It’s great, after an interval of more than a year and a half, to be able to write about something other than health-related issues! I went up to Binbrook, just outside Hamilton, to shoot one of the Ram Rodeo Tour events and visit my friends Norm Betts and Tessa Wilmott, who’ve been RV’ing it across this land of ours and beyond for the past 5 years.
Here’s a selection of images from the event. Click on any for a larger version and/or to run a slideshow of them all.
As much as I’ve enjoyed my occasional trips out to photograph wildlife and locations around the city, I really enjoy shooting performances of one kind or another, so this was a great way to get back into some of that. This was also my first time using FUJI gear to shoot this event – specifically a FUJI XT4 with the 16-55mm and 50-140mm f2.8 lenses, as opposed to my Nikon D4 with similar lenses. I found there were pros and cons to this:
- The gear is significantly iighter than a similar Nikon setup. Great if you’re standing up for a couple of hours. Also easier on the hands.
- FUJI lenses are great. Sturdy and sharp.
- Out of the camera, even in RAW format, the colours seem better. This may also be due in part to my using Capture One Pro now instead of Adobe Lightroom.
- It’s nice to see a close approximation of the image in the electronic viewfinder.
- Focus tracking in continuous focusing mode is really good overall.
- Shooting in aperture priority mode, I found the camera adjusted for different lighting situations really well.
- For burst mode at least, the buffer is too small. There were a number of instances where the camera stopped to catch up while I was part way through a series of shots. I don’t think this would be an issue in say, an opera or other performance, but here, where I’m shooting for a little bit longer, it was. I’ll have to see how this goes with a JPEG format, but that’s really not always a workable solution for my preferences.
- I like to use back button focus, as opposed to a light touch on the shutter. On the FUJI the AF button is, IMHO, too awkwardly positioned to make this workable. I may set this up on the AE-L button to see if it is more accessible.
- The electronic viewfinder lags a tad, so at times I missed something. This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it was a distraction at times.
- Focus tracking at times was inaccurate, but it seemed to be mostly in areas where the subject was moving against a similarly coloured/shaded background. I was surprised to see that most of the 1500+ images I took were quite sharp, as there were a couple of times where the focus point was clearly off the horse/rider.
From where I sit, the issues really relate to this particular type of event. I’ve photographed dancers and other performers with the FUJI gear and am very satisfied with the results, but in cases like this, my Nikon setup is probably better suited.