March 26 2015

What I like about the Fuji x100t is that what you get straight out of the camera is a top class image quality. The few shots I have posted to Flickr with it have all had minimal post processing, which is a good thing. Looking back at older photos, I do see when I over-processed images, and you know it makes me cringe. But that is the journey. It is all about learning and evolving.

This x100T image was created in the Duomo in Milan. The world-famous cathedral. Like many cathedrals and churches they have become tourist sites, but still are places of worship. I was struck by this man’s composure and demeanour. I studied him for a while as he sat in front of the altar deep in prayer. I envy people who have faith, because the feeling of being loved is the most special feeling of all, and I can only imagine what the sensation must be to feel the love of a god, a creator. When I was a child, I felt God’s presence and never doubted it. When I entered adolescence, that feeling left and it has never returned.

I got a few shots of this man in prayer, both with the Fuji and the iPhone. Then I lit a candle for my friend Liam who had recently passed away, said my own little prayer. Thanked God for the many blessings I have and continued on with being a tourist in a church.

Being Heard

Being Heard

The iPhone image was also taken in the same cathedral. It shows more tourists.

God's Tourists

God’s Tourists

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March 1 2015

I began this post by writing February, then realized we have stumbled into March. The year is almost gone! Well, the winter is. And how I hate the winter. The dark, the cold, the wet, the short, short days and those trees. Those trees that need to cheer the fuck up!

I am still struggling to get the hang of the new Fuji X100T (read my review here). Its slow responsiveness is the main thing for me. Often on the street I will have the camera set to take multiple images. It is especially helpful as it is a split-second scene you are dealing with and getting four or five frames can be great. The Fuji, when it is set to take a few frames per second, also seems to take a few seconds to store these frames and you get this damn annoying storing message while it does so. Why? Just do it! Let me get on with shooting.

And if I want to manually focus, don’t think that I cannot be trusted with this and refocus for me. Please!

I know I just need to readjust the settings somehow and all will be resolved. I hope. Solutions in the comments box. Thanks.

Anyway, rant suspended. (It is folly to end rants, just suspend them. Leave them, marinating. You can add to them later. You know it makes sense.)

Today’s photos were taken on a photo walk in Cork last Friday evening. It was a wet, miserable evening. We get this deceptive, misty rain that seems so light and harmless, but it falls in sheets and soaks you. I started off the walk down by South Gate Bridge and while I was waiting to cross the road I saw this character appear. Not having much time to get the settings right for the shot (note to self: get this done at home before you head out), I got the Fuji out and having no zoom I tried to get as close as I could to him. The result is below.

Cork

Cork

The iPhone image is a similar shot in many ways. This was taken in Dublin the previous weekend. The iPhone really is a wonderful camera. For me, it is the best there is for street work. I weave with this camera in my hand. Weave and swerve in the crowds getting those shots. I like this character.

The slowing tick tock

The slowing tick tock

 

 

Fuji X100T

Buy books not gear. That’s what those with all the best gear tell us. People owning Leicas costing thousands and thousands of Euro and they tell us not to have G.A.S – gear acquisition syndrome. So often these are the very same people who get gifted new cameras by the manufacturers. Buy books not gear, they tell us, but imagine all the books they could buy if they sold their Leicas.

Anyway, for a quite a while I had been thinking of getting a more compact camera for street work. I was tired of lugging the heavy Nikon around with me and the idea of having a  little, discreet light camera appealed to me. I did my research and the camera that kept popping up as the best in the category was the Fuji X100T. The reviews all seemed to say the same thing: If you have the previous model – the S – then there is not much point in the upgrade, but if you do not have the S at all, then separate yourself from your cash (all €1,200 of it) and get yourself closer to that camera of your dreams. The reviewers raved about the X. Ken Rockwell calls it “The world’s best digital camera“. Eric Kim, who was gifted one, loved it. The Fro Knows Photo guy claims he “can’t say enough good stuff about this little camera”.

So, what do I say about it?

It is light! It looks cool. It fits in my pocket, a little uncomfortably, but it fits. I like that I can use the LCD screen to view an image as I am taking it (but that eats up the battery). If you want you can switch between the OVF and EVF, and there is even this little box that can appear on the bottom right hand corner which allows you see a zoomed-in-close detail of the image. The customisable function buttons are cool. You can operate the camera on silent mode which allows for better candid shots. The image quality straight out of the camera is impressive. Images are crisp and sharp. I like the fact it has a fixed lens and that there is no zoom. This forces me to compose with greater care and to zoom with my feet. This will make me a better photographer. The WiFi allows for remote control access, but I cannot, as yet, imagine a scenario to use that. Apparently, it is great in low light, but I have only been out twice with the camera, both in daylight, and I haven’t had the chance to check it out at night yet.

What I don’t like?

I find myself asking did I get a shot there. I like the silent mode, but it is a little unnerving. I think I need to get back to the clicks to signal a snap.

Image review – I like to see the shot I have just taken pop up on the LCD screen once I have seen it. This does not happen with the X100T. You have to press the play button and wait until a second or two for it to appear. Apparently, I can mess around with the power saving options and this will speed up the process.

The WiFi – it does not allow me to send a RAW file, and I like to only shoot in RAW, so I can’t see the advantage of this. I can put the settings to RAW + fine and the fine file is transferrable. But this would get very messy later on when uploading files to the Mac. I would have duplicate copies of images and need to manually sort the RAW files out. No. I think this is a gimmick which I will leave alone.

Battery – having being so used to the Nikon D7000 battery and hardly ever having to worry about it, I was pissed off to see how quickly the x100t’s battery quits. I have ordered two spare batteries, but why should I need to?

Purple haze – I love shooting into strong sunlight. I love high contrasts and shadows and again was annoyed to see that not unlike the iPhone 4 you get this awful purple haze when you shoot into strong sunlight. So, I have ordered a lens hood, but again why should I need to?

Can I blur the fuck out of things? Can I do it with the ease and grace of the Nikon? Not really. I am still learning with this camera and even though I had in on MF the other day, for some bizarre reason the camera swept back into auto focus and the blurred image I was trying to get disappeared, leaving me damn frustrated as I tried to fix the settings.

Overall, I do not like the camera. It is very different to the Nikon and I am a creature of habit. I want my old camera back! But, and this is the thing, all of this is good, it will make me learn. It will make me see the world in a different way when I am out shooting. It will push me along in my evolution as a photographer and that is why I wanted it. Comfort zones are all fine and dandy, but I need to be challenged. I want to experience the frustration of not getting the camera to do what I want; it will make it all the sweeter when I get it right. This camera will drive me crazy, I know that. But I also know I will grow to love it and that it will be with me on many great adventures to come.

Sure, it is a good thing to buy photo books and not spend all your money on gear, and I do see the point those with the already-acquired expensive cameras are trying to make, but at times it is nice to buy some new gear. Here’s to the new adventures! Here’s to the Fuji X100T.

This is one of the first images I took with the X100T.

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Photographic Serendipity

 

And here’s an iPhone image taken in Dublin last weekend. A blurred one. Got to love the blur.

This future cannot wait

This future cannot wait

February 16 2015

Well, I think this must be the final image from Shibuya at night. To get so many shots from one location at the same time is unusual. And the great thing about it is that I have learnt a lot from these images. I can do better.

Shibuya Forever

Shibuya Forever

 

This iPhone image was taken yesterday in Cork. This very cool, young girl was getting some privacy as she checked her phone. An innovative way to use hair!

Cork

Cork

February 15 2015

Have not written here for a while and this is something I intend to correct in the coming week. There has been a lot of change in recent weeks and things are beginning to settle. Am posting last of images from Tokyo for now. I may come back to them later at some stage, but I thought the last in the series of images taken in Shibuya at night should be shown.  You click on the link to see the whole set.

Forever Shibuya

Forever Shibuya

This iPhone image was shot through the windscreen of my car on Friday as the day was ending. Makes for hazourdous driving, but beautiful images too.

Meaningful Melancholy

Meaningful Melancholy

Have a good Sunday.

 

February 9 2015

Two images today from Tokyo and Berlin.

A new week…

Hearing it said

Hearing it said

Today I will be mainly hiding from myself

Today I will be mainly hiding from myself