Capturing strangers candidly, yet tack sharp, is probably the toughest technical skill to learn in street photography. With a genre such as landscape photography, you can find your location, plan your shot, wait patiently for the correct lighting, and make sure that you are ready to pounce when the perfect moment hits. But candid street photography is an entirely different beast. Often, you are presented with a moment so quickly that your reaction time is severely tested. It is so tough to frame correctly, focus correctly, and capture a spontaneous shot at the right moment, all while trying to keep things candid. The solution? Learning to zone focus. Not every street photographer zone focuses, but the ones that do swear by it. While I use autofocus when I can, I too swear by it. And with a little practice, it’s not all that hard to learn. Honestly, it’s way harder to explain it than it is to actually do it…..
I’ve posted a number of images on my google+ and artgriffo.tumblr.com blog already. So here are a few recently taken on a photo walk about with my club pals. All images are taken with the Fuji X-E1 and 18-55mm/2.8-4 lens and to my eyes I cannot fault it. I set the camera mainly to 400 iso on aperture priority and set about looking for abstract and street photos. I was particularly pleased with the Monument tube station image (800iso) where the camera proved quite capable of getting the detail from the darker areas and at the same time handling the brighter lights of the station. All the images have been edited in LR4, where I have reduce the highlights and increase the shadow brightness. (a Serge Ramelli tip!) I have enhanced a little colour to taste as it was an overcast day, and with the architecture shot I have used a preset from Trey Ratcliff as a starter and then made some subtle changes to it. Overall I can’t think of a single item of this camera that I would want changed. It focuses fast enough for me, its sharp, has a very easy menu to use. The lens is superb (18-55mm/2.8-4) and an absolute joy to use. This setup just makes me want to get out more and shoot ….
See on onecameraonelens.tumblr.com
On Monday the 23rd, Fujifilm released the firmware 3.00 for the X-Pro1 / X-E1 models. A couple of days later, they withdrew the firmware because it had been causing malfunctions in the movie mode. They restored it soon after, and the new version 3.01 works like a charm. There are several interesting updates, not least of which is the enhanced autofocus, but the feature that interests me the most is the new focus peaking function for manual focusing. A feature seen only on the X100s and X20 so far, Fujifilm is now implementing it on the X-Pro1 and X-E1 as well. It is a really great update and others brands should take note. Fujifilm has always been generous with firmware updates and this is probably the best example.
I’ve always considered the Fuji X-Pro1 an alternative to Leica, even though its sensor is smaller (APS-C vs Full Frame). The retro / rangefinder design, the quality of the build, the quality of the lenses and the attention to detail makes it extremely desirable to professionals. This is, I suppose, why among the official Fujifilm accessories for the camera, you will find a Leica M mount adapter with signal contacts, a function button and menu settings with different functions. A coincidence? I don’t think so. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this wonderful adapter but a simpler one by Quenox…..
Last week, finally, Fuji implemented a long awaited focus peaking (FP) function with their latest FW update. I consider this and the previous update in June (to use Selector button to move AF point) as the most important, at least for me. I have and using various old legacy lenses on a regular basis and those two functions are absolutely critical to achieve the best possible results, especially with fast lenses (f/1.8 or faster) when DOF is really thin and/or main focus point is not in the center of the frame. Once I installed all required updates (including 3.01:) I quickly realized that I can’t use FP! I just couldn’t clearly see FP highlights in the EVF without magnification! Yes, it was clear on LCD and at 3x mag in EVF, but not at default EVF settings. Then I recalled that several months ago, well before FP implementation, one of the fellow photographers (mark-vdi) suggested to change jpeg setting to increase visibility of what was called “shimmering” effect in a standard manual focus mode. Since I don’t care about jpegs I went to Shooting Menu (red icons) # 2 and changed parameters as following: Sharpness=+2, Noise Reduction=-2. I also increased EVF brightness to +1 ( go to Set Up (blue icons) #2, LCD Brightness +1). But you have to do it while looking through the EVF otherwise you will increase LCD brightness instead. Checked again and voilá I could clear see highlights! Now I was ready for the field test…..
See on vkphotoblog.blogspot.ca
What is back button focus and why should you care?
I switched to using the back button (AE-L AF-L) to focus my camera a few months ago and can honestly say i could never go back to the traditional way of auto focusing using your shutter button. It will take a little getting used to at first, but if you stick with it, i can promise you will feel the same way i do. So what is it exactly? In the traditional way of auto focusing your camera, you would half press the shutter, which engages the auto focus system, get the camera to lock focus, and then take the picture by pressing the shutter button all the way down. Ok i am not undermining your intelligence by stating the obvious here, but i wanted to set a baseline for our discussion. With back button focus, you essentially disassociate the function of auto focusing your camera from the function of taking the actual image. You use two buttons instead of one which on the surface may seem quite odd and less efficient but works wonders once you get used to it. Things look even peachier (yes i said peachier) with the X-Pro-1 because the genius minds over at Fuji, know their ergonomics, and placed the buttons in a fantastic place. We will get to that in a minute, first lets continue exploring the idea of back button focus. Here is why you should care about this, and possibly give it a try….
See on paulsamolukphotography.com
A friend of mine recently launched an Artisan Ice Cream company and it is really taking off for him at the moment. No doubt the hot weather helps, but the real attractions are the way the ice cream is made, from scratch with full cream jersey milk and 100% natural ingredients, and the flavours: Thyme and Honey, Ras Al Hanout, Vervain to mention just three. I then there are the chocolate and ginger ice cream cakes, man they are to die for. He is putting together his website and advertising and asked me to take product shots. We planned out two mornings for shooting at the Scaramouche parlour as it was not practical to shoot in my small studio. Ice cream has two problems. The first is from a photographic perspective it is not visually exciting. To avoid bland images you need to use lighting that emphasises shape and texture while adding some styling that does not detract from the core product. The second is that it melts, and in 30+ degrees it melts fast. So you don’t have much time to mess about with lighting. I decided on a simple one light set up as shown below. The soft box creates a large light source relative to the size of the product and so minimises specular highlights. By putting it slightly behind and above the product I can get enough direction on the light to pick out the texture of the ice cream. The reflectors allow me fill in shadows as required……
See on wideanglecafe.wordpress.com
This is a short blog about Lee Filters, 3 Legged Thing and Fuji, and how these companies changed the way I shoot. I run a company called Ideas & Images. We provide both images and ideas to who ever wishes or wants them. Mostly we work within the Fashion world, the slow world of the landscape photographer seemed so far away…….
A while ago, I had a lovely e-mail from a lovely company who make Filters.
Lee Filters popped down to see me and left me with a set of filters specifically designed for CSC cameras. The Seven5 System filters are smaller than the normal 100mm system. The Filter Holder is designed for the compact system cameras and can hold the Lee Seven5 75x90mm filters. Lee also have a range of adapters for all the Fuji & Zeiss lenses. (The Zeiss pictured below is 52mm where as the 18 -55 lens is 58mm. Most of the lenses have different filter sizes). Being a more from the fashion world, I had NEVER used a filter in my life that was a not a screw on style ND, a Polariser or generic camera filter. Seeing how they worked and how they could be used to shoot fashion would be fun (more on that here). Aside from filters and fashion for a moment though. I wanted to explain how 3 Legged thing and Lee Filters changed the way I use the Fuji. I have documented already how the Fuji changed what I shoot. This is the Landscape version of that story……
See on www.davepiper.org.uk
I’ve been using VSCO Film 02 for a week now and so far I like the results of the images I processed using the presets. Only time will tell whether or not I grow tired of the look the presets produce. The nice thing about the film pack and accompanying toolkits, however, is that they make it easy to dial back on “the look”. The adjustments bundled into the film pack and two toolkits for Lightroom each have various versions which let me fine tune my edits quickly and easily. After a week, one of the biggest benefits I’ve noticed is that the presets speed up the editing process while allowing me to maintain a high level of consistency from image to image. True, I could have saved my money and created presets myself that gave me the look I was after. But sometimes, it’s worth the investment to let someone else do part of the work for you, especially when they do it as well as VSCO has done here. Here’s a set of images I shot yesterday and edited using the Fuji Superia 100 preset. For comparison, I also included the JPEGs processed by the Fujifilm X-Pro1 using the built in Astia film simulation mode. (For each set of images, the RAW files edited using VSCO Film are on top while the out of camera JPEGs are on the bottom.) ….
See more pictures on stephenip.com
I have been DSLR free for about two months and all is well. During the past two months I’ve been to Cuba, New York (x2), and Arizona. I feel I have hit just about every type, and kind, of job I do and my little Fujis have performed flawlessly. I really relied on them in Arizona where I was shooting for Land Rover. I shot that job with a mix of Fujis and the Phase One. Everything else has been Fuji only. I have no clue how many miles I have put on my Think Tank Airport Security roller bag. I love that bag and it has been everywhere with me for four or five years as my main camera bag. For the past two months I’ve mainly been living out of the Think Tank Airport Essentials backpack. Here’s a fully packed bag that fits under the seat in coach. I never have to worry about it getting gate checked. Packed in there is a Fuji X-Pro1, X-E1, x100s (x2), a Fuji 60, 35, 14, and the new 55-200, Kung Pao (Yongnuo) 560, an external battery pack for the Kung Pao (JJC), Fuji EF-X20 flash, Wein Safe Sync IR transmitter, an OCF Gear 5 meter Canon cord, a Rainbow Imaging intervalometer and remote release controller (for the X-E1), a Fuji M mount adapter, Macbook Air, external drive, and misc other bits and bobs. Strapped to the side is a Phottix 36″ double fold umbrella, and a one foot length of 1/2″ copper pipe with a small swivel adapter. That’s A LOT of gear in a small bag……
See on zackarias.com
Custom settings can be an extension of the film simulations, adding another layer to your jpgs, or they can be set up to give you the best preview of your RAW files, enabling you to make better exposure decisions. I show you how to set them up, use them effectively and some of my favourite settings for your Fuji X cameras….
See on www.youtube.com