Polacon 2021

I haven’t been to a photography conference since creating my own in Houston 12 years ago. This year I am headed to Dallas, Texas to attend the Instant Film Society’s Polacon. It will be great to attend an event with like-minded people to learn, share and grow. I’m stocked up on Polaroid film, Fuji Instax Wide film and I’ll even bring Sonya!

Remind me to dust off the camera next time, won’t you?

Contentment

Satisfaction and technology for me is rare. When it comes to gadgets, I long to have the latest and greatest, especially with a personal computer, or camera. For far too long though, I’ve had to make do with the minimum, the cheapest, the hodge-lodge collection of gadgets. These were frustrating to me as I had to discover workarounds to overcome my lofty expectations.

Recently, I’ve decided to purchase top shelf devices that would meet my performance, productivity and aesthetic needs. These devices need to be designed to look great, have modern tech specs, last a long time and create joy (thanks Marie Kondo.)

Over the past year I sold off my old gear and slowly upgraded to what I wanted. A refurbished MacBook Air from 2015 for a 2021 MacBook Pro. An iPhone 8 to the new iPhone 12 Pro. Apple this and that, Nikon to Sony camera etc etc. All upgraded and designed to last. All bought and paid for upfront.

I looked at upgrading the iPhone 12 to the as-yet-to-be-released 13 next week. You know what? I am content. My current is that good. It’ll be good for at least 3-4 more years.

I am finally happy where I am and don’t feel the need to move to something else anytime soon.

It is liberating not to have to think about my computer setup anymore and just use my computer setup. Things can always be better, and I can guarantee new things will be coming that will make all of my devices feel obsolete.

But that doesn’t mean that they are no longer useful or can no longer make me happy as they have always done. The most significant benefit of being content with my computer is that most times, I don’t think about it anymore; I just use it. Worrying or contemplating what else I could get that is better no longer crosses my mind.

But contentment is something I will continue to strive for. As for now though, I am there. Finally.

Sonya

Say hello to Sonya, the Sony Alpha 6000 mirrorless digital camera. I just ordered her and she’ll arrive next week. This is my next, my first camera upgrade away from the bulkier, heavier, older DSLR’s. There are at least six advantages to mirrorless over DSLR:

  • Faster shooting speed
  • Better video quality (4k vs 1080HD)
  • Image stabilization
  • Faster auto focus speed
  • Electric viewfinders
  • Smaller size

Included is a 16-50mm lens for portraits and street photography images. And then there is the 55-210mm lenses good for landscape and travel.

This means of course that my darling Nadia, the Nikon D90 DSLR will be going away to a good home soon. She’s up for sale now. But enough about the past, I am looking to the future of photography and the Sony is it.

Dipsychts

Diptych photography is the art of combining two images together to create a story. I’m experimenting with these but limited due to current pandemic concerns so more to come.

15

I’ve been writing and self-hosting images online for fifteen years now.

What I enjoy about blogging is the potential for infinite writing and posting.

With digital photography I can shoot and post an infinite amount of images.

The ability to host one’s own publishing house is nothing short of amazing.

9.5.2021

A few moments after loading the Kodak TMax 35mm film I realized why I had not taken Nikita out before. She needs a battery for the internal light meter (see the needle pointing way up?)

After a few disastrous mistakes I was able to adjust and recover some of the remaining exposures. The first two images shown below are from when the film was exposed to light during install. Live and learn.

Photography Is Meant To Be Fun

The best part of iPhoneography is the convenience. An iPhone is lightweight, easy to use and you’re most likely to have it with you wherever you go. Take it out and shoot with it whenever the mood strikes. You don’t need to worry if you forgot to bring a card drive, aperture settings, or anything else. Just shoot from the hip and adjust on the go. Photography rules go bye-bye.

The more you photograph, the more you train your eyes to see composition, lighting, what’s worthy or what is not. Everyday objects now become interesting where in the past, you’d walk by without noticing. Once your photographic eye and brain are turned on, it is hard to turn off. Do you want this photo? Then yes, take that photo.

Joshua Tree National Park shot with Tic Tac 4 film and McMinville lens
Hipstamatic Pisty film

110mm

Here are a few reasons why I enjoy 110 mm film cameras.

Compact
My pocket-sized 110 cameras are a great companion for street photography or while traveling. You don’t need to carry a camera bag because it will fit in your pocket. Who wants to lug all your camera gear while you travel? I can quickly capture street scenes without anyone noticing I have a camera in my hands.

Shot with NOMO CAM 135 TC.

Looks cool

There is something to be said about why we like our cameras to look retro: those early designs were brilliant. Modern day cameras cannot compare and try to imitate that aesthetic.

Shot with NOMO CAM 135 TC.

Analog

Film creates the best lo-fi effects with their grain, light leaks and feel.

contact-sheet_49442739282_o70886279-55B9-4A8E-84DB-638755E41D95

Point and shoot
No worries about technical details such as focus, exposures etc. Just ensure you have good light and composition.

10 Rules of Photography*

  1. Take your camera everywhere
  2. Use it any time- day or night
  3. Photography is not a life interference but a part of your life
  4. Shoot from the hip
  5. Approach as close as possible
  6. Don’t think
  7. Be fast
  8. You don’t have to see the image right away- keep shooting
  9. It is supposed to be fun. Enjoy.
  10. Throw out the rules!

Street Photography

This pandemic is really taking a toll on my desire to walk downtown and capture people in street photography. So, I’ll just write and share images and remind myself of some basics when I finally do get back out there and face the public.

  1. Get out. Find those outdoor public areas that have people out enjoying life.
  2. Every human is beautiful and photographers make interesting anthropologists, documenting human nature.
  3. There will always be something of interest. Look for it. Work the scene.
  4. Experimentation breeds creativity
  5. Take a smaller camera or mobile device. DSLRs get heavy after awhile.
  6. Experiment in jpeg format, keepers get the RAW treatment.
  7. Color or black and white? Find an aethestic and own it. I like both color and B&W. BW for me has to be high contrast, deep shadows. Color can be muted with moody contrasts to match the backdrop.
  8. Street photography can be risky and your experiences my vary.
  9. The risks can be worth the reward.
  10. Street photography is usually best going alone but a photo walk with friends can be more fun. Find a partner.

See these images and more on my photography website:

EXIF

Now included in my website is the ability to read the EXIF meta data written on to every image. Just in case you were a photo geek like me. I find it useful to see other’s EXIF data to see what works and then maybe even duplicate it.