Pushed …

I have time on my hands, life has slowed to the pace of a snail.  I am not good at doing nothing.  Consequently my blog output has suddenly risen and playing with the camera occupies a large part of the day.  This is not necessarily a bad thing – life back home is always too full.  Here in Comillas the opposite applies.

Days start too slowly – we skip mornings, arrive ready prepared for siesta time and finally hit the streets early evening.  I could not do this for long, it feels like a life wasted but for a short time it is fine.

I avoid using flash – it has limited range, it is intrusive, it does nothing for facial features and the strong shadows are unnatural.  As the light fails, the answer is to push the X100s to ISO 6400, change the white balance to incandescent, switch the film simulation to Provia Standard and then fade into the background.

Once captured, the images are cropped and the levels adjusted in Photoshop CC. ON1 is used to convert to black and white with a basic green filter, a minor vignette applied and a border added.  Then a final dabble with sharpening, levels, brightness and contrast in Photoshop finishes the job.  And, the real trick in all this? – remembering to reset the camera to its standard settings.

On the Run, Phoning HomeThe Fountain and Church Door were taken out and about on the streets of Comillas last night.  It keeps me amused and out of trouble 🙂

On the run ...Evening in the square ...The fountain ...Iglesia de S. Cristobal ...



  1. Tish Farrell · September 9, 2016

    Nice shots, Robin. Very absorbing images. And an interesting photo lesson too.

    • northumbrianlight · September 9, 2016

      Thanks Tish, not sure I am qualified to give lessons 😉

      • Tish Farrell · September 9, 2016

        Course you do. Have a happy hols.

  2. Cate Franklyn · September 9, 2016

    Great lowlight shots. What shutter speeds were you able to maintain?

    • northumbrianlight · September 9, 2016

      Thanks Cate – I use the exposure dial as well get it to around 1/70th which is just about ok for hand held.

      • Cate Franklyn · September 9, 2016

        Yep, did the same for the Star Trek convention since flash was not allowed.

      • northumbrianlight · September 10, 2016

        I am always surprised just how good the ISO 6400 images can be – coming from the days of pushing Tri-X Pan it makes you realise that digital is heading well beyond the capabilities of traditional film. Just look what they did with the BBC series Wolf Hall – using the Arri Alexa to shoot by candlelight – cameras that see better than we do. It’s an exciting world, Cate – all the best and thanks for taking the time to comment on my ramblings.

  3. LaVagabonde · September 9, 2016

    It takes practice to learn how to do nothing well. 😉 Thanks for the stroll around Comillas.

    • northumbrianlight · September 9, 2016

      A pleasure, Julie – I will take your advice and keep practicing 🙂

  4. restlessjo · September 9, 2016

    I love the first especially, Robin. I thought I was looking at one of your memories. 🙂 I’m not terribly good at doing nothing either. Foot’s strapped up after an incident with a ditch and heather on the Moors. I’m blaming the sheep. 🙂 Lots of blog catch up time.

    • northumbrianlight · September 9, 2016

      Thanks Jo – can’t be me, I was never let that far off the leash 😉
      Sorry to hear about the incapacity – hope you recover soon.
      Ewe will have to sue for damages 😉

      • restlessjo · September 9, 2016

        Do sheep have deep purses? 🙂

      • northumbrianlight · September 10, 2016

        Deep woolly ones – beware or they will fleece you 😉

  5. litadoolan · October 15, 2016

    Thanks for the insight on why to avoid flash. I enjoy the natural pace of life the photos capture. Such a healthy philosophy. I feel like I am stood in these places too.

    • northumbrianlight · October 21, 2016

      Many thanks Lita – apologies for the slow response – away again, this time on the canals. An even slower pace of life 🙂

      • litadoolan · November 5, 2016

        Sounds like heaven !

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