Sunday, 30 November 2014

Postcard from Brazil



On the grid for the final time in 2014 at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo.  The cars and drivers are lining up for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo in front of three packed grandstands along the main straight of the historic circuit in Brazil.



The shot at the top of the page was taken on the Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF55-200mm f3.5/f4.8 lens.  The second images of the grid was taken on the Fujifilm X-Pro1 fitted with the XF10-24mm f4.




The third and fourth shots were taken on the Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF56mm f1.2, with the final shot showing the media scrum around Emerson Fittipaldi, who is driving in the race this weekend.

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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Caipirinha


An team dinner at the Fogu de Chao in Sao Paulo was topped off with a generous supply of Caipirinha.

Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça, sugar and fruit, most commonly lime. Cachaça is Brazil's most common distilled alcoholic beverage (also known as Pinga or Caninha). Both rum and cachaça are made from sugarcane-derived products. Specifically with cachaça, the alcohol results from the fermentation of sugarcane juice that is afterwards distilled.

CLICK HERE for more information on Caipirinha




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Friday, 28 November 2014

Scrutineering in Brazil


Today the track action begins for the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Sao Paulo and all of the teams and drivers are prepared for the first free practice session that begins at 13:00 (local) / 15:00 GMT this afternoon.

Yesterday I went down to the scrutineering bay to get some shots of the GT cars going through their technical checks and also conducting some pitstop practice in the pitlane.





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Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Simplest of Things


Sometimes the simplest of compositions can make an interesting picture and this images of a rock on the beach is a good example. The red sandstone pebble, the white sand of the beach and the blue sea beyond makes for a colourful contrast, while the shallow depth of field has concentrated the viewers focus on the pebble.

This was taken at Whitesands beach near Dunbar using the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the XF35mm f1.4 lens.  An exposure of 1/80 @ f8 (200 iso) was used.

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Setting Up



For the eighth and final time in 2014 the teams are setting up their garages and preparing their cars for a 6 hour race in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

This time we are in Sao Paulo in Brazil for the deciding round for four of the titles, including the World Endurance Manufacturers' Championship and the World Cup for GT Manufacturers which are currently led by Toyota and Ferrari respectively.

I arrived in Sao Paulo last night and arrived at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace this morning bright and early.  I decided to get some images of the set up in the garages for the official website and Facebook pages using the XF56mm f1.2 on the Fujifilm X-T1 and the XF18mm f2 on the Fujifilm X-Pro1.

Here are some of the images -












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Monday, 24 November 2014

VIDEO: TÊTE À TÊTE WITH TONI VILANDER AND GIANMARIA BRUNI


This morning I am flying to Brazil for the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Sao Paulo.  This season has been one of the best of my career in motorsport with four titles still to be won next weekend.

In Bahrain we continued with our series of Head to Head interviews where teammates ask each other questions about themselves, their careers and their relationship with each other.  
One of the interviews we recorded was with the new FIA World Endurance Cup Champions for GT Drivers, Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander, who have been racing together for many years.  

There was so much good stuff we had to split the interview into two parts.

Part One -

Tête à Tête with Gianmaria Bruni and Toni... by fiawec

Part Two

Tête à Tête with Gianmaria Bruni and Toni... by fiawec

Both videos were filmed using the Fujifilm X-T1 and the Fujinon XF56mm f1.2 lens.  A Nikon ME1 external microphone was also used.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Gone Fishing


This is the scene at Seacliffe beach looking out towards Bass Rock and what a difference a month makes! All the Gannets have now flown to their winter nesting grounds and The Bass is now brown instead of snowy white for a few months.  The top shot was taken this month and the image below was taken in September.


We look forward to the Gannets returning in the spring when we will be taking another boat trip out to Bass Rock in 2015.

Both images were taken on the Fujifilm X-T1 and the Fujinon 55-200mm f3.5/f4.8 telephoto lens.

We are now heading off again for the final trips of 2014. Starting tomorrow we have eight days in Brazil for the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Sao Paulo.

We then fly to Doha, the capital of Qatar, where the FIA Awards Gala is being held this year on Friday 5 December, before flying back to London for the Autosport Awards on Sunday 7 December.


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Friday, 21 November 2014

There's a Storm Coming


I missed posting an image yesterday and I apologise for this but I have been working on updating the MacLean Photographic website for a new project that I will be launching this weekend (all will be revealed soon).

This was the scene this morning from the beach at Belhaven Bay where the sun broke through the low cloud cover for a little while but out to sea the black clouds were gathering.  This time of year is excellent for landscape photography when the sun is low in the sky for most of the day (when it appears of course).

The image was taken looking east along the beach back towards Dunbar and Winterfield golf course using the Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF18mm f2 lens.




Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Home for a Few Days



I arrived home from Bahrain on Sunday afternoon and have a few days in Scotland before I head off again for two weeks in Brazil, Qatar and London before the end of the FIA World Endurance Championship season finally comes to a close.

Yesterday evening the promise of a nice sunset had me shutting down the computer for an hour, grabbing the camera bag and tripod and walking across the road to the headland over looking Belhaven Bay.  I wasn't disappointed as the sun dipped behind the Lammermuir hills and Traprain Law on the horizon.

Once again the Fujifilm X-T1 was pressed into service with long exposures using the 14mm f2.8 and 56mm f1.2 lenses, while the X-Pro1 was fitted with the 55-200mm to take telephoto shots of the scene before me.








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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Flying Above the Gulf



One of the pleasures I get from flying is being able to view the world from up on high and over the past few years I have seen some amazing sights from nearly 40,000 feet above the earth.  This year I have taken 75 flights and I still have another 8 to go before Christmas with two flights on Monday to Sao Paulo via Paris and then two on Tuesday 2 December back home via Amsterdam.  My final trip will be to Qatar via London for the FIA Awards Gala in Doha on the 5 December.

Last Sunday I flew to Edinburgh via Doha after the 6 Hours of Bahrain.  The flight to Doha was at 5am and as we approached Qatar the sunrise illuminated the Gulf with all the oil tankers lined up below us like toy boats.


The second part of the journey home was a 7 hour trip on a Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner direct to Edinburgh and as we taxied to the end of the runway our aircraft followed a giant Airbus A380. 


After take off the sun was reflecting off the waters of the Gulf (top picture) and the islands just off Qatar.  The final shot was over the snow covered mountains of Turkey as we flew at the cruising altitude of 39,000 ft.


All of the images were shot on the Fujifilm X100 and it was good to use the original X100 after three days shooting with the new X100T.

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Monday, 17 November 2014

VIDEO: Tête à tête with Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard



Continuing the series of short video interviews where drivers from the FIA World Endurance Championship ask each other questions 'tête-à-tête' or head-to-head.  Last weekend at the 6 Hours of Bahrain was the turn of Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard, who have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice as co-drivers (2010 overall with Audi and 2013 LMGTE Pro with Porsche). 

Bernhard is also one of only a handful of drivers to have won Endurance Racing's Triple Crown - 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, which he won in 2008 with Dumas and Emmanuel Collard in the Porsche RS Spyder, which they talk about in the interview.

The video was shot on the Fujifilm X-T1, fitted with the XF56mm f1.2 lens.


Tête-à-tête with Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard by fiawec

The next Tête à tête will be with newly crowned FIA World Endurance GT Champions Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander.

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

On the WEC Grid in Bahrain

Fernando Alonso on the grid in Bahrain with ACO President Pierre Fillon and FIAWEC CEO Gerard Neveu
The build up to the 6 Hours of Bahrain, round 7 of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, included the traditional grid walk for the VIPs and the media. I attend in my capacity as the FIA Media Delegate and also to grab a few quick shots for the fiawec.com website.

This gave me a last opportunity to put the Fujifilm X100T through its paces before I had to, reluctantly, hand the camera back.  There a lot of photographic oppoortunities on the grid and the X100T is a good camera to use as it is very stealthy - nobody is bothered by a small, retro looking, compact camera - and the fixed focal length means I have to get in close to get the shots I wanted.  


Dominik Kraihamer - Rebellion Racing
The 23mm f2 lens is one of the best in the Fujifilm range and being a fixed lens there is no compromise in it's construction.

On the grid was double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso who was visiting the FIA WEC in Bahrain, the weekend before the final Formula One race of the 2014 season in Abu Dhabi.

Here are some more images from yesterday's grid walk -  


A 'selfie' with Fernando Alonso on the grid in Bahrain

On the grid in Bahrain

Red Bull Stunt Show

Porsche's Neel Jani posing with VIP guests after claiming pole position for the race

On the grid in Bahrain

On the grid in Bahrain - Toyota's Anthony Davidson and Stephane Sarrazin

FIA Race Director Eduardo Freitas talking to team owner Jacques Nicolet

On the grid in Bahrain

On the grid in Bahrain - Ferrari's Gianmaria Bruni, who, with teammate Toni Vilander, secured the GT Drivers World Title

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal (left) on the grid with Bahrain International Circuit Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa
AF Corse mechanics dealing with a problem with one of the Ferrari 458s on the grid 
Patrick Pilet's helmet waits for its owner on the rear wing of the works Porsche 911
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Saturday, 15 November 2014

REVIEW: First Impressions of the New Fujifilm X100T


The X100 was the camera that began my Fujifilm journey back in October 2012 and my version is number 506 of a 10000 limited edition run of cameras and I have always been very happy to use this camera for personal and for clients work.  

I tested the X100S when it was launched in 2013 and, while I recognised the improvements this camera offered, it wasn't a big enough step forward to justify me upgrading my trusty X100.  This weekend in Bahrain I have been able to put the third generation of the X100, the X100T, to the test.



Externally the X100T is the same size as the X100, fitted with the same pin sharp Fujinon 23mm f2 fixed lens as the X100. The layout of the controls on the top is the same and the controls on the back are familiar to anyone with an X-Series Fuji. 




The physical differences are the larger LCD on the back and the improved button layout, which includes a +/- 3 stop compensation dial as seen on the X-T1 and a more tactile aperture ring which now has 1/3 stop increments instead of full stop steps.



However the biggest improvements are under the skin.  The X100T has the latest 16mp X-Trans sensor while the latest firmware provides a number a big improvements over the first generation X100 including an electronic shutter up to 1/32000s, faster AF, WiFi capabilities like the X-T1 and the new classic chrome film simulation, which is brilliant!  




The manual focus is also an area worthy of note because this was the one area that I hated on the original camera before the V2.0 update to the firmware.  The manual focus on the X100T is precise and the focus checker makes it very easy to get sharp images everytime.



The proof of the capabilities of the X100T are in the results it can produce, so here are some test images from the FIA World Endurance Championship weekend in Bahrain.











Conclusion

The X100T is a stunning camera that is worthy successor to the superb X100 / X100S.  The results it produces are top draw and I am very impressed with the performance over the past three days.  The main drawback is the camera is so new there is no RAW converter for Adobe Lightroom available yet, but that will come very soon and the JPEG files are excellent.   

On the plus side the camera is compatible with the batteries and WCL and TCL conversion lenses that I have for the X100, so I wouldn't need to replace any of the accessories that I already own.  

Would I buy a X100T?  I rejected the X100S because the improvements were not big enough to justify the upgrade costs, but the X100T has taken the next step that will be hard to ignore.  I will have to think long and hard about this because I still love using my original X100 but, for me, the X100T is the ultimate premium fixed lens camera on the market today!

CLICK HERE for more images from the X100T in Bahrain

X100 and X100S Reviews
CLICK HERE for the review of the X100 
CLICK HERE for the X100 v X100S review

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