So it's been two months since I last put fingers to keyboard. I've had my own little dilemma recently with the whole Nikon/Photography journey but as I sit back and take stock of that and see the other tribulations that friends and other people have to deal with it kind of all pales into insignificance. I did consider mentioning the specifics of the more sad and important things I've read as I typed this up but here isn't the place for it and it's not meant to be that sort of blog anyway. Some might read and connect, some might actually understand why and others might just glance it and say something derogatory. I'll never know because like everything else that goes on we're all busy in our own life and that's understandable, for me it's just another way to spend some time online and have a look at images and stories from around the world and add my 50p's worth but mostly it's about doing something I enjoy and having fun. I've also been caught up with other work related stuff recently, namely a management course as well as trying to lose a few pounds ahead of another eating fest when I hit America later this year. All of these things have also had a bearing on decisions I've made.
Back to the plot then. For anyone that does follow me or checks my images out you'll see that I was primarily going down the route of sports photography. I'd secured some weekend work and had been doing that every weekend for about a year come rain, hail or every now and again sunshine! I had definitely improved on the whole as a photographer (in my opinion) and thought it was maybe time to invest in some better glass. Now I have a feeling that for a lot of people this is going to be a real deja-vu moment and I've already had a chat with Mr Pritchard who reinforced his told you so ethic. It's a conversation I've had with him a few times(I was listening Russell) so I guess the little doubt demon was in there somewhere. Likewise Wilgenix sent me an email almost a year ago and told me a story about what I was letting myself in for, I guess they were Wills Words of Wisdom...sorry, something corny about that but just how it came out. Just remember when people offer advice it's usually free, it's up to you what you do with it that matters.
So a few weeks ago I was at home waiting on delivery of my new 70-200 f/4 filled with excitement, the courier departed and I open the box and look at what I'd just bought. Excitement turned into a slight gurgling in the pit of my stomach and upon checking the invoice again I suddenly had in no polite terms a WTF moment! I thought to myself is this really where I want to go, the money pit? What was initially gear lust too in some respects suddenly turned into realisation and having recently visited the photography show in Birmingham and witnessed first hand how much of an industry for manufacturers it really is I began to have a complete re-think. Photography for me was never about making money or becoming a big draw but with most aspects of life you want to improve, you want to get better. I'm naturally competitive too and yes sometimes I get ideas above my station...don't we all but at the same time you have to be a realist. If I was maybe 10-15 years younger then maybe I'd take bigger risks but I'm 40 this year, have two kids and a loving wife, that's reality folks! Over that weekend I did a fair bit of tossing and turning and some heated discussions ensued with Jo. Monday came and thanks to a change of mind policy the lens went back to the supplier. But that's not all, not only did I decide to send it back but I also decided that it was time to switch systems. Nick On Nikon was rather unexpectedly going........now you're having the WTF moment!
I don't buy into systems or gear because that's what the big name togs are doing but I'd be lying if I wasn't somewhat influenced by a lot of sharing that my other mate Matt Hart has been doing however even before he'd got himself immersed up to his neck with it, I'd always liked the style and simplicity of the system and had seen plenty of the work that local photographer David Cleland aka Flixelpix had shared. In some ways it was a no brainer as it was a move that would allow me to be flexible down the line if need be and also let me enjoy photography yet still have a high level of quality. If you haven't guessed by now then you mustn't be in tune with the tog world at large because there is a bit of a Fuj-ease going about, the XT-1 virus has been spreading and I too was almost tempted to buy into that beast but that would have been contradictory to the whole reason for this change. It would have took me straight back into big money territory and that is what I wanted to avoid. So I've moved and am now the proud owner of a Fuji XPro-1. Am I happy, well to keep it simple.....YES!
I haven't been out an awful lot yet with the new kit however it's a hell of a lot easier to transport about and it's also going to take me a little while to get used to it but I'm sure I'll have plenty to share in the forthcoming weeks and months. We've been fortunate enough to witness the Giro D'Italia here over the past few days in Northern Ireland, shame it rained so much, and even with the 18mm I managed to get some shots in. Photography is a brilliant hobby and social media sharing gives me a lot of satisfaction so the journey continues and I hope it does for you so keep clicking.
P.S: It's no secret that there's a lot of stunning black and white work out there shot on Fuji but just in case anyone was in any doubt as to how it handles colour, well this one says it all for me.