Twelve days into the new year, and I’m in trouble already….

Do you find that sometimes people take photography far too seriously?  I’m not talking about professionals, who just have to be more serious than us – but about people who don’t seem to ‘get’ the idea that you can relax and play with your cameras and images.

For example…. I took this image just before Christmas

_DSF1338-Edit

A friend and myself went to the local woods to shoot some macro – and he had with him a portable smoke machine – well, we had a rare old time, messing about, crawling in the undergrowth – letting the smoke off, and watching the way the breeze seemed to change direction between every shot we took.

We must have taken a lot of images – and were caught by the woodland warden / conservationist, who thought it was funny to see two aged photographers grovelling about in the undergrowth.  He asked what we were doing, and was interested in the effects we were trying to get.  He liked the images too.

Anyway – I posted this image on a social media site, and was heavily criticised by another photographer for putting artificial smoke (read fog) into the image.  At first I was accused of putting the ‘fog’ in during post production.  When I said that we used a smoke machine – I was told that it wasn’t natural, and we shouldn’t have done it.  I tried to explain that it wasn’t toxic – that there was no harm being done, and we were just having fun……  The same poster said and I quote “there’s no fun crawling around getting dirty, and you shouldn’t be using a smoke machine in a public place…..”

So that told me off then…..

I don’t think I approach photography as something trite, but I do enjoy trying new things.  I think the challenge for the commenter here is to find the balance between being stuffy and dour, and letting go to enjoy the hobby.

 

 

A switch from Canon in favour of Fuji !

Earlier today, I said a fond farewell to my Canon 1DX, the full range of lens that I owned, the flashguns, the battery  packs, and brackets, the releases and triggers……

The first DSLR camera I ever bought back in early 2000 was a Canon 350D – I quickly outgrew it, asking it to do far more than it was capable of.  Later, when I was studying photography at college – they lent me a Canon 5D – the first time I’d experienced a full frame camera… it was fabulous, and when my course finished I bought one.  Later as I started work as an agency photographer, and was shooting events, and the odd wedding – I upgraded again to a 1D MK4 – loved this so much, I bought a second one – one for me, and one for work…. later, traded the older one in for the DX – which I said then was probably the best camera I had ever owned.

Fast forward to two years ago… and I wanted a more lightweight camera for holidays – the DX was a bit too big and heavy for holiday use, and I plumped for the Fuji X-T2 – and what a revelation – lightweight, massive files – great colour rendition, and a fabulous retro feel that reminded me of my days shooting film.

One year later – I traded it in for the X-T3, bought another lens but still kept hold of the Canon DX.

Something inside me kept saying I should sell all my Canon gear, but somehow I couldn’t bear to part with it.  Then, last summer, I spent a couple of days on the Farne Islands… I took the Canon, the 100-400 lens, a shorter lens, and a tripod, and off I went…. Three days later – with a bad back, aching legs, and sore arms – I decided that it had to go… and I held off till today……

I don’t know quite why I held on to it for so long, though I think it was nostalgia as much as anything…. but inside I knew that the Fuji was performing as well as, and in some circumstances, better than the Canon DX.

The good news is that Canon glass, really does hold its value – and I was pleasantly surprised at the overall value of the camera body too….

So, I’m now Fuji all the way, and I’m looking forward to the new year, with a new start.  I’ve just got hold of the Fuji 80mm macro – at 2.8 it’s fast glass, and sharp as a tack.  I’m waiting on another lens (more on that when it arrives), and I have enough store credit with the local camera shop now – to upgrade to an X-T4 as and when it launches later in the year, or maybe buy a second body – I haven’t decided yet.

I have to highly recommend Fuji though – for their fairly regular firmware updates, which add spec. to the cameras as they go.  I don’t think I had a firmware update for the Canon ever……

So there we are, the lightweight mirrorless camera does it for me – My bag is lighter, the glass is excellent, and the body is neat.  The image quality is superb (dare I say better than the DX?) – I love the colours and the sharpness of the lens……. and finally I can probably ditch the really heavy manfrotto tripod and use a more lightweight one….. I can decide that later…. a heavy tripod can be useful.

I think that I’ve made the right decision, and I’m also pleased that I waited, and kept both systems running in tandem for a while.  I was able to compare and contrast rather than just rushing to dump all the Canon gear, and maybe have been disappointed.

What I found was that when I was going out to shoot, I was automatically picking up the Fuji, and the Canon was getting left in the cupboard more and more – so in the end – why keep it at all?

Watch this space.

And, if you have any comments or thoughts on a system change, I’d love to hear from you – what are your experiences?

_DSF1619-Edit-Edit