I can breathe it. Christmas is in the air.
I can breathe it. Christmas is in the air.
In the areas close to home there are still open spaces that allow life flourish free most of the year. A small park and the surroundings of a basketball field benefit of the proximity of a large property that has only a house isolated in it and a school that has also its backyard left unconstructed. I go there often mostly in the mornings when I don’t go to run and ride my bicycle some other place because I don’t have enough time, or I feel more like being where I can be alone or almost alone since just a few people use to go there early.
Grass grows tall and some kinds of wildflowers flourish in these areas too, allowing bugs, spiders, grasshoppers and even bees and butterflies feed, enjoy the sun and the wind, mate and take shelter at night or when the weather gets rough. Many times I go there to stretch and meditate, and I bring a camera along and enjoy my time there contemplating the morning light from that high terrain in the hill, also appreciating and photographing the beautiful sights of the small details and creatures.
Luckily my Fuji X100S allows me to get as close as 10cm from this kind of scenes so without hauling specific closeup or macro gear I’ve had the chance to make several images there playing with the light, the shapes and textures, in colour or black and white. The morning of this image the grass was especially high after most of the summer and I watched these winged creatures being lit by a spot of sunlight, I did my best getting closer among the grass without spoiling them and shot a few frames. I think the best one is this with nice lighting, colour contrast and the out of focus areas that the X100S lens renders so well, something I surely love!
A few weeks ago I had the chance to take sometime to enjoy myself at UNAM’s botanical garden here in Mexico City. The botanical garden is part of a natural preserve and is in fact a little bit of a much needed wilderness inside this huge metropolis, which holds several flora and fauna species that present very nice photo opportunities. Taking a walk through it gives priceless moments of peace and joy, and since I love photographing Nature there was no excuse for not taking a camera along, so took one that day, actually, two cameras.
As you may have noticed the Fujifilm X100S has taken a special place in my image making, so I packed it inside my camera bag along with my recent tool of choice for making macrophotography, a Nikon 1 J1 armed with an FT1 Adapter and a Micro-Nikkor 55mm AIS lens, these kit allowed me to enjoy two different approaches of making closeup images. For several years a heavy DSLR and a macro lens have helped me to approach tiny creatures and natural details, but with mirrorless cameras I’m able to capture the small world (and the big one) almost wherever I go, and even when long runs for training or caving trips are the main deal, there’s a much lighter gear choice that I have at hand so I don’t need to keep myself away from my love of photography, so lately I’ve been practicing closeup photography much more with these setup rather than with my DSLR.
So, on this occasion after a short running session (really short) I entered the botanical garden where I walked for a while relaxing and recovering my breath and at the same time starting to connect with the place and paying attention to the light, I really wanted to enjoy my time there being by myself so my intentions were to play rather than taking the assignment approach. During the next few hours I switched between the X100S and the J1 combo and since the effective field of view are 35mm and 148.5mm respectively I was able to get a very distinctive feeling with each camera, sure, for getting really close to my subject the J1 was the choice, but with the X100S I had the chance to get as close as 10cm from the subject which in combination with the slightly wide angle field of view, putting the subject into its context and the visual perspective of the images really pleased me.
What really made this so much more fun was taking advantage of Fuji’s beautiful film simulations, and since my love of B&W imagery has had me preferred the monochrome aesthetics even with nature and closeup images I really wanted to try the Velvia film simulation taking the photos with the RAW+Jpg activated in the image quality settings. All of the images made that day with the X100S were chosen from the jpgs, so no processing the Raw’s in Lightroom this time, only with the Raw’s from the J1 I spent some time fine tuning contrast and colour, and sharpness to some degree. Using the two cameras was really fun, I loved so much the X100S Velvia look and more environmental feel and the J1’s ability to render the subject really large in the image and that I can be farther from it which gives the advantage of not spoiling the bees and other creatures and when it gets harder to get close because the roughness of the terrain, being made of pure volcanic rocks in this case, or the presence of cactus and other “friendly” flora.
Here is a gallery of the X100S images.
And here is the gallery of the Nikon 1 J1 images.