Chicken Coops: Monaco

Monaco seen from the Presidential Palace. Fujifilm X30

This look across the harbor to the city climbing up the hill really struck me. The density of building is shocking. From that view, it’s hard to image that there are even roadways or sidewalks between the buildings.

I was reminded of an afternoon at Jon’s Fish Market at the Dana Point, CA harbor. I’d walked down there and ordered fish and chips. The place was busy and an older woman asked if she could share my outdoor table. We talked and when I asked her where she lived, she point inland towards San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Niguel and said “in a chicken coop up there.” The image hasn’t left me of the condos climbing up the hills; as chicken coops.

I had the Fuji X30, a travel zoom camera with a 12 mega-pixel 2/3” sensor. Based on the specs you’d never expect it render a scene this well. It has an outstanding zoom lens that helps that rendering.

Next time you find an arugument about sensor resolution remember this image. State of the art is 24 mega-pixels APSc or larger sensing. 2/3” 12 mega-pixel in a travel zoom. Not so bad.

Valet Parking

X100F w/TCL-X100II 50mm convertor f2 1/40 ISO 400

This couple waiting for the valet to bring their car back caught my eye from 1/2 block away. I was worried that I’d miss the shot, so I rushed to get in position. At the same time I didn’t want to spook them from the revery. I walked quickly preping the X100F on the move. A group passed in front of the couple as I reached the my spot. As soon as the group passed; you see the result.

The woman holding a smart phone would normally be off limits for an image. People holding phones are doing just that; and it isn’t interesting to observe. Perhaps if occasionally you’d see someone holding a fish it would be interesting, but only until everyone was holding a fish. It’s like that with phones. Everyone is holding one so it’s challenging to find an interesting image. You need more. In this case the man is clearly engaged and maybe even a little impatient grasping his watch. His expression, clearly a bit pained, is a pain I’ve felt too.

I’ve been devoted to the X100F for a couple of months now. Devoted means that I always wear a camera and X100F camera only. It changes you to do that. At first it’s a self conscious act. Having a camera all the time; a real camera that looks like a camera. I walk to the train, into work, at lunch, everyplace. It sits on my desk at work. Surprisingly people take no particular notice. I friends and family know that I might have a camera along at any moment anyway. Often people strike up conversations about the camera. The X100F is an opening to that; it looks old school and analog unless you are hip to the Fuji camera line.

Lately X100F has had the TCL-X100II 50mm convertor mounted. That 50mm (full frame) FOV is something I’ve always liked but haven’t used it much in the last few years. I’m finding it a nice prospective again.

This photo taken at a shutter speed of 1/40 is starting to fly in the face of the “rule” for shutter speed. That rule shutter speed = 1/focal length in full frame terms would lead me to worry since the lens is a 50. That would be a 1/50 shutter speed for blur free imaging. I broke that rule, but only slightly. I am find that the X100 does handhold quite well. Without the TCL convertor on I regularly see 1/20 sec shutter speed images that look surprisingly blurr-free. But as we know:

Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.

Just take the image. If it comes out a blurry or out of focus so what? It might still work. It might even work better a little out of focus. Just take the image.