In my last post I talked about what photo gear I brought to Italy for one month and the reasons behind those plans. So how did reality compare to expectations? Which gear earned another trip and what won’t make the cut next time? The good news is that the planning paid off and most things worked very well. There were a couple exceptions though and an uncertainty that might seem familiar/tiresome to some Fuji fans. Let’s take a look.
This last May, I was lucky enough to spend my honeymoon in Italy. I couldn’t go on a trip of this scale without some serious photography (luckily my wife already knew this) so I put a lot of thought into what gear I wanted to bring. I’ve been enjoying my Fuji X-T1 lately and, although the last trip I did of this length was with my full-frame Canon gear, this time I wanted to bring a much lighter kit.
So what gear did I bring to Italy?
One of my favorite photo locations on Montmartre in Paris is here where many streets meet and there’s always great people watching. I find cafe life in Paris an endless source of photo subjects.
[ This post was originally posted to Hunt's Photo and Video's blog on June 13, 2014. They have kindly agreed to let me cross-post it here. - Dave ]
When I lead one of my photo safaris to Tanzania, I’m used to taking a lot of heavy gear. By the time I put more than one DSLR in my bag along with several big lenses, it’s common to take over 30 pounds of it. Because of this, I’m always on the lookout for ways to reduce baggage size and weight.
I’ve been following the development of Fujifilm’s X system because of its reputation for being small and light but with high image quality. When I had the chance to travel again to France a few weeks ago, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to leave the big gear behind and try using the Fuji system for street photography.
Another shot from my recent trip to France. The walk up to Montmartre is full of opportunities for people-watching and photography. Using the Fujifilm X-T1’s flip-up LCD screen helped me be a little more discreet also. Because of that and the 14mm lens, I was only about 3 feet from the boy and his father for this capture. I love the interaction between him and his father, and the man sitting down.
A teaser from the week I just spent in France. I am going through all of the photographs I made in France last week and choosing which ones to spend more time on. This one caught my eye so I made some quick preliminary edits before sharing.
This was shot using Fujifilm’s new X-T1 camera and this was my first trip with it to see how well it works. While not perfect, it is excellent and worked out very well. I hope to blog more about it soon.
Thinking of Paris as I get on a plane to fly to France this morning. The Eiffel Tower is easy to photograph but it is very difficult to photograph with a new perspective. When I took this almost 3 years ago, I was walking from the Trocadero towards the Tower and noticed these “things with pipes” pointing the same direction. I found out later these are water cannons – powerful fountains – that spray into a reflecting pool and are turned on occasionally.
I liked their weathered surface and how they were composed of many basic geometric shapes so I got low and close to feature them equally with the Tower. At the same time, I used a moderately long focal length (105mm) to compress the foreground and background, intentionally decreasing the perception of depth to make the cannons seem closer to the Tower than they actually are.
This has been one of my more successful images from that trip and, since the cannons are not well known, they always spark conversations with viewers online and at galleries who want to know what they are. I’m trying out some new gear on this trip and I hope I come home with as many images that I’m as happy with as I did the last trip. If I can, I’ll post initial edits of images from the trip as I go.
Early one morning while exploring the northern Lobo area of the Serengeti, we came across a pride of lions just lazing in the grass near the road. There were 8 or 9 of them, many of them young males. They entertained us for at least an hour as they played with each other, played with a stick one of them found, and rolled in the grass. I caught these two brothers leaning on each other as they looked at us.
This image is one of my favorites from a safari last year and not just for the main subject. One of the things I love about incorporating the African landscape in my wildlife photography is how backgrounds can reveal layers, or stripes, of tone and color.
Using a long lens can amplify the effect as it did here. I used Canon’s 500mm lens with a 1.4x extender giving me a 700mm total and the result is a stacking effect of the different shades of grass from foreground to background. Because this was taken in the Ngorongoro Crater, the foliage in the back extends up and out of the frame. And it helps that the elephant, which is a dark subject, was standing in a lighter strip of grass which makes it stand out.