The X100 = my dream snapshot camera

This camera is fantastic for snapshots, candids, pictures in quiet rooms, etc... Seems like most everything I do is at 35mm or so or at macro. That's what this camera can handle. And handle well. It is also a low light dream. 3200 ISO is like 800 on the 7d.

Here are just a few snapshots from the past several months with the camera.


National Book Festival - Library of Congress, 2010

Last month I had the privilege to shoot photos at the National Book Festival for the organizers, Catalyst ETC, via a family connection.  Here are a few photos from that gallery (head over to the Gallery links for more)...  All images taken by Ken Rimple, and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Lift Shot

Yep, I got to go up on a crane, right in front of the Houses of Congress...  It was around 2PM, so a number of people were seeking shade, but this is a compressed view shot of tents - the actual area spanned two of the mall blocks so the flattening done by the zoom lens is deceiving.

Elizabeth Alexander

One of the authors at the event, Elizabeth Alexander.

Anchee Min

Once I'm done writing Spring Roo in Action, I really have to read her biography.  Anchee Min was used as a propaganda subject in China during the reign of Madame Mao - and somehow managed to emigrate to the US.  Her speech was riveting...

Jonathan Franzen

If I didn't battle backlighting in bright light, I battled hand-holding -vs- shutter speed.  Here was a relatively good shot of Jonathan Franzen:

How about a former First Lady?

Ok, you're always a First Lady, even when your husband is out of office.  First Lady Laura Bush.  This was a fun one - I almost didn't get the shot, but was able to re-position myself behind the tripods and media area to get this shot.

 Another Lift Shot

Here is a wider shot from the crane.  I wanted to get the National Monument in the scene but couldn't get a good crop without losing the depth of the crowds.

 All in all, it was a great day for me.  I'd love to do more event photography, and I definitely could improve my technique.  I did learn a few things along the way:

  • Over-prepare - never assume you know enough about the event to know who is where, and at what time.
  • Bring a tripod - I wish I would have done so for some of the people shots.
  • Hydrate - by lunchtime I was feeling it - sun beating on my head.  By the way, wear a hat!
  • Take too many photos and delete a lot of junk later - it is always true that the best photos I get are from a series, sometimes the fourth or fifth.
  • Have a backup camera.  You never know what will fail.



Might as well be productive while waiting!

As my iPhone is dead and I'm at the Apple Store waiting on news, I am playing with iMac 27" - redux of an iPhone 4 image...  This and CS5 = Heaven.  Did you hear me, anyone?  I'd love one of these with the software.  Oh, well, it's better to ask and get ignored than not do it at all...


Hello iPhone 4?

The view from a hotel room from the iPhone 4Ok, you may be saying I've lost my mind.  What, trade a Leica M8 for an iPhone 4?  Well, not JUST an iPhone 4.  I paid for camp, paid off a few things, and THEN spent some cash on an iPad.  Oh, right, then I ran out of money and ordered the iPhone 4.

Typical for those of you who know me and just shake your heads...

Anyway, I am here to tell you that the iPhone 4 is a PHENOM.  It's like a little photographer's notebook.  No, it won't give you 12 megapixel RAW images that will knock your socks off.  Instead, it will give you 5 megapixel images, at roughly 28mm or so in equivalent aperture, that will surprise you.

I took the camera, er, phone out in a few places and have a gallery started.

Ken's iPhone 4 Gallery

Enjoy, hopefully everyone attempts to build cameras of this high quality into their phones going forward.  It's an exciting time to be a photographer.



Bye bye, Leica


Recently, I gave up my Leica M8 and the lenses to mother eBay.  While it was something I felt I had to do, it was quite the anguishing decision.

What did I learn from my Rangefinder experience?  A TON.  I think everyone who shoots 35mm SLRs should pick up a rangefinder and start shooting.  It's a really great way to start slowing down and observing the world around you.

I'll miss the Leica. Maybe I'll get one of 'em when I retire from IT someday (yeah, 20 or 30 years from now, when I'm in my Lark enjoying the mall).  However, for now I'll focus on trying to take great pictures while slimming down my camera gear to more reasonable levels!  

I'd love to hear from other camera buffs who moved on from their favorite equipment.  I used to shoot the Mamiya 6 - a really fantastic medium format square format rangefinder camera.  I loved that camera even more than the Leica, but didn't love developing film.  I took some of my best pictures with that rig.  

Then there was the Epson RD-1.  A really great little rangefinder camera that suffered from TERRIBLE battery life and a company that just decided "nah, we're not in the camera business."  But I loved that thing.  Even had a fake film winder that re-cocked the shutter.  A little gem.  Shame I sold that to get the M8.

Anyway, on to other things.  As you can see in the image above, I'm now trapped inside of a consumer video camera.  HELP!