Monday, March 21, 2011

Japan nite and future goals

lolita 18

I got back into Austin on Friday, just in time to catch some sxsw action. Kind of disappointed that I didn't get to check out any of the more popular bands, but this was enough of a taste for me.


All proceeds went to victims of the earthquake in Japan.

It really seems that my ambitions have reached a plateau over the past year. It's as if I thought I reached a comfortably high level of photographic proficiency... but it seems every one is catching up, and fast.

Seeing all of these innovative photos and project initiatives from my friends really has me asking the question, "Where do I want to take photography?"

I want to take unique photos, with enough depth and feeling that it will live up to the test of time. Taking pictures of celebrities, or random people I don't know doing the same old smile and pose over and over again doesn't really appeal to me.

As for gear, I think I've reached a consensus.

Life goal:
Leica M9, 50mm f/1.0 or f/0.95 noctilux

Near goal:
Canon 5D or 5D mk2 with 35mm f/1.4 L, 100mm f/2.8 macro.
GF1 with 20mm f/1.7 (I'm happy with it.)

A Leica M9 + 50mm noctilux is definitely out of reach, but it's definitely the combo I have my heart set on in the coming years.

As for now, it's time to consolidate my gear. My Canon 5D is still a fantastic camera, but my glass is sort of a jumbled array of mediocre lenses. I want to end up with the 35mm f/1.4 L and the 100mm f/2.8 Macro lenses in the end. I believe these 2 lenses will give the best range of flexibility to me.

The Canon 50mm f/1.4 can only be used above f/2.8, so why bother? Also the depth of field at f/2 from the Canon 100mm f/2 is almost too shallow for normal use. So why not get a sharper lens capable of macro photography, while still able to use f/2.8.

As for my GF1, I still think it's an amazing camera. I'm going to keep it even though cameras such as the Olympus EPL2 and Fuji x100 are actually in reach. At the same time that I adore these smaller cameras for their unassuming size, I just feel limited when using them in terms of depth of field and low light performance, and these aspects don't improve no matter how much one is willing to pay at the moment. It seems that full frame or larger is where I aspire to be at this moment.

Selling these lenses: Canon 28mm f/2.8, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 100mm f/2, Canon 70-200mm f/4 L.
Selling Leica M6 TTL, with 35mm f/2 Summicron.

I need to get better at portraits, and not the type that we see all the time on wedding websites and senior portrait sites. I want to take pictures with the energy and depth of the likes of Richard Avedon. This will probably move me to experiment more with artificial light, and light modifiers. As well as a lot of research in poses and movements for the model.

I also want to take my street photography somewhere, and that means I need to go out into the streets more. This is kind of difficult seeing as I get out of class close to rush hour and Sunset. Again this will require me to do research into what makes a strong, emotional and distinct street photograph versus just a normal snapshot.

You can visit me in the art library =).

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