In my camera bag: One camera, many discoveries..

Photography

So I’ve read many online photographers/bloggers ought to have a post on what’s in their camera bag. It’s strictly a personal preference. So I’m not going to line up things and put numbers on them to go thru one by one…instead I’ll explain what I benefited from it.

My recent new denim. For me jeans are like collecting stamps…

I think my jeans pocket has more things than my camera bag. Being free of any heavy weight is an encouraging way allow you to walk longer, that’s unless you were a serviceman, firefighter, police officers, etc… I personally work out daily at home, mainly with the fitness ball and dumbbells. Cardio is the type of exercise that I lack of, certainly I think I managed to treat my photo walks as my cardio exercise. And yes, I do sweat when I walk a lot. And just to let you all know a bit more about life in Hong Kong (at least my life). I go to work on foot, takes about 20 mins. The way back is a bit longer as, the landscape in Hong Kong is not all that flat and I live on the skirt of the mountain. Basically, I walk daily for at least an hour. And I count that as my exercise.

My camera bag is a simple shoulder style bag, it’s made with nylon type of fabric – ultra light. I do not pack anything unnecessary into my bag. I pack only the items that keep my camera running and clean, that’s all. Air blower, lens brush, extra battery, backup SD. That doesn’t sound so professional..I’m not anyway. So What!? That’s what I pack to work daily and for weekend shooting. I used to carry extra lens (when I still had my Lumix G3), half bottle of water…that was too heavy. Now I don’t even bother to bring my own water.

Being able to only shoot with one camera and perhaps one lens only is a discipline that’s practical for beginners like myself. The least complicated way do photography can often surprise yourself. One good example I always think of is my GRD. Once I learned about the focal length/distance, the rest is a breeze. The camera does everything for you and functions are just at the finger tip. I never ever imagined myself to learn about parallax on a compact point and shoot camera like this. And I did.

There’re many things that taught me while on the go. Such as using flash…I played with the ISO, aperture and EV. I learned the basic mix from those 3 aspects: how they’re going to affect a photographic result. I was stunned when I shot photo such as this one.

Lady with an umbrella

This photo opened up a new window to my flash photography on the street. Of course that wasn’t my first attempt. But that was my first successful shot (I didn’t shoot extensively with flash). Before that, I was onto something. This was actually my real first attempt.

After work

I was only trying out the fill-in flash to light up the shadow. That encouraged me to use flash during the day especially after knowing flashing during the day people could hardly see. I discovered that in my own world when I used my GRD extensively.

Now I’m onto another mission, is to apply the same experimentation mindset on my X100. I hope to discover something out from a more traditional camera (i know it’s not a real rangefinder) by bringing it out daily. So far I’ve learned that, this camera is shiny. It can catch people’s attention on the street. “Lose some and gained some.” It’s not as easy to get a candid shot but It encouraged me instead to asked permission for a photo. Even I’d done little directing to have them look the way I wanted (that’s new). People see my camera and look at me as some enthusiast photographer. Not a necessarily a bad thing depends on how yourself look at it.

The X100 for me is substantially heavier than the GRD, chunkier for sure. I’m also working on my reaction time with it. I’d never done a decent job at blending in either, maybe I’ll never be. I guess time will tell. And I’ll not stop shooting and learning.

I always believe a disciplined photographer would find ways to work with a camera and shoot as one. Gear is so overrated in the modern world. We all should think less about your gear, and use our head for photography!

The Colorful Hong Kong: Collection (5-6/2012) – Part II

Photography

Sunglasses in the early evening

Click to see the previous Collection: Part I

With my zone focus set to 0.6-0.8m, there’s pros and cons.

Ladies

The cons are:

  • It takes time for to refocus with another distance (even with AFL)
  • I can miss the focus especially with the sluggish Fuji focusing system and
  • Ultimately I lose the dexterity to shot with another distance.

Cool Headwear

The pros are: 

  • I can train myself to shoot with the preset distance,
  • I get consistent results I want, It reduces the shutter lag.

Hug

To tell you the truth, I really want to shoot with another focus distance. And I should take more control of it rather than letting the camera control me. To be more specific I want to say I’d been experiencing odd lock-ups (it tells me to turn off the camera, it happened before) and even irresponsive shutter on my X100. It’s not the problem of my shutter release for sure as it’s functioning. More like the firmware is not stable enough.. It got to a point today, I really wanted to ditch it. I missed shots because of it. Don’t be surprised to see me selling it anytime from now on!!!

U.S. flag as a scarf

I often feel so depressed and insecure by not bringing home cool shots. A flickr buddy told me that’s what candid photography is all about – you never know what you gonna get! And it’s fun!

Indonesian Costume

I totally forgot about the fun part of photography, more of dragging myself to nowhere.

Under an umbrella

There’re times I spent all day (an hour or two) walking and not getting any good shots. At a certain point before I head home, I told myself to bring my A-game out and do what I do. I felt like I’ve awakened my spirit. Despite all the camera failures today, I still managed to get a couple nice shots.

In the pocket

(I’ll research for an alternative of my X100. My choices are very limited with the given budget. A GXR with M mount is my best bet. A M-lens can be expensive…I won’t even think about a Leica..Is there a Voigtlander 28mm?)

Ice cream bar

It’s not that I won’t have a camera anyway..just want to see if I’d better off with another one.

Health inspectors discussion

Middle eastern lady

Couple

The look when the bus don't come

Arm around a traffic pole

Smoking pipe

That's how to free your arms

Man

Busy men

Just that you know, a few shots here technically I missed it because of the delay in shutter response. It’s plaguing me not only today but even in the past. Reliability is a serious issue Fuji has to look into…

*I just did an experiment. I found out the shutter won’t respond when the eye sensor is triggering (going from LCD to OVF). I’m always that fast when taking a shot…I guess that at least tells me not to hit the shutter that fast like I’m with my GRD.

The Colorful Hong Kong: Collection (5-6/2012) – Part I

Photography

Stairs of the world cities

Having know that the first photo contest (Invisible Photographer Asia) I’ve ever participated in was a fierce competition. By entering with only my below par collection was like hitting head onto a wall. I sincerely congrats to those who’ve won (whatever…they don’t know me).

Dressed up to cemetary

During the month of May, I pushed myself to the limit in order to come up with some images I’ve pictured in my mind. That month prior to the contest, I really went out daily to hunt for the images. And I’ve gotten results that I’ve even surprised myself. I think the results were good stepping stones to what I could build upon. Knowing how far I could get to is a great way to learn about myself as a photographer.

Starbucks ladies

I feel like things are slowing down now. As I’ve mentioned I’m on a slow-cook mode. My mindset is affecting by it with that reason. I’m feeling not too productive. I found my timing is off by slightly bit (which is seriously causing me to miss shots). Although I’ve figured a fun, new way to do flash photograph with my GRD last week. Other than that, I’m still pretty slow. I’m going to use these few days of holiday to freshen up myself.

Chips and beer

I’d been keeping my collection of photos on my PC taken with my X100. I was going to keep for longer period of time. I found myself forgetting how I do portrait-like street photography in June after slowing down. Having images posted would force me to hunt for the new ones especially with my X100. It’s such as great camera to be wasted by not shooting images I wanted. I hope I’d continue to develop something cool after this collection.

The contractor workers

I believe this collection is also a great showcase of zone focusing with a camera on street photography. There were even images taken with flash when I felt like using (depends on my mood). Flash does produce cool effect that nothing else can compare.

Worker taking break

Lady

Man borrowed his wife's hat & sunglasses

Cantonese cafe

Clipping nail

Hiding alone for lunch

On the phone in a noisy street

Man snacking

Workers

Part II will continue tomorrow…