If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done ― Bruce Lee
Two months have gone by since I received my GR (pictured above) and a few thoughts come to mind. I’ll talk about the pros and cons of this wonderful small package.
Let’s start of with the good and in no particular order just as they come mind. Folks, the sharpness of this lens is truly outstanding. I’m not an optical engineer and don’t know for sure but I would guess that lack of AA filter has something to do with end results. This puppy cranks out some amazing images. In the end, I think Ricoh did the right thing in debuting with the GR with out the AA filter.
The way the GR handles is another point worth mentioning right of the bat. Its slightly bigger than the previous models and just the right size, you really have to hold it to know but trust me when you hold it you’ll probably feel the same way I did ― amazingly surprised. I wished Ricoh would have included a more heavy duty wrist strap and a neck strap in the package considering the price of entry into this exclusive professional compact market but luckily, there are a few companies which produce some amazing accessories ― DSPTCH and Lance Straps, I’ll be reviewing them both within the next couple of weeks and will show plenty images.
I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them. – Bruce Gilden
There is something magical with framing your images with viewfinder. I can’t really describe the feeling other than saying that its somehow more of an intimate experience and more personal. I don’t know why but its certainly different. I just had to press the shutter the last few days and frame images via a viewfinder and here are some results.
All processed with a forked preset from VSCO Films and the Pentax K5 IIs & FA 31mm 1.8
I’m pretty upset at WordPress.com right now, I just sharing this image with everyone and I’m all happy with the end result, I upload here and what you see right below is an exported jpeg straight form lightroom and it looks nothing like what I viewed on my deskop. So, I get to thinking and I tell myself, “let me do a screengrab,” which saves the images as a png and let’s compare. Oh my gosh, what a difference. Click here to view the original image and tell me if you don’t see an immediate difference. I don’t know why but WordPress.com is compressing the images like there is no tomorrow which totally sucks in my book. I mean we take the time to process an image to our liking and WP ruins it, not right guys, please fix this or are you guys getting too big already? Or better yet, develop another store addon that doesn’t compress the images and I’ll gladly pay $20/year for this service. I mean you sell photography themes and want to cater to all sort of blogs so this make sense. Call it the “Photography Upgrade” and I’ll pay.
As the consummate student of this great craft, I purchased Ming Thein’s Introduction to Photoshop Workflow DVD($60). A review is forthcoming. Some of you out there may have had the same expectations as I had, so I think its useful to share my opinion. In the meantime, I used some of the techniques I learned on the video to process this Ricoh GR image, but stay tuned for a more in depth review of this dvd this coming in August. On other news, I’m slowly setting up my projects and galleries page so have a look to see how its coming along.
The Danish film director Joergen Leth says “All creative work is about choosing: That word on the first line of the poem, that frame that opens the movie, that tone that sets off the symphony.” And as photographers we could add to that “the framing of an image.” So ladies and gentlemen choose wisely. Cheers.
So you got your new Ricoh GR already and you want to practice some street photography, well this tutorial is exactly what you need. You’ve heard all the hoopla about the Ricoh legacy and you want to confirm what’s the hype all about. Well, in today’s installment of my user based review of the Ricoh GR I’m going to explain a way to use an option which may not be that apparent ― FA/Move Target(from now mentioned as FAMT) and how this feature may be an aid for your new street photography adventures.
This particular mode is explained on page 56-47 of the Ricoh GR manual (download here) and I reproduced both pages for your convenience below. So what’s FAMT? FAMT is a feature which helps you focus on objects and scenes. I have mine setup via a Fn1 to quickly toggle it. In short, it adds a virtual moveable area the size of a square on your LCD which can be enlarged to a maximum of the full LCD and can be shifted top, right, bottom, or left. It has three options as seen below on #3 ― Move Target Setting which says AF I enter and selected AE-AF for Auto Exposure and Auto Focus. On the next option, Focus Assist setting, you have 4 options and Magnification Setting which has two options ― Magnify Partial or Whole.
Let’s “focus” on the Focus Assist Setting, as you can see below it has 4 modes and you can experiment with them to your heart’s content but I’ll focus on Mode 2 and how I use it on a day to day basis for my photography. From here you can experiment and choose your favorite. I have my LCD set to color when I shoot (sometimes). I click Fn1 and it brings up the little square which you can enlarge and move around. I basically leave mine in the center of the frame and enlarge to a nice size, about 2.5 times more than the initial square. At this point I have a large grayish square in the middle of the frame and like the instructions says it enhances the outlines of our subjects. Let me rewind back to Magnification setting, I choose whole. Why? Well, because if I choose partial, the area I just selected, the now big grayish square on my LCD, will just look normal, a grayish square in the middle of the color LCD but if I were to choose partial, it will literally zoom in on the square magnifying what’s in the square visually and take over your LCD with that portion and that’s no help for our street photography.
So now picture my LCD with a greyish square in the middle, better yet, follow along with your GR. Picture yourself on a photowalk during the day, its sunny, and hard to see the screen not literally because its sunny (its highly viewable outside) but because your GR in either above your head, arms extended, or at your waist level and your angle of view is severely restricted. Well, in comes FAMT to rescue. For the sample shot I literally held the camera with both hands, you know the infamous and sometimes dreaded point and shoot look, you know the type, both hands up front and viewing the LCD but raise above your head and arm extended as if you were photographing something above and beyond you’re incoming subject. Basically who ever is watching is going to think you’re photographing something that is higher than them a building, a tree, whatever, its just above their heads or just up there, hence your arms extended, all looking like a rookie and they are not concerned with you because they don’t like the subject of your photograph. Little do they know your a serious street photographer with the king of the streets ― the GR.
Once you have your arms extended and you can view your whole LCD and playing the part of an innocent snap shooter and your subject is quickly approaching you (and discarded you by now) and when they step within the desired range, you quickly flip the angle of the camera downward and now the LCD is not in sight but with the FAMT on you’ll be able to see the grayish square and frame accordingly and capture your image like a professional. My subject had no idea and in the spirit of Capa I was right there. A little BTS (behind the scenes) talk. I had spotted him about 40 feet ahead of me and he looked semi tired, pensive, not all there, and I thought it would make an interesting photograph.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. If you follow this tutorial in no time you’ll be on your way to making better images while out on the streets from various perspectives. Stay tuned for the next installment of my Street Photography tutorial series.
I just wanted to write a few words to tell you how I feel. I know its a bit soon but I can hardly contain the joy you bring to my life. I’ve dated many others and even fallen in love once or twice, but for some reason I feel this time is different. You’ve brought purpose and happiness to my life and work. I think about you all the time, when I’m not with you I feel a little something in heart ― I miss you. You’ve come to me at the right stage in my life and for that I want to tell you “thank you.” I promise to respect you, care for you, and always be by your side ― I love you GR.