With SmugMug’s recent purchase of Flickr, there’s been a lot of renewed interest in former users to come back and try it again. Which is funny to me since there are plenty of us who have been actively using it non-stop. This tweet by Om Malik, in particular, got me thinking about it a bit.
I never fully understood why people were so harsh on Flickr. I mean, sure, they never made the jump to mobile like other companies did and innovation has been slow, but their web service has been consistently good. To my knowledge, Flickr has never gone backward or screwed their users… it’s just continued to exist, and those who were happy with it stayed with it.
I’m pleased that more people are coming back, for the sole reason that this surge in popularity will ensure that Flickr exists into the distant future. I don’t really care about returning photographers being excited about a “new” photo community. The photographers who stayed active on Flickr are most likely already satisfied with the groups they’ve been a part of since years of community have been building organically.
Like anyone, I’d welcome some shiny new features or slicker design, but honestly, I’m just happy that Flickr is a simple, straightforward, and hassle-free way to share and discuss photos. As it always has been.
Today my oldest brother and his fiancée got married. The wedding was held on the beach, with the sun and surf joining the 80 guests in witnessing the ceremony and vows. It was fantastic!
My brother had asked me if I could take photos during the ceremony, and of course, I was happy to do so. I’m not a wedding photographer so this was pretty new for me, however, I have some experience shooting events and have confidence in how to operate the camera so I wasn’t nervous at all. And that made it a lot of fun!
While I was taking photos, I remember thinking that when I was younger, I would have been so nervous about how the shots will turn out, if I am getting the right angles, if I am missing shots, etc. All those feelings were not present this time, though! I guess that just comes with experience and preparation. And I’m sure the fact that no money was involved and it was a casual wedding had plenty to do with it too. 😀
Anyways, the lighting conditions were pretty challenging (direct sun backlighting) but it made for some really nice shots too. I made lots of use of exposure compensation and was thankful that Fujifilm provides that dedicated mechanical dial just for that function. As much as I dislike using zoom lenses, I have to admit, the Fujifilm 18-55 XF lens worked nicely for the shoot.
All in all, I am happy with how the photos turned out, and I am happy that I was able to be a part of an amazing and joyous event!
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a big trip coming up (to China!) and since I will be taking a suitcase for this trip, it got me thinking about my travel photography kit. 📷 Specifically, with the extra space, maybe I should bring along the Fujifilm X-T10 and its two lenses. And maybe I can bring the 50mm f/1.4 Minolta lens as well. It’s China after all! We’ll be seeing some amazing sights, so I might as well be prepared to get wide shots, plus some tight shots, so the 18-55mm zoom will be perfect. With this in mind, I figured I should get a couple extra batteries (I only have one for the X-T10), so I put a couple in my Amazon shopping cart.
But before pulling the trigger on the batteries, I thought of my recent trip to New York, last year’s vacation to Morocco and Spain, my work trip to Stockholm, and the reason why I decided to just take my Fujifilm X100T.
And that reason can be summed up in one word: Simplicity.
The Fujifilm X100 series of cameras have a fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens which simplifies the act of shooting photos. I don’t have to think about what lens to put on and what would work best in each situation. And later, I won’t be able to second-guess my decision. With the X100T, I have to use the 35mm field of view for everything. If I can’t get close enough by moving my feet, then so be it. Forget about that shot and move on. If I must have a super-wide shot, then Lightroom can stitch a couple photos together. But taking the lens choice decision out of the equation makes shooting so much more stress-free, and therefore more fun!
Of course, having the single camera and fixed lens also makes for a smaller and lighter kit. (a nice bonus is that I don’t have to worry about getting dust on the sensor). My back and knees appreciate the lightweight setup, I’m sure! 😀
So, I’ve reaffirmed my choice of travel kit (and everyday kit, to be honest). And here it is:
Frankly, the power bank is mainly used for charging my phone, and I can’t remember the last time I used the microfiber cloth, instead opting for the Lens Pen. The USB cable does double-duty since it charges my phone.
This setup is so compact, I don’t even need a dedicated camera bag. And since I am usually wearing the camera across my body using the strap, I just have to put the burrito organizer in whatever bag I happen to have. For instance, in New York I used a small MoMA shopping bag all day. It was a great set up! Burrito, power bank, phone, and umbrella in the bag, camera across my body, and that’s it.
I believe that a simpler, minimalistic life can make you happy, and that a simple, minimalistic camera kit can make photography a lot more enjoyable. In fact, I experience it firsthand every time I walk out the door!