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JohnMFlores
Writer. Photographer. Wanderer.
Recent Activity
Another vote for Timbuk2. I've had their Snoop Messenger bag with a padded camera insert for 10+ years. They are water resistant and discreet. They are narrow - the better to squeeze through crowds with - but because of that they don't stand up on their own. The bag material is tough and stiff at first but softens up nicely through the years. I have the medium, which will hold the G9 + the two F2.8 zooms with some space and depth left over for a water bottle and snacks. A small might be better just for your kit.
I agree with those that think OCOLOY (makes a nice acronym, methinks) is a a good exercise for newer photographers. But for more experienced photographers, it's akin to saying, "I'm going to write songs using this one note." Instead, I endeavor to work on projects where I pick a subject or topic and make that the focus of my intentional photography for a period of time. These projects give me an excuse to get out there and photograph, give me time to study a subject in more depth, and at the end give me a collection of images that are tied together. I have not selected a subject for this year yet, but I've got some ideas that I'm working on...
My best camera of 2018 were the cameras I bought in 2016 - a pair of Lumix GX85s. They were workhorses this year and landed me a magazine cover as well as some nice two-page spreads. As the old aphorism goes, "The best camera is the one whose cost you have already amortized."
Toggle Commented Dec 31, 2018 on Camera of the Year? at The Online Photographer
Mine just arrived today and I'm looking outside longingly at the low, golden, winter light while unfortunately screwed to my desk... [I resemble that remark! --Mike]
When I went from SF to NYC on a Zero DSR electric motorcycle in 2016, I spent a total of $42.73 in charging fees to travel 3,682 miles. That's $.0116 per mile. My Honda S2000 is likely the last gas-powered car that I will own.
Toggle Commented Dec 21, 2018 on Open Mike: Find the Time at The Online Photographer
UPDATE: I caved. G9 + 8-18 ordered with the link. It only took me $1800 to "save" $1000! Thanks, Mike!
I just recently discussed Solo: A Star Was Story with a sci-fi friend of mine and noted that writing prequels must be an odd writing assignment; you know the end-point and have to write the backstory to get there. Perhaps if you wrote your stories in reverse?
I am trying really hard to resist the siren call of the heavily discounted G9. You are not helping, Mike. Rest assured though, that if I do cave, I'll use your link...
I disagree, kind of. Photography is such a big tent that Comdico's comment applies to different genres in different measures. Sports and action most definitely benefit from improvements in AF, low-light performance, and camera speed. Likewise, wildlife, astrophotography, and macrophotography benefit from technology. I'd consider those genres more dependent upon craft and technology than other genres. In other genres - art, portraiture, street, etc... - the power of the subconscious separates the good from the truly great and those pursuing technology to it's own end are not seeing the forest for the trees. In these genres, I agree with Comdico wholeheartedly.
Toggle Commented Sep 7, 2018 on Best Comment Ever at The Online Photographer
I'm actually more interested in hearing about the new DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone with 1" Hasselblad-branded sensor tomorrow than I am about the new Nikons...
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2018 on Pics of the New Nikons at The Online Photographer
FWIW, the original Pentax Q had a 1/2.3" sensor, as did the second iteration. But the Q7 and Q-S1 have a larger 1/1.7" sensor and a proportional increase in image quality. https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmflores/albums/72157693114784030 It's a shame (but understandable) that the Q lineup is all but dead. It's a fun piece of kit with a good lens lineup; a modern day Auto 110. I'm hoping for a zombie-like revival.
A couple of years ago I was at the holiday party of a friend, a professional photog. The place was crawling with other pros (and motorcyclists*) and later in the evening a fresh-faced college-age kid walked in and said that they wanted to become a photographer. The room took a deep breathe as we each considered whether to be encouraging or to tell the truth. * In my social circles there's a high correlation between photography and motorcycles.
Pentax K-1 + FA43 + a fistful of old Takumars and M-Primes
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2018 on Weigh In at The Online Photographer
The only dinosaur that I want to be is a bird, thus the affinity for increasingly anachronistic motorcycles.
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2018 on Open Mike: Happy Dinosaur at The Online Photographer
Timely post, Mike. I was big computer gamer as a kid but gave them up because I had no self-control. But every once in a while I fall into one. I just fell into a smartphone game as a way of connecting with my godson. I'm part of his "clan" and we play a bit together and text each other about it. But I play it way more than I'd like to admit. "Just one more game" is an oft-repeated thought. I tell myself that I should spend my time on more tangible things like running, writing, and photography but when I'm feeling existential, I wonder if more tangible activities are in fact "better." My adult niece and nephew play another game and have teammates from around the world. They have, in effect, a virtual community, which is kind of cool. Where am I going with this? I don't know, but now I gotta go and play that game. Just one more game.
The one thing that I like about SUVs is that I can use my favorite word when discussing them - avoirdupois.
This is a common problem, taking a corporate design language, applying it obsessively throughout the lineup and finding out that the design doesn't scale well. The "flame surface" BMWs of the Chris Bangle era works great on the 5 Series but the tension in the surfaces did not hold up in the larger 7 series and the style fell flat. Likewise, the grill on that Lexus is actually nice on the smaller sedans but you can't just put in a photocopier and paste it onto a hulking SUV. And the Acura beak? It didn't look good at any size, and this is coming from a Honda guy. Thankfully, the design has evolved and matured.
I glance at the tens of thousands of photos in my multiple Lightroom catalogs and I can't help but conclude that digital is significantly cheaper. As an autodidact, the low-cost of iterations has been revelatory. I've grown much faster as a photographer with digital than I did with film.
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2017 on Film vs. Digital at The Online Photographer
"It's up to us to impart the quality." Golf applause, Mike. Thanks for writing this. It's one thing to pursue technical properties in service of artistic needs but when the technical properties themselves become the goal then the photos become little more than test shots. Similarly, I stepped off the audiophile path when I realized that I was listening to the audio equipment and not the music.
1. The best camera is the rumored one. 2. Do you set your EVFs to B&W? 3. On that page of thumbmails, my eye went immediately to New Camera News!
Flickr has an under-utilized feature called Galleries where you can curate your own little show with photos from other Flickr members. I've created a couple and hope to create more. https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmflores/galleries/72157624531009307/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmflores/galleries/72157681145221415/
Toggle Commented Oct 6, 2017 on Saying Something at The Online Photographer
Interestingly, I've been lifting midtones and softening harsh highlights in most of my photos lately, color and B&W. It goes against what I used to do, add contrast (the opposite S-curve) to make things pop and I find that I need to push the deep shadows down and punch of the clarity to give the image some bite. But five years from now I'll probably have other ideas about what I want in a photo and look at this era and wonder what I was thinking...
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2017 on Look at Tone as Light at The Online Photographer
I jumped into Micro Four-Thirds back in 2011 (gosh, was that really 6 years ago already?!) with a pair of GH2s that I bought for video and hoped that they'd also shoot good stills. Alas, the stills lacked dynamic range and the RAW files were just too crunchy. I didn't abandon the system altogether though and knew I'd jump back when the sensor made enough improvements. My bogey was the lovely 12 megapickle sensor of the Pentax K-x. Fast forward to 2016. I "needed" new cameras for my cross country motorcycle trip, and the GX85 ticked off all the right boxes - improved sensor, image stabilization, 4k video, small form factor. I bought two and have been happy. 95% of my recent images are made with them, including these from the weekend: But if I must be honest, a funny thing happened on the way to the present. While the GX85 files are more than good enough for my magazine publishing needs, I want a little more. A little more megapickles to work with, a little more dynamic range to massage, a little more low light performance. I'm learning patience though and will be happy with the GX85 for several more years.
Some really arresting images there. I like the high contrast style and the voyeuristic approach of many of the shots. Some feel processed to 11 but overall a really nice set. These are historic times so I've been in the streets since the weekend after Election Day, capturing the images and sounds of our time. In the big rallies, I am one of thousands of photogs. But in the smaller gatherings, noticeably in my home Congressional District, I am often the only one documenting the proceeding, fancifully thinking that 100 years from now some historian is going to value what I've done. I am also gathering photos of "The Resistance" on Flickr and we have over 2,000 photos from 100 photographers from around the country and world. https://www.flickr.com/groups/thenewresistance/ Of those, I've curated what I have found to be the most interesting and compelling images: https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmflores/galleries/72157681145221415/ As the saying goes, may you live in interesting times...
"The old culture has been partly or mostly cleared away and nothing has taken its place. It's several magnitudes tougher now to make a splash, become known, or create work that will get widely noticed. I would argue that it was never easy to tame and tether the essentially subversive and unruly nature of the medium, but now we're back to a sort of Babel. It's all iconoclasm and chatter, not to mention inundation." The era of big splashes is all but over, replaced by a thousand little splashes that together create the tide. Your website and musings are a perfect example of this new age. From a distance it may look like Babel but we all unconsciously try to filter the noise until we find the signal that we seek. That's the challenge now, finding our needles in the haystack, but improved search and AI (there is groundbreaking research being done with neural networks learning to identify objects - faces, people, animals, cars, etc... in a photo) is making that easier and easier. But we are already seeing the effects of being stuck in bubbles of our own making. Interesting times indeed. And with that, I'm out of metaphors.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2017 on Getting Glorious at The Online Photographer