As my Twitter followers might know, I’m getting for a pretty big trip to South Africa, where I’m fortunate enough to be going on a Safari. I’m incredibly excited to have this fantastic photographic opportunity ahead of me, but it has thrown a wrench into my usual travel/packing strategies, in addition to making a couple photographic purchases necessary. I thought it might be of interest to do a bit of a travel diary, which has already been of some help to the process. This post has already been revised a few times as my packing strategies change. As ever, it’s important to start with a solid foundation. Game reserves present a unique challenge when it comes to keeping your camera steady. Most of what I’ve learned on the topic is from (re-)reading this piece from Thom Hogan, and another more recent piece. A key problem to solve is how to support your camera when you’re in the vehicle. I opted for Really Right Stuff’s new Travel Clamp Kit to affix to the rails of a vehicle like so……..
Ok. Maybe an odd title for a blog post but it is related to a very special shooting experience with the Fuji X Pro-2 that I had in Vietnam last week. Beside that I’m not enlightened at all (yet). And of course it also has to do with my obsession to use song titles for my blog entries. If you listen to Van Morrison’s song its clear that he also struggles with enlightenment. Enough about the title but before I talk about the Fuji X Pro-2 some words about the location. It is the Emperor Jade pagoda in HCMC (or Saigon), Vietnam. If you ever plan to visit the place it is important to either learn the correct pronunciation of its vietnamese name: Chua Ngoc Huang which is next to impossible or to simple write down the name or address on a piece of paper and hand it to the taxi driver. If you don’t you will end up standing in front of the wrong temple and you will find yourself playing charade with the taxi driver. I tried to play a fish (because there is a pond with fishes and turtles in front of the temple) but a couple of days later learned that my attempts were all wrong……
An increasing large part of my business is running photography trips and holidays. These trips are sometimes in the UK, like the wonderful Lake District and Snowdonia National Park. I also run holidays abroad in places like Copenhagen, Paris and Verona. We just arrived back from a great trip in Verona with a lovely group of people. I truly am very lucky to be able to offer these courses that frankly don’t feel a lot like working! Having said that I do put a lot of thought in to them and of course there is quite a lot of planning too. I tend to stress a little bit about whether everyone will enjoy it and importantly whether they will get something valuable from the experience. I shouldn’t worry because I get very good feedback and lovely testimonials from my clients. Some of the trips I am able to run with my wife Samantha. We have children at school so it’s not always possible but it cetainly makes the running of the trips much more fun. It’s great to have Samantha on board to help make sure things run smoothly and that attendees are happy……..
Having just arrived in France via London I’ll be using these travels to launch a new series of photos along with captions and a little writing from various locations on my blog. I’m calling the series X-Pro Tour (also available via XProTour.com ) There are a few reasons behind this series, not the least of which is sharing my images and travels with all of you. If that is your main interest then please enjoy the photos I post and feel free to email me or leave comments. On the photography side of things I will also be providing my thoughts and experiences using the Fuji X-Pro2. For those not that familiar with it, it is Fuji’s latest incarnation of their professional rangefinder camera that also functions beautifully as a conventional mirrorless system. This is backed by a wide array of useful lenses of superb quality. In the captions I’ll provide the story behind the shot along with technical info (non-tech folks just ignore the part at the end of the captions.)…….
After taking the morning train from Ollantaytambo to and a bus transfer in Aguas Callentes, we wound our way higher into the mountains and the cloud layer and reached Machu Picchu, and yes, with the exception of the selfie-taking crowds, it was so worth the trip to stand over this spectacular location. It was also at this point in my nine day Peru trip with my son that I was grateful to have brought with me only a lightweight, minimal X70. With all the walking, hiking, and climbing, my legs were having difficulty supporting my own body weight, let alone a bag full of gear……..
For the second leg of our Peru journey, my son and I climbed aboard a small bus with four other people, a driver and a guide, and set out on an eight hour tour of the Sacred Valley. Small group, beautiful landscape, informative guide: Perfect day! ……
Travel Photography with the Fuji Xpro2. As well as loving portrait and wedding photography I also have a passion for landscape and street photography. I wouldn’t ever say I’ve got photography sussed as I feel this Art is a continuous learning curve even though my camera goes everywhere with me and I’ve been taking photos since I was 10 yrs of age due to my uncle having a photography studio in London. This article is about one of my latest trips to Italy where I felt it would be great to take along my new xpro2, my Fuji 16mm 1.4 lens and my favorite 56mm lens. Now then, before I receive those negative comments about my blogs and the very personal style of writing, let me explain, these blogs are written mainly as a kind of person diary, not technically written but maybe you may find some interest in the images I’ve provided with this article and my travels around the beautiful Tuscany location, you may even find that you would quite like to visit this fabulous country with its art, culture and of course the Italian cuisine……..
After a tremendous amount of self-imposed gear anxiety, I decided to leave the X-T1 and various lenses at home and packed only the diminutive Fujifilm X70 to cover my photography needs, real and imaginary, during my nine days in Peru. I have no hesitation recommending PFL for anyone that wants to travel to Peru without anxiety or doubt and want to focus on adventures and not misadventures. During the next few posts about Peru, I am not going to write many words about the trip, my experiences, or my time with my son; that is reserved for my memories. I am also not going to write much about the Fujifilm X70 except to say I was grateful that it was the only gear I took. I truly appreciated the compactness and capability the X70 afforded…….
Maggie and I have recently returned from our Venice trip and I’ve spent the last four days editing the images, so I thought I’d share some with you. Despite still owning a Nikon DSLR kit my preferred choice for travelling is my Fuji Kit, and has been for a few years now. So I took a stripped down kit consisting of my Fuji X-E1, Fuji X-M1 and Fuji’s 18-55mm f2.8/4, 55-200mm f3.5/4.6 and the 35mm f1.4 – leaving my 14mm 2.8 and 60mm 2.4 at home. My modus operandi for daytime photography was to take the Fuji X-E1 plus the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm, these fitted comfortably into my Lowepro Passport Sling bag, with some additional dividers fastened with velcro…….
Airport security concerns aside, it’s never just as simple as jumping on a plane from Cape Town to anywhere. As DS readers in Alaska and New Zealand will doubtless concur, there’s almost always a connecting flight, transfer times and an eventual arrival at one’s destination at the least convenient moment. Making a bad situation worse, there aren’t many choices of carrier from Cape Town. My preference is Emirates. This means flying via Dubai, but the upside is new(ish) aircraft, polite, interested and helpful aircrew, halfway edible meals and a decent in-flight entertainment system. On the other side of the coin, BA can’t even manage to get it’s clapped out 747s and couldn’t-give-a-toss aircrews here and back to Heathrow without the toilets breaking down or running out of scotch on board; best not go there if you were feeling like suggesting such. So, Cape Town, Dubai, Venice it was. Nice……