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Week notes #2

Well, I wasn’t wrong to suggest I’d struggle to make this a truly weekly thing but where my week notes aren’t ever going to live up to the name, I have at least done a pretty good job of publishing to this site in the 7 weeks with 10 posts published.

Durham Cathedral workshop

After a quiet couple of weeks after my first week notes post, I got out for some dedicated photography time with an evening workshop at Durham Cathedral in mid-December: a birthday gift from my brother all the way back in May.

Having just started a new job a week earlier and dashing to get kids in the right place to be looked after while Liz was away for work, I didn’t exactly arrive well-prepared but I was excited to get into the cathedral at nighttime with full photography access and few other people.

FUJIFILM GFX 50R, Voigtländer Nokton 50mm, 1/60s at ƒ/1.5, ISO 1200

As it turned out, the workshop leaned more towards the free-for-all access than a more active workshop, which suited me fine. I spent the first hour or so getting the obvious shots looking down the length of the cathedral, camera-on-tripod, while people were keeping the line of sight clear. I then slowly started moving around.

I’ve been trying to slow down and spend more time getting individual compositions right recently, though looking at my images from the evening my favourite shots are largely those right towards the end where I walked round taking hand-held images with the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm F1.5 on the Fuji GFX 50S/50R (with the new 7artisans M-GFX adapter).

I don’t think this is actually to do with tripod-versus-hand-held photography in this case though, and more that while Durham Cathedral is stunning architecturally, I wasn’t feeling overly inspired taking the more obvious big-pic shots. 

I found that when I focused on smaller or quirkier details was when I got the more interesting images—I really like the moody detail shots I got in the choir stalls, even if (maybe because?) they're grainy and more impressionistic.

Overall, it was a fun 3 hours and I got a handful of images I really like. I’ve also now got a better idea of how to spend my time if I do another workshop at the cathedral, so maybe next year!

Christmas & New Year

The holiday break wasn’t much of a break for me this year: having only started work at Sage a couple of weeks earlier, I had to work through most of the break between Christmas and New Year. 

FUJIFILM X100F | 23mm, 1/99s at ƒ/5.6
FUJIFILM X100F | 23mm, 1/99s at ƒ/5.6

We did have a few nice family walks along the promenade at Whitley Bay, giving our eldest a chance to ride his new balance bike. With the ever-changing conditions on the coast, we also caught a lovely sunset one afternoon, with the setting sun lighting up the wind turbines out at sea, against a darkening sky.

I had the X100F with me, so was able to take a few shots to capture the moment, though the fixed 23mm lens wasn’t exactly ideal. I would have loved to have one of the telephotos with me to get in closer on the turbines and pick them out properly against the dark sea and sky in more of an abstract image.

FUJIFILM X100F | 23mm, 1/99s at ƒ/5.6

SceneMapper

Work and seasonal goings-on stalled work on SceneMapper a little, but I did recently push a new update to the alpha version of the app and am hoping to spend some more time working it towards a proper beta soon. 

I brought back a feature that had lost its place in the re-design of a screen and started a refactoring of the forecast checking service that powers the push notifications, ahead of adding more weather conditions that can be tracked by each scene.

The app is already showing its worth to me and I hope to get it into the hands of a few more photographers over the next few months.

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