Tag Archives: Fujifilm X100s

I’m Getting Sick of Praising the FujiFilm X100s, But There It Is

One part light; one part how you see it.

One part light; one part how you see it.

I have not been shooting much lately, so I decided to bring a camera to dinner. I thought about bringing the D610 and 105 micro, but that’s what I brought last time. And besides, the X100s was already in the iPad bag (it’s a Tamrac of some sort, but I cannot find the model number on the bag and you certainly cannot expect a lazy, impatient, disorganized photographer to remember or look up such things. It holds an iPad and a pretty good mess of camera gear, although the X100s and extra batteries live in it most of the time).

Evenings like this remind me that the light is everywhere, except perhaps the Grand Canyon Caverns, and it’s up to me to do something with it. Nice to have a little camera like the X100s at the ready.

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What I Got The X100s For

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Would one of my other cameras have provided adequate depth of field to keep both pets in focus? Probably not in this light. Besides, it would not have been hanging around my neck when I walked by the stair landing. The lightweight X100s was at the ready.

With all due respect to Chase Jarvis, we’re all sick of hearing that “the best camera is the one you have with you.” It’s just so irritatingly true. For those of us with too many cameras and too little vision, it’s nice to have rules about which camera to have with us at any given time.

I got the Fujifilm X100s last October to be my “carry everywhere” camera. Nevertheless, every time I’m about to leave the house, I agonize over which camera(s) and lens(es) to bring. Often, when I’m going to be out and about for non-photographic purposes, I remind myself, “This is what you got the Fuji for.” I then also remind myself to not end sentences with prepositions, since that is something up with which I cannot put.

Yesterday we visited a couple of wineries (and Ostrich Land!) in the Santa Ynez Valley. I was not going out to make photographs; I was going out to enjoy time with friends. This is what I got the Fuji for.

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Would a longer lens have been nice while visiting this miniature horse ranch? Sure, but the X100s challenged me to frame my¬†images differently. Wish I’d gotten lower. Oh well.

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Preparing to feed the ostriches. Snapshots of friends are absolutely why I got the Fuji.

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I struggle with the X100s focus system for any sort of moving subject, but at f/5.6 in bright light, it is very forgiving.

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The X100s also provides better acuity and dynamic range than we have any right to expect.

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As I said, I haven’t figured out how to use the X100s for action, but sometimes I get lucky. Which is fine while snapshooting. If I was traveling to the Santa Ynez Valley to photograph Ostriches, I would bring the big bag o’ Nikons. And a couple of flashes. And maybe some light stands and umbrellas.

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I am occasionally reminded that the X100s is capable of far more than I usually get out of it. When I do my part, the camera delivers excellent images.

The lightweight X100s allows me to maneuver it into unusual positions.

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My dinner wine, reflected in the table, along with a very photogenic sky. I would have felt very self-conscious trying to shoot something like this with my Nikon D610 – at least until my third glass of wine. But I use the X100s in silent mode, so when I raise the camera and snap the frame, I’m done before anyone notices.

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Filed under Camera Gear, Camera Settings, Travel and Vacation

A Pretty Good Day

An unexpected gift.

An unexpected gift. Nikon D610 with 70-200 f/2.8

Saturday, February 22, was a pretty good day. Around 1:00 I stepped out back to practice with a camera and lens combination I would use later in the day to photograph author Michael Moss. As I stepped onto the back deck, a hummingbird hovered directly in front of me. He then led me to the plant in the picture, posed for two frames, and zoomed away. A nice start to the day.

Deep set eyes, stage lighting, and walking between the projector and the screen. A challenge.

Deep set eyes, stage lighting, and walking between the projector and the screen. A challenge. Nikon D610 with 70-200 f/2.8.

The day’s assignment was challenging. UCSB Arts & Lectures presented author Michael Moss, and I was to capture publicity shots for both Arts & Lectures and the Orfalea Foundation. I chose a spot too close to the stage. I was shooting upward toward a man with deep set eyes who was lit by hard stage lights. Plus, he kept walking between the projector and screen. I got a few keepers, but it was unnerving there for a while.

But after the presentation…

The lagoon at UCSB, near the dorm where Laurie and I met in 1976.

The lagoon at UCSB, near the dorm where Laurie and I met in 1976. Fujifilm X100s

My wife and I took a walk around campus, and came to the lagoon. We walked around it, as we did hundreds of times between 1976 and 1980, when we were students.

This might have been us, almost forty years ago.

This might have been us, almost forty years ago. Fujifilm X100s

You know, it was just a nice day. Fujifilm X100s

You know, it was just a nice day. Fujifilm X100s

 

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Filed under Motivation, Nature Photography

The Year of Square is Starting to Work, I Think

Everyone is sick of cat photos? Is everyone sick of people portraits? If I see something I like about the light, color, composition, or moment, I'm going to take the shot.

Everyone is sick of cat photos? Is everyone sick of people portraits? If I see something I like about the light, color, composition, or moment, I’m going to take the shot. This is another example of the “look” of the Fujifilm X100s; a look I’ve come to enjoy very much.

What have I learned since my New Year’s Day post? I have learned that all else being equal, I’d rather be out photographing birds. Since the first, I’ve been working long hours during the week, and attending to some personal projects on the weekends, and I expect that will be the case for some time.

The Year of Square project provides an opportunity for technical exercises. Here I was testing depth-of-field fall off, off-camera flash placement, and my own patience, as I struggled to keep the focus point in place without a tripod.

The Year of Square project provides an opportunity for technical exercises. Here I was testing depth-of-field fall off, off-camera flash placement, and my own patience, as I struggled to keep the focus point in place without a tripod.

The Year of Square project is keeping me sane during this image drought. When I started the project, I didn’t want to come home from work in the evenings and then have to come up with a photo. But now, I see that as precisely what I need. I spend all day at work sitting in front of a computer, so having a photo assignment every evening prevents me from coming home and spending the REST of the day sitting at a computer.

Desperation to produce a square image every day also means that any interesting shape or shadow becomes fair game for a shoot.

Desperation to produce a square image every day also means that any interesting shape or shadow becomes fair game for a shoot.

 

Instead of grabshots, I’m now forcing myself to take time and use the considerable resources available (lenses, flashes, etc.) to make images that have a reason to exist. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I do not. But I think the key is to keep shooting, so when I do have more time, I’ll have been practicing.

If the pressure to produce an image every day does nothing more than get me to try different lighting scenarios, I will learn a lot over the course of the year.

If the pressure to produce an image every day does nothing more than get me to try different lighting scenarios, I will learn a lot over the course of the year. Here we see how broad lighting can make a subject look ten pounds heavier. ūüėČ

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Filed under Composition, Lighting, Motivation

Fall

I don't think about the future much. When I do, I think about learning when to sacrifice precision for moment.

When to sacrifice precision for moment? How much technical quality is necessary?  Fujifilm X100s

By southern California standards, it is cold today. The grove fans thrummed all night like Colonel Kilgore’s Air Cavalry, with just a hint of Flight of the Valkyries playing in my imagination. Some rain showers this morning. Some snow on the ridge.

Some leaves hang on to a very bitter end.

Some leaves hang on to a very bitter end. Fujifilm X100s

As I walked home from St. Joseph’s, gusts of wind surrounded me with flittering, flickering orange leaves, many sparkly with raindrops catching the afternoon sun. I photographed none of this. Didn’t even raise the camera to my eye. I just stopped walking each time it happened, and watched.

Love is everywhere I go, but so is Love's shadow: Loss.

Love is everywhere I go, but so is Love’s shadow: Loss. Nikon D7000

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Filed under Nature Photography, Personal