Friday, September 27, 2013

Little Miss Ryann

Just looking at some pictures I took the other day. I kind of like this one of my granddaughter Ryann looking up at my and holding my hand. This is a straight out of camera jpeg taken on the Fuji X100s (have I mentioned it's a fantastic camera?)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Port Alberni Fall Fair

I've been busy with some home projects and that's my excuse for not posting anything of late. I haven't even taken much in the way of pictures for awhile but here is one from our local fall fair earlier this month. In color even!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ryann at the Bullhead Derby

What the heck is a bullhead derby? Every year in Port Alberni, B.C., where I live, they have a big Salmon Derby. Part of the festivities is a "mini-derby" for the kids where they bring their rods down to the river bank and try and catch these little fish called bullheads. Then they measure them and give out a bunch of prizes. Just a fun day for everyone.

This year, my daughter took her two kids, with the help of Grandma and Papa (me). I mainly ended up entertaining my granddaughter Ryann (who for some reason just adores me) while my daughter fished for bullheads with her son. Naturally, I had my X100s and took a bunch of pictures. Later on, while the prizes were being announced I followed Ryann around the parking lot and got this shot that I just love and captures her already independent nature (she'll be two in November) as she heads off across the lot to check out the motorbikes or just does what she wants.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ferry Terminal Candid

Here's another candid shot taken a couple weeks ago while waiting for the ferry to bring us back to Vancouver Island and home. The question? What is everyone talking about?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Photoshop Photography Program

This is good news from Adobe out of Photoshop World in Vegas today: the Photoshop Photography Program. $10 monthly for the latest Photoshop, Lightroom, Behance Membership (whatever that is) and 20 gb of cloud storage.

I'm already thinking this is the route I will now take. I have been trialing Lightroom 5 since it will handle the RAW files from the Fuji X100s. I never upgraded from CS5 to CS6 and I wasn't planning on going the "cloud" route with them because, as an amateur, I couldn't justify the potential monthly cost down the road. But, a quick calculation of what I've spent since 2007 when I bought CS3 and then upgraded to CS4 and CS5 shows that I've spent more than $10/month on the initial purchase and the upgrades and that is with the 15% NAPP discount. I was anticipating never having any later version of Photoshop than CS5 but $10 monthly gets me that plus Lightroom and I was going to shell out $130 for Lightroom alone. That's 13 months right there on Lightroom alone.

Do I like Adobe's move to cloud subscription? Not really, but, if the deal is good enough.....and this seems like it is, so bring it home. Pretty sure it will be available at that rate in Canada since I've always purchased direct from Adobe. If it isn't, I'll be disappointed but I will go back to my other plan of Lightroom alone and my "outdated" CS5.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Span of a Lifetime

I've never been much for adding titles to any of my photographs, but there is something about this photo that calls out for a title. This is another shot from my walk around at the Vernon Farm Market and a happy accident. I was shooting the older woman looking at something in a stall. I didn't see the younger woman walking towards me in the viewfinder and only noticed her when I reviewed the picture. I like it quite a bit because of the obvious difference in age, both at a farm market, both beautiful. It speaks to me of age, generations, differences and similarities all at once. I can almost imagine the older one being the young one 60 or 70 years ago.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Fabulous X100s, Candids, and Lightroom 5

I've been trying to write this for a few days now, but just too busy with having to go back to work after holidays, uploading and sorting about 1200 pictures, while trying to learn Lightroom 5 that I'm trialing and already pretty sure I'm going to buy.

First, the Fuji X100s is nothing short of fabulous, almost perfect, with the only flaw being the person wielding the camera. Inside, outside, bright sunshine, low indoor light, nothing seemed to phase it. Oh, occasionally I would forget to look at the settings in the viewfinder and take a shot in bright sunlight with the aperture still at f2 and end up with a blown out picture, but, like I said, I'm pretty much the only flaw.

Of course, I took tons of pictures of grandkids and family, something I haven't done much of the last couple of years. But the handiness of the small, fixed lens camera was awesome. I grabbed it off the shelf all the time and got lots of memories from our visit.

I have an interest in candid photography (I don't think I can call it street photography yet) so I practiced "shooting from the hip" at a couple of malls and the Vernon Farm Market (BC interior). I manually focused the camera at about 10 feet and just shot with it located around chest level. Got a few good ones and a great story moment.

Here's a shot I took that is part of the story.
I had just taken this and was chimping (looking at the picture on the back of the camera) when the girl on the right said "Excuse me." I looked up thinking, uh oh, she saw me take her picture and didn't like it. (For those of you who think this is "sneaky" photography, maybe, but it is a long and legitimate form of photography, one that interests me very much and one that I'm trying to learn how to do with more skill and courage.) Anyway, I'm thinking this might be an issue when she asked, "Is that the Fuji X100s?" Or words to that effect, referring to the camera. She had seen it and recognized it because a friend of hers had been looking at one. So we chatted a bit, her name was Riley. I told her the camera was great, asked if I could take her picture and took a black and white and then a color one so she could see the quality. I should have talked to her longer but I did find out she loves her camera, an Olympus OM-D I think. It was a nice, although all too brief, encounter and I look forward to that kind of interaction in the future. What I read of some street photographers is that often the interaction after taking a picture is one of the great things about this type of photography.

And here's a picture that she "posed" for. This was actually taken in color (in camera jpeg conversion) but I converted it to black and white in Lightroom. I kind of like it, plus it's my first "street" portrait of a total stranger although she approached me as opposed to the other way around.

Oh, and just an interesting aside, the two women and baby in the background on the right of the picture happen to be my wife, Rena, daughter-in-law, Amanda and granddaughter, Eden. Don't think I realized they were there until I looked at the picture later.

Now, a bit about Lightroom 5. I have been shooting in RAW only on my Canon but I never moved into Lightroom, being comfortable with Photoshop, and it's Bridge program and Camera Raw program that is kind of integrated into Photoshop. I had trialed earlier versions of Lightroom but just never got the hang of it. The problem with a new camera is that the version of Adobe Camera Raw that came with CS5 doesn't and won't ever support the RAW files from the Fuji. So, I could upgrade to CS6 (although that's the final non-subscription version of Photoshop) or jump on the Lightroom bandwagon. Since the newest version of Lightroom just came out it's a bit of a no-brainer to go that route. So, I bought Scott Kelby's new book and have been learning the program the last few days. Even though I'm shooting in RAW plus jpeg on the Fuji and the jpegs are awesome and the in-camera conversion is great, I still need something that will allow me to work with the RAW files if I want. Plus, Lightroom is also a great photo sorting and management program designed for photographers so it's time (and a bit cheaper to buy than to upgrade Photoshop again.)

Long blog post that nobody is reading but it's good for me.