Photo Essay #4: An afternoon at the National Gallery

My wife and I have been members of the National Gallery of Canada for several years now. We don’t go as often as we would like, but when we do take the time to visit, we never regret it. It’s always a pleasant way to while away a few hours on a weekend and recharge the soul, so to speak.

Today was no different, and I thought it was a good opportunity to bring my new toy with me and put it through its paces. Despite the similarities the new Fujifilm X100F has with its predecessor’s predecessor, the X100S, it’s a very different and more powerful beast and I have some learning and acclimatizing to do.

When shooting in a white room like this, I noticed the X100F has a tendency to underexpose a little (as would all digital cameras), and I forgot to compensate for that. Nonetheless, I was able to push the out-of-camera JPG 1 1/3 stops with no adverse effects. The red and blue (take my word for it) Voice of Fire stands out nicely using Fuji’s new Acros B&W film simulation.

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1/5: I could do that.1/5: I could do that.

1/5: I could do that.

In between some of the gallery spaces, there are these interesting little portholes that open into these shiny metal-sheathed light shafts cut vertically through the building. You never know what you’ll see in these things.

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2/5: I see a ghost.2/5: I see a ghost.

2/5: I see a ghost.

In the permanent collection area, some of the spaces are so big, so open and so quiet they just lend themselves to introspection and contemplation. Anything louder than the leaf shutter on my camera would certainly disturb the peace.

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3/5: Shhh....3/5: Shhh....

3/5: Shhh….

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4/5: .... be vewy, vewy quiet.4/5: .... be vewy, vewy quiet.

4/5: …. be vewy, vewy quiet.

The entrances and public areas to the Gallery are grand and bathed in light. More interestingly (for me, anyhow), they are also prone to some fabulous shadows on sunny days like today.

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5/5: I've done what she's doing.5/5: I've done what she's doing.

5/5: I’ve done what she’s doing.

Photo Essay #3: Scenes from a parking lot

Ottawa has a lot going for it, but one area that is sorely lacking is visual charm downtown. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a national capital in any first-world country with such an incoherent, inconsistent, charmless and otherwise ugly collection of buildings in its downtown core.

All of these images were taken from the rooftop of a downtown parking garage.

The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

Not long ago, I lamented that my trusty, well loved X100S met its fate as I tumbled on the ice whilst skating the Rideau Canal.

Yesterday, its replacement–the brand-spanking-new X100F–came into my posession. Many pixels have been lit up (nobody spills ink anymore) previewing and reviewing this camera, so I won’t bother here.

Suffice it to say, I think I’m really going to like this one. As they’d say in Boston, it has wicked fast autofocus (at least compared to the X100S) and the Acros B&W film simulation is really something special.

I haven’t had the time to do much with it yet, between work and life and other things getting in the way, but I thought I would share a quick portrait of my buddy Adiy that I snapped at the office this afternoon. Apart from the 4×5 crop, this is entirely SOOC.

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X100F, f/2.0, 1/125, ISO 1250, Acros.X100F, f/2.0, 1/125, ISO 1250, Acros.

X100F, f/2.0, 1/125, ISO 1250, Acros.

I think this camera has soul.

Practice makes perfect

Everything worth doing in life requires practice.

Malcolm Gladwell talked about the 10,000 hours of practice required to truly master any skill.

The good news is you can get pretty decent at stuff in way less time than that. 

But that’s just another example of the Pareto Principle (a.k.a. the 80/20 rule) in action. The last 20% of skill mastery will take 80% of your time & effort.

An argument for loving what you do, if I ever heard one.

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