Oh the irony.

Today I finally figured out how to properly process my Leica M10 files (the irony is that last weekend I announced the end of this blog).

After months of experimentation, I created a custom preset in Lightroom that strikes a nice balance between punching up the contrast and colour, enhancing skin tones, and preserving detail.  The overall effect is subtle, which is what I want.

Most of the commercial presets I’ve tried result in cartoonish effects (specifically, with respect to colour shifts and detail obliteration) that are painted over with digital “grain”, so I’ve avoided using them.

Here is an example of my preset in action:

(click for a larger view)

Here is another example:

(click for a larger view)

I can’t wait to work with this (and possibly fine-tune it some more).

By the way, I want to thank all of you who took the time to write to me, both on this site and via email, with words of encouragement.  I am very grateful for your kindness.

—Peter.

11 thoughts on “Oh the irony.

  1. kdghantous says:

    “One more thing.” 🙂

    BTW I do like the images – the improvement is subtle, as it should be. You would never know it wasn’t OOC.

  2. henry says:

    looks good! i used to work myself to death even with the m9 files. i know it’s not ideal for your shooting style, but the x1d (forgive me for plugging it) with its skin tones has gotten cheaper.

    • Dear Henry, I mentioned this in a separate email to you, but for the benefit of anybody interested in my response, I’m going to reproduce part of it here:

      The richness of the X1D files is undeniable, however as you have correctly guessed, the camera would not be the right fit for my style of photography, which is more off-the-cuff and less methodical. If I was a studio or landscape photographer, it would be a different story!

  3. Evening Peter,

    I don’t know if it would help you with the M-10 but I know it helped me with my Leica M-E (CCD) sensor was putting an UV/IR cut filter on my lenses. Also the latest update to Lightroom Classic CC has improved my out of camera colors a lot. I had gotten in a rut and was not using my camera much in the last few months as I had been trying to use their IOS based Adobe Lightroom CC. It completely screwed up my workflow. I finally broke down and bought a new MacBook Pro as I’d given my 6 year old model to one of my children and tried getting by on an iPad Pro. So I can say the update to LR Classic and using the UV/IR cut filter has motivated me to shoot more.

  4. David says:

    Looks good, very nice skin tone. Subtle differences can make such a big difference.

    • Thanks David! What I like about this preset it that it enhances all colours (including reds — look at the hat in the first example and the coat in the foreground in the second example) while simultaneously reducing red/magenta blotches in skin tones. This is what I’ve been seeking since the M9.

  5. gmlane says:

    Likewise Peter, I like the subtle difference. I know that you had this mastered on the M9. I work with commercial presets for my M10, but find it difficult as you said. Are you willing to share your preset for a price? Just thought that I would ask because I always loved what you did with the M9. Thanks for your consideration and happy New Year.

    • Hi George, and thank you for your offer. It’s not something I will be selling because it’s not meant to be a “finished” commercial plug-in that produces a “final” look. Rather, it serves as the “base” (the starting point) to my subsequent post-processing (which is individually tailored to each image, depending on the image). As I’ve said in the past, I don’t follow a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to post-processing…

      Having said all that, you can contact me privately if you’re still interested and we can work something out.

      • Vincent says:

        Hi Peter, I have got the same request. I really like the tonality of your photographs and would love to have the preset as a starting point. I use an M8 for my personal work and have a M9 too (unfortunately with a corroded sensor) but for my professional work I use a M10 with a Zeiss 28mm, Summilux 50mm and a VC 75 mm, I’ll send you an email!

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