Monday, August 20, 2012

The Perfect Travel Camera

Normally, Diana and I carry our Canon equipment with us. While wonderful, they are heavy and of course, expensive to replace should they be stolen (which is always a possibility). When were in the planning stages of our next adventure to Ireland and France, I was on the lookout for something that would produce high quality images, could shoot closeups (macro) and Raw and simultaneous JPG's.

At about that time a little over a year ago, Fuji announced their little X100. After a lot of research, I bought two of them. (One for myself and one for Diana. We are after all, a pair of shooters).
This little camera shoots 12.4 mp images and gave us some nifty bonuses, as well.

It shoots bursts up to 5 frames per second which is great for street shooting, shoots RAW images as we do a lot of Photoshop, shoots JPGS, and macro images as well as video and panoramics.
Now let me warn you. This thing is a maze of dials and working one's way through te menus can be exasperating...make that IS exasperating. After 6 months, I am still learning it's little foibles and there are a couple...but it is one heckuva camera producing images that are extraordinary even at 6400 ISO in the middle of the night.
The bonuses one gets with this little camera are well worth the 1200 bucks Fuji charges. The drawback for some is the fixed lens (equivalent to a 35mm on a full frame DSLR) but the images are superb!

I shot this test photo at 6400 ISO at 12:00 midnight and there is virtually no noise.Now that is pretty incredible.
Literally no noise and sharp even hand held.
You can see more about the Fuji X100 at Fujifilm's website here . Or you can buy one (or two) of these nifty little guys here on Amazon.
All of the images we will be posting on our European adventure will be shot with these little beauties and I think you'll understand why I bought 'em.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sequoia and the Kern River

Anyone who knows us knows that we love fishing. To say that Diana is obsessive about her fishing is an understatement. In mid June, we traveled to the Kern River for some fly fishing. We stayed at the Durwood Lodge in Sequoia.

The lodge is owned by Ralph and Diana and was previously owned by Claire Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s cousin. She lived there for 50 years and passed away at the age of 102.
We stayed in the one large cabin furnished with 1920’s appliances (yes, they still work) and the lodge is situated in the pines fronting on the South Fork of the Kern River
We took some photographs of our host Ralph with his son Cody. Next to our cabin was a “pool hall” and bar. Take a look at the photos.
It was warm, but the fishing was pretty good. (See the insert of Diana and one of her very large trout).
I fly fished while Diana used her spinning outfit with rooster tails. Our first day’s expedition I did not expect much and while we made our way to the river, I left our net in the car. Diana let her lure float to the bottom and she immediately latched into a huge trout.
Now for those of you who do not river fish, 10 inches is a pretty average trout. Diana pulled this monster rainbow to the shoreline. It was at least 24 inches. I reached down to grab it (no net mind you) and he snapped the line. Diana immediately dove in for him…clothes and all. Sadly, he slipped away.
But, as you can see, she redeemed herself and caught 2 more of these monster rainbows. The smallest was 24 inches and weighed in at 8 pounds. We broiled it over an open campfire and ate the whole thing!

By the way, all of the photographs were taken with our Fujifilm X100's. Pretty awesome travel camera which we will be using in Ireland and France.
My point to this story is that Diana and I find fun things to do even it isn’t Europe. I mean LOOK AT THAT FISH!

Friday, August 17, 2012

New Adventures coming in September

Hey gang!
We have new adventures (Europe) coming soon.
Sept. 23 we leave for Dublin and Galway where we expect to take some great photographs and meet some incredible people.
Then, once we leave Galway, we head for Paris.
On Diana's bucket list was dinner in the Eiffel Tower and we have dinner reservations for the Jules Verne restaurant on the day before we leave.
Our apartment is just across the Seine from Notre Dame and we are three floors above Shakespeare and Company. (For those of you who are Hemingway afficionados, you will recognize that. Others who may have seen Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson, may recognize a couple of scenes shot there.
We decided this time to limit our camera equipment to a tad less than 50 pounds with our Canons and lenses. We bought 2 FujiFilm X100's. These little gems sport 12 mp images and we've been practicing, practicing, practicing!
So hold on to your britches, this will be an incredible adventure.
(And yes, we are practicing our Francaise).
So to prepare everyone for this excellent upcoming adventure, I will be posting about our last trip to the Kern River soon.