I have been a black and white Photographer for most of my life. From a very early age nearly 50 years ago I have been shooting black and white and I guess growing up watching a black and white TV, I learned from an early age to see the world in texture and tone, light and shade and also to work with light.
I did use Ektachrome for a while but not for long as I preferred black and white for story telling as I found colour to distracting.
When I moved from Film to Digital the sensors were so bad colour was a nightmare, sensor noise was so bad it made all images far to dark, so I guess I just gave up trying to work with Colour. On a fantastic day with great light it was easy but on a flat day with little or no light unless you had an expert knowledge of lighting it was almost impossible to get consistency.
I tried to shoot JPEG in the early days of Digital but gave up there was not enough latitude to get the full range of tones I required for my work. In fact it was not until around 2013 whilst doing my year of black and white project did I find a way to produce digital black and white images I was happy with.
I have never been a fan of sitting in front of a computer and editing. In the film days I would only print my best work so possibly one or two shots from a roll of film for personal work. So spending more time on digital editing drove me nuts. There is more to life than bing sat in doors.
There is a big wide world out there waiting to be photographed and I wanted to be out there in the fresh air and not stuck indoors. I had quite a lot of flack in the early days and was called a Photoshop Hater but that’s was so far from the truth. I use Lightroom because it was for me the fastest way from A-B. I am Dyslexic so Lightroom made more sense to me than Photoshop, so that what I used.
I was a RAW shooter and every time I tried to find a style or a way to shoot and process Colour images I gave up. It was just ridiculous the amount of time you had to spend in Lightroom or Photoshop to get consistency in your work when using colour.
Kevin Mullins decided once he started using the Fujifilm System to shoot JPEG and created his own style in this way. I did try it but gave up because it just did not work for my Black and White image style. I like my blacks to be black and my Whites White and all the other tones across the range. You could not get this from a JPEG because you had to spend more time undoing what the camera had done. I could process a Black and White image in a couple of minutes from RAW but it was five to ten minute from JPEG.
I can shoot black and white in any light and process very quickly in a very short amount of time and even though I have dabbled in Colour its never really appealed to me until now.
Why ? Well I have retired now so have no reason to have clients wanting all different colour profiles and I used to get fed up using colour charts and profiles to keep clients happy. Now I can explore colour and try and find a style that works for me and even better I have no deadlines so can just shoot colour on days when there is perfect light.
I cant explain in this blog what perfect light is because its probably subjective, but perfect light to me is light that produces an image I hardly have to edit. Its mainly golden hour light, or that magic light you get just after a rainstorm or thunderstorm or that crazy light you get just before a storm.
I used great light in my black and white images at times but most of my black and white work was shot on very overcast days, or in very high contrast light.
My new love for Colour stems from great light and has come about by using my iphone ! I have tried Nikon and Canon RAW’s and JPEGs and nothing works for me without extended processing times. The images out of an iPhone need very little if any processing. I have not picked up my Fujifilm cameras in probably 18 months and when I do if they cant produce JPEG images like the iphone I might have to have a rethink ! I very much expect I will find a way but for now I am just going to work with my iphone and explore colour from there.
Its amazing how having a Stroke and being restricted in a few ways has allowed be to develop some new ideas and ways of working. I am changing my views on the world and on the the photographic process. I want speed and constancy and I want something very portable, I also want a systems and process that are very simple.
One of the best times I had with a camera was when I was walking and climbing with Jane and just had a compact camera in my pocket and a phone to take the odd photo on a day out. Bags of cameras and lenses really don’t appeal to me anymore I just want simple.
I have never been obsessed with Sharpness or that unreal look you get with digital, I have always preferred that blemished film look so will be going backwards rather than forwards in the future that’s for sure.
There is no point in carrying lots of gear about just in the hope there might be some great light now and then ! David Noton used to spend weeks if not months waiting for the light and that was the clue to great colour photography, you just have to wait for the light. Taking images in shit light and then spending hours and hours in Photoshop is not for me when you can just go click with a phone on the right day. I know a phone shot will not be good enough for a decent print but once I have mastered waiting for the light I can then find a camera system that makes my life as easy as the iphone 11 ProMax who knows it might be one of the Fujifilm cameras I have, or it might be a simple compact camera I don’t own yet ! One thing is for sure it’s all about painting with light and always has been for me. I don’t need lots of great images a year just a couple will do me ! Taking one great image in great light once in 10 years would make me very happy.
I don’t know where to start with this but after leaving a Facebook Group yesterday because the admin were demanding that every post had the camera settings I was left shocked !
They also wanted to know what Lee filter was used !
I did make a comment before I left but I think it was lost in Translation ! The guy was insisting it was not about the light !
I fully understand they most people that are learning to use there camera think they need to know other people’s camera settings and for some reason some Pro’s and some trainers encourage this, and so do lots of groups !
I remember when I was younger I even fell for this myself until I realised it’s all irrelevant!
We are convinced by other people the way to learn is to read up on camera settings so much so we get obsessed with Exiff data !
We then think if we had that camera and that lens that guy uses so we could take photos like him or her !
The brands have taken this to the next level and love all their Ambassadors to share this info.
The Photographer might as well share what they had for breakfast and how they were dressed for all the good it will do us.
If you were to take three photos with the exact same setup at three different times of day using a Photographers setting you would get three different sets of results.
We don’t know what the light was like at the time, what software was used, how it was processed or what effect the Photographer was going for.
When I used to teach Street Photography the most common question I ever got asked was “can you set my camera up for me ?” or “what are your camera settings for Street ?”
When I try and explain that’s not how it works I get the look ! I can hear the cogs ticking ! “He does not want to tell us his secrets !” “He does not want us to be better than him !”
When the truth is I Format my memory card before I go out and shoot in RAW and have my Cameras set on Manual if I am in a Studio and Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority out on the Street and probably Auto ISO ! If I am shooting Landscape it will be Manual with the lowest ISO probably.
Wherever we stand on this planet whatever country we are in, at any given time of day the light and conditions are different and also the effect we want in our camera also comes in to play.
We have to learn to Master the Exposure Triangle there and then and it’s only by going out day after day for years and years can we work out what works for us.
Yes of course you can use the Sunny 16 rule on a Sunny day but that just gets you a shot !
What if you want people with motion blur or want narrow depth of field or you even want to make people disappear from the scene ! What if you want movement in the clouds or silky water !
What if in a Studio you want High Key or Low key ?
Stop obsessing over bloody camera settings and get out and practice ! The more time you spend with a camera in your hand the more you learn.
Photography is about so much more than Exiff Data it’s about Light,Composition, Moment, Amazing Subject and Emotional impact. It’s about you the Photographer and what your vision is. Not what settings Linda Wisdom uses !
You won’t learn this stuff in a week or a month it’s a lifetime of learning !
If you are in a Facebook group that insists on Exiff Data leave the group, go outside and take some photos it will be the best thing you have done for your photography all week.
There is no shortcut trust me, get out with your camera every day or as much as you can and practice practise practise, learn by your mistakes and trial and error. That way you learn a lot faster.
You can read as many books as you want, do as many courses as you want they just give you inspiration. It’s down to you and you alone to teach yourself the Exposure Triangle and learn to speed up that process by daily practise.
Jane always says to me she does not want to learn photography because there is too much to remember ! So very true but with practice it becomes second nature. You can just dial it in and shoot. You don’t become an expert at anything if you sit on your arse and wait for it to come to you, hard work and commitment is the name of the game.
Searching YouTube for those bits of info on camera setting for hours and hours won’t make you a better photographer it just makes you a couch potato !
So get up go out and get practicing ..
My main 2019 Project is People and Litter and so far I have not even got out with my Camera. I have a house to finish and get on the market so have been struggling for free time and this drives me nuts. But in a way it’s a good thing because it makes me think about the project more so that when I go out I will have more considered shots I hope !
I never expected it to be easy and I also want to try and Document the project on Youtube as well so and that’s a lot more difficult than I thought. It’s quite easy to sit behind your desk and make a short Vlog About your project but its its a whole new ballgame going out on the streets and trying to shoot video and stills and vlog without help.
If I was to do a Landscape project it’s not as bad you can plan your day and just keep setting your video camera up on a tripod and walking past it or stopping to do a piece to camera ! In a city by the time you set it up and walked away it might be gone !
I have given this lots of thought and even though I have quite a lot of gear My Gopro Hero 4 Silver and Black were not quite up to the Street challenge for speed of use and smooth footage and getting a GoPro Gimbal would have given me another great big piece of kit to carry about. I also need to get some friends to help me so I need kit that is easy to use and smooth to pass to friends so I have just invested in a DJI Osmo pocket ! It’s a great bit of kit simple to use and hopefully will solve a few problems. My first impression is the video Quality is great sound as expected is not great but good enough to sync to so all good but it is really small. I hope to give it a test soon on a job and then out on the street to see how it performs.
This will be the first year I have ever tried to shoot a project and make a series of YouTube vlogs about it ! It’s a steep learning curve but hopefully I will get there. I have hopefully got the kit I need now so all I need is free time !
I think we all go through the same struggles and it makes us who we are as Jane always says its character building !
If you read my previous blog post or watched my YouTube video you will know I have just been to Ireland for the first time in years.
I had a rough time in Ireland with my health so did not achieve all I wanted but had a relaxing time apart from the times I was kept awake all night with Gallstone Pain.
I was going to shoot lots of video but did not feel up to it so there is just a short film on YouTube this time.
My previous blog post was all about the iphone and how amazing it was to have with me so that I could shoot, process and upload the images in seconds.
This is just post it just to share a few of the images I shot in Ireland with the Fujifilm X100F my favorite camera in the Fujifilm range for so many reasons and even though I have just brought two X-T3’s for Landscape and Video they will never beat the weight and ease of use of the X100F.
I really did not want to be carrying a tripod and bags of gear with me everywhere I went in Ireland so kept it really simple. Canon G7X MKII in my pocket for video and back up, X100F over my shoulder and iphone in my pocket.
I have to confess to mostly using the iphone and then second came the X100F and last the G7X.
We were blessed with Storm Ali whilst we were in Northern Ireland so managed to get some interesting shots of the Giants Causeway and with storm force winds it was quite a challenge at times.
I used the X100F with a Lee Filters 0.9 Grad handheld in front of the lens just to darken the sky and keep the spray off my lens on most of the shots.
We had an amazing time and now I have to put together a workshop on Achill Island with Matt Walkley so will leave you to look at a few of the images I made with the X100F.
X Series’ evolution into the 4th generation…
Fujifilm introduces the iconic X-T3
A complete upgrade: including an all-new back-illuminated 26MP X-Trans CMOS 4 (*1) sensor and X-Processor 4 image processing engine. The X-T3 offers superb image quality and enhanced ability to track moving subjects – with substantial AF performance improvement and blackout-free burst shooting. The FUJIFILM X-T3 mirrorless digital camera is the world’s first *2 APS-C mirrorless camera capable of 4K/60P 10 bit recording to meet the needs of professional videographers.
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that it will release the FUJIFILM X-T3 (hereinafter “X-T3”), the latest model in the X Series of mirrorless digital cameras, renowned for their unique colour reproduction technology to deliver outstanding image quality in both stills and video.
The X Series began with the 2011 release of X100. The X-Pro1, released in 2012, became the first model to feature the X-Trans CMOS sensor, which uses a unique colour filter array based on FUJIFILM’s extensive photographic expertise to achieve exceptional image-resolving performance and control of false colours at the same time, as well as the EXR Professor Pro image processing engine compatible with the sensor. For seven years, the X Series and its sensor – image processing engine combination have continued to evolve, with the company unveiling “X-Trans CMOS II” / “EXR Processor Pro II” in the X-T1, released in 2014, and “X-Trans CMOS III” / “X-Processor Pro” in the X-Pro2 and X-T2, released in 2016. The three generations of evolution have constantly advanced the X Series’ image quality and mobility.
The latest model, X-T3, features the new X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 image processing engine, ushering in a new, fourth generation of the X Series.
X-Trans CMOS 4: This is the back-illuminated APS-C sensor with more than 4 times the number of phase detection pixels than current models (*3), distributed across the surface. It boasts a high S/N ratio and the lowest sensitivity of ISO160 despite its 26MP resolution. The low-light autofocus limit has also been extended to -3EV, enabling accurate AF even in low light conditions, e.g. scene lit only with candlelight.
X Processor 4: This engine has 4 CPU units to achieve image processing speed about 3 times faster than that of current models (*3). Not only boosting AF accuracy and speed substantially, the engine is the world’s first (*2) to delivers 4K/60P 10bit output, meeting the needs of professional videographers, in a mirrorless camera equipped with a sensor in the APS-C size or larger. It is also capable of instantaneously handling complex image processing tasks such as FUJIFILM’s unique “Colour Chrome Effect” and “Monochrome Adjustment” function, achieving Warm Black / Cool Black tone in digital, which is adopted as one of the way of expression for monochrome print in silver halide film.
The X-T3 takes full advantage of the capability of these fourth-generation devices to enjoy significant performance improvement.
Higher image quality: Highest level of 26.1MP resolution in APS-C size sensor. Also, it achieves keeps as low level of noise as current models (*3) even increasing the number of pixels.
Dramatically improved AF performance: 1.5 times faster processing speed than current models (*3) to deliver faster and more accurate AF, and substantially enhanced performance in face / eye detection AF thanks to 2.16M phase detection pixels arrayed at entire frame.
Significant improvement in tracking performance of fast-moving subject: Delivering blackout-free continuous shooting (*4) of up to 30 fps while using smooth Live View of 60fps to check your subject.
Video performance for professionals: Supporting 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit internal SD card recording as well as 4K/60P 4:2:2 10bit HDMI output, which can be filmed at the same time. Also, featuring the video-specialized Film Simulation mode “ETERNA,” popular with the X-H1.
*1 X-TransTM is FUJIFILM Corporation’s trademark or registered trademark. The sensor has a unique non-periodic filter array to reduce the appearance of moire patterns and false colours without the use of an optical low-pass filter.
*2 As of September 6, 2018, according to FUJIFILM data
*3 Comparison with current models “FUJIFILM X-T2” and “FUJIFILM X-H1”
*4 Available only when using the electronic shutter
Use of the Series’ fourth-generation devices, new sensor “X-Trans CMOS 4” and new processor “X-Processor 4,” for the highest image resolving performance, colour reproducibility and fastest processing in the history of the X Series
- The X-T3 features the X Series’ fourth-generation APS-C sensor, newly developed “X-Trans CMOS 4” (26.1MP, without low-pass filter). It uses the unique colour filter array synonymous to X-Trans CMOS sensors to control moire and false colours and adopts the Series’ first back-illuminated structure to improve image resolution without compromising the S/N ratio. Furthermore, the sensitivity of ISO160, previously available only as extended ISO, is now part of the normal ISO range. It is very useful in daylight outdoor shooting or when trying to achieve bokeh with a fast large-aperture lens.
- The X-T3 uses the new “X-Processor 4” image processing engine to add the new “monochrome adjustment” function to the Film Simulation modes, which are based on FUJIFILM’s proprietary technology to deliver diverse colour expressions. Warm black and cool black, conventionally achieved with a choice of specific photographic papers and developers, have been faithfully reproduced digitally to broaden the scope of monochrome expressions. This function is available in the standard “Monochrome” mode as well as the “ACROS” mode, which provides smooth halftones, deep blacks and beautiful textures.
- The “Colour Chrome Effect,” previously only available in FUJIFILM’s medium-format mirrorless digital camera “GFX50S,” is featured in the X-T3, the first in the X Series. The effect produces deeper colours and gradation in subjects with highly saturated colours, such as vivid-coloured flowers with shadows, a notoriously difficult photo subject for gradation reproduction. The high-speed processing power of the X-Processor 4 means this effect can be applied not only in single shots but also in continuous shooting.
Use of the new devices and improved algorithm for significant improvement in AF performance in low light and when tracking a moving subject
- The X-Trans CMOS 4 has 2.16M phase detection pixels, more than 4 times compared to current models (*3), increasing the phase detection AF area to entire frame (approx. 100%). Fast and accurate phase detection AF can be used even on a subject that is positioned away from the centre of the frame. The low-light phase detection autofocus limit has also been extended by around 2 stops from -1EV to -3EV, making it possible to accurately focus in low light conditions, e.g. a scene lit only with candlelight, or night-time photography. Furthermore, the X-Processor 4’s high processing speed and improved phase detection algorithm means the camera refocuses (AF) and meters (AE) 1.5 times more frequently than current models (*3) to enable accurate autofocus even when shooting sports involving fast and erratic movements across the frame.
- The performance of face-detection AF on a moving person has been doubled over current models (*3). The eye-detection AF supports the AF-C mode, maintaining accurate focus tracking even in portrait photography that involves movements. The X-T3 focuses accurately when shooting a person front-on or side-on, even in situations where the face- or eye-detection AF previously had difficulty. The face- and eye-detection AF is available also during video recording to achieve smooth filming of persons.
Enhanced viewfinder performance improving the ability to track a moving subject
- The X-T3 features a 3.69-million-dot high resolution EVF with a high magnification ratio of 0.75x. The display time lag of just 0.005 seconds and refresh rate of approx. 100 fps ensure smooth display of motions, allowing you to precisely identify subject movements and focus positions. Unlike current models (*3), continuous shooting of 11 fps with the mechanical shutter no longer requires the optional vertical grip, enabling fast continuous shooting while keeping the camera weight low.
- The new “Sports finder mode” makes it easy to capture a moving subject. The mode shows approx. 16.6M (1.25x crop) area marking in the LCD/viewfinder, and shoots the area within the marking. This is particularly useful for sports photography and wildlife photography, as you can check the movements of a subject just outside the shooting frame and take advantage of shorter-than-usual blackout time.
- Increased read speed from the sensor and high-speed processing capability have made it possible to enjoy AF/AE-tracking, blackout-free continuous shooting(*4) of up to 30 fps in approx. 16.6M (1.25x crop) mode, while using smooth Live View of 60fps to check your subject. The rolling shutter distortion, a typical issue of electronic shutters, has been halved compared to current (*3) models.
In order to never miss a crucial shutter moment, the X-T3 has the new “Pre-Shoot” function (*4), in which the camera starts shooting as soon as the shutter button is half-pressed. You will never miss an important photo opportunity, previously caused by time lag between the moment when the shutter button is fully pressed and the moment when a photo is actually taken.
Design / operability and expandability
- The X-T3 inherits X-T2’s popular design features such as the positioning of dials on the top panel, central viewfinder style for added sense of stability, and excellent grip design for comfort. The silver color is lineup as standard, which features more classical tone compared with graphite silver, limited edition for previous models. Its styling that reminds you of traditional film cameras is combined with outstanding practicality, making it photographic equipment that is a pleasure to own for many years to come.
- Enhanced operability and expandability in response to user feedback
Specific areas of operability enhancement
・EVF’s diopter adjustment is lockable achieved by pulling out and rotating a diopter knob, so as to prevent unintended adjustments while carrying the camera.
・The X-T3 uses a touchscreen panel with higher contrast, wider viewing angle and better operability than those in previous models to enable intuitive operation.
・The X-T3 inherits X-H1’s features such as large top-panel dials / rear-panel buttons and comfortable clicking touch of front and rear command dials.
・A headphone jack is provided on the camera body so that all accessories required for video recording, such as microphone and HDMI devices can be centrally connected to the body for added mobility in videography.
・Terminal cover is removable, providing easy connectivity for HDMI cables, microphones, headphones. Also it will not disturb when setting up with rig for movie shooting.
・The USB terminal supports USB Type-C (USB3.1 Gen1) specifications. An Anker (*5) battery can be connected to significantly increase the maximum number of frames per charge and the maximum duration of video recording.
Enhanced video performance
- This is the world’s first (*2) mirrorless digital camera capable of internal SD card recording 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit. It is also the world’s first (*2) mirrorless digital camera with APS-C or larger sensor capable of 4K/60P 4:2:2 10bit HDMI output. Supported video formats include the widely-used H.264/MPEG-4 AVC as well as H.265/HEVC for greater data compression. This enables the use of high 200Mbps bitrate in recording of 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit, as well as simultaneous HDMI output while recording. Video compression options available are ALL-Intra (*6) and Long GOP. When using ALL-Intra, video is recorded at 400Mbps (*7).
- The sensor’s read speed is about 50% faster than current models (*3), which enables fast 17msec reading of 4K/60P video. The rolling shutter distortion has been reduced for smooth replay of a fast-moving subject. The camera’s support for 10bit colour depth boosts the amount of colour information 64 times compared to 8bit. This is combined with 400% (approx. 12 stops) dynamic range for capturing materials of rich gradation, such as a sunset landscape.
- The introduction of a new noise reduction process and new “4K interframe noise reduction” function have reduced noise by the equivalent of approx. 2 stops. The new NR process has an enhanced level of noise-identifying accuracy for appropriate reduction in noise. The 4K interframe NR function (*7) uses differential data between adjacent frames to reduce noise. Furthermore, the minimum sensitivity for shooting F-Log and DR400% footage has been extended from the current models’ (*3) ISO800 to ISO640, meeting the needs of videographers.
- In addition to the abovementioned functions, the X-T3 will, after applying a firmware update to be released by the end of 2018, support video recording in the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), one of the formats defined in the ITU-R BT.2100 international standards. In response to user feedback, the firmware update is also due to give the X-T3 an ability to simultaneously output Film Simulation and F-Log footage.
*5 Anker is trademark or registered trademark of Anker Innovations Limited or associated companies.
*6 Available at 4K/29.97P, 25P, 24P, 23.98P, and FHD/59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 25P, 24P, 23.98P when H.265/HEVC is selected.
Not compatible with H.264.
*7 Available at 4K/29.97P, 25P, 24P or 23.98P.
Requires an SD card with the video speed class of V60 or above to record at the bitrate of 400Mbps
- Vertical Battery Grip VG-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)
This grip is dust-resistant, water-resistant and capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C. It fits two batteries, bringing the total number of batteries to three, including the one on the camera body, to increase the maximum number of frames that can be taken per charge to approx. 1,100 (Normal mode). The camera does not need to suspend its operation to switch to a new battery, even during continuous shooting or video recording, providing a stress-free shooting experience.
The grip features the shutter release button, focus lever, AE-L button, AF-L button, command dials, Q button and Fn button to provide the same level of excellent operability in vertical shooting as you get in horizontal operation. The VG-XT3 itself has battery-charging functionality. Using the AC adapter supplied (AC-9VS), you can fully charge two batteries at the same time in approx. 2 hours.
- Leather Case BLC-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)
This is a genuine leather bottom case with luxurious textures. The camera can stay in the case while the battery is replaced. The case comes with a cloth to wrap the camera in when placing it in your bag.
- Hand Grip MHG-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)
This hand grip makes it substantially more comfortable to hold the camera when it is mounted with a large-aperture lens, thereby reducing camera shake. The camera’s battery or SD cards can be replaced without having to remove the hand grip. The base can be used as a quick release shoe when using a dovetail mount on your tripod.
- Cover Kit CVR-XT3 This is a cover kit specifically for the X-T3.
1 x Sync terminal cover
1 x Hot shoe cover
1 x Vertical battery grip terminal cover (black)
1 x Vertical battery grip terminal cover (silver)
1 x Terminal cover
- Remote Release RR-100
This remote shutter release has a φ2.5mm jack. Similarly to the camera’s shutter release button, pressing the button halfway focuses on a subject, and pressing it all the way down takes a picture. In the BULB or continuous shooting mode, you can slide the shutter button to lock it. It is packaged with a right angle adapter for ease of storage and to prevent unintended cable dislodgment.
- Recommended accessories: Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD (*8) (30W Power Delivery Wall Charger included) and Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD (30W Power Delivery Wall Charger Bundle included) (*9)
Use “Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD” and “Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD”, which are both 30W Power Delivery Wall Charger bundle model, to significantly increase the maximum number of frames per charge and the maximum duration of video recording.
*8 Anker and PowerCore are trademark or registered trademark of Anker Innovations Limited or associated companies.
*9 Product may not be available on your country.
I guess we all struggle to get the work life balance right and being a full time self employed Photographer the work life balance can go right out of the window ! I have always had a big problem saying no to work and this year has been no exception. I expected after finishing working with Fujifilm UK in February things would go quiet and I could look forward to just planning my own workshops and time away for Jane and I. I soon worked out its not quite that simple. The downside to our lifestyle at the moment is Jane works for the NHS and has mostly weekends off and I work most weekends so we don’t see much of each other at times, so we get used to quite a lot of time apart.
The long term plan is now starting to fall in to place even though there is hardly any free time on this years year planner at the moment. I have now finished my Wex Photographic 2018 commitment and at last I am free to start planning 2019. I will still take on the odd days from some of the big companies like Wex and some of the other great shops like Wilkinsons, just not as many days as before.
It was mentioned a few times on Social media this week that I had moved over to work with Canon now I had left Fujifilm. I will put the record straight right here and now, I am not with Canon. This October I plan to be semi-retired so I will not be signing any contracts with anyone. I am still involved with Gnarbox as the only UK member of the Gnarbox Pro Team but my commitment to the team is minimal and also fits in very nicely with my future travel plans so will not hold me back from my work life balance goals.
If you read my blog you will know that I bought the Canon G7x because my Fujifilm Cameras got locked in the Wex Glasgow store by accident a few weeks back and I needed to get a camera from Argos early on a Sunday morning so it was an impulse purchase but has turned out to be one of the best little pocket cameras I have ever owned. The sensor is only one inch so its not as good as my Fujifilm X Series cameras but with its 24-100mm Equivalent fast Zoom its so much better than my iphone as an every day pocket camera.
I work most weeks teaching with the Fujifilm X100F and the X70 and these are just the best tools for me teaching Street Photography. When I go off on Landscape Trips or teach Landscape I take the GFX System as that is the right tool for me for Landscapes and I also have the XPro2 for Street and Landscape with a selection of lenses.
I do have a few Canon Cameras and these are all for Shooting Video and they are the C100mk2 the 200D and the 5DMK4 and and a selection of lenses. I have some future Film plans and needed a camera system that was tried and tested.
The beauty of not having a contract with any brand is that I don’t have to stick to one set of tools and can use the best tools for the job ! Fujifilm make the cameras I need for all my Stills work and Canon for my Video the little G7x is just an exception to the rule, its great for video but also just so much fun to take stills with.
This weekend I got a very rare chance to get away in my Camper with Jane for a couple of days and decided not to take any camera gear. I did however take the G7x with me as a back up to my iphone ! Its light, fits in my pocket and the battery lasts all day and even if I do need to charge it I can just plug it in my powerbank !
This weekend was a time to reflect and its great to find a campsite that has no phone reception to get away from it all for a couple of days. We love Cae Du Campsite its just one of the most quiet and peaceful sites in Wales and perfect to get away from it all. I have a long term and short term plan and at times in this job you just cant see the wood for the trees. I have now had time to reflect and put the next four years in to some order.
My new workshops are online here and I will be putting a few more online over the next few months, these will be workshops I have designed to help people who already know how to use a camera, to discover more about the art of taking pictures.
I also have a new business plan that will come in to action next March at my end of year, so all going well I should have lots more time to do what I want to do and that is travel and explore with Jane. This will at last redress my work life balance ! I hope.
I will leave you with a few images taken over the weekend with the little Canon G7X in and around Beddgellert.
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.
As quite a few people know I am changing the format of my workshops in 2018 so if anyone wants to take part in the present format, please choose one of my Street Photography Workshops from the list below.
This is the format for 2017.
The workshops will encourage debate about Street Photography and help the participants to be more critical about their work.
The workshops are suitable for professional and amateur photographers of all levels. We ask you to familiarise yourself with using your camera and learn how to change settings quickly before attending the day, this will enable you to enjoy the experience fully.
The day will start at 10.30am and conclude at 16.30pm with a break for lunch and plenty of comfort breaks throughout the day, most of the day will be out on the streets. There is a lot of walking during the day and the event may take place in inclement weather so come prepared.
You will spend the day with myself exploring the streets picking up tricks and tips on my style of Street Photography throughout the day. My Street photography workshops and courses are fun, informative and relaxed. They are both challenging and highly enjoyable and designed to stretch your imagination.
I uses the Fuji X100F and XPro2 with a 35mm or 16mm Prime lens.
You can bring any DSLR or mirrorless camera on this course; fixed lens compacts are also welcome. If you are wondering what lenses to bring 50mm is ideal for full frame and 35mm film uses. APSC size sensors 35mm is ideal or lenses around the normal focal length.
The day normally starts at 10.30am with a coffee introductions and a discussion about the day. We will touch on the ethics and law and how to deal with challenges in this area.
Next we will discuss camera set up for the day and the best set up for street photography with a practical demonstration of street camera technique.
Matt will cover what Street Photography is, and show you some of his favourite Street Photographers images. He will also show you the best way to approach his style of Street photography.
We normally spend around two hours covering these subjects then around 12.30am we head straight out on to the streets where you can watch the way Matt works and try out some of the tips and tricks that he shares with you.
We break for lunch around 1.30pm where we can find a quiet place for a snack to discuss the mornings work and share our experiences.
We then go back out on the streets to practice your new street techniques and try and find your street rhythm and look for some interesting characters or great light!
We stay out shooting until about 4pm, we then find a quiet place to sit as a group to discuss the day and this will include lessons learnt. Matt will share his processing techniques and preferred software. Matt will give you his views on Critique and show you how to review your own work.
I know the majority of you guys that read my blogs and attend my workshops are Fujifilm users but for all you that have other brands of camera please feel free to book on any of these workshops as all camera brands are more than welcome.
Here are the available dates left this year, please click on the dates for availability:
These will be the last Street Photography Workshops in this format at this price.
I have some interesting ideas for Locations and Styles of Workshops for next year, these workshops will be a little more complex so require a lot more planning.
I will advertise the 2018 Workshops around about October time.
I will be leading the Fujiholics Photowalks in London, Edinburgh and Bristol this year so make sure you sign up before all the places are gone. We have over 350 people signed up for London already.
Hope to see some of you on a Free Walk or Workshop and if you are a Fujifilm shooter then our new Facebook group might be for you here.
Here we go again, another year of Photo Walks. This year I will be leading four Fujiholics Photowalks. The Liverpool walk has already taken place but Bristol, Edinburgh and London are still up for grabs.
I would like everyone to know that you can bring any make of camera with you and that includes smart phones. You can also come without a camera just for a day out. It’s all about like minded people getting together to have a great day out and to share ideas and meet new people.
The walks are free to sign up to, I only ask that if you sign up then change your mind, please follow the link from your Eventbrite confirmation email to remove yourself so other people can sign up as numbers are limited.
So far this year London is in the lead with 280 people signed up.
We would like to see more families and children on the walks and would like you all to know that kids are welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Why not bring them to London and make a weekend of it. They can use their phones or even buy them a throw away camera.
Photowalks are great, I have met friends for life on the walks and also made some amazing business contacts. They are a great way to explore our cities on foot with a great bunch of people.
A route and map is emailed out to everyone that signs up approx 1 week before the event to download to your smartphone or gps device or you can print out the map. You don’t have to keep up with the guys at the front as we tweet our location throughout the day and use a unique hashtag for the day. You can stop for refreshments along the way or even a cold beer and then catch up a bit later by taking a shortcut using the tube.
In London this year we have the Fujiholics Team and a few other Pro Photographers as well as some retailers so hope to bring you a few offers for the day. There will be quite a few Fujifilm X Photographers and Ambassadors about as well. The Fujiholics Team really do make you all feel welcome.
I would love to see as many of you guys on one of the walks this year, the last three walks are spread out all over the UK so feel free to come and join us.
Here are the links to the walks..
If you want to buy cheap train tickets then here is a link to sign up to The Train Line ticket alert.
If you need to know any more details then feel free to contact us email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see you sometime in 2017…