Pre dawn light on the River Cam, up at Grantchester Meadows. Beautiful conditions continue as we head fast into Autumn.
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landscape photography with the fuji
Back over in Ireland to see the folks. It's my first time back over since dad got out of hospital. While the reality of the new normal is stark, it's bloody fantastic to have him back at home - ranting and raving about this and that. But that's him, bark worse than his bite. Shows he still has plenty of fight left in him.
We have had some wonderful weather conditions over the past week while I've been here but I've resisted the temptation about heading out too much with the camera - the trip is about spending time with mum and dad. Early mornings however allow me a few hours before the folks get up and yesterday morning I headed down to Island Hill, which is just outside the town I grew up in, Comber.
Patches of cloud make for a much more interesting sky and the fact that the tide was out allowed for various compositions using the long path which leads to the island. I grabbed my first kiss on that island and also skipped a few days of school laying low on it. Like a poor mans Robinson Crusoe.
I think I managed a couple of frames which I'm happy with - I'm sure I'll publish those at some point in the future. In the meantime here is one which I converted to B+W in Silver FX. It's a combination of 3 frames which were then merged in Lightroom HDR-Merge. I really like this feature as it simply merges the frames without creating a techno-crazy HDR image.
If you look way into the distance to the path as it heads across to the island you should be able to see a lone figure. This chap makes this walk every single morning and I've seen him down there through all conditions. Perhaps a bit small in the frame to really bring anything additional to the image but now you know he's there perhaps it does add something?
Hope you have a great week.
Quite often, when I'm out on a dedicated wildlife shoot I will also carry my FujiFilm XE2 along for the ride, normally with the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 lens attached.
Cambridgeshire, and especially the Fenlands, is famous for its flatness which, for a landscape photographer, can present challenges when it comes to framing. While I love nothing more than a challenge I sometimes find the vast openness of a landscape, such as this, becoming lost in the frame of a sub 20mm shot.
Step up the 35mm which actually, given the crop factor, works out at 56mm; not normally a focal length associated with strong landscape photography perhaps? This is where I feel the flatness of the Fenlands can work to my advantage, as even with an equivalent 56mm focal length you can end up with a seemingly wider frame in front of you. Take the example below, a grab shot for me as I made my way across to my intended spot to photograph Great Crested Grebes. I couldn't resist the colours being painted over the landscape with the purple hues reflected of the calm waters.
35mm (or around 56mm equiv.) can seem much wider along the flat openness of the Cambridgeshire Fens.
Another example of my exploration of landscape photography with this camera and lens combination can be found here.
I'm back over in Northern Ireland at the moment with my mum and dad. Since dad's operation I've been coming over once every few weeks to see him and help out around the place. It is at times like this that I especially love the size of my Fuji kit. Trips like this [with one cabin bag] I would never have thought about bringing the Canon kit and had been left frustrated with the options for photography with the iPhone.
Unlike my previous trips I decided to leave the tripod at home and only brought one lens with me, the Fuji 35mm (f/1.4) I love this lens, so sharp I'm sometimes worried I'll cut myself on the images. Fantastic in low light with a buttery, creamy bokeh to die for. Perfect for impromptu street shooting or some indoor portrait work. What I didn't expect, however, was to be shooting landscapes with it - especially in the midday sun. Mad dogs and Fuji Men?
Yesterday it was a bright sunny day and I decided to take a walk down to Island Hill at low tide. It really was beautiful out there. Plenty of waders on the mud flats. Noisy Oystercatchers and black headed gulls all around. The place is internationally important for many different species and I remember spending many a day bird watching or even kayaking on the loch as I was growing up. I also kissed my first girl down at Island Hill :)
Shooting at ISO 800 in daylight conditions to allow for more dynamic range, which in turns allows for both shadows and highlights to be pulled from the heights and depths of the image. I simply love that about the Fuji and certainly has opened up plenty of photographic opportunities when filters or bracketed shots was not wanted or possible.
All of the images have had one simple bit of post processing done to them. I imported into Silver FX Pro and applied one of my custom pre-sets on it. This one is called "The Elephant Watering Hole". I typically name my pre-sets based upon the very first image that I used it on, and in this case it was an Elephant in South Africa. Like the look of the pre-set? Get in touch and I can provide it for you.
Very pleased with the hour or so I spent down on the beach at Island Hill. Good for the soul to get outside into the fresh air. With my upcoming change it is the one thing I'm looking forward to most. Just tramping around with the camera. Immersing myself into the environment. A day like yesterday always teaches me that photography should not simply be about the epic sunrise or the far flung landscape. Not just about the Golden Hours for sure. Instead it's all about shooting more. Discovering more. And yesterday I discovered that shooting with a 35mm lens (53mm equiv) under the midday sun can still reveal some pleasing images. I hope you enjoyed them.
All images shot on the Fuji XE2 with the 35mm f/1.4 lens. Jpeg (fine) setting used along with B+W film simulation. No cropping and all images imported into Silver FX Pro where a custom preset was used.