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Tag Archives: PHOTO – LINKS

Purpose-Less Photography… Why Should I Shoot?!

Its something that has taken over me for the past year or two… the question “what’s the point of photography?” For a very very long time, I didn’t have a dslr, not even a decent point-n-shoot. All that I was using was my phone, and the kind of shots I took (or the type of photography I did), were snapshots of mostly impromptu moments that unfolded themselves. Yeah, the ever growing popularity of mobile photography overtook me too, and the world of app tweaking had no limits. The original was nothing more than a reference point and the final image depended on the social site the image was to land on. Thus is the nature of mobile photography – for the most!

So all this time, I watched cameras and gadgets come and go, drooling over them and setting my mind to buying it, and when it’s successor came, feeling wise that I had waited (as if I was able to buy it anyways). This was mostly because I didn’t have the $$$ and let me tell you, it’s VERY frustrating… to want something that you end up seeing it in your dreams, and not able to have it. Well that all changed when I bought the OMD E-M1. I thought I would shoot like crazy, and rough my camera, but it just sits there. Yeah I did make use of it, but not like I had thought I would. I don’t know, I guess I’ve lost my push, my hunger to shoot! To be honest, I am baffled. I think of shooting landscapes, and then I think – WHY?!

I have lost purpose, I don’t have that drive I used to have. I don’t find a need to shoot anything! If I am given an assignment, I’ll jump on it, but shooting for myself, has no meaning to me anymore. It’s sad, and I just don’t know how to deal with it 😦

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Posted by on March 21, 2015 in My Photo-Rant

 

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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! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 23, 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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PRIZED POSSESSIONS

Everyone has a prized collection that he for some reason cherishes like no other thing they possess. It can be a lifetime achievement trophy or a handful of sand from their homeland. At times it is just Faith that people have of what is utmost value to them and nothing of worldly possessions.

Fact of matter is, it’s actually never the price that determines the value of the object in the possession. Two things add value – it’s rarity and the sentiments attached to it. The rare and/or the more emotionally attached the person is, the more valuable it is. Rarity brings about a general value that his peers and fellow enthusiasts can appreciate. Sentiments is strictly personal for the owner.

I too have in my possession such an object, and it is both – rare and has personal emotions attached to it. It’s my Minolta Mirror magazine collection dating from 1976 ~ 1993 in mint condition. I have all the editions that Minolta printed except for the 1975. (If there’s anyone out there who has it, 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 Fujichromes 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 18 magazines and at same time being very careful not to “hurt” my precious!! The worst part is, when I was done scanning, I stumbled upon 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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Black On White

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Waiting for my ride to come and get me from the station, I thought why not and snap away the boredom!!

Tried out the very seldom used scene on my Ricoh GX200, the Text Mode… never did figure it out till now! I don’t know, but I kinda liked these. Straight out of the camera, just cropped it in LightRoom 2.0

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Random Shots, Ricoh GX200

 

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Dreams & Desires

Well, it’s been hell of a long time since I actually “wrote” something on my blog and so today I decided to do just that.

I have been all this, however, watching trends and going “ooh!” and “aah!” over camera gear ranging from Medium format to DSLRs to Rangefinders and even the most popular Mirrorless compacts.

I have been day-dreaming and making a “wish list” (more of a goal), that I hopefully will meet, and money wasn’t the (main) deciding factor since my list was made to cater for life… as long as I would live and continue shooting, I know I wouldn’t need anything else and the gear would not break on me.

Its a bold statement, but I honestly believe that if you know what you want and more importantly why you want it, you can find peace of mind that few have actually been blessed with, especially due to the aggressive marketing of camera companies and Gear Acquisition Syndrome (aka GAS in the photo-community).

So anyways, the first step to how I came to recognize what I want came from knowing what kind of shooter I am and what kind of tools are required for the job. Now, this might be a tricky question since one CAN do the same job with varied tools/camera system or one may want to use something that’s an overkill and not even know it’s an overkill. The determining factors are different for everyone. For me they are : Product Knowledge, Final Print Size, Ease Of Handling & Portability.

Therefore, I made a list of the camera gear I will need and that I can use regularly and not be overwhelmed by deciding “which one do I use?!”. Instead of buying a couple of the same bodies (not talking about or referring to professional shooters here, but just hobbyists that splurge on equipment), I’d rather buy a single body that is the next step or better than the two I was buying and invest more on glass.

So here’s My List that includes all camera bodies and lenses – and all formats : –

POINT – & – SHOOT

Sony NEX-7
Olympus Mju II

SINGLE LENS REFLEX

Nikon D4
(w/ these lenses atleast)

17~35mm f/2.8D
24~70mm f/2.8D
70~200 VR II  f/2.8D
CZ Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2

RANGEFINDER & MEDIUM  FORMAT

Mamiya 7 II
(w/ these lenses)

65mm f/4
150mm f/4.5

Pentax 645D (w/ these lenses)

SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5
SMC Pentax-FA 645 75mm F2.8
SMC Pentax-FA 645 45~85mm F4.5
SMC Pentax-FA 645 80~160mm F4.5

COMPUTER SYSTEM AND ACCESSORIES

CPU/Desktop  : Mac Pro G5
Monitor            : NEC MultiSync PA271W

Printer             : ???
Scanner           : Epson V750-M Pro

Ext. HDD         : ???

Equipment Storage   : XDry CS-151SS
Lighting Equipment  : AlienBees

Everything on this list is an outcome of long, long, long sleepless nights and dreaming and researching. I have not chosen just the “best of the best”, but rather tried to balance practicality, budget and quality. The only reason to go for medium format would be for landscapes. Choices can definitely make you go crazy… esp. if you don’t have the moolah!!

So far, I have managed to acquire just the Oly Mju II, and I was lucky enough to find one in a very good condition and at a very good rate. I am just being lazy and haven’t had the time to sell my stuff I already have and invest that money into the list.

I am sure I won’t be buying / acquiring all that is listed here, basically due to money concerns and also the fact that I kind of think I won’t be able to do justice to all the bodies – so why have them and just store them?!

Well, thanks for reading all of this… if you did! Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions?! 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Camera Gear

 

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