04 Apr Fuji X-T2 For Landscape and Travel Photography – 1 Year On
This blog post has been coming for the last nine months.
After first getting my X-T2 in March 2018, I basically just started jet-setting off to different places. 3-months after that, I wrote a blog post about you guessed it, 3-months with the fuji X-T2 for landscape and travel photography.
By that point, I had been overseas once with it and then several destination nationally within Australia. Places like Las Vegas, Antelope Canyon, Uluru, Vivid Sydney and smaller towns in were included in the post. Here are a couple of photos incase you missed them in the original post.
So that was the first three months, and lets get on with the next nine!
It didn’t take long to get back on a plane after these adventures leading into the second half of the year. After a couple of small trips, the biggest one had arrived! This time it would be 3 weeks in the UK and a week in the UAE. A little history about me, I grew up in the UK and loved it there. Australia has lovely beaches and nature, but the UK is where I grew up and still have a very strong connection. Anyway, back to the blog post at hand (or keyboard).
When first arriving, there were a few days spent doing personal family things that needed taking care of and then it was time to hit the road. I had rented a little Audi A1 for my road trip and it fitted my suitcase, camera bag and me in the car, not much else though haha. I started in the South-East corner over the country, across to Stonehenge for one night with a sunrise and sunset, then weaving up to Sherwood Forest. I’ll just add this in here, I’m a massive fan of the Robin Hood story. For some reason, it just resonated with me and has always stuck in my head. You should have seen my face the first time I walked into that forest, pure joy and excitement!
The rest of this road trip kept taking me North. A few days spent exploring around the Lake District was not wasted, even with the constant rain. Fortunately, the waterfalls were all flowing really well and very accessible which saved walking in muddy boots for three days 🙂 Probably my favourite waterfall there was at Rydal Hall. It’s got this little old stone hut right next to the falls which is something you don’t often see and make for the perfect addition to the image.
With all the wet weather that I got during the trip, especially in that area, I did not have a single issue with both my X-T2 or X-T20. Just thought I would throw that in seeing as this blog is about the camera.
This timing seems like the perfect opportunity to add in this little caveat. Since getting into the Fujifilm system, for a while I didn’t think the lenses were overly sharp and gave off soft details, yet every video review I would watch or image comparison online, all showed how AMAZINGLY sharp the Fuji files were. I was absolutely stumped. But, then it started to dawn on me, it wasn’t the files that were soft, I could see they weren’t through the LCD on the back of the camera, the only other issue it would’ve been was Lightroom. After a little investigation (after this trip FYI), the realisation appeared to be true, so many others were having problems. Even an amazing photographer like Elia Locardi was having problems, which is why he switched to Capture One Pro. This trip was the straw that broke the camels back and it was time to try it out and change. And the result?… WOW!! What a massive difference Capture One Pro has over how Lightroom recognised and read Fuji RAW files.
Making that switch has seen the quality of my final product between the camera and software coming out as a whole so much better than what I was getting. The issues you might be wondering? Worming in the details, leaves, bushes and trees merging together to look like green mashed potatoes, loss of colour rendition and the amount of dynamic range recoverable? I’ve noticed a difference in getting more back now than I had before. There are other reasons as well to do with my commercial photography like colour, detail and a few others but that’s for another post. I would highly recommend giving it a try for yourself, especially if you’re not happy with Lightroom. Check out some of the reasons for me, here.
With that side note out of the way, lets go to Scotland!
Before going to spend 5 days in Edinburgh with family I had not seen for a long time (if you’re reading this, it was so good to see you all again), the first stop was Falkirk to see Stirling Castle, but mainly The Kelpies which are incredibly impressive and 100% a must see thing in Scotland, especially at blue hour when the below image was captured. They stand 30m tall and when you’re driving along the motorway, they are unmissable. Why? Because they stand so high right next to the motorway you would have to be blind not to see them.
Next was Edinburgh. 5 days being able to hang around with family and go exploring in an age old city was absolutely brilliant. It wasn’t just the city thought, it was the surrounding places as well. I got to see Bass Rock (which I once saw in a David Attenborough show), St. Giles Cathedral and the newly renovated roof plus the Greymares Tail waterfall with freshly blooming Heather on the side of the hill. Here are a few images to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.
It really was spectacular to see and photograph all these different places, especially when you’re around family. By this point, I was heading back to London for a couple of days before flying off to the UAE for more image taking and a whole different experience. Just before the story takes us there, here’s a funny story from the British Natural History Museum.
The below image was taken just before closing time and it was one I had been wanting to get while planning for the trip. However, when going to take the photo, there was a snag. You are not allowed to use tripods without special permission, which I didn’t have. This is where my Sirui tripod comes into its own. Because one leg detaches (very useful feature), it meant that the museums policies didn’t apply to a single leg of a tripod being a ‘monopod’ and when I asked the guard if I could do it, she looked as me first as if I was joking, then surprised I just unscrewed one leg of the tripod haha. She went off to ask her manager and he came over to have a chat. I told him all I wanted to do was take one really cool photo and I would use one leg and balance it on a ‘no prams on the escalator’ sign with a cable release and a whole lot of luck. The young woman who I originally asked kept a close eye but once she knew I wasn’t up to no good, she just gave me a smile and saw the humorous side of the situation. That is the story which gave me one of my favourite shots from 2018, below.
So before flying over to the UAE, here’s a recap of how I found the X-T2 while doing all this travelling around the UK. First, I loved it. The system is lightweight, very functional, great dynamic range, razor sharp (once I got into Capture One Pro). Having two cameras, 3 lenses, a drone, NiSi filters, and all the other bits and bobs you carry in camera bags, I still kept the bag weight to UNDER 7KG! I know with my previous camera that would not have been an easy task. Second thing was that it was a little inconspicuous. People didn’t really take as much notice as they used to do when I was packing a full frame camera and lenses. For those reasons alone it was worth the switch and a decision I am still incredibly happy with to this day.