Category: Photography

Three Ring Circus

It’s another morning, but you probably don’t notice what is different in the above images.  I’m trying the Fujifilm 16 – 80mm F4 zoom lens.  The main reason I’m trying it is that I felt a little naked not having a suitable documentary lens to photograph whatever might happen around Homewood.  As an example, I might want to photograph the outside light decorations after they turn them on, even though they will probably look just like the pictures that I made in many previous years.  Whether I actually make images of them again will depend upon the weather, how I feel, etc., but I didn’t want the lack of a lens to be the reason so I ordered the 16-80mm lens to give it a try.

For at least a few days, I going to just photograph whatever is in front of me as I try the lens.  I had my first failure using the new lens last night, but it was me and not the lens.  It has been so long since I last used a zoom lens that I got a little out of sorts with using the three rings on the lens.  It was dark and I switched to manual focus and used the outermost focusing ring for adjustments.  I had also zoomed out with the middle ring.  When messing with the adjustment rings I didn’t notice that I had moved the innermost aperture ring and shifted it to an aperture of f/22.  Hopefully, I’ll now remember to check all of the settings and be more careful when handling the zoom lens.

If for no other reason, trying this heavier, larger lens does make me appreciate the greater fun and enjoyment in just using my 35mm f/2 lens.  I miss it already, but there are advantages in having a range of focal lengths available.

Versatility of Fuji 35mm F2 Lens

I did something yesterday I haven’t done much of lately.  I took my X-PRO3 with the 35mm F2 lens on it with me when I walked around the campus.

I have been trying, when/where I could, to see what I can do with my one camera, one lens photography setup.  These images represent some of yesterday’s extremes.  The first three images were up close images to see what could be done.  The last three are long distance extremes where I cropped the original image severely and then increased the size to get these scenes.  

While I am being tempted by Charlie to get another lens or two … like the 56mm F1.4 Viltrox lens, I haven’t decided if I need it or have a use for it.  While I like the lens, based on Charlie’s and various reviewers opinions, it wouldn’t be as good of a universal walkabout lens as the Fuji 35mm F2 lens.

My original thought was to use the X-PRO3 with three prime lenses … either the 16 or 23mm, the 35mm, and the 50mm F2; but I wanted to push myself and see if just the 35mm F2 was sufficient (effective 50mm) since I didn’t really have much of an idea of what I might find to photograph.  Another idea would be to use the 35mm F2 prime lens along with an 16-80mm F4 zoom lens for those times when the 35mm focal length wasn’t adequate (Homewood events?).

Hmmm, maybe I should continue with my experiment and wait and see if I can manage with just the 35mm F2 lens, even for whatever Homewood decides to do.  Or, maybe I should order the Viltrox lens to try it while continuing my one lens experiment.

Maybe Winter 2021-2022

I did some more research to firm up what the latest thoughts are about when things might get back to being able to photograph Homewood events or travel again like in the pre covid-19 times.  If the vaccines are ready to be first distributed by the first of 2021, it will probably still take another year until enough people have been vaccinated, with everyone continuing to wear masks and socially distancing, before we can think of returning to the pre covid-19 style of life.  This means that I need to plan on my photography not being like it was for another year.  I also need to consider that the economy will not likely recover even that soon.  For these reasons, I’m considering taking the long view and planning accordingly.  I’m actually thinking that it will never be like before, as least for me and my photography.

For the next phase of my actions, I’m going to pare down some of the rest of my photography gear.  I have drawers and shelves full of camera bags, straps, etc.  My problem is how do I decide what I might need in the future and thus what to keep.  The only way I know to do that is set aside what I’m pretty sure of using this winter, and then dispose of the rest.  Mentally I need to plan to start over at a later date and get what I need at that time.  After another year there could be so many changes that I won’t need, or be able to use, any of my older gear so there is no need to store it now.

I made these images around 3:30pm yesterday.  It was a very dark day.

Intentional Camera Movement

I’m still experimenting with colors and tones, and for this set I added intentional camera movement to the mix.  I do like playing with the colors and the images gain a painterly effect with this approach.  What I would like to do is settle on a few styles that support a purpose for publishing images on my blog.  If my blog is primarily, maybe solely in these times, an exercise solely for my personal entertainment, then I suppose images like these are OK.  If not, why bother with the blog?

My Minimalistic Approach to Photography

After many fits and starts and much trying and thinking over the last few years, I am finally shrinking down to one camera with as few lenses as possible.  I also plan to use as few processing styles as possible.

I am now using a Fujifilm X-Pro3 Dura Black camera with the Fujinon XF 35mm F2 lens which gives me an effective focal length of 50mm.  I managed to get a better price on a used X-Pro3.  If I were buying a new X-Pro3, I would have gotten the less expensive black painted version, but I really like this dura black coating.  I am mostly photographing at F2 and using raw files with the Fujifilm Classic Neg. film style as I compare it to ACROS monochrome.  I then make as few adjustments as necessary to create the image I’m looking for.  I adjusted the clarity to -30 and the saturation to -40 in LR Classic with Classic Neg. style for the images in the previous post.

I used the X100V to make this picture of the X-Pro3, using Classic Neg.  I sold the Fujifilm X100V along with the waterproof cameras after taking this picture.  If I need a camera in addition to the X-Pro3 I will use my iPhone SE. 

I am minimizing and simplifying my photography process.  In addition, I may be making fewer pictures and fewer posts due to the lack of opportunities during these times, but I hope to work on minimizing my image compositions and deciding on monochrome vs. Classic Neg. film style.

Returned the Sony

While I liked the Sony A7Rii, I decided to return it due to lack of opportunities to use it.  It looks like it is going to be a long time before Homewood has events and activities to photograph or before I can tour around the surrounding area looking for photographic opportunities.  The Sony represented too much money tied up in gear that I may never be able to use.  Since I was still eligible to return it and not pay for it, I did.

I decided to keep the Fuji X100V and my TG-6 and Apple SE smartphone (which I used to make the above picture).  While they are not suited for photography of the type I used to do of Homewood activities, I’m not worried about loss of that capability during current, and foreseeable circumstances.