Old Dog Learning New Tricks

Nikon FE2 next to Fuji XT1


As most are aware I recently switched from Nikon to the Fuji collection of cameras and lenses. Over the last year my photography has progressed further than in the last 20 years because of this.

 I'm an old dog.  I've been making images since the mid seventies.  I was lucky enough to have a middle school that had a beautiful darkroom to explore and create in.  In High School I contributed to the newspaper and continued to make images on film until my switch to digital in 2005.  I went with what I knew, which was Nikon.  A trusted brand that I had been shooting with for over 20 years.  I began my journey with a Nikon D70 and graduated to a D7000.  I rented several full frame Nikon cameras as well.  As my abilities grew with digital I contemplated the move to owning a more professional system.  This is when I found Fuji.  I rented the XT1 and loved it.  Still not 100% sure I purchased the X100T to see if I wanted to commit.  Reasoning was that I wouldn't have to invest in lenses and would only have to sell one item if it didn't work out.  Well it worked out.  I love it and I kept it.  I now have added the XT1 and the 35mm f2, 56mm 1.2 and the 18-55mm kit lens.  Next on the list are the 16-55mm 2.8 and the 50-140mm 2.8 zooms.  All this for half the cost of a similar Nikon system.  It also looks like Fuji is about to release, crossing my fingers, the XT2 with a 24mp sensor.  This is all rumor but with the release of the XPro 2 with a 24mp sensor it only makes sense that the update to the XT1 will follow suit.  

When you look at my old Nikon FE2 alongside my new XT1 you have to see the similarities.  Fuji was brilliant to go with this form factor.  There is a huge population that grew up with old film cameras.  The nostalgia factor alone is enough for some to purchase any of the new generation of cameras that have the look and feel of old school film cameras that ruled for decades.  They haven't reached the status of Nikon or Canon but I believe it is just a matter of time.  I believe that digital camera technology is till in its infancy and has nowhere to go but up.  New features and functions are being released at an astounding pace.  Who would have thought, ten years ago, that Wi-Fi would be an expected feature in a new camera.  So camera companies please keep it up.  My abilities grow with each new feature and my mind is challenged by each innovation you make.  



SoYou Think You're a Photographer?

 I've been around for a little while. I've worked in the photography industry off and on for close to 20 years. Since digital took over there has been a growing sense in the photography community that "true" professional photography has been eroded away. This erosion caused by the new ease of use of digital equipment.

With digital tech you are able to see your results immediately. The learning curve shortened and people are able to create images, for purchase, that are acceptable to the general public, with very little time in the saddle. With film you had a process that took days and sometimes weeks to produce professional looking images. The expense was 100 times what it is today. Most professional photographers were shooting film until around 2005. It is only in the last 10 years that digital has taken over. It used to be a specialized field that involved the use of chemistry in darkrooms.  Figuring out lighting was a long and slow process.  No camera back to look at to see results.  Polaroids were the only option for immediate feedback and we all know what a polaroid looks like.  It took years to master photography.  Because of this photographers were able to charge larger sums for images.  Photographers weren't a dime a dozen.   Imagine how you would feel if you had taken years to master your craft and someone out there, with six months of experience, is your competition.  Some will say that if you were an amazing photographer you wouldn't have any trouble keeping clients in this situation, I disagree.  The problem is that when someone can get similar results, even if it is lower quality, they will go with the cheaper option.  Ask the former employees of Sports Illustrated or the Chicago Sun Times.  So when someone starts talking about the "everyone is a photographer" topic I understand where they are coming from. Just look on Instagram or 500px and you will see 1000's of amazing photos from 1000's of amazing photographers. Before the interweb and digital these people would have fallen to obscurity.  They never would have been able to express themselves to such a large audience and for that I am grateful. It's a hard pill to swallow, progress is, but one that we will have to swallow if we are going to move on and adapt.  You know the saying, adapt or die. Call yourself what you will, I know what I am and I don't need someone else to validate it for it to be true.  So pick up that camera and create your art!