Drew Gardner shoots the USA Womens 8 Olympic Team with the X-T2

Guest Blogger strip BLACKdrew gardner pic largeBy Drew Gardner

I was assigned by ‘Sports Illustrated’ to shoot a multimedia project of The USA Olympic Team Womens 8 before they travelled to Rio where they would be in the running for another Gold medal. And having recently been greatly inspired by Google’s Excellent ‘Inside Abbey Road’ I came up with the idea of shooting a 360 project with video content within it.

There is often too much emphasis on equipment but on this occasion having exactly the right tool for the job, something small, light, with superb still image quality, 4K video capable and user friendly.

Enter the brand new Fuji X-T2, the successor to the highly popular and delightful Fuji X-T1

Small, light with 4K video capability and VERY user friendly.

There are many really good camera’s out there but in my opinion none have the special ‘instantly at home’ feel for someone coming from a DSLR as Fuji does with its ‘X’ series cameras.

I am baffled as to why Fuji is alone amongst digital camera manufacturer has managed to successfully take the ‘soul’ from a film camera and transplant it in a digital offering (incidentally this is not an opinion I have reached overnight, but a view I have held for some years now.

I’m delighted to say that Fuji have been successful in carrying on this tradition with the Fuji X-T2, combining a truly intuitive user experience with superb performance on all fronts.

24.3mp X-Trans CMOS sensor which feature which debuted on the Fuji X-Pro2 is quite a step forward over the X-T1

The X-T2 is a camera with heaps of performance and is ready to shoot when you are, you can feel from the moment you pick the camera that it has massive processing power – dubbed the X Processor Pro. Aside from the sensor this is one of the key areas I look for as it is pointless having a great sensor if the camera does not have the processing power to handle it.

A powerful processor opens the gateway to all sorts of high performance feature in a camera, such as 14 frames a second (should you need it), 325 autofocus points and 4k video at up to 30fps (more of this later)

Ok so it is incredibly responsive and easy to use but what about the image quality?

I am happy to report that the image quality in terms of resolution is handy step forward over the X-T1 delivering more detail and the dynamic range, though I have not had chance to test this back to back it seems to be better.

The X-T2 viewfinder is clearer and brighter than the X-T1 and I found it easy to manually focus.


So how did it work out?

First shot of the day was the team portrait in the lake, this was carefully worked out to coincide with Sunrise (a time so early that it is actually difficult to get yourself to believe it will ever get light)

The still shot was actually way more difficult than it might first appear as there was only a limited area of hard standing in the water after that you hit deep mud…which also smelled pretty bad.

Taylor Ballentyne who shot behind the scenes of the project was kind enough to stand in so we could establish where it would be safe to stand.

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Then there was the lighting.

Let me rewind a little – I hired the Profoto B1 lights along with all other kit from one of the coolest rental houses in New York City – Scheimpflug (to quote Wikipedia it takes its name from the Scheimpflug principle which is a geometric rule that describes the orientation of the plane of focus of an optical system when the lens plane is not parallel to the image plane)

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The guys at Scheimpflug were super helpful and highly professional and were more than happy to let me come along a couple of days before the shoot so I could test the gear and ensure it worked as it should (this might seem a bit extreme but this shoot was super special and I wanted to make sure I made no mistakes). These guys are highly recommended.

Why Profoto B1 lights? Well right now my opinion they are the simplest, most reliable location light out there in with not a cable in sight, this gives you unparalleled flexibility – it is a photographers license to put a light just about anywhere.

I did not use the Profoto modifiers – I instead reverted to my softbox of choice the Chimera medium softbox (with a white interior).

I have been using the soft but highly directional Chimera modifiers exclusively for 20 ish years, they give me exactly the look I want and you can do so many clever things with them – they are versatility personified.

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If the team were on a limited small hard(ish) standing area where could I put the lights?

I was restricted to putting the key lights at the edge of Lake Carnegie, which as you will see from my drawing, has all sorts of creatures swimming in it.

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I needed a little more power and I ‘only’ had 4 lights – which sounds like a lot but when you are shooting a large group on location and you are aiming for F11 or F8 to ensure everyone is in focus it really is not a great deal of light.

I was going to put a light in the water as a back light but as the sun was a great celestial back light it freed up one more Profoto B1 head.

To get a little more ‘oomph’ to my key light bank of lights I put two heads in one softbox by slightly unconventional means (though I believe you can get a speed ring which takes two heads for the Chimera soft box)

So it was three Profoto B1 lights off to camera left, which worked very well but I needed a little fill head on so I used my last Profoto B1 in a brolly – the lights were set.

The team entered the water and I had a very short period of time with them – think around 10 – 15 mins in the water before they went training.

Team USA Womens 8s Rowing Team
Team USA Womens 8s Rowing Team

Even though time was short I mounted the Fuji X-T2 on my Gitzo tripod as if needed to undertake any extensive post production (which I didn’t) it was going to be much easier – remember the tripod is your friend…..

The second shot was the 360 stills panorama where I needed to have clickable hotspots which would link to short video interviews with the team members.

Have a look at the 360 shot with videos here.

I really did not want to switch between multiple cameras so the Fuji X-T2’s enhanced video capability came into play.

Though we did not output the video in in 4K(we downsampled the footage to 720p so the final file would be less ‘heavy’) we did shoot the videos in 4K as being in the throes of another major project everything HAS to be shot in 4K it seems like ‘short change’ to shoot in 1080p but perhaps more importantly it gives me the capability to crop into the video. As we were shooting with ‘just’ one camera this could be a useful feature to have to say the very least.

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While I am talking video I shot in the standard 4K setting as Fuji’s F-Log, which ensures you get the maximum from a file as you shoot in a ‘flat’ profile was not yet available when I shot the project.

Even with the standard profile available to me on the day I was very pleased with the video output

Some of the enhanced video features that were available to me on the day, the ability to monitor audio via the headphone jack and the extended recording time (30 mins of 4K) came to me courtesy of the new VG-XT2 hand grip which takes two batteries in addition to the standard camera battery.

The 360 stills shot itself was shot on the Fuji X-T2 with the excellent Zeiss Touit 12mm lens which I find to be a dream for 360 panoramas and I used the Seitz Roundshot VR drive which I have come to rely on to deliver the goods day in day out without missing a beat. Ever.

When you are using a motorised VR head – sometimes with quite big lenses and battery packs the weight does add up so I use the Gitzo GT5562LTS which is a serious pro tripod which you can fit in your carry on luggage. For the still 360(and the stills team shot in the lake) I used the Gitzo 5381SQR which is perfect for panoramas and landscapes – it is however worthy of note as this tripod does take a full on video head too – one tripod which really does do it all.

Speaking of something that does it all it seems like a good place to round up with my thoughts on the Fuji X-T2.

If you use a an X-T1 and you are expecting a camera which completely different from your current camera then think again – the X-T2 is more about evolution than revolution and it is all the better for it, with tweaks and enhancements which makes it the most complete mirrorless camera to date that Fuji has yet produced

For me this is the camera which takes the ‘X’ series into everyday pro territory for the first time. Until now, for me at least, the X cameras which I love with their charm and wonderful image quality have been been my ‘fun’ cameras and I have walked out the door to shoot the ‘big’ jobs on something else.

The mixed still/360 still and 4k video nature of this assignment was a serious challenge and one that X-T2 rose to without any fuss or drama – excelling in every area WITHOUT making my brain melt.

Whisper it. Fuji might, just might have, produced the best mirrorless camera to date one that combines charm, image quality, capability and is a joy to use.


See the full Sports Illustrated article here
See more of Drew’s work at 
www.gardnercreative.co.uk 

Introducing The New Fujifilm X-T2

Australia strip BLACK

Imagine a camera that takes the best features of the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-Pro2 and combines them together to create the ultimate photographers and videographers tool.

Well, today we are excited to announce the combination of these cameras in the new Fujifilm X-T2!

The Fujifilm X-T2 is one of the most anticipated cameras in Fujifilm’s history. Not only will the impressive 24.3MP APS-C X Trans CMOS III sensor capture the joy of photographers around the world, but now with the addition of 4K and 2K video formats you will be able to film the emotion too!

Adding to this is a bundle of features that includes an electronic shutter with a limit of 1/32,000 second, an Intelligent Hybrid Phase detection AF, a robust weather resistant body, an impressive 3-way tilting 3.0” LCD and a 2.36 Million dots Electronic Viewfinder and dual SD UHS-II memory card slots that will capture up to 14 frames per second with the Performance Boost Mode turned on.

All of these features sound impressive (and they are), but the list of specs doesn’t stop there. As mentioned earlier the 4K video quality this camera now records is on par with some of the other professional cameras out there. When filming video you can expect excellent sharpness and low noise when recording up to a maximum of ISO 12800.

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Another important feature unique to videographers is the ability to choose a video frame rate. Fujifilm has liaised with various professionals and industry leaders to determine what settings best suit. Within the new Fujifilm X-T2 videographers will be able to select 29.97P, 25P, 24P and 23.98P when filming in 4K and if Full HD is selected; 59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 25P, 24P and 23.98P at a 100Mbps Video Bit rate.

There are also a lot of settings that can be changed once you press the record button. You will be able to change exposure in ⅓ stop increments, correct the colour and the angle of view. Added to this is the option to change the exposure via the external HDMI port, which is well suited for videographers using external monitors.

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When you first handle the Fujifilm X-T2 you will immediately feel the magnesium alloy chassis that has been redesigned based on photographers feedback. With weather resistant sealing to suit rugged outdoor conditions, this professional body is slightly larger than the Fujifilm X-T1 due to improved control dials that turn easily with or without gloves. The new lock buttons located on the shutter and ISO dials are easily pressed to turn on or off the action of selecting a new setting. Also the enlarged drive mode and photometry selection dials can easily be accessed due to this new ergonomic design.

As shown in the video (above) the 1.62 million-dot 3-inch LCD screen has been redesigned to suit photographers. Now with a 3-way tilting screen, the photographer can turn and rotate the screen to a visible position when holding the camera above their head in a portrait orientation. Previously on the Fujifilm X-T1 the screen was only visible in a horizontal orientation.

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The launch of the Fujifilm X-T1 saw photographers from many different genres switch over to Fujifilm due to the large range of Fujinon lenses available. Sports and wildlife photographers were among the newly acquainted, but this was not only due to the lens selection, but also the features on the Fujifilm
X-T1 like autofocus and UHS-II memory card compatibility. Learning from this the new Fujifilm X-T2 takes autofocus speed and memory card storage to the next level.

The Fujifilm X-T2 is slightly different in the way the camera focuses when compared to the Fujifilm X-T1. This is because of the new Intelligent Hybrid Phase detection autofocus. The new X-T2 will allow you to select up to 325 autofocus points allowing for precise focus. What this means is no matter whether the subject is within the frame, the camera will autofocus very quickly to pick up the subject.

Adding to the list of new features is also a dual memory card slot that is now capable of recording to two UHS-II compatible cards. What this means for photographers is they can record photos up to 14 frames per second (when Performance Boost mode and Electronic Shutter is selected), which will result in a total of 42 Jpeg frames or 28 RAW frames stored at Lossless compression. This option is only available when the VPB-XT2 grip is on the camera.

Not only does the optional VPB-XT2 (Vertical Power Booster Grip) increase frame rate, but it also will accommodate two additional batteries (NP-W126S) at the same time to boost in shooting interval, shutter release time lag and blackout time while extending 4K video recording to a maximum of 30 minutes.

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As mentioned, when you use the optional VPB-XT2 battery grip you can select different frame rates like 14 frames per second, however, if this is too fast 11 frames per second can also be selected.

When 11 frames per second is enabled 75 Jpeg frames or 30 RAW frames stored at Lossless compression can be captured. However, if you require more frames to be recorded before the cameras buffer fills, the frame rate can be dropped to 8 frames per second enabling 83 Jpeg frames or 33 RAW frames to be stored at Lossless compression. Finally, if you need to record an endless amount of Jpeg frames, 5 frames per second can also be selected.

The X-T2’s ISO range of 200 – 12800 (RAW shooting) is exactly the same as the Fujifilm X-Pro2. When recording at high ISO like 3200 or 6400 photographers will find images and video to be very clear resulting in smooth graduation and deeper blacks.

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Studio and wedding photographers will enjoy using the Fujifilm X-T2 as the camera can now act as a commander when firing off multiple flash units when using the newly announced Fujifilm EF-EX500 flash. Found within the camera’s menu is the ability to select ‘COMMANDER’ mode, which enables full manual control of up to three supported Fujifilm flash units. Each supported flash can be manual adjusted to ensure you get the best possible picture.

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It is Fujifilm’s hope to design a camera that will suit a photographer’s requirements and it is refreshing to see that the X-T2 does this. Something many were not predicting though was the ability to film in 4K. Having mentioned this, it is worth thinking about to expand upon your skills to embrace this chance. Not all photographers will embrace this addition and that is okay, but to those who wish to expand on their skills the feature is there for you to explore and the same can be said to videographers when it comes to taking photos.

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This article hasn’t covered all of the specifications nor the implementations of the Fujifilm X-T2, so we would encourage you to follow this global Fujifilm blog which is now supported by Fujifilm Australia, Fujifilm UK, Fujifilm USA and Fujifilm Canada. We also ask you subscribe to the global Fujiguys YouTube channel to learn more about the Fujifilm X-T2 from contributions around the world. Together we are one and together we are here to listen to you the photographer – and now the videographer too.

Why I chose Fujifilm X – Andrew Billington

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Guest blogger

Tell us about yourself and what got you into photography?

Headshot-1I had a fairly round about route into becoming a full-time photographer. My background is in theatre and that’s where I worked for 20 years, first as an actor then stage manager. I bought myself a point & shoot digital camera to go on holiday with my wife in 2004 and just wandering around taking photos rekindled the interest I had in photography as a child. My dad had been a keen amateur and I often had a roll of film and an old Zenit 35mm to play with – then it was back home to develop and print the results.

Fast forward to 2005 when I started to take photography seriously again. I bought myself a DSLR and started to take photos around the theatre I was working in. I’ve never been interested in ‘posed’ imagery and a camera seemed an ideal instrument to document the ‘process’ of theatre – rehearsal photographs, technicians at work and actors acting. From there the theatre I was working at started to use some of my photos as marketing materials, the Arts Council UK commissioned me to photograph some things they were doing in schools, and I got some freelance work photographing Ballroom dancing for a couple of publications – all this work came through contacts of people I knew or had met, I didn’t even have a website at this stage!

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Why did you choose to shoot with the Fujifilm X series?

I’m interested in documentary photography and telling stories. Once I started playing with the X-Pro1 (in late 2013) I found a camera that let me do this in a really subtle and intimate way. By this stage, I was a full-time photographer photographing mainly weddings and theatre. Walking into a wedding with an X-Pro1 and a 35mm lens was very freeing – I was no longer the person with the biggest kit in the room. People were not intimidated by such a small and interesting looking camera and I found I could be around any situation and get the shot I was looking for without anyone changing their behavior because the ‘official photographer’ was there.

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Most of my work is taken in available light and I’ve never really had a problem getting the results I’m looking for from the Fuji X-series cameras. I work with two X-T1s mostly (with a bit of X100T thrown in) and will shoot on fast primes up to 6400iso without blinking – always I’m looking for the best light in any situation then working out how to tell the story in that light.

HOWEVER when it comes to the evening of a wedding and everyone is getting down on the dance floor that’s when I break out the flash!

By this stage of the day I figure everyone has relaxed and I can go for a more ‘night clubby’ look with the photos. Dance floors are a dark place, bands or DJs don’t often bring enough light to illuminate them so at this stage I often have to ADD light. But I still want to stay discreet, self contained and mobile. That’s why I choose to use the very tiny Fuji EF-X20 flash on a sync cord attached to my X-T1 (often with the 10-24mm).

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With this set up I can get into the middle of the dance floor action, shoot from any angle and no-one cares you’ve got a camera (even when it’s getting ‘messy’ at the end of the night). If I was shooting with ‘Off Camera Flash’ I’d be limited in the look I would get by where my light stands could go – this way I’m a portable studio. Holding the flash in my left hand (usually high above to the side) and the camera in my right but away from my eye. I ‘zone focus’ so the camera is set manually to focus from 4ft to infinity – at f/10 this is really easy and means that I don’t have to worry about AF in low light but just what’s happening in front of my lens.

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These are my default setting for Epic Dance Floor shots: ISO 2000, F10, 1/15th, 14mm, get in close and dance your ass off while photographing.


Do you have any tips or tricks you could share with us?

The best thing I could say is to develop your own style and approach to how you photograph. When we start out we all see amazing photographs in a variety of styles and try to copy those in our work – it makes what we do look a little scattergun and inconsistent. Work out what you love photographing, what you are passionate about and a philosophy about how you should approach your photography and then do that. Then do that some more. Then do that better. Then refine it. Do it more. Do it better. Refine it. And on and on it goes.

Every time I pick up a camera I want to create better photographs than I did the last time – better photographs for me equals better photographs for my clients.

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What’s next for you?

Put simply – see above. Doing more of what I’m doing but hopefully doing it better.

Contact info

To see more of Andrew’s beautiful photography, please visit his website and social channels:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BillingtonPhoto

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Billington-Photography-127502644273/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/billingtonphoto/

Website – http://documentary-wedding.com

 

 

X-A2 review by photojournalist, Brad Hobbs

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Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn. NY

Guest blogger

bradAbout me

I was born in Margate, Kent on the south east coast of England on the 5th July 1990. I grew up about 40 minutes south of Margate in a small seaside town called Deal.

Growing up in the south east of England, there isn’t much to do unless you like being outside. Being a teenager, I wanted to either be in front of a TV sleeping the days away or out skateboarding. When I turned 13, my dad brought me my first camera and I took around with me everywhere. I mostly concentrated on the boats, beaches and surrounding farm land.

I moved to London in 2010, where I started working at a magazine as an intern for 3 months. Once my internship had ended I was quite lost as to what to do next. After networking around the city I fell into a PR job which kept me occupied for 3/4 years working with some big names in music, sports, movies & television. At some point I thought this would be a job for life but I slowly grew away from it and followed my dreams in photography and writing. Over the past 2 years, my life and career has had its ups and downs like most people, but things have recently really take a turn for the better with a few different ambitious projects.

So what do I think about the X-A2 for my style of photography?

When I first picked up this camera my instant thoughts were how lightweight and compact it is. Using the XC16-50MM kit lens it has fed me with everything I need.

With my style of photography I like to be as close to my subject as possible and to paint a scene of what’s happening around me. The Fujifilm X-A2 helps me capture those moments.

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Broadway, Brooklyn. NY

Once I started learning how to use the settings to their full capability, I found myself shooting at night, which was something I never used to do. The SR+ setting and High ISO settings really help capture what we as humans can see during the darker hours of the day, if not better than what we see. The end results from this camera are so good it is a shame to edit or tweak images.

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Doyers Street, Chinatown. NY

During my time thus far with this camera, I have begun to edit less and take more photos that I am proud of. With the 175º tilting screen, shooting buildings and streets at interesting angles has never been easier. The resolution of the screen makes you want to take more and more images.

This camera is like having a little lightweight best friend around your neck that is never going to disappoint. It maybe even teach you a few things along the way.

So far I have travelled to Glasgow, New York, London, Los Angeles and have never left the house without my camera. On all of these trips and locations the X-A2 makes me proud to be a photographer and proud to be using a Fuji camera.

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To follow Brad’s photographic adventure, please visit his social channels below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brad-hobbs/

https://www.instagram.com/brad_hobbs/

https://twitter.com/brad_hobbs

Video: Interview with Chris Upton – X-Photographer

X-Photographer Chris Upton speaks about the latest Fujifilm X-E2S camera and how the Fujifilm X system has changed his photography for the better. 


Chris Upton

20150718_chris_0042Chris is a Nottinghamshire based, award winning, photographer specialising in Travel and Landscape photography.

He is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, has received awards in national photographic competitions and twice been commissioned to photograph in Thailand on behalf of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Chris is also proud to be a Fujifilm X series photographer.

If you would like to see more of Chris’ work, please click here.

 

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2x Olympic gold medallist Pete Reed shoots with the Fujifilm X70

Olympic gold medallist & enthusiast photographer Pete Reed explains why he has moved from a D-SLR to a Fujifilm mirrorless system to capture his important memories, and more recently he has been using the FUJIFILM X70 camera – find out what he thinks about it in this video..

 

To read more about Pete Reed and see his photographic work, click here: http://www.petereed.com/ or to see his instagram

Find out more about the FUJIFILM X70 here: http://ow.ly/Xu6Py

 

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Video: X-Photographer Pete Bridgwood talks about his experience with the X-Pro2 camera

X-Photographer Pete Bridgwood talks about the new X-Pro2 and how it has helped him translate the emotional experience of a landscape into his finished prints.


Pete Bridgwood

pete bridgwoodPete Bridgwood is a fine-art landscape photographer and writer from Nottingham in the UK. He started making photographs back in 1978 with black and white film and manual cameras, using wet-process in a traditional darkroom. This time spent in his youth, learning about the traditional process proved invaluable to Pete, but his workflow is now completely digital and he now uses X-Series cameras exclusively. “They facilitate communication for me in a way that’s impossible with any other type of camera and they rediscover this nostalgic feel for photography that was lost in the early digital years. Perhaps the greatest challenge in creative landscape photography comes from encapsulating the soul or spirit of the location and communicating that captured perception to the viewer of the final print. Fuji X-Series allow me to accomplish this emotive translation in a seamless way, and the X-Pro2 is the ultimate evolution of these amazing cameras”

If you would like to see more of Pete’s work, please click here.

 

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Backpacking India with Danny Fernandez

By Danny Fernandez
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During the first half of 2014, I decided to pack my bags, say goodbye to what I knew as ‘life’ and spend 3 months traveling around Northern India. This blog is to share my journey with you. All my images were shot on the FUJIFILM X100S and processed in Lightroom.

Varanasi, or ‘the holy city of India‘ sits on the banks of the river Ganges, in Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi (or Banaras) is known for being the most spiritual part of India, and this is reflected by the amount of devotees attending various religious ceremonies every day. Some Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation. It became my home for 6 weeks, and this is my experience of it.

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My entire trip was somewhat based around a 6 week stay volunteering in Varanasi. Allow me to backtrack for a moment and explain:

A year before arriving in India I was going through a bit of a rough time, and decided that I needed something to focus on; something new, exciting and adventurous. It had been 5 years since I had last strapped on my backpack and been for a ‘big trip’. As I had always wanted to visit India, and always wanted to volunteer, I began googling ‘volunteering in India’. After getting over the shock of the extortionate price asked by many charities to volunteer, I added in the keyword ‘Free’ to my Google search. After reading through a few posts, I found an article titled ‘top 1o places to volunteer for free, in India’ (or something along those lines). At last I found a company called Fairmail. In a nutshell, Fairmail works with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, trains them in photography, encourages them to explore their creativity and take photos which are in turn made into greeting cards and sold worldwide. The children receive a percentage of the sales, which pays for their education, housing, medical etc.

I applied to become a volunteer there, and joined the 12 month waiting list.

Fast forward 12 months and I step off an 18 hr train journey tired and hungry (I had forgotten to bring snacks so had bought some spicy bombay mix which served me as lunch, dinner and breakfast).

I was met by Dhiraj, a former student and one of the managers of Fairmail Varanasi. As we were driving to my guesthouse, the first thing which hit me was the apparent lack of any kind of road rules. I had felt the same way when I first arrived in Delhi, but this was next level when it came to driving. The roads were a mess of rickshaws, excrement, bikes, potholes and goats.

It took quite a few days to adapt to the pace of Varanasi. I remember constantly being on edge as I walked around during the first few days, as at any one time you could: Get charged by a cow/get run down by a car, motorbike or rickshaw. This was mixed with the constant loud noise of the traffic,  the ceaseless bombardment of flies, and the heat (which reached a scorching 47°C while I was there. Let that settle in for a moment. Forty seven degrees). Varanasi is not the place to go and relax.

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I’m aware that I may be sounding negative, but for all the stresses and difficulties faced, there were many moments of beauty.

The city sits on the banks of the ‘holy river’ – the Ganga. Each morning devotees awake early to bathe in the river and each night, Aarti is performed, where priests perform music while burning incense in front of the eyes of hundreds of followers. It is truly a beautiful sight.

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The first 3 weeks of my stay were spent in a guest house in Assi Ghat (Ghats are essentially temples, which line the Ganges river). During my last 3 weeks, I decided to move into the Fairmail office, in Nagwa (a village to the south of the Ghats). My experience here was great, as it allowed me to glimpse into the lives of those living in this area. As I was living in the office, I was also able to spend much more time with my students of Fairmail.

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My experience volunteering at Fairmail was also excellent. Alongside other volunteers, we taught the students lots of useful tips for taking better photos. One thing which I contributed was the use of flash photography in their work.

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The locals rightfully say “Full power, 24 hours”. Truer words have never been spoken.

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I highly recommend a visit to Varanasi for anyone visiting India. Be prepared for a total bombardment of all your senses, but once you adapt to the pace of life, you might learn to love it.

See more of my work here.

 

 

Five wedding photographers who made ‘The Switch’

So you’re thinking about making the switch to a Fujifilm mirrorless system. You’ve read the reviews, watched the videos and listened to people tell you how their experience of shooting weddings has changed since they halved the weight they carry around for 14 hours every Saturday. They might have also mentioned how much time they have saved with post processing due to the quality of Fujifilm’s JPG files. Or how many candid shots they are getting now since they blend in with the other guests.

But you’re still not sure.

Let these five professional wedding photographers tell you about their experience of making the switch.

If they can do it, why can’t you?


Ian Weldon – Ian Weldon Photography

“I had my Canon 5D II in my bag and a 580 EX-II Speedlight, just in case. My head was spinning all day and I must have opened that bag 3 or 4 times and had to force myself to not take the ‘easy way out’.”

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“After that day, nearly 4 years ago, I’ve never used anything other than Fuji cameras for my wedding work. Light, inconspicuous and all round pretty cool. What more could a documentary style wedding photographer need?”

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“80% of my wedding work is shot with the X-Pro1 and 18mm f2 and the rest, mostly dancing shots, are with the X-T1 and 18mm f2. I do switch to the 35mm f1.4 on occasion for that extra bit of reach and use a Nissin i40 flash with sync chord. That’s it, liberating!”

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See more of Ian’s work

Website: http://www.ianweldon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ian-Weldon-Photography-124854627581367/timeline/ & https://www.facebook.com/ian.h.weldon
IG – @ianjweldon
ello – https://ello.co/ianjweldon
tumblr – http://ianweldon.tumblr.com


Paul Richards – Albion Row Photography

“I first used Fuji at a wedding way back with the original X-Pro & 35mm in July 2013, originally using it alongside a DSLR. I loved it, but it wasn’t until 2014 and the purchase of an X-T1 along with the 23mm & 56mm that the system really took over my wedding photography.”
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“The Canon 5d3 was rather swiftly retired; there’s a lot that I love about the Fuji system but for me the main eye-opener that changed the way I work is the tilt-screen. I shoot weddings in a documentary fashion and the tilt-screen has become a firm favourite of mine. I love being able to move among guests in tight receptions with a wide-angle prime and the ability to shoot with the back screen as a waist level viewfinder. I get so many shots without people noticing I am there and without the intimidation of a camera raised to the eye. I can get closer and make shots with a feeling of intimacy and of being there – with a guest’s eye perspective.”
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“For a wedding photojournalist I think the combination of image quality, ease of use, discretion and weight (or lack of!) that the Fuji system offers is outstanding. Nowadays I shoot with 3 X-T1 bodies and mostly the 16mm f1.4, the 35mm f1.4 and the 90mm f2 lenses and I am immensely happy with the system as a whole.”
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See more of Paul’s work

Website: http://www.albionrow.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weddingphotocornwall
Paul has also written a couple of blog posts about his switch that you can find here and here.


Lord Parker – Lord Parker Photography

“I switched from Nikon to Fuji in the latter half of 2014, after Damien Lovegrove advised me this was the future. I’m a disabled Photographer, so the weight of the DSLR has always been a problem by causing me to be more unbalanced.”

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“When I switched to the Fuji X-T1 I was astonished by the weight of the camera and the images that were coming out of it, in my opinion superior straight out of the camera compared with the Nikon. The Fuji X-System has really helped me with my disability, no more arm aches and back ache”

Mrs Smith

“I shoot all my weddings using nothing more than the Fuji X-T1 and the X-Pro 1 with the 27mm, 18mm and the 16-55mm lenses. I don’t use flash, unless I’m getting creative after the wedding with a Cactus for some off camera flash work, I find that the ambient light, a low F-Stop and an ISO of 6400 is easily manageable.”

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See more of Lord Parker’s work

Website: http://lord-parker.co.uk


Steve and Samantha Vaughan – SSV Photography

“We are documentary style wedding photographers, based in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Our style is to photograph the whole day, from preparation to well past the first dance. We starting using Fuijfilm X-series equipment a couple of years ago, to lighten the load on a long wedding shoot, but to also make us less obvious during the day.”

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“With our DSLR gear, we found guests would pose and point at us. Using our 2 X-T1’s and X100T we are able to mingle with the guests and take natural, relaxed images. It is truly liberating to shoot a whole wedding with just a small shoulder bag, two bodies and 4 lenses.”

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“The image quality from our X equipment is fantastic, as are the lenses. We are totally committed to Fujifilm equipment now.”

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See more of Steve and Samantha’s work

Website: http://www.ssvphotography.co.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SSVPhotography
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BicesterPhotos
Instagram: https://instagram.com/stevevaughanssv/


Mike Riley – Michael Riley Photography

“I’ve been a commercial photographer for a while now but have recently decided to start offering a documentary style wedding coverage. I’ve thought about it before but I’ve always resisted as I’ve never liked the wedding pictures I’ve seen in the past – all grip and grin, faked smiles and endless group shots which don’t tell you anything other than what people wore on the day.”

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“As a contrast to the highly technical staged commercial studio work I do I want to tell stories. To tell stories I have to be in the middle of the action or at least very close to it and so when picking kit to do this with I settled on the Fuji X system.”

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“I already had an X-Pro1 for personal use and the quality was fantastic – so good in fact that its sometimes hard to match the jpg quality with a RAW edit. The X-T1 I’ve added to the kit bag now is even better as it its a more responsive in use and is completely silent with the electronic shutter allowing me to be stood right next to the registrar or vicar and shooting without them knowing about it.”

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“I can be right in the middle of the action capturing the story of the day without people stopping and gurning at the lens. Because of the small size of the kit I can move fast and easily and not worry about a massive lump of glass and metal swinging around as I move. I’ve shot one wedding this way so far and look forward to many more.”

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See more of Mike’s work
Website: http://www.michaelrileyphotography.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikerileyphotography
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MRileyPhoto
Instagram: https://instagram.com/michaelrileyphotography/