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Hi-Vis-Festival, Digbeth 2021

From my social media feeds, you would think that the whole of Birmingham was at the Hi Vis Festival. The date was released with much anticipation and then the BBC Midlands today programme ratcheted up the excitement several notches more by featuring Panda of Graffiti artist talking about the festival. Big Artist names were released and social media was overflowing with comments about the weekend activities.

Hi-Vis-Festival, Digbeth 2021
n_4_t_4 and his astral traveller. Loving the blue colours and the reflections

The festival was held over the Saturday and Sunday in September 2021. I could only make the Saturday which meant that I would be viewing much of the artwork in its early stages. Still that means another visit later in the month to see the finished artwork. Visiting Digbeth always provides photographic opportunities and the Hi Vis festival was no exception. On arrival my first stop was at Milk street where a few artists were working. Surprisingly one of the bouncers at the local club asked why I was taking pictures. I must have looked suspicious! I moved onto Floodgate street – so many artists out painting the walls. People walking around, hen parties, loud noisy cars cruising and street artists. Many of them were intent on what they were creating and were happy to have their photos taken. The street was full of cars but they made for great reflections.

Moving onto Gibb street over the gangway that spans the river Rea. More people plus music and generally great vibes. There was so much to describe and taking pictures with the camera was on overload. Skateboarders provided a gritty backdrop to the arches. Seeing the artists close up and watching them work allowed you to get a good perspective of their approach. Watching @cryola1 paint a vibrant portrait was a highlight.

As you walk into Gibb street, you enter the heart of the Custard Factory and boundless energy is pumped around the cafes and shops. Weddings are taking place at the Old Library and people out enjoying the sunshine. I walked around the arches onto Heath Mill Lane and caught a picture of Panda on his scooter! Thanks to Panda and his team bringing together such variety of street art onto the streets. On Digbeth High Street, there were many more artists painting walls and billboards. Just great to see them in action. I moved back into Floodgate street and saw other well known local artists such as n4t4 and Snub 23 painting. I know I have not credited all of the street artists but I can add names if requested. There was a focus of activity down Little Ann street and there were several artists working including I.am.sprite with her mural of Tiny Roar.

Hi-Vis-Festival, Digbeth 2021
I.am.sprite with Tiny Roar

Ladders and even mechanised platforms were being used to ensure that the painting quality was enhanced. I find it amazing that the street artists are able to keep the bigger picture in mind whilst painting the smaller details. The Pop Art nature of the pictures is a colour frenzy and stand out against the old factories that are a feature of the Digbeth architecture.

Hi Vis Digbeth 2021
Hi Vis festival by plague

Overall the walkaround was very enjoyable, I met several friends, people were friendly and the atmosphere lifted the spirits. There will be a post script on the Hi Vis Festival and all the finished pieces of street art when I get the chance to get down there again. It you are interested in street art then there are a few other blog posts on the street art that I have done including Digbeth Street Art and Digbeth, Digbeth. There is also some pictures of the Bristol scene which I visited in 2020. As you can see, it is a fascinating subject.

Postscript – Digbeth High Street and Selfridges

As I moved back to the car, I thought to myself, “let’s spend 5 to 10 minutes looking around Digbeth High Street” which will include a few pictures of Selfridges in its high visibility cladding. The high street is making way for the tram so it is being dug up. The traffic was stationary and there were pink reflections in the car windows. I was unable to capture the scene well and made do with a couple of pictures of Selfridges.


Fog Knowle Park

Waking up on a Friday morning, I was excited to find that it was foggy. I was keen to get down to the park and take some atmospheric pictures of the conditions. There were not too many people around but I was still able to get some nice pictures with my Fujifilm x100v. I processed the pictures with Silver Efex pro3. My favourite ones range from the neutral filter to using high or low key processes. Some of the combinations such as push processing and using a harsh or soft finish all work well. My trouble is that I see a good picture in all of them. There was the addition of a vignette and then an unsharp mask on the pictures. Take a view and I am looking forward to some more foggy starts!

Fog in Knowle Park
A lone figure framed by branches
Fog in Knowle Park
The Fog rolls in over the Park
Fog in Knowle Park
A lone dog walker keeps to the path
Fog in the village
Knowle village with a foggy start

Gratitude public art

This amazing exhibition of sculptures pays tribute to the sterling efforts of the NHS and key workers during the pandemic.  The 51 sculptures, each with their own unique take on the days of the pandemic, is on tour around the country.  The first stop was Chamberlain Square Birmingham.  Several artists came together to illustrate each sculpture with a particular theme.  The overall creative ambassador was Dame Zandra Rhodes and there were many different art organisations collaborating on this public art project.  Much of the information is on the Gratitude web site.

The sculptures from the Gratitude public art.
The sculptures from the Gratitude public art.

We had tickets for the August Bank Holiday.  Arriving in the square, the sculptures are placed towards the back.  They are arranged in rows and have a mirrored backdrop.  The challenge was to take photographs that no one else had taken.  I had previously looked on social media and seen all the different variations.  I enjoyed the story telling aspect on each Sculpture.  I want to say statues but that would not do justice to the explosion of art that is on view.  They are fun to wander around and see people’s reaction. 

Gratitude Public Art
Faces of Lockdown or “The Boris Johnson Sculpture”

The Faces of Lockdown referred to as the Boris Johnson statue is an immediate favourite although there are many others included Hans inspired by the Clap for the NHS and my personal favourite Creative Resilience which features a dancer, and her stare is penetrating, grabbing your attention.So here is my photographic record of Gratitude and I have put a caption with each picture to provide a background to the experience of seeing the sculptures. All pictures were taken with my Fujifilm x100v

If you found this post interesting then please visit my account of In Memoriam by Luke Jerram which was exhibited near to Aston Hall

For more information about Gratitude please visit the following pages. There are several websites includint the official Web site, Wild in Art and NHS charities together.

Gratitude public art
There is genuine excitement and interest in the stories behind each sculpture.

Buying tickets for the Faerie Trial at Luss

We spent a great deal of time during our holiday visiting this beautiful village on the banks of Loch Lomond. Luss is Gaelic for herb and the village was so named after St Kessog. As Irish missionary to Scotland, he was martyred, and the legend is told that herbs grew on his grave. 

Luss Church
Luss Church

The village of Luss is characterised by the neat row of cottages that once belonged to the slate quarry workers that worked in the surrounding area. The appealing thatched cottages built by the Laird around the village have slate roofs, as timber was in short supply.  Now they are a popular tourist attraction, and the main street leads down to Luss pier.

Luss cottages
Luss cottages
Luss Pier
Luss Pier

This is the focal point of the village where there are ice cream vans and holiday makers taking advantage of water sport activities.  There are also beautiful views of the Luss Hills and Ben Lomond with their peaks reflecting on the water.  Luss church is away from the tourist track and has a quiet atmosphere as it sits overlooking the water. 

Jumping off the Luss pier
Jumping off the Luss pier
Paddle boarder passes Luss pier
Paddle boarder passes Luss’ lifeboat pier

A feature of Luss is the nearly developed Faerie trail which my granddaughters loved and takes in the nearby forest and river valley.  You buy your tickets from the Airstream trailer in the Luss overspill carpark before heading off into the forest and meeting the Faeries.  Luckily no Trolls can be seen as they are all in School learning how to behave. Luss is a delightful place to stay and is a perfect base for exploring Loch Lomond and its surroundings.

Here is more information on Luss and the Faerie Trial

All pictures were taken with the Fujifilm x100v


Ben Lomond

Many years back we visited Loch Lomond and our group climbed Ben Lomond. Not all of us made it to the summit and only Natasha, my middle daughter, was successful. Twenty years on, we were back. This time, Siân and I wanted to make it to the top and Natasha was keen to do the double. The weather was warm and sunny when we arrived at the base car park in Rowardennan on the east side of the Loch. It is directly on the opposite side to where we were staying but took a good 45 minutes to get there by car.

Boots together
Boots together

We set off in high spirits. Straight away, Natasha found the going difficult and I was worried for her. After her initial worries subsided, she got into a routine and was determined to carry on. As soon as we had come out of the forest, the views of Loch Lomond were beautiful and the higher you got, the more spectacular they became. As the pictures show the day was ideal for viewing the scenery as we moved towards the top.

Plenty of photo calls.
The official start of the Ben Lomond climb
There is much excitement at the start but there is still some serious walking to be done

The path has both step sections and then long parts which have a lower incline allowing some respite during the climb. There are several false dawns as you think you are reaching the top only to realise there is another part of the Munro to climb. The cloud lingered around the top but when we finally saw the Trig Pillar, we knew we had achieved our goal.

Natasha climbing Ben Lomond
Natasha is picking up the pace
Climbing Loch Lomond
Siân on a mission with that magnificent backdrop
Climbing Loch Lomond
A commanding view of the Loch
Climbing Loch Lomond
Higher and higher we go
Climbing Loch Lomond
Is this the final push?
Climbing Loch Lomond
We have reached the summit but the Trig does look a bit weather beaten.
Climbing Loch Lomond
Rob and Tash making the final ascent

For Rob and Jim this was their first Munro that they had bagged.  For Siân and I, we had finally done what we had not achieved during our last visit.  For Natasha it was a personal achievement especially considering how she felt at the beginning of the trek.  We took our pictures, had our lunch, and then set off down the trail.  It was quicker going down, but it also involved and stretched different muscles.  On the way down we met some rangers who were repairing the path and we remarked how fit they must be on their walk to work half-way up Ben Lomond.  They quickly replied that it did not worry them, and they will sign us up tomorrow for the work!  After 5 hours, we were back at the car, weary but very pleased with ourselves.  For me, it had been a great opportunity to photograph the day and I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Climbing Loch Lomond
Let the celebrations begin
Climbing Loch Lomond
Siân, the photographer and Natasha
Climbing Loch Lomond
Siân and Jim
Climbing Loch Lomond
The view of our holiday house, Stuckdarach
Climbing Loch Lomond
Going Down
Climbing Loch Lomond
The path back down the mountain

For more details of how to get to and climb Ben Lomond, then there are several good sites including “walkhighlands”and “Visit Scotland”that give a range of resources.


Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond

On the Bonnie, Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond so the song goes.  The shores and waters of the Loch provide wonderful photographic opportunities and I had the opportunity to visit further afield as well.  I cannot do justice to all the sights that are available and previous visits to the area means that the pictures and stories are more a personal taste of what you can expect around the park.

Last light on Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond
Last light Loch Lomond
Camera – Fujifilm X100V – lens 23mm
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 10secs, ISO 160

The pier at the Duck Bay Restaurant has commanding views of Loch Lomond making it an ideal place for a long exposure picture. The light was fading and Ben Lomond on the right was still visible. Editing was simple with a little extra on the saturation to bring out the colour in the reflections.

Carrick Castle

Carrick Castle
Carrick Castle
Camera – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 13secs, ISO 100

When I saw pictures of this castle on the Internet then I knew that I had to go and see it.  Carrick castle is on the western shores of Loch Gail and it is a single track road to get there. I cajoled my daughter in taking me to the castle early the the morning.  The sun had risen, and the sky was cloudy.  I still enjoyed taking photographs of Carrick castle and this getting down low picture was my favourite one.

Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond
Looking down from the Summit of Ben Lomond
Camera – Fujifilm X100V – lens 23mm
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 1/250secs, ISO 200

This was may favourite picture from the walk-up Ben Lomond and this was just as we were turning around going down the southern face.  The light escaping between the rocky crags provides an idea of the nature of the mountain.  When the going is good then the mountain looks inviting.  I have climbed a previous time when the going was not so good and such pictures were not possible.

Loch Long

View of Loch Long from Arrochar
Camera – Fujifilm X100V – lens 23mm
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 1/250secs, ISO 320

Our holiday house was not far from Arrochar which is at the head of Loch Long.  We went for Sunday lunch at the Village Inn which was next to the shores.  I took several pictures on the sea loch shore and whilst the sun was high in the sky there was still the opportunity to find some nice reflections on the water. 

Helensburgh

Helensburgh
Helensburgh
Camera – Fujifilm X100V – lens 23mm
exposure info – ƒ/11.0, s 1/250secs, ISO 320

The town nestled on the Clyde has such a history with the inventor of TV John Logie Baird and the interior of Hill House designed by Renee Macintosh.  However, its time as a seaside resort is long gone but the centre retains a certain charm and there is a thriving community there.  The large cruise ships come into Greenock which is on the other side of the Loch.

Much of the background was found by reading through the Loch Lomond and the Trossacks National Park site on Visit Scotland.


Sign in Black and White for Moseley markets

Instameets are a great way of meeting fellow Igers photographers. In the virtual world it is difficult to discover the person behind the handle. There is nothing better than an Instameet to bring people together and share photographic stories. There have been few opportunities to venture out on photography meetings during the lockdown period. Now the restrictions are eased, it is possible to hold such popular get togethers again. Igersbirmingham has been running for many years and the latest team put together the successful IgersbirminghamUK group. The UK tag is so that we are not confused with our sister city in the USA 🙂

The meeting was held when the Moseley Farmer’s market opened up for the first time since the easing of Lockdown. The meeting also gave everyone the chance to visit the park and pool which opens up at the time of the market. The start and finish were at the Cuban Embassy pub on Wake Green Road. Two of the IgersbirminghamUK team, @nickywarwickshire and @james_never_Jim greeted us on the pavement outside the Embassy. James set out the plans for the morning and the team had prepared a pamphlet for the Moseley Instameet. There was a brief history of the market, Moseley Park and Pool together with a map. The all-important hashtags were printed out for sharing our pictures. After all the introductions and a catch up with old and new friends, it was time to explore the market.

#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Three yellow jackets
#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Coffee is served

Moseley village is said to be one of the most popular places to live in the country and it has lots of energy. The market was bustling, with people queuing up for bread, cakes and other many foodie goodies. In the triangle next to the junction of the crossing most of the stalls were food orientated. Taking place at the same time is the Moseley Arts Market which is on the opposite side lining up along the Alcester Road. There were several craft stalls, which included jewellery, paintings, photography, books etc. The coffee shops were doing well as people chatted and watched the world go by.

#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Browsing the Artwork in the Market
#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
The Arts market is on the other side of the road with the entry to the park.

Then we walked into Moseley Park. Last week, I remarked that I had not been up the Malvern Hills and this week I find myself visiting a new area of Birmingham. Having driven along Salisbury Road to work, I have passed this place countless times before, so I was very surprised to find this hidden oasis. There are several outbuildings including tennis courts, artwork from Lucy McLauchlin and a 200-year-old Icehouse. It did rain but luckily there was some tree cover, and the passing shower did not spoil the walk around the pool. A very quiet and peaceful place to visit.

#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Moseley Park and Pool
#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Sheltering from the rain
#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Moseley Pool

It was a good contrast for the photography meeting. On one hand there was the hustle and bustle of the Farmers market with the Art market providing an alternative experience on the High Street. Then there was the quiet period of reflection around the pool and the park. I did not have my telephoto lens with me as there was a heron who was looking for fish. There were several other good opportunities for wildlife photography.

#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Enjoying the peace and quiet

Two hours sped by, and it was time to say goodbye and head home. However the lure of the market pulled me back in and I came away with some nice writing books for the grandchildren, a range of Pip’s sauces for the Sandy to use at the next BBQ and two gingerbread men. My present was an evening editing and putting together the Instameet story. I have missed the IgersbirminghamUK meetings taking place in and around the City. Now the COVID19 restrictions are removed, I look forward to many more. A big thank you to the IgersbirminghamUK team for organising the meeting and good to see so many people taking part. Please follow the @IgersbirminghamUK team on Instagram and keep a look out not only for their Instameets but also the next Moseley Farmer’s and Art’s markets that take place.

Hashtags for the Instameet were #igbuk_meet_moseley and #igersBirminghamUK
Please look them up on Instagram for some more amazing pictures.

Photography approach

I took my Fujifilm x100v to the meeting and this allowed me to me ready for chatting with fellow photographers but also able to catch candid shots. Being with other photographers allows you to relax more as you take the photographs. Even then I was still a bit apprehensive with my shots! I also like to see what other people see and then photograph. Even on the reviewing of the pictures under #igbuk_meet_moseley meeting tag, I see some “knockout” photos and think if only I had taken that one! That is the fun of the Instameet, seeing how others take a picture. My editing was to go Black and White for the Farmer’s market and then colour for the Park and the Pool. I noticed that the logo for the Art’s market had blues and reds in the logo. It opened up the opportunity for some selective colouring included a bit of yellow. Did I have the right camera with me? Yes I did! Should I have brought other cameras with me? Yes I could have done but the truth is I am happy with the pictures that are published here.


Malvern Hills

The Malvern Hills are on our doorstep but surprisingly I have never walked over them. As our family holiday will be based in Loch Lomond, Scotland for a week in August, it was time to get some practice hiking done. In preparation for the walk, I purchased some new hiking boots and I wanted to break them in for a few climbs in Scotland. My daughter, Sian suggested the Malvern Hills and so together with Jim her husband we picked a Saturday morning in July. The spell of hot weather had broken but the forecast for the chosen weekend was rain and thunderstorms which was a worry. Fortunately such weather conditions never materialised bar a few occasional drops of rain.

Malvern Hills
Looking south from the Summit of British Camp


Our plan was to get up early and head for British Camp which is in the southern stretch of the Malvern Hill chain. The car park was empty when we arrived and even the Malvern hills Hotel over the road was very quiet. I was advised to start with this area of the Malvern Hill as some consider it to be the most interesting hill because of the large iron age hill Fort carved into the area. It is a quick hill to climb and once on the summit you have a commanding view of the surrounding geography. Looking North you see the hills in the following order, Black Hill, Pinnacle Hill, Jubilee Hill and Perseverance Hill. In the distance you can make out the highest of all the hills which is the Worcestershire Beacon. British Camp provides a super view, and my camera captured the scene well.

Malvern Hills
View of the Malvern Hills from British Camp

My camera for this adventure was the Fujifilm x100v. It is weather proofed, and ideal for the conditions on the hills over the weekend with the occasional drops of rain. The camera as you will have discovered is very versatile and produces excellent pictures as you will see from this blog. I had looked through many pictures of the hills and I had seen many postcard views. Also I knew that I would have difficulty matching any of the drone fly throughs or pictures that have been published. As always, I use my pictures to tell a story. The main story was the hiking over the hills and therefore some classic “here we are” people pictures are used in the story telling.

Malvern Hills
Sian and James on the summit of British Camp

With the Malvern Hills having been photographed many times before, I was interested in seeking out different views i.e. low down or interesting close ups. Any landscape pictures taken including points of interest in both the foreground and the background. The camera was set on Aperture priority and swapped between f/4 for closeups to f/11 for the landscape views. The sky was a touch gloomy but there was the occasional sun that broke through. Furthermore once you are up on the hills then you can see for miles and miles. The Fujifilm camera is ideal for this story telling as it allows quick pictures of the scene to be taken. It is not ideally suited for landscape photography but you can see if used within its strengths then you can get a good view.

Malvern Hills
Getting ready to hike Pinnacle hill.

Back to the walk, leaving British Camp we hiked up Black Hill with its steep incline and then onto the other peaks. The Malvern hills offer wonderful vistas of the surrounding countryside and on this walk, the air was clear, and you could see well into the distance. It was good hiking over the hills, but I was not fully fit for this type of activity. By the time we got to Perseverance Hill we were very tired, and we could see the Worcestershire beacon in front of us. We made the decision to turn back and the beacon would have to wait for another weekend. Coming back I took several pictures of the wild flowers and the views over the different counties on either side of us.

Malvern Hills
Lone Tree on Perseverance Hill and British Camp in the Distance
Malvern Hills
The grassy verge at the summit of Pinnacle Hill


Back at the car it was a relief to sit down pull the boots off and get ready for the journey home. The Malvern hills are a must as they have everything you need for a good hike. Luckily the weather was just right and we did not get too hot walking over them. We will be back not only to scale the Worcestershire Beacon but to visit the pretty town of Malvern on the side of the hill. Enjoy the pictures and would love to hear about your experiences of hiking over the Malvern Hills

If you are interested in the shoes that I had brought then I recommend the new Inov8 Roclite 345 Gore-Tex Walking Boots which I got at a great price from sportsshoes.com. I like these shoes as they are light and have great grip.
For up-to-date details of the Malvern Hills are covered by several good websites but I found this one to be the best.


Footprints advising where to stand on the escalator

The restrictions will be lifted on the 19th July but we are not coming to the end of the pandemic.  We are entering a new age of living with the virus.  The discussion about mask wearing continues, the sun is shining and society needs to open up.  Is this a good time? Vaccinations are high and therefore the government is confident (if this is the right word) that the restrictions can be lifted.  For my photography journey. I wanted to catch life during the final days of the restrictions.  I was in Solihull to collect my glasses in Touchwood. I was armed only with my iPhone. The following black and white pictures give a brief insight into the mask wearing and restrictions that will soon be a thing of the past.  Let’s just hope so!

Mask wearing in Touchwood
An elderly couple wearing masks in Touchwood
sharing a kiss - no masks
Just outside Touchwood a younger couple share a kiss – no masks
Masks on or off
Masks on or off?
Social distancing
Keep apart but the writing is starting to fade
Touchwood
Segregated corridors in Touchwood
social distancing
Only one urinal in use
Social distancing
When you are buying your cards and gifts
Flower stall
Still selling flowers
Covid19 shop
The most popular shop in town is the Covid one
Solihull and Covid19
Have we done our part, have we done the right thing?

Read more
BBC news about the easing of the Lockdown
My stories about the Lockdown when I visited Solihull Town Centre in January 2021


Gas Street Basin, Birmingham

Welcome to my series on cameras, lenses, advice and taking those all-important pictures.  So which camera do you use?  This is a common question that I am asked when someone sees one of my pictures.  It is if the camera took the picture not the photographer!  There may be an element of truth in this, although there are a lot of factors that go into taking a picture and the camera is only one of them. 

FujiFilm x100v
FujiFilm x100v

To kickstart this series, I am going to talk about my ‘go-to camera’ which is the Fujifilm x100v.  The story is that I wanted to buy myself a new camera to replace my Sony RX100 V.  My requirements were many.  Simple to use but requiring the level of complexity below the surface when needed.  Weather resistance was a desirable feature.  I have had several compact zoom cameras over the years, and they have worked well.  Often the zoom mechanism has not been robust despite the camera quality with grit getting into the zoom mechanism.  Therefore, a fixed lens appealed to me.  As I grew up on 35 mmm cameras, like many reading this blog, I love the idea of owning a Leica, but the cost is prohibitive.  More realistically, I looked at alternatives and in early 2020, the release of the Fujifilm x100v came with positive reviews.  I did my homework and researched it. My decision was made after I looked at pictures people had posted and read reviews on the camera in the photographic magazines.

FujiFilm x100v buttons
FujiFilm x100v buttons

The Fujifilm x100v was waiting for me on Christmas day morning.  I unboxed it and started taking pictures.  With a new camera, I oscillate between starting to take pictures and reading the camera manual.  There are a few internet articles and YouTube videos that got me started.  One of the first differences was the position of the buttons compared to my Canon and Sony.  The tactile feel of the buttons gave me more control of my picture taking.  The buttons are traditional analogue designs and not digital.  Gradually I got the hang of the camera and then starting to use it in serious mode.  I read the manual more and more discovering even more buttons! 

I tried out the different colour settings and settled on the weak chrome colour.  Using the camera in aperture priority, I worked through the options.  My first pictures were a little hit and miss but the jpg quality began to impress me.  My confidence grew and it started to come most places with me.  In the morning whilst walking the dog, it proved to be a useful camera to record details on the high street especially during lockdown.  It is not a replacement to the big camera (Canon D5-mkIV) but it certainly does its job of delivering remarkable pictures.

What I like
In no particular order, here are my favourite things about this compact camera. 

  • The flash settings are easy to use and understand.  It gives good portrait pictures with the flash on.  This is quite something considering it is a camera mounted flash.  I use a manual setting of 1/64 sec often for a fill in.  The flash does not create many red eyes either.
  • The exposure compensation button is easy to understand and is set up next to your thumb.  I found this very useful and quick to select.
  • Some may consider it a gimmick, but the selective colour is so easy to set up and use.  If there was one fun element to the camera then this is it.
  • The double exposure is straightforward and offers three settings depending on which picture you choose to be the main feature of the setting.
  • The jpgs are stand alone, high quality and need little adjustment.
  • The back controls are easy to use and the tilted screen allows for flexibility in the framing of the pictures you take.  This includes being able to get down low.
FujiFilm x100v
FujiFilm x100v weather proofing at a price and convenience.

Customisation
The camera is also cool to customise.  I added a thumb rest and changed the strap.  I did add a shoot button but then found it much better for my shooting technique when the button was clear. The pictures also show a half case for the lower half of the camera body.

What I do not like

  • Connectivity is poor over the wireless and the app design is poor.  So one is reaching for the iPhone if you wish to quickly upload pictures to BBC weather watchers or want to get that picture sent to family and friends as soon as possible.
  • It required an extra £100 to add the weather proofing and then I could not use the Fujifilm lens cover that came with the camera. So ended up having a black plastic cover! I wish I had brought the NiSi weather proofing as then I could have used the original silver camera cap that came with the camera.
  • It took time to work out the focussing and the switching between the settings.  This is maybe the learning curve that I have got to get through including using the manual more.

Best Pictures

Canal bridge at Acocks Green
Canal bridge at Acocks Green

My first picture that I published with the camera.  It is a canal bridge in Acocks Green, Birmingham.  Catching the two people under the arch added interest.

Hatton Locks
Hatton Locks

Hatton locks – All the lines caused by railings around the lock made for an interesting pattern in black and white.  I did have the traditional picture of a boat going through a lock, but this was more intriguing.

Takeaway reflection
Takeaway reflection

Takeaways are doing well in the Pandemic and here is one customer on their way home.  I was able to get down low for the reflections (the picture was published in the Amateur Photographer letters’ page)

The Night Train to Birmingham
The Night Train to Birmingham

The night train to Birmingham taken on a very cold night on the Dorridge footbridge.  There is much to see and discuss and the colours and light add to the atmosphere.  All picked up by the camera. The picture reminded me of the following song.
Down on the night train,
feel the starlight steal away,
Use up a lifetime looking for the break of day
Night Train – Steve Winwood 1980

family portrait
Family support bubble

The Support bubble of daughter and grandson and the camera produces some good details on portrait pictures

Dandelion Clock
Dandelion Clock

I was going to take a landscape photograph and came away with this dandelion clock.  This is cropped from a much larger picture and then edited in Black and White.  The effect is quite nice but the detail that remains after heavy cropping is amazing.

Detail of the Low Lighthouse at Burnham on Sea
The red stripe of the Low Lighthouse at Burnham on Sea. Love the colours and the details.
Gas Street Basin, Birmingham
Boats in Gas Street Basin, Birmingham

This picture is of the boats in Gas Street Basin and processed to bring out the colour. It is not designed to be a landscape camera but it manages such a scene very well.

Where did I buy it from WexPhotoVideo and their service is good. I am not receiving anything for saying this either!