Posts filtered by tags: Michael Johnston[x]


Open Mike: Weird Dreams

[This was supposed to be published on Wednesday. But better late than never, right? Um, right? "Open Mike" is the anything-goes, grab-all, catch-all Editorial page of TOP. —Mike] - Dream cameras: Do you dream about photographing? I do, all the time. Usually, I've lost my camera, or fumble for the controls and miss a shot, or photograph fantastic fast-changing landscapes or something exotic only to realize there was no film or card in the camera, or something equally dispiriting or distressing....
Tags: Amazon, Photography, Open Mike, Mark Sampson, Michael Johnston, Mike, Kay, Phil, Michael C Johnston, Geoff Wittig, Mikey, Phil Davis, Phillips Collection, Woodstock Illinois, Mike He, Mike Plews


So this is pretty funny. A 180-degree turnabout.... In 2013, readers challenged me to get to grips with the camera in the iPhone 4s I had owned for about two years. That first iPhone was my second mobile phone. I was reluctant at first—well, "resistant" would also be an accurate word—but I persevered, and eventually I began to get comfortable with it. Up till then I had learned to use the iPhone 4s as a phone, and I used other apps, but had pretty much ignored the camera. The funny thing was tha...
Tags: Apple, Photography, California, Photo Equipment, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Pano, Canandaigua, Canandaigua Lake

Open Mike: My Top 10 Favorite Cameras of All Time*

["Open Mike" is the Editorial page of TOP, which is sometimes off-topic but not today.] - In no particular order, but roughly chronologically: Zeiss Ikon Contaflex B. This belonged to my father, who let me use it when I was a kid. It was an SLR with a fixed 50mm ƒ/2.8 Tessar lens, and I believe a leaf shutter. I loved it, especially the shutter sound. I had a job at a Kentucky Fried Chicken stand when I was 14, and left it on the electrical junction box outside when I was unlocking the store o...
Tags: Photography, Japan, Germany, Old, ISO, Cameras, Porsche, Sony, Rob, Olympus, Nikon, Canon, Leica, Zeiss, Konica Minolta, Mamiya

Look Hard

Do you ever just look hard at the world? Even without a camera in your hand? I saw something wonderful early yesterday morning. I first learned to "look hard" when I drew from life as a kid. I was good at drawing when I was young, and "artist" was my main identity among my peers for the first 18 years of my life. In the way that kids latch on to simple identities for other kids. I was not so good at painting because my color sense is only so-so at learn whether you have a color sense ...
Tags: Photography, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Nancy, Reflections, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Brandon, Geoff Wittig, Beaumont Newhall, Snake River, Dogman, Rob de Loe, Nancy Newhall

Help, Wow, and Thanks

According to Annie Lamott, there are only three kinds of prayers: Help, Wow, and Thanks. I don't know what to say. (Me, at a loss for words?) I've been feeling massively grateful over the past two days, to be the recipient of so many kudos. As many of us are, I guess I've been under more stress than I quite realized lately. Demoralized. So Sunday's post and the ensuing affirmation and support was an occasion I'll value and treasure. I don't want it to end. I so much appreciated the outpouring o...
Tags: Photography, Blog Notes, Michael Johnston, Mike, Annie Lamott

Sunday Support Group: Photo Bloggers Calling It Quits....

"Dance with who brung ya." —Old American rural country saying What with Ming Thein moving on, and Kirk Tuck going on hiatus again, and me suffering a bad bout of burnout these past two weeks, I've had to do some soul-searching. As both of those guys pointed out, the world has indeed changed. Kodak is a shell of its former self; film and the darkroom are quaintly antiquarian; Bronica, Contax, Konica-Minolta (all brands I owned and used) and even Samsung are out of the camera business altoget...
Tags: Amazon, Europe, Photography, UK, Youtube, US, Samsung, Kodak, United States, Sony, Thomas Piketty, Bank, Olympus, Anne Tyler, Canon, Sigmund Freud

Last Man Standing

I mentioned (and pictured) a Wista field view camera yesterday. You might be interested to know that Keiichiro Nagaoka, builder of a similar but competing 4x5, is the last craftsman still building wooden cameras by hand in Japan. He was 82 years old as of the end of 2019 and has to make his own metal parts now (no more subcontractors willing to do it), but he's still building new 4x5's and 8x10's, just as he has since he started way back in 1962. Here's the link to a September 2020 article abou...
Tags: Europe, Photography, Japan, Paris, Disneyland, Florence, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Fred, Oren, Vivitar, Fiesole, Ueno Tokyo, Nagaoka, Wista

Taos Water Girls

Edward S. Curtis, Taos Water Girls, 1905 Whenever I get an email about some auction or other, I usually find something being advertised that charms me. I know Edward S. Curtis's work and I seldom see one of his that I've never seen before. Correction, a good one of his, because every photographer has second- and third-rate pictures that haven't been widely published or seen. Edward Sheriff Curtis, of course, was the protean but problematic documentarian of Native Americans at the end of the fr...
Tags: Amazon, Garden, Photography, South Dakota, Photographers, Pyle, New Mexico, Seattle, Richard, Historical, Jpeg, Howard Pyle, Benson, Around The Web, Richard Benson, Michael Johnston

The 10th Camera: Why No Pentax?

The "10th camera," the one not on my Top Ten Favorite Cameras list from the other day, is not an iPhone. I do appreciate my iPhone camera and take pictures with it all the time, but it's not quite there from a technical standpoint. It's perfectly adequate for taking pictures to be viewed on...itself. And for emailing and texting. (And for putting on the blog, maximum width 800 pixels.) But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be as happy with it if I were making even small prints. Although I should try th...
Tags: Photography, Old, Cameras, Olympus, Dslr, Pentax, Cle, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Achilles, Ned Bunnell, Pentax USA, Pentaxes, Stephen Gandy, Dave Jenkins

Will There Ever Be a Super-Simple Digital Camera?

So I got to thinking the other day. I keep kvetching about the absurd complexity of dedicated cameras these days, something I certainly was thinking about as I was parsing the Fuji X-T4 and comparing it mentally to my X-T1. The X-T1 is purer, maybe. A little. I've been working in the trenches, in daily contact with real, live photographers and photography enthusiasts, for a more than three decades now. (My first magazine article was published in 1988.) One thing that really surprises me is that ...
Tags: Photography, Nikon, Pentax, Photo Equipment, Leica, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston

Bokeh Is Not a Stable Characteristic of a Lens

I ran across a nice example yesterday of the same lens exhibiting both "good" and "bad" bokeh. I was looking through pictures taken with the old Olympus OM-Zuiko 50mm ƒ/1.8, a fine little lens (identical in design to an earlier generation of Leica Summicron, by the way) which is widely available for very little dosh. Take a look first at this lovely portrait by Konstantin Konduktorov, taken with the old lens adapted to a digital DSLR. Although there isn't "lots" of bokeh evident in the picture (...
Tags: Photography, Japan, Olympus, Lenses, Michael Johnston, Leica Summicron, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Zuiko, Konstantin, Photographic aesthetics, Olympus OM Zuiko, Konstantin Konduktorov, Zuikos

Fourth-Generation Fuji X-T4 Is a True Redesign

Best of both: new Fuji X-T4 combines desirable features of theX-T3 and X-H1, with a new twist Usually, new versions of existing cameras are "refreshes," improving (sometimes "improving," quote-unquote) a few features and changing a few things so they can draw a new round of reviews, and/or enable a price increase, and/or attract customers who have a desire to own the latest and greatest. (Thom says the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is being derisively referred to as the "E-M1 Mark II Mark II...
Tags: Photography, New, Cameras, Nikon, Fuji, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Mark III, Thom

Blog Note: Gratitude is the Attitude (OT)

Tom Lovell (1909–1997), Surrender at Appomattox.Painting commissioned by National Geographic in 1965. It's my birthday. (George Harrison's too, so go listen to "It's All Too Much." One of the greatest of all psychedelic-era songs, if you ask me, not just of the Beatles' efforts in that genre). Birthdays, to me, are like Halloween trick-or-treating...great and memorable fun when you're little, and then you try to hang on to the magic until you're maybe fifteen, when you're past the right age f...
Tags: Photography, Japan, George Harrison, National Geographic, Emily Dickinson, Off-topic Posts, News And Occasions, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Corning, Robert E Lee, Franz Kafka, Ulysses S Grant, Appomattox, Tom Lovell

The Very Modest Film Commitment

When I asked the question about film the other day, I was stung a bit by my friend Jack's comment: "I predict you will walk away from it in days if not weeks, just like you did with your full plate experiment." Ouch, but okay. Fair's fair. I have a sordid history of "bailure." (That's a word I made up for a failure that involves bailing know, like marriages that end within weeks. Bailure!) I shot a few pictures with the full-plate camera (the "Single Use Device"—search if you want a re...
Tags: Photography, Jack, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Film and Darkroom

Sunday Support Group: So Nice to See

I yam what I yam and dat's all what I yam. —Popeye the Sailor Man, my favoritecartoon character when I was five Followup on the film question: I've finally gotten up to date with all the comments from Thursday. That took a while—not because there were so many, but because there were so many good ones. Thank you for all the thoughtful and interesting responses. I'm sure I got more out of that post than anyone else did! I agree with the commenters who suggested that it might be a matter of pri...
Tags: Photography, Starbucks, Blog Notes, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Sunday Support Group, Popeye the Sailor Man, Trivex My, Holly Hindman

Happy Birthday Photoshop, and Thank You 'Star Wars'?

Just as I've learned that I might finally have to leave Photoshop for good after 26 years, because Apple (not Adobe!) broke my CS6, I learned that yesterday (well, they think) was Photoshop's 30th Birthday. As near as can be reconstructed, Photoshop 1.0 began shipping on February 19th, 1990. Here's a very nice article about it, by Jeff Schewe. It even includes a 7-minute demo of PS 1 by Jeff! Fun stuff. Mike (Thanks to Jeffrey Schimberg) Original contents copyright 2020 by Michael C. Johnston...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Software, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Jeff Schewe, Jeffrey Schimberg, Jeff Fun

Blog Note: Adobe Don't Take My CS6 Away (Sung to the Tune of 'Kodachrome')

Quick software question, while I'm working on all the comments from yesterday: Is Catalina going to break my CS6? The only "Legacy Software" I have that's 32-bit is all Adobe, and includes several things I don't recognize at all as well as something called "CS6 Service" I get grumpy about stuff like this...(let me do my work and leave me alone!), but it was really the same way in darkroom days. Manufacturers wouldn't tell you what was in their proprietary chemicals (an amateur chemi...
Tags: Photography, Japan, United States, Blog Notes, Michael Johnston, Catalina, Michael C Johnston, Seagull, Oriental Seagull, Patrick Dignan

Open Mike: To Be Or Not To Be

["Open Mike" is the Editorial Page of TOP, wherein Yr. Hmbl. Ed. is sometimes detectably more self-indulgent than usual. It appears on Wednesdays, which I can say because today is Wednesday.]   I had a big, fat, beautiful post all ready to go this morning, two hours' work, and I went off to fix my breakfast...and came back to find myself staring at a blank page. Once the cat's away, the mice will play: acting on its own, my computer restarted itself to install an update. I've gotten lax about sa...
Tags: Photography, George Orwell, Blog Notes, Open Mike, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Keith Davis, Hmbl Ed, Fred Morrison, Instax Facebook Lightroom Instagram

Three Things That Are Good to Look At

'What you lookin' at?'Inge Morath, A Llama in Times Square, New York, 1957 ($2,000) 1. Llamas. Magnum is having a sale of New York prints by its members that includes Inge Morath's "A Llama in Times Square." The prints are signed and editioned, signed, or estate stamped, and prices range from $1,250 to $15,000. Included are some very famous pictures indeed: Dennis Stock's iconic (I use the word advisedly!) portrait of James Dean in the rain, Elliott Erwitt's fabulous picture of the man/bulldog...
Tags: Photography, New York, London, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, James Dean, NICK, James Joyce, Jonas, Around The Web, Elliott Erwitt, Michael Johnston, George, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Erich

The New Nikon D6

Nikon just announced its new pro flagship, the D6. Although you probably won't see this mentioned much on the Web and in the forums, this brings to parity the number of top-end film F cameras and pro digital D cameras. There's a slight disparity in the time it took to get there: the original Nikon F was introduced in April 1959 and the F6 began shipping in 2004 and can still be purchased new (or rather, out of what's called "new old stock," NOS, with outflow regulated to a trickle by a high pri...
Tags: Photography, Maryland, FPS, Nikon, Luke Skywalker, Michael Johnston, Gretel, Don, PAUL, Luke, Michael C Johnston, Fred, Hansel, New Nikon, Hasselblads

Sunday Support Group: Roger Angell

I've been on a reading kick lately. Some while back I read a book called The Thing About Life is that One Day You'll Be Dead, by David Shields. The book is a vigorously morbid catalogue of all the possible predicaments of being trapped in a deteriorating infrastructure. The book is chock full of interesting facts about aging and the ages and stages of life. I can't say it was good to read, but it is good to have read it, turns out. Aside from being a bit of a horror show, it's very interesting a...
Tags: Photography, David, Charlotte, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Kenny, Roger, David Shields, Norm, Roger Angell, Katherine White, Sunday Support Group, Ernest Angell, Stuart Little Back

New Toy!

I've owned many Apple devices since I began writing on the original 128k Macintosh in 1984. The one that's least necessary is also the one I like the best: the iPad. I bought my iPad Air, the original one, in 2013 (which does seem like a long time ago) because I thought they were cool and I was feeling flush back then. At first I couldn't figure out what to do with it and I barely even touched it for the first six months I had it. Within a few years it became my favorite Apple product and the on...
Tags: Photography, Computers, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Xander, AA Daily Reflection

Portfolio App for the iPad?

Carl asked me what I use as a portfolio app for picture presentations on the iPad and it's one of the (many) things I just don't think I know enough about to speak of. Anyone have any favorite ways of presenting pictures on the iPad they'd like to share? Mike Original contents copyright 2020 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. Please help support The Online Photo...
Tags: Photography, Computers, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Carl

The Day (Music Notes)

Song for the day...Transvision Vamp's "Bad Valentine." It's got a sort of louche, low-fi slow-drag vibe I've always liked. Don't know the band or any of their other music—pretty sure I bought this as a vinyl single and never listened to the other side! Mike Original contents copyright 2020 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. Please help support The Online Photog...
Tags: Photography, Michael Johnston, Don, Michael C Johnston

Random Excellence: Giants?

Might call this "random interest" rather than excellence, but it's curious. You might want to look at the picture carefully before reading on. We were talking about the novel Giants in the Earth the other day, and I ran across the old snapshot above on a site called Ipernity. The original poster, Alan Mays, was given it as a Christmas present. A few different elements conspire to create a visual illusion. The small size of the tractor and the boy driving it, the looming hill in the background, ...
Tags: Books, Photography, Earth, Giants, Leonard Cohen, Michael Johnston, Wayne, Cohen, Michael C Johnston, Solomon, KJV, Efren Reyes, Random Excellence, Lawrence Durrell, Durrell, Alan Mays

Open Mike: Rereading and Anne Fadiman (and an Aside)

['Open Mike' is the often off-topic, anything-goes Editorial Page of TOP, wherein Yr. Hmbl. Ed. rambles afield very slightly more than usual. It appears either on Wednesdays, or when I get it finished.] - In response to this, a couple of days ago: "I loved C.S. Forester's Hornblower books...and read the whole series through twice," Stephen Gilbert commented: "You only read the Hornblower books twice?" Made me smile. But to answer seriously, I'm not actually a big rereader. I've gotten to the a...
Tags: Books, Photography, America, Earth, Jane Austen, Batman, Shakespeare, Giants, Dick, James, Michael Johnston, Buddha, Siddhartha, Anne, Mike, Michael C Johnston

The December Car Magazine Massacre

Motor Trend Group and TEN Publishing (formerly The Enthusiast Network), publishers of many car and truck magazines including Motor Trend and Automobile, announced in December that 19 of its automotive newsstand titles would be transitioned to digital-only, ending the paper versions of all 19. The most prestigious of the magazines affected was Automobile, founded by David E. Davis in 1986.  Folio reports that MotorTrend Group president and GM Alex Wellen announced the move in a memo to staffers o...
Tags: Photography, Gm, News And Occasions, Leica, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Ann Arbor Michigan, Mazda Miata, Rod, Wellen, Folio, Wolfkill, David E Davis, Alex Wellen, Mike ADDENDUM, Motor Trend Group

Sunday Support Group: Be Prepared...For Any Old Thing

I was a Boy Scout when I was young. It was a valuable experience; I was besotted with the Civil War and the Napoleonic Wars and all things related to antiquarian wars and soldiery when I was a boy (I loved C.S. Forester's Hornblower books particularly, and read the whole series through twice), and a fortune teller gazing into her crystal ball might have presumed I was headed for at least a stint in the armed forces. The Boy Scouts demonstrated conclusively to me, however, how peculiarly unsuited...
Tags: Photography, Backup, Nikon, James, Photo Equipment, Leica, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Eric, Ruh, Hornblower, Baden Powell, John Krumm, Nikons, Robert Baden Powell, Sunday Support Group

Fuji Plastic Fantastic '50'

Fuji's new "plastic-fantastic" XC prime Sorry about the three Fuji posts in a row—it's not all Fuji all the time here—but if the theme is "threes" it kinda fits. I was interested to learn that Fuji will soon have a "plastic fantastic 50" of its own. You will have the choice of three 35mm (~50mm-e) primes at three distinct pricing tiers. There's the original XF 35mm ƒ/1.4 R that I've written about several times, for $600; the weather-sealed (that's B&H's term), snout-nosed XF 35mm ƒ/2 so-called...
Tags: Photography, Fuji, Lenses, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, EBC, Kevin Ford, Fujicron

Protein! And Other Off-Topic Topics

A friend I spoke to this morning asked if I was becoming disaffected with photography, a suspicion raised, for him, by reading my recent blog posts. No, not at all. It's that I'm preoccupied by the political situation here in the USA—but I can't write about that. Not my purview here. But that's what's going on with me. (Oh, and I'm still sick—approaching five weeks—although not suffering. Grateful for the latter.) My other distractions at the moment are pool and food. I'm playing in a pool leagu...
Tags: Photography, Usa, Blog Notes, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Tweeten, Mike Tweeten Fibre Co

show more filters
July - 2020
August - 2020
September - 2020