Tag Archives: 21mm f/4 Skopar

April 18th, 2014 … The Fuji X-Pro 1 Finds It’s Strength by Discovering It’s Weakness

There is a law in Photography and life but who cares about Life when your a photographer. The Law is called the Inverse Square Law. This means that Less is More and More is Less. Take the camera for instance. The larger the hole in the lens, the smaller the F/number and then again, the more light that it lets in.

The 18mm takes in more than the 35mm that takes in less.  Really good cameras cost more but have less intrusion than less expensive cameras that have more intrusion. Hopefully you get this. I didn’t invent this, I just had to learn to live with it seems like my entire life. Ya know, the more I think about things like this, the less I give a uh..uh darn.

04-14-0319-EditSo as I was walking along the National Historic Park a young woman approached me and sked if I knew where the Liberty Bell was. Funny, I thought. We are 20′ away from it and on the outside. She said, I really want to see it. So I said, follow me and I shall show you the way. She asked if I was like a real photographer. I stated, when I was young I wanted to be a great photographer and make magic with my camera. Now that I’m older, I just want to breathe and enjoy what I’m make photos of. We walked into the tiny observation cove cove and we could see the Liberty Bell from outside where we were. She was mesmerized. Her mouth was open and like her jaw dropped. She starred like there was no tomorrow.

I felt like the American Patriot Guide that I am. She said, see that girl over there with that guy hugging her. Of course I said, she’s very cute. She said, yeah she is….and that’s my boyfriend holding her. Well, my mouth opend like a gasp and my jaw dropped but I backed up and waited for her to turn….she said….as she was turning, how do I get to the train station….CLICK!

I promised to send her the photo of her boyfriend and this one of her.

04-14-0317-EditIt’s still kinda cold out and I am not in my normal form. I mean that the weather has taken a toll on my well being and I haven’t recovered fully …yet.

The Inverse Square Law plays a large part with cameras that effect what and how and we do. Here’s what I’m talking about. I am putting this out for the XP1 because I can and I want to and because this is a few key elements about the XP1 and the Inverse Square Law.

A weakness in the camera is the EVF. The screen ain’t nuttin to write home about either. Yeah, lets just rip this sucker apart. HOLD ON!

The strength of the XP1 is that it helps you to see and make better photos. Now better is a stupid thing to say but it’s true. See, if you struggle somewhat with the screen, you naturally start to rely on the finder. Tricky thing that finder. See, many will auto mode to the EVF but it’s not a fance dancy automatic, electroplated, 4 speed, syncro mesd finder. It’s a plain almost really good but maybe needs work to make it better if your not a serious shooter.

Serious shooters will draw to the OVF with the auto guidance pushing the EVF and Screen out of the way. I know…I know….I must be outta my dang it mind.

Well, if we had a very bright, high resolution type EVF, thenwe could just get complacent with what we are doing because all the work has been smoothed out. When you use an XP1 with the OVF, you are learning to see again. You do not take for granted the frame or the parallax. You don’t fear this because you know the camera is trying to wake you up and wake up your mind and eyes.

So, the Inverse Square Law shows that of the 3 viewing systems,the one with the least assumed accuracy will provide the most good images because you were awake and concentrating using the camera and concentrating on the subject and not the screen. Let it be known on this planet and any that youse may be from. I have been know to be a LCD Screen advocate for a long time.


It’s Friday, Happy Hoildays to all. Today is RED SHIRT FRIDAY and I know all my Patriot Family from the Warriors Watch are wearing Red Shirts to show support for the troops.


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.


March 9th, 2014 ….. The Fuji XP1 & X20 Teaches A Cop How To See The XT1



Ok, you all know I’m a little strange, great guy but strange. Check this out…… I didn’t have much time but I did hit the streets and el train for a little bit. Nothing out of the ordinary yet….right. Well, my neighbor the cop…is a friend and to protect him and his family, he’s just “The Cop” across the street. I told ya’s he got the XT1 and some sweet lenses. Well, before I left the house he showed up and was telling me how he doesn’t like the 23mm and the 60mm Macro. Tsk, Tsk I said……So to add a little fuel to the fire I showed him Andre’….XP1, remember….ok…. well he says that it looks like an old school camera like me but he’ll grant my wish and look at it.

I told him to be careful because the XP1 has a very addictive OVF and once one looks thru it, well…the sins of the DSLR world become evident. He smiled and then put Andre’ to his eye…. (shhhhh…whiles he’s doing this I’m thinking that I sure would like his 23mm yup! Well, a few minutes pass and I show him how the finder switches to EVF.

As we packed his XT1 in the box for return, he asked what else he needed for the XP1. I told him to get a thumb grip and an ACMAXX for the screen. He doesn’t do eBay so he placed the return order right away. He’s exchanging for the XP1. So we sat back and drank a beer and I asked him in a very uninterested way what he was going to do with the lenses. He suggested that I should get the 23mm and he would just make sure that everything was tidy on the credit card. Well, ya know…I don’t really need that stupid lens but if you really don’t need it, we can make a deal. Yeah…..ya know, maybe I shouldn’t have showed him the 18mm or 21 Skopar and especially the 15mm Heliar.

03-14-0155Now my friend the Cop is actually a seasoned ex-pro shooter. He sold all of his Canon stuff and that’s where he got the moniey for the move to Fuji. So we are sitting and starting our second beer. He’s got Andre’ in his hand and I can see he understands the camera immediately…all the sudden….Tanya enters the room. She’s standing looking at me like a mother would do to a child, par for the course. She immediately reminds me that I am in complete violation of the Russian/American Alcohol Consumption Treaty Act of 2007. I am made aware of the penalties of such act. I told her I had Law Enforcement on the scene to monitor behavior patterns.  She told us both that there shall be no money exiting procedures from our bank account to the Cop’s. This includes the hidden photo account that she doesn’t know about but monitors.

03-14-0144So to keep peace in the home-front and as it turns out, both home-fronts…we decide to make some kind of a deal that goes un-noticed by the 2 female executive officers, otherwise named wives. So we know that we are not getting into beer #3 but if we are telligent menz, we can horse trade some kind of a deal to make each party happy.

The unnamed X20 is sitting on the table just minding it’s own business. It’s feeling out of sorts because the XT1 that won’t get a name because naming a camera is ludicrous according to the COP but is sitting next to the lucky one, Andre’ the XP1. He asked me what I use the little unnamed camera for. I stated, it’s in testing procedures for street, snap shot stuff but most importantly macro. Ahhhh, the garden…right? Yup, it does that better than any camera ever.

I also told him that the X20 was a natural FOV finder camera. I showed him how he could see the FOV of different lenses and one could test and find theirs with the little unnamed camera, the X20. So he asked to borrow the unnamed X20 for a little bit so he could test it out and make some decisions.

The unnamed X20 camera made all the photos in this post as part of preset development in the LightRoom Processing Department. I happen to be in charge of everything photographic because Tanya lets me be the CEO.

03-14-0153I know the Apple Store is around here somewhere….She is not amused….

So the unnamed X20 is on leave and Andre’ the XP1 is back to active duty. Somehow, I gotta make a deal for the Cop’s 23mm….all was going well until the the Cop knocked on y door…he said…yo Don…don’t you have an XE1?

That’s another story for another time…..

shooter out…………………………………………………………………………………………….


March 7th, 2014 ….. The Fuji X20 Can’t Replace the Fuji XP1.. Nor Can The XT1

03-14-0134-EditLet me start by saying that I appreciate the responses I got on the comment list and in emails. The X20 has not been named yet but is close. It’s ok, it sits on the shelf next to Andre’ and Ding and Garry. I’m sure that in a day or two a naming party will take place and of course all of you are more than welcome to attend.

Alessandro gave me an awakening with his comment about the X20 being a compact and I should let it act that way. I knew this from a year ago but it’s nice to get a kick in the butt to get back on track.  I’m also working on presets again and the great thing about Lightroom over Nik is the HISTORY! I’ve written about that 100’s of times but now it was time to practice what I preached. I opened some files from my last X20 a year ago and low and behold….going to the history I could see the name of the preset and also the ability to save it. Unreal. Great news but…..I want to design a new set that works for every compact camera ever built or that will ever be built. White and my Meds gets me thinking like this…..yuch!

03-14-0133-EditSo when I got home today, my neighbor the cop grabbed me for a minute. Yo’ he said….check this out Don….. We are standing outside in the cold..it’s ok cause I gotz me long underwear on and I’m not cold but I have to release body fluids really bad…..he shows me a Fuji XT1 and a 23mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, 56, 1.2 and 14mm. He’s got all this in a real nice Billingham Pro bag. Yeah, yeah, beautiful I said….nice…..(remember, he’s a married cop with kids…great guy but not a pro shooter…has no idea of street work other than busting the people I make photos of)….So he hands me the highly coveted XT1 with the 23mm on it. Well, 1st impressions are that I’m glad I have my XP1 and the XE1 and now the X20 and Rogers M240. I tried it out a little but I got this cramp in my lower bowels, no, not from holding back body fluid procedures….but that didn’t help…!

03-14-0130-EditThe XT1 is a fine TOOL for most people that are thinking about cameras as tools. For me, I am a visual poet and think of my cameras as friends, that’s why I name them and of course they named me also. So I instantly decided I would never get the XT1 butt!… I kinda have a hankering for that 23mm. I told him that the 23 was the worst lens in the Fuji lineup and that I’d gladly take it off his hands because a Cop with a wife and 2 kids deserves more than that. Well, he’s going for his inspectors test and kinda figured that I was trying to swindle him out of a really good lens. He said….I could cuff you for that but we’re tight…I said…can I use those cuffs tonight with Tanya…..after we both stopped laughing we parted company till the weekend cause I have to get these body fluids moving quickly.

I then left without the cuffs or the 23mm……………..


Sometimes people surprise me. I was walking on Market, of course and I saw a sight not yet recorded in the historical annuals of Philadelphia History. See, it’s a well known fact throughout the entire universe that Jersey Girls Have BIG HAIR! C’mon, even Bruce wrote songs about that…He knows, he’s from Jersey….so I’m walking with the not yet named X20 and there, there right in front of me was a sight never before recorded by the un named X20….a woman with BIG HAIR. At first I was nervous but then I saw a guy looking at me for the support I sought from him…..we both assed each other and with a grin, we both realized…Jersey Girls are planning to invade the streets of Philly, The City of Hopes.



I keep going back and forth with my “N at u r a l”  FOV. I mean I found out a long time ago that mine really was 35mm. Yet, in this time period I might be thinking that it has changed to 28mm. I say that because 28mm has dominated my cameras for a good period of time and I certainly FEEL that FOV. Most say that one should be able to work with any FON, of course it’s true but that doesn’t find your natural FOV.

How To Find Your Natural FOV

……… so we are walking and trying to find our lost photos…then something grabs at you and you know you just found one. You look at the scene and decide where the frame should be and you raise the camera…….as you look thru the finder or at the screen…..OH MY! the camera has framed way to much of the scene or maybe way to little of the scene. WHY?!

Because you haven’t found and utilized your Natural FOV. It’s not the fault of the scene, no…it’s not even the camera’s fault, no…it’s your fault. It’s your fault because you chose the scene and you even chose the lens but you didn’t know your natural FOV. When you look thru the finder or screen, that view should be as close as possible to the FOV the lens is seeing. For me, it’s now 28mm, used to be 35mm and probably still is making 28mm an adapted natural FOV. So what this means is that the lens is seeing about what your eyes are seeing from the same stance. Not having to move when the camera is at the ready because you and the camera/lens are on the same FOV. Of course you don’t have to believe me and you can do things the way you want, far be it from me to impose any restrictions on what you do but I guarantee if you take the time to discover your natural FOV then you will know what other lenses to work with because that FOV will present itself in your images.

03-14-0117Ok, back to the camera thing. Every camera has a duty that makes it the one for particular work. For me, the XP1 is about as good as it will ever be. The XE1 is a nice camera but our love affair is coming to an end…not yet but soon. The X20 is a Grit Machine as verified by many of my friends and some even pointed out in the comments region of this blog.  Roger’s Leica’s don’t interest me because of the financial value they maintain. Oh, don’t get it wrong…I love Leica and always did but the Streets are different now then back in the day of my younger years and it’s not safe for me to carry or use them on the streets or public transportation. So everything has it’s place in the order of Streetshooter World of Photography and I’m very content the way things are.

There’s only one pressing item to clear up and shortly at that. The International, Intercontinental, Intergalactic  official naming of the Fuji X20 here on Earth on Montour Street in Philadelphia.

So, please continue to submit your suggestions and by the end of the weekend, the name shall be selected BY VOTE if I can figure that out and the coveted Grand Prize of a preset pack thusly awarded to the winner. There was an executive decision made that awards all entrants a smaller version of the Coveted Preset Pack just for entering the contest.

Go in Peace and Pray for Peace in the parts of the World where there isn’t any!           ………………….end transmission…………………..

March 5th, 2014 ….. Enter The Fuji X20 ….. Again!

03-14-0067If you go back to last year on my blog post, you’ll see that I had an X20 and was very excited about it. I do remember developing a set of presets for it but alas…they are in digital oblivion. So I have to start all over again. Anyway, Olivier sent me the X20 because he could and John the DC Shooter sent me a package with goodies to finish the camera off.

So I took the X20 out for a walk and we ran into some photos I missed with my other cameras. I’ll post them on this post but have to improve the IQ to suit my needs.I remember the camera as being a GRIT Machine and that’s ok within reason but it’s important to be able to clean up the files also.

As a street camera the X20 opens up a few possibilities. First off of course is the addition of as Zoomie lens. It covers 28mm – 112mm. The interface is the usual Fuji layout. You don’t have to fight with the X20. It just works with you and supports what you are trying to do with it.

03-14-0077I haven’t names it yet but I’m thinking of Walker again. Of course Walker is after Walker Evans. Dunno, not sure but I am open for suggestions.

How’s this……: You the loyal faithful readers of this blog…if you post a name in the comments and it gets selected, then I’ll name the camera after the name you submitted and send you a real good set of presets. So, get that brain cell working and submit your name for the X20.

That solves that issue. The streets in Philly are cold, windy and in a state of numbness, not because of the weather directly but because of the weather indirectly. It’s taking a toll on me and the other Market Street Dwellers.

03-14-0085It’s not everyday in Philly you see a woman wearing a Leica 240 and a 35mm Cron. She wears it well but her choice of a hat is definitely not Leica. Tsk…Tsk….!

03-14-0086 Inspiration is not where you think it is or even should be. I used to love to teach workshops in the winter and then my DR at the VA said I was maybe crazier then they thought. After a few years, now I see the light and it ain’t the winter light either.

The responsibility of a teacher, mentor or friend to a shooter is to provide stimulation, inspiration, some answers and of course more questions. I now at 64 feel inadequate to fulfill this mission in the winter. It’s not the actual age that hinders me but the knowledge I’ve accumulated in those years. I know that I am more self inspired in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Notice the Winter is excluded…..! I have a hard time even doing my responsibilities at Flickr and forums. I try but I’m more withdrawn and feel that one should be as honest as possible when providing inspiration to another. Oh….sorry…the Fuji X20.

03-14-0092I think Olivier knew I was on a soft slide down. Oh, I do what I need to do for the Magazine but for myself, not much. He sends me the camera to inspire me and of course I’ll have to spend time making Presets and by the time it’s all satisfying…the weather will have changed and I’ll be off and running once again.

03-14-0097Don’t think fer a second that I’m depressed….no way….uh uh…ain’t nuttin like that! I just am tired of the weather dictating how and what I should wear, make photos of, spend my time on the street,etc…..

I’ll be back…….. Don’t forget to drop a name in the comment box and collect your set of presets…..

Peace………….all over ok……….!

February 25th, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 And The Dreamcatcher

02-14-0636Andre’ (XP1)  woke me early this morning and he was nervous. Apparently the Fuji XP2 is being designed and he’s concerned that he would be replaced by the youngster. I told him not to sweat it because regardless of what the new kid in town has, he is still and will always be a good friend and be up to the task.

I’m a street shooter and because of that, I work on different themes or series all the time. I know my trigger mechanisms but remain open to something new. I don’t like to be predictable and I don’t like to lose the sense of wonder and excitement. So, the way I work is to let my images find me. Of course I have to know how to help them along and Andre’ is the biggest support I have.

The Dreamcatcher Series get’s it’s start around 1978. I started using Kodak Infrared film and designed a developer to go along with it. Then, to follow suite, I mixed a print developer so that everything was in sync. There was just something in the way the tones reproduced and read. I really fell in love with it and I started carrying 2 M4’s. One with TRI-X and one with Infrared.

02-14-0625Enter the digital revolution. It was a revolution for me as the war waged between my darkroom and computer and Leica’s and digicams. It took a few years to make the transition. As I look back at my history, I see that the Dreamcatcher Series is most responsible for the transition from Film to DNG. Presets man, Presets! I had always been a very good printer in the darkroom and I thought that meant a look in the photo. So, preset baking became a part of what I do.

02-14-0627Ya know…it’s all about your frame of mind on the street. What’s important is understanding your motives and intent and having a clear definition of your history so that as you walk into uncharted territory, you at least have an idea of what you’d like to find. For me, one of the things I seek is the Dreamcatcher and it’s with the XP1 and hopefully will be for a good long time.

February 22nd, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 & 18mm …..The Trick and Other Ramblings From The Street.

02-14-0598XP1  18mm  1/250  f/5.6  ISO 6400  DR100

So I was returning a ZIPCAR to it’s home in Center City and decided to drive down Kensington Avenue. I had the XP1 and the 18mm on because it’s the most natural FOV I have. I never have to guesstimate a frame, I just raise the camera and it’s usually 90% on target. So I was cruising and I felt like a John looking for a Trick. Then as I approached the Lehigh Avenue Bridge, I see this girl walking underneath. It’s a famous spot for picking up girls that need money for whatever. I know about this because I am a man of culture, well…street culture. I was working on a series out there at night time photographing the dealers, hookers, thieves even many cops that I know. Anyway, I realized that i finally found my trick and she made a nice shot for me. Hey…hey…photo only, ok!

02-14-0608Fuji XP1 18mm  1/250  f/8  ISO 320  DR100

I got a thing for Icons, most will trigger me. You can read what you want in this shot as it’s open to viewer interpretation. For me, it’s just a continuing “Sign Of The Times”. The thing about the 18mm is that it lets me get close and I love that. Most times when I use a different focal length, I feel restricted. So much so that the restriction starts on loading the lens on the camera. Last night I put the 35mm 1.4 on and was excited about using it this morning. So, I came into the back room that’s not my photography office but just a converted room for whatever Tanya wants to do with it. As I entered my office, I could see Andre’, my XP1, starting to get excited about going on a walkabout. My friends in OZ tell me that, that’s what I do, I go on walkabouts. As I drew closer to Andre’, he looked somewhat put off. He winked at me thru the OVF, cameras can’t wink from the EVF, must be an OVF. I got the message. See, he’s a real gentleman and he didn’t want to upset the other lenses on the shelf but he wasn’t going anywhere without the trusty 18mm. So I pulled the 35mm 1.4 off and placed it on the shelf. Then as the 18mm was being loaded on Andre’, I could feel that he was right and things were better this way.

02-14-0609XP1  18mm  1/250  f/8  ISO 400  DR100

I always ask the homeless when I can if they go to a shelter. Many do but many also say, it’s not safe and they will take their chances on the street.

remember many years ago that I was shooting as a freelancer for the Bulletin Newspaper here in Philly. I guess it was around 1974. I was home from Nam already and the Editor Jack, felt safe that I could handle myself out there. So I spent a month on the street. I just had my M4, 35mm Cron and bunches of Tri-X. There was a section around 8th & Vine that was called The Bowery or Skid Row. I got into a few scraps but nothing serious. I slept where the bums, (The city leaders called these homeless people BUMS). Ok, I’m a bum now too I thought. I met a white guy that appeared to be about 45 or so. One of the guys told me to talk to him cause he’s real interesting. Turns out he was a Doctor. He did all the medical things he could for the guys and gals and I asked him one day what the heck he was doing there.

He said he was from Bryn Mawr and he caught his wife cheating on him. They had 3 kids. I said, so get a damn divorce. He replied, never, it would cost me more that it cost now. I live on the street because I want to, I want her to suffer as much as I am and when the money runs out, I won’t care. I asked about his kids and he said they will never want for anything. I found many interesting stories out there and many. many powerful photos.

When I see a person like this, above….my heart and mind go right back to 1974.

02-14-0611XP1  18mm 1/250 f/8  ISO 640  DR100

Dreams come in many shapes and thoughts and ideas. I saw this woman with her 2 kids and I thought, what would of happened if I didn’t get a divorce from my kids mother?  Simple answer is probably I wouldn’t be shooting my XP1 or playing my Strat’s and Tele’s. The kids are fine so……end of that…!

02-14-0612                                XP1  18mm  1/250  f/8  ISO 320  DR100

I was looking thru the glass that was sweating and I saw this woman looking back at me. I was flattered of course, I ain’t stupid but not flattered enough to miss the shot. She walked to me and asked if she could see what I took. I told her, I didn’t too anything, I made a very nice photo of you. When she asked if I could send her a copy, of course I was flattered again. Funny what young woman can do to the process……

02-14-0616XP1  18mm 1/250  f/8  ISO 4000  DR100

So I’m walking to 2nd Street to get on the Elevated to go home. I walked up on these 3 gals and of course I asked if I could make a photo. I very rarely do that. But I had to this time.

They were flattered and I asked them to move to this window about 5′ away. I made the photo, 1 shot and they asked what I would do with it. I said, I’ll submit it to the Most Beautiful Gal on Market Street Contest. The one in the center blushed and asked me if I knew what was up with them. Of course I said, but your right….Tranny’s aren’t allowed to enter the contest…YET! They all smiled and called me cute…..well, it’s all in a daze on the street.

Have a good weekend…..


February 20th, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 Street Shots with the 15mm Heliar

02-14-0563So I’m standing on John F Kennedy Blvd around 15th Street and I’m minding my own business talking to Olivier on the iPhoney 5. Well, Andre’, Andre’ is my Fuji XP1 and youse all know that ’cause you read my blog on a regular basis, anyway he’s starting to shake and vibrate in my hand. I have to talk with Olivier I said to him but he insisted that I pay attention to him. So my thumb got to the soft release and I started to look…..Andre’s told me that he would handle the framing and exposure, all I had to do was press the shutter when he said to. After a few seconds this guy comes into the scene and I can see my reflection but more that that, I can see the photo as I am bout to make. then all the sudden….CLICK!

02-14-0560I’m prepping for a workshop soon and  one of the things I push and push hard is JUXTAPOSITION. It’s a multi-faceted concept but one I feel is most important to learn. The above is an example I know will bring up ideas and conversation.

02-14-0568Whats very cool about the XP1 with the 15mm Heliar is how close you can get to things and even crazy people. I’m right under this guy and I used the OVF. I can see the 4 corner brackets to frame and my experience is they are accurate but with the 15mm, it’s off on the right side. I’m not anal about this sort of thing and if you are, flip the lever and use the EVF.  So I saw this guy doing his thing and all the people except me were moving away from him. I mean they were really getting space and that was good for me as I could move in close like I try to do in this situation. Well,as I was walking I set the aperture to f/5.6 and bent down right in front of him….I’m quick and I try not to rush at all….so I was taking my time and this guy never knew I was close enough to him to smell the Coors Light coming from his breath.

02-14-0580Color doesn’t really excite me but I am open minded to what it brings to the image. Eh…sometimes ya have to surrender to the voice of the photo no? Well, ifI have to do color, at least it’s my favorite dominate. I’m telling ya, I was so close to this guy that I didn’t realize it until I looked off camera. I used the EVF here so I can’t see anything but thee screen. So I backed up again and moved to where the color worked and the sign related to the man and then I waited for him to see me and as he looked …..CLICK. In a second he asked, “how do ya like the XP1? I was in shock…I mean how could he have known about Andre’? Si I handed him the camera and he smiled and I mean really smiled. He asked how much and I explained the about price and directed him to a store to get it. I gave him a list of mush have lenses and he was happy and so was I.

02-14-0593My Dreamcatcher series is developing very nice and I have a very good response and print sales. So whenever I get the chance, I ….CLICK.

Tomorrow is another day and the weather promises rain and warm temps………..

February 19th, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 Takes A Day Off … Fuji XE1 Call To Duty

So I was laying in bed waiting for Tanya to call me down for my morning cup of Kona Coffee. I’m not getting into this but KONA is the FUJI of coffee…nuff said! I could hear a whining sound….like…WHAAAAA! Well, it wasn’t Tanya, nah she would just downright get in my face….nope not her. I figured it wasn’t Barsik the Russian American cat and I figured it was coming from the back bedroom that now is converted to my photography work area because I’m not allowed by the Russian Czar wife to call it an office because I don’t work anymore cause the Gov’t says I can’t.

The sound was definitely coming from the back office area. (Tanya is downstairs so between you and I, it’s the office, shhhhhh). It was not a high shriek but more of a soft moan. Ya know that sound ya heard when ya was making that first real kiss and that’s the one that gets you thinking like an adult from then on out….yup…that’s kinda like the sound. Ok, youse all know I name my cameras. My XP1 is named after Andre’ Kertesz and my XE1 is named after Ding McNulty, curator of Prints and Pictures at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Well, as I entered the back room that’s an office but I ain’t allowed to call it that because the well…da wifey don’t like it….I could hear this moan coming from one of my camera bags. Yeah, no kidding…..I thought to my self….self, what the heck is going on here? Well, Andre’ said to me in a very soft accent, I’m tired and I want the day off. Ding and I had a talk and you have been ignoring him and we are not amused…at all. So Andre’ continued and said, you will take Ding today and he wants the Fuji 27mm that’s confused because it’s a 27mm but acts like a 40.5mm lens. Furthermore, I will get a much needed day off and sleep inside the Billingham clasped shut so I won’t be disturbed.

02-14-0499So Ding and I set sail to Center City. The XE1 is like a really compact camera especially mated with the 27mm. From my memory banks, I compare it to the Pen 3 and 20mm over there at MU-34.com It slips in and out of my pocket very easy and the thing is…..I love the EVF finder in it. I know, I know….but I can’t resist, I just surrender to the cameras elegance.

02-14-0518What happens is that I have the camera on a nice leather neck strap that is very soft and supple. I wrap it around my wrist and just walk around. Then, I raise the camera to my eye and frame and shoot. It amazes me that as a screen shooter, I love the finder on the XE1. The XP1 is a different story and is on vacation. The XE1 with the 27mm will allow the shooter to work in the open without being intruding and or nervous. The cool thing that most shooters hate is: the aperture ring is lost and not on the lens. I think Fuji forgot to install it and then an engineer figured, lets just let the shooters change f/stops with the rear buttons. Now, I gotta say, that is a great asset to the outfit.

The Fuji guys are really smart. Dig this….if your using the 27mm it thinks and acts as a 40.5mm which is an ideal street lens. Well they knew that your on the street and they made the lens small and put real fast and accurate AF in it. They also knew that at the 40.5mm FOV, you most likely won’t be using Hyper Focal distance or any real zone focus stuff.

So, when you use this lens, you are really set free to just work on the street and other places and not be too concerned about looking like a PRO or something. I like looking like an amateur out there and working above a PRO level which is what I do.


02-14-0533See that boid up there far right corner. The XE1 saw it and nailed it….I love this shot, it’s about Fuji and it’s about the street.

02-14-0492Ya know, I made this shot because I enjoyed doing it. It’s really low light and the finder worked better than anyone elses. I hear all kinds of negative things about refresh rate etc….gimme a break..go refresh your …uh….well….just do it. The XE1 just is a pleasure to carry around and beings a screen shooter, the finder is wonderful.

02-14-0556I think I need to take Ding out again tomorrow. Andre’ needs the break and I just want to see 40mm for a spell.

Till then…..go in Peace but go with a Fuji X in your hand……………………………………………

February 18th, 2014 ….. Fuji XP1 & 15mm Heliar Misadventures on the Street

02-14-0437I’m guilty and I admit it. First let me explain.Please, let’s just keep this between you and me. See, it’s a law that shooters use their cameras to make WORK, right? Of course. I’m one of the biggest supporters of the “We are not playing with our gear and we are making work with our photography so don’t say it’s playing movement.” Well, I’m coming out of the closet….NO, not that one..the closet where having fun with your XP1 is. See, here in Philly, it’s against the law to have fun with your camera. Nah…you can have fun with all the other cameras in the world from this planet or any other…well except…Venus. I hear from a distant cousin that Fuji doesn’t have a dealer on Venus yet. So with any camera out there, you can have fun and PLAY with it. The FUJI XP1 is a real camera for real men and real woman. We doin’ need no playin’ ’round with out XP1’s We are too busy making great photos with it.

02-14-0441Well, what happened is that I got caught by the international do not have fun with your XP1 club and just told them I can’t abide by their rules no more. You know Roger? Yeah, yeah…the gut from the post right before this one. Well, Roger would send me anything I need or want, no questions asked. Of course, what Roger giveth, Roger will taketh away. So the point is that I have or could have access to any camera out there. I’ve used many Leica’s and the M4 is by far the best camera for me. See, there’s no stupid light meter to contradict what I say the light reading is. It ain’t got no Auto ISO or anything. Great camera, wonderful friend. So what I’m saying is that no camera YET has given me the experience to the Leica M4….and then…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

02-14-0446The experience of using my M4’s has been updated to the XP1. Yeah, I know…this is a stretch. It’s not really because….my mind has certain wants and needs from the camera. The XP1 gives my mind the juices similar but not exactly like the Leica. I don’t expect anyone to understand this but I tell ya, it’s a darn pretty picture. If you think of your camera as a tool, you will never understand this and really, the XP1. It is most definitely not a tool. It is a camera that given the chance will become your friend.

Check out Thomas Menk because he’s a real FUJI guy, I’m just a user. He has all kinds of stuff on his site. I don’t know exactly what he named his camera but looking at his work, it’s obvious he has a good friend and not s tool.

02-14-0429So, this is the first camera in probably 25 years that hets my juices flowing so easy and so solid. I’ve had many other cameras but they just didn’t float my boat.

I got more stuff tomorrow as I’m on the streets dodging slippery ice patches and kids throwing snowballs at me, all kinds of mean nasty ugly stuff to turn into with my XP1.

seeya then……………………………………