An Interesting Hoodie

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This is a quick one. Years ago I bought a cheap LH-100 lens hood/adapter ring knock-off for my X100 (I don't remember which "letter" version). It ended up lasting a lot longer than I ever thought it would but finally gave up the ghost some months ago: the bayonet stopped locking.

The point was never to control flaring: with the glass so close to the edge of the lens, it always felt better having that extra bit of protection. Especially given how I tend to use the X100 cameras—which is to say, not very carefully.

I was browsing Amazon and noticed a quirky looking contraption in my "suggestions": the JJC LH-JX100II (because there's nothing like adding letters to avoid infringement, right?). Except, this version actually IS different from the official Fujifilm add-on. Instead of the typical vented model, this is more like a tube that completely covers the lens, to the point where you don't even see it anymore. It's much less intrusive when using the OVF (it doesn't get wider at the edge) and it feels great to hold. This thing could've vignetted like crazy (given how far the lens recedes) but it doesn't and I suspect it really will cut down on any potential flaring issues.

The material matches the camera and the hood is a screw on, so the connection is super tight. Extra bonus points: the X100F lens cap still fits perfectly—kudos for smart design.

More info here if you want to check it out (Amazon Canada but not an affiliate link).

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Easy

There's this point I always reach when I exercise regularly: my body feels great, my thoughts are clearer, my mood brighter...and then for some reason, I stop. Like I've earned a break. I skip one day—just one. And then another. I'm still at the top of that hill so it doesn't matter, it's all good. But the slide begins. And the danger lies in the softness of the slope, in not realizing I'm creeping downwards. A frog, unaware the water will eventually boil.

I've recently followed a similar path with photography. Sure, I've been busy—that age-old excuse—but it's never stopped me before. I've let life run by without aiming my lens to it; or not often enough anyway. Maybe because the kids are getting older...maybe out of fatigue. 

I spent last week away from home on a commercial gig, really cool stuff I'll share when I can. I bought a new strobe—a Godox AD600BM—that I'll review in a bit. But I didn't take a single picture over the weekend and for me, that's a danger zone: the eye is a muscle and seeing needs to be fine tuned, exercised constantly, over and over and over again. My friend Kevin Mullins wrote the following in his new KAGE essay (we're back to monthly issues btw—and Jonas Rask has joined the project):

I’m living in an industry where the next big thing is always around the corner. Yet, to me at least, the next best thing is the next picture I print.
— Kevin Mullins

through a hotel window...

It doesn't need to be about prints—what's important is the mindset this creates. The chronicling of days and months and years; the personal feeding the commercial, filling the gaps and making us better at what we do. We need to breathe and swallow images, always. We need to dissect our world, always.

This morning I picked up my X100F at breakfast. Very little light…didn’t matter. It’s all grainy and soft but I was breaking the ice. Then I took the GFX 50S outside, remembering how to speak the words again.

I’m incredibly blessed on many levels.
I can't waste it. I have no right.

 

Mouvance 06

Photography can be a reflection of our state of mind at any given time. When we tie our eye to emotions, the visual landscape tends to follow.

I didn't shoot much last weekend. But when I did the terrifying news from London had just reached our family gathering. The Paris accord had been the obvious subject of conversation throughout the day—that idiot king and his enabling courtiers, steering the glass-eyed fool into whichever direction suits their agenda. Look, a squirrel!...stupid little man.

We had cake. The kids played.
The bleakness remained.


Shot with the X100F


Forms moving in a darkened space


Shot with the X-Pro2, XF 35mm f2 R WR and XF 55-200mm f3.5-4.8 R LM OIS


Zaventem & Other Territories: Spoils

I'd been looking forward to this hunting trip. A chance to follow in my friend's footsteps, exploring those same fields I'd seen so often in his brilliant images—like walking into a painting. But with our Brussels workshop set for the morning, I have to admit defeat: my cold isn't getting better and I'll be needing my voice, my brain and my strength. So today, I'm home bound.

Bert returns late in the evening and shows me the spoils: one pigeon and a couple of ducks.
 "I have to butcher the meat now" he says. "I don't much like this step but I need to do it. I need to see the entire process through to the end, on my own. It shows respect."

There's no glee, no chest thumping.
Only reverence.
Only gratitude.


Shot with the X-Pro2 and XF 35mm f2 R WR