Category Archives: Fujifilm

COVID-19 … The Re-Birth of the Fuji X100V

This story is not for the faint of heart. Please heed this warning.

It was a day of camera infamy. I was ut making photos with my dearest friend, Andre’ the Leica M9. He was hanging around my neck. My Doctors at the VA told me to be careful not to gain too much weight. So, it seemed to me that Andre’ the Leica M9 put weight on. He seemed heavy on me.  I know he has a LIGHT appetite but nonetheless seemed heavy. So, I took him off the neck and put him in my right hand and wrapped the strap around my wrist. We moved on our way and continues looking for the lost photos we set out to find.

It’s usually an enjoyable experience that I have had over 50 years with a Leica. Cameras know when you are at a point of detachment and the time together is coming to an end. Andre’ the Leica M9 is no exception and we worked perhaps for the last time on the streets together.

I feared not having him with me but something happened that I can’t explain.  I was loving the Fuji X100V but the release was always erratic for me. I decided tho sell it on eBay a few months ago. I used the term IT because IT let me down many times and I can’t bond to IT. COVID19 has taught me a few things and one it to slow down and think things out. I waited for the right moment to list the FujiX100V. The time came and I set up to make photos to make an ad.


Then the Angel that works for Mother Light, shined her light into me head. She said to me, shooter, it’s very dark and empty in your head. I shine my light in there and only a few things reflect back to me.  I smiled at the Angel and told her, if you were naked, many things would be in my poor head. She didn’t laff and said one more smart ass remark and you’ll be eating out of Barsik the Cat’s food bowl. So, the Angel told me to try the X100V again before making any decisions. She looked around to make sure no one was with us. I wondered, what’s she thinking? Then the Angel that works for mother light took my right hand and kissed it. I felt a tingle, well all over ya know. 70yo and a young Angel kiss my hand…. She said The X100V needs to be named Andre’. Get it!  Then she turned to fly out the window to home with Mother Light. She said, Shooter, I will always be with you in your head causee ain’t much else in there. Your a sexi old shooter.  Well, I mean, I kinda felt some kinda special and decided to just sit for a moment. Smiles all over my body. Parts that I can’t write about. They be really smiling and stuff.

So as the Angel Child of Mother Light told me, I picked up the Fuji X100V. I touched it all over, nit shape, sweet buttons, and a feel of feminity. What! Wait, I named this camera after m,y friend Walt. How can this be? Then I closed my eyes, my fingers felt every mm of the Fuji X100V.

I thought about the feminity of the camera and I was perplexed. Then, … then my finger touched the release. I was ready for the worst experience in human recorded history, the continuing failure of the FujiX100V./I pressed it down. A single shot. My heart was racing, blood flowing to the very tip of my finger. I could feel it pulsing and I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I prayed for the Angel Child of Mother Light to help me. I was in a stat between keep and sell. Then I got an incoming message and it said, ” Shooter, use the force Shooter”. If you name a camera wrong,  it will never work properly.

She was in my head and heart at this very instant and I asked….Angel Child…. what is thy name?  She said, I am the Angel Child of Mother Light and for you, my name is Sara.

So I figured that my Fuji X100V is named Sara. Sara the Angel Child of Mother Light did magic on my Fuji X100v. Now, it works perfectly and the only explanation is that Sara, did magic to my camera, my eye, and my heart.

Still ain’t a whole lot going on in my head but I plan on exploring it all the time and posting my results.  So the continuing saga of shooter the Philly photographer and Sara the Fuji X100V continues.


Covid-19 … Of Cameras and Photos


See, the issue for me is … bonding with a camera. Yeah I know, I know. But on the calendar, it’s COVID something and that means …. we don’t need no isolation, doctors, leave us kids alone. Well, time passed….ohhh, Walt the Fuji X100V has bugged me since we got together in mid-March. C\He’s a great camera but has a sense of humor. If your camera doesn’t have a personality, that’s your problem, not mine. Ya got time now to explore the things in your life, so do it.

Anyway, Walt has been a good camera but he makes it impossible for me to use AFS on the shutter release. I press the release and it just fires a number of shots, on its own. Of course, my tremors are not helping a bit. All my other cameras do not have this issue.  So I decided to list the camera on eBay and sell it. The problem I have is… I name all my cameras and always dod for over 50 years. Because of that, it’s hard for me to let go of any friend. Si I procrastinate to the point that I simply must do it.

I picked up Walt the Fuju X100V and it was the first time in a while. He feels really solid and nice. I decided to make a few last shots before boxing procedures starts. I can feel him looking at me from his lens… kinda sad feeling. He knows its over and his family of camera friends will be gone forever, WE went out to the garden to make a few frames. I started making photos and things feel nice. Then, then slowly my mind woke to the experience and said… shooter Walt is not playing the multi termor release game. I said…shhhh to my mind said… let’s see what’s happening. Listen up ya’ll…my mind has been on vacation for a while and if it is waking up, there be something going on.

I thought, what a lucky camera the Fuji X100V is. 5 months of aggravation and now, now when I’m ready to sell him, he acts perfectly and no issues. I decided to chat with my camera shrink. Oh yeah, I got one. His name is Harry the 8×10 Deardorff. He’s the old man of the group. Shooter, I talked with the camera family and they said you passed the test of love for Walt the Fuji  X100V. See, they figured if I kept in in the family even tho I was not happy and had issues, that means that I love the Fuji X100V without reservations.

So, I was dreaming of being in the Independence Hall Park. The grass was green, nice clouds, kinda fresh air.. the sounds of tourists speaking every language but English. I like that, it’s exciting for me.  Anyway, I’m standing there and then a voice calls out, Yo Don, you ok? I open my eyes and standing there, right there with no social distance because we didn’t need it back then… I recognize Ray Sachs. We start talking and he has the Nikon X70 and i have the Ricoh GRII. That’s not what was exciting.

See Ray had this strap for his camera and it was an ACAM E25R. It’s a strap that adjust almost instantly and in many configurations. As he was showing me the strap, I noticed a camera on it that I was not familiar with. I believe it was a Sony RX1. It was compact with a big lens and then Ray told me it was a 35mm f2 and a full-frame sensor. He told me, no matter what I sell or buy, I will never seel this camera.

Well, that dream manifested in a reality just a wee short time ago. I sold a Nikon F2, 35mm f2, 50mm, 1.4, 105 2.5 outfit that was like new from the mid 70’s I believe. So, I was laying down and letting COVID take me to a place that I don’t give a hoot about. I was having terrible nightmares and woke many times. Cold sweat and I felt I wasn’t long to be above ground. I learned many years ago, when the shit hits the fan, don’t surrender, just turn the fan around.

I did that and recalled the dream of Ray and the Sony. I hadn’t thought about this for years but it pulled me out kinda. So, I hid from Tanya da Russian wifey and started a search on eBay and low and behold, a Sony RX1R in excellent condition and has a Buy It Now and I did. The good thing about staying in during this COVID crap is, I get to spend time learning cameras and things.

Most hate Sony’s menus but I rather like them a lot. They make the menus for ppl with mental issues so that puts me all in. I get the battery charged and start doing the menu. At this point I like the camera, it’s a nice build. It’s also as old as my Leica M9. That’s a plus for me. So I know I have to do some test shots and I bribe Barsik the Cat to sit for me as I make some snaps. Then out to the garden and some snaps. I am not overly excited but I am enjoying the camera. I sat and made so fresh Brita Water. THE BEST WATER, SHOVE YOUR BOTTLED WATER WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE.

Ok, time for LightRoom and the first viewing of what the camera is capable of. I load the card, import as DNG and then… gasp… OMG! I’m really like in shock…

to be cont’d……………


November 26th, 2018 … One Shot Per Shoot … Fuji X-Pro2

… yes, the project is open for members but you have to commit to doing it till after the New Year. Gimme a min folks so I can tell the readers what we are doing (Beings that youse are not here having coffee with us I will explain somewhat about the project.)  Ya know, how about I explain this to the readers and youse here with me now so I don’t need to do it twice. Ok alls everyone, and you reading this are included.

We all know the value of the One Shot Per Shoot system of working. See, what happens is that we go out and make photos, (never take Photos) … and we sometimes lose sight of what we feel or think about our images. So, when we go out next time, we aim for one photo that satisfies us on many levels. How many levels? I can’t tell you that but it’s many sometimes but not always. Of course, you make as many photos as you want but the idea is to edit down to just one. Then recall the experience and breathe that in for a while. I suggest that you make a collection of the photos you select. Then as time goes by, and it will, you just look at the collection and low and behold, you see that you’re more focused than you thought you were. All the sudden I don’t seem so distant and vague but more defined. What this does essentially is this:

You start to become more selective on the shutter release. You start to see that even tho many photos are captured by you and your camera, certain ones are more distinct about your vision. They seem to relate to you more and that relationship grows stronger as time passes. No restrictions or limitations needed.

After you get back to Lightroom, or whatever, you start to really spot the ones that speak for and about you. The editing becomes very exciting and then pop the photo in the collection and see the fruits of your efforts. What you are witnessing is the birth of you and your vision in a manner that you take credit for.  No one selected these photos. They are yours and they breathe because you grant them life and therefore, they grant you life.

This is not an easy project but believe me, nothing you do with your photography will ever give you the satisfaction and results that this does.

… it’s raining and I’m with a severe cold. I am working by myself. The Xmas bells are chiming, lights flashing, the tents of the Xmas village are starting to open. I’m not a holiday shooter, I always feel it’s too easy and maybe a cliche. Then I remember this project and what’s fit for the goose is fit for the gander. I’m in the thruway of City Hall, standing with Walker the Fuji X-Pro2. It’s slow going and people are walking past me but nothing ringing to my heart. Then, then in the near distance, a woman walks with her little girl…..I figure Nah, trite, maybe why to bother. As they get closer to me the move to the left a little so they don’t bump into me…..the light captures my heart and my veins start to jiggle, heart beat rising, eyes peeled on their hands…. I raise Walker, a tear swells in my eye and I miss my mother desperately…..CLICK

December 15th, 2017 … The Street Shootin’ Bluez

Try as I may, I am unable to get thru the street shootin’ bluez. If I was jammin’ my Strat, I’d be happier than a pig in, um…dewdoo.  But the truth of the matter is, I’m on my cameras and not my guitars and the music I’m seein’ ain’t too sweet.

Many years ago, I was with my friend Paul in NYC. We were out shooting and Paul said to me that the streets were like Jazz. Many teach and believe that but I don’t. The streets to me are more like Rock, may Classical at times but I never felt Coletrane out there. Paul thought that was an interesting observation and we continued on our journey to find some photos. Myself, I’m a bluezman and rock is maybe secondary. When I was young my younger brother Jerry, got me into Pink Floyd. Next to bluez, Pink Floyd reached deep inside of me and grabbed a hold of my soul.

Why do I mention all this? Well, in my interviews, I ask about music and if the participant listens to it while working. Here’s some of what I’m trying to express. If I watch CNN or BBC etc and then go out to work, can I really assume any of that info willl not have an effect on my responses and choices in my work? How about if I listen to Sibilius or Vaughn Williams or Copeland or Respighi, will that classical music not have any effect? How about Pink Floyd or The Stones, or U2 or anyone, will that not have an effect?

I think what I am dealing with is, Information Implanting.

Here’s how I see it and maybe some others will agree, probably high end advertising execs. Info etc gets planted in our brains. It activates when there is a trigger that forces a reaction. It’s the old action/reaction that is at work. You have info in your brain and the when your working, something triggers that receptor and it seeks to equal or at least tickle the info inside.  So I often wonder which is the stronger influence, the trigger or the effected.

The issue here is not just the music or the visual elements or anything that is inside us. In fact, emotional impact is maybe the strongest and that we can’t define very well. If this is influencing the selection and aqusition of our images, well then what of the streets? This phenomenon is not limited to the streets. The ony genre’ of photography that it does not effect is Porn. With porn, the subject matter reacts to the camera and the camera get’s it’s drive from the lower head of a man. With a woman, the jury is still out and I spent over 60 years trying to figure that out.

So it seems to me that if things off photography like music and movies etc, have a draw oti fluence on the triggers that give us the drive to make photos, so does the scenes, people, light, sounds, smills etc on the street of life. For me, I am in center city Phila more then anyplace else. What happens and OI became aware of this maybe 35-40 years ago, is that I am oversaturated with the commonality of my environment. I remember the mens clothing store at 11th & Market. I remember the beautiful lady that decorated the window displays. I remember making a photo of her doing that and giving her a print.

Now when I get to 11th & Market, it’s totally different but my triggers are working and longing for that blonde and the clothing store. It seems that everything moves on and we are plagued as photograohers to seek new vision, nnew triggers and new thoughts and ideas for the present.

Maybe the point is, that all these things are special and all these things both past and present live inside us. Not only do they live inside us but they make us and they make our journey thru life with a camera, most notable and most worthwhile.

We as photographer’s have the ability to show what the world looked like while we were here and the ability to show it thru our own unique vision.

Let not others, regardless of their intentions, and ability to steer you from your vision, have that much effect on you. It’s the world as you see it and when your gone, your photos will effexct those that follow you and your photos will be implanted in their mind and vision and so on and so on and so on…..