Yesterday I assisted in the coverage of the wedding of Samantha & Richard Demko which was held at Chiddingstone Castle Kent. From the minute I arrived I knew this was a very very special wedding, no expense spared…the Bridal party were stunning, and Samantha the bride was mind glowingly beautiful. She had a glow about her that only a woman in love could radiate. I get to see so many stressed brides, Samantha certainly wan’t one of them – she had everything planned to the tee. The weather was looking unsettled during the bridal preparations, and it looked to thwart an outside wedding which they had planned….in the end the sun did good and followed was a beautiful ceremony held in the Orangery to the rear of the castle in the quaint gardens. Here are few images I made from the day, as always my X-Pro1 is performing flawlessly- discrete, understated and always a conversation piece. Sam & Rich if you are reading this I mean it when I say “It was pleasure to be part of your big day” – the boys and girls were immaculately turned out and everyone made me feel very welcome to be your photographer….
This post is a bit overdue and because of that it’s probably going to be a bit long… In case you haven’t noticed I’ve been in the process of switching my entire kit over from a canon full frame kit to a fuji APS-C (“crop”) kit. This has roots that go back about 5 years when I started shooting my PAD project with a panasonic GF1. Since then I’ve always had a smaller camera of some sort for taking with me everywhere, skiing, on the boat, anywhere we go. Last summer I bought a Fuji XE1 as that small camera option. It was a good camera, better than I’d imagined. It’s IQ is on par with or even beats canon’s APS-C sensors and it’s right there with the canon 5D mark II. It’s really incredible what fuji has done with the sensor they’re putting in these cameras. Once I’d had the XE1 for a while there were a few things it did amazingly well (image quality and portability) but a few things it wasn’t as good at (namely auto focus). The system was also missing a few key lenses to be a complete replacement for my canons. Fall brought us the XE2 which brought better AF but still not quite what I felt I needed to consider a full switch. It was a nice improvement to the XE1 (which I sold to fund the XE2) but still not quite what I needed. Skip forward to winter and fuji announced all the lenses their lineup was missing for an exact swap as well as the new fuji X-T1 which promised much improved auto focus……
When I lead one of my photo safaris to Tanzania, I’m used to taking a lot of heavy gear. By the time I put more than one DSLR in my bag along with several big lenses, it’s common to take over 30 pounds of it. Because of this, I’m always on the lookout for ways to reduce baggage size and weight. I’ve been following the development of Fujifilm’s X system because of its reputation for being small and light but with high image quality. When I had the chance to travel again to France a few weeks ago, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to leave the big gear behind and try using the Fuji system for street photography. The X-T1 is significantly smaller and lighter than a full-sized DSLR and that extends to Fuji’s lenses as well. I brought a kit with the X-T1 plus 4 lenses: 14mm, 35mm, 18-55mm, and 55-200mm. All performed beautifully and even though the 18-55mm is a kit lens, it showed excellent sharpness. The entire kit weighed 7 pounds including a few extra batteries and other accessories in my bag. A far cry from my safari gear!……
A little while ago, I spent some quality time comparing the Fuji X-E1 to the newer X-E2. I tried to give an honest appraisal of both cameras, pointing out where the X-E2 had leapt forward, and where it still fell short. In that comparison, I praised the X-E1 for its excellent value, image quality, and overall ability next to its younger sibling, even as I declared the X-E2 the overall better camera. That was back in January, and things didn’t change much until early May, when I picked up a second X-E2 for wedding work, and thought about putting the X-E1 out to pasture. Since the X-E1 vs. X-E2 comparison has been one of my most-searched and most read blogs, I figured it was worth talking about what changed between now and then… and maybe I’ll talk a little bit about why I don’t have Fuji’s newest darling, the X-T1…….
If I needed a reminder that I should find a little more time for cityscapes and architectural photography, then I certainly got that on my recent visit to London. I was down for a meeting to discuss a women in photography programme for the Photography Show next year and took the opportunity to travel down on the afternoon beforehand, hoping for some great conditions for photography. How lucky I turned out to be! I was staying in a super flat owned by friends near Holborn – it’s on the 10th floor of a tower block and offers some great views over London. I waited a while before heading out – to see how the conditions were going to develop – and, in the meantime, had fun doing abstract shots of some of the nearby buildings……..
Sample images from Berlin with Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF35mm, Fujinon XF50-230mm and Zeiss Touit 2.8/12mm
I’ve been hibernating away from motorsports for a while now. Like a fat grub I’ve cocooned myself away in a ball of work and doughnuts. I got to emerge today, not as a beautiful butterfly but more one of those gross grey looking moths that are uncomfortably too big to ignore. It’s also really been the first time I’ve given the Fujifilm XT-1 a good run at action. Manuel Goria and I headed out to the rocky Beverley countryside before dawn today to capture some natural terrain motocross. Honestly I’ve been a bit doubtful on the Fujis abilities. I’ve used to X100 and XPro-1 and neither were even close enough to being sports cameras. But that’s not really why you would own one. They are more the jazz record to your drum and bass. The XT-1 however seems to be getting closer, maybe a nice solid breakbeat. It’s still got a lot of quirks, especially coming from a Canon DSLR system. The EVF is a fraction jagged and the shutter lag is still ever present. It’s faster than the old models, but still you have to fire the shutter a little before you are hoping to frame the image. Not much, just a little…….
I have so much to write about how Fujifilm cameras have changed the way I shoot and how DSLRs are starting to feel like strangers to me; indeed it’s no surprise that many people on the Internet are starting to call it the new Leica or Leica for those who are on a budget(or not as rich as Leica owners) :) The interesting(and hateful too!) part about Internet is that as soon as a new gear is released you would see a lot of technical reviews, charts, and performance tests all over the place. Sometimes they do get in the way of our creative minds, so that urge to try new cameras will always kick that mental and emotional areas in your skull and you will keep telling yourself “I want it, I want it, I want it and so on, hahaha”…….
Today I arranged some time in the studio to really put the X-T1 and the Fujinon XF 56mm f1.2 through it’s paces. I wanted to try using the various Fuji colour profiles the camera has as well as use it with different types of studio lights and wireless triggers to see what worked and what didn’t. Well as normal the X-T1 just blew me away with it’s ease of use. By using the preview exposure in manual mode all of my images were perfectly exposed and the highlights were as wanted. The 56mm performed flawlessly as always, such an amazingly sharp lens! For those that know me i have always previously been a Canon shooter, starting with the 5D, then moving up to the 5DMKII and finally onto the 1DX. I had a array of “L” lenses as I openly admit to having what they call “gear acquisition syndrome” or GAS for short. basically I can’t stop buying camera equipment. Not a bad thing really as I could be wasting my money on drinking, smoking, gambling etc. All things I don’t do (well the odd football bet doesn’t count does it??). Well anyway I made the switch over to Fuji and the X-T1 and X-Pro1 bodies, much to the aghast of some and haven’t looked back. I am so happy I made the change. Not only is all my kit lighter to carry but I’m achieving far better results than I was previously, anyway I digress so back to the day…….
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2
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