A Change of Gear

Ghost Camera_1Being a non-professional photographer has some advantages. The main one is that I’m free to move to a new camera or system without considering whether the change will affect my business. That gives me quite a bit more freedom to experience different brands of equipment. I can just sell off my gear if it doesn’t work out.

I have been using mirrorless cameras for around five years now. My last DSLR was a Canon 5D which was twice the size and weight of the Olympus Pen that replaced it. Moving to the Pen was a step back in some ways but the new system literally lifted a burden from my shoulders. Several Olympus cameras followed the Pen until I ended up the excellent OM-D E-M5. The freedom from bulk changed my attitude toward photography. It became an enjoyable experience again.

Then Fujifilm came out with the X100. Wow what a camera. Unfortunately the waiting list for the camera was too long and my patience was too short. I eventually ended up with two Fujifilm bodies, the X-E1 and X-T1. They have been my go to cameras for the last few years. Both have served me well and faithfully. The X system cameras and lenses are excellent in every respect.

As satisfied as I am with Fuji, it is time for another change. Today I’m putting all my camera gear up for sale. There is quite a bit of stuff move. Three camera bodies and half a dozen lenses must find new homes.

In some ways this move is recognition that my interests in photography have changed. In the last three or four years, digital black and white images have accounted for about eighty percent of my finished photographs. Along with black and white I’ve developed an interest in manual focus legacy lenses. Both are decidedly not mainstream professional activities. You would be hard pressed to make a living doing that stuff.

My next purchase will be a Sony Alpha 7 camera body and a couple of lens adapters. As much as I value sensor based image stabilization the idea of a small light weight full frame camera is very appealing. It is also a way of hedging my bet on the new system with a small outlay that is easily recoverable. I’m sure that it will take me at least several months to decide whether giving up the Fuji X system was the right choice. I think it’s worth the gamble.


Pueblo Bonito Before Sunset - Chaco Canyon
Pueblo Bonito Before Sunset – Chaco Canyon
We say we are bold and go where none have gone before. Our achievements stand on foundations built by our forbearers. How bold would we be if we built a civilization having magnificent structures without the benefit of the wheel or beasts of burden? We would be very bold indeed. The native peoples of the Americas did just that.

Whenever I visit the ruins in Chaco Canyon I am struck by the sophistication of a culture that could build such structures. They built not only in this place but many places across vast areas of desert and mountains. They knew and traded with the cultures of Central America and to the Pacific coast. Then they disappeared.

At night the star filled New Mexico sky and silence in the canyon can be unnerving for a city dweller.

Pueblo Bonito Detail - Chaco Canyon
Pueblo Bonito Detail – Chaco Canyon


Blessing of the Court - San Fernando Cathedral
Blessing of the Court – San Fernando Cathedral
San Antonio is celebrating fiesta this week. It is a ten day gala held every spring to commemorate the Battles of San Jacinto and the Alamo. Both were Pivotal events in the birth of Texas as a sovereign nation. Both are serious points of pride for many Texans.

One of the highlights of fiesta is the Battle of Flowers parade which takes place this afternoon. It is a huge community party. School children get a day off from studies and many businesses close half the day to allow everyone to join in the fun.

Festivities are capped off each year with the Fiesta Flambeau night parade which is billed as ‘Americas Largest Illuminated Night Parade’. It draws a few hundred thousand spectators downtown each year. Afterwards many thousands will join in more adult activities on the River Walk. It is not unusual to see revelers making their way home in the Sunday morning light.

Viva Fiesta!

Flowers at the Alamo
Flowers at the Alamo