Tuesday, 12 October 2010

over the falls in a barrel of laughs

This weekend past, Carrie and I went to Niagara Falls, on the Ontario side.

There is something vaguely amusing to me about that place.

I think it has something to do with the architecture...

We set out from home at about 7:30 in the morning and got there around 9:20 or so. We did not rush.

On the way in, I noted that the light was absolutely perfect for a day of wandering around and taking pictures. I managed to spend the entire time shooting at iso 100 with decent shutter speeds - not something I am used to. Lately, I have not had a lot of time to get out with the camera, and when I do get out, the light is usually not so great.

One of the joys of urban shooting in a place like Niagara Falls is that it is such a tourist trap. Wandering about taking pictures of everything with a huge dslr is not something that even gets noticed. I like street shooting, but am not very good at it since I feel a photographer should blend in with the scenery, and that is hard to do with a large camera. Odds are because I feel I stick out, I do. I suspect it is one of those self fulfilling prophesies. However, it is not hard to understand why the greats of street photography's history used small fast cameras - it is much easier to be a part of the scene when that is the case I think.

On my list of things to get (my someday list - my want to get in the reasonably near future list is quite different) is a camera more suited for urban photography than my Olympus dslr gear. I am debating between saving for a micro 4/3 camera or some other similar kind.

If I go that route, I will likely get one of the digital Pens. I would prefer one with a built in EVF but would not balk at getting an ep-2 with the electronic hot shoe mounted view finder. It is supposed to be quite something. For what I am interested in doing, I don't think I want any of the current m4/3 lenses except for maybe the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens. That one is supposed to be terrific and would end up image stabilized on an Olympus body which can be handy. Some of the better lens makers have joined up with the m4/3 consortium and are releasing some truly special glass (manual focus only) like this one: Voightlander 25mm f.95 with a native m4/3 mount. Yep, f.95. That would be one special piece of glass and worth getting a Pen for all by itself and would be an ideal focal length for street shooting.

I have given some thought to cameras such as the Canon G11 type, and have decided that as nice as they are, I don't want one. They hit all the right buttons except for low light shooting, and that is something any street specific camera I buy needs to be able to do.

I like wandering about after dark with the camera and already run into some fun with the E-3 in urban street light at night, so the performance of the G11 is not something that would work for me in those conditions.

However, should Panasonic release the camera they are rumoured to have on the go, I would be very interested. It is a Leica lensed camera with a low f-stop, non interchangeable, which hits the "walk around" zoom range well, and has a 4/3 sensor behind the glass and is not significantly bigger than the LX-3. Now that would be fine. Mighty fine.


The rest of the weekend passed fairly calmly - two 43 km rail trail rides, one 12.5 km run, a bit of work, and since it was Turkey Day here in Canada, some Turkey and family.

It was good.

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