Getting out on the road my first week of owning the M240 was a great opportunity. A work trip to Boston isn’t exactly a scenic vacation, when I travel for work I usually end up with no time to myself, and Boston was a rainy, urban mess for the week I was there, but my goal has been to force myself to shoot everyday, and I found ways to make it work even under complicated circumstances.
How? I walked to the first meetings I had every day, and walked back from dinner to the hotel every night. Even when it was early/late, it gave me time on the street, in different lighting environments, to grab a few shots. I was able to still talk on the phone with my wife while walking and shooting at night, and while the time wasn’t much, this was my experimentation with shooting at high ISO, and working hand-held with lower shutter speeds. The ability to work at higher ISO and shoot at night was a big part of why I went with the M240 over the more “cult” M9, and I wanted to experience the possibilities.
I shot between ISO 1200-1800 at sunset and into the night.
We were working out of 1 Financial Center in Boston, on the top floors, and several meeting featured large windows with views. I took approximately 60 seconds both days I was there to shoot a few pics at f/16 and manual shutter speed on 1200 ISO. I wanted to see what quality out a window would look like, and realize that while I couldn’t take time to setup the pictures, this would be a good opportunity to see how far I could go with a quick shot from the M240 and some aggressive Lightroom filters.
I never wanted to be a “purist” with my Leica photos, I wanted to cover all three of the skills I feel are the “holy grail” for dedicated social media shooting.
1. Develop the skills to capture great photos out of the camera that require no editing. This definitely the hardest skill to attain on my list, but made significantly more approachable by the nature of shooting with Leica as a camera. Using a Leica rangefinder forces you to take your time, and this tends to have a fantastic effect on the quality of photos out of the camera.
2. Develop a simple Lightroom flow that gives me edits for most photos in 60s or less that have 2-3 signature “looks” that are not heavily edited.
3. See how far I can stretch the camera and Lightroom to make aggressively edited images that break the basic Instagram/VSCO editing tropes and give the viewer something more exciting for their feed.
These shots out of the buildings did exactly that.
I was aided a lot my presets from my friend Craig Coker, a link to purchase his presets from his website is here.