Shooting at 35mm

In my most recent blog post, I wrote about my desire to travel light and my subsequent purchase of the Fuji X100f.
With its fixed lens of 23mm or 35mm Full frame equivalent, it is a camera that encourages creativity, in that I now have to zoom with my feet!

Up until this week, my work rota meant that I had managed just a couple hours worth of local street photography, but over the last couple of days, I have had a chance to use the camera and customise the settings to how I like to shoot, a kind of breaking in, if you like.

When I was packing my camera bag, the decision on which lenses to take was suddenly gone, it was a case of spare batteries, lens cloth, and a filter set, in my smallest camera bag.
It was done, no extra camera body, no extra lenses, just the one camera, one lens.

My travelling light decision had been in the back of my mind for some time, then one evening I started reading online articles on how other photographers had made a similar change, or simply decided to shoot one focal length for a given time.
I liked the observation that many made, in that, they began to see the compsosition of a shot before the camera was at their eye, or that you begin to know the chosen lens inside out.

My own observations so far, are that with the one lens, I am looking for different angles of a shot, often finding something nearby, I would have missed, had I had a zoom lens, so my initial worries of missing shots have been dispelled.
I felt more creative today, than I have done for a long time, finding the smaller details of subjects or just another way of expressing myself through the camera, a certain liberation from having too much choice perhaps.

The real test is going to be in the next week, where I am away for a few days and I have already decided to take just the one camera.


Above, and below  a few images from Shaldon in Devon, reflecting the lovely September sunshine.

 

 

 

Travelling light V2

In the years that I have been interested in photography, it is fair to say that I have not fallen into any one camp in terms of brand.
I have used Canon and Nikon, both of which have helped me to acqiuire the knowledge I have today, I have also used Sony, Panasonic,Fuji, and Olympus, from which I have had some wonderful images.

It is fair to say that I have experienced my share of G.A.S (gear acquisition syndrome), but I have an inquistive mind and enjoy experimenting with techniques and different gear, again, this has been an investment in my own self learning.
Part of the acquisition syndrome is seeing images from other photographers with a different camera brand, thinking that if I had the same gear, I could aspire to the same quality of image.

While being inspired by others is a good thing, it is easy to forget that perhaps that very photographer has been using that camera setup for years and that he or she  knows their lenses and camera gear inside out!

In terms of my own development over the years, I know that I prefer to shoot with prime lenses, with 35mm and 50mm being my two favourites.
I appreciate the convenience that a zoom lens offers, but I believe that I am a more creative photographer when I am challenging my own creative boundaries.

This brings me to my first ever Fuji Camera I used, the X-Pro1 with a 35mm 1.4 lens (52mm equiv).
Those that know their cameras, will remember the early xpro series and even the early x100 series of cameras being inherently slow with autofocus, but this was forgiven by the way that Fuji cameras render colours,along with that amazing image quality.

I used manual focus only with my own xpro1, this alone, helped to hone my composition, as I learned to work at the cameras pace, not my own previously frenetic speed.
300+ photos per shoot dropped to pretty much half that number, but I ended up keeping 95%  more of the images I took.

Enough of the back story, fast forward to last weekend, where once again I was deciding which lenses to pack for my Sunday trip, thinking how much easier it would be, to take just one camera in the bag.

For most of Sunday, I used just one camera body, despite packing 2, enjoying the creativity of the single focal length I was using.

It was using the one body, that made me realise just how many lenses I had collected and could not use them all, so decided to back to a camera I had liked in the past ….
100f
I had bought the X100s a few years previously from Ebay and had loved the quality from this 35mm equivalent lens.

This morning was the first day off I have had since my new purchase, so with just the single camera packed into the smallest of my camera bags, I was off in search of some images with the latest addition.

The mix of sunny spells and showers offered some great contrast and shadows, but the highlight of the day, was the feeling of freedom from deciding which lens to use, which camera body,  as I had just the single option.


Above are a selection of todays shots, I have already resolved to take just this one camera with me on my next holiday in October

Rainy days

I woke this morning to the usual grey insipid skies so common for this time of year, but instead of merely supping copious amounts of caffeine and staying in, decided to take a walk into town with the idea of capturing some monochrome images of my home city.

Exeter is blessed with so many side streets and alleyways, perfect for light and reflections to show upon the slabs or cobbles.

 

For a Saturday morning, the streets were bereft of the shoppers that are likely to appear later in the day, I actually like the feeling of having the city to myself while I move from place to place in a world of my own.

One camera one lens

As a keen amateur photographer, I have bought into a camera brand, then over a period of time have built a collection of lenses to suit the different kinds of photography I enjoy.

For each trip, I inevetably end up packing a couple of camera bodies, and 3 or four lenses I feel will do the job for that days outing.
While I like to be versaltile, I think the time has come to set myself a challenge.

I have a good selection of vintage prime lenses, I like them all, but I feel that I am not getting the best from them for one reason.
I am not using one lens enough to really know how to get the best from it.

Am I able to picture a shot in my head with one particular focal length before I compose with the camera?
No.

I read many photography related blogs, more recently I have read about fellow amateurs, setting themselves a challenge, for instance, monochrome only shots, a picture a day from one location and one camera, one lens.

I have always enjoyed using prime lenses, I like the sharpness and bokeh of the single focal length, if I had to choose two focal lengths, I would go for 35mm and 50mm.
Using a fuji x100s – it has the 23mm fixed lens (35mm equivalent) , it is great for street and landscape alike.

But I want to set myself a challenge with a focal length I do not use as much , so I am going to use a 50mm focal length over the coming weeks.

I have paired my Sony A7 with my Pentacon 50mm 1.8 and I will have in my camera bag, the camera, the lens, spare batteries and a remote release.

The more I thought about my self imposed challenge, the more I wanted to actually get it started, so here are the opening offerings from day one of my one camera one lens challenge.


All taken along the River Exe and Exeter city Centre