Not sure where to start but I will start here ! So after my first Hire I was hooked.
So during me second hire that started on the 9th of November I decided to buy the GFX50s for a early retirement present without any thought of return on my investment or a businesses plan to get any return.
I have already managed to pick up some work with the camera and that was not the intention but you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Who knows at this rate I might even have this thing paid off in a year !
I know the size of Instagram and Twitter will not do the GFX files justice but in conjunction with this blog I think it will work fine.
On the 18th of October I turn 55 and its time to start winding down my workload and making time for my projects. I will not fully retire ever but I will work more and more towards projects and ideas that have sat in my head waiting for this very year.
Some will remain secret until they are seen at an exhibition others will be documented all the way through.
For me the future starts here….
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.
Well it’s here ! The X100F is finally announced and that means I can talk about it at last. One of the downsides to camera testing is shooting lots of images over a few months with a pre production X100F but not being able to share the image with the world. It’s like being tied up and gagged but not quite as dramatic.
The X100 was the Fujifilm X Series camera that started me off on this amazing Fujifilm journey and the X100T has been in my pocket ever since it came out. Now we have the X100F and this camera has earned itself a place in my pocket too, I might need to get bigger pockets. Fujifilm launched the first X100 in 2011 with the APSC sensor and Hybrid Viewfinder that could be switched between optical and electronic. In February 2013 the second-generation model the X100S was released with the newly-developed Sensor and image processing engine. Then in September 2014 the Fujifilm X100T was launched with the world’s first electronic rangefinder function.
The fourth-generation X100F features the latest image sensor and high-speed image processing engine to deliver the highest level of image quality. The X100F features the 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter. This sensor and processor are designed to deliver outstanding colour reproduction and graduation of tones, high ISO sensitivity and low noise.
I am not going to tire you with the technical side of the new X100F, I am just going to share a few images I have made with this stunning little camera over the last few months and share one of the new features I like and have been asking for for a while. For a more technical review you can check out my good friend Kevin Mullins Review.
The images should speak for themselves and over the last three months this camera has been through some serious weather extremes and not missed a beat however, it is not weather sealed. This little camera was in Glencoe with me on the last Fujiholics trip and was in my hands at -16. I got the X100F back in November just as the winter light was at its gloomiest so most of these images are shot at quite high ISO and I love the way this camera has performed for me. Here is a short video. The joystick is a welcome extra and so easy to flick the focus point to where you want it without looking. I find setting to the 91 focus points makes this process so much quicker as it adds less and you move across the screen so much faster. I just count to 3, to move the focus point to the left or right and press the joystick in to re centre and that way I can compose really quickly.
This camera is not much bigger than the X100T but it feels better in the hand and some of the buttons and dials are a much better design for my fat sausage fingers! The addition of the NPW126 battery gives you the extra power you need and gives the finger grip a more positive feel on the outside of the body.
All the images in this post were shot on Jpeg standard setting and processed in Lightroom, the black and white images in Silver Efex Pro2 and the Colour images in Viveza 2. There was no RAW file converter available for Lightroom at the time so instead of using the well known workaround I just decided to have a go with the Jpegs and have been really impressed. I thought I would have a play around due to the fact I do like a change and because I will be shooting my year of colour this year, so need to explore all the processing options.
One of the new sections in the menu is in Spanner Menu under Save Date Set-up. You not only have the option to Edit File Name like before but you now have Copyright Info. I used to shoot lots of stock and always found this option on my previous cameras very helpful as it saved me lots of time in key wording. The copyright section is great even though I shoot less stock these days I still have clients request copyright info to be added and file info to be changed to my name or initials. Even if you dont need this commercially it’s a great way to personalise and copyright your work.
2017 is going to be my year of colour and the X100F has inspired me to get my head down and start exploring colour like never before. Fujifilm have a beautiful RAF file and with this 24.3 MP sensor is in the X100F I can use the Xpro2 and the X-T2 with the X100F and keep some consistency in my year of colour. I have not really had any decent light when I have been out testing the X100F so can’t wait for the Spring to see how amazing this little camera will be. I love the simplicity of a fixed lens camera and all the X100 series cameras give you that amazing feeling of freedom.
Now to pack my bags for another trip to Glencoe where I hope to take a few more shots this time without the worry of getting caught with the secret X100F in my hands.
Quite a long way back, I was asked to talk at The Photography Show by Marc Horner from FujiFilm UK. I had been a FujiFilm X Photographer for a while and was very excited to be able to represent Fuji at the show, easy decision to make ! I just said yes, and put it to one side it was months away and I had plenty of time to prepare. I did think about it every now and then and decided to get my good friend Gerallt Jones to shoot a short introduction Video to start my presentation. I wanted to keep it true to Fuji and have the short film shot on the Fuji X-T1 in black and white. We got together with a few of the Fujiholics on the 15th of February 2015 to shoot the film and I was not in a good place !! I idea of messing it up was getting to me big style. I was freezing up to the camera, every time G asked me to speak I forgot what I was doing, it got so bad we dropped the voice parts and just went for a soundtrack! I think suddenly it all hit me in 34 days time I will be up on a stage and what if I forget what to say! That was going round and round in my head for a few days after the video shoot ! I just did not want to let Marc and FujiFilm down and was getting nervous. I teach courses all the time, and talk all the time but this was for FujiFilm and it was at the NEC ! I managed to stop looking at the great big Cake, and break it down in to small slices. I left the presentation to the last minute to finish off, and then put the video on a flash drive and presentation on my lap top all backed up to a spare stick just in case I lost the first one ! Well time went by and I was fine very proud to be asked and was very excited, by the time we had got to the NEC and was relaxed and ready to go. We managed to get in to Hall 5 and see the StreetScape stage the night before and that was fine! Well it was big! Like a great big cake! But it was fine.. We made our way over to the Hotel and met up with the Fuji team and had a few drinks and everyone was excited about the show. We went up to our room and I got in to bed all relaxed then BOOM ! Great big Cake came back, 12.00,12.30,1.00,2.00,2.30,3.00,3.30 no matter how much I tried to think about every slice it was still a huge CAKE ! We made our way over to the show and I got set of for talk number one of my five talks for the weekend, and I was still stuck with a huge cake, all the normal nerves and worries about what can go wrong. We set up and a crowd started to form not just a couple of people at least 100 people were around the front of the stage, I thought I hope they all stay and don’t wonder off! Sip of water Video goes on I take my position and its time.. By the time I had got on the stage and started talking I was CAKE free ! 100 people had become 200 then 300 and I was having the time of my life and I did not swear once! What an amazing experience to get up on a stage and not only talk about my passion for Street Photography but to be able to do it for FujiFilm UK. So thank you Marc Horner and FujiFilm for asking me to talk it was an amazing experience and thank you The Photography Show for the great stage set up, and the AV guys who relax you and make it all so simple ! One of the best experiences you can have as a photographer is talking about your work and your passion, so thanks every one that came to see me, I hope you got something useful out of my excited waffle ! If you want to come and see what I am all about then here is a list of my UK workshops for 2015 WORKSHOPS Images above by Gerallt Jones Thanks for coming guys and listening so intently to my Street Life talk…