JTL Photography: Blog https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) JTL Photography mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) Sun, 12 Aug 2018 09:14:00 GMT Sun, 12 Aug 2018 09:14:00 GMT Cabinet reshuffle https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/8/cabinet-reshuffle No, I don't keep my cameras in a cabinet. I keep them on a shelf. But "shelf reshuffle" doesn't really sound right.

I've recently become interested in trying something slightly new, photographically speaking, and to do so requires a bit of a change of gear. Consequently, I have parted ways with the Fuji X100T I was using (although it was a very nice camera) and for now I'm just using the OMD-EM5 with two old Canon FD lenses (this itself will be the feature of a different article). The subject of this new interest will hopefully be the feature of yet another article some way down the line.

For now, then, this is a set of the last pictures I took with the Fuji X100T. Hope you like them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another "sequence" of three

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's it for this one (and for the X100T for now - I say "for now" because you never know), but there's plenty more on the way.

Thanks for looking!

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/8/cabinet-reshuffle Sun, 12 Aug 2018 09:14:11 GMT
Tokyo, iPhone style https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/7/tokyo-iphone-style Time to let the iPhone (7 plus) strut its stuff. Sometimes it's good to shoot with this, if only to prove to oneself that you don't need a complex, big or expensive camera to make interesting pictures.

Unusually, some of the pictures in here are from today (I say unusually, because I tend to wait anything up to a month or more before uploading pictures; but then again it's never a bad idea to experiment with how you curate and present your work).

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

One nice thing about shooting with an iPhone is that the depth of field is so huge that you can hit the shutter as soon as you see something interesting, and there's a good chance you'll get the focus where you want it. I saw this lady with the umbrella coming around the corner and I didn't have time to place the focal point, so I just hit the button and it came out fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, as long as you don't look too closely, you can get away with using the iPhone even when it's really quite dark.

 

 

I might take a break next week, but there are still plenty of pictures to come.

Thanks for looking!

 

 

 

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/7/tokyo-iphone-style Sun, 29 Jul 2018 10:13:45 GMT
Framed https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/7/framed One of the differences between beginner photographers and those who have done it a while is the absence of distracting or unnecessary features in the picture. When you get a picture which has only the relevant elements and nothing more, there's a sort of clean feeling to it, and the eye doesn't get led out of the frame by things at the edges.

However, this isn't necessarily easy. You might think you've got it when you take the picture, but afterwards you may notice something that you didn't see at the time. It can be a matter of centimeters, but if it's there you'll see it. You then have to decide whether to crop it, clone it, or just trash the photo. I'm generally not into cropping unless it's to a different aspect ratio, and I'll only clone if I can do it without leaving obvious clues.

As an aside, doing this with a camera which doesn't show you exactly what you're shooting (like a rangefinder or a lower-level DSLR) makes the whole process even more interesting and really makes you look closely at the edges of the frame. My current cameras both have 100 per cent coverage through their EVFs, but sometimes it's tempting to deliberately handicap yourself to force yourself to pay attention).

So this entry is full of pictures where I feel that I got the framing either exactly right or close (perfectionism is the enemy of creativity, and all that). Hope you like the pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The next two are also about focus, but the point about framing still applies

 

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Plenty more to come, so keep checking back.

Thanks for looking!

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/7/framed Sun, 22 Jul 2018 10:02:19 GMT
Pretentious? 拙者? https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/7/pretentious Just for fun, and also to keep things interesting, I'm going to do something a little different today.

This post is the usual mix of shots from around Tokyo, but today there will be a comment on each one. The comments come courtesy of a number of websites which generate the kind of stuck-up gibberish you read when people get really serious about modern art. If you've ever read the "The Critics" strip from Viz magazine, you know what I mean.

I actually went to Tokyo's modern art museum a week or two ago, and while I find quite a lot of modern art risible (a cardboard box nailed to the wall? Seriously?) there were one or two things there which actually really interested me. One was a painting from Josef Albers' "Homage to the square" series (Albers taught Jay Maisel, and if you've read this blog for any length of time you'll know that Jay Maisel is one of my favourite photographers, not least because I'm pretty sure he feels the same way about pretentious art waffle) and some photographs by Eugene Atget, one of the most important names in the early days of photography.

Nevertheless, I still like the idea of a random generation of pretentious waffle, so each photo today will be accompanied by such an outpouring. Hope you enjoy the photos - and the waffle!

 

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As spatial derivatives become frozen through emergent and academic practice, the viewer is left with a clue to the limits of our culture.

 

 

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Ever since I was a postgraduate, I have been fascinated by the unrelenting divergence of meaning.

 

 

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What starts out as triumph soon becomes debased into a hegemony of defeat, leaving only a sense of dread and the possibility of a new reality.

 

 

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My work explores the relationship between critical theory and skateboard ethics (this is even better if you imagine the dog saying it).

 

 

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I find this work menacing because of the way the iconicity of the Egyptian motifs notates the exploration of montage elements

 

 

 

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It's difficult to enter into this work because of how the mechanical mark-making of the figurative-narrative line-space matrix undermines the substructure of critical thinking.

 

 

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It should be added that the internal dynamic of the sexy fish endangers the devious simplicity of the accessibility of the work.

 

 

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My photos are often classified as part of the new romantic movement because of the desire for the local in the unfolding globalized world.

 

 

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The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted.

 

 

 

By referencing romanticism, grand-guignolesque black humour and symbolism, the artist absorbs the remembrance of art into daily practice.

 

 

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With influences as diverse as Munch and Buckminster Fuller, new synergies are manufactured from both opaque and transparent textures.

 

 

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I'm troubled by how the aura of the negative space brings within the realm of discourse the essentially transitional quality.

 

 

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The reductive quality of the purity of line notates the accessibility of the work.

 

 

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Although I am not a painter, I think that the subaqueous qualities of the gesture visually and conceptually activate a participation in the critical dialogue.

 

 

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"It should be added that the reductive quality of the biomorphic forms seems very disturbing in light of the distinctive formal juxtapositions"

 

 

OK, enough of that. We should be back to the normal (whatever that is) style from the next post.

Thanks for looking!

 

 

 

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/7/pretentious Sun, 15 Jul 2018 09:58:54 GMT
Sequences and small figures https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/7/sequences-and-small-figures Something I've been doing a bit recently is shooting what I call "sequences" - a series of photos in the same place and from more or less the same viewpoint, with minor variations in each one. Usually two or three is enough, but if a place is particularly visually interesting I'll do more. I'll also shoot visually similar scenes in different places.

Therefore this entry features a few such sequences. To keep it interesting I've interspersed a few shots in which there's a person/people featured, but they're either silhouetted, taking up a very small part of the photo, or both. I like taking these; it often becomes an exercise in figure-to-ground (otherwise you wouldn't see them at all).

Anyway, hope you like the pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More to come, stay tuned.

Thanks for looking!

 

 

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/7/sequences-and-small-figures Sun, 08 Jul 2018 10:44:42 GMT
Two days https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/two-days As I have mentioned several times before, Tokyo has more photographic stimuli than any place I can recall going to. The result of this is, even if you're disciplined with your shooting, you take a lot of pictures.

All the pictures in this entry were taken over a two day period. Nothing special was going on - no festivals or special events - but I still got twenty worthwhile shots out of them. Back in Nagoya, that would be the result of a week or two of shooting.

So here's two days' worth of shots. Hope you like them!

 

 

 

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Interestingly, as I was putting these photos into the post, I found myself doubting that they really all did come from the same two day period. The metadata suggests they did. Interesting how our sense of time works...

Thanks for looking!

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/two-days Sun, 24 Jun 2018 09:46:40 GMT
Urban scenes https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/urban-scenes It's not that Tokyo doesn't have any nature; it does. But the areas I've been shooting in recently have been very, very urban in nature, if you'll excuse the odd wording. Urban shooting is a different kettle of fish to nature shooting; with the latter, you often have to wait for the light to be just how you want it, then you have to be ready. Shooting in the cities doesn't have quite the same sense of urgency to it, in my experience at least.

This is to say that all the pictures this time round are fairly urban. Not that I have anything against photographing nature; I hope to do more of it soon.

Hope you like the pictures!

 

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I'd like to say that this made a dent in the backlog of photos I have, but it would only be true if we take "dent" in the sense of "very small dent". Still, bit by bit we'll bring it down...

Thanks for looking!

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/urban-scenes Sun, 17 Jun 2018 09:35:47 GMT
Fourteen pictures https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/fourteen-pictures One of those titles which could have some complex pop-culture theme hiding behind it....but not in this case. I couldn't come up with a snappy title, so a literal one will have to do. Fourteen photos with absolutely no common ground other than all having been taken in Tokyo.

Enjoy! 

 

Most other places in Japan, it would be considered odd to see people playing cricket. Here? Merely a slight raised eyebrow.

 

Reflection shots are just too easy, but that doesn't make them less tempting. Or less amazing.

 

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Meanwhile the iPhone gets a workout...

 

 

 

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This isn't a particularly great photo, but I took it to see just how good the Olympus' image stabilisation is (and how steady my hands are). 45mm lens on Micro 4/3, which equates to 90mm in full frame terms. One quarter of a second and the non-moving parts of the picture are absolutely sharp. I've heard that the OMD-EM5 mark 2 can do even better than that with the right lenses, which is starting to get into science fiction territory.

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I'll try and come up with a more imaginative title for the next entry, which should be up next week.

Thanks for looking!

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/fourteen-pictures Sun, 10 Jun 2018 08:50:40 GMT
Upping the frequency part 2 https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/upping-the-frequency-part-2 As mentioned in yesterday's post, I have to put up two posts in a row just to get some card space freed up. I still have more pictures than I can count ready to be processed, let alone uploaded, but this is a start in clearing the backlog. 

Hope you like them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The famous crossing at Shibuya. There may be a point when I get tired of photographing around this place, but that point's not here yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phew (breathes out). That makes a slight dent in the number of photos to upload, but I still have hundreds sitting around on my computer. Back to the regular pattern for a while. 

Thanks for looking!

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/upping-the-frequency-part-2 Sun, 03 Jun 2018 08:53:06 GMT
Upping the frequency part 1 https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/upping-the-frequency Just for a change - and also because I have so many pictures that I'm going to start running out of card space - I'm going to do two posts in two days. I don't think this will be a regular thing, but it's good now and then to break one's usual pattern.

This entry is partly themed, as around half of them are from Shinjuku Gyoen, a very impressive park near the centre of Shinjuku. The rest are random pictures of whatever caught my eye, which in Tokyo translates to "pretty much everywhere I look". In any case, hope you like the pictures.

 

 

 

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The next one should hopefully be up tomorrow.

Thanks for looking!

 

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/6/upping-the-frequency Sat, 02 Jun 2018 09:44:24 GMT
An embarrassment of riches https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/an-embarrassment-of-riches Technically not the right term, as when I looked up the phrase to make sure I was using it correctly, I ended up with the interpretation that an "embarrassment of riches" implies that there is so much of something that it actually becomes problematic because you can't control it all. Nevertheless, if you take the negative connotation out, you get Tokyo in a photographic nutshell. The amount of visual stimulus is simply overwhelming. And for a photographer, that's more a good thing than a bad one.

Anyway, that's just to introduce this week's set. No theme other than the title. Hope you like them!

 

 

 

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Usually I believe that the viewer should see the main point of the photo (i.e. why I took it) immediately, otherwise the photo doesn't work. In this case however, it may not be immediately obvious.

 

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At the rate I'm shooting, it's quite possible that I'll have enough pictures for one article a week for the next two or three months - and I try to be strict with myself with the curation process. 

Thanks for looking!

 

 

 

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/an-embarrassment-of-riches Sun, 20 May 2018 09:01:11 GMT
A new(ish) career in a new "town" https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/a-new-ish-career-in-a-new-town I always wanted to get an allusion to David Bowie into one of these titles. Mission accomplished. And it's more or less accurate : my working life is changing direction and I live in a new town, except it's not a town so much as a metropolis. Still, a little artistic license never hurt.

Tokyo is (to quote another artist who's important to me, Jay Maisel) a "shooting gallery".  There is so much visual stimulation around that the chances of coming back from a day of shooting without any pictures are pretty slim. This also means that I don't have any excuses for not posting regularly.

This is just the start, of course, and I'm keeping to around 20 pictures per post or fewer to avoid making the articles too unwieldy. So here's the first set of what you might call first impressions. Of course I've been to Tokyo before, but in terms of living here this is the first such experience. Hope you like the pictures.

 

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Now this is something I haven't shot in a while : parkour. I used to shoot it quite often in Nagoya, but the guys (and girls) who practiced there have slowly gone off to do their own thing elsewhere. One of them moved to Tokyo and invited me to come and photograph their training sessions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hope to do some more parkour photography in the near future. 

Moving on...

 

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Lots more where that came from, keep an eye out for new articles.

Thanks for looking!

 

 

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/a-new-ish-career-in-a-new-town Sun, 13 May 2018 08:38:05 GMT
Moving pictures https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/moving-pictures I've recently moved from Nagoya to Tokyo. In terms of photographic opportunities, this is a huge step up. Nagoya is in itself one of Japan's biggest cities, and it doesn't lack for things to shoot. Tokyo, however, is simply on a different scale. Even when you're being disciplined with your shooting, it's hard not to see pictures almost everywhere.

This post features the last set of photos from Nagoya (and a few from a day trip to Gifu), after which the main focus will be on Tokyo. Hope you enjoy them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This doesn't mean there will never be any more pictures from Nagoya, just that they will be the exception rather than the rule. From here on it's going to be mainly Tokyo, and in the three weeks or so I've been here I already have enough pictures for the next several entries. It's that kind of place. Hope you will continue to join me.

Thanks for looking!

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/moving-pictures Sun, 06 May 2018 09:11:47 GMT
A good year for the sakura, part 3 https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/a-good-year-for-the-sakura-part-3 This is the concluding part of the 2018 sakura series - from experience, I can say with some confidence that it was a good year indeed if it led to three full posts on the subject! Anyway, hope you like the last set. Here they are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's it for the 2018 sakura (if next year is this good I won't be in any position to complain), but there are a lot more pictures on the way.

Thanks for looking!

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/a-good-year-for-the-sakura-part-3 Sun, 22 Apr 2018 09:04:41 GMT
A good year for the sakura, part 2 https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/a-good-year-for-the-sakura-part-2 Now that the sakura season is all but over (certainly in the central part of the country, at least) here's a reminder - part 2 of it, in fact - of what they looked like. Hope you like it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There should be at least one more entry in this set, hopefully at the usual time next week.

Thanks for looking!

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/a-good-year-for-the-sakura-part-2 Sun, 15 Apr 2018 09:16:54 GMT
A good year for the sakura part 1 https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/a-good-year-for-the-sakura-part-1 We were exceptionally lucky with the sakura - cherry blossoms - this year; we had more or less an entire uninterrupted week of (unseasonably) warm weather. This meant that they bloomed somewhat earlier than usual (and now they're pretty much all gone). However, it was almost an embarrassment of riches photographically speaking, and this is the first in the series.

I also sorted out (for now) my camera issues, but in the spirit of "it's the person behind the camera, not the camera itself" I'm not going to specify what I used to shoot these pictures. They will stand or fall on their own merits (or lack thereof). In any case, hope you like them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There's a whole lot more where that came from, so keep your eyes open.

Thanks for looking!

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/a-good-year-for-the-sakura-part-1 Sun, 08 Apr 2018 06:11:02 GMT
iPhone to the rescue part 2 https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/iphone-to-the-rescue-part-2 While I'm editing a fairly substantial number of photos from one of Japan's most photogenic times of year (cherry blossom time), here's the rest of the iPhone photos which I started posting last week. Hope you enjoy them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to end this post a quick three-shot series of a bridge in downtown Nagoya

 

 

 

 

 

 

That concludes this little series of iPhone shots, but we've had very good weather over the hanami (cherry blossom viewing) period (it's usually a week at best), so there will be a fairly big series featuring those coming up.

Thanks for looking!

 

 

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/iphone-to-the-rescue-part-2 Sun, 01 Apr 2018 10:15:32 GMT
iPhone to the rescue part 1 https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/iphone-to-the-rescue-part-1 While I've been dithering over what to do regarding my other cameras, I've been using the iPhone quite a bit; enough for a couple of entries, of which this is the first. This also connects up with the entries which should be along later, as I've come to something of a photography-related realization. That's for later, though, so for now I hope you enjoy the photos. Everything shot with the iPhone 7 plus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More iPhone pictures to come next time.

Thanks for looking!

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/iphone-to-the-rescue-part-1 Sun, 25 Mar 2018 09:46:36 GMT
Holding pattern https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/holding-pattern I mentioned in a previous post how I wasn't really enjoying the A7s. That hasn't changed, and I can't see myself holding onto it for long once I've worked out what to get in its place (Japan's a good place for trading in gear). I was thinking DSLR, but I haven't used one of those for a while and the weight may take all the fun out of it.

In the meantime, there are still some unpublished pictures (as I also said, while I don't like using the camera, I can't complain about the results) from the A7s, so here they are. Hope you like them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next post will probably be a set from the iPhone, which I've been using quite regularly. I'm starting to formulate an idea about why I shoot more with that than with my "main" camera recently, and this might end up as part of a future article.

In any case, thanks for looking!

 

 

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/holding-pattern Sun, 18 Mar 2018 09:36:44 GMT
More from the A7s https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/more-from-the-a7s This is the second set of photos which came from my first experience with the A7s. I've quickly come to realise something : that usability (or the "fun factor") is actually possibly more important in a camera than technical specifications...and I'm not getting it from the Sony. I can't complain at all about the performance or the results, but shooting with  it leaves me cold. This usually means I have to take some time to get used to it.

In any case, as I said, nothing to complain about as far as the actual pictures go. Hope you like them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll shoot a bit more with the A7s to see if I can find a way to get along with it - the results should be up next week or thereabouts.

Thanks for looking!

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mark24173@yahoo.co.uk (JTL Photography) https://jtlphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/more-from-the-a7s Sun, 11 Mar 2018 09:18:21 GMT