Photo Hangout – 01-29-2022

Thanks to Vivian, Mina, Vinie, and Sean for coming over to hang out and take pictures! And of course thanks to everyone for braving the cold for the short outside portion.  It was a crazy 32 degrees on Saturday, but felt much colder.

Shoots like this that have no specific goal in mind, I usually just practice with the random gear I have and revisit lighting techniques I haven’t used in a while.  So here are a few highlights of the day:

I really like the Fuji Instax SQ Square.  It fits in my side bag nicely.  What’s a bit unfair is that the square film costs the same as its larger brother, the Instax Wide film. $20 for 20 shots. The black frame actually costs a few dollars more!

Recently I’ve been shooting more film and my “ancient/vintage” DSLRs. On this shoot I really used the D40 and D50. Both are really good bargains in the photography world.  Both of course you really have to supplement with lighting and always shoot at the lowest ISO.  In looking back I’ve had the LED lights, Mola Beauty Dish, and Ring Light for quite some time now and have really only scratched the surface of what it allows a photographer to do.

The Nikon D50 was/is one of my favorite cameras in terms of image quality but it did have some technical imaging flaws.  That generation of sensor really had a reddish/brown tint to black fabrics.  In some cases it looks okay as it adds to the overall warmth of image, but it is a pain to color correct the tint in the fabric, especially if you shot a lot of images.

I dusted off the ABR Ring Light and used an ancient Canon 5D Classic and a dirt cheap 35-80 lens.  The LCD will almost always show blown out highlights, but the raw files are more than alright in post.

I’m trying to work in on every shoot a few non serious snapshots with the Olympus Stylus film camera.  It’s never going to beat a proper SLR, but that’s not really the point.

It’s been sitting on the shelf a while but I remembered to use the Nikon Coolpix SJ camera, the one with a built in projector! It’s a novelty feature for sure, but it does have some potential.  Imagine loading up an image and shining it on a wall to use as a template for creating a drawing.  Unfortunately the teeny tiny battery doesn’t last long and the light is not very bright, but c’mon, it’s a point and shoot camera with a projector!

Did I mention it was 32 degrees outside?!  At least the sunset gave way to a bluish and lavender sky in the evening.

This normal photo actually took a while to edit and clean up.  Being so cold and my fingers so frigid I forgot to remove the filter from in front of the 85mm 1.2.  In situations like this that have a ton of lights in the background, it will always cause reflections in your image.  Taking off the filters and leaving the bare glass on super expensive lenses like the 85mm and 105mm always makes me a bit worried though.

Seems like we always meet a new four legged friend when out shooting.

Canon 24mm 1.4 on Sony A7.  It’s still a bit hard to manually focus this lens without the punch in feature.

Again this photo took a few minutes to cleanup due to the reflections through the CP filter.  The white balance could perhaps be a bit cooler to be more “correct” but I thought I’d leave it as is to add to the warmth of what was really a frigid evening.

I threw the Fuji X100 in the bag too with a Cokin star filter.  Of course this first generation Fuji X camera did not properly autofocus on the subject and the battery died literally after 3 shots.  I still don’t see how this camera kick started a wave of popularity for Fujifilm amongst the photography circles, in real life and the online Youtube one.  Their cameras look very nice, but are still very clunky to use and focus and oftentimes gets in the way of making a picture.

Onward to food!  Everyone agreed on Korean, and we went to Tofu House in Duluth GA.  This is one of my regular go to places for probably the best Korean food in town.  It’s my opinion, but when you’ve been eating at the same place since 2007 and the food has always tasted the same (great!), it deserves a top 3 ranking on my list.

Food is awesome, but in some ways it’s also a good measuring stick for something like a first date or even getting to know someone.  The reactions of someone when it comes to fish with heads on it, or the wild and funky smells of Asian food to someone not familiar with our culture and likes–I feel like that’s always an opportunity to educate and inform.  Food and the discussions around it can all be a part of the shared experience.  I know we live in a world where we can’t even agree on what cuts of the animal are proper to eat, or that animals should even be eaten at all, but I’ve always realized that not too many people are lucky enough to be able to choose what they eat.

And to close off the evening, Red Velvet Cheesecake from Boba Mocha. Hopefully better weather for next time!

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