I confess. I’m addicted to bags, camera bags that is. I love a bag that is full of feature and functionality. I love bags that look good, but understated. I think as photographers, the camera bag is next on the list of essential equipment next to tripods. How else are we suppose to haul our expensive gears around the field? How else are we suppose to get to a location with all our gears? We spend good money on these bags just for that reason. We need to protect our gear while we’re out in the field. It only makes sense that we’re always on the lookout for the PERFECT camera bag, though whatever that means will be different for everyone.
A few months ago, I was in Penang for a 10-day trip. I brought along the WANDRD PRVKE 31 as my transit bag, along with my Peak Design Everyday Sling. The PRVKE 31 (pronounced provoke) is an absolute beast of a bag. Being 31 litre, it can hold a lot of stuff. Given the fact that the Fujifilm cameras and lenses aren’t exactly big, I was able to fit quite a lot of camera equipment, and then some more. During transit, I was able to pack the following gear -
Fujifilm X-T2, with the 16-55mm lense attached
bag of filters
MacBook Pro 13’
Sirui T-025 Tripod
other small items like charger, hard drive, batteries, etc
As you can see, this bag can fit quite a bit of stuff in it. A drawback of this is that it is HEAVY. Once filled to the brimmed, it weighed about 12kg. I don’t usually carry this much equipment when I’m travelling but I wanted to push the limit of this bag (and my back). I’m happy to report that the bag held up well. Having a roll-top design means that I am able to fit even more stuff in it once unrolled.
The shoulder strap has got to be one of the best of all the backpack that I’ve tried. It was wide and soft enough that it didn’t feel like it was digging into my shoulder once loaded up. This was one of my gripes with the Peak Design Everyday Backpack. But what this means is that I am now unable to position my Peak Design Capture Clip where I want to. I had to install the Capture Clip lower than where I would have preferred as the strap tapers off at the bottom.
The WANDRD PRKVE backpack comes with the optional camera cube. I love that it allows me to position the dividers however I wanted it. It came with ample dividers of multiple sizes, allowing you to position the dividers as you please. This is perfect for a mirrorless user as you are able to size the area that holds your camera and lenses.
So have I found the PERFECT bag? No. Will I ever? Probably not. I think this comes close to being the perfect travelling bag for me. I have even used this bag for a shoot recently but to be honest, I only needed minimal gear and this was a tad big. I think that is my only complaint about this bag - it’s a tad big at times. They do offer the 21l version as well, so if you don’t usually carry lots of gear, that could be perfect for you.
Last week, I had the opportunity to shoot a parents vs kids touch rugby game as part of a juniors wind up event for the Southern District Touch Association. I had such a blast shooting the game that I thought I would share my experience here.
All of the photos below were shot with the Fujifilm X-T2, paired with the 55-200mm f3.5-4.8. They were all shot around 5 to 6 pm, which meant I had that awesome golden light that you can see in some of these photos. Although the 55-200 may not be the fastest lense, I find that with good light you are able to pull off some amazing shots with it. This was also the first time that I had tried to shoot sports in full manual mode. I had my shutter speed sitting around 1/500sec to 1/1250sec, and I had made the conscious decision to keep my aperture around f4 to f8 as I wanted to make sure that my subject is sharp and in focus. The ISO is probably the variable that I gave the least priority to in this instance. As the lights were pretty good, I find that I hadn’t needed to adjust my ISO much. Most of these shots were done with ISO 200, with a few bumped up to ISO 320 when I wanted to use a faster shutter speed to freeze the action.
One of the thing that I wanted to do as well, was to capture emotion. I have come to learn that the players are full of emotions when they are on the field. This is especially true when it comes to these kids. The smile as they ran with the ball, the determination on their face as they ran for the touchdown, and the disappointment as they lose the ball. I made it my mission to capture these and I hope that I had.
Massive shout out to the Southern District Touch Association for giving me the opportunity to shoot this game. I hope everyone enjoyed the photos as much as I did shooting it.
To check out the rest of the photos, head to this link.
As mentioned in my previous post, I held off on sharing my photos from the landscape workshop because I wanted to really go through them and really do them justice. I took roughly 600 photos from both locations in total. I know that sounds a lot, but I bracketed my shots so I ended up with a lot of the same shots. Going through and culling these shots took some time. I’ve managed pick out 2 from Canal Rocks and 3 from Sugarloaf Rock that I am happy with. I’ll go through the photos below and share my thoughts on them.
This was one of the first few compositions I tried at Canal Rocks. I struggled in terms of composition here. As the sun was setting, I decided to set up in a sort of a valley for this composition. I noticed that every now and again, there would be a massive wave that would crash against the rocks. I started off with a close- up shot of just the rocks with the wave but didn’t really like the way it turned out. I decided to go wider and include a bit of the foreground to add depth to the photo. I quickly realised that I have come upon a problem that I had never encountered before. Seaspray. As you can see on the right side of the image, I had some water droplets on my lense, which was then accentuated by the sun. It was a constant battle between wiping the lense and taking a shot before getting more seaspray on it.
This shot was taken about an hour after the first one above. I was going for a more ethereal look by using a longer shutter speed. As before, my lense was just covered in water droplets, but it was not as obvious on this image compared to the last one as the sun had set below the wall of cloud. I think it would have been a more impactful image if I had set up closer to the water and have that wispy-ethereal water as the foreground instead of static rocks. Of course, this can only work if the waves weren’t so strong. Another thing that bothered me with this image was the lense flare on the right.
This was the moment the morning light hit Sugarloaf Rock. It came so suddenly that I was scrambling to get the shot. To be honest, the composition is nothing special. I opted to go for the classic shot after struggling with Canal Rocks the previous day. I wish the clouds would have caught the early morning light as well and just add a bit more interest.
Shifting the composition slightly, I wanted to include the foreground a bit more for this shot. This was taken about half an hour after the previous image so the whole of Sugarloaf Rock is now lit up with that nice warm glow. I liked how the vegetation at the bottom added a nice touch of green to the overall image. I wish I had a 10 stop ND filter for this shot to create some movement in the cloud.
If I had to pick a favourite shot from the whole workshop, this would be it. This was actually one of the first few shots I took upon arriving at the location. According to the metadata, this was taken at 5.06am. It was still fairly dark at the time. Initially, I wanted to try a long-exposure for this shot to try and get the wispy, ethereal look on the water but decided against it. I’m glad I did. At 2.5sec, it was long enough to capture motion on the water but short enough that you can still see the lines and definitions in them. I love this image, so much so that I am considering getting it printed.
All in all, it’s been a fun weekend and I had learned a lot. The knowledge that I had gained from this workshop and from James has been great. It had really pushed me out of my comfort zone. Granted, waking up at 3 in the morning is probably out of the comfort zone for a lot of people, but I’m glad I did it. Thank you again, James, for imparting your knowledge to us, and to all participants that made this possible.
Drop a comment below if you have any feedback on the blogs so far, or if you just want to say hi and have a chat 😁 Blogging is still very much new to me but I am excited to share my photos and experiences with you through this medium.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to help run a Landscape Photography Workshop as part of the FujiXAus group. The workshop was headed by our amazing James Posilero and organised by our Perth Admin - Gus Potenza. This took months in the making and I was glad that it went off without a hitch.
Landscape photography has always been an interest of mine ever since I took up photography a few years ago. Besides taking a few landscape shots of places where I just happened to be and the light happened to be amazing, I had never done a ‘dedicated’ landscape shoot before. After going through the workshop with James, I have now realised how little I knew about landscape photography.
The itinerary of the workshop involves 2 locations - one for sunset and one for sunrise. For sunset, our location was Canal Rocks, and Sugarloaf Rock for sunrise. This blog post will predominantly cover the behind the scene shots from both locations. I will share the result of my photos in the next one so stay tuned.
For our sunset location, we headed to Canal Rocks. I have been down to this region multiple times now, but this is the first time that I had visited Canal Rocks.
It had been an epic weekend for me. A big thank you to James for guiding and sharing his knowledge with us. If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out his website. His dedication to his craft really shines through the photos he captured. And also a massive shout out to everyone that attended. Couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to join us for our first workshop. Thank you all!
As for the end results, I am still going through the photos and trying to pick out the ones I am happy with. I will share these photos in my next blog, so keep an eye out for that.
Until next time!
Another month, another meet up with the FujiXAus group. Last week we decided to hit up Kings Park at night to try our hands on some long exposure photography. It’s been a while since I had done any long exposure photography so I was eager to see what I could come up with.
I was surprised to find that we actually had a decent number of people for this turn out, given that it was during the middle of the work week. After getting to know everyone, we then headed to the Kaarta Gar-Up lookout for our first spot. It’s been years since I’ve been to Kings Park at night. Perth city has changed so much in the past few years. I wanted to get detailed shots instead of just a wide angle view of the city, so I pulled out my Fujifilm 55-200mm f3.5-4.8. However, I struggled to get any form of composition that I liked, so instead, I switched back to the Fujifilm 16-55mm f2.8 and decided to do behind-the-scene shots of the group.
We then decided to head further down the path to see if we can find another spot that offers a different view. We came upon a clearing in the bush next to the path that offers the view of the freeway. Perfect for light trails! I took a few more behind-the-scene shots and tried a bit of astrophotography as well. After taking a number of shots, I ended up with my favourite shot of the night.
Switching back to the 55-200mm, I decided to take a crack at capturing some light trails on the freeway. I wanted to capture light trails on both sides of the road, as well as having the train through the middle as well. After taking a few shots, I ended up with my favourite from the night. It’s not exactly as I had envisioned it but it was close enough. I will definitely have to come back and try the shot again.
All in all it was a good night. It’s always fun to be able to go out and shoot some photography with like-minded people. Thank you again to everyone who came along.
Until next time!
Over the weekend, I hosted a photo meet up as part of the FujiXAus group. For this event I wanted to check out the Swan Bell Tower. They are actually running a competition on their website at the moment, so I thought it would be a cool place to check out. As part of their competition, they are offering free entry for photographers. I have linked the details of the competition here, and the free entry voucher here if you want to check it out.
I really enjoyed these photowalks as it brings together like-minded people, and it gets me off my butt to shoot some photos. As the event started, I got to know everyone who arrived, and it was really interesting to get to meet other photographers. I particularly enjoyed listening to how they started as a photographer, and what inspires them. As this is a FujiXAus event, of course there was some gear talk!
We started off with a group photo. With the free entry voucher in our hand, we headed off and explored the Bell Tower. I have never been to the Bell Tower so it was quite a new experience for me. If you haven’t figured it out already, the reason I hosted this event is to have an excuse to check out the inside of Swan Bell Tower 😜. It started with a tour inside, and there was a presentation on the history of the bell tower and bell ringers. We were also given the opportunity to ring the bells too!
Once the presentation was done, we headed up to the deck area. This is what I was looking forward to. We were a few stories up and it was pretty cool to look down Barrack Street and Elizabeth Quay from this vantage point. This is where I let my creative juices flow.
Thank you all who took the time to come and hang out with me. It was been a fantastic day for me and I’ve learned a lot, both from hosting this event as well as meeting you all. Hope to see you all again in future events.
Until next time!
PS. By the time this blog post gets published, I will be only my way to Penang. I’m really excited for this trip, and can’t wait to share some photos with you all!
As a first proper blog, I thought I would share my top 5 highlights of my Japan trip that I did back in December 2017. I traveled to Japan with my wife and her family. While it may not be our first time there, I was quite excited to explore the Kansai Region of Japan. We had previously spent about 2 weeks exploring Hokkaido and then Tokyo. This time however, we based ourselves in Osaka for a week and a half.
Deer (yes, you heard me - deer)
If you don’t know already, Nara Park is well known for having these wild deer, just lazing around. It’s quite amusing that they have learnt to bow for food. Though that might sound polite, they can actually get quite aggresive if you don't actually feed them after said bow.
THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER
I have to admit, I am not the biggest Harry Potter fan around. In fact, I have never completed the series - novel or movie wise. But I can't deny that there was a certain something here, something magical (see what I did there 😜)
We visited Osaka Castle a couple of days before visiting Himeji Castle, and I have to admit that I find Himeji Castle the more impressive of the 2. I can only imagine how much more beautiful it would be in the cherry blossom season.
I grew up eating these cupnoodles. So imagine my excitement on the day that we visited the Cupnoodles Musuem. It's definitely a fun place to visit. Check out all the cupnoodles that they have ever made. There's a wall full of them! Not only do you get to check out the history of Cupnoodles, you can even make your own! First you'll get the "cup" itself from a vending machine. Next, bring it to one of the many tables on the floor and create your very own cupnoodle design. Once done, bring it to the production counter, pick your soup base, ingredients and watch the whole process from start to finish. You'll even get a puffy bag in the end to store your cupnoodle in to avoid getting it crushed.
LUCKY OWL CAFE
If you haven't been to an animal themed cafe, then you are definitely missing out. My first experience was a cat cafe in Korea a few years ago. We had so much fun that we decided to check out a dog cafe later that day. So when we were researching for places to go, this came into our radar and we know we HAD to check this place out.
Picking these highlights was not an easy task. There was so much on offer in Osaka, and we did so much in the time that we were there. I'm hoping to share more of these experiences with you in future blogs. What were the highlights of your Japan trip? Have I missed anything? Drop me a comment below. Come say hi!😁
I have always toyed with the idea of setting up a website and potentially starting a blog. I had hoped to use this as a platform to showcase my photography and to further motivate me. So after weeks and months of contemplation upon contemplation, excuses upon excuses, I finally made the leap, and here we are.
I will be using this as a personal blog to share my travel photos, thoughts, and maybe even gear reviews. We'll see how we go. So with all that, welcome!