Leave your subjects some space around and don't imprison them in the frame. Each side of the frame is a dead end for the viewer. There is nothing outside the frame. The photo is always within. If you leave some space around it is much easier for the observer to linger around the photo. The space is like the moat of a medieval castle which is difficult to overcome. It gives your subject the breathing space it needs and keeps the viewer inside. I have somtimes the feeling of claustrophobia when I look at (especially but not limited to) tele lens photos. Tight cropping, lots of bokeh, no space. There is no music without the little rests in between the notes and there are not photos without space around the subject of interest. The shot to the left would be less pleasing without the pavement at the left. I see a lot of photos with a dominating out of focus area. Something like f1.4 and close focussing. Boring. I personally feel that bokeh is much more pleasing when I can still recognise something in it. If it's totally blurred it a dead space to me. So, leave some space around and fill this space with something what's not overly distracting and take care it not a dead space.
She sat behind the windshield of a car and wanted to be photographed. I couldn't resist. I placed her dead center and a little to the bottom of the frame. Intended as a color shot to preserve her rosy complexion.
There was nothing colorful around Miss Piggy and this way she's the only colorful spot in the frame, surrounded by the car's dark interior. The reflections keep some disturbing details out of the shot.
This is another one without any real subject in the frame but it works very well (at least for me).
This shot shows the power of the golden ratio. It's about the only rule in photography I readily accept and apply quite often.
The two yellow lines begin at the lower horizontal harmonic line. The thin line you can see there actually is this lower harmonic line (a gap in the asphalt). The two yellow line leave the frame at the top at the left vertical and right vertical harmonic line. The picture is all about the golden ratio. I couldn't have made a drawing that illustrates the underlying principle in a better way. All the diagonals lines give some dynamics to the shot but that's rather a side topic here. Same with the color. Works in color and black and white.
Here's my Ricoh GR review. You won't find any technical stuff in it. It about the Ricoh as a photgraphic tool. That's what I bought it for. What I give here is my opinion on what I consider as worth knowing and what might help the still doubtful who currently search the web to prepare their upcoming gear purchase. Have fun reading.
Appearence, Size and Touch
Black, sleak, dead silent, small and pocketable, lightweight, unobtrusive, candid, solid metal alloy, nice grip, understatement, nothing to show off with. Feels good to me.
Setup and Handling
Straightfoward and simple. Everyone who has a little photography experience can leave the manual in the box. The menu ist very well structured and you'll instantly know what's meant. Handling is great. Factory settings give you direct access via button/wheels to: Aperture, ISO, Focussing mode (single/continuous), macro mode, flash, white balance, EV compensation, playback, live view effects.
The layout makes it possible to operate everything very fast with merely your right hand.
The LCD screen is fantastic and I don't miss my slr viewfinder at all. This came as a surprise to me. If you're like me and think a viewfinder is a must: Forget it. Framing is easy and sort of spontaneous and it gives me a great liberty. And this brings inspiration... brings good photos... is fun to use...
You can have all the fancy stuff like live histogramm, how you're currently tilt the camera and what's real interesting for street shooters: While in snap focus mode the Ricoh GR shows a distance scale and the depth of field with the set aperture. The LCD's brightness is audjusted automatically to the environment's brightness.
You can store your setting in three saving slots and access them via the top wheel + programm, green full auto, full manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, Pentax TAv. It's secured to prevent accidental moving. Maybe you store a setting for e.g.:
The lens is a 18.3/2.8 construction with a leaf shutter. Some words coming to my mind: Unbelievable, awesome, great, magical, outstanding...
Sharpness is top-notch right away from wide open! Getting close with a slr requires the finest glasses around at their best apertures. That statement comes not easy from me but it's true. Out of focus quality is fine. A little rough sometimes (I like that) but never annoying or busy. Having a wide field of view is a relief. The narrow fields of view from these popular zoom lenses give me literally breathing constrictions. It is somtimes a challenge or even impossible to hide the background in the out of focus area of in my pictures and it really trains my photographic eye to take every detail into consideration.
Black and white results are for whatever reason by far the best I've ever seen! Unbelievable. Post processing is mostly limited to desaturating and I'm done. The tonal range is awesome. I have some hard work to get there with my K-5. The lens and the lack of AA filter makes sharpening a non-issue.
Noice starts from ISO400 but is limited to the red channel. Honestly, I wouldn't call it noise. Some will call it noise but I call it "fine arts". Reminds me of grain. I shoot mostly in black and white and that gives me the possibilty to reduce the red channel in thr color mix to let's say 80% and I have no need for noise reduction at ISO1600 with this little trick. I have no experience with anything above ISO1600. It's summer time, plenty of light and besides that I dislike shooting in the dark.
You have no optical image stabilisation system. But that means nothing. The lens is tiny and so is the leaf shutter and the shutter ist totally free of acceleration forces and you have no mirror slap.
Did I tell you that you have a built-in macro mode? Of course, it has. Works very well. Ratio is just 1:5 but this gives me something around the subject of interest and creates nice context in the photography.
If you're a photographer you'll get stunning result from this little camera. It's a gem in the digital world. It accompanies me everywhere I go. It is inspirational. Whoever is torn between the Ricoh GR and another camera: Get yourself the Ricoh GR. It's a safe bet. You can't go wrong and won't be disappointed. It's for fast, easy and convenient operation and naturally leans itself towards street shooters but it's not limited to street shooting. I'm not a street shooter and use this camera for everything.
I am a German cititzen and now directly affected by the pressure the US government apperently puts on everyone who stand up for civil rights, self-determination, privacy and liberty. Values only few within the US and European governments share with its people.
"I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit." - Ladar Levinson (Lavabit's owner and operator)
I had a Lavabit account and I am deeply impressed by the decision of Ladar Levison to shut down.
That's why: I have black and white hardwired into my brain: filtering, contrast, shadows, darkness and light. But a color shot appears every now and then and it really has to be convincing to get through my black and white mindset. All my black and white training works as a kind of filter to hold back the ordinary color shots (admitted: personal taste). It boils down to an easy "rule" then I consider a color shot. It's either a predominant and pleasent color in the frame or some hefty color contrast. If not its black and white.
This shot has some diagonals and some nice reflections. Nothing else. The rest is about color and that definately makes the shot here. I tried the black and white post processing but found it confirmed. For me a shot work better either in color or black and white. I'm rarely doubtful what to choose.