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?

 

Does B&W make a difference?

The image featured in this blog was also taken in Donaghadee Co Down on the same shoot as the image in my last blog.  It was an image that I had initially dismissed until I made a monochrome version.

I seldom use Lightroom presets but in this case I used a preset which produces a punchy B@W image, for comparison I will show the original and the conversion and let the reader decide which is best.

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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

 

 

 

 

Perspective in Architecture

One of my photographic interests would be to photograph historic buildings, but perspective was always a problem which forced me to import the image into Photoshop to correct the problem, with the result of spending even more time in front of the computer screen.  A tilt-shift lens would of course remove the issue at the time of taking the image, but tilt-shift lenses are rather expensive.

However Lightroom is a great program which solves the problem in seconds.  Within the Development module the lens correction tool works a treat.  The following is the before and after treatment of Craigavon House, the former home of Northern Ireland’s first prime minister, Sir James Craig, later Lord Craigavon.

Craigavon House Craigavon House

 The improvement is vast and takes just seconds to execute.

The other contributing photographers were Rennie Gribbin of Rennie Gribbin Photography and Thomas Sewell.  Finally thanks are due to the Unionist Centenary Committee for making this exhibition possible.

 

Improving the image!

This photograph was taken from Scrabo Hill while walking along a woodland path.  The quality of the light was quite good and I noticed through a gap in the bushes a house and small lake in the distance beside a cornfield which was isolated by surrounding green fields.  The cornfield immediately caught my eye and the centre of the view seemed brighter as a result.  So here is the image:

ISO 200, 14mm 2.8 lens at f10, 1/125 shutter speed

ISO 200, 14mm 2.8 lens at f10, 1/125 shutter speed

Post production was employed to give the photograph that punch that I remembered when I first noticed the shot.  In Lightroom the exposure, contrast, highlights, whites and blacks settings remain as in the original image.  I did selected the central area of the image and applied +38 on the shadows slider and I also gave the clarity a slight boost.  I also selected the sky area and decreased exposure slightly to balance the rolling fields.  This was the only manipulation of the image.  Finally I cropped the image to a square format, the effect works to draw your attention to the centre of the image and as a result I think it makes the image work!

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.

 

 

 

 

Flag Waving – Dutch Style!

We are well used to flag waving in Northern Ireland and so when I visited Amsterdam I was intrigued to see how they staged public parades.  In this case a trade guilds parade which interrupted the flow of traffic in downtown Amsterdam.

Taken in September it was unfortunately a dull grey damp day.  I remember being rather disappointed with my photographic results, the images lacked the clarity I was after, however I kept taking images with my best walk around lens, a 24-70mm f2.8.   The image below was one taken from this series.

24mm, f13, 1/60, 400iso

24mm, f13, 1/60, 400iso

The relatively slow shutter speed provides the sense of movement in the flag waving.  I had considered making a monochrome version of this but instead opted for colour.  In Lightroom the red, orange and blue filters were tweaked to bring the colour out more strongly and this was about the only manipulation required.

What appeals to me about the image are the diagonal forces produced by the zebra crossing, the marchers, the tram and the overhead cables which are all parallel to one another.  This produces a forceful diagonal line through the photograph.  In general diagonal lines make for stronger images.  By contrast the sole pedestrian standing at the zebra crossing provides an important element to the image and the image would not be as interesting without her.

Despite the technical faults I think this image works to make a powerful piece of street photography.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Production Technique

I have never written about post production techniques before in this blog so this is a first! Over the past couple of months I have been reviewing older photographs, some like this one have been forgotten about, so it is pleasing to rediscover older images.  This one was taken in April 2011.  The image was initially disregarded because the tide was out and I did not like the electricity poles in the distance.  However I have given the image a second chance!

Strangford Lough at Sunset

Strangford Lough at Sunset

Post production of this image was straightforward using Lightroom 4.  To improve the image all I did was to crop out grass along the bottom of the image.  Secondly to give the seaweed in the foreground an extra stop of exposure and a little clarity.  The final step was to bring up the sky.  The water line neatly divided the image in two and I brought the graduated filter down to the waterline in much the same way as you would use the ND graduated filter on the camera lens and to allow for the over exposure.  The result slightly darkened the sky and brought out the thin cloud.

This is all there is to it, the adjustments described above were all minor tweaks to the image.  Hope you like the image despite my initial observations!

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.