My last blog was about my new found love - my Fuji X100T. I also wrote about my project "Back to the Sea" where I turn my back on the sea and shoot inland. Well I set out to continue this project at Portland Bill this weekend but it was certainly different from similar shoots for the same project.
I arrived at 7:20 in the Portland Bill car park and attempted to get out of the car ...... the wind blew the door shut onto my leg and nearly brought an early close to proceedings!! I guess most landscape photographers often go through the same conversation I had with myself yesterday morning ..... something along the lines of ...
"What the *%$! and I doing here when I could have stayed in my comfy bed - I've driven for an hour for this!".
I have a Domke f- 5xb bag and inside it the Fuji X100T and WCL-X100 weighed absolutely nothing. I made sure that my little Spudz lens cloth was in there too because I could see loads of spray coming in from the sea. You know, it really is so liberating to be carrying so little if you've been used to carrying a D-SLR with various lenses and a heavy tripod. All the magazines tell you to use a sturdy tripod, various filters and a shutter release but it can be a real faff sometimes; especially when you have gale force winds or when you're trying to climb up & down slippery rocks. Just having a camera in my hands or even my pocket can make things a lot easier. This weekend, I really was glad of the lighter load as it took all my effort to stay upright with the wind.
Fuji X100T + WCL-X100, ISO 1000, 1/100sec, f5.6.
Did I stick to my project and keep my back to the sea?
Errr..... no. Whilst I mainly shot facing in land, I just couldn't help myself when there were some great waves crashing against the rocks. If I'd stayed around for a little longer I would likely have got some better shots as the tide was coming in but on the whole I was still satisfied with what I got.
Fuji X100T + WCL-X100, ISO 500, 1/100sec, f5.6.
Coping with the conditions
So how did I cope? The X100T is not weather sealed and although I hope it's something Fuji will address in a future revision, it wasn't going to help me this weekend. I have to say that this did worry me a little as there was a lot of spray coming in off the sea. I completely backed out of walking to the west of Pulpit Rock as I got completely soaked before I got anywhere close. One thing that was kind of useful however was .... I had the X100T lens cap screwed on and I walked around with my hand completely covering the end of it, but without touching the lens filter. Not a single shot got ruined due to splashes on the lens! Now this was a little harder when I had the WCL-X100 attached so I just used the lens cap in between shots. Again, no issues.
When I first arrived, the wind was so strong I could hardly stand up, let alone used the camera. The gusts were so strong that I was concerned about getting a decent shot. So I decided to set my shutter speed to a minimum of 1/100sec, set the aperture as desired and let the ISO set itself. I feel confident in being able to do this with my Fuji - I just like the noise it produces even at high ISOs. It's so reminiscent of film.
Fuji X100T + WCL-X100, ISO 1600, 1/100sec, f8.
Fuji X100T, ISO 500, 1/100sec, f8.
Why Shoot in Black and White?
My project "Back to the Sea" was inspired by an article I read in Black & White Photography Magazine earlier in the year. All of the images are shot in RAW and then processed in Lightroom where I like the ability to apply the film simulation of choice in the Camera Calibration section. For these, most are left as Adobe Standard and I have applied a high contrast red filter preset. Then there are some finer tweaks via brushed adjustment. I do love the Fuji colours however and I think next year I might do a project using just the Velvia JPEG setting. These are processed on RAW files but it's what gives me the inspiration for my next project.
Fuji X100T, ISO 400, 1/100sec, f8. Velvia film simulation.