An Ode to Transitory States of Being

@keithpictures shot by @rrrudya

A camera is the shot.
It’s at your eye, framing and objectifying how you see. It exists as that synthesis of the hand, the eye and the brain — the cybernetic extension of your mind & body. A camera is its viewfinder and its screen. It’s the shutter button and the lens pointed at a subject. A camera is a medium between the world and the photographer, a vessel, a recording device committing a moment to memory. It’s processing power; it’s aperture and frames per second and shutter speed. A camera is the…


These are the things to consider

If you love taking photos with your smartphone, it might make sense to get a dedicated camera. Smartphone cameras are getting better and better every year, and indeed they are good enough for most people in most situations (especially now that night mode is a thing, along with optical zoom features). But a smartphone camera will never fully compete with a “real” camera. Here are the reasons why.

  1. There are three major components to any camera: the sensor, the lens and the body. No matter how good smartphones get in the next few years, they will pale in comparison with…

A look at the current camera market of 2020

There’s a funny phenomenon in the world, an unintended effect where actionable results are actually impeded by over-abundance. Too many causes to care about any, too many goals to focus on one. If options were limited and choices were simple, maybe we’d finalize more decisions. Such is the case with the market of dedicated cameras — devices hardly anyone needs anymore (given the ubiquity and adequate quality of our smartphone cameras), and yet potential founts for drastically improving what so many of us purportedly care about: images.

I’ve been studying the camera market for some time, as a professional photographer…


The LX100: A Jack of All Trades

I talk to a lot of casual smartphone photographers; I even used to be one myself. We all have similar feelings: the convenience and compactness of the smartphone is great, but the quality and control, while often good enough, aren’t at all ideal. We know there are better tools for taking photos, but the market of dedicated cameras is incredibly daunting. How to choose the right camera for me? Might as well just stick with the phone…

Let me simplify things: consider this one, the Panasonic LX100 II (or the cheaper original version).

The LX100 series is a surprisingly unique…


Finding the right solution for a protective lens filter

I own the Fujifilm X100V because it is the best synthesis of size, style, price and image quality of any camera currently available. Fuji has carved out for itself a cool, vintage-made-modern reputation, and their X-system cameras instill an inspirational, contagious shooting experience. I love my X100V, and take it with me everywhere, always ready for photographic moments.

But as a User Experience thinker, it still does leave some things to be desired. Case in point: sealing the front lens element on the X100V. The camera body is deemed to be…


(Texting on a November Day)

(This story sat unpublished for four years. I have decided to publish it, without editing.)

It’s 5pm on Wednesday in Oakland, CA and the sun is already setting. Jason is pacing around his apartment. He still isn’t hungry for lunch, having eaten a big breakfast around noon with too much coffee, having typically slept in, having typically stayed up late reading various articles on Reddit. He feels restless, tries to work, stares at his laptop screen. He wants something else, though: interaction.

His career makes him anxious. He should find more graphic design work, maybe apply to a proper firm…


Considering this career change

Failure is a dirty word in the United States. We tend to punish ourselves emotionally for feeling it, and I’m no exception. As an artist & writer for more than a decade, it’s not easy for me to accept that I have a very dull future, and I wonder how much I accept that. Is it a fact that these fields are simply beyond my grasp as a functioning adult? Or might I be able to unlock some dormant business acumen in order to actually “succeed” in “life”?

I can say, as a traveler living abroad, that I do think…


Why isn’t my life how I want it?

I’m speaking with a mentor about my life goals, habits and barriers, trying to get insight into why things aren’t exactly how I want them to be. She’s given me these questions (in reverse order):

Q: How do you feel 12 months from now, when you have successfully created your vision of the future for yourself?

A: I feel great. I can picture myself relaxed, in a nice apartment or house, looking out the window at a sunlit scene in the distance. It’s late morning and I’m drinking coffee; my partner is here, reading a book or something. I sit…


The Internal Struggle of Unpopular Opinion

I consume a lot of media. I read a lot from diverse sources, I constantly watch longform interviews on YouTube while editing pictures, and listen to podcasts whenever I’m not doing the other two. Lately I’ve been digging deeper into issues around race, since Black Lives Matter is dominating our current moment. And I’ve actually found a lot of great information that belies my conventional wisdom on the topic. It’s been an uncomfortable journey, but a profound one. I’ve always taken institutional racism as a given, always presumed that protest movements against race were founded on deeply unjust truths that…


It’s not like I stopped writing. But after finishing the 5th draft of my novel, I sort of lost momentum. It wasn’t exactly writer’s block — more like disillusion, or just basic discouragement. I couldn’t get that book published (for a variety of reasons, mostly political and structural) and had a hard time adjusting to short-form writing again. And I didn’t see an immediate benefit to sharing my words on platforms like this, where it just gets swept under the rug, lost in a sea of infinite content.

Mostly I’ve just been journaling, writing my words at 750words.com. I would…

Keith Telfeyan

Flâneur. keithtelfeyan.com | California — New York — Berlin

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