Yosemite On My Mind

Another successful trip behind me and now the process of culling and editing, the hard drive full, of images begins.  I arrived on Friday, beating a pretty substantial storm to the valley.  It rained all night and into the morning.  At around 9:30am on Saturday the clouds began parting and the mad dash to the tunnel view or valley view overlook began.  I was greeted by parting clouds and a layer of fog so beautiful I couldn't believe my eyes.  I was able to capture this image.

Yosemite Valley

I return to this place every year.  I always go in either January or February for a couple of reasons.  The crowds are much smaller and the weather can create the most amazing views of this unbelievably beautiful valley.  The summer haze that stretches the entire valley is non-existant and the sun is lower in the sky.  This trip felt like a new beginning for me.  My skills have grown over the last few years, shooting more than ever in my life.  I am more pleased by my results with each new day and love picking up my camera.  I attribute some of it to my recent switch to Fuji but not all.  I have a fire in my gut to get it done lately.  The more effort I put in the better the results.  I know that that is a truism and that all good things come from hard work and perseverance.  The images I captured this trip are some of my best work to date but I still feel that I am just at the beginning of my journey as a photographer.  

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, Winter


Trees on the shore of the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, Winter 

Yosemite Drama! Not the Ahwhanee?

In 1990 my college buddies talked me into a backpacking trip.  We hiked from Tuolumne Meadows, through Pate Valley and finishing at White Wolf.  We did this trip in seven days.  This was my first backpacking trip.  I was the ultimate noob!  My pack was full of things I had no business bringing.  I was totally out of shape and had no idea what I was getting into.  On top of all of that I woke up with an abscessed tooth the morning we were supposed to depart.  A quick trip to a local Oakhurst dentist allowed me to make it to the trailhead in time.  Needless to say the physical part of this journey was not enjoyable.  What I did find was that I had discovered the place that brought me closest to, whatever it may be, that created all of this.  Yosemite, from that day forward, became my church.  What does this have to do with photography you ask?  From that date on I have spent many hours photographing both the valley and the backcountry of Yosemite.  Both on film and more recently digitally.  

This week, on Friday, I depart for another photographic journey to Yosemite.  We have been blessed with several feet of snow at higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  The Yosemite high country is blanketed with the beautiful white stuff.  The Valley Floor has seen more than just a dusting over the last few weeks and i'm curious if we are going to be lucky enough to see it this trip.  As of this writing two small storms are on track to hit while i'm there.  I save a ton of money by staying in the Curry Village tent cabins.  While heated with propane heaters several blankets will be necessary.  

There is a new twist that has recently happened in the valley.  The concessions company that lost the contract for all of the businesses in Yosemite is fighting in court, for compensation, for the naming rights of practically everything in the park.  The Ahwhanee, Curry Village, the Wawona as well as the title of the park "Yosemite National Park" has been claimed by this company.  With the exception of the later, everything has been renamed temporarily.  Only a judge will decide the outcome and I'm sure it will take years before it is resolved.  You can read about it here.  I don't really care what changes are made, I will continue to call these locations by the only names I have ever known.  That I know is true.

My last trip to Yosemite happened in February of 2014 and I was lucky enough to catch a departing storm from the Valley View parking area.  It is my favorite image to date of the valley.

There are two additonal images from this trip that I love.  One of Upper Yosemite Falls and the other a view from the road that I captured out my car window.  You never know when an amazing image is going to happen.

I will be uploading video throughout the weekend as well as images to my Instagram account.  This will be the first photographic journey I will take with my Fuji XT1 and  i'm excited to see what I can accomplish with this new tool in a place that is close to my heart.  

I Went Mirrorless!

So I finally pulled the trigger on a brand new Fuji XT1 paired with an 18-55mm f2.8 to 4.  I took advantage of the discounts they were offering during the holidays and added a used 56mm f1.2.  In total I saved close to $750.  I'm going to warn you now this is not a full blown review of the XT1, just my first impressions and feelings in using it for approximately one week.  The ver first thing I noticed about this camera is that everything is where I would expect it to be.  It looks and feels like a mix between my Nikon FE2 and my Fuji X100T.  It's light weight but fits perfectly in my hand.  The viewfinder is amazing.  As most have already commented, the directional buttons around the menu button are small but i've gotten used to it.  The hardest thing for me is that the lens release is on the right side, or grip side, of the body, opposite to Nikon, so muscle memory has to be overcome.  Another peeve is that the lens hood doesn't click in as easy and smoothly as my Nikon.  Not a big deal.  

When I got home today the clouds parted for a few minutes and the lighting in my backyard drew me out.  I attached the 56mm f1.2 and started wandering.  This is my favorite way to shoot.  It's like hunting and the image is my prey.  Below are some of those shots.  All of these images are jpegs edited in Snapseed.


While this is more of a portrait lens, I enjoyed this hunt.  Focusing these images was a small challenge but was solved by increasing my distance.  I can't wait to do a portrait shoot with this lens and hopefully it will be soon.  I look forward to exploring all of the capabilities of this camera and will share as I do.  Shooting is fun again and my bag is a few pounds lighter with this smaller gear. 

Hmmmm where to wonder next?  

My First modelmayhem.com Shoot

About a year ago I signed up with modelmayhem.com .  I wanted to expand my photography skills and start working with models.  I have been working on building a home studio.  Backdrop, backdrop stand, sofbox for my speedlite and a not so steep learning curve were complete.  I didn't want to subject my friends and family to the time that it would take for me to be comfortable shooting with this setup.  So I put it out there to a few models that I was interested in someone that was patient and that could deal with me fumbling a little.  We as photographers must admit that we do fumble a little when we attempt a new type of photography.  Mistakes will be made and it will take time to perfect your abilities.  

A few weeks later I received a response from a model and the correspondence portion of our potential meeting began.  After a few e-mails we arranged a meeting at a neutral location.  You have to be careful.  This goes for photographers and models.  While modelmayhem does some screening, you must protect yourself.  Bring a friend as well, if it makes you feel more comfortable.  So we met at a local coffee shop, more to get a feel for each other and see if it would be a good fit.  I asked a ton of questions as well as presented what I was interested short term as well as long term possibilities.  The meeting went well.  We then scheduled a time to meet for a shoot.  Like most photographers I do not have a dedicated studio.  My setup is in my garage.  It is neat and clean and with the backdrop setup it actually looks the part.  I shared this up front as I didn't want there to be any surprises.  She asked if she could bring a friend.  I told her that, of course, she could.  I believe that any photographer that says you can't bring a friend is someone you should avoid.  I went the extra step to tell my wife that I would text her if everything was going smoothly.  Safety, safety, safety is the name of the game.  

The shoot went well.  Some of the shots were great.  Some of the shots were not so great.  I also learned the limits of my equipment.  My SB600 Speedlite overheated.  It would still work but needed time to cool down.  I'm thinking of switching to dedicated LED's or may spend some money on professional strobes that have dedicated power.  I have to thank the amazing model Molly Scott for her patience, professionalism and her poise during our first shoot.

Below are my favorite images from that day.  I am looking forward to our next shoot and have to say that I may be hooked on this type of photography.  While it is more labor intensive than my regular shoots, the results are worth it.  


Fuji X100T Accesories

I've been shooting with the Fuji X100T for close to year now.  It has become my take everywhere camera.  It's a manageable size and fits in the cargo pocket of my shorts or the pocket of most of my jackets.  I don't have to worry about extra lenses so I don't have to bring a camera bag.  There are, however, a few accessories that I have purchased that have added to the user experience and I recommend them highly.  

The first item I purchased was a wrist strap.  I didn't want to add a bulky, full length strap.  I also wanted to use this camera as a second camera when shooting events, weddings or other situations that require a second camera.   I like to have a mid range zoom as well as a fixed prime when I shoot these types of events.  I have started carrying the X100T on the wrist strap and my Nikon D7000 (soon to be a Fuji XT1) on a Black Rapid strap.  I was at the Leica Store in San Francisco and found the strap pictured below made by DSPTCH.  You can find it here.

 

Image provided by The Leica Store.

It took a little getting used to.  When you hang something that costs $1300 from a thin piece of cord it takes a little faith.  After a few days of use I have total confidence in this strap.  But like everything, time will take its' toll.  I will probably replace this once every other year just to be safe.  

The next item I purchased was the Lensmate Thumbrest.  I have shot with the Nikon FE2 since 1983.  The thumbrest reminds me of the feeling I have when I shoot with that old film camera.  It's a natural spot to place your thumb and adds to the illusion that it is a film camera.  It fits snugly in the hot shoe and has a small rubber pad where your thumb sits, to reduce slipping.  If you didn't know any better you would think it was part of the camera as the finish matches perfectly.  

Image provided by Lensmate.

The only other accessory I have for this camera are extra batteries.  I purchased the Fuji brand batteries for one reason and one reason only.  Reliability.  I have heard horror stories regarding off brand batteries.  I once bought an off brand battery for my Nikon D70 and it sucked.  What you save in price comes back to bite you in the amount of hassle that it can cause.  From then on I have stuck with name brand batteries.  I know they are expensive but I believe in this case you get what you pay for.  

There are two other accessories that I want to mention here.  Fuji makes two conversion lenses.  The first, the TCL-X100 converts the 23mm (equivalent to 35mm field of view) to a 35mm (equivalent to a 50mm field of view).  The other converter is the WCL which converts it to a 19mm (equivelant to a 28mm field of view).  I don't feel the need to purchase either of these as I have those fields of view available with my interchangeable lens camera.  I also love the 35mm field of view and have been shooting with that equivalent for over 30 years.  

One of the things I love about this camera is that there aren't a ton of accessories.  It's a back to basics camera for me.  It has reminded me of what I love about photography.  

For the Love of Photography

I have been trying to find a theme for my work for some time now.  Nothing jumped out at me.  Matt Granger has "Get Your Gear Out", Jerod Polin has "I Shoot Raw" so what should be mine........and then it hit me.  "For the Love of Photography".  The expression "for the love of god" has been one that I have heard a million times growing up.  Always an expression of exasperation.  Not believing whatever it was the person was witnessing or being so disgusted by it that the expression was necessary.  I love photography.  I don't love gear, I don't love software and I sure as hell don't love spending my time with my camera so that I can get a few likes on the interweb.  I just love the act of creating images.  Sharing them is just a bonus.  Do I want people to love my work?  Sure, who doesn't, but it's not my motivator.  I am at my happiest while wandering, looking for the perfect landscape or the leaf that is just the right color of orange or someone doing something interesting in a place that has meaning to them.  Capturing these moments in time is a pure pleasure.  

I feel that we have gone far afield in the world of photography.  Spending too much time pining away at the newest gear.  Cameras are replaced with newer models before you have time to master the one you just bought.  Technology is improving at an amazing rate but does that mean that you have to have the latest and greatest first?  Is doing this going to help you master the craft of photography?  I believe that answer is a resounding NO!  My old Nikon D70 is a great camera.  6 megapixels, small viewing screen and no movie mode.  I am able to still make amazing images with it.  I am confident that I will be able to hand that camera to my oldest son in a few years and have him learn the basics/fundamentals of photography by using it.  

Do I like new gear?  Yes.  Do I get G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) sometimes? Another YES!  but I have to put on the brakes.  I have to think, do I need a new camera or is a new lens a better choice?  Maybe I should invest in a class or book or visit a museum or photo gallery.  Or maybe I should take a day off from my day job to take photos.  These are all things to think about.  Sometimes you do need new gear.  Your abilities outgrow your equipment and new features are what you NEED, not what you WANT!  I get it.  I just think we should all take some time and enjoy the process.  Learn a new skill with that existing camera.  Take a walk with a photo friend and do it "For The Love Of Photography"

A New and Old Adventure (Success?)

As always, my annual trip to Reno, was a fantastic adventure full of new memories with old friends.  (See previous blog post, same name, for more info).  My trip began with a stop in South Lake Tahoe where I recorded this video.

With each video I am a little more comfortable in front of the camera.  I admit that it's awkward and I hope that with time it will be less so.  Part of what I hope to do here is to show my progression in abilities over time.  I know that i'm an amateur where video is concerned but I love doing it and am enjoying the learning curve.  The Rode Filmmakers Kit has made this super easy and I am glad I made that purchase.  

On Saturday I arrived at The Reno Stead Airport for the National Championship Air Races.  I decided to splurge and purchase a pit pass in addition to the regular admission.  This would give me access to the area where the race planes are prepped as well as closer access to the flightline where the planes line up prior to each race.  There are several classes of aircraft including jets, WWII T-6's  and other stock and modified planes.  My favorite aircraft is the P-51 Mustang and there are several that fly in the races.  Some are stock and others are highly modified like Voodoo.

 

Voodoo In The Pit.  Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

I spent most of Saturday in the pits and loved every minute of it.  You get to see a totally different aspect of the races.  There is so much hard work that goes into this day that, as a spectator in the stands, you never see.  

 Crew members working on parts from Voodoo.  Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

Crew members working on parts from Voodoo.  Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

Race Prep. Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

Polishing Strega's Blades. Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

I have to admit that I had some challenges.  Photography and videography aren't my full time gig so my time with my gear is limited.  Sometimes I have to learn as I go.  For this trip the biggest challenge was video.  I'm more comfortable with video that has the camera on a tripod.  This provides a steady platform and there is no camera shake to worry about.  For this trip I used a Benro Monopod and it was the first time I have attempted video with it.  Camera shake was a problem as well as learning how fast to pan or tilt while filming.  I may have to invest in a gimble or some new VR lenses for more stable video.  Once again that pesky learning curve.  The cool thing is that I am learning and the next time out i'll have something usable.

This year the event added an attraction.  In  1970 the movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!" debuted.  Several planes were manufactured to represent the Japanese Zero's.  These planes were then donated to the "Commemorative Air Force".  From then on they have been performing this act for air shows throughout the world.  I feel lucky to have witnessed it.  

Tora! Tora! Tora!  Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

The beauty of these planes is hard to describe.  It's like walking back in time.

Commemorative Air Force,  Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

I spent some time just taking in this view.  My generation can only imagine what it must have been like in the 40's.  Slowly but surely those that lived as part of the "Greatest Generation" are departing this world and will no longer be able to tell their story's.  It is events like this that will keep these memories alive as well as being part of our understanding of our past and its' impact on our culture.  

Commemorative Air Force,  Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

On Sunday I joined my friends for the show and spent less time photographing and more time enjoying our time together.  I've known these men for over 40 years.  As time has passed we have gone our own ways but Reno is always on the calendar.  Each year we meet and enjoy this event and our time together, catching up, sharing our successes, failures and some stiff drinks.  It is a time I have cherished and will continue to for many years to come.

Rare Bear, Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

You are probably asking yourself, where are the race photos?  The answer to that is that I don't have a sufficient lens capable of capturing close up images of the planes in action.  At a minimum I would have needed a 400mm lens.  This is not in my budget and I didn't feel like lugging one around this event.  They are very large and heavy.  I was able to capture a few images of the action though.  

Start of the T6 qualifying race. Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

Breitling Jet Team, Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

Breitling Jet Team, Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

Falcon 7X Flyby, Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

Opening Ceremony, Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

There is so much to soak up at this event.  Everywhere you look is an image waiting to be made.  I think it also helps that I love this event and that I have been attending off and on since the mid 80's.  There is something magical about these aircraft.   It's like i'm a little boy all over again.  The sights and sounds, just as exciting as they were 30 years ago.  

Cockpit, Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

Argonaut, Hawker Sea Fury, Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

Reno Stead Airport, National Championship Air Races 2015

I hope you've enjoyed this adventure as much as I have.  I believe that the only way to grow as a photographer is to push your limits and try new things.  I feel that this adventure did just that.  Would I have done things different if I had it to do all over again?  The answer is yes, but I never would have figured that out if I had never tried.  

 

Looking To The Horizon

I have learned, throughout my life, that the best things in life are achieved through the hardest work.  I found an amazing woman and have made it work for close to eleven years.  Eight of which we have been married.  It isn't always easy but the payoff is immeasurable.  Two amazing boys, a dog and two cats, I count my blessings every day.  On the physical side, i'm not the man I used to be.  I turn 50 in 2016 and that number alone is a little intimidating.  I've had my fair share of setbacks but none have knocked me out.  I fight every day to keep father time at bay.  I know eventually he will catch up, but am sure that is quite a ways away.  On the career side, now that has been a bit harder.  

Photography has always been my passion.  I have always wondered how I could turn it into something that could make me a living.  I started my adult work life back in 1994.  I've been at it for over twenty years full time.  Over that time I have had successes and failures.  I have learned more than I ever thought was possible.  I haven't made it big but i've made a living.  Never down and out.  I keep plugging along.  Lately I have decided that it isn't enough to just plug along.  This website, this blog and my podcast are examples of some of the changes I have been making.  They may not be perfect but at least i'm doing something.  I won't be that person that sits back and complains about what could have been or where I should be.  I'm going to be the person that does something about it.  If I fail, so be it, at least I tried.  

So why am I telling you all this?  First off to thank you for being a part of it.  For helping me to find my dream.  For clicking on the links, reading/watching the content and for just being there.  Giving you a little peak behind the armor or the curtain or whatever metaphor works for you.  

I look to the horizon and see what is possible.  I'll be putting more energy into my photography and my videography skills as well as sharing how I am doing all of this.  If it helps one person or gives any of you joy or makes you think, than I have done what I came here to do.  

Thank you for being a part of the journey.

Now, back to work!

 

John

The Sonoma Coast

Yesterday I decided that I would take some time for myself and head to the beach to make some images.  Living in Northern California I am spoiled by my beautiful surroundings.  The spot I chose was Goat Rock, located in the Sonoma Coast State Park.  It was a bit foggy, with a light breeze, but not cold.  I love shooting in foggy conditions as colors pop more with a gray sky.  Lately i've been shooting with my X100T.  I took my Nikon D7000 with me but it never left my bag.  More on that in a later blog.  All images were shot in RAW and then edited in Lightroom CC.  It's interesting, I have been uploading images to Instagram lately and have been using the WiFi feature of my Fuji to transfer images to my iPad.  Once there I have been using Snapseed to edit.  It was nice, for a change, to get back into Lightroom.  I have never been one to use Photoshop on my images.  The only time I use Photoshop is for creating graphics or when I have an issue that I need to resolve that Lightroom can't handle.  I love how my images look directly out of the camera with the X100T and usually only use a few features, in Lightroom, to do some fine tuning.

For this adventure I had no specific plan.  I just decided to let my heart guide me.  This is my favorite method.  I pick a location and let it show me the way.  I usually have a general idea of what I want to shoot but am open to whatever might come up.  This first shot was taken from an overlook along the road that leads to the beach.

Blind Beach, Sonoma Coast State Park, California

When I was five my family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Chicago.  I've always had a large body of water near where I live and I can't imagine it any other way.  Everywhere you go there are unique sights, smells and sounds and this is no exception.  I can't describe the feeling that I get when I go to the beach but it's something special.  I'm not a religious person but I am very spiritual.  I find that I am closer to whatever it is that makes this all happen, at the ocean and in the mountains.   I've split my adult life between the two but the ocean has been the winner over the last ten years.  

As I walked along the beach I found this pile of rocks.  I couldn't help myself, it was a picture that I had to take.

Rock Pile, Sonoma Coast State Park, California

I've been crazy busy lately.  It was nice to take a couple of hours away from home, by myself, in a place that brings me peace, doing something that I am passionate about.  I NEED to do more if this and I WILL do more of this.  Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope these images help to take you to a place where you can hear the gulls and the sound of the waves and smell the sea air.  

Reeds, Sonoma Coast State Park, California


Privacy?

Street photography has taken off, like a rocket, in popularity.  Small mirrorless cameras like the Fuji X series, the Sony A7 and other compacts, that give photographers full manual control, not to mention amazing image quality, are the tools of choice.  Images flood the internet on a daily basis, black and white images of popular neighborhoods and the interesting, or not so interesting, people of them are being added to photo sharing sites by the millions.  

As of this writing it is not illegal to capture a photo of anyone in a public place and then display it for the world to see without any type of release.  The guidelines of use for "Art" or "Editorial" images allow this in many locations throughout the world.  First off, I am not a lawyer and this is by no means a guide to what the legal definition is but istockphoto.com defines it as follows

"What are Editorial Images?

Editorial images illustrate and reflect the issues, themes, and events (both big and small) of our world today.

The people and things in these images are not released. For that reason, they cannot be used to sell anything. Editorial imagery is for non-commercial, non-promotional use only."  

 What you may not use these images for is, for instance, you photograph someone wearing a Tiffany watch and you want to sell the image to Tiffany to use in a national ad campaign.  This use would not be allowed unless you had obtained a model release for the person you photographed or anyone else that is recognizable in the image that enhances the esthetic of that image.  Any lawyers out there feel free to chime in.  

The real question is what expectation do you have of privacy in a public place?  If you have an emotional encounter with a loved one in a public space or you trip and fall and are embarrassed or you spill coffee in your lap.  I could go on and on.  All of these circumstances could be photographed by anyone within sight.  These images could then be plastered all over the internet for the world to see.  In this modern age this has become the reality.

As a photographer I believe I have a responsibility to act ethically and to work within the socially expected norms of where I am.  I may not be bound by a written law that forbids me to take a photo but I must consider what the impact of that photo might be.  Is it hurtful or could it incite violence?  Could it embarrass   someone or does it cross the line of  being too intimate even though it is in a public space?  These are all things that I personally must consider before taking an image.   I have a social and professional responsibility when it comes to my photography.  What I am most worried about is what would happen if photographers don't follow these types of guidelines.  Society inevitably will fight back.  Laws limiting, or eliminating photography in public spaces could occur.  This article in Petapixel is an example of how this has already begun, "Arkansas Passes Privacy Bill That Could Kill Street Photography".  This Bill was ultimately vetoed by the Governor when they realized the possible consequences. Then there is the opposite, the legislation know as the Ansel Adams Act which seems to be giving rights back to photographers.  What is very clear is that this is just the beginning of this conversation.  

 

Full Frame DSLR? Mirrorless? Hmmm.....

I want to take my photography to the next level, but which system do I want to invest in?  There are so many debates out there, some saying the DSLR is dead and that Mirrorless has taken over or Mirrorless cameras are nice for casual photographers but not for a pro.  You can Google "DSLR vs. Mirrorless" and the flood of opinions will appear before you.  What it comes down to for me are quality of the image and affordability of the gear.  I know this is a simplistic view but for me it is this basic.  I have no problem switching to a new system and deal with the learning curve for the right camera.

As a pro photographer quality images are the basic expectation.  So I started to do some visual research.  I headed to a few photo sharing sites to look at images taken with different systems.  Because I'm a Nikon shooter I stuck with the Nikon D610 and the D750 for DSLR images and for Mirrorless I chose the Fuji XT1.  The reason I chose the XT1 is that first off I love the styling.  Yes I said it, the styling.  It reminds me of my Nikon FE2.  It's what I hoped the Nikon DF was going to be.  I have rented the XT1 and love the feel of it and the small form factor.  I like the EVF (Electronic View Finder) and the other features of this camera.  I looked at about 100 images from each camera and to tell you the truth there wasn't much difference.  The one difference I did notice was that the Fuji images had a more real to life look.       In my opinion Nikon images, JPG or RAW have a distinctive look to them.  I love this loook and it's been the reason I have stayed with Nikon for as long as I have.  The XT1 allows you to apply film simulations such as their "Classic Chrome", which I believe was intended to emulate Kodak's Kodachrome as well as several other simulations.  That paired with filters also available with the XT1 and the creative possibilities are endless.  I like tech as much as the next guy but I am no expert on image sensors or lens elements so you won't get any long drawn out discussion on specs.  What I do know is what looks good and all of these cameras can create spectacular images in the right hands.  

I can't imagine anyone wants to throw away money on equipment.  It can be easy to jump in with both feet quickly after hearing positive review after positive review.  The newest shiny camera that promises to make your photos look as if pooped out by a unicorn mixed with pixy dust!  The inevitable feeling of dissapointment, regret and depression that you spent a month's worth of hard earned cash on something that just doesn't work for you.  For an entry level full frame Nikon system you are going to spend close to $3400.  The Nikon D610 is listed on B&H for $1496 and one decent lens, such as the Nikon 24-70 f2.8 will set you back close to $1900.  The Fuji XT1 sells for $1300 and the Fuji 16-55 f2.8 Weather Resistant lens(equivalent 24-82.5 full frame equivalent) will cost you $1200.  While the bodies cost close to the same amount, the fuji lenses are less expensive than the Nikon equivalents.  So going with the Mirrorless you would save close to $1000.  I know this is for just one camera and lens and most are going to be buying multiple lenses and a backup body.  The price just grows from there with a major savings by going mirrorless.  

I have shot Nikon for years.  I have a standard DX system that I have used for weddings, portraits and events.  I love Nikon gear and it has served me well from my FE2, purchased in 1983 to my D70 and then my D7000.  I do have to admit that when I see a system that is half the size and much cheaper with amazing quality images I am tempted. I'd love to hear what you think.  Are you shooting full frame or mirrorless?  Have you switched?  I'd love to hear your story.

My Life As A Souvenir Photographer

You know what i'm talking about.  You head out on a cruise on a lake or are getting off the lift at your favorite ski resort or checking out any one of the must see tourist destinations throughout the U.S.A. and there they are, poised with their camera in hand ready to position you in front of that beautiful backdrop...

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