Well, if your a regular follower of this blog, you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted too much in the last few weeks. No excuses either. No, I’ve been making some photos, not many but some. Nah. Not really sick, The VA with all the bad press, takes good care of me. We’ll i do have a passing but recurring illness. It’s a case of Igotlazytopostontheblogitis.

Olivier was no help during this time of perpetual laziness. He just kept telling what needed to be done and the deadline. Ya know what I need from the world at this point of time is not photography and it’s not my intent to say everything is just a pretty picture.

I am and have always been a CNN addict. That just means that I want to know what is going on in the world. The new effects me in different ways. For example, I am near to the Cold War in the Home front. Tanya and I don’t see eye to eye on the Ukrainian War. What does this have to do with photography? If you even need to ask this question, well… there’s other blogs you should visit. See, I have friends from almost every country in the world. I care about my friends. I get concerned about how things are effecting them. So just because something isn’t happening in your back yard, doesn’t mean that you get away unaffected, you don’t. No one is that lucky to just be safe and comfortable and not feel what the world is doing to people.

07-14-0109-Edit So I look at myself and think that maybe I am lucky and then realize, no one gets off without feeling for others. No one is immune to the world. I remember my friend/brother Paul McGuirk saying to me back in the early 1970′s….”Most people look at the World thru Rose Colored Glasses. I look at a Rose thru World Colored Glasses.”

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So in a time of what seems to be numbness, maybe it’s just a time of self reflection. I mean I’m extremely effected by the Human Condition. I can’t escape it and actually don’t want to. The camera is an interesting friend for me. Andre’ keeps me in touch with myself better than any living being alive or dead. See, Andre’ keeps me in the here and now and because of that, with all the just going on in the Human Condition, I am at peace. Maybe it’s just a brief passing dream but when I’m making photos, the world and all the crap seems to dissipate and just lets me be at one with mother light and just work.

07-14-0107-EditThe illusion of peacefulness plays deep in my Eye, Heart and Mind. I am attracted to the people and things that are inside my head. I mean, I don’t make a photo unless I feel it. Maybe it’s not gonna be a masterpiece but I know one thing for  sure. It’s my photo and it represents my time in the here and now while I walked upon the Earth.

07-14-0041And just when ya think your alone and feeling kinda desperate and lost, ya come across a gentle soul that looks at you for the comfort you are looking for.

This Post is dedicated to all those souls effected in The Horror of Flight MH17.  May you all find Eternal Peace in the Hereafter and your souls be forever blessed by THE LORD. Amen

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Ya know, I’m very open to what life throws in front of me. I’m also sensitive enough to hold Grace when a moment calls to me very quietly and unobtrusively. It’s these gentle wisp of light and air that challenge even the greatest of cameras and either create issues or just quietly allow the moment to unfold.

I can tell you this about the Fuji X100s. This camera knows how to BREATHE. It allows me to BREATHE. There was a single issue and bone of contention and that was the thumb grip. It no longer is an issue as it has lost it’s place on the camera. I don’t really put Andre’ in the pocket anymore and that of course would allow the thumb grip to work ok. Well, the Fuji X100s does not need a grip, in fact a grip takes away from the oneness of camera and shooter.

07-14-0045-EditSo, with that annoying thumb grip out of the picture, Andre’ and I have bonded more than any camera I have ever owned or used. The list is shocking to say the least.

I have found a new, well reborn sense of freedom. What I mean is I am free to find photos for the joy of finding them and making them. How does a camera help me do that? Good question. I think it’s partly the fact that Andre’ just wants to be a partner in making photos. There exist absolutely no intrusion from him whatsoever.

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See, Andre’ does not try to influence my vision or distract it by doing annoying things. He kinda just hangs around waiting for the call and then rises to the occasion with me, his partner.

Maybe you think I’m crazy talking about a camera that way. Fine, think what you want but I hope some day you find your way to having a relationship with your camera. See, that relationship isn’t just your camera and you, it’s Mother Light and all the processing you do to make the images that your mind finds from the energy of your heart.Am I crazy, you figure that out.

07-14-0050-EditJust being able to work freely, without intrusion from a TOOL is a revelation that not all find but may desire. Andre’ is not a tool, he is my friend on the street.

07-14-0051-EditCan you find this synergism with another camera? Of course, don’t be silly it’s just that the Fuji X100s is designed to do what it does best without issue. This simple understanding is so easy and yet so complex that each user must and will find their own way to themselves. I will say that, the X100s is a great friend to help you get there.

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Go in Peace and be Blessed on your journey. ………………………………………….end transmission………shooter out…………………

 

07-14-0013-EditFirst off, Happy 4th Of July to all those that celebrate it and all those that don’t. It seems that it’s July 4th all over, imagine that. How’d they do that hmmmm?

Well, I did an open call for work to be published on The Inspired Eye Blog and I got a very satisfying response. The first post will go up sometime this weekend.

Of course doing things like this takes away from my work on the streets but I feel doing for others is more important than doing for myself. Hey, not claiming to be an angel, I just want to help get some exposure and positive energy flowing.

07-14-0009-EditYa know… I have a battle going on with the thumb grip. Oh yes, it’s nice but the camera feels more like my friend without it on and when it’s on, it feels more like a tool. So I go back and forth trying to find my way. I guess in time I’ll just not carry the thumb grip in my pouch at all. I started  testing MF and hyper focal distance and it’s a great way to work. Many cameras allow this but with the X100s, it’s no different than any other camera, it just has the distance scale that is setup for the f/stops.

I actually like the AF in this camera because it gives me a fraction of a second think time before exposure. I’m using the OVF so when I raise the camer the AF there’s a slight pause that allows me to double check things.

MF gets me into a zone of being more intuitive. See, in MF the camera is ready at all times with no lag at all. This allows a very fast intuitive response and to release. Wonderful but at my age, I like a slight lag……

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07-14-0024-EditThere is a very nice feeling working with the Fuji X100s. Well, Andre’ likes to work and always supports my decisions and I do him. The above shot was made right in front of this guy and he didn’t care what I was doing. It amazed me that I could be standing there right in front of him and he thought I was invisible….NADA…..

After I made the exposure I turned to see what he was looking at and got lost in whatever it was, so much so that he didn’t see the Stealth Streetshooter  in front of him… well….

There, there right in front of us, in plain sight, walking real close to us, was a woman that could be Halle Berry. *Sigh*… Him and I shared a moment, noooo not the camera or photographic byt the Halle Berry got close to us and rattled our cage moment.

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07-14-0018-EditWell, I off and running cause Tanya is coming up the stairs and I have to delete the Halle Berry photos plastered all over the desktops on my computers…..

Have a safe and happy 4th of July and I’ll seeyas shortly

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Olivier and I want to extend a warm welcome to all of our followers and especially the followers of my blog. The idea is for you to be featured on the Inspired Eye Blog and try to promote your work.

 

For those interested, send me a request and I will send you the info. There will be like 5-8 questions and you can put around 6 photos in also. I would like a brief description of the concept and execution of the photos to show the world what and how you think and do things.

We will post the blogs a few times each week and it will be listed on the newsletter and podcast.

So let’s get going and I’ll be watching out for youse…

shooter

 

 

 

It was January 1970. I was a grunt in VietNam. I carried an M16 like everyone and  also  45ACP because I could hit anything at 100 yds. I also carried a Leica M4 with a 35mm Summicron. I met a Photojournalist from Australia and he took a liking to me and told me to use his Nikon F with a 200mm f/4 lens. He told me it was safer because I could be further from any action. I really appreciated his well wishes for me but my friends were up front so that’s where I was gonna be. My photos were at the front and not at a safe distance.

06-14-0275-Edit……move forward in time until now and things haven’t changed for me. I’ve spent a lot of time on the streets, I guess it’s life more than street but there are those amongst that need to label so I’ll humor them by being a streetshooter. Anyway, The Fuji X100s has the ability to transform your way of working and thinking to more of a cerebral experience. It’s the way the camera frees me up and let’s me work without intrusion. See, I kinda get into a zone or region that isn’t maybe so safe sometimes in different ways but the camera stays with me and supports what I get into.

06-14-0265-EditNot all cameras can do this and many shooters aren’t aware that any camera could do this. Really, I mean if you use cameras that cause issues and after a while you kinda get complacent about those issues, if you used a real friendly camera, you may not notice how friendly it really is. We get conditioned by the marketing people and in order to break away, we need to de-hypnotize ourselves. Not easy, especially if you don’t know your hypnotized. What wakes me up most times is the camera. Yup, it’s true. See, I walked around the streets of Center City Philadelphia almost every day for decades and always found images to make. Sometimes I would walk and not see a lot of interesting things because I was over saturated by the places I’ve been to a million times. 06-14-0264-EditWell, Andre’ The Fuji X100s tells me, “Listen kiddo, you don’t get to be bored. lazy or complacent…I’ll kick your ass if you don’t keep working”. Now listen, anytime a camera tells me it’s gonna kick my ass… I listen. So even tho I have seen the places, light, views etc all these times, I have just begun to see them with Andre’. He’s challenging and helps me to see something as if it’s the last time I’m seeing it.

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So I walk the same streets I’ve walked for all these years and I’ know the light bouncing off the buildings and I even see many of the same people I’ve seen and met many times over but how to do this?

If no two seconds of life are ever the same and there is a constant movement thru the universe and closer, the movement thru life, how is it possible to get bored making photos? 06-14-0252-Edit

I’ll bet it has something to do with your outlook in life. If you have the outlook that you want to find yourself out in the world, and feel your presence pushing air and moving light and you want to breathe images, your a photographer, what could be better than that?

06-14-0255-EditOnly one thing is more important than being a photographer. Only one thing is better than being a photographer.

Be a Human Being with a camera, that’s what’s better and My friend Andre’ the Fuji X100s helps me be a better Human Being.

06-14-0220-EditI wonder how my Fuji X100s has  soul and how it effects my soul. I wonder if the camera is making the photos and if I am along for the ride. Sometimes I wonder if I need a camera at all.

Than I feel in my hand a camera that just might be thinking what I’m thinking. So I try to resolve the situation and ask Andre’ the Fuji X100s his opinion. Andre said we should get a cup of coffee. We drink Kona and he uses sugar and I don’t.

After an intense conversation we decided that we are an inseparable pair. He agrees that he can’t walk the streets without me cause he doesn’t have legs or arms. I agree cause without him, I would be making photos with my iPhone. THE HORROR!

06-14-0226-EditSo Andre’ and I are committed to each other for the long haul. He doesn’t give me a hard time about anything except one thing.

I put a thumb grip on Andre’ and it’s great for horizontal work but Vertical is not so great. How do I know Andre’ doesn’t like  the thumb grip, Easy. See when I put Andre’ in my right front pocket.. well after a few minutes I feel the thumb grip attacking my leg.

Yes attacking and in a fierce way. I have not decided what to do yet but the war with the thumb grip will be over soon.

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06-14-0218-EditThe thing is I usually test a camera for a 3 month minimum. That seems like a long time to most but if you think in terms of me being a serious shooter for over 45 years.. it’s no time at all.

The Fuji X100s has me making photos that I consider general because I just enjoy making them. I get that with other cameras, don’t get me wrong but with this… every second is a joy.

The thing that is most important is that you stay true to yourself, your vision and have an open mind and heart for seeing the same things differently. Maybe it’s not the camera that actually does this but the camera can and will help you change the way you look at things and the things you look at I am experimenting and find myself  just enjoying SEEING again even the same things I see on almost every walk. I can’t say that the X100s is responsible but I can’t say it’s not either.

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Hopefully we all find our way thru the struggle in life as a photographer. We as photographers have the responsibility to leave behind the images of what we saw while we were here.

For me in the here and now, this and the next few moments, the Fuji X100s is my partner and he helps me make the photo that will prove that I was here and I felt and I saw.

 

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There are times that beckon the call of just sharing the pure joy in the GIFT of SEEING with a camera. This GIFT of SIGHT should never be taken for granted. We as photographers tend to over indulge in seeing and we tend to take THE GIFT OF SIGHT for granted.

For me, I feel every living second is a gift, a gift of life. For me the simple act of seeing is most extraordinary and I dare not be complacent nor ever take seeing as a right of passage.

06-14-0178-EditWhat does this really mean to a photographer? Well, part of it is, when you are shooting, enjoy the simple act of SEEING and recognize how fortunate we all are to do that with a camera in hand.

The 3 photos here are just about that, the joy of seeing and not to be represented by any other pretense but SEEING. They are not masterpieces, they are not amazing photos and they aren’t meant to be anything but a 2 dimensional representation of what the JOY, the LOVE, the GIFT of SEEING and VISION meant to me at the very instant of exposure.

06-14-0182-EditIf I  think about the actual moment of exposure and I think about how most times I am GREEDY and insist that the photo be more than what it actually is, and I overindulge in my own bullshit.. well, then perhaps these photos represent the most Nobelist approach and result that I could ever have the honor of making….

The GIFT OF LIGHT AND THE GIFT OF SIGHT AND THE GIFT OF SHARING.

 

06-14-0157-EditSometimes there comes a moment when I just FEEL an energy trying to grab me. This energy is very delicate and if I try to do anything but make a photo, it just vanishes like a leaf in the wind. At this point, I need my camera to do what is demanded buy this energy and just capture the image. I’m glad I’m using the X100s because it can capture a leaf flying in the wind.

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For me there exist no Decisive Moment. There never was, it’a the decisive fraction of a heartbeat. It’s when you know your alive and that your photos need to be borne by you. These photos are fractions of a second at times but have the beat of your heart and the knowledge of your mind and the vision of your eye. This is your intent and your intent is brought to life by the photos you give birth too. Your mate must be your camera because neither of you can do it by yourself.

06-14-0148-EditSometimes we seek interaction from others to validate out time on the earth. The photographer validates his time on the earth by the photos he makes. Photographers record what the planet looked like during their visit. We are all tourist thru life, no one gets a permanent Visa.

06-14-0158-EditThe beauty of making photos is the beauty of making photos.

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06-14-0145-EditThe X100s is an amazing camera and I am coming to terms with myself working with it….Peace……..

06-14-0097-EditTo start with, my Fuji X100s finally has a name. I had no choice but to name him Andre’. I know, I know.. but Kertesz is probably the single most important photographer in the history of the medium and I decided, that’s the name. I’ve always had a camera named Andre’ so the tradition continues.

Now Andre’ told me that he thinks I’m having an Inverse Square Law issue and he was upset. So, being open minded, I asked him what he meant. Andre’ said, ” listen kid, it’s nice to shoot a lot of pictures but you get very little satisfaction from the work.” Hmmm I thought to myself… I wonder if Andre’ knows something  that I know but he remembers what I thought I know but maybe I forgot…..hmmmm. So, I asked Andre’ what I should do?  Andre’ said…”I shouldn’t tell you this but your a good kid but who likes kids? Your are going to spend time on the street and shoot less and you will see kiddo that your satisfaction will rise and you’ll be happy.”

06-14-0123-EditWell this idea I teach at my workshops and sessions and stuff. I mean sometimes you have to relearn what you all ready know. The thing that gets me is, how the heck does Andre’ know this stuff? I’ll have to ask my shrink, he’s more inside my head than I am..lol.

So Andre’ and I came to a compromise. We decided that we would only make around a dozen (12) exposures on a shoot. That way I would be guilty of not getting the shot and not Andre’.

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There’s something to be said about the Inverse Square Law. The way I’m doing it, is the way I need to do it. See, the idea is not to find what to shoot…no..no..no but to be aware of what not to shoot. Not shooting is a very difficult task because it’s easier to just shoot away. If your paying attention to what your not shooting, then you’ll see more of what you should be shooting.

06-14-0129-EditI’ve been shooting this way for decades actually but I want Andre’ to think he’s teaching the kid something new. I can say  this because he doesn’t read my blog but he loves Flickr. Go figure.

My hit rate with the X100s, Andre,  is substantially stronger and higher than any camera I have ever used including more than a dozen Leicas. Why, simple. Because the camera just does what it’s supposed to do and does not create an intrusion of any sort at any time. That’s easier said than done.

06-14-0141-EditIt’s not just what the camera sees or how it works, it’s how the FujiX100s FREES my vision. See, there are many great cameras out there, we all know that but we each need to find the camera that frees up our thoughts and vision and allows us to achieve the potential we strive for in our work. The idea of a synergism between shooter and camera seems strange to many. In fact my Shrink thinks I’m crazy, imagine that. Why would he think that I mean after all I talk to my camera..sooo.

I explained this to my Shrink…Doc.. it’s ok to talk to yourself, it’s even ok to answer yourself… as long as you know who’s talking and answering, no problem, when you think someone else is answering… he cut me off abruptly and said.. Mr Springer, that’s why your here. hmmmmm?

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There’s a lot to talk about with this camera and I will no doubt be doing so for a while.

06-14-0131-EditUntil tomorrow, have a safe journey and may you all be BLESSED……………………..end transmission………………………………………..

 

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For me, a camera has to meet or pass certain expectations without compromise. Obviously size, interface, build quality, image quality are among the most important elements to make a camera a friend and not a tool. The Fuji X100s meets all my expectations, flies above them and introduced some I hadn’t expected. I have no interest in comparing the camera with any other camera at all. Other shooters do that and way better than I can. What I will do is explain some of the things that make the camera unique among it’s peers without comparing.

06-14-0061-EditI can’t get it all done in one post and I don’t want to anyway. I’ll keep this going as my use with the X100s grows and update as new things come to the surface.

The Fuji X100s has a feel to it that is very nice in the hand. It has enough heft to it to make it feel solid but to too much to burden the wrist. The buttons are well placed with enough space so that you don’t have the camera playing tricks on you. I am using a Thumb Grip and I’m not 100% with it yet. For horizontal shots it’s perfect but turning the camera to do verticals is maybe not so perfect. This is the fault of the grip and not the camera. When you raise the camera to the finder, it places perfectly every time and there is also a diopter adjustment that doesn’t slip out of adjustment. I have but don’t use the lens hood, The camera fits in my front jeans pocket east even with the thumb grip. WHAT A PLEASURE!  I will get into this more but the basic flavor is here.

User Interface:

Here’s where Fuji really has it mastered.  I won’t talk about the other Fuji cameras just the X100s. When I’m working, I set the camera to Auto ISO topped at 6400. I tested the high ISO and it’s good to 6400. Now that’s impressive. The idea of Auto ISO for me is to enable M Mode without an intrusion from the camera. So using M Mode, I set the aperture and shutter speed and the camera sets the ISO. This is standard with many cameras and it’s a feature that must be there for or any serious shooter.

Image Quality:

Well, it goes without saying that if you like APS-C, you will love the X100s. The files are nothing short of superb. I booger them up of course but they do so in a good way without breaking up. They respond to Nik Plugins excellently and better than any camera I have used to far. I’m really not a IQ freak but I must be able to extract the details I want especially  during preset design. This camera delivers wonderfully. I shoot Raw only and the files process great after converting to DNG in LightRoom.

So to the nitty gritty. I guess it’s really about seeing with the camera.

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Now I have been known to use a 35mm FOV for many years. I guess, it’s the Natural FOV for me as I don’t have to move when the camera is at the ready. The other thing of utmost importance is Aspect Ratio. The aspect ratio of 3:2 is desirable for me because it’s what I have been using since last century. 4:3  is nice also but the dynamics are with less visual tension.

With this camera, the Fuji X100s, I get my stance and usually within 90% of the time,  I am at the spot I need to be to make the frame. This for me is crucial as any movement from the camera changes perspective. I also don’t shoot to crop and it’s a very rare occasion that I would crop an image. That brings me to the most important feature of the X100s.

The Finder System:

The camera has a very nice screen and for the most part, I only use it for settings. This is very different for me because I am a screen shooter. This camera begs for the eye finders. The EVF is great  but I only use it for extreme close up or Macro. The camera really want’s the OVF to be used.

Ok, so the OVF system has some critical things that must be addressed. The Parallax is one, Frame Line accuracy is another and of course, Auto Focus Accuracy.

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06-14-0083-EditThe OVF is the business end of the Fuji X100s. Let me qualify my opinions. I have been a RF user since 1969. I have used many, (to many) Leica M cameras and know the by heart. The X100s is more accurate than any RF camera made. The reason is that it has a fixed Focal Length Lens. This allows Fuji to tighten the frame lines and get them very accurate. I can not stress this single fact enough. The camera has the most accurate frame lines I have ever used. The Leica M4 with the 35mm frame is very accurate to around 94%. I am finding the X100s to be even mor accurate than that. To the point that I can’t see any edge of the frame line that is off enough to even notice. This is very remarkable and makes the X100s a master camera for anything using a 35mm lens.

06-14-0068-EditI probably have a lot more to say but I’m enjoying the experience of the X100s very much. I’ll do more over the  weekend.

…………………………..End Transmission ,…………………………………………………………………….