X-Pro2 Portraits with The Woz, Apple’s Co-Founder

Guest Blogger strip BLACK

By Dan Taylor

It’s not every day that you get the chance to photograph a person who is directly involved in creating a product that has changed the world. And it’s even rarer to have this person’s undivided attention for a few minutes just before getting mic’d up to take the stage.Dan Taylor photographing Steve Wozniak for Fujifilm - Image by Dan Taylor - dan@heisenbergmedia.com-1So, when I first got word that I’d have exactly this opportunity to photograph Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in Manchester, England, at Business Rocks, I knew I had to be prepared and have everything ready to go the minute he came out of the green room. Striving for absolute image perfection, my choice of gear was clear: The Fujifilm X-Pro2 and XF56mmF1.2 R.

While I’m generally a fan of the SLR body format, e.g. my X-T1, utilizing the new technology and features in the rangefinder format X-Pro2 was too good to pass up. And when combined with the XF56mmF1.2 R (in this case at F8) the results are razor sharp, crystal clear, and absolutely stunning. I’d even venture to say that the XF56mm is the best headshot lens I’ve ever used.

Knowing that I had very little time with Steve, I had prepared my lighting setup in advance, and fired off a few quick test images with a colleague. Given that our time together was to be quite short, I knew that simplicity would be key. Building on this simplicity, I found a plain white wall between the green room and stage and used a slow(er) shutter speed to capture the ambient lighting to help illuminate the background.

Initially, I had a black background setup, but decided at the last minute to go with white. With the black background I could use a fast shutter speed, as ambient light wasn’t needed or wanted. However, with the introduction of the white background, I did want to capture the ambient light generated by the speedlights. At f/8, a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second was just right.

For my headshot with The Woz, I used 1 key and 1 fill triggered via a wireless transceiver in an off axis clamshell lighting setup. The key light is diffused inside a Lastolite Umbrella Box, and the fill light diffused via a standard umbrella.

Depending on the look you’re trying to create, the fill light might not even be necessary. In this case, I’ve used it to fill and soften the shadows the key light would be casting.Dan Taylor and Steve Wozniak headshot  for Fujifilm - Image by Dan Taylor - dan@heisenbergmedia.com-1When shooting with speedlights and any FUJIFILM X Series camera, one crucial menu option you want to turn off is the Preview Exp./WB in Manual Mode. If this option is on, you’ll be presented with things exactly the way the sensor sees things, normally a good thing, but here, without compensating for the light the speedlights are going to generate.

Right. Settings set, lights lit, The Woz ready to go. Let’s make some magic!

I generally turn to humor to get the ball rolling, and always have a joke or two ready. I’ve got a few really, really bad one liners that are just so horrible, there’s really no choice but not to laugh at them, and so far, they haven’t let me down. With The Woz, I actually had to resort to joke number two, as he gave me the punch line to joke number one before I could even finish the sentence. Ever the prankster.  Steve Wozniak for Fujifilm - Image by Dan Taylor - dan@heisenbergmedia.com-1All in all, I’d estimate that Steve and I did 4 shots together in a time period totaling less than a minute. And even though our time together was short, The Woz has been one of my favorite sessions yet. Not only is he an iconic figure, but a true gentleman, as for when I sent him the images we did together, he replied within minutes, stating, “It was great to watch you work. I love seeing great technical skills of all kinds.”

Thank YOU Steve for a great collaboration!

For me, when it comes to quality, portability, and forward thinking, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is the camera that always makes it in my bag.

Fujifilm X Magazine – Issue 2 reader images 3/3

X-series users from across the globe share their finest images and the stories behind them

Here’s another selection of users’ images published in our Fujifilm X Magazine. If you would like to see your images in our magazine, and if you’re an X-series user, we’d love to see your shots. Email your images, along with details of the story behind them and some information about you and your photography to: xmagazine@bright-publishing.com

Matt Hart – Whitby Pier

Technical details Camera: X-Pro1 Lens: XF 18mm F2 R Exposure: 1/40sec at F11, ISO 200
Camera: X-Pro1- Lens: XF 18mm F2 R
Exposure: 1/40sec at F11, ISO 200

“Whitby in north east England is a timeless place. So far, it has been left untouched by developers so it is largely unspoilt and has real charm. I think it’s a place you can walk around all day and all night with a camera in a very relaxing environment.”

“The image was taken one evening using my X-Pro1 hand held – I just love its ease of use and the stunning sensor. I have just sold all my Nikon equipment because of this camera – people think I am mad going from a D3s to the X-Pro1, but I fell in love with the X100 and once I had used the X-Pro1 for a few days I was completely hooked.”

SEE MORE OF MATT’S WORK HERE

Rex Adams – Birling Gap

Technical details Camera: X-Pro1 Lens: XF18mm F2 R and 10 stop ND filter Exposure: 8.5secs at F16, ISO 200
Camera: X-Pro1 – Lens: XF18mm F2 R and 10 stop ND filter
Exposure: 8.5secs at F16, ISO 200

“I love black & white photography as I feel the results are less cluttered than in colour. A black & white photograph draws your attention to the subject without the distraction of colours which may or may not be an intentional part of the image.”

“I took this image with the X-Pro1, which I chose as I wanted a camera to carry around without having to lug a heavy DSLR. The X-Pro1 is the most versatile camera I have used, and the images produced are as good if not better than my Canon DSLR.”

“Personally, I am excited with the direction Fujifilm is going at the moment and am particularly interested in the Fujifilm X-E2 which may end up in my bag before too long! I like the way Fujifilm listens to users’ suggestions, and many of these have been incorporated into firmware updates. This demonstrates that it’s a forward-thinking company that puts its customers first.”

SEE MORE OF REX’S WORK  HERE

Gerald Robinson – Dead Calm

Technical details Camera: X-Pro1 Lens: XF18-55mm Exposure: 4 seconds at F22, ISO 100
Camera: X-Pro1 – Lens: XF18-55mm
Exposure: 4 seconds at F22, ISO 100

“I was after a sunrise, but it wasn’t going to happen so I decided to shoot an alternative image using a long exposure. I don’t usually shoot landscapes in black & white, but in this situation it wouldn’t have worked in colour.”

“I used my X-Pro1, but I also shoot with an X10 and X20 as they are ideal pocket cameras for any occasion. I recently changed all my gear from the Nikon DSLRs with a selection of lenses to the Fujifilm X-series and various lenses, and for me it was the right move. I just love the full manual control the X-Pro1 gives me.”

SEE MORE OF GERALD’S WORK HERE