Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Fuji X-Pro1 and X-E2 plus two zooms - one day in New Orleans.

I was visiting New Orleans attending the PhotoNOLA event but arriving a day early gave me some time to walk around the city and take some photos. It also gave me the opportunity to test out the idea of taking only a Fuji X camera system with me. Although I packed the two Fuji zooms, 35mm, and 23mm lenses, along with some filters and a tripod, I wound up shooting only with the two zooms, one on the X-E2, the other on the X-Pro1.

The city was decorated everywhere for the Holiday season -- not something I wanted to include in my shots. So I ended up concentrating on graphic details that captured the character of the city.  I also spent most of the little time I had either wandering about the old French Quarter, or in the famous New Orleans cemetery, which was the subject of my previous post.

I have to admit it was a real pleasure to wander about with such a compact camera outfit. It was all I needed. I had the two primes with me in case I required a faster lens speed, but I ended up leaving them in the hotel. It is a little bit of a luxury to walk around with two cameras, each with a different zoom. In the earlier days of shooting with film photographers almost always worked with at least two cameras. We worked mostly with prime lenses then, and if we were shooting fast, having a second body was much quicker than changing lenses.

I could really see this Fuji X system developing into my main travel outfit.

This was my full photo kit for shooting in New Orleans with some Mardi Gras paraphernalia thrown in for good luck. The kit is small, light-weight, and, as it turned out, all I really needed. 
Detail of a Creole house in the French Quarter. 
In in the old French Quarter I photographed many graphic details of old Creole cottages. I did not have a tilt-shift lens for the Fuji, even though one is available. Instead, I did the perspective correction later in Photoshop. It is actually quite easy to do. Photoshop has a "skew" option specifically intended for this, but I prefer to use the "distort" transform control instead. I provides for more exacting adjustment of the elements.

I particularly like composing in a square format, something that probably goes back to my days of working with a Hasselblad. The Fuji X cameras make it very convenient to do this by offering a 1:1 crop ratio that can be seen in the viewfinder. I work in RAW and need to also capture in jpg at the same time to have this feature accessible. I also put the camera in black & white when working on a monochrome subject because it helps with the visualization. For color I often use the Vivid mode. I don't ever use the resulting jpgs, but they give me a color reference I like and that makes it easier for me to convert the RAW files later.

Statue of Andrew Jackson, Jackson Square, New Orleans.

La Rionda-Correjolles Creole cottage in the old French Quarter was built around 1810.

Tile wall placard on Boubon Street in the French Quarter.

Old wooden Creole home in the French Quarter.

Tomb detail in the New Orleans cemetery showing some offerings and the triple XXX's put there by people seeking wishes of the Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau.

Detail of some offerings left for Marie Laveau at the foot of her tomb. 

Cemetery tomb detail.

One of the reasons I applied the strict, rectilinear graphic treatment to the old cottages was to echo the simple symmetry of their design. 

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