7 cities in 5 weeks with the X-T1

Discussion in 'Fuji X Forum' started by KillRamsey, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    I just got back from a 5 week family vacation. I'd like to post a few shots from each city that I like a lot for whatever reason. And, strangely, I've missed you lot somewhat. So there's that. Now let's not get all gushy.

    Pertinent details:

    - Wife is launching a bike tourism website, so we took folding bikes and our daughter and hit 7 places where she intends to launch routes, taking mostly Amtrak trains between the cities, some flights for the longer segments
    - X-T1 in the smallish Domke bag, with only the (borrowed) 18-55 kit zoom and my 35 f1.4 lenses. All other lenses stayed home... gotta pack small when you're biking.
    - X100 was with us, mostly used by my wife when I wasn't around for something, though I used it one night out of nostalgia
    - The Yashica A 6x6 also came, and I shot 3 rolls here and there
    - Wound up keeping about 3,300 exposures
    - Split between "personal" shots and "for the business" shots was maybe 50/50
    - Almost every day involved waking up, making breakfast in our AirBnB rental place, then hitting the bikes by 10am and gently cruising all over town to breweries, food joints, playgrounds (girl is 4, almost 5), etc.

    Cities Visited:

    - Atlanta / Athens GA
    - Madison, WI
    - Minneapolis, MN
    - Glacier National Park, MT
    - Leavenworth, WA
    - Portland, OR
    - Seattle, WA
    - Vancouver, BC
    - Chicago, IL

    Ok, now on to some pictures...
    • Like Like x 2
  2. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    • Like Like x 9
  3. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    Madison, WI

    Ok, side note: these watermarked shots are mostly "me doing 'Commerical,'" wherein I try to imitate the look of professional shots without actually having the skills commensurate with actual proffessionalism...
    14963179929_83785d07d5_c. Bikabout_Madison_Machinery-Row-Bikes by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15146911301_7f208b97fd_c. Bikabout_Madison_Candinas-Chocolatier by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963179719_51b407a2d5_c. Bikabout_Madison_Cargo-Coffee by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15126869176_9cca0320ac_c. Bikabout_Madison_ (30) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963325088_1e94dc29ae_c. Bikabout_Madison_Picnic-Point-10 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963325048_bf4db11485_c. Bikabout_Madison_Picnic-Point-12 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Wife took this one with the X100, and frankly nailed it in my humble...
    15126868706_e4ee46e3e1_c. Bikabout_Madison_Mononoa-Terrace-1 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15146956451_0cefa411c2_c. KBRX8984 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963223179_f24c407835_c. KBRX9464 by gordopuggy, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 7
  4. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    • Like Like x 9
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Real Name:
    post #4 - photos 1 & 6 are uberfaves already
  6. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    Real Name:
    Nice work, and sounds like it's gonna be a cool website!

    I do feel compelled to note that in the 3rd pic of post #3, both Holland and Denmark appear to have been swallowed by the North Sea...:crying:
  7. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    Global warming strikes again... :(
    • Like Like x 1
  8. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    A good friend from Highschool and college that I haven't seen in 15 years lives with her husband in the woods near Glacier National Park in Montana, so we also visited with them for 3 wonderful days, glamor camping in a huge tent. She's a river guide in the on-season, so we got to float a river for 6 hours. This water, until very recently, was frozen, and you remember that as soon as you dive in.

    15150177305_f9f1bc9fec_c. KBRX0033RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15149775802_ed500243e0_c. KBRX0098RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    No zoom for him on the iphone...
    15127151716_f6ddb6d463_c. KBRX0172RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15147193961_21e511f6be_c. KBRX0203RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    The view up at night by the capfire next to truck RV camper they're living in while they finish building their cabin. I know, I hate them too.
    14963460819_47232cbf9d_c. KBRX0267RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Inside the park
    14963607127_bdf3d1d98c_c. KBRX0309RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    1-arming it out the car window
    15149774262_d2842b189c_c. KBRX0357RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Meeting the locals. (He was asking if we knew what happened on the latest episode of Game Of Thrones. His cable connection is spotty underground. We didn't know.)
    14963606757_3ab507c902_c. KBRX0369RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963459999_169b9e1f81_c. KBRX0408RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Off the grid at the flat bridge mercantile, now 100 years old
    14963606207_d9bf707ef2_c. KBRX0503RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Sunset back in the woods
    14963605827_bb0d851083_c. KBRX0530RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Forgive me, but the sunsets there were NUTS
    15150173685_264f30a4a0_c. KBRX0599RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963458149_a79423f3ea_c. KBRX0633RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963499760_a2c215a6d9_c. KBRX0670RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963606708_2f448ac126_c. KBRX0686RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    We got the tent.
    14963603487_81e54f71f6_c. KBRX0690RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 11
  9. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    More old friends in Leavenworth, WA, which is a small ski town just over the Cascade Mountains from Seattle. I went to highschool and college with him too, and they used to live closer to us, in Vermont. Camped the first night, in a gorgeous place called Icicle Creek.... which was as cold as it sounds. But wonderfully refreshing.

    Almost as many deer as Montana
    15150307235_4d33b10810_c. KBRX0707 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    How kids ought to grow up, ideally
    14963592829_306dd1b34e_c. KBRX0774 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    He and I stayed up later for one more beer, and to admire this view (note the shooting star)
    15150304565_86a7cff0f2_c. KBRX0783 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Their youngest, already a charmer
    14963737627_dd15a2e715_c. KBRX0802 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Series: Bugs On People
    14963738198_cfaab03310_c. KBRX0915 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963736617_f154e70256_c. KBRX0922 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963737598_18e423cee4_c. KBRX0923 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15149901532_41831b6e0f_c. KBRX1016 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Not because it's an amazing photo, but to prove that I'm no sissy, dammit.
    15149904852_fdbf5cb865_c. KBRX0965 by gordopuggy, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 8
  10. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    On to Portland, Oregon.

    The train got in late, so we were late getting to the rental house.
    14963840758_5699fe8c50_c. Bikabout-Portland- (2) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Again, trying for "commerical"
    14963695009_c6ed04a838. Bikabout-Portland- (9) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    What we did all day, everyday
    14963694689_81c7f21e48. Bikabout-Portland- (16) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    I set up to take a shot of this fountain / plaza, and these girls were having the best time, and when she saw me she ran over and did this. Man did I get lucky.
    14963733350_595a54fe73_o. Bikabout-Portland- (40) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15147426031_48aa938ec6_o. Bikabout-Portland- (65) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Love that flip-out screen for going unnoticed as I shoot people biking by...
    14963839708_2f03c7c7cb_o. Bikabout-Portland- (69) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    How you carry your growler home in Portland
    14963837987_fa27b7b085_o. Bikabout-Portland-Clever-Cycles-3 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    One of my better commercial interior shots I think
    15127383646_d60ce852dc_o. Bikabout-Portland-Hopworks-Urban-Brewery by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    My setup, including camera bag and copilot
    15127460586_3936355fa6_c. Bikabout-Portland- (20) by gordopuggy, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 8
  11. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    Seattle... my surprise favorite hit of the trip. I already love Vancouver and Portland, but man did Seattle surprise me in good ways.

    14963835799_020f479af7_c. KBRX2009 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    1-handed with my arm hanging out behind me as I steered my bike with the other
    14963979748_e0ff0481a7_c. Bikabout-Seattle (19) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Waiting on a street corner as the girls ran in to get croceries
    15150546885_b4e9b52d6a_c. Bikabout-Seattle (32) by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14963978518_4beb2965bb_c. Bikabout-Seattle-Space-Needle by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Also while waiting for the girls to grab groceries. Nice Guzzi V7.
    14963977947_1b4760477b_c. KBRX1829 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    By the locks
    14963977788_10a7df0586_c. KBRX1907 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15127526666_b9ca2750fe_c. KBRX1933 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Sooooooooo many seaplanes
    14963980868_6821e8c299_c. KBRX2159 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Set up the shot, frame it, then realize she's making that fake smile face, lean face over out from behind camera, do something goofy to get a real one, CLICK
    14963976908_e171d91e7b_c. KBRX2198 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Trusty steed
    14963875410_4c58ac4ace_c. KBRX2214 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Some hills are just too steep to ride up
    14963831589_e4abc3f87e_c. KBRX2347 by gordopuggy, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 8
  12. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    Ok, Vancouver.

    Making friends while daddy has a beer (taken with X100)
    15147709031_1ea3ac7424_c. DSCF6254 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Sunset on the way home, again the X100
    15150689865_a16f2ca866_c. DSCF6276 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Still prefer the color shading and smoothness of the X100 slightly more than the X-T1
    15150283542_ea43a1f899_c. DSCF6282 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    As a working tool, however, I vastly prefer the XT
    14964017170_2b5fa6425b_c. KBRX2369 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    For some reason I love this one. I'm wierd.
    15150689295_2cf8a84b94_c. KBRX2389 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    There's a sign on it saying "For People Only" but he had some anyway
    14964123157_3784b1dbb4_c. KBRX2461 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14964123067_e9acf9b21f_c. KBRX2513 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Seeing = not as good as feeling
    15147706291_fa73797d9b_c. KBRX2630 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    More "commercial" work
    15150690685_5d39d3535a_c. KBRX2696 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15150284332_7ac764ae24_c. KBRX2768 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Whatever it used to say, it don't say it anymore
    14964121977_82dcdfacdc_c. KBRX2815 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    From a bridge
    15150282902_88d0898ccb_c. KBRX2889 by gordopuggy, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 7
  13. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    This is one heck of a series of (great) images! I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing them on a larger screen than my phone. Those little wheels must have done a seriously large number of revolutions!
    • Like Like x 1
  14. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    And finally, Chicago.

    Lots of this.
    14964280988_0f51bd4f64_c. KBRX3031 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    When you bike downtown, this is a frequent site above your head
    14964177470_65e88f03d2_c. KBRX3096 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Live jazz
    15150853215_86f5631c72_c. KBRX3106 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    They had these planters downtown full of corn, which the birds LOVED
    15150852355_b221a397ab_c. KBRX3127 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Trying for anything BESIDES the usual "bean" photo. These are friends who came down from Michigan to hang out with us here.
    14964278078_95f48f4079_c. KBRX3153 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    More commercial effort
    14964132049_a850e7d83f_c. KBRX3157 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15150850295_c5466c9fc0_c. KBRX3194 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14964280287_3b168cd076_c. KBRX3196 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    A narrow gap
    14964129629_acc43ef444_c. KBRX3206 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Enjoying tacos (wife took this one with the XT)
    15147861551_549a772e8e_c. KBRX3227 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    The little stock flash on the beach at night
    15150845835_22edffe5ac_c. KBRX3240 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    14964170040_7210c9de10_c. KBRX3250 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    The beach at night, ambient, 35mm f1.4
    15150847825_746f91a449_c. KBRX3264 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    15150844735_a5fc97de74_c. KBRX3286 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    She stole my gloves, because she got a blister. This is upon hearing "they have a cold water tap machine!"
    15150436512_938a465071_c. KBRX3416 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    I started walking before the 10 second timer went off, but I like it better than the second effort, with my fake smile. Also, I love my new helmet even if it looks like a construction worker's.
    14964127889_702edabce4_c. KBRX3402 by gordopuggy, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 5
  15. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    It's funny, two days from the end, in Chicago, we were getting sorta fed up with our rental house and the pot holes and the cars, and maybe were just a little tired of traveling, maybe not. At any rate, BANG the wife's rear tire had a catastrophic blowout (1 inch slit, no patching that) just half a mile from the house. I took it as a sign, we moved the rental car reservation up 2 days earlier, and left that very night. The poor little Schwalbe tires had finally had enough.
  16. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    Last thing before I leave it alone... the basic gear review.

    Lens Decisions
    I talked it through with my friend with the XE-1, and he convinced me that the right setup for the kind of minimalist traveling we did, but with such a heavy workload, was his 18-55 kit zoom and my 35 f1.4. In fact, he probably would've just taken the zoom, but I couldn't live without a fast prime for bokeh and for evenings. I'm glad I did that, I think now in hindsight that was a perfect setup for light travel. I didn't miss the 27 pancake (which only really excels at being small), the 14 (which is stellar but slowish, and 18 is close enough for most interior shots), or the 56 (which would actually have made some shots better, but 3.5 @ 55 is enough bokeh to separate the background a little... not important enough to have lugged that brick all this way). I think the 23 f1.4 lens would've been GREAT to have, but I don't own it, and I'm not sure where I would've put it, so the 35 turned out to be perfect for portraits and low light goofing around. I used it most nights after about 6pm, unless I opted for the zoom for its lens stabilization while riding. Reviewing shots every few days, I could almost always pick out the ones shot with the 35... it IS better, it is sharper, and those creamy backgrounds make my heart sing, when that's the look I wanted.

    X-T1 As A Tool
    I remain very, very happy. I used 8fps, I used 3fps, I used panorama, I shot almost exclusively in JPG only (heresy!), and when I knew the shots were going to be used for Instagram / web only, I shot in Small 1:1 format to save time. I got my Velvia and Astia profiles to be VERY similar, with the Astia being gentler on the shadow details, so that I could use those two back and forth more or less 100% of the time. I used manual focus fairly often to set up bike lane shots of folks going by, and the flip-out screen got used a lot as well. I went through MAYBE 1.5 batteries a day, often less than 1.0, and I have 3, so this complaint of mirrorless cams not having enough juice compared to DSLRs just doesn't jive with me. When extra batteries are tiny and $30, good lord, why would I care? I guess I don't use High Performance mode ever, which must help, but I got at least 400 shots per battery. That's enough for me not to have anything close to a "gripe." That damned memory card door, however, can go straight to hell. I must've opened it by accident about 30 times a day. Serious, serious oversight / design flaw. Doesn't cause any problems, just annoyance, so -shrug-. Also the wifi app got used almost daily to post a few photos to my phone and then facebook. Wife loves that feature. We'd do that during dinner most nights after we ordered food.

    Protective UV Filters
    You all know this, but Use Them. I had a very light drop in the bag, and still managed to destroy a UV filter. Cracked, bent rim, had to plier it back into shape to unscrew it, but the lens is 100% ok.

    That Domke Bag
    Is a star. Love it, still. I used two canopy bungees (the short loops with a plastic ball at one end) to go from having it on my handlebars to having it on my shoulder, which happened appx 4,000 times a day, everyday when we'd arrive somewhere and lock up. Un-do the junction from the bars, pop them together to each other to form a strap, toss it over one shoulder, DONE. McGyver-approved.
    • Like Like x 6
  17. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Real Name:
    Great pictures! And a useful review to boot. Thanks for posting this.
  18. qhs232

    qhs232 SC Regular

    Oct 6, 2013
    Metro Detroit
    Real Name:
  19. donlaw

    donlaw SC All-Pro

    Sep 14, 2012
    Real Name:
    I bit off topic, but how do you like the folding bike compared to a full size?
  20. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    It's a great tool for the right job. Folding bikes CAN be a frustrating exercise in compromise, if you get one that

    1. Doesn't fold quickly and easily
    2. Doesn't fold down small enough to go overhead on a train / plane
    3. Doesn't have good components
    4. Doesn't have full-length crank arms
    5. Doesn't have well thought out bag options for clicking on your luggage pretty quickly, be it around-town stuff or a full travel setup like we did

    We first had a cheap Citizen folder, it was cute and had racks, and it was about $430. Then we borrowed a Brompton ($2k) from a friend and took both on a train vacation to Atlanta. I got stranded on the platform in Penn Station in NYC trying to break that big Citizen bike down, while my wife had the brompton down in seconds, and had her self, our luggage, and the 4 yr old daughter all on board already. Add to it the cheap components that all shifted and broke easily, and the short crank arms that made you feel like you were on a clown bike (little forward momentum per pedal stroke effort) and we knew it was doomed. Then it got stolen, which made the decision easier on me. We wound up buying 2 used Bromptons off Craigslist. They're fast and light and fold up tiny, though they aren't ideal for rides longer than, say, 15 miles? That's subjective, but the bumps and ruts are much more pronounced on small wheels, the steering angle is steep so the handling is twitchy... you get used to that, but it's still correct to say that it's twitchy. To reiterate: if you want to hop off a train / boat / plane in some new city, unfurl your own bike and instantly start cruising around for miles and miles without dealing with

    - Subways
    - Traffic
    - Other People

    then folders are like magical jet packs.