X-T1

To the next adventure

A few days ago was a terrific evening sky. No storm, just puffy clouds and a wonderful sunset. Being in the suburbs, seeing the sun to the horizon wasn’t going to happen, but the sky was still great.

A few planes flew over and I had my new 50-140mm f2.8 lens on the Fuji X-T1 at the ready to catch this silhouette of a jet taking travellers to some adventure.

Alien macro photos

We picked up this really neat flower on sale. One of those end-of-season things. It is a slow bloomer but the flowers that come are awesome. The other day I took to it with my X-T1 and 60mm macro lens. Here are a couple shots. Without context, it looks like something from another planet. Or a Dr. Seuss book.

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Shoo Fly

Trying to keep the photography going. Again, an evening outside after work, a fly landed on the chair next to me and was eating away at something. Probably Chipmunk poop or something. Enough that it didn’t care I was there. I had the Fuji X-T1 and the 60mm lens for the birds. As a bonus, its a macro lens. So I was able to get really close.

This is a fairly extreme crop, but still, cool how close I managed it.

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Train Double Play

Train watching in Ottawa is, to be kind, limited. This city is definitely not blue collar or industrial in any way. As such, there is very little in the way of rail traffic other than passenger trains. For the railfan, it is a wasteland. Basically, the only freight is local 589 that services a couple of industries, and this is on a weekly basis. Oh, and not on a particular schedule, so to see something is pure luck.

So double-bonus for me! My new job has a view to the railway up to Almonte. The once-a-week delivery to the Nylon plant up there. The window behind my cubicle looks that way, and if I’m at my desk, I hear the horn of the train approaching the level crossing. If I see/hear it, I know six hours later (at the end of the work day) it returns, and I can potentially catch it.

Such was last week. I heard the horn, and looked to see two locomotives pulling five tank cars up the line. I looked at the time, and knew when they would be coming back. The time is random, but the day is not, so I had my X-Pro1 with me to hopefully catch the return. Luckily, I did.

I knew where I wanted to be, so I hung out there a bit early to make sure I’d catch it. When it did come, I got some shots. When I came home and looked, I saw that in my excitement to see the train (remember, nothing much happens here) some shots were not very crisp. The one below looked better with a black and white treatment.

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The other shot, though not much better, worked in colour.

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As a bonus, this Sunday while I was sweeping up the walkway, I heard a train coming. I’m just across the street from the tracks served mostly by Via Rail. The train sounded different and when I looked, it was the local delivering lumber to the nearby lumber yard. I immediately grabbed my camera and made for the tracks. There is a bike/walk path along the tracks on either side. It was a quick job, and I caught it on its return to Walkley yard.
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XT015335What the photos don’t show is motion.  The locomotive is pushing the box car. As I saw it coming down the tracks, I could see the flashing red light of the End of Train device coming towards me.

I’ll leave out the train-geek reasons for this. But suffice to say, for a very barren train location of Ottawa, I had a pretty good week.

Sunset Chickadee

These days, it seems photography is a distant memory. My new job is in a location that is devoid of anything to shoot , although I really should take a page out of Thomas Hawk’s way of photographing everything. Still, with a new job and all the learning and work to do, inspiration falls to the side. Recently, after work, I’ve taken to sitting in the backyard with a drink and my X-T1 with the longest lens I have (60mm) to catch anything interesting. And while Mr. Hawk desires to publish a million photos before he dies and as such (and I think his camera is sewn to his hand) I’m  little more discerning. The image has to be “worthy”.

So it was the other day when sitting outside that a Chickadee flew in close to check things out. Thus is the resulting shot with the setting sun. There have been a number of little creatures showing up, including a humming bird, which I’m hoping to catch next.

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Wild Backyard

Living in the suburbs presents an interesting dichotomy. While it is a bunch of humans in big boxes, there is still the ever-present wildlife, who have adapted to having people around.

Our backyard on some days, is like something out of a Disney movie: various birds and animals coming and going. From the birds at the feeder (Chickadees, Finches, Cardinals, Grackles and now Red-winged Black Birds) to other wildlife in red and black squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits.

Tonight there was a couple of visitors, one being a new little bunny. We have a couple of domestic bunnies, and to see the wild ones are fun to see and forever welcome in the backyard. I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 and affixed the 60mm (my longest lens) to get some shots. And the chipmunk also made an appearance. Both these shots have an extreme crop to “zoom in”. The 60 is my longest lens, and I’m thinking its time to invest in something longer to get some better shots.

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Let it Rain

Here in Ottawa, and in most of Ontario, it’s been pretty dry – near drought conditions. In the last couple months, there has been half as much rain as any given one month.

So today, the sky has opened up, and over the full weekend, it’s promising to be wet and grey. Sucks for those on camping trips and vacation, but it is needed.

As I was finishing up breakfast and getting dressed, it grew darker and darker. The thunder clapped and the rain came down in torrents. I love a good thunder storm, and this one didn’t disappoint.  I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 and fitted with the 16-55 I went out to get some shots. Both are weather-sealed, so I wasn’t concerned about the water problems. I was a bit damp, but got some photos. All taken with a longer exposure to get the water motion.

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Feeding time

I put a bird feeder out in the backyard. I’m starting to find the little birds fun to watch (I must be getting old).

As the little guys were feeding away, I discovered I could get pretty close to them. So I got my X-T1 and with the 16-55mm f2.8 I grabbed some shots. They were very accommodating.

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Blue Sky

Yesterday winter made one of its last hurrahs with a moderate snow fall. I was up to Carp to see my doctor and the snow on the trees looked fantastic. As I have mentioned before, a local freight runs up through Carp on a regular basis, and I always ensure that my appointments are on the correct day and rough time that it comes through. So I had my camera with me.

After the appointment (all is well) I drove around the area to scout out a new position for the train. In doing so, I caught a few pics of the snow covered trees. The blue sky just looks awesome.
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And after shooting this, I noticed the yellow fire hydrant. Blue and yellow are complimentary colours, so…

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Sadly, no train came. It seems to be a no luck week for the limited freight trains around here. Did make this shot down the line heading just outside of town.

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All shots with the Fuji X-T1 and 16-55 f2.8.

Heat Lamps

This past weekend there was a synchronized skating competition in nearby Kanata which my significant other’s team was skating in. After each category/grouping, they resurface the ice. During this time, I looked up and noticed the heating devices (some of them) were on. With the roof structure it made an interesting shot, so I pointed my X-T1 with the 16-55 at it, framed it up. The results below.

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I always think of these things as the heat lamps like the ones that keep food “warm” in fast food places. These ones give off a surprising amount (and very welcomed) heat.