Wednesday, June 01, 2016


I don't know if it's right to call it limitations, but I realised something about my photography recently, as I participated in my first exhibition. (My part consisted of two pictures tucked away in a corner.)

When I looked around, I saw that most pieces in the room were quite abstract in form. In comparison my pictures were looking out-of-place. I have often had difficulties making abstract photographs; I believe this is because I have spent a lot of time trying to represent abstract ideas in a concrete way, so as to clearly convey a message. This has left me without any real mental path to abstract imagery.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Creation is never an easy thing. Especially if you spend time or follow the activities of other creative people, it's too easy to fall into the comparison-trap, where you start looking at the results from people you see as more creative or more active than you are.

Lately I feel like I have been in a creative slump, where I have produced nearly nothing of any real weight. There is a creative exhibition coming up next week and all I could offer were images that I took long ago. (Well, one of them was at least taken this year, so that's alright I guess.) As the saying goes, you're only as good as your last picture. It's way too easy to start thinking that you're at the bottom of the pile, the last in the race, because you only look at the ones at the top. Remember that for every person you are looking at thinking they are better than you, there could be a person looking at you, thinking the same thing.

So I started thinking about creation, and what advice I would give to others just starting out. My first advice would be to realize you are one day going to die. You don't know where, you don't know when, and when that day comes, what you have made is all that remains of you in the world.

Step two:

Friday, May 06, 2016

Fuji, again

If I have said it before, it bears repeating: the Fuji X-E1 is a really good camera. It's not a camera for every situation and it has its quirks, but shooting Fuji X with the 35mm f/1.4 is, to me, the closest thing to film you can get with digital.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A bad idea

Ever had one of those moments where you know something is a way too large undertaking, but you decide to do it anyway? That is how I feel about doing video. For the longest time I was telling myself not to get involved in it, out of obvious reasons. Video is exponentially more difficult than photography: you have ~30 frames per second, where before you had one; you now have sound to think about, unless you do it completely silent; lighting for video is a completely different beasts, as speedlights do nothing; there are ridiculous amounts of data unless you shoot everything compressed (and coming from shooting RAW, that would feel like a serious step down).

So what to do? Down the rabbit hole head first? Might as well...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Moving pictures

I have often told myself, and others on some occasions, that I have no intention of getting into video, simply because of the higher complexity of it. It is a lot easier snapping a bunch of frames and selecting one than it is recording continuously at ~25 frames per second. Yet, I have started thinking about it, after getting involved in another short film project. But as I am very particular about how things should look it will probably take a while for anything at all to come to fruition from that thought.

I have however started thinking about what to use in practice. Already having cameras with video function I would try to get the most out of those, but for audio I'm looking at a couple of Zooms combined with cheap lavalier mics. Lighting I would try to use a cheap halogen work light, which I actually was able to rig to am umbrella holder in a very roundabout way. I'd still want to do a shorter, easier video project first to see how long it would take...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Usage notes: pros and cons

I have had notes for this sitting for a while, cummulating according to the usage of the X-E1. So it's not really a review so much as usage notes.

Stuff I like about it in no particular order:

  • The design and form factor. It's not a big DSLR covering the whole face and therefore looks and feels more discrete.
  • Image quality. It has an adjustable maximum auto-ISO, for me set at 6400, because I know it can handle it.
  • The 18-55 kit lens is nearly a full stop faster than most other kit lenses.
  • Since my main eye is the right one I can use the electronic viewfinder without pushing my nose against the main LCD. This sounds like a small issue, but wiping fat-prints from the LCD left by my nose is a thing I don't miss doing.
  • The sound of the shutter. Very subjective, but I like the sound.
  • Manual focus mode with focus peaking, and a nifty feature where the exposure/focus-lock button works as temporary focus activator.

Then there are of course some things I don't like...

  • Growing pains. It's a completely different system, new buttons, new GUI, learning where and how everything works was not an easy process. Sort of like walking in new shoes.
  • First model. As the "1" in the name indicates, it's the first in the line, and it feels a lot like version 1 of a software, some strange bugs and weird behaviour.
  • Auto-focus. This is a big one for me, with DSLRs the auto-focus is usually fast and works in darker environments. The X-E1 auto-focus starts struggling as soon as a room is dimmed a bit, which negates the high-ISO capabilities somewhat...
  • The electronic viewfinder also starts lagging a bit in dark environments. And speaking of the viewfinder, in what has to be one of the strangest design decisions ever, there is no option to use the viewfinder for shooting and the main LCD only for playback and menus. If you have the viewfinder active, all menus come up on that by default.
  • Battery life. Compared to a DSLR the battery runs empty quite quickly.

There is a very long way to go before this type of camera could become my regular camera, the one I go to for actual realisation of my imagination (mostly because some flash sync issues I've been having). But it definitely fills a role for me that the other cameras I have used just haven't been able to, which I think is one of the casual, more observational camera. When creating images from ground up using lighting it is a more constructional approach I use; I have an image in my head and I need to construct it into the real world. I have experimented with some cameras with a smaller form factor than DSLRs for just walking around, observing and snapshooting. (I've tried some pocket cameras, the old Powershot A520, an IXUS 960 IS which was quite good but has strangely disappeared, some cheap plastic film pocket cameras, and a rangefinder Yashica Electro.)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Another evening with whiskey in the glass and Death Cab for Cutie playing, becoming something of a habit, I suppose. Songs to reminisce to. Good or bad memories? A little of both maybe. Lyrics hitting home. It's very, very easy to just wallow in self-pity, but the only way out is through.