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An overcast morning in La Jolla

We made the ninety minute drive south to La Jolla recently for a quick weekend getaway. Even though we've been to La Jolla numerous times over the last couple years, I never get tired of exploring this stretch of beautiful shoreline with my camera. On this particular trip, we were fortunate enough to wake up on our last morning to overcast skies. While gloomy weather might not sound ideal for a day at the beach, it does make for more interesting and dramatic photographs. Here are three of my favorite images from the overcast morning we spent wandering along Coast Boulevard.


Palm Springs and the Fujinon XF 35mm

The Fujinon XF 35mm lens was the first X Mount lens I bought with my X-Pro1 back in early 2013. Nearly two years later, after all the other lenses I have rented, bought, and sold, the XF 35mm is still the lens I reach for most often. I've used the XF 35mm for everything from portraiture to landscape photography and I've always been impressed with the results.

After installing the latest firmware update on my X-T1, I decided to test out the new features using the XF 35mm on a road trip to Palm Springs. Of all the new and exciting things Fuji has given us original X-T1 owners, the one that I find most useful is the new high-speed electronic shutter option. Being able to the shoot the XF 35mm wide open at f/1.4 in broad daylight really opens up a lot of possibilities. To give you an idea of the versatility of the XF 35mm, and why it's my favorite lens, here are a few images from a short hike we took at the Mount San Jacinto State Park located at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.


Hawaii Island

My wife and I took our second trip to Hawaii Island last month for some rest and relaxation. Since the point of the trip was mostly for us to hang out and enjoy the beach, we didn't venture out nearly as much as we did during our first visit to the Big Island. The two short excursions we did make brought us to the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center and the Pololu Valley Lookout. These were both places we visited before but both were well worth returning to. Even though I didn't spend much time shooting, I did manage to bring back a few images I really liked. Here are a few of my favorites.


Santa Cruz and the Fujinon XF 18-135mm

We took a road trip to Santa Cruz last month and I thought it would be a good opportunity to rent and try out the Fujinon XF 18-135mm lens. Even though I generally prefer prime lenses, the XF 18-135mm intrigued me because it's the first weather resistant lens from Fuji and because it covers a very useful focal length range. Being someone that spends a lot of time shooting near the ocean, the idea of having a weather resistant lens that covers most of my shooting situations sounded quite appealing.

During the week I spent with the lens, I was impressed with almost everything about it. While it's bigger and heavier than the lenses I'm used to shooting with, it didn't feel as unwieldy as I expected. In fact, it felt quite well balanced with the X-T1. I don't have the battery grip for the X-T1, but I think those that do will find that they pair nicely with the XF 18-135mm lens. All the images I captured with the lens were plenty sharp for me and the image stabilization came in handy on numerous occasions.

The only issue I had with the lens was with vignetting while using my Lee Seven5 filter system. With the lens zoomed out to 18mm, there was noticeable vignetting in the corners when I had the filter system mounted on the lens. Zooming in to about 24mm seemed to have taken care of the vignetting in my images. This wasn't a huge issue for me since I had the XF 14mm for my wide angle images, but it's definitely something to keep in mind if you plan to use this lens for long exposures. With that, I'll leave you with a few images shot in and around Santa Cruz using the X-T1 and XF 18-135mm lens. 

Stanley Park Long Exposures with the Fujifilm X-T1

Stanley Park is a beautiful destination in the heart of Vancouver that is frequented by visitors and locals alike. During our time in Vancouver, we explored the park in our car, on foot, and by bike. The fact that the park is mostly surround by water made it an ideal place for me to shoot long exposures. Having the luxury of time also meant I could scout the locations I wanted to shoot and return later with my tripod and other long exposure gear. Here are three of my favorite long exposures from Stanley Park shot with the Fujifilm X-T1 and XF 14mm lens.

Siwash Rock - 125 seconds at f/16

Siwash Rock - 125 seconds at f/16

Lions Gate Bridge and North Vancouver - 90 seconds at f/11

Lions Gate Bridge and North Vancouver - 90 seconds at f/11

Stanley Park Seawall - 85 seconds at f/11

Stanley Park Seawall - 85 seconds at f/11