Vancouver, when the sun did shine.

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On the day of the gallery talk the sun came out. I had sushi for lunch with Billy and Take, then we headed out to Granville Island for a quick stroll before the show. There’s gorgeous light in this city, as though it’s always bouncing or reflecting off something, somewhere. Maybe it’s the water. It’s the sort of thing you notice when you’re away...

The toning in these images is of course deliberate: the red began as a visual device for the KAGE post Rubicon, but it felt like the right direction overall. Consider these further explorations on a theme I guess. FYI: I used a layer in Capture Pro 11 to control the effect. I’m really on a quest for different ways to tone and process, and C1 is such a deep program when it comes to colour. I’m likely to overdo it while I experiment but then...ya need to break them eggs right?

All processed from Eterna JPEG files btw.
Later.


Shot with the X-T3 and XF 35mn f2 R WR


Stop the Tower

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The one upside to this topsy-turvy world is an increased awareness to the dangers of complacency—apathy is much easier to fight after seeing how quickly and intensely lives can devolve.

Telus wants to build a ten-story cellular tower in the middle of our very small town. More precisely, smack dab in the middle of a residential neighbourhood, at the edge of a small protected forest surrounded by schools, homes, a church, several parks and day-care centres. The mayor and city council are against it; the citizens are against it; our provincial MP is against it. And yet the federal government has given the go ahead, its minister—Navdeep Bains— apparently refusing to even answer repeated phone calls from all parties involved. Money talks, always.

So on Sunday we gathered the kids and we marched. Our two teenagers weren’t crazy about the idea (of course), our youngest proudly raised her sign as high as she could—but in the end I think they all got it.

Honestly, three years ago we probably would’ve signed the online petition and stayed home, content in having contributed the bare minimum to our civic duty. Now however...there are lessons to teach.


Shot with the X100F


I have no voice

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This morning I woke up, looked at the news and something strange happened: I suddenly felt completely empty. If you’ve followed this blog long enough you probably know how I feel about the current situation in the US. I’ve been consumed by dismay and a deepening sense of horror ever since the very first MAGA rallies. But as terrifying as these were in 2015-2016, the case could be made at that point for Clinton fatigue, for resentment towards a broken system and a willingness to gamble on Trump almost as a form of nihilistic resistance. It made no sense to me, personally, but I could still understand the undercurrents fuelling this reaction. I don’t anymore. That is, not unless I accept a reality too hard to bear—that humanity is incurious and willing to accept demagogues if they feed their egos and dangle fake shiny baubles. That we are unkind. That we haven’t learned a single thing from history.

On the eve of a watershed election in which I have no voice, I should be up in arms, devouring polls, biting my fingernails. And yet, nothing. I’ve turned off the screens. I’m looking away—I’ve seen and heard enough, I guess.

I published a short essay entitled RUBICON on KAGE today. Images shot in Vancouver last week, words I wrote over the last couple of days, in anticipation of tomorrow’s vote.

Here’s to hope.

First moments with the X-T3

I mentioned getting an X-H1 a couple of times—how it made sense, ergonomically, with the GFX 50S, how IBIS would “improve” certain lenses...I still believe all of it. But I waited just long enough for the X-T3 to crash that equation and mess with my rationale: a new generation of sensor and CPU is hard to pass by, knowing the improvements it usually brings to the table.

So last Friday the saga ended and I now own a brand new silver X-T3. I won’t rehash all that’s already been written about the camera at this point—if you’re looking for an extensive review (that also happens to include great photography) I suggest checking out my friends Jonas and Kevin. Their work is hard to top, honestly. I will say this however: I kinda love this camera. I kinda love it way more than I thought I would.

Now If I’m being picky, I do find the exp comp dial to be a bit too stiff...which I believe is actually a response to so many people saying this dial was never stiff enough over the years; so I guess those folks will be happy with the change. I also could’ve used a bit more space for my finger when operating the metering dial that sits beneath shutter speed—but I’m already getting the hang of it. Every new body brings growing pains. Overall though, the X-T3 feels mature: the buttons, the latches, the doors and the entire body...it all feels exactly right. There’s no unwanted wiggle, there’s nothing that seems plasticky or flimsy. I’m still a huge X-Pro2 fan but honestly, this is a joy to hold. And the new tech is nothing to sneeze at either in terms of performance.

My friend Bert shot his with the classic 35mm f/1.4 when we were in Germany for Photokina and I decided to emulate him. That old lens will never be a speedster...but man does it get a boost from this new body. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s still one of the Great Magical Lenses, bar none.

The images below are my very first frames shot with this setup. All processed from pushed Acros settings (JPEG) in Capture One Pro 11.3. They were all slightly “warmed” in-camera with the new BW option (I used +1 which is the lowest red value available). I don’t necessarily intend on using this often but ...new toy and all.

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada.
Best wishes to everyone :)


Shot with the X-T3 and XF 35mm f/1.4 R


The Stages

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Bert shot with a bag full of Ikea items—a salad bowl as beauty dish, a shower curtain, an artificial plant...I don’t think he ever found a way to use that toilet brush though. Zack showed off the mood of light, Sara wrapped her model in fabric and Mindy revealed the world of Forbidden Tattoos. Elia took us around the globe, Kevin brought us home and Ruddy made us think about it all. Jonas, of course, made us all feel like underachievers: how the hell can this guy also be a doctor? Bloody hell. And then there was Ines and Jan and Anushka and Peter and Elke...what moves me most about Fujifilm’s presence at Photokina is this focus on photographers and their work. We all get to learn so much from everyone that returning home is almost a letdown; Jonas spoke of withdrawal in his Chronicle post this week...it’s not a bad analogy.

My set was half/half: I told a couple of stories about commercial jobs and the importance of visual exploration—then I switched to studio mode with the help of Fabian, our male model. The idea was to create five different looks, using nothing but the small Profoto A1 strobe and the included Dome Diffuser. No softbox, no umbrella...this was all about positioning the light and subject to achieve different results. Although I did cheat on the last day by bouncing it off the white wall—I wanted a different take on the cinematic look I’d done in the previous sets. Sue me ;)

A few of those images below, all processed from GFX 50S raw files using the brand spanking new Capture One Pro 11.3. Side note: Am I excited about this? Oh dear god, you have no idea. It doesn’t just work: it works WELL. Still waiting on the upcoming film simulations support, but this is already like waking from a long slumber. Any concerns I had about C1 have now evaporated completely. More on this eventually...


VARIOUS MOODS AND GRADINGS (PROFOTO A1+GFX 50S+CAPTURE ONE PRO)


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