Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another Hat

I got a stiff neck yesterday while I was walking around New York City. I couldn't turn my head fast enough to see all the beautiful women. And those summer fashions ..... fuggedaboudit! As I was crossing Madison Avenue at 42nd street this woman noticed me pointing my camera at her. I smiled back and told her I loved the hat. Turned her her scowl into a smile. I hope the person on the other end of the call appreciated what I did for him.

I'm off tomorrow to the Duchess County Fair where I'll be judging the fiddle contest. I love county fairs. That's where the real people show up.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hat/No Hat

Photographing people on the street who are wearing hats poses a very specific set of difficulties. I wear hats all the time when I'm out. I especially like wearing panama hats, so when I see a guy wearing a straw hat I immediately take notice. On very sunny days, if the hat is doing its job, the face will be in shadow, often very deep. Sometimes the light reflected off the ground will add some brightness, but for this shot, taken on Central Park South, it was no help at all. With some careful dodging and burning using Nik Software's Viveza 2, Color Efex Pro 4, and Silver Efex Pro 2 it was possible to get a good balance of light and shadow here.


After processing the image in Photoshop and saving it back to my Lightroom catalog, when I opened my Lightroom window to rename the image, it appeared in the grid view next to this next image which was shot in Times Square on the same day as the first image. It was just a coincidence, but I realized what a great coupling these two images made. Shazam!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fujinon 14mm Lens - Hoping and Waiting

Here's two examples of why the Funinon 18mm lens is just not quite wide enough. I was very close to both of these people when I took the shot. The expression in the first image happened because I was close enough for the man to react to me, but too close to get the top of his head. A little tilt up would have gotten that, but then I would have lost some of the image detail at the bottom, and that line of the edge of the planter is important to balance the line in the street to the man's left. At a 35mm equivalent, the 18mm is actually a 28mm lens. The 14mm would be a 21 mm equivalent. When I was shooting with my Leicas, I always had the 21mm f2.8 lens and 21mm viewfinder on my M4. I swapped lenses only on my M6.

With the wide angle 14mm lens on my X-Pro1 I would have been able to get more of the street scene unfolding around this unhappy woman. I think the image works as it is, but I would have been more satisfied to have more of the man on the right in the frame. 

In any case, the image quality of the Fuji 18mm lens is outstanding, comparable to anything I could have gotten with my Leica glass on the XP1, and better than what I could have gotten with Leica glass on my M6 shooting Fuji Neopan 400 film.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

On the Corner

Shooting with the Fuji X-Pro1 makes me feel like a kid again. It's just so much damned fun to play with! I've gotten stuck in a rut with it, though. The 18mm Fujinon lens fits my style of shooting and is on the camera 98% of the time. 

Yesterday I was sitting on the wall at the Apple Store plaza on 58th street and Fifth Avenue, watching all the girls go by (Brother you can't go to jail for what your thinking, or for the woo look in your eye). Just for a change I switched over to the Fujinon 35mm lens, which got me a lot closer to my subjects than I am used to. It was a challenge to get the framing right. Bringing the subject so much closer adds an intensity to the image but also creates some difficulties in how to use surrounding figures and lines to support the composition. 

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go out and play (oops, I meant practice) with my toys a lot more.