It’s hard to believe that I purchased my D3 six years ago. It is without doubt the best camera I’ve ever owned. Unfortunately, it’s massive size and weight became an inconvenience with the introduction of high-quality mirrorless digital cameras. These days I’m much more likely to be seen shooting with my Fuji X100s. Mirrorless cameras just have so many advantages. They are the the future of digital photography.
We spent a perfect three-day weekend in Gualala with a few of our favorite people. We drove up the coast with no firm plans, loaded down with food and booze. We stayed in our pajamas the first day while we waited out a much-needed rain storm, but things got really nice on the second day. From then on, when we weren’t eating and drinking we were posing for thedude’s camera, this time with off-camera flash and more cool black & white settings. What a perfect weekend!
I’m having so much fun shooting Black and white. It’s a real timesaver, and as a bonus, images look great. Nowadays, instead of trying to correct weird color shifts in images shot under terrible lighting conditions, I just whack the color altogether – and I’m loving it.
(Rollover the image to see the original color version.)
Black and white has several advantages. First, it levels the viewing experience somewhat. I’m always concerned that viewers will not be seeing my images the way I do. Black and white removes a lot of these variables – or at least reduces their influence. These images will look (more or less) the same on all reasonable displays. Removing color from the equation allows for much more dramatic adjustments while still maintaining a level of realism. (So much of the “photography” I see on the web these days is actually so abused by filter-happy PhotoShop jockeys that the manipulations are all I see. The results bear no resemblance to the original scene whatsoever.) Black and white distills the image down to composition and texture. And perhaps best of all, people love it. I shot our last company party, and after half an hour of trying to get a decent skin tone, finally gave up and converted the images to black and white. Well guess what? They look great, and my coworkers love them.
Shooting this way is energizing. It’s definitely inspiring me to shoot more photos, and that’s a very good thing.
I created this for fun as a gift to a special friend who got a new camera for Christmas and wants to learn how to use it. The whole process was easy. I used my beloved FourSquare to my right and a small slave flash to the left to provide a bit of fill, but decided not to use it and instead used the flash on the DSLR I’m holding with the output power set to 1/50th. I had no assistants, so I had to shoot 53 goofy shots to get one that worked. The rest is pretty basic PhotoShop.
WordPress 3.8 ships with a gorgeous new default theme. The theme, named twentyfourteen contains a lot of the cool features found on modern websites everywhere like a fun image slider, beautiful Google Web Fonts, and a Responsive Design meant to provide the “optimal viewing experience” on all browsers and devices. It seems to work well on my wife’s iPad and on my Nexus 7. (You can see the Theme’s “responsiveness” by grabbing a corner of your browser window and scaling the page down. As it gets narrower, notice how the layout changes dramatically to fit even the narrowest windows.)
Applying this new theme to thedude.com was simple. I made very few tweaks to the stylesheet – mostly to accommodate my larger images. For the moment, I like the new look a lot. It might even inspire me to post more often. Maybe.
This is Al. I’ve seen Al and his collection of dozens of customized shopping carts moving – ever so slowly – from place to place along my morning commute. I have never seen such a massive collection of well, stuff. Look closely at some of the contraptions he’s built here. I like the functional bits that look like what could be a bed or reclining chair of sorts. But I especially like the arch spanning the two carts – apparently for purely cosmetic reasons. Architectural flourish.
I needed to investigate, so today I decided to stop and chat with him. I didn’t get much detail about the cart contraptions yet, but he did agree to let me take his picture, with the condition that if I ever make any money on my photos of him I share the wealth, especially since he’s “never had any luck his entire life.”
I sure will Al.
It’s also worth noting that I’m experimenting with using my camera in an entirely new way. After reading this article, I was inspired to try the author’s black and white settings and hit the streets. I put the camera in “Silent Mode”, and with it hanging around my neck, discretely trip the shutter. That’s how I shot the portrait of Al.
Stay tuned for more from the streets of Oakland.