Packing Photo Gear for Barcelona, Spain, and the French Countryside

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Just when I have the most time for and interest in photography is when I’m most limited with the gear I can take. That’s the quandary facing me now that I’m about to leave for five weeks in Europe.

Part of the trip will be spent with my family in my hometown. The other part will be a road trip from Holland via France to Barcelona, Spain, and back. I’m spending about a week driving, with stops for photography, and a week in Barcelona.

So, it’s a great time to try new gear that doesn’t get much use at home.

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Fuji Announces a Bevy of New Gear, Including X100T

Fuji X100T Fujifilm has earned a reputation as a company that listens to its customers and offers improvements on their products and firmware to cater to their customer base. In the case of firmware, Fuji has updated firmware for cameras that were already succeeded by newer models. Kudos for that.

But it turns out there’s also a flipside to that continuous improvement. That became obvious today, when Fuji announced a few products that are just slightly improved or slightly different from stuff that hasn’t been on the market that long. [Read more…]

Blog Note: Travel Coming Up

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Been busy prepping for a trip across the Pacific, into the Japanese rainy season. I’ll be a few days in Tokyo, about a week in Kyoto and then a week on the Big Island of Hawaii.

After much hemming and hawing, I now have my carry-on filled with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO. This is my main shooting setup for Tokyo and Kyoto, since it has good weather resistance. Alternate lenses for the Olympus are the 12mm f/2.0, the 25mm f/1.8, the 45mm f/1.8 and the 75mm f/1.8. The latter two because they’re so good. The first two because I might need that bit of extra aperture at dusk. Plus, except for the 75mm, they’re so light that it hardly makes a difference in weight to throw them in.

For Hawaii, the main setup will be the Sony A7r with the Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE, an old Olympus 24mm f/2.8 and a Contax 90mm f/2.8.

I’m also throwing in the Pentax WG-III waterproof point-and-shoot for fun shots at the beach and while snorkeling.

Finally, I will take the Fuji X100s. I think. It’s in the bag, because it’s made for city shooting like I’m planning to do. But it doesn’t offer the weather-resistance of the Olympus and only offers 35mm. I regard it as my go-to camera, but in reality it often stays home or doesn’t get chosen when I go out for serious shooting. I like using it, but if I find that even during this trip I don’t reach for it much, I fear it will have to go.

So, my first real post last year was about shooting in Paris with three cameras and this year it will be about shooting in Japan and Hawaii with three cameras.

Depending on time and internet connections, I will report back once in a while during the trip and share my experiences with the camera and about shooting in these places.

That Road Trip, Photographer’s Block and Mixing Camera & Lens Brands

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Lake Erie

So, we’re back home. Drove about 1700 miles in a few days in weather ranging from summery to snow and sleet. Walked over college campuses, dined in small diners and enormous Italian eateries and saw parts of the United States much unlike our suburban New York neighborhood.

Actually, my teenage son and I have been back for a while now.

But I was hit with photographer’s block, if such a thing exists. Strange thing, that. I usually don’t suffer from that more common affliction called writer’s block, although I do write more than I end up posting.

But I do sometimes encounter an inability to open images in Lightroom and start editing them down. Wonder if others have this as well.

With me, it usually goes like this: I find a great place to shoot, take dozens of pictures, I’m excited about the shoot and what I see on the back of my camera, I put the images on my computer, I get less excited as I see flaws when I blow up the images. I end up being disappointed with the contrast between the fun and excitement of the shoot and the end result. I dither… [Read more…]

Road Trip! – Packing Photo Gear for a Week on the American Roads

Road Trip!

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American movies make you believe that a road trip here involves rowdy young people in a classic American convertible driving through the empty South West in the blazing sun. Now, I’ve got a road trip coming up next week, but it’s nothing like that. Bummer, right?

My road trip will be my son and I driving in a contemporary German sedan through the decidedly not empty environs of the North East, most likely through a veil of rain. And I doubt we’ll be rowdy.

It’s college trip time, another old American tradition. My son needs to go check out colleges to decide which ones he wants to apply to. First Ohio, then Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont. I’m looking forward to it, because I like breaking the routine, seeing other parts of the US and don’t mind driving long distances here, unless it’s on the Interstate 95, the infamously crowded I95 corridor from Maine to Florida along the Atlantic coast.

So, it’s time to pack my gear. As usual, for someone with too much stuff, it’s an excruciating process of inclusion and elimination with the end result that you’ll be unhappy with your choices anyway. I don’t know about you, but I always take too much and still miss the one thing I didn’t take. [Read more…]