I discovered your great website a few months ago and have been a daily follower ever since. I enjoy reading your reviews as well as the articles and pictures from other people. Some of the shots I have seen on your website are out of this world. There is so much creativity around and the pictures posted on this site are a great inspiration – as well as a reminder of my photographic mediocrity. But it’s good to feel that after 32 years of cultivating photography as a hobby I am still learning and improving.
I have been shooting pictures since 1980, starting with an Olympus OM-1 (sadly stolen in 1986) and later an OM-3 (retired a few years ago because the shutter had become unreliable). In the mid-90s I got a Contax G2, and like everybody else I love the image quality of those Zeiss lenses. Yet I ended up using it very little because soon after (early 2000s) I started playing with digital, via a Fuji 602Z later followed by a Nikon D70 and then a D700. Since going digital I am enjoying new creative freedom through digital editing and manipulation. I am attaching a few shots in case you like to post them in your daily inspiration series. I thought I best picked a theme, which is that these pictures are all B&W/color “hybrids”.
Pic 1 is from 1983, shot in Venice, Italy, with the OM-1; it’s Mick Jagger on a B&W poster, somebody put a cigarette butt on his lips. I did not really manipulate this image, just shot it like this.
Pics 2 & 3 were shot with the OM-3 in 1988, in London, most likely with a Zuiko 21 mm (if not, it would be a 28 mm). Pic 2 (the sax player) was taken around the Portobello market. Pic 3 (the man with the silver painted face) was shot at Covent Garden, which by then had been developed into a trendy shopping mall. The fun part is that lots of street artists exhibit there every day. I scanned the old Ektachrome 64 slides (ah, the good old days!) with a Konica-Minolta DiMage Scan Dual IV and then played with the colors to have the subjects stand out from the background. In Pic 3, I contrasted with a sepia background.
Pic 4 (a Peruvian Dancer in Miami) was taken with the D700 and the Nikkor 28-200 zoom, in 2010. I emphasized the red color of the lips and the rose. Pics 5-7 were taken in 2012 with the D700 and the Nikkor 20 mm f/2.8. Pic 5 shows the historic Mast Store in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. I played with the image to saturate colors in some areas and used B&W in others. The sky received a bit of attention to enhance the clouds and create a dark, dramatic sky. I also enhanced the light in the lamppost. Pic 6 was taken in the back porch of the store, where a local bluegrass band was playing. The band players had a sign and even told me that if you took pictures they expected a tip, so I obliged. Again, I preserved colors in some areas but I desaturated to give an old style/faded look. Pic 7 shows the back of an old rusty car; I only left the red color in the tail lights, and turned the rest into B&W with a slight sepia tone. Finally, Pic 8 (trombone player) was also taken this year, at an outdoor concert in Miami. I used the Nikkor 28-200 mm on the D700, 1250 ISO; again, I contrasted some sepia with color.
I hope you like the hybrids.
Finally, like many other readers of your site I also suffer from Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I am drooling over the Fuji cameras… but like many DSLR users, I would like to have a truly pocketable camera that I can take anywhere but also does not compromise image quality. Basically, I am waiting for a camera the size of the Sony RX-100 with the image quality of at least the Fuij X-100, a viewfinder (just plain optical is fine for me), a fixed 35 mm f/1.8 lens, the retro style of the X-100 and, why not, a red dot on it. If with interchangeable lenses, make it so that I can use my Zeiss lenses from the G2. Is that too much to ask?
Thank you for a great website and best wishes,