Well I have been a little quite on my blog during the holidays and into the new year, I hope you all had a great holiday period 🙂
To start 2015 here, I just wanted to say a huge thank-you to anyone who has been visiting this blog since I started it about two years ago. Thank you for your many likes and great comments I have enjoyed sharing my images and the places I visited and also enjoyed reading and visiting so many other blogs from around the world 🙂 🙂
Starting a new year is always a challenge, we are all meant to reinvent the wheel and take on life in a new way – aren’t we !!
Maybe however the best plan is to just look at what you have been doing with your life and just build on these areas, I sat down on Monday morning and put a little picture board together of the things I want to build on during the year ahead, these areas are included in the images there.
I am going to start to look at how I can include some new areas in posts here, it could be that I start some new blogs in word-press and then just place links here if the posts are not relating to photography etc ….. ?
Almost all my posts to date have been mainly about the places here in Ireland that I have visited along with some poetry and art that I wanted to share, this year I am going to share the things I am learning or doing a little bit more !
Violin and Music Plans
For the last few years I have been learning and planing the Violin and I want to share a little more about these experiences and the type of music I love playing the most.
I am not an advanced or a professional player but love to play and learn, I feel that music like many things is not about being the finished item but about journeying your way through a learning process and having some great fun along the way !!!
Computer development skills and plans
For a large part of my life I worked in the I.T. industry, starting back in the 1980’s on IBM main frame systems, mainly programming in Cobol/rpg and C++ during my time. I want to start to share a little about some plans I have to get back and then keep in touch with these skills.
This will most likely be a new Blog !!!
I also would like to start to share how I see the current computer industry, when I started training in ( I.T. ) it was not easy to get the skills you needed however it was much easier however to see how you could apply yourself to these skills. Today with the internet and you-tube etc … its must easier to put skills together but less easy to see how these skills can be used, mainly due to the all controlling Microsoft !!!
Over the last three years or so however, there is a growing change in the area of small scale computing and its nothing to do with tablets or phones , it’s in small computers such as the credit card computers or Development boards, systems like the Raspberry Pi here above – have sold well over a million units in a very short time and have been followed by many other single board PC’s like the cubie-truck.
These systems have reset the computer industry back to a time when learning about computer technology was not about Microsoft windows and it many ( problems, virus, its costs, and its latest versions ) but about being able to learn fully and openly what a computer can do and at the cost of the hardware only, these computers use Linux OS – as their operating systems and as such follow almost the entire growing world of none Microsoft based devices such as (Apples OS-x, Android phones, Bare-metal devices(using machine coded applications), Linux based desktop and laptop systems along with internet servers and cloud servers).
I want to share something about this area of modern computing, from a very basic level to a level that shows just how the two systems in the images here the (Raspberry pi and Cubie-truck – boards) can be used both independently and along side a windows based computer, many of the current engineering and science fairs show projects using just these kind of devices !
I will still be posting lots of images and articles on locations here in Ireland!
One thing I want to do very much is to capture my local landscape as we move from the winter months into spring !
For many years I owned and enjoyed using a contax G2 film camera with three lenses and a flash unit. I trusted this camera completely and it helped me photograph many different subjects in many different locations.
However from about 1999 onwards I took to digital photography with a Nikon D1x then followed this with a Nikon D200 and on, my Contax G2 was still landing in my camera bag with some rolls of film but became less and less used. I was telling myself that black and white film was still better than converting digital images taken in colour. Digital sensors however have become better and better and it’s now almost impossible to tell the difference any more.
So last year I had to make a decision and the G2 got sold on ebay along with the lenses and flash, all getting a very good price. This however left a gap in my camera kit, the need for a light range-finder type camera.
A camera I could have as a backup to an SLR and that I could carry anywhere with me. After some reading and looking for what was available, I found that I had chosen just the right time to sell my old G2 as Fuji film a manufacturer I have long admired for both cameras and film had released their new X100 model. In the end I ordered an ex demo/reconditioned example from the fujifilm shop website at a good price along with a twelve month guarantee.
This article is my opinion (not a technical review) of this camera after having used it for some months.
Firstly let me say that from the moment I took this camera out of the box I fell in love with its looks and also its instant appeal to someone who owned more advanced slr and medium format cameras.
It has all the key features that a beginner and advanced photographer needs, no fussy dials or buttons with a thousand and one possible subjects from sunlight to hanging off a mountain upside down etc…
It’s just good old fashioned photography here,
An aperture dial on the lens going from f2 to f16
a shutter speed dial with speeds from B to 1/4000 of a second along with a T setting that when used with the lcd screen can select speeds down to 30 seconds.
Next to the shutter release and the shutter speed dial is exposure compensation dial that lets you make a shift in exposure from -2 to +2 in 1/3 stops.
These three are the grass roots of a good camera going back years and have been placed on professional (slr, rangefinder and medium format) cameras all this time. When you begin to know your subjects and how to photograph them these are all you will ever need.
One final point here and that’s that both the shutter speed dial and aperture dial include an A-automatic setting so that you can work in (Manual, Aperture priority, shutter priority and fully automatic) exposure modes. (If you’re not sure about these setting follow this link).
The fuji X100 viewfinder
Now you will read a lot of X100 reviews on the internet and the built in viewfinder has been talked about a lot and for good reason. It’s simply a little miracle, this for me is the single biggest reason that this camera is the best compact camera on the new and second hand market today.
You can look at lots of other reviews and articles to see samples of the view finder layout so I am not going to go into fine detail here but I have the following observations to make.
This view finder is wonderful as you can see all the exposure settings on a digital overlay. This is all the exposure and framing information you will ever need and it can be displayed both optically and when using the electronic view finder option.
I loved this finder and all the information that it provides but the real point about this to me is the eye sensor that lets you see exactly the same information you get on the rear LCD screen.
All you do is place your eye to the optical viewfinder and it instantly gives you the LCD screens view and information in full detail.
This is just simply wonderful, you can spend all day photographing any subject you like with this eye sensor option enabled, when using a tripod I found this just fantastic. This is what a great digital camera should be about.
I have spent a full day from dawn to dusk and never once felt that I didn’t know what the camera was doing from (f-stop, shutter speed, iso or even focus distance and depth of field) its all there in front of you even when you have the camera on a tripod.
The fuji x100 LCD screen itself is a little smaller that a pro level slr but it works in all situations and I never once felt that I could not see it even from extreme angles.
The X100 in your hands
I have owned a few digital cameras all slr’s since 1999 and I cannot explain just how much I love using the X100, you can read all the reviews you like about the X100 being slow to focus (Slow but correct is better that fast but out of focus), and about card write times. Many firmware upgrade have improved these problem so if you get a early X100 make sure you upgrade.
Actually none of this matters at all to me, it’s passed every test in my own book, it’s not only great to hold and to use, it also hit the mark on image quality and reliability time after time, day after day.
Fujifilm have just released an upgrade to the X100 the X100s but it will be sometime before I go out to get one because this version, the one I already have is wonderful and It will only be the day that Fujifilm say that a repair is too costly to justify, that I will get the new model.
The following are some images from this camera and I hope you can see why I am so happy with it!
Fuji X100 Samples