The sun has finally come out from hibernation, which means that we Brightonians put on our summer dresses, grab a picnic rug and spend as much time as we can out and about – making the most of the weather while it lasts!
We had some loose plans this Sunday, but nothing set in stone. We just wanted to see where the day took us…
It all started at home, playing around with our new Fujifilm X-A3. One of my favourite things about the camera is a setting where it brings out a single colour from a B&W shot – my son and I had a great time testing it in our white living room!
All the photos in the post were taken with the camera, which was a real change from having to lug my DSLR around – read our full review of the Fujifilm X-A3 here.
Adventures at the Beach
After breakfast, we dug out our summer clothes from the cupboard, got on our bikes and headed to where we usually go on sunny days…down the road to Brighton beach on the lookout for some adventures!
We made a pit-stop at our local kids’ bookshop, The Book Nook, where we were lucky enough to catch a reading by Holly Swain, the illustrator of the new book ‘The New Adventures of Mr Toad’. She showed Charlie how to draw Mr Toad, and shared her artistic process with the children – it was a lovely start to the day, the kids there were so into it.
We continued a few steps down the road towards the beach, where C met a lovely little girl who was visiting from the island of Mull in Scotland! We spent a good 20 minutes watching them make friends by playing with the crashing waves.
Lunch at the Ginger Pig
After battling a fair amount of waves, we made our way to the Ginger Pig, one of Hove’s best gastro-pubs. It’s always a safe bet for lunch, but somehow I hadn’t been since C was born. Turns out they have a great kids’ menu and a new conservatory area that makes it so much easier with little ones.
I took out the camera to try it out on food, and it was a great surprise. The Fujifilm’s X-A3 macro lens makes for excellent food photography, highlighting the subject and blurring the background. A big plus for me is how easy it is to whip the camera out and quickly get my shots – so much better than taking out a massive and conspicuous DSLR. A tip if you’re using the camera is to use the SR+ setting which can automatically register your subject and change to macro straightaway – genius!
A few glasses of prosecco and some oysters later and I was ready for our next adventure….keep reading to see where we went!
Adventures on the South Downs
Spring is now fully underway in the South Downs National Park, so we headed to Friston Forest, a 30-minute drive from Brighton, for a walk with some friends. As we were driving we spotted this stunning field of flowers near Wilmington and I couldn’t resist stopping for a few snaps – look at this view!
To shoot the field, I used the landscape setting (nothing else touched) which brought out the colours and gave me a super sharp shot – easy. For the close-ups of my son I used the portrait setting, which is why there’s a lovely bokeh (blurred background) behind him.
A short drive from the charming village of Wilmington is Friston Forest, set deep in the park and one of our favourite places to go for a walk. There are plenty of marked trails, usually easy on little legs, and a big picnic area. I used the easiest setting on the camera (SR+) for most of the shots here, but we did play around with the sports setting for the kids’ jump, which turned out great.