Rule of thirds

I was sitting in on an introductory photography class the other day when the professor brought up the rule of thirds. They didn’t necessarily agree with the rule of thirds but I know many people that swear by it.

It got me thinking about framing and what people look at in photographs. When a someone first sees a photograph they will usually focus on the subjects eyes(if there is a person/animal), the lightest part of the photograph, or the middle. So it would seam like a good thing to put your subjects well illuminated eyes in the center of the frame right?  It’s such a natural place to put your subject with the focus points on digital cameras or rangefinder patches being in the center of the frame so that’s logically be the best place to put a subject right?

Maybe… But I prefer to use the rule of thirds, or rather not place my subject in the middle. By shifting your frame left, right,up or down you can get more information in a picture. Or get unwanted subjects out of a picture. When I see pictures framed with subjects in the middle I tend to want to know what’s going on just off frame. For example in a photosomeone was sitting at a dining table and you get a glimps of a kitchen to the left and to the right a wall. You want to know what’s going on in the kitchen and the wall is just blank space that doesn’t tell you anything. If you shift the frame over to show more of the kitchen and have the subject allined with the rule of thirds it could look authentically pleasing.

It is somewhat easy with rangefinders because the frame lines can show you something similar to rule of thirds(35/90 frame lines for example or the 90mm frame lines when using a 50mm on an m3). When shooting during the day you can stop down and pre focus so it becomes very easy to concentrate on framing. I think it’s a great approach for shooting street photography. 
 by not framing in the middle you get more information (train tracks ,grass etc giving you a sense of where the photo was taken) where as to the left was a fence which wouldn’t have added to the photo.

But then again on medium format 6×6 (or Instagram photos I suppose?) Having the subject in the center can be quite pleasing. 
Trying to frame so the subject isn’t in the center can cause you to lose a shot, but can make the difference between an ok photo and a great one. If you always shoot with the subject in the middle try the rule of thirds! And if you use the rule of thirds a lot try framing things in the middle for a change. 

Lots of film(Now I have to scan it)

I took over 60 rolls of film this summer(and 5000+ photos on the sd cards also in the picture). Lots of color,slide and of coarse black and white 35mm and medium format film! It was a lot of fun but now the daunting task of cleaning, scanning and organizing all these photos. Don’t get me wrong, I love to shoot film and even developing it, but I just don’t care for scanning and doing dark room prints. It takes a lot of time and patience to get good clean scans and prints, and I feel like that could be time for taking pictures or something more fun than sitting listening to a scanner. I was recommended something today that might make me find film scanning less annoying, the Pakon F135+ scanner. Hopefully I can get one and test it out, but for now I’m using a canon canoscan 9000F mark ii and it does a good job just takes a long time. The Pakon I believe only does 35mm but at a much faster rate and with more realistic color and grain.

On another note my Lightroom library is now 50000 photos and counting! Just noticed that today. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing but it is a milestone, and over 1000 of those are film photos! 

Over the next few months I’ll be scanning and hopefully uploading some photos here and on Instagram (@sukikattephoto) that I just started.


Camera gear I took to Kyoto

This weekend I went to Kyoto with no real plans and took lots of pictures. I wanted to keep my bag somewhat light so what I took was my m3 with 90mm asph apo, m9 with 35mm summicron asph, go pro hero 4 black and my ipad(took a time-lapse). I think the 35mm and 90mm summicrons really complement each other. I didn’t really find a time where I thought I needed more reach/more wide. I wrote about the m3 and the 90mm before, but it is really a stealthy setup. The only downside is its on the heavy side compared to the 35mm summicron and m9. It was a nice overcast weekend and never rained so I could shoot 400 tri-x all day and some at night no problem. If I could only have one camera and one lens for a trip like this I’d have to go with the m3 and ms-optical 50mm f1.1 though. I didn’t bring it and sort of regret it, especially for night shots, but I think the 35/90 setup is really good. 

I’ll try to post some black and white stuff once it’s developed but all I have now is color. 


leica m3 with 90 apo asph

When i bought my m3 this year i decided i should round out my camera bag with a 90mm lens. The thing about 90mm leica lenses is they feel more oriented for portraits than street photography, being heavy with long focus throws etc. That being said i had a chance to get the very special 90mm apo asph and went for it!
I went and took some pictures with it just yesterday. It feels very different from my usual 35mm setup. At first it felt like a cropped 50mm but as i got used to it i could see where it would be useful on the streets as well. Pared with the m3 you have a very stealthy setup. F/2 is also really nice and can be shot all day and night!
I probably wouldn’t have this as the only lens in my bag but pair it with a 35mm or 28mm and you have a great kit for whatever you want to shoot.
I won’t be able to scan my photos for a while but when I do I’ll post them!

costs associated with photography

In preparation for a trip i have been buying/preping a lot of gear. This has made me think about the costs associated with taking pictures. Sure you could go out with just a one camera one lens set up and there aren’t too many extra things to invest in. That doesn’t always work though, especially when you are traveling. For a trip I want to take a tripod, extra lenses, film (or SD cards), batteries if necessary, cable release, etc etc. I might have all those things already, but when you invest in a new system or for someone just starting the price of the camera is just the begining.
Whether its film, digital or video there are so many more costs associated with taking pictures and video. Not to mention post processing and those costs.
It makes me miss the times when I would just go out with a one camera and standard lens setup.
I think I will elaborate on thus topic later when I have more time to think and write about it.