Tag Archives: Fujifilm X100F

May 27th. 2017 … Working thru GAS … NOT the Tums Kind … Fuji X-Pro2

We all know what GAS is. Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Most address this a a detriment to your character and work and you are to feel inefficient if you have GAS. You are maybe hiding behind your gear because you don’t have it enough to make good photos. You are to feel that if you get THAT camera or THAT lens, all will be well in the world. Damn right your right. Go for it. I do and stand proud to say I am a Gas-aholic, well… tums usually cures my gas but I have no issues acquiring new gear if I feel it will open me up some.

I have posted countless times, well at least a few about standing on your own and making your photos the way you want them to be and don’t give a hoot who likes it or not.  Well, here’s something against the grain of most shooters and bloggers.  Gear does make a difference to your work. Like it or not, every single shooter and every single person on the planet, planted or walking around, needs INSPIRATION.

I will expose my GAS and you will see that I’m nuts and you are rather not as nuts or maybe more nuts than me but we doin’ care anyway.  Recently I acquired the Fuji X100F. Great camera and I had no choice, nor wanted one because I had every version of the X100 series and loved them all. The X100F is a very capable camera that can do most things. The camera is named Andre’ after Kertesz. all is well so far but then Serendipity the Olympus PenF wanted to go out and work.

I see things this way. I get an item or camera, lens etc to inspire not direct my energy. Scenario….: I’m laying in bed and relaxing and letting myself fall asleep. Well, a few hours of that and my mind starts to wander. I get maybe a vision or thought train about walking around with my Ricoh GRII. It’s an omen I tellya. In the morning I’ll take Mom the Ricoh GRII out to work. Like it or not, that’s inspiration and the moment is inspired. Usually when this happens, I’m on a very inspired session. Maybe I saw a vision of the PenF with the 12mm. Perhaps I just saw the Ricoh GRII and the Fuji X100F.

This is normal GAS and it is not dangerous at this point. I have gone thru this for decades. I’m a GAS survivor. See, getting gas is normal and how you approach it it the all important thing.

I had a session with some students/friends and we were at the diner and Suzanne and Polly handed me a box and insisted I open it immediately.  I opened the box and low and behold, there was a new Fuji X-Pro2. There also was a 35mm F2WR lens. I asked them why and Polly answered, you have the Fuji X100 so this gives you 35mm & 50mm, your favorite combination.

Ok, no GAS there but inspiration. Ever hear of buyers remorse? Yeah, yeah, we all get it at one point or another. Usually for me it comes when I am tired of a camera and it no longer inspires me. Then I get remorse like, WTF is this stupid camera here for anyway.

So if you don’t have a justification for something, then it’s not inspiring you. Little did the ladies know that the Fuji X-Pro2 would be the camera that lites a fire with me that hasn’t been a flame in a long time. Is this GAS I ask you?  I did not buy the camera. It inspires me more then I thought because it’s a gift from 2 student/friends. I can’t imagine falling out of love with this camera.

It’s impossible to not think about a camera you have or want to have. To be slammed into a corner because someone says you have GAS is self defeating. We all need inspiration and we all need to allow our creativity to flourish. Taking the heat from others and implanting it into ourselves is extremely self destructive and eventually we do as others say and do and not captain our own ride. THE HORROR! We talked about how this scenario is similar to your photos but we doin’ need no more talk about that. Youse are all Life Warriors with a Camera.

So, this is like Rolaids for GAS. If something calls out to you and you feel that it will inspire you, then go for it. ( note ) GAS is an issue that is widely discussed but, in no case should you allow GAS to take funds from your families needs etc. We must always follow a prioritized structure of acquiring things.

So, I hope you get the message that you need to satisfy your creativity without guilt or remorse. Remember that no matter what you feel or think about GAS, it’s true that it can control your expenditures and have a drive that seems to take over. It’s also true that GAS can provide inspiration that feeds your soul. The way you deal with this is like a stance that you take as if your making photos. You are you and how you do and present things is the beauty of you. If you need a camera to satisfy a need, by all means get it.

I need to write about GAS for camera bags and I will try to confess my illness.

next post…..Have a Blessed Memorial Day and even if your in another Country…….

April 19th 2017 … Thoughts and Findings … X100F & GRII


Ya know that it’s not easy to work the same region all the time and find your photos in there and to do so consistently. This is something we all do everyday and not pay attention to it. What, you don’t think so, ok. Look we have the central processor in our head called the brain. That brain person stores the data from our past experiences and put’s it into some part called memories etc. The etc is called etc because the brain sorts things out and files things in different categories. When you pickup your camera, the signal goes to the brain and it starts to tell the heart and eyes to go to work. The heart pumps caffeine thru the system, it’s a network of many different parts of the body to complicated for mortal shooters to understand. So shooters don’t care how things work, just that they do.

I was about 10yo and my mom was in her bedroom. I went in to see her and she was kinda upset. See, she had great legs. No, not me that felt that but she told me that my dad loved great legs and he loved hers. He dies when i was about 6yo. Anyway mom showed me her veins on the back of her legs and she was upset. She had varicose veins and was really sad. Mom always told me things about my dad, I guess because I was the oldest and understood more.  Years later I was showing photos to Jeff K and he said I had a thing for legs, all legs. I never paid much attention to the road map of my work but he did and made me aware of it also. Jeff showed me some of his photos and I was really like in awe of some of them. He had one he made at the Museum of Michael Hoffman taking care of the elderly Paul Strand. It looked like Michael was caring for his father. I was touched and Jeff told me he felt the same way and then he spurted out …”Gambe’ Game”. He looked at me and smiled. He said, that’s the thing you do with legs. So the title of my leg photos was borne and I still use it today and will never change it. I have a trigger for legs, any ind shape, color whatever.

Thanks Jeff for recognizing my work and me. Mom, I miss you forever with a less then perfect heart that’s broken. Thank You.

Life passes us by quickly and we need to appreciate each and every breath. No, not ours but the ones we love and care for, we want and need them to continue breathing procedures.

Paul C was looking at my work back in the mid 70’s. We were very close then. Paul M was there also but he was not a close friend at all. He was my brother. Anyway, I had some prints of windows and mirrors etc and Paul C said, Don, you seek your self with your camera and these reflections are perfect. Hmm I thought, as Paul C looked at the photos I was too like I was looking at someone else’s work. I could detach back then but can’t now. I’m too old and too much in love both photography and life.

Paul M said , Don, your always reflecting yourself upon what your seeing. Hmm I thought. So a title for that part of my interest and work was born. “Reflecting Reflections.”


I don’t know why I make photos like this. I think but not sure that it’s a reminder that not everyone comes from a golden castle or lives on Capital hill. There people in our lives that move us and then there are people in our lives that make us move.

….don’t take this personal Don but….WAIT A MINUTE! What does that mean? How do I take it if not personal? We are talking about my life and my work. (this is one of the few times I have placed life before my work). If I don’t work personally for me, then whom should I work for? Who are you working for and why? It’s not my business but if you look at my stuff, I’ll look at yours.

We all have taste buds that are sensitive to different things. The buds trigger what we like and respond to and what we don’t. What’s important is to recognize what your buds are tasting and to decide if you respond favorably or unfavorably. The important thing is to be faithful to your own buds and always let your internal systems, named…Eye, Heart and Mind do the work, then pick up your camera and work, or go process what you did. If you feel the photos is a reflection of you, good, if it feels that your reflecting you upon the photo, good just recognize the difference.

I have a set of taste buds that crave breakfast and my eye, heart and mind is projecting these thoughts and feelings upon my wife, Tanya to see what she conjures up.

Be blessed all and pray that we can find peace with each other……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

April 6th, 2017 … Thoughts, Photos & Mojo … Fuji X100F

David inducted this to Flickr Explore…. Thank

Many cameras will do the job that is required of it. I don’t dispute that. Many cameras are excellent for reasons that are built into it. Andre’ the Fuji X100F does all that but also has MOJO in him. Let’s not tell Fujifilm or the X-Shooters about this cause then we will have to start paying for replicated MOJO. I did not have to send Andre’ to Louisiana and get MOJO installed. Ok, come close and listen up for a min. Closer, closer….we ain’t a wantin’ others to learn about this MOJO stuff. See, photographic MOJO is when you are aware that everything at the moment you are experiencing is at one with you and you with it. Some call this being in the moment but it’s really part of the MOJO. What makes it MOJO is that the camera adds to the extended experience of making photos. Mojo is Magic Of Just Observing = MOJO. Lot’s of thing may provide mojo but for me, the camera has to support this while we work.

I was on North Broad Street near the convention Center. I’m walking South and I saw these doors, no signs, nothing. I kept walking and then in my head, I saw the doors transform to b& w and have some kind of a sinister feel. Like there’s some powerful being like the wizard making things happen. Yeah, I’m telling ya true. I stopped, closed my eyes and then turned around and walked the 1/2 block back. I stood there and framed in my minds eye and thought, well, this is like The wall or Paul Strand and then I heard Pink Floyd in my head. I looked right and left, many people walking by but no connection. Then aall the sudden, this gut walks closer, closer, and then he kinda hunches down…….Click! I felt invisible and the man never saw me, just another brick in the wall………….

I like Andre’ on a neck  strap but I can’t because shortly my shoulder and back start to hurt. So he’s on a wrist strap. Not just any strap but a Luigi’s. There becomes different methods of working like this. I don’t do blind hip shots anymore but I do things with Andre, cause he’s in the hand. The way you work and respond is effected by how you carry the camera. A neck strap supports blind shooting and also shows you are not trying to sneak up on people etc. A wrist strap forces you to see and work differently as you are more stealth. I don’t care about stealth as I just am working and if two drug dealers are doing a deal, well, I’m not likely to both with them. Business is business and I have my own to attend to.

Back in the 70’s George Krause  https://georgekrause.com/and Ray Metzker http://www.laurencemillergallery.com/artists/ray-metzker worked the streets in a way not attempted before. The thing is that they both did images here in Philly and City Hall was a point of interest. I stay aware of this work as it has influenced me for decades.

Andre’ and I were walking thru the underpass in City Hall. I love the light in and around it and it captures my vision daily. I used to walk around City Hall with Edmund Bacon and that was a lesson in human architecture not learned in college.  Ed showed me many things that made up the bldg and where stone masons put signatures and things for the generations to come.

I was walking thru and saw this woman coming in from the light. She’s walking with a comfort in safety and looking as innocent as any woman can look. Then as she drew closer, this guy stands up from the dark shadows and I looked …..Click. What does this have to do with a wrist strap vs a neck strap? Draw your own conclusions.

I have a thing for juxtaposition. Finding and seeing and making the relationship between things and people always fascinated me. As I continued South on Broad Street I noticed a window and the reflections kinda grabbed me. I looked at it and felt a photo was there but needed someone or thing to make it right for me. No one is around but Andre; the Fuji X100F and me. his disciple. I was ready to walk away and Andre’ kinda made me breathe and wait. I knelt down to tie my shoe and as I got up, besides the back pain….Click. I mean that fast, she was there and I had a fraction of a second. Andre the Fuji X100F was at the ready and we made it. I don’t care who likes this or not, I do. Go mess with your work in your head and don’t bother me.

No comment deeded. I love this and stand by it. This is not a comment, if it had been a comment I would care what the comment was but it is in fact not a comment. It is not a post comment but a not a comment comment.

Enjoy friends. There are a few of you that have asked so I will answer. I do feel the Fuji X100F is in a class of it’s own. It’s got MOJO. I can’t really explain what that means but we all do understand it. The cameras that have it we keep and love and work with. The cameras without MOJO, well….small potatoes Michael…….

I’ll try to post again over the weekend……………………. be blessed y’all



March 31st, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 3

Many times I have learned a few things. One of those things is, not to fix something that’s not broken. See, to me that also implies that maybe something actually is broke or maybe it’s not broke and maybe doesn’t need fixing. It means to me that I can explore things and try to find resolution for myself. Another thing I found and realized is not to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. So my short term quest of exploring color or raw vs jpeg and  then the Fuji X100F and how it does all this is at a point that I have no real resulting thoughts or info to alter what I know or do already.

The Fuji X100F has a great jpeg processing engine. The color simulations are superb as well as the b&w. I used the Classic Chrome because it’s a familiar palette for me. That in itself is a very important statement. I used a lot of the Chromes back in the day. I loved the tones, shadows, highs, and the colors. The Fuji X100F has that nailed perfectly. I didn’t love pushing the ASA or as youse call it, ISO. It didn’t do that well.  (technology coming up) …  B&W films did respond better but once again, there was a limit you could reach and it wasn’t the sky.

The Fuji X100F lets you do Chromes up to 6400 that are amazing. I did it, shocked. You can go much higher but me poor brain can’t count past 6400. The camera can. So, digital has the advantage of speed and even grain or noise. Analog is beautiful but the limits are reached and passed quickly by any one doing semi to high level photography. It matters to the pros, I’m not a pro, I’m a lifer. Matters to me.

So, what I see is that the Camera makes great jpegs and also Raw. In processing, the jpegs can take some heave adjustments in parameters. There is a noticeable compression of tones in the jpegs. This is to be expected. Lets say I shot Chrome and decided to convert to B&W. Well, the compression now comes into play. It’s all good but there is a noticeable issue in the blacks and lower mid tones.

The Ansel Adams Method

Ansel took each value of tones and gave it a number. I’m not getting into the method. It’s The Zone System and I used it for decades mostly with my 8 x 10 Deardorff. Youse should all have a basic understanding of this. Here’s how it applies to us digital shooters. I will just figure we are using Zones 1 – 10. Zone 1 is the darkest dark, like where the IRS agent lives and Zone 10 is the lightest area where your winning lottery ticket is. If in fact the blackest black area we hold detail in is Zone 2, then what does that mean to Zone 3? Well, it means a stop of exposure.

In the paper print, we can see Zone 2 and Zone 3. What is in between those zones. On paper, not much is discernible. You might see 1/2 zone but that’s about it. Enter the digital DNG or Raw file. Well, looking at the same zones we can also if we wanted to, see maybe 10 steps between the zones. So like Zone 3.4. That’s Zone 3 and 4/10. You can see this separation and it’s important. What the jpegs from the camera and I mean every camera does is produce a very wide latitude of tones. The jpeg compresses these tones because it’s a processed image. It’s nice, maybr lovely but still a compressed image.

George Krause’s Wisdom

I’m sipping some spring water, the screen shows me a great Classic Chrome photo. I love it but ,,,,hmmmm B&W would make it. I mean I want to really process this till I feel good about it. I start to convert and low and behold, my color jpeg becomes a b&w jpeg but there’s kinda a loss of separation in the shadows, and hold on… damn… the highs are kinda not brilliant. The mids appear to be ok but… well, now what. Many years ago I went to George Krause’s  https://georgekrause.com/ studio here in Philly. In the hallway leading to the main area he had photos on the walls. I was like in awe of his vision but ya know…George is one of the finest printers ever. after a short while, I noticed that he didn’t really have a standard print size. I was curious. I asked him about that. He said, “I look at each image and make it the size it tells me to, every image needs to be it’s own entity”. Talk about being hit in the head. I mean it was a revelation.

What it means in modern times is the same as he says back then. There is another reason for thinking this. If you have an image that’s really compressed, then make it smaller. The tones will block on their own and it will be natural. If the tones are really open up, try making a larger image. On your screen in LR whatever, start with a smaller image and magnify to make it larger. Watch the tones compress or open. This is the most important thing to grasp in the battle for raw vs jpeg.

So to cut to the chase, I love the way the Fuji X100F does it’s jpegs. For most time it’s fine. I will go back to just Raw as I get a file that I can work anyway I desire. I know I can use Raw + F and have a sweet jpeg and for comparing on screen. Actually, I want to have a basic clean entrance to the image. I like to talk with it and find out how together we can make our photo mean something to us. Raw gives the most info to work with. I also notice that the presets for the camera that are in LR are ok but nothing to write home about. I have my own presets and I am working on a set for Andre’ the Fuji X100F because he deserves the best I can do because he is the best out there.

The Fuji X100F is the finest digital camera I ever used or owned. It’s a pure exciting sensation and the experience of being a shooter is so vivid that it’s like a dream that does not come true, but allows you to share that dream with the camera.

Be blessed everyone…………….end transmission………………

March 28th, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 2

JPEG treated as a DNG and pushed the parameters.

Let me start off by saying that I have a few shooters that wrote me and were not thrilled about me writing this stuff. I am being accused of not being a PRO. It’s true, bows my head in shame, I’m not a pro, I’m not a pro. I am a LIFER. I do photography because I will cease to exist without it. I don’t do it for money. No one pays me to do a job or gig. I do what I do because I HAVE TO. I am a photographer because it’s my life’s work and I want to share as much as I can. I do and I do all that without being a PRO. I am a LIFER and maybe coulda shoulda been called an amateur. What an honor that is. You don’t get the, go paint your bathroom. I’ve been called a tourist like it’s an insult. Ya know something, we are all tourist thru life. No one gets a permanent visa, even the pros.

So let it be known that I have a few people in my head. I chat with them about things because I don’t trust anyone else. There’s a discussion going on about film vs digital. This is all tied in and it became obvious to me that I couldn’t do it in 2 parts. So I will do this until I have my day and others also. The reason the film vs digital thing is relevant is because, the negative and print vs the digital image. There are some very important things in this discussion that hardly ever gets mentioned. Perhaps, these few things I bring up are some of the most important to recognize.

sooc Cc ISO 6400

I have a air conditioned, filtered air, water darkroom. It’s as dust proof as I could get it. I haven’t used it in many years and still, not any dust on anything. I loved printing and did many different things. Traditional silver, platinum/palladium, gum, color, just about anything I wanted to do, I could. Many friends and others have used my darkroom and everyone loved the experience and results. So I am kinda anal about things like quality. Then back in the early 90’s it seems that my prints were selling well and many exhibitions all over the world. Well, the point to this part is, does anyone know where the gremlins are in wet printing?  I do, it’s in the DUST SPOTS. There was/is no way to eliminate dust spots. So that would mean, make a run of prints and then start going over them very carefully and spotting them. I did a run or 100 35mm negs and 5 prints of each in 1995. It was for my archive. Now it’s 22 years later and I have to spot the prints. Unreal.  Paper prints spotting is a chore. I have/had an assistant and she could spot prints all day and never miss a single spot. Now she’s a famous photographer and I can’t afford to have her do it.

Another thing that is way different between digital and analog printing is….repeat ability. With digital, you press a button and make as many copies as you want. Not so with analog. What does this have to do with color and raw and jpeg? ok…it means that the camera has presets in it. I am using the Classic Chrome for the time being. For the life of me I can’t get a matching image from raw vs jpeg. If I shoot in Raw & Fine, I get both

The raw will show the preset quickly and then just be the usual flat raw image. The jpeg will come in as a finished image that you can tweak almost as much as raw.

So back in the cave shooter daze of early raw stufts, it was said that you can’t do things with a jpeg that you can with raw. Back then it was true. Now we are in the enlightened ages and well, it’s maybe not the exact same  but then again, raw, can’t do what a jpeg can. It’s not really 6 of one, half dozen of another either.

So the argument that stands about digital vs analog brings forth another issue. That issue is ISO.  The shot above in the Tropicana was at 6400. We all know what that means and it’s not only acceptable but assumed that it is a dependable speed. I know that Ektacrome had goos latitude but no wheres near 6400. The scary thing is, that it could go higher. So where is the advantage of analog when it comes to ISO?

The thing with the Fuji X100f and it’s jpegs is, they perform so well that I am not missing raw. I am not afraid of doing color again and in time, finding my palate.

The first frame is a jpeg out of camera. It’s Chrome. The I decided to work it a little and I did and it was easy and acceptable. The second has some work done and it’s easy to see. The third is a B&W conversion from the OOC jpeg. I’m not going to stand and say that it’s better or worse than anything. I’m just saying that the reason for using raw is dwindling. It’s not just me, but many are finding this to be true. It’s also really about digital vs analog and that issues has many nutshells to turn over but really….the main issue is the camera. Using a Leica M series that’s analog or film has a magical experience that everyone should know and feel. As far as quality, ability of the files or film to do other things, not as big as an issue as it was.

I spent about 40 years or so using an M camera. I used an M4 in Viet Nam and on the streets ever since, awesome camera, named Andre’ back then also. The Fuji X100F gives a similar experience, so similar that many die hard M shooters both film and digital, have an X100 something. So the point is I suppose, that we all need to find our way with things. We need to be able to rely on others and their experiences to help shed light on things.

I probably won’t be making the argument about film vs digital, or b&w vs color or a host of other things that may help others and may feed others but for me, I have clarity and I see the light. Andre’ the Fuji X100f has showed me the way of the new photography.

be blessed my friends. Once again….I am not a PRO, I am a lifer. The photos above and in the other post and most on Flickr are made for technical aspects that I am looking at. I tried to keep the esthetics out till I am at one again with mother light.





March 25th, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 1

Part 1 … The hand that rocked the cradle.

It was a normal Pre-Spring day. You know the kind of day. The sun is shining, temp about 58F, mild wind. 2 cups of Kona and I know I can run the 6 miles to down town faster then the Train can get me there. Ya know, I figured, I should take the train so they keep their jobs. I don’t want to put any one out of work. Andre the Fuji X100F thought that it was a good idea also. I was excited to be out and about again with Andre’. I wanted to do a visual experiment on some photos that I would make and see the Raw file and a JPEG ooc. I felt that I should do the JPEG in color because regardless of what any camera gives me in B&W, I’m gonna cook it my way anyway. With color, I am less likely to change the recipe the camera gives me.  So off I went to the unknown horizon where color is dominant. I turned around and saw the B&W energy fade away to the deep dark tone of Zone 1.

I said to myself, self, it’s a good day to be alive and a better on to have Andre’ the Fuji X100F in me hand. Me, myself and I all agreed.

I have been a raw shooter ever since it was born. I have been a DNG converter since DNG was born and in fact was at the launch in NYC for Creative Cloud. So, I love processing my RAW files and sometimes going to the extremes to get what I feel and need to see. I am very familiar with JPEG’s because exporting a photo usually makes it a JPEG. So I felt I had enough technical and esthetic and emotional knowledge to do this experiment.

Well, I made some exposures with the awake intent that these photos would  be the anchor for this experiment. I didn’t expect any ground breaking results and wasn’t planning on making any either. This will be just a simple experiment that will show me what I am not using or what I am using and compare them against each other. I expected to get some results that would satisfy my curiosity.

There are times in our life that a revelation comes along and not only challenges our preconceptions but changes them to a more acceptable approach to what we do by habit. This is one of those times. I set Andre up to RAW & JPEG F. I changed my LR import button to place the files next to each other on import. I imported about 20 images, now 40 files. They looked really good and of course me being the old shooter, I immediately forgot that I was doing an experiment. My eyes gazed upon the images on the screen. I have my LR viewer to not show any details. All I see are photos, two of the same with differences in the pop for lack of a better word. I am looking and starting to decide when image I care for and would want to process to my emotional state of it.

I chose one and clicked to to Develop Module and was gonna work and then I saw that it was a JPEG. I said to myself, Dude, you made a mistake dude. Let’s do this over. So I went back to the catalog module. I turned on the info for the photos and GASP! THE HORROR!, every photo I liked the look of was a JPEG. Ok, I got a few or more exes that send me gremlins  some times. Like, I’m sitting on the toilet and, low and behold, no paper. I’m in the shower and all soaped up and ready to rinse and low and behold, the water is cold like from the Arctic. Gremlins I tell ya.

So I know the gremlins are here in my LR and playing tricks cause there’s no way on the earth that a JPEG could look this good and I don’t want it too. I want to be like my old self and just have RAW files. I even eat my clams RAW. So I look around the room carefully to make sure that no one is here but me  I’m alone and even the gremlins left. I can’t believe me eyes I tellya. The photo on the left is like just capturing me and the one on the right is like, so be it.

Funny paradox. Every photo that I am turned on by is a JPEG. How can this be and why is it at all? I don’t want to change anything at all. I am a creature of habit and I think I like that and I am too damn old to have Andre’ the Fuji X100F make changes in my emotional state and my thinking. I said to Andre’ … you are a very bad camera Andre’, very bad and I shook my finger at him. So I felt I needed to explore the dark side of JPEG vs RAW. I did many side by side comparisons.

I felt like decades ago when I wanted to try color. I did countless hours of processing and film samples. After all was said and done, I liked Ektachrome for late afternoon and evenings and Kodachrome for early morning and early afternoons. See, the Ektachromes did very well with the blues and Kodachrome did well with the reds. After spending a small fortune getting the gear to run my color film I settled on the chromes because the lab does the processing cheaper than I can.

So after testing Andre the Fuji X100F with his film simulations, it was an executive decision to use Cc which is Fujifilm’s simulation of the chromes. Truthfully, it’s Ektachrome.  Not only is it Ektachrome but it’s much better for a number of reasons.

Back to the RAW vs JPEG dilemma. It is said and widely accepted that  a raw file will open itself and give us the most flexibility for processing. It is also said that a jpeg constrains the parameters of the image and realistically, can’t give an image equal to the same as from a raw file.

Well the proof is in the pudding. I have’nt a clue what that means but it means something. I started processing a jpeg. Remember I have VA shrink and itsbok if I go off the wall cause he’ll attempt to get me back to a shared reality. I load the image in Develop module fully expecting and perhaps wanting it to fail and fall apart. I lower the exposure 1 stop… me poor eyes opened… no breakup, no noise to worry about… shadows holding… minds and highs not getting that gray tone….

I take a deep breath and slowly start to dive to 2 stops. OMG! It can’t be I tell ya….she can’t take two. Hold on tight Hooper, Chief grab the he wheel take her upmfaster… just spacing out… it’s a Jaws thang.

Continue reading March 25th, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 1

March 16th, 2017 … Re-kindling the Light of Inspiration … Fuji X100F

I get kinda edgy when I read or hear about someone saying they need to go to exotic places to make photos. For me it’s always been in the heart and mind that feeds the eye. Of course I like to travel to erotic places….ummmm errr exotic places but not doing that requires a temperament and a drive to work under all circumstances. When I was actively teaching work shops, I made a few procedures to reinstate the inspiration to work. I feel it is critical to vision to be able to uncover thoughts and find the photos in areas where on is constantly working.

Many get what writers call The Block. It’s not a sweet thing to deal with be we can over come it with diligence and patience. The first step in overcoming any kind of block is to recognize and accept that you are in a block. This is not for the light hear-ted. Many will tell you to take a break, put the camera down. Others will say to do something other then what you do. For instance, if you do street, do garden, or portraits etc. Others might say, eat pizza and drink beer.

Well, I see all those methods as a justification for not addressing your real love, photography. What I mean is, if you love something and it starts to have issues, you need to work those issues out and find a path to productivity again. You need to find “The Light of Inspiration” once again.

I always listened to the people I respected and still do. I may have been a bad boy because listening and doing what they say was always different to me. My mom was a Frank Sinatra fan and always played his music. I started to like it at a young age. The one day, when all things in the universe started to come together, I mean the clouds got dark and the ground warm, the flowers pointed upwards, dogs stopped barking, parents too… and then, then coming from the record player, Frank was singing…”I did it my way”. Well, in my mind Frank was telling me to do it my way, mom didn’t agree and told me he was not singing to me directly and that I was responsible to still do it her way.

So, I came up with a method of re-kindling the light of inspiration.

Here it is in a nutshell but it’s a good one.

Day 1 …. Go into a room that is quiet and do not do anything but sit and look around for 1 hour. No camera, radio, cellphone television, nada. Nothing but your self. In about 15 minutes you might start to get bored. In 30 minutes you will send a hit squad out to get me. No books, mag etc. Just you and the room. After maybe 30 or so minutes, you might start to look at things more closely and maybe even make photos in your head. Do it. Frame, look at everything and relax. No input other then your eye, heart and mind and muster up. If you have a partner and kids etc, you may want to stay longer and it’s ok.

Day 2 …. Go back into the room with your camera. Sit and relax and repeat the Day 1 1 hour exercise but this time, use the camera to frame and stuff. No photos to be made. Just use the camera to see but not to record even if your next masterpiece is there. Just see and enjoy that on it’s own.

Day 3 …. Go back in to sanctuary as you now know it and spend the hour seeing like Day 2. This time, make 1 photo, just one and now you should be hungry but just 1 photo. You can process this 1 photo and nothing else.

Day 4 …. Go to sanctuary and have your camera, (best if it’s named but not required) …. Now breathe and make 6 photos not of the same thing but 6 what you feel are keepers. Make this last an hour. Not less. Process the photos.

Day 5 …. Sit in sanctuary with your photos and study them. Try to feel the experiences of the days and how you reacted to time and the energy of the room and how it effected you and you it. At what level do these photos work? How would others see them? Do you feel right about them? Do they represent you and your life during the experience?

Make sure that you do not make any photos other then the exercise. So for like 5 days, don’t do anything but this project. If you do this and need to talk to some one about it and your results, Im available.

I’m not dropping Paul Strand’s name here cause that’s tacky maybe, nah…. Strand sometimes made a series of photos of dishes, fruit etc. He saw each individual photo as a life of it’s own. Maybe the photos were grouped in a series but as like people, each is an individual and we need to deal with it as such. I’m not putting anything else about the visual exercise because I don’t want to set up preconceptions for those that may use it.

You will know who did this because you will see The Light of Inspiration in their work.

Peace all…………..


March 7th, 2017 … The Light From Eden … Fuji X100F

Sometimes in the galaxy of our life, things seem to come together. At this time, it feels like we are on the right path and that we are recognizing to ourselves that we may have found a place within us that is like a sanctuary for our heart. What does this have to do with photography? Well, I feel that each photo we make is a part of our portrait of our self and our life. If it’s true and many have stated that this is true, that all our work is a culmination of our life experiences and the photos are records of our passing breaths.To fully grasp the importance of this requires one to be at one with ones self and process. I guess it’s a good reason to think of your camera as a friend. I do and actually, more of an extension of my soul. There’s something that happens when I am with the right camera. For example, the Fuji X100F because he’s the new kid on the block. I don’t think these thoughts are too esoteric and in fact, I feel that they apply openly to any real serious shooter. When I go to work what happens is that I get into a mode of operation that calls forward the entire photographic process as I have adopted and caressed it. I pickup Andre’ the Fuji X100F and we are now united in the quest for the light of life. There’s an energy that awakens when Andre’ is in my hand at the ready and I am aware of it and cherish it beyond normal feelings.

Maybe I’m a romantic. Maybe I just experienced too much death and long for the Light From Eden. There is a way to make photos that one goes and takes photos. Then there is a way of living as a shooter with a respect for the process of collaboration. This collaboration happens when one makes photos. Just the act of making assumes that a collaboration is happening. You are in a specific time and place and life is your partner in a collaboration in making photos. Portraits are the perfect source of strong collaboration. I have a friend for well, long time and he’s about the finest portrait photographer around. Check out Milton Perry’s photos. https://www.facebook.com/milton.perry.14 You will see that there is an essence in the photo. That essence is the joining of Milton and his subjects. He doesn’t see his subjects as stagnant vessels of frozen emotions. He forms a collaboration with his subject and the photo becomes a record of the life experience of both at the moment of exposure.

Ok, so I hit Market Street again for the well, can’t count that high but it’s well over 40 years. When I teach, many of the students ask me how I stay excited working in one city most times. That’s a fine question to ask and all I can say is, I love Philadelphia and truthfully, I love it more with Andre’ the Fuji X100F. The more I use this camera, the less I even think about any other. There’s something about the way he configures real simple and fast. Like, I start off in AF mode single shot. I am in M Mode and Auto ISO, topped off at 6400. I use that as a2ISO. I can go higher or lower or just set the ISO myself. I really like Andre’ to do some work also. I mean, I’m walking and holding him, and he’s like doing  something in my hand like sending energy to my eyes.

This procedure will not happen if you do not name your camera. It will not happen if you do not love photography with a passion that is undefinable. If you do, pay attention because your partner in the collaboration of your photographic journey will work with you. You don’t have to believe in Magic, you just need to believe in you.

The funny thing is….I notice differences the way I use the X100F vs the X100T. Essentially they are the same camera. I mean the way they work, essentially…but not.

With the Fuji X100T I mostly used the EVF or screen. I think it’s in part because I used the Pen F along side it so, that makes the EVF compatible between the two. So it probably was the way the cameras worked together. Now with the Fuji X100F, I have no interest in any other camera, yet. I feel satisfied but the point is, my method of operation is different. I use M Focus a lot on street scenes and of course monitor the distance in my feelings. I also seem to prefer the OVF again and that interest me. I’m liking 2 eyes open also.

Just to rehash something youse already know. With the EVF, we are seeing things flat in 2 dimensions as it will appear in the photo. For me, I even see the b&w of the photo and we see 100% of the recorded image. It’ss very nice and accurate. It’s difficult to use 2 eyes wide open. The juxtaposition is not easy to adjust to. As we move in and out of the scene, the EVF adjust with us and accurately.

With the OVF, we see approximately 92% – 94% of the recorded image. The beauty of the EVF is that you can keep both eyes open and see what is surrounding your subject matter and if something is entering or exiting the frame, you can see it and anticipate the shot. Also, you get a feeling of seeing 3 dimensions. Back in the day, well way back in the daze  it was said that a SLR you see at the photo and with a M camera, you see thru the photo. For me the best way to work is to flip back and forth as the circumstance demands. Usually the OVF is on and when I am working close or need accuracy, I use the EVF.

I’e read where some posted the AF is not that fast. Well, if your shooting a black dress against a black background, I guess AF would struggle.  Like the above photo. I had 2 choices for AF. !st was the woman in the foreground and the 2nd was the woman on the wall. You get the idea that you need Contrast for AF but I will say, I have had very few instances where AF didn’t lock. It’s accurate and fast. Just find contrast and if you don’t, blame your skills not the X100F.

The Fuji X100F is very responsive. Maybe I should say that Andre’ is as I can’t speak for every X100F but generally, I’m sure Andre’s siblings are. What I mean is, when your working and come up with an idea, you can configure the X100F quickly. It’s very intuitive and allows you to FEEL what the photo may become.  I am normally at 1/250 f/8 auto ISO, no EV Comp. When I move around thru the Light of EDEN, I change settings according to the way I feel and the way the subject is communicating to me. Obviously here I dropped to around 1/10 sec. That will let things blur and mess the high values up. There’s an ethereal quality here that I feel but can’t see in reality unless I make the photo.

So emotionally the Fuji X100F is a great companion. There are things in this world that we feel and yet can’t really see. Does that mean we are Members of Congress? Does that mean we are not receptive to the emotional quality of life and vision? I hope not. I try to live my life by seeing and feeling life all around me. I make photos because I must. Many of my photos are documents of a life I live and love.

I believe in Magic. I believe in Love. I believe in the LIGHT of EDEN that penetrates me and allows me to make photos and share my vision with others.

I believe in Andre’ the Fuji X100F because he believes in me.


March 2nd, 2017 … Finding My Way … Fujifilm X100F

Many think I’m crazy or weird or things I don’t even know. I guess they are right and I let it go. What I do know is: that I want to be me and know whom that it is. I don’t want to be a stranger to myself. I don’t want to sell myself out so that I win popularity polls or get lots of likes. I want to be me and confident and aware of that as much as I can. Photography was never foreign to me. I never felt out of place or felt the struggle. I’m not saying I don’t struggle, I’m just saying I don’t feel the struggle cause I LIVE photography. I will cease to exist without it. I mean it, really. I am 67 giving 68 a run for the money. I’m a Libra. The advantage I have over younger shooters is that I accept what do and constantly push the envelope.

So how does one assume a stance of identity and maintain it. What does this require anyway? Well, I have worked with a number of shooters and I’m proud to say many are well accomplished now and understand the inner self they live with. A voice yells out…. Shooter, what does this have to do with the Fujifilm X100F?  Relax voice, this is what I’m talking about.

The X100F is highly configurable. If you need good settings, check out Kevin Mullins. http://f16.click/gear/fujifilm-x100f-settings.html

Kevin does weddings, family and street and probably other things too. He’s an X-Shooter and had the camera  for a few months.

So youse can all figure out the setting and I won’t get to deep into that part. What I do is life on the streets. So I realize that once the camera is setup, very rarely do I need to change anything. When it comes to working, I do have preferences.  I use a base exposure outside of 1/250 f8. I use Auto ISO 99.99% of the time. That’s set from ISO 200 – 6400 and shutter speed @ 1/125. so on the streets usually I like Manual focus and set focus distance at 10.9′ but ya can’t get the .9′ so just a nudge past 10′. That’s about hyper-focal distance for this camera at f8. That means that anything from about 5′ to infinity is in acceptable focus. Bear in mind, that hyper-focal distance works but it’s also true that things in front of the near point of hyper-focal distance, it’s doesn’t just cut off. It’s a gradual decrease in sharpness. I also use f11 a lot and there we have focus point of 7.7′ and from somewhat more then 3.5′ to infinity will be in focus.

There’s another way to do this but maybe not as efficient. I have the AEL/AFL button to lock focus point. So, I could lock focus anytime at all and even set hyper-focal distance if I wanted to measure on the street to get the required distance. I use that button when I’m working and setting a scene and I lock focus so I can anticipate the shot. I’m  not concerned about distance here, just locking the focus until I’m ready to release. The major difference between this and hyper-focal is that with the button, your locked at a set distance and if someone move out of that range, poof. With hyper-focal, you have a zone of focus and is someone moves out of the exact focus point, they are sill in acceptable range of focus.

It’s imperative to understand and use Hyper-focal distance with any camera on the street. Fortunately for us, The X100F makes this procedure very quick, accurate and painless. There’s a focus scale and it’s very accurate as all Fujifilm cameras are. So, hyper-focal distance and Auto ISO are the most required parts of a camera for the street.  Something to pay attention to. When you set Hyper-Focal distance or any distance that locks the focus, the frame box locks also. So you may need to watch the frame as it doesn’t move but you can always use the EVF if your working close. That’s always accurate. The OVF is also but that box won’t move once you lock focus. Not a biggie but I always pay attention to my frame edges.

On the streets, I really like a screen. It’s thee most accurate way to work. The X100F has a great screen and you can set the brightness to where you want it. With the screen, your holding the camera out and seeing a 2 dimensional image surrounded by 3 dimensional reality. No, sorry, not the same using a finder. The screen allows both eyes open, if you have 2 and that’s a blessing. All that being said, I love the finder on this camera. I am not talking about any other camera I have, or ever used, just this camera named Andre’ the Fuji X100F.

I remember walking with Winogrand and we are talking and looking at ladies and he would take his camera up and out and never look at it, just at the subject. I asked him, “Garry, how can you make a photo like that and not see”? He said that it’s about eye contact. If the camera is at the eye, the subject will see it right away. If the subject glances at the camera and it’s off face, then they immediately draw to your eyes. I understood what he meant and even felt after I saw photos he made like that. I decided to forget about that but couldn’t. Now, the X100F makes that an easy task. Just leave the screen on and that’s it. You get to make photos that you can’t ever do if the camera is at the eye.

The finder on the X100F is nice because you have 2 coices of vision. Obviously the most accurate is the EVF. The OVF allows me to use 2 eyes when I’m working.

I like to see from my left and frame from my right. There is a scale difference from the left eye seeing vs the right eye seeing thru the camera. It’s not bad at all. Most will tell you that the OVF allows you to see around the frame. It’s true but with both eyes open, you see a lot more around the frame. Suzanna my friend is an Eye Surgeon and she uses both eyes even with the EVF. I can’t and she says cause I’m old and stubborn. Probably right.

I have my camera doing B&W Acros +r. That’s doing a JPEG. I always used RAW in LR but the more I use this camera, the more I don’t care about Raw. I just love the responsiveness the X100F gives me. It’s a very satisfying experience. Anyway, I’m done for now and will try to do some more over the weekend.

Peace to all………….shooter out…………………………………………..



February 28th, 2017 … Wants vs Needs … Fuji X100F

Thanks everyone for reading the blog and posting comments. I am honored and humbled that you would do that. The reason I’m doing the blog and now writing about the Fuji X100f is not about recognition. I know Fuji would never choose me as an X shooter. I also am not doing this for money or fame and fortune. I do it for love.  L O V E.  That’s a big word and even bigger feelings and thoughts. So where most approach writing about the camera from a work ethic or financial standpoint or a step to a higher level of fame, I am doing it because I love photography and I adore this camera.

So, let’s cut the crap out the X100F and get it out of the way. Dang it…. why didn’t Fuji put a tilt screen on it? Duh… it don’t need it. It’s not just a street camera but a camera that guides us in a way to think and a method of discovery of our subject. What I mean is, regardless of the task you are doing, the X100F becomes an ally or maybe it just bonds with you and forms a synergism that magically adds to the experience of making photos. Here in NE Philly on Montour Street, it’s called Mojo.

See, the idea about making photos is to always be in touch with yourself while working. Just being able to see, think and feel is the ZEN of life that is required to give life to your work. I’m not saying I can do it, I’m saying I understand it and try to maintain the stance so that it can happen at times and I can write about it. So, having the awareness that you are a part of something wonderful means you have to accept the mechanical things that get used in your work.

I was out for a walk with Andre’ the Fuji X100F and I bumped into Dude. Dude has a unnamed Silver Fuji X100F. We start talking and I’m feeling almost comfy because we share the streets together and we have the same camera and then…..OHHHH! Dud is complaining about the lack of a tilt screen. He doesn’t like the way the camera fits his hand. I’m starting to get fidgity.  Andre is in my hand and I feel him burning up. His battery is getting hot because Dude is basically insulting Andre’s sibling. Anyway Dude tells me about 7 things that he feels should be on the camera. Inside I need my shrink cause I’m laffin’ and afraid o let it come to the surface. So I said I had to go because life was calling me and I can’t stop life.

As I walked away, I had a kinda sick feeling in my gut. I mean, I’m feeling this camera perfectly as is and would rather go with positive energy. I realized that things are never perfect and I don’t want it perfect. I want to learn myself with this camera and see what we can find mutually.

Photography is about being an observer or a participant. I like to live as an observer most times and that means having a camera that will not intrude on my vision. That’s an absolute must. I know I’m crazy and I get random racing thoughts. I know that Andre’ is like my partner on a journey that I choose to live and must do to breath. So, here’s a few things I did. Mind you, normally I have the camera and an extra battery and a lens pen when I work.

Andre’ the Fuji X100F is sporting a neck strap, a soft release and a lens hood and a B&W UV filter. I have an ACMAXX on the screen for protection. I never use a hood. I never use a filter. I never use a soft release. I am in testing phase and bond so I will go crazy. Oh my, a lens hood.

This photo up top is worked on in LR. The idea was to see what the JPEGs can handle. It’s amazing how much I blew the highs and mids because that’s how I feel and see it. So I’m seriously considering not doing raw for a while. The JPEGs from this camera are the finest I’ve seen from any, bar none. It amazes me … look at the whites and they are not wasted. Even the shadows are holding details. Yeah, yeah, the original file is very nice but I want to see how far I can push the envelope.

I am getting a slew of emails etc and will answer each one as quick as possible.

Ok ya’ll….. seeya tomorrow. They are calling for rain here but I might get out anyway. Peace and be blessed…………………………………….