The Leica M10 and 50 APO in Georgia. By Dan Bar

The Leica M10 and 50 APO in Georgia.

By Dan Bar

Hi again

Just got back from Georgia with the Leica M10 , this time I only took the 50 APO Cron with me. Georgia is a fantastic country for photographers The people are VERY nice and LOVE being photographed which makes life so much easier. This time I decided to shoot in low light conditions to see how the M10 behaves and what I found out was it is very capable not only in normal light but also in the dark. I usually shoot under exposed shots even in optimal light so I wanted to see what the outcome would be. I also did mostly portraits Hope you will like the M10 as I do 🙂
Thank you


  1. I’m really interested in these colors. I think this is what they call typical Leica colors.
    However, did you do that in post processing or are these colors mostly out of camera?Really great pictures!

    • No I don’t change the colors.
      The M10 JPG have this special Leica look. So I always shoot RAW+JPG and than pick the right one
      JPG is always darker right out of the camera

  2. I’m really interested in these colors. I think this is what they call typical Leica colors.
    However, did you do that in post processing or are these colors mostly out of camera?Really great pictures!

  3. I love your consistent approach and the fact that you are happy with his own work as no one should shoot for others. Also you seem to be very brave with your submissions.

    My favorite is the man with the bottle as I like filled frames.

    For those who never shoot center weighed, It is really difficult to get those pictures out of the camera.

  4. I have a lot of respect for Dan’s consistent “underexposed” approach to his imagemaking. In some cases it works really well. Moody, painterly.

    But portaits? If the eyes are the mirror of the soul, why can’t we see the eyes? There’s no light in them, and that’s not so much a result of the underexposure as of the treatment of the available light, and the snapshot approach; you can’t or don’t “direct” your subject to turn this or that way, in order to catch that glimmer of available light in his or her eye(s).

  5. I really like these; not all of them work quite as well as the others but I am a big fan of chiaroscuro lighting especially in portraits. The fifth image down, of the older female with the head scarf, is an absolute gem. The second from last image, of the young girl with the cuddly toy next to her is also excellent.

    Overall there is a very consistent style to the execution and that show a lot of thinking and a clear artistic vision. That in itself elevates the ‘artistic’ merit.

  6. I also tend to print my photos on the dark side, but I don’t underexpose at the camera, instead I work on it in post processing. My understanding is that if you underexpose at the camera then you are recording less useful information, essentially short changing yourself. I find it better to work closer to the right side of the histogram.
    I think this is important. Hopefully, others will comment on this.

    • Walter, just to comment on your underexposure question: I believe Dan, even though his files (how many stops underexposed from “correct” exposure? Three, four?) might still contain some detail in the shadows, just doesn’t want that detail very visible in his images.
      It’s an approach, like any other.

    • 1. You just have to be carefull not to burn the highlights w/ digital ( not a pb w/film ) 2. Metering is what’s important if you want to recover the blacks. But i’m not a pro, just my exp

      • Yes, get as close to the fire without getting burned. One problem with using the histogram on my camera is that it doesn’t always match to the histogram in post processing. Of course, it’s a lot easier to do this shooting landscape on a tripod than with candid exposures. I tend to shoot near sundown and I almost never have to deal with blown highlights with digital. Yes, lot’s of latitude when shooting most film. Your experience is what works. Pros are photographers that get paid for their work.

    • Hi
      Thank you. You are right I loose useful information but I don’t care as I decide what is useful and what is not,
      In order to get my object lightened and the surrounding dark I have to underexpose and yet make sure the object stands in the light.

      • I was trying to point out that you will capture more information and then it is your choice in post processing how you want to use it. If you underexpose at the camera, then the information is lost forever. Perhaps something to experiment with. I mention this because you seem to be open to experimenting. Cheers

  7. Great photographs, and excellent exercise in using nature light. Thanks, tells me not to be afeard of the dark.

  8. “They are so dark, so it must be art”. Ok, you found your niche, sets you apart from everyone else that exposes correctly. Some call it moody, I just find it hard to see. Maybe I just don’t understand art, or maybe I can see the emperor has no clothes.

      • Did I sound mad? Maybe you are right and I simply don’t understand. But that is also what artists say to people that don’t get their art. And maybe you did not understand my dry humor and you thought I was mad.

        • And not only you are putting words in Dan’s mouth, but YES you sound mad as hell ! I think everybody will agree on that

          • I wasn’t quoting DAn, I was quoting words I have heard before, what people say when you don’t like a piece of art they like. Also, if you think i sound mad as hell, then “you won’t like me when i’m angry”. (that’s a Hulk quote, not quoting Dan here either).

        • If that was humor than I did not understand
          Thank you for calling me an artist, I never thought i was one 🙂

          • Dan, aren’t we all artists of some kind? Even a kid making an ashtray in pottery class can be called an artist. Photography is an art form, so your pictures, especially since they have a particular look to it, would be considered by most a form of art, no? People keep missing the point of my comment, I wasn’t quoting you, I was quoting what people often say about art, when someone does not like it. And the emperor has no clothes implying falsehood as someone else said? Others say they see drama and artfulness, I just see a dark photo, so they claim they see all these fancy clothes, and I just see the emperor’s penis. (maybe i should fix that, I sound angry again).

      • Dear Walter, clicking on the image doesn’t change anything. I would suggest that these images more than likely are going down the “art” route. To actually describe them as photographs means we would have to go to the origins, meaning that we have captured-drawn-writing the “light” (photo). Here we have a lack of light, hence the lack of many a detail which defeats the purpose. BUT if we go down the route of “Art”..then i say nicely done.

        • Left clicking on the image brings me to a higher resolution image that looks
          dramatically improved on my monitor. I’m using a calibrated monitor, but even without, the improvement should be obvious. But, you might be saying that it’s a clearer picture of the same thing.
          I think I understand the distinction that you are making. I look at these as casual photos, where you don’t get to choose ideal lighting and normally don’t get to use a tripod. They are what they are.
          I have a friend who for years submitted, what he thought were his best images to a juried photo expo. But year after year he couldn’t get through the front door to the final judging. Finally, he submitted five of what he considered to be his worst photos and they all made it in. This may be an example of what you are saying.
          I think there are two sides to that coin. You’re photos need to be technically superb or off in the other direction. I have an equal affection for what comes out of a Mamiya 7 and a Holga. They both do what they do very well.
          I have this interesting copy of a photo, possibly colorized. Reminds me of the photo of the four people sitting around. I don’t know the origins of the photo, but there is someone playing the piano and someone playing the violin. A few people sitting to the side and either intently listening to the music or a polite indifference.
          Thanks for some interesting thoughts.

    • Where were the art claims? Reading Dan’s intro, my understanding is that he went to Georgia, took some pictures and is sharing. “The emperor has no clothes.”? Implying falsehoods? Dan clearly explained that he deliberately underexposed, so he exposed correctly. Maybe you passed over the narrative. Photograph for yourself, paint for yourself, basket weave for yourself…. Much of Gertrude Kasebier’s work is dark, as is some of Michael Kenna’s.
      If you think the problem might be is that you don’t understand, then get out there and work on it. It’s like wine tasting, beer tasting, etc… Just don’t be so hard on yourself.

  9. I know that taste is very variable -the images that most appeal to me are the ones with a balance of light and darkness .
    Others are just too dark for my taste .The ones with some light are really good though .

  10. Interesting shots, nicely done…but it seems to be quite dark in Georgia. Is it always like that? By the way I would think those shots would be great in Black and white, and even better black and white on film…
    Always good light,

  11. Dan

    I’m glad you told us your intentions for under exposure, so I could modify my expectations.

    Very dark and very moody. My favorite is the woman in the church.

    This works increadibly well for most of these images. The only two that are not to my taste are the outdoor image and the backlit image.

    Well done!

    • Agree. This is the standout shot. There’s enough info to understand what’s going on. Lovely.

      However, I also agree with the commenters who remark on the gross underexposure which seems to be rather pointless. Or is it because we just don’t “understand”?
      It might be the stated intention but for what purpose? It can’t be for mood since there is insufficient information to establish any context (the two walkers are possibly looking to end it all, or might it be they’re after a rabbit? – probably something far more mundane but who cares.).

      And I guess I’m long over gnarly “character” faces against a black backdrop, like those camera club sessions you read about. Next week, members, search for patterns.

      Possibly another three stops of underexposure may be even better..

      • “understand”?
        Dan went to Georgia, intentionally shot under low light conditions and
        deliberately underexposed. This to learn about his camera behaves under those conditions. Along with that sharing the photos from his adventure.
        You’re in a camera club where you finished shooting gnarly “character” faces, and next week you’re moving on to searching for patterns? Is that where you’re learning to critique? Right out of art appreciation class, “the two walkers are possibly looking to end it all, or might it be they’re after a rabbit?” Stay with it mate.

    • “You’re in a camera club…etc..”.
      Er, no, that was the very point I was not making. Never been in one, never want to be in one, in fact physically impossible unless I crank up the Cessna. Re-read the text and you’ll get the drift. Something about clichés, perhaps.

      I hope Dan agrees with your precise explanations of what he had in mind. One point was the limited amount of info available made it difficult to “read” some images.

      Not sure what the, “Stay with it mate”, means. Oh, yes, you’ve pulled me back from the brink. I see. Are you suggesting my slightly tongue-in-cheek suggestions are not the ones? How about that. In turn, could I suggest you embrace, at least in anyone bothering to express them, a few other opinions and not try to put down anything which does not pass Walter’s very own special approval?

  12. A really neat set of portraits.
    On my screen/laptop somewhat dark.
    It gives a somber and sad look to them.
    Your use of M10 and Summilux certainly justified,
    in your presentation.

  13. All, very nice…
    Especially like the photo with the four people; such pleasant, relaxed smile’s.

    • Some of these remind me of Rembrandt portraits. Trust me – that’s a good thing! I like that you set a technical goal for yourself and then sought to implement it. A great way to learn and improve your craft. Most of these are underexposed, even given your stated intention, and exposure could probably be bumped up a bit, but the payoff in the ones that do work is huge. Love #5, which you chose as the lead image as well. Other good images are #3, #12 and #13. The common theme in those for me seems to be that they all have some hint of color and very nice texture, both of which is probably just a function of the slightly better exposure. It’s brave of you to share!

      • Thank you Jacky
        I know people don’t always like my way of shooting but it is a matter of taste.
        I am happy you like my photos.
        BTW it was Steve who chose n. 5 LOL……….

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