10 Things I love About the Fuji X100F

Here is a list of 10 random things I like  ❤️ love about my Fujifilm X100F…

🔘 The X100F autofocus is accurate and fast. I was worried it might be a bit sluggish when compared to the Panasonic/Leica Q. No worry needed though. It’s zippy fast!

🔘 The X100F is quite useful to me for sideline shots when I shoot sports. So useful in fact that I prefer using it over having a standard two DSLR setup.  No need for a 35mm lens on my 5D mark III when my X100F has a great 35mm equivalent lens and a filler flash to boot!

🔘 I love having analog style dials for my ISO, exposure compensation, aperture, and shutter speed. It beats having to dig through menus in my humble opinion.

🔘 The 35mm 2.0 lens itself is pretty sharp to my eyes, even wide open. RAW files are particularly awesome.

🔘 The ACROS film simulation mode (jpeg only) is maybe the best thing about the camera to me. You can shoot almost anything in ACROS and it looks surreal and historic.

ACROS….

🔘 The flash is useful in a pinch. I use it a lot for sideline shots as I mentioned earlier.

🔘 I almost exclusively use the EVF. It’s so good that my original reason for buying this camera, it having an optional OVF, is a non-issue.

🔘 The camera fits in my pocket and is extremely portable. It’s also so light that I can scarcely feel it dangling around my neckbone.

🔘 The Fuji X100F is 100% silent when the shutter volume is turned off. Dead ass quiet.

🔘 Lastly the little focus knob is swell. It works about as good as the ones on the pro DSLR’s I’ve had the fortune of using.

Thinking of purchasing this camera? Don’t do it! Lol. I want to keep all this bananas awesomeness for myself.

Please support me by buying my classic street-fiction novel available here.

Exit.

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY: Sharing is Caring?

Instagram has started shadowbanning people. 

Don’t know what shadowbanning is? Google it. The thumbnail sketch goes like this: Instagram makes you think people are seeing your post when you use hashtags, and when you check the hashtags yourself your post is visible, but others cannot see your post when they search for that hashtag. 

Instagram is mind-fucking you. They want you to think your post and hashtags are reaching new users, but in fact only your followers can see your post. 

That’s some dastardly shit. 

Reportedly, other social media outlets shadowban users. Twitter has been allegedly doing it for years. My issue with it is just one of disappointment. Sure, Instagram is free and the owners can do whatever they like, but it’s just that I’m running out of ideas of how and where to share my street photos online and potentially be exposed to folks I don’t already know in the process. Should any of this matter to me on a personal or even a professional level? Nah. Still, it’s fun to share photos and gain followers and get likes and all. People may hate on the idea in principle but who cares if an activity is important or not if that activity is fun? Everything a photographer does doesn’t have to be part of some Machiavellian scheme for world photographic dominance. It’s perfectly fine to get a kick out of people “liking” your photos, even if folks generally like “everything” and aren’t really interacting with your portfolio. 

I don’t understand Snapchat at all for the record….

At any rate, Flickr seems to filled with foreigners and old people. Facebook is over-saturated. Twitter is for famous people and to find out if somebody is really dead. Instagram has started shadowbanning users. Great. Just fucking great. I am in the streets shooting, interacting with people every day. It would be nice if it didn’t end there. It would be nice if there were some allowable enjoyment to be had via street photography besides the act of taking the photos themselves…..

I care about street photography and sharing is caring. We shouldn’t all have to be like Vivian Meyer and have our entire portfolio discovered after we are long dead….

Exit. 

PHOTOGRAPHY: A Disorganized Mess….

Why don’t photographers have unions?

I get it: photographers are not thought to be as “important” as electricians or bricklayers, nor are they generally thought to be as valuable as teachers or meat cutters, but has anyone ever attempted to organize photographers into anything more than an elitist collective like Magnum?

My thoughts on this are as follows: most photographers are petty and despise the work and success of their contemporaries. It’s pretty hard to organize into a brotherhood when you think that way. You cannot be petty and small-minded if you want to unionize. It would be nice to, for example, have standard levels of apprentice, journeyman and master photographer, and to have wage scales commensurate with said levels. This would make shooting for a major publication a straightforward process financially speaking, and may add clarity as to what an apprentice should charge to shoot a wedding as opposed to a journeyman.

Let me pause and say that I’m a political moderate AKA a registered independent. I’m not typically the guy who has strong opinions about labor unions. There are all sorts of counter-argumentative things to consider when organizing a photographic union, and price undercutting and scab behavior would be rampant, but this is just a thought exercise, not a proposal….

Actors and screenwriters have unions, so it’s not like you have to just build or fix or teach something in order to unionize. There can be artists (if we are indeed artists) who form unions. Many photographers would be utterly terrified of being blacklisted or denied work, but I also think many of us on the street photography side would consider joining such a union. Street photographers don’t get paid anyhow and most of us earn a living through conventional jobs. It’s the wedding, portrait, sports, magazine and commercial shooters who would bitch up and cross hypothetical picket lines in all likelihood. I understand that we all have families to feed, but a union would be beneficial to all of us in the long run and provide a much needed hierarchy and eventually structured payment to the whole genre. Of course, as I said earlier, most photographers seem resentful and jealous of other, more accomplished photographers. That is unfortunate and is part of the reason, along with affordable amateurism, that the whole of the photographic profession is drying up money-wise….

This is no micro-struggle. This is real shit that I’d love Peta-Pixel or one of the big dog blogs to address. We are dying and we need to band together in order to survive. Of course I could be wrong for caring about this, being that nobody else seems to….

Exit.

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY: Go Small or Go Home

I’m going to be a bit of a toolbox here, but bear with me….

I cringe these days when I see guys shooting street photography with a fat DSLR. Full disclosure: I used to be that guy myself just 3 short months ago. Since then I’ve gotten my tiny little Fuji X100F, which might be the worlds best street photography camera, and now I feel embarrassed that I ever pointed my big ass Canon 5D Mark III at an unsuspecting street denizen with artistic intentions. It’s like what Obi Wan Kenobi said when he tossed that blaster aside after shooting General Grevious to death: SO UNCIVILIZED…..

Of course my Fuji, and perhaps every Leica outside of the Leica S (and the Leica Sofort), is an elegant photographic weapon harkening back to ages past. Sure, you can blast away 15 shots per second with your crude DSLR but it’s much more fun to manual focus or shoot in single shot mode with a compact or a rangefinder. Also, I’ve never been braver than I am now with my small camera. Sure, we get braver as we mature as street photographers regardless, but my ninja shit is on fleek these days. (Do the kids still say that?) I can literally stand in people’s faces and my silent leaf shutter compact camera makes absolutely no noise as I snap away photos like a maniac…..

Are Leica’s and little midget Fuji cameras better than say, a Nikon D500? Probably not, UNLESS you’re shooting street. So you need to be committed to specificity if you are contemplating adding a compact camera to your arsenal or switching altogether. In my case I still have my Canon system for sports and my Fuji camera for street and candids, well, until I can afford a Leica….

May the force be with you motherfuckers….

Exit.

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY: For a living?

I’ve mastered the art of being broke I think….

I mean, I’ve never earned what some may call a significant income, or anything close to that. I’ve basically toiled alongside the legions of the working poor my entire adult life. Trust me, I’d love to earn an income that would enable me to buy a house or a killer condo downtown, but right now that’s just a dream, sitting beside winning the lottery or finding an original copy of the US Constitution at a garage sale in my mind. 

I do love taking photos though. I mean, no other activity that I earn money from has brought me as much pleasure while doing it, including my days as a rapper signed to a major recording label. Taking photos beats rap in activity based pleasure, though perhaps not in POST activity perks such as groupies and free alcohol and weed. Plus I was young and blissfully angry and stupid back then….

In an ideal world I’d love to earn money from shooting street photography. (FYI, I don’t want you help whores giving me suggestions or condescending pep talks in my comments section. If you have a real offer contact me discretely.)

Street Photography is notoriously ineffective as a profitable venture. I’d have better luck as an electrician or a landscaper, but I HATE doing that stuff and LOVE taking photos in the streets. For this reason I suppose I wouldn’t have to be paid much to be happy doing it. Shit, I don’t earn THAT much shooting sports but I love it so much more than anything else I’ve ever done for money 💰 that I don’t mind the lack of life changing income. Again, I’m not looking for business pep talks here….

Maybe I will figure out a way to earn a nice living shooting women walking down the street. Most likely I’ll live and die and the world will do the same as if I or it never existed….

Exit. 

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY: The Art of Disrespect 

Nobody respects us. 

The minute you tell a so-called “professional” photographer that you shoot street, they immediately think you’re an amateur. Of course they might be right, but never mind that. The thing that so-called and especially “wanna-be” professional photographers fail to grasp is that most of us shoot street because it’s fun. We know it doesn’t generate income. We are fine with that…

I’ve been challenged by many photographers who swear they know composition, shooting strategy and have mastered editing. Most (and by most I mean none) don’t know that I also am sports photojournalist and have been doing it for years. My editing and delivery standards for my “pro” work is worlds apart from what I generate in my personal street projects. This leap in logic is apparently beyond the old film guys and young hustling coons I run across in various Facebook groups. They refuse to believe that people can enjoy being liberal in their artistic persuits, but be very conservative in their professional persuits. People do it all the time. Eddie Money was an honorable NYC cop before he became an 80’s radio rock overlord. It’s called balance.

Maybe I’m just upset that photographers love playing the critic role way too often, as if their own work is more than marginal or derivative. If you like shooting black and white photos of flowers 🌺 then that is entirely up to you. If I don’t like it I don’t feel the need to be critical of you. It’s your shit. Do you. I don’t have clairvoyance to be able to predict what great art will be. All I know is the rules and that I should break them whenever the fuck I feel like it….

Exit. 

PHOTOGRAPHY: The Meaningless Struggle

Nobody cares about your photography.

Of course people enjoy glancing at your photos, or maybe they just enjoy “liking” photos on various social media outlets. Hard to tell. It’s very simple to “like” a large number of photos in a short span of time if you want to. In fact, you barely have to know what you’re liking. You scroll and like, all the way down the feed until you get bored, and maybe if you’re lucky somebody will “like” you back….

We sure would like for our photos to be liked, and I don’t mean social media liked…. I mean deeply liked. I know I would like that.

Well…. I think.

Would you like that? We spend a lot of money on gear and time on social media pumping our brands. I know I do. Maybe I should do more. Hard to tell. Will I ever get people to like my photos or will I simply get people to “like” my photos? Hard to tell….

Am I even good? That’s not hard to tell. I haven’t been shooting for very long and I don’t have any formal training so my guess is I’m average at best. Does that even make a difference? I see photographers who are definitely not good have wild success due to their networking skills and personal charm. Is being good overrated? Hard to say….

Delilah Jean never goes outside they said….

We struggle so hard to get a foothold in this business but for what? I could rob an NYC subway train car at gunpoint, demanding each passengers cell phone, and I’m certain that 100% of those phones have cameras on them. Everyone is a photographer these days to some degree. In fact, many folks with cell phones shoot more photos per day, thereby getting far more practice, than art-school bred professionals. An Instagram model may have 2000 photos on her page while an artist might think he’s one of the best in the world having an online portfolio of 20 photos. Both may have thousands of followers but for different reasons, even though the reasons intersect at the corner of brand popularity and photographic content….

This is a micro-struggle indeeed. The fate of our great nation does not hinge on the need for a person to buy a better lens to take better portraits. Still, sometimes I wonder if any of what we do in photography is worth it when nobody gives a fuck about our photos anyhow. In fact, if you let art-school geeks tell it: most people don’t know how to give a fuck about photography. We lack the necessary education and refinement to do so. We’re photographic savages basically…

Well, I won’t give a fuck if you don’t. Let’s keep posting photos we snap and maybe I’ll slap the shit out of an art-school nerd just for fun. Sometimes it feels good to bully the bullies….

Exit.

Calm Down!!!! (Too Much Enthusiasm)

Street photography is fast. You must be quick out there. Your camera has to be properly set to shoot in advance. Your eyes have to frame and snap off a scene that has key elements in motion. You have to be nearly perfect. There is little room for error. Those who have shot fast moving sports can relate. Your brain has perhaps 7 things to account for in the space of three breaths, and this accounting has to be seamlessly incorporated into your shooting process.

With that being said, I offer a quote:

“Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him.” ~Lord Chesterfield

I need to calm down. I often fuck myself over by rushing. This applies to all things, the least of which is street photography…..

Enthusiasm can easily work against you. No doubt enthusiasm is one of life’s pleasures. We are hard-wired, seemingly, to go bat-shit giddy over something in our lives at some point, no matter how cool we are naturally or are trained to be. However, one must choose carefully the things one shows enthusiasm towards. Many oversights happen at the intersection of enthusiasm and impatience, and sometimes enthusiasm creates impatience. Unbridled optimism can obscure ones natural abilitiy to wield healthy skepticism as a shield…

For me, the penalty of enthusiasm is neglected preparation. In the midst of shooting street photography in manual mode, my camera settings are all over the place depending on available light and time of day. In my eagerness to look for the next and penultimate “decisive moment” I at times forget to check the exposure compensation dial on my Fuji X100F (when I’m in auto ISO mode) which can easily be bumped to an unwanted value, or I forget to take off the lens cap, or some other stupid shit. In my rush to take that shot I may miss it because in my enthusiasm I have neglected key parts of the process. It is simply unacceptable to sidestep preperation. When shooting in the streets the “process” is happening the entire time. It’s like a military training maneuver or a meditation. Enthusiasm cuts into that meditation. It upsets the inner peace one must have to maximize ones effectiveness….

You can be overly enthusiastic about many things. I was excited to get to work and write this blog entry today, and I stupidly left my phone in the bathroom at home. You can get overly enthusiastic about a love interest and scare him or her off, becoming the classic: “overly attached girlfriend/boyfriend” and losing that person. You can be too excited about a monetary negotiation and betray that to the other party, with unwanted financial ramifications for yourself as a result. There is probably a far shorter list of things that are not hurt by over-enthusiasm as opposed to the opposite. Not much beats having a balanced mind and workflow…

Let’s end this….

“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.”Zig Ziglar

Stay balanced out there in these streets….

Exit.


The Polite Street Photographer

I get it. You’re a nice person. As a photographer, you have great skill and charm but you don’t want to offend people. So instead of taking bravely composed street photos featuring human faces, you shoot the backs of people’s heads, which just doesn’t sound right in general, and if a person offers a mean gaze after you’ve taken their photo you offer to delete the photo and you cry. You have violated their privacy in public! Everyone deserves to be invisible if they so desire, especially if they are on city streets! How dare you do that you creep! You shouldn’t do that ever! Instead of shooting candids in the streets you should ask permission first! Be polite and have some goddamn manners!

I’m being sarcastic here because really you’re not being polite. Really you’re being a bitch.

Here is a quote which encapsulates my attitude:

“No one deserves to be praised for kindness if he does not have the strength to be bad; every other form of kindness is most often merely laziness or lack of willpower.” ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Maybe calling you a bitch is too harsh. Perhaps it is more accurate to call you lazy. Put simply: bravery requires effort. 

No person is born brave. Having a set of balls is a choice. Some make the choice to be brave early in life. Many of us develop bravery after becoming frustrated with the way life plays out when you mask your cowardice by calling yourself polite. I’m not suggesting you should be rude to everyone you meet, or even rude on occasion, but I’m convinced that in street photography, which is a form of direct-contact photojournalism, it is better to be an asshole and get the shot than to cower and pass up the shot….

We all are negligent. We all are bitches from time to time. I’m as guilty as anyone. When my inner punk-ass bitch flares up, I stay mindful that I should be brave as opposed to polite, and am able to correct my behavior when out shooting. Approaching a pretty woman in a tavern, with romantic goals, is a different set of circumstances altogether, but similar rules of bravery vs. politeness apply. Closed mouths don’t get fed. It’s far better to get shot down by 100 pretty women than it is to settle for and ruin the life of an ugly woman with your contagious cowardice, passed down to your seeds and their seeds, in perpetuity…

The best I can say about street bravery is: fuck it. Fuck the world. That’s a reliable philosophy to adhere to. Curse the entire world to hell and then raise your camera to your eye and compose your masterpiece. People on the streets have no right to privacy. They are in public. Did the men who pulled off the Boston Marathon bombing have any right to privacy while carrying bombs through the public streets that day? Wouldn’t the earnest, more photojournalistic thing to do, in hindsight, be to take photos of the perpetrators, even if they objected to having their photos taken? How is a camera a more substantial recorder of events than my own eyes? Both a photograph and testimony backed my the memories of what I saw can be used to convict a person in a court of law. Who is to say that one is right and the other is wrong, between my eyes and a Leica rangefinder?

Do what you want of course. You are under no obligation to be good at anything. If you want to take photos of people walking away from you and of hedges and homeless people who are in a daze, do your thing. Don’t be offended, please, if you spot another photographer watching you, mouthing the words: “What a pussy….”

I’ll leave you with one more quote:

“Sometimes in life there are events that you need to be a little foolish to handle.” ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Exit.