Daily Inspiration #405 by Allen Bourgeois

Hi Steve,

I know lots of things about the new M Monochrom lately but I wanted to add and share some of my thoughts and images about shooting on the street with the MM.

One thing I really noticed right away was the freeing ability to shoot on the streets at high ISOs. Not just for being able capture clean, sharp images at night or in low light but to really be able to stop action and still have still have a deep depth of field. I will often shoot at 1600 and 3200 ISO, shoot at 1/500 of a second at f/11. This allows me to use the depth of field scales on the lens and hyper/pre focus so I am ready when the moment happens.

I am not much for writing and as you can see not much of a writer so I instead would rather show some of the work I have been doing with the MM and 35 Summilux FLE (11663). Most shot at high ISOs, fast shutter speeds and deep depth of field.










  1. Awesome work, Al! Great to see what a pro does for fun! How long did you wait for the “third leg” shot to align?

    • Hi Jason,

      Sorry just saw this.

      I waited a split second. I saw him walking my way and the mural was kinda in front of me so i just squared up to the wall and hoped I could time it so the leg in the mural was at a similar angle to his. I got lucky…

  2. What Cartier-Besson said is his responsibility…Did he not also write that photography was nothing compared to painting, the real art?

    But is sharpness not one of the reasons (among others) why we are so fond of Leica glass? 🙂

    • Besson loved Leica and Leica glass to but I think he was referring to sharpness is not the end all that the content is and should be the real issue.

  3. I love the third one and someone was taking a picture in the car the same time 🙂

  4. Thanks so much Steve for posting this and thank you everyone for taking the time to look and comment.

  5. Wonderful photos! I was in Chicago 2 weekends ago shooting with my M8. I try and take the train once a month to go get photos. If you want to photowalk sometime let me know, I would love to try the 35 FLE out and you could use my 50 Summilux ASPH if you like.

    • That would be cool. Lets try and set up something in a few weeks though I usually try and get out at least one day a week if my work schedule will allow…

  6. Wow, you really got a feeling for the moment and details. In almost every picture there is something small yet important to discover.

  7. Some nice street captures, Allen. Personally, I like them all….

    And even though I will never be able to afford the MM, I do appreciate its capabilities. Love the tonal range the camera is able to produce OOC with minimal processing. I will just stick with my newly acquired Fuji X100S which does a decent job OOC itself.

  8. Allen, really enjoyed your well observed scenes. Laughed out loud at the picture of the guy with three legs.
    However, I wouldn’t worry too much about extended depth of field because…wait for it, “sharpness is a Bourgeois concept”.
    Apologies Allen, couldn’t resist that.

    • LoL yes that famous Bresson quote and I do agree with him…

      I do have a body of work I call Bourgeois Color.

  9. Some greats shots there. I laughed out loud when I saw the picture of the guy with a mohawk hairdo messing with his smartphone. The passenger in the adjacent car is also taking a picture of him with their phone!

  10. Hi Allen,
    I really enjoy these photos, especially the sixth one with the pigeon landing beside the woman on the steps. Very nice capture.

    Can you say something about your processing?


    • Thanks so much for the kind words EVERYONE. Nothing fancy just photoshop CS4 and levels, curves an occasional quick mask and some local spot corrections. Thats really it.

  11. Hi Allen, isn’t the MM a dream to use? For one thing it’s not quite as offensive to use, people don’t see it as such a threat as an all singing dancing DSLR. If shooting in S single mode, you can take the shot moving the camera out of sight release finger pressure thus letting shutter re-arm. Shooting 35mm means you have greater opportunity to have it all in focus, there is a greater latitude for framing shots from the hip, great work.

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