Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Album 3-June to September 2003

Just 15 images this time, most taken in either NYC or LA. All B&W.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Album 2-March to September 2002

29 images in this album, all B&W. If it's not abundantly clear with all my cameras (save the Polaroid), I like shooting B&W though I can't quite put my finger on why except to say I just like how it looks. I think I just find the images cleaner and simpler.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Album 1-April to June 2002

23 photos total in this album, taken in both color and B&W.

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

Nikon N90S

If I was more technically inclined, I could break down exactly what makes the N90S such an acclaimed camera but frankly, I'm just learning most of the terminology myself and I'd probably sound like a babbling idiot in the process. Here's what I do know: The N90S (which is the same as the N90X) was introduced by Nikon in the mid-'90s as what some have accurately described as an "advanced amateur" SLR or, in the words of my friend and photographer James Chiang, a "pro-sumer" camera. He was actually the one who saw a listing for my camera on Craigslist.com and encouraged me to consider purchasing one since he knew I was in the market for a decent 35mm SLR.

I originally had planned on buying the less expensive, but less powerful Nikon N65 and having handled both that an a N80, I'm glad I spent just a little bit more to get the N90S. Just in heft, you can tell the difference...the N65 is very plastic-y and the N80 less so, but still feels fragile. But more to the point, the N90S just has more flexible features for a photographer who may sometimes want the ease of a point-and-shoot or the micro-control of a manual camera. Like I said, the technical side of the camera's strengths are not my forte, but by all means, if you're interested, you should reach one of these reviews, by Thom Hogan and Ara Anjargolian.

In general, I try to shoot with the Nikon when I can - which mostly means when it's convenient to lug around a big camera rather than a nice, small point-and-shoot like my Yashica. But I figure if I'm going to learn about photography, I have to use a "real" camera that forces me to learn all aspects of what goes into a shot in terms of aperture, depth of field, exposure, shutter speed, etc. And for the most part, I've been able to take some great pictures with the Nikon though I haven't mastered it enough yet to consistently be able to get the best shots for the situations. The N90S makes it easy for you in many ways though - its matrix metering system has been universally lauded as extremely accurate, even under challenging lighting situations. What I really lack though is a flash which is why most of my indoor shots are a little blurry.

I have three lenses - one is a Nikkor AF 85MM 1:1.8 - a nice, fast lens that's ideal for portrait shots - which is what I happen to like to take. The other is a manual Nikkor 28MM which I've shot a little with, but for the most part, haven't used much at all. I also added a Nikon 28-80 1:3.5-4.5 just for some more flexibility but find myself sticking with the 85MM. The fast lens makes a huge difference since this 28-80 has a relatively slow lens by comparison and since I don't use a flash, the more light I can eke out of my lens, the better.

(By the way, apologies for how hodge-podge the photo albums are. I've tried out different kinds of album programs and formats and haven't had the time to standarize something. I'm pretty happy with this java program, JAlbum - simple, clean, efficient though not highly intuitive).