March 22nd, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 & 23mm … Definition Of Success!

03-14-0409As the weather warms and the Crocus’s start to pop up, I get into the light load mode. Ok, ok…ain’t nothing to light with the XP1 & 23mm. It’s ok because it does the job as one could expect it to. So what is happening is that I am leaving things at home when I go out. Truthfully, I need Andre’ the XP1, a few batteries, lens pen, 23mm that has the vented hood on it. Did I forget anything….I think not. That’s it and hopefully till the fall sets in, unless there’s an assignment that requires a different lens.

This keeps me light, really light. Today on the way back from the VA Hospital, I walked 6.5 miles and stopped just once for a 5 minute break. I wasn’t tired but I have a Think Tank Turn Style 5 that was on the sling mode and my left shoulder started hurting. So I changed it to a waist pack and was off and walking again. The shot above was made on Chestnut Street and Broad Street. I did a few nudes on that lion a few years ago…yo…no! That lady starring me down was not the model.

Once I picked myself up from the ground after she whacked me with her cane, I continued on my way.

03-14-0413-Edit I had to tie my bootlace and I knelt down. After a few seconds. Andre’ started acting up and as I looked up at what he was excited about, I made the exposure. I’m not crazy about the shot but Andre’ is proud that he saw it before me. So I put it in the post. I should state that I am not in full working mode yet as it’s too darn cold. I need to warm my blood and get sunshine burning into my eyes. Most of what I’ve been doing is really preparing for the Spring-Summer-Fall work.

03-14-0393-EditThere’s something really comforting when I work in my Natural Field Of View, 35mm. I mean I used to be able to see an image, move around, raise the camera and frame…it was all very natural. I am not there yet with the 23mm (35mm FOV) but I will be in a few more outings. What turns me on with Andre’ the XP1 is that there’s a feeling of confidence and quality that oozes from him that just keeps me working with him. It’s like he sets the mood for very serious work. I want that, I need that…sheeesh. I must have that!

I don’t play with my cameras, I don’t go out to play around. I go out to work and I do it with my friend Andre’. I suggest that if you don’t know me or what I’m about……stop reading right here. Look at your camera and if it has a name, continue reading this post, if it doesn’t and it’s a tool like a drill or hammer….we need to have a chat.

03-14-0389-EditI have been using LCD screens since the start of them, way back. It’s a pleasure to have a finder like in the XP1. Yeah sure, the M cameras are perfect but here in Philly, all the junkies think so too. I’ve already had a few cameras and a iPhone ripped off on public transportation. Let me tell ya. If some stupid idiot tries to get Andre’ away from me….well, see…The XP1 is all metal as is the 23mm. I guess that takes care of that…..!

I’ve noticed that lately I’m doing selfies again. This is a sign that I’m finding my way and getting ready for real work. Besides, selfies are great to figure out the Parallax of the OVF. I don’t really have much of a problem with the parallax and I don’t use the screen, turned off and I don’t use the EVF too much either. There’s nothing wrong with either it’s just that I like to see THRU my subject and not look AT my subject.

03-14-0397-Edit-EditSo the whole time I’m adapting to my natural FOV and the workings of the camera and how we work together…well, I am also designing presets. This is a task and I spent 2 months working on a set and last week, I trashed the entire set. So I’ll start over and get what I want or trash them and start over and …….

I have a thing for images that are alive by them self. What I mean is this. I learned many moons ago that the process of photography has many aspects to it. We all know that, even Olivier. So, when I decide to make a photograph, my intent is to find the true meaning from inside me and inside the image. Ok, confused…here we go.

A few things to establish. The groundwork you could say. A photograph is a 2 dimensional representation of the subject you captured. As soon as you release the shutter, (actually on first sight) that subject no longer exist. What remains is the image you have on the card, in the computer etc. If you look at that image as a representation of the subject and not see the image as it’s own reality, you miss the truth and value of the photograph.

Now lets get something straight. What I say is for me as how I work. It’s not really the truth of a documentary shooter but yet it is. The realist shooter makes photos to represent a truth that must meet a demand for a purpose. Not always but a lot. When I photographed the war in Nam, did I make a real representation of the reality in front of me? Maybe I tried but I’m sure I failed as everyone else does.

The real dedicated shooters know that a photograph is only a truth of itself and not a truth of what was photographed.  So……when we process the image, do we try to find the truth of the image or the truth of what was photographed?  We of course seek the truth of the image and the truth of what we are in that image.

Burn a corner, raise the contrast, lower the DR, sharpen etc. The point is not to make yourself trapped in any conventions that are holding you back from self realization.

Find your photos out there, by the way..very easy with the Fuji XP1 and bring them home and process them as only you can. Find yourself in what you do and others will too. Hopefully at some point in the near future you can sit back and say, “I am very satisfied with what I’m doing and getting and I will continue to improve and carry on.”

Do not be one of those that say, I am not satisfied with what I’m doing…….

03-14-0418-EditEverything I just wrote has all and everything to do with the XP1. Why? Well, it’s about process, from start to finish. All these thoughts and many more are shared by Andre’ and myself as we venture out on the streets to find the Magical, Mystical Ever Eluding Photographs.

I hope you enjoy what your doing as much as I am. It’s work but what the heck. You could be painting the bathroom.


15 thoughts on “March 22nd, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 & 23mm … Definition Of Success!”

  1. How did you know I am supposed to paint the bathroom? Your good! Your images are superb. Thanks for sharing. I too have the 23mm and the image quality is wonderful.

  2. Hi Don, nice to hear you’re getting comfy with the 23mm. It’s become my favorite lens, but I still hear the call of the 14mm when I’m walking the crowded streets on NYC.

    1. Thanks Gene. The 14mm is a great lens and it brings much to the frame. What happens a lot when I use the 15mm Heliar, just about the same as the 14mm is that I tend to get lazy and do many hipshots. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but with the 23, I use the OVE on the XP1 and never do hipshots. I’m falling back into my old ways but not because of it being a comfort zone, because I feel more like myself.
      You do well with the 14mm, it suites you better than most.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. How did you know my split personality was named Norman? I try to keep him under lock and key cause he’s a analog guy. So here in digiland, I use Don but we won’t tell him….thanks….

      1. Thanks Olivier, you’ve reminded me I need to update my subscription. I’ve been very preoccupied with trying to get a house sold while home that I haven’t had much time to do much with my camera.

  3. Awesome images Don! Making me think about getting that 23mm.

    I think my wife is about to make me walk with a cane if I don’t clean the bathroom. But first I have to get my 5 year old to the playground…..

    Stay thirsty my friend.

    1. Thanks Keith. Don’t let my view of the most important, impressive, essential, lens ever created by man and or woman or anything in between sway your judgement. Your already cleaning the bathroom so don’t end up in the dog house.

      ps…I could order for you and no one would know…..don

    2. Thanks Keith. Don’t let my view of the most important, impressive, essential, lens ever created by man and or woman …

    3. Thanks Keith. Don’t let my view of the most important, impressive, essential, lens ever created by man and or woman …

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