In what turned out to be our favourite city in Cuba, we found ourselves in Trinidad. Immediately, we could sense a distinctively different vibe when we got off the bus, apart from the initial surge of jiniteros elbowing and jostling their way towards us at the bus station, touting the ‘best room in Trinidad’, we were, just a street corner away from the initial fray, pretty much left alone for the rest of our stay in the city. Trinidad is a city frozen in time, colonial architecture liberally scattered throughout its cobbled streets and squares, quite insulated from the relentless march of modernity. Located in the province of Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad and its neighbouring Valle de los Ingenios is a UNESCO listed site. Once a prosperous city fuelled by the sugar mills surrounding it, Trinidad is now a shadow of its former glory but no less beautiful, albeit in a slightly dilapidated and tragic way. Named in honour of the Holy Trinity, Santísima Trinidad, or more commonly, just Trinidad, is bordered on the North by the mountainous El Escambray and situated by the edge of the Carribean Sea. Whist the rest of Cuba is not in any way lacking old colonial buildings, there was something especially authentic about the ones in Trinidad. From sprawling old colonial palaces and plazas to crumbling structures of sugar mills from a different time, everywhere you looked, its was like looking through a time portal. Rooting through our (humble) possessions, we liberated a few ballpoint pens, three coloured pencils, a purple nylon sling bag, some Japanese cartoon stickers, two chocolate bars and a bag of candy and gave them away during the course of our stay there. Local kids were the main recipients and seemed immensely grateful, despite the modesty of our offerings. Seeing how thankful they were made me really guilty for the times I’ve hoarded inordinate amounts of junk in my life prior to the travels, all the things you were convinced you needed but ended up in one cupboard or another, forgotten and neglected. I made a mental resolution to consume less and tread more lightly in my life going forward…….
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As those of you that follow my blog will remember I first fell in love with the Fuji X pro 1 back in June 2012. Originally my aim was to use it for street photography but as the years progressed it somehow took over from my Canon 5d Mark ii and is now the camera I use most for commissioned work. However after giving myself a bit of extra time off this holiday season I decided to venture out into my Home town of London and take a few snaps. Admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve taken any street photographs (the last time was New York 2012) so forgive me if I’m a bit rusty around the edges…..
See more pictures on creativelondonphotographer.wordpress.com
Thanks to a local a local photography forum, Clubsnap, I managed to gather a few tips on shooting the event.
- Thaipusam normally starts in the wee hours, stretching all the way to the next evening. The “Golden hour” for photographers will be the first 6 hours. This means shooting at the temple from 12 midnight all the way till 6am in the morning.
- Anyone entering the temple are to remove their footwear and leave it on the poach outside. General advice is to wear slippers or something light that you can stuff into your camera bag.
- No flash photography as this might distract the devotees who are in a trance. This means bringing a fast lens and a camera with high ISO capabilities.
With all these considerations in mind, I decide to bring my Fujifilm Xpro-1 with a 35mm 1.4, lightweight, fast lens and extremely capable at high ISO settings. The Xpro-1 being small and light, allows me to hand hold the camera over head and under the devotees for a different angle for many of the shots shown below. A heavier camera would have tire me out faster…….
Thaipusam is one of the major religious event in Singapore
See on lucpher.wordpress.com
Whilst looking into dark glass (ND Filters) – I came across a number of examples of metering anomalies with the X-Pro1, that suggested to me that this camera was seeing Infrared light, as well as visible light. This was an exciting revelation. A camera that shoots IR out of the box, without requiring permanent internal filter modifications is a great tool for a whole new field of photography. One quick way to find to – buy an IR filter, and try it out. The filter in question is the Hoya R72 – a rather specialist filter designed to block visible light, and allow IR wavelengths above 720 nm to pass through to the sensor……
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A little more than three years ago, before I restarted my documentary work on the Lower East Side, I took a walk through the neighborhood. I happened to meet this rabbi standing outside the House of Sages on East Broadway. It’s one of a number of small synagogues in the neighborhood that occupy one floor in a brownstone building. Many years ago there were many tiny synagogues that coexisted with the larger congregations of the Bialystoker, the Roumanian American, and the Chaim Sofer synagogues. The House of Sages was established as a place of retreat and study for aging/retired rabbis. A few days ago I was in the neighborhood and happened to be at the House of Sages just before the daily late afternoon service began. This same rabbi was kind enough to allow me to come in a take a few photos before the service began…..
See more pictures on genelowinger.blogspot.de
Thaipusam is a key Hindu ceremony that is held each year during the full moon in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar – Thai – falling from mid-January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar. It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community including Malaysia. . It mark as public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kedah, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang & Selangor. I’ve been living in Kota Kinabalu for so many years but never heard of this festival being held around here. All this years, I only know this iconic festival attracts over one million devotees and tens of thousands of tourists at Batu Caves. I was looking for some photographic opportunity during Deepavali last year, when I see the note about Thaipusam at Sri Subramaniam Temple (KM22, Penampang-Papar Road in Lok Kawi). My curiosity about it lead me to ask one of the visitor at the temple, I am lucky enough to know that the person I talked to is one of the temple management team. He said it was actually held every year. Yes, every year here in Kota Kinabalu and I have never seen a picture of this festival that was taken from here……
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For my girlfriend (who loves mushrooms I must add) I decided to create something “special”. So, I thought to myself, why not take some photos of her favourite thing. I don’t own studio light or a studio style background, to create the photographs I would have to rely on natural light and a little bit of creativity. My studio was basically a cardboard box, painted black inside and on the flaps to diffuse the natural light a little. All the light is coming from the window behind. The Fujifilm X-Pro 1 was then tripod mounted and put into Macro mode, sadly I do not own the Fujifilm 60mm macro lens……
See more pictures on srphotoblog.blogspot.de
Having read so many positive reviews about the Fujinon XF 23mm, I decided to rent it for a quick weekend trip to Las Vegas. Since we only planned to be there for 24 hours, I knew my opportunities to shoot with the XF 23mm would be limited. Nevertheless, I thought spending a couple days with this highly regarded lens would give me an idea of how using it would compare to shooting with my X100S. Well, after spending the weekend with the XF 23mm, I must say that everything I’ve read about it is true. Optically, it really is a great lens. From my completely unscientific testing, sharpness, resolution, etc all appear to be excellent. On my X-Pro1, I found the focusing to be a tad slower than the XF 35mm, but not enough to make a difference for the subjects I normally photograph. The one issue I did have with the XF 23mm was that I found myself missing focus quite a bit when shooting at f/1.4. Much more so than with the XF 35mm. Since I didn’t have an X-E2 to try this lens with, it’s hard to know if the X-Pro1 was the problem. Regardless, I was thoroughly impressed with the lens and the images it produced……
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I been sitting here like an hour just to figure out how I’m going to start this post. I wrote few lines, then I discarded it. Then I start again but lead to another blank page in the end. I hardly describe the beauty of this place just by the use of words. But the scenery, sounds & smells are still fresh in my head. You don’t have to agree with me, but when we can remember every details of certain things happened in our past, that was the point we were experiencing a “clear” mind, live in present, not in our past nor the future. In our daily life, we been clutter our mind with thousand of thought, thinking about our future & our past, but not many live in present including me. Anyway, I’ll leave that introduction of this post just like this as I can’t find the best word to fit that beautiful scenery. Thank you Azman Jumat & Rade for inviting me for this wonderful trip at Kota Belud….
See more pictures on shukurjahar.wordpress.com
In my post on Emotional Portraits I mentioned that I used a Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera to take the photos at a family gathering. In this post I go further by explaining why I like this camera and why it also drives me crazy. This is a “gear” rather than technique review so skip if you are more interested in the ends rather than the means. The choice of camera for the family event was dictated by considerations for the people (i wanted a discrete camera with a fast lens) and considerations for the output ( I wanted good skin tones and low noise images). The XPro could delivers on both these points. If I had added another technical consideration – fast focusing in low light – it would have been a different story. Let’s discuss these points in some detail…..