This morning test with Fuji XT1

Up before dawn this morning to head down to the river to see what the sunrise and camera would do.  I threw in the Canon video camera so I could have a video of the location.  I was kicking myself some because I hadn’t prepared better with having myself ready.  Before I left, I switched out the Oben and Manfrotto tripod head because the Manfrotto doesn’t move as smoothly any more.  Which means a hunt for the plate for the camera which goes to the head.  I found it and attach it to the camera satisfied that now I am ready to go out into the cold morning.  I am ready for the adventure.

I load myself up in the Jeep and I drive down the road.  The morning is chilly and the sunrise is not looking like it will be overly spectacular.  I realize that since I am testing out new equipment I am not expecting to get anything great.  Especially since this is a complete shift from the canon and I have to manage the buttons in the dark.  I find a spot by the river and set up my tripod and expect that the camera will slide on the tripod head with no problems.  Argh what is wrong?  I specifically put the plate on before I left the house.  I fumble in the dark and the light is coming up.  I reach in my bag to find my flash light and look- I have the wrong plate. HOW?  I could have sworn I grabbed the right plate-I swear this morning at 5:30 am it LOOKED like the right plate.  No, it is wrong.  Hmmm  I am glad I don’t have high photo expectation.  Plan 2 involves resting the camera on the tripod so at least the shots will be somewhat stable.   A little late, I also handhold the filter because I only have one ring adapter and it is for the wide angle lens.  The expectation lowers and I decide to relax and just enjoy the time with camera and nature.

Now, I am impressed with how the camera works.  I am shooting full manual this morning with the point of watching my exposure using both the meter and the histogram.  I am trying to figure out if the meter dial actually changes the setting or not.  Not quite sure yet but I am adjusting my F stop for speed to get my exposure.  It is really black out here with the light coming across the river to the North.  I leave the ISO on 200 and mainly adjust speed and F Stop.  My only problem is I am basically hand holding which I would prefer to make my adjustments on the tripod.  I decide to just role with it.  The book I am reading says don’t be afraid to make mistakes and now it the time to do it if I am going to.  Besides I won’t show you those pictures, but I will learn from them.

I get home and wonder if I got anything from this morning adventure.  The sunrise was disappointing but the fog over the river more than compensated with the back light coming from the sun.  The feel of the camera is good in the hands and it is lightweight to carry around.  Which I keep thinking the more I like it the more I will use it.  It doesn’t mean that the Canon equipment will go away.  The 5D can still do things that the Fuji can’t being full frame and with some of the lenses but it all depends on what I am doing.  I wait patiently as Lightroom loads my photos and I am pleasantly surprised with the morning adventure and having to compensate for lack of plate and hand holding the filter.  Yes, I think with work and patience this camera and I will see some more of the world.River2 (1 of 1)

Fuji XT1

It was time to lighten the bag. I am a loyal Canon user and have a Canon 5D Mark II which takes excellent photographs. However, the weight of that camera is back breaking even when I only have a few lenses in the bag. I had to make up my mind what to do, either give up photography or try something new. Now, I am not the kind of person who sits around an waits for someone else to do my work for me. I have met a few people like that and they never get anywhere in life and I didn’t want to stay in that rut. So, I purchased the XT1 mirroless and am not looking back.

The camera is very different than the Canon with dials easily accessible on the top the of camera. I spent last evening refreshing myself on what everything does and where all the settings are. The lens has the aperture dial, the speed and ISO are dials on top. I found the automatic bracketing dial and played with panning and multiple shots. The more I use the camera the more I like it. The true test will be how it handles in the landscape and how the photos turn out.

I am also going to try the Zone method this weekend. I am reading a book called “The Visual Toolbox” by David Duchemin to keep motivated and find ways to improve. Iowa as a landscape are not the most spectacular. We have a few locations but nothing like I have seen around this world. One of his lessons deals with the Zone method developed by Ansel Adams which is supposed to give me better exposure over the Histogram. I believe him but now the next step is to put it into practice. Since, I was first taught to use the Histogram and not the Zones. I have printed my chart and will try some experiments this weekend. Wish me luck.

The excitement for photography increases as the weather improves. I look out my window at my garden and think of all the flowers waiting for their close ups. Spring has sprung and the buds are starting to open on the trees. I believe an adventure to the river is in order for the first Fuji test.