After two decades of visiting Maui, I’m still overpacking.
A week that doesn’t require underwear or socks feels unnatural. Standing before the open suitcase at home, I tell myself that I’m going to wear those nice pants and shirts, but in the end, board shorts and flip-flops win every time.
And what about all those cameras I think I need? Hawaii is one of the most stunning destinations on the planet. Any photographer worth their sea salt would want to capture every windswept moment of beauty. So three cameras later, plus an iPhone, I feel adequately geared up.
I have a sweet collection of Nikon full frame lenses that span from 28mm on the wide end to a 105mm telephoto. These optics work great on both my 35mm film cameras and the digital bodies as well.
But I’ve found a new use for them that I’m thoroughly excited about. They are now being repurposed on a medium format Fujifilm GFX 100S. You may be thinking, “Nah, that won’t work.” But I’m telling you, it does.
When I first started experimenting with the medium format Fujifilm, I only had one lens: the 80mm f/1.7. It’s a great optic that…
Of all the dark horses I’ve picked over the years, I’ve only had one winner: Apple.
In the late 1990s, I advocated for installing Macintoshes in our communications department when practically everyone believed that Apple was going to shut down. We know how that story turned out.
Unfortunately, my winning streak ended there.
I was also a fan of Contax and Yashica 35mm film cameras, neither of which could navigate the transition to autofocus, and both brands were eventually shuttled by Kyocera, their parent company. (I still have a working Contax 159MM SLR with a Zeiss 45mm f/2.8 …
I was recently talking with a fellow writer about motivation. Her output had dwindled and she was searching for ways to get back in the groove. She felt distracted by life’s obligations.
“If I could only leave my job and dedicate all my energy to writing,” she said.
Most of us have seen movies or read stories about artists who were willing to give up everything for their craft. How romantic. Unfortunately, that approach often fails in real life.
But there’s still a path forward. It depends on how you define success and failure.
Most writers and photographers I know…
The cameras I use are smaller these days. I had a 35mm SLR when film ruled the earth, then a DSLR when digital took over, and now the Fujifilm X100V rangefinder is my most frequent choice.
I like its form factor. It fits nicely in the glovebox when I’m embarking on an adventure. The X100V is a compact and capable companion.
Medium format photography, on the other hand, has always been something that other photographers did. (The term is a carryover from the film days simply meaning that the sensor is bigger than full frame or cropped sensor cameras.) …
The worst romantic scenario is when one is physically attracted to another, only to learn that the personalities aren’t compatible. Odds for success are slim.
Infatuation is just as dangerous in the world of technology. My latest flirtation was the Nikon Z fc. It was lust at first sight. The mere catalog illustration caused a physical reaction.
Being a huge fan of classic Nikon SLRs (I own an FA and two FGs ), I thought this new addition would fit nicely into my collection. I shoot with the film bodies regularly just for enjoyment. Sometimes I even get pretty pictures…
I can do three things in Photoshop without help. I’ve done more, but I tend to forget the actual steps, sending me back to the help menu in a loop of frustration. So in the end, it feels like I’ve never done them before. It’s software amnesia.
For the longest time, there was only Photoshop (no Lightroom, Aperture, Capture One Pro, or Photos). And I feared that I would never become a photographer because of it. If the road to success runs through this application, I’d better start working on a backup plan. (Maybe a writer… Nah!)
Photographers who liked…
Why do people like golf? It could be the fresh air, though I doubt it. My bet is because it’s enjoyable yet difficult to master. You’re always in the game, but seldom on top of it.
I remember learning to shoot medium format and developing the film myself. When I held that first successful print in my hands, a feeling of joy swelled inside of me. I stood a little taller.
The truth is, however, that one shining moment cost me rolls of 120 Tri-X and boxes of enlarging paper. Like golf, analog photography is fun, but hard.
I fell into Capture One Pro, not because I was looking for a new photo management app, but because I had been abandoned. My Aperture images were frozen in time, like a woolly rhino in permafrost. Aperture was discontinued by Apple, and I needed a way forward. It was 2015.
Learning Capture One Pro was like learning to drive all over again. It was a herky-jerky affair — lots of tire marks on the curb. But over time I became comfortable. And it’s now the home for my professional assignments.
Actually, it’s more like a vault. There’s no cloud connection…
I’ve heard that some photographers don’t care much for smartphones. The thinking is that these disruptive devices will overtake our beloved interchangeable lens cameras and leave us with only slippery glass slabs for our work.
By way of example, they may point out the demise of inexpensive compact point and shoots. They’re practically extinct. But to be honest, weren’t they zebras at the back of the pack anyway? Who wants to carry a phone and a digital camera when you can just carry a phone?
OK. Fine. But these grip-less droids are getting smarter. They’re not satisfied with the elimination…