A tiger swallowtail butterfly on the butterfly bush alongside our garage. It doesn’t look like we will be seeing as many butterflies as in past years.
Lately I have been using my Fujifilm X100F camera with its fixed 23mm lens to photograph small things. I’m doing that as I explore to see how much I can do with one small camera with one lens. Since there isn’t a lot to photograph in a larger sense, I have been concentrating on the small things around me and even crop-zooming if necessary, to capture the details of things I see as I walk around the campus where I live.
The image above is the edge of a nickel that I made with the X100F. I used it as a test to see what I could do. Most of the nature images I have been displaying recently of the new growth, buds, etc. were made with the X100F. As the weather warms up, I might expand the use of my X100F while I ramble around town, etc.
I am intrigued with the concept of using one camera and the 23mm lens for the majority of my personal photography. I would like to keep life simple with a minimal amount of photography gear, especially when I’m out walking; but is the X100F the right camera?
The same buds but from a different tree. These have been cropped but not crop-zoomed. These show the apparent size of the buds when I focused on them with the X100F. It focuses pretty close but not close enough so I crop-zoomed in the previous post. With getting this close I have mostly settled on an aperture of 5.6 since it gives me more DoF for a bud but still blurs out the background.
I see two moons.
I used my X100F to make this image. I was looking for a little color and noticed that the new growth is starting on the rose bushes. I am also reviewing what I can do with the X100F relative to the X-Vario before I make any decisions about keeping the X-Vario. Since I like small simple cameras, I keep asking myself why I don’t just make maximum use of the X100F and not spend the money on the X-Vario.
I also used the X100F to make a quick image of the geese flying by this morning. I had the X100F in manual focus mode with the aperture at f/5.6 and the focus at infinity. The second picture below is an enlarged crop of the first one.
I often make pictures just to see what else is there that I didn’t notice before. I had never noticed this U. S. Mini Mart on Carlisle Street before. I just thought it was a gasoline station that I have driven by many times but after looking at the picture more closely I see it is a small store that I have never heard of.
I made this image the other day while driving around. I’m still thinking about what to photograph within town and what lenses will work best. If I decide to pursue images along the streets, I prefer to do it with prime lenses.
Another issue is how to capture the scene. If I walk the sidewalks, I am often to close to capture the overall view and I have to contend with broken uneven sidewalks. If I drive by, I have to be careful and avoid other cars, which isn’t the safest thing to attempt. If I photograph from the other side of the street, I still have to contend with cars going by and parked on both sides of the roads. In addition, the distance away affects the lens focal length choice.
In the past I ended up mostly photographing details since that was easiest to get from the sidewalks. I may still have to do it that way, but I have one more thing to try. That is to move out into the residential streets where there is less traffic. Or I might give up trying to make pictures in Hanover, PA. That thought also leads to “What else is there to photograph?”
It is obvious that the color orange caught my eye for this image. It is another image where I was seeing what I could make with the X100F from within my car as I was driving around. I just set the shutter speed to 1/500 sec and photographed whatever caught my eye. When it warms up, if my knees and back allow it, I hope to walk around with the X100F camera and look more carefully for images, but not for people. In general, it is getting harder to photograph recognizable people anywhere in the developed world’s cities and towns and this will have a growing impact on street photography. I am noticing more backs of people as well as people in shadows, etc. from many of the photographers who put their work online.
I often need to rethink about why I take pictures for myself, how I like them, and for what purpose. If I really thought about the answers to these questions from another viewer’s perspective, I probably wouldn’t be taking any personal pictures since I really don’t have any thoughts about them from another’s perspective. In fact, every time I think about what the purpose is for my photography from a more encompassing outsider’s perspective, I start thinking about stopping with my blog. Many, a large majority of my local viewers are interested in the subject. I’m not. The things that attract me are the tones, colors, light, shadows, etc. and photographing scenes that others don’t, or at least in ways they don’t.
My sole purpose for my own photography is for my own entertainment and fun. I have the time since I am retired and have nothing else to do and since I am visually oriented, I like to make pictures. For me photography is a day-by-day activity. I am perfectly satisfied to take pictures every day, process them in various manners, and then trash them and start over. The only thing keeping me from immediately trashing my pictures is that I am not able to take pictures every day and I therefore often like to go back and process old photos differently.
Hmmm, now why do I publish some of them in this blog? The only reason I do it is that a few people (very few on an image-by-image basis) seem to occasionally like them or want to see them. In addition, a few photographers are interested in my thoughts from a gear perspective and how my particular uses for particular cameras might give them ideas for their own photography. In reality, I blog to create a record of my photographical exploits and I like to spend the time writing.
I am also interested in the technology within the cameras and with the software to process the images. Maybe that is because I’m a retired Aerospace Engineer. This interest in the technology is why I have continued to buy, try, and sell so many cameras, but that is slowing down since I realize that the current technology is way more sufficient than I can learn and use or need, and it is getting too expensive. Most of my cameras were purchased based upon a need for making pictures of Homewood activities and scenes for the residents. Those needs have been due to low mixed light levels and required focal lengths and shutter speeds.
Occasionally I think about what I would use if I only photographed for my personal enjoyment and not also for Homewood residents. Someday I might concentrate on one camera and one lens solely of interest to myself, at least for my personal photography. The question is, what would they be if I were to buy something new? I can spend hours researching and wondering. At the moment it is the Fujifilm X100F camera with the effective 35mm lens that I have and love using. Maybe that is all I need.