New York, NY by Will Tung

Fuji X-E2 - 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0
18mm ▪ f2.8 ▪ 1/2 ISO 1600

Took advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to visit the Big Apple. Only been there twice when I was a kid and don't remember much from either trip. Although I packed my Fuji 35mm lens, it ended up staying in the bag the whole trip. The versatility of the Fuji 18-55mm was needed to get wider cityscape shots. It performed amazingly, with the OIS being VERY handy at night since I didn't have a tripod on this trip.  BEST kit lens I've used, by far.

This is what happens when you're bored during your layover in ORD:

First day was jam packed. Kicked it off with a great brunch with a great friend and coworker currently living in the city.  Headed down south to see the Statue of Liberty, but lines were way too long. Opted to take the Staten Island Ferry instead to get a more comfortable, relaxed view of both the Statue as well as the Manhattan skyline.

Ground Zero was nearby, and walking around it was a somber experience. It really does seem like yesterday that everything happened, and it's hard to believe that it was 13 years ago. This is when it started pouring, necessitating a spontaneous poncho purchase.

Nighttime led us through Brooklyn's Battery Park, full of people playing volleyball, soccer, basketball, and handball. Wish Austin stayed up this late being active in one public park. Would be a dream come true (especially if it included tennis courts). The night time stroll across Brooklyn Bridge gave way to a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline. This was when the OIS of the 18-55mm became invaluable. Being able to take a lot of these semi-long exposure shots handheld at night was miraculous.

If you want a view of the city from up high, go for the Top of the Rock observatory (at Rockefeller Center) instead of the Empire State Building. It's quicker, less crowded, and you get to take photos with the Empire State Building itself as part of the skyline. Pro Tip: There are three deck levels, just go to the very top right away as the best views are there, unobstructed by glass.

The mecca of Apple fans everywhere, the iconic Apple Store on 5th Avenue, really lends way to some pretty cool photo ops. There was a guy already waiting in front of the store for the iPhone 6 the day we were there (9/1). That's insane.

Other destinations included Central Park, Upright Citizens Brigade, Times Square, New York Public Library, High Line Park, and Grand Central Station (one of my favorites).

One last thing, we got to be a part of Monday's taping of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon! It required waiting in line at 5:30am-9:00am for standby tickets. We were tickets #26 and #27, and when we came back right before the taping, they let tickets #1-#27 into the show. Talk about lucky! Guests were Adam Levine, Maroon 5, and Meredith Vieira. If you ever get a chance to go, don't miss the opportunity!

Fuji X-E2 - 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0
18mm ▪ f3.6 ▪ 1/40 ISO 6400

Boulder, CO by Will Tung

Fuji X-E2 - 35mm f/1.4
35mm ▪ f11 ▪ 1/125 ISO 1250

Attended a friend's wedding in the mountains of Boulder, CO. We all stayed in a massive house for the weekend. There was even an Alpaca farm out back. Some scenery and detail shots. Stayed in the city afterwards, and the time there was particularly memorable because of the San Antonio Spurs winning the 2014 NBA Championship as well as the USMNT beating Ghana in their first 2014 World Cup match. Honestly didn't take many photos this trip, just wasn't in the mood. Pictures shot with both the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 and Fuji 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 lenses.

Rosemary Beach, FL by Will Tung

Fuji X-E2 - 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0
55mm ▪ f4.5 ▪ 1/4000 ▪ ISO 2000

Took a week long trip to Rosemary Beach, Florida for Logan & Leeta's beautiful wedding. It's a quaint beach town not too far from Panama City. A lot of little boutiques and restaurants, all walkable (and other small towns bike-able!). Beautiful beach, great company, and unforgettable memories. Pictures shot with both the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 and Fuji 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 lenses (which, by the way, is probably the best kit lens I've shot with).

You can check out more photos in my Flickr gallery.

Fuji X-E2 Low Light Performance by Will Tung

When there's a power outage and you don't own any flashlights or candles, what do you do? Why, you stick your iPhone w/ flash into a Rogue Flash Bender w/ diffusion panel of course! Also note the MacBook Air screen bounced against the wall in the back. This shot was taken in almost complete darkness (aside from the iPhones and MacBook Air). Talk about awesome low light performance (ISO 6400)!

Fuji X-E2 - 35mm f/1.4
35mm ▪ f1.4 ▪ 1/20 ▪ ISO 6400

The Burning House by Will Tung

I came across a fascinating blog called The Burning House, which collects submissions from people displaying the crucial items they would take with them if their house was burning. I had a fire alarm wake me up in the middle of then night just a couple weeks ago and luckily had enough time to grab quite a bit of stuff with me. Thankfully, it turned out to be a false alarm. It did lead me to run through a few exercises in my mind to determine what were the most important (and not easily replaceable) items in my life. I think it really depends on how much time I have to gather things. Here's what I came up with:

 

5 Seconds

  • 1 TB Portable Hard Drive - This hard drive has all my photos and personal documents. It would be the most devastating to lose. I need to do a better job making redundant backups (both physical & cloud).
  • Grey (not pictured) - My French Bulldog puppy.

 

30 Seconds

  • Money Clip - I've had this same one since 2001. Holds cash and cards.
  • Passport
  • iPhone 5s
  • Nike Free Running Shoes - Ran my first 1/2 Marathon in these.

 

1 Minute

  • Fuji X-E2 Camera
  • MacBook Air 11"
  • Box of Memories
  • Collector's Edition R2-D2 Watch

 

What would be in your Burning House list? 

VSCO Phase by Will Tung

I've been kind of addicted to the faded "VSCO look" lately (basically, crushed blacks on the tonal curve). I wonder how long it'll take for the novelty to wear off. I've also been playing around with the 1:1 aspect ratio a lot as well, especially since my camera now has it natively.

Some more notes on what I think could be improved on the Fuji X-E2. Currently, AF-L only works as a back button focus in MF mode. When in AF mode, it serves as a lock of wherever you're focused at that point. Meaning, you have to prefocus with the shutter, and then you press AF-L to 'lock' it. Wish it would just back button focus and lock at the same time. Also, I wish I could have separate view modes for shooting and reviewing photos. I prefer to shoot in EVF only with the LCD screen turned off, and to review in LCD screen only. Right now, changing view modes will change it for both shooting and review mode.