Category: Abstracts

Simply Minimalist

I like to simplify whenever possible.  I have been slowly eliminating my stuff or going smaller and lighter when I do buy replacement stuff.  When it comes to simplifying my images, the easiest way is to convert to high contrast B&W.  Would I like to do this all the time?  Maybe, but I doubt it.

Another Look at Utility of X100F Camera

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I continue to probe the limits of an X100F camera.  After looking at some of my comparison images made with micro 4/3 gear, I decided to take a closer look at details made with the X100F.  I had previously looked at up-close images made with Acros at F2 so this time I tried Classic Chrome F4 images.  In the above image, I took a picture at the closest focus limit and then cropped it and then upsized it, a lot.  I was using it to look at some flaws and characteristics of some old glass in a small (two inches high) antique pitcher.  I sat the pitcher on some black cloth and used a LED pen light held in my left hand to help light it while I hand held the camera in my right hand.

This is probably more about the capability of the raw files and the computer software used to process the image.  I used Adobe LR Classic and upsized the image with ON1 Resize 1, but the fundamental first requirement was to get the image with the X100F.

Olympus Simplifies Photography

I have been pushing my Olympus 14-150mm F4-5.6 II lens to its limits and liking it more and more.  These are all crops which were then upsized to make the sizes shown.  Click on one of the images to switch to slideshow mode and then down below the bottom right of each picture you can select a larger size to view the details better.  Note that these images started as out-of-camera jpegs which were then tweaked in LR CC and upsized in ON1.

I was considering obtaining a 60mm macro lens but I don’t think I will since I find that I can make good enough images like these without it.  I would like to get to the point where I could just use one camera and one lens for most of my photography, and I’m now closer than ever with the Olympus PEN-F and this lens.  I am at the point where I can do it for my personal photography and I’m working to see how much of my Homewood event photography might be photographed with this camera.  So far, I found that a faster lens was often needed indoors and I used either the Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 lens or one of my F1.8 prime lenses in those cases.

A lack of things to photograph and a need to make images that I haven’t before, pulled me away from using my prime lenses as much; but, I still prefer walking with and using one prime lens.  It took the Olympus 14-150mm zoom lens to go back to getting some enjoyment out of a zoom lens.

Rain Drops

I am still experimenting with ways that I can adapt my photography to better fit the cameras and lenses that I have.  The above pictures are some macro jpeg images of raindrops that I took this morning with my cheap waterproof pocketable Olympus Tough 820 camera.  It has the smallest sensor of all of my cameras, but for close-ups, having a small sensor is an advantage since the depth of field is greater.

So far all that I have accomplished was proving the value of small sensors and deciding that I probably can’t reduce down to one camera … least not with any of the ones I have.

Still Making Pictures

I understand that some took my previous blog with some alarm that I was going to stop taking pictures.  I’m not.  I just need to get some other unfinished business done, and I’m still procrastinating.

I will also be experimenting with different cameras, styles, and subjects in the coming couple of weeks.  I was surprised by the quality of the above pictures that I took this morning with my smallest, cheapest, jpeg only, and waterproof pocket camera.  The quality is due to processing the jpeg images in LR6 with a custom tone curve that I have been working on.

Subtle Changes

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I have become dissatisfied with the direction that my photography and blog have drifted; therefore, I am considering some changes.  I am still thinking about what I like.  For example I like the above image, but I’m not sure of why or what it means.

I am still trying to narrow in on my purpose for pursuing photography as a hobby.  As a former engineer I had a goal or purpose for what I did.  I was use to having a particular viewer in mind and an intent for every PowerPoint slide (picture in this case) I made.

So far, one change I have in mind for my blog is to be more selective in the pictures I show.  I have tried to produce images that people living around me might like; but, I am going to stop doing that since so few of them view my web site.  I am also going to stop trying so hard to post regularly and often.

You should note in the above that I have used the word “I” a lot.  I hope to bring both my pictures and my blog back to being a clearer representation of what I like and believe with less regard for others.  In addition, most of the changes will probably be in how I think and approach photography and any changes you see in my blog might be subtle and slow to arrive.

Wabi-Sabi Material Qualities

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  • The suggestion of natural process
  • Irregular
  • Intimate
  • Unpretentious
  • Earthy
  • Murky
  • Simple

Reference:   Wabi-Sabi by Leonard Koren

I was exploring the limits of the Canon SL1 with the 40 mm F2.8 pancake lens when I took some pictures as close as possible in low light with ISO = 6400.  As I was crop-zooming into one image, it occurred to me that the image fit the definition as defined above.  I had just gotten the 40 mm lens and a copy of Leonard’s book:  Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers when I took the above picture.  The picture might not excite you, but I encourage you to read the book if you are interested in photographing old and simple objects.  “Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.  It is a beauty of things modest and humble.  It is a beauty of things unconventional.”

This style isn’t something I would desire to pursue all the time, but it does give me another concept to think about.  It is also an expansion of an earlier idea I had for a project which I referred to as entropy.   I might revive that project using my new understanding of Wabi-Sabi.

Simple but Colorful Dilemma

Since I haven’t been taking many pictures lately, I have been using my time to try to decide what I’d like to do when it warms up next spring.  I am thinking about what I would like to photograph and what camera I would prefer to use.  I thought that one element of this process should be to look back through some of my older pictures and pick out what I liked and so I did.  The above are one set of results.  I liked their simplicity and color and that they all had black in them.

I deliberately didn’t look at what camera I used or any other details about the pictures until I was done.  Looking back later I noted that a different camera was used for all four of the above, but that they were all taken with a long focal length lens.  Probably the only thing significant about the different cameras is that I have used many different ones; but another possible factor is that it indicates that the particular camera didn’t matter.

The long focal length is more troubling for me.  I have liked long focal lengths since they enabled me to extract details from around me while blurring out the backgrounds.  The troubling aspect is that I have had more problems with heavy camera-lens combinations.  As a result of that, I have been carrying around and shooting primarily my Ricoh GR with a fixed effective 28 mm lens.

The problem that I need to resolve is that I prefer small light-weight cameras with prime lenses like the GR or a Leica X2 or the Fujifilm X100T while at the same time I preferred images made with long focal length lenses.  This presents a real dilemma for me.  Should I use a camera I like to hold and carry and seek out new compositions that I might like, or choose a camera with a long lens and shoot images like above?  If I use a long lens, I might need to use a light-weight camera lens combination with a smaller sensor and lower image quality to keep the weight lower.

Rainy Night

It was a cold dreary rainy night last night.  These are just a few images that I used to try some different adjustments on.  I am thinking about making more similar images this coming year.

These images, as well as the pictures of the sun in the previous post are part of what I call abstracts.  I refer to them as abstracts since they have been altered and are bits of what others might take a picture of.