Hello. John Daley here.
I’m an amateur photographer based in Boston. I use this site to post a select set of some of my favorite photos with some commentary. I have an extensive, much more inclusive, collection of photos posted here.
You may have noticed that I work in black and white. I do some color work but here it’s mostly street photography done in black and white, my favorite type of photography.
Methods and Gear
I try not to use Photoshop for a variety of reasons. For image editing, which I rarely do, I use Pixelmator. It’s just as good for my needs, and much cheaper.
I use Apple’s Aperture for light workflow and processing; mostly adding a vignette, tonal adjustments and black and white conversion (using the Silver Efex Pro plug in). I’ve also been experimenting with Photo Ninja by PictureCode, which seems like a nice tool.
My cameras: A Leica M9 (my version of the midlife Harley) and a Nikon D800e. I also have older Nikons on the shelf.
I’m building a collection of M-mount lenses for the Leica.
I prefer shooting with 50mm primes. Until recently my favorite lens was the Zeiss Sonnar f1.5. I now have a Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH f1.4, which not only has great bokeh but is insanely sharp (when I get the focus right). I also use a Voigtlander 50mm Nokton f1.1 for atmospheric shots where focus isn’t critical.
On the Nikon I use a Zeiss 50mm manual focus Planar and an old Nikon Series E 50mm 1.8 manual focus lens, one of my favorites. (I have to admit that the new Nikon 28-300 is pretty incredible. But it’s heavy and bulky, something the Leica has spoiled me on.)
In addition to the 50s I have two 35 mm’s in the bag, a Voigtländer Nokton f1.4 and a pre-ASPH Leica Summilux f1.4. I also have a pre-ASPH 90mm Summicron.
Outlook on Photography
I’ve been taking photos since the 1960s. I’ve used SLR’s, mostly Nikon, through many generations, from manual shutter, aperture, focus, and frame advance, to rudimentary auto focus and matrix metering to today’s sophisticated DSLR/HD computer cameras that can perform photographic miracles.
I hate missing shots so I sometimes use these cutting edge tools. But I also love doing photography, so I go basic when I can. Prime lenses, especially 50mm primes, are my favorites. And using a rangefinder reinforces the fact that you’re taking a photograph. Focus, composition, DOF, and exposure have to be considered for every shot.
To tell the truth, I loved the quality but I hated dealing with film. It was expensive and I tended to be sloppy and impatient in the darkroom. Digital has been a godsend. The things that one can do today exceed the imagination of photographers thirty years ago. You could easily argue that this era is the golden age of photography.
My first choice in shooting is street photography. That freezing of the moment is, for me, the essence of the art. I’ve travelled a bit in the last few years and that has provided an opportunity for some interesting shots. I’ve found that outside the US (and especially in Asia) folks are less afraid of having a lens pointed at them, thus allowing themselves to be captured in a more natural way.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a great technical photographer. But I love taking photos. Leave a comment if you’re inclined or hit me at jjdaley (at) mac.com.