Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's suppose to be fun

This is a strange post.  I both worked on it in mind, and decided it should never be written simultaneously.  Then over-ruled the decision.

One of the truisms in photography is the camera doesn't matter.  It is the case.  However, it also isn't.  Ever tried to make a photograph without some kind of camera?  Doesn't work very well does it?

I, personally, have never been too attached to any of my cameras.

But, that may have changed.  A few years ago when Fuji announced the X100 I was intrigued.  I nearly pre-ordered it after see the announcement.  It seemed perfect.  Small.  Manual control.  RAW files. Retro design. I found the rangefinder-like design interesting. The only mark against it at that time was a painful price, but painful prices can be rationalized away. Money can be saved up.  I waited to see reviews.  Early reviews stated the camera was quirky, locked up, and did numerous other unfortunate things.  And those were things listed in the POSITIVE reviews.  I didn't buy it.  Maybe if it was cheaper I would have anyway? Maybe I should have despite the price and issues? [Note: Fuji addressed many of these early issues in firmware -- but I had already decided to pass. ]

But.  This year Fuji released the update for the X100, the X100s.  It has none of the issues. I bought one.

It changed photography some for me.  It reintroduced me to the fun of it.  It fits in my pocket.  It changed the size of the bag I carry.  I feel it is invisible with it.  I have had a "real" camera with me almost every day for a few years.  But, for some reason this one comes out more.  Its not the newness either.  It is less of a "production" to get it out of the bag.  And people around you ignore it.  An SLR gets "looks", most of which aren't of the happy variety.  SLRs also have a way of attracting "that guy" who wanders over your way who wants to discuss his cameras while that little ray of sunlight that caught your attention in the first place gets covered up by a cloud.

It hasn't been completely roses.  It is taking me a while to get used to using it.  For example, the hotshoe needs to be turned on.  That caught me out, but instead of fiddling around with figuring it out, made the pictures I wanted to with another camera :)  So, my first "serious" attempt at using was a punt.

But-- I'm making pictures I wouldn't normally make.

I'm also doing things I wouldn't normally.  I'm using the jpegs directly out of the camera for many purposes, primarily the black and white modes.  I'm making "snapshots".  I put a "protective" filter and lens hood on the lens and ditched ( read "placed carefully in a cabinet" ) the lens cap.  I read the camera manual ( who does that, really? ).  I've tried even the "sillier" features of the camera like automatic panorama mode, just to see what it did.  I'm getting used to seeing the world in "mildly wide angle" slices, despite my natural inclination to see it in "mildly telephoto" ones. I stuck an IR filter on it, and that works!  There is a small bit of  circular flare that I need to figure out, but it works!

Anyway, this would make a terrible "only" camera for me because of the fixed lens.  But, as a daily carry kind of thing it is perfect.  The more I use it, the more comfortable I am with the fixed lens. All the pictures in this post were made with it ( told you they weren't my normal "thing" ), as well as all the ones here.  I realize none of these are super amazing, I'm still getting used to things. 

But, they were FUN to make, and that is the point of this post.

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