If you know me, you know that me and black and white photography don’t really fit together. The world as we know it is so beautiful in colour, why take that colour out and make it dull grey toned?
This has always been my opinion and it still is, but still I bought a camera that only shoots in black and white.
Really? Does that even exist?
As you can well imagine, it does. I have bought the Leica M Monochrome, a camera where the colour filter has been taken out, which results in not only black and white photos, but also stunningly better quality photos.
Leica glass has always been famous for its low light abilities, but this monochrome brings low light to yet another level. You can bump up the ISO to levels that are extraordinary, without adding noise.
This is the only camera I have ever had where I have put the ISO on automatic!
The photo on top was taken in the middle of the night on the Grand Place in Brussels with a Noctilux f0.95 at f2.8, 1/60 and ISO 2500
But the largest difference in shooting either in black and white or in colour is most certainly the way to look at a possible shot : you look more in light, shades and in contrasts than in colours and the overal look. Images that might look perfect in colour might be totally dull in back and white.
This photo above being a perfect example of this light and shadow contrast. The sun on the left side, the shade on the right, but also the sun coming through the leaves in the shadow part makes this particular image balanced as it is. In order not to have a dull grey photo, you definitely need light and shades, and with the red filter added on my lens (just like in the old film days), my images are even more contrasty. There is -in contrast to my coloured photos- no post production!
The Monochrome is my little plaything, my weekend and holiday camera, the one I carry around when I am not working. When I am out with the family or with friends. And then when I spot the light, all I need to do is adjust the aperture, the speed and then manually focus without being limited by the (lack of) light.
The last, the manual focusing, as always in a Leica when shooting with the lens wide open, being the biggest challenge…
Follow me it you want to see how my Monochrome photos evolve And check out my website to get to know me and my work
Images taken during a weekend out in Brussels.