What’s In My Bag And How Hipster Is It?

Camera Blog.jpg

Apart from requests for pictures of whales, (don’t ask, just google Christopher Swann Whales) most enquiries to my website are about what type of camera I use. I currently use and am extremely happy with the Fujifilm X Series. Previously I used Canon and whilst I loved the image quality I just found the price of the top lenses to be too much. It was also a heavy system and the lure of a lighter weight system was too tempting. Here’s a list of my gear and vitally what Hipster Points Score (H.P.S) each one gets.

  1. Fuji X-T2. I absolutely love this camera. Image quality is perfect for my needs. “But its not full frame” I hear you say. No it’s not. And do you know what? None of you will be able notice any meaningful difference between APSC and Full Frame. This is a cracking camera - the electronic viewfinder is massive, bright and clear. The external dials are all where you expect them to be. It’s made of metal, it feels nice in the hand. It’s got a useful flippy screen which you can use to take photos under fences or around corners. If you want to. The X-Trans sensor is magic. There’s a lot of waffle online about Lightroom not being able to process X-Trans files but I think that’s basically nonsense produced by measurebatoring men on internet forums. Can see me using this camera for a long time. H.P.S 9/10

  2. Fuji X-100S. Probably the perfect street photography camera? (apart from the new one of course). Sharp 23mm lens, stealthy black, discreet and hipster AF. H.P.S 11/10

  3. Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-f/4. I got this lens bundled with the X-E1 years ago and it’s my go to lens. Really useful zoom range and lightweight. This lens coupled with an X series camera can hang off your neck all day like a sexy black medallion. But much more useful than a medallion. Loses Hipster Points due to being a zoom. H.P.S 6/10

  4. Fujinon XF 55-200. I use this telephoto lens an awful lot. Really useful for picking out details in the landscape. It’s small, light and feels good in the hand when it extends. Should maybe re-write that last sentence… H.P.S 6/10

  5. Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4. This was the first prime lens I bought for the X system and wow. this.is.a.lens. It focuses slower and makes more noise than newer fuji lenses, but my god, it renders a scene well. Love it. H.P.S 10/10

  6. Fujinon XF14mm f/2.8. I got this second hand from the wonderful photographer Lizzie Shepherd and it’s another little piece of metal and glass magic. I think this is the perfect lens. Size, sharpness, clicky aperture ring. Boom. Shot all my “winning” Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year images with this lens. H.P.S 9/10

  7. Batteries. I have a lot of batteries. Mirrorless cameras basically chew through them faster than me at an all you can eat breakfast. I just buy the non-fuji ones, they’re almost as good and much cheaper. Batteries aren’t hipster. H.P.S 2/10

  8. Filters. I use the Lee Seven5 System. Mainly use the medium grad set and the big stopper. I’ve got a super stopper as well, but rarely use it. All fits into a hard drive case. H.P.S 7/10

  9. Lens cloths. Basic lens cloths. Nothing interesting. To increase hipster score these would need to be artisan lens cloths woven from naturally regenerating hemp. H.P.S 1/10

  10. Rocket Blower. Give the sensor a wee blast with this occasionally. Looks cool - H.P.S 5/10

  11. Memory Cards. SanDisk Extreme. I like the way they called these ‘Extreme’. You know they’ve given themselves a problem when the update comes out. How can you top Extreme? H.P.S 5/10

  12. Tripod. I hate tripods. Constantly breaking, a hassle to carry around but necessary though! This is a Gitzo Mountaineer which was eye-wateringly expensive but has been great so far. Tripods aren’t hipster, even Gitzo ones. H.P.S 3/10

  13. Tripod head. Manfrotto Magnesium Head. This is my longest serving piece of gear. It’s not even mine. It’s my dads but I seem to have inherited it. After a nuclear war the only thing left would be cockroaches and this tripod head. H.P.S 9/10 - it’s old and has a patina of age. Really high Hipster Points. 

  14. Travel tripod. Manfrotto thing. Flimsy. Not much use. H.P.S 1/10 

  15. Bag 1. Billingham f/2. Fits all my gear. Looks vaguely like a fishing bag. Waterproof. H.P.S 7/10

  16. Bag 2. Custom Harris Tweed North Face Messenger bag. Doesn’t look like a camera bag. H.P.S 11/10. Harris Tweed? Check. One off? Check. Messenger Bag? Check Hipster Points off the scale…

So that’s my gear and how hipster it is. Remember, for full hipster points you need to shoot film. That’s another level of hipster. Hope this helps! 

The Scottish Parliament

I was through in Edinburgh on Monday and took a wander up to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. It’s a building which polarises opinion. It isn’t your usual statement iconic building which you would expect for a parliament. It’s complicated, it’s difficult to read from the street. There’s some strange post-rationalised concept about upturned boats. It now has a horrible entrance tacked on the front for increased security checks. There’s an awful lot of concrete.

That said, I love it.

Troon

The beach on a Sunday,
Sky milky, sea calm,
A flat blue day,
Spring in the air and snow on the hills,
Two dogs, two couples,
Fish suppers under a Wolf Moon.

The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018

Magpie in the Snow

I am delighted to share the news that my image ‘Magpie in the Snow’ has won the Urban Wildlife category at the British Wildlife Photography Awards. It’s especially pleasing (and surprising!) as I'm a mainly a landscape photographer rather than a wildlife photographer.

The image was captured on a walk in Kelvingrove Park where I was documenting the snowfall and the magpie just happened to catch my eye. It was sitting on the railings at the Bowling Green and presented such a striking graphic image. Fortunately I managed to shoot one frame before it flew off. Believe it or not it's actually a colour shot!

I am releasing 50 signed, limited edition prints of this image in two sizes - 12 x 12 inch and 20 x 20 inch.

These are Giclee Prints with a 1 inch border produced using archival ink on Fine Art Paper and will be available for £100 for the 12x12 and £150 for the 20x20 plus postage. If you would like to order please use the links below.

Magpie in the Snow 12 x 12 inch
100.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart
Magpie in the Snow 20 x 20 inch
150.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart