Just a note to say hello and sorry that this has been neglected for a while now.

I will return, other things in life are taking priority over photography.

Thank you for visiting.

Getting G.A.S. and Gear Change

Since my son turned one I honestly have not picked up my camera as much as I should have been to keep up with my photography learning. Many things have seemed to get in the way but during this time I began to notice that I’ve started falling into the G.A.S. trap that many photographers happen to do.

What is G.A.S?

Well besides being something eating beans may give you, in photography circles it is known as “Gear Acquisition Syndrome”. It can be triggered by many things but usually comes from seeing other photographer’s work and knowing they use “better” or “more expensive” gear than you and it triggers the urge to go out and get the same gear thinking that it will improve your photography. Or for some it’s the feeling that they can’t do something with out some piece of “better” gear than they currently have. There are other definitions of G.A.S. and if you think you will never fall into the trap think again. Most all photographers fall into it, I know I did! I suggest reading the article on Olivier Duong’s Blog for how he describes G.A.S. and how he overcame it.

I think my only saving grace is that I have not spent as much on gear as others I know or read about in various forums and blogs. Most everything I have coveted for photography was still listed in one of the many wish lists I created out on various photography shopping sites.

Wish lists like what I have listed here (and these are just from Amazon!):

Photo – Gear 31 items
Photo – Books/Software 57 items
Photo – F/4+ Lenses 3 items
Photo – FF Camera 9 items
Photo – Film 6 items
Photo – Fujifilm Gear 15 items
Photo – L Primes 7 items
Photo – Non L Lenses 6 items
Photo – Tamron Lenses 3 items
Photo – Sigma Lenses 7 items
Photo – Studio Gear 28 items
Photo – TS Lenses 4 Items

That is A LOT of gear! If I were to buy all that at once I’d need a medium-sized loan…. also my wife would kill me!

One night after listening to an old interview with Zack Arias it hit me that I’ve been sitting around and learning by only reading and watching everyone else do photography while at the same time I was feeding my GAS by convincing myself that I need X gear to be as good as others I was admiring. It became time that I really focus on what I need versus what I want to have and get over this gear want.

First thing I did was rid my online accounts of all photo gear and only kept one for photo books I can use for learning and inspiration.

Next was making the decision to focus my photography on finishing my NYIP School work, doing personal photo projects, shooting events and get working on head shots/portraits part-time. Keeping what this in mind I looked at the gear I had as well as the reality of being a new father where camera gear is often not the only thing I’m carrying day-to-day and came to the decision that it is time to change my set up and shed things and switch to Fuji system from Canon.

You maybe thinking though, “Jason, why get new gear? Why not use what you have now? Are you not just feeding your GAS but spending more money?”

There are a few answers but I want to focus on the two main reasons for me.

First is that I got tired of carrying a big DSLR around to family and non-family events. While my 60D is not the largest camera in the world it’s still weighs a lot when you start carrying it all day everyday. Also I am currently recovering from back surgery #3 and have another baby coming in the month that rhymes with soon this year. I wanted to move to something smaller that gave me the same or better image quality and allowed me to carry it around without needing a large camera bag.

Second was the cost of good fast lenses. For what you spend on one of Canon’s L Glass lenses I can get several amazing lenses from Fuji for my shooting style without loss of quality. Bonus is as a parent this means more money for the kiddo’s college fund and family savings which makes my wife happy.

About a month ago I traded in my Canon gear and now have in my kit the following Fuji gear:

  • X100T for day-to-day shooting and personal projects
  • X-T1 body with 10-24mm, 35mm, 56mm, and 50-140mm lenses for everything the X100T doesn’t cover.

Since then I’ve been working with my Fuji kit and I am very happy with this change. The X100T has gotten back out to shoot more because it’s easy to grab it and go on a daily basis. When I need something more I grab the XT-1 and lenses and even that is a lot lighter that my Canon kit was. So my back is thanking me as well. This in turn has refocused me to work on my NYIP schoolwork and get going on finishing it.

Additionally my G.A.S. is pretty much gone now and I feel motivated to get better at shooting with what I have. Of course I still get excited at some nice pieces of gear here and there but I no longer feel like I will need it now to be a better photographer. I know I can now wait and max out the capabilities of my current gear before moving up to the next level instead rushing to it and waiting money and getting frustrated.

It honestly has been a great feeling to be motivated again to shoot, work on projects and get back into completing my NYIP Course.

Thanks for reading.


Getting back in the groove.

Life has a funny way of getting in your way at times but so does laziness.

There have been some great moments (birth of son and house purchase) and there been some craptastic ones as well (back problems with surgery and house search) in the past two years that have kept the camera out of my hands.

I’ve spent way too much time reading about photography and doing non productive things (damn you online gaming!) than actually shooting anything.

Honestly looking back too many excuses were made and I got lazy about it. I was laid up since the beginning of this year due to a bad back and having surgery in February to correct it. Instead of taking that time to catch up on my NYIP course work I waisted it on video games and watching way too much Doctor Who reruns.

Thankfully with the support of my wife I’ve started to get back on track and out shooting again.


My advise for when looking to buy a new camera

Due to the rapid pace of technology you can now get great images from many cameras that will not break the bank or on a simple budget.

The first thing before you start your search is to ask yourself what do you want to shoot specifically? If you are unsure or can’t make up your mind go and take a look at what you have shot most of the time in the past. This will help you determine the camera that you should purchase.

Also ask yourself some truthful questions: Are you buying that 5DIII to impress yourself or others? Do you really need the functionality the 5DIII offers over a different camera? Now days the argument between crop and full frame sensor is negligible. The difference starts when you jump to medium format and larger. If you need more proof of this statement I suggest you watch the following Clip from Zack Arias: http://youtu.be/PHYidejT3KY

Also the days of being a generalist are over. To make it now and make any money to help pay for gear you will need to pick something to specialize in and be the best you can at it. Once you have that down and make money then worry about other types of photography. This means spend your money where you will make the most money with your skills.

Here are some suggestions based on specialty:

  • If you want to do wildlife and/or sports then go with Canon. The 7D and L lenses will be the best you can get until you afford a 1D body.
  • If you are going to do landscapes and portraiture work then Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and Fuji will do all that very well.
  • If you are going to do any street photography or photojournalism then go with Fuji or Olympus.

Make sure you go into your local camera store and pick up the gear and feel it in your hands too. You need to be comfortable with the  camera too. For example, if you are traveling a lot and buy a large DLSR and you have back problems (like me) then you are going to hate carrying the weight of the body or two plus several large and heavy lenses around with you. It will take away from the enjoyment of shooting.

In the end though it’s not about gear. As Ansel Adams has said, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!”. This means Photography is 90% Human and 10% Camera. If you don’t have the knowledge and skills down then no camera will make your images better in the end.

Thanks for reading


New Photo Project Started

So after this weekend’s road trip to take pictures in Random Lake, WI I’ve decided to start an ongoing personal photo project. This project is called “Small Old Town Wisconsin”. 

These are images of various old buildings and artifacts from around the small and not so visited towns of Wisconsin. The goal is to get images (mainly historical or unique) from the lesser known small towns of the state.

I am purposely going to try and avoid adding images from more well known towns that get an active amount of yearly tourism (think Cedarburg, WI for an example).  

You can follow it here in my new active project page.


Experiments with Film

So for a learning experience I took a roll of Tri-X 400 Kodak Film and shot it as if it was actually 800 ISO. 

I can see how this is useful when shooting indoors as even with my lumu light meter those images exposed well. My problem came if I had the camera outdoors. I couldn’t prevent overexposure it seems (I do not own a ND filter for my film camera).

You can see the results below that I felt were worth to share (both good and bad):


Barn Street Drummer Street Drummer Protest Mother and Son Mother and Son Mother and Son Mother and Son Graham Graham Graham Graham Graham Graham Graham Graham Graham Graham Playing Farm



Ozaukee County Fair

Got out with my wife and son to have a nice quiet walk through the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds this morning before any crowds came in. It was great as we could take our time and I could take pictures without getting in people’s way as they tried to look at animals.

Here is a link to the set on Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZHMnGc


Thanks for reading!


Starting to get out to shoot again.

Now that my son is just over one year old. I am able to go out with my family more and start to shoot for practice. Over the July 25th weekend I managed to get out and shoot at the zoo and a nearby county fair.

I think this is the first time (since May) I’ve been out shooting with something other than my AE-1 Film camera or mobile phone. It felt good to get out and take time to shoot both places.

You can see the shots on my Flickr account here:

Zoo Trip: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZsAPPV

County fair: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk16ENvz


(My apologies to the readers for not making the links work properly!)