Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Storm over the Quay

The weather has been somewhat changeable of late. While it can cause problems with outdoor events, it can really inject some much needed interest into your photography.

This image taken with my Fuji X-T1, shows how a fairly mundane shot, dare I say unimaginative, with no real care for composition, has been somewhat saved by the fantastic, brooding grey sky to the top left of the image. A heavy downpour can be seen over the buildings, and this is exactly the sort of photograph that sells to stock agencies. Sometimes agencies look for images that show the character of a place, and this particular file illustrates that nicely. The tide's flow, continuously affects the harbour area of Wells-Next-The-Sea and can completely change its look. The sky finishes the scene, and helps emphasise the character of the town.  

Storm over the Quay, Fuji X-T1
Storm over the Quay

Saturday, 16 August 2014

High tide

Keeping the feet dry, Fuji X-T1
Keeping the feet dry

Around the time of the full moon, the high tides can become very high and the low tides, very low. This was the case around the 12th and 13th of August this year in Wells-Next-The-Sea. The water spilled over the quay wall and into the car park. I have only seen this once before, in the middle of winter when it was cold and windy. This time was a much more pleasant experience, far warmer and during the middle of the summer holidays, when the little town was bustling with people. Crabbing off the side of the quay was still in full flow, only this time everyone had their trousers rolled up and their socks off. 

High tide, Fuji X-T1
High tide

It was a great time for a bit of candid street photography with the Fuji X-T1. Lighting was a little tricky, as I was shooting towards the sun, but the electronic view finder (E.V.F.) worked like a charm. It allowed me to see the exposure that the camera was going to capture, and made it easy for me to decide whether it needed changing or not. I think that this type of photography is where the X-T1 truly excels. It is small and unobtrusive, but fast, and produces beautiful images without fail.

Have we caught anything, Fuji X-T1
Have we caught anything

With this camera in hand, I feel that I can respond to pretty much any situation that unfolds in front of me. No fuss, no drama, just lovely candid moments.

Just like home in here, Fuji X-T1
Just like home in here

Possibly my favourite shot from this set is the little Jack Russell who didn't want to get his paws wet. Instead of pulling him through the water, where quite frankly, he may have had to swim, the owner lifted him onto the high wall for him to walk along. They both seemed quite happy with this arrangement, as did the larger dog, who loved to splash through the salty water. 

Someone doesn't want to get their paws wet, Fuji X-T1
Someone doesn't want to get their paws wet

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Canon AV-1

Canon AV-1
Classic looks of the Canon AV-1

The eleventh camera in my Twelve months of Film project is the Canon AV-1.  It was introduced by the company in 1979 and is very similar to the AE-1, which was released in 1976. The key difference between the two is the fact that the AV-1 is an aperture priority camera, where as the AE-1 is shutter priority. For me personally, the AV-1 suits my style of shooting more, as I tend to photograph in either manual or aperture priority mode. There is no full manual mode on this camera so aperture priority it is. 

Canon were amongst the first companies to use plastics on their SLR's to keep costs low, thus attracting more buyers. This policy definitely seemed to work, as more and more people could afford the AE-1 or AV-1, and they sold by the tens of thousands. Such was the success of these Canon bodies, companies like Nikon were forced to design and produce something similar, thus the Nikon EM was born. Although predominately plastic, the AV-1 feels sturdy in the hand. Not as solid as say, an Olympus OM10 or Fujica STX-1, but plenty solid enough.       

The layout is very simple, the top plate uncluttered. The shutter makes a fairly loud ping sound when fired, but the camera just works. In fact, I enjoyed using this camera so much during July, that I accidentally ran a second film through it. Whoops. Coupled with a Canon 'nifty fifty', it was a great little package, and if you can hunt down a good one, I would highly recommend you snap it up. This particular camera had just had an overhaul, new batteries and seals, and it worked like a charm.  

The camera consistently produced sharp, contrasty images, and coupled with Agfa Vista 200 film, it captured great colour too. 

Top plate
Top plate showing film advance lever

Film rewind and ISO dial
Film rewind and ISO dial  

From the back
From the back

Canon, view from above
View from above

If you had read my post from last month about the 1940's festival in Woodhall Spa, you will know what a great event it was for indulging in a bit of street photography. If you have yet to read it, you can find it here. http://brettgardnerphotography.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/woodhall-spa-40s-festival.html. These images were taken at the festival, where I carried around a digital camera body and the Canon AV-1. The Canon was great in this environment, small and unobtrusive. It allowed me to take some truly candid images of people dressed in period costume, and by trying to isolate the subject, I was sometimes able to capture scenes that could've truly been  from a bygone era.

The Thousand yard stare

Motorbikes parked up

Brew's on

Bridge under fire 


Ready for action

Stopping for ice cream

Mechanics at work

On guard

Old fire brigade


Shiny red care

Next month is the final one in this Twelve Months of Film project. See you back here in early September.