Sunday afternoon in the park...
This long weekend has done wonder for relieving stress from work, spending time with my family, and giving me plenty of chances to use my camera and lenses. Today, what would have been a lazy Sunday afternoon, we decided to visit a near by park since we're well rested and the weather was beautiful for a late autumn day. I think the 90mm Elmarit was the perfect choice for a setting like this.
So after we got home, I saw the afternoon sun shining on the same pot of herbs that I took a shot with the 35'Cron yesterday. I think the 90mm Elmarit might draw it better... See what you think.
Black Friday shopping, at IKEA...
Actually, today is Saturday. We come here so often, it almost feel like a second home to me. Each time I visit, I always regret not bringing my camera with me because there are lots of stuff to take photos of. Besides the obvious cool decorated rooms, there are the color coordinated display of products, organic formed light fixtures, and maybe just some street shooting since there are always lots of interesting people around. Since it's real casual, I just attached the all-purpose 35'Cron (v4).
I really like the picture above when converted to B&W because of the mirror panels looked the gray scale swatches. However, I think I should have stopped down the lens because it's quite "glowy" at F/2. Due to the interior mixed lightings, the white balance is always a mess, so I find converting to B&W just easier. The last shot of that pot of herbs actually should belong since it was shot at home, but I'm including it because it was also shot today and I needed some color shots to balance out all the B&W photos.
Thanks, Leica M9...
Wine tasting, Santa Barbara
I went on a company-sponsored trip to Santa Barbara for a wine tasting tour. This is the first time I'm out with a full 28-50-90 setup, and I found that I still have much to learn.
As we started, I mounted the 28'Cron, thinking that it could be crowded at the bar so the wide angle should give me more room to capture the group, plus I would probably take some landscape shots of the grape vines. It was a good choice, I think, but it was a lot harder to get a good shot of the group since many had their backs to me when they're chatting in a group. Also, the bright sun light outside of the windows and doors was throwing off the metering. Looking back, I probably should have switched to 50'Lux for the indoor shots.
Second stop, plus lunch, was at a private ranch with a gorgeous outdoor setting. I slapped on the 90'Elmarit because everyone was sitting down, so I wanted to get some nice close up portraits without getting into their faces while they're eating. The results were excellent mostly because I had the sun working in my favor, too.
Third stop, back into cramped space, so I put the 28'Cron back on. I was getting buzzed and so were the others, so conversations and laughters grew louder. Surprising to me, we didn't get to see acres and acres of grape vines except for the first stop because most of tasting houses are not where the vineyards actually were.
Later that night, we had a big campfire going and the drinking continued. I've always had a hard time getting good captures in that setting. But this time, I pushed the ISO all the way up to 2500 and the 50'Lux provided just enough exposure to get some nice shots without much shakes, movements, or blurs. If you would like to check out the full set, you can see them [HERE].
Veteran's Day, at the library...
We went to the Cerritos Library today... again. It turns out the library was closed due to the Veteran's Day festivities. So we spent a few minutes to check it out and to take some pictures.
The image to the left is of the Veteran's Memorial display outside of the library, signifying the eternal flame. Its smooth and shiny metallic surface glimmered in the sun. It was somewhat of a challenge to photograph because I had to pick my angles carefully to get a right reflections from the statue and contrast it against the background.
While I was trying to think in black and white, looking for contrast in light, I just find the greens to lush that I could not resist. In a way, I may have disproved my own theory about having enough discipline to force myself to see in B&W. But then again, isn't it better to have the option open? Ah well, hope you'll enjoy the rest of the set.
Just a lazy Saturday afternoon... Here are a couple shots from our living room, one out the front window into the street and one out the back window in to the backyard. While I performed the same actions of frame, focus, click shutter, the difference was in my mind. For the first time, I shot the first one knowing that I will convert it into a monochrome image, and color for the second.
I don't want to make it a big deal, as I was just running a little experiment to test a theory. In many reviews/comments of the M-Monochrom camera, I read people talk about how a pure monochrome camera or black and white film forces them to see in B&W. What I wonder is... is it really necessary to physically limit ourselves? I mean, with some self-discipline and setting the image preview to B&W on the M9, can't I train myself to see in B&W too? Surely a really good and well trained photographer can evaluate a scene and see it in both color and B&W? I plan to challenge myself one day to switch M9 output to black and white JPEG, shoot with that setting for a while, and see if I can start seeing things in B&W too.
My Instagram Profile...
Instagram has released a new feature this week, which is a profile page for each user including photos you have posted via the mobile app. I think some purists think that one should only post pictures taken with the mobile phone, but I've been posting images that I've shared here for more exposure. The above image is a screen capture of my profile page, please feel free to check it out! My Instagram handle is: hosermage
I have used and liked the 28mm Elmarit-M ASPH a lot, but still couldn't kill my curiosity for the 'Cron. I've had the 28mm Summicron ASPH lens for a while now, but have not had the opportunity to really use it. So here we are, with two 28mm lens, and will need to decide which one to keep pretty soon.
This morning, took my son out to Heritage Park, a local park that's a little more than just a sandbox and swings. I felt a little rusty framing and composing for the 28mm, but still came away with a few keepers.
To be honest, I can't really say that the 28mm Summicron is that much different from the 28mm Elmarit-M ASPH. I do feel the color and contrast is a bit more punchy and crisper, and the extra stop will come in handy indoor and dimmer scenes. Size-wise, the 28mm Elmarit-M ASPH is much smaller because of the oversized hood of the 28mm Summicron, but I've read that others have simply used a smaller 46mm screw-on hood instead. It'll be a hard choice to make, but I don't have to make it today ;-)
What's in an Image?
Recently, while perusing the forums, I saw a post of a couple of photographs by someone I do not know. Upon my first viewing, I must say, I was a little puzzled. The photos seemed quite ordinary, which made me wonder: What's the point? Why are you sharing these images? I revisited the thread a few days later, and found the responses from other members were in two extreme camps. Some did not get the images at all like me, and had nearly insulted the photographer; and yet, others seems to get them, and showered the photographer with praises. As it turns out, the person who took them was a practicing fine art photographer, who took those two photos with intent and for specific reasons.
This seems to spawn off several other conversations related to the viewing and interpreting images. Some argued that since Photography is a visual art, the #1 requirement for an image is to be visually compelling ("it must grab you"). I think a visually compelling image makes a great photo, but I'm not yet ready to agree 100% with the reverse. I'm still somewhat salvageable in this regard because I did not completely write-off the images simply because I didn't find them visually compelling. After someone was gracious enough to explain the intent and the composition of the photos, I was able to appreciate the photos a lot more. Actually, it gave me a new way to look at photos in general, and a new way to appreciate well-composed images.
So, in a way, these photos have indeed become visually compelling to my eyes, so some may argue that it only proves the original hypothesis that an image must be visually compelling. However, I think the lesson here is that just because the image doesn't visually grab you right now, it does not make it a bad photo. Because through education and change of taste, it may become a great photo to you. Perhaps it's because I have the mentality of a beginner or a student, I'm more receptive to new ideas and more willing to accept that I'm not the best judge of someone else's photo. If it means I'm more likely to enjoy life, all the better.
My Journey into Leica...
A path not to be taken lightly, not without reservations, and not without dedication, but the results can be sweet, OH SO SWEET! This is a documentation of my trials and tribulations into the world of Leica Rangefinder Photography, and I hope you'll enjoy coming along with me.