Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:14:20 +0000Fujifilm X Series Battery Life
I have been using the X Series now for over five years. I teach Street photography and shoot events with the cameras regularly and the biggest gripe I hear from most people is their batteries don’t last five minutes ! I went out with one guy a few weeks back and he used six in the morning session of my Street Photography workshop.
I asked him what make the batteries were and found out three were Fuji and three were another brand. I then asked him when he charged them last and he could not answer !
I shoot every day with my XPro2 and most weeks with my X-T1 and I shoot events 10.00hrs-11.00 hours and only use one possibly two in a 7-8 hour day if I shoot up to 11 hours or more I might end up on my third. I do shoot with two bodies but this is per camera and at times one is enough for the Xpro2 and two for the X-T1.
I am not talking about the NP95 batteries they do not last as long, but with good battery managment I only used to use about three of those a day in about 8 hours of shooting.
I have spoken to quite a few Pros who shoot every day and have great battery management and quite a few amateurs who have poor battery management and the conclusion is most of the people that moan about battery life have poor battery management. There are also the semi pros that came out as a mixture of good and bad but this was all down to battery management and battery choice ! So why do the pro’s get better battery life ? Mainly because they use the cameras more regularly and charge the batteries every time before they go out.
I am not going to give you all the technical mumbo jumbo or battery tests I am just going to share with you what batteries to buy what chargers as well as good battery management.
I am fully aware a Fuji NP-W126 is not as good as a Nikon D3s battery but it’s not as big and does not cost £150 so this is not about better heavier more expensive battery it’s about good battery management.
I have quite a few batteries most now are Fuji NP-W126 batteries these might be more expensive but in my experience they do last longer between charges and the life is longer than most aftermarket versions. The best aftermarket version I have found are the eXpro and this is my prefered aftermarket purchase.
Good battery management is key to long life and also the right charger and the rule of thumb is Fujifilm Chargers for Fujifilm batteries and eXpro changers for eXpro batteries.
I have put eXpro batteries in Fuji chargers and they don’t last as long as when they are charged in their dedicated chargers, in fact they can last half as long they also appear to discharge more quickly, if not used quite soon after the charge.
So if you go down the route of an aftermarket battery get the eXpro battery and eXpro charger, I would get the double charger for around £12 great value for money. The eXpro batteries are around £9 with a two year warranty.
Good battery management is very easy but can become more and more complicated the more batteries you have to deal with. I use the ThinkTank battery storage pouch and put the batteries in terminals facing down and when I swap them out I leave the terminals facing up. But any good case that covers the terminals is great the worst way to carry the batteries is loose, as you just don’t know if they come into contact with metal objects in your bag and discharge.
If you have one battery it’s quite simple, you charge your battery pop it in your camera go out and shoot when it’s discharged you recharge it and off you go. Sounds simple but this is where it can go wrong. If you now leave that battery in your camera for a few days a week a month it will slowly discharge. So when you go out to shoot and you think it’s fully charged it’s not. Most people I ask who’s batteries run out very quickly on a workshop can’t remember when they charged them or say a few days ago, I then say when did you use your camera last and most say a week or so !
You need to charge the battery in your camera up before you go out and that is a refresh charge. If you pop it in the charger and it comes up charged straight away you are good to go if not you might only have to wait 10-20 min but its worth it.
Now what about a pouch of four or more !
After a gig I come home and charge the batteries with the terminals facing up straight away and then pop them back in the pouch.
Before every event I charge the lot or refresh charge the lot most of the time they don’t take long but if I have been away on holiday they take a little longer sometimes you just can’t remember when you last charged them. I also carry the pouch in my coat pocket in the winter to keep them warm to stop them from premature discharge never a good thing !
You would be surprised how long batteries get left in your camera without getting charged and you just sticking them in your bag or pockets. Not charging before use you are setting yourself up for failure.
Fuji have given some tips on longer life in your camera and you can find that Battery life management.
There is a really good double charger by eXpro and it’s this one eXpro LCD
So don’t stay in the dark with battery poor management,charge before you go.
Thu, 16 Jun 2016 11:50:48 +0000Africa Oye
With Africa Oye only a few days away I decided to take a quick look back at Africa Oye 2015, the first year I shot Oye 100% Fuji. Shooting in RAW as a black and white shooter has its advantages. I can look back and my work and see just how amazing colour really is with Fujifilm straight out of camera. Shooting black and white all my life has left me void of colour and now I am starting to crave colour ! So much so I now have my project pinned down for 2017.
I always like to look back at the images I shot the previous year at a festival so that I can look for new ideas and new angles to shoot at the next festival.
This time the look back made me crave colour ! I also have a few new ideas I can throw at Oye 2016.Fujifilm X-T1 50-140mm f/2.8
I was never a fan of Colour when I used to shoot on Nikon it always took me such a long time to try and process the images the way I wanted them to look never finding just quite the right texture or tonal range I could be happy with. But since I have been shooting Fuji I have been getting more and more excited about colour.Fujifilm X-T1 35mm f/1.4
There is just something very special about the RAW files and I need to investigate this further.Fujifilm X-T1 50-140mm f/2.8
It very hard to leave black and white behind for me it’s the ultimate storytelling medium but I feel I need to start to explore colour as I have spend over 45 years exploring black and white.Fujifilm X-T1 50-140mm f/2.8
I guess colour can be hard and distracting when it comes to people but I feel it’s time to give it good go, so watch out for some more colour as we move in to 2017. One thing is for sure I will be trying out the XPro2 and the 16mm f/1.4 this year at Oye and can wait to see the results.X-T1 90mm f/2 X-T1 90mm f/2 XT1 50-140mm f/2.8 X-T1 35mm f/1.4 X-T1 50-140mm f/2.8 Fujifilm X-T1 50-140mm f/1.4
Thu, 24 Mar 2016 13:18:50 +0000Exposure Triangle the rest is personal.
I had another great year at The Photography Show and this year was just the same as last year as far as questions were concerned, but this time about the Xpro2 and not the X-T2 so I have decided to answer a few questions in this blog. If you came to the show and listened to my talk for Fujifilm UK, you will know how much I hate writing and why. I also only tend to write my blog when I have something to say, the rest is just noise.
One of the great things about TPS is the fact that so many photographers get together in one place and get to inspire each other. I always come away from the show buzzing with ideas. This year the biggest buz and the coolest places to be where the SmugMug Stand and the Fujifilm Stand, this is in part to the huge community of like minded photographers that love to be part of what is becoming the coolest collaboration in photography ever.
To many people get bogged down in the TEC, at the end of the day you only need a box with a lens and a way of controlling Aperture, Exposure and ISO the rest is all personal taste.
We all choose cameras we like the look and feel off and we listen to the people around us for feedback and read reviews etc, that is the same for a sofa or pair of shoes or a toaster.
People are free to choose what ever camera they like so there is no real need to moan about one you don’t like go buy one that fits your personal requirements.
All you really need is the exposure triangle the rest is just semantics! I was asked over and over again at the show to pick all the fault’s in the XPro2 and when I said it does not have any, one person was pushing me for a fault he even said “so what would other people say was wrong with it” I don’t know what other people would say I have never been one to wish a camera had this or what or needed x or y I just buy a camera that I feel an emotional connection to and that has the exposure triangle close to hand, after all that is all I NEED ! I don’t need much more in my line of work, I am a Photographer and just need to take pictures. I do like a great lens to give me a sharp image if I want a sharp images and Fuji lenses give me that in droves.
I have an XT10 for Street and to stick in my pocket and that has a 27mm lens on it, I have another XT10 with a 90mm lens on it. My XPro2 has a 35mm f/2 lens on it and my X-T1 has a battery pack and 50-140mm on it most of the time. These are all for different jobs like a mechanic with a socket set! The Cameras are the ratchets and the lenses the sockets so picking fault in ratchet or socket for one job is pointless when you have a great set of tools ! I get asked about 4k video etc and I roll my eyes ! I have two GoPro cameras for video if I want to shoot 4K but in all honesty the Video in my XPro2 or X-T1 is great for blogging etc If I wanted amazing stunning video I would buy a new tool for my tool box not moan about the ones I have.
So why do I buy new cameras if I am not chasing the tec ? I chase the warranty that’s why, you see so many people blaming the manufactures and moaning about faults 5 months or 8 months out of warranty. I thinks it’s mad! Social media has become a media hub for moaning about out of warranty issues with all brands. As a professional even before I used Fuji X Series camera I used to buy a new Nikon body every time the warranty ran out that way if I ever had an issue I could return it and get it repaired without any hassle. To be honest in all the time I have owned the Fujifilm X System and I don’t look after my tools as much as I should, I have never had to have them repaired. The only camera I sent back was one of my X-T1’s for the light leak issue and that was turned around in 7 days.
Quite a few people think we get our kit for free but this is just not true, I paid for all my Fuji X Cameras and lenses before I was a Fujifilm Ambassador and still do to this day. We do get to hire new gear when it’s available and free of charge but it has to be given back. The only camera I have been given was the Fuji XPro2 and this also had my name on the serial number. This was a gift for all my hard work in the XPro2 launch and my ongoing work for Fujifilm. But when I say given, if I had invoiced Fujifilm for my time this it would far outweigh the cost of the camera.
Mirrorless cameras make great tools and don’t take up any room so you can in fact have quite a few in your toolbox, I also do like a spare body for back up.
I was asked at the show if I could choose one X Series camera what one would it be ! That is like saying what is your favourite Socket or wrench! Well the answer if it was a toolbox would be SnapOn and what ever socket I needed for the job.
So why Fuji, well I started buying the X Series cameras and the found this great community around the world that all had this passion for the brand, they would share there passion and I soon found myself starting Fujiholics to put on events to get everyone together to share the passion and take photos, mostly of coffee and cake and each others cameras it appears !
As far as a camera is concerned, I only need an exposure triangle and I am happy, but the X Series have given me so much more I have never had so many collaboration talks with so many photographers. The Fujifilm teams all over the world are all great people and are all part of the community in one way or another.
If you pushed me to say what is the best all round Street Combo I would have to say the XPro2 and 35mm f/2 lens at the moment but that’s because I LOVE shooting Acros Film Simulation with Green filter Jpegs are my thing at the moment as I hate processing with a vengeance. The 35mm f/2 is just sexy that is all !
I try to have an emotional attachment to my work and I need the same feeling with my camera system. Perfect tool for that is right for the job.
They X Series do look good next to a coffee and cake to !
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 04:30:20 +0000Fujifilm XPRO 2Fujifilm X10
My Fujifilm journey started back in 2011 but it was hit and miss. I was a Nikon shooter and had been for over 40 years. In 2011 I found myself looking for a camera system that was smaller and lighter than my Professional Nikon system. I looked at Sony and Panasonic but wanted great glass and realised that only the top players in the camera market could offer this. I picked up a Fuji X10 and had a love hate relationship with it so in the end sold it. I read all the reviews and was put off the X100 but in the end found one for a good price on ebay and purchased a really nice camera.FujifilmX100 Fujifilm X100
The image above was one of the first images I shot with the X100 and I was hooked. This amazing little camera was producing images far cleaner than my Nikon D3s and for a fraction of the cost. Yes focus was slow and it only had one lense but it was the way it made me feel that shocked me, this camera had set me free.Fujifilm XPRO1 14mm f/2.8
It was not long before I walked in to Cambrian Photography and took a massive leap of faith. I bought the Xpro1 along with the 18mm, 60mm and the 18-55mm Kit lens and decided to give it a go on my trip to Venice. I had made up my mind that if it worked for me I would come home and sell all my professional Nikon Gear.
Before I went I was almost convinced this would not happen, how could this Xpro1 replace my D3s and Pro glass as it was so slow to focus and so awkward to use !Fujifilm XPro1 18mm f/2 Fujifilm XPro1 18-55mm f/2.8 Fujifilm XPro1 18-55mm f/2.8
I came back from Venice and the decision had been made this XPro1 was perfect for me. I was convinced that stepping away from mainstream DSLR’s and choosing a camera that slowed me down and made me think out of the box again was the way forward. So I took the leap and sold all my Nikon gear. I said to myself that if I needed a Pro DSLR for a job I would just hire one. That was four years ago and I have not needed to use a DSLR and will never look back.Fujifilm XPro1 18-55mm f/2.8 Fujifilm XPro1 18mm f/2 Fujifilm XPro1 35mm f/1.4 Fujifilm X-T1 50-140MM F/2.8
It’s amazing how the reason you changed gets under your skin at times and the slow focus on the XPro1 drove me to buy the X-T1 and the X-T10. These cameras work perfectly for my event photography and due to the small size of the X-T10 I started to use two of these stunning little cameras back to back one with 27mm f/2 and one with 90mm f/2 lenses. It is quite amazing how small the X-T10 is with the 27mm lens it’s almost the same size as the X100T.Fujifilm X-T10 35mm f/1.4 Fujifilm X-T1 50-140mm f/2.8 Fujifilm X100T
My plan was if I am totally honest was to wait for the X-T2 if there was one and use my X-T10s for Street and the X-T1 for Landscape and wet events and bring the X-T2 in to play.
But then BOOM Fuji asked me to test out the Xpro2 and it’s just changed my photography all over again. When I first picked it up my first thought was where is the tilting screen ? It’s hard to go out and test a camera that is not due out for three months when you are a Street photographer I can tell you.
I started using the Xpro2 and at first I was not blown away, but this was the same feeling I have had with all the Fuji X Cameras. They are like magic in your hands, the more you get to know the camera, the more they come alive in your hands. This camera is fast to focus, it surely has to be the fastest yet.
The shape of the camera is a vast improvement over the XPro1 and the inclusion of two fast card slots is going to make quite a few wedding shooters happy. The inclusion of the ISO dial in with the shutter speed dial, puts all the buttons and knobs back on the outside of the camera so you have the exposure triangle where you need it. There is a neat little joystick on the back of the camera and the buttons are all in the right place for me.Fujifilm XPro2 27mm f/2.8
You all know I am not one for technical write ups as all the pixel stuff does not do anything for me and there are camera testers all over the UK that can test this camera to death for you all. But one word of caution, I was put off the X System for six months before I got the X100 because of all the reviews so be careful what you choose to read. This system is not all about pixels and super fast this and that, it is about changing your way of thinking.
So why do I love this camera ? It’s easy, I don’t have to edit any of my images any more. I have always been a RAW shooter converting in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro 2 until now. This camera is a game changer for me and the file size is just about right. The XPro2 is going to change my photography for the better.
The design of the XPro2 compared to the Xpro1 is completely different making the XPro2 sit so nicely in your hand.
I am going to be shooting Jpeg with the XPro2 for the next year with the 35mm f/2 lens for a Street Project I am doing with a few friends on Flickr. I love a good project and this project will help me to learn how to setup and use the Xpro2 for Jpeg and never have to edit again. The time this is going to save me is life changing. At the moment I have the camera set up to black and white with green filter. I have Dynamic Range set to 200%, Highlight Tone -1, Shadow Tone +3, Sharpness +1, Noise Reduction off. I will be playing around with these settings a lot more over the coming months.
It’s been a pleasure testing this new camera for Fujifilm and it was also an honour to have one of my images that I shot on the XPro2 selected for the Exhibition in Japan with 100 other X Photographers from around the world.
I think Fujifilm have made a stunning camera and I would like to thank them for for listening to all the X Photographers and Fujiholics around the world and adding most of the requests and ideas to this little camera.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds and I am so glad I made that leap of faith nearly 5 years ago. The Xpro2 is a huge step forward I am quite sure the Fuji roadmap is going to be very exciting…
Here is a video I shot about the my Fujifilm journey including some XPro 2 images.
Tue, 08 Dec 2015 21:20:27 +0000The Stunning X-T10
What can I say, I have owned or still own every X series camera that Fuji have made and so far the X-T10 is the star. I love my X-T1 and should prefer it to the X-T10, I actually do when I am shooting events in the rain and need a battery grip but the rest of the time the X-T10 is my go to camera.
I am never one for a technical review. I like to use a camera over a few months and see how it works for me in the real world.
I used to take the X100T everywhere I went but now its the X-T10. Its so small and with the 27mm pancake lens its just the best street camera in the range. I have also found myself using it for long exposure workshops instead of the X-T1.
I think the autofocus is just a little bit faster than the X-T1 and the images from RAW appear to be a little cleaner and sharper, so much so that I hardly spend any time processing them.
I have hardly picked up my X-T1 since the festival season finished and have had the X-T10 around my neck in all weathers (not that I recommend you do it) but I have found myself shooting in torrential rain and this little camera has not missed a beat. It’s no secret I use my cameras as a tool and not a prize possession. This little camera is just bullet proof.
It’s small enough to be invisible for Street but has a great viewfinder and perfect size rear screen for me to teach Landscape and Long Exposure classes.
I thought I would be running back to my X100T or my X-T1 in no time but I am still in love with this little thing.
It’s great with most of the smaller lenses but becomes unbalanced with the larger glass but this is to be expected.
I use this camera on Auto ISO for most of my Street work and shoot with the large green square on continuous focus for anything that is moving. It nails it 99% of the time, this is with me walking and my subject on the move. I hear lots of people talking about how the Fuji’s don’t compare to the DSLR they have and I find this strange as the people that come on my workshops with DSLRs can’t get a single in focus shot on the move. They can with the shutter speed cranked up to the max on a bright day but thats a different story.
I go out day after day with this little camera and come home very pleased with the keepers.
I have been using it with the 27mm as if it was bolted on but now I have the new 35mm f/2. I hope to give it a treat over the festive period with a change of glass.
I can’t fault this little camera and I love it so much I have two, one to shoot wide and one to shoot long!
So this is my go to Fuji X Series Camera until something more interesting comes along…
Mon, 07 Dec 2015 23:14:11 +0000PC to MAC
It’s taken me a long time to make this move. I have never seen the point in changing. What is the point in changing to a MAC when my PC set up is fine. Even though my laptop was driving me nuts I could see no advantage but with all the recent changes by Microsoft and Adobe causing me so many issues, I decided to look for a new laptop to help solve these problems in one go. There lays the rub! I was fully aware that if I went the MacBook Pro route my PC would have to change to a MAC and this was holding me back from the swap.
I purchased a Qnap TS453 Pro NAS a few months back as I wanted a decent back up solution that I could gain access to anywhere in the world through an internet connection. The trouble was, my lap top was so slow I could not edit on the move and the changes made by Adobe and Windows 10 prevented Lightroom from working with my graphics card.
After talking to a few friends they convinced me to get a MacBook Pro, thank you Tim, Linda and Rich Waine.
My mind was made up, I went out and got a MacBook Pro 15″ with Retina Display 2.8GHz Quad-core Intel i7,Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz with 1TB Flash Storage.
Whilst in the apple store I got talking to the guy and he said “not getting a MAC then” ! I said how do you mean ? He said “thats one hell of a bit of kit that and will run your monitors”. I had already been told by a few friends that the MAC 4k and 5k screens hurt their eyes when editing after a while so this was great news, I did not need a MAC.
I already had a very nice Acer 27″ Monitor and this would work very well for the internet with facebook etc so all I needed was a decent editing monitor. After a quick conversation with another few friends the toss up was NEC or Eizo and the Eizo won the day.
So thanks to Cambrian Photography for such great service I now have the amazing Eizo ColourEdge CG277 27″ Self Calibrating Monitor.
The changeover was pain free and due to the fact I have my Lightroom and Photoshop on the cloud it was all very simple.
The only way to explain the changeover is like this, when you are used to making tea in your own home it’s simple. If you have to make tea in your friends house it takes a while to work out where things are but once you find the tea bags, cups and milk it’s all very simple.
It’s quite simply the best move I have ever made! I can take my MacBook with me and edit on the road and not have spend hours at my desk on my return home.
I can use three screens and configure the screens how I wish or even shut the MacBook and just work on the two 27″ monitors.
I have to confess it’s not all about Apple and Apple fan boys like people say it is. For photo editing it honestly is a no brainer. It’s not cheap to change over but once you realise you just need a MacBook Pro and that’s it then it’s simple. This thing is so fast as my friends kept telling me and even better, all very portable.
I will let you know how I get on in a few months but so far, I wish I had made the change years a go !
Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year…
Fri, 30 Oct 2015 16:57:55 +0000Fujifilm XF 27mm f/2.8
I have been shooting with the Fuji X System now for since June 2012 and as many people know have fallen head over heels in love with the brand.
Over this time I have used most of the cameras and lenses but a few have slipped through my fingers.
Back in the summer a friend of mine posted his 27mm lens on facebook in the Fujiholics group for sale and it was such a great price I thought I would just buy it even if I used it now and then it looked so small I could just pop it in my pocket !
So the deal was done and the lens was mine, I bolted it on to my X-T10 and its been on there ever since!
I love shooting with both my X-T10’s when out and about and normally the 35mm f/1.4 and the 90mm f/2 are my walk about kit this little lens has taken over from the 35mm lens, I still carry the 35mm f/1.4 with me for when the light drops off in the evening or for adding the little bit of length back in the shot but as lenses go this 27mm lens is just perfect for the X-T10.
With the 27mm f/2.8 on the X-T10 it about the same size as the X100T making it perfect size for my go everywhere Street camera for when I was to shoot using the super fast AF system on the X-T10. I always used to shoot my X100T on manual and zone focus but the X-T10 changed all that for me, I now shoot AF all the time and the focus tracking is spot on.
I set the focus area to large square and focus mode selector to C (continuous AF) I can just about nail anyone walking about in the street, with a quick flick of the switch back to S ( single AF) for anything static.
This little lenses with is 40mm full frame equivalent view is something I have been missing for a while, the X100T was just a little to wide for me with is 23mm lens and even though I still love that camera the X-T10 has taken over.
It’s one of those lenses that you wished you had purchased from the start and a stunning take anywhere everyday lens take up no room, I don’t even bother with a lens hood as I don’t want to change the size of the set up.
I just can’t wait to get out and shoot with this lens, its like a little pancake addiction !
All I need now is the coffee..
Fri, 30 Oct 2015 14:51:03 +0000Its a Glass thing.
My ongoing windows and coffee shops project have also crossed over with my 2015 Selfie project, and it’s all been very enjoyable.
Candid Street is still the way forward for me and it’s the way I like to work, that way I don’t change the dynamic or spoil anyone’s day.
The selfie project comes to an end at the end of December 2015 but the windows project will continue.
I started the windows project as a journey of discovery, I have already learnt a lot along the way, it’s been and interesting journey so far but as I said at the start I am going to do this to death and then some.
It started by someone saying windows have been done to death in Street ! I thought possibly but until you do something to death you can’t learn from it can you? The SAS don’t just practice to recover a hostage from a plane just once do they? No they don’t, they do it over and over again training every day to make sure when the time comes its perfect.
I have found with photography unless you go out day after day and work at it you do not learn your craft and cannot progress, my windows project has reinforced that with me.
I started off with a Fujifilm X100T shooting Zone focus, but now for most of my project I have moved over to the X-T10 with 27mm lens and this is my preferred set up for window shots as it gets me very close to my subject. I now carry two X-T10s one with a 27mm lens and one with a 35mm lens or 90mm lens. It depends where I am going as to what lenses I use.
I like to get as close as I can to the glass, but in some city’s this is not easy due to obstructions on the pavements, so lenses with a little more reach are the order of the day, as long they are a fast prime they work well. I just don’t have time to use zooms out on the street by the time you have started to turn the zoom ring the subject has seen you and your little cloak of invisibility has dropped to the floor.
When I first started the project people were asking me if I used a Polarizer or any other filters, the answer is no, I love all the reflections they are all part of the image. Some single subjects sitting at a table need a little more to fill the frame and add interest so I just love waiting for the streets to fill up with people so I can fill the frame with interesting reflections, and mine for the selfie project.
I have learned to love the glass but want to learn more and more about our relationship with the glass and how it works out there in the street! It’s like an invisible barrier that in some street circles seen as an easy option, but to do this right it’s not as easy as it looks. Time of was one hell of a learning curve! Pick lunch time for instance and everyone is eating, and that is of little interest to what I am trying to show in my Journey.
I do not have an end in sight for this project but one thing is for sure it’s not over yet.
Wed, 19 Aug 2015 22:35:17 +0000Image selection and Scene Building
I have been asked on many occasions to help someone pick an image as their best image. I still find this very frustrating to say the least however it’s worse when someone asks me to give my views on their image, they tend to get very defensive !
I do offer critique but I have never asked for it and I never will. My personal journey is just that, mine. I only ever give critique by email if asked and never in open social media.
Apart from working with clients I always make my own decisions good or bad and stand by those choices because my images are mine. It’s great to be able to self critique and I know it takes quite a while to become comfortable with doing this but by working it out for yourself it’s very refreshing when it all starts to make sense. It will take a lot longer to make sense if you always ask other people, it’s like starting a new job after a while you just get on with it and learn as you go, if you are still asking questions a year later there must be a problem!
I shot landscapes for a long time before I realised that my horizons were not straight! From about 10 to 14 years old I had some horrendous landscapes but every one told me I was a great photographer ! The day I worked it out for myself I started to look deeper into my own work and study some of the past Masters, not to copy them but to learn about composition and try to work out what else I was doing wrong. I see it still to this day on facebook, someone will post an image with an horizon that is obviously not straight and 45 people click like and say WOW! Whilst photography is your own personal journey, those comments are not helpful.
People go out and shoot 400 images on a day out, then go home and post 375 on Facebook or flickr because they can’t decide what images are the best or because they like them all. The best way to decide what are the best image from your day out is to make a book of your day out with 20 images you soon will start to see how unimportant 15 shots of the same tree are or 30 shots of your dog.
So what is this blog post about ?
Well it’s going to be very subjective, my choice, my journey. Lots of people will disagree with me and that’s great, it would be a boring world if everyone agreed.
I will not be getting into a debate with anyone once this is posted I just don’t have the time and life is too short but I will give you a quick look into how I think, when out on the street and how I choose an image from a sequence. I delete all images I don’t use so I had to go out and shoot these images so I could show you how I work. The images in this sequence were shot on a Fujifilm X-T10 with 35mm f/1.4 and shot at RAW files, I shoot single shot and not continuous.
I was shooting in London and found these two guys on a bench and quite liked the interaction and started to work the scene, for me these two were interesting but I needed more, the guy on the phone was added interest.
So I stepped back and started to wait but did not take my eye off the two guys or the benches. I did notice the yellow flowers and the empty benches. As a girl walked past from the right I noticed a girl coming into the frame from the left with orange hair that went quite well with the flowers.
As the girl came into the frame a guy who was not with her sat down on the bench and admired the girl as she started to put her jacket on. I liked the shapes she was making with the jacket. The scene was now starting to build and lots of elements were coming into place for me with my new interest in colour. I was so pleased she had walked into the frame adding more of a story and more subjects to make a much more interesting scene.
I liked the guy under the Cheapside sign but the guy with the bike helmet came into the frame and the woman in the white jacket far left was distracting me, so I made one more exposure by moving the camera to the right and waiting for the guy to be behind the girl, a personal choice based on the fact he was distracting from the guy looking at the girl.
At this point I was sure that this frame frame was the one I wanted to use but would leave them all on my memory card until I got home to make my final choice.
It’s bad practice to delete from your card as this creates gaps in the data and when the card fills up this can cause card corruption, as well as accidental deletions.
I had waited for the scene to build and let the subjects all take up their positions in the shot, all the time I was standing only feet away just watching the expressions. The girl picked up her bag and walked off after this shot and the guy at the end looked down at his phone.
I could have stood here for hours just shooting these benches and the people that came and went all day.
My normal method of selecting and editing my work is harsh and involves the deletion of all the images I don’t use. Its worked for me all my life and I am happy with it. The main reason I do this is to force me to go out and shoot and look for new images every day. I can’t sit indoors in the winter and look through my hard drive for images that could have been, I have to go out and look for that image that amazing image that is out there somewhere.
So when I got home from my trip to London I quickly chose the main image in this set and the only reason the others are still around is this blog post. The only edited image is the main image and last image the rest are RAW files.
I am not a prolific shooter but I do work a scene just like this when I find some interesting subjects.
I was in London for three days and shot about 100 images a day and in my London file now sits 35 images, but 10 have been kept for using like this on my workshops. So I have have 25 keepers but out of the 25 keepers I only have 4 I like and nothing I would call great or amazing, that one is still out there.
This is just a little insight into how I work and to help you guys that email me and message me on facebook about how I work that don’t get a chance to come on my workshops.
I do manage to get some quite good single shots but most of the images I have I like have been part of a sequence where I have allowed the scene to build whilst shooting and observing.
I used to wait weeks to develop my film and still do but once developed I follow the same route, if I ever get stuck in a sequence I will print my images out and put them on my wall until one jumps out at me, but most of the time when I do that I just delete the lot !
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:17:43 +0000Day out with two X-T10s in Liverpool
Today I decided to have a few hours in Liverpool out on the streets to see what I could find.
I went out with a pair of Fujifilm X-T10s, is the first time I have been out with a pair of matching cameras for quite a while. I had to decide on what lenses to take as I have had the 35mm f/1.4 bolted to my X-T1 for ages but I wanted to go wider. I did put the 16mm f/1.4 on to start with but I decided I wanted something smaller and lighter on the X-T10 so went for the 18mm f/2 for one body and the 60mm F/2.4 for the other body. I don’t think the 60mm has as much reach as I need so can’t wait to get my hands on the new 90mm f/2.
The weather forecast was for an over cast day with sunny intervals, so quite promising.
I jumped on the train and arrived in to Liverpool a little earlier than normal, it’s great to try different times of day but Liverpool does take its time to wake up. There were not too many people about and the light was flat never a great start.
The good news was the weight of two X-T1s around my neck was nothing compared to the days I used to shoot with a DSLR with the same quality glass.
I used to shoot with a pair of Nikon Fm2’s and this brought back memories, one of the street performers even shouted out “hay mate, shooting film” Just goes to show it was not just me thinking how small they were.
Some days I like to cover a lot of ground when shooting Street others I like to find great spot or road and stick to one area, today I decided to cover lots of ground and see what I can see.
The flat light was very uninspiring today so covering lots of ground I could look out for something interesting, but as with quite a few Street days I was not having much luck. I guess Street photography is quite like fishing; you wait and wait just for that one moment. Not that I was waiting today I was on a mission.
Street Photography can be hard work on some days and this was one of those days, School holidays are always quite difficult times in Liverpool not many great characters about because the Uni’s are shut and lots of people shopping. I suppose when nothing is working, it’s looking for that one great image a year that keeps me going! Some Street Photographers shoot prolifically and then look for something special in the edit. I have lots of ideas in my head but also look for those special one in a million moments that happen in a fraction of a second. Some amazing things happen out on the street in the space of a few seconds and in an almost set sequence that will probably never happen in the same place ever again , it’s being there to capture that moment that is exciting. You can go for day’s, months or years and nothing great ever happens, I guess that’s why most of the great Street Photographers have had a lifetime of shooting.
One thing is for sure it clocks up your daily step count. I hit 10,000 steps in no time, three miles come and go and you forget to eat and drink, I might have to market this as the Street Diet.
I clocked up about 27,000 steps today and covered quite a bit of ground, but there was not a lot going on and the light was flat as a pancake. So I called it a day and got the train home.
Shooting with the 60mm and 18mm on a pair of X-T10s was a breeze, once I had them set up to my preferred settings, I could just concentrate on shooting without thinking. This did take a while as I was trying out the new Focus settings and in the end decided to set both cameras to Zone Focus large Square, I set them to Aperture Priority for the day with Auto ISO and moved the Aperture for my desired depth of field depending on my subject. Auto ISO settings I used Default Sensitivity 200 Max. Sensitivity 6400 and Min. Shutter Speed I set to 1/125 sec on the 18mm and 1/250 sec on the 60mm.
I am quite a calculated person when shooting and will let lots and lots of shots go if they have no set place in my workflow. I try to shoot to get in a rhythm so shoot more than I did with film but I still don’t shoot a lot of images when out. I guess one reason is I just don’t like to spend so much time looking through them all at the edit stage.
I think I am very calculated and have systems and processes in my head but I can also step out of the box if I need to. All of my images follow quite a strict process that starts in my head, I know at the time of capture if I have got the makings of a reasonable image. When I sit down to review my day’s work I can almost go straight to the keepers. Once I do sit down I then start to make more decisions about the keepers and also decide where I might use the images. It’s always funny when I post to social media and someone makes a comment like “I would have cropped that like this” or “I would have shot that person from that angle” well good for them! I did not crop it like that because I like it the way I posted it! I like the angel I shot the image or there was no other option to get the shot, like a wall or bin in the way. This sounds harsh but I don’t care what people think, I have never had a Professional Photographer give unwanted Critique and even wrote a blog post on Critique a while back. I don’t shoot to please people as such and besides half of what I shoot now won’t be relevant until 10 -20 years’ time! I share my work because images should never stay hidden under the bed for no one to see, what people think is irrelevant.
Some days I get home and delete all the images that I have shot, today feels like one of those days but I am going to share a few images. Normally these would have all been deleted, but I set out today to write my blog so will make an exception. Today was one of those days where the light was not working and you watch lots of situations build but they just come to nothing. I work the scene with my camera but when it’s not coming together I walk away, its great practice for when it does all drop in to place. Lucky for me today I needed to find create two more selfie’s for my project or I would have come away with nothing!
I just love to be out on the streets, not every day will bring me an image that I can use or even like and it might take me all my life to make a book of 20 great images, but that for me is the whole point.
I did go for a coffee with my good friend Steve from Street Frame and even though I don’t normally shoot portraits, I had to try out the X-T10 and the 60mm lens.
Paul Chamberson May 25, 2015
Very interesting read I recently got into street photography and find it great fun I like the uniqueness of the image some wonder shot here .Great inspiration thanks for sharing