Shoot photos from space, know all about bokeh, grab cine lenses for your photography, help me unriddle the Hassy X2D, autofocus your large format camera, to calibrate or not to calibrate, avoid bad habits … and much more 🙂
This week saw me back in the UK, to visit family, museums and various exotic locations. The combination of lovely weather and nature in full April bloom made a very strong case for colour photography.
This is hard for me 😉 My default is contrasty b&w. That’s how I see the world through a camera. And my personal view on photography is strongly influenced by the process of exclusion. Since we togs capture the world as it is, rather than build it up from scratch on canvas, it is essential that we remove anything unnecessary from the frame. Including colour, if colour doesn’t contribute strongly to the success of the image. In other words, only include colour if the image is – at least in significant part – about the colour itself.
But colour felt like a worthy challenge for this week’s post 😉 I made up my own looks to suit each photograph and each subject. And, yeah, I’ll admit it was fun 😉 What do you think of the results?
The little Pixii is gaining traction 🙂 More and more users are waking up to its qualities and to the possibility of thinking of photography in a more nurturing way. Also, if all the reviews prove something, it’s how much evolution comes with ownership. Keep up the good work, guys!
Apologies if I’m the only one interested in this bit of rumour, but it’s hard to wrap my mind around it. CFexpress cards are hugely expensive and only useful to allow the storage of massive dataflows. This is soooo far removed from my X1D that it makes me wonder what the X2D can possibly be about!!! Certainly far more interesting than just a few more pixels.
While the technical answer leans towards the ‘it depends’ camp, I’d argue that yes, calibration matters. But there is so much that matters more to good photographs that my PP laptop is used in its “photo” mode but uncalibrated.
This review of a golden oldie sums up my thoughts on photographic progress in the last decade: our cameras have gotten faster, more reliable, more accurate. But Robin’s photographs aptly prove that image quality hasn’t changed significantly in recent years.
I promised myself not to include links to mainstream gear in these weekly posts. But … (1) Surui isn’t exactly mainstream. (2) Cine trickling down to photo always brings something different (compared to the usual sharpness/speed drivel) (3) Kickstarters are exciting, when done by serious companies (Surui is a serious company).
As you can see in most of my photographs, shallow depths of field aren’t my cup of tea, as I believe they rob the viewer of all the visual cues that suggest context and story. But if you’re a fan of it, here’s an interesting guide on how to “do it right” 🙂
Zooming aside (my primes don’t allow this 😉 ) I am guilty of each and every one of those 😉 So they will not stop anyone making progress, but it’s interesting to read the reasons the author put them on the list.
If you’ve never witnessed a solar eclipse, this is your chance to view one of nature’s most spellbinding events and something that changed civilisations and sealed the fate of Tintin, no less! As the song goes … I’ll be there.
There is no question about it: never build on someone else’s turf. Particularly not someone from Silicon Valley. See discussion, below. You are always welcome to post on DS. That’s completely different because I make no money from your content (in fact, quite the opposite), don’t charge you anything to reach your readers, let you say what you want to and let you publish links to your other online presence 🙂 And if you’re setting up a website, how about this discussion about .art domains on Colossal?
The website is celebrating Earth Day by revisiting some of their favourite environmental stories. Nick Brandt is also one of my favourite photographers and his work has been instrumental to fighting poaching.
It is with great sadness that I read of Eolake’s death on TOP! I had interviewed him a few years ago and we had continued exchanging after that for a while. He was full of imagination and will and a colourful light in a world forced into dark uniformity and political correctness. His passing hits me harder than our brief encounter can explain. With him, we lose a free spirit. RIP Eolake, and thank you for everything.
Back to the Facebook vs your_website discussion started above.
Own your photographic digital property. Always. In (serious) marketing, there is no debate about this. Basing your business on Facebook, or any other social media, is 100% medium-term suicide. There are no exceptions. It works for a while, at best, then the platform takes it all away from you. The term for this is digital sharecropping. You do the work, they get the money, it’s the business model that puts trillions in their bank.
But you can use Facebook as a satellite to host discussions and direct traffic back to your hub website. I don’t, because life is too short, but it is possible. In fact, it can even be beneficial if you engage in discussions rather than try to sell, and build trust.
Trust. The one ingredient that links prosperity, security and happiness and yet gets pounded by institutions, politicians and big tech (including crypto) with increasing regularity.
It is a topic very dear to me, and I am working on an email-only newsletter discussing trust. DS readers will be the first informed when it launches, probably in May 🙂
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LOL – the green & white deckchair shot is the most creative, original portrait shot that I’ve ever seen. Brilliant!
Your opening photo is cinematic – 9, 3, 1. It brought back memories from a childhood I left behind, over 60 years ago. The bike of that style in those days, here, was invariably a BSA left behind at the end of WW2 – hence the colour!
Your pre-dilection for B&W – is it because you’ve just ended a phase of your life, where you did colour all the time? Till I flicked across to digi, most of my stuff was B&W because home development & printing in colour would have been ludicrously expensive to set up. So after half a century of mostly B&W, I now wallow in colour instead. And I’m quite recalcitrant about it – Ive decided to keep doing it for the few years I still have left in this life.
But coming out of all those years in B&W and switching to colour, one important issue is “tonal variation”. Some, who started with colour instead, don’t seem to appreciate that it’s no use shooting colour if, when the colour is turned off, everything is the same mid grey. At least some need to be darker, while others need to be highlights.
Well now I have my reading material – I’ll leave you in peace for the rest of the day. Cheers
Of late there has emerged a recent trend amongst photography vlogger/blogger channels to produce material titled “Stop Using …. In your photography” “Stop Making these XX mistakes ….”. To me it seems to smack of over production on their part and a vain attempt to keep feeding the machine using cliched clickbait. These videos have almost become a pandemic in their own right and have an overbearing parental approach to the subscriber. They have recently become my latest pet hate, so much so that I recently left the following comment on a well respected Scandanavian landscape photographers video. “I’ve stopped being a subscriber until you stop making these stop making videos – cheers” and low and behold if he did nothing more than give my comment a like! I take it he approves of my move to vote with my feet – yes I did unsubscribe – its a funny old world. You can take it from my comment i did not bother to follow the link “What are the Worst Habits….. ” above 🙂
That stuff is utterly incomprehensible to me, Ian. I think I was 8, when I stopped taking any notice about being “told”. Maybe that’s just when I decided to live that way, maybe I didn’t get my act together for a couple more years, but it was definitely switched over by the time I was 12. You can’t develop creativity when you’re swamped by other people’s instructions, rules, ideas, etc.
Yo Pascal — Funny you should mention the Hasselblad X2D just now. I’ve been considering “medium format” for only the past few days, having more or less given up waiting for Foveon-Godot. I ditched my “full-frame” (I hate that term) Sigma fp and Sigma’s pretty nice lenses in favor of the Olympus M43 OM-1 and their serious zooms. Why zooms? Because I feel cropping in the camera is necessary given the smaller image size. As to image quality, I am very happy. The camera, however, suffers from intermittent runaway processing and eats batteries like crazy. It now sits on the bench in New Jersey.
All of which led me to give some thought to medium format — or at least the more affordable, smaller-than-645 sizes like the Fuji GFX and Hassy X1D II. The Fuji might be a good option if weren’t so pig-ugly. The X1D II if more “P” lenses were promised. The 45mm XCD f4 is just right (small, cheap and brilliant). Something between 65-80 would probably seal the deal. Hugh Brownstone’s reviews have been very persuasive.
Two questions: What’s been your experience with the X1D, especially regards processing? And what do we know — or think we know — about the X2D, aside from the CFexpress, which strikes me about as sensible as instant tea?
LOL – I love your literary style, Leonard.
BTW I’m still “waiting for Godot” with SIGMA’s “proposed” monster Foveon. I don’t know if – when & if !! – it will be more versatile than the existing Foveons – they don’t exactly seem to target the “sports action” market, for instance. But ever since I first set eyes on “what a Foveon can do:, I’ve wanted one. Even if it DOES mean an extra camera alongside the rest of my junk. So – here’s hoping! Their news release earlier in the year certainly sounded promising.
CFExpress is like instant tea because? – I think that answer is that it will only appeal to a few. The vast majority of ‘togs around the world never do anything that would “demand” cards with those specs. So camera manufacturers ALL need to produce new models, that would feed such a restricted market? In the midst of a shrinking market for cameras, falling profits, etc? Some will, no doubt. Not everyone though.
When you guys switch from gear like the Olympus range, to Hassy’s, surely you all do it like the old timers? — one stunningly good camera and only a couple of lenses? I know nothing about the range of lenses for the X1D of the X1DII – but I’d be staggered if there was ever any large range of lenses to choose between. Nor – in the unlikely event that I ever owned one! – would I have the physical strength to stagger around with a 500mmFF equivalent tele, on the front of a Hassy. I think I’d have to wait till I can afford servants, to carry it around for me!
But I’l be in the same predicament “if & when” with my FF Foveon – I’ll only ever get one “standard” lens for it.