Green chairs

Green chairs

Spring Street Natural Restaurant, New York. I somehow find myself eating at this place a lot when we’re not up for something more adventurous. They have Blue Point Toasted Lager on tap and it’s a nice respite after being on our feet all day. It’s also right on the #6 train so it’s a simple ride back up to Grand Central to catch Metro North home.

I locked focus on Gary and then swung around and shot the lights, hoping for something like this. Another Blue Point and I’d have been able to get this kind of image sans-camera.

Gary on Metro North

Gary on Metro North

On the way to New York on Metro North. My good friend Gary Sharp came out to visit us in Connecticut from the southern Oregon coast over Thanksgiving as he has for many years. It’s always a delight to see him; he and I go back thirty years. 30 years! Gad, we’re old.

One of the many things that happens when he visits is we both take a lot more pictures which of course is a good thing. Each of us in our own way can get stuck in a photographic rut; it’s not that we’re not shooting, we are, but we need stimulation, another influence that nudges us in a slightly different direction.

Gary is a gentle but authoritative influence on me; he’s got much more photographic experience than I do and a great eye for color and composition and even though I can seem headstrong at times, his gravitational energy pulls me out of my comfortable orbit. A trip to New York with Gary is a blast. Hell, a train ride with Gary is a blast.

In short, we had a great time together and I’m looking forward to his next visit this coming summer.



Just messing around with the S100. I was about to pull the trigger on the Ricoh GRD IV which is a great little camera as well but I’m having a hard time doing it because I’m so used to the S100 and it makes excellent images. This black and white was done in the camera. For those who are interested, the S100 has dropped in price considerably since its replacement was announced. The replacement (S110) is pretty much the same camera with a few new features including wifi (nice). I might just order a second (backup) S100 because I like it so much.

Setting up a Canon G10 for street photography

This is a great (old) video of professional photographer Gary Knight sets up his Canon G10 (now G12) as a street photography camera.

He adds a hotshot 35mm viewfinder

He presets the zoom lens to 35mm and locks it there

He sets ISO to 200 or 400 (film speeds he’s used to)

He saves all of those settings so he can return to them easily.

I love the G series ergonomics and I’ve not considered adding an external viewfinder to make up for Canon’s useless built in viewfinder. I do make various settings on my S100 (and have on all of my Canon cameras) that I return to easily because they’re saved.

It’s great to see a professional photojournalist using this type of camera instead of a Leica or a big DSLR kit.

A smaller walk-around camera kit

City walking bag, old and new meet up in perfect harmony

Flickr member Steve J Makin has posted an interesting shot of his current city walk-around camera kit and this is the kind of kit that interests me.

This is not an inexpensive kit but it’s a lot smaller than its DSLR equivalent.

Fujifilm X-Pro 1 Digital Camera $1699.95
Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 XF R Lens (on camera): $599.95
Fujifilm 18mm f/2.0 XF R Lens $599.95
Fujifilm 60mm f/2.4 XF Macro Lens $649.95
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Digital Camera $648

Total Fuji/Sony kit: $4197.80

There are other pieces to Steve’s kit but they’d be part of any kit.

No doubt some reading this will balk at the combined total cost of this kit but in fact, if one looks at this kit as a high end DSLR replacement kit that cost (with all the lenses) is about right. Here’s an example kit of Canon gear that might parallel Steve’s kit (keeping the Sony point and shoot

Canon EOS 7D SLR Digital Camera $1499
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide-Angle Autofocus Lens $1329
Canon Super Wide Angle EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Autofocus Lens $489
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens $409
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Digital Camera $648

Total Canon/Sony kit: $4374.00

Granted, I used a very high end Canon 35mm lens in the comparison so let’s substitute a cheaper one to even things out (I don’t know the quality of the Fuji lenses parallel to Canon’s line).

Canon Wide Angle EF 35mm f/2.0 Autofocus Lens $309

Total Canon/Sony kit with cheaper 35mm lens: $3354.00

If you pulled the Sony out and put in a cheaper Canon PowerShot S100 at $363.95 knowing that you’d use the Fuji’s bigger sensor most of the time and why blow an extra $300 on the backup camera the price drops a bit.

This is a fascinating study and while there are pieces of it that are subjective (does one like using the Fuji camera?) assuming that both camera systems make excellent images (they do) and one likes using them (many like each) and assuming that Fuji’s lenses are in the same league as Canon’s (I don’t know this but the reviews are good) we have real choices now. And, the Fuji kit is much smaller and lighter. This really appeals to me.

There is a lot of talk that the Fuji X-Pro 1 is slow to focus but so are some of Canon’s lenses listed above. There is the issue of few lens choices in the newer Fuji ecosystem but how many choices does one need? A few good zooms and a few good primes and a macro and one is set for everything short of birds and sports. The talk is that a firmware update for the Fuji X-Pro 1 will solve some of its AF problems. We shall see.

I have an aging Canon 5D and a few nice lenses left in my collection. Selling that gear could finance much of Steve’s kit above but I’d have to grow fonder of Fuji cameras to want to do this.

I do, however, want a smaller, lighter kit for walking around New York and possibly to take on hikes where spending some time shooting wouldn’t get in the way of hiking and what Steve has posted appeals to me a lot.

Obama holds another baby


President Barack Obama holds a baby while greeting guests during an Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

All Presidents do this and it’s great fodder for photographers. Great juxtaposition of faces: baby and Obama.