27 August 2012

Freedom no. 2

The Chandos

A few from an earlier wedding, this time converted as if it were 1962

Beautiful Couple, Wedding

Beautiful Smile, Wedding

Beautiful Hair, Wedding


Smiles, Wedding

Elegance (Wedding)




X100: If in doubt, chuck a filter at it?

X100: Last Desperate Attempts at Salvation

X100 trying again

20 August 2012


So, anyone want to buy a used X100? :)

Nearly, but nope....


Fuji X100: Final Verdict

Well, I think I've given it a fair chance. I've had it a year or so (though it feels like longer) and it hasn't grown on me. The pictures I can get with it still suck majorly. Lag, focus issues, over-complication of what should have been simple operations. The weight, look of the camera, and some of the features (silent operation, good high ISO performance*, and, erm, that's about it) are OK, but the crappy pictures it produces just don't cut it. See here, a couple of shots:

This first one: well, it's about as good as I can get out of the bloody thing. And it lacks in all departments. I've had to boost contrast to the max in photoshop (this from a jpeg - I've not found a good Raw converter for Fuji files, though I am on the verge of trying Lightroom again) and it shows - it looks strained somehow. The figures are too dark, too indistinct, and yet I've tried everything to make them stand out. The elements of a good picture are there, or some of them, but the picture as a whole doesn't work. Flat, dull, lifeless: it doesn't inspire. Maybe it is simply the focal length I dislike: neither wide nor normal in FOV, it doesn't add to the picture-taking process, it drags it back, as if the lens is saying "well hey, you may see great graffiti and some kidults playing in amazing late afternoon sunshine, but I'm going to reduce that to small elements in the distance, hard to make out and lacking in all impact - take that Mr Photographer!"

Or take this:

It just lacks bite. Panache. Ooomph. It doesn't have any class. And I don't think the same photo taken with a D700 or whatever would look so lacking - there would be a vitality about it. Maybe its the fact that I'm not finding the right subjects with the camera, but I honestly don't think so - it just doesn't excite me. Pictures from my D700s excite me from pressing the shutter through to posting them on the web following post-production; or at least, some of the better ones do. This, though, a file from the Fuji, it just disappoints from start to finish. The subject interests me, I take the camera out and think "this time, this time it will be different". And then I get home and put them on the computer and it's all "delete, delete, delete". I'd managed to convince myself that I might have something this evening but no, same old story - it takes so much effort to get even this poor example. Sigh.

It is official, me and the Fuji are Just Good Friends.

*I don't understand people who don't understand people who want good high ISO performance above all else. There is simply never enough light wherever I am: weddings, street photography, portrait sessions... Maybe all the people who write on the internet about not caring about high ISO performance live in California and go out at noon. For me, everything comes down to good performance in low light: need fast lenses? Not if high ISOs are available, though they are still nice to have. Want to use your lenses at anything other than wide open? Same thing. Sure, shooting in a studio must be great, or on a tripod (use of which cuts my shot rate down to about 5% of tripod-free levels, perhaps less), but otherwise high ISOs are essential. Want some contrast in your shot, lack of noise, latitude in post-processing? All depend on high ISO performance. Have shaky hands? Like coffee? Same answer. Life, in other words, is easier if you can crank it up past 3200.

19 August 2012

Interesting Photography

In order to create interesting, engaging or arresting photographs, one needs both a modicum of technique and a modicum of courage. Of the two, the latter is probably the most important.

Wedding, 18th August, Manchester