I began 2018 with a major equipment upgrade in the form of a new camera. My previous DSLR was over ten years old, and since newer cameras produce larger image captures, I wanted to see what kind of pictures I could make out of more digital “material.” I bought a Fujifilm mirrorless camera and two prime lenses, and though this new setup came with a steep learning curve, it quickly became an indispensable part of my daily work.
In February I began teaching again for the UGA Cortona program, beginning with a trip to Rome. One of the program’s major strengths is its travel itinerary, which includes weekly trips to many of Italy’s cultural centers: Firenze, Pisa, Siena, Assisi, and others.
I shot new digital photographs in all these places, and also in Cortona during its unusually cold winter. I tried to pay specific attention to the sensational experience of each location at the particular moment I was there. In order to understand the light and work with it, I had to slow down, look more carefully, and think through what I was seeing. I therefore gave new consideration to sites I had been to several times before, discovering new visual details in the process.
The new camera was an excellent tool for this job. It is compact and discrete, and light enough to carry one-handed on all-day walking excursions. Its design gives me control without complication, and it pulls in a terrific dynamic range of value and color.
Making technical upgrades can be fun, but I always try to remember that a fancy new tool is only worthwhile if it genuinely helps me make work of greater quality. In this group of pictures, I pursued my ongoing interest in complex pictorial composition while using the technical capacity of the camera to further expand and organize the value range. So to my eye, the tool offers me possible paths towards better, more interesting work.
Click on each picture to see it in its entirety.