What you’ve all been waiting for – X-T1 firmware version 4.00 is now available!

X-T1 Part IV – Rise of the tracking autofocus

Well it finally arrived. The firmware update we’ve all been looking forward to for the Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

So what does it actually change?

Glad you asked! Here’s a video by Billy from The Fuji Guys where he demonstrates all of the new improvements found in the update.

The new Firmware Update features an advanced autofocus system for incredible performance when shooting moving subjects and exciting action scenes. Users will also experience improved auto focus accuracy for still images and video, Eye Detection, enhanced shutter speed dial operation (1/3 stop increments!), Exposure Compensation control in Manual mode (using Auto-ISO), and finer framing grid lines for enhanced visibility and image composition.

But what does this mean in REAL terms?

Another great question. Thanks for keeping up. Well I’ve been using it myself for a while and really like it. I could chew your ear off about what I think about it but I’m not an actual working professional photographer, so I’m not going to see it in the same way as you might. Coupled with the fact that I work for Fujifilm, you’d expect me to simply tell you that it’s great.

So instead, here’s a selection of working professional photographers that have tried the Firmware in their own shooting environments and posted their respective findings.

Damien Lovegrove

damien2bDamien is a professional portrait photographer from the UK. He left his role as a cameraman and lighting director at the BBC back in 1998 after 14 successful years to create the renowned Lovegrove Weddings partnership with his wife Julie. Together they shot over 400 top weddings for discerning clients worldwide. In 2008 Damien turned his hand to shooting beauty and portraiture and has since amassed a dedicated following for his distinctive art. Damien now divides his time between teaching the next generation of photographers and photographing personal projects.

After a day shooting with with one X-T1 running 3.11, and one running 4.00, here are his findings and an extensive review of the new X-T1 firmware V4 including tips on some real gems of features that have not made the headlines.

© Damien Lovegrove
© Damien Lovegrove

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When I was asked for my opinions on version 4 of the X-T1 firmware I was a little scared and excited in equal measure. Excited because the opportunity to shoot in a more dynamic style is quite appealing. Scary because relearning shooting procedures is never easy. quote-icon2-e1433520259777I’ve never been one to shy away from innovation and I’m certainly not a luddite when it comes to tech so I jumped at the chance. Here are my findings.

Click here to read Damien’s review

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Jeff Carter

JCarter_Portrait-200x300British motorsport photographer Jeff Carter has been using Fujifilm cameras for his work for over 20 years, going right back to the wonderfully lightweight and versatile GA645 medium format film cameras, but it was the X100 that he bought in 2012 that changed the way he worked. Here was a small, discreet camera that allowed him to take the images he needed for his work in and around the paddock.

He took an X-T1 with FW4 to the recent Le Mans 24 Hours event and here is his account.

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© Jeff Carter

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Firmware 4.0 has transformed the X-T1. I recently tested the new autofocus at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s greatest endurance race and the biggest challenge for man and machine. quote-icon2-e1433520259777This proved to be the perfect test ground for the X-T1’s new AF system and it wasn’t found wanting.

Click here to read Jeff’s review

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Eivind Røhne

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Eivind is a professional photographer from Norway. He’s been a commercial and editorial photographer since the mid ninetees. He loves people so mostly shoots fashion, lifestyle, commercial and editorial portraits, people at work etc. and he also love lines, shapes and man-made structures, so he likes to shoot industrial subjects, architecture and interiors for commercial and editorial use.

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This time around the Fujifilm firmware buzz really hit the roof, with claims of an all new autofocus system that would practically give existing X-T1 owners a brand new camera. Bold claims indeed. quote-icon2-e1433520259777Claims not only made by those saying they had gotten hold of rogue and secret beta versions of the firmware, but also claims made by Fujifilm themselves in their marketing teasers.

© Eivind Røhne
© Eivind Røhne

Click here to read Eivind’s review

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If you already own an X-T1, I’m sure by the time you get to this point your camera will already have version 4 installed and ready to go. Hopefully you will find it as good as these guys did.

If you don’t already own an X-T1, hopefully these photographer’s reviews will be that final push to persuade you to take the plunge and try it for yourself. Hoping to welcome you to the Fuji family soon!

HOW TO: Set up for Action Photography

Following on from the last blog that covered what gear to use for wildlife photography, I’m going to explain how I set up my X-Series cameras for capturing action. Though some cameras are better than others for this type of photography, there are little ways to help yourself help improve your chances of capturing action.

High burst rate

Though using a high burst rate will eat through your memory cards space, shooting at a high frame rate will hopefully get a good selection of action shots.

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Auto focus

First of all make your focus point as large as possible: do this by pressing the AF button and zooming out as far as you can. With a moving subject it will be very difficult to keep the subject in a small selection zone, so give yourself the best chance possible. Continuous focus (This applies to the X-T1 and X-E2 as they have vastly improved continuous AF functionality) is really helpful with certain subjects, especially if they are coming towards you. For those of you with models that are best in single focus mode, fear not! Generally the Fujifilm lenses are quick to auto focus so if you’re following a subject you can focus, take a shot and then focus again or alternatively prefocus if you know where the subject it going to go. Some photographers use cameras in MF mode and use the AFL/AEL button to focus. This is helpful because you can then use the manual focus ring on the lens and see what is in focus via focus peaking. Experiment and see what method works best for you.

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This sequences was taken using the X-T1’s tilting screen and the XF56mm at F2.8.

ISO

My standard ISO setting is 800. To some this might seem high but the output from this is so clean that it isn’t a concern for me. If it’s a bit cloudy and I’m wanting to freeze the action I’ll push my ‘ready’ ISO to 1600. My philosophy is that it is better to have a sharp image that might be slightly noisy as you get up to than an image that might have some motion but has less or no noise.

Shark
A blue shark close up taken at ISO 1600

Shark close up100% close up – In my eyes the noise (or lack of it) is not a problem at ISO 1600

Aperture

For action photography you have to decide if you want to freeze a moment, capture the motion or something in the grey area. If you want to freeze the action you’ll generally want to use a wider aperture to get a sufficiently high shutter speed. The shutter speed required to freeze depends on the pace of the action, and your chosen aperture is determined by the light conditions and your ISO choice. The thing to remember is that shutter speed, aperture and ISO are all intertwined. If you want to read more on apertures then read this previous blog (it contains puppies!). If you want to focus on one, say a faster shutter speed, then this has an adverse affect on the other two factors. If you’re wanting to freeze the action with a fast shutter speed AND also have a large depth of field then you have to increase the ISO. It is also about prioritising the most important factor for you and then compromise with the others. When aiming to freeze the action I am generally in aperture priority mode, where I have set the ISO according to the conditions (usually over 800), and I then choose an aperture to obtain the shutter speed I want.

Frozen Kittiwake

Taken at 1/3800 sec, F5.6, ISO 800

If you want to capture motion blur, say through panning with your subject, then your shutter speed is having less of a constraint on your ISO and aperture so you can change these accordingly to reduce your shutter speed. One way to control this is through shutter speed priority, where you set shutter speed to what you want and then have the aperture in auto mode so it will change to keep the same low shutter speed (with the ISO previously set).

Panning moped

Taken at 1/13 sec, F16 ISO 200

Finally, another set up option for action is to set the aperture and shutter speed to what you want and then have the ISO in automatic mode. You could go fully manual but I find this can quickly lead to problems when trying to capture action, especially if there is a lot going on around you. This method can result in you missing fleeting moments.

Now that you know some action set ups go out and shoot! Let us know what your action set up is with the X-Series and share with us your action shots via our Fujifilm’s Facebook and Twitter. As ever, if you have any questions then please leave a comment below or contact me via:

Twitter – @benji_cherry

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BenCherryPhotography

HOW TO: Photograph Fog

As winter starts to set in, photographers are looking for ways to capture this cold season. For me, winter is best covered in the morning. This is a personal preference but in the mornings you have frost, a reasonable hour for sunrise and (if you’re lucky) fog or mist.

There are three types of fog,  so you need to decide what you are looking for and this will depend on your location:

  • Ground fog – In mountainous/hilly areas and cold patches you can get ground fog collecting in valleys. After a rainy night or over wet ground you can get shallow precipitation fog.
  • Sea fog – Also called advection fog, this is where warm air passes over cold sea water.
  • Sea/River smoke – Where the air is colder than the water, creating a generally shallow level of fog, this is generally restricted to water areas, hence river smoke.

When trying to photograph fog you need to use the weather forecast to understand what the evening will be like in your desired location. I was fortunate enough to visit Curbar Edge in the Peak District the afternoon before my first morning I was there to scout the location. It was just before sunset and the fog was forming in the valley below and at that point I decided to try it out the following morning to see how it would look.

The weather for my first morning at Curbar was drizzling and there was a thick layer of cloud, which meant it was pretty unlikely I’d witness much golden light, I thought I’d set out and give it a go. I am so happy I did! This was my first real experience of photographing mist and it is incredible how quickly the spectacle evolves in front of your eyes. I one point I was photographing down one end of the valley, taking some long exposures, only to look over my shoulder and see that it had dramatically changed down the other end of the valley!

I used the X-T1 and the XF18-135mm lens for my main set up. As it was a wet morning the weather-sealed kit meant that I could stop worrying about the system and focus on the spectacle. As well as offering weather sealing, the XF18-135mm meant that I had great versatility, meaning that I didn’t have to worry about changing lenses the entire time. However, I also ended up using a neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor to further extend the shutter speed. This was great but because I was using a filter set instead of screw in filters it meant that the front element was exposed to the conditions. Long exposures and rain drops do not mix! Thankfully a little umbrella tucked away in my bag helped to shelter the filter.

Generally I was not bothered about using a fast/moderate shutter speed so I set up the system on a tripod and used ISO 200 (the lowest RAW compatible ISO) and generally around F8. The addition of the ND filter, which was a 10-stop filter, meant that the shutter speed required was dramatically decreased. This results in the mist smoothing out, giving quite an interesting effect. See the comparisons below (note that despite the fact the ND filter is meant to be neutral it has put a distinct colour cast on the images).

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The ND filter extended the shutter speed so much that I had to use the bulb setting, as the required shutter speed was longer than 30 seconds. For this I used the remote trigger that allowed me to hold down the trigger (lockable) to keep the shutter open for as long as required. The X-T1 shows the length of the shutter speed on the back screen, this is very helpful. There is something to consider thought when using long exposures: the processing time. As soon as you go beyond 30 seconds, the processing time dramatically increases from seconds into minutes, this isn’t a problem but is something to be aware of when trying to photograph a scene that is evolving constantly.

To make sure I didn’t miss any moments while the X-T1 was processing and to get some different shots, I used the X100s with ISO 1600 to produce a fast enough shutter speed to allow me to use the camera one handed. Picture the scene: a wonderful valley filled with fog unfolding in front of me, one camera on a tripod; my left hand sheltering it with an umbrella; photographing the scene with the X100s in my right hand at the same time! Who says photographers can’t look cool…

Mist-15 Mist-16Mist-14

The three above photos were taken with the X100s using the monochrome + red filter jpeg preset.

The reason I chose Curbar Edge is because it provides a high vantage point. This is really important to optimise your chances for good mist photography. It generally means that you should be hit by the early morning light and so should warm up faster! This is a valid point to consider on crisp winter mornings, not that it happened this time around. A high vantage point allows you to see for a greater distance, hopefully providing you with a greater number of layers to your picture. At the top of a valley, Curbar Edge allowed me to see for miles along the valley, which offered both valley fog and river smoke. The ability to then use a telephoto lens to zoom in on particular areas can result in some quite striking shots.

Mist-5

But also having the ability to instantly zoom wide was a great asset to try and obtain a variety of photographs.

Mist-3

The colour photos were all taken with the X-T1 and I used the Classic Chrome camera calibration in Lightroom which produced wonderful colours in my opinion. I have only just started using this camera calibration and I love it.

Mist-17

Though on this occasion the sun didn’t break through the thick cloud cover, the spectacle was nevertheless remarkable and I can only imagine what it would have looked like if sun rays had broken through.

The second morning

Despite being very happy with the previous morning I decided to give it another go as the forecast suggested there was a better chance of a proper sunrise. This time round I decided to not focus too much on lengthy shutter speeds, but instead the details in the fog. What I didn’t expect was the amount of fog!

Mist-2

Mist
Mist-10

The range of the 18-135mm meant that I could capture the grand scale of the fog at 18mm, with the car in the first of these pictures giving a sense of scale. Then using the longer end of the lens I pulled out particular parts of the landscape, such as the little cottage that looks like it should be in Harry Potter and the hilltops surrounded by a sea of fog, turning them into islands. As well as the incredible amount of fog, the sun did make a bit of an appearance too. Despite this it was a very cold morning, producing a wonderful frost. I was very happy to have packed a hat and pair of gloves.

Mist-4

Mist-13

I positioned myself so part of the hilltop was between me and the rising sun, creating a backlighting effect on Curbar Edge, which brings the fog alive.

Mist-8

Because of the brighter sky this time round I needed to use a ND gradual filter, where unlike the filter I used during the first morning, this one changes from one end to the other, as the name suggests. At one end it is darker (you can buy filters at different stops, depending on how dark you want to make part of the image), while at the other it has no effect on the light. I use these when I am photographing something with a sky that is much brighter than the ground below. With the above image I used a filter which didn’t stop down the light enough to correctly expose the sky but I like it nevertheless because of the frost (it get particularly difficult to expose correctly when the sun is in the image). While the picture below is a slightly better example of a ND gradual filter in use.

Mist-7

I hope this has proved helpful and now it is your turn to get out there and photograph the wintery conditions. Let us know how you get on.

My love affair with EVFs

When I first started using the Fujifilm X-Series last summer I didn’t realise how helpful electronic viewfinders (EVFs) can be. Being able to see a live view of the exposure and then adjusting this via the exposure compensation dial means that I am more efficient. When using SLRs it is often difficult to get exposure compensation exactly right the first time around, this often means you take a photograph multiple times to get it just right. With X-Series cameras you are able to see how an exposure adjustment will effect the exposure of the image before you take the photo. This is especially helpful for fleeting moments, especially in quickly changing light.

The exposure compensation can be adjusted in post-production but I feel the live view produced by EVFs has helped me improve my photography. This makes my editing workflow shorter, which is always an advantage.

I found this feature particularly helpful when taking silhouettes, such as the images of Chesterton windmill in the gallery below.

EVFs are also very helpful with non-Fujifilm lenses or using Fujifilm lenses in manual mode as they can accurately show when the focus is correct. Even with the X100s and X-Pro1, which have hybrid viewfinders, I use them almost exclusively in EVF mode instead of OVF mode because, for me, it offers more benefits.

Weather resistance in windy Wales

A friend and I decided to go camping in Wales, which perfectly coincided with the passing of the ex-hurricane Bertha! To many this is a bizarre time to choose to go camping, but from a landscape photography perspective, angry weather equals exciting weather.

At the moment I am trying to train myself to only use prime lenses as Fujifilm offers such a wide variety covering lots of helpful focal lengths (the announcement of the XF90mm f2 R and XF16mm f1.4 R being added to the lens roadmap is very exciting). The reason for this is that to me they inspire creativity, using the fixed focal length makes me think more about composition and simply take more time with each picture. However, the thought of changing lenses in high winds and heavy rain atop a cliff wasn’t particularly appealing so the ever-camera-bag-present XF18-135mm came into its own. Having previously used a prototype version of the lens on the Farne Islands (see my initial impressions here) this was the first time I had really put the production version through its paces and I have to say it passed with flying colours.

Because I was generally taking landscape photographs I didn’t miss the wonderful wide aperture capabilities of prime lenses. The other bonus of using the XF18-135mm was the fast auto focus and probably, more importantly, the weather sealing. Once mounted to the X-T1 the weather resistance system left me with one less thing to think about while battling the hazardous conditions.

I wasn’t the only thing out enjoying the powerful winds though, a few fulmar were flying around the cliffs, putting on a very impressive aerial display. This was a great opportunity to try the continuous focus in mirky conditions with a very fast moving subject. Once locked on the keeper rate was very high.

Enjoying the conditions

Fulmar

Target ahead

Fulmar-3

Cliff flyby

Fulmar-2

Fulmar in the scene

Welsh cliffs

The other very helpful feature of the XF18-135mm lens is the 5-stop image stabilisation which proved very helpful in countering the blustery and often dark conditions.

Setting Welsh sun

Welsh sea

Going further against my plan to use only prime lenses, the other lens used extensively was the XF10-24mm R OIS on the X-Pro1. Again I went with the practicality and versatility offered by this wide angle zoom lens. Despite this being a zoom, I loved using it at the ultra wide 10mm end to capture as much of the impressive scenes in front of me as possible.

Incoming shower

Welsh coast

Boisterous waves

Welsh coast-2

Overall it was a great few days for photography, but before you go off camping in inclement weather, make sure you check with others you drag along, as the X-T1 – XF18-135mm set up is weather resistant and ready for anything, but they might not be so obliging.

Why do I love the XF18-135mm lens? Composition.

Good day everyone, I will have to call this a mini-blog as normally I ramble on for ages and bombard you with images – who knows, maybe I still will 😉

1504372_10154010549280534_5836271885610257265_oAs you may or may not know I’m an amateur photographer who loves to try out new types of photography – I’m sure this is not to different from many of you out there. When I first started out with photography I was educated that the more zoom you had the better. So when I was given the X100 for the first time I was quite baffled as to how to work a fixed prime lens. I felt restricted and puzzled as to why I would want one. Of course once I looked at the pictures from it, I was sold and this opened my eyes to the real aspects of what makes a great camera. The images were crisp, clear and full of vibrant colour, all I had to get used to was zooming without a telephoto lens – AKA the Hokey Cokey. Once I got this down though, there was no stopping me, I was out with my original X-E1 and 35mm prime lens and I loved every minute of it!

This leads me to the XF18-135mm. This time I had the promise of excellent image quality but with that lovely versatility of a zoom lens. When I first clicked it into position on the camera body and fired up the camera I was taken back by just how much I could see or not see depending on the focal length. It was something that took me back to the olde days of me using a camera, I was VERY excited to get out and use this new kit.

I decided upon a location in the local area that always seems to make a good picture, this being the Stevington Windmill. I looked at when the sun was going to set and got there about 50 minutes earlier to allow time for running across fields, fumbling with tripods and such like. Once I got a good position near to the windmill I shot this image.

TFST0106 - Copy
Focal Length: 49mm – f/5.6 – ISO200

I shot this image at the slightly wider-side of the lens to open up the landscape a bit – this to me gives a very peaceful feel to the shot. Compositionally (is that really a word?) I have dedicated two thirds of the frame to the sky as it is a sunset after all, and I think this really helps the landscape silhouette ‘POP-OUT’ from the skyline.

This next shot I really wanted to focus on the windmill and give a more intense feel. To do this I have used the lens at a longer focal length as this has a very clever effect on the composition. The more you zoom towards a subject, the more the background and foreground are compressed together. So this in turn pulls the Sun closer to the windmill and vice-versa. Not only that, but it also reduces the angle of view – cutting out all the peripheral stuff we perhaps don’t want in our shot.

As a side note – To get the composition I wanted using more zoom, I did have to move further back to accommodate the extra focal length. Basically this means I had to run like crazy across a field and keep checking to see if the composition was right as every moment I wasted meant the sun was getting lower and would soon disappear behind the hillside.

TFST0109
Focal Length: 98.6mm – f/7.1 – ISO200

These next two shots show this compression effect quite well I feel. It really brings the background closer to the foreground making for a more intense composition that would not have been possible with my 35mm prime lens.

And in case you were wondering, this is my better-half with her camera at her side relaxing whilst I’m running about like a madman saying things like “That’s great, just don’t move. Pretend I’m not here..” which was all great fun. Photography should be fun and if you can get your friends and family involved, so much the better.

TFST0092 TFST0089

Here’s a playful shot of some hot air balloons in the distance. I framed it up so that they sat on the furthest third of the frame to sweep your eyes across the beauty of the landscape. Because of the compression effect (pulling the background and foreground together) I could give the hot air balloons a bit more presence in the shot, especially when you consider the real distance between the main tree and the hot air balloons.

TFST0083

I really hope this inspires you to go out and have a play with your camera, shoot a sunset, bring a friend, mix up your compositions and most of all have fun. When you do all that great pictures will naturally follow.

P.S: Seems I managed to get a good ramble and bombardment of images in after all 😉

 

XQ1 – A camera you just can’t leave at home

Test by Roger Payne

As a Fujifilm X-series fan you’ll already know that good things come in small packages, but the XQ1 takes that concept at least a couple of steps further. Significantly smaller and lighter than the X20, the XQ1 puts top quality picture taking in the palm of your hand. Quite literally.

Available in black and silver finishes, it’s one of those cameras that you simply can’t justify leaving at home. It’s been a constant companion for the last three weeks I’ve had it to review, largely by virtue of the fact that regardless of where I’ve been going it’s been small and light enough to come along too. Out walking the dog? Easy, it fits in a coat pocket. In town for a night out? No problem, it fits in my wife’s handbag. It even found its way into a tiny backpack when I was out mountain biking last weekend. Despite its proportions and weight, it gives the feeling of reassuring solidity with a build quality that can take the knocks. Kid gloves not required.

Taken on XQ1
Taken on XQ1

In line with the X-series brand, the XQ1 mixes timeless styling with the latest technology, plus throws in a few neat design touches for good measure. The most obvious of these is the Control Wheel that sits around the 4x zoom lens. Pressing the E-Fn button on the back of the camera allows you to assign a function to the Control Wheel for fast access while shooting. I chose to use it for quick ISO sensitivity changes, but users can also change other functions including exposure compensation, white-balance and zoom control.

Taken on XQ1
Taken on XQ1

Once you’ve taken images, they can instantly be shared to a smartphone or tablet thanks to the XQ1’s built-in Wi-Fi functionality. All that’s required from the receiving device is the free Fujifilm Camera App. An additional Wi-Fi offering comes in the shape of PC AutoSave, which uses a Wi-Fi network to automatically connect camera to PC for wireless image back up.

Alongside the technological and design touches, the XQ1 is a powerhouse when it comes to image capture. It boasts a ⅔-inch 12-megapixel sensor that uses X-Trans technology to deliver impressively sharp results. The zoom lens (which offers a 25-100mm equivalent range) also has a maximum aperture setting of F1.8 at the wide- angle setting to offer added versatility in low-light conditions and helps create attractive out of focus effects.

Taken on XQ1
Taken on XQ1

If you’re capturing still images, I’d urge you to try out the many built-in filter effects, 360° Motion Panorama mode, Film Simulation modes and the extremely handy Pro Low Light, Multiple Exposure and Pro Focus functions. If video is more your thing, the XQ1 offers Full HD video capture as well as a frame rate of 150 frames-per-second for slow motion effects. The latter is both great fun and seriously addictive!

 

In use, the XQ1 delivers a very accomplished performance. Picture quality is impressive, autofocus fast, metering assured and battery life surprisingly long. I’ll be sorry to see the camera go back to Fujifilm, it has quickly become a close companion wherever I go.

Here are some sample images taken at varying ISO values. Click on them to see them larger

Get Creative with Multiple Exposures

Using the Multiple Exposure mode

Multiple exposures have been around for almost as long as photography itself and almost certainly came about as much by accident as by design. In the early days of photography, exposures often took many minutes, so any subject or camera movement during the time the shutter was open would cause a distinctive ‘ghosting’ or ‘double impression’ effect. This also occurred when a camera’s shutter opened twice or more on the same frame, exposing it more than once.

Many early photographers were only interested in documenting the world as their eyes saw it, and to them multiple exposures were a hazard. Others saw multiple exposures as an opportunity: a way to present a more artistic view, where reality could be turned on its head and a new way of seeing created. In the digital age, multiple exposures are more popular than ever and while many are created in image-editing software like Photoshop, it’s fun to take the traditional approach of doing it in camera. Fujifilm’s X-series cameras offer a smart, easy way to do this.

Multiple Exposure

How X-series makes it easy

When shooting multiple exposures on film, tricky mental arithmetic was involved because you had to work out the overall exposure settings, then divide that shutter speed by however many times you wanted to expose the film; do it wrong and you’d end up with an under or overexposed picture. What’s more, some guesswork was involved wherein you had to watch out for clashing elements in the scene that could spoil composition. Fortunately for X-series users, these concerns are a thing of the past, because using the screen as your guide you can make a perfect assessment of how the final image will look; you simply shoot the first exposure, then compose the second with it overlaid on the screen.

Multiple Exposure 

Creative ideas

Once you’re comfortable with shooting in Multiple Exposure mode, you’ll have a great time experimenting with different subjects and styles. For instance, try shooting your subject with the first exposure, then overlay it using a texture of cloud-scape with the second. It’s also a good idea to try shooting from a tripod; with the camera’s position locked off, static parts of the scene will look like a regular photo, while moving parts will turn into ghosts. Have fun!

How it’s activated

  • First turn the main Mode dial to Adv. (Advanced), then use the sub-command dial to set your desired aperture and shutter speed combination; Advanced mode is like Program mode in that the camera chooses the optimum settings, but you can still bias the aperture, shutter speed, ISO or exposure compensation.
  • Next press the MENU/OK button, select the Adv. MODE in the Shooting menu and choose MULTIPLE EXPOSURE.
  • Hit OK, then BACK to return and you’ll see overlapping squares in the bottom left of the screen showing you’re in the right mode. Now you’re ready to shoot.
  • Frame up and shoot your first image and it will be displayed on screen.
  • Hit left on the D-pad to cancel and try again, or if you’re happy with it, press OK to move onto the next shot.
  • Now, using the screen as a real-time guide, frame your second shot. At this point you can also change the shutter speed, aperture, ISO and most importantly the Exposure Compensation, making sure the two exposures work together and aren’t too light or dark.
  • Shoot and once again, you’ll have the opportunity to cancel and try the second shot again or hit OK to confirm.

That’s all there is to it!

What to shoot now – spring into life

It won’t be long before the natural world starts showing signs of life, which will give photographers across the globe plenty of subjects to train their cameras on.

To start, look low to the ground where bulbs will soon start to break the surface of the soil. Getting down low is the key to success and those X-series cameras with an articulated rear LCD will come in handy to help you frame up shots without having to lie on the floor.

Don’t be afraid to crop in close on snowdrops and daffodils, selecting the macro mode to ensure you focus as close as possible. If you’re shooting on a sunny day, placing your camera flat on the ground and pointing the lens upwards will deliver a ‘worm’s eye view’ of the flowers, which works particularly well with yellow crocus, tulips and daffodils set against a deep blue sky. Consider using the Velvia Film Simulation mode to boost colours, or fit a polarising filter to really saturate primary hues.

Feeding time

If you don’t fancy scrabbling in the dirt, birds and wildlife get a little bolder in the springtime as they start searching for mates and building nests. Use a telephoto lens like the XF55-200mm or XC50-230mm to keep a safe distance and make sure you shoot against a clear, uncluttered background such as foliage or even the sky to be sure nothing distracts from the subject. With any wildlife subject you’ll need to be patient; the best shots will come to those who wait… or those who set up feeding stations in their gardens!

Window light portraits

The low sun at this time of year is perfect for people shots indoors. Carefully choose a window – you want sunlight to bathe your subject in, not to blind them. Position your subject nice and close, then switch your camera to aperture-priority mode, using a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus.

Window Light Portraits

A day in your life

If a 365 project is too daunting, perhaps you can manage 24 hours. Pick a typical day and document your life. It’s easy to do with the portable X cameras. Start with your breakfast and only put the camera down when you go to bed. Apply the usual rules though: think about your shots and compose carefully, don’t simply machine-gun it.

A day in your life

Striking silhouettes

Set aside the usual approach to exposing your subject and expose for the background to get a dark, striking silhouette of a person, tree or church – easily recognisable subjects work best. Switch to spot metering and take a reading from the bright background to ensure your subject is rendered as an outline.

Striking Silhouettes

Film fanatics

Emulate the look of yesteryear’s photos with one of the X-series Film Simulation modes. All the X-series cameras offer these magic modes; the X-Pro1 boasts a stunning selection of 10, including names you may remember from film boxes, such as Provia and Velvia. Find them in your camera’s Shooting menu or via the Q menu.

Film Fanatics

Carnival spirit

In countries around the world, Shrove Tuesday (4 March) is a day for celebration; in many, such as Germany and Italy, this means carnival, while in the UK, it’s the chance to flip pancakes. Whichever is happening near you, photograph it. For a carnival parade, try the Pop Color Advanced Filter (on the XQ1, X100S, X-M1, X20 and X10).

Carnival Spirit