I don’t often mention the equipment I use to take photographs as I think we can sometimes spend too much time discussing the gear we use rather than the actual images we take. It has been said that the best camera is the one you have with you when the image presents itself and for most people the camera they have with them will be in their mobile phone. Today’s smartphones will easily produce images of sufficient quality for Facebook, blogs and screen display and this is all that most people will need.
I hope to sell some of my images and that means getting the best quality I can so I nearly always have a camera with me – and I take a lot of photographs.
SLR cameras, even the small ones, are too bulky and heavy to carry when you’re doing something other than taking photographs and my favourite carry around camera of the moment is a Fuji X100. The X100 looks like a rangefinder camera and caused a bit of a stir when it first went on sale because of its retro styling. First users complained of problems with focusing and ease of access to some functions among other things but firmware updates have cured not all, but most of these early difficulties. About a month after I got mine I had to return it to Fuji for repair as the aperture blades were sticking. A quick search on Google revealed and I was not alone in experiencing this fault. Over time I have become used to the camera’s ways. It has a prime lens so when I want to zoom in I have to walk closer and I have found this encourages more thought when creating an image. I have to work that bit harder and push myself that bit more.
These images of Saint Anne’s Square, Belfast were taken with the X100. Saint Anne’s Square is directly behind Saint Anne’s Cathedral and there are a couple of restaurants, The MAC is there and probably other things I don’t know about. It’s one of those areas in Belfast that can be ideal for taking portraits and while I was taking these images there was a photographer there shooting a model.
While preparing these photographs I’ve found that I tend to produce more images from the Fuji in black and white than I would expect. I can’t explain why this is but now that I’m aware of it I’ll have to come up with some theory for a future post.
The Cultra Hill Climb is an annual event held in the grounds of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Holywood. This year it fell on Saturday 1 June 2013 and the sun came out.
It has been said that the event allows you to see vehicles from the past century being used as originally intended and this was certainly the case with these older rear wheel drive cars showing their mettle at each bend in the course. Further attractions included a display of Porsche cars, Crossle Racing cars (based in Holywood), motorcycles and lots more.
The Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival 2013 was held over the 25th to 27th May. The Festival is always worth a visit (it’s free) and this year was no different with Tall Ships, a Maritime Market, street theatre and more. I called in on Saturday 25th and although it was fairly busy it wasn’t too crowded. Unfortunately, although the weather was fine it was a bit windy and sailing ships being involved, things didn’t go exactly as planned but then I suppose they rarely do.
The Buoys are in the grounds of the Art College or to give it its proper title, The University of Ulster Campus, Belfast. I found out recently that they’ve been there since 1979 and that just makes me feel old.
Originally they were something to be remarked on, they were imposing and had jets of water squirting from beneath but time has not been kind to them. The water jets no longer work and they frequently fall victim to people with spray paint but on a sunny Spring day they can still draw attention and deserve a photograph.
The tenth Belfast Festival of Fools was held from 2nd to 6th May 2013 and brought artists from across the globe. As always the event was well supported and the acts certainly introduce a carnival atmosphere to the city. Even the weather, unusually for Belfast, cooperated with the rain mostly staying away over the four days.
The events were mostly in Cathedral Quarter but I came across some in Corn Market and the Victoria Centre.