A bit of time off from work to enjoy London and taking photos for pleasure.
A bit of time off from work to enjoy London and taking photos for pleasure.
Not very good at sitting down and editing images these days for pleasure. It always seems like a bit of a waste to sit down at another computer after spending all day on one at work. I briefly had a scan through my Lightroom last night and found a few I wanted to spend some time on and edit.
I really like this little series of images from a brief trip to Durdle Door with Emma towards the end of the summer last year. They’re all shot on the original X100 and I just love the variation, texture and shapes in the natural stone. The little information board said there were five different types of rock which all come together in this area with obviously impressive results. I also like looking away from the obvious views and seeing what else is around.
It seems strange for a part time photographer to talk about taking photos again yet here I am tapping this out. I love taking photos, editing, sharing and so on but then somehow it all got to be a bit of a formality. Work is with a tripod, shift lens and big camera and doesn’t lend itself to spontaneity. I spend a lot of time using Instagram but then that had become largely about taking photos of cycling events, friends and silly things. To some extent I felt like I had lost that eye that searches out for a photo at every opportunity. It all sounds a bit daft but I missed that feeling of wanting to take photos I got when I did a 365 project in 2009. That is an eternity away but somehow but after that phones got a lot better and I spent less time using a ‘proper’ camera of sorts.
My favourite camera was the X100 I got in 2010. This was the original one and although a bit sluggish in places it was still very capable. The firmware was updated by Fuji and a fast SD card resolved most of the issues. But then again I stopped taking this out with me. The problem being that sitting down at a computer to edit the RAW files seemed more like work than pleasure.
An opportunity to get hold of a modern X100T came up the other day and I snapped it up – if you will excuse the pun. Whilst it’s familiar it also felt like I was learning something from scratch again. I realised I had lost that desire to see things through a viewfinder and go and hunt those pics out. It also felt strange using a camera in that way in a more social relaxed way. I’m comfortable with pointing my phone at anything yet using a camera felt a little strange.
I’m hoping that built in WiFi and a few other more modern features will help me use this to its full potential. It’s taken a day or so to get all the settings to where I like them but it’s such an incredible tool. The only downside is that the files sizes are three times the size of the original which means a little bit more of spinning beach balls when importing.
Had great fun using it yesterday and hoping to continue enjoying photography again.
I have a whole host of dusty cameras now sitting at home largely due to the iPhone 6 camera being so incredibly good. So it doesn’t do ISO 2000 or won’t spit out a RAW file but it’s always there and you know like Chase Jarvis once said
“The best camera you have is the one you have with you”
And the iPhone is always with me.
One of the ones I look at longingly is the Fujifilm X100. It’s the original one and is a bit slow, a bit battered and not the latest by any stretch of the imagination. For a long time it was a permanent fixture around my neck or nestled in my hand ready to use. For some reason I stopped using it. I stopped thinking I’d see anything worth taking pictures of. Part of it was also that I take pictures for a job, albeit part time, and there’s an association of work with using a camera. Whilst work of most forms is good you often don’t want to associate with it at weekends.
So it was nice a few weekends ago to grab it for a walk round town. Emma was surprised to see it, I was surprised I was using it and I was surprised I enjoyed using it again so much.
I’ve ridden over this bridge most weekday nights for the last seven or so years. It’s always a treat to glance left and right at the best view in London. I’ve posted more photos of this view to Flickr and Instagram than I should have and yet it’s still able to surprise you with its beauty.
Tonight I cycled back after a shitty day at work and was blown away by the colours in the reflections of the glass on the towers of the City.
It’s a terrible photo and sadly doesn’t do the scene any real justice. After I’d taken the photo I put my phone away and just admired the sheer beauty of it all. The fade of the light reminded me of 80’s and 90’s airbrush art where there was a super exaggerated chromed look in a lot of the work. Strangely it also reminded me of the Les Rhythms Digitales artwork.
A link to these popped up on Twitter earlier which reminded me of a lovely conversation Emma and I had with Brian a while back about his series of diptychs he was planning for a project. That project is now in full swing and producing some beautiful results.
The work is presented as diptychs, a hangover from childhood when I would stare at landscapes first through the left eye and then through the right, delighted by the differences in the two views.
Another one to add to the “I wish I’d thought of that” photography project ideas folder. I can’t wait to get a print and see the final book. In the meantime check out the entire series.
I’ve been more than a little sceptical about Cyclocross recently. It seems to be the new cool thing to do and that always seems to make me more than a little suspicious. Is it amazing or just a new fad? Emma once said this about people riding fixed as a fashion.
It’s like yo-yos. They’ll find something else in a bit.
Anyway, putting my prejudices to one side for a bit I wandered down to Herne Hill Velodrome on New Years day to sweat out some of my hangover and see what all the fuss was about. I also wanted to have a go at taking some pictures of moving objects rather than those inanimate buildings I normally do. It was also a good chance to use the 70-200 ƒ2.8, which rarely finds a reason to be used.
I got there mid way during the juniors race which looked like fun. I couldn’t really work out the course at first but gradually got the idea. I found a few places that might be good to spectate and take pics. A few friends arrived and we settled on the top left corner where the course dives down to the railway embankment and then back up and over and back towards the velodrome.
I was also there to support one of the Brixton riders, Will, who unfortunately drew number 13. As is the rules it was mounted upside down.
I had a go with a few test shots of some of the juniors who seemed to be flying around. Some of which were inconceivably tiny to my mind.
As well as the warm up laps the main group were doing. The Christmas tree chicane was one of my favourite parts of the course. A nice bit of imagination there from the course designers. Nice to see a few little playful touches appearing.
After that I said hello to Will and his teammate David before getting a few shots of the start and moving up to my preferred position for the rest of the race.
A few of the Vicious Velo lot were there and I had previously been told to shout various obscenities at them by Andy, which I of course obliged. I felt kind of guilty about it as none of them were smiling. Only Kev managed a set of the vees as requested and a smile. But at least they confirmed later on Twitter that the ‘encouragement’ was appreciated it’s just that it was hideously hard to raise a smile when working that much – which I can fully understand.
Running up that hill looked hideous really and whilst there weren’t many spectators, most seemed to congregate there to shout encouragement and generally observe the trickiest bit.
Some of the younger riders seemed to be running rings around the older ones. Some people described them as “just floating over it all” which seemed apt. Equally as entertaining to watch too.
So a lovely few hours at the Velodrome and I fully appreciate the skill and effort that goes into CX. It was a shame there weren’t more spectators but most people were probably nursing crushing mind altering hangovers at home. I can’t say I’m crazy about entering one but I’d definitely go and watch and support more Brixton or Vicious riders at another event. It was also really nice to use my camera again off a tripod!