Thursday, January 27, 2011


The Leica D-Lux 4 examples shot in the 1:1 aspect ratio and set to film mode Nostalgic which gives a interesting look that I think works well for blog postings. All of these examples were shot using this mode and down sized from 2736 x 2736 to 1200 x 1200. To access this mode go to the menu and select film mode and select the film mode of your choice. Then continue to the third menu screen to select the 1:1 Aspect ratio.

 Black and white converted using Silver Efex Pro.
 Post processed using Viveza 2
 Post Processed using Color Efex Pro - Glamor Glow filter.
 Post processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.0
 Close up post processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.0
 Post processed on Color Efex Pro to add definition and added brilliance and warmth.
Post processed in Color Efex Pro the cross processing filter.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It feels like spring

The weather has been very spring like encouraging longer walks which results this mix of indoor and outdoor pictures taken this week.
The indoor shoot to the right was a indoor picture I took looking to highlight color saturation with interesting lighting used to bring attention to different areas of the photo.
The picture was taken with the D-Lux 4 and post processed in Adobe Lightroom 3 plus Color Efex Pro 3.0 to add  the soft glow on the dried flowers, background and table.
The picture above was taken with the M-9 and caught a quite moment on the sofa. I wanted to depict this exposure in soft colors and soft sharpness to capture the mood. I used Topaz Labs Adjust 4 to deepen the colors and soften the sharpness.
Light blue skies and flimsy white clouds mesh nicely with this pathway photo taken with the M-9. There was some heavy shadows throughout this image so I shot it by taking my exposure reading on the bright white and then in Lightroom I brought up the fill light added back some black and clarity.
This unused boarded up cabin appears out of the trees and is heavily shadowed. I took my exposure reading on the white of the building and then adjusted it in Lightroom using the tone adjustment sliders to balance the photograph.
M-9 F16 at 1/45 sec allows for a slightly blurred background and sharp subject. I panned this pictured to get this desired effect it gives the photo depth and dimension.
Walkers out enjoying a warm morning on a shady lane, captured with the M-9 as the light filtering through the trees highlights them. Post processed in Lightroom and converted to black and white in Silver Efex Pro.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

D-Lux 4 Musing

Some thoughts on the Leica D-Lux 4, its usefulness, quality of build and quality of images. In the last year I have taken in excess of 4000 exposures with my D-Lux 4 over 154 days shooting this camera. My first thought is I take this camera with me more than any of my other cameras so size and easy access has played a important factor in its heavy use.
I have tried the camera in all the different modes available and have found that I shoot in aperture priority mode the most. The macro selector switch allows for very acceptable macro focus shots with very close focus distances. Some of the other settings that I have found useful are the burst mode in snapshot mode that I have used to capture continuous action shots. Other scene mode choices that are useful are high dynamic and portrait. The movie or video option allows for limited video capture at acceptable quality levels.
The build quality is excellent, battery life has been more than acceptable and still holds its charge at original levels. Wear and tear, all I can say is that I have dropped the camera several times, it has been in and out of all types of weather and the camera still works and looks great. Plus I still have almost two years left on the three year factory warranty.
I will continue to use this camera for at least this year before I consider upgrading to a newer camera. The Leica D-Lux 5 seems to have upgraded the zoom range and some other minor functions but not enough for me to upgrade at this time. The D-Lux 4 takes excellent photos and is extremely flexible for people want more photographic control than your every day compact cameras.
Pictures for this week taken with the D-Lux 4:
 Winter Skies
 Antique Look
 Trespassing is Frowned Upon
Wild cat that lives creek side.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


This is my 100th post to this blog something I was not sure I would ever attain. The original focus was to document my experience with the Leica D-Lux 4 compact camera. It later expanded to my experiences with the Leica M-9 and photo editing software. Today I'm also going to comment on a book that I have just got through reading. Hopefully some of my experiences have been either interesting or helpful to my readers.
Understanding Exposure the third edition by Byran Peterson available in paperback and Kindle edition at Amazon. This book is a guide on how to shoot great pictures with any camera. The book highlights in simple to understand terms how to evaluate exposure and to implement some simple steps to get the best exposure possible.
Byran uses DSLR camera as the basis for his instruction but if you are using a range finder camera you will find that he strongly advises the taking photos in manual mode. This transfers to range finder cameras easily and you can work through his model for getting the proper exposure easily.
If you are interested in learning more about exposure, ISO, depth of field and how to use them to get the picture you want then you might consider looking at this book. I read the book on my I-Pad the color photos and the layout of the e-book was very good. I wish more photography books were available in this format. It would make for easier reference and storage.
I had the opportunity to take some photos with the Leica M-9 this week as we searched for some new lamps. Here is a short video highlighting our search it is viewed best in HD full screen.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Close Crops

Sharing some New Years Day photos that benefited with a bit of cropping to get better composition. One can't always get in the right position for the shot you want, a fence or other obstacle may be in your way of getting the picture you want. So a little cropping here  and there helps over come those limitations. All photos taken with the Leica M-9, post processed in Adobe Lightroom and cropped in Adobe Photoshop 5.0.
The dog was on a long lead watching some critter only he could see. Cropped 33 percent to fill frame and lead was removed using Photoshop content aware tool.
Garden display, I was unable to get close enough to get the picture framed the way I wanted to see it. Cropped 25 percent.
Taken with a 35 mm lens cropped to show detail and sharpness.
A wire fence kept me from getting as close as I wanted so again a little cropping did the trick.
A Eucalyptus tree up close.
The cropped version makes for a interesting picture.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

I'm not sure what the New Year will bring but for all of you I hope it is best New Year ever. Lets jump for joy.......!!!!