Out and About: Stratford on Avon

I was out and about in Stratford today, expressly for the purpose of testing the new 18-55 lens I had just got for my Fujifilm X-E2.  It was a dreadfully dark monotone day.  The kind of grey, lifeless and chilly day that Britain seems to do very well at times.  As a result, camera shutter speeds were slow, apertures wide and ISO’s high.

I’m still getting used to the controls of the X-E2 and like every camera it has its little idiosyncrasies.  I always shoot exposure fully manual and on my Nikon’s I can use the EV compensation button to just tip exposure up and down when I need to.

Yes, I do know that I can just alter the shutter or aperture settings to do the same thing, but after years on aperture priority using the EV compensation is virtually a muscle memory for me now and I just wish I could do that on the X-E2.  But I can’t.  The rather lovely looking retro EV dial doesn’t work in manual exposure mode.  There are rumours of a software update to the X-E2 at the end of the year, I hope that they look at the use of the EV dial in manual mode.

So the picture below was taken on the X-E2 with the 18-55  f/2.8-4 zoom lens.

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Out and About: Berkswell

I trudged across the fields of Berkswell today in an effort to get some foggy, autumn pictures.

The fog was quite dense and the only noises piercing its sound dampening properties were the cries of the crows in the trees, the seagulls on the lake and the drip, drip of the water on the leaves of the trees as I waked under them. The air was cold and damp and the footpaths muddy, slippy and well-trodden.

Out of the gloom of the fog the trees continually emerged as I walked on.  In the distance the trees faded into an indistinct line on the horizon, all detail and contrast flattened by the fog.

The particular oak tree in the image below stood on the top of a rise in the field.  The orange and yellow leaves barely hanging on to the branches.  I was captivated by the flatness and quietness of the scene, all tones muted to browns and golds.

I took the photograph with my D800 and a 50mm f/1.8 standard lens.  I used the dehaze tool in Photoshop to increase the contrast in the tree and to make it more prominent.

 

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Out and About – Baddesley Clinton

My wife and I decided to take an early stroll at Baddesley Clinton, and also avail ourselves of the delicious breakfast rolls and coffee that they serve there.
After we had a walk around this historic house run by the National Trust and a favourite of ours.
I took the D800 and took some shots in and around the grounds. The sky was clear but it was very cold, especially around the pond where this image was taken. The sun was streaming across the water and through the leaves of this plant.
Early in the year I had taken a photo of these plants, again with contre jour but then the leaves were a bright, healthy, vibrant green; this time, their colour was faded, and the autumn was eating in to their edges, turning them crisp and brown.

Veined Vert
Veined Vert – Nikon D800

Out and About – Hatton Locks

There’s been a bit of a delay putting this post up as I have been unwell. Sinusitis and an infected tooth have laid me pretty low over the last couple of weeks and so blogging has not been top of my priorities.

On Sunday 20th I had been ill for over a week and had been cooped up in the house for about five days, and so I suggested to my wife that to get a bit of fresh air we take a walk along the canal at Hatton. It wasn’t a photography generated suggestion, so I only took my Nikon P300 compact. I enjoyed getting the fresh air but I felt pretty tired after half an hour of walking and so we grabbed a coffee at the superb canal-side café at Hatton and rested before the walk back to the car.

I took a few pictures – nothing special – but the canal was smooth and still so there were opportunities for images of reflections. The one below is a reflection of a small launch that was berthed on the canal. I’ve turned the image upside down, to give a different view of the reflection from the right way up as it were.

Launch reflections - Hatton
Launch reflections, Hatton – Nikon D800

Out and About – Batsford Arboretum

We left Coventry under dark clouds and pouring rain, but once south of Stratford, the weather cleared up and by the time we got to Batsford Arboretum (after a delicious lunch at Prego in Broadway) the sun was out and it was very warm. In October? Go figure!

It looks like once again we had mis-timed the visit to the arboretum to see the changing colour of the leaves, as very few were actually in their autumn colours. Nevertheless we took the opportunity to have a wander around one of our favourite places in the Cotswolds.
I had decided to take the old Olympus E-1 out for a run today together with the Zuiko 14-54 MKII lens. This is such a good combination, and the E-1 is just a really nice camera to use. Yes, it’s only 6 megapixels and has a LCD screen only marginally bigger than a postage stamp, but ergonomically it is a delightful camera to use. The various buttons and wheels just fall right for the hand, the shutter is whisper quiet and the colours from the Kodak sensor are superb. I had removed the battery grip for this trip, as I am beginning to appreciate the reduction in weight and portability of bigger DSLR’s without this encumberance, and the solid, immensely strong E-1 is quite a weight on its own.

Here’s one from the day:

Batsford Arboretum
Batsford Arboretum – Olympus E-1