Category Archives: Still Life

S. D. Bell’s Tea

One of the simple pleasures of life on a dull December afternoon, with the bad news of another impending lockdown, and Christmas restrictions – a nice cup of S.D.Bell’s ‘Natural Leaf Tea,’ freshly brewed; golden brown and full of flavour.

One of my favourite local tastes!

Fujifilm X-T4, F=38mm, f/2.8, @ 1/250th sec on ISO250

S.D Bell’s are Ireland’s oldest independent tea merchant and coffee roaster. Established in Belfast in 1887, the firm continues to supply the finest teas and coffees from around the world. You can order on-line from them. Just click:

The Ugly Egg

Talk about the Ugly Duckling? Here’s the prototype, surely the ugliest egg in the world!

The Ugly Egg

I photographed the egg over a saucepan, with the Fujifilm X-T4, and a Fujinon 16-80mm f/4 lens.

F=80mm, f/8, Q 1/30th sec, on ISO 3200.

Easy enough for me, I chose f/8 to get a decent depth of field for the close-up, but because the light was low at the time, I chose a slow shutter speed, and a high ISO. Neither of these extremes are a problem to the X-T4, – its in-body image stabilisation, lens stabilisation, and fantastic sensor make slow shutter speeds and high ISO’s as easy as boiling an egg.

Not so easy for the hen though! Passing this ugly spheroid must have brought screams of pain. The egg, however, was delicious!


The Lockdown Logs

Dateline: May 30th 2020

Comber Spuds

Janette brought these freshly-dug new Comber potatoes home today.  This morning they were in the ground.  Tomorrow, they will be boiled, (Over here, we don’t peel these potatoes, we just scrub them and boil them in their skins – when ready the skins will almost fall off them) salted and served with lashing of butter.  The Comber potato is a waxy, flavoursome food, and a protected brand.

I photographed them in the Studio-Pod, under two Elinchrom D-Lites, with the Fujifilm X-T2, and Nikkor 50mm MF lens, against a green chromakey background.  F=50mm, f/5.6 @ 1/125th sec on ISO400.


The Lockdown Logs #56

The Lockdown Logs

Dateline: May 28th 2020

Coalport Figurine Chromakey

In the Pod today, playing with a small green screen set-up, to see how the light works best. I’ve set a small Coalport Lady Figurine on a table, with a green-screen background.  There’s a D-Lite just behind my right shoulder and natural light coming from the left of the figure.  The D-Lite is set low, not to be a key-light, but to simply reduce any shadow cast by the Coalport figure.

I’m using the Fujifilm X-T2, with a Nikon 50mm manual focus lens and the camera set for focus peaking.  F=50mm, f/5.6 @ 1/60th sec on ISO200.

Here’s the result:


Here’s the set-up: Continue reading The Lockdown Logs #56

The Lockdown Logs #48

The Lockdown Logs

Dateline: May 19th 2020

Not much happening in or around the Cocoon today, so all I could manage was a Fir Cone that I’d found one day while out on a walk.  I photographed it in the light-tent, with one Elinchrom  studio flash light behind my right shoulder.  Fujifilm X-T30 with Nikon 200mm Macro lens.  F=200mm, f/8 @ 1/60th sec on ISO125.


Fir Cone


The Lockdown Logs #47

The Lockdown Logs

Dateline: May 18th 2020

Tulips at Crossnacreevy.

These white Tulips are growing in a flower bed beside the post box at Crossnacreevy, so when I stopped to post some letters, I grabbed the camera and made a series of exposures of the flowers.  I wanted to use a wide aperture to remove the distracting background, and it was good that I did, for the tulips were moving slightly in the wind, and I needed quite a fast shutter speed.  The big tulip is in focus, but with so little actual texture in the flower itself, it was difficult to assess the focus in-camera, but in LightroomI was able to see the tiny specks of dust on the petals.

Fujifilm X-T30, F=200mm, f/4.8, 1/1000th sec on ISO1250



The Lockdown Logs #27

The Lockdown Logs

Dateline: May 2nd 2020

Here’s a coffee-pod holding device sitting on our kitchen bench, located in the Cocoon kitchen.  You may well ask, why would anyone in their right mind make a black and white photograph, with a Fujifilm X-T2, of a coffee-pod thingy anyway?  There may be several reasons:

  1. Sheer boredom.
  2. The photographer concerned in actually NOT in his right mind.
  3. Beause, like Mt. Everest, it is there.
  4. Because said photographer is half deaf, and thought the man with the lisp was ordering a graphic for his pod-cache.

YOU be the judge!

Fujifilm X-T2, F=18mm, f/3.6 @ 1/60th sec on ISO400. Acros Film Simulation.


Dead Leaf – Day 4.

Macro Tube Leaf

It’s getting boring now. I’m now at Day 4 with my dead leaf. This time I put a macro extension tube on the X-T30 and stuck the lens right up against the leaf. Focal length was 55mm (Macro tubes only work at the vey end of these lenses)  –

f/8 @ 1/60th sec on ISO3200, lit by a Rotolight Neo in a light tent.

In Lightroom, I used split toning to bring out the reds in the leaf’s shadow areas, – just a tiny amount of saturation used.

I’ve got to find a new leaf soon. I’m running out of options. Either that or I need to get out and find something to photograph really soon.

That Dead Leaf Again…

So, day three of playing with a dead leaf.

(Even a cat wouldn’t play with a leaf as long as this). Today I set up the light tent, and put the leaf in it. I lit the tent with a Rotolight Neo, and used the Fujifilm X-T30. I had three objectives:
  1. To see the effect when I used the LensBaby lens,
  2. To create shadows by bringing the Rotolight down from the top of the tent tone side of the tent. (Left, so I could hold it by hand, and use the camera in my right hand)
  3. To mount the Rotolight on the camera hotshoe.

Continue reading That Dead Leaf Again…