Aug 262011

Esteemed Dutch photographer Wouter Brandsma, a guy who talks a lot of good sense about photography and is the perfect antidote to all the gearheads who seem to gravitate to forums such as DPReview, described himself in his latest blog entry as a stroll photographer.

Wouter explained the use of the term as follows:

I know it doesn’t sound so sexy as street photographer or the even cooler streettog.  I don’t give workshops and don’t use a flash to scare the neighborhood. I have hardly anytime to pay visit to a larger city and practice street photography, but what I can do a lot more is stroll my (mostly empty) streets of my hometown. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like street photography, but it does mean I am proud of being a stroll photographer.

That description struck a chord with me because it sums up my approach to photography. I like to stroll with camera in hand and like Wouter am proud to be a stroll photographer.

Last night was a case in point. I needed to go to Walgreens to buy a card for a friend who is recovering from an emergency operation. She was only given a 50/50 chance of pulling through and thankfully made it. I decided to walk. It was early evening and I reckoned the short walk would be a comfortable stroll. I was wrong. By the time I returned home my shirt was soaked with sweat. Still, it could have been worse. On Monday, Jacksonville was predicted to receive a visit from Hurricane Irene. Irene must have heard that Jacksonville is a bit of a dump and headed to the bright lights of New England. Commiserations to all those who have had to endure, or are going to experience, the wrath of Irene.

Naturally, I set out armed with the Ricoh GRD III. The case straps on my belt and it is the perfect camera for a stroll.

I happened to notice raindrops from an earlier shower on a stand of elephant ears (Colocasia). I fired off a couple of shots.

Processing the shot, I came up with three alternatives — colour; black & white; and a hybrid formed by choosing Overlay in the Silver Efex Pro layer in Photoshop.

Ricoh GRD III. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.


Ricoh GRD III. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.


Ricoh GRD III. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

The third shot used Overlay on the Silver Efex Pro layer with opacity set at 60 per cent.

Once again, faced by three different versions of the same shot it is hard to settle on my favourite. Does the hybrid shot work?

Please feel free to comment on which of the three versions works best.

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  One Response to “Ricoh GRD III makes the perfect tool for ‘stroll photography’”

  1. Here represented is a long and slow learning-curve from the CXI to, recently, the GRDIII, entirely attributable to the seasoned generosity of Tom Caldwell’s Ricoh Forum postings. Your’s is a provocative question–especially in regard of recently press-reported neuro-optical research, e.g. color capacity perception difference between the genders (women’s vision being more neurologically acute than that of the male).

    My response to your challenging question:
    In color #1, upon quietly focused perception, I realize that the vivacious color, immediately and persistently, tends to dominate perception of the subject–an almost instantaneous feeling-based appreciation, a purely aesthetic pleasure.
    In b/w, 2nd photo, the values reverse themselves, that is–the “subject” of the leaf and the droplets initially provoke objective examination that triggers thoughtfulness, the consequence of which, finally, is that the your “vision” takes on a mythic quality–the kind of image one could want to “live with”, to deeply appreciate. Why? I want to think that, in a universal way, a deep psychic level is stimulated.
    In the treated color, 3rd, both the mystery and the shimmering color are removed. The statement is instantly comprehended. Arresting and aesthetically pleasing. The result, however, can be filed away or included within a botany text book.

    So, Mr. Palmer, thank you for the challenge, and the self-examination it provoked!

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