When to sacrifice precision for moment? How much technical quality is necessary? Fujifilm X100s
By southern California standards, it is cold today. The grove fans thrummed all night like Colonel Kilgore’s Air Cavalry, with just a hint of Flight of the Valkyries playing in my imagination. Some rain showers this morning. Some snow on the ridge.
Some leaves hang on to a very bitter end. Fujifilm X100s
As I walked home from St. Joseph’s, gusts of wind surrounded me with flittering, flickering orange leaves, many sparkly with raindrops catching the afternoon sun. I photographed none of this. Didn’t even raise the camera to my eye. I just stopped walking each time it happened, and watched.
Love is everywhere I go, but so is Love’s shadow: Loss. Nikon D7000
As intended, the Year of Square exercise motivates me to make pictures every day, and re-habituates me to pay attention to light. Seeing that the full-screen, blank browser page on my computer presented a comparatively large, reasonably bright light source, I snapped this self-portrait using the built-in iMac camera. This shows me an angle for lighting hats that would not have occurred to me otherwise. In effect, the screen is a big, rectangular, soft light source directly below the lens axis (See how the shadows are above the lit portions of the hat?). I’m glad I made this sketch with the camera at hand, as it gives me ideas for other portraits.
I’m grateful that my friend and coworker Claud Mann appreciates my need to make photos and allows me to shoot while we’re at lunch. I’m getting very comfortable with this camera’s ISO 6400.Some may feel it employs too much noise reduction, but the look works for me.
It’s been about six weeks since I got the Fujifilm X100s, and it has become my constant companion, except when I’m out photographing birds. I’m getting more familiar with its strengths and limitations, and I’m still very much in love. If they made the same camera with a 60mm f/1.2 or f/1.4, I’d be carrying two cameras everywhere I go.
We don’t typically use wide-angle lenses for portraits because of the distortion, but if you don’t mind a long nose, the wide angle at close range definitely creates a thinning effect. The eyes are not the sharpest point in this selfie, but for an arm’s length, ISO 6400 image, it’s still pretty good.
As I’ve said before, carrying this little camera awakens the teenage photographer in me, reigniting my attraction to light, shadow, shape.
The X100s is nearly silent, and does not hide my face. This allows/encourages me to make images I simply would not attempt with my Nikon dslr. I still love my D7000 and fine collection of lenses, and I am excited that the X100s is teaching me how to use them better by making me think about photography in new ways.
A sense of moment.
The Internet has been a real blessing for me, educationally. I’ve learned more about photography in the past nine years of shooting digital and reading blogs than in the previous 30+ years of trial and error. Following are some of the things I’ve read/heard that flit through my mind when I’m wandering with camera in hand: Continue reading
The only thing that eases my displeasure as the days grow shorter is the quality and direction of light as the angle of the sun changes. Plus, during standard time I can visit Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve at times of better light.
The single-focal-length, non-interchangeable lens X100s has a macro mode. As I continue my testing to determine whether this is a good camera for a lazy, disorganized, impatient photographer, I have to concede that pressing the button twice (to engage macro mode) and then leaning close to a flower is a lot easier than going back to the house, changing lenses, stopping to check phone/computer, realizing I’m a little hungry, setting everything down to stare into the open refrigerator, arguing the pros and cons of staring into the open refrigerator with my wife, deciding to watch a movie, and forgetting that I had been outside wishing to photograph a flower.
For serious macro work, I would obviously set up the tripod, light diffusers, and micro-nikkor 105 f/2.8, but I haven’t done any serious macro work in 55 years and I don’t intend to start now. Oh, and I wasn’t in my backyard; I was in Carpinteria taking a walk, so I didn’t have the option of the 105 lens or someone’s refrigerator into which I could stare. X100s FTW.
I need to find someplace other than bars and restaurants to play with my Fujifilm X100s.