Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rediscovering a Different Way of Seeing

One of the strange behaviors of a photographer is that you can always find an excuse to have another camera, and one of the things that I find fascinating is that different cameras inspire a different way of seeing and taking pictures.

Way back in the film era, I carried a Leica with me as my "pocket" camera that I could take out with friends and carry with me everywhere, because it was small and discrete.  All Leica's are rangefinders, which means that unlike the DSLRs that I typically use for work, you look through a viewfinder that is separate from the "taking" lens.  It means that you see the moment that you are capturing, because the viewfinder doesn't black out, but you also suffer from parallax, meaning that because the viewfinder is on a different plane than the lens, you don't get entirely what you see, especially when you're working close to your subject.  My old Leica was also an old one, and it was harder to focus than more recent ones.  Each shot was quick, but more deliberate.

Lately I've been getting frustrated lugging along my big DSLR out with friends, and I just didn't always feel like I should be carrying a "work" camera when out at play.  So I finally broke down and got a Canon G10, a pocket camera that has many pro features and moves a bit faster than a typical point and shoot.  It also has a pretty spiffy 28mm f/2.8 lens.  I instantly connected with the camera, it's a joy to shoot with.  It's got many of the same caveats of my old Leica, and it's files are in a different aspect ratio than my SLRs.  Either more square or more long and skinny.  I feel more comfortable in a rectangle, although I do enjoy a perfect square on occasion.  Anywho, I've been putting my little G10 through it's paces, especially this week while down in Austin visiting friends.  One thing that I did learn is that I love shooting in black and white with it, the feeling of the camera just seems to lend itself to a classic look.  However, the built in black and white is crap.  It looks great on the screen on the camera, but then it looks really bad on a real monitor.  It's especially bad at high ISOs.  I figured out that combining a variation of my usual black and white curves that I created for my SLRs along with the black and white adjustment layer that's in Photoshop, but set to a green filter, works great.  The green filter reduces the noise dramatically, and it just works great.

So, enjoy a snapshot our brief visit to Texas, with our friends, family, and critters.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Recent Weddings

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Pittsburgh and shoot a wedding with my good buddy, Mike Robinson.

We had a great time shooting Jen and Jeff's wedding, two days after Christmas, and on an insanely improbable SUNNY and warm (in the 70s) day in Pittsburgh. Go figure.

A week later, I was in DC, and I brought my camera along to a friend's reception to celebrate Adam and Aimee's wedding (from back in July).

Great times!

Pastor Gracey putting the final touches on the ceremony.

While Jen and the bridesmaids put on their final touches as well.

The ceremony music was provided by some exceptionally talented students of Jeff.

A fairly brilliant idea - during the ceremony, have everyone turn around and face me up in the balcony for a spiffy group photo!

Jen's daughter making her mom's new hubby happy.

Hide and seek!

The Christmas theme extended even to the cake!

Adam showing off his moves in D.C.

Adam and Aimee rocking out!