Wonder Lake

DSCF0687FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (56mm, f/11, 1/420 sec, ISO200)

Austria is a beautiful country but it got no sea. Well no more after it caused and lost the first world war. We still have this lake.

I love to be at the sea. I would love to go there every day for sunset but its not possible. The closest option is a five hours drive away. But this lake which is about 1 hour away from my home gets close. It even smells like the real thing. And its always windy and there is so much light. Just like on a sunny day at the sea.

DSCF1951FUJIFILM X-T1 (127.9mm, f/9, 1/1600 sec, ISO200)
DSCF2007FUJIFILM X-T1 (230mm, f/9, 1/1600 sec, ISO200)
DSCF0660FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (56mm, f/8, 1/450 sec, ISO200)

It’s a magical place. I went there a lot when I was into bird photography. I often got there before sunrise which meant that I had to leave my place at 4:30am in the morning just to take pictures of birds in beautiful morning light. Today I don’t shoot birds anymore but I always like to return to the lake every now and then especially in spring. Coming out of the dark season the light, the salty breeze and all the reflections on the water really help to get rid of the winter blues.

I remember when we went there three years ago. It was early March. The water was still frozen but the sky was blue. I came out of a very dark winter and this was the first sunny and beautiful day. The next day I was going on my first business trip to South East Asia. My first trip to Asia. It was an amazing experience but so was this day.

I had my X-Pro 1 and my brand new Fuji XF 14/2.8 R with me. I took the first pictures with it. Since then this lens has become my favorite Fuji lens and it still is. The only thing I didn’t like that day was that I could not see a thing in the viewfinder. I needed to switch to the EVF because the 14mm lens is too wide for the optical viewfinder. But the EVF was rather dark and small and low resolution. I needed to shade the viewfinder with my left hand when shooting to be able to see the picture.

Why I’m telling you that? Three years later I’m back with my brand new Fuji X-Pro 2. Shooting with the EVF but there is no need to shade the viewfinder with my left hand. The new EVF is not only bigger, has a better resolution and a higher refresh rate it is also much brighter. So bright that I thought sometimes I was looking through an optical viewfinder. The new EVF is that good. Yes it is smaller than the one in the X-T1 and its edges are harder to see if you wear glasses but it is much brighter and it is closer to “the real thing”.

DSCF0628FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (216.9mm, f/8, 1/750 sec, ISO200)
DSCF1918FUJIFILM X-T1 (230mm, f/8, 1/340 sec, ISO200)
DSCF0662FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (56mm, f/1.8, 1/15000 sec, ISO200)
DSCF0683FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (53mm, f/11, 1/450 sec, ISO200)
DSCF0687FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (56mm, f/11, 1/420 sec, ISO200)

Now I finally have two camera bodies again which helps to avoid to switch lenses. Normally I would have a wide angle zoom on one camera and a tele zoom on the other one but since there was no ice and other attractive foreground elements I put the 56mm on the X-Pro 2 and the 55-200mm on the X-T1. There is something special about the XF 56/1.2 R. I don’t use it that much beside for portraits but every time I shoot with it I just love the results. And the electronic shutter of the Fuji cameras makes this lens even more useful. Like in the restaurant shot where I was shooting close to wide open and with a shutter speed of 1/15.000s.

But my favorite shots are the two above. Where the lake melts with the sky. On the one above the guy on the long board gives some orientation. On the other image you need to zoom in to see the seagulls on the lake at the edge where the water ends and the sky begins. OK and the one below. They all look so peaceful because there were no waves which is a very rare thing on this lake.

DSCF2023FUJIFILM X-T1 (230mm, f/6.7, 1/1900 sec, ISO200)
DSCF0702FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (56mm, f/3.6, 1/4400 sec, ISO200)

It was also one of the first rather warm days this year. Don’t get me wrong. There was no way to sit outside without a warm jacket but you could feel the energy of the sun. A large crowd was there to soak in the sun because everybody knew that even though winter is over there is still a long way to go until summer arrives here.

Since I travel to Asia on a regular base I can have summer in the middle of January like this year or in early April like last week in India. I still can’t wait for summer to arrive here. It is just different. It is better. The long hours of daylight has an effect on people. Just like a day on this lake.

DSCF2040FUJIFILM X-T1 (90mm, f/9, 1/450 sec, ISO200)