I‘ve had many emails and Facebook messages lately asking me if I have switched completely over to the Fujifilm X-series cameras. The Fujifilm X-series for those of you who have been living under a rock or are just not into camera gear, is the mirrorless, small somewhat compact camera system that has a retro rangefinder feel and look about it. They are an amazing group of cameras and are chock full of innovative technology to enhance both the user experience and the final image. The flagship camera for this new system is the X-Pro1 followed closely by the X-E1. Both cameras sport an APS–C size sensor thus giving an image quality of a DSLR. Continue reading
Last Friday I received a package from one of my friends at Fujifilm Malaysia. They were kind enough to send me a pre-production Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4R for a week to run it through its paces. I gotta tell you this is a great piece of glass. The XF 23mm on the Xpro-1‘s cropped sensor is the full frame equivalent of a 35mm lens. The most frustrating thing about this lens has nothing to do with its technical features. It is simply that I rarely use this focal length and so it became a stretch for me. I gravitate to much wider focal lengths in my work. As readers here will know, my go-to-lens is a 16-35mm. When I do shoot this lens it is almost always at the 16mm focal length. That’s not to say I can’t use and appreciate a 35 mm focal length lens.
But it’s Just an iPhone!
There has always been a snobbery associated with the Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera, and now it’s the same with the digital SLR (DSLR). It’s as if you are not a serious photographer unless you use one. This, of course, is complete rubbish. The DSLR is nothing more than a black box used to capture light. Granted, its sophistication paired with an appropriate lens allows you a lot more creative leeway than say, an iPhone. But let’s realize at the outset that the DSLR is nothing more than a tool. A person with a DSLR in their hand is no more a photographer than I am a painter just because I have paint and brushes in mine. It takes talent and an eye for both. Read more….
Bhaktapur was the capital of Nepal until late in the 15th century. As a result it has many amazing wood and stone temples and statues all around the city. Both days Jon McCormack (Check out Jon’s images here.) and I shot there it was rainy and overcast. Not the kind of rainy skies that give dramatic dark clouds, the other kind of sky, the white and boring washed out kind. Luckily bland cloudy skies are good for shooting portraits and detail shots of life. This is precisely what we did. We roamed the city looking for culture unfolding before us. Life as it is lived in the 21st century Bhaktapur. The trick is get up early, really early, before the tourists rise. The locals are already up and about by 5:30am. We would arrived around 6. Just in time for morning puja and the vegetable markets. (Note: if you can’t see all of an image due to a small monitor just click on the image and it will popup and fit your screen.)
Every so often the stars converge and something wonderful happens. Take when peanut butter and chocolate collide or when Michael Jordan decided to play basketball. Of course combining two ideas doesn’t always turn out the way we want, take the Reliant Robin. Car manufacturer Reliant’s attempt at putting a tricycle and and a car together proved less than successful. But when it comes to combining a backpack and a belt photo bag, I think MindShift Gear will have better luck. MindShift Gear, founded by the creators of Think Tank Photo and conservation photographer Daniel Beltrá has combined the camera backpack and bum bag and came up with the Rotation 180°.
Mary Ellen Mark is one of the few real living legends in photography left today. Her images are full of emotion, inspiring, engaging, captivating, sometimes disturbing or even downright scary. All of them evoke a response. She is on my list of interviews I want to do. Until I get that chance here is a great 23 minute video that will inspire and move you. What do you think? Continue reading
I’ve been ruminating over some ethical issues.
Recently, I had a business ask to use several of my images, and they were willing to pay a decent amount of money. It’s not like I’m rolling in the dough (who is?) and I can afford to turn business away. But in this case, that’s exactly what I did. I turned them away for one simple reason: I did not have a model release, and there was no way I could obtain a release on those images; therefore I felt I could not in good conscience deliver the images for this business to use to generate revenue.
I am not a political writer or analyst. Frankly, I know very little about the politics here in Malaysia. On casual observation Malaysia seems to be a country at peace. Yet, I think if you scratch the surface you see something much different. You see a country that is struggling to maintain unity. It’s understandable given the diverse ethnicity you find here. We have all seen countries that seemed a peace – moving along on the road to unity and prosperity snap under the pressures of national elections. Continue reading
Lately I have been busy working on an idea. It goes back to an old post about teaching NGOs how to fish. But that is for another post in the future. The result of laboring over this idea has led me to spend endless hours talking to people and just as many hours in front of the computer and away from my camera. It got to a point where I needed to get our and breathe. I needed to see this city I live in. As if on cue, a Facebook friend wrote and told me he would be visiting Penang and would love to meet face-to-face. Just what I needed – an excuse to get out. So this morning I meet up with Mohd Shukur Jahar from Sabah. Continue reading