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In search for O'Carolan's...and a bit about my Leica M9

In search for O'Carolan's...and a bit about my Leica M9

I want to build out some static content here where I explain my gear, what I like and use, why I use what I use, my techniques,and tips and tricks that I think will benefit others.   I will take questions I get and add them to the queue of things to write up so please don't be shy about asking me to cover a topic.  If it is something I am interested in I probably will, If not, I might respectfully decline.

If you look at the comments today; Lisa asked what camera bag I am carrying.   While what you buy is a personal choice I am always interested in what experienced people are using and why as experience gives you different perspectives to look at things.   I bought a couple of bags over the years that I didn't need more it would have been better if they had this or that.  Marco asked two great questions on how to convert to Black and White and how I do Color Management.    Typically I would have responded to these individually and their answers would have been lost in the comments section over time but now I will do write ups into posts and also post these under the Photography link on the menu bar.

I am going to start with gear as it is the most logical but also an area that I get many questions on each day so I think it's an appropriate starting place.  I also think it's an area that people starting out can really benefit from advice from others. I misspent spent a lot of money when I got started as I really didn't understand what exactly I should buy or why.  Hopefully I can help clear it up a bit and save some people from going down the same path.

I like this as it gives me little projects to research as well.  For example, one of my biggest self admitted weaknesses is Photoshop.   I think every photographer should be proficient in Photoshop.  Not to create 'Photoshoped' pictures but rather so you don't.   Below I wanted to post a picture of my camera but it was on a white background which would look pretty bad on my site.   This gave me a great opportunity to learn the different select tool in Photoshop so I can move this to a black background.

I have a had a lot of idle time lately so had time to think about all of these things.  ok...on to today's posting.    I have been getting home very late each night and then running out to find a place to grab a bit to eat.  I have been looking for the Irish Pub O'Carolan's as I wanted to check it out.   After a few nights of searching it turns out it is about 4 blocks from my house.    One point of clarity...by searching I mean walking around Jiyugaoka taking photos and hoping I stumble upon it.

Today’s Configuration: Leica M9 with a Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 with ND64 with a 1.4x magnifier and my Summilux 21mm f/1.4 with 21mm ViewFinder.

今日のカメラ:私のライカM9をつかいます。レンズはNoctilux 50mm f/0.95とND64とSummilux 21mm f/1.4 with 21mm ViewFinderをつかいました。

There is lots of great signage in Jiyugaoka to take photos of...

Restaurants in Jiyugaoka
Restaurants in Jiyugaoka
Restaurants in Jiyugaoka
Restaurants in Jiyugaoka

Since a lot of people are interested in aperture and I assume create bokeh her are two shots at the same aperture; f/0.95...signs are bokeh machines if you use them correctly.  One thing that will impact the quality of your bokeh is how far your subject is from you and from it's background.   Everything is relative so one way to get great bokeh is to move into your subject and thus moving it's relative distance to it's background.   Comparing the two photos I think the second is much more appealing.

No Parking in Jiyugaoka
No Parking in Jiyugaoka
No Parking in Jiyugaoka
No Parking in Jiyugaoka

I have noticed there are a lot of noodle shops in Jiyugaoka...I'll need to make sure to check them all out.

Noodle Shop in Jiyugaoka
Noodle Shop in Jiyugaoka
Noodle Shop in Jiyugaoka
Noodle Shop in Jiyugaoka

Ok...so maybe not everyone follows the rules.

Motorcycle in Jiyugaoka
Motorcycle in Jiyugaoka

I found a digital printing shop.   I'll make sure to check this place out this weekend.  Believe it or not, I don't have even one of my own photographs other than family photos hanging up at home.   As I am setting up ShootTokyo HQ I think that needs to change.

Printing Shop in Jiyugaoka
Printing Shop in Jiyugaoka
Orange Moon in Jiyugaoka
Orange Moon in Jiyugaoka

I finally stumble upon O'Carolan's...It a nice, clean, quiet place.

O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka

The true test; Beer, Pizza and Fries.   PASSED.

Pizza at O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
Pizza at O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka
O'Carolan's Irish Pub in Jiyugaoka

What you choose to shoot is a personal preference.  There is no right or wrong but rather what you are comfortable with, can afford and what helps you to create the images you desire.   My weapon of choice is the Leica M9 Digital Range Finder.    The Leica M9 is a living legend and in Leica's words 'The rangefinder system, above all others, enables photographers to capture authentic, natural images, taken from real life.'   There is a unique quality to images produced by a Leica M9.  The M9 is the worlds smallest full frame system camera.  One of the joys I get with the M9 is the simplicity in controls.   It is missing a lot of the bells and whistles that a lot of DSLRs have but with that comes freedom to focus on the photography.

The Leica M9 Digital Range Finder
The Leica M9 Digital Range Finder

Technical Specifications:

Lens System:  Prime Lenses from 16-135mm (all lenses are manual focus)

Resolution: 18 Megapixels

Storage: SD Cards 2-32 GBs (I recommend using 8GB)

Exposure Modes:  Manual or automatic shutter speed control with manual aperture selection

ISO Range:  Pull 80 - ISO 2500

...more on this tomorrow on what is a range finder, how does it work and what are the advantages and disadvantages.

Japanese Word of the Day:  大きい(おおきい) –  ookii – big

example:

ShootTokyoは大きくなっています。

ShootTokyo is getting bigger.

If you like what you saw today, please share it by clicking one of the links below.    Please also feel free to comment.  Thanks and see you tomorrow!

The Leica M9 Digital Rangefinder

The Leica M9 Digital Rangefinder

On the train

On the train

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