At the station
Nathalie taking the train to Leuven.
I like to take photos when the light gets difficult. Things are happening.
But it is usually not easy.
In this case, there was not much light, what we called 'available light' in the film days, and the light that there was would change constantly, depending on the distance to the lights.
In these fast changing conditions, I want to concentrate on the things that happen around me, and I do not want to think to much about the technique.
Focusing is a technique part. Sometimes, auto focus can solve that problem, but not in this case.
The (otherwise very good) AF on the X100s could not handle this. So, manual focus.
Not a real problem, manual focus on this camera is excellent, better then classic SLR's and for me even better then Leica. I used the standard focusing option for a while, and when things started to move (when the train arrived), I switched to focus peaking. Focus peaking is less precise, but I think that in this case 'close' is better then not at all.
Manual focus means using the Electronic Viewfinder, but that is a bonus in this kind of light, you can actually see what you are doing. A DSLR (or SLR) would have gone dark already.
Getting the exposure exactly right was going to be difficult with this light. Another technique thing, equally important, but no time for that.
That meant auto exposure. No need for aperture priority, depth-of-field or optimum lens quality are not very relevant here. I had to freeze motion. I tried shutter speed priority, but that did not really work that good as well, so I ended up using 'A' on both settings, Program mode.
Auto ISO with a max. of 3200, -1 exposure compensation. I know the light meter by now, and in this type of light, that works.
It even worked great.
I try to avoid 'chimping' as much as possible. I might check if my first picture works out ok if the light is difficult, and forget about the viewer after that. For me, photography is about seeing something before it actually happens, and then catching the actual event. Watching your camera screen is about the past. It is about technique, but when I take a photo, technique must be 'done' already.
When the headlight of the train appeared things got interesting. When an event unfolds, I try to keep looking through the viewfinder, and keep looking until everything is done, without taking the camera away from my eye. I need to be ready, moving the camera back to my eye means I will probably miss the moment.
And it worked.