A Photo Conversion

Ever since I first held a DSLR, it’s been a Canon – I remember standing in what was a half decent camera shop in Manchester – I had a Nikon in one hand, and a Canon in the other – I chose the Canon – not because I thought it was ‘better’ (the spec was about the same on both), but because it felt better in my hand.   That was the Canon 350D, and I was on the road – after that I had a 5D – Canon’s first full frame at a reasonable price – and from there I travelled on through the 1D Mk3, to the 1D Mk4 (which I loved so much I had two of them!) – and then the 1DX (which is still in my opinion the best camera I have ever owned).  I bought glass too.  L Glass, and used it mercilessly.  Commercial work, photo journalism work, agency work – the cameras and glass were worked very hard, and never let me down.

I smashed one camera into bits inside Manchester Cathedral – I watched the slow topple of a tripod from the top of some steps, with the camera and lens falling in slow motion.  The whole lot hit the marble floor, and the camera exploded into all sorts of interesting bits.  The lens sheared off – half on the camera body, and the other half rolling across the floor – I could have cried.    I dropped the whole lot off at Calumet on my way home, and as a Canon CPS member, it was repaired, and returned to me in perfect working order around 10 days later.

So, I have, as you can see, been a Canon advocate for many many years.

In January of this year – we decided on the spur of the moment, to go to Spain.  For the last couple of holidays, I’ve taken the GoPro with me – as the Canon bodies and lens are heavy, and bulky.  This holiday was on a budget airline, and we were going without checking anything into the hold.  I needed a lightweight camera.

Canon, had brought out their mirrorless M5 – so I went off to look at one.  I borrowed it (leaving my Mk4 as security) and shot off round Lincoln.  I came home, and looked at the images, and was mildly disappointed, trying to remember that it wasn’t the DX I was used to.  I remembered too, that a year or so previously, I’d had hold of a Fuji X-T1, and loved the retro feel.  So, I rang a friend who had one, and he said the image quality was excellent, and that Fuji had just released the X-T2 – I went out to look.

The sample shots were pleasing, and the camera felt like film cameras used to – all the dials on the top, the fstop ring on the lens!  Comfortable to hold.  I was hooked.  I went back the next day and bought one – and a 23mm F2 lens.

The first trip out was to Hull on January 5th – the start of the Year of Culture….. low light, and the camera was superb.

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I went off on holiday to Spain –  and experimented.  Good colour rendition – and this with just the one prime 23mm lens.  The files are much bigger than those that come from the DX, and so I can crop with impunity._DSF0439

This week, I bought the Fuji 16-55 f2.8, and today is the first day out with this lens.  It’s sharp, renders great colour, and I’m VERY impressed with the overall image quality.  This little camera is just what I’ve been looking for.

I recently sold my Canon 40D, the 350D (with regret) and my Canon 70-300 L lens.  I’m actually considering selling the 1D MK4…… the Fuji is THAT good…….

Here are a few more pictures from today’s visit to the beach…..

Am I a Fuji convert ?  Well, nearly.  It would take an awful lot before I’d get rid of my 1DX.  In the meantime, I’m enjoying the freedom a smaller camera gives me – I don’t miss carrying the weight around, and I do enjoy the in-camera fun – the double exposures, and the ability to shoot in monochrome, using the Fuji ACROS filters.

More on this in due course……….

 

Beverley Minster and Wildlife Photographer of the Year….

As part of the Year of Culture 2017, in Kingston upon Hull – the town of Beverley hosted the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.  So a group of us decided that not only could be see this exhibition, but we could take our cameras, and have a photo trip out at the same time.

The exhibition was tremendous – the images were superb, and I was blown away by some of the shots there, that were by children under the age of 10!

I suppose the only image that I took issue  with (and it wasn’t that it was a bad photo – far from it) was one that had been taken using a wildlife camera.  The artist said that he had set it up in a place where he knew that bait was regularly put out by rangers; and by bait, I’m talking dead animals – large, dead animals.  He went on to say that the camera was there for 6 months, and in that time it took 200,000 images !!

The shot that was selected was brilliant, with birds swooping, and a bear tucking into the carcass.  You can see the image by following this link

http://www.theenglishgarden.co.uk/news-and-events/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year-2017/

The issue I suppose I have, is that there was no input from the photographer – the camera was there – taking pictures on its own for 6 months – though I assume in that time, the photographer returned to replenish batteries, and to change memory cards.  There was knowledge needed too, about where to place the camera for best effect.

However, given that there was regular baiting, I suppose that over time, it became inevitable that ‘something’ good would happen, and that the camera would record it.

I have a small wildlife camera here at home – borrowed from a friend, so I know that they are fairly easy to set up – and the instructions tell me that left unattended, the batteries will last for up to 6  months…….

So compared with some of the other shots, where the photographer was present at the time of shooting maybe it wasn’t so much talent, as luck……..

It has to be said though that the final shot was excellent, and a worthy one to be exhibited.

After we had seen all there was to see there – we headed off for Beverley Minster – I’d never been into Beverley before, and so I enjoyed the opportunity to look around the town before we headed into the Minster.  It’s £3 to take photographs, but entry is free – and the building is wonderful.  We had a warm greeting from the verger, who took time to show us round, and because he was a bit of a photographer himself, he showed us the good places to stand.  I had my fisheye lens with me, and, I think, used it to advantage to shoot the ceilings and organ.

So, here’s my shot of the day showing both windows, the organ, the choir and if you look closely, one of my colleagues actually taking some photographs – right at the bottom of the shot.

Beverley Minster (1 of 1)

Below, is a short slideshow of some of the other images I took on that trip, including other photographs taken with a fisheye, and the Canon Camera, and others with my new Fuji, more on that later……..

In the meantime – Spring is here – I heard my first Cuckoo this morning.

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