Monday, July 21, 2014

Thanks Ken

My friend Ken is a real photojournalist, a highly-trained and experienced professional, and took the time to go frame-by-frame through my Right-wing Populism gallery and offer thoughtful advice. How cool is that? Thanks Kenny!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

new photo project

Photographing beautiful scenes can be a lot of fun, but I have felt like my photography was not much more than that, stuck in a rut. So I’ve been wondering what kind of long-term project I could undertake that would help me grow as a photographer and maybe say something about something that matters to me.

So I think I’ve hit upon the solution. I’ve started photographing instances of right-wing populism in American political life. I’m not interested in photographing politicians, but grassroots activists and ordinary people who are motivated by these kinds of political narratives. I’ve found a couple of venues for this, and I’m thinking of others.

A gallery of these images is now online here. I’ll be adding to them from time to time as I encounter other venues for this kind of thing.

Here’s a sample.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

X-E2 in Spain

I’m posting a bunch of new images from last moth’s trip to Spain on my Smugmug page.

A few samples are below.

I’m very pleased with the results from my Fuji X-E2. The details and colors are quite vivid and satisfying.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fujifilm X-20

Fuji’s X-20 compact zoom is apparently about to be replaced in the Fuji lineup by something bigger and better, so they have been fairly substantially discounted and I picked one up to use while my X-E2 was in the shop for warranty service (experienced a major electronic anxiety attack or something). I’ve become quite fond of the little bugger and I’m having a lot of fun with it. It’s cute as hell, works like a real camera, and takes lovely images for a compact. Sometimes I’m finding myself just carrying it along in case I see something interesting. Here’s an image I snapped in downtown Syracuse with it this afternoon.

I’m sure its replacement will be impressive, but I’m quite happy with this little puppy. Might not be Serious, but it is Fun.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

HDR contest finalist

This pleases me: One of my images was selected as a finalist in the 2014 Unified Color HDR photo contest.

Didn’t win, didn’t expect to. And the winning images totally deserved it. But it’s a thrill just to get to the finals.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Extreme settings

Of course I realize this is not a great photo for a bunch of reasons (not least the damn fence), but I’m posting it because:
(a) it was shot well after dusk, in near-darkness, at ISO 6400;
(b) it was shot hand-held with a fuji 55-200 mm lens fully zoomed to 200, with a shutter speed of 1/7th of a second;
(c) how bout the paws on that guy.

The Fuji camera, and the optical image stabilization in the lens, did an amazing job under these conditions. With no other photo equipment I have ever owned could I have hoped to get even a remotely acceptable image at settings like that. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Performance photography

I’ve always found it a huge challenge to photograph performances (especially dance) without using a flash. I’d crank up the ISO, never get it high enough to un-blur moving dancers, and still get all kinds of weird artifacts and noise.

But my little Fuji X-E2 does a remarkably good job in low light at high ISO. I was not expecting it to be useful for photographing dance, but it did surprisingly well. These were shot at ISO 6400. I’m very pleased with the mighty little Fuj.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Slick little photoshop action

to automate the process of fitting an image to the editing window every time you open an image in PS. I added a step to also duplicate the background layer automatically for non-destructive editing. Always fun to learn new possibilities in PS.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Landscape photography lecture at B&H

In this hour and a half video, Tim Cooper provides a really good primer on landscape photography at the B&H Photo center in NYC.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

PopPhoto tests X-E2

Popular Photography has posted its camera test results on the Fujifilm X-E2.

"For shooters looking for a rangefinder-like experience without shelling out the GDP of a small island nation for a Leica, the Fujifilm X-E2 is a great place to start."

Friday, February 14, 2014

Resources for developing Fuji raw files in Lightroom

Color Fidelity camera profiles for Fujifilm X-E2

I’m experimenting with some new camera profiles for Lightroom developed by Colin Walker at a firm called Color Fidelity. The basic idea is to provide an alternative to the color rendering produced by the Adobe Standard profile in Lightroom and ACR:

"Color Fidelity camera profiles offer an alternative to the standard camera profiles shipped with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom products. They will improve the color rendering and skin tone rendition of your images, whilst also balancing the individual color channels giving you a more natural image to work with.

After reading a review on the Mirror Lessons blog, I purchased the set of four profiles for my Fujifilm X-E2 and I’ve been playing around with them a bit, comparing them to the Adobe Standard rendering, as well as that produced by a custom profile I made myself (using the X-rite Color Checker Passport and included app). In most, but not all, cases that I was experimenting with, I preferred the Color Fidelity rendition to both Adobe’s and my own custom profile. Color Fidelity profiles are one photo product that is not extravagantly priced, so it was worth it to me to have another set of options for raw conversion in Lightroom. They may not be the best solution for every image, but I’ve already seen enough to believe that for many of the images I process in LR, this will be my preferred color rendering.

A few good LR presets designed for Fujifilm X-Series

Irish photographer Thomas Fitzgerald has developed a small set of LR develop presets that he believes can provide a good starting point for producing sharp images based on raw files from Fujifilm X-series cameras. He offers them as a free download on his blog, which is well worth an occasional visit to see what Thomas has been up to and to learn from the experience he shares with his readers.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Admirable amateur photographer

As I explore web pages related to Fujifilm cameras and lenses, I came across Jim Radcliffe’s X-E2 page, and from there I found his main photo page called Boxed Light. Jim is an amateur photographer with a distinctive style I really admire, and is interested in a broad range of photographic subjects. I’ll be checking his web pages regularly looking at his work for ideas and inspiration. A lot to be learned from photographers like him. Thanks Jim!

Saturday, February 1, 2014