This shot was taken at the 2017 Hebden Bridge Steampunk Weekend. Captured with my Bronica SQ-Ai on Rollei CN200. These kinds of festivals where people dress up in costume are a great way to break your anxiety of shooting strangers on the street, as they usually both want their photo taken and will pose themselves for you! I got some great shots of the various attendees but they were all somewhat mired by either my poor developing of the CN200 or the film’s poor performance. I’ll have to try it again sometime, but for now I think I’ll stick to Portra for my medium format colour!
Now this image is from seriously far back in my archives – it was taken in the beautiful Cwm Ystwyth Valley in mid-Wales and dates all the way back to 2001. Unfortunately I don’t know the exact date it was taken, as at some point in the past Photoshop seems to have wiped the Exif data from the file. It was shot on my very first digital camera, a Fuji FinePix 1400 Zoom. That camera boasted such specs as a 38-114mm equivalent zoom lens and a 1.3 megapixel CCD sensor. Images were recorded on 16MB SmartMedia cards, remember those things?
This shot was taken in Sheffield last autumn and had been forgotten about until I rediscovered it the other day. Even though I try and run a fairly tight Lightroom catalogue and make periodic purges of poor, duplicate or uninteresting shots, it’s hard not to accumulate thousands of images and quickly lose things you don’t flag for further attention.
This shot was actually processed in camera, because try as I might, I couldn’t get the colours looking how I wanted in Lightroom. Fuji’s film simulations (in this case with a bit of custom pushing and pulling) can produce some great results.
Time inexorably slips by and I realise I’ve not updated this blog in far too long – so to break the silence here’s another image from my archive. This was taken fairly recently, returning from a trip to Manchester a few days after the awful terrorist attack there. Trains were still not running to or from Victoria so I had to change at Rochdale where this shot was taken in the underpass beneath the platforms. I call it ‘Underlined’. Shot on my X-Pro 2 with the 23mm f2. It was a spectacularly bright and sunny day, so the strong highlights and deep shadows begged to be portrayed in black and white and allowed to block up into something inky and graphic.
Crepuscular rays over the ruined Red Dykes farm house, nestled on the hillside above Withens Clough reservoir. When I first acquired the 90mm f2 last summer, I struggled with it as I wasn’t used to using such a long prime. However over time I’ve come to really enjoy using it for landscape and detail work. It’s stunningly sharp, has wonderful bokeh and can produce really nice sunstars. It blows the 55-200 out of the water in these regards, although I often miss the image stabilisation that lens offers when I’m forced to shoot 1/200 at a minimum to ensure good sharpness with the 90.
Here’s a shot from earlier in the year taken in the wonderful city of Prague. At a time when so many are displaced, fleeing from war and persecution I feel this street art featuring three glum looking travellers is quite poignant.
In some more positive news, I’ve very nearly completed by long term review of the Fuji 35mm f2 lens which I hope to have posted before Christmas and I can reveal that plans to launch a Light Priority YouTube channel are well underway! More news soon.
Autumn has arrived here in the Calder Valley. It’s not quite at its peak yet, that will probably take the first frost of the year to bring on, but already the hillsides are peppered with yellowing leaves. Here’s a shot from back in 2012 of a particularly vivid autumn day in early November. This was shot on a 1st generation X100.
I’m travelling back to Aberystwyth for a reunion with some of my old university mates at the end of the week so it seemed fitting to dig out a shot from the town to share here. If you’ve not heard of Aber, it’s a wonderful little seaside university town, roughly in the middle of the Cambrian coast in Wales.
In other news I’ve decided to part with my little X100T now Fuji has launched the 23mm f2. I couldn’t really justify having both the X-Pro 2 and X100T as the overall shooting experience is so similar. I fully expect the new Fuji lens to run rings around the quirky optic in the X100 too. I now pretty much have my dream prime setup – 14, 23, 35, 60 and 90. I’ll be curious to see whether the 50mm f2 they launch next year might be able to replace the 60mm, although it has big shoes to fill. It’s too bad it’s not a 56mm f2 as 50 feels a little short to me.
I have a new review waiting in the wings for publication tomorrow, but until then here’s another image from the archives. In other news I’m now the proud owner of a lovely new X-Pro 2. After six years stuck at 16 megapixels it’s a bit of a revelation to have 8 more to play with and the high ISO performance is amazing me. ISO 6400 and 12800 are really good!
This image was shot on my 1st generation X100 with the WCL-X100 wide angle converter attached. As was often the case, I forgot to set that I’d put the adapter on the camera in the menu, so it’s wrongly recorded as being shot at 23mm rather than 19mm.
I’ve finally parted with my beloved X-E1 after three years and many thousands of images. In its place I’m now the proud owner of an X-T10. Wow what an upgrade in performance this is! I’ll do a full write up soon and why I chose the X-T10 over an X-Pro 2 or X-T1. In the meantime here’s another shot from the archive.
One Wrong Step
I’ve never done that much macro, mostly because I find it very fiddly and don’t have the patience when I’m out walking. But on this particular day I spied some lovely water droplets on some cobwebs and was determined to try and capture that ‘micro-lens’ effect you get from the droplets. Then what do you know, there’s a little fly on there with one leg stuck on the web! Now admittedly this is quite a heavy crop because the 60mm being a 1:2 macro lens only gets you so close, but I still really like this one.