Tuesday 10th of February 2015

For this week I’ve gone with the suggestion to stick with just one processing preset in Capture One – Robert Boyer’s Tri-X +2, which is a grainy, contrasty and ‘vintage’ look that I really like.

Admittedly, it’s a bit… dishonest, perhpas? I mean, the output from the X-E1 is nowhere near as coarse-grained – the picture below shows a 100% crop comparing the normal Tri-X preset (with grain amount and granularity reduced to 10% or so) to the Tri-X +2 preset at its default:

artificial grain comparisonthis is from ‘slow country lane’, below

It’s a bit of a conundrum really: I like the grainy vintage look, but I also feel a little uncomfortable having my photos try to be something they’re not. It’s the same reason I’m sort of on the fence about homage watches; I like the look of the original, but it’s impractical (in the case of shooting actual Tri-X) or impossible (in the case of owning an actual Rolex MilSub), hence on the one hand the appeal of the homage/emulation. On the other hand, I like the idea of something being true to itself (see also: the trend away from skeuomorphic design), of exploring and exploiting and enjoying something’s innate qualities.

And of course all of this is dodging around the fact that the X-E1 natively shoots colour, but I think that’s a somewhat different argument, in that B&W is possibly its own photographic discipline, distinct from colour – it’s entirely about tone and shape and texture, without the opportunity to fall back on colour as a ‘crutch’.

So who knows, perhaps I’ll tire of the grainy aesthetic and move towards a more ‘natural’ look, we shall see. Oh and today Fuji just released a new lens roadmap with a very interesting 35mm f/2 on it – the 35/1.4 I’m using now is fine, but the leaked(?) picture of the 35/2 shows it’s significantly smaller, which certainly appeals to me, so I might be facing another dilemma near the end of the year: whether to keep on with the f/1.4, or sell it and get the f/2 instead. Again, we shall see.

Anyway, enough rambling, here’s this week’s pictures:

dark sky and street lightsdark sky and street lights

dried out climberdried out climber

carpark trees at nightcarpark trees at night

LED stripLED strip

slow country laneslow country lane

church hall and warehousechurch hall and warehouse

kitchen towelskitchen towels