Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fuji X-Pro1: What Focus Problem Are You Talking About?

This afternoon I attended an event sponsored by Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ and by Sony. It was an opportunity to photograph bikers and their bikes, along with some models who posed provocatively for the edification and titillation of the attendees. I usually stay away from events such as this, but the opportunity to try out the new focusing flexibility available from the latest Fuji software update for the X-Pro1 was too much to resist.

I usually process my images in Lightroom and with Nik plugins, and present them as b/w images. But I was so totally blown away with the images out of the camera, that I decided to present a number of the images with just a minimum of Lightroom adjustment. The images were shot with the Fuji 35mm lens, RAW, Single focus, with the exposure set to auto ISO, aperture at f8, and shutter at 1/250th second. I did no sharpening or noise reduction processing on these images. Below each image I've noted the ISO speed that the camera selected for the exposure. It was a heavily overcast day, and I did no white balance processing in Lightroom. After framing the image I just quickly depressed the shutter in one fluid motion without waiting for the camera to 'find' the focus (which was lightning fast). Here are the images:

ISO 320

ISO 320

ISO 200

ISO 640

ISO 320

ISO 320

ISO 320

ISO 1000

ISO 640


ISO 2000

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gordon Parks 100th Anniversary

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gordon Parks, the legendary black photographer who worked for, among others, Life Magazine, there are several exhibits of his photography works in New York City: Gordon Parks: 100 Years is showing at the International Center for Photography, Gordon Parks: 100 moments is being presented at the Schomburg Center, and Gordon Parks: Centennial is now showing at the Greenberg Gallery on West 57th Street.

I saw the last mentioned this afternoon and it prompted me to write this blog entry. When I was studying photography at the New School there were only two ways to see the work of well known photographers - in books about photography or monographs about the photographer, and at photography installations at museums and galleries around town. Now, modern technology being what it is, it's possible to see the works of others on a computer screen. Viewing the works on a screen via the internet is certainly the most accessible form for most of us, and it's free. But to my mind, it's also the least effective way to view photographs. The most effective way is, you guessed it, by seeing the prints in a gallery or museum. Especially if the works to be seen are silver prints made in a darkroom. There is an organic quality about the medium that cannot be duplicated by digital printing techniques. Honestly, I'd be the first to say that I can accomplish digitally what would have been almost impossible in a darkroom. And the digital prints I can reproduce on a high quality photo printer can show more detail and a better tonal range than analog prints. There is, however, something magical about a photograph composed of silver halide crystals laid down on high quality paper stock, especially when the printing is done by a master printer.

For sure, looking at a photograph on a computer screen or in a book allows us to examine the artist's ideas about composition, subject matter, and even all the technical know how brought to bear in making the image. It's just different for me when I see a real live analog print that unfolds before my eyes like a well told story.

But, life being what it is, here's a couple of digital shots, prepared digitally on my computer, and displayed digitally for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Suffering from SAD?

That's Standard American Diet according to this article in the New York Times. It may be destroying your brain!

OK, that's it for my rant.

I took this shot of a mother and daughter walking on West Broadway. Once again, the light in that particular spot on the street was glorious. Bright sunlight speckled the background, and while they were in the shade of the trees, the sunlight hitting the sidewalk just ahead of them was reflected back to their faces.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just a Fuji X-Pro1 Photo

No message today. Only that the XP1 is an incredible camera. I took this shot on West Broadway in SoHo. There are certain spots on the street where the light reflected off the sidewalk at a particular time in the afternoon creates a wonderful glowing reflection to balance the bright back lighting of sunlight.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday in SoHo

Clear skies, crisp air, temperature 70ºF, and lots of 'beautiful' people on the street in SoHo. Doesn't get any better for a New York flaneur. I was walking across Spring Street and saw Dexter (third photo) sitting on a stoop. I had seen him twenty years ago on West Broadway, singing with a doo wop group called Solo. We had a chat and he told me that as soon as the other singers got there they would be doing some tunes - the group is now called Spank. I circled around the streets for about 30 minutes and by the time I got back they'd started their vocalizing and had a crowd of about fifty people around them wearing big grins and tapping their feet.

So, here they are. Spank: