Project 104: An Exploration of Humanity

Guest Blogger strip BLACKBy Chris Daniels

Hello friends. My name is Chris Daniels. I’m a portrait photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee. I’m here to tell you about a year-long project that I’ve recently launched and the key role that X Series cameras are playing. The project is called Project 104. Most simply explained, it is an exploration and observation of humanity through portraiture.

  • 2 portraits per week
  • 52 weeks
  • The same 3 questions asked to each participant

The project is one of honesty. It asks people to reach within themselves and give something real back to the world. ChrisDanielsproject104fujifilm_High_Res(6of14)If you asked me to sum up in a word what Fujifilm cameras are to me I would say
“Honest”. From the moment I put my hands on one, and especially once I started to really test the X-Pro2, I knew that it was something extremely special. As an artist, I can’t 100% agree with the phrase, you’re only as good as your equipment. It is up to us as creative people to use our means to the best of our ability. What I will say is that when I have the X-Pro2 in my hands, it becomes much more than equipment. It becomes an extension of myself and my mind.ChrisDanielsproject104fujifilm_High_Res(14of14)The cameras made by Fujifilm are incredibly intuitive. I’m never fumbling around trying to get the settings just right or searching through menus with no seeming end looking for the perfect whatevers and whatnots. Adjusting to light and situation is all at my fingertips and I feel as though I could do it blind.

When I’m sitting face to face with a person, camera in my hand, and they allow me a tiny glimpse into their world I can’t think about my camera in that moment. It’s usually such a fleeting moment and I need to be able to trust that I can capture it. The X-Pro2 allows me that ability. 
ChrisDanielsproject104fujifilm_High_Res(2of14)The camera itself is beautiful and inviting, which goes to far greater lengths than just aesthetics alone. It puts the subject on the other side of the lens at ease. The system is small. Quiet and not at all intrusive. For those reasons I am able to capture naturally. My intention is to always focus on the art first. That is what Project 104 is about. Having a system that I can trust is such a key part of the success of the project. In the last few months of getting to know Fujifilm I have been nothing short of impressed. They seem to not only understand the needs of a photographer but they also listen to the photographer as well. I, for one, can say that I am a proud X Series user, and I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve in the future.ChrisDanielsproject104fujifilm_High_Res(5of14)Project 104. Though it is still very young, it has already proved itself true and invaluable. The three questions that I ask are simple, but somewhat intense. I ask them just prior to taking the person’s portrait and let the mood and emotion created by them answering somewhat dictate the mood and feel of the image.

I hope that you’ll follow me along as I journey through this year of portraits, X-Pro2 in hand. It’s been fantastic. I have met and had beautiful conversations with some amazing people already and I’m excited to see who chance sends my way soon.

Check out the project and see everyone’s answers so far here.

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

Guest Blogger strip BLACK

By Dan Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank YOU Steve for a great collaboration!

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

The X-T2 gets a test drive with X-Photographer Damien Lovegrove

damien-lovegrove-profile-200x200Damien Lovegrove is considered by many to be one of the worlds most influential contemporary photographers. He is best known for creating portraits that make women look fabulous. He is a confident director and great fun to shoot with too. Damien’s lighting style is distinctive and his picture composition unique.

Damien is an official Fujifilm UK ambassador and a renowned Fuji X-Photographer.


It was in May 2012 that I ditched my SLRs for a Fuji X-Pro1 and the three prime lenses it launched with. From day one I utilised the mirrorless advantage to leap ahead of my competition. I had been using a Fuji X100 fixed lens camera for a year integrating it into my workflow alongside my SLRs and I loved the pictures I captured with it so the leap to mirrorless was a gentle one for me.

X-T2_BrochureImage_TopThe Fujifilm X-T2 is the camera I’ve been waiting for. It’s no surprise it’s here but what I love most is that the consultation period with X-Photographers has delivered a camera that is spot on mechanically. Everything that could have been improved on the X-T1 from the dial locks to the tilting screen has been perfected on the X-T2.

The Fuji X-Pro1 gave me mirrorless shooting and it rekindled my passion for photography. The X-T1 gave me the extra usability I craved, The X-Pro2 took the image file to the next level and brought the technical specification of the X system bang up to date. Now the the Fujifilm X-T2 has brought it all together and raised the bar again. The sum of all the tweaks and changes in this new camera make a huge difference and leave me not wanting more.

 

The Fuji X-T2 features that I love the most:

•    The locking buttons on the ISO and Shutter speed dials combined with the higher profile work perfectly. Being able to lock the dials in any position is genius.

•    The bi-directional tilting screen is wonderful. It’s a must for a portrait photographer.

•    The camera size and weight are spot on. The ultra reliable and compact W126 battery has been retained. The weight of the camera in the hand is really important to me. I never want my photography to feel like a chore again.

•    The media door has a newly designed latch that is really secure.

•    The joystick to move the focus position makes the shooting process faster.

•    The 1/250th second flash sync is welcome and is the new setting for all my studio flash working.

I team the Fuji X-T2 with the fast primes because I love a shallow depth of field combined with absolute resolution. A prime lens is lighter on the camera than the equivalent zoom and this suits my way of shooting well. I have the XF16mm f/1.4, XF23mm f/1.4, XF35mm f/1.4, XF56mm f/1.2, and the XF90mm f/2 lenses. There are times when a telephoto zoom is the perfect lens for a shoot and I use the XF50-140mm or the XF100-400mm lenses depending upon the assignment. The zooms offer optical image stabilisation and this really comes into its own at longer focal lengths.


And the results?

I had planned this first sequence of shots about a year ahead of the shoot. I bought the dresses from an Asian manufacturer via the internet and I transported them to the USA in my luggage. The location is in the high deserts of Arizona, USA. I used the XF100-400mm and XF50-140mm lenses to compress the perspective. These frames were all lit with natural sunlight.

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I spent 12 days touring the USA and in that time I shot about 5000 frames on the Fuji X-T2.

Arielle down on a farm in Utah. There were snakes keeping us company as we shot a wonderful sequence of images. XF50-140mm f/2.8 at f/4
Arielle down on a farm in Utah. There were snakes keeping us company as we shot a wonderful sequence of images. XF50-140mm f/2.8 at f/4
Arielle sits by a cattle coral in Arizona. The dust on the wind has turned the sky a shade of pink. This figure in the landscape style is one I want to further develop in the coming months and the extra resolution of the Fuji X-T2 really comes in handy when making big exhibition prints. XF50-140mm f/2.8 at f/5.6
Arielle sits by a cattle coral in Arizona. The dust on the wind has turned the sky a shade of pink. This figure in the landscape style is one I want to further develop in the coming months and the extra resolution of the Fuji X-T2 really comes in handy when making big exhibition prints. XF50-140mm f/2.8 at f/5.6

Since then I’ve added another 4000 frames in Europe to my camera testing routine. The camera feels just right in the hand and there is nothing I would change about the mechanics of the build.

 

Discover creative resources for photographers written by Damien Lovegrove at Prophotonut and Lovegrove Photography

 

 

XF100-400mm Vs Bruce Springsteen

By Tony Woolliscroft

tony-woolliscroft-jul-2014For music & concert photographers, restrictions have meant it’s become harder and harder over the years to get those great shots. So seeing the Fujifilm XF100-400mm lens come into the fold is a very welcome addition to the Fujifilm lenses lineup.

Along with bad photography contracts thrust upon us as we collect our photo passes, and image right grabs on the pictures we capture, we’re now being forced further and further back within a venue, which restricts what we can actually capture due to the distance we’re expected to shoot at. This makes the XF100-400mm essential to achieving good results.

 


Bruce Springsteen – Manchester

With Bruce Springsteen performing in Manchester, I looked forward to using Fuji’s new beast of a lens the 100-400mm. Even though we were expected to shoot from the ‘Golden Circle’ barrier at around 50 meters (164 feet) from the stage, it’s still quite a distance.

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The size & weight of this new lens was inline with all the Fuji X series cameras/lenses, well made, light in weight and weather sealed.

The one thing that did concern me though as I arrived at the City of Manchester stadium was the weather…… It was absolutely pouring down. I knew this would be a good test for both this new lens and my Fuji X-T1 camera!

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Once in position, I had 3 songs in which to capture images from the ‘Golden Circle’ barrier. Even from here it was difficult to gain a vantage point above the sea of waving arms, mobile phones and homemade signs that swam through the crowd as Springsteen performed.

Even though it is a larger lens than other Fuji lenses in their range, in comparison to Full Frame it’s still relatively light and having to shoot without a mono pod (as I was constantly moving to dodge the arms blocking my shot) I was able to do this and keep my camera steady without much shake.

The camera and lens handled the heavy rain perfectly, no problems there, and I also found that the lens focuses very quickly and especially when Bruce was standing directly in front of the big video screen (which can be challenging for cameras).


Once home and after a bit of time spent editing the pictures, I was extremely happy with how the 100-400mm lens performed.

It helped me capture some great moments in the allotted 3 songs slot I was given to shoot in, and the distance the lens covers from 100mm to 400mm was a massive plus as right at the end of the third song Springsteen stepped onto the lower stage and I was able to capture that moment too!

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Springsteen on the lower stage platform

What a difference an angle makes

Low level angle

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In this tutorial, I want to show just how easily the feel of an image can change just by shooting from a different angle. 


Shooting from different angles allows you to create something a bit different, something with a different perspective to how the viewer of your image might normally see the world.

Portraits

We’ll start by the standard “hand held at eye level” height. If I take a photo of Marc using the same eye level as him, it gives a fairly flat, neutral look. There’s nothing wrong with this point of view at all. However, if I change the angle I shoot him I can really change the feel of the portrait.

I’m using an X-T1 camera which comes with a handy pull-out tilting screen. If I angle the screen down, I can shoot Marc from above. This can be quite a flattering angle ( in his case though with that expression… I’m not so sure 😉 ) when one looks upwards towards the camera. Equally, if I pull the screen out I can angle the camera low and shoot up towards him. As you can see, this makes him look more powerful and authoritive and with a little bit of Dutch tilt, almost epic!

Still Life

And it’s not only portraits where this works.
See the difference between a “high”, “standard” and a “low” shot of something like a car. The low shot definitely gives a far more epic feel, whereas the high shot has that Autotrader look about it.

Landscapes

For shooting landscapes, going low removes the “middle ground”. The “Mid” and “High” shots below show the same scene taken at different heights. They both contain the foreground and background elements, but if you decide that the middle area is dull, you can go lower (as in the “Mid” shot) and effectively remove it from your shot.
And also, if the foreground is something small like a flower, mushrooms or even a bit of dog-chewed wood, getting low allows you to bring them in to be the real focus of the image, rather than just a minor element of the shot.

Hopefully that’s given you a bit of inspiration to go out and try shooting from down low, or up high and see how you can affect your images.

Until next time.. Happy Snapping!

🙂

The winner of our #CreativityEveryDay competition is announced!

The results are in, and the judges have made their final decision.. Who will be the winner of a brand new Fujifilm X-T10 with XF18-55mm? Read on to find out..  


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As you may or may not know we ran a competition to win a brand new X-T10 with XF18-55mm kit which has just ended – 30th August 2015. Entry was easy, all the entrants needed to do was upload an image to their Instagram or Twitter account with the hashtags #creativityeveryday & #XT10comp that best fitted the ‘Creativity Every Day’ theme.

With over 10,000+ entries uploaded to Instagram & Twitter, choosing a winner was always going to be tough. But with our 11 dedicated judges both in-house and with the help of two X-Photographers (Chris Upton & Pete Bridgwood) we finally came to a decision. This decision was made final after several rounds of voting unveiling an overall victor.

And now to announce the winner… drum roll please…

It is with great pleasure that we can announce Benoît Thierard – @benthierard from France as our competition winner. Please give him a huge virtual round of applause for this stunning image!

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We contacted Benoît to get his vision behind the shot.

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L’effet papillon – Butterfly effect
With this picture, I wanted to mix two styles that I love: macro/proxy photography & portrait. To accentuate the magical side, I used a very shallow depth of field for a light & smooth bokeh. The shoot was carried out using only natural light. I have to thank the model Stephanie who immediately understood what I wanted.


The Finalists

We want to congratulate all of you who entered; we have seen so many beautiful and inspiring images throughout the entire competition. And as we had so many great entries, we wanted to highlight some of our favourites that were so very close to being the winners themselves. Please take a moment to like, favourite, share & comment on these other great entries too!














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The Kushti Wrestlers

By Danny Fernandez

At some point during 2013 it dawned on me that I hadn’t had an adventure for a number of years. Bored with my job and in the need of a change, I began looking at voluntary positions in India. A year later I boarded a flight to Delhi with high hopes of adventure, new experiences and great photo opportunities. Luckily, all of these wishes were granted.

6 weeks of my time were spent volunteering in a small village called Nagwa, just outside the intense city of Varanasi. My job was to teach young people from the local area how to use cameras. The students of the charity (named ‘Fairmail’) then take photos which are in turn made into greeting cards, and sold throughout the world. The students receive money from sales, which pays for their education/health/housing costs etc.

During my time teaching there, I became good friends with the students. One student had previously mentioned that his brother takes part in Kushti, an ancient tradition of Indian wrestling which still thrives in Varanasi.

He told me that we could go to the the temple where they train to meet and possibly photograph the wrestlers. I was super excited at this prospect as if it happened, it would allow me a glimpse into the mostly unseen world of Kushti wrestling.

We arrived to the temple a little before 7am and were met with some suspicious eyes from the wrestlers (foreigners are not normally allowed into the training grounds, especially those with cameras). My student spoke to the wrestlers while myself and a few other students (each with their cameras) held back. I was nervous and felt out of place, especially as I had brought a small lighting kit with me (which I imagined made the wrestlers think I was shooting for professional/commercial reasons).  After a few minutes one of the wrestlers came over and my student introduced us; he told us that it was ok for us to take photos and I was incredibly relieved. I felt like a National Geographic photographer on his first assignment, with feelings of intimidation and self doubt. Was I ready for this? What if I screwed it up?

Kushti wrestlers Danny Fernandez Photography landscape (2)

The training grounds were basic, but very serene. The ring reminded me of a temple, and there was a beautiful tree in the middle of the grounds. The various weights and equipment were made in traditional, and primitive, ways. Examples included solid wooden bats which are swung around your head, and a 50kg circular weight which you wear around your neck.

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Kushti wrestlers Danny Fernandez Photography landscape (16)

The training began with the wrestlers entering the ring to pray. I couldn’t understand the words, but the feeling transcended language barriers. As with many other moments in Varanasi, there was a momentary sense of peace. These moments always took me by surprise, as Varanasi is the most chaotic place I have ever experienced. It was refreshing to see religion and tradition still deeply rooted in a land that often idealises the West.

My work began slowly, taking a more documentary style approach, allowing the wrestlers to get used to me being there. I kept a distance and began documenting their training and their gym. After a while (and after I put down my camera and began training with the wrestlers), they welcomed me to come closer to photograph them.

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Kushti wrestlers Danny Fernandez Photography landscape (8)

Despite my initial intimidation, the wrestlers were very friendly, and after they had warmed up to the camera, I felt like they began to show off. At times I had different wrestlers asking me to take photos of them as them attempted heavier weights and more difficult exercises. You could tell that they were proud to be continuing the Kushti tradition, and wanted it to be recorded.

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Kushti wrestlers Danny Fernandez Photography landscape (6)

Kushti wrestlers Danny Fernandez Photography (15)

There are two things that I think helped me in this situation – firstly, I was a volunteer, working with the local youth, so they knew my intentions were pure. Secondly, I had been growing an awesome Indian style moustache that they all found hilarious (this actually helped me out in many situations during my travel!).

The highlight for me was when the wrestling began. Usually witnessing a fight makes me feel uneasy, but when I watched Kushti, I could appreciate the skill and dedication of their art. Perhaps it was the beauty of the surroundings, or the inner peace that seemed to radiate from the wrestlers, but I sensed absolutely no aggression on a personal level between the wrestlers. They seemed like a band of brothers.

Kushti wrestlers Danny Fernandez Photography landscape (4)

Kushti wrestlers Danny Fernandez Photography landscape (10)

Towards the end of the training when I was taking group shots, they insisted that I was included in the photos. The also insisted that I took my top off so that we were all the same. I felt like they had accepted me; somebody who has lead a completely different, and completely privileged life in comparison to theirs, but at that moment when we shirtless, bare footed and stripped of our normal identity, we were equal.

Kushti wrestlers Danny Fernandez Photography landscape (12)

In total I was lucky enough to spend 2 mornings with the wrestlers, and I felt extremely privileged to have seen this beautiful art form in action.

Upon leaving Varanasi, I regrettably didn’t have time to visit the wrestlers to say good bye, but I left my student with prints which they gave to the wrestlers. Apparently they loved them.

ALL IMAGES SHOT ON THE FUJIFILM X100S

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To see more of Danny’s work, please visit his website at www.dannyfernandez.co.uk or follow him on Instagram at @dannyfernandez1984

 

Thoresby. The end of an era

By Chris Upton

personThe 10th July 2015 was a landmark date in the history of Nottinghamshire. When the last shift at Thoresby Colliery finished on that day not only did it mark the end of 90 years of mining in the village of Edwinstowe but it signals the end of mining in Nottinghamshire.

The pit opened in 1925 and over the years has employed tens of thousands of local people. It was one of 46 coalmines in Nottinghamshire, which supplied more than 14 million tonnes of coal per year at their peak in the early 1960s.

The first two shafts were sunk to 690m in 1925 and subsequently deepened in the 1950s to the current pit bottom at around 900m depth.

Thoresby Colliery was the first to have fully mechanised coal production and also the first to achieve an annual saleable output of more than a million tons, it became a star performer in the British coal mining industry.

In the late 1980s it raised output to exceed 2 million tons, regularly smashing it’s production records, and the colliery became known as the Jewel in the crown of Nottinghamshire mines. A crown sits proudly on the headstocks in recognition of this achievement.

When the coal industry was nationalised in 1947 it employed a million men at 1,503 pits; prior to the miners’ strike in 1984, there were 180,000 miners at 170 pits. Today there are just two deep mines left, employing about 5,000 men, at Thoresby and Kellingley in Yorkshire. Kellingley will suffer the same fate as Thoresby and closes in the autumn.

UK Coal say market pressures have led to the closure of Thoresby Colliery. Coal generates more than a third of Britain’s electricity, but it is cheaper to import coal from countries such as Russia, South Africa and Colombia than to mine it in the UK.

For the past few months I have been recording the colliery, it’s buildings, plant and people for posterity. It was my aim to create a comprehensive record of the pit at a specific point in time immediately prior to its closure.

It was a chance conversation after giving a camera club lecture that started the ball rolling. A chap in the audience worked at Thoresby and was unfortunately in the first wave of redundancies. He asked if I would be interested in visiting the colliery to take a few pictures. It was a fantastic opportunity and I jumped at the chance. He put me in touch with the Health and Safety manager, I explained what I would like to do and we were off and running. It was at this point, after I had gained their agreement to document the colliery, that the full extent of the task dawned on me.

Starting the project

I visited the colliery on seven occasions, at different times of day, in different lighting conditions, including dawn and dusk. I planned each shoot but found that an outline plan whilst retaining a degree of flexibility to react to opportunities worked best.

At the outset I just toured the site to give me an understanding of the buildings, the machinery, the operation and the people. I took snaps to create a digital scrapbook to help me plan my approach. Essentially I was imbibing the atmosphere much as I would do when visiting a foreign destination for the first time. I wanted to get a real feeling for the place before I started the photography in earnest.

Health & Safety manager Grant was so supportive of my visits giving me more time than I could have wished for.  Even coming in at 3.30am for a dawn shoot and returning to work late in the evening to get “the best of the light” didn’t diminish his enthusiasm. In fact he joked that, after watching me, he would now be able to take the best holiday snaps ever! I hope he does.

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Gear used

All of the images were shot on a Fujifilm X-T1 or X-E1 camera using a selection of Fujifilm XF lenses including the 10-24, 18-55 and 55-200 zoom lenses and 14, 23, 35 and 56mm primes. I also used a Nissin i40 flash for some shots, though preferred to use natural light wherever possible.

For my portraits, the unobtrusive Fuji equipment allowed me to concentrate on building a rapport with my subjects rather than intimidate them with a large DSLR and f2.8 lens combination. Miners might be tough guy’s and supermodels they certainly are not but they seemed to relax pretty quickly in front of my Fuji lenses.

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There were several challenges to overcome not least the light levels that were typically pretty low in all of the buildings. Because of the poor light I used a tripod fitted with a ball and socket head for as many shots as possible. My cameras are fitted with arca swiss type plates so that I can switch from landscape format to portrait very easily and without having to waste time readjusting the tripod.

The mix of different light sources from tungsten, to fluorescent and natural meant it was difficult to assess the ideal colour temperature. However the decision early on to convert all the images to black & white certainly helped counter that problem!

In a coal mine dust was another inevitable and unavoidable issue. As the miners told me it’s not only the dust you can see that is the problem and I was very careful when changing lenses and using two bodies certainly helped. Thankfully the in camera sensor cleaning worked well and I was pleasantly surprised at the minimum amount of dust spotting required.

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Working on a project

As my photography has progressed I have found that I prefer to look at a series of images that tell a story rather than seeing individual impactful pictures. Whilst I have adopted this storytelling approach in my travel and landscape photography this project was a whole different ballgame. This wasn’t going to be a six or ten image set but a large body of work that had to be planned and created in a certain style. I found this experience fascinating, though at first it was pretty daunting. However after a couple of visits I had captured some shots I was very pleased with and the plan started to fall into place. I think the discipline required in a project such as this has helped me to improve my photography and it felt good to be succeeding in this new genre of social documentary photography.

In an attempt to capture the “feel” of the colliery, and to bring completeness to the project, I also recorded various sounds around the pit and organised a series of interviews with miners past and present. I will be producing mini AV’s including these sounds and using the miner’s comments in my presentations.

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Stretch yourself

It is very easy to stick to what we know in photography and limit yourself to a particular genre. Whilst my experience as a travel photographer, where you are required to be adept at many different genres, undoubtedly helped me there were aspects of this project that were not so familiar. As a result I feel I have grown as a photographer and I would urge you to move out of your comfort zone and try something new. There will be similar opportunities in your area, seek and ye shall find!

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Capturing a piece of history

As I progressed through the project I realised that I was not only taking pictures for myself but that I was actually recording a piece of history, an enduring record of a place that, in just a few months time, would be gone forever. With that came a feeling of responsibility, not only to do myself justice but also to represent the life and work of the mining community. Apart from my family photographs, this project is the most important and worthwhile piece of work that I have ever created. Whilst there is clearly interest in the work now, what will its importance be in another 10 or 20 years?

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A personal perspective

This project has been a fantastic experience. It has improved my photography, taken me into a different genre and enlightened my knowledge of an otherwise mysterious industry.

It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Thoresby, without whom I would not have been able to produce this body of work. Whilst the colliery may not draw its workers from the immediate village area, as in years gone by, their camaraderie, team spirit, hard work and no nonsense attitude in this tough and uncompromising industry epitomise the best of British workers. The closure of Thoresby truly is the end of an era.

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What next?

I feel it is important to showcase my images to as wide an audience as possible, especially in the local area. Therefore, after securing feature in the local and national press, I will be staging a major exhibition in Nottinghamshire and am planning to produce a book – more details to follow.

To see more Thoresby images and to keep updated on the project developments please visit my website  www.chrisuptonphotography.com

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Official X-Photographer’s site – Galleries updated!

So here’s some exciting news, the official X-Photographers website has been updated!

Six of our UK X-Photographer’s have seen further images added to their current galleries to bring even more beauty to the site. So relax, grab a cuppa and take a moment to discover some stunning new works of art within the Fuji realms.

Damien Lovegrove

damien lovegroveDamien Lovegrove 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. His book Chloe-Jasmine Whichello is highly regarded as a portrait style guide and his website galleries have over 2000 images to browse through among the 30 categories.

Described as a living legend, Damien is on a roll with the best of his work yet to come.

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damien

David Cleland

david clelandDavid Cleland is a landscape and reportage photographer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
He is best known for his landscape and documentary photography which has featured in a number of photographic exhibitions. His solo exhibition, an exploration of the decay of a 400-year evacuated mill received critical acclaim. David also teaches film and animation applying the rules of still photography to the art of moving image.
David’s work has been accepted by Getty Images and been published in a number of national publications and used in numerous book covers.
David has written for a number of publications on the importance of photography in education and also produced tutorials and papers on a range of photography techniques.

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david cleland

Jeff Carter

jeff carterMacLean Photographic was founded in 1996 and takes its name from owner Jeff Carter’s full name – Jeffrey Stuart MacLean Carter.

With over 20 years experience in several fields, including commercial, sport, landscape, travel and photo-journalism, Jeff Carter is based in Dunbar, near Edinburgh in Scotland. However he travels the world with his work in the motorsport and automotive industry and is constantly on the lookout for that next great image to capture.

As well as providing photographic services to editorial and commercial clients, MacLean Photographic runs a number of Photographic Workshops and Tours for individual or small groups of photographers of all abilities in and around East Lothian.

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Around the track in Belgium

Kevin Mullins

kevin mullinsKevin is pure documentary wedding photographer. He started shooting weddings professionally in 2008 and since then has photographed weddings right across the UK and Europe. Shooting in a documentary style he strives to tell the story of the wedding through photojournalism, rather than “traditional” contrived wedding photography.

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kevin mullins

Kerry Hendry

kerry hendryKerry is an award winning fine art equestrian photographer, shooting commissions across the UK and worldwide. Her work has also been published in a number of UK and international magazines, websites and blogs. Kerry was also the first female UK photographer to be named as a Fuji X-Photographer, joining a group of brand ambassadors worldwide.

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Kerry Hendry

Matt Hart

matt hartMatt is a black & white street and event Photographer based in Liverpool, England.
His journey through photography has been over 40 years mostly using film. He still shoots film, but most recently he prefers the freedom and flexibility of the digital medium striving to retain the integrity of the original image.
Annual projects have helped him to focus on his personal development within the industry, constantly challenging his own ideas and concepts and forcing him to learn new skills. In 2013 he carried out a Year of Black and White project, this made him rethink his whole style and camera system.
Matt’s stock images have been used in advertising all over the world, his work has also been published in many books and magazines, including many photography magazines.
Matt runs Street Photography workshops and courses around Liverpool and other UK cities passing on his tricks and techniques in Street Photography and processing in black and white.

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matt hart