San Clemente CA is holding the 37th Annual Ocean Festival this weekend. In addition to various watersport and beach events for folks of all ages, they have a woody car exhibit on the pier that I try to attend every year.
I walked down the beach trail from our house to the event which is far easier as the streets leading down to the pier are always jammed with traffic and crowds. I brought my Ricoh GR as it's an ideal camera when you want to travel light. It fits nicely in my cargo pants and there was no need to bring along a camera bag.
I've been shooting the GR in RAW+ using the B&W effect mode and wanted to cover this year's event exclusively with B&W photos. The benefit of RAW+ is you have both your selected in-camera JPEG and the original DNG file. So, for those that prefer some color I included these two images which were processed using CS6 and ACR with no modifications except to save as JPEG's for posting here.
The rest of these images from this morning's hour and half walk were shot in RAW+ B&W. Other than adjusting the levels slightly on a few images and adding the frame with NIK software tools, these B&W's are straight from the camera.
While I'm quite adept at doing my own B&W conversions, Ricoh has always been known for providing film-like B&W images from their GR cameras. As I gain more experience from shooting with the GR in this mode, it's becoming clear that the additional resolution and sharpness of the sensor combined with Ricoh's algorithms are producing some of the best default B&W images of any camera on the market today. And since I shot only B&W film for the first 10 years when I got into photography, I'm very partial to visualizing life in shades of gray but never found a digital camera that I'd consider using with confidence primarily for B&W.
Note: click on any of the images in this post to see a larger file.
After taking the pier shots, I walked along the beach trail which is parallel to the train tracks. With the large crowds that attend the festival you have to weave around families and kids carrying all sorts of beach gear. The GR is ideal for photographing in crowds. I typically carry it in my right hand by my waist and being so small no one ever seems to notice I have a camera.
As you walk down the beach away from the pier, the crowds thin out and you can once again hear the surf breaking on the beach or folks chatting as they play volleyball just feet from the Pacific Ocean.