Sunday, December 8, 2013
Chinatown Sky, by Reed A. George
Leica M6, Kodak 400 Color Print Film
I have always been attracted to the Chinese lanterns and dragon-design lightposts in San Francisco's Chinatown. In this shot, the clouds against the bright blue sky, boxed-in by the building roofs, provide a nice backdrop for them. The diagonal line of the lanterns also works for me.
This is a low resolution scan that I downloaded from The Darkroom's online site. I added some saturation in the lanterns, and darkened up the shadows under the roof eaves, and added the frame in Snapseed. I may do some more work with this image when the negatives arrive in the mail next week. I'm sure it will look somewhat different if I scan it at home and post process with Lightroom.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Me, by Reed A. George
Leica CL, Minolta Rokkor 40mm f2 Lens, Kodak Tmax 400 Film
There's one side of the camera lens that I distinctly prefer to be on - behind it. However, I did include myself in this image.
I loved the crazy shadow shape on the deck of this housing unit overlooking the Potomac River at Georgetown University. I can't decide if it looks like I'm ascending to that shape, or being oppressively threatened by it. It's graphic; you have to give me that.
Friday, December 6, 2013
The Point Reyes, by Reed A. George
Leica M6 Titanium, Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
Kodak iso 400 Color Print Film, Converted to Monochrome in Lightroom
While in California a while back, I took the opportunity to meet up with two fellow LHSA (International Leica Society) members, Gary Hough and Andy Godlewski, in Marin County to explore one of my very favorite places, Point Reyes.
This old boat has been beached here as long as I've been coming to Point Reyes, well over ten years for sure. I found Point Reyes when I lived in the Bay Area from 1997 to 2005. I sure miss the place.
We spent the day hiking, catching up, and shooting pictures together. I have a few other images that may be worth presenting, but mostly it was a good time to get out with friends.
I think the black and white conversion of color print negatives in Lightroom works extremely well. I do still shoot a lot of Kodak Tmax 400 black and white film, but I'm not sure I can explain the logic, given these results.
I really enjoyed shooting the M6 film camera alongside my digital M9.
Fall Games - Shanghai, by Mimo Khair
Image Source: http://mimokhairphotography.com/2013/11/25/the-inevitable-change/
Mimo Khair's is one of the blogs I try to keep an eye on. She has posted a beautifully creative set of autumn pictures, from Shanghai.
(Click Here) to see the complete set of photos and some words on Mimo's blog.
In this case, Mimo has combined several aspects of fall, and of her chosen city, to say something about the season. Very nicely done.
Mimo ran her blog as a 365 project for one year, the second year was a photo per day as well, but from her archives (rather than shooting one every day). 2013 was her third year, and she dropped the strict 365 (a photo per day) requirement. While I think about where I want DMC-365 to go next year (my third year), this has me thinking. On one hand, I think the consistency of a post each and every day is good for me, and perhaps for my readers. On the other hand, I'm not sure it's stimulating creativity on my part the way I intended. No decisions yet, just thinking.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
This is the beauty of modern internet technology and photography blogs. This morning I got to read about a camera I've never handled, used in a place I know well but only see once a year, view photographs that a guy I've never met took and shared on another guy I don't know (but feel like I do)'s blog.
What I mean is that I got to see the awesome images that Colin Steel made in Tokyo with the Ricoh GR, and shared on Steve Huff's site.
Image Source: http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/colin4.jpg
In his guest post on Steve Huff's site, Colin Steel shares a series of images he made on a quick three day trip to Tokyo. Apparently at least one day was made up of 24 hours straight wandering the streets of Tokyo, shooting with the Ricoh's high contrast monochrome setting, referred to as "Daido mode," after Daido Moriyama, famous Tokyo photographer who also happened to shoot with Ricoh cameras.
(Click Here) to read Colin's post on Steve Huff's site.
Colin writes about how he and most serious photographers usually ignore the in-camera creative presets. I used to feel the same way until one very important thing happened in the cameras I have that include presets: they started enabling most of the presets to be used in raw+jpeg shooting mode! This means that I can get a jpeg with all of the preset effects, view it on the camera display in the preset way, but have a completely unembellished raw file stored on my card to post-process in any way I see fit later on. I can see a high contrast black and white rendition while I'm shooting, then come home and use the raw file to make a low contrast color print, if I decide to. Flexibility is a great thing.
I won't go into the details of the Ricoh camera, as I honestly have not looked at them. So many cameras, so little time, you know. My two points today are: 1) it's great to be able to see wonderful photography from around the world and people I don't know through the internet, and 2) don't ignore anything on your camera. It may come to creative use if you learn how to use it, and learn about things like having the unaltered raw files available, should you change your mind later.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
As I wrote earlier in the season, I've tried to avoid taking the same autumn leaf pictures that I (and many other) photographers take each and every year. For example, I used the kit zoom on my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 to add some motion blur to shots that would otherwise have been quite static. I made threes separate posts about that:
(Click Here) to see my first post on leaves in motion.
(Click Here) to see where I developed the concept a little further, with a set that make me feel like I'm being pulled through the treetops up into the clouds.
And finally, (Click Here) to see my favorite of the series, where I attempted to get the best combination of detail in the leaves, blur from camera motion, and color.
Well, today's images take a less drastic departure from "normal" fall color photography, but I hope still show something a little unique. As in all three posts above, I shot these with the DMC-GX7 and the much-improved 14-42mm Series II kit lens.
On my way to have lunch with my lovely wife, I looked to the side of the road and saw this tree. The most important element that drew me to photograph it was not the tree, however, it was the way the leaves on the ground appeared. Because the ground slopes upward behind the tree, the fallen leaves provided a partial background for the image.
Ground As Background, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, Lumix Aspheric 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Series II Lens at 14mm
iso 200, f8, 1/125 sec.
I like the shot above, but it's quite conventional, other than the ground sloping up. Looking for a different perspective, I used the rotatable finder on the GX7 to get down low. I took several shots that way, but nothing that really looked different to me. Finally, I started playing with selective focus from the low angle. Here's an example of what I came up with:
Drawn to the Front, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, Lumix Aspheric 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Series II Lens at 24mm
iso 200, f8, 1/125 sec.
This shot has only a narrow band of leaves at the very bottom of the image in focus. Personally, I like how it sort of asks a question of the viewer. At first glance, it just looks like a blurry picture of a tree, and at that point, some may stop looking. Looking closer however shows that the leaves at the bottom are perfectly sharp. This draws the attention to the leaves on the ground, which were the element that drew me to the scene in the first place. The tree itself takes on only secondary importance. One could argue about which image is more "pretty," if either fit that bill; I can say that the second shot better communicates how I felt about the scene.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Image Source: http://www.the.me/the-leica-mini-m-wont-be-full-frame-itll-be-an-x-vario-system-camera/
The Photography Daily THEME has posted that an anticipated compact, more reasonably priced Leica system camera (as compared to the M cameras) will be based on the APS-C sensor X-Vario design.
(Click Here) to read the post on THEME.
This could make some sense, as the X-Vario was touted (I think quite incorrectly) as the "Mini-M" when first announced. The X-Vario seems to be a fine camera, but an M it is not.
THEME also reports that the new system will retain the APS-C sensor size, rather than going to Micro 4/3. That's kind of a shame, as I'd love to see Leica move into Micro 4/3. On the other hand, they're already there through their collaboration with Panasonic, and the Leica-branded Micro 4/3 Panasonic lenses are wonderful. I have the 45mm f2.8 Macro-Elmarit and the 25mm f1.4 Summilux; both are just plain excellent.
THEME also mentions that while the new system body is likely to be built in Germany in Leica's new plant, lenses may be sourced from Japan through the same collaboration with Panasonic.
More power to both companies! From my perspective, anything that keeps them working together to bring great new alternatives to photographers is a positive thing!