Photography

The gear you need to tell stories with your photography

Daniel Schafer did a piece for Japan Camera Hunter: The Storytellers Kit where he discusses focal lengths useful for telling parts of a story.

PetaPixel has reposted it: The Storyteller’s Kit: The Gear You Need to Tell Stories with Your Photography.

They are essentially the same piece although with different comment threads under them. Choose one and read it. I promise you you’ll find it useful no matter what your experience with photography.

Gear does not make the photographer, allow me to state that for the record before we dive in here. A talented artist can make an image with whatever falls into their palm, but for those of us who have the luxury of choice, be it the pocket sized Ricoh dangling from Moriyama’s wrist, or Crewdson’s cherrywood 8×10, a powerful image is about the framing of a moment, the machine it is seen through when chosen properly, serves to simplify and streamline the process.

This is a brilliant piece, the sentiment of which is right on the money and very timely and meaningful to me as I experiment with different cameras in different settings.

Extra bokeh

Flickr member Takashi Kitajima has an interesting album up on Flickr called extra bokeh and it’s loaded with an amazing collection of images of bokeh balls in the extreme. Most of his images are shot in Tokyo, Japan.

For those new to bokeh it’s an artifact of shallow depth of field photography, generally done with a fast (large aperture) lens wide open such that there is an area in front of and behind the subject that’s out of focus. If that area contains lights (car lights, etc.) those lights blur up into bokeh balls. It’s a fun effect to play with and Takashi is a master. In his photography, the bokeh balls are the subject.

parachute - らっかさん

new city hotel

Lunch at Race Brook campground

Lunch at Race Brook campground

Race Brook Falls campsite, southwest Massachusetts.

For the past three years I’ve been a volunteer for the Berkshire AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) and have been maintaining some trails and a few campsites. Besides the regular hikes to check the trails and campsites groups of us do larger projects.

Yesterday, this group moved and rebuilt a rotting tent platform (similar to the one they’re sitting on here). This is a simple task in a back yard but a few miles up a steep trail it becomes a bit tougher logistically. We carried a lot of lumber and tools up and got it all done. I’ve done other projects with this group, including the building of a new log bridge on this trail which was great fun.

Most of the guys in this group are older and retired (we had an 80 year old working on the bridge) and I have to say, doing things like this with them is something I look forward to. I always learn a lot and have a great time.

I liked the “old time” feel the high contrast black and white filter on the Ricoh GR gave this image.

Falling water on Race Brook, again

Falling water on Race Brook, again

Race Brook Falls Trail, Southwest Massachusetts.

I took this picture with the express purpose of redoing this one with more detail and I’m pleased with the result. The Ricoh GR’s high contrast mode is great for some things but not for everything and I prefer a lot more detail on images like this.

The articulated LCD on the Sony RX100 III made this shot a “snap” as it allowed me to get the camera closer to the water (one has to watch out for splash on the lens).

Translucent building

Old in new

Old in new

Astor Place, New York City. These were taken on a trip to New York that Gary, Anne and I took a month ago.

This particular building reflection caught my eye because it was so clear and because the left edge/corner of the newer building was sharp and shallow enough so that we could see through it. Also, it was dusk so there were lights on in the older building.

Thee’s something about seeing the inside of a monolithic glass box from the outside that has an appeal for me. Sort of like finding out how airplanes are honeycomb structures covered with a thin skin of aluminum (or whatever material their skins are made of). Lastly, this large face of the building was facing due west, perfect for picking up the sky and fading light.

Translucent corner

Translucent corner

Corner

Corner

This is the left (north) corner of the same building in the two earlier photographs. The corner that’s so translucent.

You have to wonder how buildings like this hold together. Yes, I realize that modern construction techniques allow the skins of these buildings to be free of structures but dang, there’s not much holding that glass on.

Calvin Klein from REI

Calvin Klein from REI

These days we spend as much time browsing around REI as B&H and the REI in New York is a big one that’s nicely done.

The intersection outside REI has some amazing billboards, they’re quite large and not far off the ground and coupled with a cloudy sky and older buildings they give the place a bit of an odd futuristic, dystopian feel.

Tatsuo Suzuki

Tokyo Flash Night

Tokyo Flash Night

My flickr contact Tatsuo Suzuki does street photography in Tokyo, Japan and wow, he’s got the chops. He’s got one of the most interesting and consistent photostreams I’ve seen in years up on Flickr.

Seeing his work featured on PetaPixel gave me the push to share it here.

i-Life

iLife, Tokyo, Japan

Untitled

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Untitled

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Untitled

Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Along the High Line with the Ricoh GR

Looking east from the High Line

Looking east from the High Line

Along the High Line, New York. Gary and I walked the length of the High Line (he’d never seen it) and it was great. I’m just processing those images now and this is what I captured with the Ricoh GR.

These are all RAWs processed in Lightroom to emulate the high contrast JPEGs the camera makes.

I think the image quality from the Fuji X100S and the Ricoh GR is about the same on RAW files so for me, the Ricoh’s 28mm angle of view works better than the Fuji’s 35mm. I think it would good to have both cameras and no doubt I’ll revisit the Fuji X100 series but until then I’m still loving the Ricoh GR.

Along the High Line

Looking north along the High Line

Construction next to the High Line

Cone flowers on the High Line

Cone flowers on the High Line

Scaffold along the High Line

Scaffold along the High Line

Construction and crane alone the High Line

Construction and crane along the High Line