Showing posts from October, 2017

OCTOBER: This Month on

Here are the two articles for October on One Lens Challenge in Japan - XF16mm f1.4 (Published 26th October 2017) Japan, the land of the rising sun and home to Fujifilm.  Aside from Scotland, which I am very happy to call home, Japan ranks as my favourite country on the planet. Since 2012 I’ve been lucky enough to travel there each year on business and I always take some extra time to see something of the countryside and cities while I am there. This year I was able to take a few days ahead of round 7 of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which takes place at Fuji International Speedway in the shadow of the iconic Mount Fuji, or Fujisan as the 3776 metre mountain is reverently known by the Japanese. For this trip I decided to set myself a one lens challenge with the Fujinon XF16mm f1.4R WR, which was fitted to one of my X-T2s.  CLICK HERE  to read this article Primes or Zooms for Landscapes (Published 5 October 2017) Fujinon lenses have an excellent re

Panoramic Japan

When I am out shooting I sometimes see in my mind's eye a panoramic crop when taking images in standard 3:2 format.  Panorama's are very striking and for me can add a dynamic element to landscapes and cityscapes. It is very easy to visualise a panoramic crop.  When shooting I check to see if the important elements of an image are all concentrated into one third of the image area.  I then shoot the image with the dead area of the image either to the top or bottom of the picture.  I then crop 12:5 in post production to give me the final panorama. Japan was a perfect canvas for the 12:5 crop (or even wider) both when shooting landscapes at Lake Ashi (top picture), Enoshima (second picture) and in Tokyo (two images below). All of the images were shot on the Fujifilm X-T2 with either the 16mm f1.4, 50-140mm f2.8 and 100-400mm f4.5/5.6 lenses. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Black-Eared Kites of Kamakura

On our travels in Hakone we went along the coast south of Tokyo to visit the island of Enoshima.  As it was a holiday in Japan the island was jam packed with visitors so we decided to stay on the mainland and sit on the beach at Kamakura to watch the Black-Eared Kites ( Milvus lineatus). These medium sized raptors are fairly common along the coast of Japan and they are opportunists, having worked out that snatching food from an unsuspecting human is far easier than catching rodents or small birds.  They are to Japan what seagulls are to us in the UK, just far more interesting to watch. While we sat on the beach about a dozen 'Tobi' as they are known in Japan were soaring above us watching for an unsuspecting human to swoop down on and snatch their lunch.  This happened several times we are there but the kites were so quick I wasn't able to catch an image. We sat shooting the birds using the X-T2 with the 100-400mm and 50-140mm zooms For more on the Black-

Sengokuhara Japanese Pampas Grass Field

One of the places we visited in Hakone was the  Sengokuhara Japanese Pampas Grass Field . The fields are 180,000 square of grass with a promenade running through the middle.  On the day we visited the sunlight was streaming through trees on the mountain side and across the tops of the tall grass. The Japanese pampas grass was planted for the use in thatching a roof  and cattle feed in the Edo era. It was a cropsthat made an important income for the region. Today the pampas grass fields have become a special district of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. All the images were shot on the Fujifilm X-T2 fitted with the XF50-140mm f2.8 lens. CLICK HERE for more information on the Pampas Grass Fields of Hakone. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PLEASE SUPPORT THIS BLOG BY VISITING THE ADVERTISERS ON THIS PAGE By clicking on the adverts you are helping

Volcanic Activity

Japan is famous for its hot springs and volcanic activity.  Only last week Tokyo was hit by an earthquake but this happens so often the Japanese don't worry about minor events.  On Monday we went down to Hakone and took a trip up the Hakone Ropeway (Cable Car) to Owakudani station to see the volcanic venting on the top of the mountain.  The drifting steam look like white clouds but the rotten egg smell certainly made sure that you knew this wasn't anything so benign. The volcanic activity in the area has increased in recent weeks and while the cable car was still in operation, the paths further up the mountain were closed due to the danger.  Shooting from the viewing areas at Owakudani Station with the X-T2 and XF100-400mm I was still able to get some good shots of the rising plumes of steam. On the otherside of the mountain an area of volcanic activity had destroyed part of the forest, uprooting trees and killing the plants in the area.  The stream running thro

VIDEO: LMP2 Steering Wheel Controls

1988 24 Hours of Le Mans Champion, and former F1 driver, Jan Lammers explains the various controls on the steering wheel of his LMP2 class Racing Team Nederland Dallara P217 race car. This video was shot at Le Castellet in August during the European Le Mans Series event in preparation for the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in September.   This video is also available on the official website at and on the series DailyMotion channel HERE   The video was shot on a Fujifilm X-T2 using the XF16-55mm f2.8 lens and a GoPro Hero 5 Black for the cutaway shots. The still images were taken on my second Fujifilm X-T2 using the XF50mm 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. ----------