I went and shot photos for a second night and I’m getting much more confidence in the camera. For me, the biggest issue is the EVF blackout time and the slight lag in responsiveness. The blackout time is much longer than my Canon was, so it’s not only hard to track a subject, it’s particularly hard in dance when I’m looking for the peak of the movement. Many times, in ballet, the dancer will make a combination of steps; one will lead into another. The blackout time makes it hard to capture subsequent steps. This show was mainly modern dance, where it’s a little more free-form. For classical ballet, I’m not convinced this camera will be up to the task. More practice is needed. This shot was at ISO2000 at f/1.4. I did a slight crop and converted to B&W using the orange filter pre-set in LR, then tweaked from there. I didn’t apply any noise reduction. BTW, that’s my daughter.
Tonight shot during a dress rehearsal for the upcoming performance of “Captured Currents” at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis. This was the first time shooting a dance performance with my X-T1. It was somewhat of a re-learning. I used my new 35mm f/1.4 and it was an ideal focal length. I could easily ‘zoom with my feet’. The camera is not as responsive as my 5Dmk2, but after using it a while and chimping, I learned to trust the AF (or peaking, if I was doing manual focus), and I also had to learn to trust the EVF. What I was seeing was really what I was getting, so I stopped chimping. I normally shoot at a -1 EV unless it’s really spotlit, then I might go to -2 EV. Tonight, I shot between -2 and -3 EV all night it seemed. With the lens wide open I was able to get shutter speeds faster than 1/125 and between 2000 and 6400 ISO. The quality of the image file is superior to the Canon, IMO. And since I only had one memory card (doh!), I ended up shooting in JPG so I wouldn’t run out of space. The above file was a JPG that was unedited except for a crop. It’s excellent. I’ll probably shoot some more tomorrow for practice. Fortunately, modern dance is easier to shoot than ballet. I’m a little concerned when I go to shoot a ballet the camera won’t be fast enough. We’ll see how I do with some more practice.
I had intended to go out over lunch today, but ended up staying in. At some point on the way home I thought of food coloring swirling in water. So I put a glass vase in front of a large light, filled it with warm water, swirled it a bit with a chopstick, and dropped some blue, red and green food coloring in. I took a number of shots at different exposures, and this came out the best. I’m not too happy with it, to be honest. I think it could be sharper and I wish the lighting was more uniform, but I don’t have time to re-shoot it. The horizontal lines are imperfections in the glass.
Today at work was a Monday that makes you wish the following day is a Friday. There was absolutely no time until late in the evening for a photo. So what to do? Grab the extension tube and shoot a macro. We have a large bowl of glass beads one can use as a fidget toy. Letting them run through your hand, picking them up, stirring with a finger are all remarkably relaxing. Though some are clear, they now have a cloudy surface just due to the abrasion of the other beads. I side lit it using a LED work light. This is actually a focus stack of five images so to yield a better DOF. Technically I haven’t broken my rule of taking at least one photo a day and posting it. I did take at least one (five) and I posted it (at least a masked portion of it).
I’m fortunate to live close to the Twin Cities but out in the township and have a lot of rural land around me. Driving back from the store I got off the highway and drove through some farmland nearby. This tree was in the center of a field. It’s another cold day today, so I sat in the car and shot out the open window across the road. I did a little cropping and converted to B&W in LR simulating an orange filter. I added a little vignette to help the tree stand out. I’ll have to go back here in other seasons to see how the tree changes. I hope they plant beans. Corn will block too much of the tree.
The glow of the setting sun caught my attention as I was driving into the neighborhood. I had a couple of images already that I was thinking about using for my post, but the sun rays were striking. The end of the street is a cul de sac that has an empty lot and overlooks the Mississippi for a clear shot to the horizon. Even though it was great in color, I like the B&W version even more.
Didn’t have a lot of time during the day today for the photo, so I had to get one after work at home. I purchased the Fuji MCEX-11 macro extension tube so it was the perfect time to try it out. I setup the X-T1 on a tripod with and set the 2 sec timer since I don’t have a cable release. The focus peaking on the LCD was really helpful to find the focus plane. Macro shots have a razor thin plane of focus. But with the focus assist magnification of the X-T1, I was able to take several photos as I moved the plane of focus from front to back. I got 6 images. I then loaded them into Photoshop as separate layers, and then used PS to automatically blend the photos to get a much larger DOF. This was a first try, and I’m definitely going to play with this more.
Winter’s Back. Today the snow started as freezing rain. I got to work and it hadn’t started yet. By 10AM I walked back into my office and the window was coated with ice. My first reaction was, “This is just great. The car will take forever to scrape.” But then I realized I had my shot of the day. I didn’t have my tripod, so this wasn’t stopped down completely because I didn’t want the ISO too high. But I think you can get the idea of the parking lot in the background. I dunno, maybe not until I told you it’s a parking lot.
This was an inspired image. I had to go to the store and brought my X-T1. I tried to get a few shots around downtown Hastings and the bridge, but nothing really worked. On the way home, I drove by the mailbox to get the mail I forgot to get on Saturday. Being in the township, we have an oversized mailbox. As I got the mail, I suddenly wondered what the view would be from inside the mailbox. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Alton Brown and got inspired the inside the oven and fridge shots. The WiFi capability of the camera was key. I used the 12mm Rokinon and adjusted the image controlling the camera from my Galaxy phone. What you can’t see in my right hand is the phone. I could adjust my hand position and see how it looked in the camera. I made several shots at different exposure compensations. This was a -1.5 EC.