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Warming Up To The Ricoh GR

Warming Up To The Ricoh GR

Been a very long time since I posted anything in here, I know. Truth of the matter is, I’ve been lazy (wont deny), and didn’t know what to really post here. Didn’t take any really amazing shots or such and there have been major changes in life – for the better. I was troubled more with less photographic aspects of life.

One of the 2 major things that happened with me in 2014 is that I got a new camera – Ricoh GR. I was crying my heart out after losing my lovely and amazing little Ricoh GX200 (got stolen) that I just couldn’t help but stop taking pics.

It’s funny that there has been so many point & shoot sized cameras coming out that it’s almost impossible to decide which one you should buy. It’s like there will always be some sort of serious compromise with any system or camera model. It can be a good thing too, if you are very defined about your shooting habits and what you shoot. Otherwise, cramping everything into ONE system/camera is impossible!

Back in 2010 or so, when I was debating to buy the GX200, I had my eyes on the GRD III and I went with the GX200 (never regretting). So, when I lost my GX200 and the GR came out with an APS-C sized sensor, it was a no-brainer! I had to get it especially since I wanted to really try street shooting and yes, these Ricoh were a legacy with street shooting. And thus, I went for it.

It’s been a total different experience with the GR than it was with the GX200. Don’t ask me why, because I haven’t a clue! I just LOVED the super intuitive menu on the GX200 and I did expect the same with the GR. The GR menu I feel, is a bit more complex and deep-rooted than the GX200 was. Perhaps, it will take time to fully comprehend and grasp the camera.

I wanted to share a few pics that I did take and it would be nice if my readers left some feed back about the shots and their experience with their Ricoh GR … :-)

Little Eden_1 Little Eden_2 Love Forever What's There? Popsicle World Hippie Ride_1 Hippie Ride_2

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Random Shots, Ricoh GR

 

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Android / iPhone & ART : What’s Your Take?!

People for a long time consumed themselves with the DSLR’s, the amphibious mirrorless world, moving on if possible to digital medium format backs, have started to find themselves settling with their cellphone images, for sharing purposes for starters. Creating in no way any less artistic photographs than they would, if they had used anything else. The most significant detail in this trend was that, these “photographers” were not professionals or in many cases photographers at all. They were the happy-go-lucky snappers that found their artistic vision aided, nevertheless, by photo-apps.

It was a definitely a collective effort and a mass creation of sorts, that made an impact in the artistic world, so much so that even cellphone manufacturers took note, and the megapixel war that had somewhat died in the camera world, now trickled down to your regular cellphones.

If someone said today that a photograph from a cellphone isn’t valid, original or praise-worthy, he would get looks he never would expect. The craze of shoving more and more technology into that little palm sized device holds no boundaries, and with every new and more, comes the want and expectation, not need, for more!

I remember, back in the days when phones were “phones” and not an tech-toolkit. The addition of a camera in a phone was popularized by Nokia with their early GSM models (can’t remember the exact model that really made the “camera” feature popular). Well, that was then and this is now – 41MP camera, HD display, no-need-to-touch control, voice over command, GPS… frankly a mini computer, if not more, in your palm. The mere sight of a photo appearing on the “colored” screen got everyone excited back then, and it’s no different now. People just grew to expect and want more and more – that is all.

PLATFORM WARS

The purpose of my post is not just to evaluate the growth of technology, I wanted to vent out my frustration about the 2 platforms that have pretty much monopolized the phone market (sorry Windows, you ain’t there yet :P) when it comes to photo-apps.

One might think it is the hardware that would make the most impact and not the app/software when it came to creating a strong photograph. I started with Android with the HTC Droid. Thought it had a big lens element, would def. capture better pics. Through the time, cameras and phones got way better and many apps added, some really good ones and some just to fill the void!

It was only recently that I really got interested in “mobile photography” and started giving it a serious look, esp. since upgraded my phone to the LG Optimus G with 13 MP. The choices of apps in the Android market were many now, but still the ones that were worth keeping and trying were the same old ones. Sadly, the best photo app in the Android market was PicPlz. Alas, that got taken down in 2012. The apps that got people all crazy into taking more pics were and still are with Apple, and only very recently a couple of them made it to the Android market. Instagram for a long time was Apple only, Hipstamatic was and still is with Apple, Vignette has recently shown some presence in Google Play. Android did it’s part, in a feeble and slow pace to overcome the lack of those particular apps, but we all know it didn’t cut it – by a long shot!

So, coming back to the main issue at hand, is it better off to bow down to Apple’s Al-Mighty app power and make-do with the hardware it provides OR buy a powerful hardware (it is important to mention here that Windows based phones are proving to be mighty contenders with the new line of Nokia phones released) and do as much as possible with whatever (app) is at hand?!

SOLUTION

It has been a very frustrating exercise deciding where to spill the cash for the next 2 yrs iPhone or Android… let alone the choice between service providers. iPhone had the apps & Android had the camera.

Laying in bed, dreaming of a phone that was a love-child of Android and Apple, a possible solution came to mind. Capture with the best hardware (aka an android phone) and manipulate it in iPad. Now, this might not seem like an on-the-go method, but it sure seems the only way now, and probably for some time.

Shoot with any phone and download it on your iPad and edit there using Apple only apps. Almost all the apps o Google Play are there on the iTunes.

I haven’t as yet tried this out, since I don’t have an iPad lol.. but I would be very interested in what you guys think! Come to think of it, it would be a good exercise to see how shots taken with regular cameras look and if these apps can handle files of that size.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Mobile-O-Graphy, My Photo-Rant

 

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My 1st “Official” Book Puchase

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So, after quite a while I finally gave in and bought myself a “photo book”. I have bought photo-magazines mostly (or all of the time) and any photo “book” that I do have, has had a questionable acquiring to say the least.

The reason why I never bought a photo-book is mainly due to the fact that I didn’t see any “reference” value in it… once you finished the book, it was over! Now I am not talking about books that ARE meant for going back and referring to them till u get the trick a 100%. Example of that would be Joe McNally’s Hot Shoe Diaries. Magazines on the other hand, tend to have the “look again, see again, feel again” effect. One might want to look at the pic he/she sees in a magazine once more at a later time just ‘cuz it’s – good to look at !

I have always been very interested in X-Games and more so photographing it. However, with a lot of things in life, they never happen and so I have (as yet) not experienced it. Will I? I certainly plan and hope so!

I came across some shots of Mike Blabac while checking out videos on YouTube and saw someone doing a review of his book. Gorgeous pics, Splendid design, Hardcover, Lot of pages – just had to have it! The book is definitely a collector’s must esp. if he/she is into skateboarding and the like.

I will take snaps of all the photo-books I have as soon as I get my room organized… which apparently is a 2-day ordeal! :D

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Salad – O – Shrimp

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Was so bored in the evening today that I decided to cook! I do cook but once in a purple moon!!

I wanted to make some shrimps and decided on combining it with leftover salad. I fried the shrimps with veg. oil, freshly squeezed orange juice, orange zest and soy sauce… sprinkled some black pepper while they fried in the pan.

After about 10-15 mins. the shrimps were ready and just laid them on the salad – all ready to eat!

Didn’t expect it to turn out so well… the orange juice and the soy sauce did do the trick. The salad was itself marinated with lemon juice and black pepper.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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An Encounter With Film – Once Again!

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It had been a VERY long time since I picked up my film camera… and to be honest, it happened because I don’t have a DSLR anymore and to top it off – my digital point-n-shoot got stolen from the car as well.

There was a model-photographer meetup that I wanted to attend, but not having a DSLR was disappointing esp. because I knew I wouldn’t be able to give away the “files” anytime soon. Nevertheless, I head out and bought  rolls of film – Kodak Ektar 100 and Ilford Delta 3200.

I wanted to see if I still “had it in me” … if I could still shoot film – and mind you, I NEVER have used a light-meter. I always have taken educated guess and metered it using my eye. Never has failed!!

I didn’t take lot of shots of Hayley at the meetup but these two were my favorites. Taken with the Ilford 3200 b/w. I did crop it in LR and did do a little bit of touch-up, but not to much.

The colored shots are from the Kodak. The Cat tails and the leaves with the sun peeking… both hand held and I must admit I am proud of myself that I pulled it off without any trouble.

In both the shots with Kodak I used the 50mm f/1.2 Ai-S lens. Whereas with Hayley, I used the 50mm and also 35~135mm f/3.5~4.5 Ai-S lens.

There was the added cost of developing and scanning of the 2 film rolls, it took a whole month before I sent them to the lab! This is something that really annoyed me. I don’t know if it was the cost issue or what… but film does hold you back!

One thing that definitely annoyed me was that I couldn’t change from color to b/w and vice-versa! I had to complete the roll or kill it if I really wanted to shoot in a different mode or film. So different an experience from using digital. But then again, it’s a whole other experience to begin with – Slow and Easy !!

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Nikon F3, Random Shots, Working with Models

 

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Leaves On Fire

Taken with my LG Optimus G (13mp) phone.

Taken with my LG Optimus G (13mp) phone.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in LG Optimus G

 

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PRIZED POSSESSIONS

Everyone has a prized collection that he/she for some reason cherishes like no other thing they possess. It can be a $1 million trophy or even a handful of sand from their homeland… sometimes, it is just Faith that people have of what is utmost value to them, letting go of all worldly possessions 

It may sound materialistic and obsessive at first, but it actually is never the price that determines the value of the object in the possession. Two things add value – it’s rarity and the emotions related with it. The rare and/or the more emotionally attached the person is to this object, the more valuable it is to him/her. Rarity brings about a general value that his/her peers and fellow enthusiasts can appreciate – Emotions is strictly personal for the owner.

I too have in my possession such an object, and it is both – very rare and emotional. Its my Minolta Mirror magazine collection dating from 1976 ~ 1993 in mint condition. I have all the editions that Minolta printed except for the 1975 & 1977. (If there’s anyone out there who has these two, please let me know)

Looking at the photographs in these magazines that were all done on film, it gives a sense and a measure as to how much crappy shots are being taken with the advent of digital. I started with film back in ’88 and I still remember thinking twice, thrice… sometimes four times before pressing that shutter. When not shooting, I just held the camera to my eye and tried to see things through the viewfinder. It was like training my eye to see how the camera would see. To pre-visualize a scene and see how it might look if I actually shot it.

The richness of Kodachromes and Velvias among other films that photographers swear upon, can all be seen and appreciated through the beautifully printed photographs featured in the magazine. As someone said in a forum regarding the quality of print and paper of Minolta Mirror “It would cost a fortune to print such a magazine if someone were to attempt it now”. The only magazine that has “dared” to print with such quality has been LensWork. 

I for one, am very happy and grateful, that I’ve had the good fortune of owning such a collection. Ironically, it makes me really sad and breaks my heart when I am reminded that film is no longer a viable option in these fast-paced times. The discontinuation of a giant company like Kodak speaks volumes and is a sure tell-tale sign of the future of film.

It took a lot of work to scan the front and back covers of the 17 magazines and at same time being very careful not to “hurt” my precious!! The worst part is, when I was done scanning, I discovered a website where all that had been done !! Can’t say how frustrated I got, but it sure was a good exercise. :)

There are still a few MM’s floating around on Ebay… be sure to get your copy while it’s there. You’ll be happy you did!!

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2012 in My Photo-Rant, Public Awareness

 

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