Monday, June 30, 2014
Library, NYC, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, 50mm Lens
iso 400, f8, 1/125 sec.
I just read a post by member katrak on Rangefinder Forum, about how you can use the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 camera to record video at 24 frames per second with each frame having 8 megapixels of resolution. The title of the post is "Taking away luck in street photography?"
(Click Here) to read the post on Rangefinder Forum.
Technology may have finally come too far for an old traditionalist like me. One of the things I really love about photography, and street photography in particular, is the game. The game includes finding the scene, getting close enough to the subjects (who you don't know), and most importantly, capturing just the right moment. I would hate for this to be lost. It's like hunting with a machine gun or a bomb.
As you probably know, I'm a fan of Panasonic. The GH4 looks like a wonderful camera. So, it's not the camera that is the problem; they're simply pushing video technology to its limits.
However, I think this post could be renamed in multiple ways: "Taking away skill in street photography?" or perhaps "Taking away fun in street photography?"
I suppose since photography is a hobby for me, and because very few people make money on street photography, I can continue to shoot my old one-at-a-time cameras as long as I live. I'm only competing with myself to capture the moment. There are plenty of those moments to go around, including to people just recording every 1/24 of a second and selecting their favorite from tens of thousands of images later on.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
I got my butt out of bed at 5AM this morning to catch the sunrise here in Belize. I shot several images, and plan to work on them when I get home, including a plan to try some subtle high dynamic range (HDR) processing. Here's one that I like pretty much as-is:
Belizean Sunrise, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1, Lumix 20mm f1.7 Lens with 3-Stop ND Filter
iso 160, f16, 1 sec.
I liked how the shoreline formed an S-curve, ending at the thatched dock shelter at the horizon. I edited this image in Snapseed on my iPad.
More to come.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
The Lumix DMC-GX7 has an electronic shutter option. Making the camera completely silent, a new user may wonder when you wouldn't want to use the electronic shutter. A little reading will tell you it's not compatible with certain lighting types, specifically a particular fluorescent light, and flash.
Because it accomplishes silence by activating selected pixels in a time sequence, obviating the need for a mechanical shutter, photographing subjects in motion can produce strange artifacts.
I reminded myself of this yesterday, by taking this picture:
Silent Shutter Motion Artifact, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, Electronic Shutter
So, while the silent shutter is very handy, especially in quiet situations, be careful in situations involving motion, fluorescent lights, and those needing flash.
Friday, June 27, 2014
So, we were on our way to go scuba diving today, when I noticed this tattoo on the water taxi captain's leg:
Shark Tattoo, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5
iso 100, f3.3, 1/320 sec.
Here's a little teaser of what we saw on our dive:
Pair of Nurse Sharks, Belize, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5
iso 100, f3.3, 1/125 sec.
Needless to say, it was an exciting dive trip. I really enjoyed using the Lumix DMC-TS5 on both of our dives. I can't say enough good about this little camera. More to come!
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Meet George, the iguana. He seems to be the mascot of our hotel here in Belize.
George the Iguana, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, Lumix 100-300mm f4-5.6 Mega OIS Lens at 200mm
iso 200, f6.4, 1/400 sec. (handheld)
I worked around George to shoot from various angles, and like this shot best mainly because it includes his whole body while focusing attention on his eye with shallow depth of field. I also like the red hibiscus flowers in the background.
We're in Belize for a few days of scuba diving and relaxation. Our hotel, Coco Beach Resort in San Pedro, is quite nice if a bit isolated. It's our first day here, so we're still getting the lay of the land. Our plan is to head into San Pedro via water taxi today to do a little exploring in the city. I'll be carrying my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, as it's super-capable, compact, and unobtrusive.
By the time this posts, we'll be back in Virginia. Here's hoping for a nice break in a place we've never visited before!
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
As you may know if you follow my blog, I love to meet and photograph interesting people when I travel. While returning from Audubon Park to the French Quarter on the streetcar in New Orleans, I met Tony:
Tony from New Orleans, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, 50mm Summilux f1.4 Lens
iso 200, f3.4, 1/750 sec.
Tony was dressed especially nicely, and his black hat and white bowtie really stood out. But, what started our conversation was the stack of (very) old books he was carrying. I asked about them, and Tony proceeded to tell me that he is currently writing a play about New Orleans and the Civil War. The books are family heirlooms, and he is using them to guide his research. On this day, he was on his way to see some remaining slave quarters somewhere near the Quarter.
Tony is a very nice guy, and the conversation really added to my travel experience. I only had one opportunity to shoot a couple of pictures of him, but feel that this one came out pretty good. The light was challenging, but I got it right for his skin tone, at the risk of blowing out the background. As it turns out, it's not too badly overexposed, and the streetcar pulling away in the background is perfect for my memory of the experience.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I attended the Shenandoah Riverside Festival in Brunswick, Maryland last weekend.
(Click Here) to read a little about the festival, and hosting organization, Earth Korps.
In addition to my Nikon D700 kit, I brought along the tiny Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 and a couple of specialty lenses, including a plastic toy lens, the Holga 25mm f8. I had some fun with that, and here are the results.
And here's my favorite:
Fun with the Holga 25mm f8 Lens for Micro 4/3, by Reed A. George
All Images Made with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
For $20, the Holga lens is worth a try. See below for a link to yours on Amazon.
Recently, I've been having fun with low tech. Not only cameras that were once state-of-the-art but happen to be from the age of film, but also things that started out low tech, like the Holga lens and my pinhole camera.
I've got an exhibit in mind along these lines. Just a concept, I need to work through writing an artist's statement and see if it holds up. It's time for a new project.
Monday, June 23, 2014
Photographer Saul Leiter (Left) and Director Tomas Leach
Image Source: http://erickimphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/INGH7-Saul-Leiter-and-Director-Tomas-Leach.jpg
Here's a movie I'm actually looking forward to seeing. Director Tomas Leach was given a book of Saul Leiter's photographs, called Early Color. He decided to approach Leiter with a proposal to make a biographical film about him, and it was accepted.
Based on the trailer, which you can see by
(Clicking Here) on http://watch.innogreathurry.com
I'm convinced this will be an interesting film for me. Leiter seems like a very down-to-earth guy. The trailer is somewhat reminiscent of the film about Bill Cunningham, which I wrote about earlier. (Click Here) to see that post.
While Cunningham continued to use a Nikon FM2 camera for his whole career, we see in the picture above that Leiter at least toyed with more modern digital cameras, including a Panasonic Lumix G1, and an LX series (LX5), both excellent cameras in my opinion.
Use google image search to look for Leiter's pictures. There's a lot for me to learn from this man.
I learned about Leiter on Google+ in a post by Kent Forrest. The image above came from Eric Kim's photography blog. (Click Here) to see Eric's post about the film, which opens in the US in July.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a new product from Photojojo - large, low tech monochrome prints. At 3' x 4' in size, these prints are made on lightweight (aka cheap) paper, using large printers designed for engineering drawings.
(Click Here) to read my previous post about Engineer prints.
Well, I ordered two, with very different images, to see if I like the result. Both images were shot with my 4x5 pinhole camera. Here they are:
Trunks, by Reed A. George
Wooden Pinhole Camera (4x5)
Arista EDU iso 400 film
In my opinion, this first image is almost perfect for the engineer print technology. It came out looking really great, and the quirky artifacts of the low tech printing really don't detract from the power of the image. I'm 100% pleased with how this one printed.
Walking Meditation, by Reed A. George
Wooden Pinhole Camera (4x5)
Arista EDU iso 100 film - 90 second exposure
The second image, Walking Meditation, is part of a new project I'm doing. As you can see, it's quite different from my usual work. Not a sharp element in the whole image, it's meant to be much less literal. I wanted this image to give the viewer a feeling, not an answer. The engineer print of this one is a little more difficult to judge. When I first viewed it, I was not pleased with the result, thinking I'd chosen the wrong image to print in this way.
Now that both of these huge prints are pinned to my wall, I'm enjoying both of them quite a lot. I'm thinking that I may make an entire exhibition of engineer prints of pinhole images. That in itself could be a fun project.
So, I consider this little experiment a success.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
I've already written some about Cafe Du Monde, home of great coffee and chicory in New Orleans. Every time I think of it, I can taste that great coffee, not to mention the devilishly unhealthy yet tasty beignets.
(Click Here) to go to the Cafe Du Monde website. If you like coffee, do not miss the chance to go here for breakfast. You can go anytime you like, as they're open 24/7.
Morning Routine, New Orleans, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Summilux 50mm f1.4 Lens
iso 200, f2.8, 1/90 sec.
Over the four days that I was in New Orleans, I made a series of three images of the people who work at the Cafe. The first shows how the place looks at sunrise, before most French Quarter inhabitants open their eyes (or soon after they've gone to bed?). It seems the morning crew is mainly made up of Asian women.
Morning Crew, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Summilux 50mm f1.4 Lens
iso 400, f4.8, 1/60 sec.
I like the lines in this composition. I think the out of focus chairs in the foreground help to bring you into the image, to see the ladies at the table as the focal point of the composition. I know some people don't like out of focus foreground elements; I happen to think they can be a powerful tool.
The next two were shot later in the day, when the Cafe is full of customers.
Interaction, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
iso 400, f2.2, 1/250 sec.
In the shot above, I like the interaction between the waiter and the blond lady with her back to us. That imaginary line between his eyes and hers is as distinct as if it actually existed, at least in my mind, as I look at this.
Now here's my favorite of the series, and one of my favorite shots from the whole trip.
Break Time, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
iso 400, f4, 1/200 sec.
I made this shot pretty much from the hip as I walked by. The tiny, silent Lumix LX7 was completely non-threatening. One fraction of a second, and it was over.
As usual, I found the LX7 to be a wonderful travel camera, and also as usual, was interested to find that several of my favorite shots were made with it. I can't say enough about how great that little camera is. That's probably why I wrote an ebook about how I use mine (see link below to get your copy for only $2.99).
Friday, June 20, 2014
Some of my best music buddies are in a band called The Plank Stompers. They were nice enough to give me a couple of tries at a group shot last week.
The first try was in nice but direct sunlight, and didn't work out that well. My only real chance to beat the contrast was a small amount of fill flash, and I'm not satisfied with the result. We went at it again a little later, when the sun was going down. Much better. Here's my favorite:
The Plank Stompers, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 v.3 Lens
iso 640, f9.5, 1/125 sec.
I've gotten a few more requests for whole band promo shots recently. I need to work on the techniques for getting this right. A little practice with the Plank Stompers helped me in that respect. I hope they'll find the pictures useful.
The Plank Stompers play a great down-home mix of bluegrass, folk, and space groove.
(Click Here) to find out more about them.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Today I want to demonstrate an element of composition that I like to use once in a while - adding tension to a photograph with an important element near the edge of the frame. Now, it really does add tension, not comfort, so it's not something you want to use all the time, most likely.
Here's what I mean.
New Orleans Balcony #1, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
Now, I like the shot above quite a bit. Very strong leading lines everywhere, and the waitress at left is a very nice focal point, somewhere near the edge, but not at it. I like this shot, but don't love it.
Here's another, same place, just a few seconds different timing, with just a little different composition.
New Orleans Balcony #2, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
Overall, I'd say this shot is not as nicely composed as the first. The lines converge more centrally to the image, giving a balance that I don't really like. Except. Except for the gentleman standing at the extreme left edge. He throws off that balance completely. His face is a slightly unexpected element in the composition, and I think he adds just that thing to make this picture better than the one above.
I don't think this technique makes for a comfortable, pretty image in most cases. In my opinion, good photographs impart an emotion, not always "oh, that's pretty!" I think the second image does that better than the first.
However, if I were picking one of these to hang on my wall, I'm not sure which I'd pick.
Opinions? Please share.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Image Source: http://www.photographyblackwhite.com/finding-vision/
I recently read a great post on Cole Thompson's blog, about how he found his own vision. Cole started the journey with a portfolio review where the reviewer simply said that he was copying Ansel Adams. He told Cole that Ansel had already done Ansel, and he was never going to do it better than him.
This set Cole on a journey to find and develop his own vision, which he describes in a set of ten steps.
(Click Here) to read the whole post on Cole Thompson's blog.
A few of the elements of the post I like best are:
- He printed 100 of his most loved images, then sorted out those that he personally loved (not those that others happened to love). Then, he set his mind to pursuing more images like those.
- A direct quote: "I had to remind myself that this was not a race or a contest, I was not competing against others...I was competing with myself."
- Cole's vision didn't come to him in a flash, but in a moment of realization: "Vision was simply the sum total of my life experiences that caused me to see the world in a unique way."
I also like Cole's assertion that your vision is not necessarily associated with a particular look or style. You can bring your own vision to anything you set your mind to.
This is a very well-written piece, and one that makes me think more about why and how I pursue photography.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Mr. Don Nelson, by Reed A. George
Agfa Record III, Kodak Tri-X Film
This is Don Nelson, who flew this exact Huey copter in Vietnam in 1968, including having to put it down in a rice paddy in an emergency. Mr. Nelson was part of the military event going on in Findlay on the day of the Film Photography Project (FPP) Walking Workshop, and had just that day given his 40-something daughter her first ride in the copter. I shot this with my Agfa Record III medium format (6x9 on 120 film) folding camera, on the Tri-X that came in my FPP goodie bag for the event!
Great memories all the way around! Thanks FPP, for a great event!
Monday, June 16, 2014
Latrobe park is dedicated to architect Benjamin Latrobe. Located in the French Market, it's on the former site of a waterworks designed by Latrobe. Now, it's a cool place to relax in the shade of a hot day, just a few steps from the Mississippi River, and on the edge of the French Quarter.
I was walking through on my morning exploration when the light through this statue caught my eye.
Latrobe Park Statue, by Reed A. George
Leica M6 Titan, Leica Summicron 35mm f2 v.3 Lens
Kodak TMax 400 Film
Man, I could sure spend more time in New Orleans. Friends who visited a week after me told me of the torrential rains during their trip; not a drop of rain while I was there. In fact, I'd love to shoot the city in fog and rain. Maybe my next trip to New Orleans will be selected for moodier weather.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
I think one of my favorite photographic pursuits is to travel to a new city and try to capture the spirit and character of the place in street photographs. Every once in a while, I come across someone else who does this in a way that inspires me to keep trying, keep improving.
Here's an example:
(Click Here) to see the full series on the blog simonsawstreet.blogspot.de
I've never been to Istanbul. Simon's images give me a real feel for the place which I really appreciate. Way beyond postcard images, he's shared with us some of the true textures and scenes of the city.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
New Orleans is such a musical city. While I was there, the Jazz Fest was happening, but I decided not to go in. I figured that I can attend a music festival in any city. I wanted to experience New Orleans music, the music that's there every day. I was not disappointed.
This is "13 Strings and a $2 Bill," playing at sunset on Royal Street:
13 Strings and a $2 Bill, by Reed A. George
Leica M6 Titan
Having a dog along with your act seems to be a real revenue increaser. This guy looked just a little bored, even with Nora tapping away right next to him.
Check 13 Strings and a $2 Bill out - (Click Here) to visit their facebook page. Youtube has several videos of them as well.
Friday, June 13, 2014
I made this shot a few years back (2010), with my Bronica ETRS with 35mm wide (panoramic) back. It's Antietam Creek in Maryland.
Antietam Creek, by Reed A. George
Bronica ETRS, 35mm Wide Film Back
This shot has stuck in my mind for a very long time. It makes me once again remember my Bronica kit, and how much I like it. I bought the camera on a lark, and don't use it nearly as much as I should. I have a full set of lenses, and the panoramic back really adds to the usefulness of the camera. Yes, the ETRS is big, clunky, and loud; you're not going to sneak up on anyone with this camera. At least not after you click the shutter once. But, the lenses are immense chunks of glass, and I think produce first-rate images.
Likewise, as many others have, I had a brief period of intense interest in shooting panoramics. Actually, I really love the long aspect ratio. I need to do more with it. One limitation is that panos don't really lend themselves to efficient use of electronic displays, as the aspect ratio is just wrong for using most of the pixels on a normal display. I have planned to order roll paper to print them, but have never done it.
So, next time I'm feeling bored and ready for a camera/format change, I'm going to load up the ETRS and 35mm back and get down to business.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Here's a shot I made of Burnside Bridge, site of a bloody battle at Antietam in the US Civil War. I made this image in 2010.
Burnside Bridge, by Reed A. George
Leica M8, Minolta Rokkor 40mm f2
iso 160, f11, 1/15 sec.
What drew me to this scene was the lighting - a mixture of diffuse shade, hard direct sun, and reflections of such up under the bridge arches.
What got me thinking about Burnside Bridge right now? The image below, by Evan Leavitt:
Image Source: http://evanleavittphotography.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/antietam-view-3/#comment-679
Evan made this shot with a Graflex Speed Graphic and 4x5 paper negative. Lovely.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Streetcar Color, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Summicron 35mm f2 v.3 lens
iso 200, f8, 1/250 sec.
Now this one would not have been as good in black and white.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Image Source: http://leicaphilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/davidson1.jpeg
There's a nice post on the blog Leicaphilia, about an image Bruce Davidson made of a British girl holding a kitten. The photograph is beautiful, and worth the click.
(Click Here) to see the girl with kitten on Leicaphilia.
But, the image above, of Davidson's Leica, is what impressed me. Now that's what I call brassing. Tough to call this on "minty" if it ever hits ebay.
As I've shared before, I bought my first Leica, the M4-2 that I've used for the "Dreaming in Monochrom(e)" series, used and cheap.
(Click Here) to see my Dreaming in Monochrom(e) series of posts.
My friend recommended that I forget about having the vulcanite replaced, stating that it would be better to look like I'd carried my camera through a war than like a dentist out with his new jewelry. I've followed that advice. My M4-2 is just a ugly/beautiful as when I received it.
Monday, June 9, 2014
I have a thing for artists who make their living sharing creativity on the street. This gentleman was most gracious when I asked if I could take his picture at Jackson Square in New Orleans.
Street Artist, New Orleans, by Reed A. George
Leica M6 Titanium, Kodak 400 Color Print Film
I honestly can't remember if I was using my 35mm f2 Summicron or 50mm f1.4 Summilux for this shot. I must learn to record my film shooting parameters better.
What attracted me to this man as a subject was the combination of beautiful morning light bouncing from his sketch pad and lighting his face, and his intense concentration on his subject. In composing the shot, I got down low, hoping to use the line of the fence to align somewhat with his line of sight. I think I achieved that reasonably well. I was able to get in and out of their way very quickly, and captured exactly what I wanted with the M6.
Nope, I'm not ready to give up film yet.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Join the LHSA (International Leica Society). Among many other benefits, the annual raffle is a huge feature of the Society.
Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Raffle!
Under Cover of Darkness, by Reed A. George
Leica M6 Titanium, Summilux 50mm f1.4 Lens
TMax 3200 Film, f1.4, 1/30 sec. (?)
I shot this through the window of a very dark bar on my walk home from a show on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans. I feel that it's quite mysterious, and knew at the time that it would make an interesting image if it came out. I love the blazing bar light at right in the shape of a lion (or something), and the hands with no visible attached body at left. I also love the eyes of the person on the left looking upward.
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Point Reyes Contemplation, by Reed A. George
Nikon D70, Sigma 600mm f8 Lens
iso 400, f8, 1/640 sec.
I took the shot above ten years ago. I remember the thrill of getting my first DSLR, the Nikon D70. Quite a machine it was. I also remember the feeling of hiking at Point Reyes, California on that day.
Eric Kim has posted 35 Magnum photographers' advice to aspiring photographers. I haven't read them all yet.
(Click Here) to read the full post on Eric Kim's blog.
Here's the one that will be my thought for the day, by Alex Webb:
"Photograph because you love doing it, because you absolutely have to do it, because the chief reward is going to be the process of doing it. Other rewards — recognition, financial remuneration — come to so few and are so fleeting. And even if you are somewhat successful, there will almost inevitably be stretches of time when you will be ignored, have little income, or — often — both. Certainly there are many other easier ways to make a living in this society. Take photography on as a passion, not a career."
I do feel that I "absolutely have to do it." I find that part of the quote very interesting. Taken out of context, that could mean that photography is your career, thus you have to do it. I think the follow-on is important: "...the chief reward is going to be the process of doing it." Certainly true for me. The process is the thing for me.
Friday, June 6, 2014
My uncle Bob gave me a very nice gift recently, his Konica TC-1 camera, Tokina zoom, and 50mm Hexanon AR 50mm f1.7 lens. I have not cleaned the camera up yet, but did immediately pick up a "Fotasy" adapter for Konica Hexanon lenses on Micro 4/3 cameras. This morning, I mounted up the 50 Hexanon on my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Micro 4/3 body. Here's how it looks:
Konica 50mm Hexanon f1.7 on GX7
The Fotasy adapter made movement of the aperture ring on the Hexanon a little tight, but it's loosening up with exercise. I bought mine on Amazon, and the price is quite reasonable (see link to purchase yours on Amazon below).
With the Micro 4/3 sensor, the Hexanon provides an equivalent field of view to a 100mm lens on full frame 35mm format. A nice, fast portrait lens. Here's a shot of my daughter by window light, at f2.8.
My Favorite Model, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, Konica Hexanon 50mm f1.7 Lens
iso 400, f2.8, 1/50 sec.
I have always loved Konica lenses. This one is no exception. I'm quite pleased with the color and sharpness of this image.
Thanks, Uncle Bob!
Thursday, June 5, 2014
I have a couple of images that I want to print very large. I posted one of them yesterday, which I shot at Audubon Park in New Orleans. I have a very large square frame that I rescued from the trash can, waiting for that shot. Another is a pinhole image that I recently made, which I have not yet shared. It's a much less sharp (obviously, having come from a pinhole camera), more interpretive image that I want to print as large as possible to see if the effect scales.
Large prints are very expensive to make. At least photographic quality prints. This morning, I found a post about "Engineer" prints from Photojojo.
Image Source: http://photojojo.com/engineerprints/img/tutorial_photos/Engineer-Prints-457_Full1600new.jpg
These are apparently made on printers designed for architectural drawings, and on rather lightweight paper. They are 3' x 4' in size, and only in black and white. The description includes this statement about what to expect:
"Streaked, striated and wacky black and gray tones combine to create a super unique look that’s no ordinary photo print."
So, don't expect a perfect print. However, at $25, and with free shipping, it may just be worth a try with my pinhole image. That shot is made on 4x5 film, so I can make a very large scan of it to send for printing. Yes, I think I'll give it a go. I'll let you know how it turns out.
(Click Here) to read more about Engineer Prints from Photojojo.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Visual Poetry, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 35mm f2 v.3 lens
iso 200, f3.4, 1/1000 sec.
Knowing that it was important to get out of the French Quarter, at least for a little while on my recent trip to New Orleans, I hopped a streetcar to Audubon Park one morning. After my own SNAFU, whereby I rode past the station where I needed to change lines, walked several blocks to recover, then discovered that the streetcar line was under construction and being supported by bus, I was quite a bit later arriving than I had planned. The bright Louisiana sun was well up in the sky when I got to the park. That did not stop me.
This is one of my favorite couple of images from that morning. I saw this composition as soon as I walked into the park; an hour later and the lighting would have been all wrong. There are several things I love about this shot. The light is at nearly exactly the right position to put the statue's face in a nice combination of light and shadow, and light the body of the statue perfectly to stand out against the dark backround of the live oak branches behind it. I love how the statues interact, including the third and fourth, slightly out of focus in the background above the child statue at bottom right. They're barely even elements in the composition, which is how I wanted it. The palm tree in silhouette way back there is another important element to me. The similarity of the main statue's pose and arm position to that of the lovely live oak tree behind is probably what attracted me to this composition in the first place.
Of course, the next time I go to New Orleans, I will be at the park at sunrise; that would just be spectacular. Not having made it at the perfect time on this morning, I'm quite pleased with this result.
The Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron pulled it off nicely for me. I think this one warrants a print.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
French Quarter Reflection, by Reed A. George
Leica M6 Titanium, 50mm f1.4 Summilux Lens
I shot this image early one morning in New Orleans. It's a little cliche' to shoot reflections all the time, so I don't. In this case, I like the difference in emotion that it gives, as opposed to shooting the balcony itself directly in the early morning warmth. I like how it has an almost night time feel to it. Don't be afraid of black shadows in your pictures, if that's the emotion you want to communicate.
Monday, June 2, 2014
My friend Ben took me on a walk along the levee near his home in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. I shared a shot of him taken on the levee in an earlier post. (Click Here) to see that shot.
Here's a map of the area:
Image Source: wikitravel.org
(I added the location of the Steamboat House)
One of the landmarks in the area is the Steamboat House. Here's how it looked on the day we visited:
Steamboat House, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
iso 80, f2.8, 1/1600 sec.
Apparently, there are two Steamboat Houses; I only saw this one. Here's what wikipedia has to say about them:
"The Doullut steamboat houses are located on either side of Egania Street at numbers 400 and 503. The first house, closer to the river, was built in 1905 by Captain Milton P. Doullut, a riverboat pilot, as his home. The second was built in 1913 for his son Paul Doullut. In 1977 both houses were designated historic landmarks. The houses have two notable design influences, the first being the steamboats of the period, the second being the Japanese exhibit at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis (Louisiana Purchase Exposition). Notably, Mary Doullut (wife of Milton) was also a river boat captain, who worked on the river for over 30 years; she is believed to be the first woman to have held a Mississippi riverboat pilot's license."
(Click Here) to read about the houses and the Lower Ninth Ward on wikipedia.
Ben actually knows some of the people who live here. I'd love to go inside. We speculated that maybe the building actually had something to do with the steamboat trade, but that seems to not be the case.
The Steamboat House is a quirky little highlight of this historic area of the city.
This is an important time for Leica. Celebrating their 100th anniversary and moving into a new headquarters in their original home of Wetzlar, Leica is having fun on several fronts.
In addition to introducing highly exclusive camera editions that most of us will never see, they've commissioned an exciting series of photographs from contemporary photographers, pairing each of them in style and spirit with an important photographer from the past.
Image Source: http://blog.leica-camera.com/leica-news/leica-gallery-wetzlar-inaugural-10-x-10-exhibition/
The ten photographers, and their conceptual partners from the past are listed below:
Jing Huang and Henri Cartier-Bresson
Craig Semetko and Elliott Erwitt
Julia Baier and René Burri
Dominic Nahr and Robert Capa
Evgenia Arbugaeva and André Kertész
Kirill Golovchenko and Lee Friedlander
Alec Soth and William Eggleston
Amedeo Turello and William Klein
Thomas Ruff and Alexander Rodchenko
Saga Sig and Jeanloup Sieff
Each of the ten chosen photographers created ten images, which are now on exhibition in the Leica Gallery.
(Click Here) to read more about the show on the Leica Camera Blog.
The blog shows one representative image from each of the featured photographers. I'd like to see the rest, as what they show is intriguing. Reading this also reminds me of how many great photographers have come before us, and how I should become familiar with their work. While many of the names of the greats listed above are familiar to me (some are not), I would have trouble pointing out the style of any of them with the exception of Bresson and Capa. There is a lot for me to learn from them.
I appreciate the Leica is celebrating the past and looking to the future with this event.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Japanese Sakura, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
iso 200, f4, 1/320 sec..
I'm still quite pleased with my Lumix DMC-LX7 camera. So small, so capable. Nearly perfect as a compact travel camera, the LX7, like it's earlier LX-series brethren, offers the combination of a fast Pana-Leica lens, tiny form factor, manual everything, and auto everything (you select). The LX7 allows the use of the accessory electronic viewfinder as well. I'm always amazed at what this little camera can do.
That said, it seems about time for the next in the LX series to be announced. Here's the past announcement record:
LX3: July 21, 2008
LX5: July 21, 2010
LX7: July 18, 2012
So, it seems logical that we'll see an announcement soon. Since there's sensitivity about certain numbers in Asian culture, and based on the current pattern, I'd think it may end up being a DMC-LX9.
That said, I can't find anything on the web that indicates an impending announcement. In fact, I've read some speculation that the LX7 may be the last in the LX series. I sure hope not. To me, the LX cameras represent so much of what digital technology can achieve.