer also allows for bursts of up to 33 DNG files or unlimited JPEGs which I doubt you will miss anything you were trying to capture.

Oh I almost forgot, not to mention its shoots 4K video and Full HD up to 120 fps. So a full frame camera with all this specs is a piece of art from Leica.

To know more about Koree’s work, please visit his official website.

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