Okay, can I just say how much fun I’ve been having meeting up with fellow bloggers lately? This time round, I got to enjoy the company of Robin Kent of PhotographybyKent on a morning hike to catch Virginia’s bluebells in full bloom along the banks of the Potomac River. (FYI, Robin and I are posting in tandem – look for his link at the end of this post!)
What a morning it was! Cool temperatures, blue skies filled with puffy white clouds, and the location all to ourselves. How did we score this private viewing? The spot is Black Pond on the grounds of The Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, and only those with campus passes (yours truly) have access. Classes were still an hour away from starting, so campus was quiet. And besides, no students would be hiking through the woods at that hour anyway.
I was doubly excited about the outing because it was the first day I was going to use my rented Fuji X100T, a mirrorless rangefinder-type camera that I had received via FedEx just the evening before. I didn’t even bring my Nikon D7100 with me – I didn’t want to be tempted to use it.
So off we went. Into the woods and down the trail. We walked alongside a bubbling stream and passed Madeira’s famous zipline (to which both Robin and I shook our heads and said “no way.”) Twenty minutes in, the trail turns left at the Potomac River … and we were surrounded by acres of beautiful bluebells.
Ten minutes further down, the trail ends at spring-fed Black Pond, surrounded by bedrock bluffs, and beech, hemlock, and oak trees. I was thrilled Robin found the sights to be as wonderful as I described to him.
For the next hour, we shot pictures. I was amazed by the Fuji’s electronic viewfinder, showing me what my image would look like as I made adjustments to aperture and shutter speed. While it also has an optical and range-finder type viewfinder, because the real-time adjustments also appear on the LCD screen, I found myself composing and shooting all from the screen. Wonderful! No more smudged eyeglass lens from looking through the viewfinder! The size of the camera? 5x2x3 inches; in other words, next to nothing. Size of the sensor? The same as on my Nikon. And I got used to shooting with the 23 mm F2.0 fixed lens. As the saying goes, I zoomed with my feet, not my lens.
This was the parting shot of the trail as we headed back to Madeira. The hike up was more strenuous than the hike down. It didn’t faze Robin; I, on the other hand, had to call “uncle” a few times to catch my breath (there likely would have been more stops had I been lugging my Nikon!). Once back on campus, I took Robin to the bluff at the western-most edge that overlooks the Potomac. I didn’t take any shots here, but Robin did, and I promised him I would bring him back in the fall, when the landscape around the river is ablaze with autumn reds, yellows, and oranges.
Okay, you’ve seen my pictures, but I bet you’re dying to see Robin’s (and you should be). So please go take a look at what he shot and read what he had to say about the experience. I know you’re going to love his photos (I’ve had a sneak preview and they’re gorgeous!) As for my take on the X100T? Keep an eye out for photos from my next three DC shoots – two sunset and one sunrise – where I learned even more about what this camera has to offer. I think — no, I know — I’m in love!