Thoughts – April 17, 2016


Already I’ve had some fun with my newly acquired Ricoh GR II. Performances are stellar and one can configure the camera in any way possible.

The fact the battery is loaded in camera, with a non standard USB cable, an USB/AV, is a huge advantage. I don’t need to get an additional battery as I already own two power banks. Also I can load the camera in the car while being on the road.

I’ve been doing some soul-searching.
I am fed up with going to the woods and shoot an umpteenth tree or hollow road. Let’s face it, when I stay within 100 kilometers from where I live landscapes will not differ that much. I’ve been at every spot several times and they simply don’t appeal anymore.

Past weekend Little A., my youngest daughter, told me she wanted to become a vegan and she told me why. I told her I was fine with that but thought it was better to start as a vegetarian. Said I would not mind supporting her during her time at my place. I don’t eat that much meat anymore and vegetarian stuff can be quite delicious.

I would never be one for 100%. Hell I enjoy eggs and bacon as much as the next guy. Not to mention Sushi, I’ll kill for it.

But I would not mind sticking with vegetarian stuff for most of my meals. Maybe add an extra day being strictly a vegan.

Not every day though. I lack the conviction and motivation and I am way too much a hedonist.

What has this to do with my photography? More than you might think.

In fact, I love taking pictures and I try to be good at it. Sometimes that happens but most of the time not. I like to believe that I learn from my mistakes.

I have a few analogue camera’s,  35mm and medium-format, and I love to shoot with film because it gives me something I cannot obtain with digital gear. I like to use them when I am really out shooting. Like when I am alone and discovering a new place or so.

Sometimes though I like to shoot digital because it feels like the right thing to do in that given situation. Or when I’m lazy or when I know I’m going to shoot a lot. Let’s face it, going out to shoot some wildlife is easy when you have a 300mm lens and mount it on an Olympus OMD M-10 where it becomes a 600mm.

I love to shoot film but there is nothing wrong embracing new technology. I’ve never use my digital camera’s simply because I can shoot 1000 images without any cost.

Coffee (2016) Ricoh GR II - f2.8 at ISO 800
Coffee (2016)
Ricoh GR II – f2.8 at ISO 800

Why doing 10:1 macro on film when the job is done easier with a digital camera. In the end it is the result that counts.

I wanted a quality camera I could have with me on all times. Digital was the right choice because I want this camera to be also useful in the evening or when light is dim.

So I’m still into analogue photography but I’ll be posting digital images on my blog as well.

So, this morning I dropped Sweetheart off at her place much earlier than normal on a Sunday morning. Her youngest was leaving for a week and well she kind of wanted to wave her out.

Sunday morning means flea market in the surrounding streets where I live. There used to be cattle too, and pets, but that’s the past as laws made it impossible to sell animals on markets. Well, except for poultry.

Pulling a lip (2016) Ricoh GR II - f2.8 at ISO 400
Pulling a lip (2016)
Ricoh GR II – f2.8 at ISO 400

Apparently the legislator does not consider chickens, pigeons, geese, duck and whatever as animals. Go figure!
Today the flea market is only 30% flea and the rest is your regular street market stuff, like bakery stuff, vegetables, flowers, meat, clothes and bling bling.

A bunch of street photography opportunities right at my doorstep.

It took me 45′ minutes to get revved up enough to gather my courage and overcome my fear.
I grabbed my Ricoh GR II and hit the streets.

I felt so uncomfortable and was afraid of even lifting the camera up. It is something I hope to overcome with the workshop I signed up for.

Orange Girl (2016) Ricoh GR II - f2.8 at ISO 400 and Eric Kim's Porta 400 LR Preset
Orange Girl (2016)
Ricoh GR II – f2.8 at ISO 400 and Eric Kim’s Porta 400 LR Preset

Quickly though I noticed people where not at all paying attention to me. They where even not aware I was taking pictures.
Some I stole, pointing the camera from my hip, hoping the wide angle would capture it.
Wrong, I know.

Then I saw this old, grumpy looking guy walking towards me. I stopped, held the camera against my chest, pointed to him, while I was looking elsewhere. When he was close enough I focused and shot and I find it to be a very good one.

I showed my camera and gave her a big smile and the young girl in the orange stand posed for me. Hell, I felt good and it gave my self-confidence a boost. I tried it a few times more and it worked.
Back home I realized I had made a connection with the orange-girl and then, coming closer, would have given a much better result.

The duck gave me written consent, I can use the image everywhere.

Duck (2016) Ricoh GR II - f2.8 at ISO 400 and Eric Kim's Porta 400 LR Preset
Duck (2016)
Ricoh GR II – f2.8 at ISO 400 and Eric Kim’s Porta 400 LR Preset

I shot 24 frames and twenty of them fall under street photography. They are not all keepers but for my first real street photography expedition I did well because I overcame some basic fears.
The grumpy old man is my best one albeit I am not sure if I haven’t overdone the post-processing. I do love the brooding dark atmosphere though, something I’ve been putting in most of my recent images, digital or analogue.

This afternoon I went out again. It had rained, the streets where empty but there was some lovely light.

I really enjoy the Ricoh GR II and the 28mm focal length although one needs to get used to it.

Untitled (2016) Ricoh GR II - f2.8 at ISO 400
Untitled (2016)
Ricoh GR II – f2.8 at ISO 400

 

 

 

 

 

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