Letting the images speak for themselves

ricoh grd, street photography, grd 3

For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.

― Henri Cartier-Bresson

I’m starting these written thoughts from the premise of this quote by Cartier-Bresson. A quote I think happens to immortalize the spirit of what Ricoh (the division of photography) envisioned when they created these series of cameras — the Ricoh GR Digitals. A tool which can create a visual sketch book of sorts almost like the brush of a painter as he composes his vision on a canvas.

The Inner Components

The Ricoh GR Digital III has been introduced by Ricoh in 2009 following the already highly successful lineage that was established in the summer of 2005 with the first incarnation GRD I. Although this is not a technical review is worth highlighting some of its greatest attributes.

GR Digital III major specifications:

  • Magnesium body
  • CCD: 1/1.7″ primary-color CCD with 10.40 million effective pixels
  • GR Lens: Focal length 6.0 mm (equivalent to 28 mm for 135 film cameras), 8 elements in 6 groups (two aspherical lenses/two aspherical surfaces)
  • Aperture: f/1.9 to f/9 (+f/8.0-f/11 in auto mode is with ND filter)
  • Shutter: 180, 120, 60, 30, 15, 13, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3.2, 2.5, 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1 – 1/2000 sec
  • Focus: Multi-AF (CCD method), Spot-AF (CCD method), Manual focus, snap, infinity (focus lock and AF auxiliary light also available)
  • Macro: 1 cm
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, Auto-hi, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
  • Display: 3-inch TFT LCD, approx. 920,000 pixels
  • Dimensions: 108.6 x 59.8 x 25.5 mm (W x H x D); does not include protruding parts
  • Weight: Approx.188 g (excluding battery, SD Memory Card, hand strap)

What does this all spell – versatility and options

When you can grab a camera and I mean any camera whether its a small compact or dslr and totally feel at ease with its handling, its menu systems, the optics, this all spells a recipe for a winning formula, one Ricoh has captured and has continuously made better with each iteration of the GR Digital Series.

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A Few Words About The ImagesI post processed all images in what I like to call my digital darkroom comprised of Adobe Lightroom, Silver Efex Pro, and Pixelmator. I adjust curves, tweak contrast and saturation, work off custom made presets, and rarely crop in order to achieve a certain look. That said, all images were taken with the Ricoh GR Digital 3.Daido MoriyamaI believe its impossible to talk about the Ricoh GR Digital cameras without mentioning who can arguably be said made them world famous – Daido Moriyama.Daido Moriyama, Ricoh GX200I mean every time you hold the the GRD its like if some kind of spirit of adventure and curiosity all of a sudden just takes hold of you body and arm and photographing just becomes an extension of your eye. Its really an uncanny feeling and one only GRD owners can relate, its by far a mystical sentiment without a doubt.Ricoh GRD 3, Street Photography, GRD Street photography

Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.

– Walker Evans

Powerful words from one of the great masters. Often times we start to photograph and don’t know what to photograph. Young photographers try to constantly visit new places in search of the golden nugget, a busy street, a common market, etc. But the truth of the matter is, that street photography is all around us. Its always with you at all times. Why? well like Walker Evans so eloquently stated we need to “educate our eyes . . . stare, pry, listen”.

Ricoh GRD 3, Street Photography, GRD Street photography

As such, its important to always have a photographic tool at all times, because in time you will start to the see the world thru a frame. It happens at some point in our photographic journey. For some, it may be sooner than later, and still for others, it takes a while. Nevertheless, the moment comes to us all.

Ricoh GRD 3, Street Photography, GRD Street photography

The moment that our eyes and our photographic tool of choice are synchronized as one and then we begin to “trust our instincts” and act as one – one eye & one vision.

Ricoh GRD 3, Street Photography, GRD Street photography

As such, its important to always have a photographic tool at all times, because in time you will start to the see the world thru a frame. It happens at some point in our photographic journey. For some, it may be sooner than later, and still for others, it takes a while. Nevertheless, the moment comes to us all.

Ricoh GRD 3, Street Photography, GRD Street photography

The moment that our eyes and our photographic tool of choice are synchronized as one and then we begin to “trust our instincts” and act as one – one eye & one vision.

Ricoh GRD 3, Street Photography, GRD Street photography Ricoh GRD 3, Street Photography, GRD Street photography Ricoh GRD 3, Street Photography, GRD Street photography Ricoh GRD 3, Street Photography, GRD Street photography

All images are copyrighted and property of Jorge Ledesma