Tuesday, May 21, 2019

CHECK!

Since aggravating my knee several weeks ago, I have had little chance for shooting since I am barely able to get around. As a result, I will probably be going through my archives for some posts as I get my knee evaluated by different doctors that take both surgical and non-surgical approaches.
That being said, today's post is one of the few I kept from our three weeks at sea on a pair of cruise ships. While my wife was taking her morning walk, I sat in my wheelchair watching a couple of teens play chess on the ship's sports deck. I took several but this is the one that I keep returning to view.
I noticed the youngest of the three was just kinda roaming around annoying the other two. But he never seemed to be in a spot that worked for me. Then he came walking by a little closer and looked directly at me and I grabbed the shot. At the same time, a mom and her young son were walking by in the background which I feel adds additional depth to the image as the eye is drawn from the closest subject to the farthest. This image was shot with a Fuji X100S with the WCL-X100 attached.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

In a world where you can be anything be kind!

It has been a while since my last post. My wife and I just got back from a series of three cruises. I had hoped to do some specific shooting in some of the ports but ran into a problem with my right knee and never got off the ships. Over the 21 days I took less than 150 images as I struggled in a rented wheelchair to get around.
That being said I decided to post a image from before the trip taken in the local coffeeshop. I noticed these two guys looking at something on a cellphone but the image did not really sing to me. Then the day's barista entered the frame and I just reacted. She added some balance to the image that I like.
Today, while processing the image to my tastes, I noticed the sign on the counter and thought "what a perfect title!"


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Monday, April 15, 2019

Enjoying the WCL

When I first decided to sell all my pro Nikon gear when I relocated for retirement, I decided I wanted to try and emulate the famous photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson. That was 2013. I started with just a Fuji X100S with its fixed lens of 23mm (35mm in 35mm film format). Then I added a Fuji X-E1 and the 1,4/35mm lens (52.5mm in 35mm format) as I tried to focus on a "normal" focal length.
But the X-E1 just did not inspire me. I really enjoyed shooting with the X100S so I sold the X-E1 and 35mm lens and picked up both conversion lenses for the X100S giving me three focal lengths (28mm, 35mm & 50mm).
Then I got concerned about damaging the fixed lens on the X100S changing between the two conversion lenses so I bought a second X100S. Now I have the 28mm conversion lens mounted on one body and the 50mm conversion lens mounted on the second body.
Most days, I shoot with only one or the other but used both when traveling.
Today, I took just the camera with the WCL, or 28mm lens, while my wife was getting a pedicure. I seem to be able to "see" with the WCL better with each outing. It is great for shooting from the hip using zone focusing (usually at f8 and a distance of 7 feet). I find I am also getting closer to my subjects due to the wide angle format the 28mm provides.
While shooting from the hips, I quite often will end up with tilted images but a lot of the time it is just what the image seems to need. Adding the diagonals created with the tilt provides a certain dynamic to the composition for me.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Disappointing

A couple of weeks ago I participated in what was called "Art Takeover" on our town square. During the three hours I was there, I got several people that came by and mentioned I should check out the local artists' guild.
I have been hesitant to visit the guild for two reasons. One reason is I was disappointed in the photographers' group that I first joined in the area. After sitting through several meetings, I took a jump drive with a selection of my images to show (something that was done at the end of each gathering). Where everyone had been oohing and ahhing all the landscape and nature color shots, my photojournalistic endeavours were met with blank stares. No one seemed to understand that I was trying to tell a story with my photography as a result of being a documentary photographer since 1978. I also had a ten-year stint as a newspaper photographer (1998-2008) during which I had won a number of press association awards for my work.
I was initially intrigued with the artists' guild meeting as the agenda had an iphone photography talk scheduled. But, at the halfway point, I felt this was going nowhere for me. For most of the members, they seemed enthused with the idea for taking photographs of their own paintings/pottery/sculptures/etc. and manipulating them to their satisfaction.
The instructor, while he still has some amount of film gear, he said he does most of his photography today with his iphone. While he said he started out with large format (4x5) then to medium format to 35mm, it seemed to be all from a hobby level.
So I won't be back as I don't think that will help me pursue the type of photography that intrigues me.
So I am thinking of continuing to search for training and/or groups that fit the bill for me. Some of my inspiration these days comes from my flickr contacts and I am considering Instagram as that seems to be along the same lines.
But, for today, I thought I would post an image from the Art Takeover event. Many art students from the local college stopped by my spot to check out the images. They had ulterior motives for coming to the event, mainly because their professors gave them a choice - go to the Art Takeover (and bring back proof of their attendance) or write a paper on something (not sure what).
Be that as it may, I had several long conversations concerning my background, what I thought of today's photojournalistic opportunities, or just about how I kept myself inspired. Shown here is a couple of the first students that stopped by. The young lady had already graduated (forget her major) and her art boyfriend who was due to graduate soon and was looking forward to what opportunities may present themselves.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Finding composition with the WCL lens

Since purchasing both the WCL and TCL conversion lenses for the Fuji X100S, I have wondered which I like better. I got the TCL mainly because I wanted to force myself to shot in a similar fashion to the great photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson who, according to legend, shot mainly with a Leica and 50mm lens.
For a time, I forced myself to shot only with the TCL but recently have been enjoying using the WCL lens that gives a 28mm field of view instead of 50mm.
The WCL is helping me develop a better sense of paying attention to what is included within the frame because so much more is WITHIN the frame. I feel my compositions are improving as a result. It has also gotten me to play more with wider apertures so there is out of focus (OOF) elements.
But I discovered long ago while I like OOF elements to help drive the focus of the viewer, I also like those elements to be somewhat recognizable as they usually add to what the image is trying to say.
The image here is a simple one. It is a shot of my one and only greatgranddaughter. I was up close to her but was using a wide open aperture (f2) as I needed the higher shutter speed to freeze movement. But there is no doubt as to what is in the background as she was enjoying playing with a bunch of her toys. But if those background elements were not there it would just be a portrait that says little about this child.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Friday, April 5, 2019

TCL - is it worth it?

I have been playing with the TCL (50mm) a fair amount lately and have taken a liking to it. After years of using zooms, both wide and tele, using prime lenses has me looking at my images differently. Both when hitting the shutter button and when I get into the computer.
Back in my newspaper days, I used the zooms along with a short depth of field to help drive the focus to my subject with out of focus elements. Then I would zoom in or out to get the framing I want. I am still doing that to some extent but am finding that I am also enjoying an extended depth of field to bring more of the image frame into focus that using primes forces me to do. I also find I am doing less cropping because I am paying more attention to what is contained within the frame and want to keep it all.
For me, I am enjoying using a small mirrorless camera like the Fuji X100S. Often people think it is a film camera and are surprised when I show them the back of the camera with the LCD screen. In fact, I have enjoyed the camera so much I just recently bought a second body that I have mounted the WCL lens on. I had been worried about constantly screwing and unscrewing the two conversion lenses and damaging the threads. Now I have mounted the TCL on one body and the WCL on the other and will just carry both cameras. The combined weight of the two are probably half of just one professional DSLR with a zoom mounted on it and I used to carry two DSLRs with zooms.



Tomorrow I will address using the WCL lens (28mm) and shooting wide open to get some bokeh and what the 28mm field of view is forcing me to do.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Just 'cause

Another image from a visit to our daughter and greatgranddaughter (looks funny without spaces). This one is just because I like the composition and how our daughter is looking at her granddaughter. I still find it hard to believe that my daughter is a grandmother.
Anyway, the images from our visit got me to looking at the website of someone I happened on several years ago. He got involved in photography (according to his bio) because he needed to make a portfolio of his work as a sculptor. From there, he progressed to focusing on his family (he is the father of SIX!) and I have found his compositions to be amazing.


I will probably post a couple more images from the visit before I am done. In the meantime, check out Alain's website (http://www.laboile.com/index.html).
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Great grand & missed opportunities

I ran across a photographer (www.laboile.com) whose website I occasionally visit. Most, if not all, of his photography is centered around his family. I visit his site for inspiration in shooting my own family.
I also feel pangs of regret that I missed many shooting opportunities as far as my family. I always seem to be looking to grab that "iconic" photo that would vault me into the limelight.
Now, in my old age, I see points in time that I could have "immortalized" for future generations of my branch of the Owen family.
Today I am posting an image of three of my most favorite ladies. My wife and I recently visited our daughter who takes care of her oldest daughter's daughter (say that three times real fast!).


It is snapshots like this that I wish I had taken more of when my own children were growing up.
For those of you out there who, like I was, are looking for that one image that vaults you to stardom, my recommendation is to just look at your loved ones. The images that truly matter are right in front of you.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Monday, March 11, 2019

Worker Bees

Caught these guys down on the Square repairing the pavement bricks. Took several shots of the three of them but decided this one up close and personal might work for the "PAIRS" theme.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Hiding!

Thought this one might be a candidate for my "PAIRS" theme. As I was crossing the street, I saw the woman on the right leaning against the light pole on the square. As I approached, another woman got out of her SUV and started toward me. Got just this one shot with the Fuji X100S and WCL lens.


As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting...