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Journal

Learning Photography: The Importance of Capturing the Moment and Mood in Street Photography

I went out for a long walk today, with my 75mm XF 50mm f2 lens. I have only done street photography with the 35mm and 50mm lenses so far, and I often found myself getting too close when framing the compositions, and having to back off. Once I made the adjustment, though, I really enjoyed […]

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Journal

Learning Photography: A Daily Practice of Making Photographs is a Form of Mindfulness Meditation

I’m learning — by observing my own experience, and by reading about the experience of others — that any repetitive daily practice, with attention and intention, begins to feel like mindfulness meditation. Reading, writing, walking, running, gardening, baking, sketching, painting the piano, even making photographs. I have been reading a lot of photography books. Some […]

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Journal

Learning Photography: The Many Types of Self-Portraits

I don’t like taking selfies and I don’t like being in selfies — the extended arm to fit the face and some context into the tight frame at the 28mm focal length, the slightly downward-facing flattering angle for hiding the double chin, the big smile we seem to reserve for when we are being photographed, […]

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Learning Photography: Discovering My Preferred Street Photography Style by Studying Photography Books and Portfolios

I have been reading a lot of photography books, especially street photography books, with an intention to discover my street photography style, by osmosis. Last week, I read three photography books that showcased a wide gamut of classical and contemporary street photographers with very different styles — Magnum Streetwise edited by Stephen McLaren, Street Photography […]

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Learning Photography: In These Wide Angle Cat Portraits, LeelaCat Becomes a Part of the Abstract Background Bokeh

I already knew I loved the wide angle 24mm focal length. It’s wide enough to capture the full scope of a room, or a street scene, or a landscape, while still minimizing distortions. I love my tiny XF 16mm f2.8 prime lens and like using both my XF 16-80 f4 and XF 10-24 f4 lenses […]

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Learning Photography: Experimenting With Fujifilm’s Film Simulation Profiles in FujiFilm X Raw Studio

Fujifilm cameras have a unique and much-beloved feature — film simulations based on classic film stock for in-camera RAW to JPEG conversion. ClassicChrome for color and Acros for black and white are my favorites. You can apply these film simulations in camera while shooting in JPEGs, or afterwards to RAW files by connecting the camera […]

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Learning Photography: The Decisive Moment is Really an Ongoing Moment

Henri Cartier-Bresson’s essay on the decisive moment is the source of one of the most influential ideas in photography: To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression. … […]

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Learning Photography: How to Decide the Ideal Relationship Between Subject, Foreground and Background

Most of the time, I shoot in aperture priority, and most of the time, I leave the aperture at maximum (f2 for most of my Fujifilm lenses). Most of the time, it results in the effect I am looking for, with a shallow depth of field, a sharp in-focus subject and soft out-of-focus foreground and […]

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Learning Photography: I Prefer a Minimal Approach to Food Photography to Maximize the Pleasure of Cooking Food and Eating it

Today, I baked a loaf of bread that is difficult to categorize. I used two-day old, high-hydration, long-fermented sourdough pizza dough, stuffed it with olives and doused it in olive oil like a focaccia, then baked it in a closed dutch oven like sourdough bread. The result: a dense loaf with a crispy fried crust […]

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Journal

Learning Photography: Photographing Birds in Flight is Hard, But it Has Become a Daily Ritual For Me

I have been taking my Fujifilm X-T4 with me on my terrace walks everyday, sometimes twice a day. I usually go a little after lunch, when the sun is up high in the sky, the light is good, and the terrace is empty. The building is surrounded by a canopy of trees on two sides […]