A Selection of Excellence from The Leica Meet (4)

This weeks top shots from The Leica Meet Flickr group.

Andrea Bianco

Andrea Bianco

Urtaur

Urtaur

Tobi Gaulke

Tobi Gaulke

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Steve Lee

Steve Lee

Stephen Cosh

Stephen Cosh

Spyro Zarifopolous

Spyro Zarifopolous

Paul Borg Olivier

Paul Borg Olivier

Michael Walker-Toye

Michael Walker-Toye

Gavin Mills

Gavin Mills

Mark Hall

Mark Hall

Makka Kesuma

Makka Kesuma

Johannes Huwe

Johannes Huwe

Haoming Wang

Haoming Wang

Gavin Mills

Gavin Mills

DonStevie

DonStevie

Dirk Vogel

Dirk Vogel

Benya Acame

Benya Acame

Axel Wohlbold

Axel Wohlbold

If you would like your photo removed from this article, please contact me via this blog.

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A Selection of Excellence from The Leica Meet (3)

This weeks top shots from The Leica Meet Flickr group.

@paul@

@paul@

Antonio Sanchez-Barriga

Antonio Sanchez-Barriga

Bill McCarroll

Bill McCarroll

Camelot98

Camelot98

Christine de Loë

Christine de Loë

Daniel Suharya

Daniel Suharya

Gireesh G V

Gireesh G V

Haoming Wang

Haoming Wang

Johannes Huwe

Johannes Huwe

Olaf Willoughby

Olaf Willoughby

Rod Higginson

Rod Higginson

Sorin Vidis

Sorin Vidis

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Thomas Skov

Thomas Skov

Tobi Gaulke

Tobi Gaulke

If you would like your photo removed from this article, please contact me via this blog.

A Selection of Excellence from The Leica Meet (2)

This weeks top shots from The Leica Meet Flickr group.

Alex B Muir

Alex B Muir

Camelot98

Camelot98

Frédéric Lanoizelé

Frédéric Lanoizelé

Haoming Wang

Haoming Wang

Johannes Huwe

Johannes Huwe

jonathanliewys

jonathanliewys

Julien Ducenne

Julien Ducenne

Keith Goldstein

Keith Goldstein

Lane 4 Imaging

Lane 4 Imaging

Lillo Cabrera

Lillo Cabrera

Mark Heaver

Mark Heaver

Rick Bronks

Rick Bronks

Stephen Starkman

Stephen Starkman

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Tobias Gaulke

Tobias Gaulke

Win Soegondo

Win Soegondo

If you would like your photo removed from this article, please contact me via this blog.

A Selection of Excellence from The Leica Meet (2)

This weeks top shots from The Leica Meet Flickr group.

Axel Wohlbold

Axel Wohlbold

Benya Acame

Benya Acame

Win Soegondo

Win Soegondo

Turodrique Fuad

Turodrique Fuad

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Steve Lee

Steve Lee

Stephen Cosh

Stephen Cosh

Rob Steele

Rob Steele

Marc Hartog

Marc Hartog

Marc Hartog

Marc Hartog

Johannes Huwe

Johannes Huwe

Jason Howe

Jason Howe

Giuseppe De Santis

Giuseppe De Santis

Gianluca Federighi

Gianluca Federighi

Gavin Mills

Gavin Mills

Ferenc Simicz

Ferenc Simicz

Elie Bescont

Elie Bescont

Daniel Novello

Daniel Novello

camelot98

camelot98

If you would like your photo removed from this article, please contact me via this blog.

Over Confidence with the Leica M Monochrom

Shooting with the Leica M System takes practice. At first it’s not easy, but the more you use it, the easier it gets until after a while it’s just instinctive. You lift the camera to your eye, adjust the focus tab, overlap the two images in the viewfinder and press click. Or at least that is what you do if you shoot Aperture Priority all the time. If you don’t use AP, it’s a little more complicated, but being a street shooter, I need to capture my subjects very quickly and Aperture Priority is a must. It alleviates the need to set shutter speed leaving you with nothing but focusing to worry about… Unless you’re shooting with a Leica M Monochrom.

The Monochrom is a superb camera. It is black and white only, full frame and captures an uncanny amount of detail, so much detail that numerous people have stated it produces a sharper, more detailed shot than most black and white medium format cameras. I can’t back this up as I have no experience of MF cameras either digital or film. What I can say is that of all the 35mm cameras I have ever shot, both digital and film, nothing I’ve ever seen compares to the clarity, sharpness and tonal gradation that the Monochrom achieves. It is simply outstanding… Until it bites you in the ass!

I live in Scotland. Scotland, albeit a fantastic country full of haggis and whisky, is grey. We don’t get much sun here, so setting an M camera up for street shooting is easy. Here’s the drill…

  1. Fire it onto Aperture Priority
  2. Set slowest shutter speed to 1/60th of a second
  3. Set Max ISO to 5000 or 8000 depending on wether you are shooting day or night
  4. Get out on the street – you’re ready to go

This set up works great when the sun you do get in Scotland is forcing it’s way through layers of grey cloud. It never fails. Keep your lens wide open, click the button and let your camera sort out shutter speed and ISO and you have your photo. But last week I went to London for a day and took the camera… When I got home it bit me in the ass.

I took about 40 shots, got home and uploaded the shots from the card and all but a few were overexposed. Why? London was sunny! I was shooting wide open with the camera set up for grey Scottish light and the bright sunlight in London was just too much for the Monochrom. The (non-technical) reason for this is that the Monochrom has no Bayer filter and therefor lets in more light. Too much light hitting a sensor will burn out the blacks and cause overexposure. With a colour camera (one with a Bayer sensor), you can save nearly all overexposed shots by playing around with the colour channels in Photoshop, Aperture or Lightroom, but with the Monochrom you only have one channel – black.

The settings I should have used are…

  1. Fire it onto Aperture Priority
  2. Set slowest shutter speed to 1/125th of a second
  3. Set Max ISO to 2500

So there I was, sitting looking at 40 odd overexposed shots thinking what a waste and I started to delete them one by one, but then came across a few that had just enough black in them that I though I might be able to save some.

It’s testament to both the Leica M Monochrom and Leica lenses, that even in the harshest of sunlight and wide open with a shutter speed that is too slow, that they can capture and render such strong contrasts. It may be the main reason that Leica lenses are so damn good.

I opened up one of the shots in Silver Effex and started playing around with the contrast slider and hey presto, and totally by (happy) accident, came up with an image that looks like a deliberate hi-key shot. I played with a few more and managed to save 8 or 9 of the 40 i had taken. Lucky!

Lunch

So the moral of this story is that when you use a manual camera, specifically a Leica M Monochrom, just remember the word “manual”. Don’t rely on settings you used in one location just to “automatically” work elsewhere. Photography is all about capturing light and if your camera is set up for a different type of light than the one your shooting in… it’ll bite you in the ass!