Thursday, December 31, 2015

More photo-softening images of Manhattan

I spent a little time on the last day of the year re-doing a few older photos using the latest softening techniques I have been discussing. Each photo was taken with a different camera, and one of them was actually taken with a cell phone.

This photo of lower Manhattan and its two famous bridges was taken with a Leica M 240 and 50mm Summilux lens from a ferry as I was travelling down the East River. The sun was setting and I chose to photograph the scene trough a scratched and dirty ferry window rather than go outside for a clearer view. The plexiglas window muted the contrast and colors and softened the image. The rest was done in Photoshop using the techniques I have been discussing over the past few days.

The morning had been very misty, but by mid-afternoon the fog began to lift. I knew I didn't have much time to catch the shot. I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 with the 50-140mm zoom on it and rushed to a rooftop where I knew I could get this view. The haze left the buildings in thin, contrasting layers, perfect to compress with a long lens. I later added a texture layer over the scene in Photoshop and gave it my mock autochrome treatment to add a colorful grain pattern.

The original photo of this scene was taken through the window of a car last winter with my cell phone camera, all that I had with me as I rode up the snowy avenue. Cell phone photos, even those taken with the newest phones, are pretty terrible when you blow them up. By creating a second layer of the photo and giving it a slight Gaussian blur I was able to smooth out the artifacting. I next superimposed a texture layer over the scene and gave it the autochrome treatment. This resulted in an image that looks much like an Impressionist painting. I then had no trouble taking the photo up to a 40" print size. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Rainy morning

Rain and mist covered the city at sunrise this morning. I captured this scene with my Fuji X100T set to 16:9 crop and Astia color mode to mute the contrast and soften the colors. Later I added a texture layer in Photoshop and the same autochrome grain pattern I applied to the images in yesterday's blog post.

Monday, December 28, 2015

New York Impressions with my Fuji X-T1

Back from a week of experimenting with soft focus techniques in the woods I was anxious to apply some of what I had been doing to the subject of New York City. The sunrise photo I captured early this morning, the other two were taken before I went away. My favorite camera for this type of work is the Fuji X-T1, usually with just the 18-135mm lens, although the photo of the Chrysler Building was taken with the 55-200mm zoom.

Instead of shooting the images with something over the lens, I applied the technique in Photoshop with a combination of the Clarity plus Blurring tools. To complete the picture I superimposed a city texture over each scene, and then added some of the autochrome technique and noise I discussed in a previous blog. The result is an impressionistic rendering that looks like it might have been done in a Pointillist technique similar to the Fresson printing process.

Click here to download a high res version of this file.

Click here to download a high res version of this file.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Time lapse water photo with the Fuji X-T1

I found another stream in the woods near our cabin. This one had more small falls built into it. I was able to locate the tripod right in the stream to take a 30 second exposure that would blur the water. It was drizzling slightly, just enough to wet the ground and help saturate the late autumn colors.

My Fuji 18-135mm zoom lens was set to around 19mm and f/8 with an ISO of 400. Slowing the shutter down to 30 seconds took a 400x ND filter mounted on the lens. Instead of a cable release, I set the self-timer to a 2-second delay instead of using a cable release.

I tend to prefer the intimacy and simplicity of these Eastern woodland, fast-moving streams over larger and more dramatic cascading waterfalls.

This was the setup with my camera in the stream for the time lapse series I did of the moving water. The camera gives a sense of the small size of the stream and falls. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Softening techniques with the Fuji X-T1

I reserved this past week just to have some fun experimenting with a camera. One thing I played with was various techniques for softening images aiming for various degrees of an ethereal atmosphere and a painterly effect. I know it is easy just to buy something like a fog filter to put in front of the lens, but I have always found these to be too evenly diffused. I wanted something more variable, uneven, and controllable.

One thing I tried was using an older, uncoated lens on my X-T1.  Here I have an olde Meyer-Optik Gorliz 50mm f/2.8 Trioplan lens attached to the X-T1 using an Exacta to Fuji adapter. Uncoated optics are usually quite soft and low in contrast, but I wanted even more softening so I held a piece of multi-folded cellophane in front of the lens. 
I applies a variety of techniques including using the old Trioplan lens shown above. Sometimes I placed cellophane in front of a lens, often folding the cellophane to achieve even more softening. I shot though various pieces of glassware. Once in awhile with the lens in manual mode I would shoot it slightly out of focus. I also tried using motion blur by moving the camera during the exposure. 

Once the image was captured and brought into Photoshop I applied an old autochrome technique I once described here in a blog post. This added a multi-colored grain pattern to the overall images. 

To see the grain structure of these images, download a high res version of this photo here.

To see the grain structure of these images, download a high res version of this photo here.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a prosperous new year!

Taken in a Catskill forest near Woodstock, NY, with the Fuji X100T. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Into the woods with a Fuji X-T1 and X100T

I am spending the Christmas holiday week in a cabin in the Catskills near Woodstock. The cabin is surrounded by woods with a typical stone fence running through it -- one of my favorite photo subjects. When packing for the trip, it didn't take me long to lock into the camera system I wanted to have with me. I decided on the Fuji X-T1 and Fuji X100T. For the X-T1 I packed the 18-135mm as my main lens, and included the Zeiss 56mm macro for close-ups along with the 35mm f/1.4 an 56mm f/1.2 for interior available light shots. I also have the 50-140mm f/2.8 with me so I can use it with the new Fuji 1.4x telextender I am testing.

I decided to use my week in the woods as a time for experimenting with a variety of techniques I had been wanting to try.

The forest with the stone fence zig-zagging through it shot here in my platinum technique to be printed later as a Peiziograph. print.

A light rain fell most of the second day bringing with it a mist in the afternoon, which is when I took this photo. One thing I wanted to experiment with was the further softening technique I added to the image later in post-processing. 

For this sunset image I tilted the camera up during a 1.5 second exposure to cause the vertical blurring. 

By the end of the day the tiny creek running by the cabin had swelled to a fast flowing stream. I took this time lapse photo of the creek at sunset with an ND filter to slow the shutter down to 30 seconds at f/9 and the 18-135mm zoom set to 18mm. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The right time of year for photographing New York

For the month of December into January the sun is at its lowest place in the southern sky and when it sets it lights up the facades of the buildings to the north of it. It is a great time to pick up dramatic shots of the city where the buildings are brightly lit against a darkening sky that also picks up a little color from the sunset.

For the shot below of the Empire State Building taken as the sun was setting, I used a Leica M 240 fit with a 50mm f/1.4 Summilux lens set to f/5.6 and took a sequence of five exposures starting at the bottom and tilting the camera up for each subsequent exposure. I later stitched the five images together using PTGui software. The result is an extremely high resolution image capable of enlargements at least 8' tall.

Many of the windows in the building are blasted out by the sun reflecting into them. To compensate I took an extra shot 3-stops under-exposed and used it to bring in the window detail later in post-processing.

Monday, December 21, 2015

One more photo for the Metropolis series

My Metropolis series of fine art prints take a long time to produce, which is why I add a new one only so often.  This time I began with an overhead view I had of New York traffic on a rainy day. I took two photos of the avenue -- one in focus, and one out of focus to blur the lights. I then combined them to enhance the feeling of congestion.  The interesting thing about this photo is that almost all the cars in the block are taxi cabs. I used another overlay to parallel the traffic lanes.

All the photos were taken with a Fuji X-T1 hand held at ISO 1600. The Metropolis series is comprised of large prints so I removed the noise from each layer before flattening them into the final image to achieve a higher quality in the enlargement.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

One model, one light

With one model, the very versatile Que, in our studio this week, I decided to play around with a few different light sources, using only one light source for each scene to create a different effect. All photos were taken with the Nikon D750 and both the 70-200mm and 24-70mm f/2.8 zooms.

For this portrait, one studio lamp fit with a slit bank was placed to the left side and slightly behind the model to provide a soft modelling to the face. Some of the light from the bank was allowed to spill onto the gray seamless background to light it and allow the model's face to be clearly defined against it. I often do a series of photos like this so I can combine them later with other backgrounds using Photoshop. For this combo, I added a photo I had of an antique map and worked it in to preserve a dramatically dark effect. The model's face was in the top layer and changed to "Soft light" mode. I then worked some of the background out of her face by using a layer mask on her and painting out the areas where I didn't want detail from the map to come through. 

This is the original photo used to create the top image. 

Here I used a Nikon SB-910 flash mounted in a beauty dish and pointed directly at the model from a position slightly above and to the left of the camera. That gave me the hard shadow to the right and below the model, while the fast speed of the SB-910 froze her action as she jumped in the air. 

In this version I used a studio ring light to create a direct, hard, shadowless light on the model and the scene. I always use a zoom lens with the ring light so I can zoom in to crop instead of moving the whole studio strobe closer. Moving the light would alter the exposure, while zooming keeps the light in the same position and maintains the same exposure. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The influence of advancing technology on photography

I have always refrained from talking about the "good old days" early days of my photographic life as if somehow the experiences then were better than now, even though there remains a nostalgic glow coupled to shooting with film that is lacking in the digital era. It is always a bit wistful to remember a time when the process of photography was more demanding of technical skills. Light meters were not integrated with cameras, auto-focus lenses did not exist, and the SLR camera was an emerging novelty akin to the mirrorless models of today. I am referring back to the 1960's and early 70's.

This was my typical post-processing work station -- the previous day's slides spread out on a light box to be examined and edited with a loupe magnifier. You either got the shot right in the viewfinder or you tossed the slide in the garbage. There was no going back to fix any imperfections in a scene. 

The Nikon F SLR camera was introduced in 1959 and represented a sea-change in camera technology with its pentaprism mirror reflex design allowing the photographer an eye-level view through the lens while taking the picture. It wasn't the first reflex camera, but its tank-like build quality, technical excellence, and comfortably swift ergonometric design contributed to its quick replacement of the Leica M and medium format, twin-lens Rolleiflex as the professional's first choice in camera gear. It was the pinnacle of camera design at the time and retained a dominance throughout the era of 35mm film based photography that lasted until the end of the 20th century.

Camera models did not change anywhere near as rapidly as they do today in the digital age. Nearly a decade elapsed between the various Nikon F models -- F2 introduced in 1971, F3 in 1980, F4 in 1988, F5 in 1996, and the current F6 in 2004.

We shot on film, 36 exposures of 35mm film. The ISO (then called ASA) range of color transparency film was 25 or 64 for Kodachrome, and advanced later to a high of 100-400 for Extachrome and Fujichrome. We tried to stay at or below 100. Otherwise the image became too grainy.

With an exposure latitude of no more than a fraction of an f/stop, there was no room for error with transparency film. You bracketed the shot, taking one under and one over. There was no instant feedback of a digital screen on the back of a camera.  You could take a Polaroid of the scene, but this was an approximation of the exposure at best. I had a Polaroid back that fit onto my Nikon F cameras. The image was rendered on Polaroid film in the actual 35mm size. The method left a lot to be desired, especially when compared to today's LCD screens, but it was all we had.

Many photographers I meet today began their photographic life in the digital era and are truly shocked when I explain some of the limitations photographers put up with when shooting film. I have a collection of early Leica screw mount and M cameras. When I demonstrate their use to digital-only photographers they are usually aghast at what was involved to achieve even the simplest photograph. It is a humbling experience when I point out that the old camera they are holding is the model photographers, like Cartier Bresson, used to take many of the photos we admire today. When you consider the steps involved from pre-visualizing an image to actually capturing it, the process can be intimidating.

The Leica III was one of the most popular early screw-mount models. On this IIIb the three windows lined up on the front of the faceplate were for focus and framing with a 5cm lens. For any other lens an auxiliary  viewfinder was needed. The one above is for an 85mm lens. There was a dial on the finder. Turning it to match the focus distance on the lens moved a frame to correct the parallax error of the lens. Try doing all this with a moving subject -- and don't forget, you still  had to set the correct exposure beforehand. 

Today's cameras have evolved to a point where they can pretty much take a technically correct image unassisted. They incorporate mini-computers capable of sophisticated exposure and focus calculations on the fly. They can analyse a scene, recognize the presence of a person, find the face, and complete a rapid auto-focus on the person's eyes completely unaided. There is no guess-work involved in exposure. The camera can do it all instantly with a latitude for exposure error that would be astounding to a film era photographer.

Modern camera technology puts extremely high end photographic capabilities in our hands without an immediate demand for experiential knowledge. Today's cellphone cameras are quite advanced. They cannot compare to a decent dedicated digital camera with a 1" or larger sensor, but they certainly outperform 35mm transparency film cameras that most of them have built-in software to mimic.

The addition of auto focus and high speed motor drive systems in cameras and lenses significantly expanded the range of how we capture moving subjects in a photograph. This photo taken with a high speed Nikon D3 and 400mm auto-focus lens of a hurdler coming full speed straight at the camera would have been next to impossible without an auto focus camera system. Prior to auto focus I would have had to pre-focus the lens on one of the hurdles and snapped the shutter at just the right time as the jumper hit the focus point. That would give me only one shot per pass. Instead, with high speed auto focus the camera was able to follow the jumper from the moment he began his run until the end, taking in-focus photos continuously as he moved. With a digital camera I was not limited by the need to change film after 36 exposures and could hold the shutter down the whole time the jumper was coming towards me. At 9 or 10 frames a second a modern camera would have plowed through an entire roll of film in less than 4 seconds. 

For me the biggest innovation in digital photography is not the camera but the whole concept of post processing. The idea of using the camera to gather an extensive range of raw exposure data on a scene and then sorting it out later in a program like Photoshop extends photography into another dimension we could hardly have imagined as we loaded a roll of Kodachrome into our SLR.

One of the first things I did after switching completely to full frame digital was throw away all my filters. I used to have two stacks of color correcting and enhancing filters screwed together and fit with end caps. Each stack was about 4-5" long. That's a lot of filters. Thankfully, in those days Nikon tried to standardize their filter sizes into about three different sizes.  Now, with my digital cameras, the only filters I own and use are for polarizing and neutral density. All the color correcting and enhancing filtering is now done afterwards in Photoshop, and there is no guess work to it. Don't like the color balance? Change it with one click of a computer mouse. 

This photo is a composite of five horizontal images taken with a Leica M 240 and Leica 135mm APO Telyt lens. The camera was moved up to include another part of the scene after each 6 second exposure. Later all five images were combined with stitching software into one photo capable of enlargement to at least 8' tall with full detail and no noise. To further extend the already impressive dynamic range of a modern digital camera, a second set of shots were taken at a 2-stop underexposure to capture the bright details in building windows. It would have taken a large view camera to come close to this amount of detail and would have been impossible to capture the extended light range on film. 

Post processing of images has become such an important part of the photographic process that the word, Photoshop, is now used as a verb. To "Photoshop" means to clean up or alter an image. The process has become so over-used that we can rarely trust what we see anymore. This has led the Reuters new agency to establish strict guidelines for what it will accept as a press photograph, and it has banned images that have been converted from a RAW source. In the wrong hands good technology can bring with it an ease to distort reality beyond recognition. The cartoonish look of color and details in images with overly applied HDR is a case in point, as is the way we excessivley retouch our models who end up looking more like avatars that real people.  

On the good side, modern photographic technology has extended our vision. The dynamic range of a modern digital camera now makes it possible to take pictures even in the dark. Not too long ago it was necessary to mount a camera on an equatorial mount and track the heavens to capture the stars in detail. With ISO ranges now working comfortably above 1600, it is possible to capture such images in one still shot.

A fisheye view of the Milky Way over a western silhouette taken with a Nikon D800 and ISO 1250.

Modern camera sensors are currently capped out around a medium format size, but technology has found work-arounds for the size limitation with systems that combine multiple images into one large photograph. The Seitz 6x17 digital camera solves the problem by moving the sensor to cover a larger area during exposure. The Gigapan Epic extends the range by moving any camera mounted on it through a cycle of photos that are stitched together later into an enormous print size. The highly innovative Light L16 small camera works by using sixteen cell phone sized cameras to take up to ten simultaneous exposures and combine them into one large 52mp photo in a camera the size of a cell phone.

The Light L16 has sixteen randomly placed lenses of varying focal lengths. The camera software combines the exposures of up to ten of the cameras to achieve a multiple focal length zoom effect and a final high quality image which is the result of the multiple image stitching done internally.  
The tiny Gopro Hero cameras allow us to record in places we never would have dreamed of going before. Especially when combined with modern drone technology, the Gopro has extended our vision to previously inaccessible vantage points.  Admittedly the Gopro uses a small sensor, sufficient for video but lacking in quality stills. but the small Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 series cameras have a 1" sensor and are capable of pro-quality results. 

This available light photo taken in a room with overhead fluorescent light fixtures would have been a nightmare to deal with on film. We now take a scene like this for granted.  A simple mouse click on a gray card balances the color in post-processing, and a fast aperture f/1.4 lens coupled with an ISO of 800 allows the available light scene to be captured with a hand-held camera. 

Another instance of fast action coming directly towards the camera. Here the subject is just emerging from a deep shadow into bright sunlight. The camera has to maintain auto-focus and at the same time shift exposure to adjust to the rapidly changing scene. The huge dynamic range maintains detail in the deepest shadows and brightest highlight. We take all of this for granted today, but this is miraculous feat for a camera to accomplish. Taken with a 400mm lens at f/4 and 1/1600 second. 

In many ways technology has made life much easier for photographers, and the automated simplicity of operating a camera has reduced the barrier of entry for many.  One thing it can never do is eradicate the need for true creative vision in adapting the expanded changes into the execution of relevant images. The photographer acts alone in this. While it is now easier than ever to achieve a technically correct image, it is, perhaps, more difficult to tame the myriad of  technical advances to our creative will. The camera cannot compose an image by itself, and it cannot decide what to photograph. It can only capture the area where it is pointed, and the process of pointing it in the right direction and hitting the shutter button at the perfect time is still the most relevant part of creating a great image.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Day for night

We needed to take a photo in our daylight studio that showed a person working late at night on a computer. Problem was there was full daylight coming in from the windows behind the model and elsewhere in the studio. So the problem was to block out the light to a point where the use of ambient lighting from a desk lamp and the computer would balance with it.

The LED lights I spoke about in a previous post were used to provide a cool illumination from the laptop. The desk lamp gave off a warm glow. By shifting the color balance to diminish the warm tone, a cooler blue tone resulted in the rest of the image to enhance the feeling the photo was taken at night.

We blacked out the window with large foam core flats. Later, in post processing, I allowed a night shot of a city to bleed through the black windows. The photo below shows the actual scene used to capture the image. The lamp in the back left served as a hair light. In addition to what you see here, we brought in another black flat to reduce the light coming in from the door on the right. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Combining two images in Photoshop

Playing around in Photoshop last night I came up with this combo of a star photo I took of the Milky Way and a beauty shot I did recently in the studio. The photos were stacked one on top of the other as layers. The beauty shot was on top and its mode changed to Hard Light. Then it was a matter of tweaking the two images until they meshed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Moving clouds New York and the Fuji X-T1

There is something very peaceful about the minimal look of moving clouds juxtaposed against a static subject. All of these were taken at various times with the Fuji X-T1 camera and 18-135mm lens.

Reflection Trade Center tower,

Dawn reflection Empire State Building

Flatiron early morning

Saturday, December 5, 2015

One more for the Metropolis series

I added one more image to my Metropolis portfolio, this one a composite of over six photographs of city elements. These images often take quite a while to construct. This one took longer than most. The entire series can be seen here on my website.

Metropolis - Tower mosaic

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Using LED panel lights to imitate cell phone, computer, or tablet screens

Today in the studio we were covering a situation where we wanted to create a nighttime scene with models in bed using a tablet and laptop and their faces lit up from the screens. I've done similar shots many times before, but in the past I've used tiny flash units hidden near the screen to light the models. This time I decided to try a new technology and use a couple of small LED video panel lights.

This natural light photo taken with a Fuji X-T1 and 56mm f/1.2 lens is a mix of three different types of lighting. The natural ambient light was a soft daylight from windows, There is a tungsten lamp on the nightstand giving off its warm glow. The LED lights were used without their balancing filter to mimic the cooler light given off my most screen devices. 

The shot could not have been easier. The panel LED lights we used were the Bescor LED-70 Dimmable 70W video lights. I chose them because they were small and powerful enough, but were also dimmable making it easy to balance their light output with ambient light. They also take AA batteries instead of a rechargeable cell. We don't use lights like these too often and I didn't want to have them sitting around with a battery cell draining away. With the double A's I can simply pop in batteries whenever we need to use the units. Rechargeables would probably have resulted in a smaller unit, but the dependability of using AA's out-weighed that for me.

The Bescor LED-70 lights give off 70w of light from 96 5mm LED bulbs. The unit comes with two replaceable lamp covers, a diffused clear panel shown on the lights here, and a color-correcting amber screen to balance them more towards natural light at 4300k. 

The lights were powerful enough to allow me to work them at full output with an exposure of 1/500 second and f/1.4 with an ISO of 400 -- more than sufficient for my needs. Bescor also makes a smaller 40w unit for $24.95 using AAA batteries. It it isn't dimmable but could always be used with a neutral density filter gel taped over its face.  

The Bescor LED-70 I used here sells for $39.95 at these stores:   B&H   Adorama   Amazon
The smaller Bescor LED-40 for $24.96 is also available here:  B&H   Adorama    Amazon

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Working the light for a chiaroscuro effect in black and white

This is a scene I photograph quite often, mostly in the late evening around sunset or afterwards into the night.

I had been observing the light change for awhile, as the sun moved further into the southern horizon. I wanted this to be a photo of the Flatiron District with the Flatiron Building playing center stage in the composition. At 10:30AM the building was fully lit from the morning sun, which also left a pleasing shape of light at its foot. I felt the way the light fell on the city at that time would make an interesting black and white image with a composition built upon dark contrasts of light and deep shadow.

I felt the photo is a little difficult to see at this size so I included a high res version, which can be downloaded here. It isn't as big as the final 40" wide image, but is big enough to give a sense of detail. 
Even though the Flatiron Building is the main focus, my favorite part of the scene is off to the left where the sunlight bounced off of a building to light up the Metropolitan Life tower and clock.

The dark areas of the scene were as important as the lit areas in terms of the compostion so I didn't know in advance what focal length lens I would want to record the scene. I settled on putting the 24-120mm Nikon f/4 zoom on a Nikon D810. The zoom gave me some quick mobility to bracket around the focal lengths, and the f/4 didn't bother me because the photo was going to be taken in very bright sunlight and I could pick my aperture.

I added a polarizing filter to both darken the deep blue sky and cut through the haze in the distant building. Even so, with an ISO of 100 I ended up at f/5.6 and 1/250 of a second. While you could hand hold a camera at that speed, I have learned the hard way that it is best to put a high resolution  camera like the Nikon D810 on a tripod at all times. High resolution seems to magnify motion blur.

In post processing I pushed the contrast even further to increase the chiaroscuro effect and added a vignette for the same reason but also to focus the attention at the center of the scene.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Getting by with a Fuji X-T1 and two Fuji standard zoom lenses

Sometimes I really want to travel light and uncomplicated, yet have enough of a focal range to cover most anything I would encounter. When I know my photography will be limited to the outdoors and I will have plenty of light, I often just pack the two standard Fuji zooms, the original 18-55mm and the 55-200mm. This gives me an effective, full frame focal range of 27mm-300mm -- enough to cover most anything I would encounter. Both lenses are variable aperture (f/2.8-4 for the 18-55mm, and f/3.5-4.8 for the 55-200mm) so I won't expect to be using them for any selective focus shots. Nonetheless, on a bright day with distant subjects I would probably be working around a constant f/5.6 anyway.
This is my basic kit for the day of shooting, just two Fuji zooms, a polarizing filter, and my cell phone where I also have a light meter APP I sometimes use. 
On this particular day I planned to walk around a New York construction site at Hudson Yards where I had seen a forest of cranes one day while passing by in a taxi. I didn't think I would even need any lens shorter than 27mm. Otherwise I would have also tossed the Fuji 14mm in my pocket.

I would never think to use this sort of zoom combo with any other camera brand, but the Fuji lenses are so good that even their basic zooms are truly exceptional -- maybe not up to the extremely high standards set by their fixed aperture zooms, but solid performers with no apologies needed for their performance. The big advantage is that both zooms are light enough and small enough to fit in a coat or vest pocket -- just right for the kind of casual shooting I had in mind.

When you consider that you can buy a Fuji X-T1 kit with the 18-55mm lens for around $1400, and add the 55-200mm for another $499, This is a fully packed pro-quality travel kit for only $1900.

The 18-55mm has a 58mm filter thread, while the 55-200mm is 62mm. So I carry one 62mm polarizer and a 58-62mm stepup ring so it fits both lenses. With the two lenses, a polarizer, and my X-T1 plus extra battery I set off for an afternoon of photography of the construction site.

This panorama of the entire construction site is made up of four horizontal images stitched together later using PRGui software.

I took this hand-held panorama on my walk back from the site. It is made up of two 18mm shots stitched together later in PTGui.