The Great American Road Trip

A couple of months ago, one of my long-time friends contacted me asking about my plans in early June. It turns out that another long-time friend was moving from San Diego all the way to North Carolina, and an entire group of my close friends were going to caravan his two cars across the country on an epic road trip.

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Why the Yashica Y35 Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think It Is

Before I launch into why the nearly unanimous (in my circles, anyway) criticism of the recently announced Yashica Y35 is jumping the gun a bit, let me make one thing clear: I’m not a customer of this product. The current technology doesn’t appeal to me, the materials don’t appeal to me and I’m not in the market to invest in a new digital camera. But all that aside, I can still look beyond the frustrated masses and see why the Yashica Y35 is a more significant announcement than it’s getting credit for.

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Meeting Jack Kerouac in San Francisco

Observant readers of this blog post will quickly point out that Jack Kerouac died in 1969. Fair point, but in my recent travels I did come across Jack Kerouac Alley and, curiously enough, a poet for hire. I watched a few people pass by him, and just before he was about to get up to take a break over a cold beer in the bar next door, my curiosity made me wander over.

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Review: Momento

A lifetime of work from photographer George Zimbel is presented beautifully in this fantastic photo book. If you haven't heard of Zimbel, you owe it to yourself to look into this book - It'll surely win you over with its charm and fantastic editing.

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The Cure for GAS

Gear Acquisition Syndrome, otherwise known as GAS, is a real problem, but it doesn't have to be! In this video, I talk about a simple way to fight back at GAS, and maybe scratch that gear acquisition itch without breaking the bank. 

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Review: Ona Leather Bowery

The Ona Leather Bowery is one of the best-built bags that I’ve handled to date. The full grain leather feels fantastic and the brass hardware feels like it could last a lifetime of usage. The great thing about genuine leather accessories like this bag is that as time goes on, they’ll naturally wear in with age and look and feel even better.

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Review: Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 R

At first glance, the 23mm f/1.4 looks like an enormous beast of a lens compared to what was (at the time of it’s release) the smaller 18mm f/2 and 35mm f/1.4 lenses. The main reason for the bulk of this lens, aside from it’s fast 1.4 aperture, was the manual focus clutch mechanism. Pulling back on this lens revealed a manual focus design with hard stops and a depth of field scale. This feature is only shared with it’s 14mm f/2.8 and 16mm f/1.4 prime brothers. I take a look at this and other features of the 23mm f/1.4 in this video.

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The Leica M9 is Good, But Not Great

I think it was probably New York City that changed it all for me.  I’ve known of Leica and I’ve known of the rangefinder style of camera in general, but it never had the allure to me that it did for other photographers that I knew. Then I went to New York City for a weekend last September to attend NYCWLK. Amongst the Pentax, Hasselblad and myriad other cameras were a few Leicas, both film and digital. Free from the confines of having to spend $3,000+ to hold one, I tested some out. I adjusted the focus, and the moment the rangefinder patch came together was the same moment it clicked for me as well.

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Get Your Photographic House in Order

It’s the start of a new year and for a lot of photographers that means resolutions. Some will start 365 projects, some will endeavor to shoot more film, some will want to create a photo book this year or strive to print more. It makes sense to want to jump head first into 2017 and produce brilliant work, but before you take that plunge, allow me to be the voice of reason that you need to hear.

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REVIEW: Fuji XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS Lens

If someone were to mention Fuji X-series zoom lenses, you wouldn’t be wrong to automatically start thinking at the longer range of focal lengths. Their XF 50-140mm and XF 100-400mm are some of the sharpest and most versatile mirrorless zooms around and they're very popular lenses in the Fuji lineup. The XC 50-230mm and XF 55-200mm also pack quite the punch. But at the completely different end of the spectrum, Fuji also focused some of their design prowess on creating a wide angle zoom to cover everything from landscapes to architecture to street photography. So how does this wide angle zoom, the XF 10-24mm f/4 OIS, hold up in usage?

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Where the Wild Things Were

A short time ago, I made a switch to this website - not just in the look and design of it, but also to the content. As I’ve progressed further into this journey called photography, I’m slowly starting to see the types of photographs in my personal library that catch my interest more than others.

To that end, you may have noticed (or not) that there is no longer a section on the site dedicated to Wildlife. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve stopped shooting wildlife altogether, it just means that I’m whittling down what I choose to “exhibit” (if you will) what I find to be more interesting and more attainable on a daily basis. In short, street photography and travel photography is what I’ve noticed I focus more on. Perhaps it’s the fact that urban environments and street situations are easier for me to come by, thus making street photography an easier pursuit. Or perhaps it’s that I connect more with photographs of people in them.

Either way, I simply noticed that the situations that would allow me to build up a library of wildlife images were few and far between. I don’t take safari trips, and I don’t visit isolated areas with telephoto lenses and camp out under the stars (although it sounds pretty nice). I truly think wildlife photography is amazing and if I find myself in a situation to capture it I’ll definitely bring the X-T2 out to play, but it’s easy for me to see that most of my time is spent in and around cities. In order to continue working towards a personal style, I think it’s important sometimes to hone in on what appeals to you the most in your creative outlets.

In truth, the only wildlife that I’ve seen recently have been humans going about their daily lives and engaging in animal behavior that is wild enough as it is. So for now, the Wildlife section may be gone, but I’ll still probably post a few images from time to time if I find myself in the right place at the right time to capture them. 

In the meantime, here’s a few of my old favorites to end with...



48 Hours in NYC

The title of this post is a little misleading, because it may have actually been even closer to only 36 hours in New York City. A few weeks ago I made the quick weekend trip to meet up with some amazing photographers for NYCWLK 2.0, which has become an annual gathering courtesy of the founder: Johnny Patience.



I got into La Guardia in the early afternoon of Saturday, September 10th, and only had a few minutes to clean up at my hotel in Brooklyn before heading out to meet up with the rest of the group. The nice thing about this event was that I finally had the chance to meet so many photographers who I had only known through Twitter. It was great getting to put a face to the Twitter handle and I just loved that there were no egos in the entire group. It was truly a meeting of photographers at various skill levels swapping stories and sharing experiences in a relaxed, fun environment. That's definitely the way all walks should begin, in my opinion.

NYCWLK officially took us on a two hour tour through some of Brooklyn and I was so inspired to finally be shooting at these locations. It was a very warm day and there were a lot of people enjoying the sunshine - I often times found myself looking out across the river and closing my eyes to let the breeze and the sounds from the surrounding piers take over my senses. This walk was a fantastic way to start my first trip back to New York since I was a very small child. I just loved shooting there!




On Sunday, September 11 I found myself heading into Manhattan on the (somewhat confusing) NYC subway. It was only a five minute ride in, and despite being advised to avoid Manhattan because of the crowds on that particular day, I just had to see it for myself.

Immediately upon exiting the subway a couple carrying groceries and yelling at each other in what sounded like Russian shot past me. I stood back and let the rest of the crowd stream past me as I got my bearings. There was so much activity near the World Trade Center and so much security to protect the families at the memorial service.

The streaming crowds of people never seemed to subside. I loved it. And I loved the light. Avoid the crowds? Are you kidding? I jumped in and joined them!

One of the highlights from this particular six hour excursion into Manhattan is that on this particular day, September 11, the skylight in the Oculus is opened to let the sun stream in. The skylight is closed every other day of the year. I made sure to stand in the spot where the sun was shining in before I left. I also had some great conversations with a few NYC police officers who were working security for the memorial service, and also ran into a few people who were obviously dressed to the nines for the start of Fashion Week in NYC. 



I did end up visiting the 9/11 Memorial myself later in the afternoon before I left, but I'll save those images for a special blog post later on. It was moving, and emotional, and overwhelming all at once. Those images will get their own separate presentation on this site soon.

It was a quick trip, but I made a lot of new friends and saw a lot of amazing sights. I can't wait to go back to NYC, and I'll definitely be there for NYCWLK 3.0!