This is Martin D's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Martin D's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Martin D
Recent Activity
Hi Mike. I have read the Orwell essay on Dali now, and I am glad you made me discover it. Orwell concludes by saying, He is a symptom of the world's illness. To me this sentence opens up a new way of thinking about the dilemma you explore in your own essay.
Toggle Commented Apr 2, 2022 on We Are Who We Are at The Online Photographer
Hi Mike. Your paragraph on Orwell and his Benefit of Clergy is the perfect prose. Supremely elegant, precision and nuance in every word. Beautiful. Have I read the book? No, it wasn't even on my list. Will I read it? Now I will. [It's only one essay, an easy (well, short) read. And thank you for the compliment! --Mike]
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2022 on We Are Who We Are at The Online Photographer
Two countries, six locations, not too many different accommodations. I am at home and a stranger in my native Germany, and equally I am at home and a stranger in my adopted England. Generally I love to remember the earlier places, life in the present always is difficult, memory makes it right.
Interesting connection to APX100. I always was a "naive" user of Agfa Scala, working straight with it as it was and leaving the rest to the lab. It sure was expensive, but I never took more than a handful of shots in any one outing, so cost was ok. Without the massive size of the raw material from the Fuji, I probably would have stuck to a negative-positive workflow, but those 6x9 positives where just so utterly gorgeous on the lightbox, I followed this route purely for the visual pleasure of those moments. And on taking stock of the output, it seems to me that I never produced as many keepers as with the Fuji GW690 and (carefully metered) Scala. Subconsciously I think I still try to expose the same way with my digital Fuji, and then postprocess accordingly.
Hi Mike. Just to re-confirm what many have said here: you are a master curator of the forum, making it a genuine source of insight and commonality. I haven't been commenting much lately (life comes in waves), but when I did, I always felt supremely privileged to be part of this community. Your wisdom as editor makes it happen.
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2021 on Fireman (Blog Notes) at The Online Photographer
Erwin Puts and Leica: his love for his subject was based on ever increasing knowledge, rather than self-fulfilling delusion. A deeply moving lifelong dedication. I learnt a lot about lenses from his books. His reflections on Leica cameras in the digital era also gave me a model for how to make use of my film experience when working with digital cameras. Very sorry he is gone.
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2021 on Erwin Puts is Gone at The Online Photographer
1. Focus peaking in the EVF, for super effective manual focusing. 2. Histogram and related live exposure analysis in the viewfinder, for intelligent manual exposure. 3. Fuji's hybrid OVF/EVF viewfinder, combined with the above features 1 and 2. The X-Pro2/X-Pro3 quietly and unassumingly outleicas the Leica. The actual implementation is far from perfect, but the design works and in my view is the most ingenious design innovation of the digital era.
For me personally, a day out on the street means 10 to 20 shots. I do photography for my own creative pleasure and that is how I enjoy the process most. If I had clients to serve or book contracts to meet, I probably would act differently, but I don't. The occasional photograph taken emerges from the many that are deliberately not taken. The event of the realised photograph occurs when the choice not to take the shot does not happen. I am talking digital here. In my medium format film days, I'd come home with 1 or 2 rolls, so not much has changed.
I do own the Fuji 56mm that you mention. It's a fine lens, though I don't use it enough and I will sell it. Have made some nice dog portraits with it: a deep black labrador retriever, black black, in a dark room with the light from the window creating some sparkling reflections in the sea of black of that labrador face. I normally prefer some moderate sharpness in the background, f/4 is good for me, but there are occasions when the smaller DOF makes sense.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2021 on Do You Own an f/1.2 Lens? at The Online Photographer
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2021 on Digital Dreams at The Online Photographer
Oops, my earlier post got submitted whilst I was still editing. That Zeiss lens was the Zeiss _18mm_ lens. I put it onto my Fuji E3 and it gets used with the external Leica 28mm finder on top. The lens is quite heavy, so I add the handgrip to the camera. Nice street combination.
The Leica 5cm "SBOOI" external VF is a true 1:1, --- it allows for completely undistorted two-eyed shooting. The left eye surveys the entire scene, the right eye does the framing within that scene. Magic. I have used the Leica external finders for 50mm, 28mm and 24mm on my Fuji X-E3, with zone focussing on the Fuji 35mm, Zeiss 23mm and 16mm lenses. It works.
No contest: the Leitz external 50mm VF, "SBOOI". Straight 1:1, and as clear as can be. Makes you feel at one with the world. Perfect for the classical two-eyed approach to people photography: "frame the picture with your right eye, and simultaneously look at the wider environment with the your left eye." I used to use the SBOOI on my Leica IIf and Leica If when I still had those, and I have been seen using it occasionally with digital cameras. The 35mm and 28mm VFs can be used in the same fashion, Leitz and Zeiss have made great ones. Though the wider the angle, the less effective becomes the two-eyed approach. With the 1:1 50mm, it really is a magical experience. I do enjoy using the external 28mm VF together with a Zeiss 18mm on my Fuji XE3. Talking of Fuji, I am very happy with the OVF on my XPro-2. Far from perfect, but it works and it gets me into the right mental mode.
Keith Jarrett, The Köln Concert.
Long-normal (65mm-e) is good. On my Fujis, I love to use the Voigtlander 40mm: for street, family, city environments. Not all the time, but occasionally. The long-normal is clearly not a tele yet, but it does give the slightest hint of compression, it quietens the tone. Similar to having a conversation with someone who is able to allow for pauses and silences, without the need to talk all the time; the long-normal lens has that same quiet self assurance. Paul Strand was forced by his Graflex to use 60mm-e, I think. He wanted shorter but the mirror mechanism didn't allow it,so he made the long-normal part of his vision. As it happens, I love the short-normal (40mm-e) too, not on the same day but as an alternative. Exactly the same subtle shift in perspective as with the long-normal, only at the wide side. The short-normal is not as busy as the 35-mm, but it offers a subtle recognition of a wider scope.
Rodenstock here too. On my (seriously under-used) Canham 4x5 it's a Sironar N 210mm. I always prefer "wide normal" (40mm-e) or "long normal (60mm-e) over normal-normal, and in large format I ended up with long-normal. Talking of long-normal, I do like the Voigtlander 40mm on my Fujis.
The Canham DLC45 is an intriguing foldable metal field camera made by KB Canham. Highly collapsible and super lightweight, meant for backbacking landscape photographers. Very elegant too, with an austere Bauhaus-style design. Folding up the Canham requires a very specifuc series of simple steps that everyone gets wrong, everyone that is except Mr Canham. Result: crinkles in the bellows, in a very specific staircase pattern top down from the top of the front standard. Every copy I have seen has them, my own copy which I bought used had those crinkles when I bought it. Functionally the crinkles don't damage the bellows (which is made from some rubber-based material). To me these crinkles are part of the look of this particular camera.
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2020 on Last Man Standing at The Online Photographer
"Here's to turning pages, and writing new and better chapters in our lives." A triple YES! to this beautiful statement from Dan Gorman's comment on your 30 years. True for us all.
Ming Thein's style never really spoke to me, but he certainly knows what he is doing and he communicates well. His departure from active blogging is a serious loss in our valiant battle against the rise of internet bluster. The only photography site that I really need for serious inspiration is yours. You are the Montaigne of photography. I also regularly vist Kirk Tuck's VSL and Thom Hogan's sansmirror, both offering solid, experience-based commentary, such a rare thing. Beyond traditional blogs, I really like Sean Tucker's photography reflections on Youtube: they are thoughtful, subtle and intelligent.
You make it happen, Mike, you make it happen. Your writing is quiet and open-minded, and that invites quiet and open-minded comments.
In Jim Arthur's picture: those scratches absolutely make that picture what it is. Magic.
A single prime lens fixed to the camera body, that's how God has meant it to be. In my Fuji system, I have several bodies (all with the same sensor) and my lens cabinet covers the whole spectrum from 16mm to 90mm, all in primes. But the choice of lens is made right at the start, as I venture out, and each excursion then is with one body and one lens, or possibly two bodies with different focal lengths. That lens stays on the camera throughout the day. There may be a backup lens in the bag but it never gets used. The "day in the hills" then becomes, say, a "35mm day", or perhaps a "23mm plus 60mm day". And God smiles on me.
My advice to my younger self: share more. Make simple prints and send them out.
Toggle Commented May 26, 2020 on Do-Over at The Online Photographer
I love good viewfinders, and I like to experience all sorts of different types of viewfinder. My Fuji XPro-2 has a fine optical RF-style viewfinder. I like it and enjoy working with it, but whilst it is good and practical, it ain't magical or beautiful. Perfection probably comes in the shape of the 50mm external VF that Leica produced for the screwmount Leicas. In my final film phase I used it with a 2.8 Elmar on a Leica IIf. This viewfinder has a 1:1 magnification, and because of that it requires no special skill to use the camera in the proper, two-eyed way: right eye on the VF seeing the 50mm frame, left eye off the camera seeing the context. Perfection: an intellectually and aesthetically deeply satisfying way of working. The 35mm and 28mm external viewfinders by Leica are great too, especially the 35mm one, as the two-eye approach still works fairly naturally in this field of view. I have both and use them occasionally, the 35mm finder for the 23mm Fuji and the 28mm finder for the 18mm Zeiss that I use on the Fujis. For my Fuji 16mm lens on the XE-3, I got myself a Leica 24mm external finder, using zone focusing for distance and the external finder for framing. This works well in practice, a true grab-a-shot machine, though at such wide angles the optical viewfinder no longer feels as natural as at 50mm, the view is too compressed for that. Still, works great for street (and for taking pics of my kids). Never had a chance of using one of those wire-frame press camera finders: must try it one day! And then of course there is the groundglass on the view camera. Another form of magic, completely different from the rangefinder but equally compelling. Sadly those cameras never clicked with me, but I look at all view camera users with awe and envy. I do agree with you, Mike, smartphone screens can make for fine viewfinders, and the reason I think is because on modern high-resolution screens they do act like a groundglass.
Boy, am I glad that an obsession with sophisticated audio setups for music listening is not amonng my (many) ailments. I can get excited about quality microphones and mic preamps for voice recordings, but those are for producing audio materials. When it comes to consuming audio, I am content with respectable core comprehension of the message. But then in photography too, I love to have a lens that has spirit but when viewing a photograph I am content with a rough print.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2020 on Followup (Sorry!) at The Online Photographer