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2016 Top Ten Images: No1 - Japanese Monolith

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I started this review of my ten favourite images of 2016 with an image from Japan and it is fitting that my favourite shot of the year was also taken on my last day on my trip in October a few hours before I boarded a flight back to the UK via Qatar.

This image was taken on the X-T2 and the Samyang 8mm f2.8 fisheye lens of one of the many stones in the grounds of the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple.  

Using a low angle below the stone, I took the shot upwards using the ultra wide angle lens to get a different view of the subject surrounded by the trees.

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2016 Top Ten Images: No2 - The Pass

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I have tested the X-Series cameras at two international rugby matches in 2016.  The first was back in March testing the X-Pro2 at the Scotland v France 6 Nations encounter.  The second was in November when I tested the X-T2s AF system in the Scotland v Australia match at Murrayfield.

This is my stand out shot from that match and is Australia's Scrum Half Will Genia passing the ball back .  The focus remains locked on Genia's face as the ball flies across the frame and it is the facial expressions of the players in the image that make it into my favourite ten shots of 2016.

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2016 Top Ten Images: No3 - Gannets Underwater

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While technically this is not a perfect shot, it is the effort that it took to take that makes it very special for me.

The shot was taken underwater using an X-T1 and an XF18mm f2 lens in a DICAPAC underwater bag.  The camera was then put in the water from the boat as we were leaving the Gannet colony on Bass Rock.

The birds were diving into the water all around us and putting the camera in the water next to the boat I was able to capture several images of the birds underwater.

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2016 Top Ten Images: No4 - Porsche

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Conveying the sense of speed is a prerequisite for most, if not all,  motorsport on track action images.   

What makes this shot of the 2015 world championship winning car is the strong sunlight bouncing off the track in Bahrain.  The Ford GT entering the frame in the top right also adds to the sense of speed.

It is why I have included this image in my top ten shots of 2016.

REVIEW: 2016, What a Year with Fujifilm

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2016 was certainly a great year to be a Fujifilm X-Photographer.  I was involved in two major camera launches for the Japanese camera manufacturer, including being invited to be part of the press conference in Tokyo for the 5th Anniversary celebrations and the launch of some new products including the X-Pro2 and XF100-400mm which I been involved in testing.

The second launch was in July for the Fujifilm X-T2 and while fellow X-Photographer John Rourke was invited to to do a Q&A in the Paris press conference, I was involved in organising the second day of the event at the Le Mans Classic, writing a handy guide for Fujifilm to give out their guests from the media and from the retailers.

I have tested the following cameras and lenses in 2016
Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6R LM OIS WRFujifilm X-Pro2Fujinon 2x teleconverterFujifilm X-T2Fujinon XF23mm f2R WRHere is a round up of my reviews -

Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6R LM OIS WR
This is the lens that finally gave the Fujifilm X Series the lon…

2016 Top Ten Images: No5 - Belhaven Bay

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The choice for no5 on my Top 10 list of images for 2016 is a little closer to home.  In fact it is less than half a mile from my front door.  We moved to Dunbar, on the east coast of Scotland, in 2013 and one of the many reasons we chose this location was for the views.

This is Belhaven Bay taken from Winterfield golf course.  The 3km sandy beach sweeps east to west and is a favourite place for dog walkers, surfers and horse riders.

The image was taken on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 lens.

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2016 Top Ten Images: No6 - Venice

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2016 also saw our first visit to the wonderful city of Venice.  

This place is a photographers dream and I had two days to capture the essence of this ancient city on an X-Pro2 and two prime lenses (18mm f2 and 56mm f1.2).

This shot is probably too 'picture postcard' but for me it sums up Venice in an instance.  It was taken on the Fujinon 18mm f2 lens.

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2016 Top Ten Images: No7 - Dawn at Loch Tay

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This shot makes my top ten favourite images because it was the culmination of a very early start and a bit of belief to actually get the picture.  

I left Dunbar at 2am in the morning to head north to Loch Tay.  The weather forecast wasn't great, with unbroken cloud for the morning, but something told me to go anyway. As 5am approached the clouds started to part and we got set up on the side of the loch to wait.  When the sun came up the clouds parted to give us a wonderful and the result was a beautiful set of images.

Then the midges woke up and we had to put up with the flying pests for the next 30-minutes before we packed up and moved to the next location.

The image was taken on a Fujifilm X-T2 and a XF10-24mm f4 lens.  

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Merry Christmas

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Wishing all the MacLean Photographic clients and followers a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2017.

Instead of buying and posting physical cards I have, once again, decided to send eCards and the money that would've been spent on printing and posting has been donated to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to help support the men and women who save lives at sea all around the UK coastline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

2016 Top Ten Images: No8 - Japanese Autumn Colours

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This shot was taken in October on my second trip to Japan this year.  We traveled up to Nikko National Park, 160km north of Tokyo, to photograph the famous autumn colours.  

This image was taken on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Fujinon XF100-400mm lens.

2016 Top Ten Images: No9 - The Glass Ceiling

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2016 saw my first ever visit to Mexico when I travelled there with the FIA World Endurance Championship at the beginning of September.  I set aside one day to be a tourist and, along with fellow X Photographer John Rourke, was invited to join Jaime Pastelin and some others from the FujiX MeXico group to see Mexico City with the help of some local people.

The day we spent with Jaime and the rest of the group was one of the best of the year and I have a new entry on my top ten cities to spend more time in 2017.

One of the places Jaime took us was the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, which is located just off the Zocolo, the main square of the city.  The Art Nouveau architecture of the building is very famous and was used in the opening sequences of the last James Bond film 'Spectre'.

This image of the stained glass ceiling was taken on the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Samyang 8mm f2.8 Fisheye lens.

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2016 Top Ten Images: No10 - Worshippers

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As the end of 2016 approaches I begin my countdown of my ten favourite images from my travels this year.

This image was from the first of two trips to Japan this year.  This visit was in January when I was invited by Fujifilm to take part in the 5th Anniversary Press Conference in Tokyo.  

On the day we arrived we visited the Senso-Ji temple in Tokyo and in the strong winter sunshine I was able to get some very atmospheric images of the worshippers burning incense in the courtyard of the temple.

This image is my favourite as the lighting just gives the picture so much depth and mystery.  The picture was taken on a Fujifilm X-T1 and the XF90mm f2 lens.

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Edinburgh Castle at Night

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A Christmas shopping trip to Edinburgh gave me the opportunity to grab a few night shots on the Fujifilm X100T of Edinburgh Castle.

I usually have the X100T in my coat pocket when I am walking about and with it's wonderful 16mp X-Trans II sensor mated to the Fujinon 23mm f2 lens I am always ready to grab a picture should the occasion arise.




The images of Edinburgh Castle meant the ISO was set at 3200 to keep the shutter speed high enough to allow me to handhold the camera without fear of camera shake ruining the final image, but I know from experience that the X100T is quite capable of getting relatively clean images at 3200ISO, as the three images here prove.

The three pictures were shot in RAW and JPEG (Velvia film simulation) and these images were taken from the JPEGs with small tweeks in Photoshop in post production.

The second and third images were cropped to a 12:5 panoramic format because I felt the images suited the crop.



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Street of Light 2016

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Yesterday evening we went over to Edinburgh to see the 'Street of Light', a structure built in George Street with over 60,000 lights synchronised to festive music.  

This was the second year Edinburgh had staged a Street of Light.  In 2015 the spectacle was held on the Royal Mile and was well received by the people of Edinburgh.  This year the organisers, Underbelly, moved it to George Street which is wider and can accommodate more people.

The event also included a Scottish Christmas market.

Here is a short video of the 15-minute Christmas spectacle with music from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus.



The Street of Light runs until Christmas Eve and is free to attend.  Tickets are recommended and are available via the event website at www.edinburghschristmas.com

All images were shot on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 with either the XF56mm f1.2, XF18mm f2 or Samyang 8mm f2.8 Fisheye.  The video was shot on the X-Pro2 or on my iPhone 6S Plus and edited in iMovie.






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