Lessons Learned

If you’re following the blog – and my quarterly project (Jan-Mar) on black & white photography – you’ll know that I have immersed myself in studying and shooting in b&w.  My approach so far has been to adjust my camera settings so that I both see (through the viewfinder) and shoot (with my Fuji Acros filter) in black & white.  In doing this, a couple of things have been striking so far …

  • My eye is drawn to the contrasts (not colors) between the intersection and alignment of black-gray-white tones.
  • Textures, patterns, and shadows feature more prominently when looking through the viewfinder.
  • B&w conveys a certain ‘mood’ that I don’t find when shooting in color; like playing ‘Enya’ on a rainy day when you want to sit in your jammies all day long.  (No offense Enya, I have always loved your music!)
  • Depending on the tones in the composition, b&w can sometimes feel cold and lifeless lacking life and vibracy that you find with color images.  That said …
  • In contrast, those compositional tones can convey powerful messages about subjects because the focus is NOT on the colors, but on the theme/subject itself.
  • Clouds really compliment a landscape image.

More to learn about black and white photography, but I wanted to pause to highlight some of the ‘lessons learned’ as I continue with my project.

Looking Ahead

With the overall goal of improving and growing my photography, here are the photography-related things I want to accomplish in 2019 …

COMMUNITY

  • Engage regularly with my FujiLove subscription & the community
  • Post photos on my Facebook page (+FB forums) & Instagram on Sun – Tue/Wed – Fri every week
  • Update wethersnap.com & include up to 1000 photos

GEAR

  • Expand my Cactus gear and regularly shoot lights/studio work
  • Buy Vanguard or LowePro bag to haul camera + 2 lenses
  • Buy Fuji XF lenses | 3-4 primes & zooms

LEARN

  • Complete Anthony Morganti’s Lightroom Classic CC course
  • Review my entire NYIP course on Professional Photography
    – Jan: Unit 1 – You and Your Equipment
    – Feb: Unit 2 – Capturing the Image
    – Mar: Unit 3 – Harnessing the Light
    – Apr: Unit 4 – Photographing People
    – May: Unit 5 – Broadening your Subject Range
    – Jun: Unit 6 – Professional Pathways
  • Take a photography course to improve my skills

SNAPS

  • Complete quarterly photo projects & produce 12-15 images for each project
  • Use wethersnaps.blog to document photo projects
  • Submit a photo to FujiLove’s monthly photo assignment competition

 

 

Why Fuji?

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently sold all of my Pentax gear and moved to Fuji.  I now shoot with a Fuji XH1 mirrorless camera and own three XF lenses – 16-55mm, 18-135mm, and 27mm.  

So why Fuji? Why switch?  Here are some of the main reasons …

  • The quality & color of the images coming straight from the camera are outstanding
  • The camera is mirrorless – lighter but with an advanced cropped sensor
  • Fujifilm company has an aggressive business plan & wants to be very competitive
  • Their quality standards are extremely high; factory videos are phenomenal
  • The Lens line-up for X mount (XF) is superior – and always growing!
  • There is a large community of Fuji enthusiasts around the world to engage with
  • The XH1 has huge video capabilities (4K); a new format I want to explore
  • The XH1 has IBIS (in body image stabilization); its simply fantastic!

With that background and Fuji in hand, I want to look ahead to 2019 and share my goals for the coming year.  More on that in the next post …

Looking Back

I started taking photos in the early 80s when I was in high school.  Much of it was taking portraits of friends & landscapes that interested me.  I didn’t have a clue what all the camera controls could do or how to use them. I just pointed, focused, pressed the shutter, and advanced the film (lots and lots of film!).  I was a photographer for my college newspaper, shot a friend’s wedding, and did various projects from time-to-time; all in auto mode, but developing more of an eye for my pictures.  My first camera was a Minolta X700 and have since used various point & shoots, Olympus Pen EP3, Canon EOS Rebel SL1, and Pentax K-1 (full-frame) and Pentax K-3 (APS-C).  I’ve also used a series of smartphones over the years – Samsung Galaxy S5, Google Nexus 6, iPhone 6s Plus, and now a Google Pixel 2 XL  I recently traded all of my Pentax gear and switched to Fuji, a move I couldn’t be happier about.  More on that in my next post.