For our recent visit to Waynesville I rented another camera – the Fuji X-T3. It’s the latest version of my existing camera, the X-T1, and I wanted to see how it compares. It was an interesting experiment, with mixed feelings. The Folkmoot photos from my previous post were taken with that camera, and here are a few more.
All in all, the camera would be a worthy upgrade from the X-T1 if I happened to be in the market. But I’m not. The obvious reason would be cost, because in addition to the camera itself I would need to upgrade my memory cards, buy new batteries (my current batteries fit but have a lower power output so will supposedly not last as long), buy a new L-bracket and eventually – because of the 26MP files vs. my current 16MP – I would need to buy larger hard drives. Sorry, that would cover the cost of a nice vacation!
Another, albeit minor, negative would be the slightly larger size of the X-T3 body. In my opinion the X-T1 borders between just right and a little large (weird to say since my initial impression 4 years ago was that it was tiny compared to the Canon 5D!).
On the positive side, the files were quite nice, although I wasn’t blown away by a huge difference between the newer camera and mine. There is definitely a slight improvement in detail, and I found that with files almost twice as large, zooming in to 50% instead of 100% is far enough. Any closer than 100% just accentuates the flaws, and I don’t need to accentuate them any more, thank you!
The menus are a bit more complex, necessary due to the customization the camera allows. But it wasn’t impossible to figure out, probably because I’m already used to the setup. I liked being able to see blinking highlights in the viewfinder, which I can’t do with my current camera. That’s not a big deal but it is helpful in certain situations. The EVF is nice and bright, and contains all of the information found on the main screen.
One of the things I should have paid more attention to is the ability to set different autofocus parameters based on specific shooting situations. I tried tracking subjects in the parade but found a lot of missed shots because I didn’t have it set up correctly. That’s not something I usually do, so I didn’t think about it until after the fact.
Tell just about anyone around here that you’re headed to Asheville, Boone, Blowing Rock or Cherokee, and they know where you’re going and likely have been there themselves. Tell someone you are going to Waynesville, and just about everyone says “where’s Waynesville?” Tell someone you are going to Waynesville for Folkmoot and they just get confused. “Where for what?”
When I was photographing for Our State and WNC magazines I took photographs to accompany articles about small towns in the western part of NC. Waynesville has become our favorite mountain town for a number of years and we keep returning. We’ve become friends with the couple who owns a small motel there, interestingly the same motel where my family used to stay when we visited from Pennsylvania. Waynesville has several restaurants we really like, a coffee roaster that makes my favorite coffee, and is ideally located for access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Every year in July, Waynesville hosts Folkmoot. Webster defines a ‘folkmoot’ as a general assembly of the people (as of a shire) in early England” Folkmoot in Waynesville has traditionally been a two week festival of international friendship and fellowship, highlighted by dance and musical performances. The Folkmoot organization has recently begun to evolve into a year-round cultural center, with programs and events that celebrate diversity, encourage cultural conversation, and preserve and honor worldwide cultural heritages.
We have been to Waynesville during Folkmoot several times in the past but have limited our participation to the Parade of Nations that is held one Saturday. This year we also purchased tickets and attended the opening ceremony, where all of the performers are featured in an indoor (and air-conditioned!) setting. I didn’t photograph there, but we did attend the parade the following day. I think I would like to eventually participate more, but for now we can be glad that we did something we hadn’t done previously.
Here is a small selection of photos from the parade. It is a lot of fun to attend, and I think I captured some photos that represent what it is all about!
Kathy & I are spending some time in Waynesville, NC trying to beat the heat in Charlotte. We’ve driven some curvy mountain roads during our sightseeing. This is a scene I have passed by many evenings without a camera, and decided to take one along last night just to capture a few shots.
For some reason I’m always drawn to the play of lines and shadows in this place. In many ways I keep taking the same photo over and over but I like to think they are slightly different, since I am slightly different each time I’m there.
From this past weekend in Waynesville, NC. Channeling Monte Stevens just a bit. Although Monte would have had the nerve to ask to take her photo – instead of just sneaking one – and would have gotten a better result. 😉
Here is a sampling of my photos from the 2017 Folkmoot Festival Parade of Nations in Waynesville, NC. My success rate was compromised a bit by a less than ideal location (about 20 yards from the main performance area) and less-than-ideal lighting conditions, but I managed to get a few photos that tell the story. After seeing the parade for the first time, I’m now determined to go back and capture the festivities from before the parade to after. I think it might make a good project and would be good practice at telling a story.
An annual event in Waynesville, NC is the Folkmoot Festival that takes place at the end of July. We typically get to Waynesville during the month of July, but for all our trips there we had never made it to the Folkmoot Festival or anything that had to do with it. This year, while planning our July visit I happened to notice that some of the performers would be participating in the annual Street Dance in downtown on Friday night, and that the Parade of Nations on Saturday would be right down Main Street That was too easy to pass up, so we went.
At Friday’s Street Dance, the Ogon’ki Ensemble from Russia (Siberia) were featured. They put on a great show with several groups of performers. These photos are from that performance. I also got some photos from the parade the following day, but those will need to wait for another post!
Some Sundays I have a very grueling To-Do list:
- Make Coffee
- Drink Coffee
So far I have accomplished one and am working diligently on the other. And I have done a blog post, so that makes me an overachiever, right? 😉
In my Computer Update post I noted that the one remaining item (and unexpected expense) from my recent computer conversion was the decision to replace my aging printer. This past weekend I received and set up my new printer – a Canon Pixma Pro 100. It has a lot going for it – most notably the price. With a $200 rebate the net cost to me was under $200, and it came with $50 worth of free paper. And I sold my old iMac to Gazelle for $150, so the out of pocket cost is practically $0! Of course I immediately reinvested some of that savings in a second set of ink, but at $125 for the new printer instead of $900 for ink for my old printer, it was an expense that is far more easily digested.
Some would say that it was foolish to get rid of a functioning printer just because I didn’t want to spend the money on consumables. In some respects those comments would be correct, and that was something I seriously considered in weighing my decision. The cost of said consumables was substantial, especially for a printer that got only occasional use. Every time I turned that thing on, it had to go through a long startup and cleaning cycle, and it felt like I was replacing an ink cartridge (at $75 each!) every time. Certainly the cost of ink is less per drop (or milliliter or however one chooses to measure ink cost) for a larger printer than a small printer. And the cost of roll paper is less than the cost of sheets. Regardless of those factors, it was hard to ignore the low initial and operating costs of the smaller printer. That, combined with a smaller footprint in my office, the promise of improved technology and a newer generation ink set made it a no-brainer.
The negatives are few, but include the fact that this printer uses die inks instead of pigment inks. Die inks are traditionally thought of as being less archival than pigment inks – they might only last 100 years…gasp! But pigment inks are generally thought of as being more prone to clogging than die inks, and for a printer that doesn’t see daily use, that was somewhat important to me. Importantly, color accuracy is similar between the two ink types as long as they are set up properly, and I think I’ve just about got that nailed.
The ability to use the Soft Proof function in Lightroom has been a welcome addition and has been leading to more accurate results without wasting a lot of paper. Since I wasn’t able to print from my computer when it was impersonating a Mac I never had a chance to use Soft Proofing. But now that I can use it from Windows, that improvement alone was worth the cost and effort of the change.
The fact of the matter is that my needs have changed since I bought the large printer. I rarely need to print anything larger than 13×19, and more often than not I would need to print larger than the old printer could print and would have to send the file to an outside print lab anyway. I have a couple of excellent choices for outside printing, so as long as I know I have an accurate file I have no problem sending the file to someone else to print. The smaller printer gives me a “good enough” proof for those purposes. For my own use, I have a lot less wall space now than I used to have, so I don’t do as much printing for my own use. Most of what I print for myself is for décor purposes, and printed on wood, canvas or metal. So I’m sending that work out anyway.
Probably the biggest challenge was figuring out how to get rid of the old printer. No one wanted it, for the same reasons I didn’t want it. I could take it to the county recycling center, but it weighed 120 pounds and wasn’t something that Kathy & I were going to move ourselves. I could have asked the kids to help me but decided against it. As it turns out I called one of the “Junk Hauling” companies, and two guys and a truck came on Saturday morning and hauled it away for under $100. It probably made our neighbors curious but was well worth the cost. Done and gone!
So there you have it. I think the transition can be called a success, and I am still way ahead of that $3,000 bill that I would have had with a new Mac. And I didn’t have to buy all those dongles!