JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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Keep Your Eye on the Spear – and a B&W of a "Nan" shot

Jun 4, 2020

I still have a posting or two from my 2007 review, after the last posting, I have to post the image above from 2008. We timed our return to Easter Island in 2008, a stay of about four months, to conicide with Tapati Rapanui, the annual two week long cultural festival. This trip I added the Canon 100-400 zoom to my camera bag. This second spear throwing shot was one I was anxious to get. I've seen slow-motion video of arrows in flight, showing the up and down bending. So I stepped way back with my zoom (at 210mm) to shoot the spear in flight as it apporached the vertical banana tree trunk in the distance – a pretty hefty throw. I'm just not sure that the spear stands out quite as much here as it did for me when I was shooting it, hmm.

As I was pulling my last "potentials" from my 2007 files, Nan requested that I take a favorite shot of hers and turn it into a nice B&W. It's only a 6 megapixel jpeg, cropped, which means the potential was somewhat limited, but I think I did it justice. She caught the sun setting just behind the navel of Moai Kona Ngogoro at Tahai (I would include a later view of the same Moai at sunset in my Folio as Moai Sunset). She was seeing her composition as symbolic of the Island sometimes being referred to as the navel of the world. And yes, it will go into the Folio, with her name on it – I'll sleep safer that way.

2008 Tapati was covered pretty generously in the two volumes of The Moon has been Eaten. The Tapati Rapanui images I'm adding to the Folio now help complete the picture – and even more will be included in the "Moments" file I'm working on – see next note.


Easter Island Folio Expansion – some thoughts

A year ago I was pretty much convinced that the Easter Island project was signed, sealed and delivered. After all, I had about a hundred and fifty images in the Folio and two books (along with PDF versions). A couple of months ago I found myself revisiting my thirty thousand plus exposures – and I'm still coming to terms with my response. The project began with a goal in mind of somewhere around fifty large-printing scenics – the number that were pre-sold.

On the Island I found myself shooting people at times, something almost totally new to me. I even included a few of those images in the first book. Later more of them would show up in the second book. But my focus remained on the scenics.

When all that was "complete" I spent the next three years here in Havre de Grace shooting street events, haflas, Rogue Swan performances, etc., learning an awful lot, and, evidently, completely changing what I am looking for. So when over the last couple of months I found myself confronted with my body of Easter Island exposures, I found it was a very different me approaching the subject, almost totally uninterested in the scenics and focused on what I could see in the images of people and even performances.

I continue to be amazed at how many of these images suddenly demand to be worked up in B&W, many of which were simply grabbed for fun with a point-and-shoot or iPhone. With this posting I begin my review of 2008 images, having finished with 2006/2007, our first year on the Island. There are a total of two more years of images to go, exposed over the subsequent eight.

And all this doesn't include the not-ready-for-prime-folio images that are being marked for use in the "Moments" book I began putting together for Nan – the side project that got me reviewing the images in the first place, getting me into this predicament. Nan is pointedly looking forward to making her book collection a three volume set – not counting whatever I do with the 'Moments". Oh well, back to work.

I can't wait to get back to doing more of the local stuff. I'm learning all the time and have some promising ideas.

Equipment Update

I've been using a Fuji X-t3 along with an X-t2 for a while now. I just traded in the X-t2, vertical grip and a lens I never use for a second X-t3 body. It's not that I don't like the X-t2, it is a wonderful camera, expecially with the vertical grip. But the swap was painless financially and it eliminates the differences in the two cameras I'm using when it comes to settings and actual handling. At the same time, I'm interested in seeing if I would prefer one without the grip – lighter, smaller, etc. I looked into the X-t4 but am not really interested in shelling out that much money just to have IBIS – I prefer my stabilization in the lens anyway.

Everyone please stay safe – and, more importantly, help keep everyone else safe...