Just after Christmas 2016, The Delightful Mr F and I headed down to Devon for some post-festive relaxation before heading back to the employment grindstone. I had been the proud owner of a Fuji X70 for a matter of days at this point and was excited about giving it a thorough test. I also had my XT-1 for some astrophotography. Having reviewed the ever-changing weather forecast one afternoon it looked as though that evening was going to be good for shooting the night sky. I promptly charged up some XT-1 batteries and waited for it to get dark. I had scouted a really nice shot of Agatha Christie’s holiday home with the stars overhead that I wanted to get.
Following a hearty dinner, all-important when heading out into the cold night, we donned some cold weather gear and made haste to the aforementioned spot. Then disaster struck. My first shot on my XT-1 showed there was something on the sensor. Something pretty large too, every shot had a massive splodge across it. There was nothing for it, but to fall back on the X70. It has the same sensor, and the same focal length lens, all be it not the same lens as my 18mm f2, I would normally use for astrophotography, so all should be well.
The Delightful Mr F helped me dismantle my XT-1 set-up, whilst ignoring the unladylike language coming from my mouth, and the X70 was set up. I happily shot images, and the LCD screen was showing that they would be pretty good. It was darned cold, so we didn’t hang about, and headed back to the cottage for a couple slices of toast and a warming cuppa.
The next day, I downloaded the photos for some Lightroom work. Night sky photos tend to need a bit of help to reduce noise and really bring out the stars. I was horrified to find that I had shot the little X70 on jpeg only mode. I had been testing out different settings earlier in the day and had failed to put it back to RAW. Schoolgirl error! I did what I could, and the shot wasn’t bad, but it could have been so much better. A lesson learned. The weather turned on us for the rest of the week, and there were no more clear skies, although may have been some more unladylike language.
Fast forward to Christmas 2017 and The Delightful Mr F and I are back in the same area. I am primed and ready to take the same shot again, but this time in RAW*. However the weather was against us once more, we had the joys of a storm front coming in from the Atlantic, with constant rain and gales, and topped off by Storm Eleanor. No clear skies, not until one evening when there was a break in the clouds. We sprang into action, pretty much running the half-mile to the location, tripod, and camera bag in hand. Halfway there it started to rain, but there were still clear parts of the sky. We skidded to a halt, and set everything up in record time. We grabbed some shots and packed up before the Heavens opened. This was the night of the Supermoon so not so many stars were visible, but the house is beautifully lit up by the moonlight. The Delightful Mr F said it reminded him of the house in Agatha Christie’s novel, The Hollow. Now, that gives me an idea…
*Checked, and double checked, and then checked again.