Fuji XF35 f/1.4 and XF60 f/2.4 – A Street Photography Review . . .

. . . In my previous post I wrote that I’d purchased the XF35 & XF60 Fuji lenses as replacements for the XF18-55mm Zoom. I couldn’t wait to put them through their paces and discover if this was indeed the right choice . . .

. . . Living as I do in the UK’s equivalent of the Australian Outback (Cumbria), Street Photography would appear to be an odd choice of hobby. My predicament was recently made all the more unbearable with these two new lenses that desperately needed trying out. Fortunately, a 30 mile trip to Barrow-In-Furness appeared unexpectedly, so I jumped at the chance to spend a couple of hours taking photo’s with the new ‘tools of the trade’.

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Hey Folks, I’ve Gone And Done Something Rather Rash (Possibly) . . .

. . . You see, since giving up Film and especially Leica’s, I’ve missed the simplicity and speed of operation of Prime Lenses. Zooms are great (the XF18-55mm especially). Afterall, having a specific focal length on-call whenever you need it saves all that faff of swapping lenses, right? Further, as the image quality is above and beyond what you would expect of a simple ‘kit’ lens, it sounds like an optical nirvana.

However, with regards the 18-55, I had a few minor (and major) niggles that I just couldn’t ignore.

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Barrow-In-Furness, A Town The Weatherman Never Mentions . . .

. . . Hear the words ‘Up North’ and for most of us, places such as Manchester, Newcastle and Hull spring to mind.

With progress however, these areas have become more Southern-like in their appearance and attitudes. Living standards as a result of investment in modern industries, retail, inner city regeneration, arts and culture, have improved immeasurably. Additionally, as the cost of living in the South has increased beyond the pockets of many, thousands now move to the once ‘grim North’, bringing their cash and lifestyles with them.

Barrow-In-Furness on the other hand, tucked away in an extreme north western corner of Cumbria and miles from any major motorway network, is all but ‘invisible’ to the rest of England.

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Chester Is Fast Becoming My Favorite Destination . . .

. . . For the hungry Street Photographer, Chester can cater to a wide variety of photographic tastes. The Fuji X-E1 with XF 18-55 proved its worth again as I enjoyed a relaxing stroll.

The City is a popular stage for Buskers and Performance artists, including (as it turns out) world famous Electric Violinist, Ed Alleyne-Johnson. Having one of his albums on my iPod, I was amazed to hear a familiar music echoing through the streets. Imagine my astonishment as when rounding a corner, there stood Ed repleat with his famous home-made purple violin, a plethora of effects pedals, a phrase looper and drum pad. A small crowd had congregated, watching in awe as he ‘built’ a tune from the basic riff to a crashing symphony, then launching into a rendition of Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’.

Ed Alleyne-Johnson.jpg

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I Was Recently Looking Through Some of My Older Photographs . . .

. . . When I came across a few forgotten favorites that I’d never posted on the blog before.

It’s funny how you (well me at least) can see a photo and remember instantly where it was taken, with what camera and what was happening at the time.

This is a particular favorite of mine which I call ‘Alice Belts’. Taken with the Leica M8 in Glasgow (my first time there) and meandering around, I actually walked straight past this scene. It was then that I had one of those ‘shall I go back’ moments and fortunately I did. This picture now hangs in the Breakfast Room of my Self-Catering Holiday Home.


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