Photography


Ashridge Forest Photos

27th February 2021

I visited Ashridge earlier today, which is a rather large forest that's only a short car ride from where I live. I didn't miss up the oppurtunity to take my camera, and there was some absolutely incredible light.

My camera is the Fujifilm X-T100, and I used two lenses, the XC 50-230mm zoom lens, and the XC 35mm prime. But I captured a few on my iPhone 12 too, as teh ultra-wide lens seemed perfect for a woodland scene.

After going through a few hundred photos, I came out with 24 that I really like. I've uploaded them all to Flickr, so you can view the entire album there. But for a quick preview, here are five of my favourites:

View all 24 photos.

The Toy Camera Filter on My Fujifilm X-T100

24th February 2021

One of the best things about Fujifilm cameras is the built-in film simulation modes, which give you various monochrome options, Astia, Velvia, Provia, and more. I find that they aren't too harsh, and seems to mostly improve the look of my photos. They aren't applied to the RAW file, so it doesn't take anything away from the image.

However, there's also an "Advanced Filter" mode, which gives you some more filters and effects. Although they are a lot more obtrusive. There's quite a few, including partial colour filters, soft focus, and pop colour. But the one I have the most fun with is "Toy Camera". The description it gives is "Create shaded borders as taken by toycameras. (nostalgic effect)".

I can't say it will produce the most professional photos, but as a person that enjoys retro camera apps on the iPhone, such as Dispo, Huji, and Hipstamatic, it's fun to have it directly in my real camera too.

Here are a few quick examples:

I'll have to give the other filters a try now, and I'll see what I can get when I can actually leave my house and go somewhere interesting.

Photos in the Snow

24th January 2021

It snowed pretty heavily near my house this morning, which meant I had to go out and take some photos.

Luckily for me, there's a small area of woodland just behind my street. So I grabbed my iPhone 12 and my Fujifulm XT100, and went to see what I could capture.

The iPhone 12 seemed to put a green tint on most photos, and sometimes over-exposed the photos. Halide seemed to work great though.

After playing around in Lightroom, I've got 12 photos that I'm happy with. They're pretty similar, since they were taken in the same area. But I have tried to give them slightly different looks.

You can see them all on my Flickr, but here are my 6 favourites:

Photos From a Trip To Lanzarote

3rd November 2020

I just spent a week in Lanzarote, and since I had just received my iPhone 12 before I left, I decided to leave my real camera at home and force myself to use the iPhone.

There were over 200 shots, and after reviewing them, checking the composotions, and giving them a little touch up in Lightroom, I was left with 24 photos that I was really happy with. I've uploaded them all to Flickr, so you can check out the full album.

Being in Lanzarote, the focus of my shots are all relating to water. Whether if it was the sea caves of Los Hervideros, the beaches around Playa Blanca, or the black sand of Playa de Janubio.

A lot of the time I was focussing on getting portrait-oriented shots that would be suitable for phone wallpapers. And a lot of the time this was caputring the transition of the waves hitting the sand, or the combination of the sand, rocks, sea, and then the blue sky. At the same time, there were some really nice landscapes that I tried to capture as well.

From the final 24 photos, I've picked out 9 that I'd like to feature here on the blog. I hope you like them. And if you want to see the other 15, you can view the full album on Flickr.

iPhone 12 Pro Camera Review: Glacier NP →

20th October 2020

Since the iPhones are more cameras than anything else nowadays, I always value a photography focussed review more than a generic one looking at the phone as a whole. One person that always steps up to fill that need is Austin Mann, he's an incredible photographer, and always comes up with great reviews of the latest iPhones.

And he's now just dropped his review of the iPhone 12 Pro:

Hello from Glacier National park, MT!

I’ve been exploring this area, based out of our Airstream, testing the camera of the new iPhone 12 Pro in all kinds of conditions from bright and sunny to dark and snowy. (And all very cold!)

As always, Apple delivered a presentation with a punch and a lot of the focus was on the camera, especially the iPhone 12 Pro Max Camera. (Spoiler alert: that review will be coming in a few weeks and I can’t wait to see what the hardware in that thing can do.)

My driving question remains:

How will this new tech make our pictures and videos better?

The iPhone 12 Pro’s upgrades really rely on software, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets all the software upgrades and a major hardware upgrade. With the iPhone 12 Pro in hand this week, a lot of my focus has been on Ultra Wide Night mode, LiDAR autofocus, and exploring new capabilities in the software.

I must admit, I was excited when I saw his review was up, but then I saw it was focussed on the 12 Pro, wheras I have personally gone for the standard 12. So I was getting ready to regret not going for the Pro, but seeing as he focussed on the Wide and Ultra Wide lenses, I think it also served as a very good iPhone 12 review too.

I'm coming from an iPhone XS, so I never got to experience the camera of the iPhone 11 generation, and I keep hearing how good it was. And now Austin has proved the 12 can go even further. One thing that really surprised me was how good Night Mode is.

The 12 Pro Max will be an even more capable device, and I look forward to seeing Austin's review on that when it comes out. But one thing looks certain, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have fantastic cameras.

Read his full review.


Photo credit: Austin Mann
"Shot on iPhone 12 Pro w/ Ultra Wide in Night mode (on tripod). Apple Photos “Noir” filter applied."

The Winners of the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year →

17th October 2020

Jason Kottke, writing at Kottke.org:

The winning photographs in the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest have been announced by the Natural History Museum in London. Photos above by Shanyuan Li, Weiwei Zeng, and Greg du Toit.

I love to see photography contents, especially wildlife and nature ones, because there's always absolutely great photos. But my problem is keeping track of the various competitions. So it's lucky that I read Kottke.org, since it seems like he rarely misses any!

Anyway, this years Wildlife Photographer of the Year photos were amazing as always.

When I look at wildlife photos I'm always struck by thinking how hard each of them would have been to capture. I like nature photography, mainly because of the focus on composition and lighting. But throwing animals in the mix must makee it infinitely more difficult.


(Featured image: The Spider’s Supper by Jaime Culebras, one of the photos from the competition which was awarded a "Highly Commended" status)

Photos From a Trip to Edinburgh

6th October 2020

I came back from a week trip to Edinburgh a few days ago, and while I was there I took quite a few photos.

Over 300 made it back, which was then refined by removing duplicates, blurry imags, and just bad compositions. I then spent some time in Loghtroom this evening trying to make them look even better, and I've been left with 44 photos that I'm really pleased with.

I've uploaded them all to Flickr, and put them in a single album. But as usual, I thought I'd post a few of my favourites here directly:


View the full Edinburgh album on Flickr

A Couple of Woodland Photos

2nd September 2020

I’ve been trying to get better at photography recently, by watching a ton of YouTube videos mainly by Nigel Danson and Thomas Heaton, and a ton more. There’s one thing that I notice all photographers go back to, and it’s that simply going out with your camera, is the best thing you can do to improve your photography skills.

So just over a week ago, I decided I would wake up just before sunrise, and go for a walk around where I live. I walked through a few wooded areas, down near a river, and through some generally green areas. The environment wasn’t on my side for the shots I was trying to get, as in I found a few compositions in a woodland where some mist would have really added depth, and by the river, there was a shot I could have got if I had more direct sun instead of it being hidden by clouds.

However, on the walk back to my house, I did discover that there is a small area of “woodland” essentially behind my house. I just never noticed it, because it’s out of the way, and hidden between a load of houses. But anyway, even with lighting that I didn’t like that much, I think I got a two shots that I’m happy with.

I’ve uploaded them to various places – Flickr, 500px, and Instagram. 500px is something I’ve used for a while, so there’s a lot of old photos there, and to be honest I’m not happy with a lot of them. So I’m hoping that Flickr will become my new canonical place for my photography, before I most likely decide to put them here somehow. And, I’m probably going to be uploading a lot of my favourite shots to my Instagram too.

Photos From a Weekend in Wells-next-the-Sea

27th July 2020

I travelled to Wells-next-the-Sea this past week, as you may have guessed. As usual, I ended up taking my Fujifilm XT100, and taking it with me everywhere. Saying that, all of my favourite photos from this trip are from the beach. So here they are:

Blue Hour with Jay

6th April 2020

I was just out in my garden with my cat, Jay, seeing as that’s as far as I can go at the moment. But he was walking up and down one of the fences, so I decided to grab my camera[1] and take a few shots of him.

What I’ve now learned, is that I really like the colours at this time of night. Or more specifically as blue hour, (as opposed to the more commonly known golden hour), which happens in the twilight ether just before sunrise or just after sunset when the sky has a really blue tint.

Anyway, that’s a good enough excuse for me to post some photos here on my blog. Enjoy.

Jay

Jay

Jay

Jay


  1. Camera: Fujifilm XT100, Lens: Fujinon XC35mm F2  ↩