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Thread: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

  1. #1
    Mitch Alland
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    GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Last night I had dinner in a section of Bangkok that has a lot of very informal restaurants serving Thai, Chinese, and Thai-Chinese food, which is the glory of Bangkok. After dinner I walked around the dark streets — the main lighting comes form the restaurants themselves — and shot some pictures with the GRD2 and the GT-1 40mm tele-converter at ISO 1600.

It was the first time that I used the GT-1 converter at night, and I was shooting very "loosely": walking and talking with a friend — for most of the shots I didn't even stop but shot on the move. The exposures of the three shots below are at 1/60, 1/9 and 1/17 sec, respectively:














    Using the 40mm tele-converter for this type of loose street photography, for me, is more difficult than shoot at 28mm or 21mm EFL because I tend to shoot from very close distance — 1.0–2.0m — and always feel that I'm getting too close too fast. Also, it's easier to avoid camera shake at the wider apertures. But the results at 40mm EFL are quite different in terms of perspective and the feeling of space.

    I realize that such pictures are not to everyone's taste but I like them.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Last edited by Mitch Alland; 1st March 2008 at 02:10.

  2. #2
    Michael Rivers
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Mitch, I really enjoy your work! I feel these pictures are more about peoples feelings and emotions more than their surroundings. There is something powerful about the impressionist facial expressions that are a bit dissociated from the background. What I have seen of your 28mm FOV work here has more information on the surroundings, which I enjoy as well, but these pictures seem more concentrated. Thanks for sharing these.

    Michael

  3. #3
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    These are Wonderful....the Movement & Feeling
    Love the EXPRESSIONISTIC edge in their faces
    the elements & emotions chiseled in black,chrome & shades of grey
    We Want More!!

    I was actually going to buy the 21mm today (I'm a wide angle girl)
    but now my point of view is seeing differently........
    Was there any cropping?.......helen

  4. #4
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Thanks for the kind words, Michael and Helen.

    Helen, no cropping: these are full frame shots. I think that you should get both the 21 and 40mm converters.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Mitch -- i *love* those!!! the intimacy of the 40mm works even better at night, i think. there is a sense of intrusion that is palpable.

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Mitch,
    They are all wonderful, but you really connected in the second one.
    -Cindy

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    Mitch -- i *love* those!!! the intimacy of the 40mm works even better at night, i think. there is a sense of intrusion that is palpable.
    I never realized the aspect of Intimacy w/40 mm
    and yet its sooo visibly apparent /and as you say "better at night"
    and the sense of intrusion is pure magic /only a compact small sensor camera could do
    and Where have you been *Cam*......we MISSED you

    and *Mitch* I'm off to get the 40mm first / Thanks to you !
    I tend to be abit obsessive so I want to push the limits in understanding & perspective with the 40
    and then in Spring do the 21
    Cheers to All ! helen

  8. #8
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Quote Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
    ...only a compact small sensor camera could do...
    And framing with the LCD instead of a viewfinder, in my opinion, helps a lot as well to get the looseness and intimacy of style.

    I have to repost the second picture because I re-uploaded to flickr after making a small change and it disappeared above:



    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Mitch, you keep posting glorious shots like these and you're gong to drive me to empty my meagre bank account on a GR-D II and the pair of lenses for it!

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Mitch,
    as always, superb, gritty and dramatic. The contrast, grain and even the movement blur add to that slice-of-night-life look!

  11. #11
    Member kai.e.g.'s Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Great shots, Mitch. Bearing in mind that I've never seen a GRD (or GX100) first hand, let alone the accessory lenses or adapter, I'm curious about the comfort level of carrying the accessory lenses in your trouser pocket as you described elsewhere. I'm trying to relate it to something that I know. For example, I have a couple of fairly small L39 (Leica screwmount) lenses which I know I'm quite comfortable carrying in my trouser pocket, like a Jupiter-12 (35mm; an old Zeiss Biogon copy) and Industar-22 (essentially equivalent to the old collapsible Elmar f3.5/50mm). Do you know if these Ricoh accessories are roughly equivalent to these in size/pocket-ability? This is one question which is driving my choice between GX100 to GRD now.

    I'll be in Venice sometime this month and am hoping that a particularly good camera store I spotted down there last time will have these Ricohs in stock so I can finally at least touch one :-)

  12. #12
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Thanks, Maggie, Lili and Kai. I didn't stop to be able to steady the camera better to get this loose and fluid style, assuming that some camera motion might add to the effect. Also, I knew that Moritama Daido often shoots with the Ricoh GR1/GR21 film cameras by just waving the cameras around rather than framing through the viewfinder.

    Kai, the little conversion tube (HA-1) is very light as is the 21mm converter lens; the 40mm converter lens is a bit more substantial, but still only 3.5cm deep and 6.5cm in diameter at its wide end and less than 4cm at its narrow end. These three items fit easily in my (normal) trouser pocket. I sppose the 40mm lens is the size of an old 35mm/f3.5 leica lens, as I remember it.

    —Mitch//Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Mitch, you are killing me.... I just got my GR-DII about an hour ago and the battery isn't even charged and you've got me thinking about extra lenses.

    Way to go!

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  14. #14
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    John, the beauty of the two-converter solution is that they are not only compact but also inexpensive.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    John, the beauty of the two-converter solution is that they are not only compact but also inexpensive.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Sounds good to me and more business for Popflash.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  16. #16
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Quote Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
    ...We Want More!...
    Well, Helen, here are through more from the same Friday night shoot, also with the GT-1 tele-converter and at ISO 1600:













    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Last edited by Mitch Alland; 2nd March 2008 at 05:28.

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Thanks, Mitch - wow, even the 40mm converter which I knew was the bigger of the two is still significantly smaller than either of the two screwmount lenses I referred to, both of which are the smallest lenses I have. In fact, the dimensions of the 40mm are barely bigger than the old Tewe shoe-mount zooming viewfinder I have, which I don't even notice when in the pocket. I guess it's been hard to get a perspective on just how small this GRD and its accessories truly are without seeing them first hand!

  18. #18
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Well, Helen, here are through more from the same Friday night shoot, also with the GT-1 tele-converter and at ISO 1600:
    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    There Wonderful .... the Pulse, Grit & Groove of the Bangkok Night
    Voyeurism at its BEST
    THANK YOU !!

  19. #19
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Mitch,
    The new shots are terrific. Everything Helen says and more.
    I just had an extended opportunity to use the GRD/GT-1 at a concert at a Pub here in Wichita Falls wide open at f2.4 and ISO 1600.
    Lo light, 1/9sec, but the combo performed flawlessly, the longer reach was just what I needed and added grip area allows one to steady the camera perfectly.
    Right now I am burning all the shots to CD for the band, after that I will choose just a few to post on flickr and here (no I will not post the entire series 200 shots is too much for even me).
    I am completely sold on the GT-1 now. Both the 21 and the 40 are easily carried and I cannot overstate the advantage of keeping the aperture range the same over 21,28 and 40mm efl range.
    Your Bangkok series with this lens inspired me to risk using it rather than my S6000fd and I must thank you

  20. #20
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Mitch , I"m probably going off the deep end with this thought
    but I see abit of Robert Longo in this work .... in the sense of Capturing Pure Movement /Blk&White edge
    (his lithographs:Joanna 1983 work / Larry 1983 work)
    Obviously Longo's work is Staged & Exaggerated so there is no comparison in that sense but
    Stretch the imagination and if you had no background just pure figure greatly enlarged
    In your first series:2nd shot /that punk look of his
    In your second series :3rd shot /melancholy girl alone
    I could also see someone STRONGLY disagreeing but there is an element there
    Cheers! Helen

  21. #21
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    ...I just had an extended opportunity to use the GRD/GT-1 at a concert at a Pub here in Wichita Falls wide open at f2.4 and ISO 1600.
    Lo light, 1/9sec, but the combo performed flawlessly, the longer reach was just what I needed and added grip area allows one to steady the camera perfectly...Your Bangkok series with this lens inspired me to risk using it rather than my S6000fd and I must thank you
    Very gutsy, Lili, particularly at ISO 1600! Thanks for the kind words. I look forward to seeing some of the shots.

    During this short Friday night walk after dinner I shot 34 shots, of which I am likely to print 9-10: I define "keepers" as the shots that I think are good enough to print. That's a very high proportion for me, as my average keeper percentage was anout 2-3 on a roll of 35mm film. I seem to be getting a higher proportion shooting digitally. As I went through the shots I noticed that I had the aperture set at f/4.0 rather than f/2.4. Had I done the latter, as I thought I was shooting, fewer of the pictures would have had motion blur; but that may not necessarily been a good thing for this series of shots. Actually, I wasn't taking the shooting very seriously, just ambling along — maybe that's also helpful if one is trying to achieve a loose shooting style.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  22. #22
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Quote Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
    Mitch , I"m probably going off the deep end with this thought but I see abit of Robert Longo in this work .... in the sense of Capturing Pure Movement /Blk&White edge...
    Interesting, Helen. I looked up Longo's work on the net and can grasp what you mean. But it certainly was not an influence, as I never heard of him before.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Last edited by Mitch Alland; 2nd March 2008 at 09:19.

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Oh No, I didn't think you acted under his influence
    Your shots stirred me to reminisce his work......All the Best ! Helen

    and Lili please Post the Pub Pictures
    iso 1600 / night life / will be my next Creative Challenge......thanks to you & Mitch
    Last edited by helenhill; 2nd March 2008 at 09:39.

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    I definitely see similarities in Longo's and Mitch's work. A shared love of movement and high contrast, along with a telling sense of grit and geometry. Knowing that Mitch often prints his work large, I would think that these shared concerns would be amplified even more in a gallery.

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Oops - correction; I was using a scaled ruler for drawing architectural designs and read off the wrong scale when I wrote above. Your measurements show that the 40mm is quite a bit bigger than my Jupiter 35mm lens at the wide end, but not much bigger at the narrower end. I thought it might have been too good to be true! Luckily, I live in a colder climate (=jacket) and prefer baggy trousers (=more pocket space without looking too silly). I think Lili's point about being able to keep f/2.4 at all 3 focal lengths is a really important one, though.

    I can't wait to have one of these cameras so that I can contribute more to this forum than questions! In the meantime, here's a night shot taken with my Nikon Coolpix 950 back in 2001 - buskers in Riga, Latvia. Exif says ISO 320, 1 second exposure, which leads me to suspect that ISO 320 is as high as this camera went. Small-sensored cameras have certainly come a long way in 6 years or so....


  26. #26
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post

    I love this shot. You're making me really want to try a GR2 setup like this and see if it "fits" me. You certainly make it sing...

  27. #27
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    I thought that I might post three more pictures from the same shoot with the GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 — but don't worry after this there are probably only three more, for a total of 12 out of the 34 shot.

    Looking at all these pictures I find it interesting to see the various effects that one get from shooting at ISO 1600 with the GDR2, with varying degrees of grain depending on the light and the contrast applied as well as the degree to which one sharpens. Conflating this with varying extent of blur from camera shake makes it interesting to see whether and how mood or emotion emerges even when there virtually is no sharpness — on the basis of relatively little precise visual information in the usual sense. I sort of like the last picture, in which the young woman's eyes have become like those of a mask.














    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    I thought that I might post three more pictures from the same shoot with the GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 — but don't worry after this there are probably only three more, for a total of 12 out of the 34 shot.

    Very good percentage, Mitch!

    Looking at all these pictures I find it interesting to see the various effects that one get from shooting at ISO 1600 with the GDR2, with varying degrees of grain depending on the light and the contrast applied as well as the degree to which one sharpens. Conflating this with varying extent of blur from camera shake makes it interesting to see whether and how mood or emotion emerges even when there virtually is no sharpness — on the basis of relatively little precise visual information in the usual sense. I sort of like the last picture, in which the young woman's eyes have become like those of a mask.

    Agreed, it gives a sense of vitality, of activity as opposed to static, as I shoot more I realize it is less about putative technical 'perfection' and more about evocation in the image. Your work here emulates that concept precisely.

    Bravo, Mitch

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Shot 3 is SUPERB
    She's Beautiful /Doll Like / A blk & white fast foward urban Fairytale clip
    I feel as though i'm spinning on a Carousel looking at this photo
    & Yes as Lili said its fascinating the degrees of Grain, Sharpness, & Blur @1600 in varying light
    All the Best- helen
    Last edited by helenhill; 3rd March 2008 at 06:17.

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Incredible stuff, Mitch!

    I do like a lot of your other work but this series has so many that have such immediate emotional impact that I'm just blown away! (And that before breakfast in Montana!)

    Thanks so very much. Really moving pictures. You're sketching with the broad side of the charcoal here....

    Irenaeus

  31. #31
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Thank you, Iranaeus: sucj appreciation really makes it rewarding to post these pictures. Here are the final three from this series shot on Friday night with the GRD2 and the 40mm tele-converter:














    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    I love the 1st of the last 3 you posted .... using the chaotic background to accent the people in the foreground .. really draws me into this scene ,all that movement really brings this shot to life ,I can almost here the noise .. seems if you capture the right balance of highlights and shadows the grain looks great .... I notice that mid tones get sort of blotchy in certain types of lighting ..... like the arm and face man in the second photo wearing the ice tea apron ...

  33. #33
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Thanks, Charley. I also like the chaotic background in the first of the last three, but this type of picture obviously cannot be seen beforehand: you press the shutter and if the muse is with you it works. As for the second picture in the last set — BTW it's a woman in the tea apron — it was difficult to avoid blotchiness in the face but the arm is quite fixable, as it's a part of the burning in the corners of this picture, a vignette that I threw in.

    Here is the final picture in this series. I welcome comments and critiques: for example, should some of these be thrown out?





    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    I'm far from an expert, and I don't play one on tv (nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night), but I'm still enamored with the one I quoted above, especially the look/energy of the woman on the right. I' wonder about a crop on her with the car and sign light in the upper right.

    In the last set of three, the middle one bugs me somewhat, in part because the sign is so clear and the woman is so noisy. That may be the effect you were going for but I find it jarring and it takes me out of the scene. Other than that I love these shots as they really catch the feel of the street of a large Asian city at night. I've never been to Bangkok, but Beijing, Hong Kong, and especially Shanghai totally amaze me. Your work has really inspired me. Thanks for posting it.

  35. #35
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Thanks for the comments, nostatic. On the picture you like, do you mean to crop out the woman on the left or the sign and car on right. My feeling is not to crop at all because the woman on the left is important in terms of composition because of the white blouse — these are university students in uniform — and in terms of meaning as well; the sign on the right opens up the space which for my tasre would be too closed in without it.

    In the last set of three, I find the middle one problematic as well: the trouble is that this type of lighting at night is very high contrast, so that while the exposure was fine for the sign the woman in the tea apron on the right was heavily underexposed — you win some and you lose some.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Hi Mitch, I was actually referring to cropping out the woman on the left and keeping everything from the edge of her to the right edge of the frame (essentially slicing the image in half), but I think you are correct that you need the balance/counterpoint that the pair provides. I often get "good ideas" that really don't work when I try them . Such is the life of experiment. And I totally agree that the sign on the upper right really is critical to the shot, as is the backlit storefront gates behind the woman on the right.

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    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    The free style and flow of these images are just fantastic .... I wondered wether or not you new the possible effect before hand ..... It seems the Muse is often on your shoulder .... Do you think in time you would start to have an idea as to what to expect shooting in this style at a high ISO ?Do you think it is something you like enough to continue doing ?
    Charley

  38. #38
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Charley,

    The Muse, she is fickle — so that the best you can do is to go for the composition that you can see; and I mean looking directly at the subject while using the LCD to establish the edges of the frame and hope that the Muse will throw you a crumb from time to time. In my case I feel that shooting this way encourages a much looser and fluid approach than using a viewfinder. I think that even with a lot of experience it's difficult to predict the results of camera or subject motion — but all this is of course easier with digital than we film because of the shortness of the feedback loop in terms of having the possibility to review the shot on the LCD. But, actually, I wasn't reviewing the shots at all — I never do — because it would have interrupted the flow of walking down the street, reacting to what I saw and shooting. I will certainly continue doing this type of shooting, but not exclusively of course.

    An additional thought: an important part of shooting in this loose style is to be in the mood to do so: if you don't feel "it" and don't feel that you have to react to what you see, then you don't see anything and might as well leave the camera in its case — that's how I feel anyway. And don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that you have to see wonderful and "happy" things — I tend to have a dark vision — you just have to see.

    Finally, this type of photography is not that widely appreciated — on my flickr site these pictures certainly get fewer views than those of pretty women or nudes — but I'm gratified that some people on this forum like them. Thank you.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Last edited by Mitch Alland; 4th March 2008 at 02:08.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    Your photos take me to a world that I am unlikely to ever see with my own eyes. My favorite from the most recent is the lone woman seated in what looks like an outdoor cafe. And, while the Flikr audience may visit the more obvious pretty/nude women photos, they're missing out on the beautiful women that can be found in many of yours. Nice work.

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    Re: GRD2/GT-1 at ISO 1600 at night

    The Muse, she is fickle — so that the best you can do is to go for the composition that you can see; and I mean looking directly at the subject while using the LCD to establish the edges of the frame and hope that the Muse will throw you a crumb from time to time. In my case I feel that shooting this way encourages a much looser and fluid approach than using a viewfinder. I think that even with a lot of experience it's difficult to predict the results of camera or subject motion — but all this is of course easier with digital than we film because of the shortness of the feedback loop in terms of having the possibility to review the shot on the LCD. But, actually, I wasn't reviewing the shots at all — I never do — because it would have interrupted the flow of walking down the street, reacting to what I saw and shooting. I will certainly continue doing this type of shooting, but not exclusively of course.

    Mitch, I have learned a great deal about this new palette from you, my style is not your style, but your method of working with the LCD has been integrated into mine, thank you for leading by example

    An additional thought: an important part of shooting in this loose style is to be in the mood to do so: if you don't feel "it" and don't feel that you have to react to what you see, then you don't see anything and might as well leave the camera in its case — that's how I feel anyway. And don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that you have to see wonderful and "happy" things — I tend to have a dark vision — you just have to see.

    Exactly so, while this is true for all art styles, it is expecially so for this one

    Finally, this type of photography is not that widely appreciated — on my flickr site these pictures certainly get fewer views than those of pretty women or nudes — but I'm gratified that some people on this forum like them. Thank you.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/[/QUOTE]

    I very much keep track of your work, don't let the view counts get you down

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