One camera, one lens, the first month

The last day of January, the first month of my self imposed 12 month challenge is done.
I may not have got out so much as I would have liked, either through work or other commitments that have demanded my time but I am pleased at least, to have got this project up and running.

Today was one of those mornings with grey clouds fit to burst and a keen biting wind but since I had no chance to get out for a camera walk yesterday, it was today, or wait until my next scheduled day off next week!

Another local jaunt today, as I do not have a full day to go out and explore, but with plenty of frost around, the River Exe will always have potential for some good photo opportunities.
Following a similar route to my previous outing, the grass is covered in a frosty white coating, the river displays a cold stillness, I am seeing potential for several B&W images this morning.


After the first month, it is already evident I am becoming accustomed to my chosen focal length, I am seeing the composition before I even raise the camera to my eye, a very useful tool in the armoury for street photography where a moment can be lost.

I have been asked if I miss using other cameras, the answer thus far is no, they are packed in another bag out of sight, also, the X100F is a camera that you just want to take everywhere.

A few of today’s images, the colour ones using the Fuji CC film simulation, the monochrome use Fuji Acros, with a tweak or two in lightroom.
For those that are interested, I am shooting mainly Jpeg these days, this is a subject for another blog post in the future but Fuji’s Jpeg engine renders some superb images.

February is on the horizon, I have a little break planned later in the month, an opportunity to travel a little further afield and to hopefully get out more frequently.

A January Dartmoor outing

January, normally the month of grey skies, cold winds and more than its share of rain, yet occasionally, we are blessed with the odd day where the weather defies the forecast and we see a prelude to the advent of spring.

After a once monthly pilgrimage to a favourite breakfast haunt, appetites are satiated with a delicious farmhouse style breakfast, now energised for the day ahead, the second trip of my one camera, one lens project.
Today will be a test of my resolve, in the past I have always arrived on Dartmoor with a wide angled lens in my armoury to capture what the landscape has to offer.

Heading past the Haytor vale, the light was typical of a slightly overcast January day, in the distance, sun rays broke free of their cloudy shackles to cast their fingers of light to the ground below, just one of the joys of winter photography.

Ideas of capturing images of Hound Tor, were scuppered by a rather full car park, this one can be saved for a mid week day in the coming months.
A new destination was decided upon, one that I had still to tick off from my photographic bucket list, Windy Post.

Windypost Cross, also known as Beckamoor Cross, is situated between the Grimstone and Sortridge leats and is one of the wayside crosses along the “Abbots way” connecting Buckfast with with Tavistock and Buckland abbeys.

Windypost Cross

Finding subject material on Dartmoor is never a problem, so many wind shaped trees surrounded by granite, rugged majestic tors, and a plethora of colours and textures, the perfect materials for the photographic canvas.

In terms of the constraints imposed by the single focal length, I have yet to experience any, if anything, knowing I have to compose with what I have, is actually making me think of shooting in a more creative way, I am thinking in a more deliberate way, taking less shots than if I had other gear, yet using most of what I have taken.

A few of my favourite shots taken from todays outing, the simplicity of a gnarled tree, the drama of a brooding sky and the beautiful ruggedness of a place I will never cease to enjoy.

First trip – One camera, one lens

Saturday morning, the first of my 3 day weekend and the first of my one camera one lens walks for the next 12 months

My usual routine the evening before a photo walk, is to charge batteries and then decide which lenses / cameras to take, depending on the destination.
That was easy, all batteries charged and bag packed with my camera.

What’s in the bag?

Fuji X100F
Manfrotto Pixi EVO tripod
Hoya PROnd 1000 (10 stopper) filter
A small selection of LEE seven five system graduated filters
Spare batteries
Lens Cloths

Today was just going to be a stroll around Exeter and along the riverside, the early rains had cleared and there was potential for some mist along the River Exe.
Taking the one camera today was easy, I often just decide on this setup for local walks, I think the challenge will be harder when I take trips to Dartmoor, where I like to use wider angle lenses.

My route today, was one I rarely do these days, taking the River walk from Exwick / St. Davids in Exeter.
After the grey skies began to lift to reveal some lovely light, the lack of wind also provided some lovely reflection shots

One of my immediate observations about the single camera, was how content I was with the setup, no questioning myself about using other gear!
If I needed to zoom, I used my feet, often noticing another potential shot as I did so

Since my decision to embark upon this project, I have received a number of very positive comments and encouragement through social media and emails, these are very much appreciated and make me more determined to see the project through.

The photos above are just a small offering from todays walk, I am looking forward to posting a lot more over the coming year

New year challenges

I am not one for New Years resolutions as such, but try to set certain goals I would like to achieve in each new year.

I have no desire to join a gym, only to give up half way through the year, nor do I wish to go vegan to conform with the masses (I have no issue with veganism , I just enjoy bacon butties far too much!)

Instead, I will be looking to set a number of photographic challenges for myself, one of which will be one I started a couple years ago, one camera, one lens.

As with many hobbies, it is easy to become obsessed with the latest gear, the biggest sensor, or the next new lens, so for a lot of my outings this year, I will be taking just my X100f, a 35mm equivalent fixed lens camera, and documenting my progress through the year.

Instead of buying mew gear, I will spend money on trips to places I have yet to explore, that list is growing week by week.
My work rota works in such a way, that I have a 3 day weekend every three weeks, so the potential is there, it just needs me to be organised

I have been inspired by a number of blogs and videos with other photographers who have set this as their challenge, many have said how it is challenging in the beginning but found the restriction liberating.

I know my temptation will be to sneak my 18mm samyang lens and trusty pro camera into my bag but I really want to do this!

While I mentioned that I have the makings of a list of places to visit, I will always welcome suggestions, but as I do not drive, I am heavily reliant on trains and buses, this in its own way is a great way to explore hidden gems.