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.
I recently came across the work of Masashi Wakui, a Japanese photographer who produces some wonderful stylised street photography of scenes around Tokyo. In particular I really love his nighttime shots which I feel do a great job of capturing the essence of the city. It gave me the inspiration to go back through my archive to see if I had any decent nighttime street scenes from my various Japan trips I could treat in a similar way. Many of the night shots I have from Japan were shot on a Nikon D90 which at best had middling low light performance and fairly poor dynamic range compared to today’s standards. This makes doing much of anything with them a fairly frustrating experience; blown highlights stay forever blown, and the shadows do little but yield noise when pushed. But a few images from my last trip in 2011, where I took a D7000 with me, came out better. This one from Shinjuku, shot near the charmingly named, but actually really quaint and interesting “piss alley” turned out quite well.
I’m working on a big post about a recent trip to Liverpool but since it’s not done yet here’s another shot from the archive to tide you over.
Sunshine and Showers
Nikon D90 28mm, ƒ/9, 1/400s, ISO 125
I got this shot while on a wander down the incredible beach at Ynyslas, around 8 miles north of Aberystwyth in mid-Wales. It had been sunny and remained so where I was stood, but in the distance grey clouds rolled in and it began to rain. The light and contrast between the sunny foreground and gloomy background were fantastic.
This is the fourth in a series where I share older images that I’m quite proud of but which are unlikely to otherwise appear here.
Nikon D90, 50mm, ƒ/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 200
This is a detail of a torii gate at a shrine in Ueno park, Tokyo. I took this on my first trip to Japan in 2009, which feels like a very long time ago now! I’m not sure why it’s adorned with stickers, perhaps from local sponsors or businesses wishing for good luck? At any rate I liked the textures and colours.
This is the third in a new series where I share older images that I’m quite proud of but which are unlikely to otherwise appear here.
I love this image of Darwin’s statue in the Natural History Museum in London. It’s a beautiful building, full of intricate details and flourishes. The natural light streaming in from the high windows on a sunny day picks out the details in the stonework really nicely. I only had a 50mm f1.8 prime with me at the time, so in order to get everything I wanted in this image I had to stitch two photos together in Photoshop. If you search for images of the Natural History Museum you’ll see many photos looking up the hall towards Darwin’s statue, but mostly taken with wide-angle lenses that give a very different perspective.