Space, the final frontier

Space provided us lots of interesting happenings during this week. First, at Wednesday we enjoyed beautiful Aurora borealis (Northern lights; two photos of them at our place in the earlier post) and at Friday we were examining the progress of the solar eclipse at my work place as you can see from the shots below.

Solar eclipse

Sorry for the parallax error in the shot above.

People watching the solar eclipse at the university

Aurora borealis

Yesterday we had very nice Aurora borealis here and I tried to capture them with my Ricoh GR. The most difficult phase was to find out where I’ve put my light and cheap tripod! :) I used f/2.8 and shutter speed of 8 secs for the shots below. I was quite pleased for the results as these were the first Northern lights I have photographed.

Northern Lights at our place

More Aurora Borealis

Almost 100% crop

The shot below is an almost 100% crop from a portrait oriented photo shot with a Fuji X100. That camera has a 12 MPix sensor and I think this shot nicely shows that the resolution is really fantastic (even if it has quite moderate MPix if compared to present standards) and it is possible to crop a lot. Sometimes it is very refreshing to test different crops and learn that way also a lot of compositional matters.

Old Town main street on a rainy day

Cards from Richard

Few days ago I got these beautiful cards from my Flickr contact and friend, Richard Wanderman. Oh boy it was nice to see Richard’s fantastic photos in a printed form. He is a brilliant photographer and he prints his captures a lot by himself. He has provided so much wise advice to me about photography during these many years we have known each other through Flickr. It is funny but you can call some people your friends even if you haven’t seen them in person. Richard is one of those people in my book.

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Tulips in B&W

I really love how these tulips look like in B&W. And high-contrast B&W is even better. Beautiful metallic shine combined with a coarse looks makes it. Why to always shoot flowers in colors?

Beautiful tulips

13

Our border terrier Herkko got 13 years old today.

About a year ago we thought that we were going to loose him. He was in a very bad condition loosing lots of fur and his movements were slow and uncoordinated. Then our vet diagnosed Cushing’s syndrome which was causing all these bad things. Now Herkko has medication for Cushing’s and he is feeling much, much better. I think he will have many good years to come.

Herkko 13 years old today

Fuji X100M

No. I do not have any insider information about next X100 series camera.

But I named my Fuji X100 as X100M. X100 Monochrom (sorry, Leica…). Well, obviously it is not only a name that changed but I put it to shoot B&W JPEGs. I deserve a special B&W camera. And X100 is perfect for that. I have special relationship with this camera, so, it suits well for a special task. X100 is also quite slow camera to work with. This is actually good for my monochrome work. Better not to have all fancy bells and whistles.

I use the following B&W settings:

  • Film simulation: Monochrome + red filter
  • Sharpness: M-Hard
  • Highlight tone: M-Hard
  • Shadow tone: Hard
  • Noise reduction: M-Low

Those settings combined with the use of exposure compensation provide results I like. I may even attach again my TCL-X100 tele converter to test it with my new X100M. :)

May the Force be with me.

May the Force be with you

I detached the tele converter

Today I decided to detach the TCL-X100 tele converter from my Fuji X100. Why so? I purchased it to get a 50 mm focal length to make the X100 better portrait camera and to get that FoV in general. The tele converter was working very nicely in outdoor use but I was not so happy with it indoors in poor lighting conditions. My intention was to use my Ricoh GR (28 mm equivalent) with my Fuji X100 with the tele converter (50 mm equivalent) to get two-camera combo which is small in size. Actually the X100 is not any small camera when the TCL-X100 is attached to it. That combination is almost same size (and actually heavier) than my Fuji X-Pro1 with XF 35/1.4 lens attached. And of course the XF 35/1.4 lens is much better than the tele converter. Sharper and faster. So, if I want a 28/50 mm combo the best option would be the GR with X-Pro1.

Actually I have used my Fuji X100 a lot as a portrait camera with its standard 35 mm equivalent lens. And I have been pleased for the results every time. Actually I like more ”environmental” portraits with some visible background. Here are some examples of that kind of portraits shot with X100 in its standard configuration:

Jenni at the Old Town walls

 

Puddle love

Tiitus at the beach

Up and happy

 

Relaxing

Happy pilot

I am so tall!