All posts in Fuji X-Pro 1

21 Feb

impressions of Friuli

friuli neither is the most impressive nor the most visted part of italy, but definitely  has it’s own character, secrets to be uncovered, plenty of history and culture and offers beautiness for those, who are willing to take a second look.

most people don’t pay any attention to the beautiful lake of cavazzo, they just rush along the motorway to reach the adriatic beaches. they miss a piece of jewellery called venzone – hit hard by earthquakes in the past (1976) and rebuilt originally brick by brick. cozy village with a lovely shop for lavender based-products and frightful, curious mummies to visit in the crypta of san michele.

we made a short side trip to the fortezza di osoppo, after all world war one had it’s centenary recently and the historic fight places between the austrian hungary and the italian military are still very present as well as he fortification used in these days. he fortezza turned out to be a lovely green and restful place to stay with a nice cafe. offering a great view to the surroundings.

next stop san daniele del friuli, well known for the famous prosciutto. interesting to see how how professional & touristic the big companies act along the sr463 in terms of marketing & selling their products. we turned away from those crowdy places towards the magnificent frescos inside the chapel sant antonio abate and enjoyed silence and wonderfully lit, intense colors of the frescos.

following the river tagliamento downstream we reach villa manin (gallery) near codroipo, the residence of the last doge of venice – lodovico manin. this historic building even hosted napolean bonaparte, who commented on the palace the following sentence  bon mot: to big for an earl, but too small for a king :)

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a few kilometres to the east lies palmanova, a unique star-shaped city designed at the drawing-board, once built as a supporting base for venice and fortress against the turk. nowadays more known for a huge shopping center in front of city.

as we head on to direction “mare” (the sea) we pass aquilea, once the biggest city in italy and today well known for its art treasures like the mosaic in the cathedral. we also enjoyed the sweets served in the cafe near the cathedral as well as a truly recommendable museum dedicated to the story of pinocchio.

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on the way to trieste it’s mandatory to stop gradisca d’isonzo, a really pretty village well suited as a base for visiting all the historic places of world war one, which are located along the river isonzo. this includes a trip up the monte san michele, a small hill, from which one can enjoy a wonderful clear view of the surroundings up o the alps in the north. it’s so quiet an peacful up there that all the cruelties of the famous isonzo-battles are hardly to imagine. in a short footwalk around the top of the “monte” those deaf witnesses of the grimly fights 100 years ago – the emplacements and caves of the austrian and italian military – can be visited.

Sacrario Militare di Redipuglia
the fascistic monument in redpipuglia – errected during mussolini’s dictatorship – for the italien soldiers, plays in class of it’s own compared to the austrian-hungarian graveyard, which is located one km to the north of redipuglia. the sunset in the evening during my visit gave it an almost unreal though peaceful paint, covering the monument’s hard and bombastic character.

heading direction trieste on the magnificent coastal road ss14, along the carso, miramare palace, faro della vittorio, grotta gigante, …, so much to visit, so less time…

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of course we stopped in udine on our way home, a strange place, which felt like a relict of medevial times – dark and threatening.

enjoy my friuli-selection in the gallery :)

 

16 Jun

lokwelt freilassing

vistiting the lokwelt in freilassing happened a little bit per accident – during a short visit of my wife in salzburg i picked up a parcel at LogoiX (which offers very useful postal services eg. a german mail address for austrian citizens) and fell across a sign pointing me to the lokwelt. having had enough time and showing a passion for old trains  i was curious enough to give them a short stop and haven’t been disappointed.
once a very important railway station during the past century – even for the railway station of salzburg – freilassing’s station lost function year by year and finally was closed in 1998 through the DB (deutsche bahn = german railway). luckily the beautiful engine shed was put under monument protection and got refurbished by the local railway association, now hosting a museum with several lovely (steam) trains. you can find a short list of all exhibits at the homepage of the lokwelt.

the stop of an old steam train during my visit in the museum was a nice extra bonus and i could watch the 360°-turning platform in action :)

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although i never felt “being out of light” inside the engine shed, my x-pro 1 & e-1 really had to struggle in terms of iso-sensitivity. having had “auto-iso” enabled resulted in many pictures with iso 3200 and 6400 – still with more than usable output once more showing what capable high-iso performers these two x-trans-cams are, respect!

so it’s time to take a virtual walk through the engine shed in my gallery and enjoy these fine technical pieces of human inventive genius.

17 May

pics from my hometown

In Fuji X-E1,Fuji X-Pro 1,linz by admin / 20150517 / 0 Comments

“you never walk alone” was the title of a song, which accomplished a german tv-series a few years ago. but: you never walk alone also is a true statement for photographers – never walk without a cam. some carry more on their back, luckily that’s not the case with fuji-x-shooters :)

normally i travel by bike through my city, often visiting  the same places over and over again – like the danube haven (it’s not really big enough to call it a harbour). interestingly the same place present themselves always in a slightly manner or maybe it’s just a different mindshift, which causes this experience? besides of the nature influence of course, like weather or seasonal changes.

rf_20140223_DSCF1167.RAF_LR_devpart one – pics from my hometown – show some impressions from the warmer monthes. part two – hometown pics 2 –  is a small selection from january to march (2014) , allowing the photographer a different view at the danube due to naked trees. nothing very special, just some shots from scenes which immeadeatly get framed in my brain and which i regard worth a picture in my glass-story-gallery.

11 Jan

höhenrausch 4

rf_20140928_DSCF7959-1.RAF_LR_devthe “linzer höhenrausch” (thrill of heights) – which took place in it’s 4th edition in 2014 – really is one of my annual long awaited and favorite events in linz.
beside the cultural context and great ideas the artists came up with, it always has to offer some magnificent angles, structures and patterns – stuff i really enjoy to play with.

rf_20140928_DSCF7952-1.RAF_LR_devwaiting for sunny autumn weather last year postponed my vistiting date and i feared, that the event will close the doors before i had the opportunity too shoot, but finally the weather god had mercy with me at the end of september, allowing me and my family to take some fabulous pictures.

if you are interested in the various artistic installation, which can be seen in my pictures, then you might take a stop at the official homepage for some more information (in english).

please move on to my gallery to watch all images i’ve taken – enjoy!

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01 Jan

urfix

In Fuji X-Pro 1,linz,Shooting by admin / 20150101 / 0 Comments

rf_20140421_DSCF2119-1.RAF_LR_devthe “urfix”, which is the loving and colloquial abbreviation for “urfahraner jahrmarkt” – an amusement fair held twice a year in the northern part of linz (urfahr) since decades near the river danube – offers pretty much too shoot: forinstance as an street-art event with plenty of crowdy young people, long exposures in the night, freezing movements in stills or – as I did this year – as a still place with polished machinery before the big opening, offering deep and intense colors not often seen in such a static scenery. polished up a litte bit with the help of nik filters :)

watch the whole story my gallery.

31 Dec

scotland

In Fuji X-Pro 1,Holiday by admin / 20141231 / 0 Comments

well I know – this draft didn’t get posted for the last year, for whatever reasons (lack of time of course). but now it’s time to press the “publish-button”, alone for the sake of keeping the order of pictures an posts in a sequence – although with a big time gap – but who cares? better now than never!

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ever felt of knowing a country although you’ve never been there? well, this was the case with scotland.
of course i have been there for several times – virtually ;-)
through films and with the help of books i established quite a good estimation of how it would feel – and well, what can i say – it even felt better :)

mostly nice weather (central europe sweating near the 40° border), friendly people, plenty of history history, tremendous landscapes, suprisingly really good food in cosy and wee restaurants and some unexpected, country specific peculiarties accompanied our trip – what more could you expect?

SpeedCamera1from a photographer’s perspective i remember being scotland a canon dslr dominated place, only a hand-few nikons, vastly no mirrorless. why? and most tourists were scots themselves, so no excuses here.
secondly i had to lough about the signs indicating speed cams, this memorable picture of an old fashioned camera model really made me smile.

12 days just gave us an overview about this beautiful country and more than once my heart was bleeding because we had to move further from a region touching me emotionally, just to fulfill our preplanned tour.
rf_20130730_DSCF5232-1.RAF_LR_devon the other side individual tourism is hard to practise in scotland, since it is nearly impossible to occupy a room during high season spontanously – everywhere we dared to ask in the tourist office the clerks stared at us faithlessly.. if we didn’t know that.. and why we haven’t made any reservation.. well, too many people for too less beds.

we enjoyed the already crowdy edinburgh a few days before the fringe festival, an exciting city built on different topgraphic levels with far the highest density of buses in kingston road ever seen so far. we were overwhelmed by the spectacular firth of forth bridge, spent a lovely day in cairngorn national park, took a trip with the ancient strathspey steam train, walked along the river ness in inverness watching the sunset, passed the dark and windy loch ness (don’t miss the entertaining loch ness visitor center), felt the pouring rain at the eilean donan castle and set over to sky with direction portree.

rf_20130804_DSCF5806And2More_LTB1the isle of skye really was a magical place to be visiting the beautiful landscape with the old man of storr, passin the quiraing, hikibk in the black cuillins, taking pictures of the fairy pools, etc. –  only the crowdy tour at the tallisker whisky destillery was disappointing – demystifying one of my favourite single malt. well, next time, let’s visit islay :-)

rf_20130807_DSCF6559_LTE2_AS_devthe area between mallaig, fort william and glen cloe was nothing less than stunning. a wonderful coast, glennfinnan and the jacobite train, the mountains, these intense colours due to the changing light every minute, calm lochs in an untoched and healthy environement acting as mirrors for kitschy sunsets and clouds passing. magic moments in a magic landscape with hospitable scots – more than enough energie to refill one’s batteries.

rf_20130809_DSCF6747-1.RAF_LR_devreaching loch lomond an everthing changed again (a little bit back to normality). the landscape gets smoother, the people less understandable due to this nice dialect spoken araound glasgow. the owner of our b&b was a very communicative person, but i needed a day  to get used to the different pronounciation to understand a bit of the content of his stories.

the scottish independence poll passed and time moves on! we’ll meet again scotland, soon.

now it’s time to invite you to watch my scotland pictures in the gallery

enjoy!

03 Jan

the art of graffiti – linz 2013

In Fuji X-Pro 1,General,graffiti,linz by admin / 20140103 / 0 Comments

i always connected grafitti with big cities like vienna, berlin, NY – overseeing the fact, that also linz seems to have a really vital scene – at least in terms of the speed the walls get overpainted ;-)

i became aware of some fabulous paintings in october ’13, while slendering along the river danube near the römerberg-tunnel and really was stunned about the high quality of the artwork. since then, i opened up my eyes, googled and found some more places – all of them officially released for graffiti paintings from the administration of linz – and even got in contact with some of the artists.

they paint as fast as i am able to take my shots, so they keep me rushing once a week through all the locations to document the goings-on.

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as most of the paintings are done in pedestrian underpasses, photographers have to face with two imponderables – limited space and irregular lightning conditions.
the first thing simply can be surpassed with a wide angle lens. i mostly used the xf14 for taking the pictures, but somethimes wished to already own the forthcoming xf10-24 as tunnels offer limited possibilities to alter one’s own shooting position.
but i also like the pictures shot from a perspective view (with the xf18-55), as these add depth and a nice kind of athmospheric feeling, including the immediate surroundings like neon tubes, pedestrians and part of the floor and ceiling.

the different lightning conditions are a little bit more of a hard nut to crack. sure – the x-pro 1 is capable of delivering good high-iso shots, but the neonlights just burn in the night – making it even darker and more complicated during the daytime – and many of them are burned out, leaving dark areas on the walls and thus resulting in an unbalanced illumination.

a tripod of course can ease the problems, as well as using a flash – in my case a fuji ef-42 with soft bouncer – the latter with surprisingly good results compared to my old nikon d80-dslr with external metz af-48, although it also depends a lot on the colors used for the graffiti paintings itself. glossy silver or dark surfaces like brown and black deliver often unwanted bright spots during flashing, as the used acrylic spray print gets a highly smooth surface when dryed up reflecting light fairly well.

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overall i’m quite pleased with the results i got and it’s in the nature of graffiti to produce punchy, colorful and highly saturated pictures, leaving plenty of room for post processing steps like applying b/w-conversion or trying out different film-simulation modi.
just in case you’re interested: the jpegs have been developed with corel’s aftershot (sometimes using sean m. pucket’s wonderful nostalgia plug-in), the raws undergone processing in LR5 with silver efex2. pictures in the gallery nearly all show the jpeg-version, as i am mostly quite pleased with the results i am able to obtain from them – so enjoy viewing them here..

***

so what about my new year-wish? linz, please give the boyz more space to paint!
and linz note:
there’s no fairy needed for fullfilling the wish to make all our lives a little bit more colorful – just a few more walls ;-)

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“Guads Neichs” (= happy new year in upper austrian slang ;-) auch für euch Pius, Kosh, Syno, Keos, Hoek, Thys, Members of the One Two Crew, Method, Urag, ..

31 Dec

graffiti sessions commendastrasse

In Fuji X-Pro 1,graffiti,linz by admin / 20131231 / 0 Comments
i sympathize with street artist!
they really are capable performers and show also  a great portion of enthusiasm – they live their vison – chapeau for that..

graffiti has always been my favorite street art, well that may have something to do with the visual experience:
bright and colorful, trendy, loud, 3-dimensional, abstract – and sometimes really deconstucted – including  a small portion of rebellion, all in all art not for the majorities  – most people even find it destructive – unbelievable ;-)

all properties also can appear in photography – so maybe that’s the connecting context for me?

in late october and short before christmas i barged into an painting session nearby my home, which gave me the possibility to shoot some athmospheric pictures, which you can view here in my gallery.

ich sympathisiere mit den strassenkünstlern!
das sind nicht nur richtige könner, sondern zeigen oftmals auch einen (manchmal unbelohnten) enthusiasmus, der eine wahre freude ist.

graffiti war immer schon meine bevorzugte strassenkunst und das hat wohl auch mit den zu graffiti assoziierten eigenschaften zu tun:
intensiv und farbenfroh, laut, poppig, 3-dimensional, abstrakt – manchmal sogar richtig schön zerlegt (dekomposition) – vermischt mit einer portion rebellion, alles in allem keine massentaugliche kunstform – einige empfinden diese herrlichen werke sogar zerstörerisch – unglaublich ;-)

all diese eigenschaften finden sich teilweise auch in der fotografie wieder – vielleicht ist das der mich zu graffiti verbindende kontext?

ende oktober und kurz vor weihnachten platzte ich in eine “malsession” ganz in der nähe meines zuhauses und hatte die gelegenheit ein parar “athmospärenphotos” [(c) by pius] zu schiessen, die hier in der gallerie zum ansehen bereitstehen.

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ps (1)
thanks to kosh for the “invitation” to watch the october session and thanks to pius for keeping me up-to-date!

ps (2)
i started to “document” some of the paintings in linz during the last two month, really exciting paintings – pictures will follow soon..

28 Oct

views of berlin

In Fuji X-Pro 1,Holiday by admin / 20131028 / 0 Comments

berlin really is a fascination of it’s own.

I first fell in love with this city during a 5-day-stay back in 2010, when I visited microsoft’s tech ed conference. sadly I had little time during daylight to explore this city, so I promised myself to return soon. during our ski holidays in 2011 we got to know a couple from berlin and stayed in contact since then, which opened up the window for a 3 day visit of my wife after easter in the year after – an opportunity I missed due to a scheduling conflict :(

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so we had to come back this year in early summer and enjoyed rain and sun both together. returning to already known places (alex, main station, government district, ..) went along with exploring new sites (tempelhof airfield, pergamon museum, kreuzberg-district, “oberbaum”-bridge, boat trip on the river spree, berlin wall).

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it’s the unique combination of new urban life and architecture with the monuments of history, this cultural mixture of it’s inhabitants and crowdy tourists, a neverending, permanent reinvention of districts and areas, which condenses to an incomparable location and generates this unique feeling of having seen not only one sole, but many different cities at once. I never missed the mountains & hills of my home town for a second, although berlin really is embedded in a flat countryside.

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berlin – a photographer’s dream! it doesn’t matter if you’re more attracted by humans or patterns and geometry – as I am – if you like it more historic or if you admire avant-garde, you can have it all – no need to decide!
so let me take you through a journey of expressive pictures here – all taken with my fuji x-pro 1 with the xf18-55 zoom. I really like the image quality of the x-trans-sensor. pictures were taken with filmsimulation set to astia and developed in corel aftershot with the help of Sean Pucketts fabulous plugin nostalgia. ironically I really prefer the fuji films settings (astia, provia, sensia and some times velvia :-)

27 Aug

photo essay of linz höhenrausch with xf27

In Event,Fuji X-Pro 1,General,Shooting by admin / 20130827 / 0 Comments

what a really lucky guy I am…

a few days ago I just walked in the local photostore to pick up some equipment for my loewe photobag and while paying couldn’t help asking for a delivering date of the fujinon xf27 – the answer came immediate and really unexpected: “yes, we do have one in stock since yesterday!”  BONG :-))

after testing af speed and minimal focus distance with a few shots inside the store it took me another hour of thinking and googling, but then returned back and bought the lens.

why did I hesitate? well, I’ve not been quite sure, if the lens was worth buying or if it’s better to wait for the xf23 prime?
on the pro side, since I’m not owning a prime lens near the 35mm ff-format, it definitely does fit well in my existing xf-collection (14, 18-55, 60, 55-200). besides that, I assumed, that I can benefit from the pancake size, offering low weight and a “stealth mode”-design due its smallness, which for sure is also practicable for street-photography.

the xf23 prime on the other hand will offer two stops more – from f2.8 down to f1.4 – and will certainly play in it’s own optical class, providing a different – higher level – playground for us photographers.
for those now asking: what about the xf35? I can respond, that I personally prefer the 41mm focal length of the xf27 over the 53mm of the xf35, seeing the latter already more at the beginning of tele. the fact that the xf27 will therefore allow me easier picture composition in every day shooting, destroyed my last doubts.

so what can a proud owner of this lens tell you?
interestingly this lens carries a “made in china”-tag, despite to its other brothers and sisters. don’t bother a second, quality feeling is alright, the focus ring is nicly damped and still feels like being made of metal – is it metal? think so.
there are plenty of other sites available offering technical data and solid reviews for the lens. what I can remember – and what impressed me – was the more or less constant (center) sharpness of the lens up to f11, so there’s no real sweetspot like on the other xf-lenses. sharpness in general is satisfying for me (with a sharpness setting +1 on the x-pro), but not more (compared to the other xf lenses). however, I’m not too sensible in this area – I normally just increase the local contrast a lttle bit during post processing, so modern software allows me easily to adjust sharpness up to my needs and up to now I seldom felt the need to readjust sharpness on pictures taken with the xf27.

aperture handling needed a little bit getting used to it. interesting to see that I needed a few hours of “re-learning” to set the aperture via the command dial. although I did so for several years with my nikon dslr, my fingers always twiddled on the lens itself.. . nothing really serious, just a personal statement, but it shows quite well, how intuitive the good old fashioned manual aperture ring is and how glad I am, that fuji implemented them on their xf lenses.
also, the left hand needs some regripping during shooting with the xf27 – while normally my left hand supports the lens underneath I now use my forefinger and thumb to bracket the x-pro on top and bottom, since the lens is simply too small to lie comfortably on my hand.

af speed? really fast (in fuji terms) and well, nothing to worry about. it really might be the fastest xf lens s far, but that’s maybe my subjective impression. when it locks the picture, it’s mostly sharp and also showed no hunting so far in low light conditions. af-motor noise is quite loud with a strange, rather scratchy sound.

macro capabilities are moderate, mainly due to the minimal focal distance of about 30 cm. I wish it would be half the distance for such a small lense – why can I do that with the superzooms of cheap compact cameras costing less than half the price of the xf27? it’s a mystery to me, don’t think that there are technical reasons.

after shooting a few days with the lens I can say it fits neatly in fuji’s – and my personal – xf portfolio. it’s not *the* winner compared to other lenses – alone impossible only because of the hefty price tag of €440 – but be fair: that’s not what it was designed for and maybe it adds some marginal return which other xfs lack?
considering the current delivery problems of fujinon xf lenses, I think I took the right decision, and the xf27 will be useful for me in daily shooting situations – future will show.. .

update:
so far the xf27 showed less sensitvity for flares in sunlight conditions, but for convenience I added an extensable, foldable schneider lens hood as well as an uv-filter sole for protection reasons. the bigger diameter of the rubber ring and increase in length also brings an additional benefit: it adds just the necessary millimeters in length to enable me again to hold the x-pro 1 as I’m used to it with all the other lenses – supporting the lens underneath with 3 fingers of my left hand brings back the solid feeling and one stop in low light shooting. plus: it really looks nice! now the lens shows just the right size for an ergonomic operation with the x-pro 1 – wonderful!

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the sample photos were taken while visiting the third linzer höhenrausch (thrill of the heights) named “the art of towers” – an summer installation / exhibition on top of the roof of buildings located in the upper ausrian museum quarter near the main shooping road in the heart of the city and being an well visited attraction since the first exhibiton dated back in 2009, where linz has been european capital of culture.

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enjoy the pics here in the gallery!

ps: just need to mention, that 3 pictures towards the end of my photo essay were taken with the xf55-200..  . did you notice any difference? I don’t think so ;-)