SiJ 2017 - reflections on the middle third.

Discussion in 'Image Quest' started by bilzmale, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    A spot to share how you are travelling at this stage. I my case I 'cheated' by changing to my new Sony RX10M3 at about day 15. The unprocessed sooc jpgs from the TZ70 Pany I started with showed how much I rely on PPing of RAW to 'fix it in post'.
     
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  2. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Veteran

    483
    Jan 19, 2015
    I'm ok, that's due to 1) doing it last year, going (suffering?) the whole month for the first time makes it easier the following year 2) the daily threads, 3) more participants, if you're doing it, you need to see others actively involved, that does help and 4) not sticking to my S95 for the whole month. I mean I do use it every day for SIJ, but you need to release yourself from that and use your other gear as you normally would outside of SIJ. That helps too.
     
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  3. marlof

    marlof Trying to focus Subscribing Member

    Dec 25, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Marlof
    I haven't shot with other gear than my designated SIJ gear (EM1, 25 1.2). It feel that helps in seeing the limitations and opportunities the "one camera, one lens" routine faces you with, especially since I selected a fixed focal length. That said, this is a focal length I've spent 20 years with without complaining (I used to shoot with just a film SLR and fast normal 50). It's the digital age that spoiled me with options, and somehow it feels great to have a period of limitations. Sometimes I do sit down behind my desk and take out my usual daily gear (Pen-F and small primes), and I'm amazed at how light it feels compared to the EM1 and the large 25 1.2.

    I did think hard about a theme this year, since I hoped this would help me in staying on track, and I tried to pick a theme that fitted the selected gear. So far it all works as planned. I just switched from SOOC JPEG to RAW. My theme does ask for geometrical corrections sometimes, and I find the RAW images just give me more latitude and result in a more pleasing look. So far I have photographed 19 filling stations, only 11 more and one collage to go.

    On another note, this month so far did not cure me of gas. The 25 did show me how versatile a focal length the 25 gives me, and I am thinking that I could add the 12-100 f4 to my stable, in order to have a two camera / two lens travelling solution (EM1 with 12-100 / Pen-F with 25 1.2), where I also have a gear failing solution. Thing is, I also have the 12-40 and 40-150, which I think I'd prefer for most other scenarios. An expensive 12-100 just for travelling leaves me pondering. And what about that 7-14, wouldn't that give some new perspectives to my photography? And what about.... It never stops.
     
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  4. jssaraiva

    jssaraiva SC Veteran Subscribing Member

    259
    Dec 31, 2014
    Porto, Portugal
    José
    I had some crazy days this week. For instance, I had already checked-in to fly to South Africa and had to cancel it. Really had no change to take any photos for 3 days (tried to take some at home, but with a fish eye is really tough), so for the first time I'm out of a SiJ... :mad:
     
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  5. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    It's a funny year for me. We have a ban on non-essential travel at work so that's narrowed my options considerably in terms of subject matter; I've been to my London office once this year. I had made a pact with myself to not repeat shots from previous years and largely I have stuck to that. I have been using the Panasonic CM1 and whilst I appreciate the quality of the lens and the convenience of in-camera processing I am finding it extremely limiting. Low light performance is dire and the fixed 28mm focal length makes me feel stifled. As portable telephone cameras go it is one of the best, but it shows to me how far the manufacturers have to go.

    In terms of process, I find myself taking one shot a day. There are no fallbacks or out-takes for the most part. I think there have only been a couple of days when I have taken more. I like the purity of getting it right in a single shot - or living with the consequences. The first of my amaryllis shots is out of focus, but I still went with it. I have not taken a single stand-out shot so far and I doubt that I will; the planets are not aligning.

    I have deliberately not picked up another camera so far this year but I am absolutely itching to do so. I will carry on, and complete SiJ 2017 but I have to say I am enjoying it less than I have in previous years. There may be a number of contributory factors to that, and it's not just the camera, but I tend not to do things if I don't enjoy them so this is a chore to me.

    I have ordered an X100F and expect to get my hands on it in mid February. I can't wait...
     
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  6. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Well, as the optimist said as he fell past the 17th floor: "So far, so good."

    Cheers, Jock
     
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  7. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Steve
    I've been concentrating my efforts on a morning walk around the campus before sunrise, often before first light. I like the way the Fuji is rendering dark subjects. If I get no keepers, I take a walk later in the day. I haven't really gone into town much so I guess that's a source of shots for later in the month.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
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  8. SnapDawg

    SnapDawg Rorschach Test Pilot

    843
    Apr 18, 2014
    Canary Islands
    Ken
    To be honest, I almost dropped out yesterday and would have been fine with that decision but decided to pull through, no matter what. My main issue with the SiJ is that what I've posted so far has not much in common with what I actually shoot and care about but generally don't feel like posting anywhere. That somehow reduces the SiJ to some sort of a practical tour de force but at the same time the specific circumstances offer insights and reflections from a different angle and to me that's the main benefit of this exercise.

    I've cropped two shots and 'cheated' once but won't do it again - full confession on the last day :)

    Gear wise I'm still glad I've picked an 28mm equ. lens, but the drawbacks of the 18mm Fujinon (flare, soft borders & corners, field curvature) need workarounds that don't exactly help to shoot more spontaneously and intuitively and I'll probably sell it after the SiJ. Regarding the X-Pro1, my eyes don't get any better and I often wish for a larger EVF with higher resolution and better focus peaking. No matter how much I like the handling of that camera I'll probably switch over to an A7II and once I'm at it, Sony's 28mm FE lens.
     
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  9. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Excellent point, well expressed.
     
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  10. marlof

    marlof Trying to focus Subscribing Member

    Dec 25, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Marlof
    Still Ken, your efforts have delivered some of my favorite entries. You should consider a move to East Frisia...
     
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  11. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC Top Veteran

    595
    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    No problem so far. My usual mode of operating is to snap a pic or two most days of things that may interest me but no one else. Now they're getting posted on SiJ instead of being deleted. I practice with a camera often to keep in form, so to speak.

    Marlof had some good points in his post above. When I was shooting exclusively film, I carried a single camera and lens for about 20 years, and never lusted after other gear. I was blissfully unaware of the many brands and formats out there, as I rarely looked at photo magazines, and Al Gore hadn't invented the Internet yet. With digital, I've found myself constantly switching cameras and lenses in recent years, as I've had a bit more disposable income than in the past, advertising is rampant and forum gear threads are everywhere, and each system promised something different. I'm back to 100% Fuji now, and I intend to stay there.

    I've made myself and my wife a promise that I won't buy any more cameras in 2017. The X100F looks mighty tempting, and a fixed lens GXF would be awesome, but I have to stand firm on cameras. The only camera gear I would consider this year is if I came across a seriously reduced price XF 16mm/1.4, as the 24mm lens I'm presently using doesn't quite cut it for landscapes sometimes.
     
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  12. donlaw

    donlaw SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Texas
    Don
    Good points from all. And enlightening to hear. Personally, I love seeing a bit from your environment each day.
    It brings some sense of knowing you, something that is generally difficult to achieve in a diverse scattered internet group.
    For that, I thank you for sharing these photos.
    While I have been mostly having fun with it, I have been traveling every week for work.
    Brings me back to film days when I carried M6 loaded with Ilford. (The reason I got the Mono in the first place).
    Trying to see in B&W and limiting myself to archaic focusing methods. Overall I would do it again next year but probably go back to the Nikon CoolpixA for the convenience of autofocus and being able to grab quick image with out calling much attention to myself.
     
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  13. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    759
    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I've enjoyed the challenge so far, even if I've had a couple of bad days in terms of results - for me, conversation, feedback and inspiration are key, and that's what I'm getting, in spades. Plus I've found the S95 to be a lot more satisfying to shoot than I had thought before. But of course, both the GR and the LX100 are superior cameras - and it's easy to forget how good something is if you have access to clearly better tools.

    I agree in principle - though I've stuck with the S95 up to now *on digital*; my relief is film. I got my hands on two really amazing cameras in the last couple of weeks, and I'm exploring new genres and techniques (low-light film photography, medium format portraiture (to come), rangefinder street photography - the real thing, not a simulation ...).

    I certainly miss my other gear - and I'll find new joy in using what I have after restricting myself for a month; feels kind of like the opposite of GAS ... we'll see how it turns out :rolleyes:

    That said, the S95 can be just this side of annoying enough that I might replace it as a result of this SiJ; though that'd feel like a bit of a shame considering how well it actually served most of the time, but it's outdated (and slow-ish), and its younger sipling, the G9 X II (-> for speed), keeps the size and gestalt while providing everything I find is lacking on the S95: The ND filter's top of the list, the better sensor a close second, speed third - and the lens seems to be a bit better, too. It doesn't have the brightest (or longest) zoom on the market, but it's as small as the S95 - and that's the thing I really learned to appreciate (again). No plans of pouncing, though, since the camera isn't even out yet - but if I ever feel as if I was missing the pocket aspect, I might get one.

    M.
     
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  14. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I stumbled during the middle third, from several elements. Weather, health and laziness. The camera/lens is fine. Not perfect, but never has it been, in over 50 years of the hobby. We just adjust and do with the tools at hand, unless you can run out and buy a better tool for the task at hand. As a retired mechanic, carpenter, plumber, electrician, welder, etc, etc... The correct tool for the job really does make for a better results, with less time and effort. But attitude is the biggest requirement. And therein, lies my limitation for this challenge.
     
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  15. SnapDawg

    SnapDawg Rorschach Test Pilot

    843
    Apr 18, 2014
    Canary Islands
    Ken
    Thanks, Marlof.

    The whole country is not for me, (no) sorry ;). Got some good friends here but never liked the 'system' and culture too much (to keep it mildly). Can't wait to get the hell out of here, back to my island.
     
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  16. bysearching

    bysearching SC Regular

    33
    Jan 19, 2012
    Botswana, Africa
    Myra Johnson
    I've missed 2 days, and posted late several times, but no "cheating" with equipment. . But I am enjoying the challenge of this. It has forced me to shoot daily, and that has been good for me. On days when I don't leave home, it forces me to get creative. I have really enjoyed seeing all the photos posted. I'm glad Dad (@snkenai@snkenai ) challenged me to join this year.
     
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  17. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I've cheated on one day where I could not be bothered shooting (illness) but apart from that have enjoyed shooting with the LX100. I have also cropped, resized and post processed merrily, whether raw or jpg and enjoyed it all immensely. Don't ever tell me I can only show sooc pix, i'm outta there.
     
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  18. marlof

    marlof Trying to focus Subscribing Member

    Dec 25, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Marlof
    I totally agree with you Sue. I set the limitation of SOOC to myself to see if all that post processing was really necessary. Within a few days I found out that for me to have fun with photography, it is.
     
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  19. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    I was pleased to spend 2 weeks in the company of the RX100. I wanted to try out the K30/18-135 combo and now I've done that - it's a very good set up indeed when you feel like having an SLR and big lens with you, but that is not very often in my case. So back to the RX100 from now on. I think I've only succeeded in proving to myself that my seemingly never-ending quest for the perfect kit is still ongoing. It's a bit like the questin' beast in Sword in the Stone!
     
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  20. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC Top Veteran

    595
    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    Same here, Martin. I spent way too much time and $$$ over the past few years buying and selling cameras and lenses by Sony, Olympus, Pentax, and Fuji. Shang-ri-la in Camera-land does not exist, IMO. Having just purchased a Fuji X-T1 - for the second time - I keep asking myself "Why did I ever sell this camera?" GAS, wanderlust, etc. SiJ has helped me to just focus on creativity and less on gear.
     
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