Toronto. City of Scott Pilgrim, craft beer, trams, music and skyscrapers. But was it going to be a city prime for street photography? Or one where the hapless Brit with a Fuji camera get the ever-loving crap beaten out of him? In planning my photography expedition to the rust-belt town of Bradford, PA, it seemed odd to me that the cheapest way of getting there wasn’t to fly to Pittsburgh and coach it up but instead to fly over to Toronto in Canada and catch the Greyhound over the border. Once in Buffalo, it was simply a ninety mile road trip south. Not that I was complaining about getting the chance to see Toronto. I’d been a little in awe of it ever since that wonderful film Scott Pilgrim. It’s a big city and getting bigger, and if you go and catch a film set in New York, chances are its actually filmed in Toronto. But I didn’t have long there; a mere few days to hang out with a friend, drink some fine beer and go walking the streets, taking pictures. Unfortunately visiting Toronto didn’t turn out as pleasant as I hoped. Indeed, it was there that photography, for the first time, got me a nasty beating…
As a portrait photographer, I am always inspired by other photographers that have the ability to capture a portrait that is so compelling and thought provoking. It is a rare gift to capture the essence of a person within a photograph, really touching the hearts of those that view the portrait. I would like to introduce to you, a photographer that does this very thing, his images are so beautiful and raw. Harsh in presence, yet emotional while inviting you into a very personal space. I have always loved his work, so it is my honour to share with you all, Patrick St-Hilaire…..
This Coffee Shop was one of my best experiences ever in my life. It’s located in Shibuya district. It was a magical place where we visited after a long walk in Tokyo. We loved it so much that in my whole trip in Japan I was eager to go back to Tokyo, just to visit this place. It’s like escaping in time in a way you never experienced. Initially I’ve read this place in the book “The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee”. I didn’t know that my Hotel was just next to this coffee shop until I’ve fired Google Maps. The Coffee itself was very dense. The barista spent something like 15-20 minutes just to prepare the Nel Drip. He used the kettle in a way I’ve never saw. It was like he was counting every single drop, slowly. He didn’t weighted the beans either. It was like he was born with that particular skill……
From 1981 to 2009, I used a Leica M rangefinder system continuously. As most practitioners of the art know, the Leica M, with its simple, optical view of the world, small size and ease of pre-setting controls, made it the supreme tool for street photography. In the winter of 2014, I finally got around to looking at the Fuji X system. I was especially attracted to the X-Pro1 body. Its optical finder and interchangeable lens capability really brought me back to my old Leica M system, which I had become comfortable with, for nearly 30 years of daily use. Over this past year since I’ve owned the Fuji X-Pro1, I’ve discovered a way to set up the camera to make it work for me. This is by no means the only the way to use the Fuji X-Pro1 for street work. But it’s what I’ve figured out from using the camera on the street, over dozens of hours. With this set-up, I’ve found the Fuji X-Pro1 becomes a quick-reacting, responsive and invisible partner for me, when I’m shooting on the street. Very similar, although not identical, in the way I shot with the Leica M rangefinder. In addition, I’ll also cover the equally important set-up choices beyond the camera and lens. Namely, the shoulder strap, camera bag or pouch, and the importance of great footwear…..
In a recent post, I described the kit I took on the most recent photo tour I led to Africa. The kit included the Fuji X-T1 and in this post, I’m going to talk about my impressions of using that X-T1 in the field, how well it performed, and whether I would bring it again. At the end is a gallery of images I made with the X-T1. When I told some people I was bringing the X-T1 on safari, they shook their heads. While people love their X-T1’s, there’s general consensus that it’s not suitable for sports or wildlife photography – anything with fast action. And for those who follow online forums and Facebook groups and are familiar with the challenges many people face with the X-T1, much of this article will be predictable. That’s probably a good thing: ultimately I just want my systems to be better and if Fuji is already aware of their gear’s good and bad points, that increases the likelihood that they’re already working on improving them. And that’s a good thing because I’m biased: I want this gear to work well since it has many great points and ultimately my goal is to change my kit to use gear that is lighter and smaller than my current gear. My standard safari kit for several years has included the Canon 5D Mark III and that is my benchmark for the X-T1. I may not need the X-T1 to measure up to the 5D3 in all areas but there are a few areas of functionality that are critical to successful shooting on safari…….
Here the elements speak. Art and Matter combined — fiber artist and silversmith. Each one speaking in a voice of passion, precision and intensity; their gestures delicate, precious, attentive and rooted in technical mastery. When the Art of Aubusson tapestry encounters traditional cutlery… The resulting creations are nothing less than astonishing. This is a world of contrasts, from the soft and quiet whispers of the loom to the fiery depths of the forge. It echoes the surrounding countryside and its dense forests where the sun can rip through the undergrowth in one sharp, blinding fury. Surrounded by tens of coloured balls of twine, Marie-Armelle works patiently, repeating century-old gestures recognized as part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Each and every new piece of Aubusson tapestry destined to grace a knife. From the small room where she toils you can hear the clanging of the hammer falling on the anvil, the old bellows awakening the soul locked inside the metal… This is where David conquers the elements, hours upon hours spent hammering the blades, cutting, sharpening, sanding, polishing… I’d like to invite you here, to spend a few hours or a few days in the heart of La Creuse. To breathe, to smell, to observe and listen. To discover the authenticity of two artisans, two unique savoir-faire’s — borne of tradition and modernity……..
Au Japon, ou plutôt à Tokyo on s’habille en costume noir pour aller travailler dans son entreprise. Ces hommes ont des horaires assez difficiles, debout très tôt et au lit très tard.
Une série un peu contrastée ( au Japon il y a Moriyama donc ça peu passer ) sur mes rencontres de la journée.
Toutes les photos ont été prises avec le Fuji X-Pro 1 comme objectifs j’ai utilisé le 35mm ainsi que le 18mm. Pour ce genre de traitement, un point and shoot ou un smartphone feraient l’affaire.
Pas grand chose pour le traitement: simplement assez dur. J’ai amélioré mes images dans lightroom avant d’utiliser SilverEfex pour le passage au noir et blanc.
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Thomas Menk defines himself as a fine art photographer, a designer, a philosopher, a composer, a father, a learner and a human being. He is undoubtedly all of those, but he’s also an official Fujifilm X-Photographer and the curator of a growing and popular collection of links to blog posts and web pages about the Fuji X series of cameras. Based on my interaction with him, he seems to me a soft-spoken, humble gentleman that is not going to be changed by his popularity. If you read his answers, I am sure you will agree with me.
F Stop Lounge: Tell us a bit about you and your photography.
Thomas Menk: I am an entrepreneur with different sectors of activity and companies. Photography was and is my passion since more than 20 years. Through various exhibitions in galleries and in my own gallery my photography work became a lucrative sideline in recent years, so now I need a new hobby :) My focus is in landscape and travel photography. However, I also love street photography – but without people ;-) As a landscape and nature photographer, I think that people even disturb the peace and harmony of the composition. Nevertheless, I find it very nice to find places in towns without people and hold them. Sometimes quite a challenge. Photography is a nice balance to my other activities and I love the luxury of not having to earn my living with this…….
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This was my third trip to Iceland. My intent was to take some pics, reflect, and submit to some geographic OCD. My first trip to Iceland included eight glorious days driving the Ring Road. Three years later I returned with my family so they could experience this beautiful country and landscape. They got to experience a lot of the south coast along with the usual Geysir > Gullfoss > Þingvellir circuit. New to me on this family trip was a visit to the Snæfellsnes. So on my map of Iceland I had completed the big circle and several peninsulas, but there was one major region left unseen: The Westfjords. And it bothered me that to have a whole region unexplored. I flew from Boston arriving midnight at Keflavik, walked over to the Airport Hotel and grabbed a room for the night. After a good night’s sleep and an Icelandic breakfast of breads, meats, cheeses, muesli and yogurt, I walked back to the airport to and picked up my rental car. My destination was Ísafjörður, far to the north…….
A recent phone call from a client for a rush photoshoot led to a great opportunity to use the lighting skills I learned many years ago at the BBC. All I knew was we had the Bristol Museum available for 2 hours and we needed a couple of wow shots for an event campaign. I suggested a few models and together with designer Molly Mishy May, we worked out the plan. Vicki was to do Victoria’s hair at my studio ahead of the shoot to save time on set and while I rigged lights she was to work with Donatella. It was a great plan and it worked perfectly. You have to start with the end in mind. As soon as I was on set with my clients I established the fact they wanted one shot with portrait orientation for a poster and leaflet campaign with space at the top and on the left for text and one landscape orientated shot for body copy. Both shots needed to show the museum as a classic building suitable to hold functions. The models were to be in dramatic poses as if playing roles in a performance rather than just looking pretty……….