Earlier today I had a little impromptu macro session using just the Fujifilm X10 set to ‘Super Macro’, which allows you to focus as close as 1 cm away from the subject. These shots a simple things found in the back yard and kitchen only shot in available light, nothing complicated. All images were shot as Jpeg only and I played about with them a little using Apple Photo. I wasn’t concerned with editing Jpegs as all it is is a little fun. No printing or pixel peeping was intended and I wasn’t worried about image quality, so I am more than happy with the results.
This first shot is actually a close up of a cheap bottle of mineral water, the beads and droplets are on the inside of the bottle. Shot in B&W+R, cropped to 1:1 and a blue tint added. If I use my imagination I can see all sorts of wonderful things in this picture, what looks a little like a sharks eye bottom right, a large cloudy planet with a moon orbiting it at the bottom… Photography doesn’t always have to be ‘off’ something, sometimes it’s good to get abstract and use your imagination. (By the way it’s alright if you don’t ‘see’ what I see in the above picture!)
Here we have air bubbles suspended in hand sanitiser. I used the window light coming through the bottle and shot in B&W+R. Slightly more contrast added in post.
Delicate moss growing on top of a wall.
This little guy is growing out of the garden wall.
And here it is in Velvia.
Another “weed” growing out of the wall, shot in Velvia. I love the depth of the blacks the Fuji can produce! I haven’t altered any exposure values in any of these images at all, this is what you can get if you’re creative and think ‘outside the box’, the ambient light was very dull and grey (this is Manchester after all!) but in close you can really get dramatic light and because the Fuji screen will accurately reflect how the end picture will look it’s really easy to get the exposure you want.
Earlier today I had to pop out earlier than usual, and for some reason I picked up my little Fuji X10. It’s been sitting on my desk recently but not really doing a lot. I kept grabbing it and trying out little experiments and what not but other than that it’s been pretty much neglected. I was only taking the puppy to the vets for microchipping, and then picking up my daughter from school, and so I had no reason to believe I’d end up taking any pictures yet I had a strange feeling I should take it with me. As it happened we had about an hour spare before end of school and so we popped into the local nature reserve for a quick walk around one of the lakes there.
Unfortunately I didn’t pick up any of my spare batteries and so I couldn’t take many pictures. All the Fujifilm X series cameras seem to eat through batteries and it’s always advisable to have some spare with you but on this occasion I didn’t and so I knew I would be limited in what I could achieve. That didn’t matter much though as I only had about an hour spare anyhow.
The weather was quite bleak, an icy cold wind blew across the water and through the bare trees and so I didn’t much feel like hanging around any one place for very long so I just snapped away, not really taking too much time to compose or think too hard about the images I was making. I like to use my X10 a bit like an old film camera – I always shoot in Jpeg only with this camera for instance, the idea being I want to be free of having to edit endless RAW files and just enjoy the experience. I like to see where the camera will take me in terms of composition, feel and tone. I switch the film simulations quite a bit and so that’s what I set to the function button. My favourites are the B&W+R, B&W+G and the Astia simulations. I’m not often keen on the Velvia simulation but it does sometimes come out well and so I use that when the emphasis of a picture will be colour.
Today though, for the most part I was happiest using B&W+G, even when I spotted the above fungus and went in for a closer look. It’s a not so pretty brown colour but in monochrome I really loved the tones, especially where the light shines though it in the close up:
The super-macro facility of the little X10 is great for impromptu close ups when out and about. Being able to focus so closely without having to bother with expensive macro lenses, tripods and the like is really nice. By the way if anyone knows what species this is please let me know!
A bit further around the path I spotted some mosses growing on the side of a tree in little round clumps and so I decided to have a closer look at these too.
I also tried a monochrome close up again
And another mossy close up
And finally I was struck by how the sky was reflecting on the water in an almost painterly way
I guess the moral of the story is it is always worth having some sort of camera with you. The little X10 got a lot of bad press when it first came out a few years ago, anyone remember ‘Orb-Gate’? My X10 is a very early release, before the fix was offered by Fuji and I never sent it away. I sometimes get the white blobs but I don’t let that bother me. The camera is purely for my own enjoyment and isn’t one I’d use for photoshoots generally so it isn’t really an issue for me. These days they’re incredibly cheap too, you can pick them up second hand for peanuts – I saw one recently going for £60 on a photography forum!
Finally I would like just to say. this blog isn’t just about Fujifilm cameras, I know that my posts so far have generally been about X series cameras but it won’t always be the case. I still own a Canon professional set up, at least for the forceable future and I want to write about photography in general, it’s just that my recent photography inspiration has come from, or been influenced by these great little cameras.