My Fuji-less week

I’m always slight amused, perhaps even bemused, by the brand loyalty of the various brand-fanboys; and yes it normally is one of us boys!  Someone I know has just asked if I’ve still got my Fujis as I’ve not blogged about them for a few posts now and all of my Skye pictures were taken with Nikons.

So, yes I still have my Fuji cameras. Yes I did use Nikons (almost) exclusively last week. No I’m not ditching my Fujis. Yes I’m keeping both kits.

And why not? They fulfil different needs for me and most importantly I enjoy using them BOTH and am very pleased with the image quality of BOTH kits. One consideration for taking the Nikons last week was that I was in company with another Nikon user so we shared lenses and other bits of kit over the week. Another was that this was an exclusively photographic trip with carefully planned stops along the way and an itinerary over the week that flexed in response to changing weather and changing light.

©Dave Whenham
Nearing Talisker

As with the image above we stayed alert to opportunities that arose as we drove from location to location. This one was taken on Terrific Thursday as we drove from Glen Brittle to Talisker. It was a day when we decided to have faith in the forecast and have a lie-in. Ha! We woke up, looked out of the window and hurriedly got ourselves sorted and into the van. Sligachan was the nearest spot for such a morning and we arrived to find it swarming with photographers and tripods. Being familiar with the location though I knew that a five minute walk up the river would take me away from the hordes and give me a clean composition.

© Dave Whenham
Please form an orderly queue …

I hadn’t used the Nikons for landscape work for many months now preferring the Fujis for my local perambulation or for those days when photography was an adjunct to a family trip. It was like I’d never been away though and it only took me ten minutes to get back into the flow again. I do think that using a camera is a bit like that; working with a particular camera over time you develop and evolve a workflow that becomes instinctive rather than conscious. I have developed the skill with the Nikons and am well on the way to doing so with the Fujis too.

So, expect some more Fuji Moments in the coming months but also expect a few more Nikon interludes as I work through the files from last week, especially when I get around to Terrific Thursday!

Skye -the iPad edits

© Dave Whenham
Talisker Bay

its going to be a busy few days in our place but I wanted to get a few of the photos from last weeks trip up on the blog before it was too much of a distant memory.

©Dave Whenham

This was my sixth visit to Skye in as many years so we were of necessity revisiting several locations we’ve photographed before along with some that were new to us. However, no two visits are ever the same and this year was no exception with changeable weather and light throughout the week.  We even managed four stops at Sligachan Bridge over the week and created four completely different sets of images.

© Dave Whenham

All of these pictures were taken with either the Nikon D750 or Nikon D800E and have been edited on an iPad using the in-camera JPEGs as a starting point. For quick edits and a chance to look at images on the go I find the iPad an ideal substitute for the camera’s LCD screen. Partner that with the Snapseed App and I can very quickly produce image s that are more than acceptable for posting to Facebook so my family can see what I’ve been doing whilst I’m away from them. They are also handy for the occasional blog post such as this which I’m preparing sat in a local cafe . The wonders of technology!

Talisker Bay
Glen Totternish


Wot – no wifi!

© Dave Whenham
River Snizort – a Sunday Sunrise

I had intended uploading a few blog posts whilst I was on Skye last week but the wifi in the cottage was, shall we say, pedestrian at best and totally deceased at worst.

Not that the world noticed my absence! In a world awash with communication a modest personal blog such as this is not going to be heard above the din and noise of countless online voices clamouring to be heard.

So why bother?

Well, I can’t answer for anyone other than myself of course but I do it for one simple reason – it ensures that I continue to communicate and think, particularly the latter. It’s far too easy to settle into a domestic routine and allow skills that took years to acquire to wither and die. Even if no one actually reads one of these posts I have still had to sit down and write it. I’ve had to carefully think about what I want to say and how I want to say it. I’m keeping the skills, modest as they are, alive and functioning.

© Dave Whenham
Light on Shade

The more “thoughtful” posts cause me to think about what I’m doing, why and how. In doing so I challenge myself to rationalise a course of action or artistic decision. But it’s not a heavy academic pressure, simply saying “because it pleased me” is acceptable in my world. Contextualising my art is not something I’ve ever felt the need to do. I enjoy the creative process and like many little boys who’ve never fully accepted they have to grow up I do enjoy tinkering with the gadgets and gizmos that surround photography. I have four grown up daughters and three grandsons, am nearing the end of my sixth decade and yet still cannot quite accept that I am not twelve years old.

Enjoy these couple of early edits from Skye, I will be back later in the week with a few more.

The Archives

One thing I have had to do recently is back-up some files and move others to a spare drive to free up room on my main drives. It was an opportunity to rediscover some images from past trips and as its happens it provided some inspiration for the upcoming annual week in Skye.

© Dave Whenham
Loch Fada looking towards the Old Man of Storr. Canon 5D MkIII

One batch of files was from my 2014 trip to the Isle of Skye, the last I took with my Canon gear. It was using a friends Nikon D810 and D3S on this trip that led me to make the switch to Nikon after a lifetime’s allegiance to Canon.

© Dave Whenham
Lake of Mentieth, Scotland – Canon 5D MkII

The first two images remind me not just of the trips but also that I prefer the so-called blue hour be it morning or evening.

© Dave Whenham
Sligachan, November 2014. Canon 5D MkIII

I keep wanting to crop the Sligachan image square but never quite make it. Looking at it now I could lose a little from the right hand side but the bulk of Marsco on the left is needed to anchor that side of the image and even cropping a little off the right would not give me a square. I guess I shall just have to go back in a week or so and reshoot this!

© Dave Whenham
Loch Fada, November 2014 – Canon 5D MkIII

All this rummaging in the Archive is serving to remind me that it is the photographer who creates the image and not the gear. We can pontificate about DSLR versus mirrorless or pine for the camera we should never have sold to our hearts content but it won’t change that fundamental truth – it’s not about the gear.

© Dave Whenham
1st November 2014, on the road in Scotland. Canon 5D MkIII
© Dave Whenham
1st November 2014, Glen Etive. Canon 5D MkIII
© Dave Whenham
Elland by-pass. Canon EOS M3

The M3 was a fabulous little camera which I blogged about on a couple of occasions but in the end it made way for the Fuji X-series. I don’t regret selling it though as I prefer to remember what fun I had with it and the images I made with it.

© Dave Whenham
Scammonden Water – Fuji X-T10
© Dave Whenham
Three Shires Head – Canon 40D

I could sit here and post dozens more but you get my drift. It’s all about the photographer not the gear!

Back home …

…after over two weeks away from home I’ve now been back long enough to think I’ve never been away.  However, I’ve not been back long enough to have made any impression on the folder of images awaiting processing!  Here’s a selection of images from Swansea, East Lothian and Porlock Weir.  Wales, Scotland and England.

© Dave Whenham
The Mumbles – Fuji X100T
© Dave Whenham
Yellowcraig – Fuji X-T10

I came home feeling it had been a reasonable trip but having started to work through some of the images over the last few days there’s a lot of “keepers” coming up so I have probably had a more productive time than I thought.

The X-T10 was the most used camera in October, I used it for almost 70% of the images currently on my computer awaiting processing whilst the Fuji X100T accounted for around 25% of my output.  The balance was the Fuji X-Pro1 and the Nikon D800E (the Nikon didn’t go on holiday with us though).

© Dave Whenham
Swansea Bay – Fuji X-T10
© Dave Whenham
Porlock Weir – Fuji X-Pro1