Tag: spring

The First Narcissus

I have been a real slug of late when it comes to posting pictures here on The Glass Aerie. Part of it has been just interests in areas outside of looking at a computer, coldish weather, and whatever other excuse I can offer!

One place I do go with fair regularity is the local botanical garden, which like all such gardens, is designed to display plants and flowers throughout the season. Here, the first narcissus of earlier in the year – something I make special trips for as their presence is so fleeting.

I am finding the X100V to be an extremely pleasant carry-around camera, and the results aren’t have bad, either.

Ode to Spring

Ode to Spring (by Andrew Elliott)

Oh glory be to things that grow!
That burgeon, blossom, bud and blow
In Springtime’s light and airy breeze,
Which ruffles softly new sprung leaves.

What tongue there be to justly praise
The wonders wrought by Vernal days?
These beauties bright which turn, indeed,
Each frozen heart to flaming glede.

O Daffodil! O Daffodil!
That covers well each downy hill—
E’en Solomon was not arrayed
In splendour such as you displayed.

Ah! Lovely Tulip, what to you
Is all the wealth of Timbuktu?
What, then, the gain of dye from Tyre—
When Gladdons blaze with purple fire?

Thou Cowslip and thou Daisy fair—
Thou Foxglove, Rose, and Lily rare—
Much more is your surpassing worth
Than all the gems throughout the earth!

Consider well what ecstasy
Lies cloistered in each Peony—
That dormant wait until the hour
Their chains are loosed, then start to flow’r.

Oh Spring, indeed, thou teachest well
That man, though wise, knoweth not the spell
Which makes all things by beauty bound—
That Mystery which none hath found.

In Bloom

I have been updating some of my photography stuff, and part of that process is going through the archives. I took this with a film camera, and I have no idea when I did. It was taken at the local botanical garden.  I also didn’t see it in my quick scan through my media files on this blog, so I thought it would be a good one to share.  If I already published it, well, enjoy it again – I am.

Spring is such a wonderful time of year, and it doesn’t pay to miss it! I was at the garden yesterday to see the daffodils and narcissus toward sunset and did not have time to wander through this area – but I will in the not too distant future, and hopefully be able to capture more trees in bloom.

Last Year, This Year

Fire season has begun! Up the coast, along Highway 101, the first fire has broken out near Gaviota. The land is hilly and grassy, and rugged in areas. This makes stopping the fire more challenging, and when the winds pick up, it can travel so fast. We have been having a heat wave in the 90s F for the past few days – today is supposedly the last one like that in our area. Then, down into the 70s F, which is much nicer. I used to love the hot winds, but they have become more fierce and destructive over the last few years that they are more frightening than ever.

This photo shows what we can be up against. The new spring growth, becoming lush in our seasonal rains, changes to dry, dead tinder for a wildfire. The swath of grey is last season’s new growth.


Hunkered down, spending money on groceries in ways not of our norm, enjoying the cold and rain, and getting out for walks. I get off the streets and onto a trail. Here is a view from above a local creek – all slushy brown leaves from last year and new ones leafing out.

It’s been a kick trying to take good pictures with a limited, prime, non-zoom lens. A challenge. So many absolutely dreadful ones, and the occasional good one. Learning curve! Not a bad thing at all. I’m glad I got this X100V – my mind is definitely rethinking how to make an image.

Spring’s New Leaves with a New Spring Camera: X100V

I was naughty and . . . “gear hound” that I am (and that was a great term from you-know-who-you-are), got the new Fuji X100V. I am a Nikon shooter, so this was an adventure into new territory.

So, why the X100V?

When the X100 series was started in 2011, I was drawn to it, but really could not justify buying it. The reasons then were partly financial, but also I was still learning photography and had Nikon digital and film cameras, with F-mount lenses. I like my Nikon systems and have no complaints about them at all – solid performers producing results I like. However, I am lacking something small and portable and sophisticated enough to challenge me.  YouTube videos were singing its praises. So, I bit the first day B&H had it up for pre-order.

Beyond the hype of YouTube users discussing the camera itself prior to its official release, some yay, some nay, I am finding this to be a bit of a confusing camera.  Experience will lessen this for sure.  The confusion lies in its menu system  – all new to me.  As I play with it, I am finding a rich ability to customize images and aspects of the camera. I doubt I will use all of them, but it is intriguing – like a good novel – and makes me want to learn more. What I found I really like is that I can make more than 4×3 images – I can set the camera to make 9×16 and 1×1. Further, the X-Trans sensor (I think that’s the term) is different than Nikon sensors, so color rendering is different, and the visual differences are very nice.

The X100V has a new lens (23mm equalling a 35mm full frame), an upgrade from all previous models in the X100 series.  It also has the ability to replicate various Fuji films, and that is becoming an exciting element in this camera.  You can set color preferences (i.e. the Acros setting, with a red emphasis) to push the film in various directions, as well as add grain.  Creative fun in the camera settings – how cool is that?

In using it for a day or so, I can see this will be a take-everywhere-I-go camera.  I usually have a film camera with me, but the film speed can limit what I can do.  A fixed focal length will challenge me in composition, but the fact I can get within 4 inches of a subject is very attractive as I like macro photography, and this is pretty close.  The lens fall off (or bokeh) is very pleasant, and the lens is, as everyone has pointed out, very sharp at f/2.  The tilt screen is useful, too; I have one on another camera, but I never really think about using them.  I expect I will be more likely to now.  It is also a touch screen, as is the other one I have, and I do like that element.  The X100V also has the ability to use Bluetooth to transfer to other devices, but if you don’t turn it off, it gets warm and burns through the battery as it searches for a device with which to pair.  I turned it off.  I am not likely to use it, but you never know.

Finally, I found initially I could not use the RAF (raw file extension) files in my Lightroom set up.  Hmmmm.  I converted them to DNGs using Adobe Converter.  Later, a bit of research showed me I was using my old standalone version of LR.  I do have the annual account for LR and other Adobe products, but for some reason the Lightroom Classic CC had disappeared from my system.  An upgrade to it, and we now have visible RAF files!  Yay!  This is when you have to love the internet!

The image above is pretty much a simple edit of the RAF file.  I upped the lighter greens a tad, put is a soft vignette to lead the eye, and the usual framing and signature.  Very little work required.  The raw files really caught the bright green of the new leaves.  The jpeg did, too.  Here is where the Fuji sensor seems stronger than the Nikon ones.  The detail, too, is well caught.  Technique used, per LR, is 1/210 sec, f/8, iso 1000.  I posted the full version of the image just to show off what the lens can do.


The Last Narcissus

I took my Nikon N90s, Nikon 28-85 f2.8 Macro, and a roll of the new Kodak Ektachrome E100 to the botanical garden – always a favorite place! Springtime is the best, too, as trees and bulbs and plants are all in bloom. This was taken as the last of the narcissus bloomed and were fading away. At the gardens, the narcissus are the first up and first to fade.

I am pleased with the new Ektachrome E100. Yes, it’s a positive film, needing E6 chemistry to process, and it costs more than B&W or color. However, positive film has so much going for it, and here is more than ample proof. Film, camera, and lens all came together quite nicely.