I received this very kind email last week:
I’ve been shooting for years and years my leica m6, exclusively bw film.
For all my color work, i’m now adding the m240 to my gear and while reading articles about how my fellow photographers are using the M System specifically for portraiture work, I stumbled upon your work and the article about the kids shooting. Before even reading it, which i did and enjoyed very much, the very first picture of this post blew my mind. I am very aware of all the craftsmanship and experience that went into a shot like this and off course i am not expecting you to share anything you don’t want to share about your process but: THOSE COLORS MAN!!!!
It goes without saying that everything about it is just right, light, setting, the moment, the positioning and so on, but i’am particularly interested in those colors. This look, definitely one I’d like to explore more for my own.
If there is anything you’d like to share about this shot in terms of exposure, whitebalance or your post process or gear or what ever – that lead up to this shot – i would be glad!
Have a nice day,
Well, mister L, thanks for your very kind words. In fact, when I saw the shot I hesitated for a second. I instantly thought it was taken with the M9. But then I just knew I did this shoot with the M240.
First of all, the key factor in this shot is the girl. Without her it would be a mediocre interior design shot. Of course, the timing and framing need to work, but that’s another story. The second key factor is that I shot her with great light. She was facing a huge window, resulting in very soft light. Next, I worked in DNG, which gives me all the slack I needed for editing.
For editing, you need to make sure you’re getting your skin tones right, which can be a challenge. With soft daylight and the absence of large reflecting walls or anything that can cast interfering colors on the subject, you can now play with your levels. You can clearly see there’s quite a bit of contrast, but because the light is so soft, you don’t get anything blown out. And when you’re increasing the contrast, the colors start to pop.
So make sure to shoot in DNG, don’t blow out the highlights, but above all: make sure you know how to handle your camera. It’s a tool. As soon as you need to think about the technique, it gets in the way of the creative process.
Good luck and happy shooting!