A lot of people have asked me why I’ve recently switched from Sony to Fuji and the reasons are multiple so I’m going to write a short blog post to let you know why I did that (and just cause you’ve asked no, nobody has paid me, I just wish Fuji had :-)).
I may be a bit paranoid but having 2 sd cards on my camera to backup the pictures I’ve been taking makes me less nervous… i don’t know about you :).
Size and weight
The reason why I switched from Nikon to Sony at the beginning was because I wasn’t bringing my DSLR with me every time. Photography for me was kind of dead so when I found out that mirrorless cameras were out I bought a Sony A7. That camera gave me a new motivation to start shooting again and since then I’ve taken thousands of pictures with it. As the Sony system keep growing unfortunately their lenses keep getting bigger, heavier and more expensive. I know they are still pretty light in comparison with other full frame systems but it was too much for me. So after a few hikes I did in Norway I decided that my setup was too heavy and I had to choose something different. I went to a local shop here in Dublin to buy a Fuji x70 just to try it out. I was so impressed by the handling and the image quality of this tiny camera that in a few weeks I went to buy a Fuji Xpro 2 and a few lenses.
Build quality and handling
I’ve always been pretty disappointed with the build quality of the Sony A7. The camera had a problem with the sensor and sometimes I’ve noticed some strange glares in my pictures. The lenses were losing color and they were very easy to scratch. After a few weeks it seems they were overused and old. The build quality of the Xpro 2, instead, is very good. The camera feels solid, it is weather sealed and the lenses are very solid too. Everything feels premium and very durable. Also the handling of the Fuji is amazing. I love to shoot with this camera and it feels very good in my hands. Aperture, shutter speed and ISO are very easy to change and everything is just a click away.
I know the Sony A7 has a bigger sensor but the pictures from the new Fuji Xpro 2 sensor are amazing. Because of the lack of AA filter and the quality of the lenses the pictures are sharper. Maybe the dynamic range was better on the Sony but I don’t really like to push my editing too much and to give my pictures an HDR look. Also the colors are better on the Fuji. I prefer the warmer look that the pictures have, the Sony look instead was always a bit too cold. I shoot RAW but I feel I really have to change less to the pictures I take with the Fuji.
I can’t understand why I’ve to spend 3.2K euro for a Sony a7 with a 35mm f1.4 lens when I can have an Xpro 2 with a fantastic 23mm f1.4 and save money to buy a new lens or to travel somewhere nice :-). What about the size and the weight then? The Fuji 23mm f1.4 is half the size and weight of the Sony 35 f1.4 and I don’t think anybody will notice any difference in pictures taken with these two lenses.
My Sony A7 was a great camera but the Xpro 2 suits me better. Pictures are sharper, colors are nicer, it is smaller and lighter and I love its look and feeling. I think if you like your camera you will bring it with you more often and this always let you shoot better pictures. Choose the camera you like and don’t mind about brands or what other people say. If you like it you’ll use it more and it will improve your photography. And if you like Sony or Canon or Nikon or whatever other camera better we can still be friend, I don’t care about brands :-).
As you’ve read on my blogI’ve been in Iceland in April for two weeks taking pictures for the Icelandic tourism board. It was a fantastic experience: the nature in Iceland is truly fantastic and views, landscapes and spots to photograph are everywhere. It wasn’t so difficult so to come back home with more then 3000 pictures!
To show you some of the best pictures I’ve taken I’ve decided to create a video slideshow. Here are all the pictures I liked the most in a short (hopefully not boring) video. You can find more pictures from Iceland on my Iceland pictures section of my gallery.
I hope you enjoy the video, let me know in the comments below if you want to have more information about Iceland or if you want to know where a picture was taken.
I’ve been in Iceland for a project about 2 years ago. I’ve been there for just 4 days and I didn’t get the chance to explore the island. Since then, Iceland has been on my list. I had to go back and take some shots of that beautiful country.
Now the time has come and yes, I’m going back to Iceland!
With the support of the fantastic people at Inspired by Iceland and Icelander hotels I’ll be travelling around the country for 10 days with my wife. As I’ll be taking pictures (hopefully the weather will be nice with us) I want to let you know what gear I’m going to bring with me for this trip.
I like to travel light and I’m mostly exclusively a prime lenses shooter so you won’t find a long list of items here. I generally adapt to my camera as doing this let me think more about the composition and the shot I’m going to take. So here we go, this is the gear I will bring with me to Iceland (please bear in mind that nobody sponsored me and every item in the list has been meticulously tested and chosen :-)):
The backpack, my trusty Manfrotto Advanced Active Backpack I
The camera, a Fujifilm X-PRO 2 (and a Fujifilm X-e2s as a backup just in case my X-PRO 2 breaks)
Three lenses: a Fujifilm 14mm f2.8 for landscape, a Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 for everything (I love this lens :-)), a Fujifilm 60mm f2.4 if I need something longer
The tripod, a Manfrotto BeFree Carbon Fiber (yes I’m that lazy and I’ll be hiking around :-))
The igadgitz filters holder with 3 filters (Hoya ND1000 58mm, Haida ND1000 62mm, Hoya Polarizer 58mm )
The Expro dual battery charger
Sd cards and batteries
A MacBook pro (not in the picture) to backup and edit pictures and to assist all my customers around the world (I love you people :-))
A rubber bulb to clean sensor and lenses (I’ve been asked strange questions about it in various airports :-))
A microfiber cloth
That’s it guys, as you can see I like to keep it simple and use my mind (when it works) to bring home some good shots. I leave you now with some pictures I’ve taken the last time I was there and hopefully I’ll do better this time :-). You can follow me on Instagram, Flickr, 500px, Twitter or Facebook to find out more about my trip.
I’m glad to announce that one of my pictures has been shortlisted for the final of the Siena International Photography Awards!
Siena International Photo Award is one of the photo contests with the highest international participation ever. 2016 edition has received nearly 50.000 images from amateur and professional photographers from 130 countries worldwide so I’m proud that they picked my work for the final stage.
Wish me luck for the final I hope I could win one of the final prices.
Unfortunately I can’t reveal which of my pictures they have shortlisted but I’ll update you as soon as I’ll get some news.
One of my pictures has been featured in the National Geographic Daily Dozen of today January 2nd 2017. To get a picture selected by National Geographic is such an honor for every photographer and if you help me voting it here the picture could be published in their magazine.
Thanks for your help in advance, I hope you will have a great 2017.
I don’t really like presets. I always edit my pictures starting from the basic panel; then I add some brushes to dodge and burn or to do some local changes.
Then Sleeklens contacted me to let me try their Lightroom presets for landscape photography. They’ve sent me the Through the woods bundle for a review so I accepted the challenge: let’s see if I can change idea on presets.
Now I’ve installed it and I’ve tried the bundle on some of my pictures. I’ve to say they did a really good job in giving the photographer the option to stack settings. You essentially have a lot of basic presets that you can combine to achieve the final result you want. They also provide some brushes you can use for local adjustments. As you can see from the screenshot below I’ve edited one of my pictures I took in Tuscany with their presets and the result was actually pleasant.
Below you can see the before and after. I started from a balanced exposure to create a more appealing picture in this case using exclusively their presets and brushes.
Playing with these bundle I must say didn’t change my idea about presets. I mean, I don’t like it when they change your picture with a lot of filters. Presets stacking though is a smart way to speed up your workflow. I was actually already using some basic presets I’ve created to repeat some task I was doing over and over. So I guess this is a clever approach to make your workflow faster and efficient.
If you want to have more information about Sleeklens and their products visit their website.
From Friday the 8th of July until Thursday the 21st of July Obscure Street will showcase the work of about 60 street photographers from all around the world. The exhibition will be part of the PhotoIreland festival and will be hold at In-Spire Galerie Dublin (56 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1, 3 min walk Connolly Station Dublin ).
If you’re around and have time to visit the exhibition let me know so we can meet and know each other! The gallery will be open: Tue-Wed 11am-5pm, Thu 11am-7pm, Fri-Sat 11am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm. For more information about opening hours, location, artists and works please visit the official page on the PhotoIreland website.
As you know if you read my blog I’ve been lately taking pictures in the US. I’ve been around in Los Angeles, Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Park and other beautiful places in California.
If you like to buy fine art photography from emerging photographers you can visit the California pictures section in my wall art shop and buy a print or a poster that could be valued a fortune in the next few years :-).
You can find some beautiful sunset or sunrise I’ve photographed in my two weeks trip or some street photography pictures I’ve taken in Venice Beach or in some landmarks in Los Angeles.
Not only that, I’ve been taking pictures of landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes in the beautiful Malibu, Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree national park, Death Valley and obviously LA.
All my pictures are released under Creative Commons license so you can use them for free as long as you give me credit and a link to my website.
I hope you enjoy and if you do please support my work buying a print. I’m also available for photoshoot so if you want to hire me or have more information about my pictures get in contact.
A few weeks ago I’ve been on holiday in Death Valley, one of the most popular places among photographers. I now understand why! Death Valley is a fantastic area for taking photographs. I thought it could be boring with all that sand and desert but there are so many different areas and views, you can’t really get annoyed and miss some beautiful shots.
One of the places I’ve liked the most in Death Valley is Racetrack, a peaceful valley where you can see a unique natural phenomenon: the moving stones. Nothing fancy here because you can’t really see rocks moving in front of you but you can follow the trails that will point you to the closest rock that the wind moved somewhere else during the night when the surface gets iced. As the area is full of rocks and lines you want to bring with you an ultra wide lens to emphasize the foreground and the leading line created by the rock. You can see an example of what I’m talking about below. I shot this picture with a Fuji X-T10 and a Rokinon 12mm lens.
As you can see the result is a unique frame which will leave the viewer curious and shocked at the same time. To reach racetrack be sure to have a 4×4 car. I rented a Toyota Rav4 which served me very well! You can find the exact location of this place in the map below.
Another beautiful spot in Death Valley you don’t want to miss is Zabriskie Point. This is another unique place where you can admire some fantastic cliffs the nature has designed. I’ve never seen something similar and I can assure you that being there (and in Racetrack) is something you want to experience at least once in your life. You can see a picture I took in Zabriskie point below. Luckily there was a badass guy looking at the cliffs which add a sense of scale in the shot. I’ve merged five different shots to make a panorama. I suggest you to bring a wide angle lens. You really want to capture the beauty of this fantastic place. I’ve used an 18mm fuji lens to take the pictures and Lightroom to make a pano.
To be sure to reach the location I’ll leave you the exact location of this place which is one of the most popular spots in Death Valley.
Finally I really enjoyed Mesquite Sand Dunes. Here you can really feel the desert. Leave the car at the parking lot and have fun walking (and running like a crazy baby) on the dunes. It could be tough to hike here but you won’t forget this place. Colors are amazing but the sand is particularly nice when the sun is low. The golden color of the dunes is even better when the light is soft and the shadows are long and nice. The blue of the sky then gives a fantastic contrast to the pictures. You can see a picture I’ve taken in this beautiful place below. I’ve used the 18mm fuji lens here which is my walkaround and favorite lens.
Check the location of this area in the map below.
If you want to really experience Death Valley be sure to stay there for at least two or three days. I’ve spent a day in the valley and another one in Racetrack which is a difficult place to reach. Bring with you a lot of water and comfortable clothes. I’ve been there in March and the temperature was about 20/25 celsius degrees.
I hope you’ll find these tips useful. If you think I’ve missed something please leave a comment below to make this article better.
As I wrote in my last post I was invited by Promote Iceland to join a blog tour in their beautiful country. The whole experience was fantastic; I met very nice people and visited interesting places. Obviously I also had the chance to take some pictures and here is tip number 1: if you go to Iceland during winter plan your trip meticulously. The sunrise is at almost 11am and the sunset at almost 3,30pm. It leaves you with just 4/5 hours of light and if you want to travel you really have to plan your trip to be in the right place at the right time. Also, the weather is often bad. I couldn’t take pictures of Gulfoss, a fantastic waterfall, because the wind was very strong and the snow was falling so hard I couldn’t even almost visit the place.
Tip number 2: winter is nice in Iceland and the Christmas time allows you to see markets and beautiful lights but if you want to take pictures I guess that spring or summer are a better choice. You’ll get more light and in the summer sunrise and sunset will be very slow. You’ll get not one or two golden hours but more and the weather will be generally warmer. During winter though, it’s easier to see the Aurora Borealis. Unfortunately in the 4 days I was there the sky wasn’t clear so I couldn’t experience the Northern lights.
Tip number 3: bring a tripod. Iceland is full of waterfalls, lakes and cliffs so you can use an ND filter or take pictures during sunsets and sunrises keeping the shutter slow to capture the water in motion.
Tip number 4: visit the very south/west of Iceland. It’s not a very popular area but landscapes there are fantastic, it seems to be on a different planet and the coast is wild and beautiful. The followings are two shots I took there. You can check the gps data on Flickr to see the exact position of these spots.
Tip number 5: if you like architecture Reykjavik has plenty of beautiful buildings and monuments you could visit and photograph. You can find some good opportunities also all around the country.
Tip number 6: go to the Blue Lagoon! It was one of the best experiences in my life. Not only you can take beautiful pictures but you can relax in the hot pool and have a drink staring, incredulously, at the snow on the side.
Tip number 7: winter in Iceland is very good for astrophotography. When the sky is clear there is not much light pollution and you can see the stars clearly. Be prepared to wear heavy clothes though because temperatures are low and during the night is even worse.
So that’s it guys. I’ve really enjoyed my time in Iceland and I’ll definitely go back on my own to take some nice landscape or seascape photos. These were my tips based on my experience. If you want to add some information please do it in the comments below.