posted Apr 14, 2019, 8:46 AM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Apr 14, 2019, 8:46 AM ]

Why I took these pictures:
I find many of the displays in the museums visually interesting for photography: people interacting with them makes the scenes even more interesting. Unable to resist, I take these pictures. I prefer the people to be unidentifiable: silhouettes, shots from behind, from distance… In some cases, I cannot help and I share a picture with some identifiable persons in it. But I make sure that they are not in a “compromising” position. Even when the humor is intended, there is no room for ridicule. Maybe the Golden Rule of the “street photography” can be formulated as “Don’t take pictures of others in a way that you wouldn’t want your picture (the picture of your loved ones) to be taken. A not easy thing to do since our tastes may differ…

Gear used:
FUJIFILM X100T with 23mm fixed lens. 23mm (35 mm in full frame equivalence) provides a fine angle of view — indoors —  for staying close to people but also for including some part of the environment.  Its maximum sensitivity of 6400 doesn’t bother me that much. 16-megapixel resolution is also fine when cropping my pictures substantially.

The rationale behind the settings:
To react the moments quickly, I was using my camera in Aperture Priority mode. The aperture of f5.6 is my safe bet.  I define my AUTO ISO as default sensitivity of 200, the maximum sensitivity of 6400, and a minimum shutter speed of 1/125. But I accept the overwriting of the camera if the shutter speed were not to fall within this range. But I keep an eye on it.

File utilized in preparing the photograph:
I was able to utilize the in-camera JPEG, as I prefer, for these pictures except the one I took in total dark. For that one, I felt I needed the flexibility of a RAW file to make the necessary contrast adjustments. The JPEG files were generated using VELVIA film simulation — I must confess by mistake. Before entering the building, I had taken a picture of the sunset using this film simulation and I forgot to change it afterward. But when I compared them to the RAW files with Classic Chrome film simulations, I thought the VELVIA was doing better justice to the scenes.

Adjustments during post-processing:
As usual, I kept them to a minimum almost in all cases: Tonal adjustments, small changes to contrast. I didn’t correct the white balance in one case, it was tilted toward purple — I thought it was for the better. I prefer the pictures I share on Instagram to 1x1 aspect ratio. For others, I like the 16x9 aspect ratio for a somewhat panoramic look. But I don’t manage to achieve this all the time.

ICA — Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA
You can learn more about the ICA by visiting their WEB site: https://www.icaboston.org

You can see these pictures in the following albums - FLICKR album also contains my comments on individual pictures:


posted Apr 7, 2019, 8:37 AM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Apr 7, 2019, 8:38 AM ]

Vintage Objects
I thought it would be fitting to use vintage lenses to photograph these vintage objects so I opted for two vintage lenses to capture these figurines from Boston’s SoWa Vintage Market: Helios 44-2 58 mm f2.0 and Tamron SP AF 90 mm f2.8 lenses. I had to adapt them — respectively — from M42 and Canon FD mounts to Fujifilm’s X-mount using simple adapter rings. Apertures were wide open in order to detach the subjects from — in some cases rather busy —  backgrounds and to observe the bokeh effects.

Usually, I try to stay with JPEG files generated by the camera using Classic Chrome film simulation, but this time — with some exceptions — I used the RAF files to see the results of the Lightroom software’s newly introduced “Enhanced Details” feature’s as applied to  Fujifilm’s X-trans sensors. The improvements are more at pixel levels, intended for large scale printing, but at least in one case, I thought I could observe a perceptual difference.

You can see these pictures in the following albums - FLICKR album also contains my comments on individual pictures:

You can find out more about SoWa vintage market by visiting their WEB site: https://sowavintagemkt.com/
You can read a review of the Helios 44-2 lens on this WEB site: https://alikgriffin.com/helios-44-2-review-king-character/
You can read a review of the Tamron lens on this WEB site: https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Tamron-90mm-f-2.8-Di-Macro-Lens-Review.aspx


posted Mar 31, 2019, 4:27 PM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Mar 31, 2019, 4:28 PM ]

Studying Art
I enjoy taking the pictures of the people looking at art — in the museums, in the galleries, in the studios. People being immersed in what they are doing, discretion comes easier. In any case, I like taking pictures of people without disclosing their identity, without intruding to their privacy. This is the reason why, I prefer silhouettes, pictures from behind — whenever possible. This week’s pictures had something special: the people in the pictures are students most likely doing homework for art classes they are taking. I thought they were paying close attention to the displays on the wall and taking their time. I wanted my pictures to reflect that.

Not that I think it is important to establish the genre of photography one is doing, but I notice that I do my own classification in my mind based on the type of photography gear I am using. The vast majority of the pictures I take are in urban settings: they can be said to be urban explorations, city life documentation, and maybe in a lenient sense street photography: some of them are in the city I live, some in the cities close by I travel too. When I use prime lenses, fixed or interchangeable, I tend to consider my picture to be closer to “street photography.” When I resort to the 18-55 mm wide-standard zoom lens, I am more inclined to call them “travel photography.” Two cameras, two zoom lenses 18-55 and 55-200 (mostly indoors) takes me to “event photography.”  For “still life” and maybe “abstract” photography, I am opting for fast, manual focus, vintage or specialty lenses: Helios 44-2, Lensbaby Velvet 56 and a variety of Canon FD lenses are examples for this. And in the case of portraits, I relied on 18-55mm zoom for base short and video interviews, 35 mm prime for major shots, and I experimented with Lensbaby Velvet 56’s dreamy look to convey the transience of human existence. 

With this subjective classifications, the pictures I share this week can be said to be of “travel” category — My camera was FUJIFILM X-T12 with the so-called kit lens of 18-55 mm. They were taken during my visits to the Williams College Museum of Art and Clark Art Institute.  

You can see these pictures in the following albums - FLICKR album also contains my comments on individual pictures:

Other pictures I took during this trip — Williamstown, Northampton, Amherst, all in MA — are included in the following FLICKR albums:


posted Mar 23, 2019, 12:13 PM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Mar 31, 2019, 4:25 PM ]

More Downtown Crossing -- Boston MA

More Boston Downtown Crossing Pictures

During the week I shared the second set of half-a-dozen pictures I took again in  Boston’s Downtown Crossing area including the Park Street T-Station. In addition to the “people walking” in front of people-pictures, I tried my hand on the colors of Paramount Theater’s sign as well as the “Chromatic” Semantics of the metro station. Does picture-taking distract us from seeing what is around us? Reflecting on these pictures, my answer is a definite “no” for this photographer— photography helps me to pay better attention to what’s going on around me, notice details, signs, cues I wouldn’t notice if it were not for my picture taking.

I used prime lenses with a focal length of 23 mm and 35 mm while taking the pictures: Although for my purpose of sharing these photographs on the WEB, using prime lenses doesn’t provide a much higher image quality than Fujifilm’s XF 18-55 mm zoom kit-lens, but there is an additional pleasure in using them — with there marked aperture ring. And zooming with my feet, hopefully, makes me a better photographer. 

It is my preference to use JPEG files created in-camera: 4 of these pictures are JPEG based. For 2 of them, I relied on the RAW files to make tonal adjustments somewhat more easily. 

You can see these pictures in the following albums - FLICKR album also contains my comments on individual pictures:

2019.03.04 - 03.09

posted Mar 10, 2019, 7:23 AM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Mar 10, 2019, 7:23 AM ]

Downtown Crossing
Downtown Crossing

I took these pictures around Boston’s Downtown Crossing area: My goal was to capture people walking in front of some interesting backgrounds — store windows, posters, street art, etc. One exception is the silhouettes I photographed against the light next to the Park Street T-station. Although I prefer to do street photography while preserving the privacy of people by capturing silhouettes, by relying on blurred motions, by not having the faces in the pictures, etc. I cannot say I was successful in all the pictures I shared during the week. At least, none of these pictures captures people in a “compromising” or “embarrassing” settings. At least, this is my hope.

The cameras I used for these series were FUJIFILM X-100T & X-T2 with prime lenses. The reason of my preference for this fixed or prime lenses is not so much a crisper sharpness, but having an aperture dial on them. This makes the experience of taking pictures so much more pleasant.  All these pictures are based on in-camera JPEG files with CLASSIC CHROME film simulation. Only cropping and minor adjustments are applied during the post-processing in the Lightroom.

You can see these pictures in the following albums - FLICKR album also contains my comments on individual pictures:


posted Mar 2, 2019, 11:26 AM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Mar 2, 2019, 11:26 AM ]

Houses & Colors - pictures
I took these pictures on the Tory Row side of my neighborhood: Not necessarily on Tory Row, but around that area, on my way there, or back. In any case, my attention was with the colors of these houses. I tried to capture their mostly soft, subtle colors using FUJIFILM Classic Chrome film simulation. A thought I had at the back of my mind was related to Kodachrome: I was not trying to change the camera settings, but mostly looking for color juxtapositions that would take me closer to that style. But I cannot say that I pursued that with determination: this may be a task for the future.

A technical goal I had in mind was to develop a better feel for different focal lengths. For that purpose, I used two prime lenses: 23 and 35 mm. I also had an 18-35 mm lens with me to make comparisons and to be ready for a street scene that might require some zooming. I used two cameras with interchangeable lenses: X-T2 & X-T10. During one of the walks, I took a vintage lens, Tamron 90 mm, with manual focusing; but with that lens, I didn’t capture anything worth sharing. I don’t believe the issue was manual focusing, but the focal length of the lens didn’t match anything of interest.

You can see these pictures in the following albums - FLICKR album also contains my comments on individual pictures:


posted Feb 24, 2019, 6:04 AM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Feb 24, 2019, 6:05 AM ]

These six pictures were taken during my visit to Harvard Art Museums to see the Bauhaus exhibit. As usual, I tried to capture the interaction and non-interaction of the visitors with the work of art in the display. Knowing the background of some people in the picture, I think, I can distinguish between looks of two kinds of visitors: the casual passers-by and a serious visual artist. And there is also the indifference of those “kids” who cannot take their eyes from the screens of their phones.

One more thing: the prank in the last frame. Does it point to the difficulty of distinguishing between modern art and non-art? Was Arthur Danto right in declaring the end of art? 

It is handy to use FUJIFILM X100T for picture taking in a museum or in the streets for that matter: nobody seems to mind a tourist using a "vintage camera" of his grandfather. In addition to cropping the pictures to my preferred aspect ratios, I had to adjust the white balance, I believe, in all cases using the wall as the basis. 

You can see these pictures in the following albums - FLICKR album also contains my comments on individual pictures:


posted Feb 17, 2019, 8:42 AM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Feb 17, 2019, 8:46 AM ]


The pictures I shared this week were taken within a couple blocks of New York City while I walked between the hotel and the hospital where my son had open heart surgery. They depict slices of Big Apple I happened to find visually interesting — one way or another: sometimes light caught my attention, sometimes the colors on the ground, or on the façade of a building or some reflections on the glass…

FUJIFILM’s CLASSIC CHROME is the film simulation I use the most, in this set I stayed with it for three of the pictures, for three others I resorted to VELVIA to emphasize the appeal of saturated colors. For cropping, as usual, I alternated between 16:9 and 1:1 aspects ratios.

The pictures I shared this week can be seen in these albums:
FLICKR ALBUM:         https://www.flickr.com/gp/aonart/4a4TBA


posted Feb 10, 2019, 3:10 PM by Adnan Onart

Collage of Shared Pictures
Photography in a museum or an art gallery is a challenging undertaking for me: I don’t want to photograph the items in a display without any context to end up with poor imitations of the pictures from the museum catalog or postcards from the gift shop. Yes, sometimes I go for a snapshot of something I want to remember later, something I liked or found interesting. But in general, I try to capture an item casting a strange shadow, a display surrounded by reflections on the glass, an item in the foreground with another one in the background.  Nothing is more appealing to me though than the visitors interacting with the artwork, or historical objects: looking at them, taking pictures of them, or posing for selfies in front of them. As a matter of fact, I meant to share these kinds of pictures during the week and they were all taken in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY.

The camera I used was my veteran FUJIFILM  X100T with a 23mm fixed lens, an equivalent of 35mm in full frame context. The JPEGs were good enough with CLASSIC CHROME film simulation so that I could keep post-processing to a minimum of cropping and minor tonal adjustments.  

The pictures I shared this week can be seen in these albums:


posted Feb 3, 2019, 4:23 PM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Feb 3, 2019, 4:23 PM ]

took these pictures around the John Finlay Walk in NYC on my way from the hotel to the Weill Cornell Medical Center where my son underwent open heart surgery. The photographic challenge I pursued was to make six decent pictures around a small corner of the city, that I could share with family and friends. The wise people of photography pantheon say “never share other than your best!” What those wise people know about real life...

FUJIFILM X100T was the camera I used for these pictures: Although I prefer to work with in-camera JPEGs, for many of these pictures I relied on RAW files to have more flexibility in post-processing. In one case, I had to adjust the shadows and blacks. In two other cases, I applied the MONOCHROME with RED filter simulation. I believe in one other, I opted for VELVIA film simulation to articulate the red umbrella on the walkway.

The pictures I shared this week can be seen in these albums:
FLICKR ALBUM:     https://flic.kr/s/aHsmxJqAsk

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