From light to darkness!

These images were taken at a band parade in Banbridge Co Down for the purpose of testing the Fujifilm X-T1 from conditions of early evening daylight through to late evening street light to see how it would perform.

Obviously as the evening continued I was forced to increase my ISO setting, from 400 to 1600 and then finally to 6400.  How would this effect digital noise in dim light?  I was using a 56mm f1.2 lens, so a fast lens should help considerably.

Later in the evening as it got darker I had to abandon auto focus and switch to manual, the focusing ring on the lens was a delight to use, very smooth!  The images are below together with camera settings.

ISO 400, f4, 1/160

ISO 400, f4, 1/160

ISO 1600, f1.4, 1/60

ISO 1600, f1.4, 1/60

ISO 6400, 32.0, 1/125

ISO 6400, 32.0, 1/125

ISO 6400, f2.0, 1/125

ISO 6400, f2.0, 1/125

ISO 6400, f2.0, 1/100

ISO 6400, f2.0, 1/100

My view: I enjoyed the shooting experience, the slowest shutter speed was 1/60 and good for hand holding the camera.  The only issue to be aware of is manual focusing in low light with a moving target and a wide aperture with shallow DoF!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission

Capturing that special event

The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of The Great War was remembered at Belfast City Hall on the evening of 4 August in line with the national commemorations held throughout the United Kingdom.  It was an occasion that I wanted to capture but the question was how?

It would be dark, so a fast prime lens seemed a good idea.  There would be large numbers of people present so I decided to travel light, using just one lens, a 35mm equivalent f1.4 that would be good for capturing the wide view yet also good for closer shots within the crowd.  Shooting between 10pm and 11pm a higher ISO setting was also a good choice, so I set it camera to auto ISO with a maximum of 3200iso.  I also decided not to use flash, which is useless for distance shots and blasts out closeup shots.

So much for preplanning, the aim was to capture the mood and significance of the evening, the following were the results.  The following images hopefully convey something of the mood.

A lucky shot, I caught someone else's flash!

A lucky shot, I caught someone else’s flash!

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All images taken with a Fujifilm X Pro 1, 23mm f1.4 lens, taken at 1/60 second, a couple at 1/30 second.  Apertures ranged from f1.4 to f2.5.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

Low light qualities of the X Pro 1

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A quick visit to Howth Pier gave me an opportunity to try out my Fujifilm X Pro 1 at night time.  The image above was taken at Howth when I photographed these fishermen landing their catch.  It was taken at 22.40 using only the available light from the fishing trawler and the lighting on the quayside.

I used a surprisingly low ISO setting, just 640, with my 35mm lens wide open at f1.4.  The 35mm Fujinon lens is a remarkable piece of glass, all the Fuji prime lenses are very fast! Shooting at 1/60 second the camera was handheld.  You cannot really judge the quality from the above photograph which is just 700pixels wide, so below I have selected a 100% crop from the above image so as you can judge for yourself.

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Even at 100% resolution the image is quite smooth with minimal digital noise, I have not used the sharpening tool in preparing these images, even the exposure and contrast settings have been left untouched.

What is there not to like about the X Pro 1?  It is providing a serious challenge to my Nikon gear; anyone what to buy a camera?

 

Rainy Belfast – what’s new?

Ins’t it odd that few people take photographs when it’s raining?  Some time ago I saw a photograph of a very wet Belfast street scene and it has always stuck in my mind and challenged me to go out and do the same.

Taking a walk around in the rain presents very different opportunities, such has people sheltering under cover, people taking cover in coffee shops which you can photograph through the window and people just going about their every day business with raised umbrellas.

Of course for the photographer rain produces marvellous lighting, reflections, deeper colours or if your shooting in monochrome a different dynamic range.  Capturing the rain as it falls allows you to play with shutter speeds and also adds to the mood the images. Here is a small selection of images shot yesterday.

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Next time it rains go out and give it a go!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission   

 

Strangford in winter?

January is a time when some put their cameras away during the depths of winter.  Yet this month started off with severe storms followed with lots of rain and interspersed with the very occasional sunny day.  Today was one of these occasional sunny days when I visited Strangford town.

On a good summer’s day Strangford is a place to be avoided due to sightseers and busy narrow roads.  But the height of winter is very quiet and if its a nice day its perfect for a few seeking out a few shots.  Winter sun in mid afternoon produces a gentle warming of colours and soft shadows – great for photography.

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Hard to believe that these images were taken in the second half of January.  Images captured with a Fujifilm X Pro 1.4mm f1.4 lens.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission

 

 

Product Photography

From time to time I am asked to undertake product photography.  I find this area of photography enjoyable especially when it touches on subjects that interest me.  The benefit of product photography is that generally you control the light, depth of field and background drops.  So there is little that can go wrong.  

This week I came across an old Royal Ulster Constabulary night helmet, worn in urban areas in Belfast and Londonderry during the 1960s after which it was withdrawn.  In selecting an aperture above f9 more than adequate depth of field will be achieved.  The light was provided by a single speed light fired through a large brolly, sufficient to illuminate the item and the background.

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All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission

 

Reading a photograph

You may have noticed that I really like Ballintoy!  There are so many opportunities for landscape photography there and my often repeated visits always present new challenges. I have learned that staying in the one place for a while improves the chances of getting quality light, and helps developing patience that is necessary for better photography.

Assuming you have great light then we are left to concentrate in looking for mood!  Seeking out colour, angles, shapes and then trying to simplify the composition.  In the image featured in this blog the contrast between the basalt and limestone rock outcrops was interesting, the subtle colour rendered from the wet limestone rock in the foreground against the colour of the sea and the sky provide an overall balance to the image.

If you can read a photograph then I guess it works!  The image below seems to be made up by horizontal layers; rock, sea, rock and sky.  Within these layers the colour hues blend together in balance.  As I see it this is how the image works.  Maybe it reads differently to you!

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All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

That special autumn light

I am still processing images from my visit to Ballintoy on the Antrim north coast.  The rocks in this image caught the light beautifully bringing out the colour.  It was taken at 10.15 in weak morning sunlight and the figures on the beach add to the scene.

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 All being well I will return to this location soon.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

Photographic patience

For this blog I have returned to Ballintoy Harbour and the theme is to persevere.  When I left home to travel here it was raining and half way up the M2 it was raining stair rods and I considered returning home.  Thankfully I persisted and arrived at Ballintoy Harbour around 3.30 in glorious sunshine.  The hour before sunset provided some excellent light and I concentrated on a number of seascapes and I was looking forward to what the morning light would bring.

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The following day produced a mixture of rain sun and storm, wonderful for photography.  Staying put in one place can provide a variety of opportunities and no mobile phone connection or email is a decided advantage!

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 All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

 

Are you waiting for the right conditions?

A landscape photographer needs to have patience, something I don’t possess for most of the time.  However if you want to get that photograph that is above the average holiday snap then you need to do two things!  Watch the weather forecast and secondly wait for the right conditions.

This is what I did at Spelga Dam in the Mourne Mountains yesterday.  Thursday was the only decent day weather wise in the week and wet weather was to move in over night, which it did.  So the perfect opportunity to make my trip to Spelga and wait for the rain to move in. 

Arriving mid afternoon in what was a lovely sunny afternoon I waited until the sun was about to set when I was rewarded with mist descending, could not be better!  Mist and fog add atmosphere and this was what I was looking for.  The following images were taken between 5pm to 6pm.  The shutter speed of the final images were 0.5 of a second aided with the use of a tripod.

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Photographs taken in mid afternoon would just not have captured the atmosphere I was after. I did stay overnight in an attempt to get early light in the morning, but the mist completely closed in accompanied with heavy rain.  Was it worth the effort?  

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.