Summer evenings are time for staying up late and watching the sun make a long, lazy trip towards the horizon as it shines through the leftover haze and clearing storm clouds that were kicked up into the atmosphere earlier in the day.
Summer evenings are a time when the sky turns pink and gold, and when the soaks up those same colors, sometimes with even more brilliance.
Summer evenings are a time for rich contrast, dark shadows and intense highlights that play off of each other in the landscape.
Summer evenings are time when the song of a solitary bird catches your ear as it flies overhead in search of an evening snack, or a great view of the word below.
Summer evenings are time for calm, quiet reflection, both in the landscape and in our own minds after a busy day of excitement, hard work, adventure, chaos and time spent chasing inspiration and creativity.
I don’t consider myself a video guy. Partly because I’m so enamored with the concept and power of still photography, and partly because I’m scared to open up the Pandora’s Box of massive video files, faster computers, more hard drives and an immeasurable time suck with editing, rendering and organization.
That said, I do enjoy creating short video clips, and so recently, I’ve started to experiment with shooting video on the Fujifilm X-T2, which does 4K and has some nice video features built right into the camera.
Last week I decided to try shooting some motion at a road bike crit race here in Anchorage. I’ve shot (and raced with) these guys numerous times, so it was fun to try something new and test out the X-T2’s video capabilities.
I was especially intrigued at how well it would handle autofocus on such quickly moving subjects, especially using the XF100-400mm lens. Also, since the X-T2 allows you to shoot video with the film simulations, I thought it would be fun to play around with that as well.
For this race, I shot mostly with the 100-400 lens, and also with the 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/2. I used ISO 3200 with the Classic Chrome film simulation, but tweaked it with increased Shadow Tone in order to give it a more gritty look. I also used the Vertical Power Booster Grip for the X-T2. (It’s on sale for $100 off right now.)
Overall, I was pretty impressed with how well it did, even with cyclists who were racing by me at near mach speed. At last it seems that way when you’re standing right there in the middle of the action. I only almost got run over once.
After the clips were pieced together, I edited one of my original songs called Sawblade, which is a Jeff Beck style guitar piece I wrote and recorded a number of years ago.
Last week I had the opportunity to shoot with the Actus Mini View Camera for Fuji. Made by Dutch company Cambo Photo, the Actus Mini is a traditional view camera designed with a Fujifilm X mount.
Adapting traditional design with modern mirrorless camera technology, it turns your X Series camera into a full fledged view camera and allows for greatly expanded creativity when composing your subject matter.
Calibrated to fit any of the X Series bodies, (there’s also a model for the GFX), the Actus Mini features a series of knobs that control tilt, shift, swing and focus.
This give you a wide array of options for setting your focus points, creating variable width, (and even angled slices) of sharp focus within your scene, and also correcting for parallax error when angling the camera up or down.
This kind of setup is ideal for landscape photography and architecture, but due to it’s relatively small size, it could easily lend itself well to a variety of styles and subjects.
I had a great time with the Actus Mini and found it to pair extremely well with my X-T2. I’ll be doing a full review of the Cambo Actus Mini for Fuji soon, but for now, enjoy the short preview video I made below. This will give you an idea of what the camera is all about.
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