Fujifilm X: By the Sea

Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:

Part 69: Fujifilm X: By the Sea

How do you like to shoot? Well, I guess I mean what – what do you like to shoot?

Do you like to run with themes? Work on projects? Develop ideas?

This week’s post is a series of images that I’ve shot over two years, exclusively with Fujifilm X cameras.

The featured shots are a combination of X-T1, X-Pro1 and X-Pro2.

Obviously I’m a big fan of Fujifilm cameras (!) and the discrete nature and high IQ of the X-Series cameras has proven invaluable in getting a lot of shots.

Before I get into this series, let’s do some boring techy stuff !! 🙂

A lot of Fujifilm cameras are now “weather resistant” – this offers some degree of peace of mind in regards to shooting on the beach, but one would still be advised to operate a degree of common sense…

…Sand is nasty stuff, seawater even worse.

When I’m not shooting I keep my camera covered, under my jacket or in its case or bag.

The beach can have a lot of light, Fujifilm’s electronic shutter provides insane speeds, however I like to use a 2 stop ND filter, not only does it protect the front element (and its coating) from sand, but it also provides a smoother transition from highlight to shadow, and negates the need to lift shadow data several stops in post. Modern ISO invariant sensors are amazing, but still… having to lift the shadows (say) 2 stops (effectively making them ISO800) in post isn’t as clean as not having to do that! 🙂 So I think of a ND Filter as win-win (YMMV)

Other common sense stuff… think things through… what might happen if you slip and fall? So if you’re perched on a rock or something, then make doubly sure that your foothold is secure.

If you need to change lenses, then DON’T do it on the beach, either do it inside of that plastic bag that you keep handy for just those occasions or better yet, leave the beach – pop into a store or café, then return to beach once the lens is changed.

OK! On with the show!

As long term readers will know, I’m English, but I live in Portugal.

But also of note… Nearly everywhere I’ve lived in the UK has been very much in-land, but here in Porto I live near the sea 🙂

When we radically change our location, we see things in a new and exciting way!

Truth be told… Many of my UK friends are a bit jealous that we live near the sea (and in a temperate climate!), but to be honest, I’m not really one for the water, besides the Atlantic is very cold 🙂

But it seems to be a common human desire, no?

To be By the Sea

So as a photographer I’ve become very enamoured with where the land and the water meet, the people you see there and the activities they engage in.

As I said… it’s a common human desire to be By the Sea, but what’s it actually look like to live there?

So using a (loose) ‘Street‘ style and a documentary eye I’ve tried to shoot as many candid humanistic shots from the coastline as possible.

As you might imagine… This has generated a LOT of images!

But (although this is an ongoing project) I’ve curated this series down to 10 shots.

10 shots that I hope explore people’s emotions around the sea, what people do, and perhaps what people think, when they’re By the Sea

As the Nietzsche quote goes if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you

People seem to have different relationships with the abyss that is the ocean: calm, peace, togetherness, solitude.

Shot with the X-Pro1, X-Pro2 and X-T1. Mainly with the XF35, but one with the XF18.

The PP was conducted using Irident dng Convertor, SilkyPix Pro v8 and NIK Colour Efex.

For the look, I wanted a bit of a homage to the work of John Hinde, using bright and slightly surreal colours to reinforce the nature of being in the zone between terra firma and aqua

I hope you enjoy the series.


The Calm


Introspective


Seaward Steps


Calm and Wild


Turning Your Back


Stroll on By


The Split


Together Ready


Beach Ghosts


Will a Ship Come In

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2 thoughts on “Fujifilm X: By the Sea”

  1. I understand the motivation in using a filter to protect the front element of the lens, but I don’t understand some of your other arguments for using a 2-stop ND filter. Unless it’s a graduated filter (darker at the top), then why would the filter “provide a smoother transition from highlight to shadow, and negate the need to lift shadow data several stops in post”? It seems to me that all the filter would do is slow down your shutter speed at a given ISO. What am I missing? Thanks (and I love your comments in other posts on the Fuji system).

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    1. Hi Harrell,

      Thanks for commenting

      An ND filter allows me to work with a wider aperture, which can help if I want to capture a bit of movement in people or a shallow DOF

      Also an ND can reduce the wavelengths of light to an equal level so that we’re able to provide a more even exposure across each colour (RGB) channel

      Sometimes we can take shots that are basically exposed well, but (say) the blue channel is blown out (cyan sky, like a blue highlighter pen) sometimes this can happen with red too (turns pink or orange). If we expose for the clipping channel the rest of the shot is very dark

      A decent filter should equalise the light hitting the sensor, which means clipping some channels more than others

      This is also why some less than optimal filters leave us with a nasty colour cast (often red) because they’re not uniformly restricting the light ingress

      Cheers
      Adam

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