An Autumn Walk

We woke up this morning, looked out of the window and could see it was going to be a nice day. We dropped off Samuel to school and got in the car and headed out with the camera to take some autumnal photographs while we had the chance.

The idea today was to just get some lovely photographs to go with the ones we’ve taken with Samuel over the years. When Samuel is off school next week we will do the same with both the boys, so this was great practise to get some things right. I chose to take the Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 and Viltrox 85mm F/1.8 and have my settings set to the MGA Colour Chrome setting (which can be found in the Fuji section of the website).

The idea today blossomed into doing everything away from home, so I’m writing this in the car while Llinos is shopping and George is sleeping. The photos were transferred from the camera to my mobile phone via the Fuji mobile app, which works amazingly. Editing consisted of a couple little crops and a border added to the photographs, all performed in Snapseed.

So, here are the images after going through this process… Autumn is certainly upon us!

As can be seen, this all turned out really nice! It was quite a nice challenge that I set myself, and it turned out well.

Hopefully in the coming days I will share with you the shots that I took that were not of the family, but I just think this will be a change to a lot of my readers.

If you liked what you have seen, please remember to comment, like and share my blog and website. Thank you everyone!

Clydach Canal Photography Outing

It’s always good to get out and about, especially in the climate we are currently facing. Meeting a group of friends from Great Photography Walks NPT we re-visited the Clydach Canal in Swansea, this time heading north instead of south through this idyllic part of the country.

I thought I would use this outing to try out two film simulations that I have been working on, in the real world. There was a of green, oranges and browns today, so it’s difficult to judge the Leica-Like recipe, however I’m really happy with the J-Street recipe. I will use older raw files to look at the results of Leica-Like and judge how I feel about it, but from the images here, I really do like it.

Shot with the X-T20 and Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 and Viltrox 85mm F/1.8, these images were placed into Photoscape X Pro where they were simply straightened or cropped. We had various lighting conditions, and both lenses perform slightly differently, so here are the results of todays meet.

As well as countryside and the canal, I did take photographs of some of the people who were at the meet with us. Here are a few of these people, I’ve tried to choose photographs which show the colours.

There we have it, it was a great day today and many photos were taken. As a side note, I also used Performance mode on the camera all day, and managed for the first time ever to get through a battery! I actually didn’t really notice much, if any difference using this mode to the standard mode, so may just switch it back over.

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*** Note: The Leica-Like film simulation was shot on White Balance custom setting 1 in these shots and these are the jpegs. When run through Fuji X Raw Studio and using Auto WB, the green shaded images change colour slightly as they are not in sunny conditions. This has been a great eye-opener in creating film simulations using custom white balance. Usually I haven’t seen much of a difference, but conditions today forced them.

Kilvey Hill Photography Outing – Straight From Camera

Today we had an outing with Great Photography Walks NPT and we ventured to the landmark hill that towers above Swansea. Kilvey Hill is famous for hosting the masts that supply the area with TV, Radio and communications. We parked in Pentrechwyth, which lays at the bottom of the hill, and made the 2 mile journey through narrow lanes, through forests, on rough terrain and an incline which was like walking up a flight of stairs!

For this journey I knew I needed to travel light, and I knew I needed focal lengths from as wide as I could, to as long as I could. For this reason I took both my Fujifilm 15-45mm and 50-230mm. On the way up I was to use the wider lens, and on the way back the longer lens. Weather forecast had been good, so this plan was perfect!

For a change I shot in Astia Film Simulation. The weather was pretty hazy to start, but we had a little break in the weather. The black and white shot was shot in Acros+R, as I shot a couple of film simulation brackets. As well as the shots here, I shot a number of panorama shots, which will hopefully be in an upcoming blog, along with a huge amount of bracketed exposure shots. Please click on the images to see them full screen. All EXIF data is included in each photo.

Just as we were finishing the day, the rain, against all forecasts, started to pore down. We headed back though, knowing we had seen great views of Swansea City, Swansea Bay, Port Talbot, Mumbles, Neath and the valleys and so much more, including the remains of a 17th centaury windmill!

There are not many places I visit where I still get the “wow” factor, but this was one of them. In every sense of the word, it was mind-blowing. All the years I’d lived below this hill, I’d never been to the top! It was a day we will all truly remember.

— Today was about the experience, I took a total of 335 photographs (which included many bracketed shots) and it was just nice to be out. Edited shots, as always, will be put on Facebook and other sites over the coming days.

The Perfect Sunset (Aberavon Photo Shoot with the 23mm Viltrox lens)

I think it’s human nature to love sunsets, and here in Aberavon, Port Talbot, we get some of the best sunsets you will ever see! Thursday evening on September 3rd what started out as looking like a dull evening, with clouds coming in and a load of haze, turned out to be one of the most spectacular sunsets we had had for a very long time!

While the others in the group took their usual array of lenses, I decided to just take the trusty Viltrox 23mm F/1.4. There’s a number of reasons I wanted to use this, mainly because it’s a damn amazing lens! 35mm (which the Viltrox is in full frame terms) is the perfect focal length for everything, and during the evening I used the lens not just to capture the wonderful landscape and seascape, but also take portraits of the members that had joined me.

I shot the sunset in Classic Chrome, although todays photographs are edited raw files using the latest version of Photoshop. They have the Classic Chrome film simulation re-applied to them to keep the look I was after. Please click on the images to make them larger!

There were also a number of shots that I only used jpeg for, mainly of the people around me. Here is a little selection of those shots.

Hopefully from these photographs you can see just how versatile the 23mm (35mm) lens is for photography. It renders beautifully, and captures everything as needed. The last four images are totally unedited other than resized for this website.

If you like what you see, please like and comment and take a look around the rest of the website for more photographs!

— These photos were from a last minute meet that I arranged for what looked like a brilliant sunset. When we got there it was awful, but as you can see, things changed!

Three Cliffs Gower Photography Outing

It was a Tuesday, the weather was amazing and it was time to go out with the photography group to take photographs and explore the local area. Today we explored Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsula in Swansea. It’s a beautiful and scenic area, taking us through Pennard Burrows and passing the remains of Pennard Castle. We will explore taking photos from the castle another day, as today was all about keeping to sea level and capturing everything around us.

For this as well as my trusted Fujifilm X-T20, I made a slight change from my one camera one lens rule and I went along with my 15-45mm and 50-230mm, where I used the wider range lens on the initial journey, and swapped to the longer lens on the way back. It was a change doing it this way, but I really missed using just the 23mm and 85mm prime lenses that I have become so accustomed to.

Here are the images from today. They are mostly straight out of camera, some with just shadows being raised and just a couple with more artistic edits. I used Photoscape X Pro for today, as this is the least destructive to my jpegs and offers the most quick fixes if they were needed. As always, feel free to look at each photograph full screen, and all EXIF data is included in the photo gallery.

I just love the way the Fuji cameras render colours, and these were all shot in Classic Chrome, with no additional tweaks in camera, only for the couple mentioned in post-editing.

Very happy with the photographs from today, but the meets with Great Photography Walks NPT are enjoyable regardless of the results of the day. All images shot in jpeg and raw, with only jpegs used today. Future edits may look at the raw files.

If you like this blog, the photos, the story behind the day or just want to help me out, please feel free to Like and Comment on this blog, and feel free to look around the rest of the site where there is plenty more to see!