Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR

London baby!

I've been really bad at updating my blog as usual.

Today is my ninth day in London, since arriving late on last Saturday afternoon. On the last Sunday morning I had a walk along Grosvenor Road, grabbing a few long exposure shots of the iconic Battersea Power Station from across the river Thames.

Later in the afternoon I had a walk from Embankment to South Bank and towards Westminster. Met Peter and Steve, two really nice Fujifilm enthusiasts and had a chat with them. Afterwards I grabbed a few long exposure shots of the Palace of Westminster and afterwards when I walked over Westminster Bridge I couldn't help to look over my shoulder a few extra times, while reminded of the meaningless attack on the bridge two months earlier.

On last Monday I had two great shoots with Tann and Roswell, two awesome models at a really cool studio (more like a 5 story Victorian era house). These photos will end up in my portraits and nudes sections in a few weeks when I've had the time to edit them. 

On Tuesday you could feel the tension in London, after yet another meaningless terrorist attack, this time in Manchester on Monday evening. It's always weird at least for me to see the police armed with automatic weapons, patrolling places like Oxford Circus.  

On Wednesday I had great shoot with the lovely Beth (my third shoot with her) at Epping Forest. And on the Thursday I had another awesome shoot, this time with Ayla, another amazing model, in her own home. On this Saturday I had a really cool shoot with Lauren, again in Epping Forest. Yesterday I had a great shoot with Anna. We had a full day pretty much and shot for a couple of hours on the back streets of Shoreditch, before going back to the same studio I used last Monday. 

All these shots will end up in my portraits and nudes sections in a few weeks when I've had the time to post process everything. 

And I've still got three more shoots booked for this week. Pretty cool.

Trying out the new 3LT Winston and Lee Filters Seven5

I just tried out my new tripod and my Lee Filters Seven5 filters a little this morning. The weather was not that awesome (just as usual) and not very inspiring. I don't mind grey skies that much, but it was a pretty uninteresting grey sky, with not much definition. 

So yeah, not exactly my best shots ever, and not the most interesting location either and I've shot similar shots before, but whatever. Most of them with the Seven5 filters. 

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4, Lee Filters Seven5 Big Stopper

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4, Lee Filters Seven5 Big Stopper

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4, no filter

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4, Lee Filters Seven5 Little Stopper

3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston

So I received this tripod the other day through a 20% off drive at one of Sweden's best known camera stores, so I got it at very nice price even if it's still not exactly a cheap tripod. I just did a quick test today to check it out, so this is not a review, just a few thoughts. 

This tripod is extremely sturdy. It's made of 8 layer 100% pure carbon fibre and magnesium alloy. It is the biggest tripod that 3LT have in their current line-up of awesomeness. It's also the third 3LT tripod I have in my possession now. It's not a travel tripod, since it's too big and heavy, though it's still not heavy and ways in at 1.75kg without the head. The head that comes with it is the Airhed 360 which weighs 408g and the combination seems extremely sturdy. The tripod and the head both have a maximum load capacity of 40kg, which is quite a lot. I also added the Equinox Switch Clamp which is a quick release clamp instead of the "screw in and tighten" clamp that is original (which is a 360 pano clamp on this one, but I don't shoot panoramas anyways) and it works very smoothly and clamps on with a very firm grip on my RSS L-plate (all 3LT heads and clamps are Arca Swiss compatible). 

The locking system is second to none and since the tubes on this tripod are pretty fat, the locks are big, chunky and awesome to use (made of rubberised magnesium alloy). And while the locks are good on my 3LT Brian, these are even better. 

And like all other 3LT tripods, one leg is removable and can be used as a monopod. 

At the bottom of the center column, there is an attachment ring to hang some type of ballast from, to weigh the tripod down even more during extremely windy conditions. The tripod comes in a nice carrying bag (with shoulder strap) made of military grade canvas, which can be used as a ballast as well. It also comes with a multi tool/carabiner/bottle opener.

So yes, this is not the smallest or lightest tripod, but compared to my old Manfrotto 055 Nat3 tripod it's not even half its weight. And even though my 3LT Brian is awesome and sturdy for nearly everything, when it comes to several minute long exposures at the beach, something even sturdier is needed since even the slightest movement will end in a blurry photo, that's why I got this tripod, even if it won't come with me when I travel abroad. 

Landscape photography

I started out as a landscape photographer, and I enjoyed it for years, but then got a bit fed up with it, since I'm not living in a super exciting part of the world and kind of got bored with the possibilities in my area. Possibilities which actually are pretty much endless, but still. I got bored.

If I could travel on and on to exciting and beautiful places, I really would, but because of my regular job with on call duty and the limited days of vacation every year, it's not possible. It's not a matter of money, not that I am rich in any way, but it's free time that is my limitation. I enjoy shooting portraits and models a lot at the moment and I have to travel for that as well, since the amount of models are quite limited around where I live. 

But still, I have found inspiration again to take up landscape photography. I've invested in the most over priced piece of aluminium one can buy (I think), the $190 (plus taxes and shipping) Really Right Stuff BXT2 L-bracket for Fujifilm X-T2 w/ battery grip. It looks nice and I'm sure it'll work perfectly fine for a long time, and it's more or less a must while shooting a lot on a tripod. But damn, it's ridiculously over priced. Not to talk about how much it costs in Sweden. I paid around 2600 SEK for it when I ordered it directly from RRS (including shipping and taxes) and if I'd like to buy it in Sweden, I'd have to pay nearly 4000 SEK. And it probably costs 50 SEK to make. So it's ridiculously overpriced. 

I've also just received a pretty full set of Lee Filters Seven5 series of filters for my Fujifilm cameras and I tested it out a bit this weekend. 
Weather here where I live is usually different kind of white/grey skies, with different amount of rain and wind. If it stops raining and the sun comes out, usually all the clouds disappear as well. So it's either all white, no texture shitty skies, or blue with no clouds shitty skies. The weekend when I had set off to try this new stuff had first the blue skies with no clouds and then it completely turned to white and rain. So it kinda sucked. I tried the Really Right Stuff L-bracket, which worked fine and I tried the Little, Big and Super Stopper (6, 10 and 15 step ND filters), but the outcome wasn't spectacular since there was no interest in the skies. But it'll be fine. The Super Stopper renders crazy long exposures, but where I tried it, the ground wasn't stable enough for that type of exposures, so they didn't turn out sharp, but it doesn't really matter since the sky was so boring. 

I will try them out more when the weather is more suitable and I will post some photos of the gear and the outcome and write more about using them.