Summer streets of London

My work held its annual "let's all see how we did this year" meetup thing recently, except this one was much shorter than in previously, running only from 13:00 to 16:00. This meant a) I could get up at a normal time, since my train was at 7:30 and not, like, 5:00 or something ridiculous, and b) I could have a bit of time afterwards to explore London while I waited for my 19:00 train. My colleague/friend Adam, a (more or less) local of the area, knew of some potentially interesting places to see, »

Carlton Marshes in fog

Another post with pictures from long after I made them! Getting to be a habit, although I'm not completely sure it's a bad one: letting the pictures stew for a bit blurs the experience of when I took them, forcing me to see them for what they are in themselves, uncoloured by my memories of the time. I'm mostly serious, but it's still partly an excuse for not updating my blog. Anyway. Carlton Marshes, the nature reserve a short way from our house. It's big and flat and full of fields and, er, marshes. Nice place for a walk, even »

Night and day, shadow and light

I didn't really appreciate just how much of one's time a baby takes up until Emily was born. It's not even just things like rarely having a moment alone; it's the other stuff, like major limits on spontaneity, especially in winter. Zoe and I can't just decide to go out somewhere now, as we need to consider how accessible it will be with a baby and maybe pram. Consequently this leaves less time for photography of the non-baby-picture kind, so I've been grabbing what opportunities present themselves. A quick drive to the local chippy, a wander around Norwich. »

The sea and the sun

My parents are staying at our house while the purchase of their new house grinds along. I don't get on well with them and have been feeling stressed lately, so Zoe and I took Em out for breakfast at the Lighthouse Café in Lowestoft, then for a walk along the seafront. A lovely shiny day it was, too! Cold, but good for clearing one's head. After being up and alert while Zoe and I ate breakfast, Em promptly fell fast asleep once we got outside. Maybe it was the sound of the sea; maybe it was just nap time on »

Further darkness

As is common this time of year, the sky was quite heavily overcast. Despite the gloom, Zoe and I and my parents went to Norwich, primarily to look at beds for my parents' new house, but we also went for lunch at Giraffe. We took Em, who was again remarkably well-behaved despite the usual initial upset when we, big meanies that we are, put her in the car seat. Gosh she doesn't like being put in the car seat! And yet, once we're under way everything's fine again unless we stop for too long. Dark weather, dark pictures: I'm continuing »

Afraid of the dark

The monochrome preset I usually use for my raw files in Capture One has a small amount of shadow boost applied, and I tend to increase it even more when there are large dark areas in an image. As I mentioned in a previous post, though, darkness isn't really a bad thing in pictures, depending on the feeling one is trying to evoke. Certainly for these pictures, taken on a dull overcast winter afternoon, the tonality conveys well the way I saw things at the time. The pictures are the output from Fuji's new X Raw Studio application, which uses »

Southwold Diptychs

The weather forecast said it'd be shiny at dawn today but that turned out not to be the case. Instead, it brightened up about 11 o'clock, so Zoe and I made the most of it and went to Southwold with Emily for a nice walk by the sea. As with yesterday I shot with the Acros +Y film simulation, and +2 highlights, +4 shadows. Generally it worked well, but there were a couple of cases where +4 shadows was too much, so I re-processed the image on-camera with +2 shadows. The result was almost all of these pairs are JPEGs »

Acros is better than I thought

Since I got my XT2, I've never really given the Acros film simulation a shot, but lately I've been trying it and been pleasantly surprised. I don't know if I just didn't have the right highlight and shadow contrast settings, but it's got a lot of subtleties that I hadn't appreciated before. The way the colour filters (e.g. Acros +Y) affect rendering is lovely - not too strong, but enough to make a visible difference. It's quite versatile too: with shadows and highlights set to 0, the tonality is nice and soft and works great for pictures of people, »

Black and white baby

It's been a while since I read Koudelka's Gypsies, but it's got me thinking: all my complaining about the Fuji 23mm f/2 seems a bit photo-nerdery in the face of the grainy, dark, often blurry pictures in this book. Pictures that work just fine, and in fact are entirely appropriate for the subject matter. So here's me trying to emulate Koudelka's style, or at least the superficial look of the pictures I've seen, albeit sans grain - I'm using a digital camera, after all, not ISO 3200 film; I feel (somewhat arbitrarily, I'll admit) that adjusting tonality is on »

Stormy skies

Storms are great for generating dramatic skies: the mix of dark clouds and bright, sunlit sky behind has something magical about it. »

Some X-T2 + XF23/2 black and whites

Another trip to Norwich today to get some Euros for our Malta trip on Monday. I hadn't planned on making these pictures monochrome, but rendering one of them later as black and white made me think to give all the 'good' ones the same treatment. »

Southwold in winter

I thought we might get lucky with the weather today, and manage to get some nice shiny winter pictures in the Suffolk seaside town of Southwold, but although it was sunny on the drive there, as we arrived the clouds moved in and flattened all the light. Still, it's kind of an appropriate aesthetic, the grey overcast weather reflecting the unbusy nature of a seaside town in winter. Took the 18–55 again, in the vague hope it'd work better on the X-T2. Nope. I really should just sell it, I'm never satisfied with the results; the primes have spoiled »

30-day photo challenge, day 1

I guess 'challenge' isn't the right word really, more of an inspiration: this is a list of photo idea prompts for the next 30 days, which I saw on Rinike's blog. Self-portrait What you wore Clouds Something green After dark Obsession Changes to come Routine Someone you love Childhood memory Something blue Sunset Cannot live without Eyes Silhouette A good habit Technology Your shoes Something you want In my bag Faceless self-portrait Inspirational Patterns Animal Strangers Close-up Celebration Flowers Black & white Self-portrait I'll post the first picture today but after that, to avoid spamming the posts list I'll wait »

Via London

Yesterday I had to go to London on business, so obviously I took my camera (the X100 this time) and spent some of my lunch break and some time after work taking pictures. »

Gorleston, town

The second set of pictures from yesterday's wander around more-than-just-the-seafront of Gorleston. I still haven't ventured fully into the town centre (I think? maybe I have and this really is all there is to it and if I keep going I'll be in Great Yarmouth); perhaps next weekend! Shall try taking my X100 then, perhaps with X-E1 and 14 and 60mm lenses as backup. I hope the future Fuji 50mm f/2 lens has no distortion. I don't like distortion, even though I leave it uncorrected. Probably I am silly in this regard. And then the sun came out! For »

Gorleston, see the sea

Doesn't feel like a week since my last wander around Gorleston seafront, and the weather was not so shiny this time, hence the black and white. This is kind of the first of two vaguely related posts; I took them on the same day, but more than that they both sort of illustrate aspects of Gorleston in a non-glamorous way. Used the 18–55 again. Still don't like it. That accursed dust spot :( »

The Peak District: Mam Tor

This weekend we visited the Peak District to meet some friends, and while the weather forecast predicted "mostly cloudy", we were very fortunate to actually get "mostly sunny". On Saturday we hiked up Mam Tor. I took three Fuji lenses: the 14mm, the 35mm f/1.4 and the 60mm macro. The 60 certainly got the most use here, which didn't surprise me – it's a natural fit to my preference for 'abstract' images, I think. The 14 was second, although not represented so much here. Last was the 35, which again wasn't too surprising – this sort of terrain seems to »

Boring Pictures

I remember reading many years ago about a book called Boring Postcards. It's just a collection of postcards assembled by Martin Parr that are all, well, boring: pictures of car parks, office receptions, bus terminals, that sort of thing. It's fascinating! At first it's just amusing how ridiculous the idea is, but it gets you wondering: why do these things even exist? Who thought it anybody would buy a postcard depicting a brutalist office building in a city centre? Anyway, the pictures kind of resonated with me for another reason: I feel like many of my pictures are... a bit »

OCOLOY Week 52

And here it is, the final week! It's been quite the journey, and I think has served its purpose excellently. I know my X-E1 and 35/1.4 now, their strengths and weaknesses, and I can set them up for a shot instinctively. I'm comfortable with the 50mm-e field of view, which I certainly wasn't in the beginning. One perhaps surprising result of this experience is that it's really dulled my craving for a new camera. Yeah I'd like an X-T10 or X-T1 and also the new 35/2 but honestly I can't justify the cost, since they won't actually »

OCOLOY Week 51

For this penultimate week, I decided to bend the rules a little, in that I actually used my X100 all week instead of the X-E1 and 35/1.4, thus foregoing the 'one camera' and 'one lens' aspects entirely. Not even the same focal length. But man have I missed the X100. I sent it to my brother months ago since he wanted to see if that 35mm-e field of view suited him before buying the equivalent lens for his Panasonic m4:3 camera. Yeah the X100 has its downsides: the EVF is kinda grainy, and freezes briefly when you »