Treated myself to a new toy over christmas (Fuji x100t)

Since the sudden demise of my Sony NEX5 last year, it left me with a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to mirrorless cameras (I won’t go into too much detail but my Sony greeted me with some random error one morning which after a quick google revealed that the camera was stuffed and would cost more to repair that it was worth) **sadface**

my battered and bruised Sony NEX5
My battered and bruised Sony NEX5, which I bought second hand and to be honest didn't owe me anything, but this forced obsolescence bullshit drives me mad! It just decided one morning that it wasn't going to work, tough shit.

My battered and bruised Sony NEX5, which I bought second hand and to be honest didn't owe me anything, but this forced obsolescence bullshit drives me mad! It just decided one morning that it wasn't going to work, tough shit.

So I decided I would do without and use my Nikon (D300) for daily use and any other photo bits. To be honest this didn’t really work out as the Nikon is quite a heavy yoke (compared to the compact NEX5) and within a couple of weeks I had a pain in my hole lugging the thing around with me and 9 times out of 10 I found myself leaving it at home. So I kinda 'fell out of love' with taking photographs for a while which really bugged the crap out of me. I even went on holidays without a camera (which has never happened before) so it was pretty serious.

I made do with my iPhone (5s) for the best part of a year with Instagram filling the void but deep down something was bugging me, the 'photographers twitch' as one of the chaps in work said and he was right. I just missed having a 'walking around camera' that I could just throw in my bag and forget about so I started doing a bit of research to see if there was anything that would fit the bill. That's when the Fuji came onto my geek radar. I've been following the development of Fuji's X range for a couple of years now and have always admired the way they look but I've been aware of some of the X100 irritating flaws (focusing speed, terrible electronic view finder) which have kept me from considering it.

Then before Christmas I read some glowing reviews about the newly released X100t which according to a few reviewers had addressed a lot of the bad aspects of the previous cameras in the range so I decided to pop into Conns Cameras in town to have a look at one up close and personal.

The nice chap in Conns handed me the camera and withing 2 seconds I knew I had to own this camera. It just felt so nice in the hand, everything about this camera oozes quality, the precision milled retro dials, the beautiful fixed F2 prime Fujinon lens and even the case that comes with the camera is a beautiful retro styled brown leather case which snaps apart to become a really handy half case.

The gorgeous brown leather case
Fuji x100t
Absolutely gorgeous from any angle!

Absolutely gorgeous from any angle!

I've had the camera for over 4 weeks now and I have to say it's hands down the best camera I've even owned. I just love everything about it. The fact that there is no true full 'automatic' on the camera is slightly daunting at first but once you start getting out there and experimenting with the Fujis many many settings you realise that this really is a true 'photographers' camera. I know this sounds cheesy as hell, but it's true. Owning this camera has forced me to start thinking about my photography again. The fixed lens combined with the dials and beautiful view finder brings me back to the days of my piddly little 35mm Praktica MTL3 which I absolutely loved and used daily until the lights went on on film back in the early 90's. It has forced me out of my (lazy) comfort zone that modern DSLR cameras can suck you in to. I've now found myself having to work harder to get a shot, without the large zoom and built in stabilisation you have to get up close to get the shot, you have to think fast and not just snap a burst of 30 shots and pick the best one out later. I've made a pact with my photo-self to try and rely less on post processing and concentrate on taking better photos. So far this has worked brilliantly but 90% of this is down to the Fuji.  Below is a couple of sample images from the first month of ownership.

Percy place on my walk home one evening.

my iheartDublin design project

It was after the (brilliant) weekend of #OFFSET Dublin 2012 that I decided I needed give myself a creative kick up the hole after watching speaker after speaker blow our minds with amazing work, inspiring talks and some really good industry advice. There was one thing that stood out from all the talks and presentations which was the Side Project!!

I had a good hard think about what would be an interesting project and push me creatively. it was a no-brainer really, I spend all my time either designing taking photographs or on for long walks around the city. I love Dublin's history, its people, its culture, its music, it's galleries, it's restaurants, its boozers.

So then I decided to set up a Facebook page called IheartDublin where I sold customised prints and one-off illustrations for people on Facebook. We sold a good few prints but work kinda took over so the page has taken a bit of a hiatus.

This print won a competition in the Little Museum of Dublin and was featured in an exhibition in their gallery.

One (or three actually) advantages of working on the quays. The beautiful Calatrava bridge on John Rogersons quay.

One of the many side streets to this project is pictured below. It's a Dublin Pub Quiz poster featuring some of Dublin's pubs (famous and unfamous)

I illustrated them with most of their recognizable features removed to make it difficult to guess them.