When I made the ultimate switch to Fuji I did not imagine at the time that I would be off exploring the world beyond the grand landscape. Though landscape remains a primary pursuit I have enjoyed the blissful freedom of street photography, portraits, architecture, and the other ephemera of opportunities afforded by a camera system that simply gets out of the way of making images. There is a fussiness to landscape photography, well, let's just say a process, that when practiced to such an extent can get in the way of just pointing a camera at something interesting and firing away. I had reached a point where I could only shoot in the golden hours and quite honestly missed so many opportunities to explore other times and forms of expression. Now I have to honest that all of my "new found" joy cannot solely be attributed to Fuji. I could have done any of the new work with my Nikon or Sony systems. But the fact remains that I didn't. But Fuji gave me a camera that felt right in my hands and for the first time a matching and complete set of incredible lenses, primes and zooms, that did not break the bank. I found that I reached for the X-Pro 2 or the X-T1 more than the Nikon and Sony and in the end took a big leap and sold them all. I moved away from the pixel-peeping nonsense, constant worry over image sharpness, fear of blown highlights and shadows, and lens rendering, and just started carrying the cameras and making images.
What I found is that there are images everywhere. Oh, what I was missing. The Fuji's also connected me to a whole world of like minded individuals who want the simple power of the exposure triangle in the palm of their hands. I have been immersed in the Fuji's full time for the last six months and what started with one lens and one body has exploded to a second body and seven lenses - three zooms and 4 primes (A third body, the new X-T2 is on order). Everything is matched and feels like an old friend. Fuji's attention to details, from the grips, lens hoods, constant firmware updates across bodies and lenses, and support are a constant reminder to Fuji's commitment to the photographer.
The images in this post were all made in a day trip to the county fair. In retrospect I wish I had had more time to get out during the week of the fair as I did miss a lot of other photographic opportunities - think tractor pulls and demolition derby, but you just grab the time you have and keep on moving. I went ostensibly to shoot these kinds of time exposures but found myself in the early part of the afternoon in the livestock barns shooting black and white images. I carried a very simple kit, the X-Pro 2 with the Fujinon 16-55mm, f2.8 WR, and the X-T1 with the Fujinon 14mm, f2.8. I spent some time studying the rides and scouting potential camera positions for the longer exposures. There were a couple of twilight shots I wanted and after that I was going for the longer exposures. Even after twilight ends and night descends there is so much ambient light from all of the rides that it is easy to focus and find new locations. For the most part the exposures never went beyond 4 to 5 seconds and in most cases anywhere from 2 to 3 seemed to give the best results. All shots were from a tripod and I just let the movement of people become part of the composition. I did not want to fuss with carry a remote release and set the release timer to 2 seconds. I found the tight arrangement of the rides a bit challenging but the 14mm lens proved to be the right choice. In hindsight I might have carried the 10-24mm but limiting myself to two lenses made me think more about my compositions and camera positions.
This was a great evening made all the more fun by my Fuji's. The two bodies and two lenses, one zoom and a prime, gave me all of the fire power I needed without carrying the entire kitchen sink. I remain amazed at the dynamic range on the the X-Pro 2 X-Trans III sensor and there is not a drop of noise in these files. So far it has been an incredible first 6 months and I am glad I took the plunge. Versatility in a camera is everything especially if you find that you want to shoot a variety of types of images. In my landscape work I used primarily full frame sensors but the move to the APS-C 24mp sensor in the Fuji has not been a problem in my landscape images. Like most of us I suspect, it is not affordable to have have multiple camera systems sitting about the house. I for one believe the Fuji's bring the best flexibility to the camera bag. In the end though the best camera you have is the one you will carry and use.
Some Technical Notes: All images were processed from Fuji RAW files and processed first in Lightroom CC. This included global adjustments to exposures, capture sharpening, some cropping and straightening where necessary, and subtle adjustments to color luminosity. The files were all converted to the Fuji Provia Film Emulation within LR. After this conversion some adjustments were made to color vibrancy and saturation. In most cases the saturation was reduced. Finished files were exported to Photoshop CC where I employed Lights and Midtone Luminosity Curves to tweak the colors and contrast. Dodge and Burn masks were used to sculpt the lights and darks.
Thanks for stopping by today. RHC