Month: August 2017
What can I say ! Days 11/12 did not go to plan but thats Photography for you.
I am sitting here waiting for the GFX to be picked up to return to Hire A Camera. Its a strange feeling thats for sure and made even worse by the fact the last two days did not quite go to plan. I guess I am going to miss the GFX so I have Hired it out twice more and I have also sold quite a lot of my X Series camera bodies and a few lenses.
So what went wrong on day 11 ! It was my own fault to be honest, I had decided to go into town with my mate Richie and shoot the Liverpool Library Roof and the amazing Stairs as well as the Picton Reading room. I was quite excited about this but had forgotten it was a Bank Holiday ! When we got there the Library was shut, I was not happy with myself and instead of picking myself back up and cracking on with another plan I was deflated and not even coffee and an Oat Cookie in Caffe Nero could help.
My new plan was to shoot some Street but after wandering around town for 10,000 steps it was quite apparent the light was not great and the subjects were all quite boring ! Not many interesting people about just people shopping. Some days no matter how hard you try you just cant make it work or you overthink it. I was also still fed up from the library being closed. We even went to some of my favorite spots in hope of insperation but in the end just gave up looking.
Day 12 was then written off by a couple of Jobs that came in so the GFX went back in the box !
I have the GFX50s coming back to me in October so my plan is to revisit the Library and have a few more ideas up my sleeves.
I have spoken to quite a few people that now own or have hired the GFX over the last few weeks and asked them for their thoughts ! Not one person has given me any Negatives, this is quite interesting. People normally come up with a niggles but not one negative, very strange. The only slight negative is the fact the GFX is bigger than the rest of the X Series but this is well over compensated by the amazing camera.
Personally I love it, the images out of this thing are stunning and just a pleasure to process in Lightroom. I love the RAW files and love how easy it is to take the RAW to a very quick colour edit. I also love the RAW to Silver Efex conversion it’s like the very first XPro1 sensor but on Steroids.
The camera is easy to handle and the touch screen is stunning with some amazing quick swipe features. Its not light but its not as heavy as I had expected.
I hired the GFX to convince myself it wouldn’t fit into my workflow, but this has backfired. I do not shoot commercial work and I do not need images the size of billboards. I do however print my work but not in any great size. Most of my work apart from Exhibitions and Prints only ever gets seen online. So I was sure this camera had no place in my workflow because most people that view my work do so on a smartphone or tablet. I now admit I am wrong, you can see the amazing sharpness and depth to the GFX images even on Instagram.
Fujifilm call this camera the Game Changer and it is that and so much more. The first image out of the GFX and boom, you wake up to all new possibilities. Its an inspirational camera thats for sure. I think this camera is a Rule Breaker for sure. You should not be able to take images like this on a camera under the 20k bracket but here we are stonking great big amazing images for under 10k and yes in price point of a high end DSLR ! Games has now changed Rules have now been broken and the future has just been brought so much closer !
Yes I do NEED a Medium Format camera…
Well day 10 did not turn out as expected due to far too many phone calls first thing this morning followed by a few to many important emails. So the Liverpool Street plan was scrapped hopefully I can get out on Monday and Tuesday and try again.
I instead decided to go to Speke Hall and take my tripod for some long exposures if the weather held out. Unfortunately as soon as I got there the sun came out and the clouds started to clear so I only managed one LE shot and that is the black and white image below. Its also the School holidays and I had forgotten about that so the place was packed. Great for LE as you can just make the people disappear. I did manage to grab a few shots with no people as well.
I have work commitments for the next three days so wont be able to use the GFX again until Monday and Tuesday so will have to write up days 11 and 12 then, after that the GFX has to go back to Hire A Camera !
I only managed one LE shot but was blown away with the dynamic range of the GFX I did one practise LE shot and underexposed by about 3 minutes. When I moved the exposure slider in Lightroom I found I could rescue the image. I then moved the slider to + and – 5 stops and was blown away but the fact the image could go to both extremes without loss of detail ! This camera is truly quite amazing.
I used to dream as a lad of being a photographer and always wanted to have a great big medium format camera for Landscape and Portraiture. I have owned some MF film cameras but only Hired MF digital cameras due to cost. I think now that Fujifilm have brought MF into the realms of high end DSLRs it’s time for me to fullfill a little boys dream and look at purchasing a MF camera for myself. Once you have used the GFX it really does put all other cameras to shame. Low Noise High Iso Capability combined with super sharp images with a depth and feel you can only get from MF is just the start of this love affair with MF and the GFX. The tones out of the camera are just stunning and the handling is just so intuitive. The touch screen is so clever I found out today that when viewing a scene on the rear LCD if you swipe down you get a heads up aircraft style display to help you get the camera level on all axis.
I did not manage to get many images from today but here are a few, all images shot on 32-64m lens.
I have been busy the last three days with making a short film with two guys from London in Liverpool can’t go in to too much detail but the GFX was involved.
I cant share images from the film but did manage to grab a few shots during the filming over the last few days.
I decided to only use the 63mm f/2.8 over the last three days and make myself work for my shots. I am yet again blown away by this camera ! I might have to take back all I have said about being to big to shoot Street ! Its not the smallest camera in the world and even with the shutter sound turned off it sounds like and old fashioned film camera but no one seems to notice !
I did how ever get some looks from staff when I entered some of the buildings in Liverpool and I have never had that before ! One even said now Filming in here you know !! That was a first for me so I had to explain it was a stills camera !
As you have probably noticed this is no way a technical look at the GFX, I dont ever feel the need to give you all that information there are people far better than me to google to get tec reviews.
Shooting the Albert Dock at night at 12800 ISO (ISO set to Auto) was very interesting ! I still can’t believe I was walking around in the dark even after the blue hour shooting hand held in very dim light and still looking for shots.
This is one very versatile and incredible piece of kit.
I am just just about getting used to its size and weight now, and starting to work out how to handle the camera in the Streets. The menu is a breeze as it’s the same as the other X Series cameras.
I am hoping to get out tomorow in to town and give some street a go with the Zoom and the 63mm and see what I prefer ! I am not a Zoom kind of guy but on the GFX its growing on me.
GFX days 4,5,6 are all a bit of a blur, it was such a great weekend with great friends and went far to fast.
It was Fujiholics Wales Weekend. This year a small group of Fujiholics met up in Beddgelert for the weekend with no real plan. Well there was a plan, take a few photos drink some beer have a few coffees and some cake ! Share some stories and catch up with friends old and new.
We all met up on Cae Du Campsite on Friday night and had a few beers and discussed the plan for Saturday ! This was a complete waste of time as we changed our minds in the morning. We decided to take the Steam Train from Beddgelert to Porthmadog on the Welsh Highland Railway. The original plan was to do a Circular Walk.
It was a fantastic little journey and Jane was just a little bit excited ! She even got to drive a Steam Train at Porthmadog station with some of the girls in the group.
We went in to an amazing cafe called Jennys for breakfast in Porthmadog, they had some of the best home cooked cakes we had seen for quite a while ! The Lemon meringue pies were to dies for and we brought two for the journey home !!
We had a great journey back and ate most of the lemon meringue and finished the evening off in the village in Saracens Head with a very nice meal and a few pints.
We all made our own way home on Sunday as North Wales was quite busy and there were not to many places to park for a Fujiholics tour…
I shot all the images from the weekend on the GFX in a variety of lighting conditions and processed the black and white images with Silver Efex Pro and the colour images are all just a very quick lightroom edit.
I carried the GFX around all weekend and I have to say it was not as heavy as I expected but its still on the heavy side. You know you have it round your neck after a days walking thats for sure. The point is though does it matter ? The answer is yes and no ! Its heavy and if it was a DSLR there would be no point in the extra weight when you have the X-T2 or XPro2 but this thing is so good you dont care ! I again only went out with the 32-64mm lens just to save carrying the other lenses with me and found it just perfect a very versatile lens indeed.
I am shooting a film in the morning and will be taking the GFX and might try one of primes just to change things up abit.
I will try and get you some images online tomorow night when we finish shooting the video but if I get in late I will skip it until Wednesday night.
So far I am loving the GFX and so much so I have just hired it again for another project in November. I have hired a some diferent lenses for November so will be able to show you the a few images shot on those then. I still have to use the 63mm and the and the 120mm and hope to do that this week at some point.
I cant wait to get up to Scotland to shoot some Landscape with this amazing bit of kit.
One thing is for sure I will be sad to see the GFX go back at the end of the hire its got to be the best camera I have ever used in my life and the files are just so easy to edit ! They are a breeze in Lightroom, I am for the first time just starting to fall a little in love with Colour !!! Yes on my year of colour I am starting to work out what I like about colour and thats all down to the GFX.
Is it day 3 already !
I decided to take the GFX in to town (Liverpool) with me for a little walk around, again no tripod and the 32-64mm Zoom, just wanted another day with a camera over my shoulder and no bag.
I decided to shoot for Colour today following on from yesterdays black and white work, just to make a change and make me look for more interesting shots involving interesting colours.
I first went in to Bold Street Coffee my favorite coffee shop in Liverpool, I love this place the coffee is amazing and so is the fruit toast. Its not the largest place but you can always get a seat, I have never waited more than a few minutes. Great place to sit and think before you walk round the city. There is always an Exhibition on in the cafe this time it was painted skateboards.
I then walked down Bold St to Resurrection and noticed the have a new Cafe and Barbers upstairs. I took the shot more as a reference shot to remind me to come back when the upstairs window is more interesting. Whilst I waited for the foot fall to drop to get a decent balance I noticed the guys both in their phones at each end. I can’t get over the detail this camera shows even in web sized images. When zooming in on my Mac I am blown away. So much so that I am going to have to buy one !!! Yes its only day three and I am totally bitten by the GFX bug.
I did say there I can’t see a place in my workflow for this camera when it first came out because I have up my pair of Nikon D3s Bodies to go small ! I have decided I am going to keep my XPro2 and my X100F with the set of f/2 primes and sell the rest of my kit to fund the GFX ! This is not just a Game Changer it’s a Rule Breaker ! It should not be this easy to use a Medium Format camera in the Streets ! I have some new plans for the next few years I want to start shooting more Street for myself for personal projects and always want to Explore Cityscapes and Landscapes with simple editing in Lightroom with no PS work. This is the camera to give me my passion and creativity back in that direction due to the amazing detail.
I do love a good Pret ! I shot this image because of the poster and the guy’s arm pointing at the girl giving a lead into the shot. We get too close sometimes in Street photography and miss all the great Street Scenes. If you look at the crop below you will see what drew me in to the scene.
I finished my walk around the city just looking for interesting colours and scenes that interested me and started to shoot them. The GFX itself was not even a concern. But not having it in a bag in some areas I walked through did make me think this is 8K around my neck. Not a real problem and in Liverpool as it always been a very safe city. But there are some places in the UK I would feel uneasy. Will it stop me buying one no. It just means I will need a new bag !
I am off to Wales tomorow so days 4,5,6 will be online by Sunday night, and next week I am shooting a Video so my posts might be a bit slow. But I will aim to put a GFX post on every day until the Hire is over and I have send it back and start sulking.
In the images below the detail in the lady’s hair is stunning !
I am going to update my blog as much as I can over the next few weeks with some images and words about my time with the GFX50s this is day 2.
Today I had a quick drive into town to try out the GFX in the Liverpool Cathedral one of my favorite places to test any new camera for low light and detail. I did not take a tripod on purpose as I wanted to see what I could capture hand held. I can honestly say that I am shocked at the level of detail from this little medium format camera ! I think we all know that medium format is the way to go for Commercial work for that exact reason but that put us up in the 20k+ bracket of camera system until now.
On my way up to the roof to shoot the Liverpool Skyline I took a couple of shots inside the bell tower in some very low light.
Not only was I blown away by the high ISO capabilities but the detail as you will see below is just incredible.
If you look at the image above and look right down to the dark piece of wood paneling at the bottom of the stairs. Then look as the image below you can see the detail in the 100% crop. Not only that but the tones are stunning.
I have been in this bell tower a few times and I have never been able to capture the detail in this building like this. I think medium format a few years ago was the camera I always wanted but could never afford ! Until now ! I will carry on with the GFX over the course of this month and try and decide if this is the camera for me but so far I am am so much in love with this thing its unreal. I know I am a Fujifilm X Photographer but I am also known for saying things how they are. Fujifilm did not give me this camera to test as they expected me to say no. I shoot street and love the small mirrorless cameras for my work. I decided to Hire this camera myself to see if it would fit into my future plans and workflow. I will come back to about this as I move through my time with the GFX.
I will leave you with the views from the top of the Liverpool Cathedral, you can access the roof of the Cathedral by paying £5.50 in the gift shop and asking for a Tower Tour, its well worth it as long as you are not claustrophobic or scared of hights !
Yesterday I received the GFX50S kit from Hire A Camera.
I hired it for a few days to see what all the fuss was about, its not a running around the streets of the world style of camera so its not been on my list of things to do. I prefer the smaller X Series camera and that is why I made my move from Nikon to Fujifilm all that time ago.
I have a few days days spare this month so decided to hire the GFX50s and shoot a few little projects with it and not my normal Street Images you guys know me for.
This is going to be very short as I will write all about my time with this camera at the end of the month, but just wanted to share my first image shot with this amazing camera.
This is it, more to follow…
We had another amazing day in London at the weekend, about 120 people came to this amazing City for a nice walk around the City.
We have one small problem that I need to address next year and that is the ever increasing Fake sign ups you get with Free walks and workshops. 500 people approximately signed up for the London walk and I brought Fujifilm Team members and Fujiholics Team members to cater for about half that number. This has a cost so going forward we will be charging a small fee for the photowalks. We have not decided on a fee but will trial diferent amounts next year until we get a balance. We hope to offer something for the fee and are in talks about what this might be.
We all met at the Tate Modern for the London walk and made our way along the South Bank to Westminster Bridge it was great to see so many photographers out and about in enjoying their photography chatting and networking with like minded people some of which will become friends for life. I know it sounds corny that I call the walks putting the social back into social media but the the Photowalks are just the place to meet all the people you talk to on Facebook every week and meet new real people.
We headed over Westminster bridge and up Downing Street to Trafalgar Square where we took a break for lunch, some people enjoyed coffee and cake and other had a few London Prides.
We left Trafalgar Square and made our way up to China Town then along the North Bank to Paternoster Square with a few stops on the way for Coffee Beer and Cake but probably not in that order !
It was a great day to catch up with friends and make some new ones and a big shout of to Fujifilm UK for allowing Liz to come and join us.
Cant wait for #FujiholicsLDN18
About two years ago I was working in Paternoster Square London when I tweeted a short tweet about my Street Photography Workshop in the city. I was then approached by a member of the Paternoster Square Management Team who asked me if I would be interested in organising an Exhibition of my own work in the Square ! I was quite shocked and honored all at the same time. Matt and I met up and had a long chat about it and Matt told me what his Vision was.
A few years back you could not even take Photo’s in the Square due to the fact it was private land but that has all changed now so I could not think of a better space to hold this exhibition.
I also have a love of Paternoster Square as I start all my workshops in Pret in Paternoster Square and finish all my Photowalks in the Square as well. Its like an oasis of calm in a busy city.
I realised I could not do this alone so spoke to my good friend Alan Raw from Hull, who is a big part of the Creative Culture Hull. Alan is a very busy man and wears quite a few hats so I was expecting him to say no as it’s Hull’s City of Culture year. To my surprise he said yes he would curate the event.
I then needed some London talent to bring their work to the show. Alan and I had a long talk and I invited my good friends Linda Wisdom and Paul Sanders. I then met up with Christian Cross in London to ask him and he was also very excited to take part and Alan asked one of my students from Hull, Robert Bentley.
It was a long 18 months after that with lots of planning to pull it all together.
Fujifilm UK, Snapperstuff, Gillis Bags,Lee Filters,Genesis Imaging and Camera World all came on board to make the day a little more interesting.
Alan did an amazing job of curating the event even if it was like herding cats at one point and I can’t thank him enough. He brought his team down from Hull and worked far too many hours to make this work. So a big thank you to Alan and and his team and all the retailers and artists for pulling off such an amazing day.
The estimate was 20,000 people passing through the Square on the day and 7,000 people engaging with the images and stands so a great day and great result for us all.
On the 1st of September my first indoor Exhibition Reflections of a Street Photographer opens its doors in The Hip Gallery Hull. The opening night is just a 2 hours preview from 18.30 on the 1st September and you are all invited.
I won’t bore you with the train journey details from Liverpool to Edinburgh lets just say it was the School holidays and Virgin did a far better job than Transpennine Express !
I still prefer to take the Train to Edinburgh than to drive, but one thing I have learned from this weekend is that if you take the train from its starting point station, you will get to sit in your booked seats. If you pick up the train three of four stops down the line chances are you wont be able to get on the train let alone get to your seat ! These train companies really do need to start investing in more carriages.
I stayed at the Travelodge Haymarket, it’s not the most modern Travelodge in the world and its walls are paper thin so its not that quiet but its out of the main part of the city so no outside noise at night and in a great location as well as a great price, also this Travelodge has quirky rooms ! Every room is diferent and for that reason alone its well worth the visit.
This was one of the best walks I have ever had in Edinburgh, amazing group of like minded people. Some did say it was more of a Pub Crawl than a Photowalk but I did not hear any complaints ! I must admit there was a small amount of Beer consumed along the route.
We were very lucky with the weather as well, for some reason it only rained when we were in the Pub ! No wonder so many people love their Whisky in Scotland.
Its always great to catch up with great friends and thank you Ami for helping out on the day. If you are into Street Photography Ami has some great Street Workshops in Edinburgh. It was also nice to see Fay and Trevor out and about enjoying the sights and sounds of the city.
It was great to see so many Fujifilm camera in Edinburgh and thanks to John from Fujifilm UK for coming along with a bag full of small lenses for people to test out.
We have one more walk left now and its the London Walk on the 12th of August, if you want to sign up there are still a few places left. Over 450 signed up so should be great fun.
Following the London walk we have one last Photowalk for 2017 on the 23rd of September in Liverpool, there is a small fee for this one but we think £2.50 is worth it.
Next year we will not be holding a Bristol Photowalk we will be moving this walk to Birmingham but the London, Liverpool and Edinburgh walks will still be taking place. We are in the process of deciding on a small admin fee or a charging for a Memory card to get a free walk. This is due to the amount of people that sign up for the walks that dont turn up. We understand it but there is a cost involved to Fujiholics in getting the team there for the day.
Have a great week guys, see you on the next one.
I will be booking my room for next years Edinburgh as soon as dates become available, I really love the relaxed vibe from the Edinburgh walks see you next year.