I was once torn between a 10 year love affair with my Canon and a blossoming romance with a newly acquired pre-production model of the Fujifilm X-T2. After posting my initial thoughts on the X-T2 I decided to give it a proper go, leaving the Canon sitting in the drawer, rather than shooting with both throughout sessions. It was scary at first but after just a few more weeks playing around with my new toy I can honestly say I’ve found a clear winner. The Fuji has the edge over the Canon in ways that leaves the Canon rather unappealing. Returning to it provides no thrill or excitement which is not how I want to feel when picking up a camera. My Canon 5D MKIII is solid and reliable I’ll admit. Its been everything I needed since I bought it. I began with the MK I and upgraded to the MKIII. I thought I’d want nothing else but a Canon. I thought I’d stick with it right to the very end. It had everything I needed and could ever need. Or so I thought…….
Source: Christina Lauder Portraits
A few days ago a friend of mine, Chris Murphy, shot me a message that was, more or less, „Model. Smoke bombs. You in?“ Being new to Toronto and just itching to shoot I just had to jump at the chance. I packed a few lenses, but for these shots I ended up sticking with the Jupiter 9, and 85mm F2 beauty of a lens. To adapt these to the XT-1 I used the Mitakon Turbo booster II, basically giving a full frame field of view and DOF and, more importantly to me, allowing to to really use every ounce of character that these vintage lenses have. I wanted to keep that vignietting and corner softness and the focal reducer allowed me to do that……
For a few years now, I’ve relied on Fujifilm’s X-Series as my workhorse system for documentary, street, and travel photography. Originally working with an X100s and an X-E1, I’ve now added the X-Pro2 to the stable. (These days, the X-E1 is a backup body.) However, for studio work I’ve continued to rely on Canon. Studio work involves different kinds of habits from those of the photojournalism I usually do. The thought process in working with lights, settings, models, and scenes is nearly quite the opposite kind of thinking required to capture unfolding moments on the street. Studio work is slower and more deliberate, and the distractions of the equipment cannot be avoided, with each shot requiring manual adjustments of light stands and strobe settings. For studio thinking, I always found a Canon DSLR a good match. The studio is about controlling light, and it’s often a dim place to work. Seeing directly through the lens is not only easier in low light, but it also makes me feel more connected to the model………
A good portrait is the one in which you are able to “capture the moment“. It is that fraction of a second in which your subject has that sparkle in her eyes, in which the world seems suspended. To capture the moment, to take one of those breathtaking images of a woman, there are few things you need to focus on, and none of them is technical. You don’t need to own the most expensive gear to capture the moment, nor you have to understand complex rules of photography; it is all about your subject and how you can get that incredible gaze. Do you want to learn how to capture the moment for a beautiful portrait? How to capture the moment…….
Here are 42 photographs taken from a recent bridal collection shoot. I’ve shared them to show how I process my monochrome images using the new Acros film simulation from Fujifilm. Please feel free to read or just browse the pictures for ideas and inspiration. I shot in RAW and used the Pro Neg S film simulation with H tone set to -1, S tone set to -1, Sharpness set to -2, Noise reduction set to -3 and the White balance set to K and carefully adjusted for each set up. The White balance is the only element that gets transferred to the RAW processing engine however the other factors give me the perfect image on the camera LCD to enable me to set the lighting contrast and exposure…..
Here is a preview of the photo shoot I did with Romane. This series was made at an abandoned site, in Verviers area! For this session, I tried to have a more natural approach. The photos were shot with the Fuji X-T1 and the Fujinon 56mm 1.2, made without flash or reflector. The photos were then treated with Lightroom and Photoshop……
This is quite an old project but thought it deserved to be resurrected….. One of the first concepts I did when I got the X-T1 is to try out some black light photography. I’ll tell you the story first… Then I’ll get technical. This was a collaboration between myself, Omar Hassib on video, Red Broad on make and up and our model and vocalist Pimms Brooke. Omar and I are from White Cube. I had heard of Pimms for a while and she’d been making a lot of noise in Dubai so I got in touch and asked to collaborate. We met on set for the first time and created this magic. I also met Red on set for the first time and we ended up working to together on a few other things that I may talk about in other posts. Knowing Pimms was a singer, I brought my guitar down to the shoot with me. I didn’t tell her about this… But I had planned to do a little behind the scenes music video. We rehearsed a few times here and there during breaks between the shoot and then did our performance for the camera…….
Amazing photo shoot with the very beautiful and talented dancer „Renelle Snelleksz“ using the X Pro1 and the 18-55 f2.8 fuji lens. This is my first attempt to capture dance in a studio environment. Most comments from users say that the X Pro1 is not fast focussing or is unsuitable for sports. It is true its not as fast as the new generation nikon or canon but for most purposes its fast enough. Renelle was moving fairly fast with the ribbons making patterns in the air. the X Pro 1 was set to 1/125 to sync the studio flash and f 11 for most captures. lighting was with two soft boxes in front set to half power and a spot from the rear to provide the rim light and highlight the ribbons. Focussing was set to „C“. In the majority of the Raw files the pictures are sharp but out of a total of about 650 captures about 10% was out of focus. Even with flash the ribbons show movement which adds to the image. I am sure that with the new X Pro2 the success rate will be much higher. This shoot calls for anticipation as I need to release the shutter just before the ribbons reach the peak. otherwise its too late and the moment is gone for ever. Not easy as you dont know where the ribbon is going to be. overall very pleased with the result……
A couple of weeks ago I had a e-mail from a publishing company wanting a few images to use taken on theXF90mm F2. It turned out that this was one of the very few lenses I didn’t have my self. I had taken a few images with a prototype version of the lens but nothing that really did show the lens of to the best. A few days later there was a knock at the door, the XF90mm F2 was here and off we went down to the New Forest to shoot some images. The XF90mm F2 is among the best lenses made by Fujinon. This goes for both the build quality & the optical quality. One question that comes up again and again is ‘should you use a prime lens over a zoom lens’. The XF90mm F2 is one of those lenses that shows just why primes still have the edge when you are looking for optical perfection…….
Every now and then, on rare occasions, I happen upon a lens that produces exceptional results. I once had a 150mm Sonnar C lens for my old Hasselblad 500 cameras. It produced a creamy smoothness while maintaining great sharpness and contrast. I used it whenever I was shooting beauty assignments on film. Recently, I have been noticing another lens that is delivering exceptional qualities in a variety of situations, but is particularly good when use for beauty photography. It is the Fuji XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR lens and at $999 for the quality you get, it’s a steal. Fuji also makes the 56mm f/1.2 lens, which is sensational for portraits, very sharp with good bokeh effects . The 56mm is pretty much the perfect portrait focal length falling right in the middle of the full frame equivalent portrait range of 75-105mm. The lens was so sharp with great color, contrast and a dynamic range so extensive that when I would pick up my film from the lab I was often asked what I had used to get such a great image………
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 90mm F2.0
Do you love my work and want to support me? If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out above-noted links. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to me. Thank you!