Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Travel Time with the X100 Coming Up

I'm looking forward to putting the X100 through its paces in the mountains.  For some activities this is the ideal camera.  I can have a compact camera and not sacrifice quality.  Sure I'll also have a DSLR with a couple lenses with me at times - but that's not for every moment on the trails or biking.  
Heading up to around 9,000 feet to take in some nature, try some pano sweep images and all sorts of fun in the thin air.  

This image always makes me get fired up for the outdoors.  How can you not just take it in and feel more relaxed!??

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fujifilm Instax Scavenger Hunt 2011

The second annual scavenger hunt was a big success yesterday.  It really is a ton of fun and I know the folks who participated had a blast.  I thought I'd post the scavenger list here and if you'd like to try and think about what the clues are I will list the link with photos from the event and the photos that are the clues below.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Central Park in Two Seasons

One of the enjoyable things about NYC is seeing how things change during the year.  We do have dramatic seasonal changes here in temperature and scenery.  Here is an area of central park which I shot in summer and winter - no surprises there. 
A great spot for catching the sunset in the fall actually.  The rocks north of Wollman Rink.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly Email 7-22-11 Reflecting on Technology and Age

We went from a week of torrential rain to a week of amazing temps with the heat index expected to reach 110 today in NYC.  I am going to head out and see what it feels like and what kind of cooling actions people are taking.

This week while taking a steamy walk through Central Park I noticed an older man reading the paper as the sun was setting (8:25pm).  I thought to myself how it was a peaceful scene to see this man reading a paper, rather then the usual scene we are used to today of an electronic device of some sort.  Th
e ability to unplug and just relax on a bench is something we all probably should plan time to do.

FinePix X100 ISO 800 F/ 2.0 @ 1/45th - Exp Comp -2/3 - Man on Bench
FinePix X100 ISO 400 F/2.0 @ 1/42nd - Exp Comp -2/3 - Trees

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Limited Update and Polarizer Filter

This week more X100's left the warehouse for the dealers as expected.  It was right at the end of the time I had hoped for and another shipment is going out before the end of the month which should make July the month with the most product shipped to date.
Many of the accessories are working their way out to the dealers.  I know it hasn't been perfect - but it is what it is now. **UPDATE**  Many more X100 cameras are being allocated and prepped for shipment to dealers.  There will be stock in the USA next week!

One of the lesser used items with today's compact digitals is a circular polarizer filter.  The other day I decided to do a few test shots with the X100 and the filter and the difference in some cases is dramatic - see for yourself....notice the greens and blues.  I think the blue is much more pleasing as the polarizer moves the color a bit off of the cyan axis and more towards blue.  In addition we can see reduced reflections in the drugs sign.  Give it a try!
Not Polarized

With Polarizer Effect

Not Polarized

With Polarizer Effect

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Instax SKIN IT Offer

I am a big fan of both the Instax system and the great product sold at SkinIt.  Go there and enter search term Instax to see the choices - limitless.
This site offers you the ability to "cover" many of your devices with a custom image of yours or their design.  You can upload your image easily and they will ship it to you fast.  Their quality is excellent.  I have about 8 Instax cameras with the SkinIt designs on them and I'd like to offer 10 of them free to whoever is sincerely going to use the free SkinIt on an Instax Camera.  My SkinIt code is ONLY GOOD for an Instax 7s or 25.  No other product.  You must own the camera already or plan to.  So if you are interested in a free Skin - send me an email - but be considerate since I can only give out the code once and then the code dies.  This offer expires August 1.  Here are a few samples.

Here is a sample of the camera with SkinIt offer.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What Would You Take? Are You Ready?

This morning as I was sitting at the computer I heard the usual sirens of NYC as fire trucks went up the avenue.  It's not something anyone really pays attention to until I heard a commotion - then glass breaking then noticed all the traffic was stopped outside my building.  
Yes - the fear we all have - MY building was the one with the fire in it.  The activity was now causing panic in the area and I immediately had to think - What do I grab with me?.  So here is what I took - plus my Time Capsule.  
This should be a reminder to always back up your work and have a go plan should you need it.
Luckily although the fire was two floors below me - no damage was caused to my floor and minimal damage to other apartments besides where it originated.  The FDNY acted fast and with two ladder trucks had it out in minutes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

FinePix X100 Limited Accessories and Product Update

I know it has been quiet on the camera shipping front but that will be changing soon.  A small shipment of cameras did go out this week along with a limited number of accessories.  Next week there will be more accessories including hoods and cases arriving at the dealers.  Shortly after that - and I will update the delivery schedule when I have details - we will have a large shipment of cameras.  I plan to do some shooting with the EF-42 flash this week and see how that works out.

The popularity of the camera has been great to see and our factory is working hard to keep up with demand.   If you have any questions feel free to email me directly.  You can leave any comments you like - but I may not be able to address them within a post.   I know some folks are frustrated with the delays, but I assure you I'm keeping it real with the updates and I'm not full of hot......

Weekly Email 7-15-11 It Just Takes a Click

There are so many ways to capture and share images nowadays but after the capture there are also thousands of possibilities of what to do with the image in the myriad software choices to tweak the photo to your heart's desire.

Many people are using apps for the iPhone and are familiar with the wild effects you can add on the fly.  For those of you who this may be new to I wanted to share a few examples of how easy it is to go from ok to wow!

It really only takes a few clicks of the mouse and you have a dramatically different image file.  These were done using a Topaz plug-in in Aperture and all shot with the FinePix X100.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Toxic Legacy - HBO Documentary Mann v. Ford

Last night I was invited to the NYC screening of the new HBO Documentary Mann v. Ford.  An interesting story about the struggles of people versus a large multinational corporation.  The movie revolves around the dumping of paint and chemicals in northern NJ.  A location now labeled an EPA Superfund Site.
Rather than discuss the politics, outcome, or the historical attitude and performance of Ford - you can see the film when it airs next week - July 18th on HBO.
One of my high school friends (Kevin Madonna) has a lead role so I am impressed and proud of his national debut.  It was neat to see Robert Redford who's son Jamie is the Producer.
There is a great website which shows some amazing images from the area.  These images are worth seeing.

The Ramapough Mountain Indians have lived in the hills and forests of northern New Jersey, less than 40 miles from midtown Manhattan, for hundreds of years. In the 1960s, their neighbor in nearby Mahwah, the Ford Motor Company, bought their land and began dumping toxic waste in the woods and abandoned iron mines surrounding their homes.
Ford has acknowledged the dumping. In the 1980s, the Ramapough's homeland was placed on the Environmental Protection Agency's list of federally monitored Superfund sites - and supposedly cleaned up by Ford. However, thousands of tons of toxic waste were left behind.

People in the film discuss the situation afterwards

One of the featured reporters
Robert Redford and Vicki - Attorney in film
Attorney Kevin Madonna and one of the producers
Kevin Madonna

All images shot with the FinePix X100.

Jamie and Robert Redford

Fujifilm FinePix XP30 Cannonball Pool Jump

I think one of the essential additions to every camera bag should be a camera like the XP30.
The new breed of underwater, shockproof, freeze proof and sand proof cameras are great for all sorts of outdoor activities. The enclosed 5x zoom lens is protected from the elements.  GPS tracking and HD video included.
I have used many cameras with housings and they certainly can offer better quality - but for ease of use and compact size you can't beat the XP30. All of this for about $200.

For all the details about the camera.

This image is with my DSLR which can only get so wet.      
Canon 5D II Image

Friday, July 08, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 RAW Processing

There is always the potential to mess up an image by under or over exposing the shot.  One of the main reasons I suggest shooting RAW without exception is the extra capability you have to develop the file and save the shot if needed. 
Of course RAW is not meant as a crutch - we all try and get it right the first time but if you do miss it - there is more data to re-process in RAW than JPEG. 
Last weekend I made a shot in a church - a quick grab shot - and when I looked later in Aperture I could see I missed the exposure by over two stops.  Rather than just tossing it I decided to work the file in the program and then tweak with NIK software.  Here is the before and after.  The exposure was ISO 400 1/60th @ F/4.  I should have been at ISO 1600 probably.

Weekly Email 7-8-11 Fireworks Over NYC

This week it was clear to see that the most exciting day was July 4th when the skies exploded with the largest fireworks show in the USA.  The multiple barges on the Hudson made for an easy target to shoot the fireworks with a NYC background.

Many people enjoy taking photos of the fireworks and there are many techniques to getting an exciting burst.  I happen to like to set the camera to ISO 200 on bulb on a tripod around F/11.  I expose for about 10 seconds or so and time it right for the burst at its peak.   You can also try and snap at the right time but that takes a bit more timing and practice as any of us who have tried the shots knows.  You also don't get the city exposed well with a short exposure.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Fujifilm FinePix X100 July 4th Fireworks

From the shores of the Hudson looking east to NYC the X100 and its 35mm lens proved to be just right for many of the shots from last night.  Hard to miss when the largest fireworks show is exploding overhead.
X100 Sweep Panorama

A Quick Look at the 1972 Hasselblad 500C/M

Just a few snaps of the awesome and durable 500C/M.