Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:56:34 +0000Camera Bags / Handbags
I often hear woman say there is no perfect handbag for every occasion and this is just the same for camera bags. You can’t find one bag for every job; most of the time camera bag manufactures get it so wrong. Most people want a camera bag that protects their gear but is also light and easy to carry. I guess this is where most people have to compromise as most camera bags weigh a ton even before they are filled to the brim with camera gear.
I have acquired quite a large collection of camera bags over the years. I now have one for nearly every occasion from Landscape to Workshops. The only one I did not have was a decent working Street Photography bag. I was making do using a ‘Next’ canvas bag and it was great, a little padding on the bottom and lots of space, possibly too much space. Sounds mad too much space, but if you have extra space you end up filling the gaps with something. Unfortunately my ‘Next’ bag was coming to the end of its life, so I decided I needed something smaller and longer lasting.
I wanted a very hard wearing canvas bag that was waterproof and would carry just what I needed and no more. So with a little research I found ‘Domke‘ the bag is listed as water resistant and that would do for me as I can always add a cover if I needed to. I quite like the idea of a breathable bag at least then if my cameras get wet in use they have the chance to dry out.
When you look at all the bag images online people take out the packets of sweets, pens, phones etc and all the other bits so it looks good for the photo. I shot this image above with all my junk in view the only items not in the shot was my i pad and a couple of lens cloths.
So I think I have found my perfect Street bag. The first big test was a Street Workshop I led in Edinburgh March 2015. It went well, it rained quit a lot over the weekend and the bag kept the water out so that was a big plus as my ‘Next’ bag was not waterproof.
The Domke Crosstown Courier is a heavy duty cotton fabric treated with environmentally friendly waxes and oils to keep the water out. A tin of wax is also supplied with the bag to top up the water resisting qualities. I am told the bag looks better and better with age like a favourite pair of jeans! I quite like that idea as I hate new looking things out on the Street.
The bag has pouches at each end that detach and these are great for when I am not teaching photography courses, I can take them off to save even more weight if I need to.
The bag has a large interior compartment and padding. I take most of the padding out as I find the padding takes up too much room in all camera bags. I wrap my lenses and cameras in micro fibre lens cloths that double up as cleaning cloths. I put my i pad in the main compartment with my X-T1 and XPro1 with a few lenses and I put my X100T in the pocket at the front so it’s at hand when I need it. My travel battery pack goes in the rear pocket for phone and battery charging on the move. It has two full size pockets length ways one on the back and one hidden under the flap. A large mesh pocket and two expandable front pockets are also very useful. It also has an anti slip shoulder strap which is very handy as some bags do tend to slip off your shoulder.
There is a bigger version but I am happy with this bag. I can carry it all day and it does not become a burden.
My only negative with the bag is once full if you don’t pack the heavy gear at the bottom of the bag it swivels to a funny angle as you walk but that is probably just the way I pack mine ! I do like to carry lots of lens cloths for padding and these can end up at the bottom.
One nice little touch is the fact that you can register your bag online. If you lose the bag and someone is kind enough to try and get it back to you there is a bar-code riveted plate on the bag with a phone number to call.
I have been using the bag for about six weeks now and have to say I love it! At first I did think it would be too small but as a Street bag it’s perfect for me not only for teaching but when I am out on my own. I have not taken the pouches off yet as I love them for easy access.
It’s probably not the cheapest bag on the market but it’s very well made and very rugged. I think it will last the rest of my life and a lot longer than any of my other bags. So well worth the investment.
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:20:40 +0000My Love of Film
I still shoot film and in a way love film more every year. I have just picked up a Nikon F100 Film Camera for £150 second hand from Cambrian Photography combined with a 50mm 1.8G lens also second hand for £99. I now have the perfect fast action Street film camera. This camera is stunning its also in fantastic condition and cheap as chips, as I remember this camera was around £1200 new.
Everyone knows I only shoot Fuji Camera’s for Digital, but I shoot all different makes of film camera from Nikon Fm2, Olympus OM10, Fujica St750,Nikon F100, and quite a few others. I also love the old 120 roll film cameras without names that I find on my travels.
I just love to get out and shoot Street with film. I love the discipline of shooting 12, 24, 36 exposures and love the imperfections that can happen with the use of film. When I picked up my F100 from Cambrian I picked up a couple of rolls of out of date Ilford Xp2 Super, cheap to process in C41 and great for some nice grain. I could not wait to get out and shoot some Street.
I hardly ever show my film images, it’s a long story why, but to cut it short many years ago I lost all my printed images and negatives in a flat fire. Years and years of work all gone in a few hours. I lost a lot more than that in that fire, I lost a vinyl collection that included the first record I had ever brought and lots of other items of sentimental value.
I learnt a lot that day about possessions and it changed the way I see my photography and life to this day.
My love of photography is the act of going out and creating images and being out there on the streets teaching and connecting with people. The images that I have shot a week ago or a year ago don’t have much meaning to me unless I have an emotional connection with them so after a while if I lost the lot again I would not be as upset as I was the first time it happened. The images that do mean a lot to me however are backed up off site so they are always available !
The reason I don’t show my film images on social media or to anyone else is the simple fact I want them all to remain pure ! Sounds crazy, but I don’t want them to be judged by others or commented on. I want these images just for me. I am only showing these few today due to the fact this was the first roll of film I put through the F100 so it was just a test roll.
I love to go out and shoot film with a variety of cameras it makes me re think my work and also slows me down and makes me look. I get into a very fast Street rhythm and at times its to fast so changing cameras makes me see so much more. Every time I get used to shooting with one film body I will take a different one out, even though I know them all inside out just the change is refreshing.
I also find its so refreshing after a day out shooting film there is no rush to edit, you can go home sit down and have a nice cup of tea, you don’t have that urge to get the images off the memory card to see what you shot ! You have to wait.
I don’t develop or print my own any more, I leave that to Cambrian Photography and only take the film over to Cambrian when I visit for Workshops etc, this way its quite exciting to see what I have on the contact sheet when I get my film back.
I normally just get a contact sheet with the images scanned to disk and then from that point, if I like what I see I will progress to larger hi res scans or prints. Its not as expensive as some people think and this roll of 24 exposures film was £4 and it was £6.99 for developing and scanning.
I went out with my F100 and my X100T with Jim Moody the guy in the image above to have a wonder around Liverpool and shoot some Street. The images from my X100T were off the memory card and on to Facebook within and hour of getting home ! I even said to myself I am sure I shot more than that ! It was then I released I was shooting film as well.
I also changed rolls part way through the day, so I still have a few images I will forget about over the next few weeks. So it will be a nice surprise next time I take a trip to Cambrian.
If you have not shot film for a while or your have never used a film camera its worth the time and effort to get a second had camera and a roll of film and get out and have a go.
If you have a young family film is great for the children and it teaches them vital skills for the day they pick up a digital camera. I have a few friends that have introduced their kids to film and they are loving it, one lad has just gone of to UNI to study photography and has not shot digital yet ! I will never stop shooting film and the best bit of shooting film is the simple fact that when I am dead and gone all the images on my hard drive will be lost forever but the prints and negatives will be there for my boys and their family’s to look though and enjoy !
The colour images that follow are just a few that I managed to save from a snapped off roll of film from my FujicaSt750.
I just love the imperfection on this roll, it was also the first roll of colour film I put through this camera. There is something about the imperfections in photography that make me want to shoot Street more than any other subject, so combining my love of Street with my use of film just has to be done..
Tue, 07 Apr 2015 08:56:50 +0000Live tutorial: Street photography with Matt Hart
Originally posted on The Fujifilm Blog:
X-Photographer Matt Hart shares his own hints and tips to shooting Street photography in this 30 minute talk from ‘The Photography Show‘ UK.
For more of Matt’s work, please see the links below:
Mon, 06 Apr 2015 10:26:22 +0000Street Photography Essay Liverpool U.K.
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 23:50:36 +0000Street Life
Quite a long way back, I was asked to talk at The Photography Show by Marc Horner from FujiFilm UK. I had been a FujiFilm X Photographer for a while and was very excited to be able to represent Fuji at the show, easy decision to make ! I just said yes, and put it to one side it was months away and I had plenty of time to prepare. I did think about it every now and then and decided to get my good friend Gerallt Jones to shoot a short introduction Video to start my presentation. I wanted to keep it true to Fuji and have the short film shot on the Fuji X-T1 in black and white. We got together with a few of the Fujiholics on the 15th of February 2015 to shoot the film and I was not in a good place !! I idea of messing it up was getting to me big style. I was freezing up to the camera, every time G asked me to speak I forgot what I was doing, it got so bad we dropped the voice parts and just went for a soundtrack! I think suddenly it all hit me in 34 days time I will be up on a stage and what if I forget what to say! That was going round and round in my head for a few days after the video shoot ! I just did not want to let Marc and FujiFilm down and was getting nervous. I teach courses all the time, and talk all the time but this was for FujiFilm and it was at the NEC ! I managed to stop looking at the great big Cake, and break it down in to small slices. I left the presentation to the last minute to finish off, and then put the video on a flash drive and presentation on my lap top all backed up to a spare stick just in case I lost the first one ! Well time went by and I was fine very proud to be asked and was very excited, by the time we had got to the NEC and was relaxed and ready to go. We managed to get in to Hall 5 and see the StreetScape stage the night before and that was fine! Well it was big! Like a great big cake! But it was fine.. We made our way over to the Hotel and met up with the Fuji team and had a few drinks and everyone was excited about the show. We went up to our room and I got in to bed all relaxed then BOOM ! Great big Cake came back, 12.00,12.30,1.00,2.00,2.30,3.00,3.30 no matter how much I tried to think about every slice it was still a huge CAKE ! We made our way over to the show and I got set of for talk number one of my five talks for the weekend, and I was still stuck with a huge cake, all the normal nerves and worries about what can go wrong. We set up and a crowd started to form not just a couple of people at least 100 people were around the front of the stage, I thought I hope they all stay and don’t wonder off! Sip of water Video goes on I take my position and its time.. By the time I had got on the stage and started talking I was CAKE free ! 100 people had become 200 then 300 and I was having the time of my life and I did not swear once! What an amazing experience to get up on a stage and not only talk about my passion for Street Photography but to be able to do it for FujiFilm UK. So thank you Marc Horner and FujiFilm for asking me to talk it was an amazing experience and thank you The Photography Show for the great stage set up, and the AV guys who relax you and make it all so simple ! One of the best experiences you can have as a photographer is talking about your work and your passion, so thanks every one that came to see me, I hope you got something useful out of my excited waffle ! If you want to come and see what I am all about then here is a list of my UK workshops for 2015 WORKSHOPS Images above by Gerallt Jones Thanks for coming guys and listening so intently to my Street Life talk…
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 22:10:36 +0000The Photography Show 2015 Photowalk #FujiTPSWalk
We met up at 17:00 hours in Victoria Square and a Fujifilm X30 was given away as a prize.
We then set of to Royal Mail Street and made our way to the Old Line Birmingham Canal after a brief Street camera demo from myself and a quick Q & A by Damien Lovegrove.
Damien was soon to live up to his new name and the Love Gloves came off for the above shot. The Loveglove name came from a Japanease translation of Lovegrove a few weeks back when Damien was representing FujiFilm UK in Japan as one of the FujiFilm X Photographers.
Most of the images from the evening were posted on Twitter under the #FujiTPSWalk and are well worth a look. I managed to grab a few images between chatting and demonstrating a few street photography techniques. We then made our way to a local pub for a quiet drink before ending the evening. So, if you are at The Photography Show next year look out for a Street Walk, one of the best ways to see a city and make new friends.
If you don’t want to wait till then, have a go at this great competition by Clifton Cameras and FujiFilm UK and try to win one of three Fuji X100T’s and possibly a trip to Paris.
You can also come on one of the free Photowalks planned over the next 6 months, see web site for details http://www.techtoyreviews.com/fujifilm-xt10-rumors-sensor-fuji-xt1-price/
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:45:30 +0000Modern Photography No Shortcuts
There is a lot more to being a photographer than just relying on the functions of your camera. Every subject requires a new set of skills and these skills take time to learn. Don’t expect it to happen over night and don’t be afraid to take some courses and learn every set of skills you will need for you to be the best in your field. This is not as easy as it looks, learning to use the camera is just the first step and then forget everything you think you know because the camera is just a tool. It wont do it all for you no matter how much the advertising blurb tells you it can. One of the main reasons I went over to Fuji from Nikon was just that, the advertising was getting in the way of my own creativity and I was not using half the bells and whistles Nikon had programmed in the body.
It’s not all about the camera and for every one thinking I am going to say nice things about Fuji because I am an X Photographer you will be wrong. I use three film cameras, a Nikon Fm2 an Olympus Om10 and a Fujica ST705. It’s not all about the camera it’s about the camera skills. The reason I choose Fuji over every other brand is because when I have a Fuji X100T in my hands I feel like I did over 40 years ago, excited and inspired to go out and create new images. That is what excites me every day, shooting shooting shooting.
There will be the cries from the die hard DSLR guys that the little mirrorless cameras can’t shoot Motorsport or Wildlife and in a way they are right likewise a Ford Focus is not a Ford tipper truck. But wait a minute, people have shot these subjects in the days of film and got some amazing shots. Some of the best Motorsport shots from the past were not shot with bells and whistles AF and multi point tracking systems. They were shot in film cameras with manual focus and the Photographers used their skills to create images. These days to shoot lets say Motorsport, you go out and buy a D4s and a 600mm lens and you think that is it, I am going to be the best at this, then some guy with an i phone gets a killer shot and it’s front page news ! Why be part of the long lens and expensive camera crowd in the same place taking the same shots ? Think out of the box and go to the event and shoot the crowds expressions or think of something new and make a name for yourself ! Don’t follow the crowd and don’t believe you need to have 30k in gear to be a great photographer, learn to use what you have. Even better go buy a Film camera for £30 and a lens for £50 and go out and be creative !
With Fuji all the functions I need are on the outside of the camera so I don’t have to dig in the menu’s. This scares some people but this is how you learn your craft. Its not a five minute process it takes years. I have been at it for over 40 years and still learn new things every day and admit it to myself.
It’s not about the camera is about you and it’s a long hard process. No one these days wants to know it’s going to be hard work ! They just want to put pressure on the manufacturers to create camera systems and software that does it all from behind the keyboard.
I am not a technical photographer and I don’t write much about all the camera functions and menu’s. In truth I just don’t care about all that, for me its the end product that comes after my days work that counts, the final image or images.
What is the point in comparing Canon to Nikon or Fuji to Sony? We do that every day with cars, bikes and washing machines. Once you get caught up in all the tech chasing you loose your creative edge. You spend all your time researching cameras and not out shooting, make your choice then one week later Samsung bring out a 20 giga pixel must have camera ! People are still making better images and posting them on flickr with old film cameras in Russia than some of the people with 60k in gear !
It’s like learning to play a violin, it probably wont take you long to get it out of the box , string it, work out the basics and get a sound out of it but there are no short cuts in the learning process. Hard work and dedication will now follow and at some point you might have to admit defeat because you are tone deaf or you just can’t master it. You can still pick it up and enjoy it but you know you will never be a pro.
I know not every one wants to be a Pro Photographer and some people are happy to just walk about taking snaps on their phone or very expensive camera. This post is not about those guys they are happy taking snaps and good luck to them, it’s a great hobby too.
Like a new TV your camera works out of the Box ! You don’t need to educate yourself or be educated in how to use it, the technical side is in the manual that comes with the camera. If you now want to go out, create and become a photographer at any level above snapper, you have to learn. This is a long process for some and quite short for fast learners. Lucky people get it in 30 seconds flat. It takes years for most of us to perfect our craft and to rise to the top of your game. Some people jump from one subject to the other from Landscape to Studio hoping to be noticed but it does not work like that,
I appreciate some people are happy to learn, join clubs and associations but there are some that just want it all on a plate in this modern world and want it for free. Well nothing is for free, hard work, education and dedication is the only way.
There is a faster way, take classes and workshops and learn from the professionals, just like apprentices in the past. My advice there is find your favorite photographer and sign up to their courses and workshops. Its no good learning how to shoot in a Studio when you want to be a landscape photographer, that’s a whole new set of skills.
I get hundreds of emails every year asking this question ” what are your camera presets and can you share them” or “I love your black and white images can you share your Lightroom presets” I don’t use any in camera or Lightroom presets. I shoot in Raw and process every image as an individual image and this shocks people but I am not sure why. If we all used the same presets and programs we would all be the same ! How boring would that be.
You could learn the way I did. I was self taught, and it was all down to trial and error using film. I read lots of books and went out every day and practiced until I got it right. Shooting long exposures with film at 14 was a steep costly learning curve involving hours looking at my mistakes, but I soon learnt.
These days we have Google and YouTube but they are only education tools, they don’t have all the answers and photography is not all about copying other people its about you. It’s about your passion and creativity. There is no substitute for going out every day and shooting, the more time you spend with your camera in your hand the better you will become at using it. Whether you can ever create a great image is another story. I’m still trying.
Photography has so much more to it than cameras along with all the great products you can buy from lighting to filters. I used to have to make my own lighting set ups but I learned so much about lighting doing it that way. I used to make quite a lot of my own photographic accessories for the darkroom and for my camera bag. These days its all on the shelf, but it probably makes it all too easy and stops you thinking.
I am focusing more and more on Street and events and these two choices throw me back twenty years. You don’t need an all singing all dancing DSLR to shoot street or events you need a simple camera with all the controls at you fingertips. All cameras struggle to focus in low light and also struggle to track people in the street. It’s far better to shoot using the skills you have learnt over the years than to try and force the camera to do the impossible. My project this year is Available Light Street and Street Long Exposure Blur. My first day out I was back to stage one, learning how to create the right amount of blur for people in a trial and error way. At least now I don’t have to waist 5o rolls of film to find out how to do it !
There is so much to learn in photography and so many different types. I know some amazing studio photographers that would be out of their depth on a Landscape or wildlife day or even a sports shoot. They could wing it but would struggle. For every different type of photography there are new skills to master. People pick up 600mm lenses in Wildlife and can’t work out why they can’t focus and blame the lens when they need to learn long lens discipline.
Shooting in a studio takes years to master the craft of lighting. I could go on but I just want every one to know there are no short cuts in photography and it’s not all about the camera. It’s all about the skills you learn over the years to create the final image. It’s those skills that will make you stand out from the crowd and give you something to build on so you can be the best at the subject or subjects you choose or help you to change your subject to keep you ahead of the game.
Have a great week and get out there and create…
But don’t go out and shoot a Landscape Long Exposure with a Pier unless you can make it something very special ! #justsaying
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:36:04 +0000X-Photographers Spotlight – Matt Hart
Originally posted on The Fujifilm Blog:
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…
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Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:00:07 +0000Desert Island Fuji
I often get asked what would my desert Island camera be! This used to be a hard question in the days of the DSLRs but not anymore it’s very simple it’s the Fujifilm X100. It does not really matter what version of X100 you have, they are all great. The X100 was a stunning camera and I am sure will go on to be a classic, the X100s was a big improvement and the X100T might not be a massive jump from the S but it’s worth every penny, after all the other two are so last year !
One of the main reasons for my desert island camera choice is the fixed lens, no dust or sand on the sensor is a big plus for me for a take anywhere camera. This camera fits in my pocket and can go anywhere I want all over the world and takes up no room. If you don’t add any of the great lenses and bolt on accessories this little camera even fits in your trouser pocket. I am not going to go in to the technical side of the X100T you can find this information all over the internet. I am not going to tell you about all the great accessories or the two stunning add on lenses because I don’t use them, for one reason and one reason alone they make it bigger for my street work. However the Fujifilm Tele Conversion Lens TCL-X100 and the WCL-X100 Wide Angle Conversion Lens are on my must have list for my Travel Photography.
I am just going to share with you a few of my images I have shot with the X100 versions over the last couple of years. Besides I have to be 100% honest with you and say the last ever camera review I read was on the very first X100 and it sold it down the river! Yes I was late to the X100 because the reviews were not great. Some people still pick this camera up and don’t understand it. But to really appreciate this little camera you need to be stuck on a desert island with it. You will be calling it Wilson by the end of your stay ( for those that watched Cast Away )
I made a big mistake a couple of years back and sold my X100 ! I don’t even know why I did it but I missed it so much. Sounds crazy, when I first got my X100 it drove me nuts at times with its quirks and every time I looked at the image on the back of the screen I was convinced I had not nailed the focus, but I had. Once I had the images open in Lightroom I was happy and excited and wanted to get back out and shoot. It has its quirks but they are very easy to live with but the benefits outweigh any quirks tenfold. This little camera is a carry anywhere camera that packs a massive punch with its stunning sensor.
I have a few friends now that own the X100 the X100s and the X100T to be honest I know a large amount of people that are buying the X100 and they are shooting Fashion,Landscape,Street,Long Exposre and so much more.
For me the X100T is the go anywhere shoot anything camera and even better the X100T is so good looking you never put it away. Mine sits on my desk waiting to go out and shoot. I have a black one and this is my preferred colour for street photography, it suites my candid style.
Lets face it, with the X100T, you can have your cake and eat it…
Wed, 18 Feb 2015 15:25:23 +0000Edinburgh Street Photography Workshop with Matt Hart
Originally posted on The Fujifilm Blog:
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 Strachan for 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…
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