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3 years, 4 months ago 10


I drove around the island yesterday and finally found the kind of boat I had hoped to work!  So I started, as I always do, with the overall shot, which in the case was awful, harsh light, too many uncontrolable highlights, it just bites it!  That’s o.k. because it was the details I was interested in, and they were rich with features and color!!  Before I share the images please allow me to teach a little, but first let me apologize!!  I know that many of my readers are exceptional photographers in their own right!  I also know that some of what I share, in a teaching vane, is something you already know, so I’m not talking sown to you guys and gals, but I am trying to help those readers that are still further back down the learning trail!


So back to the teaching.  If you want to make your body of work more interesting, after capturing the overall image, go in and look for the interesting details, the parts of the scene that may get lost in the over all scene.  This is where some of the most interesting parts of the subject reside.   My method is to choose a moderate telephoto zoom, for the Fuji I use the 55-200 which with the 1.5 crop factor of the X System’s APS-C sensor,  makes it an approx.  80-300. A zoom can allow you to find the position you need for perspective, and then use the zoom to crop the scene to the part you want to show.


Here are some of the boat details;





Since this is the U. S. Virgin Islands, I guess he 1940’s boat is Americana!  This little shoot made me excited about a return to Old Car City!




the pilgrim


Tomorrow; more color and design from Frederiksted, on the west coast of St. Croix.


Photo Notes:  All images with the Fuji X-T1 and the 55-200, and most hand held.  Most ISO 800 and 1600.

3 years, 4 months ago 23


We all love to hear that someone likes our work.  Some time ago I came to an understanding that the person you most need to please or impress is yourself.  If you are happy with your work or at least happy with your progress, you are on the right track!  Having said that, it still feels good when someone else brags about our work.  When I was at the very beginning of my career, as a photographer, one of my photographic heroes, and inspirations was Jay Maisel.  Jay was one of the most successful commercial photographers in New York.  The graphic quality and the choice of and use of color was his works hallmark!!  I, like many others of our era, tried desperately to see and capture images in his style!  Many years later, I  met Jay and we became better acquainted with each other.  A decade ago at a Nikon meeting, where Jay was our guest presenter, I had the chance to give him a copy of my first America From 500 Feet book as a way of saying thank you for all the inspiration, over the years.


The next morning as I got off the elevator, Jay was getting off the opposite elevator and greeted me with, “have you had breakfast?”  I told him I hadn’t and he invited me to eat breakfast with him.  If that were the end of the story it would have been great, breakfast with the legend Jay Maisel.  During breakfast Jay said, “Bill, last night I stayed up until I had looked at every image in your book, and read a number of the stories, and I only have one thing to say to you, Fudge you!!”  (only he didn’t say fudge!!)  If you know Jay you know what his favorite expletive is.   I was not sure what he meant, but he smiled and said, “Bill, what I’m saying is that was a brilliant concept, and I wish I had thought of it first, but even if I had, I’m not sure I could have done it as much justice as you did!  Thank you for a book I will treasure it!  You need to be very proud of your’s and your son’s work!!”


I told Jay, and I meant it, I would not need anyone to brag on my work ever again, that such a high compliment coming from him had fulfilled my need for praise!   Since then Jay and I have gotten to be better friends and I still greatly admire his approach to photography.  When I went over to Christiansted today I wanted to try and see and capture like he does.  I will let you be the judge if I was successful, but I had a blast pretending I was Jay for just a day!!





I really enjoyed the X-T1 today and the clear view through that big EVF!  It made composing and planning so much easier!  Once again I went sans tripod and shot everything hand held, and with the help of higher shutter speeds got some tack sharp images!!  I’ll leave you today with a couple of just travel shots, things that interested me but wouldn’t live up to the vision of Jay!!!!



The last shot was just a little whimsey, made me chuckle, hope you like it!


I did find the boat I had hoped to find and that will get featured tomorrow!




the pilgrim

3 years, 4 months ago 7


One of the things I’ve loved about the Fuji X system is the incredible performance at high ISOs! Because you can shoot at 1600, 3200 or even 6400 without excessive noise (none up to 1600), you can, in a pinch, shoot hand held!!  Today driving around the island, on the wrong side of the road, well at least by the way we drive back in the lower 48 states, getting shots was often only possible if you pulled of the side of the road and rolled down the window for a grab shot!  The image above and he next few where all hand held at higher ISOs!




I was really concerned to come on this trip without an L bracket from RRS, but one is not available yet, however I put a little plate from Kirk made for point an shoots which has allowed me to use a Arca-Swiss ball head (RRS) for some shooting.  Truthfully I’ve been very pleased with the sharpness of all he hand held shots with the X-T1, and most of these are with the 55-200 which also has a great Optical Image Stabilization system!


One more note, struck up a conversation  with a gentleman at the pool today, a man named Norm Pike, from Rochester, New York, and a  former Kodak guy from years back, and we had a great conversation, and turned out he is a brother in the  Lord, and I got to meet his family!  Thank you Lord for the wonderful people you bring into our lives, God is truly good!   Was nice to meet you Norm!


Tomorrow it’s down to the docks to try and find some interesting boats!




the pilgrim

3 years, 4 months ago 8


First full day on the island and we made a quick trip to pick up groceries, and then got Sherelene to the pool!  Beautiful day here today, 84 degrees, and nice breeze!  I always find myself captivated by the colors, since I’ve spent grey winter in Kentucky!  I didn’t work to hard today, but I did try to capture some things that would help me get used to the X-T1.  Above some flowering bushes outside our building, with one green leave poking in, had to shoot it. The fold out LCD was a life save for this shot, I couldn’t get my head through the branches but with the LCD folded out,  I could compose, and check results without moving the camera.  Shot in Astia, starting to love that color simulation!


Below a grab shot on the side of the road, sure love their choice of paint down here!  ISO 400, hand-held from the car window, car was stopped off the road.



On the drive to the grocery store I saw this tree, thought it was a nice set of angles.



Also loved the Fuji Monochrome processed version!  This is in camera!!!!



Later today the light turned harsh, so if you get lemons, make lemonade!  I tried to find things that harsh light work for.



Finally, I did spend some time sleeping in the shade at the pool while Sherelene soaked in the sun, shot below made on the chase lounge after a nap!!!




Using color control points in Capture NX 2.0 I was able to darken the water, the pool edges and slightly  brighten the sky. Ala, Carl’s suggestion, I think he is right, it is better……


X-T1 notes so far:  


1.  Metering is just like the X-E2, spot on, I rarely have to do much right out of the camera.  All the images are jpeg fine images.


2.  I think Fuji has tweaked the colors a little in the film simulation modes, the Velvia is not as over the top, which is a good thing, I’m really falling in love with Astia, it was the setting for all these images today.


3.  Now that I’m getting used to the new settings for the custom function buttons, it really speeds up operation and is lot more convenient that going back into the menus.


4.  I continue to be amazed at the viewfinder, it is such  joy to use!


More tomorrow!




the pilgrim