Vertical or Square and Printed

One potential solution to my problem holding my camera is to hold it vertical in the left hand.  Vertical, or portrait mode, was a popular format when most pictures were printed and displayed on the wall.  That changed and horizontal, or landscape mode, became a lot more popular when the digital display arrived on computers, etc.  One compromise has been the square format made popular through Instagram.

One of my favorite photographers was Saul Leiter and I remembered that he said that he mostly photographed in portrait mode, but if you look at many gallery displays, etc. of his pictures you will note that many are displayed in landscape mode.  In a more careful review of his pictures, you will find that many (most?) of his landscape layouts are crops of his portrait mode images.

The above is just a lead into what I plan to do.  I want to work on more photo books and have several in mind.  The first will contain some of my pictures from Tunisia that I made back in 2010.  Not only am I going to try photographing more in portrait mode I am reframing many of my older pictures for potential display in photo books.  I don’t know how successful I will be with older images but I am going to try.  This means that I will be posting less and working on books, and photography for books more, so don’t get too concerned if you don’t see as many of my pictures displayed in this blog.  If it works out I might even switch from blog displays to printed displays, which in some cases will be supplemented by slide shows.

Differences Today

I photographed a little differently this morning.  I used Acros monochrome jpegs with my preset applied, and photographed in aperture mode with only either f/2 or f/11.  But, the main difference was that I walked with the camera mounted on a monopod.  That enabled me to use my left hand to hold the monopod with the camera on top and only use my right fingers to push the shutter and change the aperture.

The temperature was 44 degrees F. and a little foggy and I wanted to see if I could photograph this way and not have problems with my right fingers.  It worked.  While outside I wore a glove on my left hand while holding onto the monopod.  I kept my right hand in my pocket when not photographing and I had no problems with my fingers.

I had the monopod as my “safety” if my balance wavered since I didn’t take a cane.  That worked, but not as well as with a cane since I was reluctant to touch the ground with the monopod with each step.  The monopod could easily substitute for the cane but I am hesitant to keep jarring the camera with each step.  What I would prefer is to have a handgrip on the left side of the camera and not use the monopod.  Photographing the way I did, would not work very well with a zoom lens.  I used the 35mm prime lens and then cropped all the images to get what you see above.  I also would not want to use the monopod on the street or when photographing among and around the residents here.

Fingertips

I took a short morning stroll the other day with my X-Pro2 camera around my neck.  The temperature was in the mid 40s and most of the time I walked in the halls.  Still, just from taking a few pictures, the following shows what gripping something in cooler weather does to my hands.  The fingertips turn white, get wrinkly, and cold.  The only way I have found to avoid this, and still make pictures, is to use a small P&S camera.  It is lighter and I don’t hold it the same way.

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So far, the problem has only been in the winter when the temperature drops just a little and I grip something.  The something can be the camera, the steering wheel, or even the handle on a grocery cart.  It is primarily the gripping that does it, even in only slightly cooler, drier weather.  Even using the touchpad on my computer causes the problem, but not as bad.

I have been trying to use the X-Pro2 and change the way I hold the camera; i.e. not use the tips of the fingers to grip.  I am trying to hold the weight in the palm of both hands, but since I usually walk with a cane, this means I stop, hook the cane over the arm and then lift the camera with both hands to take a picture.  Last winter this approach didn’t work after I injured my thumbs, but they aren’t bothering me as much this year so I have some hope.

Like I have said before, mittens or gloves or hand warmers don’t help but a very little, so I need to try different approaches.  I am wondering if it is an effect of curving the fingers since I can walk in the cold with my fingers straight with no problem.  Let me know if you have any good ideas.  A scary thing is that it now seems to be starting in my left hand as well.

Seeing Double, or More

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Well, the weather isn’t improving yet, but I’m trying some things to get ready for warmer weather.  I like monochrome images and I like reflections so I am experimenting to see what I can expect to make with the Fuji 27mm pancake lens.

I made the above image while sitting in my car while Misty was inside getting some stitches removed.  I wanted to see how severely cropped, then upsized, images worked for reflections in my latest toned monochrome preset.  My thoughts are to take this lens on the X-Pro2 to the streets after the weather improves.  I think this lens camera combination will work well for such images due to the 24MP sensor.

Yes, Charlie, I might even make some double exposure images using this combination. 🙂

Evolving While Aging

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My photography will be slower, not as frequent going forward, at least until spring.  I haven’t figured out what I can do differently.  Since I haven’t found anything new to photograph, I will most likely continue photographing a range of subjects and changing the styles based on whatever I see.  These will mostly be common everyday sights around me as I don’t travel much, if any, anymore.

One thing that is almost certain; I won’t be changing cameras as often due to the cost.  I intend to use what I have and try to get better at using them.  While it is not easy for me to find new things to photograph, I will try to find unique views of the everyday common scenes around me.  My intent is to make my views of them available to others who couldn’t, or didn’t, see them as I did.

It is inevitable that eventually my photography will slow down, i.e. be less frequent, and even slowly change.  This is a natural occurrence as I run out of ideas about how to photograph the same everyday things, and the scope of what I photograph will collapse in range as I age.

As I have mentioned before, I would like to work with some of my existing photographs and create some photo books.  As I do that, I am not sure about my blogging.  In general, it seems that the age of personal blogs is slowly declining and I’m not sure that there is much reason or interest for me to continue forever.  I will work on some books and then see how my blogging evolves.  I have gotten in the habit of taking pictures and displaying them frequently, so I will likely continue, at least for a while longer.

Condensation

170114-171016-17jehThe mornings are cold and when I open the front door, the storm door fogs over instantly.  For those who are new to this blog, you will notice that I don’t use my main camera, the Fuji X-Pro2 outside much in the winter.  The problem isn’t the camera.  It is me.  I have a situation with my right hand that can’t handle cold while gripping anything.  The hand gets cold, the circulation of blood diminishes in two fingers and they turn white, hurt, and shrivel up.  I have tried many different cameras, light to heavy, with and without nice comfortable grips, etc., and all manner of gloves and mittens; nothing works for me.

I will deliver the last of my work to Homewood at Plum Creek this morning:  book, pdf of the book, slideshow, and all the pictures in both.  I am now going to work on another photo book containing some of the pictures I made when traveling around Tunisia.

Hopefully spring will arrive this year and bring with it lots of flowers, etc. along with warm weather and I can return to walking with my camera.