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Thursday, 23 October 2014


I pretty much have a camera with me whenever I leave the house. It used to be an Olympus XA in the distant past, and a Canon S70 or S95 camera in digital times. But in a way I was getting a bit frustrated by the knowledge I could do better if I would have made that picture with my DSLR.

It was one of the main reasons to switch to M43; an E-M5 with 12 and 45mm prime only need a very small bag I can use as fanny pack, shoulder bag or toss into any bigger bag I am carrying (for shopping or whatever).

The last year and a half has resulted in more keepers than in my most photography intense years in the distant past...

Mike may I respectfully suggest that due to the fact that you've moved to a new location it might be prudent to carry a camera each time you go for a walk,the odds are that you are going to be confronted with interesting images which you had not experienced in your old neighborhood.
This is likely to continue for a few seasons until you become familiar with your new surroundings and either become complacent or bored with the new vistas.
Lovely tree by the way Mike,also nice neighborhood,enjoy.

But, but, but... don't you always carry your iPhone with you?


I carry a camera - usually a Ricoh GRD4 - with me everywhere unless I'm in a bathing suit or my birthday suit (and in neither condition should I ever be seen in public). I've missed too many worthwhile photos for lack of said camera, to risk going unequipped again.

Who really carries their camera all the time?

If I leave the house, I try to make sure my Canon G12 is tucked under my jacket or overshirt. When I leave it behind, I inevitably miss an image.

Yesterday, we took a stroll at a cemetery when this presented itself:


I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Maybe Panasonic's new LX100 would float your boat, Mike.

During the working week - in the City of London - I always attempt to have my RX100 (and now the RX100 III) on me but sometimes I fail if I know that I won't be wearing a jacket as otherwise I have to fit it into trouser pockets already full of wallet, Blackberry and keys and often enough I am carrying an iPad mini too. Often enough though I tend to wish I had a tripod too but that would look weird going in to see investment banking clients...

At the weekends I always have a camera on me.

I very nearly always carry a camera. Maybe not when I go out to get the mail. I keep an RX100 in my purse (I don't have a smartphone), I call it my "purse cam." (I guess that's my answer to the small-camera question.) If I'm planning to shoot I'll take my K-5, an MX, or my PZ-1, depending on what sort of mood I'm in. However, the RX100 gets a lot of use for those unexpected things, and it performs admirably. I actually find it easier for wide angles, which is not how I normally see (I'm more a short-tele person). It's also really useful for those family get-together snapshots. I mostly don't like to take photos of social gatherings, but if someone wants one, I have a decent camera in my purse.

I do. It is very rewarding.

(Where all the time = 5 out of 7 days.)

Hi Mike,
At times, you really make me laugh, but then I stop and think for a while, and I realize you are not a photographer.
Who is a photographer then?
A photographer is a person who thinks about photos during the day, thinks about photos when falling asleep and wakes up with some fresh ideas about how to make the photos. If shooting life as it happens, outside the studio or an organized shooting session, is what interests that person, then she or he will always carry a camera when out and about. This is what I do all the time. But in case of this autumn tree, I would pass by without budging. After all, I am a B&W only person.
Take care.

It's been a great fall over here, a great year weather-wise so far (not that far west of you in Minneapolis). Ctein and I got out last Thursday to shoot taking advantage of fall color, but I didn't manage another day that weekend; maybe this weekend, since it's still lovely. (Or maybe I should process what I shot last week....)

I hate the constant editorializing about the weather on the news -- saying "nice" when they mean "hot and nasty".

About 3 years ago I started carrying my camera with me (almost) every time I go out. The idea was both to see more pictures and to take more pictures.

I would say it has worked. With the camera in hand my brain is always looking for pictures, for stories in the street, for shapes, contrasts, colors, all the elements of a good picture. And since the camera is in my hand, I take a lot more of the pictures I see.

That's not to say my hit rate is that much higher but I definitely feel more justified in calling myself a photographer. And if my pictures aren't all portfolio quality, there are many that are blog-worthy.

I have also, by the way, had to switch from a Nikon D300 which gave me tennis elbow from carrying all the time to a smaller, lighter mirrorless (currently the Sony Nex-7 but I have been thinking of switching either to an A6000 (or the rumored forthcoming A7000 or to Fuji (either the XT-1 or the rumored forthcoming X-Pro 2)).

I carry my camera with me all the time, even when taking a walk for a few minutes. I just put the camera in my backpack with ONE lens, whatever lens that strikes my fancy that morning, and it will be used through out the day. This is the rule I follow pretty rigidly since I shoot pretty much all manual focus lenses and I need to keep track of what I shoot with and it's working out well for me.

I have been doing this for many years, even when I had my very heavy, original Canon 1Ds, but now I carry a mirrorless camera. I do this because I bike to work everyday as it is much easier for me to hop off the bike and take a few shots than someone who drives. Many of my pictures were shot either on my way to work or coming home.

I will do this until the day I can no longer carry a camera :)

I walk my two dogs daily and it's the one time I usually don't bother with the camera, even if I have it in my backpack. The dogs just seem to know when my finger is pressing the shutter, and I don't think even 10-axis stabilization would help that kind of shake.

On the subject of upper Midwest U.S. weather I agree wholeheartedly. Duluth has been a total treat to us since moving from the Alaskan rainforest in July. Gentle breezes, 70 degree sunny days, and now a glorious fall with only the necessity of raking and gutter cleaning to bother us. Yes we know we will soon be chipping through 10 feet of solid ice to find our cars, but for now we love it.

Who really carries their camera all the time?

I carry 2 E-P5 cameras - 1 w a moderate WA, 1 w a moderate tele - all the time. If you doubt it, just ask some waiters at high end restaurants trying to find space on our table for our plated food, or my cardiologist (during a procedure), or a nurse during a blood test, or, for that matter, my wife when I pick her up and she tries to sit in the front seat.

This week I was in Mazatlan Mexico on a boat deal. Early mornings I walked and took some nice first light photos with my Sony A7r. then when the boat got hauled out for the bottom inspection I took pictures of the rudders, propellers and zincs with my iPhone and sent them to my client, from my phone, immediately. there would have been no time or place to download and send photos and get a response. twice in one day I had the "best" camera and they were totally different.

I think this ongoing debate will go on forever. Some people want to be able to record everything they see each day. for these people, carrying a smartphone camera makes sense.
Other people (like me) would rather only take "good" images, and would rather let an image go rather than waste time recording it.
It comes down to quantity vs. quality.
As for your glowing fall tree and zig-zag clouds, you still have your memory of it...

sometimes I (and, it seems, you) need a camera that's the right size to carry around while doing something else that might require both hands. Something that will fit in a pocket and that doesn't need to be looked after; it can be ignored until needed.

It needs to be reasonably robust, reasonably priced, and have a proper viewfinder. Unfortunately the last two seem often to be mutually exclusive; we now seem to be expected to shell out many hundreds of pounds to get something that used to be in nearly every camera.

If the weather conditions today are similar to yesterday, you have another chance at that sunset-lit shot. You can then say yesterday was for scouting purposes!

See yesterday's post about the iPhone.
I don't carry a cell phone at all, but your experience does show how having one would be helpful!

Surely this makes the case for a camera with you is better than one back at the house. It would seem that a recent iPhone would be suitable to the task of taking a picture meant to be shared with the readers of this blog. I think many see someone holding the camera phone with one arm extended and reason that no good photograph will ever result. My response would be to take the camera seriously and get stable: use both hands and pull your elbows into your ribs, take a knee or find a fence or tree to rest against.

Though I'm sure there are many who feel that the only picture worth taking is one from a D800 or A7R locked down on a tripod. That any photo must come from the highest level of technology and exhibit ne plus ultra image quality. If it doesn't look good at 100% on your display, it should not have been taken. YMMV.

well, I don't carry my *camera* with me all the time, but I do have my iPhone6 in my pocket!

Re carrying all the time. Twice, I've had my camera bag stolen overnight from my locked car. The last time was on the street in D.C. I decided the cameras and the lenses were goners but that I might get the bag back. I put the word on the street that I'd pay 25 bucks for my camera bag, no questions asked. Sure enough, a guy "found it on the street", without the cameras. He admitted he tried to cash the two $100 traveler's checks but was unable to do it. Moral. If it disappears, get the word out as fast as you can. Maybe you'll get something back.

I got to attend a Lionel Hampton concert late in his life. He was very elderly and couldn't play at the blinding speed he had as a younger man. I was prepared to be sad at his loss of ability but was actually very surprised at his contribution. It seemed more spectacular than anything I had ever heard him do before. In an interview shortly afterward he made this statement ( which I seen attributed to other musicians as well) " I don't play all the notes-just the right ones!"
Same way with photos Mike!

Now if only you'd had an iPhone 6 with you...

The eye is a terrific lens, the brain a world class sensor, and there's always plenty of memory.

I always carry a camera with me or have one near me. Even when cleaning the henhouse!

Once - early in the morning I was able to shoot some images of a roe in the backyard - which is extremely rare for this place. Thanks to having the camera at hand.


This has been a beautiful year visually in the upper Midwest. Most years my lawn turns partly brown by the end of July (2012 is was mostly brown by end of June) but this year it's been Irish emerald green the entire spring and summer. Looks great but expensive in both money for gasoline and my time keeping the two acres I'm responsible for trimmed. It's been worth it. Has the soybean field behind your house been harvested yet? If not, be sure to keep the house windows closed while the combine is doing it's work. Soybean harvest creates huge clouds of dirt and dust.

Now that we have so many excellent compact camera available, it's easy for a photographer to have an "everyday carry" camera. One that is small and light, but still shoots high quality images.

I think I have three or four that fit the bill. It's really an embarrassment of riches in some ways. At work, I always have several cameras, mostly Fujis, at hand, but for personal walking-around, I can choose from a Fuji with the cute little 27/2.8 pancake, a Sony RX1 with the amazing 35/2 Zeiss, my old GF1 with the 20/1.7 pancake, or an RX100 for a pocket camera. The Fuji with the pancake is the usual choice, but I do try to mix them up a bit.

I want that new Panasonic compact, the LX100. Mmmm. Built in EVF, built in very fast zoom, 4/3 sensor.

This looks like a job for .... iPhone 6 ... to the rescue.

Yes, I'm one of those who always carries a camera. However, it's not my DSLR; I have a small Lumix DMC-LX5 that's easy to carry in my purse.* I'm currently shopping for a micro 4/3 camera so that I can easily carry a better camera with me. (Having trouble making a decision; there are too many good choices.) I have this fear of being without a camera and needing or wanting to take pictures. Also, I don't have a smart phone and prefer to use a dedicated camera.
*My "purse" is a small camera backpack.

”Who really carries their camera all the time?"

Like many people these days, I do. It’s not my favorite camera, but it does remarkably well considering it also serves as my primary computing and communication device. Of course, I’m talking about my iPhone...

Important question: was your iPhone in your pocket when you went back into the house to grab your camera? ;)

Of course I carry my camera all the time. And you should to! Then you would have gotten the tree-shot, the better one. So, now you know.

Since my college days, I've carried a small shoulder bag with space enough for a camera. 40+ years later, I still carry a shoulder bag with a camera whenever I go out. I rarely fail to use it, even when going to the store! There is always something of interest to photograph!

- Richard

See. You need a companionable camera. :)

Mike said: "a dramatic, vivid and highly improbable zigzag cloud formation"

Kelvin-Helmholtz waves, perhaps?


People who are interested in sky phenomena (rainbows, halos and glories, along with unusual clouds) often do carry a camera all the time for the fleeting event.

The same with street photographers.

[No, but those are amazing and I'm glad to know about them. --Mike]

Hasn't that question been 'overtaken by events?' Or are there still photographers out there who do not consider smart phone cameras real cameras? Even after smart phone photos have been published in every publication from The National Geographic to the NYT? I don't have a smart phone, so I do carry one of my cameras a Sony TX 10 with me all the time. When I had access to an Epson 9900 printer I found that I could make great 2x4 foot prints from the Sony jpg files - I did not try to make the prints any bigger because I only had a 24 inch wide roll of paper.

Well , one of the things you hear often is to have a camera with you all the time . I only shoot daylight so yes I have a camera with me all the time. Maybe it is easier because my favorite digital camera (Ricoh GR) is a camera that is easy to take it with you all the time . I moved to Brussels and often go out just around the neighborhood to get some groceries . I can think of THREE instances in just the last two months when I would have missed a great picture if I did not have my GR with me. Now when I leave , regardless for how long , I make sure my GR is in my bag or my pocket. H

It's no big deal if you missed a shot or two. To put it in context, there are photos just begging to be shot every minute, every second around the world; one cannot get to them all.

Minor White used to tell a story about being on a photo journey in the southwest one summer and coming around a bend in the road in late afternoon and there, in front of him, was the photo he had been ready for all day. The light was going and there was not time to set up the view camera. But, he said, there was time to expose the heart.

iPhone, last night

(Nothing beats iPhone panoramas, IMHO)

iPhone, published in Autoweek, October 13

I rest my case.

My RX100 is in my pocket as I type. In summer it lives in a pocket of my cargo shorts; other seasons it lives in a vest, sweater, or jacket pocket, while a spare battery lives in the watch pocket of my jeans. Today I got out my D300 to shoot the eclipse, but it was the first time I used it in weeks. So yes, I carry a camera with me all the time.

Not only do I carry a camera all the time, but currently I'm toting a Nikon D7000 with a nice big 18-140mm lens. I've gotten used to doing this. In fact, if I show up in my usual haunts WITHOUT a camera, people ask what's wrong with me.

Other times I'm carrying a Ukrainian rangefinder or a Canon EOS 10s; a little bit primitive, but it runs and it's paid for.

With best regards,


Carry a camera all the time? We have no excuses not to. If Vivian Maier could carry a medium format TLR around and amass such a huge pile of images, why can't we? She took it everywhere! Those things are heavy! ( I have a Mint Yashica D and it makes a nice bookend.) I used to carry a D300, now I am light weight with my EM5 and 9-18 lens. Whee. Those of you with newer cell phones with a decent built in camera are truly spoiled.( I don't own a cell phone, don't feel like being tethered to the world ).

I carry a camera religiously. These days it's either a D3200 (usually with the 35DX) or an FE with a 50/1.8, but it's been any number of compact DSLR's, SLT's or Mirrorless bodies over the years. I've actually switched systems to get a better light carry option (for several years circumstances required that my primary body be a light carry camera, I'm now back to being able to regularly use a more capable body and have gone back to largish DSLR's as a primary).

My phone does have one of the better cameras available, but I absolutely loathe trying to use the thing. I've had several high-end phones over the years, all have completely sucked as photo taking devices.

Carry my S100 with me almost everywhere - biggest issue is remembering to charge it regularly - since its always in my bag I sometimes forget that and to put in a fresh memory card

Always. I normally carry a satchel bag anyway (a cheap, tatty canvas thing you can buy on markets for around £20) for my Nexus tablet, newspaper and a folding brolly (this is London). A small Domke insert in one corner and the XE-2 with 18-55 slips right in. There is just no reason NOT to take one.

And there are many times I'm glad I did.

Nikon, 20mm, extra roll of Tri-X, always.

I recently found a home printed B&W 8x10 of my twenty-something self, dressed "Manhattan" (workday suit w/tie) complete with Burt Reynolds mustache and a Rollei 35s around my neck. That was the early seventies, and it was my habit to walk toward the U.N. from my office in the Chrysler building at lunchtime. Sometimes with a friend, usually alone, I was a street photographer - I just didn't know it. Tourists, New Yorkers, buildings, skies, bridges, cars, nooks & crannies, all fair game.

Way too fast forward 40 years - Los Angeles .... still carry a camera every day, still love 40mm lenses, still shoot as much as I can, still fascinated by my new home town of thirty years. Something new every day. Family, grandchildren, the beauty of California, unique architecture, unique people, unique cars. Even found a mint Rollei 35s. The fascination is new every day.

Despite being given a number of cameras, my wife, both sons, & their wives are iphone & iPad shooters. They don't know their supposed limitations - they just produce a constant flow of timely, funny, warm, pics and videos, effortless "how did you do that?" effects, an ongoing diary of life. And life is great.

Stay busy & healthy Mike, and "don't leave home without it".


I do, too. One of these: voigtlander vito c, olympus xa4 macro, olympus sp350. Depends on how I feel.

When I think about, and it's slightly surprising, the only time that I go out of the apartment building without a camera is when I'm going for a run round the park. Usually that device would be either a Mju-II or a Rollei 35S, depending on how "manual" I'm feeling. They don't *always* get used of course, but I do seem constantly to have a few rolls of film waiting to be home-developed and contacted. When I'm going out with the intention of making pictures then one of the tiny cameras comes along too, in addition to the bigger, heavier device.

Back in prehistoric times I used to carry a very inexpensive, 2MP Fuji digital point and shoot. I switched to the classic Olympus Stylus Epic because I wanted something less dependent on batteries. I used it until it developed light leaks. Then I started carrying a crop-sensor DSLR with a prime lens.

Now I barely have time for photography and most of the time only have my smartphone.

I miss a lot of photo opportunities but I'm learning to embrace that. Like the commenter above said: expose your heart.

I might accidentally leave the house without a wallet or keys but never without a camera. Not since I missed that giant Extraterrestrial Landing after stumbling upon an illicit liaison between Beyoncé and Rush Limbaugh at the carnival that was ignited by a meteor shower...

Yep, camera toting every time I go out the door. Normally a Panasonic GX7 with 20mm pancake. I can't help myself. And you just don't know what will present itself.

Yes, me, nearly always. This is why I'm finding the Leica X2 and X so appealing: handy size, good lens, etc.

On the rare occasions when I dont, I have the iPhone along.

I carry one at all times. I have made a lot of photos of things I've seen that would not be there later if I had to go home for the camera.

That's a silly question. I carry a camera all the time. And I miss nothing.

I used to carry my GRD-4 all the time hanging around my neck. (Only a dumb phone is small enough to fit comfortably in my pants pocket.) But when travelling, I always pack a camera with 2-3 small lenses and a telephoto.

At home, my Tele-Takumar preset is permanently screwed to my other lens module, ready for when a cooperative subject drops by outside our window. Like this brown shrike. Cute but loud, s/he's easier to hear than to see.

I took this photo when I visited my hometown earlier this year. Mt. Amandewing is always there but often shrouded by clouds. I had to get off the car and wait a bit for the clouds to clear its peak.

Climbing its peak, the tallest in our island province, is near the top of my bucket list. With a little help from my friends, I'll schlep my wooden tripod, my fastest normal, my longest telephoto, and the right camera (I only have one).

^Kirk Tuck, lol.

I'll join the chorus with my own "always have a camera." Feel naked without one. Since I'm almost always leaving the house with a messenger bag, I keep two cameras in there: always the RX-1, and usually a Pentax with a longish prime attached, and the 15 if I'm heading to a job site. The RX-1's a beauty (and I'm really happy with its little fill flash), while the Pentax is pretty portable and occasionally brilliant.

As for iPhones, yes, I've got one too, but I just can't seem to gel with how you open the app, how you frame the picture, or how you deal with common less-than-ideal problems like backlight or a scene with high tonal range. Ironically it's usually just easier to reach for another camera.

This summer I made a concerted effort to use the iPhone as a camera, and I shot a lot of pictures. Of course there's always a few interesting ones, but on the whole it felt like a crap shoot rather than a photo shoot (har har).

You mentioned the "...highly improbable zigzag cloud formation that I'd for sure never see again if I lived three lifetimes..."

It might have been a daytime fireball meteor with a residual smoke trail. These will often become severely contorted with time as winds at different altitudes blow the smoke in different directions. Here's an example (bottom of the page):


I used to carry a Nikon D70 everywhere, then a D300 everywhere. For a short time it was a Contax 645 in my shoulder bag every day. That didn't last long. Then it was a Fuji X-Pro 1 and then a Zeiss Ikon ZM. Now I'm down to a Ricoh GR10 that fits anywhere and everywhere. I have an iPhone 4 but the lens is getting scratched up, I don't like having to swipe, swipe, get my fingers out of the lens, etc to take a photo. I prefer film, anyway.
The Ricoh is for when I don't expect to be taking any photos. I.e., walking to the shops or something. If I'm going out for a walk I'll bring the Zeiss Ikon. If I'm going somewhere to make photos I'll bring the Contax, a tripod, more than one lens, etc.

I carry my E-M1 with me all the time, in a small incospicuous side bag with my phone and my wallet. I've just had my first local exposition, and many of the more appreciated shots were possible only because I had that camera with me in that exact moment of my life - shots that simply would not be feasible with the smartphone because of focal lenght, f/stops and many more elements...

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