7 – catharsis (again)

So I have once again purged my photography kit and traded for a smaller kit. This is probably the fifth time this has happened…Anyway, I no longer have my OMD EM-5, 40-150, 45/1.8, and Penpal – this kit was traded for a Fuji X100s.

There’s basically no upgrade path with the X100s. It’s a 35mm fixed lens APS-C camera with hybrid OVF. It’s pretty rudimentary, especially after coming from the OMD EM5, which always allowed for G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) to slowly and surely creep in.

What I lose in gear, I gain in small size, simplification, and hopefully, better pictures.

I took it out on a sunny day, and these are my first pictures outdoors:



The picture above was taken wide open (f/2.0), shutter speed manually set to 1/1000, ND filter enabled, with fill-flash. Awesome. No more faces in shadows.

I love the built-in ND filter. I’m looking forward to greater creative possibilities…


The fixed focal length (effectively 35mm FF-equivalent) is not limiting at all. It’s a great all-around focal length for most of the situations I take pictures of. Sure it won’t cover ALL situations, but that’s a limitation I’ll address when it comes around…

Indoors…well, I think I need to practice some more. The X100s is supposed to be a low-light master, but I think I need to better understand the different AEL patterns and how to better gauge area of focus and final picture when using the rangefinder OVF.

The OVF isn’t WYSIWYG…but it’s nice and bright and clear.


All of the pictures are SOOC, other than resizing for the Interwebs.

I did lose my favorite grainy B&W art filter…but at the same time, I think I was using it as a crutch.

Time to learn photography all over again…

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6 – frequency

Not a lot of updates. I’ve already taken a trip to the UK and Florida, but I still haven’t updated this site. I should get back to taking pictures again.



It might look like summertime, but it’s not summer yet…

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5 – even more random

National holiday today, and luckily, I don’t work in defense anymore, so I got the day off.

Some snaps from this morning’s outing.


I’m dreading the day when my K2 longboard is no longer usable. I’ve got the hang of it now and it’s a great way to get around for short distances…


I asked Sara what she was doing stooped over the lawn and it turns out she was looking for four-leafed clovers. She said that there is a one thousand to one chance that you’ll find one. We looked for five minutes and didn’t find one.


I did find some dew left over from the morning. So, I broke out my trusty ZD 35/3.5 macro lens and shot it at 1:1 magnification, then some brief post-processing using Snapseed on my phone.

It’s such a great workflow.

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4 – more random

I think whenever I have a ‘random’ post, it’s basically an outing with my kids. It’s not really ‘random,’ per se, rather, it’s more ‘spontaneous’ and ‘unscripted.’


I edited the picture above using Snapseed on my phone before I uploaded to WordPress – it was too dark before the edit, so I brought out the details and made it brighter. I also figured out that WordPress was adding compression to uploaded images from the Android app, so I disabled that feature. Hopefully, these pictures look better than the last post (which I updated, BTW).


I took a picture of this tetherball pole and video with the BCL9 fisheye. The video is so much cooler because I spun around the pole while keeping focus on the closest chainlink – the effect of the background with fisheye distortion was pretty cool.


I find that a lot of the shots with the BCL9 are more ‘fisheye’ if I deliberately shoot from an offset position. If I take the horizon line and make sure it’s above or below the middle of the frame, then the distortion is more evident. Also, the BCL9 won’t have the neat starburst patterns that the Rokinon 7.5/3.5 had – mostly because I don’t think the BCL9 has blades for its fixed f/8 aperture. It’s probably just a small hole that’s perfectly circular.

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3 – random

Some random B&W snaps taken this afternoon with the EM5 and BCL9.




Sure, the pictures aren’t perfectly-focused, nor are they especially sharp, however, they captured the moment with a lot of context in the background.

I uploaded everything to WordPress from my phone (the images were sent via Bluetooth)…and now, I’m editing the post on the Chromebook.


This workflow is so much faster and convenient. I could probably hook up my bluetooth keyboard to my phone, but I like having a full-sized keyboard.

…unfortunately, it looks like there was some degradation in quality somewhere in the workflow. I’ll have to investigate…

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2 – Portability


I got two pretty essential add-ons for my EM5 today.

First, I got the Olympus BCL9 lens – which I owned briefly a couple years ago but ended up returning to Amazon. This is basically a focus-free fisheye lens with a fixed F/8 aperture. It’s awesome – see picture above. With hyperfocal focusing and a very small front element, this fisheye can go places where ‘normal’ fisheyes won’t. I cant wait to put my camera in the fridge again.

Yes, our house is VERY messy.

Second, I got the Olympus PP-1 Penpal – this allows my EM5 to transfer files via Bluetooth to my phone. Now, my phone will always have an awesome camera with my favorite b&w art filter…and most likely, I’ll never post process a picture using Lightroom again…

I also traded my flash for a Chromebook and I’m hoping the Penpal will work with it.

As much as I like being able to use my phone for things…I sure don’t like using it for blog posts…

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1 – New Year Again

It’s yet another new year, and already, I’m behind with my blog posts.

I had two weeks off during the holidays but we really didn’t do much – we’d go to different parks every day and make it home before it got too cold.


Being in Southern California, ‘cold’ is relative, so it’s quite normal to still play with water games in the end of December (I’m sure the water was recirculated, considering we’re in a drought).


Additionally, we don’t have snow sleds – we have scrap cardboard and a play structure hill with sand strategically poured over it. We could spend hours here.

Other than that, we did a lot of chillaxing. It’s good to sit sometimes and just get lost in a book or a magazine…


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