This trip is something of an important chapter in my timeline as a travel photographer, as it’ll be the first time that I leave my heavyweight DSLRs home. I’ve traveled before with just a Leica M9 and the Fuji X Pro-1 (as to Guatemala last month), but this is the first photo expedition-workshop that sees me DSLR-less. I’ve tested the Fuji X-T1, the new addition to this group of non DSLR tools, in the streets of New York City and over the past two weeks, found it reliable and responsive, and I believe it’ll perform well in replacing my aging Canon 5 Mark II. The Fuji X-T1 has its drawbacks and quirks, but from my past experience with the X Pro-1, these are mostly caused by my being unfamiliar with its minor idiosyncrasies……
We left Singapore and boarded the relatively short flight to Bali. We have both wanted to visit Bali for a long time after hearing so many great things about it from friends. We were certainly not disappointed! We started our 10 days there with a 7 night stay on the south east coast in an area called Nusa Dua. This small bay is lined with luxury hotels and white sandy beaches. It was the perfect place to relax and unwind after the madness of the wedding planning. Whilst staying in Nusa Dua we took a couple of trips up to the west coast of the island visiting Kuta and Seminyak. Kuta was very lively and is a big hit with backpackers. There was plenty of bars and the big waves offer great surfing conditions. We saw an incredible sunset whilst there, which we enjoyed with many others from the beautiful sandy beach…….
I am back in Beijing. It is funny how comforting it is to be back in this massively overcrowded city with its choking traffic, near lethal pedestrian crossings and aloof hospitality industry! It has been just about 5 weeks of traveling to very remote places, meeting the warmest people ever and living in all manner of lodgings. but coming back to Beijing is something familiar and something predictable. The past few days been spent on a train. 33 hours from Xiamen in south China on the sea. The “soft sleeper” is a small cubical about 7 feet wide, and tall enough for two bunks arranged on each side. The lower bunks cost a little more and have a tray-sized shared table between them under the window. The upper bunks have no such furnishings, but do have two folding seats out in the common hallway looking out the window on the other side of the train, also a big bonus… an electrical outlet! Small pleasures! ……
I was out shooting some street photography earlier today with my trusty little Fuji X-E1 and I noticed that I had taken a lot of portrait orientation shots. As I was sorting through the shots I noticed that all the vertical images paired up nicely, so I thought I’d do a set of paired images, just for the fun of it. All of these were taken around the streets of Dublin city, using a Fujifilm X-E1 with a combination of the Fuji 35mm and the 18–55XF lenses. It was a lovely fresh Autumn morning and I was there early so the city was coming to life with the fresh energy of a new day, and for some reason I just had a really good time shooting. While these aren’t award winning images by any stretch, I did catch a few quirky sights around the city. I’ll post some more shots from this shoot over on my Photoblog. Processing was done in Lightroom, using various presets as the starting point. There’s a combination of VSCO Film 01, 02 and 04 in there. The VSCO presets work really well with the Fuji sensor, especially if you want to create an authentic film look. I’ve started using VSCO 2 a bit more lately, and I’m really liking the look of the Fuji Superia film presets. I don’t think that I’ve ever shot with that in actual film……
The Fujifilm X100S is no slouch. It doesn’t have the pedigree or the history of the Leica M series cameras but at $1300, you can buy nearly 7 of them for the price of the Leica M and the 28mm f2.8 Elmarit lens. I got to use both cameras at the same time last Friday on 6th Street. A couple of days ago, I wrote about my thoughts on the Leica M with plenty of examples. This time, I’ll do the same for Fuji X100S. All photos in this post are from the X100S. Keep in mind, this is not going to be a head to head comparison. That won’t be fair. I’ve only shot the Leica M for a couple of hours, with at most, several hundred frames. I’ve had the Fuji since March and have shot close to 20,000 pictures with it. It takes a while to get to know a camera and optimize its usage and image post-processing. That said, I’ve tried to include similar photos, when possible. You can compare these images to the ones I took with the Leica M.……..
This year I had the great pleasure of spending 3 weeks in China. Not sticking to one place, but travelling through this vast and beautiful country. As I wanted to travel light I opted for the Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55mm, backed-up by the Fuji X100s. Anyhow, I took a lot of pictures of the locals and here is a brief B&W selection. Some of them are shy, others are happy, some are young and some are old. Others are painfully poor…but does it mean it should not be recorded……
Another wedding photography post today. Again I was asked by a very dear friend of mine (Also being the best colleague in the world) to take photos at her wedding. I was also invited as guest, so I had double roles to fill! Again the images was taken using the x-pro1 with the 35mm f/1.4, the X-T1 with the 56mm f/1.2 and the trusty x100s. I wish Thomas and Gitte all the happiness in the world…….
We have just got back from a few days in London which was a present for my 50th from the better half. It was a few days of excessive eating and drinking with a little bit of walking and photography, in fact we really blended in with the 1000’s of typical tourists. I shot all the time with my Fuji X-Pro and the XF 18mm f2 except for a few of the night shots where I used the XF 18-55 f2.8 and then processed them with SilverEfex as I felt the B&W contrasty feel gave the look I was after. shot both day and night and the X-Pro performed great, I really love this camera the quality of the raw files is top notch even at iso 3200…..
Since May of 2013, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Fujifilm X-Series Cameras and XF lenses, and during that time I’ve managed to shoot with them in more than 20 different countries, spanning nearly every possible photography condition. In the process, I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting many Fujifilm shooters from around the world and what I’ve discovered is that people love their Fujifilm cameras and, like me, they’re excited to talk about them. There have been quite a few times, where I was completely immersed in a sea of tripods, riddled with shooters toting every type of camera brand known to man. People with Canons, Nikons, Pentax, and Hasselblads, all sizing each other’s gear up—in typical photographer fashion—while never exchanging a word. Fujifilm shooters on the other hand, just seem to smile at each other, as if they have a shared secret that no one else knows. It’s the strangest thing, but even during photo walks, Fujifilm shooters seem to congregate; proud to be carrying their cameras and excited to talk about their favorite lenses and what is to come. There’s a sense of community and shared love for these cameras that I find absolutely delightful…….
It was a typical Wednesday morning until I received that call. About 10:43am my phone rang. It was my mother calling to notify me that that my father had to stay at the hospital and have a neurosurgery consult. I was instantly shocked with disbelief as my father is as healthy as a horse. He’s 69 years old but he’s the kind of man that hasn’t really slowed down despite having been retired since the age of 65. It turns out my father (a retired physician) had been having some slight headaches on the right side of his head for the last few months and he really didn’t think much of them. As a family, we were all going through a trying time as my uncle, my father’s younger brother, had been battling cancer for about a year already and he simply attributed the headaches to stress. But my mother, always one to be top of things had requested a doctor’s appointment so that my father would go and get an MRI. To the surprise of everyone, the radiologist that interpreted the MRI said my father couldn’t go home and that he must go get a neurosurgery consult immediately. Its turns out my father had been diagnosed with a “subdural hematoma”……..