Blackpool Festival of Light

Blackpool has been busy as crowds flocked to the resort for the LightPool event which took place this week. I visited on the night when the three illuminated trams paraded together along the promenade escorted along the way by the Spark Drummers.

It was a great event and I wish I could have made it along on more than night. Here are a few pictures…

Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.

Carnival of Light attracts crowds to Blackpool, UK.


Jude in black and white

My last blog post focused on our grandson, Alexander’s visit over Easter. This time I’m turning the camera on our other grandson Jude.

Jude is exactly six months younger than Alexander so he isn’t walking yet but he does do an amazingly fast bum shuffle! It’s hard to believe that come school age, they will both be in the same year.

These black and white photos were all taken on the Fuji X-T2 with 50mm lens.



Fuji XF50mm F2 WR – first impressions

The latest lens from Fuji for the X-Series of cameras is the XF50mF2 R WR. It has been described by some as a slightly strange focal length. In 35mm terms, it is a short telephoto lens which falls a bit short of what is generally thought to be the ideal for portraits.

I’m not sure who Fuji had in mind as the target audience for this lens but I thought I’d share with you my reasons for buying it, together with a few photos and first impressions.

I already own two lenses that cover this focal length (18-55mm and 50-140mm) plus I also have the 60mm macro lens. So, let me explain my reasons for adding the 50mm f2.

In the last 12 months I have been taking quite a lot of photos of my grandchildren. Quite a number of these photos have been taken inside in low light conditions where space is limited. This is where I believe the new lens will offer some benefits over my existing kit.

The 50mm is small and light with a reasonably wide f2 aperture.  This for me beats the bulk and f2.8 aperture of the excellent 50-140mm lens, which I see more as a professional tool for events etc.

Another benefit is the autofocus speed. The 50mm lens acquires focus faster than any other Fuji lens I own and I hope it will be ideal for unpredictable children. I’ve used the 60mm lens to take portraits in the past and the results are excellent but it’s not the fastest lens when it comes to focussing, even after various software updates on the latest generation of cameras. My main camera these days is the Fuji X-T2.

As regards build quality, the lens feels extremely well made. The aperture clicks and manual focus ring are the smoothest I’ve come across on the Fuji lenses with just the right amount of resistance.

So that’s my rational for buying the lens together with a few first impressions. As I’ve only had the lens a couple of days I haven’t had chance to try it out on the grandchildren yet. Nor have I had time to take many photos with this lens but here are a few images I have taken with it in the last couple of days. I don’t get into pixel peeping but so far, I can say I’m happy with my latest purchase.

I’ll follow up this post with more pictures and impressions of the 50mm f2 in the near future.


In Pictures: Victorian Fair at Winckley Square

It was good to see people enjoying a Victorian Fair in the centre of Preston this weekend at the newly restored Winckley Square gardens.  Plenty of people had taken the time to dress up and music played as people browsed the craft and food stalls.

It was a great photo opportunity and local photographer’s were out in force. I had packed my trusty Fuji X-T2 with a couple of lenses and had decided to shoot in black and white. It just seemed more appropriate for a Victorian themed event and I do like a bit of monochrome especially when it has the lovely tones of the Fuji Acros Film Simulation.

Here are the pictures. Click on ant pictures to enter slide show view so you can view the pictures larger.


Easter Egg Rolling in Preston

Avenham Park in Preston is the location for a tradition that has been going on for hundreds of years. Easter egg rolling down the grassy slopes of the park is dominated these days by chocolate eggs but you still get a few decorated hard-boiled eggs flying down the slopes too.  It’s a tradition that is still going strong and today (Easter Monday) thousands turned out on what was one of the sunniest Easter Days that I can remember.

From a photographic point of view there was lots to see – apart from the masses of people there was bouncy castles, fairground rides and street performers (non of which I got to see in my short visit to the park).  Another notable fact about Avenham Park is that it is the place where the first Mormon converts outside of the US were baptised on the banks of the River Ribble and a plaque to commemorate this historical fact is located in the park.

This shot has been given a retro feel in Lightroom – for me this photo could just as easily have been taken in the 1970’s when I was growing up in the City. The camera was the X-Pro1with 55-200mm lens and I’d also taken out the X-E1 with 18mm lens fitted for the wider shots. It shows the children preparing for a mass Easter Egg roll.