Just remembering one of the happiest days of my adult life. The wedding of my best friend Sheri just five years ago. I’m not a wedding photographer but she didn’t trust the one she hired so she told me to be sure to bring my gear.
Good thing, he was a hack. She loved my shots and everybody was happy. All pictures were taken with a Nikon D3 and either a 70-200 2.8 Nikkor VR or the 24-70 2.8 Nikkor. Would give anything to go back to that day.
Good lighting and exposures are very important. Color and proper focus are both critical. That’s all. lol. Okay, just kidding. But you didn’t REALLY think I was going to make some kind of a defense of street photographers taking pictures of kids who aren’t theirs, did you?
Forget it. The only rule is you better be taking pictures of kids for good reasons. And there are many and you have a right to those reasons. Children tell stories, with their expressions, their body language and gestures, in an unfiltered and psychologically complicated way that adults very often don’t. And you have a right to grab those stories and record them on film or a digital camera sensor when and wherever you find them.
The image at the top here is one of my favorites. There’s a lot of information in this shot. You have what would appear to any resident of Los Angeles to be visitors from somewhere else. It is summer and probably this is their vacation together. It is a family with three lovely daughters sporting matching outfits.
Their parents obviously take great pride in their brood here and it appears that two of the girls might be twins. The third, standing off to the right, seems a year or so younger than her sisters. That she’s wearing the same outfit nevertheless seems to indicate this family feels a desire or need for a certain degree of family conformity. I’m not passing judgment. I would probably be looking for three of everything myself if they were my children.
Mom looks like she’s ready to take a picture herself which further indicates to me that this moment, here on an icky sticky Santa Monica sidewalk, represents some holiday memory that must be preserved forever. Seems like they may have just gotten out of their rental car.
But kids are scary scary things and a set of three like this would give me nightmares if I was their father. You have three beautiful daughters, you dress them alike to show how much pride you have in your family. But then there’s the one with the broken arm to remind you how delicate and fragile your precious family is and how precarious and elusive will be your grasp on their lives for the rest of your own.
The second shot is a collection of three individuals connected by something technically invisible, meaning you can’t see a wire or a string or a discharge of energy like a lightening bolt or anything like that, but that is there nevertheless and is probably stronger than just about any physical connection could be. Love and adoration and maybe, again, family, sisterhood; this time it looks like a loving grandparent.
I like to say that I take pictures of things that a lot of photographers don’t typically set out to photograph. Things that are happening inside a subject’s head that are maybe very subtly represented by other things happening on the outside of their head or in their gesture or posture or physical relationship or interaction with other people in the photograph.
This picture is an example of what I mean by that.
Meaning me, and the like ONE person who is probably still following my blog after this latest long period of inactivity. Not complaining, but I’ve had better months than July 2012.
Sometimes, and it happens I guess in any kind of photography, one color can simply take over an image and no matter the content we always associate that image with that color.
This first shot was taken with a Leica M9 and a very high end lens. And it shows in the superb detail resolution of the guy’s face walking along the mural down in the lower right corner.
But this second image, the ‘red’ shot, was taken with a Lumix LX3, a little point and shoot that for years was the benchmark P&S camera by which all others were judged.
Thanks for looking and I beg for everyone’s patience in terms of my updating lapses here on 50lux.com. This blog WILL be updated regularly at some point in the near future and I hope the many friends who have discovered this place hang in there with me through these lean weeks.
I’m not sure it’s good for business to have my scary mug sitting at the very top of this site for an entire day, so I’ve decided to add another post of just pictures. Not a lot to say here. Just my tribute to those who still puff away. All Nikon shots. Deep in the L.A. street.
This guy has good form. Feet shoulder length apart. Arms loose at his sides. Get it, buddy!
No, really. What are friends for?
So glad I never had kids.
I read somewhere that every great photo, and I’m not suggesting the above photo is great, but that it is said that there’s something just a little weird about every great photo. That’s all I’m saying.
Okay, at least he’s not hovering over my Hang Chow fried rice. Yet.
A life-long dedicated Nikon man, I bought my first Nikon digital camera back in the very late 90s. That was the very cool indeed and twisty Coolpix 950.
When the D70 hit the camera world like a cyclone in 2004, I got my first Nikon DSLR, along with a gazillion other people. From there I got a D2Hs to shoot sports. Not my favorite camera in the world, I replaced it with a pair of D80s. The D80, with its D2x-lite sensor, was and still is one of my favorite cameras ever.
But once you get used to a pro body in your hand, you can never really be happy with a consumer-grade camera again especially when you’re using your gear in pro-settings and putting it all through the wear and tear of celebrity rope lines or basketball baselines.
So when the D3 came into existence, the first full-frame digital Nikon, I got one of those. Soon I backed it up with a D200 and then I added the D3′s little brother, the D700.
Wow. I’m losing track. That’s a lot of cameras. I know some of you have me beat by a mile, too. You know who you are.
I threw in a Lumix LX3, a kicky little gem that set the standard for point and shoot cameras for more years than it should have.
Then… I bought a Leica M9. The first full frame Leica M camera was mine. I shot the M9 for a solid year. 24k shutter trips. It was a love/hate relationship. ‘Nuff said.
They’re now all gone. Every one of them.
The only digital camera I currently own is the Fuji X100. And I love it.
Here is what I love about it. It is the only small sensor point and shoot camera that I know of that allows for actually narrow depth of field / wide aperture shooting with good bokeh and out of focus areas.
This really hasn’t been something doable much on point and shoot cameras do to the inherent small size of the sensors.
But the Fuji X100 does something else with that capability that’s even more remarkable.
I allows you to SEE that narrow depth of field and out of focus look, exactly what you’re getting, on the LCD before you shoot.
And we’re not talking about the barely usable Nikon version of Live View. This is a standard point and shoot LCD, but with the added joy of showing you, instead of you having to imagine, what your narrow depth of field image is going to look like.
Can you imagine what this feature would be like on a Leica M, working with THAT glass?
It’s a wonderful advancement. I know some other camera systems now provide it but this is the first that I’ve owned and it has to be one of the smallest cameras that gives you this capability. But this isn’t a blog that is even remotely about keeping up with the latest gear. I’m happily out of the loop on much of the latest gear and what it all does.
Do I shoot the X100 a lot? No. I wouldn’t say I do. The reason I don’t is because I’m in love with shooting film and I shoot my Leica M7 a lot. But this camera is a keeper for a guy like me.
I even use it at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to grab shots for my sports coverage articles. Yes, you can even manage a couple of passable sports action shots with this camera.
High ISO capability is better, in some ways, than the D3/D700 sensor. I think the x100 files retain good color integrity further up in the ISO range than those two Nikon pro cameras do.
Anyway. From the outset I found the X100 to be a fantastic addition to my own personal photography. Mostly all of the images here in this post were taken last November, the first month I got my hands on the Fuji. Hope you enjoy them. They’re a little ‘creative.’ (insert wink here)