... blog post:


As the days grow much shorter and nights much longer, we experience the so called 'dark days before Christmas'. As Autumn runs though and turns towards Winter, it is time for photogs to hibernate, right? Not so, it is time to embrace the dark!

Indeed this is an exciting time to put into practise your available light and night-time photography skills, to become creatures of the night - well photogs in the dark anyway.

I like to use my M10-R with a fast prime like my Distagon 35mm f1.4 to make high resolution, low noise, available light photos in very low level light scenes.


In these situations, combining the use of aperture priority with manual ISO setting gives me control over depth of field and the overall quality of the image. Of course, I have to keep an eye on the resulting shutter speeds being set by the camera and vary the aperture/ISO pairing accordingly. I also need to be prepared to use exposure compensation if needed to balance extremes of highlights and lowlights in a scene, for example in locations with bright point light sources and contrasting deep dark shadow areas. It's the usual exposure triangle stuff.

Image courtesy of MPB
Image courtesy of MPB

With its own unique 41mp sensor, the M10-R provides lots of finely resolved detail and smooth tonal gradation that gives the classic film like, Leica 3D look to an image. The sensor’s wide dynamic range also provides loads of exposure latitude when using RAW, so I will usually dial in a little minus exposure compensation to ensure preservation of highlights, since shadows can be simply be recovered in post with no discernible increase in noise.


The only other thing to remember is to dress accordingly and wrap up well against the night's chills. Maybe carry a thermos of coffee or such if you're going to be out for a longish time, a hot drink is always welcome especially if it's a clear frosty night.


Ah yes, an afterthought. For very long exposure work, for example landscapes fading into the night sky or for star trails, my M10-R allows me to use exposures up to 16 minutes, in combination with, wait for it, a tripod and a cable release plus I carry a red-light torch (flashlight for those across 'the pond') for reading my camera controls in the dark without spoiling my night vision. Just thought I'd mention it.