Here’s another example of how little by little I’m becoming “one” with the GR. Let me set it up for you. Friday night, I went to, Town Kitchen & Bar, one of Miami’s hippest places to celebrate one my best friend’s 40th birthday party. If you’ve been to a lounge type of environment, then you can imagine the lighting situation ― low lit tungsten lights galore and if you’re a strobist then you know this is a nightmare situation when it comes to various exposure parameters. To name one just think of the letters WB ― white balance. ISO 1600 & 3200 were the norm and more of the latter.
I wasn’t there to be the official photographer, not at all, I was just a guest and there to enjoy myself. Also you can imagine the rest of the guests with a bunch of point & shoots and their creeping slow shutter speeds, you know what I’m talking about. A 2/3 sensor can’t really handle this type of environment even with their powerful little flashes blasting away. Its just not a practical work around. I’m not being dismissive of those moments captured by other cameras but just judging them (the point & shoots) on their ability to capture the images accurately. Like one of my favorite wedding photographers, Ryan Brenizer, said recently in a post ― the moment always wins, and that’s the important part of storytelling.
But as a photographer myself and always trying to do the best that I can, I decided to put the GR through it paces in a horrible lighting environment and the result folks were very pleasing to me. Knowing the GR has an extensive list of options for flash I knew I had this part covered. I took my first shot in Av mode and I saw the shutter speed at 1/40th and that’s a no no. So what to do? Off course, I went straight to TAv (a Pentax-Ricoh exclusive option) and set my shutter speed to, if I recall correctly, to 1/250 to 1/500, and my aperture at f4. At f4 on the GR, I knew I had enough depth of field to cover the entire area of what I was photographing. So to make a long story short, here are the results. These photographs were processed in Lightroom from DNG’s, I applied some noise reduction (batch processed) to all of them and sharpening as well. I decided to knock off the horrible white balance issue with the low lit tungsten lights. I mean, I could’ve put a tiny gel on the GR’s flash to balance the output but that would have been excessive in my opinion, hence the classic BW film look. I curated and exported about 50 tiff files that told the story and imported them into “True Grain” and batch processed them again (folks it took about 3 minutes to process 50 images at 890px wide, my blog’s image max width, about 3mb a pop, not bad at all) with a preset I had developed and that’s how I arrived at what you see on your screen. To say I’m happy is an understatement, my friend loved my documentary style of photographs and they were an instant success on Facebook ― so voila Mission Accomplished! Again, let the GR be what it is ― the best compact camera that can photograph most types of genres. Don’t fall into this trap that the GR is only good for street photography because I’m here to tell you to wake up and look around this blog and you’ll see what I’m talking about. For me the Ricoh GR is the ultimate documentary photography camera, always there and always ready.
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