a collection of experiences, ideas and image samples related to street photography.
my romanticism with film photography
My passion for film photography is getting more intense. I feel that my overall skill level has drastically improved over the last couple of years by shooting film. Analog cameras prevent me from having to dig through menus and being unnecessarily anxious to post digital images online. Film photography requires patience. I now appreciate being in suspense. With analog photography, you don't know what you are going get. I love that!
I was fortunate to find a mint conditioned 1963 Yashica D camera a few months ago. This is probably my 5th film camera (I lost track), but my first medium format and twin lens reflex (TLR)! I shot a test roll and took it to a photography shop for processing. The normal return time is usually one week. However, I didn't receive my negatives for three weeks; the lab tech unexpectedly went out of town and he is the only person in the shop that develops 120 film. Was I disappointed after learning I had to wait longer to get my film back, yes of course I was. Yet the extended wait time was used wisely by me learning more about TLR cameras and my specific Yashica model. Once I was able to see the negative of my first roll of medium format film, it was well worth the wait.
My photographs weren't ground breaking and very far from my best...but that wasn't my goal. I wanted to make sure that the camera worked first and foremost. With that I was still happy with the results. I so enjoy shooting with the Yashica D. I often imagine where the camera might have traveled, who owned it, did it captured a significant event in history? I simply can't compare it to any digital camera I have ever owned, used or tested. Owning the Yashica is having a piece of history
Naturally painting shade & shadows...
cameras: FujiFilm X-E1, X-Pro 1 and X-T10
lenses: Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8, Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 and Fujinon 18mm f/2/0
As the saying goes, 'the early bird catches the worm'. I believe this is especially true when it comes to street photography. Over the years I've become accustomed to not sleeping in (even on weekends) and to venture out to photograph at sunrise. The smells of fresh coffee from corner bakeries combined with the sight of smoke spewing from manhole covers stimulates my creativity. The city if full of excitement and I aim to capture as much as possible. I have a sense of accomplishment when I am one of the first street photographers out hunting for deep shadows.
The natural light before noon makes architecture and urban landscapes just that much more dramatic. I've tested a variety of camera settings; I found that my personal sweet spot fall between 200-400 ISO, a f/8 or smaller aperture and shutter speeds between 1/60 to 1/80. I've used a Fujinon 18mm f/1.8 lens on a number of occasions. However the Fujinon 18mm continued to suffer from soft focusing. This seems to be a common flaw mentioned by other owners of these lens. This has pushed me in the direction of using old prime lenses from the film photography era. The FujiFilm X series cameras work like a gem when paired with vintage lenses! I like them so much I now prefer analog lenses over digital any day of the week. I don't mind working a bit harder with manual lenses to get the results I want. Photography excursions during the early morning hours is an excellent opportunity to test the limits of lenses and to sharpen photography techniques.
Using an analog wide angle lens at a Japanese market.
camera: FujiFilm X-E1
lenses: Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8
One of the many reasons why I love using the FujiFilm X line of cameras are how well they pair with analog lenses. To clarify, I have nothing against digital Fujinon glass. They are high quality lenses and I so appreciate the manual aperture ring! However I just find old lenses from yesteryear a bit more appealing. Vintage lenses are bullet proof; they last forever and aren't as fragile as most modern glasses. Not to mention that having an assortment of analog prime lenses are much more economical then spending hundreds of dollars more for a single lens that requires firmware updates and such.
After a recent purchase (on eBay) of a Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 vintage lens, I decided to give it a test run at a Japanese market. I experimented with shooting primarily from a low angle perspective when capturing people. I am very pleased with the results. The focus ring is very responsive and the aperture blades open/close with precision. I especially like that these old lenses aren't that heavy either. Vintage lenses, even some primes, can be bulky with a lot of weight but the Minolta 28mms are quite compact. Most of the people in the market didn't even notice that I had a camera at all. I love being the invisible man!
not happy hour...
whats on sale...
Framing for the Human Eye
The bus stop was generous enough to provide a framing guideline for me; thanks CTA !
camera: FujiFilm X-T10
lenses: Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 and Fujinon 18mm f/2/0
During my first couple of years of studying the art of photography, I came across an old photography book that had a chapter on composition. This was my introduction to the rule of thirds. For me, it was like a musician who played by ear learning note value for the first time. I realized that (at least some of the time) I was off-centering my subject automatically. Yet I continued to read and research this topic a bit more. Since, I've tried to consciously practice the rule of thirds while sometimes creating extreme negative space. For me, it makes the image a bit more interesting. Does it work all of the time...absolutely not! There is no one way to do everything. Rules are made to be broken. Yet I enjoy the challenge of going beyond my boundaries and taking chances. Isn't that the whole point of self expression?
Captured with an analog Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 lens.
Please...don't ask her to say 'cheese'...sigh...
Afraid of the light...
camera: FujiFilm X-T10
lenses: Canon FD 50mm f/1.8
The cityscapes of Chicago is a major contributor to my progression as a street photographer. I am fascinated with the rich history, architecture and music scene (especially the blues and house music). Although Chicago is not my hometown, it is my personal cultural mecca. Chicago is my muse when I need to challenge myself artistically. The city taught me how to be an observer.
This is an ode to this great city...
I am a street photographer using film and digital formats. I enjoy listening to good music, traveling, quiet time & peace.