January Phone Shots

I wanted to keep up with my blog a bit more this year, so here is yet another post already in 2016. I have been shooting with my phone a lot lately, so that’s all today is. Enjoy the shots, and feel free to check out these shots and more at my flickr page.

I love the Hipstamatic app, and I have sung its praises in the past. It’s what I shoot with at least 90% of the time on my phone.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Wrapping up 2015, Part Deux

I posted yesterday and said that I was splitting my end-of-2015 blog into two separate posts, one for shots I took with a “proper” camera, and one of shots taken with my cell phone. This is part two–and if you like what you see, by all means go back and check out part one–of that promised post. Feel free to leave a comment down below or pass the link along to your friends/followers if you think they would enjoy some of the images.

Without further ado, here are the images:

 

Wrapping Up 2015

This has been a down year for my blog. WordPress informed me that I only blogged five times during 2015, and still amassed more than 20,000 visits somehow. Even though that number is down considerably from my peak two years ago, I’m happy people still managed to enjoy my blog.

I have been taking fewer photographs this year; I’m not sure why. Sometimes I think it’s because I started a new job, or because I’ve been too busy with life. Ultimately, I think it’s because I’ve chosen to invest the spare time I have into other things increasingly. Do I enjoy taking photographs less than I used to? Is this temporary, or is it a shift in my interests going forward? That I don’t know. I find myself carrying my dedicated cameras less–I never used to leave the house without one–and find myself reaching for one I’ve brought along even less. I end up taking a larger percentage of¬†pictures with my phone, but fewer overall. Ultimately, I love photography and I love taking pictures. My number one subject for the past ten years–my son, who is almost 11 years old now–is less interested in being photographed anymore. Or is it me who is less interested in chasing down pictures of him? I’m largely thinking as I type here; I don’t have the answers to these questions.

And so, I’ve decided to divide my now-traditional end of year blog post into two distinct categories: one of mobile phone shots, and one of shots taken with my “proper” cameras.

(On the subject of cameras: I have bought and sold almost no camera gear this year. I have said in the past I have less and less interest in equipment, and that has never rung more true for me than this year.)

So today’s post will be the shots that I took with my cameras, and the final one for the year will be my favorite shots that I took with my mobile phone. I hope you enjoy, and comments are always welcome!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

REVIEW: Ricoh GR

I went from not having reviewed a camera in ages to having done two in a row.

In my last post, I waxed romantically about how I no longer care about gear so much. I talked about the real limitations we face–creative limitations, not those imposed by what camera we use–and how familiarity with a camera can yield great results.¬†I also said I don’t take pictures of cameras anymore; I just don’t see the point. There is no longer a steady stream of cameras and lenses in and out of my life, and the U.S. Postal Service is surely feeling the ramifications.

However, I have to say that there have been a few pieces of gear that I have enjoyed more than others. The Fuji X100 and X100s have been a revelation for me; the original X100 unlocked so much that I had not yet discovered about photography. The Leica M rangefinder was something that I enjoyed using probably more than any other camera; it’s not quite the spiritual experience that some people make it out to be, but it is the most enjoyable shooting experience for me personally. There is one other camera in this group that I have enjoyed using and has challenged me and made photography fun.

The Ricoh GR.

The first thing you notice when you hold the GR is that it’s small–I mean really small–yet manages to pack a large sensor under the hood. It’s a fixed-lens camera, with a 28mm-equivalent, f/2.8 maximum-aperture lens. The camera has a matte black finish that¬†has a functional attractiveness to it, and the grip has a rubbery feel to it that makes it easy to hold in one hand. The back has a large screen, and the buttons are laid out well so that the camera can be operated with only one hand.

The menu system can initially be difficult, but it is incredibly customizable; once you spend some time with the camera it really feels like it’s yours. The camera can easily become an extension of your photographic vision. The camera¬†is virtually silent–a nearly inaudible *snick*¬†is all you hear as the shutter goes–and so can easily be used in close quarters. It comes with a wrist strap for carrying, and has a small pop-up flash that can be programmed.

The GR slides easily into a pocket and starts up almost instantly, making it an ideal street camera. The wide 28mm focal length can work well for close quarters, but the GR includes a crop-mode that makes it a 35mm effective field of view (I have this programmed to one button so I can easily switch if needed). Finally, the GR has a unique “snap focus” mode; this allows the user to program a pre-set focal distance and thereby eliminate any lag when releasing¬†the shutter. When the shutter button is pressed, the camera responds instantly when in snap focus mode. Normally, the camera waits for the auto-focus to lock on. The AF is by no means quick, but it’s usable–think the X100s as a fair comparison. It can occasionally hunt in low light or low-contrast scenes, but this is not too big of an issue in my experience.

One issue I have had with the GR is dust on the sensor. A little bit of research online has shown that this is a common problem, and can cause the camera to need to be sent to Ricoh/Pentax to have it addressed. My first GR had a real dust issue, and so far my second copy has not developed this. I have taken steps to try to avoid this issue going forward, but it’s not an exact science.

The biggest thing about the Ricoh is that with the small size it can go anywhere, and with the near-silent shutter can be used anywhere. This allows me to have an APS-C sized sensor with DSLR image quality in my pocket anywhere I go. Having the buttons customized to my preferences means that I can quickly change settings on the fly and operate the camera with one hand.

The GR simply gets out of the way. When I’m taking photographs with the GR, I can not worry about anything but the image. The camera is not overly complex. It makes things fun, simple, and enjoyable. Nobody is intimidated by the sight of the GR, as it looks like a cheap point-and-shoot, not like an expensive, “professional” (whatever that means) camera.

Anyone considering the GR should go for it. One of the blogs that pushed me off the fence was the fantastic blog by Wouter Brandsma, who shoots with the GR almost exclusively. He has some great shots.

-Trevor

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Wrapping up 2014

Standing Guard

It is the time of year where all sorts of “Year in Review” posts start popping up. I know, that makes this all a bit tired and cliche; however, bear with me and we can get through this together.

The following is a collection of some of my favorite photos I’ve taken in 2014. I hope you enjoy them!

Winter

Sense of Wonder

Warm

Winter Landscape

Nature

Family Day

Wildlife

Fresh Snow

Dance

Lake Superior

Snow

Landscape

Smile

Archive, 2014

Mannequin

As the year winds down, I’ve been looking through the archive a bit and seeing what I’ve taken over the last year. After finding a few that I hadn’t blogged before, I figured I’d share them. There is really no rhyme or reason to this set of photos; they are simply photos taken over the past 12-14 months that I hadn’t shared before and like to varying degrees, for one reason or another.

I’ll have some new posts up soon, I hope. I’ve added some new gear to my arsenal and I have a few things to say about that, and hopefully some other things as well.

As always, thanks for following along!

Midwest

Run

Summer

Frozen