Too Much Photography?

"On the Desk" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO6400
“On the Desk” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Warning, this post is a bit of a rant… but here goes.

There’s a school of thought that says the surest way to lose passion in a hobby is to turn it into your job. There’s some truth to that sentiment, and I experienced it today. If you follow my blog or know me in person, you know that I love photography. However, I don’t like to take photos for my work and for a few years now, I’ve kind of handed that job off to others as much as possible. I don’t mind the occasional photoshoot when we’re in a bind, but I’d rather leave it to the professionals, or others who have interest in it.

So it was with serious reservation (and after kindly refusing once) that I agreed to do some headshots. Well, that seems to have turned into taking photos for several more small events. Ugh… Don’t get me wrong, I love taking photos, but the time spent culling and post-processing can be long, especially because I want to spend the proper amount of time to do a good job. (plus the common perception from non-photographers is that you just snap the photo and upload it)

This morning I took photos for a company event, and it was time-consuming. It was a one-hour event, and I ended up with 440 shots to go thru. After four passes of culling, I got it down to 19 images. From there, it was on to post-processing. And there goes 2+ hours of the day.

I enjoy processing photos in Lightroom, but not for work. I want to enjoy it purely for fun and relaxation at home, with photos I have interest in.

This afternoon I was supposed to take photos for another event, but after spending all that time in Lightroom, I was kind of burnt out, plus the event was outdoors and the lighting was contrasty and harsh. So I really wasn’t in the groove. I still got a few shots, but it was difficult and I deleted most of the photos because they weren’t good. 😫 Also, each click of the shutter adds a few minutes to the workday. It sucks to think that way, but that’s reality. Hey, time is money, and I’m not getting paid by the hour. 😆

Also, photography is its own totally different discipline so it’s hard to shift attention in the middle of other tasks. I don’t think people realize that. I mean, I know people realize that task-switching is inefficient, but they don’t realize that photography is a separate way of thinking from print design, ad design, etc. It’s all the same, isn’t it? (no)

Anyway, I usually carry my camera with me when I go out, but this evening, I didn’t even want to pick it up. 😓 That was kind of depressing. I like to keep my work and my home life separate, but these photo duties at work steal the enjoyment out of something I really like doing for fun on my own time.

So, today’s daily photo is just a simple still-life of some of my favorite things: watches, pens/pencils, and a coaster from a bar in Japan. Oh, and my passport since I need it for a visa application for a China trip.

I don’t know… maybe I’m just a bit burnt out because it was two photo shoots in one day? Or maybe it’s because I am kind of swamped with work and the photography is a significant time-sink? I’m hoping it’s one of those because I enjoy my work and I’d hate for photography to ruin the good thing I have going. Or maybe the solution is to not spend what I think is the proper amount of time on work-related photos, and just do a half-assed job? (I don’t know if I could do that, actually)

Sorry for today’s rant. I rarely vent, so today is an anomaly… I promise!

I’ll see you tomorrow.

またね~

Digital and Film

"Digital and Film" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/6.4, 1/6 sec, ISO3200
“Digital and Film” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。

Today’s photo is of my favorite digital camera and my favorite film camera. I’ve seen quite a few videos about shooting film, and there’s a general revival of film photography happening. It’s pretty cool! I guess all the younger photographers who grew up with digital are discovering film. I think it’s great.

I love my old film cameras and had so much fun shooting with them. Because I learned photography by shooting film, they hold a special place for me, and each of my film cameras has certain sentimental value. Actually, that’s not true. I have a few that I acquired later on that I don’t have any real attachment too, and I should probably donate those. But my Minolta X-700, α507si, Nikon F, Holga 120, and Olympus XA are keepers!

That said, I don’t see myself shooting film in the future. I just think the advantages of digital are so great that the charm of film cannot overcome them. The combination of digital and Lightroom allows me to create the photographic style I like, plus the speed of processing that I require to post to my blog every day requires a digital camera. As much as I enjoyed shooting film, it’s simply a hassle to develop the film.

I guess for me it’s also a case of “been there, done that”. But for the younger photo-enthusiasts, it’s a whole new world to explore, and that is wonderful. I get excited thinking that they might be experiencing that same magic of discovery that I experienced when I learned how to develop film and make prints in the dark room. It was a great time. I honestly feel that film is something you have to try out at some point as a photographer because it is an important part of photography that still exists and it’ll be an itch that you’ll have to scratch, or it will stay at the back of your mind and drive you crazy.

Anyways, I will hold on to my precious film cameras and maybe someday my sons or even grandkids might want to use them to shoot some film. 😀

I hope you had a nice Friday!

またね~

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Taking Photos and Staying in the Moment

"Used Camera" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/3.2, 1/30 sec, ISO3200
“Used Camera” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I was thinking about a topic I heard discussed on photography podcasts. It’s basically the question of during special life moments, such as your child’s dance recital or school play, if you should stay behind your camera taking photos, or if you should put down the camera and simply take in the experience with nothing in your way of your senses. It can be difficult because as photo enthusiasts – we love taking photos and want to get that perfect shot.

There are valid arguments to be made for both sides of the debate. On one hand, it’s nice to have photos/video to relive and share the moment, but on the other hand, you aren’t fully in the moment and experiencing life if you are looking through the viewfinder or at the rear screen of your camera. The question is, does the camera enhance your life, or does it get in the way of it?

My opinion is that I think that a happy medium can easily be achieved and you can have the best of both worlds! The keys that I have found work for me are:

  • Know your camera inside and out – You don’t want to waste time fumbling with settings. And set up your camera before the event starts. It’s no fun trying to tweak settings in the dark!
  • Think like an event photographer – Have a shot list in mind. Maybe not a written list, but think of the “must have shots” that you need to capture. Once you take care of those, then put down the camera and enjoy the moment. Keep in mind that for most events, the photos you take at the beginning of the performance will look the same as any other part, so no need to have the camera at your eye the whole time. Just be ready for the recognition and bowing at the end of performances. Again, take the photo, then put the camera down and join in the applause!
  • Automate it – If you want to take video, bring a tripod and set it up beforehand. Then just hit the record, turn off the LCD if possible, and forget about it.

Anyways, those are my tips that I’ve gathered from shooting both student events and corporate events. I hope this helps you “stay in the moment”!

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Today’s photos are of my beloved camera (yet again!). 😄 I have a couple trips coming up, and I am taking my Fujifilm X100T with me as my main camera (with my phone being a backup). There was a time in my life when I would spend a lot of time thinking about what camera gear to bring on vacations, but ever since I bought my X100T, it’s the only camera I want or need. Just the thought of lugging around a heavy DSLR and a few lenses makes me shudder… when I used to carry all the gear it was not fun and definitely made “staying in the moment” more difficult.

You know, a life with less can be a good thing, especially in photography!

"Fujifilm X100T" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/3.2, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Fujifilm X100T” Cedar Park, 2018

I hope you had a great day!

おやすみ

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Flickr

Barton Springs, Austin TX

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Yesterday Smugmug announced that it was buying Flickr. I’ve been using Flickr for over 13 years and have loved it this whole time, mostly as a paying “Pro” user. The photo above was my first upload to Flickr, back in 2005. I took the photo with a Holga camera using 120 film.

Through all the years, and many cameras, I’ve often wondered why people have been so damning of Flickr. Sure, it hasn’t been the most cutting-edge service, and the mobile experience is not very compelling, but for a desktop/laptop user it’s been a consistently solid place to share photos and have discussions in different groups. I’m hoping that never changes.

Anyways, I wanted to mention how fun it is when a photo gets chosen to be on Flickr’s Explore page. When that happens (and it’s a mystery how a photo gets chosen) your email inbox suddenly starts getting a ton of notifications and you can watch the number of photo-views skyrocket. It’s lots of fun!

Just yesterday, the sunset photo that Koa took got “Explored” and the views and favorites took off. I thought it was a nice coincidence that it happened on the day Flickr was bought by Smugmug. 😀

Daily Photo – 2018.04.18

As an amateur photographer, I love Instagram on my phone, but I’ll probably always be a Flickr user. 😄

I hope you have a nice Saturday!

またね~

Fujinon 35mm F/2 Bokeh Monster

"Grey Limes" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.2, 1/90 sec, ISO3200
“Grey Limes” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

One thing I really liked about my Sony a77 dSLR was its articulating screen. I could flip it out and have an instant waist-level camera, which is an interesting way/angle to shoot. Now that I have Mariko’s old Fujifilm X-T10, which also has an articulating screen, I have started using it in the same manner. It’s really fun!

I also enjoy using the Fujinon 35mm F/2 lens. It’s compact, focuses quickly and silently, and produces some wonderful bokeh. It’s what I would call a “Bokeh Monster”.

"Pen Case" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Pen Case” Cedar Park, 2018

I like the Fujifilm X-T10, but I don’t love it like I do the X100T. I only wish my X100T had the articulating screen. Then it would be close to perfection.

"Bokeh" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2, 1/60 sec, ISO1600
“Bokeh” Cedar Park, 2018

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~