long exposure photography X-T1

My Holiday Photography Kit

Holiday travel was my initial motivation for purchasing the Fujifilm X100 back in 2011. The desire to travel light yet retain the ability to capture high quality images was the immediate appeal of the little X range camera.

Three years later and things have moved on quite considerably, now, as well as the ability to travel light I now have multi-lens functionality and with the dawn of the wifi enabled camera I can also edit and publish photographs while on the move.

This summer luggage space was at a premium yet I still managed to pack enough kit to capture long exposure images, 16GB worth of holiday snaps and about an hours worth of underwater footage (with the GoPro).

Cameras

I packed the trusty Fujifilm X-T1 camera with three batteries (I packed three batteries so I didn’t even have to think about charging when away). For the video I packed a GoPro Hero3, the underwater casing and a little tripod adaptor so I could attach it to the Manfrotto Pixi.

Travelling with the X-T1 camera also meant I could capture panoramic images of the various locations we visited. One click and a gentle pan action and the X-T1 does all the image stitching automatically in camera :

biarritz

Lenses

I packed just two lenses, the 23mm f/1.4 lens and the 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens. Although these lenses offer a very similar focal length my thinking was that the Fujifilm 23mm would be my main lens and the 27mm would be employed when I really wanted to travel ultra light. Additional due to the lack of moving parts I also favoured the 27mm on the X-T1 when on the beach and I used the faster 23mm at night for low light photography.

Fujifilm 27mm lens

Accessories

I packed my little Manfrotto Pixi tripod for a dual-purpose role. Firstly it was going to be essential in capturing any long exposure photographs but also when the tripod is closed it makes for a great handle for the GoPro camera.  See the image below. This was great for using in the waves and jumping in and out of the pool.

Pixi and GoPro action camera

Finally, I packed my Lee filter kit in the hope of capturing long exposure images. The kit, basically i the adaptor ring for the 23mm lens, the Seven5 filter holder and both my Grad6 (soft) and Bigstopper. The image at the top of the post was shot on a blustery day, in the rain at the coast.

beach

Mobile Publishing

One of the big changes in RAW photography is that you don’t have to wait until you get home to computer (or pack a computer for the trip) to process your images. There are now a number of cameras on the market that offer wifi connectivity to a mobile device (via a dedicated app) and the Fujifilm X-T1 is such a camera. Read : Wifi Connectivity and the X-T1. Actually the X-T1 takes things a little further and actually allows you to control the camera remotely. See this post on remote  photography with the X-T1.

Despite the Fujifilm X JPG files being brilliant I still prefer to shoot all my images RAW. It isn’t possible to transfer the RAW files via wifi and I suspect even if I could my phone wouldn’t be able to read them anyway.

Sunset 27mm fujifilm

Instead I used the in-camera RAW conversion software to the process the image to JPG. It is actually remarkable easy to use and you can preview the resultant image before storing it on your memory card. The Fujifilm in-camera RAW conversion is surprisingly powerful and offers a range of adjustments from white-balance right through to film simulation. I’ve used this at gigs to get one or two images out on instagram during the concert.

Once converted to JPG it was a simple matter of activating the wifi on the camera, connecting my phone to the camera’s wifi network and loading up the Fujifilm camera application. In seconds the images were on my phone ready for publishing on Facebook, Instagram etc. Note, by default the camera scales the image down for wifi transfer but you can turn this off in the menu settings.

Fujifilm for Everyday Photography

Five years ago I was carrying a large DSLR camera around on photography trips, in reality this meant that the camera only ever came out on dedicated outings that were focused on photography. On family days out I often asked the question, ‘can I be bothered bringing the camera along?’ The question was asked as at times the camera was a burden to carry around all day long. The result, plenty of missed opportunities and shots.

Over the last three years there is hardly a time when there isn’t a camera in my bag. My loyalty to the X100s means it goes everywhere in its little leather case. You can read about my X100s Photography adventures here.  The X cameras have integrated photography into everyday life, they are small, versatile and deliver every bit as great an image than a DSLR, it is just great to have that sort of power with me on every outing.

Conclusion

For this holiday I was slightly anxious leaving with just one camera body and two lenses, there were plenty of things I “thought” I might use but the  reality was that I had more or less everything I needed on the trip.

During a week of holiday photography I didn’t get to using the 3rd battery and generally carried the camera all day on a shoulder strap. With this in mind investing in the vertical grip might have made carrying the spare batteries a little easier as, yes you guessed it, the day battery one ran out I had managed to forget to pack either of the spares! It is all learning.

Links

Fujifilm X-T1 Review
Fujifilm 23mm Review
Fujifilm 27mm Review
Fujifilm X100s Review
Manfrotto Pixi Review
Shooting Shallow

 


David

David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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