Iso a lady who knows how to use a strap on

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Over these last six months, the Q ed me while on asment in South Korea, trekking across Myanmar, hiking the mountains of Shikoku, and spending a few freezing nights on Mt. And in subzero temples, as candlelit Shinto and Buddhist fire ceremonies ushered in a new year. I traveled to these places mainly for work. And because I had no plans to return to them soon, I often had but one chance to get the necessary shots. The Q did not disappoint, hiccup, lock up, or stutter. The images in the essay are a testament to its capabilities. The Q is small but substantial. It becomes an effortless all-day companion.

Strapped across my chest, it was banged sideways against rocks, motorcycles, stone walls, metal water bottles, farmers, cats. And while I was suspicious of the value of the camera at first, these past six months have made it clear that this machine has serious legs. I now understand the limitations of this photographic instrument, of which there are few.

It took me three months to get mine. Make no mistake: The Q is a surgical, professional machine. It pairs best-of-class modern technology superb autofocus, an astounding electronic view finder, workable ISO s up to and beyond 10, a fast processor, beefy sensor with a minimalist interface packed into a small body, all swaddled in the iconic industrial de for which Leica has become famous. If the GF1 so many years ago [3] set in motion an entirely new genre of camera with micro four-thirds, the Q epitomizes it.

It should not exist. Out of the meetings. Away from the committees. How did it manage to maintain such clarity in its point of view? It makes my other cameras feel downright sluggish. The scale definitely tips in favor of autofocus. The Q also has a splendid manual focus mode.

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Manual focus is engaged by pressing an ingenious little tab on the focusing guide ring. This tab unlocks the ring and switches the camera into manual mode. In doing so, the Q merges both the manual focus interface and the engagement switch. The viewfinder then uses both magnification and focus peaking [5] to make it straightforward to acquire your target, even in near pitch-black, candlelit settings.

This also has the added benefit of total discretion — autofocus activates the red focus-assist lamp below a certain lumen threshold. By focusing manually through the electronic viewfinder, and using the silent electronic shutter, the entire contraption operates in total stealth. Swooning, even.

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Of all the little touches on this device, manual focus may be my favorite. Unlike other digital camera manual focus rings, this one has a hard start and stop. There are edges to the mechanism and, from those edges, affordances to the experience. The result is that two meters away is always the same distance in ring rotation. Distance guides can be printed on the lens barrel allowing for dependable street photography zone focusing. The Q allows, if you so choose, to develop the same set of muscle intuitions.

Having grown up photographing with film and spending years developing black and white photos in my university apartment in Philadelphia, cropping has always felt like a hack, a lie. Of course, all photos are lies, all photos are crops. The very definition of a photograph is to add edges to the world, slice off some snippet, place it in a tiny box. The Q shoots only at 28 mm. You can zoom and zoom and crop and crop and the image still feels like archival data. Of course, you lose the compression coupled with resolution that comes from the optics of a long lens, but you can eke far more play and versatility from this 28 mm lens than I first imagined possible.

If the thought of a fixed 28 mm lens has you on the fence, consider reconsidering. This just means that 35 mm or 50 mm frame lines are presented in the viewfinder and, when you press the shutter, the Q saves the image within those lines, approximating having a 35 mm or 50 mm lens.

The Q ships with the frameline switcher mapped to the button most cameras use for exposure lock. This is probably to keep it from wallowing in some purgatory of menu obscurity. Thankfully, the Q allows you to remap that button. One of the first things I did when I got the Q was change it back to exposure lock. Of all the little touches on this camera, this crop-mode function is the only one that feels like a gimmick. Like some acquiescence to marketing department demands on the part of engineering and de.

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I find it far more pragmatic and fun to crop after-the-fact in Lightroom or Snapseed. This philosophy feels like the natural way to approach digital photography — the crop being not only acceptable, but also an intuitive and native part of the digital development process itself. To shoot and not consider cropping is to somehow deny the medium part of what it does best.

If the prime metaphor for this camera is a scalpel, then the striking thing is that it keeps cutting — finer and finer — long after the image is captured. The Q loves shadows. Take, for instance, this image from New Year's Eve. I captured it as I ran alongside men carrying a giant burning torch towards a Shinto shrine for a pre-midnight ritual:. The details revealed are subtle but absorbing; we keep the energy and structure of the flame but also gain a bit of context: The stone lamp becomes a fully fledged object, the men below and aside the flame visible.

Will they ignite themselves? We don't know. But now we can ponder it because we can see them.

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A nice little twinkle in the corner. Do hulking Nikons and Canon perform similarly? Are they as easy to carry, minimal in interface, and as joyful to use as the Q? Probably not. Do you see this photo below? This family? It was my birthday. Our first day in the field. We were led through rice paddies in the countryside of Burma. This way, he said, the man who arranged the interviews for our work. We were there for work. It was my birthday, you see. I had been sick, was still sick. And there is a certain brand of melancholy that descends only with sickness.

A feeling amplified by a foreign setting, far from typical comforts. You feel vulnerable. Compounded by an overly dramatic, borderline ridiculous, fatalistic certainty that it will end your birthday, the cold, life itselfthat you are fallible, certainly not invincible. I was in that fragile state on this day, my birthday, in the rice fields of Burma.

We spoke with the head of this family for an hour and a half. Two hours. Part of the ritual of the work was to photograph them at the end. To take a snapshot. A memento that would be printed and returned to them as a token of gratitude.

Here we were, in a room without electricity. Their home. And they all sat facing the slanting late afternoon light of the early Burmese summer crop season. The father is in the doorway, shirtless. He laughs. I photographed. Everyone was present. They were glad we were there. We were happy to have gotten their time.

Iso a lady who knows how to use a strap on

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