the slacker is back from Japan!

I know, I've been remiss in posting here. I'm on a mission to make a regular date with myself to get things posted more often. It's so hard to keep up with everything, isn't it? I just returned from a great experience speaking in Tokyo for WPPI Asia. It the first time they had the convention there and it was quite a cultural adjustment for all the speakers involved. Speaking of speakers, I was honored by the company of Vicki Taufer, Jerry Ghionis, Clay Blackmore, Doug Gordon, Sandy Puc, and a handful of Japanese photographers who's names I'll avoid butchering. We all had a blast hanging out, playing with curious food items on our plates, singing badly to karaoke (except Jerry, who actually sounded good), and admiring the amazing Japanese culture. We were unamimous in our appreciation for the friendliness, helpfulness, and all around respectfulness of the Japanese. That's a lot of esses. While I've been to Japan several times before, for most of the others it was a first experience.

On the first night there Jerry and his lovely wife, Georgina, took us all out to dinner and besides having a smashing good time, I spied Jerry's new point-n-shoot camera that he acquired while in Japan. It was the Ricoh GR III. He was really excited about it and I took a peak and got jazzed too. The next day I was the proud owner of one myself. This compact camera has a fixed 28mm f1.9 lens! At first I thought, "fixed lens??", but the allure of the 1.9 was just too much. The camera turned out to be amazing and I had more fun with this thing than I've had in a long time, with any camera.

For the rest of the trip, this was the only camera I used. I found it refreshing, and challenging at times, to see the world through just one lens. It made me think a little harder about how to compose and capture without a longer focal length option. OK, I lied a little. I actually bought an even wider 21mm conversion lens that snaps on the front. 21mm in a point-n-shoot! It was awesome. The camera has every kind of automatic and manual control you can think of AND it is the most intuitively laid out camera I've ever used. It rivals my Nikon SLRs for features, and even surpases ANY other camera in some regards. The high ISO noise is really low - better than I've seen in any compact camera (although my Fuji F30 is still one of the most amazing in low noise and I'm going to do a side-by-side test soon).

The camera can capture in JPG or RAW - using the common DNG format! Thank you Ricoh! It has in-camera HDR capabilities, Perspective correction, B&W + Toning, full control over color palettes, saveable custom setups, time lapse, and much more. Anyway, here are some images I took while in Japan. All are with the Ricoh with the normal 28mm or the add-on 21mm lens. Some were converted to B&W in-camera, others were worked in Lightroom. All were processed just in Lightroom using my Lightroom Presets.

I loaded these to a .me gallery since there were a bunch. Click here to view all the images.

Vicki Taufer does her best geisha girl walk