Man, I love an adventure! I have had some incredible experiences in my lifetime, and this is right up there with the best of them. Ashley & Garrett, you guys are the coolest – way beyond anything I could have imagined; still not as cool as Rachel & Jeje though. It was an honour to spend the past week in Jamaica together with you, your kids, and your family & friends – we had fun! It is going to be very difficult to express such an awesome experience and my hope is that these photographs repay your trust and faith in me. This. Is. Just. A. Preview. And YES Ash, I will be your BFF, so long as Garrett is ok with it. Boom!
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There was a good response after last weeks post giving some examples of how I’ve used the Fuji X100S mirrorless camera whilst photographing a wedding, so I thought I’d post a few more pictures. Again, these are mainly from the preparation and drinks reception, points in the day when I can take my time to concentrate on the composition and not worry too much about being ‘reactionary’. One of the things I love about using this tiny camera is the fast f/2.0 fixed 23mm lens. Because the sensor is smaller than a traditional 35mm DSLR, the equivalent focal length is 35mm, and the images have slightly more depth of field than a f/2.0 lens would have on it’s larger cousin. But for a camera this small, the shallow depth of field is still almost unique. I use that feature a lot in my compositions, framing the subject with natural elements, the depth of field drawing the viewers attention to the subject with less distraction…..
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Part of Fuji’s original XF lens lineup launched alongside the X-Pro 1, the 18mm pancake prime has a bit of a reputation for being the worst of the bunch. The problem is this reputation really isn’t deserved. Sure it’s not quite as sharp across the frame as its 35 and 60mm siblings, but it’s a very different class of lens. What it offers is a really compact, wide view of the world with a bright f2 maximum aperture and crazy close focusing abilities. It can also produce some surprisingly nice bokeh. I’ve been shooting the 18mm f2 for several months – in fact it replaced my 18-55mm zoom as I prefer shooting primes and wanted something more compact. So far I’ve not been disappointed…..
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Look, we all know how good and adaptable the XP1 is. That’s info known since it’s birth. Fuji make an adapter for M Mount lenses that’s better and smarter than anything else available. It’s got good communication skills with the camera. It’s not the smartest thing to have around because even if you tell it that you have a 15mm lens on, it still can’t figure out what f/stop the lens is at. That’s ok anyway because I always know where my exposure is set, except most times I let the camera choose ISO. The 15mm Heliar is a lens that helps define me. I used a 21mm on my Leica M’s for a spell but didn’t really crave it. With the XP1 there’s a definite affinity that gets me going on that FOV. Sometimes I need to be set free. Well, free within the guidelines established for my work. I guess it’s called pushing the envelope. Yeah, yeah, that’s what I’m doing…pushing the envelope. Funny thing is, that when I use the 15mm, (22.5mm FOV)….I feel perfectly natural in that space. See, it’s about space and how you deal with the boundaries that the lens imposes on your frame……
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Recently went to Antigua on assignment to shoot the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge (more on that in another post). I stayed on the island an extra 5 days to explore, photograph, and relax. Needless to say, it was amazing. All images created with Fujifilm x100s and X-Pro1……
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When I am not out with my camera I can sometimes suffer with such terrible ISFS – that’s “Itchy Shutter-Finger Syndrome” if you’re wondering, and can be quite psychologically debilitating, I promise you! Over the past few days I have been wanting more than I have for a while, to just get out for a day and explore. On Friday, I made up my mind, that Saturday was to be that day. And what happened on Saturday? The rain came down longer and harder than I have seen over the past couple of weeks. Still, my mind was made up, wet weather gear at the ready and I was going out. Not even the threat from above would stop me…..
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It is hard to describe what draws us to places like Bodie. Maybe it is the beauty of the forgotten and rusty; maybe it is the dark history or a search for ghosts of the past. One thing is for sure – after documenting all major ghost towns of the West over the last few years we couldn’t be more pleased. Each ghost town provided us with great history lessons, unforgettable adventures and beautiful imagery. After visiting Sandon, Cody, Shaniko, Antelope, Elkhorn and Garnet, it was time to set our sights on Bodie – the largest and most popular ghost town in North America. Its reputation preceded it. Quoting from the diary of a girl who was taken to this infamous town: “Goodbye God, I am going to Bodie.” Bodie got its name from Waterman S. Body, who discovered gold in 1859 and started yet another gold rush. At its peak, the town had a population of 10,000. While most mining towns of that time couldn’t be mistaken for their elegance and law-abiding citizens, Bodie gained an especially bad reputation. Killings, fires, fights and robberies combined with 65 saloons offered all sorts of relaxation to stressed miners……..
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When I first went freelance I treated myself to some new gear. I bought a laptop – a necessary business expense – and a new camera, the Fuji X-Pro1, which at the time was on a special deal whereby you bought the body and an 18mm F2 lens for £999, and got a free lens from a choice of 27mm, 35mm or 60mm by redemption. I went for the 35mm F1.4. Financially, it wasn’t perhaps the best idea – I hadn’t completely got my head around how long it takes to get paid when you’re self-employed – but I don’t regret it. The weight, size, understated appearance and image quality of the X-Pro1 have made it feel like a great investment……..
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There are lots of benefits of using the tiny and silent Fuji X100S to photograph a wedding. Although I mainly use Canon cameras through the wedding day, there are many great opportunities when this little camera is a better option for me. That’s usually when I want to get in close to my subjects without affecting their behaviour. Its small size, and silence is what’s most important here. But there have been small and quiet compact cameras around for a while now – what makes the Fuji different is the amazing clarity and image quality. These images fit in perfectly with those shot on the larger Canon SLR’s, and it’s pretty hard to distinguish between them in the finished set. To prove this point, all of these images were shot on the Fuji X100S. I’ve used the camera during the preparations as well as when doing the portrait session with the bride and groom. Also over the last year, I’ve been trying to put my heavy DSLR’s in the bag for an hour or so, and just mingle with the guests. The camera and sensor are versatile enough to be able to use it in more or less any lighting conditions, so I can concentrate on recognising great moments and the composition……
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