I had some ideas for the Ricoh around the globe project today, but the weather didn’t take my thoughts into account. I certainly hope it will improve though and that I will be able to take some photographs this weekend.
I kind of like this camera, the Ricoh R10. It is the first Ricoh camera I used that has no RAW capability, and while I prefer the button lay-out of the Ricoh G-series, it remains a very intuitive camera.
Photograph by Wouter Brandsma
We, us photographers, probably all know that feeling that we want to take our beloved photography with us on a holiday. We want to come back with photographs different from the mainstream. We either take too much equipments with us, much to the annoince of the family members. We take too many photographs of the same subjects that others don’t understand, or are not interested in. We look too hard for stories, we try too hard to be different.
We look forward to take great photographs, we prepare ourselves extensively to see what can be photographed and what is compelling. But you know, it never works that way. Your partner wants to have a break too, she or he actually wants to enjoy the holiday. The kids needs attention, and quite a lot as they are entitled to.
This weekend we, our family, spent a great time in a pony park. That means that we were off the entire day with a pony and kids, and walked around the park. It is a paradise for kids and a photographers nightmare. So I tried to focus on my creativity in between the limited time.
I had both my Ricoh GX200 and the Sigma DP1 with me. While the DP1 gives beautiful photographs with some depth, it wasn’t the easiest camera to use. You need to think more, the autofocus is too slow, and zone-focusing not always that easy in ever changing situations.
The GX200 with the smaller sensor gives great depth of field. And in combination with the snap mode it becomes a really fast camera. The combination of both cameras proved sufficient for the holiday. When the time is available I would get the DP1, and otherwise I took the GX200.
The cameras were small enough to be hardly noticed. They were small enough to reach for the kids or the pony when ever needed. And the cameras were small enough to not look like a photographer too.
While I didn’t want to get away with just snap shooting for the sake of the family album, I didn’t want to be too much in the photography mood either. I wanted to participate in the enthusiasm of my kids and wife. I wanted to be there for them.
And we had a great weekend. The kids were pony riding the entire weekend. My son went to bingo nights, met Zorro, and we even played “midget golf” (mini-golf for the political correct – thanks Nathalie).
My wife even had some time for herself.
Picking up the pony at the beginning of the morning was good fun and the ponies loved the attention from the kids.
My daughter felt so familiar with the ponies, she could use them as sofas too. And great photo opportunities for her dad too.
While my daughter and I were following a lesson my wife had some time to relax and photograph too with her cellular phone.
And I had the opportunity to do some little horse back riding myself, much to the enjoyment of the kids.
So, be realistic. Of course it is great to come back from a holiday with great photographs. But enjoy the family life too, and let your family have fun too. There remain so many opportunities to photograph outside the holiday.
When you are part of the kid’s excitement the photography will come too.
And a final photograph of my young daughter with pony Jul, our loyal companion for the weekend.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma
I wanted to dedicate todays post to the local celebrations of Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, but our country is in disbelief after the tragedy in the city of Apeldoorn. A car crashed into a crowd who were watching a parade when the Queen and her family past by in an open bus. He killed four people and later this night a fifth person died in the hospital as a result of the injuries.
The Netherlands has been an open minded society. The Queen could be hugged and kissed during celebrations and her sons danced with the crowd. Today we started the celebrations with the same expectations, but at 11:49 AM a lunatic stole other peoples life in front of national television. The day ended with flags half-mast throughout the nation.
Queen’s Day is usually a day of fairs, folklore, dance, and music. And today was no exception. We went to a fair in Down town Ede were we attended a demonstration of the Martial Arts school. Later today we visited a fair in our neighbourhood, but the atmosphere was just not the same.
My son saw so many stuff to buy, but we really had to stop him. But apparently he didn’t like it.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma
The light was difficult today. It was partly cloudy, sometimes with strong shadows and bright light and sometimes hardly any shadows to be seen. Instead of relying on the lightmeter of the camera, I trusted the sunny f16 rule. Together with the manual focusing, mostly zone-focusing, I encountered no problems with the camera.
And although my friend, who loaned me her Sigma DP1, insisted I would take the Ricoh GX200 with me together with the DP1. I just took only the DP1 with me and it worked remarkably well.
Sigma released a new version of their Sigma Photo Pro RAW converter (version 3.5 for Windows and 3.3 for the Mac). This new version is able to handle the RAW photographs from the new Sigma DP2, but let to a lot of responses from users about the way it handled highlights differently and worser. I personally didn’t encounter that, but I did notice that the newer version applies more noise reduction at high ISO photographs in comparison the older 2.5 version for Windows. The good thing is that Sigma got a lot of RAW photographs from users world wide and are working on a solution.
I will be a offline until Monday without any internet access.
These photographs are from places I am so familiar with. I came here as a young child with my grandfather cycling through the country. I loved the farmland, the dairies, the cows, the long lanes with high trees, the ditches, and the twisting roads.
In some ways things have changed since my childhood. Increased traffic, modernized dairies, the cities have grown, and people recreate more. But thankfully some things didn’t change. This place still has that charme I loved. The wide view, the open fields, the smell. I come here to relax, to enjoy, to photograph. And photographing this place has become something like an undetermined task for me. Something I should really see as a project.
I photographed here so often and will probably do so for some time. A kind of James Ravilious project for me. James Ravilious documented the region of Devon in England during a seventeen year quest taking some 80,000 B&W photographs.
He carefully selected his gear to do his photographic work. Wide angle and moderate wide lenses with low contrast, preferrably uncoated. Instead of using more modern Leica M cameras, he still worked with pre-War Leica rangefinders. No SLR cameras, no color film, but just B&W. He remained unknown during his quest, but his work gets a lot of attention nowadays after the BBC broadcasted a documentary (scrolldown this page) about his photography. And for those in the UK and interested in his body of work, there is an exhibition in the National Theatre in London until May 16.
I personally really like his style and how he modified his cameras and lenses to make it work for him. The cameras were simple, but the viewfinder gave him clear site of the composition. I am very much attracted by this simple approach to photograph. Simple cameras, just a view lenses with different focal lengths, and B&W photographs.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma