I started this blog, and chose black and white photography as its niche, because after thirty years or so of on again and off again "hobbying" I knew a lot about it. I envisioned posts on both analog and digital aspects, of interviews with photographers I admired, of how-to articles and why-to essays, of equipment and supply reviews, of uniting millions of photographers to march on their capitals and demand the end of color pixels, and of course, of making more money than I could spend. Ya gotta' dream big. Well, I did most of it, falling short only on the last two goals. And I often enjoyed it. But as time went on I had less to say, and less to ask others. And the constant parade of equipment reviews (more appearing on Serious Compacts than here) grew a tedious. Of yeah, it is fun to play with a new camera for thirty days. But then you have to write a review. And then you have to send it back because you can't buy them all.
I grew tired of equipment reviews in general. Always something new and better and always a crowd wanting that. I just wanted to settle down and use the same camera for a while. And then I went off on a film phase for a couple of months. And now I'm back trying to take at least one picture each day I'm not ashamed to share with the world. I'm not sure how long this will last.
But here is what I've done lately. I have shipped my Oly E-620 and lenses to B&H Photo to sell to the used department. With the new APS-C sized sensor Ricoh GR coming out any day, the price of the GRD IV (which I reviewed when it came out) dropped to $400, and I planned to buy one. Unfortunately I waited a few hours too long and they were all gone. I tried to order it from Adorama, which still had them listed, but after placing the order I received an email that the GRD IV was "back-ordered." I then found a used GRD III at B&H (same sensor as the GRD IV but no image stabilization and lacking the super-fast hybrid auto-focus of the latter) and it is now ordered. If there was one thing I didn't miss during my months off from digital photography, it was the constant barrage of new and improved cameras tempting my wallet.
I wanted a small, pocketable camera. I love by Fujifilm X10 (which is now going to be my "big" camera), and considered the XF1 since it has the same sensor. But I've wanted a Ricoh ever since reading Wouter Bransma's comment on small sensor cameras:
"But the most important reason for me is the way they can draw. For me they create instant sketches. It is something I like, I prefer."
I think that serious cameras with small sensors is an increasingly endangered species as the manufacturers squeeze increasingly large sensors into bodies of decreasing size. And the masses lap them up, hungry for the noise-free pictures. I have always found the pictures from the Ricohs to look a lot more like my pictures from 35mm film than the output of other digi-cams. And I am not bothered by noise - at least not the noise from the GRDs. I am interested in doing sketches, not murals.
So there you have it. I don't really have anything to say about black and white photography at this point except that if you want information on analog photography, check out www.apug.org; if you want to master digital black and white photography get the Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in and play with it; and if you want to see what I'm doing photographically, check out (and subscribe) to my new blog. You will find a simple and streamlined presentation where I am not, at least for now, trying to sell anything. It will mostly be pictures, with a few words from time to time.
Thank you everyone who has taken time to visit and comment and encourage me! And yes, this site stays up and I may even pop in and post something new every now and then - which is pretty much all I've been doing for a while now anyhow.