As dusk settled a new side of Agra began to come alive. The thick air was filled with the incessant sounds of rickshaw horns, and the buzzing of electricity from the network of power cables which decorated the streets.
The roads, which had previously been a high contrast haze of burning light had cooled, and become illuminated by florescent shop signs and orange street lamps.
It was the end of an incredible day spent exploring the Taj Mahal and Agra. I was exhausted after spending the day walking around in the sweltering heat, and had 2 hours left before catching my train back to Delhi. So I decided to do what any normal Englishman would do – stop for a cheeky beer.
I began looking for a bar, and before long walked past one with a man standing outside. The man had an incredibly friendly face, and I stopped to ask if I could take his photo. He told me that I could, on the condition that I come inside and buy something from his bar. It was a win-win situation.
The bar had a rooftop with a view of the Taj Mahal in the distant background. There were children on neighbouring rooftops fighting kites. The man and I exchanged conversation for the duration of a few beers. His benevolent disposition which initially drew me to the bar did not disappoint, as he entertained me with stories of his family and his love for India. At one point I asked him if he would like to live in another country, and he simply answered “Why?”. For him, India was the greatest place on earth.
As the light faded from the sky, our conversation was interrupted by the sounds of blaring music. I walked over to the ledge of the rooftop and saw trucks, which had been elaborately decorated with enormous chrome horns, blasting music at a deafening level. The man told me that today was a special festival in Agra.
I stood there watching and decided to start taking photos. The mixture of ambient light, combined with the twilight of the sky was beautiful. For my 3 month trip backpacking India, I was travelling light – my main camera being an Fuji X100s. I set it up on the wall of the rooftop on a Manfrotto Pixi mini tripod and started shooting. I wanted to capture the energy of the street so set a slow shutter speed to capture the movement. The auto white balance on the X100s worked amazingly well.
After a few minutes a young girl appeared on a rooftop below me.
She walked to the wall of her rooftop and stood there, gently observing the life on the streets. She was unaware of my presence as a picture unfolded in my viewfinder.
There was a beautiful contrast between the peacefully still young girl and the noisy and fast life on the street that was passing beneath her. I wanted to capture the contrast, so again choose to use a shutter speed of 1/8 second to get a slight motion blur of the passers by, while freezing her in her graceful stance. I began shooting, and after a few frames she rested both of her arms on the wall at the same time two cyclists passed by. I fired and got my shot.
Tell us about yourself and what got you into photography?
My name is Jefferson Pires and I am the founder of a menswear and lifestyle online magazine called SchoolBoyCouture. I got into photography due to multiple reasons. When I was younger I used to always carry a sketchbook and sketch whatever I saw, capture whatever inspired me. Photography was a natural progression of that. Also when I first started my site, I wanted to create original content that stood out from competitors. It is then that I started taking photography seriously. The first proper camera that I got was a Fujifilm X100 when it was first released.
Why did you choose Fujifilm cameras?
I was drawn towards Fujifilm because of the unique form factor and the emphasis on physical dials. It’s great to see how much the ‘X’ camera lineage has progressed since the X100 and even how much the X100 has changed due to regular software updates. I’ve still got mine and it holds a special place in my heart, even after all these years.
Do you have a photographic philosophy you live by?
A lot of people tend to get caught up in the technicalities of things. ‘Pixel Peeping’ and ‘Spec Wars’ are all a waste of time in my opinion. There is always going to be something better around the horizon and the camera that you spent hours contemplating and comparing online is going to be obsolete before you know it. What’s important is that you buy something that works for ‘you’ and that makes you want to go out and shoot. That’s exactly how I work. Think of the bigger picture.
Key inspirations – What & who inspires you?
I spend a lot of time on social media platforms like Tumblr, Pinterest and even the VSCO Grid. I think there’s some fantastic inspiration that can be had from those channels. But the simplest thing you can do is put your smartphone away when you are travelling and look around you. There’s inspiration to be had everyday, right in front of your eyes.
Do you have any tips or tricks you could share with us?
Be yourself. Try not to copy someone else’s style of photography because that is unique to them. Instead try different things and you will eventually find your niche. And, like I mentioned earlier, you don’t need the latest gear to take the best pictures. It’s all in the eye. Capture what you see!
What’s next for you?
I’ve recently launched The SBc Journal on my site with its own dedicated Instagram account. It’s a page where photographers from around the world can showcase their work. All they have to do is submit their images on the site via email or tag their images with #TheSBcJournal on Instagram. The Instagram account handle is @TheSBcJournal.
Meet new friends, shoot alongside other keen professional and enthusiast photographers and learn some tips and tricks for shooting on the streets of this beautiful, bustling city.
There will also be a few members of Fujifilm staff on hand in case you have any questions about your products at all.
Meeting point: Victoria Square
5:00pm – Meet at Victoria Square in Birmingham. It takes roughly 25mins by car or 30 mins by train from the NEC. Click to see map. 5:10pm – A prize will be drawn and handed out (see further down for more info) 5:15pm – We’ll take a group shot and then start the walk!
We’ll leave Victoria Square along Pinfold St to Navigation St and then towards Royal Mail St, Down Severn Street to Commercial St, then down the Birmingham Canal Old Line. We’ll cross over at the bend in the Canal and make our way over the to Library.
Due to potential issues relating to weather and road closures, this route is only a guide. The actual route may change on the day.
7:00pm – We will finish at the Library and try to take a group photo that we’ll share on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. There’s a few coffee shops and bars in the area if people want to break off for a drink (or shelter from the rain if there is any!).
Share your images from the Fujifilm Birmingham Photowalk
We’d love you to share any images you take on the Photowalk. Include the hashtag #FujiTPSWalk when you post to your favourite networks to link them all together!
Win a black Fujifilm X30
It’s free to attend and there’s no requirement to register, but if you do register below you will be entered into a draw to win a brand new solid black X30 digital camera and memory card – ready to use on the Photowalk.
You must registered below with your real name as that information will be used to call out the prize winner. Only 1 entry is allowed per registered name and the winners MUST BE PRESENT or the prize will go to the next participant chosen that is present to receive it.
Entering this competition will also add you to Fujifilm’s mailing list for new product information. You will be able to unsubscribe from this list with one click and we will not give or sell your data to anyone else.
Entries must be placed before 15:30 on 21st March 2015. Entries after this time will not be entered in the draw. Good luck and we hope to see you at the Photowalk!
Attending our free Photowalk means that you agree to the following disclaimer. The “Event” is the “Free Fujifilm Photography Show Photowalk”, the “Organiser” is “Fujifilm UK Ltd” and the “Event Staff” consist of professional photographer Matt Hart plus some Fujifilm UK Ltd employees.
1.1 I am 18 years of age or older. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult that agrees to this disclaimer on their behalf.
1.2 I understand that participation in the Event is entirely at my own risk.
1.3 I will comply with all instructions given to me by the Event Staff.
2.1 I hereby acknowledge and accept that the Organiser and the Event Staff shall not be liable to me for any loss or damage arising from my participation in the Event, including indirect or consequential loss or damage.
2.2 Nothing in this disclaimer shall be construed as limiting or excluding the Organiser’s liability for:
(a) death or personal injury which arises as a consequence of the Organiser’s negligence, or the negligence of the Event Staff; or
(b) fraudulent misrepresentation; or
(c) any other matter for which it would be illegal or unlawful for the Organiser to exclude or attempt to exclude its liability.
3.1 I have read and fully understood all the terms of this disclaimer. I confirm that I am not relying on any statements or representations by any person or entity as an inducement to my fully and voluntarily engaging in the activities at the Event and assuming the risks and obligations stated above.
3.2 I give permission to the Organiser to use photographs of me and any other record of my participation in the Event for any legitimate purpose. I understand that any and all likenesses of me captured during the Event by the Organiser or Event Staff shall become the sole property of the Organiser.
3.3 If any court or competent authority finds that any provision of this document (or part of any provision) is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision shall, to the extent required, be deemed to be deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this agreement shall not be affected.
PARTICIPANTS MUST BE OVER 18 YEARS OLD TO TAKE PART IN THE EVENT UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY A GUARDIAN OVER 18 YEARS OLD WHO TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEM.
The image at the top of this blog post was taken by Naomi Locardi during the Fujifilm Photowalk in Cologne at photokina 2014.
Tell us about yourself and what got you into photography?
I was born in Hammersmith in London, England UK. I was born Dyslexic and I struggled at school with the more academic subjects, but did very well in the Arts and Science. I found being Dyslexic more of a gift than a disability. My Dyslexia was one of the more rare forms where two areas of the brain are not connected in the Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area, so there was no hope for me to improve my academic skills. After I found out Einstein was Dyslexic along with quite a few photographers at the time, there was no holding me back. I had a dream of one day becoming a photographer. I left school with average grades and started out shooting events and weddings with 35mm film. This was short lived due to starting a family so the photography was hit and miss over the years. I am now a professional photographer shooting events and street photography, as well as teaching photographers on training courses and workshops in Street photography.
I moved to the North West of England about 9 years ago to be with my girlfriend Jane, at first it was quite hard to adjust but now I find that Liverpool inspires me to take more and more images. The North West is also in a great position in the UK for me to travel up and down the country to teach courses and talk at events.
I have always been a people watcher, it’s in my nature to want to know what is going on out there on the street, and I feel at home out in the streets of our cities. I think Street is very important even to this day of digital. There have been so many amazing Street photographers in the past and if it had not been for them documenting the streets of the world we would not be able to look back at our history.
What I love about Street is that you never quite know what you are going to get. Things happen all the time in fractions of a second that will never happen again, and only the person who is there that day with a camera can get that shot. No one can recreate or set up some of these amazing Street moments and that’s what makes Street photography unique. So my style is still developing, I was heading in one direction but now I use the X Series, I have slowed down to re-evaluate where I am going.
Why did you choose Fujifilm cameras?
I was shooting with Nikon for over 30 years but started to get fed up with the weight of the equipment. I had a fall on the Isle of Skye whilst shooting landscapes on holiday and broke a few ribs; this was down to the sheer weight of camera gear on my back.
When I got back home I started to look for new options and bought myself a Fuji X100 – Wow! What a great little camera. I started to use the X100 more and more and found myself leaving the Nikon D3s in the bag. For street photography, the X100 was amazing. Soon after that I bought the XPro1 and shot Liverpool International Music Festival with the Fuji and the Nikon D3s. Following the festival, I decided to shoot Fuji only. I sold all my Nikon Pro gear! It was a big brave move but one I do not regret. I shoot mainly black and white and the Fuji X series are perfect for my style of shooting.
Do you have a photographic philosophy you live by?
I learnt my craft from the days of film, so I guess my philosophy is to keep it real. I would much rather go back to a landscape 20 times in my life and capture the perfect landscape than to create the landscape in Photoshop. When I look back over the years, the images that mean the most to me are the ones that are the most real. I don’t always look for the sharpest most perfect images, I want the images to speak to me and tell me a story that means something to me as well as the viewer. So its got to be right from the moment of capture, that is why I love Street and Fuji cameras, its all about keeping it real.
Key inspirations – What & who inspires you?
Most people can come up with list of great names for inspiration but I always struggle with this question. David Bailey was my inspiration as a young lad and also Michael Boys. I guess I love how creative these guys were and still are. I do admire some of the great Street Photographers work and styles but try not to let their images change what I am trying to achieve in my work.
The images my parents took of each other and myself as a child are the images that are stuck in my head from childhood. So I guess I draw my inspiration from family street photography.
Do you have any tips or tricks you could share with us?
My style of street photography is more candid so I try and dress for the area I visit to blend in. This is why I love to use the X100T it’s so very discreet. I very rarely ever ask to shoot a portrait. I try and shoot the subject as naturally as possible, but if they do notice me at the point I am taking the shot, I will just smile and say thanks. On these occasions I have made many new social media contacts, given out business cards or even sent a print as a thank you.
I like to pick busy days in the city or town I choose to shoot my street photography. This opens up the options for lots of opportunities and subjects. People tend to be busy going about their everyday business and won’t even notice me, even if I am standing right in front of them. The busy towns always have great side streets where people walk in and out of town to shop or visit friends.
If I find a great area I like to spend a lot of time just hanging and blending in, just taking a few shots like a fumbling tourist so that people lose interest in me, that way I can catch them as naturally as possible. Train stations are very interesting especially the seating areas, as people are thinking more about their journey or their day.
I like to look for interesting subjects, someone who stands out from the crowd, people dressed in an interesting way or with an interesting look that will compliment the background. Flamboyant, outgoing people make great subjects, but are also very aware of cameras and photographers so are better subjects to ask for a portrait.
I like to find great atmospheric areas that have lots of character, I then wait for the right subject to walk in to frame. This can take quite a while, sometimes hours on some occasions. I can revisit great areas a few times before I have success. Some days you get great light in a fantastic area but no subject, the next day lots of subjects and poor light, it’s a waiting game but worth it, every time.
What’s next for you?
I always do a yearly project and this year its natural light street photography with a bit of a twist. I am starting it towards the end of march and the images will be on my website here and I will be talking at the photography show for Fujifilm on the street stage in March http://ow.ly/JcdsE
Want a small, powerful camera that has features you actually want to use? The XQ1 might just be what you’re looking for.
Like many of you, I have my main camera (X-E2) that I use day in, day out. I know it like the back of my hand and could use it with my eyes closed – if you get my drift. The problem is, sometimes I just don’t want to carry a bag around – no matter how small it is. I want a pocket sized camera that I can forget about until the need takes me. Here’s the catch though, I don’t want a pocket sized camera that offers no control and is very noisy in low-light. This is where I think the XQ1 really shines, it just seems to tick all those boxes:
High quality images, even at high ISO.
Being so used to my X-E2, I thought it would be a good challenge to use the little XQ1 for my day out to London. Not only that, but I could rid myself of the bag that I’m always carrying about, which was super!
So, like you do when you love photography & adventure, I starting taking pictures. I took the usual suspects at first; trains, train station & people randomly wandering about their business.
One of the first reasons I would class this as a photographers compact camera is simply that you can change the focus point manually. This is something I do ALL the time on my X-E2 to aid with my composition. With other compact cameras I have used, you either cannot set it or it’s not easy to access.
For our day out we headed to the Natural History Museum, this was a great location to test the ISO performance. Looking back at the photos there is clearly some noise & grain, but it has a very film-like quality to it that I think adds to the atmosphere of the shots.
Another point to make about this camera as I discovered on the day, was how quick it turned on. Now this may not seem life changing, but when you are with a bunch of friends that don’t do photography and want to move on to the next exhibit, speed is everything. It made many shots possible that may have otherwise been lost. This also translates well into styles like street photography – you see someone or something interesting and you need the camera to be ready immediately to capture it.
QUICK TIP: For ease of access, I kept the camera inside my inner jacket pocket (blazer style). With that, I pretty much never missed an opportunity to shoot what I wanted – no fumbling in bags, jean pockets etc.
Due to the size of this camera, it really is super discrete. I could get those moments that I may not have been brave enough to shoot with other cameras, with even my X-E2.
And when all is said and done, it takes a great dinner party picture!
I think for many photographers using DSLR’s or Mirrorless cameras, you get very accustomed with a level of quality to expect and because of this, many wouldn’t dream of downsizing to a compact camera. But, as hopefully shown in this blog, the XQ1 makes an exception to this. It shows that you can still be creative, still get excellent quality images and at at a size that literally allows you to take it anywhere with ease.
Any questions? Drop us a comment below – and yes, I cannot wait to try out the latest model, the XQ2 🙂 [WATCH THIS SPACE…]
Spend the day with renowned Fujifilm X Photographer Matt Hart, exploring the exciting streets of Edinburgh picking up tricks and tips from Matt along the way. This will be delivered in a relaxed and often, very entertaining way. You will also have personal guide Ami Strachanfor the day to reveal all the best locations to shoot street in Edinburgh.
The course will give you an insight into the way Matt works and his style of Street Photography. You will learn how to anticipate and capture decisive moments throughout the city. And, having a guide for the day will help to future-proof your knowledge of the area. So, if you choose to come back – you’ll know all the best spots!
What you will learn:
The skill in spotting a possible subject.
What to look for in a great scene.
How to blend in and be invisible.
See and compose a subject with a scene or background.
Capture a subject without intrusion.
Develop confidence in shooting in the street.
Photography in public places safely.
Use different depths of field for different types of shot.
Use varying speeds for different effects.
How to review your own work.
After the event you will be able to post your work and talk to Matt through his Social Media pages or by e mail; this can include online critique and coaching when requested.
When and where?
The workshop will take place on Sunday the 8th of March from 10:30am till 4:30pm with a break for lunch. Don’t worry – there will be plenty of comfort breaks for those who need them throughout the day.
In addition to Matt’s expertise, a Fujifilm representative will also be on hand with a selection of the latest cameras and lenses to try, and will be there to help answer any of your technical questions.
The exact location will be made known when a ticket is purchased and will be distributed via email.
For more information on cost or to book, please visit the event page here.
Matt 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 more recently he prefers the freedom and flexibility of the digital medium striving to retain the integrity of the original image. 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.
As an amateur photographer like many of you, I’m always looking for an excuse to shoot. Whether it be a day out, a wedding (as a guest), birthday party and the list goes on..
Because of this, the people close to me are used to me carrying a camera everywhere and posting out of context, random images to my personal Facebook wall on a very regular basis. I think as a result of this I have made it a bit of a personal responsibility to document events in my life and for others close to me. Maybe it’s so in the future I can look back happily nostalgic, or even to review my own photography, but for whatever reason it means that if you invite me to a party, gathering, or day out, you will end up with some images to remember it.
I think everyone has someone like this in their family or their group of friends and when I think back, my Grandad was that person. He would film all the family occasions with his cine-camera and every now and again we would have an evening to enjoy the images & film he’d taken on his slide projector.
These images are demonstrating exactly the kind of documentary photography that I have come to love. The opportunity came about when I was kindly invited as a guest to a birthday party. I even remember saying to my better half whether I should take the camera and “Do you think they would mind if I took images for the evening?” but then I answered my own question with “Why wouldn’t they? It’s capturing a beautiful moment in their life.” So I packed as light as I could, as after all, I was a guest as well as the unofficial photographer.
Once I arrived, I set up the basic camera settings that I would use for the night. In my case this meant classic chrome, ISO AUTO, shutter set to AUTO and aperture set to f/1.4 (to keep the ISO to a minimum in the low light environment).
I started by enjoying a snack or two (of course!) and then looking around the room for the best costumes (fancy dress theme was the letter ‘T’), best expressions and where the best lighting was in the room. As you may or may not know my favourite set up is the X-E2 with XF35mm lens, this night was no exception. I had only this gear with me and a spare battery just in case.
After the initial ‘Venue set up shots’ I began to focus my attention to people, being people – looking for those little moments and expressions that may otherwise be missed. From the happy & silly to the indifferent, any moment that could portray emotional involvement with the event would be snapped.
The evening was going well and mingling had just started to make good pace when something brilliant happened – a magician turned up! And what was even better? Simple, this guy was superb. He immediately had people huddled in small groups laughing and puzzling over his close-up magic wonderment. This was the perfect element for me to focus on, I wanted to capture the suspense, surprise and bemusement that followed after each and every trick.
My approach here was to keep an eye on where the ‘actual’ excitement was in each moment. For example it could be the expression of an individual, the trick itself, the movement in the image etc. These are some of my images hopefully showing just that.
I did occasionally stray away from the automatic focus and automatic shutter to help capture this fast fingered magician in motion.
What is the next essential part of any family party?…. Yes, you’re right, it’s dancing! 😉 And not just any old songs either, it had to be the ‘classic’ Macarena.
It’s all about those little moments that create one collage of memories and emotions caught in time.
And most importantly, trying to capture the single most significant moment that sums up the whole event. The shot below shows my best attempt at this. Here you can see the family coming together after a rousing speech and the DJ reflects perfectly how their emotion is shared outwards by others around them.
So the question is… are YOU that photography friend that everyone knows? Are you the one who makes it your passion to capture life as it happens for you and for your family? If so, I salute you! If your answer is no, why not give it a go? It will expand your skills, your confidence and very importantly it will develop your own style further. For me, if you haven’t noticed, I can’t help but shoot a lot of Dutch Angle style, rightly or wrongly, this is part of my style that has developed over time.
Please share your own experiences and thoughts in the comments below.
Alex Lambrechts is offering the chance for two lucky photographers to win a free place at Alex’s newest ‘Fashion X street’ workshop (usually £115 per person). It will be based in Soho, London for a Street Fashion shoot with a twist.
Who is it for?
Suitable for all levels of photographers, because you’ll be receiving personal hands-on tuition, tailored to your experience level. This course is especially exciting for those still on the fence about switching to the X-Series from traditional DSLR, rangefinders and/or other formats, and a must for those wanting to pick up loads of new and unique tips and tricks.
Note: it is not essential to bring or use Fujifilm cameras, the majority of principles taught are indeed universal, and you will have the opportunity to use Alex’s cameras and lenses if you wish.
What will you learn?
This hands-on Fashion X Street workshop will focus on the various techniques and ideas Alex frequently uses when shooting an ‘On-Street’ Fashion, Press or Portrait job, shooting with both daylight and flash for varied environmental and lighting effects. During this 5 hour course, you and up to 14 others will be learning/testing loads of tips, tricks and secrets. Prepare to be taken out of your comfort zone, no matter how experienced you are!
We’ll be shooting a professional international Fashion Model, you’ll will be taken right the way through the process, from the pre-shoot, makeup, styling and planning set up, to directing your model for maximum results, learning the following along the way:
In-depth manual control and familiarisation of the various features unique to the X-Series, as well as basic manual photography. (again, it is not essential to bring or use Fujifilm cameras, the majority of principles taught are indeed universal)
Accurately & confidently selecting and using various focal lengths, in both Auto & Manual focus modes, with a variety of focusing techniques for different lighting and environmental situations.
Knowing how and when to switch between the various view options of the Hybrid viewfinder and LCD to get the most out of these great tools in every situation.
Looking for, identifying and creating dynamic compositions on the go, for that ‘reportage look’ whilst avoiding the typically boring/posed images.
How to shoot in the ‘real world’ and ‘on the fly’ with varying lighting conditions and moving subjects on location.
How to effectively break the ‘Professional Photographer Mindset’ and rules to achieve more visceral and striking imagery, and find your own unique style.
How to use your flash in various ways, for either fill or creative lighting, as well as incorporating existing or external light sources, to enhance your creations.
The final part of this day will then be spent reviewing and editing your new images, (catching up in the warmth) as well as going over any aspects you might want to revisit or discuss again.
Note: I also follow up with an hour Web cast live group chat session where all participants can discuss their shots and I will go over how I process my images again in even more detail…
The workshop will run on Saturday 28th February, starting at 12:30pm till 5:30pm. Address:B-SOHO, 21 Poland Street, Soho, London. UK. W1F 8QG
How to enter
For a chance to win, simply post your best street fashion image into the comments section of our #FujiFashion Facebook competition post by the 18th February 2015 at 10am. Alex will then choose the two lucky individuals by Thursday the 19th February.