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Having my own camera is very liberating.  I could choose a camera that just needed to meet my requirements so no compromises, and make decisions that would just affect me.  So I chose my Fujifilm camera, X-T1, the lenses and accessories for me.  The bag I chose to keep my kit in is a Billingham Hadley Pro, it’s the right size for me and the handle on the top was essential! It is big enough to contain enough stuff and I can still carry it, no point in having a huge bag and not be able to use it just because it can fit the kitchen sink in it!  I have a macro lens because that is what I like doing, not only great for the macro work but challenging myself to just go out with one lens sometimes and work within those parameters that lens offers.  Maybe at some stage I’ll get some more prime lenses but at the moment I’m using the 18-55 lens for all sorts of things and seeing what prime, if any I would use.

My next purchase will be a tripod, again one that will suit me.  I’ve used a few tripods and I think I’ve got a list in my head as to what I want. So many things to consider – weight, folded size, max height (I’m only 5ft4 so I still need to be able to see the camera controls!), min height and type of clips.  I’ve found that I struggle with the screw lock ones so will deal with the inconvenience of the bulkiness of the flip clips so I can use it.  So with all these things in mind I’ll be off to the The Photography Show in Birmingham to see what I can find!! Let’s see what I come back with.

Also at The Photography Show is The People’s Gallery organised by Loxley Colour.  I took a bold step and decided I’d put an image through to it.  This is a new world to me, up to now I’ve have only kept my photography online and now showing other people is a big hurdle I’ve decided to overcome.  So far it’s only been a local photography competition in my childhood home town in Cheshire and this at The Photography Show but it’s a start.  The images in this post are from the photography competition, the Silver Birches came first in the landscape category!

As I said at the start, I’m finding having my own camera liberating.

I’d been looking at getting myself a new camera for a while, but what to get? Do I go for another Nikon or take the plunge into a newer system – mirrorless/compact system camera.  Lots of advice was given by friends and a great deal of reading by me.  We all have our own criteria for a camera, some more unusual than others! A requirement of mine is that I need to be able to hold and use it – only a small matter. I choose a mobile phone with that criteria too, as well as being good to take photos with.  I have small hands, I could use the Nikon D7000 OK but when looking at the full frame versions I was becoming limited.  I could just about cope with a D750 I thought, then all these compact system cameras came into the equation.  My son had had a Sony NEX5N which he had really enjoyed using, I couldn’t get over the lack of a viewfinder, but the size was ideal.

The Fuji cameras were establishing themselves, had great reviews and people turning to them from the larger Nikons and Canons.  So I decided to find which one maybe within my budget and do what I wanted it to do, the very latest would be a little too costly for me to justify.  Black Friday came and a big grin was on my face.  Fuji were doing double cashback on some of their range.  So I thought I’d just pop into my local camera shop (yes we still have one just 10 miles away – London Camera Exchange, Leamington Spa).  That day I came out with my new camera, a Fuji X-T1 with a 18-55mm lens, and it was the graphite version too.

Over the past month I have had a great time, taking it out with me to cities and countryside.  I’ve now also got a 60mm macro lens to enable me to carry on with that side of my photography.  I am, of course, looking at what lens to get next.

My Canon AE-1 Program and Fuji X-T1 make a very handsome pair, who would have thought they were three decades apart in design.

NorfolksmallThis is the first time I’ve used a SLR camera, other film cameras have been more point and shoot and if I was lucky they had a zoom!! This Canon AE-1 Program SLR has been under the stairs at my parents’ house for at least 10 years without a lens or cover on it. So I hoped I’d cleaned it up enough to get clean images. I was surprised and relieved at the results I got.  I had bought myself a second hand 50mm lens and also had a zoom lens. I tried it with a colour film first to see how clean the camera was and the cost and ease of processing was OK i.e. Boots! I will be more adventurous next time, I’ll take it off the program setting, and it will be a black and white film I’ll be using next.

It has been fun using it and will continue to, I’ll always have my phone camera with me but the SLR is so much more pleasurable to use. This photo is taken on the North Norfolk Coast when the light was breaking through the clouds onto the wind farm and the birds were settled on the water’s edge.


The beauty of the nature that surrounds us is very special.  Countryside walks let us watch the amazing change into spring, a newly born lamb, the first bluebells, the unfurling of leaves and the longer days giving the opportunity to see more.  Longer days as well as some respite has allowed me to go slightly further afield into Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

This shot was taken when I took my camera for a walk along the Ingleton Waterfall Trail in Yorkshire.  The two rivers were very different, with the higher falls being on the River Twiss.  I preferred the River Doe with its cascades of swirling, jumping water, fascinating to watch running down the deep gorge lined with old trees.


  • Les - Nice blog, please have a look at mine, as mynpartner Sue & I are lovers of the countryside of Derbyshire, where we live.ReplyCancel

Crocus Carpet

I had gone to meet my parents at RHS Wisley, the day had been very overcast and I had just got too cold and was ready to go home, when the sun came out briefly and crocus carpet lit up.  The white crocuses shone out and were beautifully set off by the purple.  This raised my spirits, just a moment of sunlight made such a difference.