Urban & Architecture Photography

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Posts tagged Adobe Lightroom
How do Fujifilm's film simulations affect the look and feel of your photographs?

I wrote a blog post a while back about this very topic but I was never really happy with it. Perhaps it was because the image I selected did not really emphasise how Fujifilm's fantastic film simulations can affect the look and feel of your photographs.  Sometimes this is dramatic while others can be more subtle.

Personally, I am huge fan of Acros and Velvia simulations but whatever your favourite they make a fantastic starting point in post processing if you are a RAW shooter like myself.

Break free from the tyranny of perfect sharpness and learn to love vintage lenses: the Auto Chinon 35mm 2.8

I am starting to really enjoy trying out these vintage lenses on the Fujifilm X-T2.  The ability to easily pick up a lot of vintage lenses very cheaply means I can experiment with various focal lengths without forking out a fortune each time I want a new lens.  I managed to pick up the Auto Chinon 35mm 2.8 for about £20, so even if I tried the lens and hated it I could easily sell it on again with minimal loss.  Hopefully.

Abstract photography Science Centre Glasgow.jpg

I actually bought the lens on eBay a few months but just never got round to using it until recently.  It is a pretty decent copy with no obvious marks on the lens elements.  As expected the Chinon is a wee bit heavier than my modern Fujifilm primes but no real issue.  The aperture ring is nice and clicky so it was simple to select whatever aperture I needed.  The focus ring is also very smooth and worked well.

What I love about using vintage lenses is that they free me from the tyranny of perfect sharpness – certainly with cheaper lenses like this I will not achieve that anyway – but I find this means I am more willing to experiment with composition, textures, blur and abstraction.  I have also found myself shooting far more black and white photography (as I am sure you will be able to tell from the sample photos).

Textures on gravestone at Necropolis.jpg

I have only taken this lens out to use on two occasions but what struck me immediately was how awkward it felt using the 35mm focal length.  Most of my photography is taken at 23mm or below so 35mm just felt a bit off.  It took me at least 30 minutes before I felt I was ‘seeing’ properly with the lens.  This another reason I like trying out these lens as I can take myself out of my comfort zone by using focal lengths that I do not normally use.

The Auto Chinon is a nice lens.  For me, it worked especially well as a black and white lens.  The tonal range seemed pretty good to my eyes although it did lack contrast.  It also seemed to work very well in conjunction with Acros film simulations on the X-T2.  Colours were not particularly vibrant, although to be perfectly honest on both occasions the weather was dull and overcast meaning there was a dearth of colour available anyway.  At a price of around £20 the Auto Chinon 35mm 2.8 is a lens that is definitely worth seeking out.

Glasgow Science Centre exterior.jpg

If you any questions or comments regarding this lens please comment below.

For more information about the Auto Chinon 35mm 2.8 click here.

Can a photographer ever truly relax while on a family holiday?

Having just returned from a family trip to New York I now find myself in the midst of a marathon culling process.  With over 800 shots to work through it is slow work and at the moment the thought of ever returning to New York is something that has been placed in the furthest recesses of my tiny brain. To be honest, with so many images to sort through I pretty much feel as if I am still there.

Looking up at the The One World Trade Centre

Family holidays can be a difficult balancing for any photography enthusiast.  The problem is that my wife (yes, she does usually come up with these things!) has a terrible habit of arranging fantastic holidays in locations that are amazing for photography – could any photographer with a love for the urban environment really resist the allure of New York?

Switching off the photography brain completely and just enjoy the time together as a family is very difficult.  There is always something to shoot and it can be very difficult to watch these opportunities slide by.  I mean, I don’t know if I will ever be in the place again so how could I repel the need to photograph it?   

In the build up to our trip I genuinely wrestled with the idea going camera free and relying solely on my smartphone.  It was only around a week before we departed that I relented and decided to take along my Fujifilm x-t2 with a couple of prime lenses (the 23mm f2 and 50mm f2).

It should come as no surprise that I am delighted to have caved in and took my camera.  Even this kit was limiting for me so I can only imagine how frustrated I would have been with only a phone to work with.  Nonetheless, I still managed to take over 800 photographs so I guess the gear I had worked well enough!

What is your experience of family holidays as a photographer?  Can you manage to completely switch off or, like me, do you find yourself ‘photography brain’ constantly on?

Architecture photography from Salford Quays and Media City UK

A couple of years ago I saw this video by the excellent Craig Roberts from e6 blogs and ever since I have been eager to get down to Manchester and check out Salford Quays. Well, I finally made it!... but only for a short visit (one full day and night) so a return trip is an absolute must. 

Even if you only have a passing interest in architecture the Quays are hugely impressive.  There is a lovely mix of modern buildings and traditional structures to be admired.  The Lowry, The Imperial War Museum North, MediaCityUK, and Salford University are all just a short walk from one another.  There are also a good number of industrial structures such as bridges, locks, and renovated warehouse buildings to photograph.

A nice mix of architecture at MediaCityUK

A nice mix of architecture at MediaCityUK

With so many compositions on offer it can be difficult to know where to begin. Because my stay was so short I only really began to scratch the surface photography wise.  Sunset came and went far too quickly. When I return to the Quays in the future I will definitely ensure I get at least a couple of nights to take advantage of sunset and the blue hour in order to make the most of photography on offer.

Close up shot at the Imperial War Museum North

Close up shot at the Imperial War Museum North

Have you ever been to Salford Quays?  Would you like to visit? Do you have any shots you would like to share? Feel free to comment below.