Scotland

A Wet Friday

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I decided to head out for a bit of street shooting on Friday, but when Friday arrived it was pouring with rain. But an arrangement is an arrangement even if it is just with yourself. It was so bad I had to buy an umbrella to keep my cameras dry, even though I had already been soaked through.

There are two kinds of a rainy day here in Scotland. There are really dark horrible days and there are bright days. It can still bucket with rain but the latter can be a bit deceiving with popping colour and higher meter readings than expected. This was one of those days.

There’s a mixture of X-Pro2 with the 16/2 or the 35/2 and the X70 shot from the hip.

Have a great weekend.

A Walk On The East Side

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It feels like a while since I shot some street photography in Edinburgh. I had an hour to spare while I was in the capital last week and decided to pull out the X70 for some Zone Focusing fun.

Spring Forward & Patches Of Light

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I’ve shot a boatload of street since the beginning of the year. Like anything we do a lot of, we start to develop our craft. It’s the 10,000-hour rule I suppose. Something that I’ve become really aware of lately is knowing where the light will be good at certain times of the day. I know on certain street corners that the light will drop between a couple of buildings and that it will bounce off glass and steel before reaching the pavement (sidewalk). The colours are fantastic and it really enhances the Classic Chrome film simulation in my Fuji cameras. I also know where to go next when the light disappears from my favorite corner.

We moved our clocks forward at the weekend for British summertime, so all the good light will be an hour later than usual. Pretty soon the sun will go down even later and the streets will be empty when all the good light is available. March might just be my new favorite month for street photography, but let's not wipe out April when it just began.

These pictures were shot with the Fuji X70 (28mm) and the X-Pro2 with the 16mm f2.8 (24mm).

Of course, I cannot neglect the monochrome side of things just because the light was great for colour. As always, all my black and white street pictures are post-processed using Nik, Silver Efex Pro (now owned by DXO and well worth the money).

Fujifilm 16mm f2.8: Too Wide?

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There is a sweet spot in wide angle street photography lenses. Just like the push and pull of the exposure triangle, there are trade-offs with different focal lengths, especially when zone focusing. The compromise of getting in really close, but having lots of depth of field to add a bit of forgiveness when judging the distance between your camera and the subject. If this isn’t making much sense, you might want to go and read my post on How To Zone Focus first and then come back here.

I love a 28mm lens (full frame equivalent) when I’m zone focusing, which is why my Fuji Fuji X70 is one of my favourite cameras for this type of street shooting. I love the classic 35mm focal length when I’m using a viewfinder on a camera like the X100F, but when shooting from the hip, that extra depth of field the 28mm gives me can be the difference between coming home with lots of good shots or coming home with just a few.

I get that 28mm can be a bit wide for some photographers on the street (especially beginners) because it forces you to get in close. But it just works in so many different levels. At f8 and focused to 6’, everything between 5’ and 8’ will be in focus (possibly even more). At f11 and focus set to 5’ I can get everything in focus between 4’ and 8’ and those are good distances to work at with a 28mm lens

I hit the street the other day with the 16/2.8, a tiny wide-angle gem of a lens. But as soon as I started taking pictures, I was reminded of just how much difference a few millimeters can make at the wide end, which would mean next to nothing on a telephoto lens. The Fujinon Super EBC XF 16mm f2.8 R WR (to give it it’s the full title) is a full-frame equivalent to a 24mm, but those 4mm between 24mm and a 28mm feels huge when you’re trying to judge how big in the frame someone will be. The difference of a second or two when someone is walking toward you is massive, and if you wait too long or if the camera has any kind of lag between shutter press and actual shutter release, the moment has gone. But press too soon and the subject appears way smaller in the frame than you can imagine. It takes a bit of practice and there is very little wiggle room, so I’ll be heading back out soon to try to get it right.

Another problem is the urge to point the camera up. I was using the X-Pro2 and it doesn’t have a tilt screen, so it’s complete guesswork. When I’m out with my X70 (28mm equivalent), I can pull the flip screen out just a fraction, which is just enough to make a rough composition. I don’t like tilt screens on my rangefinder style cameras, but if the X-E3 had one I’d probably buy it for street (even though it doesn’t have a D-Pad on the back).

But check those leading lines when shooting building from a slightly lower angle. Epic!

The Second City Of The Empire

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. But if it had been possible to have two capitals, Glasgow would surely be the other. A friend of mine said to me recently that Glasgow would have been the capital city...if it wasn't for that bloody castle :o)

I took a walk last week to prove to myself that the X70 was as good a street camera as I thought, away from the hustle and bustle of a festival and onto a normal city street. Although I wasn't feeling particularly inspired on the day (some days are like that and you just need to go with it), The camera worked a treat.

I was in the city to shoot an essay without words for The Kage Collective. This month's theme is 'The Silence', and in keeping with that, we decided to produce only pictures for this issue. There are a couple of links at the bottom of this post relating to this.