Thursday, January 4, 2024

Welcome to the Camera Ninja's BLOG

I'm a photographer in San Diego.  I enjoy and therefore focus my 30+ years of experience on portraiture photography.  I don't feel I'm the best, but as the Camera Ninja, I've captured some very marketable images and more importantly, I really enjoyed the experience and the results.  This BLOG is the result of various people asking me advice or questions and, like my other BLOGs (Cyberthoughts The Throb of Life), the strange need to jot it down.  All images are mine and under copyright unless specifically stated.

Starting Out In Photography - Choosing A Camera

Why Photography?

As you begin your journey, it' will be important to think about what you first plan to do as a photographer. As you look at the work of others, what is your focus? You don't have to limit yourself to just one genre or type of photography but what you want to do will inform your first steps in your learning journey.

Rarely do photographers limit themselves to just one aspect of photography. Initially you can't afford, nor does it makes sense, to purchase a whole bunch of kits to perform various task, but rather a camera body that accepts different lenses. But... It's OK to purchase a camera that has a fixed lens to get started. Cameras like the Fujifilm X100v are excellent cameras and are one of the most popular street photography cameras.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Fuji Love Continued

It’s been a while since I’ve published something here.  I’ve been spending most of my time lately writing over at but it’s time I provided a much needed update. 

My first BLOG entry on the CameraninjaBLOG (this site) was “Nikon, My First Camera Love”. It was appropriate since I’ve been driving Nikon cameras since the mid 80s, starting with an EM that my dad gave me.  I move up from there to my next favorites, FE-2, F5, then to a small digital, the D300, and now to my D800.  (I still have the FE-2).  I followed that article shortly after with “Fuji Love”, describing how much I enjoyed my new adopted platform, the FujiFilm X-T1.  This article is about continuing that journey on the Fuji train with my X-T2 and as of about 2020, I started using an X-T3.  I’ve been wanting to write this for a while and was inspired to get to it when someone reached out to ask what I thought about the Fuji cameras and what he should buy.  What follows is my answer.  Read Fuji Love because the X-T2 is just a better X-T1.
(Updated 12/28)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Preparing To Photagraph A Wedding

I've recently photographed a wedding and thought I'd pass on what I learned during my preparation and day of shooting.  One of the things that I read in the photo-blogs is that a photographer is not only a creator and artist, they have to be problem solvers.  I'm not the best artist but I am a problem solver (my day job).  Shit will go wrong, camera setting will get hosed up and when you see images start to come out of the envelope, you need to be ready to adjust.  For a wedding, you have to know the equipment inside and out and roll with the punches.  I've been driving a Nikon for 40+ years so the menus, ergonomics and operation is second nature. My backup camera for this job is a Fujifilm XT-1 and I'm not ready to make it a primary for a fast moving shoot like a wedding (More about why is published HERE).  (I have used the XT-1 for portraits and you can't tell the difference in quality even though it weighs 4 pounds less.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Is the Fujifilm X-T1 Ready for Weddings?

I'm going to attend 3 weddings in three months this year.  I've attended two and have one to go.  On the second, I'm the primary photographer.  I've read and posted about photographers dumping their heavy Nikon and Cannon gear and switching to the X-T1 for wedding photography.  I've used the X-T1 for portraits and a Senior Prom shoot right next to my Nikon D800.  In both cases, I was using an external studio strobe or multiple remotes.  It performed perfectly in those roles and other than the small difference in saturation, you can't tell the difference.  I've used the X-T1 in the studio and in natural light.  I love the camera.  I wanted to answer for myself how practical using the X-T1 as a primary for wedding might be.  So I took it to wedding 1 to find out.  (Note, all the photos here are from the X-T1)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Backing up Tags on Flickr

I started using Flickr in November of 2007 (although my collection of photos that were uploaded predates that).  I love Flickr and have used tagging extensively so that I can find my photos.  As a cloud service, Flickr hosts my photos, allows me to share them and enables albums, searching and more.  All of this comes at a very low yearly cost with no software to upgrade, patches to apply or something to re-install on my new computer.   I can do all of this on any device, phone, tablet, computer.  Flickr has recently pushed out a large upgrade of their service,  and they apply small improvements all the time.  Flickr is a perfect example of “software as a service”.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Do You Backup Your Photos?

Do you backup your photos?  Good, glad to hear that you do.  Wait!  you only put them on a USB drive?  You should do better and here’s why.  
  1. If you only have one backup, when you go to restore from that USB drive or CD it won’t work.  It’s almost a guarantee.  If you have two options, the first always works.  Its some sort of spooky gadget thing.
  2. Fire, theft or some other destructive power can ruin your whole day.  
  3. If you use a USB drive, you won’t be be alone with the people that forget to backup after every shoot.  In fact, some people who have the drives don’t do it but every few months.
  4. Pictures are irreplaceable moments in time.  If you lose a bunch of documents it may not be too bad (unless it’s your wife’s PHD thesis that she is working on then you better get out of town).  To lose all your photos is a real disaster (unless you are really into the Zen thing and and into full unattachment).  You can’t recreate images.