All posts filed under “Film & Photography

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New Year Photography Goals

It’s taken me a while to realize that I need to change a few things concerning my approach to photography. First of all, I’ve decided that I will be going back to the Canon system for good. I love my Fuji X-T2, I really do, but the ergonomics are simply not there for me. I’ve found myself reaching for my T2i more often than not because it’s so much more comfortable to hold in my hands. I’ll be getting a new Canon camera hopefully sometime this year, cross fingers and toes!

With that said, here are the things I’m going to change this year:

  1. Keep my “big cameras” out in the open, within easy reach. I’ll have to find a dedicated spot on my desk for my X-T2 (and its replacement), and then another spot on either the kitchen counter or book shelf for my T2i. I no longer see a point in keeping them cooped up in a dark cupboard.
  2. Invest in good glass. I’m considering the 24-70mm F2.8 for my first RF L series collection.
  3. Find good lighting spots in our house. Observe how those spots change throughout the morning, day, and evening.
  4. Tell a story/Capture moments every week. Basically, pick up the cameras on a regular basis. No stress, no pressure. If I’m stressed, I’ll simply use my iPhone, or not take photos at all.
  5. Edit photos monthly, only keep the best. Stay organized!
  6. Be more active on Instagram. I’ll be using my onacliffbythesea account.
  7. Compile the best 2021 photos to create a printed family album in early 2022.

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Dear Dragonfly

Yesterday morning as I was standing by to wave Miyu off on her way to school, I noticed a dragonfly resting on a tree right outside of our door. I was just looking around and enjoying the quiet when I suddenly noticed its presence. Miyu’s group started to leave and I waved at her. There was a huge wasp that flew around that tree so I quickly went in and went about my day, but I was still happy to see the dragonfly. It’s not often I see one just hanging from a tree branch. They’re usually wizzing by carrying about their little lives. Aside from butterflies, I think they’re the only winged insects that I actually like.

Since I had a holiday off, Miyu came straight home from school and as it happened, Ken was not feeling well and stayed home. I told Miyu about the dragonfly so of course she was excited and had to see for herself. I read some folklore and mythology surrounding the dragonfly and told her that they used to be dragons, so they’re kind of like dragon spirits, or just spirits in general. I like to think of them as guardian spirits/fairies. To me their wings are so incredibly beautiful. I think that’s why I like to think of them as fairies—because of the pattern of their wings.

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Camera Updates

Recently, I bought the following items:

  1. Scarf Neck Strap
    I’m really liking the neck strap since it’s comfortable. The only con was that it was a bit long. In fact, it’s so long, that I can now sling my camera as if it were a shoulder purse, with the body dangling right above my hip. I’ll still use it though.
  2. Peak Design wrist strap/cuff + Anchor links
    I really like the wrist strap because it gives me more freedom than the neck strap. It also gives me peace of mind that I won’t drop the camera. The cool thing about the Peak Design is that I can quickly interchange the straps I use without having to fumble with the grommets.
  3. Camera body grip (JJC)
    I have mixed feelings about this item. It kind of makes it more comfortable but at the same time makes the camera body considerably more heavy. And, there’s a sharp edge where it hits my palm and I’m not liking the feeling. Heavy and sharp metal? Ugh, I don’t know. I’ll probably try it out but knowing myself, I’ll most likely take it off. Luckily I opted for a cheaper alternative. The grip by Fuji was more expensive.
  4. Shutter buttons (not pictured)
    I got these because I liked the concave design. Basically my finger will just naturally fall into the little dip since my older one was a convex design and I did find my finger slipping off once in a while.
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Patiently Waiting for Fall

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I made the mistake of answering the door earlier as I was doing the laundry. Our window was open so whoever was out there knew someone was home so I felt bad for not answering. Anyway, I shouldn’t have felt bad because it turned out to be Jehovah’s Witnesses recruiters. FML. I had thought I could simply turn them away by stating that I don’t speak Japanese but just my luck…they spoke English. That’s actually typical of religious recruiters though. Sigh.

The only good thing that came out of that interaction? The younger lady of the two, upon noticing Miyu quietly appearing at my side, immediately said “Oh! She’s so cute! She looks just like you!” My next door neighbor always says that Miyu is essentially a replica of her father. Without fail. So take that neighbor!

On another note, I feel so incredibly relieved to have finally settled my blog. It’s like I was away from my digital “home” for so long, and after so many years, I finally made my way back. I had forgotten how cozy and cathartic it is to defragment my thoughts through journaling and photography. I think the last time I blogged seriously was around 2007~2011. After that it was a hazy, somewhat dark, roller coaster ride through life.

I have a backlog of things to update on. Ken surprised me with a new camera in late August, for example. I have new mugs that I absolutely adore (one of them, that looks like a watermelon, is in the photo above). Some updates on my arthritis situation. Plans of moving to a new apartment late this year or early next, Miyu’s new fondness of our beloved game HayDay, anxiety over her starting elementary school next April, my looking forward to the colder weather and my gratitude for having survived yet another grueling summer, essential oil sprays, getting my bachelor’s degree next year, and other miscellaneous things.

My three classes are ending soon so I’m in a crunch right now to finish all of my projects. I’ve been feeling guilty lately because the time I was supposed to spend on those projects went instead to my reestablishing my blog. But what can I say? That’s typical of me though. 🙂

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Hello, ND filter.

Alas, I have finally acquired an ND filter for my 56mm on the XT2 for those super sunny days and making other cool effects. I was inspired to get this after I discovered a travel vlogger on YouTube and spending this afternoon at a park not too far from our apartment. I had the XT2 and Ken had the G7X on the HandyPod. When I was reviewing the footage, I discovered that while the quality of the video on the XT2 was far superior, the lack of an image stabilizer made for a lot of shaky, unusable footage. Meanwhile, on the G7X, the image quality is still great, however, there were times when the footage was overexposed and Ken didn’t know how to adjust, and I was too busy with the XT2 to help. Since I can’t technically get an ND filter for the G7X, I decided I might as well get one for my XT2 since I imagine I’ll be using the 56mm for a lot of my B-Roll going forward.

So things I need to work on with the XT2:

  • Focus: Manual or Auto? I had it set to auto during the footage and noticed there were a lot of missed moments because the camera focused on people in the background. Ugh.
  • Image stabilization: Should I get a gimbal? Ugh. More things to buy?!

Things to consider on the G7X:

  • Exposure: What caused the overexposure in Ken’s footage? I thought I had set the whole thing to auto… So maybe auto doesn’t always mean the settings will adjust under extremely sunny conditions? Sigh.