One of the most rewarding parts of my job is making an emotional connection with the wildlife I encounter. One of the most challenging aspects of my job is conveying that connection in a photograph. To do that, I have to make use of a very important compositional tool – perspective. Continue reading A perspective on the wild side
Portrait photographer and X-Photographer Saraya Cortaville skillfully draws out her subject’s emotions and feelings, in a sensitive and empathetic way. Her portraits are an observation and moment of connection between two people, rather than photographer and subject. In this article, she gives us ten tips for capturing travel portraits you will remember forever. Continue reading Ten tips for capturing unforgettable travel portraits
Contemporary portrait and X-Photographer Damien Lovegrove is no stranger to shooting portraits on-location. In this useful article, he gives you all the tips you need to create his two point lighting set up, specifically when shooting portraits on city streets.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been photographing weddings since 2005, and I’ve seen many trends come and go, but one thing has stuck, and I hope it never becomes ‘un-cool,’ and that is Fine Art Wedding Portraiture.
When I first started 13 years ago, I was, well, not as competent as I am today. In fact, when I run my workshops, I show images from my first ever wedding to demonstrate to delegates that no matter what they think of their work now, they can improve if they set their minds to it! Frankly, I was rubbish and didn’t know a good portrait if it jumped up and bit me!
In 2015, I was awarded Fellowship of the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) and Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) in Wedding Photography, more importantly, in Fine Art Wedding images. It had taken two years of hard work, at real weddings, and the cooperation of the couples. They were as invested in my project, as much as I was invested in the goal of making them look spectacular on their big day! So, how do you achieve Fine Art Portraiture during the hustle and bustle of a real wedding? I won’t lie, it’s not easy but here is my advice on how to achieve photos which will stand the test of time. Continue reading How to Perfect Fine Art Wedding Portraiture
In a series of articles X Photographer Jeff Carter will be shooting at sports events in the UK and showing how to capture great images with the Fujifilm X Series without the need for a media pass. In this final blog of the series, Jeff gives you all his top tips for photographing cricket.
Photography is all about the light and, as landscape photographers, we are constantly searching for the most interesting and evocative lighting conditions. Without it our pictures can be dull and lacklustre but when Mother Nature performs her magic, the landscape is transformed enabling us to capture some stunning imagery.
Some of my favourite conditions are shooting into the sun to capture those dramatic sunbeams, starbursts or beautiful back-lit scenes. Although this is counter intuitive to everything we are taught early in our photographic journey, this technique helps emphasise, shapes, lines and silhouettes to produce some striking images.
I’ve been using the Fujifilm system since its inception back in 2011. My very first Fujifilm camera was the Fujifilm FinePix X100 (remember when it was still called the FinePix?).
I’ve been honoured to be a part of theX-Photographer community since those early days and even after nine years or so find the X Series range of cameras the tools that I still use for all my work.
As the system has grown from the embryonic MLC that was the X100 to the high-resolution machine that is the GFX 50S, I’ve witnessed a system that has taken its first baby steps to winning platitudes and awards every year.
Going right back to the FinePix X100, this was one of the first images I took with the camera:
I was smitten with the camera, but I think it’s fair to say that the original X100 definitely had some teething problems.
When I was shooting with the FinePix X100 I felt a deep assimilation with the JPEGs that the camera was producing. However, trying to achieve focus, especially in low light situations, proved challenging.
And then something quite unheard of happened… a firmware update. Not only did the firmware update fix small bugs, it made the whole camera more responsive and even added a feature or two.
This was the sign of things to come, of course, and I think one of the things that define Fujifilm’s success is their unwavering support for the photographic community via firmware updates.
Ironically, according to my Lightroom Catalog, the last personal photography I took with my FinePix X100 – which I still have (I never sell a classic camera!) is this shot of it’s successor, the X100S (note, FinePix no longer in the name):
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trawling through my archives of personal family snaps that I’ve taken with the X100, the X100S, X100T & X100F.
I had over 10,000 images that I considered good enough to keep.
Of course, these are family snaps, nothing particularly arty about them and absolutely the most important thing is the memories for me and my family.
Anyhow, here are the 100 family snaps, taken with my various Fujifilm X100 Cameras and in chronological order. I have a huge debt of gratitude to the original X100. It’s the camera that made me realise photography is fun rather than just for work. Here is my little homage to the X100 and all its incarnations.
This was really when things started changing with the little X100 format cameras, but before the X100S came out, we were bamboozled by the X-Pro1.
Now, my introduction to this camera was somewhat forced. I was writing a monthly business column for Professional Photography magazine when the editor asked me to review the camera;
Him: “Would you like to review the new Fujifilm X-Pro1?”
Me: “Well, not really, the reason I love the X100 is because it’s fixed lens and I don’t want to invest in another interchangeable lens system as I still have my Canon cameras”.
Him: “We’ll pay you £200 for the review”.
Me: “Oh, go on then….”
Fast forward five weeks and I have to take the review copy back to Archant House in Cheltenham. As I hand over the review packages to them, the editor asks me what I thought. I showed him a copy of my order email from WEX where I’d just pre-ordered the X-Pro1 and the three launch lenses.
Not too long after I took delivery of my X-Pro1, XF35mm, XF60mm and XF18mm lenses I sold off all my Canon gear.
At this point, we were then beginning to see new sensors and later, new Film Simulations too but really, what everybody in the photographic world was realising was that these new breeds of mirrorless cameras from Fujifilm were: smaller, lighter, cheaper and crucially, performed very well compared to what we had been used to using.
Of course, there are still some rare situations where a DSLR might be a better option for a particular shooting style, but with the emergence of the X-H1 I think even that is becoming mitigated and the Fujifilm system is catering more and more for all types of photographers. It’s not true that Fujifilm cameras are “only for Street Photographers”.
At some point in 2013, I was in Tokyo and I was using another new Fujifilm camera, the X-M1. The X-M1 used the same X-Trans CMOS sensor as the X-Pro1 and X-E1 but didn’t have a viewfinder. It had a tilt screen and was actually the first camera to have Wi-Fi too.
To be totally honest, I never really got on with this camera. It was too fiddley, and I really missed the viewfinder. I’ve never been a huge lover of tilt screens, and I’m pleased Fujifilm continue to pacify people in both camps with cameras that have tilt screens and cameras that don’t.
The camera did yield me an image on that trip to Tokyo which went on to win SWPP Landscape photographer of the Year award though.
When the X-T1 arrived, the game changed for many people. The X-Pro1, X100S where good cameras, but they were perhaps not quite sharp enough for many to consider for professional work.
However, when the X-T1 came along with its continuous focus and high-speed shooting, this was when I first started seeing a big influx of shooters coming to the Fujifilm stable.
Some of my favourite images to date have come from the X-T1:
And of course, later came the X-T2 and the X-Pro2 and little curve balls such as the X70.
The X70 remains one of my favourite cameras; despite what I said about the X-M1, the X70 is also an LCD only camera and it has ergonomic issues too, but that camera has so much character and is so small that it is still one of my most use cameras when shooting. I shoot with my X70 at weddings as well as personally and I really hope there is a future for that line of camera.
And, as we come to the end of this whistle stop tour of my time with the Fujifilm X Series of cameras, I can’t possibly leave out two of the new guys in the stable; the GFX 50S and the X-E3.
For me, the GFX is all about prints. I use in mainly in my family photography business which is prints only and I find it incredible that I can shoot with a medium format camera, handheld, in a candid way.
It’s a big camera of course, and that’s why it’s not really suited, for me at least, for fast paced shooting, but anything where the pace is slower, and the images may end up in print, then the GFX is the way forward. I can’t wait to see how this branch of the series matures.
Here is a little snapshot of my own summer, all shot hand held with the GFX 50S: