This has been an active holiday season here at Homewood at Plum Creek and it isn’t over yet. In the last few days I have delivered around 1200 pictures to Homewood and that was after I had edited them down from many more. I took all of the pictures as raw files using all three of my Fujifilm cameras, edited them down from several thousand images, processed them, printed a few, and delivered the final digital files to multiple people on the staff … and I didn’t even photograph all of the events that have happened so far.
I still have more things to photograph including the external lighting of the campus. I understand that they added an additional 8000 lights this year so, since I will be photographing them at night in cold weather, I expect it will take me many evenings to capture them.
The above is a picture of Bryan Herber who really had the Chapel rocking with lively seasonal music. That is one of my side benefits … getting to hear a little of the music as well as seeing many of our residents and families enjoying the events.
I have already started thinking about next year and what I might do differently in the way of simplifying and changing my processes. I could make straight out of camera jpegs if the lighting didn’t change so much but the changes in WB rule that out if I continue to roam around making documentary images that I prefer. The only way I know how to make that work would be to make ACROS monochrome images.
I mentioned that I’m thinking seriously about replacing the TG-5 with the X100F, and that is not a conventional thought. Most people use the TG-5 at the beach or around the pool or during adventurous outdoor activities because of its extreme weather protection. I have used the TG-5 primarily because of its pocket-ability and macro capabilities and the X100F isn’t normally considered for those uses, but some of the reasons I got the X100F were because of its smallish size and up-close focusing abilities. I’m thinking of making good use of its resolution and up-close focusing along with crop-zooming to make close-to-macro images, even if I have to increase the size of the image, which I didn’t have to do for these pictures of water drops on pine branches. The TG-5 has greater depth of field but using an aperture of F5.6 like I did for these images made with the X100F should be suitable.
I have been having fun with the above X100F camera, but it is time to get back to business. Today I have a request from Homewood to make some pictures that will most likely require that I use the XF 14mm lens. I have had it for a while but haven’t really had a requirement to use it until now. Since I haven’t been using my X-E3 or X-T2 for a short while, I got them out to make sure the batteries were charged and decide which lenses I would need in addition to the 14mm lens.
I used the 14mm lens to make the above image of the X100F sitting on my computer table. I like the 14mm lens, but it requires a little more thought when using it. Primarily I need to try and keep it close to level to minimize distortions. In the above image I was close, but I wanted this particular view, so I had to use my LR Classic software to make the vertical lines parallel. If you don’t keep the camera level, you end up cropping out the edges of the image if you use LR to straighten it.
I decided to go with just Fujifilm cameras and lenses and added the X100F camera to my X-T2 and X-E3 cameras. The X-T2 is my main go-to camera for photographing events at Homewood at Plum Creek and the X-E3 is my back-up to it as well as my second camera when I’m working with two cameras with different lenses.
I went back to the X100F for my “most likely to carry camera.” I would like to replace my pocket cameras, the Leica D-Lux 6 (sold) and the Olympus TG-5 with the X100F. I’m still hanging onto the TG-5 until I see if I can do without it.
I prefer using just my three Fuji cameras since they have the same sensors, use the same batteries, and have similar controls. While the X100F has far superior image quality to the TG-5, it doesn’t have the same pocket-ability or the focal range or the macro ability.
The X100 series cameras were always my “desert island” choice if I could only have one camera, but it is too limiting for some of my event photography and doesn’t have the weather resistance that I sometimes need, thus why I have the X-T2. Occasionally when I’m walking with only the TG-5 someone suggests I take a picture inside a building when the light isn’t good enough. Having the X100F will allow me to make such pictures.
Lately I have been getting reacquainted with the single 23mm (effective 35mm) lens’ focal length of the X100F. I used it to make the photos in the previous five posts. Saturday morning, I used the X100F to make the above photos of Venus and the moon. Only Venus is in the first image, but both the moon and Venus are in the other two. Do you see them? They represent the distant end of the camera’s fixed focal length limitations for field of view and resolution; but I find that with my current interests in photography that the effective 35mm focal length is a great compromise.
I also sometimes feel like I might be using the X100F more and more as I get older. It is a “getting old thing” as a result of arthritis, bad back, etc. For that and the fact that I love the X100F, I have been thinking more and more about altering my photography to fit the format of a fixed effective 35mm focal length camera/lens; but for now, it is more of a challenge and learning opportunity to see how much I can do with it.
While it is not so cold now, it appears that it will be cold for the rest of this week. The cold weather and the fact that I have two major photography sessions during the end of the week will put a damper on my making other pictures for my personal use on this blog. I’ll have to wait and see what I see.