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Showing posts from April, 2016

Peak Design Straps

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I've been using a variety of Peak Design camera straps for nearly two years now and I have to be honest in saying I wouldn't use any other strap on my cameras.  

I recently added the Peak Design Slide Lite for my X-Pro2.  This is a slightly thinner version of the 'Slide' and I feel it is better suited to the Fujifilm X-Series cameras than the larger item.  I do use both on the X-T1 and X-Pro2 and are very secure in operation.  I use them across my body so the camera hangs down by my side and can be lifted into the shoot position very easily.

I also have two 'leash' straps and one 'cuff' wrist strap so I am very well covered for the four cameras that I currently have in my camera bag.

The beauty of the Peak Design system is they are comfortable in use, easy to adjust and can be removed or anchored on different points on the camera body or telephoto lens with one hand using the unique anchoring system.  The anchors have been upgraded to make them more resist…

Wild Primula's in Tyningham Woods

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I went for a walk down to the Tyne Estuary today to take in the glorious spring sunshine before the Arctic weather returns tomorrow.  

While walking through the woods to the beach I spotted some wild Primulas growing in the trees beautifully lit by the strong sunlit filtering down through the branches over head.  So I stopped to take a few shots on the X-Pro2 and XF100-400mm.  



This super telephoto zoom lens is surprisingly good at focusing close in on the flowers and all of these shots are full frame, none of them are cropped.




I also used the same lens and camera combination to capture a few shots down by the beach.

The next MacLean Photographic Woodland Exploration workshop will take place on Sunday 22 May - more details HERE








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Sake Bottle

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I've been saving this 1/2 bottle of Sake I bought in January in Kyoto for a special occasion and my wife's birthday was a good time to crack open the rice wine.

I bought the bottle of Sake in Nishiki Market during our visit to Kyoto at the end of the trip to Japan with Fujifilm to launch the new X-Pro2 and celebrate 5 years of the X-Series.

Before I cracked the bottle I decided that I needed to photograph it first.  The beautiful smoked glass, with the pink colouring to the bottom half of the bottle, along with the beautiful label just needed to be photographed.

I used an LED panel behind the bottle to show off the texture and colours in the glass and then used a low power flash to light the label.  The image was taken on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the XF35mm f1.4 with a 10mm extension tube to enable me to fill the frame.


And the Sake?  Yes it was very nice and was gone the same evening.  It was a sweet rice wine, served at room temperature.  Next time I am in Kyoto I might buy a cou…

John Muir Stone Stacking Competition

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On Saturday, as the birthplace of the famous national park pioneer, poet and environmentalist, Dunbar celebrated John Muir's birthday with a series of events.  

One of them was a stone stacking competition on the town's East Beach.  I wandered down to get some shots of the finished stacks as the tide was coming in.

As well as the colourful, and gravity defying stacks that lined the tide line, there were stalls and live music to keep visitor entertained.  

All of the images were taken on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the XF16-55mm f2.8 or XF50-140mm f2.8 lenses.










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REVIEW: Get a Grip of the X-Pro2

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As regular readers of this blog know I have been putting the X-Pro2 through its paces in various sporting challenges, which the newest member of the X-Series family has been meeting and surpassing expectations.  

Now using the XF50-140mm f2.8 and XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 on the rangefinder style camera has not been an issue except for the handling, I have found there isn't enough grip on the camera when using the bigger lenses and I found myself hankering after the X-T1 and it's large battery grip.  So I decided to look at the only option available for the X-Pro2, the MHG-XPRO2 hand grip.




At £99 this might seem a lot for what is essentially a metal plate but this piece of metal transforms the X-Pro2 when using long lenses as the handgrip is enlarged sufficiently for my big hands.  



The MHG-XPRO2 has a cut out so you can access the battery without taking the grip off the camera, as was the case with the original metal grip for the X-Pro1, and another nice touch is the inclusion of the…

Headlights

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This was a picture I took in the pitlane during scrutineering for last weekend's 6 Hours of Silverstone, the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.  

Taken on the Fujifilm X-T1 and XF50-140mm f2.8 it is the rain covered headlight of the new Ford GT.  The triple yellow lights contrast nicely with the bright blue and white bodywork of the car.  

I ran the image through NIK Analog EFEX in post processing to give a more chromatic feel to the image.


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MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian a…

Photographing Gannets in Flight with X-Pro2 and 100-400mm

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The annual migration of Gannets to Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth has been described as one of the natural wonders of the world.  150,000 Northern Gannets nest on the lump of rock sticking out of the Firth and is a spectacle we can see from the end of our road here in Dunbar everyday during the spring through to the autumn.

Yesterday evening I head out to Seacliff beach which is the closest point to The Bass with many of the Gannets feeding in the waters just off the beach.  I stood on top of the Gegan, a small outcrop of rock looking right out to Bass Rock. The Gannets were flying past me at eye level or even below and I set about capturing some images of the birds in flight using the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 lens.




The Gannet might be a big bird but it can move extremely quickly.  Even shooting down on the birds from my rocky perch, the AF proved to be more than up for the challenge of photographing the birds in flight against a busy background of chopping seas or brig…

What is a Professional Photographer?

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As a working photographer, as well as the FIA Media Delegate for the World Endurance Championship, I am regularly asked how did I become a professional motorsport photographer and how do they become one to.  
I suppose it all comes down to your definition of professional and what it means to your clients.  Some people think it is just getting paid to take photographs.  While that is partially true, for me being 'professional' is conducting yourself and your business in an acceptable manner that other businesses will respect.  It also means that you are able to produce the images required by your client to exacting standards again and again and usually to strict deadlines.  There are plenty of part time photographers working the circuits who have day jobs as well but they also conduct themselves in a professional manner, so it's not just about being full time.
On Wednesday evening I was watching the latest episode of Masterchef and there were five amateur cooks who were given…

X-Pro2 Video for First WEC Press Conference of 2016

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On Sunday the FIA World Endurance Championship held its first race of the 2016 season, the 6 Hours of Silverstone, in the UK.  It was my first opportunity to shoot a press conference video on the new Fujifilm X-Pro2 as I normally shoot these videos on the X-T1.

As usual there were two post race press conferences, the first for the top three overall finishers and the second for the class winners.  The top 3 press conference featured the winning no7 Audi crew of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer, the second placed crew from Porsche and the third placed crew from Toyota. 

Here is a LINK to the video on the official FIAWEC YouTube channel

However four hours after the press conference took place the no7 Audi was excluded for failing to pass the post race technical checks.

The second press conference featured the winning LMGTE Manufacturer Ferrari and the winning crew of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon, the winning LMP1 Privateer crew, the LMP2 winners - Bruno Senna, Filipe Albuquerq…