Easter Sunday sunrise

Easter Sunday, my alarm was set for 4am but at 3:45, I am already awake.
Too early to think about breakfast, I down a glass of fruit juice before heading out into the darkness to catch a sunrise.

My destination is 6 miles away, sunrise is just after six am, my earlier departure gives me a jump start.
The first mile or so, before I reach the riverside footpath is along one of the main arterial routes into the city, normally very busy but the third day of the Easter weekend helps keep more normal people in their beds at this hour.

Reaching the riverside path, darkness still clings to the skies but my way is lit by the full moon, for a while I progress in silence, the birds have not yet begun the first strains of their dawn chorus.
Two thirds of my way in, the silence is now broken, where later in the day the roar of traffic near the carriageway will be heard, the avian chorus has tuned up and the full concerto can be heard from all around.

In the number of years I have enjoyed photography, I have always considered that a sunrise is earned, the sacrifice of a couple hours sleep by getting out at silly O’ clock is not for everyone but the peace and solitude appeals to my inner hermit.

I reach turf locks, my destination, pastel shades in the sky is repainted into tinges of fiery reds of oranges, just a few minutes later and the sun’s glowing red disc appears from below the horizon.
Watching the birth of a new day has always been a pleasure, the ever changing palette of colours captivates and enthrall in equal measure.

After twenty minutes, the sun gets high enough to erase it’s earlier painting, my cue to take a slow amble back towards a well deserved cuppa and something to eat, I decide to head back via the quayside route.

The river banks are now being occupied by local anglers, making their first cast into the river, their array of baits a piscatorial picnic for their prey.
Anglers, just like photographers are so reliant on good weather, for them, this morning’s cloudless skies are not good for their odds of catching today.

My route along the riverside is met with runners, cyclists and dog walkers, their charges wet from rescuing a favourite ball or stick from certain drowning!

Nine AM and I have reached home after 12 and a half miles I have a cup of tea freshly brewed steaming away on my desk, while I look at the morning’s efforts on the PC monitor.
It is morning’s such as today that I fully appreciate how fortunate I am to live where I do



Finding the spark

Good Friday and I have a day off, I wake to perfect conditions for a photo walk but feel that my creativity has drained away, going through my usual local repertoire, I cross them off in my mind, feeling that I have captured them all so many times, it feels like I have been invited to a party but have nothing to wear….

I tell myself that anyone who enjoys creating, will at some point feel uninspired, the photographic equivalent of writers block.
For the first time in I don’t know when, I consider going out without a camera, but know that I would be annoyed if I missed an unexpected opportunity.

As the clock turns past nine, I take the very British approach by making another cuppa, after which I am resolved to at least get out of my chair and at least go somewhere.
I head towards the River, a favourite haunt on days like today, where a Good Friday run is under way, so take the opportunity of some action shots, YES!! I am off the mark, I will not blank today.


Often on my solo forays, I set myself a theme but today the well of ideas has seeped away overnight, yet I still manage to take a few shots here and there and am glad at least I have got myself out.

Is this where the creative spark was reignited?
Instead of carrying on the footpath to the very photogenic Double Locks Pub, I take a path that takes me away from the river and onto a local trading estate, where among the many car dealerships and builders merchants lies an Aladdin’s cave of vintage treasure.

In the past, there has been the rusting chassis of a vintage model A ford, this has since been sold or hidden beyond sight, then the Jackpot, the sight of an old vintage Chevvy pick up, and seek permission from the store owners to take photos, by doing so, I have often found they may offer to show other things not open to the public.


The yard is a photographic wish list, Patina, rust, weathered wood, faded colours and curios.
Hoping to capture further gems, I enter the store and ask to take photos of the interior, where the only stipulation is that I post a few on their social media page, not a problem for me!
After nearly an hour, I have found my mojo again, the camera is working overtime, the staff offering to move any items if I wish.


From such a negative start to the day, I look through the mornings work with a certain amount of pleasure, knowing that just a few hours before, I doubted I would make a single image.


Out with the X100

Some 8 years after its initial release, I have become a member of the X100 owners club.

My first foray into the X100 series, was a second-hand 100S, the second iteration, improving on many of the issues that plagued the original, I used my 100S until it failed me and was beyond repair physically and financially.

The 100S remains one of the best cameras I have ever used, just because I enjoyed using it, much as I do my 100F
Reading blogs and watching videos, many of the X100 owners have kept with the original X100, nearly all suggesting the ‘feel’ of the 12mp bayer sensor has a certain something, some saying an almost ‘filmic’ quality.

Fuijifilm are known for the way they listen to their customers feedback, the X100 was improved with later firmware, making a camera that was able to focus better and perform slightly faster but for some owners, the love/hate relationship was too much and their X100’s were sold or traded in for other gear.

Knowing all of the above, I have still wanted the try the original X100 for a number of years, yet despite the perceived faults, it still commands good money in second-hand markets, so I was unable to justify the expense.
Finally, last week my patience was rewarded with a purchase from a well known online market place and last weekend, my x100 arrived.

Due to me having to work over the weekend, I was only able to take a handful of shots with the new purchase but yesterday, I was finally able to give it its first real outing in my hands.

With the wealth of technology in todays modern cameras, I welcomed the back to basics functionality of the X100, no exposure preview in the EVF or the LCD, relying on the exposure meter within the display,  I was having to think about each shot, and become more methodical, but ultimately, I enjoyed taking every shot.

Between the showers, I had some lovely sunny spells, there was a gorgeous light throughout the day and as I looked at some of my efforts on my PC monitor, I was blown away with the image quality that 12mp sensor produces.
I can now see why so many persisted with working with their X100, when you get it right, the rewards are stunning.

I may have joined the X100 party eight years late but I am glad I have finally done so