Guest post: My Wedding Photographer Mindset. Or: How I learned to stop worrying and Love Fujifilm.

By Mick Servodio

Ok. Let me start by saying: that this is not another fanboy drooling over his Fujifilm gear. I won’t be talking Tech in this Post. I will be talking from the heart. About me, my experiences. I know you know about the cameras (those Fujifilm cameras). So, no drooling here. This is a bit more than that (and hopefully not less than that!).

Let me start by telling you who I am. I’m a bit like you. I love photography. I love the arts. I sort of fell into it. You see, I’m a cook by trade, and have had photography as a hobby. But I do now consider myself a working, semi-professional, whose main focus is wedding photography. I lived in Brisbane, Australia, where I built up my business, but now I live in Perth (for about 18 months). I’m working under the name of Velvet Photography (Check out my website)

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In that short time in Perth, I have pretty much built up my business from scratch. It’s doing Ok. But luckily I know how to cook for a living while I continue to lock in those bookings (and I am).
I’ve come from Team Nikon. Starting with a d80, then a D700, and all that great glass that came with the cameras. It was my gear, and I was used to shooting with it.

So what happened?

I wanted a personal camera. Something for my own. Something that didn’t remind me of a workhorse. That’s when I found the Fujifilm X100. It was the camera that got me totally hooked. I loved everything about it. The retro Chic styling: the Hybrid viewfinder. Just everything. And once I got used to it, I even got used to its quirks. But you know, most of all, it got me loving my craft again: Photography felt passionate again to me. It was more than just work

Now I’ve read this a lot from other photographers. But why do we hear it over and over? We seem to hear this commonality because it’s a common truth for so many of us. I can say for certain that it was 110% true for me.

Initially this was just going to be a camera just for me. I needed something to be separate from the job. Something to take to all those family functions without cringing every time someone asked me to bring my camera with me.

The X100 was my loved personal camera right up until I sold it, and bought a 2nd hand X-E1. This camera made the addiction serious. When I brought it along to a wedding, I became surprised with how much it was getting used. The client ended up getting about 40% of their images with the X-E1, and the 35mm lens.

But the transition for me wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. The real challenge was breaking away from the headspace of what it means to be a Professional Photographer, and how one should look. And in my mind, it had to be a guy with BIG cameras, and massive, long, heavy lenses. That was it. There was no other look. And all I could think for ages was what would people (that is: paying clients) think when I rocked up shoot their Lush wedding with some tiny cameras that were smaller than Uncle Bobs Gear. It was on my mind so much and often that I almost put it out of my mind. There was no way I could pull this off. How could I be taken seriously as a pro? It shouldn’t have mattered, but it did. I wanted to work through this. And this is how it did it:

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I used my D700 as a security blanket of sorts. It was hung over my shoulder as I shot with the x-e1 at my next wedding. This was my way of working through this Image I was (self) programmed to project. For me, the Image of Velvet Photography (me) was everything. I had to look the part. But in the end, I worked through it. The new mindset was: “I’m making choices for both myself and my client. These cameras make me happy, and so, if I’m happy to shoot a wedding like this, then my clients will benefit”. Or something like that.

But like any addict, I wanted more. That’s when the X-T1 came in. And then that WAS it for me. This was the game changer for me, and I didn’t care about Nikon. Suddenly it was a paperweight. Suddenly I was drooling (but not like a fanboy). I was enamoured with the dials. OMG: the dials spoke to me. And suddenly I wished I had grown up shooting on Film. Because this was what it would have been like. All this control at one finger tips.

The images coming from the X-T1 were great, and best of all the response time from this camera was something that I could finally take more seriously than the previous two cameras I had owned.

There seems to be a consensus that the focusing of all the Fujifilm cameras just are not fast enough (well, this is what I keep reading on forums and blogs), but for me, and for what I’m doing, the X-T1 is fast enough for me. And this is what this line of cameras has taught me: to slow down as a photographer, and to think about everything I shoot a little more. There is no more “spray and pray” mentality here. This camera was all about increasing the percentage of keepers. And there were more keepers than ever before, even though I was shooting less than before (totals, I mean).

So what’s my new line-up now?

Well, there’s the X-T1, with the 18-55 the 35mm 1.4 (which gets a lot of use), and the 56mm 1.2 which is without a doubt the nicest lens I have even owned. I don’t have to worry about shooting wide open because I know the images will be tac sharp. TAC. SHARP.

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Back by my side is the X100S with its fixed field of view (23mm). I had forgotten how much I loved shooting with this. After all, it was a little sentimental buying this camera that looked identical to the first camera that had started it all for me. And yes, I admit it, I LOVE the retro chic look of it.
At the time of writing, I’ve just ordered the 23mm Prime for my X-T1. I’ve only heard good things about it, and I can’t wait to add it to my bag.

Having this new line-up of gear means a little retraining for myself. You see, I was used to shooting with the Nikon 24-70 , and the 70-200. The longest lens in my bag now is the 56mm, but I have found this to be enough reach. It just means I have to think differently. Time to freshen up the approach to my business, and my craft as an artform.

And as far as what people think? Well, all I know is that the X100S was a great conversation starter at a couple of weddings. Stuff like: “How old is that camera?” and “Is that a leica?”

X100S

The transition wasn’t smooth sailing, but it’s been great. For me and the Photographic journey I’m on, it’s all been about getting out of a rut, getting into a new mindset, and believing in a new system. The system may not be right for everyone. Some may not even have an interest in what else is out there, but the Fujifilm range of Bodies and Lenses works for me. It really does. It’s not about Pepsi or Coke anymore, I keep saying to anyone who will listen. I needed to change the way I was working, because I’m not getting any younger, and the idea of carrying around gear that was optically on par with what I was using, not to mention lighter was more than appealing. But in reality it was a lot more than that. I needed to find that spark again. I didn’t have it (even though I was producing some very fine work with my Nikon line up). I’ve found it now, and I stand tall and proud with these cameras over my shoulders as I work. I thank Fujifilm. My back also thanks you.

Related links:

View Mick’s site here: http://www.velvetphotography.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/perthvelvetphotography
Instagram: http://instagram.com/velvetphotography_perth
Blogger: http://velvetphotography.blogspot.com.au/

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X-E1

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X-T1

All of the images in this blog post are © Velvet Photography.

Interview – Tony Woolliscroft talks about his recent portrait shoot with Jimmy White

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How did the shoot come about?

The shoot with Jimmy White came about through a long running association I have with a media company in Liverpool that specialises in sport personalities biographies – basically I shoot the book covers for them. It’s a collaborative thing on some of the shoots we both think of ideas/concepts etc ideas for the shoot and book cover and how it should look.

Kit used and settings?

This shoot was slightly different as I was out on tour with The 1975 at the time, so my car was packed full of equipment. My Fuji bag was packed full as I took everything with me on tour! But the main lenses I used on the shoot with Jimmy were my trusted 23mm & 56mm lenses, combined with my XT1 bodies. I love both of these prime lenses.

How much time did you have?

For this shoot, I had a couple of hours. Unfortunately things never go to plan and although I left Glasgow at 5:45am to drive to Liverpool for 9:00am, I hit major road works just outside Liverpool town centre, which made me half an hour late.

Luckily for me, Jimmy was late too.

The worse thing I can find as a photographer is rushing to set up while the client is waiting for me to start shooting. It’s my pet hate if I’m honest. I like to be ready and waiting as the subject walks in, with all my lighting tests done.

How accommodating was he?

Jimmy was fantastic. A really nice guy, he went along with all the ideas that we asked him to do.

Did you use any additional lighting?

I have to set up my portable studio whenever I shoot a book cover like this, so I carry everything with me. Backdrop stands, backdrops (white and black) light modifiers and finally my lights, which I carry up to 4 Bowens heads with me.
I’m like a pack horse!!!

How much interaction do you have in a situation like this with the subject?

There was a lot of interaction with Jimmy on the day. He was totally up for the ideas that I asked him to pose for. He was truly a great guy!

Would you do anything different next time?

Yes, I’d make sure to get there earlier and set up before the subject arrives haha. Even look at the traffic reports!

Any tips for amateurs trying to get this style of shot?

Make sure your lighting ideas work! It’s no good changing your mind on the day when your subject arrives. Also, do your research; try replicating lighting techniques that you have seen on other models shoots online or in magazines.

About Tony

Tony has shot some of the biggest rock bands on the planet today – Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The 1975, with over 20 years photographic experience.

Click here to check out his website

Mobile capabilities

WiFi is becoming an increasingly common feature on cameras. It has the ability to open up lots of handy functions that would otherwise require wires, more equipment and often more time. Fujifilm has taken this function and made it possible to do a whole variety of functions without having to use any wires, stuff that you can do quickly and in any location.

Paul SchlemmerFirst and foremost, the WiFi function allows you to connect your camera with your phone or tablet and via the Fujifilm Camera Remote app you can download photos. This is really helpful if you enjoy using social media and want to upload photos while in the moment. A standout example of this is Paul Schlemmer, an X-Photographer who is constantly on the move, and often camping, but the lack of standard internet doesn’t stop him uploading photos to his brilliant Instagram account. This friendly digital nomad (and awesome beard wearer) is now uploading photos from his X100T to his phone and then to Instagram. This shows that the Fujifilm X-Series has the ability to keep your camera equipment size and weight down, it also has the ability to reduce your computer requirements to share your journey with others. As long as you’re happy with the JPEG presets available (you can’t download RAW files at the moment) then this is a lightweight travel solution. The bonus of only having the JPEGs available, is apart from the fact that the presets are wonderful, it prevents you from spending too long editing your photos, so you have more time to get out shooting.

But what if you want to share the moment with someone in person? Giving them a hard copy of an image. Well Fujifilm have created the Instax SP-1, a printer that turns your mobile device and/or camera into a modern, adapted version of a classic “polaroid camera”. You can send photos wirelessly via your camera (check compatibility) or mobile device to the printer that will then produce a print in a matter of seconds. The great Kevin Mullins used this at a wedding he was photographing and the couple burst into tears when Kevin handed them a print as he was leaving. Check out his review of the SP-1 here.

Zack Arias uses the SP-1 on his travels and it is amazing how one little camera and a printer open so many doors and start conversations. Check out his very interesting view of this helpful accessory here. 

Awful modelThe Fujifilm Camera Remote app isn’t just about sending files to your mobile device. As the title suggests you can control your camera and effectively use your device as the camera’s viewfinder. To the more vain amongst us, this is brilliant for selfies.. Possibly the ultimate selfies?! I use this function a lot when testing out lighting for a portrait session before the subject turns up, cutting down the length of the shoot and the amount of their time I take up. It has also really helped me improve my understanding of lighting as I can experiment as much as I like without bothering the subject, as I’m the subject! I simply set the camera up on a tripod and use my phone to position myself correctly, as well as seeing the result and changing my lighting set up accordingly. The problem with this is you can often get carried away and pretend that you can pull off a good selfie!

Ben Fuji app At the other end of the vanity scale, I’ve used the wireless preview to photograph timid wildlife. By setting up the camera on a tripod in a location I know they will visit, I was able to retreat a bit to be less of a deterrent for the subject. In the adjacent picture I’m using the app with an X-T1 on a monopod to get closer to a puffin on a cliff edge (Photo courtesy of Duncan Jackson).

Zack Arias often takes advantage of the live preview on his phone for street photography. Check out this brilliant video of Zack exploring Marrakech and showing how he takes advantage of the app.

Finally, you can use the GPS tracking in your phone to automatically tag images with your geo-location. Great for helping you keep a record of where you’ve been. You simply connect the devices using the previously mentioned apps, syncronise the GPS location and then it will automatically update periodically as you move around.

Fujifilm has fully embraced WiFi technology to make wireless features and products that can really benefit a photographer, amateur and professional alike. With Fujifilm you can always expect improvements through firmware updates as well. The up and coming X-T1 upgrade has got some headline improvements already made public (check out my last blog on this). Who knows what Fujifilm will offer next to take advantage of mobile capabilities? What would you like to see?

13th November 2014 – International Food Photography Day

To celebrate International Food Photography Day, we are offering you the chance to win a personalised Fujifilm X-E2 body with XF18-55mm lens!

In association with Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, we will be celebrating International Food Photography Day on Thursday 13th November, and offering you the chance to win a personalised Fujifilm X-E2 camera and an amazing XF18-55mm lens (worth a snap-tastic £1078)

Image by John Armstrong-Millar Highly Commended - Food for Sale Category - Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2014
Image by John Armstrong-Millar
Highly Commended – Food for Sale Category – Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2014

The competition 

The theme is Snap the Rainbow. It’s really simple, all you have to do is capture the beautiful colours of food with your camera (doesn’t have to be a Fujifilm camera) and share them on Thursday 13th November 2014.

Enter by Twitter:

Upload your image to Twitter and include the twitter accounts @foodphotoaward and @Fujifilm_UK and the hashtag #allfoodsbrightandcolourful

Enter by Facebook:

Alternatively, post them onto the International Food Photography Day 2014 Facebook Event here.

The prize

The Fujifilm X-E2 is a multi-award winning CSC (compact system camera), packed full to the brim with technology and delivers outstanding image quality. The X-E2 comes with a XF18-55mm lens. The 18-55mm versatile short zoom lens which covers a variety of frequently used focal lengths from 18mm  wide angle to 55mm telephoto. A perfect range for nearly all photographic subjects.

The personal touch

Not only will you win this stunning camera and lens, but it will also be customised with one of the Fujifilm Signature colours and textures. Choose from any of the colours in the slideshow below:

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Good luck!

One winner will be selected from all entries received and notified by Twitter or Facebook on Wednesday 20th November 2014

To allow participants to contribute around the world, all entries must be tweeted or posted on Facebook between midday GMT on the 12th November and midday GMT on the 14th November 2014.

For further information please contact, Sue Richmond at Kenyon Communications by emailing sue@kenyon-communications.com

Full Terms and Conditions can be found at http://www.internationalfoodphotographyday.com

Related links:

The gear that keeps on giving

The above image was taken with the X-T1 which had recently had a firmware update to make it compatible with the XF18-135mm lens which was used to obtain this shot, via the remote control feature and a monopod.

I remember when I first approached Fujifilm UK with the idea of testing their equipment in the jungles of Borneo. My intention was to rely on the X-Series to document my trip, which had a heavy focus on nature. Unfortunately at the time the X-Pro1 and X-E1 weren’t quite up to the speeds I required to use this system exclusively. If I had done this trip in 2014, oh how things would be different. Not purely because of the wonderful X-T1 but because of the firmware improvements made to the X-Pro1 and other cameras.

These firmware updates are so much more than simply updating cameras to optimise their usability with lenses launched more recently. If you look at this link you can see the timeline of improvements made to the X-Pro1, from large improvements like auto focus performance and better “single-hand” settings operability to extra functions being added like focus peaking for manual focusing. Below shows a screen grab with some of latest firmware updates for the X-Pro1.

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It wasn’t just the flagship model which gained firmware upgrades; the X-E1 had much the same improvements and the X100 had an autofocus improvement that meant that it was in fact the ongoing firmware updates that were the most spoken about thing of this camera, instead of the previously poor autofocus. Further down the line, the X-E2 has had the refresh rate of its EVF improved to the very high standard of the X-T1. The X-A1 and X-M1 can now both wirelessly transfer pictures to the brilliant SP1 printer for near-instant prints.

Now the X-T1 is set for a major firmware update. The Internet has been buzzing with excitement around the new features that are integrated into the X100T and X-T1 graphite edition. Other than the wonderful 6-part creation of the graphite finish, this new version has some very exciting software improvements. The first headline feature is the new Classic Chrome JPEG film simulation that’s blowing everyone’s mind with its unique style that’s so different from the other film simulations available.

The second feature is the crazy electronic shutter toping out at 1/32000! For those of you using the fast prime lenses at F1.2 and F1.4, this opens up a huge realm of creativity. Only recently I had to juggle a neutral density filter between the XF23mm F1.4 and XF56mm F1.2 while exploring sunny Lisbon to take full advantage of the thin depth of field on offer. This new feature will make this a thing of the past, one less thing to have to worry about. The benefits of the electronic shutter don’t stop there – being electronic there are no moving parts to generate noise meaning it is truly silent shooting. This has always been one of the big factors that has made the X100s such a joy to use to quiet situations, a factor that often meant I would lean towards the X100s series instead of the X-T1.

Lisbon

Taken in the centre of Lisbon using an ND filter so I could use f1.2.

These aren’t the only updates to look forward to, as there are many many more features due to happen in a December firmware overhaul:

  • 4-way controller AF selection
  • Changeable focus area during MF
  • Q menu customization
  • Interlocking AF and metering points
  • Unlocked AE-L/AF-L buttons
  • Direct selection of macro mode
  • Phase detection AF support for instant AF
  • Expansion of shutter speed in Program Shift mode
  • Manual shooting in video mode
  • New video frame rates

These all look like great improvements as the X-Series continues to evolve into an increasingly refined camera system, appealing to an increasingly wide genre. Notably for action/fast paced photography, the addition of the 4-way controller being able to move the AF point is very help for quickly adapting to situations instead of having to focus and recompose which can get annoying and frustrating with fleeting moments. The customisation of the Q menu is definitely a bonus, allowing photographers to really tailor the camera to their needs, prioritising the features that are most frequently used instead of constantly having to search through menus. I could go through and state the pluses of each new feature upgrade but this webpage explains them all

These are the upgrades that Fujifilm have let us know in advance about, I can only imagine the other ‘goodies’ they have in store in the near future. Logically you would think that the X-E2 could potentially have remote shooting via phones or tablets like the X-T1 and X100T. Both the X-E2 and X-T1 might be able to wirelessly transfer pictures to the SP1 for wireless printing on the go. There are so many features that Fujifilm could add to the ever-increasing list of benefits for using the Fujifilm X-Series. I think the number 1 benefit on this list is that Fujifilm look after their current users, with upgrades such as this.

To look for the latest firmwares updates for your Fujifilm product search here.

Trade in your DSLR and get £200 off a Fujifilm X-T1 or X-E2 CSC

If you are on the cusp of deciding to ditch your bulky DSLR and go fully mirrorless, here’s a little something that might just tip you over the edge and help make your decision.

£100 trade-in bonus…

For a limited time only, trade-in an eligible DSLR with one of our selected UK retailer partners and get an additional £100 bonus on top of your trade-in value when you buy a brand new Fujifilm X-T1 or X-E2 Digital Compact System Camera.

…plus £100 cashback…

What’s more, you can also claim £100 cashback when you purchase a Fujifilm X-T1 or X-E2 before the 11th January 2015.

… and don’t forget the lenses.

Further cashback is available across our Fujinon XF lens range. Click here to see a full list of all Fujifilm products that are eligible for cashback before the 11th January 2015.

So what are you waiting for?

Click here to find a retailer near you.

Shooting street fashion portraits with Alex Lambrechts

“Join me as I walk you through my photographic expedition into the world of street fashion photography with the masterful” – Alex Lambrechts.

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In this ‘episode’, Marc and I were given an excellent opportunity to join the exciting Fashion X Street workshop with Alex Lambrechts. The aim of the workshop was to get photographers using the system in-the-wild, on the fly and to build upon an individual’s confidence in a shooting style, which is to my mind, full of adrenaline, passion and presence.

The group met inside a beautiful coffee/pizzeria house located in the heart of Soho, and it was here that Alex began to explain his craft and the general structure of the day. As part of the ‘FujiGuys UK’ we took along some of our new Fuji toys for the group to have a play with. These included the X100T, XF18-135mm lens and the pocket-rocket X30. After a coffee and a chat, we set out to the streets of Soho armed with our Fuji cameras in hand!

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Alex led us to our first destination; a small, dark and empty alleyway – sounds ominous so far I know, but bear with me 😉 Alex showed us how the light between two buildings gave the perfect softbox lighting effect, and that this would prove excellent for the style we were going for.

He gave the client’s brief, which was what he wanted to see in our shots and practical suggestions as to how to achieve exactly that. The brief immediately grabbed my photographic appetite and I couldn’t wait to see what I could achieve.

The fictitious brief was this (not a word for word quote):

“Because the subject is a musician and a model. I want to see you capture and explore the human element within the shots, not just the standard model expressions but ‘who’ our client is.  And as this is to be published in a fashion magazine, I want to see shots off-angle, gritty and real.”

You can probably see why I was excited; it was something completely new to me and just wanted to get as much experience out of it as possible.

This is where Alex’s stunning wife & professional model Jasmin Lambrechts came in, and what a combination! As they worked side by side, Alex explained things in an informal, yet very informative style. He gave some seriously useful tips on how to direct your model, how to set the camera and how to achieve the perfect lighting on the subjects face.

We started with some slow shutter speeds ‘1/30 to 1/60’ of a second panning shots, this was to capture movement and a unique style, only really achieved in this manner. I think we all found this a pretty tricky technique, but it was probably the most rewarding when you actually got a “YES, I got a good one!”.

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X-E2 – XF35mm – 1/40 – ISO 200 – f4.5

As the workshop progressed, we started giving some direction to Jasmin, it was bits and pieces at first, and I’m sure this was down to some of us never having shot a model before. It did however, become more and more natural as we built a rapport with Jasmin and as we found what camera settings worked best.

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One of the most helpful tips Alex gave in my opinion was regarding lighting. He really wanted to focus our attention to the exposure of the shot, to ensure we were exposing for the highlights of her face. It may seem an obvious piece of information, but I found really focusing on it turned images from delete to keep. It ensured all the detail was kept on the face, especially when dealing in this ‘contrasty’ environment.

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The shot above is one of my favourites from the day. I asked Jasmin if she would throw her hair back so I could try and capture it in full swing. Here I used a fast shutter speed of 1/3000, a generally accepted no-no of ISO6400 (because I needed the fast shutter speed) and had the camera set to manual focusing to make the shot ‘instant’ when the shutter was depressed – and yes, this was not the first attempt, maybe more like the fifth to get it right! The ISO performance on the X-E2 is SO good.

This was another great tip from Alex in regards to action and street photography. He said if you pre-focus on an area where your subject is going to walk and then switch to manual focus, you know every single time that your image is going to be in focus when the subject / model hits that spot. This is particularly useful in street photography, it allows the photographer to frame up a shot and then simply wait for the subject to walk into that frame.

Here are other shots I took that ‘made-the-grade’, at least in my book anyway 😉

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Alex had great presence when talking us through ideas as we shot in this environment, throwing us suggestions, checking our shots on the go and even highlighting some great shots our fellow photographers were getting whilst there. This all helped spur me on to try and get the best results I could.

Once we had shot this location from every possible angle, other than hanging off the side of the building (which I would have tried if I could have found a way!), Alex talked us through the next stage in this exciting photography voyage.

Basically, we were going to be on the move, shooting fashion in the streets of Soho amongst the general public. This was where my adrenaline levels went from 7 to 15 (out of ten!) in less than a second.  Alex explained how he wanted us to capture the more human element in this environment, the ‘circus’ as he put it, and it really was just that.

Jasmin stepped into the busy, bustling streets of London and we needed to be ready. We were advised to keep ahead of Jasmin to ensure we could scope out the best framing, best angles and to be more aware of great photographic, candid moments. For me, this involved running like mad to stay ahead, trying not to get run over by cars, bikes or pedestrians, not photobombing other photographers shots and still find a good angle myself with the correct exposure! All in all, super exciting, very challenging and incredibly fun!

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The reason it was such a circus is because we looked like the Paparazzi. Imagine 12 -14 photographers chasing a beautiful model down the street, all trying to get the perfect shot will certainly draw some attention. People were taking pictures on their mobiles, just-in-case she was famous, asking who she was & who we were – what a buzz I can tell you!

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We even had a local restaurateur take to the street stage to grace us with his surprisingly good singing voice. These were the kind of quick paced moments you needed to really know your camera settings, luckily I was just about ready to capture this one below.

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After the crazy, brilliant and thrilling roller coaster ride, it was nothing short of perfect to get back to the pizzeria for a beer, pizza and have a chat. The group mingled beautifully, each sharing our successes, failures and our ‘what we would try next times‘. Alex wrapped the day up nicely by highlighting things we did well, things we could improve upon and again, going through individual’s images to give personal feedback – this was a nice touch.

For me, I compare this experience to that warm fuzzy feeling you get at Christmas. I had been given the experience to meet our lovely photographers face-to-face, develop my skills as a photographer and share this experience with like-minded individuals.

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The Gang

If you get the chance I highly, highly recommend going on this course and any other that gives you the chance to learn your photography with others. It not only is a great sociable experience, but most importantly, you get to learn how others see shots that you, yourself may have missed.

If you have any thoughts, questions or comments, please do drop us a line below and we will try and assist where we can.

Click here to see images taken by other members of the group (Log into Facebook required to view).

Thanks for reading

Dale

 

Meet Hollie – the winner of the Tony Woolliscroft and The 1975 photography competition

We recently gave one lucky person the chance to shoot a live band with Tony Woolliscroft. The live band in question was The 1975 and below is Hollie’s account of the evening, along with some of the amazing photos she captured at the event.

Tony and me
Tony and me

My name is Hollie, I am 23 years old and I am currently studying the second year of my degree in Digital Media Practice at The Brit School.

Before the night of Monday 29th September 2014, I had religiously gone to the gigs of my favourite artists since I was 15 and queued for hours on end to get close enough to the front of them in order to take great photos.

Photography and music are two of my biggest passions, and when I came across the competition that Fujifilm were running on their blog, I instantly had the urge to enter with the thought in mind as I’m sure everyone who entered did; that ‘I had nothing to lose’, only something to gain in the very slim chance that I may win.

X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec;   f/4.0;   ISO 3200
X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec; f/4.0; ISO 3200

My delight at winning this competition and the opportunity that it gave to me in my pursuit of doing a job that I love, has been fantastic.

Tony Woolliscroft was a man whose photography work I deeply admired before entering this competition, and after working with him and getting to know him as a person and getting to watch what he does first hand I find I only have great things to tell you of him.

X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/160 sec;   f/4.0;   ISO 3200
X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/160 sec; f/4.0; ISO 3200

Tony was fantastic to me. He was very welcoming and honest and in the short amount of time I got to work alongside him, I felt that I learnt a lot.

The Fujifilm X-T1.

My brand new X-T1 FujiFilm camera quickly became my new best friend. It is now my preferred choice of camera to use on photo shoots and live work.

My awesome new camera
My awesome new camera

The look of the camera is a nice black matt, vintage finish that packs the punch of everything up to date technology-wise. The live view of this camera is fantastic and has quickly become one of my favourite features as it is one of the most useful in my opinion.

The 1975.

Anyone who is anyone, has surely heard of The 1975 by now? Right?

X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec;   f/8;   ISO 3200
X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec; f/8; ISO 3200

So I was no stranger to this band, their unique sound, fantastic live sets and somewhat vintage style (usually black and white) rock and roll photography tastes.

I had the opportunity to meet the band, spend the day with them and get an insight into tour life, as well as photograph their soundcheck and live sets with Tony.

X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec;   f/4.0;   ISO 3200
X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec; f/4.0; ISO 3200

The band welcomed me and allowed me to be myself around them and work to my potential. I felt completely at ease around everyone I met during this fantastic day, and I would just like to end by giving thanks to FujiFilm, Tony Woolliscroft and The 1975 for the opportunity to have done this.

X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/160 sec;   f/5.6;   ISO 3200
X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/160 sec; f/5.6; ISO 3200

I hope that you all enjoy my photography of The 1975 and that you’ll be seeing plenty more of me and my photography in future.

X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec;   f/5.0;   ISO 3200
X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec; f/5.0; ISO 3200
X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec;   f/9;   ISO 3200
X-T1; XF10-24mmF4 R OIS; 1/125 sec; f/9; ISO 3200
X-T1; XF23mmF1.4; 1/125 sec;   f/2.5;   ISO 1600 (taken by Tony Woolliscroft - hence why I am in it!)
X-T1; XF23mmF1.4; 1/125 sec; f/2.5; ISO 1600
(taken by Tony Woolliscroft – hence why I am in it!)
Meeting the band.
Meeting the band.

You can find me and my work at the following links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PerfectlyImperfectPhotography
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/PerfectlyImperfect03
Twitter: @Hollie_PIP
Instagram: @Hollie_PIP

Interview with Dave Jackson – a recent convert to the Fujifilm X-T1 for professional wedding work

Dave JacksonDave started as a full time professional photographer in 1993 using a medium format Bronica. He made the switch to digital in 2005 using Fujifilm S2 and S3 cameras. From 2008 he’s been using Nikon D300’s and D700’s.

Dave and his wife Janice now specialise in weddings (40-50 per year), with a blend of classic, traditional, contemporary and reportage. They are pretty obsessed with lighting and locations. and use Graphistudio exclusively for their albums.

Recently they made the switch over to Fujifilm and offered to write about their reasons for doing so.

“My love affair with Fuji X cameras started like many professionals with the X100 which I’ve had now for a couple of years. I had yearned after an X-Pro1 for a while and took advantage of the great deal at The Photography Show in Birmingham this year which included the grip, 18mm F2, an extra battery and the chance to claim a free lens from Fuji I chose the 60mm F2.4 macro and also purchased a 35mm F1.4 shortly after.

“I really don’t know why but I didn’t take a lot of notice of the X-T1 on it’s launch but after another trade show and attending Damien Lovegrove’s Concept to Print tour I was hooked.

“I began to consider how the X-T1 could fit into our current range of Nikon D700’s and pro lenses and even on a longer term could it become our main camera(s)?

300814_XT1D_0695
XF18-55mm – ISO 640 – 1/160 – f/8

“We are a 2 shooter husband and wife team currently covering between 40 – 50 weddings per year. For some time, we have been concerned about the weight of our equipment and camera bags, today’s weddings are non-stop, very demanding assignments, often with several locations and very little time for actual shooting. I can’t begin to tell you how many camera bags / waist belt combinations we’ve tried (“oh no! Not another camera bag”, sighs Janice!) but nothing can change the actual weight of a D700 with battery grip, 2 batteries and a 70-200 F2.8!

290814_XT1D_0049
XF35mm – ISO 1250 – 1/160 – f/1.4

“I was taken aback at the weight of the X-T1 with vertical grip and 18-55. Other features that attracted me were the large dials for exposure compensation, ISO selection and shutter speeds, the tilt screen, virtually silent operation (the D700’s are noisy in a quiet church) and of course the best electronic viewfinder available so far. Fuji’s ‘roadmap’ of lens releases was also beginning to make everything look so promising.

“So I went ahead and purchased an X-T1 with 18-55 F2.8 -4. Already owning an x100 and X-Pro1 meant many of the menu settings were familiar and of course the 3 prime lenses I already owned could be put to immediate use if necessary. I already had 2 batteries but purchased another 2 as well as I knew they would be needed for the number of shots we take at an all day wedding. The camera felt so right in my hands and in no time at all I set everything up ready for wedding photography (settings shown in the image captions).

“We had a wedding just 5 days after purchasing the camera. I decided to jump straight in at the deep end and shoot as much of the wedding as possible with it.

“The X-T1 behaved impeccably! It took a while to get used to the EVF, I found a sort of 3 stage evaluation of the images whilst shooting-
1. Assess image with live view (aperture priority with exp compensation). The image can look a little contrasty with dark shadows and / or bright highlights.
2. Check the 0.5 sec preview. This looks better and less contrasty than the live view.
3. Chimp the image on the rear screen if in doubt. The image on the rear screen was confirming all was fine and I found myself ‘chimping’ less and less, knowing if the EVF preview looked ok that was enough.

300814_XT1D_0274
XF35mm – ISO 400 – 1/3000 – f/1.4

“Use of the EVF provided another advantage that I hadn’t really thought about. When ‘chimping’ with the Nikons the rear screen can be difficult to view. We often find ourselves taking a shot and turning our backs to couples to shade the screen to try and check exposures / blinks etc. The XT-1 solved this immediately with the preview in the viewfinder perfectly viewable regardless of light levels.

“A lot has been said about battery life. I added the vertical grip after the first 2 weddings and purchased another 2 spares. If a battery dies then the one in the body is immediately deployed so no chance of missing any shots and I can change the grip battery at a convenient moment. I am using 8GB Sandisk Extreme cards getting about 200 shots and the batteries are lasting for about 2 cards (400 shots).

“My next task is to sort using flash. Conditions were such that I didn’t need to use fill flash for these weddings. I used a Nikon SB22 and Nikon SB900 on Auto Aperture for a couple of in car shots and one cake cutting shot and used the D700 for first dance.
At the time of writing we have now shot 4 weddings with the XT-1 and I am completely convinced we have made the right decision.

“So, another XT-1 for Janice with 55-200 F3.5 (until the 50-140mm F2.8 arrives!) and probably an X-E2 each as well + 56mm F1.2, 10-24mm F4 lenses, – Oh dear the bank balance is going to take a hit!”

Check out more shots in the slideshow below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To see even more of David’s work, click on the following links:
http://www.davejackson-photography.co.uk
https://www.flickr.com/photos/djp_lighterside/