As most of you know I am a 99% black and white Photographer it’s always been my preference. I have never really liked Colour as I have always found it distracting and a very hard medium to grasp and as for trying to tell a story out on the street !
I also struggled with Colour in the early days of digital as the slightest noise really did mess with the colours on most DSLRs.
These days nearly the only time I shoot colour is for Client work and I really do forget just how amazing the modern Fujifilm Cameras are with such great Colours.
I have been shooting Vans and Trucks a while now and just love working with Peoples Ford Van Centre Liverpool. The team there are amazing and they have some amazing return customers who just love their Vans. I also have a Camper Van based on the Ford Transit Custom and built by Wellhouse so I am in love with the backbone of the UK.
Ford have been producing some amazing colours over the last few years as well as some stunning Vans. It’s through my involvement with Peoples Ford that I have started to love shooting Vans in Colour ! I am not sure how long my love of Colour will last !!!
I guess it all depends on what Ford have up their sleeves !
One thing’s for sure I love the creative freedom I get working with these guys and I can’t wait to share with you all some of the images I have planned for the Future !
Until then here are a couple from this week’s shoot.
I have been a bit slow on my blog this year because I have been focusing on YouTube but I thought I would answer my most asked question.
What are your top three Cameras ?
I always get asked what cameras I use and prefer or recommend and its always difficult to answer that question without knowing what someone will use a camera for, after all they are just tools to do a job and all tools have a different purpose.
But my top two for Street Photography are the Fujifilm X100F and the Fujifilm XPRo2 and that will depend on weather you want a fixed 23mm lens like on the X100F of want to be able to change lenses like on the XPro2. These are my hands down best best two Street Cameras.
My other camera choice is the amazing little Canon G7X Mark II as this is an all round amazing little camera for carrying everywhere I go and is not just a great back up stills camera but an amazing vlogging camera. It’s become my pocket camera next to my iphone7plus for 2018 and I hear a rumor there is a G7X Mark III I really hope there is and can’t wait to try one out when Canon release it.
I aim to shoot my 2019 project on the amazing Fujifilm X100F and cant wait to get stuck in to in in January and will be sure to blog about it and Vlogg about it as soon as I get started.
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you all.
I’m a bit late thinking about my 2019 project and I have not even finished my 2018 Project !
Not that I have to finish it on the 31st January this year as I have given myself and the group that are all doing the Home project extra time as we have to have the images ready for an Exhibition in Hull next October at the Hull International Photography Festival the first weekend in October 2019. My Home Project is The Plot and is all about Janes second home her Allotment.
I can just share one image with you from my Plot project and its the one below.
Part of my projects process it to work out what I would get the most out of that would also push me and take me in a new direction but because I have a few other project on the go I am probably going to be quite reserved next year, because I want to concentrate on YouTube in the first couple of months and i have a house to finish my time will be limited for a while.
I did however start thinking about my 2019 projects when I shot this image in Edinburgh a couple of months back ! It was pouring with rain and as I stood there with my X100F grabbing some frames of wet people running for the train I started to get a few ideas flooding in but most of them would be to much work.
I am already working on two projects that are long term and one is Where is Jane and the image below is from that very long term project and is all about finding Jane. She is on the Path to the left if you are struggling
A big part of my thought process for projects is taking photos and see if they would work as a body of work or how difficult the project would be to shoot and how long it would take ! I guess these thought go through my head all the time.
Ideas like the image above come and go and eventually just like when you smell freshly made coffee one such idea will excite me and it starts me on my new Project Journey.
Next year I am going to take you on that Journey with me on my Youtube Channel.
Is it nearly December already !!
Where did 2018 go !
I have now reached semi retirement and it feels very strange, yes last month I was 55 and as planned I am going to slow things down and move on over to YouTube.
I have slowly been making videos, just dipping my toe in the water learning as much as I can by watching YouTube videos and talking to some of the rising YouTube stars about what they think my USP is ! They say its my age and experience so I aim to use that to my advantage in 2019.
One thing I do find about YouTube is that you can’t learn as fast as you can when you are doing a practical lesson. You also can’t ask questions when you want and I don’t think we retain the knowledge as well when we just watch a screen ! So I am going to do about four workshops a year to build my own personal education and I am going to still teach a few a year as well as get out and about as much as I can on photo walks and meet ups.
My next workshop is in Liverpool and there are only a few places left. Its my very popular Learning to See Workshop.
One thing is for sure I am getting sick to death of Facebook and I know quite a few people who are but like me we just hang on in there because of the groups and our business pages ! I do wonder why at times I really do !
Now SmugMug own Flickr I really do hope they bring the photography community together on Flickr again because Facebook is not the place of it, it’s so full of Trolls and Keyboard Experts !
I have been told people like my RANTS ! Not sure why but if that’s the case then I will bring a few Rants to YouTube but I really want to focus on inspiring people to take their photography to the next level and hope to inspire the next generation once I can workout a strategy to do so.
Before I can get to the really good stuff I need to get my viewing hours up to 4000 hours and maintain that over a year.
I am going to start 2019 with all the normal YouTube stuff you would expect like unboxing videos, product tests and some tips and tricks. I will then move on in to 2019 with Interviews and long form videos that can be watched as videos or listened to driving in your car like podcasts. These really long interviews will be at least an hour long or longer. I don’t really want to get in to Podcasts as I find them a little disconnected at times but who knows ! I think I will try the video route first.
I really do want to just get out every day and take photos and have lots of ideas for projects and a few workshops this year and hope to share all my ideas and processes with you on YouTube so make sure you tune in to my YouTube channel and click subscribe and hit the bell for all the great photography related videos in 2019 see you all on the other side !
Check out my X100F set up video here.
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.