the big picture gallery | Apologies


February 01, 2017  •  1 Comment

Yep I have an apology to make, I've been missing in action for several months, kept meaning to update my blog, then something got in the way, then it became harder for me to write a catchup on my work. So apologies for that.

So whats new ?

I'm using medium format

Returned to The Falkland Islands after 35 years.

Had a wonderful Autumn

Flying a Drone

Got Married

This is no particular order by the way, and of course getting married was by far the best thing that happened to me (honest dear). So plenty to write about and catchup on.

The move to Medium format for me was a tough move, especially as I've waxed lyrical about how much the Fuji system is such a joy to use when out in the landscape. However I have had this thought in my head for sometime, that despite Fuji's attempt to bring the analogue style shooting concept back into fashion, they keep making the cameras seemingly more complex with loads of bells and whistles that I don't really need. When I look back at my first Fuji (X100) it was quitea simple camera to operate. Looking at the latest iteration the XT2 it has got so many features that for me it has become far removed from what I really want a camera to be.

I want a simple picture taking machine one where you set the aperture and shutter speed according to your requirements, set the focus point and press the shutter. Simple isn't it? thats all I require, for the majority of my work I don't need Live view, hundereds of focus points, programme modes and the like. I want a machine that gives me a good exposure, has good build quality and delivers nice image files. Bearing this in mind I began looking at medium format as the way to go. I settled with a Mamiya 645DF coupled with a Phase One back a P21+. The reason for choosing this back was simple it had a great reputation for delivering very good colour files, albeit at the expense of low ISO use only. Allowed me to take images upto 1 hour long, great build quality, and an ease of use in its menu system that a child could operate. One other factor was that although this is quite old tech, the back when it was new cost about as much as a decent car. Nowadays they are quite cheap and as an investment make so much sense. You can change the back without losing the camera, you can scale up the back to a higher MP rate at any time. Plenty of lenses to go at, both old Mamiya manual focus, as well as the newer tech from Phase One. You still get AF if you want it, you can get leaf shutter lenses which allow for higher flash synch.

The Mamiya 645 system has been around for ages, and has a good reputation, the 645Df is built like a tank, and yes it's a weighty beast, so hand held only in super light conditions. It's pretty much stapled to my tripod, its very rare I shoot handheld, although on a recent London workshop I took, I did shoot it hand held mainly with a 210mm and I was pretty pleased with the results. The one caveat I have is that mirror slap at low shutter speeds is an issue, so I usually shoot mirror up mode, tripod mounted, cable release. The Mammy is so easy to use, set it in manual and use the dial to set shutter or aperture. The exposures are pretty good. Although now I have the benefit of a super light meter, as an aid to exposure measurement, and comparative results show the camera is pretty much on the money exposure wise. It has been such a joy to use, simple no fuss photography.  My favourite lens at the moment is the 35mm MF given the crop factor of the Phase One back this equates to around 23mm in 35mm terms. No super wide angle I know but the widest lens on offer is well over 2k and is outside my budget at the moment. Though the 28mm Phase One lens is very very nice. Some recent images shot using the Mamiya 645df and Phase One P21+


 Images taken using the Mamiya 35mm MF

Sunrise Ratcliffe on Soar

Dawn breaks River Tame Staffordshire

Old Barn Peak Dsitrict Derbyshire Images taken using the 45mm AF

Autumn colour swirling leaves Padley Gorge Derbyshire

Autumn Padley Gorge Derbyshire

Dawn small meadow pond Satffordshire

Image using the 210mm AF

Storm over Winnats Pass Castleton Derbyshire


I am sure you will agree the colour rendition out of the Phase One is quite stunning, even for old tech I am using colours are the best I've seen. In fact I shoot very little monochrome with this combo. My Fuji kit is still with me and I won't ever give that up in a hurry, I still have weddings to shoot :) My next blog will be covering some City shooting in London. Thamks for reading, please post a comment, any questions just ask.


Dr Kevin Bate(non-registered)
I completely agree; the colours are stunning. I particularly love the water based compositions.

Interesting to see that you have made the move to a "back to basics" camera system, all be it, a very desirable one. I do know exactly what you mean though. Just to remind you, I came for a photography workshop with you about two years ago (eek) at Barber Booth. It turned out to be a cracking day and I, like you, had just moved, somewhat enthusiastically, into the Fuji camp. I brought my trusty X-E2 with me and bagged some cracking images, or, at least I'd like to think so.

Partly following your review of the X-T1, I took the plunge and upgraded. I still have the X-T1 and I do enjoy using it, although its a very different experience from the X-E2. It's by no means a bad experience, but I do find myself fiddling with it a bit more than I do with the X-E2.

Then comes along the technological masterpiece, the X-T2. On the Fuji blog it was described as a "game changer", although, quite what game it was changing is anybodies guess. To me, photography has pretty much remained unchanged since I was given an Olympus OM10 on my 16 birthday (eeeek). I still have it to this day, although, sadly, I don't use it anymore due to light-leakage issues.

The point is, I do want the X-T2 and I don't want it. I think I want 24MP's, but will it improve my photography? I think we both know the answer to that question. What I don't want is the computational power that comes with it. I don't need anymore electronic distractions. I don't need any toy-town simulations. I certainly don't need my camera to double as a video taking machine. What I need is connection to the views I want to capture. What I want is the people seeing my images to see what I have seen.

When I look back at my images, the most pleasing ones I have were taken with the X-E2. Is that telling me something? I guess in some ways its telling me to stay simple.

I look forward to you future blog entries.
No comments posted.

January February March April May June July August September October November December (4)
January (1) February (3) March (4) April (1) May June (1) July August (1) September October (3) November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January (1) February (1) March (1) April May June July August September October November December