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Showing posts from June, 2013

Ulva Ferry, Isle of Mull

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This shot was taken from the deck of the Mull Charters boat as we headed back to land after the trip out to see the Sea Eagles during our recent trip to Mull.



Ulva is a small island off the coast of Mull and it is a short 200 metre ferry crossing to get on the island.  The building on the edge of the quay is the Boathouse, which is a coffee shop / gallery and serves fantastic snacks to anyone going over to walk around Ulva.  Unfortunately we didn't get chance on this trip to partake in a cup of tea and a scone.  Maybe next time.

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Review: X100S and X100 Image Comparison Part 1

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The other night I went out to take some images of the poppy field near Burton Coggles - see blog post on 27 June.  I took these images on my Nikon D800 but at the same time I took some pictures with the Fujifilm X100 and X100S to do a side by side comparison.

To do this I set the tripod in position and then put the X100S on it to take an image of some poppies.  The camera was set to ISO500 and Aperture Priority with the camera set to f4.  I took two images and then did exactly the same with the X100, using the same settings.  The two images came out at 1/110s @ f4.


The image on the left was taken on the X100 and the image on the right by the X100S.  Both images were downloaded in RAW and the same changes made to the exposure, clarity and highlights.

The images are so similar that if I swapped them over I don't think anyone would be the wiser.  The older 12.2mp sensor certain holds it own against the newer 16mp X-Tran sensor.

I will be doing more back to back tests in the coming weeks …

The Gulls on Mull

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If you are near the sea there are Sea Gulls, they are the sparrows of the coast.  I think these birds get a raw deal because they are so common they tend to be ignored or treated as a nuisance.  While out on the Mull Charters boat last month taking pictures of the White Tailed Sea Eagles (see blogs HERE and HERE), I also snapped the various gulls that followed the boat in hope of getting some food.  

Here are some of the shots taken on the Nikon D800 and Sigma 50-500mm lens -








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Poppy Field at Sunset

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My first day back in the UK after 10 days in Le Mans and the chance of a good sunset had me grabbing the camera bag and heading out to the poppy fields out towards the village of Burton Coggles.  The scene that greeted me didn't disappoint and the a low sun meant the field of red was backlit for around 20 minutes as the sun sank below the horizon.  This gave me the chance to capture the scene on the D800 and three different lenses.







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REVIEW: Fuji X100S v Fuji X100

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Anyone who reads this blog will know that the Fujifilm Finepix X100 is my favourite walkabout camera. It can produce images that rival the much larger Nikon D800, it is beautiful to look at and is so well screwed together that I'm sure it will last me years.  My X100 is a limited edition 'black' version and came with a few special extras in the box when I bought it last October.


In March 2013 Fuji unveiled the X100S, an updated version of the X100 with improvements in several areas including the use of a 16mp X-Trans sensor from the X-Pro1 / XE-1, full 1080P HD video and a faster AF system.  I played with an X100S at the Focus on Imaging Show in March but last week I was able to get my hands on one for a long term test.
REAL WORLD TESTING: Like all my tests on this blog there is nothing scientific about how I go about assessing a camera. I use it in real world situations and then report how I found using the camera.  How I use a camera might not be the same as another photog…

A Quick Stop at Loch Dochart

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Another image taken on our trip home from the Isle of Mull earlier this month.  Loch Dochart sits next to the main A85 that runs from Crianlarich to Lochearnhead and is a favourite stopping point for a quick break, or, in the case, a bite to eat.  The low clouds with sunlight breaking through had me grabbing the Fuji and heading down to the loch to grab a few shots of the scene. On the left is the remains of an old house, with just the chimney stack still standing amongst the trees.
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Old Puffer at the Mouth of Loch Linnhe

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This image was taken on our way back from the Isle of Mull at the start of June while we were waiting to board the Corran Ferry at the mouth of Loch Linnhe.  This old fishing boat was beached on the shore near to the ferry terminal and is starting the decay.   But as with my favourite derelicts in Salen Bay on Mull, the old Puffer provide a good photographic subject for my little Fuji X100.

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RIP Allan Simonsen

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Today was the worst day in my career in motorsport and this was the last picture I took on the grid before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  During the first few laps Allan Simonsen (on the left) was killed after his Aston Martin Vantage hit the barriers and little did I know when I gave Allan a thumbs up and a 'good luck' that this would be the last time I would see him.  I had the pleasure of working with Allan for most of my career, first meeting up with the happy-go-lucky Dane during our time at the European Formula Palmer Audi Championship in 2000.  A blindingly quick driver in single seaters but lacking the backing to move up to the upper echalons of the category he switched to sportscars and this where he really made his mark. Allan spent a lot of time in Australia where he became a well known and successful GT driver, he stayed so long that the Danish driver picked up an Aussie accent. I started working with Allan again in British GT, where he assisted Hector Lester…

Night Qualifying at Le Mans

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Le Mans this year is extremely busy and the opportunities for taking images are few and far between.  However I went up to the top of the main grandstand on Wednesday evening during the first qualifying session and set the D800 to a very slow shutter speed to get some interesting effects as the cars travelled along the main start-finish straight.


The first shot was taken at 1/10th of a second and shows the nr71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia


The second shot is more extreme and was taken at a 1 second exposure, handheld and panned across the frame.  The car is the Toyota TS030 hybrid and is recognisable (just) amongst the light trails of the lights on the main grandstands on both sides of the track.


The newly unveiled Michelin Tower will be used for the first time in 2013 and will make following the race a lot easier for the 250,000 fans that will be at the race tomorrow.

For more information on qualifying for the FIA WEC at Le Mans CLICK HERE
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Ye Olde Le Mans

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Being in Le Mans for the famous twenty-four hour race for ten days has given me plenty of opportunity to explore the city and the surrounding area.  On previous trips to Le Mans for meetings I have started to explore the old part of the city but on this trip I have really had the chance to get to grips with the architecture and the narrow cobbled streets.

Here are some of the shots I've taken on the Fuji X100 during the couple of evenings I've spent exploring the old quarter of Le Mans














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Saint Marceau, Pays de la Loire

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Saint-Marceau is a small French village in the department of Sarthe and the Pays de la Loire. I headed off the main road, the D338, to take pictures of the Priory St Julien and the Roman bridge which crosses the River Sarthe.
Surrounded by the municipalities of Saint-Jean-d'Assé, Teillé and Le Tronchet Saint-Marceau is located 20 km northwest of Le Mans.





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