JONATHAN JK

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Posts Tagged ‘camera

The Fuji WCL-X100

After I wrote my 10,000 word review of the Fuji X100 and after I finished my Masters Degree, I sold it. I needed the money in order to get to Hong Kong. Us photographers are a poor bunch.

Anyway, I wanted another once I had settled down here. I got myself the beauty below.

Fuji X100S with WCL-X100.

Fuji X100S with WCL-X100.

I bagged the lens last week for $1,680 HKD, (£125) in a random shop in Wan Chai, and oddly I find myself still looking for the Teleconverter here in Hong Kong. It’s odd because this IS Hong Kong, where you can have anything. I’m seriously thinking of importing one from stateside. None of the retailers, even the official fuji 3rd party dealers just don’t stock it or know about it. Amazon US and UK stock both lenses.

Anyway, that’s my problem, I’ll update later with some comparison pictures.

Written by jonathanjk

July 22, 2014 at 02:08

Posted in photography

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Retracing

As I’m discovering I have more time, I find myself coming back to my original blog, my long form outlet to express myself. At the moment I’ve been living on tumblr as the investment isn’t as much. I’ve missed writing here, especially after the highs of blogging in 2010-2012. This place has been in maintenance mode, thankfully, some people still visit everyday.

The JPG podcast is coming back real soon as well.

So continuing with the theme of ‘retracing’ something, I wanted to share this story I found on Petapixel – Photographer Looks to Retrace the Footsteps of Robert Frank in ‘The Americans’

I’ve thought about wanting to commit to a project like this as well, this is probably where my interest comes from with this story. My problem is that I won’t ever hit US soil until they stop fingerprinting all foreign nationals as they enter the country. Instead I have a similar project here in Hong Kong.

So I like this idea, and how it’s a kickstarter project. I can’t help but feel though that there isn’t a bigger reason to do this other than that Robert Frank did it. It’s not exactly original is it?

With that, there is the idea in my mind that Trenton Moore will try to do it better or follow Frank’s work on some level beyond the retracing of Frank’s steps, he has something to compete against, whereas Frank’s work was original, pure.

The larger problem I have is that Moore is an American. One of the reasons Robert Frank was so successful was because he was an outsider with no affiliations to the US. I would say a foreigner is a better person, especially if the objective is to retrace, re-critique to re-shoot. You can’t just retrace the actions, I think the entire process should be done again, it would be more interesting for me anyway.

The end result is a project to reflect on, and the discussion and analysis from that will be different. I love how Robert Frank was from Switzerland, a country famous for its neutrality.

It’s the difference between saying, ‘let me tell you what I think’ vs ‘tell us what you think’, it’s self-critism vs criticism.

At the moment I’m massively addicted to perspective, the perspective of others, while Moore does have one and I wish him all the best, my interest wanes after that.

So I’m wondering if a kickstarter project could have invited somebody to come the the US instead or somebody outside the US had kickstarted this.

Written by jonathanjk

July 22, 2014 at 01:45

The Guardian: Join Instagram, join a collective act of self-delusion

Jonathan Jones writing for the Guardian:

I speak as a recovered digital photography addict. I more or less stopped taking photographs at all once I realised I was subscribing to a cheap self-deception about the originality, beauty and meaning of my tens of thousands of pictures. An enthusiam has frozen into revulsion. I love the convenience of digital cameras and their potential to create beauty – but I hate it, too.

When did my photophobia begin? When I realised that I was buying into the same delusion of grandeur as everyone else. I have a decent camera and it can take lovely pictures. It has a close-up focus that can capture perfectly crisp images of a flower petal or a bee up close. So I think the moment it all went wrong was on a visit to Kew Gardens. There I was, having fun snapping water lilies, when I realised that about a hundred people were doing the same thing. Grannies, kids, babies, all with cameras and a sense of being artists. I am waiting for dogs and cats to get their own photo-sharing site for their genuinely beautiful snaps.

I think the main problem immediately lies with Jonathan Jones’ perspective on photography, not with the behaviour of Instagram, in his decision to take lovely pictures of flowers and bees; the same, accessible, non-taboo, subject material that everybody else points their camera at and has done since the Kodak box brownie. Instagram quite rightly lets us share these images, but it certainly isn’t digital photography or Instagram that’s at fault here. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!

I was in Victoria Park here in Hong Kong back in November 2012, with plenty of photographers chasing the butterflies, around the greenery. The most professional, seasoned photographers seemed like they were standing at the back, resting their heavy cameras on monopods, almost knowing, instinctively when it was the best time to get the wining shot. In front of them was the closest you could possibly get to a polite scrum, with many younger photographers competing for space amongst themselves and those passing by, who were inspired by the silent commotion to join in for a few shots with their compacts.

Ignore the lack of his originality, something which Jones should be scolded for, but where is the imagination to make images of something more meaningful in that moment of personal crisis? This is instead of assuming ‘grannies, kids, babies’ are deluded artists or to blame Instagram. If one feels photography is cheap, it’s because one is not spending enough time with the photographic medium.

When I saw all these photographers taking pictures of butterflies on my trip to the park, I thought it would be fun and much better to take pictures of the photographers chasing the butterflies instead, it would also be a slight commentary on the spectacle of it all. It seems too simple to  get disgusted with photography. Even what you don’t photograph can and will be a statement on our world.

Has Jonathan Jones stopped to think about why everybody takes pictures of what amounts to being the mundane? Surely he is aware that we the general public are socially discouraged from taking pictures because either they are a photojournalist, weird or viewed as a pedophile. Imagine the variety of photography on our news feeds and timelines if we concentrated our gaze and interest on ourselves or on other people outside of what are still Kodak moments. There is a minority of people who do, it’s a shame many other people don’t do it, you’re not weird or a pedophile if you do and that area of photography isn’t the reserve of the photojournalist.

I wished the Victorians had Instagram because not many people know that the Victorians photographed the dead or the dying. Not in a macabre ways (though by today’s standards it probably would be), but in a way where the dead person looked like they were in-between life and death. Victorians even dressed dead people up so as to look their best for the camera. The Victorians did this with the aim of preserving their deceased relatives beyond the physical with a belief they were capturing their soul in an image. Imagine a Victorian gaze uploaded onto the Internet mushed up with today’s type of photography on your newsfeed/dashboard.

This stems from the larger problem of what we have been conditioned to photograph (just google ‘kodak moments’) and what we have come to think of are supposedly ‘proper pictures’ from other images we see everyday. Now this isn’t a call to action to photograph dead people, more of a polite request to acknowledge there is more for us to photograph out there and to photograph something different within your world.

At the same time, I don’t think it can’t be done with single images, those that make a quick comment and are digested within seconds off a newsfeed, they need to be something longer or viewed under a differing context and not necessarily something complicated either. When I say longer I mean through a photo essay, photo series or a visual diary. Something that anybody can sustain if they spend more time with their camera than Jonathan Jones.

I recently started a visual diary in the summer of 2012; just something to show friends and family (though it’s open to all) back in the UK what I was witnessing here in my new country of residence. I’ve been brought up academically as a photojournalist, working on long term projects, working with and documenting other peoples. How I photographed, has changed when I began photographing in a diary format, I have taken on another awareness of the photographic medium, which makes me think in other creative ways. Again it comes with spending time and developing that awareness, I’m at an advantage to the layman, but it’s a skill I believe anybody can pick up.

That is how we can solve the problem that Jones incorrectly addresses without blaming fashionably unpopular social network ‘x’, until we do, don’t expect anything to change on your respective timeline. Instagram is here to share our photography, not teach us photography.

~

Written by jonathanjk

January 3, 2013 at 12:29

JPG Podcast – The One Where Adam Expects Me to Fuel His Rants.

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Welcome to our third show, it’s that time again, a movie centric episode. Journalism and photography is on hold until Alex finds time to escape his new life in Canada.

This time the show mostly consists of Adam trying to break me into some movie news and discovers I won’t get riled up. We follow up with some previous topics covered in our last episode and I welcome Adam to the present after he discusses his new iPhone 4S purchase, missing out on the great deal that was NeverWinter Nights 2 for 69p on the Mac App Store (Mac App Store) and unbelievably some people still haven’t seen Star Wars so what order should they view the saga?

iTunes or the direct links.

Show Notes:

Follow Up – Baldur’s Gate (TouchArcade podcast with Cameron Tofer (twitter profile) from Beamdog, Trent Oscar ([developer working on BGEE] twitter profile), and Diablo 3 (Video).

Discussion – The state of the used games market to come.

Is the iPhone the only Camera you need‘? – Wall Street Journal

Star Wars Machete

Comic Book Men – A discussion (Secret Stash podcast)

Paper 53 – the better stylus to buy, the Cosmonaut and Project Blue Tiger. (Accompanying article from Gigaom – Creativity tools: The Next Wave of iOS Apps)

Glif for iPhone

Total Recall‘ trailer

Fuck‘ A Documentary via A Parliament of Owls (@Apowldotcom)

Liam Neeson  and the Hollywood Babylon podcast and ‘Taken

iOS App Recommendations – Kinotopic, Instagram, PhotoSynth, Project 365, GifRus, 1-Bit Camera and Snapguide.

Round Up ~ June’s Round Up

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Photography

Interviewed ~ Alrik Swagerman

Photojournalism ~ Looking Inwards Rather than Out 

MA Project ~ New Title New Images

MA Project ~ Part Three

MA Project ~ Part Two

Fuji X100

Round Up ~ Part Six

Free Running

Round Up ~ Part Five 

My review of the Fuji X100

Round Up ~ Part Four

With regard to round ups, I won’t be doing any more, news is becoming pretty scant plus I don’t have as much time to scour the web as often I as could before, instead if I find something interesting, I’ll just add it to the resource page (listed on the right) and tweet about it from time to time.

Written by jonathanjk

July 2, 2011 at 16:11

Fuji X100 ~ Round Part Six

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Fuji X100 ~ Review: A Love Returned, Nostalgia Reclaimed

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Fuji X100 Review

Introduction

I really only want to write once about the amazing Fuji X100. I will satisfy that intention by approaching it from two aspects:

  • As somebody who recently moved from an SLR system; replacing his setup with just the Fuji X100 (most of the technical comparisons are against my previous Canon equipment, some might consider this the wrong approach as the Fuji X100 isn’t an SLR replacement, but it is what it is).
  • As somebody who wanted to get back to the simplicity and joy of using a rangefinder camera (this was after having previously flirted with a number of them over the years, in particular a pair of Contax G2’s).

Image by Flickr User Nokton

So you’re reading this, there is no doubt you’re already well informed about the Fuji X100. Especially if you have been a regular reader of this blog. I’ve posted so much news, reviews and general information about the Fuji X100. I’ll dispense with in-depth tests, image results, pixel peeping and weighty comparisons. You will have read them elsewhere. I’ll re-post some of the links if I feel I can’t add anything to what has already been published.

As we all know, the excitement started in September 2010 at the Photokina Trade show. When I first saw the X100, I thought it could give back to me a bit of my nostalgia for handling a film camera, while at the same time I also thought, finally this is what many photographers have been asking for; a digital sensor wrapped around the beauty and character of a rangefinder camera.

Image by Flickr User Tingan Bow

It didn’t surprise me that it would be Fuji who were bringing a digital rangefinder to market. Fujifilm were always a little different with their innovations, releasing cameras now and again that were a bit odd; making us sit up and think for a moment. They did it with the GF670 (medium format film camera) and the Fuji W1 (a 3-D camera).

Read the rest of this entry »

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