PhotoBeast

The Photography Blog from Beastmaster.co.uk

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Blog A Pic – A Walk In The Malverns

DSCF6915

Good Friday saw a lovely bright sun in the sky, so after a lazy morning and a sausage butty, we headed out for a smallish walk. One of our favourite walks when we don’t want something too strenuous is to head for the pond at Golden Valley in Castle Morton and do a two and a half mile walk which is a loop heading southish to the road, turning right to the hills and right again just in front of the hills and back across the common to the pond. It is a lovely walk, not steep and overflowing with beautiful scenery. Check out the cluster of orange trees in the photo above. Sheep wander freely across the common and it is a joy to walk amongst them. Finally check out the new home that has emerged phoenix like from the ashes of the old farmhouse that was there but burned down. I would love that house!

We had a camera each, The X-M1 and the X-E1, one armed with the 18-55 zoom lens and the other with the gorgeous 35mm 1.4 prime lens. Between us we feel we have captured a little of the beauty and warmth that is the Malvern Hills landscape.


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Portraits – Cross Processed

Urban sickness half strength filter

I have added Perfect 8 to my list of Plug Ins on Aperture and i am rather pleased with it. A Google Nik alternative perhaps, as it applies lots of filters which you can then tweak to your taste. I think my current fad is to get a filmy look to my photos – almost as if they are stills lifted from a film. I guess as a phase it will pass – a bit like when you first discover HDR and you HDR everything to death – but for now I am happy to play and this look in my mind goes hand in hand with the ethos of the Fuji X series of cameras, so it is all good. Mostly candid but with a bit of subject participation thrown in – well if it is good enough for Brassai, then it is good enough for me. Continue reading


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Sources Of Inspiration – Camera Club Photo Tips – Crop and Crop Again

One For You, One For Me - Take Two

close crop

I think I heard this tip at our local camera club, “Crop and Crop again.”  I think it is a tip worth bearing in mind. On the Fuji X-E1, I shoot raw plus jpeg. I like this because I have all the raw data, but it allows me to do a first crop in camera, i.e. I often select a square crop in camera. This gives me the full 3:2 image in raw and a square cropped Jpeg. Then in post processing, I have cropped again. I think it works in the example above as I like the bottles filling the image. Continue reading

The Beastie lecture


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Blog A Pic – Fuji X-E1 and the 35mm lens. Wedding Reportage

Last weekend we were guests at a friend’s beautiful wedding. The story of the day can be found on our Life Blog here. However, I wanted to say a few words from the photographic perspective on playing with the Fuji combination of the X-E1 and the 35 mm lens. Continue reading


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Photo Styles – Playing with Pics and Photo Ramblings

duplex5

As a keen photographer and intermittent blogger, I have made myself a few friends both in cyberspace and in the real world too, and seeing their photos or reading their blogs is a real source of inspiration to me.

One of my favourite photography blogs from bumbling about in the murky corners of WordPress, comes from a chap called Simon Peckham who is also a keen Fuji player and also does an excellent curator role for all things Fuji on his Scoop it site. A while back now he was messing around with the Duplex filter from Nik’s suite of photo editing software and frankly I was rather smitten with the results he was getting, which are worth looking at here. I made a mental note to look at this further but left it at that.

Then this weekend, we met up with an old chum, Andy Williams, in the real world (scary I know) who likes to capture his travels in a very definite street style of photography, usually with the latest on trend camera – he openly admits to suffering from GAS (Gear Acquistion Syndrome) – which currently is some Sony full frame jobbie. He spent some time showing us some of his photographs and they really were inspiring. I can’t show you any here – BECAUSE THEY ARE BETTER THAN MINE AND THAT WON”T DO WILL IT? – but trust me they were good, sharp, contrasty and full of pep. I could see a touch of pity in his eyes, as he watched me  failing valiantly not to turn green with envy at his pictures, so he whispered quietly in my ear, “Google NIK Collection.” I adopted the sage nod of The English Gentleman who is always the equal regardless of the reality.

So here I am in front of the computer, playing to my heart’s content with NIK’s finest, having a great time and telling myself what a cool keen photographer I am. And then that word pops up in my mind  – hipster – and off goes my mind to contemplate the role of NIK in the hipster photographer’s world. Anyway back to now and I’m playing. So…

A few weeks ago we were at the Morgan Car factory doing a little feature for our sister site AutoBeast, for its Car Of The Week feature, which you can see here and I have just revisited some of the photos and slapped a duplex filter on them. Hope if nothing else it makes you want to play – it works for me, I’m as happy as any Larry I know!


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News – Firmware updates coming soon for the FUJIFILM X-E1, X100S and X-E2 cameras

Fujifilm X100S

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) will be releasing firmware upgrades for its premium X-E1, X100S and X-E2 models to enhance operability and functionality.

Fujifilm X-E1 Silver + Black

28.11.2013 Fuji Press Release.

This latest firmware upgrade is being released in response to customer demand and will offer users the chance to update their models to incorporate functionality available on the most recent X series cameras launched in October 2013.

Fujifilm is striving to keep the level of technology offered on these products as up to date as possible so that purchasers of the X series models will have greater longevity of use.

Fujifilm X-E2 Solid BlackRelease date of the new firmware

19th December 2013 (Thu.) GMT 05:00

Firmware versions

FUJIFILM X-E1 : Ver. 2.10
FUJIFILM X100S : Ver. 1.10
FUJIFILM X-E2 : Ver. 1.10

Firmware download

The firmware updates will be available from the following link:
http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software/#firmware

Main contents of the firmware update

1. New functionality allowing you to edit image filenames

Currently an image filename “DSCF***” is automatically allocated to each picture when shooting. This can now be changed to your filename of choice. It can be changed to a 4-letter filename when using “sRGB” colour space, and a 3-letter filename when selecting “Adobe RGB” colour space. This added functionality is useful when organising the images after shooting, and sorting the images into groups.

Select type of file to rename Edit the file name
Select type of file to rename Edit the file name

2. Improvement of RAW file conversion function

When developing RAF images in-camera using the built-in RAW file converter, the firmware upgrade improves the flow by taking you back to the original RAF image once the conversion has been done, whereas before it left you with the converted JPG file on screen and the user had to go back to the next RAF file manually.

3. See the exposure setting in live-view and histogram

Applies to X-E1 and X100S only. Function already exists in X-E2.

The images and histogram will reflect current exposure levels (with the shutter speed and aperture set during manual exposure also displayed on the image). In scenarios where the live view and the final shot will appear differently, eg: when using flash, this setting can be turned off.

4. Change of numbering for images shot using continuous shooting

Applies to X-E1 and X100S only. Function already exists in X-E2.

When shooting using continuous shooting, only the first image is currently displayed in full screen and subsequent frames are displayed in small on the bottom right, and the file number was set as “S+7-digit number”. With the new firmware, all frames in continuous shooting are displayed as full screen shots in playback. The file number has also been altered to follow numerically as per standard single shots, thereby allowing uniform management of images after shooting.

5. Aperture and shutter speed can be changed once AE lock is selected

Applies to X-E1 and X100S only. Function already exists in X-E2.

The aperture or shutter speed can be changed while maintaining exposure (EV value) with the AE lock button. The photographer has the ability to tweak settings down to the very last moment before shooting.

6. The default and maximum sensitivity and minimum shutter speed can be set when ISO AUTO is selected

Applies to X-E1 only. Function already exists in X100S and X-E2.

When selecting “AUTO” in the ISO setting, users can also set standard ISO, Maximum ISO and a low-speed shutter limit. The Low-speed shutter limit has been extended to 1/500 seconds.

7. Improve the cover range and accuracy of the bright frame in the OVF

Applies to X100S only. Not applicable on X-E1 and X-E2 as these models do not have optical view finders.

Bright frameBy maintaining the position of the bright frame with parallax compensation during AF lock, the shooting area can be checked even when letting go of the shutter release.

Overview of all changes by model

Update X-E1
X-E1
X100S
X100S
X-E2
X-E2
1. Ability to edit the file name of shots taken in-camera Yes Yes Yes
2. Improvements made to the in-camera RAW file converter process Yes Yes Yes
3. More precise display of the exposure setting in live-view and histogram Yes Yes Done
4. Improved playback view and file numbering for continuous shooting Yes Yes Done
5. Ability to change aperture and shutter speed in AE lock Yes Yes Done
6. Setting of the max and default ISO and minimum shutter speed in ISO AUTO Yes Done Done
7.Maintain live view of framed area with the parallax compensation during AF lock n/a* Yes n/a*
* These models do not have an optical view finder
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