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The Cronbi Daybooks, Weekend of 8th/9th October

These daybook entries were supposed to be little extras, fillers, not adjacent and consecutive posts.  It’s make or break time for this blog.  I think I need to up the post rate to at least three a week if I want readership to grow. My prime source of traffic at the moment? Google searches for Thomas Struth, about whom I wrote one exhibition review a while back.  Fact.

Last week, photographically, was punctuated by a lot of camera gear wheeling and dealing. I’m trying to offload a lot of underused digital gear, I sold a couple of cameras (including the R-D1 I wrote so lovingly about upon purchase not so long ago), but also ended up taking delivery of a second-hand X100.  This camera deserves all the attention it has been getting, and suddenly the large body of successful street photography I see online taken with the Fuji makes sense.  It’s the viewfinder, stupid. No other digital camera I know, not even the M8, inspires one to bring the camera to one’s eye as often or as readily as the little X100. It’s not just the viewfinder that inspires this, to be fair – it also has a lot to do with the discrete nature of the small form factor, and the near silence of the shutter actuation.  In the first wander I took with the camera, I took many shots with the camera to my eye that I would have only attempted as hip shots with other cameras. This inevitably leads to better photographs.

I also took delivery of a better 12″x12″ lightbox that should do the job when it comes to producing those digital contact sheets I wrote of, and Johnny Stiletto’s ‘Vintage 80s’ that looks to be a cracking little book of street photography.

The 500px gallery uploads are continuing well.  This week I have seen two shots break the 70 barrier, which is very satisfying. One of these was actually a shot that only exists thanks to Photoshop’s stitching abilities. I took two frames of a scene, one of which had the subjects’ feet chopped off, the other of which was missing a vital compositional element missing at the top of the frame.  One automated action later and I had a shot that works twice as well as either of the individual shots.  Cheating? Can there ever be a place for merging frames in street photography?  Discuss.

Rayxar 50mm f0.75

Read it and weep, Noctilux owners: F zero point seven five.

The weekend was largely ruined by the rugby, and any free time eroded by chores and errands. I stole a couple of hours on Sunday to put together a little equipment experiment I’ve been thinking about for a while. Ingredients: E-P2, micro four-thirds body cap, Rayxar 50mm f0.75 lens. Tools: drill, flat drill bit, semi-curved and circular files, electrician’s tape. Result: one awesome looking combo, but with limited utility. Fixed focus and fixed aperture means this is never going to be a walk-around combo.  I think it could be interesting for wannabe cinematographers invested in the MFT system, though. At the moment that focus is about 0.5m, but if I can modify the mount to move the lens closer and move the focus point out to, say, 2m, if might be a goer.

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