A Stroll with my Leica M10 by Dan Bar

A Stroll with my Leica M10

by Dan Bar

Hi Steve

Lately I was shooting only with my old\new M9 Monochrom. What can I say? It is a lovely camera with a unique advantage of being as close to film as possible, I could hardly let her of my site. 🙂 But yesterday and today I went to Acre and old Jaffa again and as I held out my hand to the M9M I suddenly realized I have been neglecting my beautiful M10 which is no way to treat a loyal companion , so I took it instead.
I know i can convert to B\W but I have made up my mind to shoot color with the 10 and B\W with the M9M. I am always looking for light differences but this time I was really focusing on these differences . I was also shooting moving objects which made it more difficult. The M10 is truly a wonderful camera and the outer ISO ring does help alot.
All shots were taken with the 50 APO.


  1. Almost every single photo is underexposed. Also, almost every single photo is a pic of the back of someone’s head. You need to engage the subject more and capture who they are…these just seem haphazard.

  2. Dan, old Jaffa and Acre are such fascinating and photogenic places that your under-exposure preference and choice of focal length don’t do justice to. The images have no context, I’m afraid.

  3. These pics are not exposed for the highlights, they still have lots of clipped highlights, in many of them. They are just underexposed. Compositions are not interesting or aesthetically pleasing, they are banal, sorry to say so. There’s also a misunderstanding of the light treatment of Rembrandt, chiaroscuro and tenebrism in many comments. Rembrandt, chiaroscuro, don’t underexpose, they expose for the lights and emphasize contrast, which these pictures don’t. In my opinion, any photographer can do whatever they want, that’s fine and dandy. But, by another token, a critic doesn’t have to show any work to legitimize their criticism. If the world were like that, film, theater, music, literature criticism would not exist. The real funny thing is that these pictures have been taken with a Leica. But the world is definitely bizarre, and that’s part of the fun.

  4. I don’t feel one way or the other about the dark styling. But i do think the images could have been more carefully curated. Half are really good, and half just seem to be people standing around on the street, walking by etc. There are several images of people from the back and this rarely works. Take it as constructive criticism. We are all capable of taking great images, but the key is to show them and not the mediocre ones.

    • I agree on ‘dark’ and ‘curation’. I’ve noticed that many Leica posts on this site seem (to my eyes at least) to have, as you put it, “a dark styling”. I’ve wondered whether this is a common artistic choice among Leica shooters or just random. I’m viewing on iPad Pro and 5K iMac displays. Prints might look different. I always enjoy looking at photographs and potentially learning from the artistic choices others have made.

      • If they look underexposed on your IPad Pro or 5k Mac then you can be shure they are looking underexposed on all screens that have been rightly calibrated. These displays help to make images pop and shine. I can only assume that Dan has to much brightness on his screen.

  5. The photos might not be to everyone’s taste but an artist is supposed to be creative right? Those that criticize should in the same post show us their works and how much better they obviously think they are.

  6. I am curious. Are these images actually underexposed at the time they are taken? Or, are these the result of post dodging and burning? Reading Danny’s earlier responses, I think the latter. Also, I find it interesting that so many of these photos contain people, yet the photographer seems disengaged, merely using the camera to observe at distance.
    Just some thoughts.

  7. Is it street, is there a story line, do I see unique captures, excellent framing? No, it’s mostly about random pics of strangers in urban settings, and all heavily underexposed. Getting a little long in the tooth imho.

  8. I can also take my sunglasses simulating under exposed images from normal ones.
    But different people have different taste, that is fine to me.
    It would not be good if we have all the same taste.
    So no further critics from my side 🙂

  9. I always look forward to seeing your work Dan. There are always some that I live/love more than others … but as I whole I totally get it. Mysterious … exposing for the highlights and playing with that underrated (LOL) 🙂 50APO …LOL.

  10. These are paintings. Rembrandt! Light and darkness. Deep colors. I think they would look great in a very big print, on the wall. 🙂

    • As to Rembrandt there`something about it. Generally I don`t like to criticise others work but remember that chiaroscuro is not underexposure. Beside Rembrandt I would advice to look at Caravaggio since it seems Dan likes this direction. Street and chiaroscuro is certainly very challenging.

  11. Thank you John ,to find 9 comments ( good or bad ) is always nice and even nicer to read one like yours.
    The Leica M have a VF inside it one can see a red dot or triangles, I always keep my photos shot with the left triangle only, the company claims the right shot is with the dot on. I sometimes underexpose using the Ex wheel ( -1 or – 2 )
    This time I measured the light from the bright light which left the surrounding in the dark. I also underexposed very little as I was afraid to burnout the illuminated parts.
    I also had another problem ,as I shots some people in motion I need speed and sometimes 4000 thousand is not enough ( Leica M cameras are not fit for motion) so I had to raise my ISO ( 400-600)and than achieve my goal.
    Finally, to get theses light/darkness result forces me to think sometimes more than just put everything on ‘A’ and shoot. 🙂

  12. Underexposed one or two pictures is ok, but for all of them to be underexposed is too much in my opinion.

    • Thank you. The photos are less underexposed than you think. I took the light from the sunny parts and this is the result

  13. Hang on folks –

    Dan’s pics have the underexposed look, but saying they are bad or wrong is like saying one is wrong about what food they like.

    It’s a preference. I am personally not crazy about the dark look BUT,I get it..and I ALWAYS have to look at Dan’s posts.

    Thx for posting Dan.

    Let’s keep this site freindly and polite? There ain’t too many talkin’ photography sites out there that have the good feel that this one normally does.

  14. There was quite a few in this set that I liked, a unique approach by all means but one that works. Some great timed captures and shapes of light in a unique way of expression here, shots are interesting and seeking further interaction from viewer, thanks for sharing!

  15. Pretty much average even my 8 y old daughter could take – sorry but unimpressed. I just cannot see any message, character or style in those pics.

  16. Has Mr Bar actually explained his rationale behind the heavy underexposure? Not sure I understand why anyone would want to grey the whites out to that extent, or effectively eliminate detail from shadows. Surely we see more through the darkest of sunglasses? There has to be a good reason: what would it be?

    • Thank you
      Well I admit I love underexposed photos. Please look at Wikipedia-film noir.
      and maybe you will find the rational

      • Au contraire! Film Noir was not shot underexposed with available light. In fact, it is one of the most carefully controlled lighting genres in cinematography. Noir was referring to the “feel” of menace or foreboding, not the relative lume of the scene(s). Although shot #7 was “tit-illating”.

  17. I tend to agree with you Bernhard, I do understand the underexposed style. But it seems that Dan is slipping on the dark side ;-).

    • Thank you
      So if all these shots were taken, let us say with a cheap Canon ,would it make sense than? It doesn’t make sense to me to relate photos to a camera. I can understand people who do not like certain type of photos, that is more than ok, I even appreciate people who say what they think, I fail to understand the connection between photos and cameras

  18. Your style really grows on me: you achieve some very striking and often beautiful interplay between light and dark. I’d love to know a bit more about the settings you use…….

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