I regularly update my Now page with what I’m currently up to with my photography currently, the last time was 1 June.
What are you doing with your photography right now?
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45 thoughts on “Photography Now!”
I’m on holiday currently in Vimoutiers, Normandy using the Leica M4-2 + 10 rolls of TriX and four roles of Fuji Superia 400. Still sometimes having fun trying to load it in the field but other that, getting on with it famously.
Martin, sounds like fun, and that’s a fair bit of film! How long are you there for?
Ten days here, last day tomorrow. Shot 13 rolls so far, from Caen, Falaise, Honfleur, Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, Argentan, and of course Vimoutiers.
Also finally got to grips with loading the M4-2 thanks to some YouTube videos on loading film in M Leicas.
Sounds a great holiday on the photography front all round!
Restarted my blog, posting series of fresh mobile photography.
Working on further simplification of my photographic workflow. Really going for – as you call it – “cameranogamy”: my Huawei P10 as the only camera. It’s just a tool, but it’s also the one that works best for what I’m trying to capture right now.
There’s an increasingly strong argument in my eyes for using “just” a smartphone. Ironically this was my thinking from about 2006-11 when that was all I used and never felt I lacked any technology or features. The major downside is the feel and handling compared to a camera, but feature and image wise there’s no need for anything more.
PS/ The work on your blog is a huge testament to this argument too, it’s excellent! And that idea of a page for b/w and a page for colour is a real winner too. Definitely looking to do that on 35hunter.
Thank you for your kind words. Making these pages is a good way – just for yourself – to think about your personal favorites. To find out what made/makes you tick, photographically. And even when you are looking for a different style, technique, workflow, etc., it is always good to reflect on where you came from.
Robert, how often do you think you’ll review and update these “portfolios”?
Dan, probably every three months or so. I want recent work to “marinate” before I can see one or more photos as personal favorites. So no impulse updates.
On that note I’ve noticed from using Google Photos as a kind of holding area, when I do my first edit just after uploading photos, a certain number get deleted. If I visit again the next day, another few go. If I visit a week later, more go. In time we definitely become more objective – I want to introduce a similar kind of buffer between making a photo and deciding whether to keep and share it.
I wish I could bring something really positive to the table, but my recent photos have been terrible, and the films I just got back are even worse. I am thinking of taking up cards.
You know what they
Sorry, try again… say, if you don’t for succeed try and try again.
Try looking at other photographers work, trying looking for new inspiration. Try and understand what you’ve done wrong.
Hi Martin, Thanks for the encouragement. I am not unaccustomed to trying hard. Not drinking was hard. Learning to cycle 100 miles was hard. I am going to start printing some of my pictures and see if that helps.
Jon, thanks for your comments. Can you be more specific, why have your photos been “terrible”? What’s not working? What is working?
Almost all of my pictures still look like snapshots. I started using a digital camera but I delete almost everything. The only decent pictures Iv’e gotten this month were taken with my iPhone. I have a plan to start printing some actual pictures so i can look at them.
So what is the difference between a “snapshot” and what you want it to look like? Just trying to get to the heart of what’s missing.
I think I figured it out upon reading your response on another Blog this morning. Too many variables. Too many lenses, cameras. I am going to try sticking to one plus the iPhone. thanks for your response.
Was that on Casual Photophile? I said on there about science experiments and how at school we were told to only every alter one variable at a time in any experiment. then you get to know exactly how adjusting that variable impacts the results. Change many at once and you don’t know which (individually or in combination) have given the result. Funny how some things you learn at school do turn out to be useful later in life!
Using one camera and only changing one setting at a time has to be the most straightforward way of teaching ourselves how to photograph.
Dan, I think I have already mentioned what I am doing with my photography at the moment in another comment but will message again. With my photography I am photoing things around my home and garden and on my walks and at galleries and places I visit so I can then put the photos on my laptop and reappreciate my life xox susanJOY
I wrote a post a few months back about giving thanks and being grateful, as for me it’s such an important topic and practice. I recall it got hardly any views or comments though! Still, at least two of us are trying to find ways to appreciate what we have and what’s around us. : )
Experimenting and finding my way. Getting my first digital camera that isn’t a point and shoot a couple of weeks ago has been interesting. I literally don’t know what I’m doing with digital technically speaking and there’s a lot to learn, but the immediacy of results seems to be encouraging me to experiment more, Obviously it’s a lot quicker to try things out and see what works and what doesn’t technically and creatively than with film as I’m not waiting a week or more to find out what worked and what didn’t.
Tony, what kind of camera is it? You cannot argue that with digital that direct feedback is incredibly useful and the learning can be hugely accelerated purely by trial and error. I don’t know how people did this with film, other than by keeping very detailed notes about every shot, so when looking back they could tell exactly what worked and what didn’t.
With film, you do it slowly and yes keep notes, anal as it may seem 🙂 I’m glad that I started again where I left off thirty years ago as it gave an easy intro, but experimenting isn’t easy.
I bought a Fujifilm X-T1. It’s lovely to use and the closest I’ve come to a digital version of a film camera. Aside from the manual controls I’m liking the way you can get great results out of camera, mess around, get the look you want, save a custom setting and you have made a new camera so to speak.
Most of the time I a few presets that get the look I want depending on the where, but I’m also discovering stuff about capturing things you never knew were there and bringing them out in post, Skies. I wouldn’t have believed what was in the sky without the ability to mess around with this camera.
I don’t want to sound pretentious but i think it’s important to find your artistic vision. I’m not there yet, but I am working on it.
I was talking about skies. I had a few problems initially, just blowing them out. Read up on using the histogram to make sense of exposure and then inadvertently found what was hidden when i messed about with it. My next projec may be Desborough Skies. Desborough scenery is pretty but aso dull, … we do get good sky though.
Tony, yes I know what you mean, I have a few “presets” set up, sometimes in camera (like with the Pentax Q) and some using Snapseed afterwards. You then get to know what you need to capture in camera at the time, to be able to get the end results you want once the preset is applied. You start to visualise the final image rather than what’s in the viewfinder/screen.
The Flickr pictures seem fine now – the links weren’t working before. Love the drama in the b/w sky!
My apologies, I posted this when I came back after an evening out with the in laws and my father in law plied me with a little too much red wine, hence the typos and a little incoherence.
What you have said about how you use the Pentax is pretty much what I’m wanting to do with the Fuji. We’ve discussed working in post before and it’s something I want to avoid as much as possible (partly because it’s time consuming and partly because I generally don;t know what I’m doing). Getting the look(s) I want out of camera is something I need to work on, but the film simulations in the fuji are excellent and the ability to control the tones of highlights and shadows seperately are helping to create the look I’m after. Ultimately I just want to treat these presets as if choosing which film I want to use in a film camera.
The image is a fairly mundane shot I took from my bedroom window. No great claims made for the composition as it was just shot I took to experiment with what I could do to skies in post. I may have been a little heavy handed with it, but it’s certainly dramatic I think. What I’m finding hard to get my head around is that whilst generally speaking our eyes do a much better job of high contrast scenes than cameras can, the camera actually records things that your eyes can’t see. In that b/w sky there are all sorts of high level clouds and vapour trails that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. I’m planning to take a series of images around my home town, but making the sky the subject and the town the frame. In a way the more mundane the frame the better.
By the way, I can highly recommend Silver Efex Pro 2 from Google’s Nik collection for working on black and white images. It’s free and very easy and intuitive to use. If only most post processing software were that easy to use.
Tony, yes I really like what you say about using presets in camera in a similar way to choosing a certain film. I think there are many presets for LightRoom etc that try to emulate specific film emulsions. But that doesn’t really interest me, I just want a specific contrasty b/w look, or a warm colour look, or a vintage look, without having to start from scratch with a RAW file each time.
Whilst I thought my ideal was like with the Pentax Q, being able to set everything up in camera so there’s zero processing, now I have a few presets in Snapseed it really is very little extra trouble and I don’t mind it at all. Especially as I process on my phone and it all syncs and saves to and from to Google Photos without needing to do this independently.
Sometimes it’s interesting to take a picture just to see what it looks like made with a certain camera. Compared with our eyes, and compared with another camera or preset.
Look forward to more sky photos! Are you familiar with Don McCullin? He’s more famous for photography in conflict and in poverty stricken English towns, but more recently he’s made plenty of landscape photos. They often have very moody skies. Check him out.
Thanks re Silver Efex, if I hadn’t got Snapseed set up as I wanted, I’d be looking into that. But for now, if it ain’t broke…
Hi Dan, I was aware of Don McCullin’s work as a war photographer, but not his landscapes. That’s quite inspiring.
I got a book of his out of the library (“In England”) not knowing anything about him, and the landscapes fill the first few pages of the book, so my first impression was he’s a very good landscape photographer. I’ll be posting a book review soon.
I just wanted to say a thank you for the Don McCullin suggestion. I got a copy of his collection “Open Skies” published in1989. They are mostly images of the Somerset Levels taken during winter (there a few still life’s as well).
These are dark images both literally and figuratively. I love the way many of these images are so contrasty that there is very little detail, just black, dark greys and a few stark whites so that all that remains are mostly the shapes which form the compositions, and superb compositions they are. And those skies.
Tony, I’ll have to add this one to my wishlist! Don McCullin has a new book out in October simply called The Landscape which I might well save up for too!
Right now, I’m wondering if I should sell a few lenses to help fund yet another camera, a micro four thirds….which would be exciting enough for most folk…. but I’m also contemplating selling the Pentax Q10 and 2 lenses as well as the Nikon 300 and accompanying lens…. I seem at present to be thinking of not only “thinning the herd”as some call it… but selling the family silver so to speak…..uncertain times… uncertain times…..
Lynd, two questions –
1. What would a micro four thirds camera give you that you don’t have currently?
2. Which camera do you simply enjoy using most, and find the most rewarding experience?
I had a technician rip out the colour filter of my Sony A7R III. Now I have a 42 mp monochrome camera (that looks like 84 mp) Also NONE of the huge drawbacks of using a Leica Monochrom. I am overjoyed with the results.
I love how you always seem to take an unexpected, even radical, approach. When I read the first line I thought “oh, like a Leica Monochrom”, then you said it. That must be amazing. Do you still shoot RAW and process or use the images out of the camera? I would imagine there’s a market for this modification as it must work out cheaper and more flexible with a used A7R than a Monochrom.
Yes, I still process the RAWs. but I also make Jpegs for my kitchen frame. The images look the same as the Leica Monochroms except the higher dynamic range of the A7R III, means you can actually RECOVER cloud detail. Something a Leica can never do. BTW; you have to run the RAWs through special beta software to make them true monochrome files.
Yes, it is cheaper by 50% if you convert the latest greatest Sony over a Leica 246 Monochrom. But if you use a cheaper Sony including the APS-C bodies you save even more. It is actually more expensive to buy a converted Fujifilm camera over the Sony. But there is that choice too.
It is great that even today there are fresh options in photography.
Yes, and great that for probably every 100 or more people that buy something like an A7R as to them it’s a cool “gadget”, there are some like you pushing the boundaries of what technology can do for photography.
Can you do a similar thing with any digital sensor? I mean remove the colour part so it just “sees” in b/w?
Yes. Any sensor. Even medium format. Or a Pentax Q.
Very interesting… Is it a physical mod, ie something is removed, or a software/firmware tweak?
“I had a technician rip out the colour filter of my Sony A7R III.”
This means physically ripping apart the camera. Plus always using a post processing program to fool LR or other programs that the RAWs are from a monochrome camera. Jpegs straight out of the camera are great and no post processing required.
Last night I was doing one of my standard photo shoots (which I do all the time.) The A7R III Mono never went above 100 ISO. Even though it was dark and at times I stopped down to F 2.0. Removing the colour filter basically doubles light sensitivity. I knew this a head of time, but I was still very impressed.
Sounds fantastic. So why aren’t more people doing this, or are there, and I just don’t hang out in the forums they discuss it?
If my Pentax Q didn’t already deliver great images straight out of camera in the bold mono mode, I’d be tempted to get another Q of some kind and explore having it modified as b/w only.
I deleted my Instagram account in a fit of peak having spent the past year or so working my way through various camera systems and posting associated images to varying murmurs of appreciation.
I had built up a couple of hundred followers but had lost sight of the point of the photos. I was taking photos I thought people would want to see and like, rather than taking pleasure in the experience of being out and about with camera in hand.
I have now settled on a decent film camera and small P&S/smartphone backup, using the digital shots to judge how the film might turn out. I’m back on Instagram, but the plan is to limit the number of images I post and not just firing up any old shot for instantaneous (though somewhat stilted) gratification.
Robert, thank you for sharing your experiences. Seems such a familiar tale these days, social media has become something of an illusion or hologram – everyone just posting what they think others want to see.
An exaggeration I know, but most photographers here in the last few months who have mentioned social media have expressed varying degrees of disillusion and many have abandoned some or all of the popular platforms.