January 10, 2015

As a professional photographer, I own many cameras.

The oldest working camera that I own is from the 1940s.  I have a lot of film cameras that I still use and find valuable to have.  Not so much for digital.  When I first became a professional wedding and portrait photographer in 2001, the camera that I used for most of my work when I finally went digital was a Fuji S2-Pro, a 6 megapixel DSLR.  My back-up was a Nikon D70, also 6 megapixel.  I used both of those cameras for over 10 years before I finally felt the need to catch up to the rest of the digital world and up my megapixels.  My cameras had become virtually obsolete.

That’s what gripes me the most about digital.  You spend a lot of money only to have your gear outdated and almost valueless in a few years.  My Rolleiflex from 1950 still works as well as it did when it was first produced, and has held its value.  I can’t imagine any of my digital cameras doing that.  BUT…I have to keep up, and so I did.

Two years ago I upgraded my digital gear and purchased a Nikon D800 for my professional work.  It’s a great camera and takes wonderful photos, but on a recent 7-mile photo hike I realized that it had one real problem for me:  it is heavy.  Along with the zoom lens I regularly use with it, it can cause pain to my shoulder and back after only a short time.

Because it’s heavy and really expensive, I started leaving it at home a lot.  I found myself using my iPhone to photograph more often than not.  I love taking iPhone photos, don’t get me wrong, but I started to miss the manual control I had over my images.  Yet I didn’t want to carry around my D800 with me.

So I researched smaller mirrorless cameras to find an alternative to my D800 that is not so heavy but still takes great photos and allows me to have control over my images.  I desperately wanted a Leica M Monochrom camera, but I couldn’t afford the $10,000+ it would have taken me to buy the body and a lens to go with it.  So I quickly put that one out of my head and decided on a Fuji X-T1.

Today I took it out for its first shoot, a casual walk the kids, Jack, and I at Reynolda Village.  I kept it on the black & white setting for today (the one with a red filter) and was really pleased with the results.  I didn’t have to do any post-processing on the images, just crop them.

Once I get a small case for it, I’ll be taking it out with me a lot.  It is fun to use and the dials remind me of my old film cameras.  I will still use my D800 for professional and studio work, but this little guy will come in very handy for my everyday shots.

Here are some photos with the Fuji from today.  Emma even took a few…



December 7, 2014

I have 3 totally different photos for today…

The first is my church.

I grew up going to church with my mother, Aunt Jane, and grandfather.  When I left home though, I never found a church that had that same warm feeling as the one in which I grew up, so I just quit going.  30 years later, my daughter led me to this church, which I now call home.  I can think when I’m there.  I shut off the rest of the world and think quiet thoughts and try to pull some positive energy to myself.  It’s warm in there, just like in my old church, and I feel safe and comforted.

Today I did a lot of thinking about my mother and her current struggles, being 83 years old and taking care of her two older sisters, both of whom need constant care. My mother has a beautiful voice and it’s what I remember most of going to church when I was young, her standing beside me in the pew singing.  Today I thought of how nice it would be to have her beside me again instead of living out the rest of her burdened life two hours away from me.

I’m going to work on getting her here and helping her in any way I can.  Sitting in church today, quietly and thoughtfully, gave me some ideas…

The second photo is a 2-photo collage of photographer Andy Tennille.  I went to hear him speak today and it was wonderful.  He photographs bands mostly, and has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine as well as a host of other magazines.  He’s also Tom Petty’s personal photographer.  He gave an inspirational and down-to-earth talk today, and I’m glad that I met him.

The third photo is Tony, my boyfriend of many years.  He’s my partner and soul mate on this life’s journey, and I’m glad he’s around.