Old City, Philadelphia

Bhavna and I were in Center City section of Philadelphia early this morning. I had a CT scan and pre-surgery testing for my upcoming orbital decompression surgery. The Wills Eye Institute is several blocks, about a 10-minute walk, from the outer edge of the Old City section of Philadelphia, which was an excellent opportunity to capture some images at Independence National Historical Park for Frank's weekly challenge.

Bhavna is still recovering from her foot surgery. Her foot is still sore, and she did not think that she could walk the distance Old City, so I went alone. She stayed behind in the sitting room at Wills Eye Institute.

Old City, Philadelphia
Aug 30, 2019, Tourist, Old City, Philadelphia — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

I wanted to be respectful of her time. I quickly walked to Chestnut Street to Independence Hall. Tourists were milling around outside the building and only later did it occur to me that people might be enjoying the long weekend to visit this historic section of Philadelphia. I stood close to the edge of Chestnut Street to get a photograph that included as much of the Independence Hall building as possible while reducing the chance of tourists stepping into my frame. It was frustrating. The 16mm end of my Fujinon XF16-55mm R LM WR lens was not wide enough for this occasion.

Independence Hall is where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution signed, bringing into existence the United States of America.

Old City, Philadelphia
Aug 30, 2019, Liberty Bell, Old City, Philadelphia — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

After photographing Independence Hall, I turned around to head inside to photograph the Liberty Bell. Although I have visited and photographed Old City a few times, this was my first visit to the Liberty Bell. It seems the popular activity is to take a photograph in front of the Liberty Bell.

The State House bell became a herald of liberty in the 19th century. "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof," the bell's inscription, provided a rallying cry for abolitionists wishing to end slavery. The Anti-Slavery Record, an abolitionist publication, first referred to the bell as the Liberty Bell in 1835, but that name was not widely adopted until years later. ... Beginning in the late 1800s, the Liberty Bell traveled across the country for display at expositions and fairs, stopping in towns small and large along the way. For a nation recovering from wounds of the Civil War, the bell served to remind Americans of a time when they fought together for independence. Movements from Women's Suffrage to Civil Rights embraced the Liberty Bell for both protest and celebration. Pennsylvania suffragists commissioned a replica of the Liberty Bell. Their "Justice Bell" traveled across Pennsylvania in 1915 to encourage support for women's voting rights legislation. It then sat chained in silence until the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Now a worldwide symbol, the bell's message of liberty remains just as relevant and powerful today: "**Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof***."

After I got my photograph, I stood there watching the Bell and pondered how incredible it was that I lived in a part of the United States with such historical significance.

Old City, Philadelphia
Aug 30, 2019, Liberty Bell, Old City, Philadelphia — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

After photographing the Liberty Bell, I looked at my watch and realised that I needed to get back to my wife. I walked down 4th Street, crossing through Independence Square toward Walnut Street. I felt rushed and wish I had more time to compose my shots. Perhaps I'll plan a photo walk with some friends.

Old City, Philadelphia
Aug 30, 2019, Thomas Jefferson Garden, Old City, Philadelphia — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
Old City, Philadelphia
Aug 30, 2019, Independence Square, Old City, Philadelphia — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
Old City, Philadelphia
Aug 30, 2019, Commodore John Barry Statue, Old City, Philadelphia — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

John Barry was the first Commodore of the U.S. Navy.

mpb.com (mpb.com)

Leica’s recently-released Q2 has been making waves. It looks like a pretty nifty full-frame compact camera. But, retailing at over £4,000, is it too expensive? We thought we’d take another look at the original 2015 Leica Q. It’s available used for around half the price of the Q2, so it could be a wise purchase.

Back in the old days of photography, when film technology advanced as quickly as a snail crossing a road, I think Leica camera would have been a good value for those who could afford the upfront cost.

Let me define my terms.

value: a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged

The film Leicas had a cost and quality of experience that was excellent. The buyer could be assured that the camera would last “their” lifetime and with care in maintenance, produce the same quality of result on each snap. A digital Leica, in my opinion, is far removed from the word value. Is the image quality superior to what can be found on similar featured digital fixed lens cameras? At the rate of development of digital technology, whatever image capture experience the digital Leica may offer, the technology itself is quickly (18 months?) surpassed by some newer (and often less expensive) digital camera.

I think someone paying US$4,000 for a camera that will be technologically obsolete within months of purchase is paying for the brand and what they think that brand says about them.

I've read a few articles stating that the Fuji X100 series offer better value. The latest model, the Fujifilm X100F, is US$2700 cheaper than a new Leica Q and almost $2000 more affordable new than a used Leica Q. I rented a Fujifilm X100F for a weekend and fell in love with the camera. Even though I have a Fujifilm X-T2, the experience with the X100F was, please forgive me, "magical". It's among the things I would always carry when leaving the house; wallet, smartphone, sunglasses, X100F.

So while I understand that, for some people, the Leica Q is that magical camera, I don’t think the magic is worth that price. Perhaps I’ll have to rent a Leica Q to experience it for myself.

Photo by D A V I D S O N L U N A on Unsplash

Tuesday Photo Challenge – New by jansenphotojansenphoto (Dutch goes the Photo!)

After a week filled with all things with an Age, this week will be all about things New! Whether it’s a newly hatched chick, a young lamb or a shiny new pair of shoes, your challenge is to take a fresh (new) look at what the creative juices in your brain lead you to! Let the ideas flow freely and celebrate the start of a new season (Summer or Winter, depending on your location) with your imagination!

The title of this post might suggest that is an entry for last week's photo challenge. But it isn't.

Last weekend, we celebrated Bhavna's 50th birthday by bicycling and bar hopping through Philadelphia's Old City. The we was me, Bhavna, her older sister, her younger sister, her brother, her three cousins, all their spouses, and Bhavna's best friend. Fifteen of us did the Big Red Pedal Tour around Old City. It was an entirely new experience for all of us. We visited three new pubs, Irish Pub, McGillin's Olde Ale House, and So Good where I tried three new ales. In between stops at the pub, we took turns pedalling on the bike. This was a new experience for my thighs and calves. Ow!

I also gained a new perspective on Philadelphia. I've only seen parts of this town and only in the early evening.

Front to Back and Left to Right — Mukesh, Sameer, Dipan, Ami, Mihir, Falguni, Khürt, Jeremy, Ami, Toral, Gina, Sonali, John (the driver), Nilima, Uday, Neha — FujiFilm X100F + 23 mmf/8.0 ISO 12800

I rented a Fuji X100F for this occasion. The Canon EOS 5D Mk III would have been too conspicuous and difficult to carry. Besides documenting out new experience I wanted to try some street photography, which is something entirely new for me. Most people mistake the Fuji X100F for a film camera. The design and the small lens and knobs, to my mind, are less intimidating than the large bodies and lenses of the traditional DSLR.

Empty — FujiFilm X100F + 23 mmf/5.6 ISO 12800 — CC BY-NC-SA