Snack-sized landscapes

on April 26, 2012
As promised, a very personal view of landscape photography. Maybe not what Greg Hocking will recommend when he runs his low-light landscape course at Shoot Photography, but then he's an expert and I'm not. Still...

If landscape photography is to serve me as travel reminders - 6 x 4 postcard size prints - or background scenes to incorporate with my table-top photos, I can't see the use of hauling out 4 Kg of heavy DSLR and lenses on my trips. I don't wear a back pack, and I don't want to roll my gadget bag behind me - I want to sling a small shooting pouch over one shoulder and hop on the bus.

I still want some choice of viewing angle in case I need to select a certain portion of the scene. I also want good low-light recording with a minimum of electrical noise. I want to get the thing done with RAW files so I can deal with my inevitable mistakes later. I will find a tripod and a cable release a comfort.

So I choose a Fuji camera - in my case an X-10. Fits the criteria perfectly and is small enough to share that shoulder pouch with a Manfrotto table-top tripod. Records up to 1200 ISO flawlessly before it starts to noise up. Lets me choose four or five colour or monochrome styles for the recording ( in jpeg). Lets me spin it on its axis for 120, 180, or 360 degree panoramas - and these are surprisingly successful, for a weird idea. You gotta pick your scene, though. Vast vistas of vague vacuosity ( I remember Spiro Agnew...) lead to panoramas that look like the backdrop to a model railway layout. Come to think of it that actually sounds good for my toy car pictures. Hmmmm.

Had I more money and patience I might have waited for the Fuji X Pro-1system. Larger sensor, interchangeable lenses, better low-light performance. But bigger to carry and every time I change lenses someone sneezes on my sensor. I shall be very satisfied with my X-10.

Should you wish to take the snack-sized approach to landscape, I would also recommend that you look at the Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless micro-4/3 cameras and in particular, come in and speak to Gavin Carvalho about them.