First sunrise in Honolulu 2024.

My first entry into the New Year 2024. On the day after Christmas & after three years of dodging the “Covid” bullet, I tested positive…DAMN! What timing! Christmas & New Year is a time to be spent with family! Like everyone else, we took all of the safety precautions, wearing a mask & washing hands frequently, of having our traditional dinner with my immediate family but spent it isolated in my bedroom quarantined. Even though the safety precautions, my wife tested positive a few days later. Fortunately, my two daughters, brother, niece & her family steered clear & are all negative! What a way to bring in the new year!

Early sunrise street photography in my neighborhood, Kaimuki.

In April of 2023, after purchasing my Leica Q2, I fell in love with street photography & found it to be curiously delightful!! In my “work” environment as a professional photographer, I still find it strange calling myself a professional photographer after doing photography as a hobby for the majority of my photographic journey. I enjoy photographing people in general & looking for moments seems to be what I look for in all of my work, photographically speaking. This mentality aims to capture interesting moments on the street with everyday people. The shrinks say that one should have a hobby away from whatever I do as a “day” job. With my “day” job as a photographer, my hobby is photography & for the moment, it’s specifically street photography, my getaway. I have never been your “normal” kid growing up & am still the same today, a bit on the odd side, so photography is my hobby from photography! Lol!

Street photography in Kaimuki, morning prep.

I’m unsure if anyone feels the same way I feel when using different camera systems. A little something I’ve noticed after looking at my small body of street photography work is that when photographing an engagement, elopement, or even one of my creative projects with my Sony A7IV, I see everything in color, a very sharp technical sterile image, this is exactly what I want in the image. Having an eye to use the dominant colors of a scene, composition & more so, the lighting sets the mood of the image. As far as the noise is concerned, I try hard to minimize the noise but have come to terms with having a “noisy” image I believe it helps to set the ambiance to the whole image & it really doesn’t bother me at all if it is noisy. I’d rather have taken a noisy image than no image at all! The Sony will help me create beautiful color images of a bride tearing up at the wedding ceremony as she reads her vows or create a sci-fi glowing lightsaber scene out of Star Wars!

Street photography of a man waiting for his morning bus ride.

When I shoot with my Leica Q2, I see everything in black & white. 90% of the time, in fact, I find it annoying to have it set to color. However, there is the 10% of the time, that calls for color. I have three saved profiles that are set in monochrome & one in color. Rarely do I see anything in color; it’s so strange! The Q2 makes me want to go out to shoot my street photography work, where black & white can enhance the feeling of a picture of a person, place, or thing. Something I don’t get from my Sony, & I don’t think I’ll ever grab my Sony for street photography! It’s definitely too big, bulky & obvious to people walking by. When I’m shooting street, I want to be a fly on the wall.

Downtown street photography of a man & his best friend.

The Fuji black magic voodoo kicks in when I pick up my Fuji XT5! I don’t know what it is about Fujifilm, but there is an aura, a kind of mystique about holding & shooting with it! I can’t explain it & it’s the same with the Leica Q2! I used to shoot with a Fuji XT2 & XT3 before I moved back to Sony. I love it for street photography mainly so I could interchange different lenses with my two favorite focal lengths, even with my Sony 35mm & 50mm, a Fuji 23mm (35mm equivalent in full frame) & 33mm (50mm equivalent in full frame). In my opinion, it is the one fatal flaw in the fixed focal length of the Q2. With the XT5, I see everything in “Classic Chrome,” a Fuji film simulation, and I am starting to experiment with Classic Negative & shooting RAW + JPEG or just JPEG. As an Oahu photographer wanting to learn as much as possible about photography, I want to test it out on a portrait photo shoot. The Fuji system is lighter in weight & they are known for their excellent glass & weather sealing. The XT5 seems to me to be a gateway between Sony & Leica. It almost split down the middle of the technical image sharpness of a Sony & the b/w feel of a Q2. The XT5 has a 40mp sensor & Fuji is updating its lens lineup to be able to render the higher megapixel with their new sensors. Perhaps a change in the future for me? Who knows?

Honolulu hard working refuse workers in the early hours of the morning.

At the end of the day, wandering around the streets, I ask myself, did I enjoy my walk & doing some street photography? 99.9% of the time, the answer is yes! It really doesn’t matter if I got a shot or not. Just shooting for fun is great therapy for my mental health, especially with all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I’m not trying to impress anyone.

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