Friday, August 29, 2014

First month with the Ricoh GR

Recently, I posted about my new camera. Well, it's been almost exactly one month since I got it (scratch that, this post has been sitting in the "draft" folder for a while), and I thought I'd share some images. Unfortunately, I really haven't had a tonne of time to get out and shoot, but the GR makes it easy to always have that camera with me.

The most surprising thing about the GR thus far is how much I like the in-camera colours and effects. I have really begun to embrace the "instant" in my moniker; shooting raw only, but "developing" the image right in the camera with the built-in raw processor and using the resulting JPEG almost all the time, without further editing.

Long story short, I love this camera. Here are some of the first few snaps, and hopefully I can produce some more soon.

  Photograph Not Now, Not Ever. by Instant Kamera on 500px
  Not Now, Not Ever. by Instant Kamera on 500px

  Photograph Got The Blues... by Instant Kamera on 500px
  Got The Blues... by Instant Kamera on 500px

Photograph Beat It by Instant Kamera on 500px
  Beat It by Instant Kamera on 500px

  Photograph Put On a Happy Face by Instant Kamera on 500px
  Put On a Happy Face by Instant Kamera on 500px

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ricoh GR, You My Only Friend

So, we already know the dSLR is dead (to me). 

But recently I had the urge to take that last step and downsize to ONE CAMERA/ONE LENS.
I spent a sad amount of time deliberating this move:
  • What single focal length suits me best? 
  • What features can't I live without? Viewfinder? tilty screen? Fast lens?
  • Do a want a new camera, or one lens for the NEX? 
  • Do I dare get a small sensor'd p&s as my only camera?  
  • Do I "cheat" and get a zoom?
  • How compact do I actually want/need?

I used various methods to attempt to solve this dilemma. I parsed 10 years of EXIF data, across several cameras, hoping for some common technical thread to link all my images. I tried using my wife's Panasonic LX-7 to see which focal lengths I used most and to see if I could stand a small sensor.

Nothing was conclusive.

So then I just looked at most recent shots. Why should 10 year old photos dictate the gear I use today? By this time, I had sold all the lenses for my NEX-6, and had nothing to shoot with. I DID find I was missing the two Sigma primes, especially the 19mm. When I looked at the last year's worth of shots, they WERE mostly done with that lens. But could a 28mm equivalent really be my ONLY focal length?? I just spent the last few months wondering if 35 was too wide, or if 50mm was too tight. Surely, a 28mm is less than ideal; not wide enough to be wide, and no where near tight enough for even standard walk around shots.

Well, In the end, I just went with my gut. I purchased the camera that seemed absolutely insane on paper, but that I also couldn't stop thinking about.

  • Fixed 28mm(equiv): TOO WIDE!
  • ONLY f/2.8: TOO SLOW!
  • Slow AF: SLOW!
  • No Image Stabilization: HANDHELD NEVERMORE!

What can I say? This is the camera I have been looking for since before I knew I was looking. Not only is it more than the sum of it's parts, it's orders of magnitude thereof. I'm so taken with this camera, that I'm considering getting it's GR1 ancestor to *gasp* shoot film (which is *so* not in the instantkamera spirit).

Here she is, shots taken with the LX-7 in 1:1 (these are not crops):

dolled up/red lipstick/night-on-the-town mode

stealth mode

Ridiculous transformers mode

obligatory banana for scale (this thing is tiny)

Stay tuned for some actual pictures from the camera.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Another year older (pics and "Private in Public" sneak-peek)

Well, I just celebrated my birthday. It seems as though, as I get older, the years tick off a lot faster than they did when I was half my age. I know - not exactly a revolutionary observation, but it's one worth mentioning in light of another (counter-intuitive) insight I've had of late.

I'm TAKING time. Time to appreciate, to investigate, to create.

This apparent shortening of the days - which turn into weeks, months, and years - can easily become a mask that blurs, and eventually completely obscures, the fine detail of life. It can be a bit of a struggle to shake yourself out of that fog, especially when nature and the very environment you inhabit seemingly conspire against you.

  Photograph jobs jobs jobs by Instant Kamera on 500px
  jobs jobs jobs by Instant Kamera on 500px

The solution is, of course, change. Coincidentally, as we age we become averse to change and more set in our ways. Familiarity FEELS comfortable and safe. But it also stagnates our growth. Pay no attention to that voice that says "maintain status-quo". That's just the mist seeping through the crack under the door; that's more of the grey.
Change your perspective. Change your routine. Change your clothes, your hairstyle.

And if you don't like the changes you've made, change your mind.

Anyway, this post really wasn't intended to become pseudo-motivational drivel, so without further ado, here's a sample of a project I've been working on for the last year or so. It's called "Private in Public", and are, ostensibly, pictures of locks. More on that once it's complete, but enjoy.

  Photograph PinP #1 by Instant Kamera on 500px
  PinP #1 by Instant Kamera on 500px