Wide vs Tele: From one extreme to the other

By Mark Gilligan

Everything we do in photography is a matter of perspective. My view is different from yours. We can stand side by side and look at the same thing but we don’t view it in the same way. We might recognise the exact features our eyes see but how we perceive and construct it is never the same.

Aren’t we lucky because if we all saw it exactly as each other surely the world would be a boring place? Continue reading Wide vs Tele: From one extreme to the other

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

 

 

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

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

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Johny Spencer

Welcome to the Third Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our first interview in Series Three is with New South Wales based photographer, Johny Spencer.

Johny, can you tell us about yourself and what photography means to you?

 

I’m a full-time landscape and nature photographer for the National Parks service here in Australia and have been working for them for 17 years.

 

Photography to me is all about the moments, memories and experiences that happen as part of your photography journey. The photos themselves are just a bonus that I get to use to inspire and motivate others to push their creative boundaries.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/60 second – F16 – ISO 200

 

 

You recently reviewed the Fujifilm X-Pro2 after taking it abroad to the US on a 5000 km road trip. Can you share with us what you thought about the camera from a travel and landscape photography perspective?

 

I shot this camera exclusively on this trip, I put it through its paces, in every type of environmental condition possible from wet, cold snow forests, to dry hot, dusty deserts. I really liked the feel of it in hand; overall it felt solid.

 

I was so surprised of the detail in the pictures! I usually shoot with a camera containing a 40MP plus sensor, and I found the 24MP sensor of the X-PRO2 surprising incredible. The dynamic range of the camera was also outstanding for the sensor size.

 

In all, I think the X-PRO2 makes a good all around camera for both landscape and travel. I can see this being a great camera for street photography with the hybrid viewfinder.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 200mm – 1/125 second – F5.6 – ISO 500

 

 

In your opinion what was the best photo, you captured in the US using the Fujifilm X-Pro2? What was the story behind the image and how did you set up the shot?

 

I know it’s a bit obvious but Horseshoe Bend was incredible, it’s one of those places you can’t fully understand how grand it is until you visit it.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/8 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

I got there for sunset, and it was packed with people everywhere, the light wasn’t that good, so I decided to revisit the location for sunrise the next morning.

 

The decision to reshoot worked out perfectly as there were fewer people. I had heaps of options to get the perfect spot to photography the bend. I was hoping for that magnet-pinky light that happens when you shoot away from the setting or rising sun.

 

The camera was locked down on a tripod, with the two-second timer turned on in order not to cause any camera shake when pressing the shutter button. I focused one-third into the scene at F8, so the whole scene was in focus. The ISO was set too low to avoid any noise issues. The lingering cloud was in the perfect spot for a photo, in the end, it was just a waiting game to see what the light was going to do.

 

Minutes later that first light glow started and boom! The pink tones were perfect, I fired the shutter and just adjusted the shutter speed to get the exposure right. I was able to capture the rising sun perfectly thanks to the dynamic range the camera offered.

 

It was a great experience one of those places that you will never forget in a hurry.

 

 

 

If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?

 

Shoot what you love and love what you shoot. When you’re obsessed with the thing you like, in my case photography, it will keep you shooting even when you get stuck on the technical stuff.

 

Your passion for the subject will push your creativity and help you overcome any challenge you face in your photography journey.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/4 second – F8 – ISO 250

 

 

 

What processing workflow do you use when importing images from the Fujifilm X-Pro2? Do you have an example you can show us?

 

I’m a huge fan of Adobe Lightroom, I just find the photo management and processing work perfectly with my brain.

 

In fact in my day job working for National Parks I have to process several thousand images a month, so it’s critical for me to have a killer efficient post processing workflow.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 156.10mm – 1/125 second – F8 – ISO 400

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/125 second – F8 – ISO 400

 

Here’s a quick video showing how I edit multiple Fujifilm RAW files quickly using Lightroom. By the way, I’ll be using my Ultimate Lightroom Workflow, something I developed to make post-processing super easy and fast.

 

 

 

Did you find the Fujifilm Camera Remote App useful when travelling on the road when it came to transferring your images to your phone? Could you provide some feedback on how the app could be improved?

 

I’m a huge fan of the app. It made it so easy to just share images straight from the camera to my phone so that I could share on social and with friends. I was surprised how easy it was to setup and use, and I bet it’s one of those little features not many people know about that really make a camera fun to use.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 21.90mm – 1/640 second – F5.6 – ISO 500 – HDR

 

 

 

What lenses did you take with the X-Pro2? Was there a particular Fujinon lens that stood out regarding versatility and quality for landscape photography?

 

My favourite lens was, of course, the super wide XF10-24mmF4. I found it sharp for edge to edge and the coupled with the X-PRO2 the image quality was stellar. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any landscape photographer.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/60 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

I also love the fact it’s an F4 lens! Have you ever tried to hike with the F2.8 lens in your pack? They are usually super heavy! You don’t need the fastest lens for landscapes and F4 is a good compromise between speed and weight.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/30 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

 

 

 

You have previously used a range of different camera brands for landscape photography. In your opinion how does Fujifilm’s image quality stack up against the rest?

 

Like I said before the image quality of those X-Trans CMOS sensors is unbelievably sharp and provides much clarity. It’s more than enough for any landscape photographer.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 60.70mm – 1/250 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

If you would like to see more of Johny’s photography then visit his website or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or YouTube.

 

 

 

 

Sports Photography as a Spectator – Autograss

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 – Autograss

Take A Different View: 14 Variations of the Same Location

By Mark Gilligan

I very rarely know what I am going to have presented to me when I go out to photograph a landscape. I know what I would like but we don’t always get what we want. Not only are we dealing with nature’s finest creations, we are trying to balance it with whatever the ‘greatest lighting man’ throws at us. This can often please or displease in equal measures. Continue reading Take A Different View: 14 Variations of the Same Location

Climbing China’s Yellow Mountains with the FUJIFILM X-Pro2

It’s not often you get to visit a country like China that is full of wonders, but as most of you may know when an opportunity like this comes your way it’s best to capture it in full.

Recently, my overseas trip involved trekking through the Yellow Mountains located in the Huangshan National Park, located about an hours flight from Shanghai, China. Although this majestic place was close to Shanghai, I travelled from the busy tech hub of Shenzhen (around a 5 hours flight), and the limited air conditioning outside the terminal didn’t seem to compete with the hot and sticky weather.

china-016

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF16mmF1.4 – ISO 500 – F5.6 – 1/1400 second

Our driver who didn’t seem to care much for his life, raced around blind corners in his F1 fighter jet or otherwise known to the people-who-want-to-live as a car. I must say, the door handles of the vehicle certainly became weakened by the end of the trip due to the constant strain from clenched grips. We survived, though and desperately scrambled into our accommodation after an hour in our driving simulator before we explored the town located a few kilometres from the base of the majestic Yellow Mountains. Upon taking a few steps outside of the car park I was reminded no matter where you are in the world, even in a small Chinese country town in the middle of nowhere you can’t escape technology!

china-052

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF16mmF1.4 – ISO 1250 – F1.4 – 1/7 second

The evening consisted of strolling the streets with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 to find a well-known market street which catered an array of local fresh and exotic produce. The mystery world of new dialects, interesting smells and many chance photo opportunities had me meandering through the rough cobbled streets as my attention was drawn in every direction. The X-Pro2 was discreet and simple to use. It felt natural and more importantly it didn’t obstruct my experience. Changing the ISO, aperture or shutter speed was simple, making it the perfect camera for my trip.

The hustle and bustle of the street died as the remaining colourful lanterns flickered in the moist late night air. The doors began to shut and my time among the people had come to an end.

china-051
Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF16mm R WR – ISO 1250 – F1.4 – 1/640 second

The following day brought the same heavy humid weather. After a quick breakfast, I was driven to a cramped bus that would eventually follow the winding route to the majestic Yellow Mountains in Huangshan. The iconic mountain range was best known for its eerie pine trees atop of stunning granite landscapes that often ‘floated’ amongst the heavy mist. Sunsets at this time of year were rare, but one could only hope there would be an occasional break in the clouds to expose the panoramic beauty beneath.

china-021

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 – ISO 200 – F7.1 – 1/160 second

In preparation for the trip, I debated what lenses I would take to accompany the Fujifilm X-Pro2. I decided on a wide-angle, prime, an all round lens and telephoto as they seemed to be the best option to cover landscapes and any wildlife I might encounter when climbing the 1850+ metres. It was a hard choice, but considering the time of year and weather sealing on some of the lenses, I felt this was the best setup for my photography style.

lenses-for-china

For the three days of climbing the weight of the Fujinon XF16mmF1.4, XF56mmF1.2 APD, XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 and XF50-140mmF2.8 plus two Fujifilm X-Pro2 bodies seemed a bit over the top. I quickly regretted carrying so much!

celestial-capital-peak-1829m-001

My daily hand carry favoured the XF16mmF1.4 and X-Pro2 while the rest of the gear stayed in a small backpack, along with a few changes of clothes, extra socks, plenty of water and of course some spare batteries and a handful of large memory cards.

China - Yellow Mountains

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF50-140mmF2.8 – ISO 200 – F5 – 1/800 second

The history of the Yellow Mountains was learned with each step. The large carved stone had masterfully been moulded into the side of the mountain, quietly telling its story to the ascending travellers. The pea thick mist hid most of the peak’s grandeur for the first day but presented a rare opportunity to create silhouettes from the languishing pines, stagnate in time and nature.

china-015

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 – ISO 800 – F5.6 – 1/2400 second

Day two tackled the steepest climb I had ever attempted. My neck arched every couple of minutes to calculate the vertical steps that disappeared into the heavens. A slow pace and solid grip on the mountain and the other on the X-Pro2 was the best means to overcome being pushed backwards down the mountain by the howling wind. The thoughts of ‘are we there yet’ constantly reverberated in my head, but I pushed on, knowing the images at the peak would be worthwhile from the extensive Google searches I had researched.

china-006

HDR – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 – ISO 200 – F5.6 – 1/350 second

Eventually after a number of hours of climbing we reached the top. Dumping the backpack felt like a sheep losing its fleece, an abundance of energy surged as I photographed the misty lone pine dangling precariously on the edge. The cloud lingered and wouldn’t depart to showcase one of the highest points in China. It didn’t matter, though, I had the Fujifilm X-Pro2, plenty of storage space and an idea. I planned to photograph the mystic pine tree from a new perspective to what I had previously seen. Edging to the drop-off and the side of the barrier like a caterpillar I extended my torso beyond the cliff edge to begin a series of handheld vertical images that would later become a panoramic view.

china-054

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 8 image stitch using the XF16mmF1.4

I finished the trip a week later and upon reflection, I was happy I utilised all three lenses while in the mountains. I wouldn’t have taken any other Fujinon lenses on the trip, as each focal length complemented one another. The durable X-Pro2 was exceptional, both in weight and operability, which is why I will continue to use this camera whenever I go travelling. Being able to travel to the Yellow Mountains is something I recommend you add to your bucket list. The trip for me was truly spectacular, and something I highly recommend photographers pursue, the memories and photographs will be with you forever.