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Showing posts from May, 2014

Reflections

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Today is my 50th birthday, a milestone that I didn't really want to celebrate because when you say 50 years or, even worse, a half century, it made me feel old.  
BUT 50 is just a number and the title of this blog is not about the reflection of the sun in the sand on the beach at Belhaven Bay but a reflection on the positives in the 50 years of my life so far.  I have done and seen a lot up til now and I intend to do a lot more.  
I was given the best start in life by my Mum and Dad, who I don't say 'thank you' often enough to but I appreciate and love them very much.  Also to my grandparents who were a big part of my life, especially my Nan, who is still with us and, along with my grandfather, introduced me to Scotland when I was 8 and I fell in love with the country that I am lucky enough to call home. 

I married Julie, my best friend and soul mate, 28 years ago and we were joined 16 years ago by our beautiful daughter Kate.  I have a younger sister, who I don't spe…

Wool on a Barbed Wire Fence

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Sometimes the simplest of things can make a good image.  Here in East Lothian we have a lot of farms with thousands of sheep roaming the Lammermuir Hills.  This means there is a lot of wool caught on the barbed wire fences that line the fields in this part of the world.  

Using the Fujfilm X_Pro1 and the 18mm lens at f2 I captured this image shooting along the fence with a very shallow depth of field to emphasise the texture in the tuft of wool.


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Trusting the Fuji X-T1's Panoramic Mode

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One of the many functions on the three X-Series cameras I own is the panoramic mode.  This is where you sweep the camera across a scene and the images are then stitch together in a panoramic image by the internal software.  
This function on the X100 and X-Pro1 is very hit and miss.  I have found that a lot of the time the software fails to line up the images and I have lost confidence in the system.  Therefore I have tended to shoot individual images on these cameras and stitch them together using Photoshop Elements afterwards. This is OK but it takes time in post processing to do.

The new X-T1 also has a panoramic mode which is on the drive selector, located on the top panel under the ISO dial (see top image).  I have tried this function on several occasions and I can report that this is a lot more user friendly than the function on the X-Pro1 and X100.  More importantly I haven't had a misaligned shot yet and I have found myself trusting the system more and more.

The size of the p…

There is no such thing as bad weather.....

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I have written time and again on this blog that I am a great believer that there is no such thing as bad weather for photography, you have to work with what you've got.  Now I live in Scotland and the reputation for changeable weather conditions is well founded and, unless the skies are grey and it is raining in buckets, I see the weather in this part of the world as a photographic challenge that needs to be embraced.

Yesterday evening we went for a walk on the beach near Tyningham.  Because the weather was looking a bit overcast we headed to Links Wood because with the tree line skirting the beach, we had some shelter if the weather forecast proved to be right - and it was!

Here are some 'dark and moody' mono shots of the beach from the tree line, which summed up the weather on this walk. 

I just love the drama in the clouds and I recommend getting out there with your camera in all conditions - just remember to go prepared for the weather.  There is a famous saying - There i…

Quarter of a Million Views

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On the 30 March I reported that this blog had received 200,000 views since it began in February 2011.  

57 days later I am happy to report that the MacLean Photographic blog passed the 250,000 mark at lunchtime today, with an average of 862 views per day since the end of March.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my posts and I hope you will continue to visit in the future.


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On the Road in an Audi R8

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Last week I posted a couple of 'sneak peek' images of the Audi R8 I had on loan from the Audi UK Press Office for a feature I was writing for the FIA World Endurance Championship website and the championship's official social media feeds.  
This feature is now live HERE and so I can unveil the other images from the three days I had with the car.
The Audi R8 is a staggering machine but then, for nearly £100K, you would expect it to be.  With a top speed of 188mph (not that I got to test that figure of course) and 0-60mph is 4.6 seconds the performance seriously impressive but it was the usability of the R8 as an everyday car was the best bit.  This isn't a stripped out race car but a luxury Audi that could blow the socks off most other cars on the open road. 


A very early start on Wednesday morning was nearly called off when heavy fog blanketed the East Lothian coast but a little voice at the back of my head told me to get up and get out to White Sands.  My instinct proved…

TEST: Fuji 14mm f2.8 and the Fuji 10-24mm f4

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Last Thursday I bought the Fujinon 10-24mm f4 wide angle zoom lens and yesterday I gave my first impressions of this new addition to the MacLean Photographic arsenal HERE.  Now this lens covers the focal lengths of two of my prime lenses, the 18mm f2 and the 14mm f2.8 and a couple of people have asked if I will sell those lenses now that I have the 10-24mm.
The 18mm f2 is a superb lens and I have already given my verdict on this moderately wide angle fast lens HERE.  It is a compact lens with an f2 maximum aperture that is 2 stops faster than the 10-24mm f4.  For those reasons alone the 18mm prime has a place in my camera bag.
On the other hand a decision on the 14mm f2.8 is a bit more difficult to call.  Physically the 14mm is a big lens and, at f2.8, is only one stop faster than the 10-24mm.  So I took both lenses out into the Lammermuir Hills and ran them side by side, the 10-24mm fitted to the X-T1 and the 14mm to the X-Pro1.

The shot above was taken on the 10-24mm at 13.2mm accordin…

First Impressions of the Fujinon XF10-24mm f4R OIS

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Ever since I have became a professional photographer, back in 1996, I have had an ultra wide angle lens in my camera bag.  In recent years I have used the Sigma 10-20mm f4.5/5.6 for the Nikon D300S / Nikon D90 and when I moved to full frame I used the superb Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S for the Nikon D700 / D800.  

Now, as part of the move exclusively to the Fujifilm X-Series system, the Nikon 17-35mm has been sold to fund the new Fujinon XF10-24mm f4R, which is the equivalent of 15-36mm in full frame terms.  I picked up the new lens from Park Cameras' London store on Friday morning and took it along to St Paul's Cathedral to test it out with the X-T1 before heading to the press conference for Nissan's LMP1 announcement.  

Firstly the 10-24mm is not a small lens, in fact only the 55-200mm is larger in the Fuji XF inventory. BUT the widest XF lens has the same high build quality as all the other Fujinon lens and I am pleased to report that the reviews and test results of the optic…