I turned 50 years of age 2 weeks ago and part of my present from my wife was a Photography Workshop run by Nigel Forster of Creative Photography Wales.
It was a Brecon Beacons Heritage & Landscape course, As I have never been on a workshop before I didn’t really know what to expect but after meeting Nigel at his home I was put at ease from the off.We visited 4 locations during the day ……The Guardian at Six Bells, Blaenavon Ironworks, Big Pit and lastly we walked up to Llangattock Escarpment giving stunning views over the beautiful welsh landscape.The Workshop ran from 9:30 til 7:30 and was a great day at locations that I have never visited before.
All images were shot on my Nikon D600 with the 24-85mm and processed in Lightroom.
Popped along to the Bridgend Show on Sunday with just the X-Pro 1 and 35mm f1.4 with the intention to shoot as much as I could as near wide open as I could but it was rather bright and sunny so managed f2.0 -f4.0 and the camera and lens performed superbly.
All images shot Raw and processed in Adobe Lightroom 5 using the Adobe Fuji camera profiles, quite pleased with the colours but still not as sharp as with Capture One Pro but getting there.
Since getting my D600 and also my Fuji X-Pro1 I have noticed a pronounced slowdown in the performance of Lightroom 5.
Also Lightroom does not get the best out of my Fuji Raw files which tend to be soft and flat unless I spend extra time processing them.
After reading a lot of advice on the web I thought I would give Capture One Pro a trial run just to see if there is any improvement.Straight away the speed increase was 10 fold, the import and rendering of previews were very impressive with my 24meg D600 raw files.
Also the default rendering that Capture One gives the images was very pleasing.
I opened the “Merlin Stone” Raw image at the top of this post in Camera Raw after seeing the Capture One version and was so impressed with the depth in the colours and the sharpness of the image.
I could not get Camera Raw to render anywhere near what I got from Capture One.I get emails from PhaseOne quite regularly with money off offers to purchase their software and as soon as I get the next one I will be investing in this, the learning curve is quite steep as I have used both Lightroom and Aperture for ages but PhaseOne has loads of tutorial videos on their Youtube channel so I have plenty of viewing to do :)
I am looking forward to seeing the difference I can achieve with my Fuji Raw files next if the D600 images are anything to go by I will be very pleased.
My favorite film is ilford HP5, I also shoot Delta 400 and T-Max 400 but after reading quite a few posts on the internet and recommendations from some fellow Twitter photographers I bought 5 rolls of 35mm Fomapan 100.
I shot it at box speed and processed it in Ilfotec HC at 1+9 dilution and the results were very pleasing.
The images shot in bright sunshine where lovely and contrasty with plenty of detail in both Shadow and Highlights while the one’s shot in low natural light almost glowed while still holding detail.I am extremely pleased with this film and after reading more on the web I will be getting some Rodinol next as this seems to give even better results.
Last weekend we went to Aberystwyth to pick up Amy for the summer and in between all the carrying/cleaning and throwing out bin bags I managed a walk along the seafront to see where her next terms accommodation will be and took the X-E1 with the new zoom instead of the primes.
It’s very handy to be able to zoom slightly especially if I see a shot and have to get it quick, its not so good when attempting shooting from the hip as I got far more missed shots than I did when I tried it with the 18mm prime.
Amy came home from Uni for a couple of weeks and she fancied a walk up the valley, so as I had just received some new sample film developer from Spur Photochemie http://spur-photo.com/ in Germany I loaded up the OM2n with some ilford FP4 and rated it at 400 iso to test how the developer performed.
The developer in question was Spur Ultraspeed Vario and is used when you want to push or pull your film and keep as much detail and contrast in your negatives possible.
It is a 2 bath dev and this is the 1st time that I have processed this way.
Both mixes were 1+11 when rating FP4 at 400 and was processed 5 minutes for the 1st bath and followed by 15 minutes for the 2nd.
Agitation was 30 sec constant inversions then stand for the remaining 4:30 and the 2nd bath was also 30 sec constant inversions then twice every minute thereafter.
The results were very impressive indeed, the shadow/highlight detail was excellent and the sharpness and contrast were great too.
I will try pulling some FP4 next just to get a comparison and will post the results.
As its Easter Bank holiday and the weather here has been quite nice for a change I made the most of the time and got out shooting some film again.My camera of choice was the Mamiya 645 with the 80mm f2.8 and a roll of Kodak Ektar 100.The light up in the forestry was changing minute to minute so I didn’t know what the results would be, I was going from 1000sec @ f11 to 60sec @ f2.8 so I was quite happy when I scanned the negs that there was minimal camera shake on the slower ones ( didn’t take my damn tripod)All in all I was pleased with the results, it was nice to just have 15 shots to play with rather than the hundreds I have shot with my new Fuji X-Pro 1 lately.I will be shooting a lot more Ektar in the future I like the sharpness and the colours it gives, may try some portraits next just to see how thay come out.Thanks for looking
I treated myself to an early 50th birthday present last week …. a Fuji X-Pro 1 along with the xf 18mm f2 and 35mm f1.4.
This post is short and sweet and is just to show my 1st quick attempt at some close street shooting using the 18mm wide open at f2 just as a test.The lens is very sharp even at f2, obviously not the best aperture to be sure of getting the image but as it was an experiment I wasn’t to upset at the missed shots.
I had a few surprised looks as I took the images but I didn’t feel as conspicuous like I do that close with my Dslr.I am shooting Raw and Jpeg at the moment and I must say the Jpegs are really nice, great colour and sharpness and seem to have the added bonus of a little lens correction in camera over the Raw (not drastic but noticeable) which makes a difference with the 18mm.
I will post a lot more in the next blog, I have just tried the 35mm at f1.4 and its gorgeous :)
Popped into Bridgend on Sunday to get a few things and took the D600 for a change with the idea of shooting some street stuff.There was a few people milling around and I tried some shooting from the hip as well as straight shooting with varying success.
I shot all of these at f8 in Aperture priority with the focus set manually at approx 10-12 ft.I only shot about 30 frames in total and was very pleased that I managed to get this many keepers, not that they are pushing any boundaries in street photography but still they seemed to work, especially when converted to Black & White.Thanks for looking …….
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