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"It's Not About the F-Stop by Jay Maisel" Indeed! It sits on the shelf next to Light Gesture Color They are two of the important books, to me, that I turn to regularly, for entertainment and knowledge. I suggested Light Gesture Color for it's lean in emphasis toward the ways of a simple lover of photography. It's Not About the F-Stop leans a bit more commercial. I love it for his love of long telephotos. Nice to find a famous fellow traveler. His straightforward advice about all aspects of photography are fresh air to me. Even when I disagree with his opinions, I find that the process clarifies my own ideas.
Book of the Month (better than week): Jay Maisel's Light Gesture Color More good photos, photo advice, life wisdom, etc. than in a stack of others. (AND, not one monochrome pic from the rear of a NY couple in winter coats and hats on an overcast day!)
Toggle Commented May 8, 2022 on Behinder at The Online Photographer
Not just attribution is a problem. Both Teresas were, of course, a Roman Catholic nuns. Not surprisingly, they spoke of God, faith and so on. “May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.” ― Teresa of Ávila “May today be peace within. May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be... May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you... May you be content knowing you are a child of God... Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of you.” ― Mother Teresa Did she slightly misremember her namesake? Did she want to be heard more easily by people of other faiths? "Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us." - Altered version of the Mother Teresa quote widely found on the internet. Here, God and “higher power” are gone and “faith” is not religious. Someone liked it, wanted it secular, but still attributed to a famous wise woman.
The wisdom and wit of Thorstein Veblen and P.T.Barnum live on!
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2022 on Latest from Leica at The Online Photographer
". . . the X and GFX lines all of us are so familiar with!" all should read most, perhaps even many. Just a data point from a persnickety reader. My last Fuji was an F30, well ahead of the other minis of the time. Last used 13 years ago. The models you mention are all Greek to me. I'm FF and µ4/3, No Mister In Between
John Calvin Thomas Hobbes
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2022 on Sunday Mystery Men (OT) at The Online Photographer
"It is not about having the 'best' camera, it is about having the camera which you make the most photos [you love] with." Quality is in the eye of the beholder. I know what I like, and value the camera(s) that allow me to create those.
"People would say, "why do you need an Xpan? Just take several frames and use pano software." Yeah, well, but that's not the same thing. It merely ends up with a similar result, which isn't always enough. It's a process thing, a visualization thing, a method-of-working thing. Some people want to make an entire panoramic frame with one shutter click, and would take better pictures if they could do that. They'd work better that way." 1. Sometimes, a similar result is way better than none. Lots of times, with no specialized camera/lens at hand, stitched panos have done a great job for me. Also, per #2, they can be wider. 2. Cool as they are, those old specialist film cameras aren't really very wide. The 17 mm end of a Sony zoom on a FF A7 is wider than 60/8 on 60x120 mmfilm or an X-Pan, 30/4 on 24x65 mm film (and they are faster.) 7 mm on µ4/3 is wider and 10 mm on FF spectacularly wider still. I can't see a way to illustrate this in the width restrictions here, so try this clear demonstration. 3. The central horizontal portion of fisheye images are hardly distorted. With post help such as Imadio's Fisheye-hemi, even that may be nicely corrected, giving wider than X-Pan, single shot panos. Yes, I get the attraction of going out with a specialist camera/lens, looking for suitable subjects. And, yes, one may see a subject, plan, and come back later. But, you know, the light is never the same, and somehow almost never as good. What excites me is to step out of the wonderful bookstore in Mendocino at sunset, see the light and clouds over the bay, pull up my compact µ4/3 camera with 8 mm fisheye, and get the shot of that specific moment. (Wider, BTW, @ ~150°, than an X-Pan.) Click on it for a larger version. I used to drool over those specialty WA film cameras. Now, I don't need one.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2022 on Pie In the Sky at The Online Photographer
"Four standout cameras I wish were still made, only with modern sensors and imaging processors: . . . Olympus E-1;" I have been known to put my money where my curiosity is. In 2017, I bought a clean, low mileage E-1 (and E-300 and E-400). Year and years of praise from Oly buddies were to be investigated. In side-by-side comparison, I concluded that the E-1, however wonderful it may have been, was poor in comparison to an E-M5 II. It's big, clunky, slow, with a really awful LCD. The files are nice, but neither as nice nor as big as the newer camera. I was interested in the legendary Kodak CCD color. Taking pix of subtle, tricky flower colors, all four cameras came up with slightly different colors! Running from screen to yard and back, I really couldn't say the E-1 was most accurate. The 4/3 cameras and 14-54 lens went on to someone who appreciated them. Back in 2003, I tried out an E-1 and a Canon 10D in a camera store. With 40-150 lens, the Oly was simply not able to focus on high contrast boxes up in a dim, far corner. The Canon easily did. 30 year OM shooter or not, I bought a Canon, and have never regretted it. A 300D, with firmware hack to get 10D function, was smaller, lighter, and for my use, better than the E-1. Lots and lots of great photos with it and the following 5D. I returned to Oly with the E-M5.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2022 on Pie In the Sky at The Online Photographer
Nope. Wandering through memories, there are a few favorites. I loved my OM-2n, with TTL flash for many years. Not going back to film. Don't want one with digital sensor insert. I loved my 5D for 5 years, but no way would I go back to DSLR from mirrorless. I loved my Oly E-PM2, in spite of its limitations. But the Panny GM5 came out; smaller, lighter, EVF built in, OIS better than the old Oly 2 axis IBIS. I much prefer the RF-ish form factor and handling of the Panny GX9 to the SLR-ish OMD and Panny models. I could fantasize about a GX10 with GH6 guts, but that still falls short for this stills shooter of the sensor and the computational photography features of the new OM-1.* OM-1 in RF-ish form? Gone from nostalgia to fantasy? * A little secret; Panny DFD AF is fast, when it works, which is most of the time, but is too easily fooled, often enough to be annoying. OLY PDAF is as fast or faster, and more reliable. PDAF, Bird AF, Pro Mode shooting, anyone?
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2022 on Camera Query at The Online Photographer
I was gifted with the Phaidon book Portraits There's no way I can usefully page through over 490 portraits in a day, or even a week. Working through it at various times, I think it reveals a few things. Afghan Girl was posed; she was not an unwilling participant. This is clear from the second photo of her on the back, obviously from the same session. [BTW, one or the other is reversed.] It seems to me that most of the portraits are posed. In addition to the obviously self-conscious, the many repeated poses, compositions, even expressions, strongly suggest direction by an experienced portraitist. Going through lots of them in a row gives the impression of endless repetition. Sure, a few are different and/or stand out in some way, but people from all over the world somehow become part of a sameness. Winnow it down to no more than 10%, and one might have a very impressive set. A talented photographer who is also good at self promotion. FWIW
Heartfelt congratulations! I wouldn't have doubted you had the chops. So wonderful though that you and The New Yorker found each other.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2022 on Mike Hits the Big Time at The Online Photographer
From out here on the Left Coast, the New Yorker has the quality of a magazine from another country, or planet, served with a whiff of snobbish condescension. Other than the cartoons, of course. \;~)> (Nevertheless, I hope it pans out as a decent paying gig for you! I'll read with the one or two free articles a month they offer.)
"Too bad the fuel cell idea seems to be dead. That seemed to hold promise. Posted by: Dave " "I expect hydrogen-electric power will be the solution to that. Toyota (amongst others) has at least one fully produced test fleet of hydrogen powered cars (with the hydrogen generated by solar power) that I am aware of - the technology is straightforward; it is the cost of implementing the support infrastructure that is the issue. Posted by: Bear. " Toyota is still making the Mirai, and Honda has an entry. Anecdotal data point. I was able to test drive a Mirai. Lovely sedan. Quiet, very powerful; went straight up a long, v. steep hill here that would never have a road straight up where it snows and ices. Handling like a good sedan, excellent ride, interior finish like a blend of Toyota and Lexus. Distribution is necessarily limited to places where there is fueling infrastructure. I haven't kept up. Fueling wasn't bad here and they had a station half way between SF and LA.
Ive always thought that an underrated part of the Beatles' success was following the biblical admonition, by building their band on a rock.
OOPS, late to your party. A slightly belated Happy Birthday to you! Lots of comments about boredom upon retirement. I've been retired for 22 years. Shortly after that event, I couldn't figure out how I'd found time to work. \;~)> Still retired, still busy and enjoying life.
It strikes me that Olympus tried this idea, too, with the E-PM1 and E-PM2. Small, dead simple and pretty capable. I used an E-PM2 as companion most often with 12-50, to an E-M5 with 70-300. I took over 4,700 photos with it, with 11 different lenses, over about three years. I can attest that it's a good camera. But I'm afraid it's A simple camera, but likely not your simple camera. The only control wheel is one of those flat things you rotate with your thumb. It's easy to set aperture, EV comp and ISO, but not with top of camera control wheels. I eventually moved on to a GX7 as pair with E-M5 for two main reasons. First, I got tired of no EVF. And then, the two axis IBIS was falling behind later models. Especially a problem for close-ups. One of its strengths was the lack of a physical Mode dial — so it never came out of bag or pocket set wrong! I was disappointed that Oly ended the PM line. I imagine it was for the same reason in my last post, lack of adequate sales.
"All you really need." Actually, "All Mike really needs." I detest rangefinders, always have. Yes, I used one regularly, long ago, because it was the only camera available to do what I wanted. I liked the form factor, the results, but not the rangefinder. "What is so complicated about making a simple camera?" Nothing, nothing at all. What's hard is making a simple camera and not losing money doing so. I will spare us the lengthy treatise on the economics of manufacturing. Perhaps it will suffice to say that I'm surprised that the Leica T sold for as little it did. Mani has put it simply, based on his experience, "no-one buys these cameras" Posted by Alces Alces, a large North American antlered ungulate of the Cervidae family — we are also in Eurasia, where they call us Elk.
"(I bought the 30mm to do an OC/OL/OY that I haven't had the gumption [moxie? Sand? Bottle? Mettle? Pluck? Cheek? Grit?]" Foolishness, desire for self punishment, felt requirement to continue a practice taken on from others, and now not appropriate for my needs? Perhaps you don't relish relinquishing all worldly ease and pleasure in order to live with purity in a cave in the desert? Asceticism is not everyone's stairway to heaven. OC/OL/OY feels to me like hell on earth. [As I said in the original article, "If you don't like this idea, no need to get all scornful or whimpery with me...you're solidly in the majority...." It's a blog. Yous takes what yous wants and leaves the rest. (I'm using the Brooklyn plural "you" there, because it's not just you, but everybody.) --Mike]
Since the age of seven, I've lived in one city and four buildings 1. The house my grandfather bought in 1935, when my mother was starting high school. 2. My first, and only apartment. 3. A small house. 4. Since 1981, a slightly larger house with a better yard/lot - all of two doors up and across the street from the first. So, I've lived on the same block of the same street since 1969. Stuck in the mud? I've never thought so. Wherever I go, I think about what it might be like to live there. As yet, I've not found a place I think would be better than where I am. We just spent a lot of money on deferred maintenance and upgrades that make our house much more delightful. Hard to imagine what would be more attractive. But if it shows up, I'm game. \;`)>
"UPDATE Monday" ZZZzzzzzzzzz TBDR, or is it DCDR? OTOH, the Superb Owl photos on the Atlantic web were a real treat.
". . . the avalanche of ads gets to be like torture to me." Weird thing; the only ads we ever see are on PBS! We subscribe to several streaming services, all for a total much less than we were paying for Dish TV. None of those services have ads — that's part of what we're paying for. I remember years ago wishing there were a way to pay to get rid of commercials. And it's come true! Except for PBS, where every show is preceded by the same ad for Viking Cruises. It can't be stopped, skipped, whatever. Fortunately, the mute button works. "I found myself watching reruns of "Bewitched" at two o'clock in the morning." My condolences, Fortunately we don't suffer from that here. In fact, streaming lets us watch only what we want, when we want — wonderful control.
All right, enough is enough. Alternate view: 1. Digital cameras are complicated devices, with a vast array of wonderful capabilities never even imagined in film days. 2. To choose and adjust each capability requires menu items. 3. No human (or AI) is capable of designing a menu system that is easily comprehensible to all humans. “Hi, I’m Aldo Finicio, famed industrial designer from Milan, I was asked by the Nicapolyfupan corp of Japan to design a simple camera that would appeal to the many customers, and potential customers, who find their cameras difficult, even incomprehensible, to use. As I am famous for my ability to design commercial equipment and household devices that are simple and intuitive to use, they, and I, hoped I could manage something that had so far eluded them. I asked them why these users didn’t simply select the iA, Intelligent Auto and shoot with them just as they do with their iA phone cameras. They said they thought it was because the users wanted to feel they were more serious photographers than that. Why buy a “real” camera and use it like a cell phone? My first step was research. We surveyed both random customers and people on the web with blogs, reviews, etc. We held focus groups, some with their own cameras and some with mock-ups of various designs. The results were quite disheartening. Many, many people say they would like a simple camera, and claim they would buy one. The problem is that they all have different ideas of what it should be like. I have never before admitted defeat, but in the end, I had to agree with everyone on the project that a simple camera design that would please most of the photographers, most of the time, is impossible. OTOH, I’m happy to be back in Milan, where even high fashion makes more sense.” So, what’s a poor Moose to do? I work with Oly, Panny and Sony mirrorless cameras. All have huge, at least somewhat arbitrary and arcane menu systems, none of which resemble each other in the least. Do I rigorously learn, and retain, all the details? No way!* What I do is make them each into 2-4 simple cameras, each aimed at different tasks. As this started with Oly, I’ll use my E-M1 II as an example. I take time, when not photographing, to go through the menus, selecting how I want my simple camera to operate. I then go into the first menu and set Custom Mode 1 to this set-up. I then leave the camera Mode Dial on C1. When I power the camera up, it always is set up the same way, from exposure variables, to IBIS, to focal points, Fn button assignments, and so on. If I change any variables, when I turn it on next time, it’s back to my default. Voila, my custom, simple camera is always ready to go. (And ready for redesign, if I wish.) I also have C2 set to my default focus bracketing choices, and C3 set for critters, but one need not do that. Panny is similar, except changing custom modes is two touches of the LCD, rather than spinning a dial, slightly better, for me. All three systems have a one button quick menu settings function, for things not already on dials, wheels or Fn buttons. Change something(s), forget to turn it back, and all is back to default next time it’s turned on. As far as I am concerned these cameras are a wonderful combination of being highly adjustable to personal taste – combined with simplicity in use. I believe all the other major players have something similar. I have only ever wanted more control of details of operation in main menu systems, never less. The Simple Camera exists — and — you get to design your own! ----------- * And — as I said, I have the manuals on my phone, just in case. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2022 on We Love Cameras at The Online Photographer
"Why did I need YouTube to locate SS in the @#$! menus?" Because you won't RTFM? Personally, I download manuals for all my cameras and have them on my 'phone (and computer, and tablet.) You don't need to know spend time wandering through the menus; click on the little magnifying glass icon, type in Steady, or Shake, and there you are. "Probably because the SS controls are buried in the Video menus." Stupid? Them? Sure, but you needn't be - see above.
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2022 on We Love Cameras at The Online Photographer
Oh dear, false news. The E-M5 and the initial release of the E-M5 II did not have Focus Bracketing. It was introduced in firmware update 2.** What do you do when a name is inaccurate? Up until then, everyone called the process of taking a stack of exposures at different focal distances, then stacking them for a high DoF composite by the term Focus Stacking Oly, however had introduced two related, but separate functions. One was indeed like the old term; the camera took 8 shots, combined them in-camera into a single output file. So, that's Focus Stacking in their terminology. But they also introduced a much more powerful function. One may shoot not just 8, but up to an essentially unlimited number of focus slices***, with control over the focus differential between frames. This outputs all the shots separately, allowing use of various software apps to stack them. So, what do you call this function and where does it go in the menus? How is it different, conceptually, from exposure bracketing, white balance bracketing and flash exposure bracketing? Not at all, so they called it Focus Bracketing, and added it to the Bracketing Menu. I know Oly menus get a lot of brickbats for complexity. How do you introduce a whole new function, without giving it a meaningful name, and including it in the menus? I think they did it right. * The Ctein story is true, only the camera model is wrong. ** Focus Stacking was added in firmware update 4. (Oly also released an updated manual, including all the additions in these updates.) *** The process stops when the lens reaches infinity focus or the specified number of slices, whichever comes first.
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2022 on We Love Cameras at The Online Photographer