Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's been a month!

Yes, it has been a month since my last post. June has been busy, as I have been away over 3  weekends. From the 10-12 of June Adrienne and I were in Bellaire, MI for the Michigan Entomological Society Meeting.  From the 16-19, I was at Photostock in Harbor Springs. And I returned Tuesday from the 23-28 trip to Amenia, NY for Adrienne's mom's 90th birthday.  Lots of miles on my Ford Escape, lots of film to process (starting today),  and lots of digital files to edit. One of the things I have greatly appreciated is being able to use my smartphone (Android) to update during a trip. The images and comments become sort of like placeholders to remind me where I was on these trips. They also inform family and friends where the heck I am at.  I do try and keep a written diary of the photo aspects of a trip, but Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are useful for documenting my travels.  Of course, the snaps I take for Instagram are not of the quality that my real cameras take, but they have their own low-fi charm.

Preparing my equipment for any particular trip is always an interesting dilemma. What cameras do I bring? How many bags? What film? Which digital system?  You are probably saying "This guy has too many cameras."  Truth is, I probably do, but i have pared down quite a bit.  My digital gear is in 3 categories:

  • Fuji X100S -- ideal for street shooting, gatherings, and travel.  Limited to only the 35mm-equivalent f/2 lens.   Image quality is fantastic. 
  • Nikon D200 or D3200 - full range of lenses, etc.  The 3200 is lighter, more compact, and has a better high ISO ability, but the D200 is more versatile, better overall camera, but fewer MPs.
  • Nikon 1J1 - Don't laugh -- this little camera is very capable, and my favorite lenses on it are the wide-angle (28mm equiv.) and my 25mm CCTV lens with the swirly bokeh.  It's a compact, non-threatening, and very creative tool.

Film cameras are a whole different environment.  35mm or medium format? Polaroid or Instax? Toy cameras? Rangefinders? Which SLR system?  and so it goes. June has found me on a Nikon SLR kick, and mostly I have been using the Nikon FG, F3HP, and FM2N.  The FG now sits in my all-purpose bag with the Yashica A TLR, Holga, and Vivitar ultra-wide P&S.  With a 50mm 1.8 and the 36-72mm zoom, for the FG,  it is a nice package.  I love the viewfinder in the F3HP.  As a glasses-wearer, it is perfect for me.  I also know that the F3 is pretty much the perfect camera, unless one is using flash a lot.  The Nikon FM2N is another great camera, and I should use it more than I do.  All manual, and I like the metering.  Solid.

I knew that I would not be doing much photography at the MES meeting, so I took only the Fuji X100S, Nikon D200 bag, and Nikon FG.  

For Photostock, I tried to limit my choices, and ended up taking the Mamiya C330 bag, Fuji X100S, Nikon F3HP bag, and the all-purpose bag, with a sack of Dianas and Holgas for good measure.

For the New York State Trip -- Nikon 1J1 bag, D3200 bag with external flash for the birthday celebration, all-purpose bag, and Nikon FM2N bag. Oh, and also the Leica M2.  The only thing I had forgotten was a Gorillapod for some low-angle shots. My carbon-fiber tripod with a ball head is ALWAYS in the back of the car, and it gets used a lot.  I brought a 19mm lens to use with the FM2N along with a deep yellow filter to shoot a roll of FPP color Infrachrome film.  I hope to have it developed soon.

I know one can go really minimalist for a trip, and I have done so in the past.  However, if I have the room, I may as well bring what I think I'll need.  A long trip has many photo opportunities, and I hate it when I am limited by the tools I can use for a shot.  Also, as you can see, I am not averse to shooting digital, and am not limited to only film.  It all depends on the situation and my desired result.  All these things are tools to be used to get whatever I am after.  It has been a busy and productive month, and  I hope to process all of my film over the next week or so.  In the meantime, here are a few shots from the digital cameras.

fence, Amenia, NY, June 27

Dingmans Falls, PA, June 23

Alley, Clare, MI June 10.

farm at Birchwood Inn, June 16

A.D. Coleman in foreground, Photostock, June 18.

Fishtown, Leland, MI June 19.

Alex, June 16, Photostock.

Letchworth State Park, NY, June 28.

Amenia Burial Ground, June 26.

Some of the images shown here will be part of photosets elsewhere, and some are parts of long-term projects.   I have some specific shows/print projects in mind for the Amenia Burial Ground and the old Murphy Crest farm in Amenia, NY.  Once I develop my film, I'll know here I stand in regards to other imagery.