2012: Looking Back, Looking Forward, and Season’s Greetings

Season's Greetings

Season’s Greetings, Dear Readers.

I haven’t been very active on the web these last few weeks (months?) of 2012. Writing blog entries and even reading other blogs has been a bit of scarce activity. I see that for November I only have one post and only one so far for December as well. I’d like to chalk it up to being busy, but that wouldn’t be telling the whole story. I have been taking pictures, but I haven’t been posting them. I think I am experiencing a bit of “web burnout”–too much information, too much “same old, same old”.

Be that as it may, I’m not ready to hang up the towel on the blog just yet, just not sure where to take it from here. A lot like the questions I have been asking myself about my photography the last couple of years. Questions that come readily to mind especially at the end of the year when we are looking back, reflecting on what has been done, and looking ahead to the future.

Photography this year centered around family life and trips. Looking over the year’s photos, I see scenes from Japan, the Netherlands, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois, California, and course, Hawaii. It was very nice to meet up with Wouter Brandsma in The Hague, and to have a print swap with Markus Spring. I taught a workshop on making folios, took a useful workshop with Brooks Jensen, did the usual contests and shows, local photography club meetings, etc. All in all I got a fair bit of photography squeezed into a busy year.

Looking forward I don’t quite know what to expect. I’m having a real struggle internally with making the moves that I know I need to make to take my photography forward: a lot of editing, focusing on projects instead of just wandering around with my camera, making more of an effort to present my work in a coherent way: books, folios, solo shows, presentations, etc. It is not about marketing: I’m not in the photography business and do not want to be. But I know from experience in other areas of my working life that publicly presenting and pitching your work (and I am not talking about just putting it on a web site) forces you to think it through, to make it understandable, coherent, better. I need that focus. Without it, the moves will all be lateral. Like my current obsession with portraits. Moving in lateral ways is not a bad thing necessarily, but it does take away focus and energy from reaching those other levels.

But this is a long trip that I don’t have a very good intuition about. Practically speaking, I do expect that you’ll see some more portraits next year, and hopefully from a broader selection of sitters. I have also taken advantage of the holiday sales blitz to get a deal on a new camera body, so you are likely to see some comments on my experiences with that upgrade. And although the latter may seem like yet another way to waste time (laterally), it was actually a calculated move to get some desired capabilities moving from a “generation 1″ body to a “generation 5″ body, and getting around some minor frustrations with the equipment. I’ll talk some more about that in a separate post.

Hope you are having a good holiday season, have a safe and happy new year, and that you reach at least some of your goals in 2013!

Best Wishes!



Elf #1 2012Key: R20121130-200335
A Girl and Her CatKey: R20121130-203541-v1

All with the Konica Hexanon 50mm f1.4 @ f2.2.

Tilly Archer

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Hexanon 50mm f1.4 @ f2.8 on Panasonic GH1

Tilly Archer #2Key: R20121125-141356

Pana Leica Elmarit 45mm f2.8 @ f2.8

I will probably be evaluating these two lenses against each other until the day I divest of this system (which isn’t anytime soon).

Pitting a classic Konica 35mm lens from the 1970s against a computer designed wonder lens from Leica from the 2000s. And they are very close when the former is stopped down to 2.8 and the latter is wide open at 2.8–the Konica has just the edge at this aperture. Of course the Pana Leica is very light and supports AF, whereas the Konica is using the sweet spot center of the frame and is manual focus only. Still, I really like the look of the Konica lens–the bokeh is just slightly smoother, the acutance (edge sharpness) just slightly higher. Nevertheless, my take away is just how good the modern lenses are with the computer design and special elements–and how you can use them wide open with out any second thoughts.

There is a hint of difference in color too–I think the Pana Leica gives slightly more saturated colors.  These were taken seconds apart in the same lighting with the same camera settings.


Puppy Love


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WA distortion present!

Phone Booth

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Phone Booth #2Key: R20121103-093036
Phone Booth #3Key: R20121103-094114
Phone Booth #4Key: R20121103-094642
Phone Booth #5Key: R20121103-100607

Halloween 2012


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Happy Halloween!

Post 1000, Woot!


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