I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! In Adrift news, I am still eagerly awaiting Fujifilm’s release of the new X100 classic-styled digital camera. In the meantime, I have taken a step in the opposite direction and have started shooting medium format film. Meet my ‘new’ rig – a Yashika Mat124-G twin-lens reflex camera. It shoots both 120 and 220 film in square 6×6 format. The first roll is developed and the camera works perfectly!
Medium format has a much larger negative than 35mm (and higher resolution than most current digital cameras on the market). This type of camera encourages a type of photography that is slow, methodical and contemplative. Hopefully that will translate in my work.
Please join me for my next photo show at Katie Sevigny’s new location in downtown Anchorage. Opening is Friday November 5th, 2010 at 6pm. My all new framed photos are part of a new show entitled “Human”. As you can guess – they’re all photographs of people. Hopefully not just portraits, but a glimpse into who they are as humans! The display will be up though the month of November. I’d love to see you!
Probably the coolest feature about the forthcoming Fujifilm X100 is it’s new ‘hybrid viewfinder’!
At first glance, the X100 seems to have the traditional ‘look through the peephole’ viewfinder of a rangefinder camera. When viewing through a rangefinder, one sees a rectangular window with a smaller ‘box’ of white lines within the larger scene. The box represents the borders of the photo. This is a big advantage for capturing people in action. The photographer can see when a person is about to enter the photo’s border without taking his eye from the camera. There is also an axiom in photography that states that everything inside the photo should be there for a reason. Photography is an art of exclusion! A viewfinder with framelines helps the shooter to make those choices.
The disadvantages of RF viewfinders are parallax – what you see through the peep hole is not looking from the same angle as the lens. Also, you don’t see the out-of-focus effect of depth-of-field. If I make a photo on a rangefinder camera with a low F-stop, I know that the photo will have a very tight focus, with lots of blur or ‘bokeh’ in the background… but I won’t see that effect through the viewfinder at the time. I just have to know it is there and imagine the finished effect. By contrast, SLR photographers get to see that blurred effect in action because what they are seeing is through the actual lens of the camera. What you see is what you get.
Both systems have their advantages. And now comes something new…
The X100 has a totally new kind of viewfinder. It looks like the optical peep hole of the rangefinder, but when you look through it, you see digital framelines superimposed. You also see the kind of shooting data that digital photographers have come to expect: Shutter speed, F-stop, Shot number, color temp (white balance), etc.
Flick a switch on the front of the camera and the optical eyepiece suddenly shows a digital screen image as seen directly through the lens! The photographer can now choose between the advantages of an optical viewfinder with framelines, and the through-the-lens view of an SLR, and back again, with ease!
There are a few other nice features. There’s a distance scale at the bottom with a line marking where the lens is focused, and a highlighted area showing the nearest and farthest distances, at your current F-stop, that are in focus! The X100 has a digital level that shows a pair of horizon lines – tilt the camera until they are aligned, and your photo will be perfectly level. There is also a histogram inset, and a rule-of-thirds guide as well as focus points if shooting in auto-focus mode.
I am really excited about getting my hands on one of these, and interested to see how the X100 will be received in reviews!
The upcoming Fujifilm Finepix X100. WOW!
I don’t normally use this forum to talk about camera gear. I am usually of the opinion that good photographs can be made with almost any camera if you understand it’s strengths and limits.
That said, I was really blown away last week with the announcement of the Fuji X100. I could not imagine a more perfect digital camera for the type of shooting that I enjoy most. Street. The net is already abuzz with commentaries and reviews of Fuji’s new development announcement, so I won’t rehash it here. I will just give you the basics:
The X100 is a modern 12.3mp digital camera styled after a classic rangefinder. It is NOT a rangefinder, but something different with a new style of viewfinder that can be both digital or optical at the flick of a switch. In either mode, there is shooting data superimposed on the image. Critical info that should allow the photographer to keep the X100 up to the eye and not fiddling with menus. The most important controls are tactile: focus, aperture, shutter speed, and exposure compensation – all at your fingertips with real solid metal dials.
The X100 features a permanent fixed prime (non-zoom) lens with the field of view of a 35mm, and a speed of F2. Under the hood, the X100 has a 12.3mp CMOS sensor that has been fine tuned to the lens. I am really looking forward to the release of production models, supposed to be available around March 2011.
I love to shoot documentary and journalistic street photography, and street portraits of strangers. My style is often to shoot a fast lens wide open with a narrow depth of field and lots of bokeh. I prefer the rangefinder for this type of work because they look diminutive and understated. Rangefinders can go unnoticed for candid work, and are intimidating for portraiture, and yet … they can produce the high quality images of much larger SLR cameras! Rangefinders feature frame lines in the viewfinder that denote the edge of your photo, while showing you what is just OUTSIDE the boundaries – aiding in quick well composed photographs.
The X100 promises to offer these advantages with all the good things that come with digital photography. Oh, and the X100 also shoots hi-def video in 720p with stereo sound.
I’ll keep you posted.
It’s been almost three years since I’ve shown my work at the Kaladi location at the Title Wave/REI mall. ‘Framelines’ is a collection of black-and-white street photos, largely made with my classic Bessa rangefinder film camera. The prints are framed in matte-black wooden frames with a wide mat and matching black wood filet. Reasonably priced from $75-100 each. Saddle-up for Spenard, grab a cup of Red Goat, and browse my framed photography!
A photographer friend of mine, Caroline, is in marketing by profession. She had commented on my efforts to drum-up website traffic by labeling the back of my laptop lid with my domain name. She suggested that a stick-on billboard featuring one of my photos along with my domain name would go a lot further to generate attention.
Fast forward a few months. I’m browsing in a Macintosh store, looking at Speck brand snap-on protective laptop coverings. They come in a variety of colors and also in a totally clear model. I looked at the store’s demo 13” Macbook Pro and imagined an 8×12 print’s proportions in respect to the screen lid size. I think it would be a good fit. I tried setting a print onto my laptop. Perfect fit! I went back and bought the case, and began designing 20 or so covers to use in a rotation. I tried to feature different genres of my photography. Here are some examples of the finished product!