Ideas to consider photographing with a Leica M10 Monochrom camera and processing images in Capture One Pro 20.
Starting with steps for that ultimate image with a Leica M10 Monochrom
This article will demonstrate how to 1. Expose an image. 2. Import the image to Capture One Pro 20 software and steps before processing. 3. Processing using Curves and Levels. 4. Adding an Adjustment Layer with Mask. 5. Add tint and grain for an analog look. 6. Export and prep in Photoshop for Social Media apps. This process will give you an ultimate image with a Leica M10 Monochrom using Capture One Pro 20.
Key for ultimate image using Leica M10 Monochrom and Capture One Pro
I may have stumbled upon a trick that might give B&W photographers a bar up in processing images for their Leica M10 Monochrom images. I’ve read and watched several reviews. I’ve heard of reviewers noting that highlight detail, if not exposed for, is lost. We’ll shoot for the highlights and process for the shadows. Adding that shadow detail can be lightened very easy with the Leica. I use to shoot B&W zone system photography back in the ’80s-’90s, which was the opposite. Expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights.
Exposure with a Leica M10 Monochrom
When shooting with the M10 Monochom, my exposure is based on the highlights and then processing for the shadows. I shoot with the Visoflex 020 EVF attached to check the histogram while shooting. I make sure that the highlights are not clipping. In certain instances, I’ve also found that the shadows need moderate adjustment to lighten values. I shoot with an Orange filter.
Import & Steps before processing your image
Import the image into Capture One Pro 20. First, I create a new session with Capture One Pro 20 on my external SSD hard drive. Then I insert the cameras SD card on my laptop, and copy the image files to the SDD Session sub-folder named capture. Then, I open the session in Capture One Pro 20 and open the session and click the capture folder, and the files will appear in the image browser. (Select your lens in the Lens tab, and in the Exposure tab under Curves, select Linear Response).
Processing using Levels and Curves for your monochrom files
Prep the shadow by opening them using Levels and Curves. You can do a dual adjustment in Curves using RGB and Lightness channels. Use Curves to lift the shadows and use the Levels Mid-tone adjustment to open up the Mid-tones. Make global adjustments first. Global adjustments will not create halos in your image.
Adding an Adjustment Layer with Mask
In some cases, with shadow build-up, you can create an adjustment layer by masking the entire image and fine-tune the gamma and tones in the adjustment layer! You will use your eye to determine what looks best for your photo. For final tweaks, use Exposure and High Dynamic Range adjustments (small increments only) for improving the image to your eye. Photographers will also use burn and dodge an image for tone control. I use that tool sparingly and use it only as a secondary adjustment.
Finishing an image with Tint and Grain for an ultimate analog look
In the Color tab scroll to the Three Way Color Wheel. You will select the hue for Shadow, Mid Tone and Highlight. I’ll finish up by added some tint with the 3-way color editor. The color editor allows you to tweak Highlights, Midtones, and Shadows to your liking. The tool’s breakdown is the saturation slider 0%-100% on the left, the tone slider in the center, and the brightness slider on the right. Each part of the tool has a tab that allows you to slide in the effect when you grab it. If you are toning a color image, desaturate before using the 3-way color editor. In the Details tab, I add grain as my last step for an analog feel. Select a Grain pattern you like and then, at actual size, increase the amount to your liking.
Complete and ready for Export and Prep for Social Media
Export the image to your desktop. I open up the image in Photoshop and change the image size, panel the image in Canvas Size, and then save a .jpg for Instagram or any other social media app. This should give you an ultimate image with a Leica M10 Monochrom and Capture One Pro 20. For you photographers that aren’t shooting with a monochrome camera can desaturate your color image to monochrome then use these techniques to maximize your image in the toning process.