It’s ages since I’ve been able to take a sunset shot, but I do like them, so am posting some of the ones I’ve taken along the way in the past few years..
Back in 2008 photography was just for holidays for me, and in Tunisia I had a little Fuji SX2000. I didn’t know about RAW, or post processing, or anything to do with photography, just point and shoot and hope to capture some good memories. I got up at 6am on the day we left to get the sunrise from our hotel balcony.
I think these 2 pictures pushed me into photography and by the time we went to Cyprus in 2009, I had a Nikon D90 and began the learning curve in earnest ..
Still with my D90 I also then got PS Elements and Nik FX pro for processing..
By 2012 I had a Nikon D7000
and took it when we returned to Cyprus that year
We also went for a weekend to Belgium in September that year, and I took this from the ferry leaving Hull
2012 was a good year for sunsets 🙂 in October Sophie, Mike & I went to visit a waterfall up north, and on our way back home stopped for this view..
Still with the D7000 in 2013 we went off to Italy..
A trip down memory lane, but thats what photos are for isn’t it? 🙂
My new camera arrived yesterday at 3pm and is very pretty to look at.
lots of dials and knobs to figure out, very different to what I’ve been used to with the Nikons, so a steep learning curve going on at the minute. It feels small because my D700 was a big beast, but it also feels solid and of good quality.
I managed to spend an hour yesterday afternoon going through the manual so I could get it up and running, but as always camera manuals seem like gobbledegook to me, and also I was hampered by Storm.
At this point, cat~ trauma 1 happened in the afternoon as Skye took exception to Storm with her collar on (it has a bell) and started hissing at her and then took off to hide somewhere. I was upstairs when this happened, so I took the damned collar off Storm and carried on with reading the manual. It got to 5pm and things were going slowly with learning it, when Storm decided it was dinner time, so off I went to feed them. I called for Skye but she didn’t appear. I then spent 3/4 hour searching the house top to bottom and couldn’t find her anywhere, and realised she must have escaped through a window I had slightly open in the conservatory as it was 44degs in there with the sun on it. Can’t tell you how awful I felt. These cats have been indoor cats for 5 years with the previous owner, and they’ve only lived here 6 days,so I was really worried she would get lost and not find her way back. When Phil got home I had to tell him the news and both of us were in a right state. I printed out some flyers with our phone numbers,
and we set off around our neighbourhood searching bushes and knocking on peoples doors and giving out flyers. When we got home, despondent at not finding her, I went into the conservatory to open the window she’d gone through wider, in case she came back and needed to get in, and just as I leant over the stereo unit, in the corner of my eye I saw a little black movement. I could not believe it! Skye had got in behind the unit and was hiding behind the CD’s on a shelf. There’s no way we could have seen her, and she must have been in there for about 4 hours! We coaxed her out and had some tickles, put some food down for her, and then we got a drink! We were so relieved. The cats are still hissing at each other, but will eventually settle down again (I hope!!). But that put paid to playing with the XT1. Trauma two happened today, after Phil went off to work this morning and I got up early~ish and went downstairs to get a cup of tea. When I went to open the living room door it wouldn’t budge. The cats had dug up the carpet trying to get upstairs and it was against the door and held in place by the weight of a B&W speaker just to the left. I was well naffed off I can tell you. I tried various methods to get the carpet back, used a variety of tools from Phils model room, but after 1/2 hr had a) hurt my hand, b)cried like a girl, and c)resigned myself to being locked upstairs without food and drink til Phil came home 8hrs later. But then I thought to myself ‘what if Phil had been run over by a bus and I lived alone?’ and went back for another try, this time I managed to to push the carpet back, roll it under itself and then pull it through! Yay for me.
And now I could spend the day out with my XT-1,the sun was shining and regular readers know my favourite place for photography is on the coast at South Shields, so thats where I went, and the results are in. The following shots were all taken with the XT-1 with the kit lens – 18-55mm zoom and very little processing done in LR5. None of them are sharpened or have increased saturation,some of them did have tweaks and I’ll say what I did and why.
I started with the Weebles, (previous shot of them with the Nikon here )
This first shot I accidentally had managed to turn the dial to double exposure mode instead of single shot, so I went with it. 🙂
I had to reduce the exposure in LR as I hadn’t got the hang of the exposure dial and couldn’t see in the playback very well in the bright sun.
The colours are really beautifully rendered. I could see in this shot that I’d managed to catch the dog in flight with it’s ears up, so I tried a really tight crop on the people just to see if it was possible, and it is.
There’s a white highlight around the 2 people but still, not too bad I think.
Straight out of the camera. Just amazing colours.
I then moved down the coast a little to Trowell Rocks and took some more shots.
I used the exposure dial on the Fuji, -EV2 but still got blown highlights but it was maybe asking a bit much.
The vignetting I think comes from the petal hood as this was at 18mm end of the lens.
think this was -EV 2&1/3
I exposed for the sky and brought the shadows out in LR, the greenery was very dark but the detail was all there when I enlightened it. This was 18mm.
No tweaks on this one, this reminded me of Mummy and baby rock creatures, but I’m possibly the only one that can make them out! 😀
I love finds like this, some poor little girl has lost her direction, or gone in another.
another landscape where I pulled out the shadows in LR.
I zoomed in a bit for that one,
and that was at 55mm.
The sunday challenge this week on Ipernity is ‘back lighting’ so had a go with a plant outside the Mango Beach Bar.
Then for my last port of call I went to Souter Lighthouse to see how red, white, blue and green fare on a sunny day.
a very nice Toyota, kinda like my Toyota, but a different shape and colour and 4yrs younger 😀 😀
After this I went home, and as it was still sunny took a shot of my blossom tree and a couple of backlights in my garden.
I didn’t get to finish this last night, so continuing on…
When I got home yesterday I came to my mac to upload the photographs, and went to the camera box to get the lead to plug it in. There wasn’t one. I have always used a lead and so forgot about the SD slot in the back of the mac (duh!) and wondered how the heck I was supposed to get my pictures up. Apparently Fuji expect you to do this wirelessly, as the camera has this function, you download an app to your PC, connect the camera over the airwaves and hey presto. Except it wasn’t hey presto at all, the camera connected but wouldn’t register. I faffed on for ages but no luck. In spite of all my research re: the XT1, not having a lead had not shown up anywhere. My lead I used for the Nikons doesn’t fit, nor does Phil’s for his old fuji sx8000. I had a brainwave though as the port looked similar to my samsung USB connecter for the mobile phone I had, and so hey presto for real, I uploaded my shots at last.
After uploading I found out that although I set the camera to RAW shooting, I’d actually been taking fine jpegs! Grr, and then when I tried to reset to RAW, the camera wouldn’t let me, I am not sure why, and since then I’ve played around and it now seems to be set on RAW, I followed the set up procedures in a great blog I found, details below.
The next problem was my processing software, though I had sorted this prior to purchasing the camera (research, always do your research 🙂 )was that I use a combination of Lightroom 4, and PSE11, which I’ve grown to know very well, but LR4 does not support TX1, I’m not sure about elements 11 as it was enough to know LR4 didn’t. I had been humming and hahing about signing up for the cloud versions anyway, so I took the plunge and am using LR5 and PS CC. Wow is photoshop different from elements, more so than I expected. That’s going to be another steep learning curve, but luckily LR5 is very similar to 4 and I’ve had no problems using it, the lovely thing is it took all my presets and catalogues over from 4 just on a click of the button. I do have a fair few actions in elements that I’m going to have to lose, as I don’t want to jam the mac up with PSE and CC but that’s OK.
As I said before, I find camera manuals mind boggling, so I found a great blog by someone who obviously is a pro photographer and is a great resource for the XT1, if you are considering buying one I strongly advise putting the manual on your bookshelf and going to John Caz’s site, if you click through his name you’ll get there.
There is a lot yet for me to find out about the XT1, it’s supposed to great with it’s film presets in camera, and the black and white ones too look amazing from what I’ve seen on other’s sites. Today’s struggle has been upgrading the firmware to the latest version, something I’ve never done before so a bit stressful, but I followed all the instructions at Fuji’s website HERE and only cocked up once 🙂 and got it done, the camera has survived.
So that’s the beginning of my XT1 journey.
I’ll still use the iPhone, and my polaroid of course, but I must say I’m in love with the XT1 already and looking forward to trying out all it’s features.