Mölndals Bro and my first walkaround with my Fuji X100T

Yesterday I went out for my first walk around with my X100T to get to know it and get a glimpse of how my settings worked (good choice, today it rains and snow)). No major expectations but whatever than that and nothing more complicated than just a visit around the corner (almost) – Mölndals city, or “Mölndals bro” as we call it – but not bro as in brother. Bro means bridge in Swedish and is named so after the bridge that connects the two sides of the city that is split in by a highway and a railway. Not a very beautiful place to hang around, but it have its own interesting scores to experience and also serves as a public transport centre.

But the day started with breakfast at IKEA first. It’s my plan to bring my camera with me more often, without any other reason than because I can. That’s why I didn’t bought a big dslr system. This camera is so perfect in size and fits perfect in any of my pocket in my jackets. A little bit heavy compared to an ordinary compact although, but I like to feel some weight when I hold a camera. So thats no drawback.

And this is the legendary notorious sight from the Bridge. A really boring photo and a place, just as it is. It’s shot through a dirty glass shield so the original contrast went a bit low and got a bleached impression. So I had to tweak it a bit afterwards to get a little more fairly nice look at least. This is the only photo that needed some more editing to satisfaction. The rest was an almost perfect surprise of Wow! that didn’t needed much editing at all to give great satisfaction. Actually, probably very well enough without any.

I really adore the Fujis very well thought ot idea of film simulation modes, simulating classic analog film. The two modes I’m most interested to use (at the moment) is Monochrome and Classic Chrome (Well, monochrome is actually not a real film simulation mode). I have never been shooting monochrome digital straight out of the camera before. I have usually been shooting in colour and then done it black and white afterwards in the editing process. This works just fine of course and you can always regret if you wish it was in colour. And thats just one part of the idea to shoot in black and white direct – to force youre imagination to see and feelthe world in monochrome. Black and white is my native old fashion days of photography and really what I love most of all and something I want to revive. One other thing is that the sensor and processing in the Fuji cameras produces so wonderful quality straight out the camera that I personally see no reason to do more than necessary afterwards. So why. The b/w mode this camera is capable of to deliver is outstanding good and I’m overwhelmed how crisp and clear it is. My further settings in b/w for the moment is: Auto ISO up to 1600, Red filter, Sharpness +1, Highlights +2, Shadows +2, Noise reduction -2 and Dynamic range 100%.

But there will be colours too. It’s a matter of feeling for the moment either or. Especially now when I have this Classic Chrome mode. I absolutely love this film mode for colour and can’t really describe why and what. I read someone somewhere who described it very good “Classic Chrome don’t give you pictures as you see them, but as you want them to be”. I don’t remember the words exactly, but something like that. I’m not shure of what settings I want to use with classic chrome, but for the moment I go for: Auto WB (cameras today overall handle whitbalance very well enough to be set on auto), Auto ISO up to 1600, Sharpness 1, Highlights 0, Shadows +2, Noise reduction 0 and Dynamic range set at auto. In general I let the camera operate on full auto and go either shutterspeed, aperture or full manual when I need to.

 

Although the weather was very pleasent, with a low sun that made interesting light and everything. I was a bit disapointed – where was everybody? I had hoped for more crowds to blend into and practising my forthcomming ability to dare act comfortable in taking photos of people (I have a goal I want to develop in this genre). When there’s too few people around it becomes all to obvious what’s happening when you point with the camera. And that makes me feel uncomfortable in the situation. I’m not comfortable at all with that feeling. But, it felt for shure much better and more natural with this camera, after all, than with my old big chunky dslr. Not at least – more fun in every aspect. In the absence of crowds of humans to practice my mental skills on I took a small walk around to catch other thing. And tried some more easygoing shots with people in the viewfinder. It seems that I got my eys for reflections this day.

The inner city of Mölndal is in the middle of a huge change and is for the moment more of an enormous construction scene than a ordinary city. Mölndals inner city have never been very much of any impressive attractive range, quite boring in general and not much of interest to either shop or take a walk. Nothing bad about other humans but the city have been dominated by retirees and alcoholics. So the transformation is very welcome, and for the moment more fun to experience as it is right now than as it ever was.

 

 

My impression so far with my X100T is a big huge Wow! It produces unexpectedly amazing nice pictures right out of the camera. There’s not very much editing you need to do with the images back home to get satisfied. I rather never say never, but my plan is not to shoot in RAW again. And with results like this, why should I. Also if, then I could not be given the benefit of using the film simulation modes – raw is raw, original clean as the sensor see it. And more time in front of the the computer, that I don’t even have (well ok, I have but it’s so anoying slow that I see it as not having one). I know raw gives you more possibilities and quality to work with. But for me, working with jpegs from this camera is just more than fine and if you do as less mess as possibly with yor jpegs there’s almost no difference between raw and jpg from this camera. My goal is to keep the workflow as simple as possible and the need of things around at a minimum. For this and nowdays I only have an iPad and use Snapseed as my editor, and it works just great for me. Something I will try to keep, that less is more.

 

 

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Welcome home X100T

So here it is now. My new camera. It was a very long time since I had a “real” camera. I’m actually a bit lost after been far away for a long time from the more high end of digital photography. Not the photography itself and the basic stuff, but the technical part with loads of configurations. Just to get familiar with the structure of menues is a challange of its own. Then knowing, or think what you think what settings to aim for. Today cameras are so intelligent that they need to be tamed before you can cooperate.

I’m not there yet. But I have tried to understand how I may need to do what I want. Or think what I want, I’m not really shure. But finaly I have done my settings and made some “Q” settings ready for action. The rest will come by experience. Right now I’m very curious at the Classic Chrome film simulation mode. And black and white. B/W is my original beginning where it all started in the early eighties. Although colour have been dominating the last 20 years. B/W is what I really love most deep inside my heart. I have plans to revive my black and white eyes.

So far and anyway – this camera feels like bulls eye for me. In time there will come photos from my little Fuji. But there will continue to be a mess of photos from any time and camera in the future in this blog.

A former time

Summer, kids and vacation with the family. The perfect time for a relaxed and laid back relation with the camera. It’s easy to get too seriously with the camera around the neck and get a little lost in the aim for perfect pictures. For me it’s important to cut off that behaviur and don’t care to much. That great shot you look for will happen by itself if you just let things flow natural and participate and stop searching. You will probably get loads of mostly not so very great images, but something else that means more. Photos that deliver emotions in its most pure and simple form with much deeper impact than that “perfect, good” picture ever can. I’m talking about those “half crappy” snapshots that dwells in our more private family albums. Thats my personal opinion anyway – don’t understate the power of your not so good familyphotos, and don’t be afraid to lower the prestige (actually, I think that this fits as a good philosophy in general). For others however, they often tend to be totally uninteresting. Life is to important to be taken to seriously.
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The photos in this post belong to the category luckyshot moments when things just happend to become unexpectedly good without searching or trying more than just be there. Well, good in my way to see it anyway. This is old photos from vacations in Lysekil, a small town in Bohuslän on the Swedish westcoast, a very nice place to be at in the summer.

 

 

 

Freeze the frozen

Moving around solid objects that never move

Is another kind of challange to catch. To much freedom of choice may result in lack of imagination. I wanted more than just portrait theese statues. For me they hide more than just being dead stiff statues imprisoned in bronze. Deep inside they hide a secret life. Inside the observer.

 

Using a cellphone as a "real" camera

For the past five, seven years, or maybe more. I have been using my iPhones as my camera. I’m very lost in time and usually know more about what has happened than when. A cellphone is of course not so very classy as a more real camera but it’s actually both fun and practically – it’s always there and very easy to just pick up whenever. It will probably be a choice from time to time even in the future.

Soon very soon I will have a “real” camera again, that works. But there will be a whole lot of pictures made in iPhone on this blog. My number One photo editor app I use today is Snapseed. I love the simplicity  and don’t need that much more from an editor – It do the most important things you may need to do very smooth and nice.

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Ok, and now what?

Just to get on to it.

Some kind of rubbish poppycock to fill the dead space of the beginning. So don’t bother to evaluate  to much about what this is about. First, and last, and always… I want to forgive who ever you are for my not so very good skills in the English language. So please don’t bother comment it. I know and are very sorry that I don’t care if you don’t like my way trying to do it anyway. Some of you will probably have quite fun from time with that – my English. You are welcome 😉

Wrong spellings, missing letters, too many, and grammar failure will occure for shure (I’m good at that in my native spelling too). Strange word order is just how I work and I love to tweak the odinary way out offroad. Sometimes I do wrong on purpose and are very aware about it. But sometimes it will probably go to hell really bad without being aware about it – if so, blame that on Google translate.

Hello. I’m from Sweden and live in a small town edge to edge with the second biggest city in Sweden – Gothenburg. It’s so close that it really doesn’t matter what is what where is what. The town I live in is called Mölndal and is split by a wonderful charming highway, and railway…

I really don’t understand why I got the idea to do this blog in english. It’s just so unnecessarily heavy for my little head to handle. Swedish is so much easier. Why?

Probably because there’s to many people in the world that don’t understand Swedish that I have some kind of strange need to give a chance to understand. Which is something else I really don’t understand why. So to understand myself in all this I just have to do it and see if I can find myself somewhere in this mess. My goal is to collect my work in photography just for the fun in sharing with others,  outside the lonely clouds and closed hard drives.

On the other hand there will not be that much to understand anyway. I will try to be as short as possible for the most of the time with words. Not at least for my own best. I know myself and I have really serious problems to get stuck in complexity if I get in touch to much with my thoughts. Photos creates their own words inside our heads far better than trying to say to much about them. Even if it will say very different things for different people and will sometimes change depending on what mood you are in for the moment.

This blog is going to be dedicated to my eyes through the lens of a camera and the photos that have been time capsuled inside. Both old, older, new and newer, mixed in any order as I feel to, There will be a random collection of styles and I will not put very much time in making any complex structures to arrange the photos. I really hate to poop tags and hunt specific categories in my head. I have tried it so many times before, and it just kills my motivation and lust everytime i try. There will be only as few this and that as possible.

From time to time I may write some other photography related stuff, in one or another way. And last, for youre knowledge – up to date everyday no way, maybe tomorrow.

Have a wonderful life and see you later – Mikael “Smike” Stenström