It was a very busy day. One of those days when you are occupied with all possible errands and tasks and you just miss photography. Your camera is waiting in the bag, ready to shoot, hungry for some beautiful, unusual light. But there is no time. Frustration kicks in. That’s how I felt today. I didn’t have a single moment to go out and photograph. On my way home I just felt I have to make one single stop and try to take a photo. It didn’t even have to be one of my best images. It just had to be a moment of looking around, of observing the surroundings, reacting to light and shapes. At 9.15 p.m. I took my X-T1 out from my bag.
I was really tired, but I just wanted to enjoy some photography time, be it 5 or 10 minutes. I parked the car next to the Reuss river in the centre of Lucerne, Switzerland – the beautiful town I am lucky to live in. I walked through the most touristic of all possible bridges of the world, the Chapel Bridge and – all of a sudden – I noticed this little pub on the opposite side of the river with all of the colourful lights coming from the windows and reflecting in the water. I felt the excitement – I knew there was a nice shot to be taken.
I was not up to any advanced shooting, so I thought I would give the X-T1 the hardest possible try: I decided to shoot the scene you see above handheld. And trust me, it was already really, really dark. I switched the camera to spot metering and measured the light at one of the brightest areas of the scene. These were the settings I was getting:
ISO 6400, f/4.5, 1/20 sec
I took the shot. Handheld.
The lens I used was the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4. I stopped it down to f/4.5 to make sure I get the buildings and the waterfront in focus. After taking the shot I looked at it at the camera’s screen. It looked good. But I wanted to wait till I download it and look at it big in my Lightroom library. After opening it on my big screen at home I was really impressed. This image is tack sharp! Taken handheld at 1/20 of a second!
And the noise? Yes there is some noise – but it is ISO 6400 and you see it at 100% magnification! When looking at this photo at its standard size, in terms of noise there is basically nothing that disturbs me at all.
Just to let you know: I didn’t do any (nope, zero, null) post-processing work on this image. It was a RAW file. I imported it into Lightroom and the only thing I did was changing the camera calibration profile to ASTIA/SOFT.
This moment saved my day. I enjoyed a beautiful night city scene and was able to capture it on a photograph.
Don’t forget about those little, short moments, which can keep you inspired and make you practice your photography even on the most busy days. Sometimes it takes no longer than 5 minutes to experience something really beautiful and fulfilling.
That’s the magic of photography. And, yes – once again – those little Fujifilm gems help us enjoy it even more.
Have a great light.