Ho hum, an upward fluctuation today…
More fisheye fun for you today. This is an extreme close-up of the Blacksmith’s Needle, which also manages to include the Sage and a couple of bridges.
And down again today. These oscillations are such fun…
Back to Saturday for today’s photos. Here’s Emerson Chambers. And Fenwick’s. And a bit of Monument Mall. And a bit of Eldon Square on the other side of the road. Have I mentioned how wide this Lensbaby Fisheye lens is?
|Taken||11:40, 4 July, 2015|
And here’s the delightfully impossible view down Grainger Street and Grey Street at the same time. Try doing that without moving your eyes.
|Taken||11:44, 4 July, 2015|
I’m not entirely sure, but I think that little lump at the top of the image is part of Grey’s Monument – I was standing at its base…
Hmmm, up a bit today. Mutter, mutter.
The day started out bright and sunny, and I had the vague idea of getting out somewhere, but it soon turned cloudy, so I restricted my activity to a wander around some shops, which turned out to be not very interesting. So I came home…
So it’s back to yesterday’s photos. For many years, one of the most photographed things in Newcastle has to be the reflection of Emerson Chambers in the glass wall of Eldon Square. I may even have taken a few shots there myself. But no more. As part of the transformation of that part of the shopping centre into a restaurant area, the glass wall will be replaced by well, actual windows, which will no doubt make the restaurants nicer. But at the moment, the wall looks a wee bit stark:
|Taken||13:05, 4 July, 2015|
On a brighter note, the Northern Goldsmiths clock is looking nicely shiny following its recent refurbishment. Apparently the shop’s been done nicely inside, too.
|Taken||13:03, 4 July, 2015|
Back down a bit today. There was some serious rain overnight, but it stopped in plenty of time for me to go out. I started in Newcastle, where I took a few photos and visited the Laing Art Gallery.
My aim was seeing the For Ever Amber exhibition – a display of some of the Amber Collective’s extensive collection of photographs – it’s there partly as a commemoration of their work, and partly to stop photography fans getting too upset while the Side Gallery is being upgraded. There’s some great work there – some familiar, some not so, and it’s worth a look if you’re interested in photography, the north east, or indeed life in general.
As I was there, I paid the required £5 to see the touring British Museum exhibition Picture This, which shows a variety of illustrations from children’s literature. Interesting and fun, if a little expensive…
After the Laing, I took a couple more photos, including this one of the the pillars under Bewick Court, the tower block that sits above John Dobson Street. I can only presume this is related to the planned changes to make the road a cycle-friendly area, or something like that. Or it’s meant to scare the pigeons.
|Taken||12:59, 4 July, 2015|
By this time, the clouds were clearing, so I took the Metro to Whitley Bay, where I had an opportunity to test the improved autofocus in the X-T1. There was a quite impressive mist along the coast, which meant that the lighthouse was very hard to see. But the camera managed to lock onto it, and Lightroom managed to make it appear a lot clearer than it did in reality:
|Taken||14:10, 4 July, 2015|
After a bit of a walk along the coast, I took the bus back to Newcastle and came home. And here I am.
More photos over the next few days…
Hmmmm, up a wee bit more today. Shocking, etc…
No fresh photos today, so let’s step back to my visit to Hartlepool. This is the view along the deck of HMS Trincomalee:
And this is the slightly in need of restoration Wingfield Castle:
Shock, horror, etc – back up today. I didn’t manage to get further than the sandwich shop at lunchtime today, so we’ll just have to go for a couple more photos from yesterday’s fisheye fun. Here’s a view along the river, featuring a nicely squeezed Sage:
And here’s Grey’s Monument and its surroundings:
I can see I’m going to have to take this lens to some more places….
What’s that? Down again? Well, so it seems…
It’s been another hot day, and for once I got myself properly out of the office at lunchtime. I walked down to the Tyne, where I carried out a traditional act. Whenever I get a new wide angle lens, I just have to do this:
I consider it a win if I get the whole of the Millennium Bridge in the shot, and this does seem to do the job. As I was shooting towards the sun, there’s a bit of flare and a nicely odd ring of reflections around the main image.
After a bit more wandering in that area, I took the Quayside bus back up to the Monument area, and had a quick play in Central Arcade, which seems oddly elongated:
General observations about the Lensbaby Fisheye, now I’ve taken it out for a play:
It seems to confuse the X-T1 into over-exposure. I may need to fiddle with some settings to see if I can stop that, but overall, it looks like dialling down 1EV should generally improve things.
It’s fun. I like it, and for the price, I’ve got no complaints at all.
And talking of not complaining, I managed to miss the thunderstorm and heavy rain, which happened while I was in the office this afternoon. By the time I went home, things had dried up nicely. Though it’s still a wee bit humid.
Oh, this is getting redickerous! That’s 2015 half-over already! Which means it must be time for the special monthly treat that you’ve all been looking forward to. If you’re a bit strange, that is. Yes, it’s time for the summary that saves you reading the rest of the nonsense I post here. Though you could skip this and wait for the annual report, I suppose….
Anyway, enough of that, and on with the show:
There have been some slightly wild fluctuations this month, with a brief dip to a hard to believe low and am almost as brief rise to an all-too believable high. But things seem to have settled down now.
June 1: 206.7 pounds (14 stone 10.7 pounds, 93.8 kg)
June 30: 205.9 pounds (14 stone 9.9 pounds, 93.4 kg)
That’s a not particularly impressive fall of 0.8 pounds (0.4kg). Not as good as in the last few months, but I have been on holiday, so there.
Did I mention having been on holiday? Lots of nice big breakfasts, some meals out. And so on and indeed so forth…
Some moderate walking, but not all that much.
I do seem to have settled into not posting so much – just 36 this month.
With two trips to Wales, a lot of photography has been committed this month. I’ve also added a new camera, a new lens and shiny new firmware that almost makes another new camera. Much more about all of those as tuits permit.
If there’s one thing I missed following my switch from the big Canon 5D Mk III to the Fujifilm cameras, it’s this:
|Camera||Canon EOS 5D Mark II|
|Taken||09:24, 28 January, 2010|
Yes, that ultrawide fisheye lens that captured those lovely circular images. It was a moderately expensive thing which I used only occasionally, but I enjoyed it, and loved those insanely distorted images, and the challenge of keeping myself out of the frame. But it had to go when the 5D went, and so I moved on.
Now I do have the lovely little Samyang fisheye, which creates images like this:
and while that’s rather nice, and still offers the opportunity to include my feet and fingers in the image, it’s never been quite the same. So when I saw that Lensbaby, makers of popular “toy” lenses had produced a circular fisheye lens in the Fujifilm X mount, I was interested. I read up on it, saw some sample images, and was even more interested.
Now let’s get one thing clear – this is not the same kind of lens as those made by Fujifilm, which are things of such optical beauty that their eye-watering prices are easily forgiven. It’s not even the same kind of lens as the Samyang. For a start, it’s cheaper – typical UK price is £209 including the dreaded VAT. At that price, it’s obviously not of similar build quality to my old Sigma 8mm, having a plastic mount, and relatively crude focus and aperture dials. It also, quie deliberately, and in a typical Lensbaby move, has a reflective inner barrel, designed to pick up lens flare and reflect parts of the image in a ring around the circular image.
Like the Samyang, it’s strictly manual focus, though as it generally the case with really wide lenses, depth of field tends to be huge, so focus isn’t too much of an issue. I’ve just had a quick play, and I plan to take it to work with me tomorrow so I can take my traditional wide lens test shot.
But for now, here are a few samples of what it can do. Here’s a Dalek (photographer’s foot included at no extra charge):
|Taken||18:36, 30 June, 2015|
And here’s a close view of a keyboard:
|Taken||18:35, 30 June, 2015|
And, errr, I might use this as my profile picture. I think it’s really captured me nicely….
|Taken||18:25, 30 June, 2015|
I haven’t included the Amazon link I generally use for product reviews as they don’t seem to have the Fujifilm version listed. If you’re in the UK and want to buy one, try Wex Photographic – they’re very good.
Oooh, down again today, which might have something to do with it being a wee bit warm. I thought I was going to melt on the bus coming home…
Something has arrived, and I’ll be talking about it later. But for now here’s a hint:
|Taken||18:25, 30 June, 2015|