Monday, 31 October 2016

Bridge Over the River Tummel



On Friday I spent the day in the Highlands photographing the autumn colours along the River Tummel.

While shooting from the footbridge over the river near Pitlochry I decided to take a few images using the Samyang 8mm Fisheye on the Fujifilm X-Pro2.  This 180 degree field of view lens is very good at keeping distortions under control but sometimes I like to take images that enhance the fisheye look of the lens.

The top image is using the bridge handrails as a lead in line to the copse of trees at the end, while the A9 road bridge spanning the river provides a nice frame for the river and the trees, with the fisheye effect adding a curve to the bridge that was actually right above my head when I took the image.



Images taken on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 + Samyang 8mm f2.8 fisheye lens

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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 is an Official Fujifilm X Photographer and was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador in June 2015. In 2016 he worked with the company on the launches of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 in Tokyo and the Fujifilm X-T2 in Paris in July 2016.  You can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE


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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Autumn Photo Tour in The Highlands



To photograph autumn in the Highlands is a very rare occurrence for me because of my motorsport schedule at this time of year.  Between September and November I have seven events in just eleven weeks in Mexico, USA, Belgium, Japan, Portugal, China and Bahrain which doesn't leave a lot of time for other work in between.  This year I set aside one day to go north and explore the area around Pitlochry and the River Tummel.


So an early start last Friday with friend and fellow photographer Alistair Spence saw us heading over the Forth Road Bridge towards our first stop just north of Dunkeld to catch the dawn.  We stopped on the side of Loch Craiglush (Point A on the map) looking east waiting for the sun to come up above the tree line on the opposite shore at 08h15.    

Loch Craiglush at Dawn - Fujifilm X-T2 + XF10-24mm f4 - 240s @ f11 ISO100
I had set the Fujifilm X-T2, fitted with the XF10-24mm f4 ultra wide angle zoom, on the Manfrotto 190XPro4 tripod low down in the water so to get some reeds in the foreground. I also used the Lee Big Stopper to give me a long four minute exposure to get some movement in the clouds as they changed colour.


Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6
While the X-T2 was taking the long exposure images I used the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 to capture some shots of the reeds on the shoreline silhouetted in the morning light.

We then headed north on the road running parallel to the main A9 before rejoining the main carriageway for a short while.  We came off the A9 at Pitlochry on a small side road that went under the bridge as it crossed the river.  There is a small footbridge (Point B) here which gives some spectacular views up the River Tummel.


Fujifilm X-Pro2 + Samyang 8mm f2.8
Using the Samyang 8mm fisheye lens on the X-Pro2 I was able to capture the scene from the bridge and also from low down on the small beach on the south bank of the river.  There were also some rowing boats moored down stream and using the X-T2 and 100-400mm I used these colourful boats as a counterpoint to the colours in the trees on the shore.


Fujifilm X-Pro2 + Samyang 8mm f2.8
Fujifilm X-T2 +XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6

After a while we got back in the car and headed up the small road that runs alongside the River Tummel, keeping an eye on the river for a suitable location to stop.  

We hadn't gone very far before we came across some falls, with the river bank surrounded by trees on either side (Point C on the map).  The river was running quite low so the rocks were exposed which allowed us to set up the cameras near to the waters edge. 





We headed along the road following the river further upstream and eventually it opened up into Loch Tummel.  The road hugs the southern shore of the loch and eventually we came across a suitable place to stop (Point D).  Looking east the colours in the trees were being highlighted by the diffused sunlight that was starting to filter through the clouds.




We then headed further west along Loch Tummel and then along the northern shore of Dunalastair Water, stopping for coffee in Kinloch Rannoch.  We then traveled back along the same road stopping on the shore of Dunalastair water with views across the plan to Schiehallian in the distance (Point E).

Again I set the X-Pro2 on the tripod to capture some long exposures of the scene and used the X-T2 with the 100-400mm to take some detailed shots of the surrounding area.  



I had spotted some trees in the distance and using the pulling power of the XF100-400mm I was able to capture the image below as the sunlight highlighted the golden trees and the dry stone wall on the hillside.



Another short trip in the car further down the River Tummel and another set of falls (Point F) presented another photo opportunity.  This allowed me the chance to test the new Manfrotto PIXI EVO Mini Tripod (see yesterday's blog HERE).





The penultimate stop on our autumnal tour of the River Tummel was a beautiful copse of trees that were lit up by the fading sunlight as the evening drew in (Point G).






The final stop of the tour was the bridge above the River Garry with views along the river surrounded by the colourful trees (Point H).  North of the bridge is a small footbridge which looks like it is floating in a sea of colourful leaves just above the river.





Photographing in the Highlands of Scotland is a joy at anytime of year but in autumn the colours are just magical.  I now head off to China on Tuesday but I am glad I made the effort to travel north into the Highlands of Scotland.


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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 is an Official Fujifilm X Photographer and was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador in June 2015. In 2016 he worked with the company on the launches of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 in Tokyo and the Fujifilm X-T2 in Paris in July 2016.  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, 29 October 2016

REVIEW: Testing the Manfrotto PIXI EVO Mini Tripod in the Field


I recently bought a Manfrotto Professional MP-BP-50BB camera backpack from Calumet in Edinburgh to replace my Lowepro Pro Runner backpack that I have owned since 2011.  I have two more long haul trips to China and Bahrain and then I will be producing a full review of this new bag that offers me a number of significant advantages as a frequent flyer over the Lowepro.  

Manfrotto were running a promotion for a free PIXI EVO Mini Tripod during the month of September and so I duly sent off to claim it.

The package arrived while I was in Japan and I had the first opportunity to test it out in the Highlands of Scotland yesterday.  Now regular readers of this blog will know I rate my Manfrotto 190XPro4 tripod very highly and this goes everywhere with me on my landscape expeditions.  When traveling I also have a Manfrotto Compact MKC3-H01 tripod which goes in my hold luggage and has been with me around the globe since 2012.  

While the 190X will go quite low to the ground I sometimes really want to put the camera very low down.  I can sometimes find a suitable surface to put the camera on but not always and the larger GorillaPod I have been using is not the best for the job, so the PIXI EVO looked to be the answer I was looking for.

The other plus point is the PIXI EVO folds up so it fits in the side pocket of the Manfrotto back pack and doesn't take up precious room inside the bag.  However this lightweight addition can support cameras up to 2.5KG (5.5LB) so it is no slouch when it comes to actually doing the job it was designed for, unlike some lightweight mini tripods I have tried.

The first test was shooting the waterfalls on the River Tummel north of Pitlochry.  I used the Fujifilm X-T2 with the battery pack fitted and the camera was rock solid on the ball and socket head that the PIXI EVO is fitted with.  The head also goes through 90 degrees so if I want to shoot in portrait mode I can.



Each of the three legs can be extended by press the button on each leg.  There are five settings for each leg and each position it locked by a ratchet system.  Each leg can be set individually to level the tripod on the most uneven of surfaces.

The angle of the legs can be altered by sliding the switch on the back of the ball and socket head and you can lower the leg position to get it really low to the ground.



The following video shows the X-T2 on the tripod with the legs extended.




And here is the finished image, which was a 4 minute (240 second) exposure.



The second test was with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 on the side of the River Tummel further upstream towards Kinnoch Rannoch. 



And here is the finished image, 1/3 second exposure


The Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2 Section Mini Tripod is a great addition to the gear I carry both in the UK and abroad.  It is sturdy yet lightweight and gives me the option to get down lower than I can with my regular tripods.  It also means I can travel light in the situations where lots of gear would be a hinderance and this is a perfect companion to my Fujifilm X100T.

Calumet currently have the PIXI EVO on sale for £44, which is good value for such a robust little tripod.

I can highly recommend the Manfrotto PIXI EVO.  For more information visit the Manfrotto website HERE


PIXI EVO Specs from the Manfrotto website page

Weight260 g 
Collection/SeriesPixi 
Safety Payload2.5 kg 
Min Height10.5 cm 
Max Height20 cm 
Closed Length20.5 cm 
ColourBlack 
Top Attachment1/4" screw 
MaterialAluminium, Technopolymer 
Leg Angles50°, 75° 
Ball LockingYes 
Easy LinkNo 
Friction ControlNo 
Front Tilt-35° / +35° 
Lateral Tilt-90° / +40° 
Leg TypeSingle 
Leg Lock TypeButton Lock 
Leg Sections
Maximum Working Temperature60 C 
Minimum Working Temperature-30 C 
Panoramic Rotation360 
Plate Typefixed - with 1/4" - retractable 3/8" screw


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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 is an Official Fujifilm X Photographer and was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador in June 2015. In 2016 he worked with the company on the launches of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 in Tokyo and the Fujifilm X-T2 in Paris in July 2016.  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'






Thursday, 27 October 2016

Morning Dew Webs


I spotted these spider webs on the shore of Lake Chuzenji in Nikko National Park in Japan when we visited a couple of weeks ago.  The lake was shrouded in mist and the scene was very spooky as there were boats and pedalos pulled up on the beach after the summer season.

The shot at the top of the page was shot on the Fujifilm X100T on the macro setting, which allowed me to shoot a little closer than normal to focus on the centre of the web.  The lens was set at F2 to give me a shallow depth of field.

The second shot below is of a web attached to a boat winch was taken on the Fujifilm X-T2 which was fitted with the XF50-140mm f2.8 zoom lens and set at the 140mm end of the zoom range.



Both images were shot in colour and converted to mono in NIK Silver EFEX Pro2 software in post production.


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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 is an Official Fujifilm X Photographer and was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador in June 2015. In 2016 he worked with the company on the launches of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 in Tokyo and the Fujifilm X-T2 in Paris in July 2016.  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'

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A Walk in the Woods with the X100T



After two weeks away in Japan and Portugal today was the first opportunity I have had to visit one of my favourite places near to my home in Scotland.  

With autumn in full swing we decided to go for a walk in the woods near Tyningham beach and with the sun shining through the trees there was some great photographic opportunities to be had.  I decided not to go loaded down with lots of photographic gear and took only the Fujifilm X100T in my pocket.  Going small and light meant I had to think creatively about what I was going to photograph but with the X100T that isn't such a hard thing to do.



With the sunlight coming down through the trees, there were plants and leaves being highlighted by the shafts of light so I switched the X100T to macro mode to get in close with the Fujinon 23mm f2 lens.  This sharp lens picked up all the detail in the backlit leaves and the forest floor.









All images taken on the Fujifilm X100T with its fixed 23mm f2 lens.


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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 is an Official Fujifilm X Photographer and was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador in June 2015. In 2016 he worked with the company on the launches of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 in Tokyo and the Fujifilm X-T2 in Paris in July 2016.  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, 25 October 2016

Air Display



Just before the green flag was waved to start last Sunday's 4 Hours of Estoril in Portugal, which was the final race of the 2016 European Le Mans Series, there was a short air display above the grid by a Pitts S-2B aerobatic biplane from the Portuguese team Aerobatica.

Using the Fujifilm X-T2 and the XF50-140mm f2.8 I took some images as the display came over our heads on the grid.  

I manually set the camera's shutter speed at 1/250s so that the propeller was moving, the the aperture to f10 and the ISO to 200 so that the camera's meter wouldn't be confused by the bright sky and under expose the aircraft.   I chose a shutter speed of 1/250s because if I had shot at a higher shutter speed the movement of the propeller would have been frozen and made it seem that the plane wasn't flying.

The AF on the X-T2 followed the aircraft faultlessly.

The website for the Aerobatica team can be found at www.aerobatica.pt  (website in Portuguese) and there is a promotional video on YouTube HERE




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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 is an Official Fujifilm X Photographer and was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador in June 2015. In 2016 he worked with the company on the launches of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 in Tokyo and the Fujifilm X-T2 in Paris in July 2016.  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, 24 October 2016

On the Grid in Portugal


The season finale of the 2016 European Le Mans Series took place at the Autodromo do Estoril with a dramatic end to the year with the championship leading no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrrai retiring due to a gearbox problem, handing the European title to their nearest rivals at Aston Martin Racing.


Alex Brundle (top picture) had already secured the LMP3 European title with his teammates Christian England and Mike Guasch (pictured below) and started the race from pole position.  But an incident between Mike Guasch and the no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari after two hours of the four hour race meant the Anglo American trio failed to finish their championship wining season on a high note.



In the pitlane I spotted Fabien Barthez, the former French goalkeeper and national captain, signing autographs.  Barthez is now a successful driver and team owner, competing in the LMP2 class of the European Le Mans Series.



AF Corse Ferrari driver Rui Aguas was also signing some autographs ahead of the race, the Portuguese driver enjoying the attention of the local fans.


All the images were shot on a Fujifilm X-T2 or X-Pro2 with either Samyang 8mm f2.8 fisheye, Fujifilm XF10-24mm f4 or XF50-140mm f2.8.


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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 is an Official Fujifilm X Photographer and was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador in June 2015. In 2016 he worked with the company on the launches of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 in Tokyo and the Fujifilm X-T2 in Paris in July 2016.  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'