An Escape To New Mexico | A7rII – XT2 – X100F

Man, it’s been a busy month. For those that follow this blog, I actually don’t do this full-time. I’m a trailer editor and when things get crazy, they get crazy. I live in a dark grey room where I destroy my ears with risers, slams, and sub-drops 10-16 hours a day. For whatever reason, I kind of like it.

Between gigs, I leave town immediately to recollect myself from the insanity that comes from working as an editor in advertising. This time my wife, child and friend from Japan took the long and painfully boring drive out to New Mexico. With a few fun stops along the way.

AuroraHDR – A7rII – 16-35mm @ 16mm | ISO 100 – f9 – 8sec

My goal for this trip was actually two things. One to review Aurora HDR, which I am now actively working on, and two a review the Fujinon 14mm lens, a lens that I’ve had for a while and to be honest, it might be my favorite.

Of course, I also brought my trusty X100F, which is just such an amazing camera. I’ll post those shots tomorrow.



Aurora HDR 

I have a lot to say about this software as I’m blown away. First thing I’ve noticed is it’s more than just HDR software, the tools for a landscape photographer are simply insane. Check it out here. At least download the demo. But it’s worth the purchase in every way.

AuroraHDR – A7rII – 15mm Voigtlander | ISO 320 – f5.6 – 2.5sec +-2EV

My first attempt at shooting some cave photography at the Carlsbad Caverns, it’s tough. It’s hard to capture any sense of perspective or scale when inside the cave. The lighting they use in these caves is also pretty intense. It would be cool if they used LED lighting with rotating colors.

I also brought the completely wrong lens for the occasion, the Voigtlander 15mm, great lens but I should have brought my 16-35mm f4, or a 24-70mm. I was just worried about the weight for the long hike down. Luckily I had my X100F.

AuroraHDR – X100F – ISO 200 – f5.6 – 3.5sec +-2EV
AuroraHDR – A7rII – 16-35mm f4 @ 19mm | ISO 100 – f9 – 1/125 +-2EV


Fujifilm 14mm f2.8

I’ve had this lens over a year now and just haven’t gotten around to using it much, or when I do go out to use it, the weather suck and the shots don’t turn out.

I do love this lens though. It’s so small and light and the images come out looking so crisp. It might not be the sharpest lens Fujifilm has made, but it still has a very nice qualities.

Fujifilm XT2 – 14mm | ISO 200 – f8 – 1/125
XT2 – 14mm | ISO 200 – f8 – 1/50


Disclosure: I am affiliated with Aurora HDR, but I’m not affiliated with Sony or Fujifilm.

  • Peter

    Just took your recommendation on SD cards for the Canon 80D and thought I’d have a look at your blog.

    Love that first image of the rippled white sand and blue-hour blues!

    And the one of your daughter as well – it really pops – she’s lucky to have such a talented Dad.

    Will also have a look at Aurora (thanks for mentioning your affiliation – nice to have full disclosure up front). I’ve used Photomatix up to this point, but the last upgrade for Mac seems broken in some way; the processed image doesn’t look anything like their preview (although I’ve never had this issue before).

    The Aurora interface looks intuitive and the amount of control you appear to have looks impressive. I tend to shoot HDR for architecture, urbex, machinery and landscape, so I’m interested to see the results.



  • Hey Peter,
    Thanks for the comment. I was a long time user of Photomatix as well. The new version of Aurora has been a game changer for my workflow. The use of layers to bring back in some of the original bracketed shots with layers masks makes my life so much easier.

    I also just discovered you can save your work, so that you can go back and edit the same photo again if you need to change anything. I just have to learn to get in the habit now.