Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Last Light of Day in Edinburgh


A quick trip into Edinburgh on the train yesterday evening gave me the opportunity for a quick walk around Princes Street Gardens with Fujifilm X100 in the fading light to capture some images of Auld Edinburgh.


Arriving at Edinburgh Waverley station I saw the sunlight coming through the glass roof of the station and the wonderful clouds over the city.  I quickly headed out of the station and across the road to Princes Street Gardens with the view across to Edinburgh Castle which sits proud above the city.


Behind the Scottish National Gallery is a set of old fashioned street laps with big glass domes which caught the sunlight as it went behind the trees, which I managed to capture in the few seconds before the light disappeared.


All images were taken on a Fujifilm Finepix X100 with the fixed Fujinon 23mm f2 lens

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS BLOG BY VISITING THE ADVERTISERS ON THIS PAGE
By clicking on the adverts you are helping support this blog - thank you.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

Jeff Carter was recently named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Beautiful Rock Formations on the East Lothian Coast



One of the great things about the coast line here in East lothian is the wonderful rock formations caused by thousands of years of erosion which are visible when the tide recedes.

The layers and colours in the various rocks are a joy to photograph, especially on a sunny afternoon when the shadows are long and accentuate the deep grooves and colours.

Here are some of the shots taken a few days ago at Winterfield beach just before low tide.

All of these images were shot on the Fujifilm X-T1 fitted with the Fujinon XF18mm f2R lens










-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS BLOG BY VISITING THE ADVERTISERS ON THIS PAGE
By clicking on the adverts you are helping support this blog - thank you.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

Jeff Carter was recently named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'

Monday, 28 September 2015

A Walk on the Beach with the Fujifilm X100


Three years ago I bought a Fujifilm Finepix X100 black limited edition and this proved to be a turning point for my photography as this small but finely tuned fixed lens camera put the joy back into image making for me.  Here was a camera that would fit into my pocket but take images that could rival my Nikon DSLRs and pro lenses.




In 2014 I sold all my Nikon gear to move completely to the X-Series and despite testing the X100S and X100T the original X-Series camera remains in my camera bag alongside the two X-T1s and myriad of Fujinon glass.


Yesterday evening we went for a stroll down to Winterfield beach and back along the cliff top walk towards Dunbar Castle.  It was a beautiful evening and the X100 was the perfect photographic companion to capture the scene in the warm September sunshine.




The X100 might be the oldest X-Series camera but it still produces the goods and its 12mp Bayer (non X-Trans) sensor produce images with a slight different look to the 16mp X-Trans equipped cousins.  This is one camera that, for me, is definitely a 'keeper'.


For more images taken with the Fujifilm X100 CLICK HERE

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS BLOG BY VISITING THE ADVERTISERS ON THIS PAGE
By clicking on the adverts you are helping support this blog - thank you.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

Jeff Carter was recently named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Review: Another Look at the Ultra Wide Fujinon Zoom


The XF10-24mm was the first Fujinon zoom lens for the X-Series with a fixed aperture and I bought the version I have in my camera bag in May 2014.  Over the past 16 months this lens has been a constant companion on my various trips around world because it is such a versatile piece of glass.

First of all, at 87mm from front to back, the 10-24mm is not a small lens but the 15-36mm equivalent focal length is something I use for my landscape and sports work and in these instances a small size is not that important.  The good news that all movements are internal to the lens, so the size of the lens doesn't change when zooming.




There are a few minor niggles with this lens that are easily addressed.


1. When using my Lee filters in bright sunshine the white lettering on the front of the lens is sometimes reflected in the back of the filter and then caught on the image.  The reflections can be removed in post production or the lettering can be covered up by black tape.  Some photographers have taken a black marker pen to the lettering but that is a solution that defaces the lens permanently and I'm not a fan of this approach.  The reflection problem is something that Fujifilm are aware of and hopefully a solution will be forthcoming on future lenses.

2. The 10-24mm has an unmarked aperture ring just like the variable aperture zooms that preceded it but with a constant aperture a marked aperture ring could've been used.  This issue has been addressed on the 16-55 f2.8 and 50-140mm f2.8 constant aperture lenses, which both have a proper aperture ring.  For me it is a minor design fault and the aperture is displayed in the EVF or on the rear screen.

3. This lens is not Weather Resistant (WR) and I do have to keep this in mind when I'm working in wet or dusty conditions. But I either cover the camera up or protect it as best I can.  I have used this lens in hot and dusty conditions in Bahrain and Texas, it has been covered in spray during a trip out into the North Sea on the Dunbar Lifeboat and has been dropped into deep snow in the Highlands of Scotland and I've never had a problem over the past 16 months.  It would be good to see a WR version of this lens (with an f2.8 aperture) in the future. 

As I said these three issues are minor and shouldn't be a reason for anyone needing a wide angle zoom for their X-Series camera to not consider buying one.




The building quality is superb, the Auto Focus is 'snappy', especially with an X-T1 running the latest Version 4 firmware, and the Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) system is a real help when hand holding in low light.  I would prefer to see the OIS dropped in favour of an extra stop on the aperture as f2.8 would be more useful for my type of work - but that is a personal preference.

However it is the glass that it the prime factor when considering buying an XF lens and the 10-24mm doesn't disappoint.  The images are sharp across the frame even when shot wide open at f4.  There is some distortion when shooting at 10mm, but that is to be expected and I tend to use this to my advantage when shooting tall buildings by placing them at the edge of the frame so they 'lean' into the image.



The 10-24mm is also my lens of choice when I place the camera on the Manfrotto Suction Mount for car photography and then control the camera using the Fujifilm App.  I recently did this with a shoot when fellow X-Photographer Dirk Bogaerts visited Scotland in his MGB.



Another example of the use of this set up is the shoot I did with the Porsche 911 Turbo S last year HERE.



I have also used the XF10-24mm f4 for wildlife images.  It may not be the first lens you think of for wildlife but it has come in very useful during my trips out to Bass Rock and the Isle of May for getting something a little different.  I do advise caution though.  You must only use this lens for close up shots if you are not going to distress the subject.




Videos
I also use this lens for the press conference videos I shoot at each of the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series events.  Because we have at least nine drivers in the main press conference I need to include the whole scene which isn't always possible using the 18mm f2 prime lens.  With the 10-24mm I can frame the scene perfectly.

Conclusion
The 10-24mm f4, along with the 50-140mm f2.8, offers me the perfect combination of image quality and versatility when working.  I still love the Fujinon prime lenses and I would be without the 18mm f2, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2 or 90mm f2, but when you have to work fast or you need to get a little bit wider then the Fujinon XF10-24mm f4R OIS is the lens to have on the camera.  

CLICK HERE for more information on the Fujinon XF10-24mm f4R OIS











CLICK HERE to go to the Fujinon 10-24mm gallery on the MacLean Photohgraphic FLICKR page

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS BLOG BY VISITING THE ADVERTISERS ON THIS PAGE
By clicking on the adverts you are helping support this blog - thank you.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

Jeff Carter was recently named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'




Saturday, 26 September 2015

VIDEO: Cockenzie Power Station Demolition




Today thousands of people lined the coast here in East Lothian to watch a familiar landmark disappear as the twin chimneys at the Cockenzie Power Station were demolished.  The coal fired station was built in the 1960s and was decommissioned in 2013.  The twin chimneys have been a familiar sight on the East Lothian coast for 50 years but at 12 noon today they were no more.







The video was shot on a Fujifilm X-T1 with a XF50-140mm f2.8.  The video was set to full 1080P HD at 60fps so I could slow the video down by 50 percent in post production.  The video show the demolition of the chimneys and the turbine hall in real time and then after 1 minute into the video the demolition is replayed in slow motion.


The still images were shot on the second X-T1 at 8fps to capture the chimneys coming down and to also have a before and after shot of the skyline.  

The main power station building will be dismantled over the coming months and then the skyline will look completely different than it did at 11:59 on the 26 September 2015.







-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS BLOG BY VISITING THE ADVERTISERS ON THIS PAGE
By clicking on the adverts you are helping support this blog - thank you.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

Jeff Carter was recently named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'


Friday, 25 September 2015

Texas State Capitol



At the top of Congress Avenue, which runs from the bridge over the Colorado River and up the hill, stands the Texas State Capitol, home of the Governor of Texas and the State Legislature.  I visited the Capitol in 2014 but this was after the sun had set and the building was lit by floodlighting (CLICK HERE to view the 2014 blog).

Building started in February 1882 and was completed on the 21 April 1888 - which was the 52nd anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, where the Texan army defeated the Mexicans and gave Texas its independence in 1836.




The Texas State Capitol is 308 feet / 94m tall making it the sixth tallest State Capitol and taller than the building in Washington.  The building is clad in Red Sunset Granite giving the Texas State Capitol a distinctive red colouration and subsequently many of the buildings in downtown Austin were also constructed using the same red coloured stone.  

On top of the central dome sits the 'Goddess of Liberty' holding aloft the single star of Texas in her left hand.




This is the third building to serve as the Texas State Capitol and the second on the current site after the previous building, which was built in 1853, was destroyed in a fire in 1881.  The floorspace of the current building extends to 33,000 sq m / 360,000 sq ft and  the grounds measure 22 acres or 8.9 hectares

In the grounds there are four memorials - Heroes of the Alamo Monument, Terry's Texas Rangers Monument, Confederate Soldiers Monument and Volunteer Firemen Monument - and several cannons dating from the American Civil War and the Texas War of Independence.



I walked up Congress Avenue to photograph the outside of the building in the warm Texas sunshine and then walked down to the bridge crossing the Colorado River to get some shots back up Congress Avenue.  




All of the images were taken on the Fujifilm X-T1 with a 10-24mm f4 or 90mm f2 lens.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Texas State Capitol











-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS BLOG BY VISITING THE ADVERTISERS ON THIS PAGE
By clicking on the adverts you are helping support this blog - thank you.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

Jeff Carter was recently named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'