SiJ 2018 - Thoughts and reflections on the first half.

Discussion in 'Photo Challenges' started by bilzmale, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    Please feel free to share what you have learned, your successes or failures and your aspirations on the first half.
    Myself I've become a lot more comfortable with the GR having time to explore its settings and strengths and weaknesses. Fixed 28mm lens has its restrictions but I've learned you can set an in-camera crop factor to 35mm or 47mm.
     
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  2. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Whilst I have been using a camera that is relatively new to me, a Ricoh GXR with an A12M module and a Voigtlander 21mm f/4 lens in a Leica screw mount, my main focus has been to try and migrate from Photoshop and process my raw images using open source software, so RawTherapee to work on the raw file followed by GIMP to add a border and any other tweaks as well as resizing for the web. The two areas where I don't think I'm doing as well as when I've used Photoshop under Windows is in the area of sharpening and, for Linux in general, I'm not convinced that I'm correctly colour managing my workflow, despite running monitor colour profiling software. Whilst that has created a profile it saved it in the waste basket and nowhere meaningful. I have managed to recover the file and copy it elsewhere so now I have to try and understand where to put it and how to get it to load at startup.

    In camera terms I feel more connected to the process of taking an image when I use a lens equipped with a physical aperture control and a mechanically connected manual focus system. In that regard my next "best" camera might well be my Leica D-Lux Typ 109 and I've been getting some very acceptable results using RawTherapee and GIMP to produce what I feel are very acceptable monochrome images from photographs in my back catalogue.

    Much of my photographic intent has been influenced by the photographs of James Ravilious who photographed in Devon between the 1970's and the 1990's with books like "An English Eye" and "Down the Deep Lanes". James Ravilious - photographer of rural life 1939 - 1999

    Barrie
     
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  3. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    I've learned that if you intend on carrying a camera every day, a 3.5lb (1.5kg) camera and lens combination is probably not the best choice. 15mm is also turning out to be a challenging focal length for day-to-day shooting.

    Having said that, this time around, I'm trying to take the challenge a bit lighter than in previous years. I'm still working on getting decent shots, but realize that some will work better than others.

    It's certainly a challenge but I trust we will all make it to the finish line.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  4. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    As usual, it had its ups and downs, but mainly, I really appreciate having an excuse to get out and shoot, even if it means stealing some time or having to make to with a safety shot for a day or so.

    The V1 is a strangely mixed bag - if it works as intended, it's a joy to shoot with, but if one of its numorous quirks makes itself felt, it can be downright irritating. Overall, I like that camera (a lot) but also think I'd welcome a worthy replacement. As there's none on the horizon or to be expected, I'll make do with the V1 as long as it lasts, and, for the most part, gladly so.

    As every year, I enjoy looking at the images most, though - some of you folks are on a fantastic roll, and even the less spectacular shots show ingenuity, dedication and a good eye. I like it.

    btw. @ajramirez@ajramirez Your shots have already triggered my next planned purchase - I'll get the Laowa 7.5mm f/2 for my :mu43: system, just to be able to get similar shots (of course, I won't be able to equal them, which will be entirely my fault for my choice of system and lack of skills and familiarity - but I can at least try).

    M.
     
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  5. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    I thinks I'm in something of a slough of despond both creatively and generally. My shoulder is still not properly fixed after 3 years of various treatments, and now my hip is flaring up arthritically. Add in the cold and gloomy weather and I'm struggling to get inspired. Completing the month may be a struggle. But I like the G5X quite a lot so far. I think it will be an excellent city break holiday companion. I'm also itching to get going again with film, I just can't think of stuff to photograph...
     
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  6. In choosing to use the Nikon P610, I inadvertently limited myself to mostly daytime shooting. (Mind you, that would likely have been the case with the V1 too). What I have realised (again) is that I prefer to have a larger sensor in my cameras, along with light weight. This, then, is the last hurrah for the Nikon P610 and also, by definition, the Panasonic TZ60. They will be going on gumtree at the end of the challenge. Along with the Pentax gear.

    As for the challenge itself, I am enjoying it more this year than I have in the past. Freeing myself from expectation and pressure (mine, of course) has been a relief, and getting myself out of the house at least for a while every day, has been good for body and spirit. Like Martin, the arthritics and fibromyalgia get to me (spine, hip, hands, shoulders) but its good to be out and about.

    I'd like to do an SiJ midyear too, in our winter.
     
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  7. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    The only other SIJ I've participated in was the very first one in 2012 and I recall "teasing" Mark, a.k.a. Stillshunter about his choice of the month given that, as an Aussie, he was experiencing summer whilst those of us in the northern hemisphere were also battling winter. I did make similar remarks before deciding, at the last minute, to take part in this one. My own feelings in the last two weeks of battling the elements have been that to be fair to participants in both hemispheres this sort of challenge should be held in March/April or September/October. There have been comments from both ends of the world, heat and humidity in the south and cold, snow and rain in the north making it unpleasant for much outdoor photography. Choosing the months mentioned above would even things out to some extent although some form of adverse weather can occur at any time. The hours of available daylight would be more even and at the moment subject matter can get repetitive year on year, winter images from the north and summer images from the south.

    Barrie
     
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  8. Hageneth

    Hageneth SC Regular

    103
    Jan 8, 2017
    Suffolk.UK
    Ian
    This is my first SiJ and despite the weather not being exactly cooperative I have enjoyed it this far. Some days have been a struggle to find inspiration mainly due I think to not really having been well since early October and being down some days. The sunshine today made a world of difference even if it was cold and windy.
    I had originally planned on using my Canon EOS M but that gave up the ghost so I opted for the Fuji X70 over my Nikon 1 V1 which I am glad I did because good as it is I find that the Nikon struggles in really dull weather.
    I have a 'road map' for the rest of the the month but as ever the weather may well scupper it.
    I also agree very much with what Barrie says re timing of the challenge.
     
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  9. tonyturley

    tonyturley SC All-Pro

    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    I'm using a fairly new combination to me, my X-T1 and a 35mm f2 WR lens. That's a much narrower FOV than I usually use for general photography. The lens is brilliant, though, and I'm quite pleased with most of the images. I knew I was setting a high bar for myself by choosing to focus on common trees and shrubs, because they are mostly leafless this time of year, but Dendrology has been a favorite study topic of mine for a long time, and since I'm constantly on the lookout for interesting nature shots, I've found some scenes that worked well for me. Having a fair bit of snow and ice present the past few weeks has helped, too.
     
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  10. Covey22

    Covey22 SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 3, 2012
    This will be the fourth year I've been shooting Fuji XF (not necessarily in SiJ), and it just keeps getting better all the time. I did revert back to RAF (raw files) for the challenge, after having squeezed all the performance out of a SOOC JPG workflow. Honestly, I could have not shot RAF, but I did it for the extra assurance.

    I love 85mm FOV, but it is tough for everyday work. On the other hand, I picked it because I felt at times that I had overindulged myself getting the 1.2R, and subconsciously wanted to say I had shot the heck out of it in situations other than traditional head and shoulder portraits and candids.

    My plan really isn't detailed - I've been pulling over safely where I can to run out shoot a few frames, hop back in because I'm always tardy for the next appointment. The snow has been sabotaging that - some road shoulders are full of snowbanks, so no place to pull over, and sure as heck can't go high-stepping into the white stuff wearing office gear. I'm hoping to get a few time-off shots soon to build up a nice portfolio for a day or two. At this point, I'm down to safety shots.
     
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  11. I picked a lens, the Fuji 50mm f2, which I thought would be a challenge to use. It is very new to me. And other than shooting with a Canon FD 50mm 1.4 on the X-T1 a couple of years ago, I have never shot the 75mm FOV. As it turns out, the 75mm FOV is coming very naturally to me. It is a perfect fit with where my shooting has evolved to. The Fuji 50mm is an outstanding lens, which makes this even easier. The challenge for me has come in taking photos daily with working longer days combined with some very nasty weather.
     
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  12. donlaw

    donlaw SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Texas
    Don
    I have sort of 'rediscovered' the E-P5. It had sat in its case unused for a couple of years while I played with an OMD EM1 and then and EM1 ii. Those are gone and this is my last M43 camera.
    It makes a nice easy to carry combo with the '40mm' equivalent Panasonic 20mm. The AF tend to hunt a bit more than I am used too. But it is much easier to get a daily image than last year when using the Leica Monochrome.
    Overall I am pleased with the choice, although limiting myself to only faces has proven a challenge while traveling for work. I have really enjoyed seeing everyone daily posts.
     
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  13. marlof

    marlof Trying to focus Subscribing Member

    Dec 25, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Marlof
    I think I did them all so far. Some years, participating felt like a chore, and sometimes it just fit in my schedule. Happily, this time it’s the latter. I have no problem finding my picture of the day, even when I did impose some limitations to myself (JPEG Dynamic B&W, only straightening allowed in post (with one exception of cloning out a tiny branch that ruined the experience), outdoor shots). It’s a good thing that my gear of choice is pocketable, since it makes it easy to carry along. I’m still not befriending the LX100, but we’re getting along a bit better. I do find that I’m looking forward to see what the others have done for that day, and find the daily threads rewarding.
     
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  14. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Steve
    This is almost always a fun activity. It gets me taking time every day to shoot and to look at the work of others. Too often I let the practice of my hobby slide when confronted with other pressures.
     
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  15. Burkey

    Burkey SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    885
    Apr 18, 2011
    Northern New England
    I started with an X-E2 and a Zeiss Touit, 32mm then decided to move on to a new camera body I wanted to try out, a Leica CL. It's been tough to find images I am really comfortable with since the weather has been really nasty in northern Vermont. But. . . the challenge continues to be just that, "a challenge" and I am enjoying the daily requirement to "find a picture".
    . . . David
     
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  16. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Ooh, Leica CL! I believe I have read every review with lustful eyes...Please let me know how you are finding the experience.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
  17. Burkey

    Burkey SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    885
    Apr 18, 2011
    Northern New England
    Antonio - Will do. I'll post sometime next week, most likely under the Leica M sub-forum here on Serious Compacts.
    . . . David
     
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  18. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    For my part, I'm enjoying myself. I chose to use the Fuji X100F and I am glad that I did. It's a little more bulky than my usual weapon of choice, my GR, but it has wireless, which my GR lacks. Everything I have posted has been processed on my portable telephone with Snapseed.

    I knew I was going to be busy in January (and I was right) so I did a bit of forward planning. I listed a number of potential subjects and safety shots but I'm pleased to note that I haven't thus far used many of them.

    That said, I don't find myself shooting my normal subjects during January; there are a lot of close-ups and still lifes which probably reflects both a lack of opportunity and of imagination!

    I did choose to shoot in black and white and all save one of my shots thus far has been monochrome. I'm not being dogmatic about it though although I do love the Acros simulation.

    I love looking at the entries each day. I find SiJ to be more "intimate" in that it gives us more of a concentrated insight into each other's daily lives rather than event and travel photography.
     
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  19. rayvonn

    rayvonn SC Top Veteran

    714
    Jan 19, 2015
    Where I am currently, I'm limited to under 100mb of data per day so with that limitation, even pressing a like on the posts is something I can't really do. But it's great to see so many of you staying the course and I look forward to seeing all of the posts in February when I get in to more favourable internet conditions.
     
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  20. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I've been thinking about this a bit - how about a 9-month rhythm? That way, everyone would encounter different opportunities on a regular basis, and every three years the cycle would repeat ...

    M.
     
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