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fuji x-e2

Cambridge Half Marathon [2015]

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Cambridge Half Marathon [2015]

My wife was running the Cambridge Half Marathon this past weekend in, well Cambridge of course :) I had a day free (no football) so came down to town to watch. I myself am just starting to find my running mojo again and it was nice to feel the warmth of the sun on my face while watching the runners flood past - most, at least in the first few miles, with huge smiles on their faces. I can certainly relate to that - running does make me smile uncontrollably. Model Runners

I had the Fuji XE2 slung around my neck (where it normally is) combined with the Samyang 8mm Fisheye - a really fun combination, especially when you are in a bit of a creative mood/fun mood. I also love how you can get folks into your shot (like the guy with the horn below) without him actually realising - I also love the expression of the runner as he passes the noise of the horn ... almost .. 'if I wasn't running mate, I'd stick that horn where the sun don't shine'.

HORNS

The winning male runner was in under 1.07 with the winning female completing the race in under 1.15. I'm always in awe of the folks at the top of their game, and these two certainly were.

2015 Cambridge Half Marathon

A really enjoyable morning - my wife also knocked over 5 minutes of her time from last year, so she was also very pleased with her efforts.

All photos taken with the Fuji XE2 + Samyang 8mm Fisheye ... then some LR5 presets applied.

Sorry I've been a bit quiet on the blog over recent weeks. Still trying to make time for blog related activities with plenty of time now spent over in Ireland (where I write this update from) with my mum and dad. Football season is entering the squeaky bum phase over the coming few months so I really need to think about writing Part 2 of my "Life as a Sports Photographer" post .... Oh and the photos showed up from the first two rounds of #HolgaOnTheMove ... really need to get those scanned in also ..... Phew.. lots to come over the next few weeks. 

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A New Day

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A New Day

I'm always thankful when I see the first moments of light of a new day, and never more so than at the moment. The darkness of night is, as I'm sure many can testify, the toughest of times when met with challenges. While dad came through the operation on Wednesday night the road ahead is going to be a very long and I'm sure at times very difficult one.

As a family both immediate and extended we will stay strong and be there for both dad and of course mum, who as many of you know does not keep in the best health herself.

Your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time are very much appreciated.

A New Day

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Pink Dawn

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Pink Dawn

For the past few mornings dawn, or rather pre-dawn, as been a-wash with pink hues. I just love pre-dawn light, especially on cold winter's mornings. Of course it would be nice to get an even colder spell but you need to work with what you are given. Pink Dawn

Handheld single shot. Exposed for the highlights and then recovered the shadows. Very impresed with ability of the Fuji XE2 to do this. More frosty mornings like this hopefuilly before Winter leaves us this year. I was shooting hand-held as I was actually welding the 400mm lens for some wildlife stuff. I'm currently looking for a way to attach the Fuji onto my Gitzo tripod so that I can, when needed, do some proper landscape work, even when out with the wildlife kit. Advice most welcome :)

Technical Details

  • Fuji XE2 + Samyang 12mm (18mm equiv)
  • ISO 400
  • 1/60th second

This is taken on Burwell Fen, in Cambridgeshire. See a higher resolution of the image here.

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Remembering Customers Have a Choice

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Remembering Customers Have a Choice

Fuji and Samyang - Perfect Partnership ?

I had been on the look-out for a Filter set for my newly acquired Samyang 12mm lens (along with the Fuji X-E2). One of my favourite travel and landscape photographers right now, Elia Locardi, had just released his own travel kit consisting of a couple of ND filters, one Grad and the necessary holders and accessories. Now it wasn't cheap but I've learnt before than for kit such as this paying that little bit extra really does bring returns in the long run. I've never really used square filters before so I naturally had a couple of questions. Elia himself, via Google Plus, was kind enough to answer some of these. Did I mention as well as being a top photographer he's a top bloke as well. I had a couple of last remaining questions to ask so decided to log an email on the vendor's website. After a few days of nothing I gave them a gentle poke via twitter. Still nothing.

Time to go old school and give them a ring. This is where I started to get a little worried. I'm not sure on the setup they have but it sounded like the call was being taken from someone's garage. The lady on the other end of the phone, polite as she was, really wasn't sure what I was asking for. After a bit of back and forward she said that she had now seen my email and would be passing this onto someone in the pre-sales team ASAP and I should expect an email return.

So 48 hours later and still nothing. Now despite knowing that the filters seem to be the business I'm just not happy with the pre-sales support. I really don't want to be left hanging should I end up with a problem after I lay down some money.

So sorry to Formatt-hitech ... it looks like you have some work to do on the customer support side of things before you will get my business. Companies really do need to realise that their customers have a choice and I for one will be exercising my right to choose someone different.

Perhaps my experience is a one off ... but just a little warning out there to others considering these filters.

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Focus Peaking - A Game Changer ?

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Focus Peaking - A Game Changer ?

Okay so Focus Peaking isn't exactly new. It's been around for a few years, but having just picked up my first manual focus lens I have been putting it through its paces for the very first time on my Fuji X-E2. I had been wanting a new landscape lens for quite sometime, initially considering something from the Zeiss range to pair with my Canon 1DX. I then started to consider my future self when on the road and decided to invest in some glass for my Fuji. I had narrowed my choice down to three potentials; the Samyang 12mm, Zeiss 12mm or the Fuji 10-24, finally choosing the Samyang 12mm.

note I'll be posting on a later blog entry some thoughts on the Samyang along with sample images. For now back to Focus Peaking. 

Focus Peaking - Red

The idea behind focus peaking is that it will allow you to see the areas of the image which have achieved focus by outlining those parts in a different colour (which is configurable). In the above image you can see the red highlights quite prominent on the sails of the wind pump. In the second image below you can see I've zoomed in on the benches to again confirm that focus has been achieved.

Focus Peak - Zoom to check

Now of course the photographer is still responsible for working out Depth of Field / Hyper-focal calculations but the Focus Peaking makes it very easy to check focus without squinting into the LCD. I found myself being able to quickly check focus (later confirmed through 100% crop back in the office) even as I changed Aperture or indeed setup different view points.

Fuji and Samyang - Perfect Partnership ?

Sadly the sunrise wasn't as good as I had hoped (or indeed how the Met Office website had predicted) although about 30 minutes after sunrise the clouds started to take on some colour which helped lift the overall final image (see below). I'm sure there are plenty of techniques when it comes to focus peaking and I aim to do some serious testing with this lens over the coming weeks.

Wicken Sunrise

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Painting with Movement

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Painting with Movement

I had been reading an article from Pete Cairns regarding intentional camera movement earlier that morning and,  despite the conditions (i.e. the light) not necessarily being conducive to great photography, I decided to give it a go. Pushing both the ISO (500) and Aperture (f/16) allowed me to get a reasonably slower shutter speed (1/8 second). I was looking for more autumnal colour in the trees, but sadly it had all but gone. This was taken on my Fuji XE2 and 35mm lens a combination that rarely leaves my side. I was reasonably pleased with how it came out.

Painting with Movement

Technical Details

  • Camera - Fuji XE2
  • Lens - 35mm f/1.4
  • Aperture - f/16
  • ISO - 500
  • Shutter - 1/8 second

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You Spin Me Round

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You Spin Me Round

Quite often when we head outdoors with the camera we are looking for the iconic shot. You know, where all of the elements come together to create something which would get to the top page on 500px or a National Geographic Cover. Well, we can all but dream and in the meantime don't forget that outside of the search for these iconic shots Photography is supposed to be fun.

You Spin me Round

Technical Details

  • Camera - Fuji XE2
  • Lens -Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4
  • ISO - 2500
  • Aperture - f/4
  • Shutter Speed - 1/180 second

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