Untethered: 7000 – Adventure to another world with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and X100S

Maya Sugiharto and Aviva Minc are Visual Storytellers. Photographers and Short Filmmakers based in Melbourne, Australia.  They are the Co-Founders and Creative Directors behind Agent Morphe.  They love to travel (with their cameras) on adventures and road trips, off the beaten tracks. To see more of their photos, visit them on Facebook and Twitter or on their personal Instagram accounts.

Maya Sugiharto –@mayasugihartophotography  and Aviva Minc –@photographersassistant.


Untethered: 7000 – Adventure to another world with the Fujifilm X-Pro2

Photography Road Trip Fact Sheet:

– 1,449km travelled
– 7 days
– Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF35mmF2 R WR + XF23mmF2 R WR
– Fujifilm X100S


Part 1: City Forest Cave

From the sand storms in the isolated deserts in Broken Hill Northern Territory, to the ice blizzards in the most southern state of the nation, Tasmania, we are putting ourselves, and our Fujifilm X-Pro2 and X100S cameras to the test.

We set ourselves the goal of seeing and photographing the circumference of Tasmania over a seven-day period, by road in winter – to document the landscape and to test how well our Fujifilm digital appendages would cope in the extreme conditions.

We jumped on a plane from Melbourne to Hobart – first stop our Hotel – top recommendation Ibis Styles (only a few month old) for views as we stayed on Level 9, great photography ops and clean, modern facilities.

As soon as we landed and had our car hire sorted, our first day goals were to get as far South as we could drive in Australia. We travelled down to Kettering, Middleton, Charlotte Cove, Huonville, Southport and all the way down to the most southern point in Australia – Cockle Creek.

The best way to describe this part of Tasmania would be quant and serene. There were fishing villages dotted along the journey, a wooden boat shed and builder, apple cider cellars and caves with thermal springs (Hastings) which we didn’t get time to see. There are heaps of photo opportunities as you can see below are just a few.

On our second day, our goal was to scout and find the filming locations of the Kettering Incident created by Vicky Madden and staring Elizabeth Debicki (Porchlight and Sweet Potato Films). The show was filmed at various locations around Kettering and Bruny Island itself, however it was apparently also filmed around Myrtle Forest – where you get the awesome green, mossy lush forest scenes. The film is about two women who go missing – not necessarily the best premise to head into the woods on our own, but we really wanted those beautiful lush photographs that many of us know Tasmania to show off.

We collected all of our gear and were about to head off onto the Myrtle Forest trail up to the waterfall, which was dark, wet and slippery. However were greeted by an odd man and his barking pit bull who seemed to appear again at various parts of the track. We had flashbacks to Wolf Creek crossed with the Kettering Incident itself, and to be honest were actually a little concerned about our safety.

In retrospect, we probably should’ve turned around – however the determination to get what we came for, out won our logic and we headed up the track. It was spooky, but beautiful.

After surviving the forest and its inhabitants, we drove east towards Dunalley, where you find a fish and chip shop that is on Tasmania’s top eats, and then we drove down to the Tessellated Pavement where our plan was to get some shots at sunset but things don’t always go to plan – however when we arrived, two guys told us about three whales that were playing in the bay at Remarkable Cave; so we took their word, jumped in the car and headed down there pronto! We didn’t have the zoom lens to be able to capture the whales but we certainly heard them talking all the way past sunset, which was pretty amazing.

Next up: to the mountains.

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” Arthur C Clarke


Part 2: Mountain[s]

Otherworldly.

It was time to go north. We were heading to Cradle Mountain to photograph, hopefully, a snowstorm that was due to arrive overnight and possibly the Southern Aurora if the clouds/snow passed.

There’s two ways to get to Cradle Mountain from Hobart – via the West or straight up. The more picturesque route is via Georgetown to the West, where you go through some pretty amazing terrain, however because of an incoming storm warning for snow thunderstorms that night, we decided to play this one safe.

You pass by some beautiful jagged mountains, such as Mount Roland, on the way. So Jurassic, other worldly, and powerful. As we were driving, our GPS announced “ turn right, and you will arrive in Paradise (photograph below) – that it certainly was. To top it off we were driving through this whole area during golden hour! As you’re approaching Cradle, the landscape changes significantly. It is surreal, and ethereal – eerie and another dimension perhaps.

We arrived safely after a long 5 hours drive to our lodge at Cradle Mountain. The closest supermarket is 45 minutes away, so be prepared – bring supplies! You have limited choices for places to eat, and those available are pricey, so be ready for that. Once we re-fueled our body, charged our cameras, it was time to rest our souls and get ready for the next adventure the following day.

The next morning, sure enough we woke up to -1 degree temperatures and a covering of snow and continuous snowfalls and blizzards – beautiful and breathtaking! Now we had the day to explore Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair with a big dose of snow, and an opportunity to really test the Fujifilm X-Pro2 (which is promoted as being weather resistant) and the Fujifilm X100S!

The mountain pass costs $20 per adult for the day, but in fact is for 24hrs, so if you enter at 1pm as we did, it lasts until 1pm the following day, which is fantastic. We were fortunate to be there whilst it was snowing very heavily, and got the chance to throw the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the WR lenses into the snow, to test them for their durability. We can honestly say that they live up to our expectation and their reputation. Even the X100S performed awesomely in the snow. Fujifilm does not recommend using it in a snowstorm, but we found the casing and the design made it really easy to use in those conditions.

Timing is everything, and again, we were at Lake St Clair during the golden hour for sunset, which was gorgeous. Highly recommend, especially when it’s snowing. The park gate counts the cars and only allows a certain amount of cars in at once, mainly due to the road only being a single lane but also to stop it getting too crowded there. A brilliant idea because we really got to experience it without the huge crowds you might see at the Twelve Apostles for example. Although it might have been because it was snowing so much too, that the traffic was low.

The next morning, we went back into Cradle Mountain Park to see the Waldheims Cabins – there was talk from the locals of wombats hanging around the area, so we were very keen to get up close and personal with them.

We only had a few hours before we needed to begin our long drive back to Hobart, but our wish did come true and we got to meet a wonderful friendly wombat whom was very willing to have their photograph taken.

Sadly, we had to leave Cradle Mountain without any opportunity to see or photograph the Southern Aurora and her dancing lights. The cloud cover just never passed, as we had snow the whole time we were there, but according to the readings and reports we had, if the clouds had passed, there was meant to be some pretty amazing lights.

We have to say, it was pretty difficult to leave Cradle Mountain, and a definite highlight to the trip. Such a surreal and majestic place to spend time in, and the snow just added to the whole mystique. We wished we had planned a longer visit there, a chance to go on the many walk trails around Lake St Clair in the park that would have been beautiful with the snow covering (and very cold!).

We were meant to spend the last two days of the road trip driving down the east coast, but fell ill with the flu, and had to skip it and headed to Hobart instead.

Hobart is a great base to work from, especially when travelling to the lower parts of Tasmania. We decided to go back to the Tessellated Pavement at Eaglehawk Neck (because we had missed it when we went chasing the whales on our second day) and get some shots of the gorgeous rocks on the beach.

That was followed by a drive up to snow covered Mt Wellington, with the plan of getting some great shots of Hobart, and some footage of more snow. Whilst driving up the mountain, we came to a Whippet that was running scared on its own on the road in front of our car, and instead spent the rest of our day helping a local couple find that same dog that ran into the forest in the cold past sunset. So we never reached the top, or got any photographs, and as it turns out, the road to the top of Mt Wellington was blocked (which can happen on the spur of the moment) due to ice and snow. So it’s best to call the City of Hobart and the rangers to get updates before you go!

This was an incredible trip. Definitely not enough time in many of the places we visited, and not enough time to get to all the places we had hoped to see. We missed a lot. In researching the places to visit, other people had said that a week was not enough to drive around and see all of Tasmania. And we have to agree. You can rush it, but you’d be doing yourself an injustice because Tasmania is a good-looking place to photograph and you deserve to see it all. One way to do that would be to break the trip into three parts: the east coast; the south and the west.

Our heart breaks that we missed the Aurora Australis. However there are awesome opportunities to get some incredible shots from what I’ve heard and seen from others, in fact just a few days after we left, there was a peak in activity and a beautiful show in the sky, that could even be seen over Hobart. As they say, next time, in Tasmania, with our Fujifilm cameras!

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller

 

 

11 Ways to Shoot Stunning Astrophotography

If you want a new challenge in your photography, take shots that are out of this world. Astrophotography, the art of recording objects beyond Earth, seems much like other time-lapse photography styles, but its dark skies and distant, moving lights present unique challenges to push you creatively.

Take stunning astrophotography shots by getting your physical setup and camera settings right for this genre.

 

Before you shoot, know your stars.

 

Study what you are capturing. By learning about star constellations, you can decide which stars you want to include and where in your composition you want them displayed.

Stake your spot to study the sky.

 

Determine where you want to shoot your astrophotography images. Get away from big cities and their light pollution. Go toward less-settled regions and their visible skies.

Photo by Bryan Minear

 

Fine-tune your whitest whites.

 

Astrophotography relies on stars’ luminosity, so make sure their whiteness is stark. Adjust your white balance, either through one of your camera’s preset or by manual alteration.

 

Increase your ISO.

 

Your camera’s ISO setting determines the light sensitivity of your camera’s image sensor, and astrophotography requires high sensitivity. Expect to shoot at ISO 400 or more.

Rely on manual settings.

 

Your camera’s autofocus mode is unlikely to stay locked onto a moving star. Use manual focus and if your camera enables focus peaking ensure it is turned on.

Photo by Photo Rangers

Stay steady for an unwavering shot.

 

Everything you know about camera sturdiness applies to astrophotography. Set up your most trusted tripod and, if you have one, use your remote shutter release. If you don’t have a remote turn on your camera’s self timer for two or ten seconds.

 

Place your focus on a single star.

 

With your manual settings, select a star or moon to test and improve your focus. For larger stars or the moon, locate their very edge and make sure it is optimally clear.

 

Embrace star trails.

 

As you shoot from the rotating Earth, your long-exposure photos show the path of stars in the sky. To highlight star trails, choose a wide-angle lens, which keeps a broader range of the paths in your focal region.

 

Or, alternately, eliminate star trails.

 

If you want to focus on the sky’s stillness, you can reduce star trails, though you may want to stash a calculator in your camera bag. Astro photographers follow the Rule of 600, or the Rule of 500, depending on whom you ask, to determine their maximum exposure before star trail becomes visible. Divide the rule’s number by the focal length of your lens. If you have a 28mm lens, divide 500 by 28 to get 17.85. This means you can shoot at an exposure of 17 or 18 seconds before star trail appears.

 

Do not forsake the foreground.

 

Astrophotography shots can still have earthly elements. Frame your shots with trees or hilltops to give your composition added dimension.

 

Utilise editing software for finishing touches.

 

Astrophotography benefits greatly from post-production edits. Alter your contrast, exposure and white balance until the sky tells the story you want.

 

Consider yourself an astrophotography expert, or at least more than a novice. Minding these principles of camera settings and general composition, you are ready to stun with your space shots.

Photo by Josselin Cornou

 

Want to purchase a Fujifilm camera, but not sure which one is right for you? Our Buying Guide can help you narrow down the list to find the best camera for your photography style.

 

 

Sports Photography as a Spectator – Mountain Bike Racing

By Jeff Carter

In a series of articles X Photographer Jeff Carter will be shooting at sports events in the UK and showing how to capture great images with the Fujifilm X Series without the need for a media pass. Continue reading Sports Photography as a Spectator – Mountain Bike Racing

Street Smart: Photographer Craig Whitehead hits the streets with the X100F

By Craig Whitehead

Photographer Craig Whitehead has been using FUJIFILM X Series for his street photography for many years, most recently having purchased the X100F. In this interview he talks about his experience with the X Series and shares some of his images from the X-T1, X-Pro2 and X100F. Continue reading Street Smart: Photographer Craig Whitehead hits the streets with the X100F

Take A Different View: Fashion Photography Re-imagined

By Alexander Bather

I was always one of those people who would count down the minutes until it turned 5:30pm, but now I watch the clock counting down the minutes until my next photography assignment.
I enjoy the uncertainty of the job, as it could be anywhere in the world, photographing any subject and may have some unusual requirements thrown in for good measure. What is certain however, is that I will get to meet and create art with some interesting characters. Continue reading Take A Different View: Fashion Photography Re-imagined

Photographers, We’re Storytellers – 10 Days in Japan [Part One]

By Chris Weston

When I first became interested in wildlife photography, I harboured a deep fascination with Japan. I used to study the work of some of the great Japanese nature photographers – Michio Hoshino, Mitsuaki Iwago, Nobuyuki Kobayashi – and found, in their images, a hidden depth, an elusive something that I could only describe as “soul”. I also noticed many of my early photographic heroes, photographers such as Art Wolfe and Jim Brandenburg, as well as my favourite artist, Monet, had been inspired by immersion in Japanese culture. Continue reading Photographers, We’re Storytellers – 10 Days in Japan [Part One]

Take A Different View: Capturing the Everyday Life as a Street Photographer

By Matt Hart

Take a Different View

I spend most of my days teaching people how to see the streets with fresh eyes. Helping photographers to see the world around them through a lens in a more unique way. I spend my free time exploring the streets of our cities looking for a different view of the world around us and trying to find something unique or different.

Street photography is not just taking photos of people in the street. There is so much more to it than that, and the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 helps me to carry out my work in a much more unobtrusive way.

The trinity of a great street shot is Light, Composition and Moment, but add to that emotional impact and a great subject and you have a killer shot.

Creating an image without the use of Photoshop, just looking to find something different and exciting is very addictive. You don’t find it every day but when you do it’s just a magical moment you want to share.

I am constantly on the lookout for great light. We know photography is all about great light so I tend to spend my time hunting down locations with the perfect light quality and shape. Some areas and cities are laid out to allow light to hit the streets and create great shapes but some hide the light most of the day with narrow streets all facing the wrong direction.

With street photography, it’s hard to compose an image immediately but you can look for an amazing street or area with good lighting and wait for an interesting subject to come in to the frame. You should never get caught up with the look or style of a subject. It’s better to look for right light and scene and start the composition process, keeping an eye out for how people look in the light and shadows as they come in to the frame. With practice, you know what shapes and styles to look for in the subjects around you.

The decisive moment is a rare thing, but you can improve your chances by looking for the obvious. If you stand next to great light someone will walk in to it, if you stand next to a puddle someone will walk in it or jump over it. Just make sure a car does not drive through it and soak you!

A great subject, as I have said, is not always what you think. It’s all about the shape, the context and the look. After all photography is all about communication so you need to be able to find a subject that communicates to your or your viewer.

We would all love to be able to get emotional impact in to our images and this is the hardest part of all. People do not display emotion in public as much as they used to, so looking for a kiss or a smile is quite a rare thing in some cities or towns. It does not have to be a happy emotion, it could be fear, horror or fright. Anything that creates some form of emotion in the viewer. Remember, though, everyone is different so try and treat people how you would like to be treated yourselves.

I am a candid street photographer and like to shoot the scene when the subject is unaware. The rangefinder style of the X-Pro2 helps me enormously with this task. I am a right eye shooter so it’s great to be able to shoot with both eyes open. With the camera only covering a small portion of my face, it means not having my nose squashed in to the rear screen!

Quite a few people prefer the Optical Viewfinder in the X-Pro2 but I really prefer to use the Electronic Viewfinder with the histogram and the level switched on in the menu. I prefer to keep both eyes on what is going on around me and shoot from the hip most of the time. When I do use the viewfinder, I want very fast feedback of the scene. I want to know the camera is focused level and the exposure is correct. The X-Pro2 is a nice oblong shape which means that, at a glance, you can check the camera is straight without having to hold it to the eye. I do this by just looking along its edges and lining it up with straight edges on buildings. If you can’t find a straight edge turn on the electronic level and use the rear screen to level the shot.

I set the X-Pro2 up to make my life easy out on the streets and use the Auto ISO setting and, in Auto ISO 1, I set my camera to Default Sensitivity 200 max and 6400 min sensitivity. I set the Shutter Speed to 1/320 secs or above most of the year. This gives me the exposure I need for a sharp image without having to mess about with the camera all the time.

If I do need to make any changes with the exposure triangle on the outside of the camera I can just up the shutter speed using the exposure dials on the top of the camera, or close or open the aperture at will with the aperture ring around the lens (available on most XF lenses). I normally shoot between f4-f8 in the summer and f1.4-f4 in the winter in the UK.

I use single servo centre point focusing to shoot anything standing still and continues focus to shoot anything moving mostly with evaluative metering. Sometimes, in awkward light, I will switch to spot metering and just adjust with exposure compensation dial.

I shoot mainly with the wonderful set of Fujifilm F2 lenses; the XF23mmF2, XF35mmF2 and XF50mmF2 all fit nicely in a little pouch in my bag. I still love the XF90mmF2 and the XF16mmF1.4 but over the last few weeks I have just wanted to carry less in my bag.

I have shot most cities in the UK now so I know what lenses work for each city so tend to pack what I need.

I only shoot street with prime lenses and tend to go out with two camera bodies – a wide lens on one body and a telephoto lens on the other. This enables me to capture something right under my nose or on the other side of the street without having to run around like a mad thing. Once you get used to a prime you can move and shoot so much faster and capture the shot you were after, instead of wasting time trying to frame your subject by zooming.

Sometimes we see the same things repeatedly but it’s how we shoot it that makes the difference. When the everyday becomes the norm, we need to break out of the crowd and start to look at things in a different way. You can walk the same street for 10 years and the next time you turn the corner there it is a great big puddle!

Sometimes you have to wait a long time to get an image that is different and sometimes it happens 10 times in a day. I walked up and down my local railway station bridge looking at the nice yellow handrails for over 10 years before the light and subject position was good enough to lift my camera to my eye to take the shot.

Keeping your eyes open and looking all around you at all times if key. As long as your camera is set up and ready, you should be able to capture most moments.

It’s all about learning to see and taking your time; being in the right place at the right time.

There is nothing more relaxing than a day out with your camera in one of our great cities. Spending an afternoon looking for something different among the chaos, the hustle and bustle, whilst enjoying good coffee with your friends as you try to capture a different view.


More from Matt Hart

Website: http://www.matthewhartphotography.com/

Blog: https://matthewhartphotography.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matthewhartphotography/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/matt6t6

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/matt6t6/


More about FUJIFILM X-Pro2

Taking performance to new heights, the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 offers the world’s only Hybrid Multi Viewfinder and features a brand new 24MP X-Trans III sensor.

The FUJIFILM X-Pro2 boasts a Hybrid Viewfinder capable of instantly switching between optical and electronic finders, plus an updated image sensor and processor, which dramatically improve image quality. By combining these features with the ultra-high image quality of FUJINON X-Mount lenses and the color reproduction technology accumulated through more than 80 years as a photographic film manufacturer, the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 delivers the best ever results from an X-series camera.

 

Y Not Festival 2017: How Weather Resistant is the X-Pro2?

By Tony Woolliscroft

The ‘Great British Summer’… We all remember it, don’t we?

As a photographer, who makes a living from shooting music events, the summer time means swapping my cameras and lenses, from my rolling camera case, to a heavy rucksack that I carry on my back. ‘Why?’ you may ask. I think you’ll understand as you read on.

From June until mid September I’m often asked to shoot at different festivals up and down the UK. A dream job in most peoples’ eyes and, yes, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had amazing times and memories at festivals all over the world.

I must admit though, over the past few years the thought of shooting a festival for 3-4 days, as Y Not Festival is, does bring me out in a cold sweat. The great British summer time, we all know, is very unpredictable to the extreme, and I usually end up photographing these events in bad weather. Take this year’s Nottingham Splendour festival for example, an outdoor one day event where the weather was fine until 4pm, when the Buzzcocks came on, and the heavens opened up. The rain did not stop pouring all evening and in to the night it became torrential – even as I drove along the A52 home.

The first thing I do before I go to ANY festival is to swap my Fujifilm kit over from a rolling case to a rucksack because, quite simply, you cannot roll through all the mud and rain where the grass used to be!

I have learned over the past few years, and this is a tip for those reading this, that if you shoot mirrorless Fujifilm cameras, chose what lenses you use the most at a festival, and only take those. To cut down the amount of time spent changing lenses, I now carry three Fujifilm camera bodies with me at festivals. I always take my two X-T1 bodies with my XF16-55mmF2.8 (which is my go to lens) and my XF50-140mmF2.8. On my FUJIFILM X-Pro2 camera I take an XF14mmF2.8 as this is a really wide lens, perfect for close ups and backstage pictures.

Due to the amount of dust, mud and rain at festivals, I never take these lenses off. This helps keep my sensors in top-notch condition against whatever the summer weather throws at them.

Y Not Festival 2017

This year’s Y Not festival opened on the Thursday night with Feeder playing in the evening summer sun. I managed to grab some portraits with Grant and the lads before they went on stage and played a great set to the early bird festival goers, who had arrived on the Thursday afternoon to set up camp.

Did I mention the summer sun on the Thursday evening? Well, that was the last we saw of it! Come midday on Friday, due to a few hours of a very heavy, torrential downpour, the whole festival site had changed completely.

What was green grass had now turned into a muddy swamp. Maybe these are the perils of holding a festival on the Derbyshire moorlands, but I think the conditions on the Friday took everyone by surprise. The main stage was particularly badly affected, driving rain had soaked the stage and there were fears of the bands getting electrocuted if they plugged in and played. A few acts were cancelled as the rain did not relent, until someone had the idea to put up four gazebo type marquees on the stage for the bands to try and play under.

This did help provide some shelter and two bands powered on through, performing in the height of the driving rain. I was at the festival to photograph one of these two bands; Nothing But Thieves. While the band had temporary cover, I, however was not so lucky. As a photographer, I, and my kit, needed to be at the front of the stage.

When I’m shooting at festivals, I’m always being asked about how weathered my Fujifilm X Series cameras are. I will admit that I’d never pushed my equipment as much as I had before experiencing the conditions at Y Not Festival. The rain was just horrendous. For the first three songs (around 17 to 20 minutes) I was photographing the band at the front of the stage. I was then side of stage to shot another two songs from there – once again I was exposed to the elements and continued to get soaked.

I can honestly say that my cameras passed their weathering ordeal with flying colours! I had no problem with the bodies and lenses in this heavy rain.

The rain continued throughout the evening and the main headline act, The Vaccines, was cancelled as the weather became so extreme. Therefore, it was time to go home and give my equipment a good clean up.
Although Saturday was blue sky, the night brought more torrential and a decision was made to call off the last day of the festival due to health and safety issues.

The ‘Great British Summer’, as I said, I get the cold sweats just thinking about it!

Please note: Not all of the X Series cameras feature Weather Resistance. Please check the specification of each model before purchase.


More from Tony Woolliscroft

Website: http://tonywoolliscroft.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tony.woolliscroft.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonyredmen1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/redmen1

Exploring Lake Como with the X-T2

By Darren Brogan

Headshot-DarrenBrogan

Darren is a keen traveler and photography enthusiast from the town of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland. For Darren, photography has always been a bit of a hobby and is closely intertwined with his passion for travel. As often as he can, Darren likes to get out and explore the world around him. Whether he is hiking the rural highlands of Scotland or roaming the sprawling cities of Asia, he will undoubtedly have his camera at his side. The goal of his photography has always been to visually document his adventures and to share them with others in attempt to inspire. Instagram is his preferred platform to share his work and to engage with fellow travelers from around the world, you can follow him at instagram.com/poetic_mouse.

He has been shooting with the Fujifilm X Series since late 2015.


Continue reading Exploring Lake Como with the X-T2