Wed, 26 Feb 2014 23:03:53 GMTThe X-T1
This is not a technical write up, it is simply what I think and feel about the X-T1 and Fuji and the reason I purchased the X-T1 as soon as it was available.
Not long after I had brought the XE2 the X-T1 was announced, I was a little gutted but decided I would stick with the X-E2 and see how things went, having moved over from Nikon Pro gear to Fuji I was actually struggling with the XE2. The sensor is better than the XPro1 and the images were very nice, but the XE2 was just a little too small in my hands and the fact Fuji removed the View Mode button was very annoying. One of the most annoying problems was shooting nighttime at events with a bright viewfinder in my face. Of course I could have just taped the sensor up to keep the EVF lit and not the rear screen but just as I was working on a solution the X-T1 was announced.
The tasters and the reviews on the X-T1 convinced me to sell the XE2.
I shoot street and events. I am shooting Portraits this year and I shoot landscapes for pleasure.
I gave up my Nikon Pro gear in the hope Fuji had the answer to carrying around 20-30 Kilos of gear the X100 got me hooked. The XPro1 is a dream for most situations but unfortunately not events. The viewfinder is a little small even with a +1 diopitor glass, the fps rate is also a little slow and so was the af speed. The write speed was far too slow for live music events. I know I am comparing this amazing camera to my D3s and the plan was to shoot in a different way, but if there was a chance Fuji had made a camera that was as good as a crop sensor DSLR I did not want to miss out.
I was reading the write ups on the net and listening to the guys that had X-T1’s on test from Fuji in my facebook group Fujiholics Anonynous and they were all comparing the X-T1 to full frame DSLRS used for shooting sport ! It was not getting compared to other mirrorless cameras it was getting compared to full frame DSLR’s.
I picked up my X-T1 yesterday from Sarah at Cambrian Photography with the battery grip and the nice free leather case that I will never use! I hardly got to see my own camera as the staff in the shop all wanted to see and hold it, this was great news, if they were that interested it had to be special.
The little leather case BLT-XT1 and blanket (Camera Wrap By Fuji) were great, it was a free gift from Fuji for placing an early order, the case even opens at the bottom to allow access to the battery which is nice little touch, it does not allow access to the card slot now on the site but with a 32gig card I can’t see that as a problem. I also ordered the VG-XT1 Battery grip for shooting portrait and the extra battery capacity is great for long exposures. Some people might think it defeats the object of buying a small camera, but it’s nice to have the option of extra battery power on occasions, for me it will be great for events.
The X-T1 is stunning, yes that’s my first impression, the view finder is massive and bright, the rear tilting screen is a bonus. I have seen so many people putting the tilting screens to great use a events and out in the street I decided a tilting screen was a must have. I love my XPro1 and will not part with it. The rangefinder is not my classic go to street and landscape camera. The X-T1 is my event camera as well as my Portrait camera; of course I will use it for Landscapes as well as soon as I get myself the electronic cable release.
There has been a lot of talk on facebook about button placement, but no one likes change and everyone likes to compare ! So I will compare it to every crop sensor DSLR I have used, this little camera is a game changer. It’s better than any non pro DSLR body I have ever used and its kicking at the heels of the Pro bodies. As I remember my D3s cost me £3999 and its functions are very close behind the D3s for £2999 less ! The af is not as fast as the D3s the high ISO of the D3s can’t be matched by the X-T1 but even the D4 is struggling to do that!
The af speed is the best yet for Fuji and its great in daylight. I have not given it a test at an event yet but my D3s used to struggle to focus at night at events. The write speed on continues shooting is very very good and just firing off a few bursts last night I did not wait for the buffer once and could carry on shooting in bursts, now this is a big plus point for events. The X-T1 with the grip is light and it feels great in the hands, the menus are simple and you can assign most used functions to function buttons and the Q menu is very useful. I am not going to post any images just yet as there are plenty to look at on the internet, but I can tell you the Jpegs look the best yet, I shoot RAW and will be waiting for the lightroom update so will be shooting RAW+Jpeg for a while.
I used to shoot film and this camera reminds me of the Nikon FM2. It feels just great in my hands, I set it up last night and just fell in love with this little Fuji, I also love my Xpro1 so won’t be parting with it any time soon.
My first talk this year on my Year of Black and White was to a local camera club and after showing the guys my Fuji gear one asked if I worked for Fuji ! I guess the passion that Fuji are showing for their amazing cameras and lenses is showing in me. Fuji have changed the way I think about photography and made me more passionate about what I do. Fuji are not only passionate about the cameras but the Fuji staff are excited and passionate about the end users passion. They listen to the feedback on every camera, the staff are on facebook and other social media interacting with photographers, feeding back all the comments to Fuji HQ, the guys at Fuji are pushing forward, they have a fantastic lens road map for 2014/15 and some very exciting cameras in their future plans.
Fuji have changed the way I think about my craft and taken me back over 40 years and made me want to start all over again.They have given me my passion back by putting all the passion they have for photography and film in to these little cameras. At last a company that are doing things for the right reasons and not just mass producing cameras for profit.
I have been so impressed by what Fuji have managed to do this year and can’t wait to see what they bring out in the future..
Mon, 20 Jan 2014 20:18:39 GMTLondon New Year Photowalk South Bank
The weather forecast was not great it was pouring down in Liverpool as we jumped on the 7.01 from Runcorn, but by the time we reached London it was nothing more than drizzle. On our way from the Euston Station to the meeting point at the Tate Modern the rain stopped and there was even a few gaps in the clouds for a spot of sun.
Jane and I popped in to the Tate for breakfast and then met up with the main group at 11.00, Jane volunteered to take the group shot. Grabbing my Fuji XE-2 from my bag, the image is above.
Not a bad turn out for a cold January, I think in the end with the people that came a bit later there were about 50+ people.
We spent about half an hour in huge engine hall of the Tate, taking a few shots and getting to know each other before setting of along the river. The plan was to make our way along to Borough Market for lunch then on to more sights and sounds of London, but unfortunately, Jane and I could only stay for half the day as we had promised to meet up with friends at the SWPP, this was a bit of a shame as it was such a great walk, and looking at some of the blue hour images taken after we left I feel we missed out on some great photo opportunity's.
It was nice to meet up with a few social media friends, and make a few new friends along the way, its so nice to meet people from social media in the flesh so to speak, even if it is quite hard to work out who is who from their profile images.
London is great for photography as long as you keep to public property, I hear some of my friends over at the SWPP had a few problems when they first left the hotel, turns out they were on private property, so on the first demo photowalk with the Police and Security all turned up. I am pleased to say this photowalk was well planed and organised, away from the hassle of the private security teams.
Borough Market is great to explore and the food is stunning, Jane and I will be planning a return trip at some point for more food tasting and to capture some more of the sights of this great part of London.
I have spoken to Gordon and he is already planning a Brighton Walk and we are talking about a Liverpool walk this year, so if you are interested keep your eyes open on our social media feeds.
Sun, 12 Jan 2014 13:32:14 GMTThe Bag is Lighter
As everyone now knows I have moved from Nikon to Fuji over the last 18 months, this has some major impact on my back and shoulders as well as the storage area taken up to store all my photographic gear.
It’s a welcome change and from now on I have a lot less gear to carry no matter where I go or what I shoot. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of camera bags as there is hardly ever the right one for any job. However with the size of Fuji gear I have found myself just using off the shelf canvas bags, they are not as padded as the photography bags, and to some extent this is a lot better. There is far less padding so much more room for your gear and you are carrying around a bag of foam. Some of my padded DSLR bags are great but they weigh a ton, great for storage but a nightmare to carry and transport.
I found a great bag from Next last year that was so good I brought 5 of them at only £20 each it was well worth it. Unfortunately Next don’t list this bag any more but I will keep my eyes open and if I find one the same I will let you all know as soon as I can. The bag is in the image below but also here.
I am not going to list everything in the image above as it is further back in my blog and I don’t have any of this kit any more now I have moved over to Fuji.
So what’s in the new bag below?
Fuji XPro1 With 18-55mm f3.5-5.6
Fuji XE2 With 14mm f2.8
Next Canvas Bag
SnapR25 camera straps, bags removed
Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 With 486 Ball Head
EF-X20 Fuji Flash
HiTech 67 Filter System with 10stop and 6stop and full set of hard and soft grads with HiTech holder
CD case to hold the filters.
Think Tank Card Holder
I am very happy I made the switch to Fuji, the new lens roadmap has some stunning glass in the lineup; I can’t wait to get my hands on the fast zooms.
I carried the above bag around Venice every day for a week and it was never a burden, the tripod just slips over the top under the flap out of the way. I would love a neat tripod back pack bag but the only one I have ever seen is a neat one by National Geographic that is too small.
I can’t wait for Scotland this year; I will have only two bags of kit to take and not four so I can store more clothes and food in the camper.
The image below is my out and about Lighting bag 1 and is just the basics without the stands etc
You can clearly see from the image what’s in the bag, but it you want to know more then get in touch.
Sun, 22 Dec 2013 19:09:58 GMTYear of Black and White 2013
What can I say about my year of black and white! It was quite an easy project to be honest, a lot easier than I first thought! There were a couple of times I wish I could have posted some great colour images but not many. I did miss a few sunsets in 2013, if I am perfectly honest I missed a lot of sunsets in 2013 ! I also did not shoot a lot of images in autumn and Christmas has been a little quiet on the photography front. But apart from that the year has been good.
I started out with my camera monitors set to black and white, but this only lasted a month! I could not cope with trying to work out the tones with my crap eye sight, on the back of the camera in the field. I have also grown up shooting film and I did this without a monitor on the back of my camera. I guess growing up shooting black and white you learn to see the tones of the colour image in your mind’s eye, and this gives you an idea of what a final image will look like after editing. So the cameras got set to standard colour RAW.
The next issue that happened in my project was the X100 came in to my workflow and threw a great big spanner in the Nikon works. I started shooting with the X100 and its files were just the most perfect files I have ever seen for black and white. My favourite Nikon Body for black and white was the D200 this old Nikon body was just so good at producing a RAW file for black and white. The X100 was better, I started to use the X100 more and more and in the end I sold my D200 and my D7000 because I was only using the D3s and the X100. I thought these two cameras were just perfect for black and white and for my future projects. But then it all changed again! I found myself not using the D3s and having 30k in Pro DSLR gear laying about not earning its keep was bugging me. The X100 could not replace a D3s, so I went out and brought myself an XPro1 with a couple of lenses from Cambrian Photography. I was shooting the Liverpool International Music Festival at the time and took the Xpro1 along to give it a try. It was slow and not a DSLR and I was not sure what to do, but after a while I decided I quite liked the way it made me think ! I was shooting with the pack with the D3s and when I got back home all my images shot on the D3s were the same as the rest of the Press Pack. Mine stood out only because they were black and white. But the few shots I got on the XPro1 that day had a little more thought go in to them. That was it I decided to sell all my Nikon DSLR gear and move over to Fuji Mirrorless. This is a leap of faith in my ability to make this system work for me in 2014. I have now got a Xpro1 and an XE-2 with almost all the lenses Fuji make. So this is one of the biggest changes that have come from my black and white year I am now a Fujiholic. Totally addicted to Fuji cameras, the build quality is amazing and the lenses are stunning, I am in the process of adapting the way I work to fit in with the camera system, it’s a very steep learning curve but I am getting there.
My black and white year has also taught me to slow down and think, to take my time, to wait and to shoot less. I am not a great memory muncher any way to be honest, but my black and white year has made me shoot less and this is a good thing when it comes to editing . I now have more time shooting and less time editing.
I have tried to shoot Jpeg with the Fuji’s as others do but for me it’s just not working.
I have been asked over two thousand times this year how I process my black and white and what pre sets and actions I use. Well the secret is, there are no actions and no pre sets. I shoot the image and have a plan in my head already at the time of shooting for how I want this image to look when processed. So after downloading the memory card I import straight in to Lightroom 5.3, then I open the image in Lightroom and clone out any dust and marks as well as birds and crisp packets etc I check the image at 100% and also check for sharpness and camera shake. There are the odd occasions I have to go in to Photoshop to use content aware clone but very rarely these days. I then open the image in Silver Efex Pro 2 and convert it to black and white. I then use the sliders to give the image the look and feel I am after and this is how I first visualized it when I shot it. There have been many times at this stage that the image is rejected, becuase I just don’t like the look and feel. If rejected it then gets left on the hard drive to have a look at later in Colour ! When I made all the changes I need in Silver Efex I then import it back in to Lightroom for some final tweaks before exporting as Jpeg. I start every black and white image from scratch so sorry guys there are not actions to share or presets to share. I can’t show you all how I process my images because every image is different. I have however found a new way to process Colour so in 2014 I will be using the same method I use on my black and white images to make Colour images.
I have always hated colour images and struggled for years with colour film ! I only ever processed colour transparency film. I was late to digital and have never been a fan of colour digital, until switching over to Fuji and now at last its growing on me. There is something about the Fuji sensor and the way the camera processes the images that has made me want to explore colour.
So will I stop shooting Black and White in 2014 ? No is the simple answer! I will probably shoot 90% black and white and 10% colour, black and white is my passion and always will be.
So my black and white year has made me move over to Fuji, I don’t think this would have happened if I had just carried on as I was, so that is one thing to thank this project for.
I have learnt a new way to shoot colour and discovered also that the Fuji cameras give me a RAW file that more suits my needs as a photographer and hopefully, not only does it make my black and white images stand out from the crowd but next year it might even make my colour images stand out from the crowed.
I have had some great feedback and interest in my black and white project and learnt a hell of a lot about myself that I cant put in to words in a blog post. I can recommend a year of black and white to any one so why not start one in 2014 ?
If you have any questions about my year of black and white or my change over to Fuji then please get in touch.
Happy Christmas and Happy New year to you all.
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 23:43:21 GMTFace Behind The Keyboard 2014
My new project has not started just yet, but it’s already very exciting !
As my year of black and white project comes to an end on the 31st December 2013 my new project with start to unfold as of the 1st of January 2014 ! The previous post gives you a few reasons behind the project but this update will tell you a little more.
It’s all getting very exciting, so far I have about 30 people interested in letting me shoot their portrait! The first person ( Victim ) is a photographer friend who lives local to me, Warren shoots some amazing images and his black and white images tell some amazing stories so you would think I would be shooting Warren the photographer ! But you would be wrong, I am going to shoot Warren the ……… well you will just have to wait and see.
I am also going to shoot Sarah as my first girl Victim and this shoot is already very, very exciting but quite an awkward shoot so quite a few elements have to come together to get it just right ! I am quite sure it will all start to make sense once you see the first two images. I can’t promise they will appear very quickly in January as one is quite complex but once I get the first two out of the way things should start to flow as people understand what is going on.
If you want to get involved and have your portrait taken by me at some point in 2014 then send me a message via social media or to email@example.com letting me know your location in the UK. If you are visiting the UK and will be in Liverpool at some point then let me know and I will see what I can do. I know one Lady coming from Australia this year who will be getting involved and she does not know it yet !
I have had some interest from a couple of companies that are interested in me shooting their back room staff, the faceless staff that no one ever sees like their Customer Service Teams etc So I will be looking in to this over the next few months.
This is going to take me right out of my comfort zone and in to a whole new one to one area of exploration for me, I need this in my life right now and some of the people I will be shooting are also at a major event or crossroads in their lives and this might just come out in the portrait.
One of the questions I have been asked is will I still be shooting black and white and the simple answer is yes, it’s in my blood, I will be mostly shooting black and white from now on but there will be colour in my work and possibly in this project.
I will be using the Fuji XPro1 and the Fuji XE-2 to start this project and no doubt the XPro2 at some point when its available. The Fuji system is all I use now so I am going to have to slow down the whole way I work from now on. I have been DSLR free now for a couple of months and things are working fine, I am still adjusting in to the steep learning curve but it’s almost like going back to film and I love that it makes me think. From the moment I picked up the X100 a year ago I feel I want to create new work and not want to put the camera down! I feel Fuji created this camera for me with love and attention to detail even putting it in a beautiful box. So much so that I now have every lens Fuji make and love every one for a different reason. Fuji have made some amazing cameras and lenses and these cameras have now inspired me to slow things down and to think ! I want to now do the camera justice and create great images to share with you all and to do this I want to spend a year exploring my social media friends lives from behind the keyboard and bringing them to life in an image that tells us all a story! To say I am excited about this is an understatement!
I am writing this and as I write it I am getting messages from my first two victims with more and more ideas of how they would like to be shot. This is very scary and puts me in a very uncomfortable position and that is where I need to be, I think I create better images under pressure.
There will be a feature on my Year of Black and White and leading in to my Face Behind The Keyboard Project in Januarys edition of Professional Photography and I believe this is out on the 19th of December so make sure you grab a copy. I will update you all as to the feature as soon as I see a copy.
I won’t be able to shoot every one that messages me for obvious reasons, but I will try my best to get round as many of you as I can, if you live in the North West you stand a better chance than any one on the South Coast but I do plan to try and get around the UK and once I have a decent list of people I will plot the lot on a map and try and put a route together, the only down side to this plan will be the weather for the outdoor shoots I have planned.
Hope you all have a great Christmas and a Happy New year..
Sun, 01 Dec 2013 11:50:40 GMTXE2 In the Street
What can I say! Street shooting and Fuji go hand in hand, I lost my confidence shooting street years ago when digital first came out, everyone looks at you when you have a DSLR and even worse when you have a D3s hanging round your neck or any pro body DSLR ! I used to get asked quite a lot was I press and what was I shooting! I just got fed up with trying to explain myself. I like to shoot up close with short and wide primes, but in the end to get a more candid shot with a DSLR I had to start shooting with 300mm Prime or 70-200mm Zoom and it was driving me mad.
The DSLR and 300mm Prime worked very well for my event work, shooting up from the pit to the stage or walking around fields or events I could just pick my shots, it all works very well in the event environment but I was never very happy shooting street shots with a 300mm lens.
I have watched a few YouTube clips on different styles of Street Photography and I think mine is somewhere in the middle. I like to talk to some people and engage with them, sometimes we swap details and I send them a few images or give them a business card. Other times I like to include them in the shot but without them knowing what I am up to, the XF14mm Fuji lens is great for that, you can just pretend to shoot a wall and capture a person or people in the very wide view.
Using a DSLR for years I have never realized how great the rear screen in live view for composing street shots is on these little cameras!
As soon as you put your eye to a camera everyone knows you are about to shoot! But looking at the rear screen people take no notice of you! I noticed this with my i phone you can use your phone all the time and no one takes any notice, you are not a photographer with a phone, it’s just a phone, I am quite sure half the time people don’t even realize people are taking shots with a phone, most of the time you can pretend you are texting and shoot what you like.
I was very unhappy with one aspect of the XE2 when it first came out, I am hoping Fuji will correct with the first firmware update, that is the fact you can’t view and review with the EVF only. But yesterday it made me use the rear monitor by accident. I was struggling to get the angles on the shots I wanted due to the amount of people in the city so in the end I was using the rear screen and the fantastic zoom feature found by pressing the scroll wheel! I could check focus and shoot without lifting the camera to my eye, not something I thought about with a DSLR but it’s great to have this feature on a camera.
I was watching another guy walking around with his camera resting over his arm and trying to work out what he was up to, in the end I walked up to him to be nosey ! He had a tilt screen and was using his arm to steady his camera as he shot candid portraits from waist level. I have to admit I did think that was great.
I did take my XPro1 with me and have included an image at the bottom of this post with a shot through the XF35mm lens, I love both cameras it’s very hard for me to say what one I like the most they both have little features that make me smile, the XPro1 feels more like a camera than the XE2 and I do prefer the XPro1 in my hands, but the XE2 is growing on me.
I have had a few messages from people moving over from a DSLR to one of the Fuji cameras and one of the biggest problems they have is how the camera feels and looks in their hands. I fully understand this problem, I went from a Nikon D3s to the XPro1 and that is one hell of a size jump. But once you realize that size does not matter it’s what you do with it !!! (Sorry had to be said ) Then you can move forward and to be honest the Fuji sensor is so good, who cares if the camera feels a bit like a toy.
I had a great time at the Liverpool Christmas Market, it was very busy so will have to have a return trip. It’s the famous Santa Dash this weekend So 10,000 Santa’s shopping and staying in the city over night does not help. I can’t shoot the Santa’s this year as black and white won’t work with blue and red Santa’s and all the other colours I have seen , so going to give it a miss this year. Next year I will hopefully be shooting it with the XPro2 so will have some brightly coloured Santa images for you.
One last thought for every one shooting Christmas Markets, the feedback I got from the stall holders was that they have never seen any images that get shot of them, they say they have thousands of photographers pointing cameras in their faces every day and although very nice they would love to see some of the images! So drop them a card or even a print if you have time. We might think we are the only ones taking a shot but some days they have more Photographers than they do customers! Have fun…
Sun, 17 Nov 2013 17:47:16 GMTFuji XE2
I was going to wait for the XPro2 to arrive at some point next year, but just could not wait! I needed a back up camera for my XPro1 and when the XE2 came out, it just looked so good. I hear a rumor the XPro2 will be weather sealed, this is great news. I know everyone else would like a full frame model but this would impact on my investment in Fujinon lenses, so hope the XPro2 is still a crop sensor.
I decided to have a look around at some of the early images posted by Kevin Mullins and some of the other Fuji guys and decided I had to have one, so put my order in to Cambrian Photography in Wales, so a big thank you to Sarah, only a three day wait for a new camera was well worth it. If you live in the North West or North Wales I can recommend a trip to Cambrian Photography! The place is just full of great camera gear and they have a great coffee shop across the road and fish and chip shop close by! But be warned they have most of what you want on the shelf and in stock so take your credit card!!
I decided to give the XE2 a day out at Chester Zoo, a little strange you might think for a mirror less camera that is supposed to be slow! You could be right, but I am going to be shooting events in some low light situations in 2014 and need to see what this little camera can do. I opted to try the Fujinon 55-200mm 3.5-4.8 lens, the main reason for this was my preferred set up in 2013 was a 300mm 2.8 Sigma on a Nikon D3s so I wanted to see what I would be missing and how well the XE2 would cope !
I was not putting the XE2 up against the D3s just wanted to know how differently I will have to work next year, I did however get a good feel of the XE2 as compared to the XPro1 and now know how I will have to set myself up for my first event.
The XE2 has lost the View Mode button in to the menu. This is the only annoying thing I found about the XE2 over the Xpro1. You can’t shoot and review the images on the rear screen using the EVF only! You can review the images in the EVF but the main reason I use the rear screen is to check focus, so this is very annoying, hopefully Fuji will fix this in a future update. One thing I do like is the fact you can now Zoom in to the image on the rear screen and the EVF to check focus and you can assign this to a function button, this is a welcome update.
I can tell you all that the focus is faster and the time lag on the shutter button is so much better than the Xpro1, I can’t compare it to the XE1 as I have not owned one.
I was shooing in the Zoo on an overcast cloudy day in very low fading light, so I set the XE2 to Auto ISO letting the camera sort out the ISO whilst I sorted out the Aperture and Shutter Speed.
I have got to say I was very impressed with the XE2 and the 55-200mm lens, it’s a strange combination, the lens is quite big for the body so it’s all out of balance but it does not take too long to get used to the set up, you can shoot with this set up all day without getting arm and shoulder ache, for me that’s a bonus. It’s not a D3s with a huge fast prime but in low light my D3s used to struggle to focus. The XE2 is not as fast as the D3s but its only fractions of a second off the focus and in some cases it might find focus when the Nikon cant, so that will be interesting at an event ! It’s a lot faster than the XPro1, so that’s a positive step in the right direction. The image stabilization on the 55-200mm is amazing! When I first put the lens on the XE2 with OIS turned off I thought I had made a big mistake and wasted my money on this lens, but when you turn on the OIS, the lens is a different beast! I would say the OIS is stunning! I was shocked at how quiet and stable it made the lens, so much so that you can shoot at quite low shutter speeds and still have sharp images from this set up.
I have to say the light faded very quickly so the XE2 was put under a lot of pressure for its first time out of the box, I was not expecting a lot and due to the fact I set it up to EVF only, I did not have a chance to review my shots until I got home. When I did see the results I was happy! More than happy!
Last year in Applecross, Scotland I had an Otter follow me along the shore line and only having my X100 with me I could not get the shot, I was annoyed with myself for not bringing my D3s out that day, but at the same time I was happy not to have to carry all that gear with me! That day and my event work was the reason I decided to buy this 55-200mm lens, it’s not as good as a fast prime but I am quite sure that when Fuji do bring out some fast prime telephotos or zooms they will be very impressive.
I am not going to go in to the technical side of the Fuji XE2 or the XPro1, there are plenty of places for that on the web, but I will say I am so glad I sold all my Nikon Pro gear and went over to Fuji. Size and weight alone is a big reason, the Fuji crop sensors are stunning, I have used most of the Nikon crop sensor cameras and I can tell you they do not come close to the sensor in the Fuji X series! You can crop the hell out of the Fuji image and even at 100% crop have a great image. I don’t often, if at all, crop my images, but for the people that do this is the sensor for cropping.
The day Fuji bring out a Full frame sensor if they do, I think they will cause quite a stir in the photography world, to be honest I am happy with the crop sensor and not sure I need to go back to full frame, I did say to myself that if I needed to go full frame after selling all my Nikon gear I would just hire it for the job, but so far I have just shot everything slightly differently.
I have some spare time next Friday to get back to Chester Zoo, so will give the XE2 a bit more of a test and try to get some movement for you, I always find the winter is a good time, as the Cats are a lot more active in the cold than lazing around in the summer sun.
The one surprise of the day was the tiger cub image at the top of this post, it was shot at 200mm (300mm 35mm EQ) ISO 6400 1/100 sec. f/4.8 I have got to say I was not expecting that !
I am definitely looking forward to my next year’s project now using only a couple of Fuji cameras and can’t wait to what they can do at events.
Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:22:22 GMTXpro1 AF Trick
I have had so many e mails and requests to know the AF trick on the Xpro1, I thought I had better do a quick update!
I must just point out it works great for me and has been very accurate so far, but it does take a little getting used to !
First you need to go in to your menus and change a couple of settings, you go in to Menu 4 and make the following changes AE/AF-LOCK MODE-SWITCH AE/AF-LOCK BUTTON –BOTH AE+AF
Then you switch the AF switch to the front of the body to Manual!
You then use the AE/AF rear button to focus and the shutter button to shoot only, you will notice the EVF changes to show you it’s in Manual but as soon as you press the back button you get focus !
It works very well give it a go.
I was asked also why there is not base setting in the AUTO ISO Menu ! I did think this myself but you just set the shutter speed to say 125 if you are inside and AUTO1600 and shoot away if you want to make small changes use the jog wheel or change the speed, try its very good to be honest !
I will get around to a post on Venice in a few days.
Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:51:16 GMTNikon to Fuji or DSLR to Mirrorless
I am getting lots and lots of e mails and questions about my switch from Nikon to Fuji!
To be honest it could have been Canon to Fuji, it’s a change that needed to be made and the main reason was size and weight, following my fall on Skye last year I have been getting fed up carrying 20-30 Kilos of camera gear around, and also I want to change the way I work, for my future projects.
It’s strange but if you go back through my blog, I have been having this dilemma for a long time, and way before all the big names in the industry made the switch! I just had to wait to finish a few projects before I could part with my D3s, and I wanted a camera system that has some great lenses! I was thinking Sony a while back but their lenses were just not up to it. When I got an X100 I was so stunned by the images and the lens Quality it was a no brainer!
So before I went to Venice I sold all my Nikon Pro gear! I have to be honest here and say the only parts of the system I will miss are the D3s and the Sigma 300mm 2.8! I sold everything DSLR related, tripods and filters etc So am now completely DSLR free and will never buy another.
I will just say this, I was Nikon for 40+ years but feel over the last four years Nikon have been all about profit and are forgetting the end user! The last 18 months they have just been clutching at straws and bringing out one camera after another! The D800 is fine but the image sensor is to big, the D4 is not tht much of an improvement on the D3s and in some respects the D3s is better ! The best camera Nikon have at the moment is the D7100. It’s a shame people with the D3 and D700 and D300 were all looking for a great camera when there model was worn out. But it’s just not happening. In my honest opinion a second hand D200 is still a stunning camera and back in my blog the cheep early Nikon VR lenses are still stunning. I see Nikon are now going to follow Fuji and try and make a Nikon FM2 style retro copy ! Let me tell you the Nikon FM2 was an amazing film camera and came from the days Nikon were top of there game ! The image sensors in Nikon cameras are good but just go out for a day with a Fuji X series and think again! The X Series sensors are stunning and the dynamic range and lack of noise is also stunning. The rumor is Nikon are going to put a full frame sensor in this retro camera! Give me strength! Please Nikon get a grip, no one will be able to keep the sensor clean it will be a nightmare for any one that cant clean their own sensor and they are going to keep the same lens mount! I think someone at Nikon needs to get there head out of the sand and look to the future!
I will just say that in the last 18 months I have never had so many faults with Nikon gear, and it was driving me mad having to send it back to Nikon for repair! Its not great when a company forgets how it got to where it is, let’s hope they sort it out before its to late.
Nokia are going to shake things up over the next few months with their camera phones and tablets so the future of the consumer camera market is going to be a mess for a while, the phone companies have taken over that market!
Fuji has got it right in my opinion, using the X100 and the Xpro1 to me were like going back to my Nikon FM2. It slowed me down and made me think, and this I like. I also want to be ready for the future and the future is not in DSLR’s I can tell you that for a fact, Mirrorless are not quite there yet but they will be and I want to learn how to use them now and know them inside out.
I decided to get the Xpro1 and a few lenses, with the hope they bring out an Xpo2 next year so I can use the Xpro1 as a back up to the Xrpo2. I sold my X100 and do miss it, so I might buy an X100s but we shall see.
So what do I think so far! I am in love with Fuji; I have seen every one trying to jump on their bandwagon Olympus etc and good luck to them. But for me Fuji is where it is and I hope Fuji stick to their amazing customer focused business! When you buy a Fuji and you open the box you know you have just made the right decision, even the box is stunning! (Take note Nikon and Canon)
The X100 and the Xpro1 are quirky to use just like film cameras used to be and I love that, but some of the things you can do with a mirrorless rangefinder are just amazing. Filters work like a dream and the camera even has a built in Bulb Timer! How cool is that for long exposures! Talking of long exposures you can focus the Xpro1 in the dark using the scale in the monitor to set the focus and depth of field and its spot on. It’s not as fast AF wise as a DSLR but there is a trick in the menus to speed things up and if anyone wants to know how its done message me and I will send you details. There are so many great things about these little cameras I just don’t have time to write it all down for you, but I walked around Venice for 5 days 10 hours a day with a camera body and 6 lenses and a tripod and my shoulder did not ache once!
No one looks at you with the Fuji, so you can shoot where you like and no one bats an eyelid.
You can put a huge amount of Fuji gear in a flight bag and carry it all on and off a flight, so perfect for travel.
I will only miss my DSLR for Wildlife and high ISO and I might miss a few shots when I shoot gigs or events due to AF speed but I just don’t care to be honest.
I have a few ideas up my sleeve and a few projects for the next few years that will make me fit the system.
So that’s it for now, if you want to know more about the Xpro1 and lenses feel free to come find me on Facebook or any of my other social media links and have a chat.
I will write more on the camera and lenses when I get the chance so bare with me.
Thu, 26 Sep 2013 17:27:35 GMTFace Behind The Keyboard
Face Behind The Keyboard is my 2014 personal project, it’s all about taking me out of my comfort zone and also quite a lot of my subjects to !
I have been thinking about this project for a while, it’s been quite hard for me to decide which way to go with my portrait project in 2014 but in the end I was inspired by a very very close friend who I did not meet in the flesh ! Her name was Lynette, we became friends on the internet on Dontstayin.com and then on facbook, we spoke nearly every day for many years and had a very close friendship. Unfortunately Lyn died in tragic circumstances, this was a huge shock for me and even though I was welcomed with open arms to her funeral by her family, I could not go! Having a virtual best friend you had never met who died was quite hard to deal with. I think about her all the time, and always wish we could have met just once!
Also every one that does not know I met Jane on what was Face-Pic, Jane was one of the only people on Face-Pic without a profile photo! Long story.
The internet is a strange place, it’s amazing how we can think and feel and fall in love without meeting any one in person! Some people remain faceless even to this day on facebook. This is my inspiration for the 2014 project as it will help me to meet some of you guys just once in the flesh and put a person to a profile !
I know a lot of Photographers myself included that hate having their photo taken and there are quite a few shy people around, believe it or not, myself included! But I feel quite safe behind the camera!
My project with commence on the 1st of January 2014 and finish on the 31st December 2014, I think it will follow on very nicely from my 2013 project, my year of black and white.
I aim to shoot the whole project with Fuji X camera systems, I have a few ideas for a few of my friends, but don’t worry nothing too radical!
If you want to join in and take part you can, if you are one of my social media friends on any platform and you want to meet up and have your portrait shot then get in touch by e mail firstname.lastname@example.org or through one of the social media platforms. I can’t include you all and I can’t travel the world, but if you are visiting the UK in 2014 then get in touch and I will see what I can do.
This project is no doubt going to be a very emotional one on so many levels, one life live it, capture it !
Tue, 17 Sep 2013 21:00:34 GMTWhitby Photography Weekend Update
I was asked to organize a photo weekend for the 27th, 28th, 29th September in Whitby, unfortunately the people who asked me to organize the weekend have all dropped out over the last month! They had a few things planned and were going to bring along some kit etc so now I am left a bit confused !
Quite a few of my friends now have weddings booked etc So I fully understand why they can’t make it as work has to come fist. But now I am not sure who will be in Whitby over the weekend.
I am not going to moan and groan in my blog its just life these days, these things happen.
I will still be in Whitby over the weekend so if you are in and around Whitby and you see me about come and say Hi. I will be in Whitby from Friday to Sunday walking around with my camera most of the time. Sunday weather permitting, I will probably explore Saltburn area.
I will make a point of being in the bandstand by the pier at 10.30am on Saturday morning, so if you are in Whitby and want to say Hi, I will see you there, if you miss me you can contact me via facebook messaging, and find out where I am. I will post some updates on Facebook and Twitter so you will be able to follow me there.
If you are there over the weekend and want somewhere to post your images, I have created this group on Flickr, so feel free to post your images.
Hopefully next year I might be able to find a few companies that are interested in helping out, if not I will have a re think before the event.
Have a great weekend every one and if you are free next weekend, I might see you in Whitby.
Wed, 28 Aug 2013 18:01:30 GMTWhitby Photo Weekend Update
Not long now!
Just goes to show how some plans can go out of the window, I had made arrangements with a few suppliers to bring along some kit for people to try and I did have a list of some interesting people attending the Weekend but understandably due to paid commitments and other high profile events taking place the same weekend we got dropped.
I will be arriving in Whitby on the 27th Evening and if I get there on time I plan to take a walk around the town in the evening to get a few night shots who knows possibly a great sunset! I will be in and around Whitby Town all day on the Saturday and will be having a meal in the evening in the Magpie if the queue is not too long! Then will find a PUB for us to meet up in for the evening, I don’t have a clue on numbers but I can say a few people have booked in to Hotels and Guest houses already. I know a few people are staying at the YHA and if you do book in to the YHA make sure you get your free pass in to the Abbey, it’s an added bonus as the YHA is in the Abbey grounds and has great accommodation and breakfasts! Sunday I will possibly be going to Staithes or Robin Hoods Bay depending on the weather then traveling home in the afternoon. But I will start the day with one last walk around the town.
We can’t plan for the weather and can only hope it will be in our favour, but Whitby is great in any weather, as there are places to stand out of the rain or snow and shoot.
The weekend will now be a relaxed affair, where you can all meet up, have a chat over a beer and eat some of the best fish and chips in the UK !
It’s for any level of photographer novice to pro and you can use any camera you like! From an i Phone to Medium format.
I know when Mike Shaw and I had a meet up in Liverpool people like to form their own little groups, people like to do their own thing and I know I do! Some people like to shoot street and people shots and some landscape so I will arrange some meet up times and places and post these over the next couple of weeks so people can meet up and touch base and then enjoy taking photographers of Whitby !
There are a few facebook pages about Whitby and lots to Google and image search so please do a little research and find some interesting places to shoot, there is nothing worse than every one coming home with the same images ! I know they say even if you stand next to each other you don’t get exactly the same shot but its very close nine times out of ten.
I will open a Flickr Group so you can all add your images from the weekend at any time you want and if all goes well we can try and arrange another weekend next year. I can’t open a facebook or G+ group as some people are G+ people and some facebook these days but quite a few of you use Flicker even more now its free ! So will open a group this week and post the link very soon.
Some of the photo walks have large groups of people turn up some small you just can’t tell, but if it does turn in to a large group please spread yourselves out when walking around the Old Town and take care on the pier’s! If there is an accident I will make sure I get the shot!!
Please spread the word, share copy and paste this as much as you like and after I have spoken to a Local guy about Pubs and Food etc and meeting places I will post a timetable.
Please if you talk to each other on twitter use the #WhitbyPhotoWeekend so everyone can see what is going on.
There are people coming by train and bus but for every one coming by car keep to the speed limits last time I went past 10 radar traps and the time before it was 15 so be warned !
I hope to see as many of you there that are free to attend; it’s going to be emotional…
More info very soon.
Mon, 26 Aug 2013 09:21:09 GMTFuji ! What have you done to me !
Fuji !! I can’t believe after 30 years with Nikon I have decided to make a change!
I bought an X100 a while back to see what all the fuss was about and fell in love with it ! I have just had two weeks in Wales and only used the D3s once! I shot about 300 frames with the D3s and around 1800 with the X100!
I had an issue with a Nikon 1.4 Teleconverter so popped in to Cambrian Photography in Colwyn Bay on my way home and after Sarah convinced me the Xpro1 was better than the Xe1 I walked out with the Xpro1 and two lenses!
I was fed up with dragging 30 kilos of Nikon gear around to be honest and the freedom and image quality of the X100 was a big push.
My one fear was could the Xpro1 cope with music festivals and a pit and stage environment!! Well I tried it out for the first time yesterday at LIMF and to be honest I am blown away!
So I have some big changes coming, I am going to re think how I work over the coming weeks and will be selling off some of my Nikon gear so keep your eyes open on my social media.
I am very busy after two weeks in Wales and now shooting the Liverpool International Music Festival so not much time for a review, I have far too much to do and its day job in the morning, but watch this space for a full review and why I sold all my Nikon Gear over the next couple of months.
I have not forgotten about Whitby weekend at the end of September and will get a post up about it this week some time.
Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:24:12 GMTCritique
I have decided to blog my view on Critique!
I have become fed up with the constant unwanted daft comments on my images and my friends images over the last few years, this post won’t change a thing but it will let you all know how I feel about it and how I feel about the people that offer so called critique or make negative comments on images.
It’s hard to know where to start but I will start with this, in the thirty plus years that I have been taking photos I have only ever asked for feedback about ten times. Once was from a major photo stock library that I wanted to sell my images for me, the feedback from the editor was simple, my Landscapes were too abstract for the library but he was interested in my black and white work as it was very strong. This was very useful and constructive.
I have also asked a few photographers for feedback on images I was going to submit to competitions and asked advice from friends on pricing an image.
I do not ever ask for feedback on my images as to the style, content or processing as I am happy with the way these areas develop and change over the years.
There is a growing trend on the internet were people feel the need to offer negative critique and they feel it’s their right under the freedom of speech! I regard this as rude! I would never make any kind of comment on anyone’s image unless it was asked for! I tend to click like if I like an image and pass it by if I don’t and if I have more time or the image is great I will say so.
I look at quite a lot of images everyday and believe me I do think to myself ‘that horizon is not straight, that tree is distorted, the composition is nonexistent, the colour balance is all wrong, the lighting is appalling’ but these are all my own opinions! I don’t know what the photographer was trying to achieve. I have had to have a thick skin in Photography as I shoot stock and anyone who has submitted images to stock will tell you it’s not always easy. In the early days I have had hundreds of images rejected for all sorts of reasons and I just suck it up and move on!
What I can’t stand is the ‘Pets and Fruit’ mentality and it’s these people that have made me write this post! I will come back to explain Pets and Fruit.
If I was walking down the street no one would walk up to me and say “Hi Matt, I quite like your trousers but your shirt it too bright, you need to lose a few pounds and that grey hair needs dying” No one would do that to me and no one ever has. I put myself out on display every time I walk out of the front door and in 50 years no one has ever made such a comment. I am not tall dark and handsome, I am short fat and bald. I have however had a few compliments, not sure why but even a nice smile makes your day a lot nicer!
So why do people feel the need to write under your image “Hi Matt, I love your work but your processing is over the top” or “Matt, that does not look like it was straight out of camera” or “Hi Matt, that sky looks wrong.” I get the Sky one quite a lot, the reason it’s funny to me is I don’t use Photoshop so the sky is how it was on the day!
So for the record………..
I use Silver Effex Pro and Lightroom and on the odd occasion other parts of the Nik Collection and when I do HDR I use Photomatix. I have not used Photomatix for over a year! The ‘SOOC’ people need to get a life! I shot film for 20 years and all my images were processed by me in a darkroom and most of the ‘SOOC’ work I have seen is decidedly average.
So I should explain ‘pets and fruit’. In the thirty years I have been taking photos I have never once had constructive feedback from any single person about my work. I do not ask for feedback but I receive it once a week at least on an image or by message. I always check out the work of the person that gives me critique (as they call it) and in thirty years it’s always the same! Their work is, well their work! Most of it is shots of the family around the house and garden, holiday snaps and of course shots of the family pets and various attempts at still life with fruit! Pets and Fruit! There is nothing wrong with having a body of work that consists of pets and wonky fruit but why do all these people feel the need to make comments on my work? I have never been sure but when I ask them, they run off or accuse me of being nasty!! Most of them block me! Strange that.
I know some people that think critique is important! My view on this subject is simple, if I asked 30 of my friends to tell me what they thought about my work I would get their views depending on their style of processing etc and if I listened to all of them my work would start to look like 90% of what you see on flicker, a set of images that are made up of 30 people’s ideas! If I joined a critique group on the internet I would end up with 500 people’s views! This would make my images even worse!
I have never seen one good image from any one that openly offers to critique work! Never have and never will!
The worst part of this is some people new to photography stop posting their images because of the bullying ways of ‘pets and fruit’ people and that is very sad.
So this blog post is for you Mr or Mrs Pets and Fruit. If you are going to critique peoples work who do not ask for it just remember, your work is probably average! I do not know one professional photographer or gifted amateur that takes amazing images and openly critiques other peoples work. They don’t have time and they do have respect for other people unlike Mr or Mrs Pets and Fruit who are just rude!
Fri, 12 Jul 2013 21:19:06 GMTWhitby Photography Weekend
Whitby Photo Weekend is coming. #WhitbyPhotoWeekend
We are planning a Photography weekend in Whitby North Yorkshire on the weekend of the 27th28th29th September 2013, it’s a photo walk social media meet up over a weekend in one of the UK’s best kept sea side towns. If you want to know all about what Whitby has to offer then Google it, you will find lots and lots of information.
If you plan to come for the weekend get yourself booked in to a guest house before they are all filled up, or just travel up for one of the days, to meet some of the Photography guy’s from facebokk,G+,Twitter,Tumblr,500px,Flickr etc
I will be putting out a lot more banners etc to all the social media sites in August and will also provide a list of who might be attending! I know there are a few people planning to fly in or get a boat over so it could all get very interesting! If you do plan on attending please e mail me or message me through this site. My e mail is email@example.com
I will be putting out a lot more information closer to the time and will provide meet up times for group photos etc as well as some useful info of where to shoot and what to shoot.
If you Google it you will notice Staithes is just up the coast and I will be popping down the coast at least once depending on the tides to try and get some long exposures.
You can’t guarantee the weather but Whitby has a lot to offer the whole family so check it all out on Google.
My basic plan for the weekend is to take photo’s eat fish and chips have a beer and take more photos, and then take lots of photos of you lot eating fish and chips and drinking beer !! It just so happens the this weekend is the 40th Anniversary Autumn Steam Gala ! Its the last steam gala for 2013 at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Trains will be running to Battersby on the Esk Valley from Whitby on the Sunday the 29th.
So watch this space …
Wed, 03 Jul 2013 17:15:02 GMTAfrica Oye 2013
I clear my diary every year to shoot Africa Oye, last year we were let down by the weather, even though the event still took place just down the road it was not the same as it is in Sefton Park Liverpool.
I still can’t believe this amazing festival of music with food and entertainment for the whole family is free !
Africa Oye is an amazing little festival for all the family and well worth a visit in 2014, people come to Liverpool from all over the globe to attend this little free festival and I can see why. So why not come along and have some fun next year.
I shot it this year with Warren Millar, who summed it up for me in his blog, by saying all he wanted to do is put his camera down and dance! I feel like that every year .. Next year I might just do that..
I would like to thank all the organizers of this great event, it’s an amazing weekend with one of the best festival atmospheres in the UK.
I have been to most of the festivals in the Uk, and as my friends can testify danced all day and all night, so it’s quite hard to just walk around with a camera and not get involved.
Please feel free to have a look at my images from the event and if you want your details added to your image please drop me a line.
See you at next year’s event..
Come rain or shine..
Sat, 08 Jun 2013 17:25:53 GMTPrinting and Framing
I have been thinking about printing for a while now, I have a large amount of my work printed but feel people all over the world don’t print any more! I think it’s quite sad. There is nothing quite like looking through old photos as a small child and there is also nothing quite like one of your own prints or a friends print in a frame on your wall.
There is also nothing quite like a very nice print from a favorite photographer on your wall at home! The rubbish images you get in Tesco that everyone has are not quite the same!
I have been talking to a few friends about this over the last few months and will continue to do so, Jason Hicking of Replica Imaging has just started a Print With Pride Campaign and I am sure there will be a few more printers looking in to this over the next few years.
Millions of images are shot and shared every day in the streaming world we live in online people see an image for a few seconds then its forgotten ! But they hardly look at it, when its printed people look longer and harder.
It’s quite true that printing is very unforgiving so the camera work and processing has to be up to a good standard for a print of any size, but I think it’s time we all printed a lot more and shared our work in hard copy !
I have been giving away prints on my facebook page for a while now and have about 8 left to give away, and all the comments have been the same, people are quite surprised at the depth and clarity of a print and they also love the fact they have something from you.
There are lots of ways to share your images online but it’s not quite the same as a print!
Photo books are also a good way to share our work and I will do my best to finish the Where is Jane book for later this year! I have had so many requests for one with words and pictures I have no excuse not to finish it for Christmas this year !
There are lots of ways to share your work there are calendars and books and even cards etc I think in these times we should print our own work and send it out, why would you want to pay for a mass market card for a birthday when you can make your own or even send a framed print that will be kept instead of ending up in the recycling bin !
I have been searching junk shops as well for good quality frames, it’s a great way to recycle and some of the older wooden frames go very well with some of the colours in our landscapes!
I am not sure how I am going to try and promote printing this year or even in to next but I have a few ideas up my sleeve.
I hope to get a few photographer friends together from all over the UK and put on an exhibition of their work all under one roof from landscape and wildlife to street and urbex !
So if you are a photographer or a printer in the UK and you are interested in joining me in putting something together for 2014 then get in touch, you can e mail me firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on facebook !
If you know of any one that might be interested who has a fantastic venue in a central location in the UK then also let me know.
Any ideas would all be gratefully accepted.
Tue, 04 Jun 2013 17:19:22 GMTFuji X100
I have been using the Fuji X100 now for over a month and have to say I am shocked!
When the camera first came out I had a FujIX10 great little camera but would not produce images well enough for stock or for printing so it had to go. I was reading up on the X100 at the time and there werte mixed reviews so I just did not bother. I decided to get a Nikon D7000 and a couple of lenses as my carry around kit. But this started to get on my nerves, I wanted to enjoy my days out without having to carry so much but still wanted the option to shoot some stock, as well as the fact I just have to carry a camera everywhere I go !
When the X100s came out every one was raving about how good the X100 was and how great the X100s is so I decided to buy an X100 and see what all the fuss was about!
Well I am blown away by this little camera, not only does it look great but it’s all you need when you are out and about in town or out on your bike, anywhere to be honest, it’s a stunning bit of kit ! So much so that I sold all my DX Nikon bodies and lenses! Yes believe it or not I sold the lot! I still have all my Pro glass and my D3s bodies as I need these for Wildlife and any work that needs fast reaction time. To be honest the X100’s images are nearly as good as the D3s images, the X100 is very slow to focus and due to the fixed lens has no flexibility! So now what do I do!
I am gutted I brought the X100 and not the X100s but I can live with that, what I can’t live with is the weight of the D3s and all the Pro glass now I have found the X100 !!
I am so shocked at the quality of the X100 images I want to sell all my Nikon gear and move over to Fuji, but I can’t!
Well not just yet but I feel I will be able to soon! I am very tempted by the Xpro1 but I know the Xpro2 will be out very soon, the only downside is the range of glass for my needs is not quite there yet and I don’t think the Xpro2 will focus as fast as I would like and the frames per second wont quite cut it and some of the quirks will still annoy me! or will they ! I guess I will have to wait and see..
I very much expect I will buy an Xpro2 with some of the lovely Fuji glass and keep my X100 and my D3s but I have a feeling by the time the Xpro7 comes out I will be shooing Fuji all the time !!
Thank you Fuji for taking my photography to the next level by taking me back and making me think !
The image at the top was taken on the X100 using its built in ND filter, I have just ordered a screw on 3 stop filter to help slow things down a little more as this camera is just fantastic for long exposures ! I have just had this image printed and the detail in the mountains in the background is stunning.
I have not raved about a camera for years and I am raving about a camera that is now a year old but I love it, yes its quirky and has some little annoying futures that they have corrected in the X100s but even the X100s has a few quirks, it’s not a DSLR but who the hell wants to walk around with a great big heavy DSLR any more when you can pop an X series in your pocket or even in a canvas bag and walk around all day without feeling all that weight on your shoulder !!
I will sit here and tap my fingers and wait for the Xpro2 ….. Thank you Fuji…
Sun, 12 May 2013 13:21:16 GMTScotland 2013
I am back from my two weeks in Scotland, whilst the bulk of the UK was basking in sunshine and warm weather Scotland continued to be wet and stormy, but these conditions make for some dramatic black and white images.
Our trip took us from Ardrossan, across to Brodick on Arran then on to Lochranza. A short ferry trip over from Claonaig on Kintyre, where there is a short drive to Kennacraig to catch the ferry to Islay. From Islay we went to Oban, from Oban over to Coll, then on to Tiree. After returning to the mainland we moved on to Applecross. Leaving Applecross we made our way to Mallaig via Skye.
We always feel that part of the holiday is the ferry journeys! The views from the boats are stunning on a good day, but I guess with a camper the holiday starts when you leave the front door.
I needed to visit a friend on Islay who I could not get to last year due to the ferry being cancelled, thanks for the Whisky Philip very nice of you.
One of the highlights of this trip was being able to not just see a Corncrake for the first time but to be able to get a few shots! The Corncrake is very hard to spot and very secretive, hard to flush out and a nightmare to spot even though you can hear it day and night with its rasping call. I have been trying to spot one for years but had no luck. On this occasion one flew over my head as I was walking and landed quite close before running in to cover.
I was using the Fuji X100 most of the time on this trip as it was so light and easy to carry and great for most occasions. The only downside to this in Scotland is the unexpected wildlife shots! We were walking along the road in Applecross when an Otter decided to follow us along the shore line coming out to scent mark at various points! Turns out he has lived here for a while and is getting used to people being around. He has been spotted in the village at night! So I might have to get myself another Fuji with interchangeable lenses for these occasions. I missed a little Roe Deer in Oban walking up the side of the hill from the town!
The weather was fine on Islay so we managed to get out to Soldiers Rock, a favorite place for Jane as she loves to walk out to that point and to the sea stack. The weather on Coll and Tiree was not the best but for a few hours the rain stopped and was a very welcome break.
Applecross was stunning! We could not get to Applecross last year due to landslides so we had to go this year, I can only recommend Applecross to everyone to put on their Bucket List, the place it amazing, the seafood is the best we have ever had, the people are very friendly and the views and wildlife are stunning not many places you can see Otters,Seals,Red Deer,Whales,Dolphins,Corncrakes,Pedigree Highland Cows and an abundance of Wildlife all in about a 2 mile radius, with foot paths a cycle tracks to explore for all the family.
I am planning a "where is Jane" book for later in the year due to lots of requests and this one will have words and pictures, but it will not be ready until October / November time. Jane has also taken a few shots of me this time, so there will be a few behind the lens shots from now on.
If anyone wants any information on the route’s of our trips and places to stay let me know, I have just started to use Trip Advisor so hopefully when I get the hang of it I will include some links in my blog, so watch this space.
Now for some editing and then some more blog updates as I have promised myself more web site time and less facebook time for the rest of the year !
Fri, 22 Mar 2013 16:22:22 GMTWhat's in the Bag.
I have just had to shoot a kit list for a blog post for induro, you can see the full post here
This image was shot with my Fuji X100, I was very impressed with the quality of this image considering it was shot indoors just using the little on camera flash.
So here is my basic Kit that goes with me for most Scotland trips, there is a bit more to it than this but this is my must take kit.
Sigma 300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM
Sigma 1.4 Teleconverter EX APO DG
Nikon TC-20E III Teleconverter
Nikon TC-14E Teleconverter
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED
Nikon 14-24mm AFS f/2.8 G ED
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX
Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro-NIKKOR
Nikon MC 30 Release
Lee Big Stopper
Lee Soft Grads
Lee Hard Grads
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