X-T1

My First Camera

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Fujifilm X-T1

One of the biggest questions most professional photographers get asked this time of year is “what camera should I buy my son or daughter for christmas”  we also get given a budget, some far too low but for the majority the figure is £500-£800. Below that figure there are some great little cameras about but they will not last long and the sensors are not up to helping your kids to progress, so in my view it’s a waste of money.

These days everyone thinks in terms of the DSLR is the camera to aim for but this is not the case. People ask me do I get a bridge camera then get a DSLR in a few years time?

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Fujifilm X-T1

People don’t understand how Mirrorless cameras have taken over from the DSLR in the last few years and just how great they are. I myself only use the Fujifilm X Series Mirrorless cameras for my professional work and most of my professional friends also use the Fujifilm X Series, not many people I know are using DSLRS.

Most parents go in to a shop and say “I am looking for a DSLR” but in fact they are looking for a camera and they just call it a DSLR. The sales assistant then goes in to overdrive to sell a DSLR, the parents can’t afford it and they go home to buy something from Amazon.

My advice this year has been to look out for great offers on the mirrorless cameras as this is a great starting point. You can pick up older models of the Fujifilm X Series like the X-T10 and the X-T1 at amazing prices and these camera bodies will be perfect for School, University and for any workshops or courses. The exposure triangle is on the outside of the camera and the sensors are a 1.5 crop the same as most of the DSLRs in there price range. This way instead of buying a compact or bridge camera that you throw away in  six months you have started to invest in a system. You can then go on to investing in lenses for birthdays and Christmas and eventually upgrade the body in a few years time.

There have been some amazing deals on the X-T10 and X-T1 over the last few months in UK retailers and this is where people should look for a bargain. I was talking to a guy last week who did a trade in and got double cash back and got an X-T10 for £290 ! All he had to do was buy a lens of his choice, he got a 18-55mm with cash back and is now wrapping it up for his son for Christmas.

I have used both of these cameras professionally and all the images on this blog were taken with these bodies and a variety of lenses. I mainly shoot Street Photography in black and white but in this post I have included a few colour images and some other genres of photography.

So my advice for Christmas or birthdays is look for bargains in Mirrorless Cameras even if it’s last year’s model your kids will thank you in the long run and you wont have wasted money on a camera you will throw away.

I bought both my Sons Fujifilm X-T10 kits with 18-55mm lenses last christmas and they both love the cameras.

My first camera was given to me by my parents and it was a 35mm Film Camera that was the camera that made me fall in love with photography. I then saved up for two years to buy my first Nikon FM2, I used that camera for over 20 years. So I think it’s important to choose very carefully for your kids. If my parents had got me the wrong camera at the start I might not have fallen in love with photography the way I did.

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Fujifilm X-T10

Fuji X-T10 and 90mm f/2 What a great Street Combo

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I started out with a pair of Nikon Fm2 Film Body’s shooting with a 20mm or 50mm lens and a 135mm lens.These were great for Street Photography and Travel Photography. Some of the great photographers of the past used the same combination as these lenses would cover most situations. The 135mm was a great portrait lens and I have missed this lens ever since I went digital.

I have been looking for the equivalent combination for my Street Photography so I can shoot with two decent prime lenses and matched bodies. Well the day has come, the perfect lens and body combination has landed !  I can now shoot my X-T1 with 35mm or 16mm with an X-T10 and 90mm f2 on  my X-T1.

I am very excited about these two great Fuji products being launched at the same time as I think they are made for each other !

X-T10  fuji.co.uk/x-t10

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The X-T10 features an APS-C X-TransTM*3 CMOS II sensor with built-in phase detection AF. Coupled with a high-performance image processing engine and FUJINON lenses, the camera delivers excellent resolution and outstanding image quality, backed by unique colour reproduction technology. The X-T10 uses a new AF system. This offers Fujifilm’s conventional 49-point AF mode for high speed and precision focusing, as well as new Zone and Wide/Tracking modes that track subject movement across a larger 77-point area, substantially improving the camera’s ability to capture moving subjects. Combined with the AF-C capability and the continuous shooting speed of up to 8.0fps*4, the camera delivers the high quality images that have become synonymous with the X Series, across a broader range of photographic situations.

Key features of the Fujifilm X-T10

 

(1) All-new design packs X Series’ operability into a compact and lightweight body

The design of the compact and lightweight body bears all the hallmarks of an X Series camera. Both top and base plates are made of a lightweight, but highly rigid, die-cast magnesium. The top plate features three precision-milled aluminium dials which give the X-T10 a premium feel and allow users to intuitively adjust the combination of aperture, shutter speed and shooting functions while concentrating on picture taking.

Additionally, the back panel has a 3-inch 920K-dot tilting LCD monitor suitable for both above head and close to the ground shooting. Two colour options will be available: Black and Silver.

  • It is equipped with an Auto Mode Switch lever for selecting the fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode. In this mode, the camera automatically chooses the optimum settings for a given scene to make shooting effortless.
  • Each of the two command dials and seven function buttons featured can be customized so that you can tailor the camera to your needs.
  • The body also features an integral pop-up flash,positioned in the center of the top plate.The built-in Super Intelligent Flash automatically adjusts light output according to the scene type.

(2) Real Time Viewfinder

With a magnification of 0.62x and a display lag time of just 0.005sec, the X-T10 has a large, fast viewfinder. It offers a clear; high-definition live view thanks to the new 2.36million dot organic EL electronic viewfinder, plus visibility has been improved by automatically controlling finder brightness according to the ambient light levels. The live view display can also be set to the “Preview Pic. Effect” option to reflect the shooting conditions and offer a natural view close to that of the naked eye. The viewfinder’s eye sensor will also automatically orientate the information when the camera is positioned vertically; something that’s not possible on models with optical viewfinders.

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(3) The X-TransTM CMOS II Sensor and EXR Processor II engine combine to deliver outstanding image quality and high speed performance

The camera features Fujifilm’s APS-C 16.3 megapixel X-Trans™ CMOS II sensor. Its unique, random colour filter array reduces moiré and false colours without having to use an optical low pass filter. The elimination of the low pass filter, which compromises image quality, means a greater amount of light reaches the sensor. Combined with the EXR Processor II image processor, this means the sensor delivers outstanding resolution and low noise.

  • Fujifilm combined the processor’s noise reduction function with the technology for mounting circuit boards to reduce noise in high sensitivity images. This has enabled the ISO setting of up to 51200*5. Even at an ultra-high sensitivity, the camera produces low noise and strong blacks, thereby broadening photographic potential in low light conditions.
  • The camera features the unique Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) *6 image processing technology to deliver the best possible image quality. Using optical performance and other characteristics of each lens, LMO corrects optical defects such as diffraction*7 to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness and a realistic three-dimensional effect.
  • The unique on-sensor phase detection AF system focuses in an ultra-fast 0.06 sec*8. With the high-speed EXR Processor II image processor, the camera starts up in just 0.5sec*9, has a shutter time lag of 0.05sec and shooting interval of 0.5sec*10.

(4) New AF system with Zone and Wide/Tracking modes for effortless capture of moving subjects

  • The new AF system offers Fujifilm’s standard 49-point Single Point mode for high speed and precision focusing, as well as the new Zone and Wide/Tracking modes that use a larger 77-point area to capture moving subjects.
  • Zone mode allows users to select a 3×3, 5×3 or 5×5 zone out of the 77-point AF area. During AF-C focus, the camera continually tracks a subject, positioned at the centre of the zone. The centrally positioned 3×3 and 5×3 zones, in particular, delivers fast focusing thanks to the on-sensor phase detection AF.

The Wide/Tracking mode is a combination of the Wide mode (during AF-S), in which the camera automatically identifies and tracks the area in focus across the 77-point AF area, and

  • the predictive Tracking mode (during AF-C), which uses the entire 77-point area to continue tracking a subject. This feature enables continuous focusing on a subject that is moving up and down, left and right or towards and away from the camera.
  • The Single Point mode divides the focus area into smaller sections to accurately determine the distance to the subject for greater focusing precision. The working range of the on-sensor phase detection AF has been improved from 2.5EV to 0.5EV so phase detection AF works at high speed even in low light conditions or on a low contrast subject.
  • The camera features Eye Detection AF, which automatically detects and focuses on human eyes. The function allows you to easily focus on the eyes even in difficult conditions – when shooting a portrait with a very wide aperture to obtain strong bokeh effects, for example.
  • The Auto Macro function automatically activates the Macro mode while maintaining AF speed, eliminating any need to press the Macro button to capture a close-up. This allows you to re-assign the Macro button to a different function.
  • The optimised algorithm delivers a smoother and more natural AF action during video recording.
  • With the combination of the phase detection AF data and subject motion predictive AF, the camera is capable of continuous shooting with AF-C at up to approx. 8.0fps.

(5) 18 high-performance FUJINON X-mount lenses that deliver premium image quality and expand the scope of photography

The very latest digital technologies have been used to develop X-mount lenses, which offer high-precision optical designs to deliver the highest possible image quality. When designing the lens range, the aim was to achieve edge-to-edge definition for high-resolution imagery across the entire frame and offer the brightest possible maximum aperture for maximum creativity, while maintaining a compact and portable size. The current line-up of 18 lenses ranges from ultra wide-angle to telephoto, including five fast aperture prime lenses. These lenses bring out the very best image quality from the X-T10. Optional accessories such as mount adapters and macro extension tubes further broaden photographic potential.

(6) Perfect your photos with Film Simulation modes and other creative features

Fujifilm’s unprecedented image quality has been created through 80 years of development of photographic films. This technology helps the camera to reproduce warm skin tones, bright blue skies and rich green trees, just as photographers remember the scene. The X-T10 features the latest CLASSIC CHROME Film Simulation mode, which delivers muted tones and deep colours. Users can choose from ten other modes that simulate the effects of traditional Fujifilm films. These include colour reversal film effects (VELVIA/PROVIA/ASTIA), professional colour negative film (PRO Neg.Std / PRO Neg.Hi), monochrome filters (MONOCHROME, Ye filter, R filter and G filter) and SEPIA.

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Advanced Filter functions are also available on the X-T10. Users can choose from eight different artistic effects:

Pop Colour – Emphasizes contrast and colour saturation.

Toy Camera – Creates shaded borders as if you were taking a photo on a toy camera.

Miniature – Adds top and bottom blur for a diorama or miniature effect.

Dynamic Tone – Creates a fantasy effect by boosting tones.

Partial Colour – Retains one selected original colour and changes the rest of the photo black & white. Colours can be selected from red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

High Key – Enhances brightness and reduces contrast to lighten tonal reproduction.

Low Key – Creates uniformly dark tones with few highlight areas.

Soft Focus – Creates a look that is soft throughout the whole image.

  • The Multiple Exposure function offers users the chance to combine two separate subjects into one photo, perfect for adding people into photos.
  • The camera’s aspect ratio can be selected from 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1 (square) to accommodate a wide range of photographic styles.
  • The camera also features an ADVANCED SR AUTO mode, which recognizes faces and every scene type to automatically optimise the focus, exposure, ISO and other settings.
  • Interval timer shooting for time lapse photography is available with intervals of one second to 24 hours and up to 999 frames.
  • A completely silent electronic shutter that is capable of exposures up to 1/32000sec. has been added. Photos with a shallow depth-of-field can now be shot with the aperture wide open on snowy fields or the beach under clear skies. As there are no mechanically operated parts, candid shots of animals and sleeping babies can be captured more easily than ever before.

Other features include the Digital Split Image for precise manual focusing, and Focus Peaking, which highlights high-contrast areas of the subject’s outlines. These areas can be highlighted in white, red or blue, providing a focusing guide even when photographing a scene that’s tricky to focus on.

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(7) Full HD video with the X-TransTM CMOS II sensor

  • 60fps smooth Full HD movies can be shot with the X-T10. 50fps, 30fps, 25fps and 24fps frame rates are also available.
  • Film Simulation modes, including the latest CLASSIC CHROME, and detailed white balance setting is also possible.
  • Manual exposure can also be set during movie shooting. Aperture, shutter speed*11 and ISO sensitivity can be changed enabling movies to be shot using an exposure of the user’s preference.
  • High-speed, high-precision focusing is made possible by activating Intelligent Hybrid AF, which switches between phase-detection AF and contrast AF according to the scene, even during movie shooting. Manual focus is also possible.
  • Six types of scene recognition functions can be used, or it can be left up to the camera to capture beautiful movies.
  • A high bit rate of 36Mbps enables high definition capture of delicate movements.

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(8) Built in Wi-Fi for shooting from your smartphone or tablet devices*12.

  • By downloading the free FUJIFILM Camera Remote app to your smartphone or tablet device, users can use the Remote Control function, which allows a wealth of control, even from a distance. This functionality is great for a wide variety of shots, including group photos, self-portraits and animals in their natural habitat.
  • Photos and videos can be sent to devices such as your smartphone with an easy one-touch operation. Pictures and videos on the camera can be browsed, selected, and imported using your smartphone, all without the hassle of inputting an ID or password. It is also possible to add location information acquired by the smartphone or tablet to the image.
  • Photos can be sent directly from the camera to the Instax SHARE Smartphone Printer for instant Instax prints.
  • Wi-Fi® Transfer*13 is supported, enabling wireless backup of the data to a computer*14.

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(9) Premium accessory line-up

  • Leather Case BLC-XT10

A stylish authentic leather case that has a wonderfully tactile feel and perfectly suits the X-T10’s classic design. With the X-T10 snugly protected, you can even change batteries without removing the camera. A matching leather shoulder strap and protective cloth are included.

  • Hand Grip MHG-XT10

To increase the camera’s grip. Both battery and memory card can be swapped with the grip in place. Additionally, a tripod screw hole can be placed in centre of the optical axis and the base parts are equipped with a 38mm width dovetail protrusion plate, allowing use as a quick shoe mount when using a dovetail groove tripod pedestal.

  • M Mount Adapter for additional lens compatibility
  • Macro Extension Tube MCEX-16/MCEX-11

Two tubes (16mm and 11mm) are available for fitting between the camera body and an interchangeable lens to enable high magnification macro photography.

  • Shoe Mount Flash

There are three types of FUJIFILM external flash, all of which are capable of high-precision TTL auto flash control. The EF-20 and EF-X20 both have a guide number of 20, while EF-42 has a guide number of 42.

  • External Stereo Microphone MIC-ST1

Make realistic voice recordings for your high-quality Full HD videos.

  • Protector Filters (PRF-39, PRF-52, PRF-58, PRF-62, PRF-67, PRF-72 and PRF-77)
  • DC coupler CP-W126
  • AC adapter AC-9V
  • Remote Release RR-90

*1: Market leading viewfinder magnification ratio. Approx. 0.62x magnification 50mm (35mm format equivalent) at infinity and diopter set to -1.0 m-1.

*2: Fujifilm research as of April 2015.

*3: X-Trans is a trademark or registered trademark of FUJIFILM Corporation.

*4 In CH mode, focus area is limited inside of central 3×3 in Single point and 5×3 in Zone and Wide/Tracking.

*5: Extended output sensitivity.

*6: Unique signal processing technology that reproduces the sharpness of images blurred by diffraction, etc.

*7: When a fine image that should be sharp is blurred when using a stopped down the aperture.

*8: Fujifilm research based on CIPA guidelines using the X-T10 equipped with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens in High Performance mode as of April 2015.

*9: Equipped with XF27mmF2.8 lens in High Performance mode.

*10: MF mode.

*11: Aperture and shutter speed can be changed during shooting. Only shutter speeds faster than the set frame rate can be set.

*12 Android™, smartphone and table devices, iPhone / iPad.

*13 Wi-Fi® is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance®.

*14 Requires advanced installation of the free dedicated software FUJIFILM PC AutoSave to your computer.

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90mm f/2 http://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/products/digital-cameras/fujinon-x-mount-lenses/model/fujinon-xf90mmf2-r-lm-wr/ 

The FUJINON XF90mmF2 R LM WR is a fast-aperture prime lens that delivers ultra-sharp images with rich bokeh even at the maximum aperture setting. The optical construction of 11 elements in 8 groups (including three ED glass elements) minimises vignetting and creates beautiful bokeh thanks to the rounded diaphragm, which makes it perfect for portraiture as well as other applications.

Despite having a large maximum aperture, the FUJINON XF90mmF2 R LM WR is both compact and, at 540g, lightweight while the minimum working distance of 60cm delivers a wide shooting range. A newly-developed Quad Linear Motor delivers fast, accurate autofocus, plus the lens also features a weather- and dust-resistant structure that can work in temperatures down to -10°C.

Along with the popular XF56mmF1.2 R, this is a must-have lens for portrait photography fans that favour fast aperture prime lenses. The focal length allows you to shoot at a distance that won’t intimidate subjects, leading to more natural, candid results.

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Main Features

(1) Ultra-sharp images even at the maximum aperture

The optical construction comprises 11 elements in 8 groups, including three ED (extra low-dispersion) elements, which reduces chromatic aberrations to deliver sharp, rich images even at the widest aperture of F2.0.

(2) Beautiful bokeh

The rounded aperture blades combined with an optical construction designed to minimise vignetting creates beautiful circular bokeh right to the edge of the image. In addition, stunning depth is possible in images thanks to the differentiation between the razor-sharp subject and the bokeh in front and behind it.

(3) High-speed autofocus as fast as 0.14sec*2 thanks to a newly-developed Quad Linear Motor

A linear motor is fast, quiet and accurate, but here four magnets are used for higher torque. The high-speed autofocus provides a more versatile shooting experience, allowing users to quickly react to subtle changes in a subject’s facial expression.

*2 Complies with CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) guidelines, internal measurement, during high performance mode.

(4) Close focusing to 60cm and 0.3x magnification (35mm format equivalent)

The close focusing capabilities of the FUJINON XF90mmF2 R LM WR allow you to isolate key parts of a subject so you can shoot dramatic portraits or close-ups of flowers and insects.

(5) Weather, Dust, and Freeze Resistance

The lens features a weather- and dust-resistant structure with seven seals on the lens barrel. It can also work in temperatures as low as -10°C. This keeps the lens protected from rain, dust and splashes of water when shooting outdoors.

(6) Lightweight and compact

The lens weighs approx 540g, and is compact too, with a filter thread measuring just 62mm. The combined weight with the XF56mm F1.2 R is less than 1kg – great news for portrait photographers who want to travel light and still shoot with prime lenses for sharp images and strong bokeh.

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The Fuji X-T10 and the 90mm f/2 will be available to touch and hold in Demo form at Cambrian Photography Show on the 23rd May http://www.cambrianphoto.co.uk/

York Street Workshop

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I have had another great weekend teaching Street Photography in the amazing City of York.

York is a great place for Street photography due to the amazing characters and the great atmosphere within the City Walls.

The group got talking at the weekend about attention span these days and the above image is a good example, not a single mobile device in sight ! Nice to see people just taking the world in for a change and not just looking at not so Social Media !

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Social Media has also become a ‘like’ culture on posts and images as well as with Street Photography. So many images getting lots of ‘likes’ but I wonder if you asked someone that had just ‘liked’ an image to give you four sentences on the image whether they could ! The same for the over posting of millions of images without any thought, if you cant think of four sentences about your work then why post it ? If it means something to you and you love it then that’s a great start, but look at it again and really ask yourself what do I love about this image ? With Social Media you want your work to stand out from the crowd so post your best work.

I very rarely post more than a few images, I cant stand some of them after a few weeks, but the ones that mean something to me personally and the ones I connect with the most, grow on me more and more as time goes by.

Street Photographers put a lot of time and thought in to some of their images as do lots of other photographers. I wonder how many people take time to have a good look at the image.

We are all guilty of too many ‘likes’, the worst part about friends ‘likes’ and random ‘likes’ is just like a really bad singer on X Factor !  People think they are taking great images when they are not !

I guess that’s why I  love the social side of my workshops. The conversations about Street Photography and all other aspects of photography are so much better in real life than a 50/50 debate on Social Media. Its great to just stop and debate an image or subject in the real world with like minded people who give a real subjective view on the world. The trouble with Social Media is friends of friends joining in discussions they know very little about !

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I was listening to a chef talking about having a great palate and how his palate had served him well in his career, he was talking about how so many people have tried his food and did not have a clue what they were eating and did not know if it was good or bad as most did not have a palate like his !   I guess  that’s a little like photography, so many people on Social Media claim to know what a good image is but so many don’t have a clue and just click ‘like’ ! Millions of people cook every day on this planet but how many great chefs are there or how many great photographers ? Makes you think…

I think its a good idea to buy books and invest in some really good coffee table books and have a real good look at some of the amazing images from the Masters, not just a quick peek and then back on Facebook but a real good look. There is so much to learn its unbelievable.

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I think the art of studying and learning is a dying art and people should buy more books and do lots more workshops and courses to help them understand their journey.

I am lucky, I run the workshops so every week get to meet more and more people on my courses who share all their thoughts and feelings with me about Photography and ask me lots and lots of questions. This gives me the opportunity to think more deeply about my own images and the images my workshop attendees produce on my workshops.

I look forward to every workshop session because it really does put the social back in to photography.

I always reinforce the point that on a workshop the chance of getting one great image is very slim, the chance of getting three images is also a very tall ask. The day is more about teaching people to hold and use their camera equipment in a more intuitive way and to learn to see the streets around through different eyes. The so called decisive moment might only happen once a month once a year or if you don’t go out every week it might never happen. The more time you spend out there shooting the more chance the magic will happen, as long as you are looking in the right direction and know what to look for.

How many people have wonky horizons for years and then when they get told about it they start to straighten the image ? Lots and lots, but the point is what else cant they see ?

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If you want to join me on one of my many workshops in 2015/2016 here is a full list.

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/matthew-hart-photography-ltd-6442621859

Street Photography Colour / Black and White

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I have been Shooting Street for a very long time now, right from as far back as I can remember so well over 40 years, it’s always been a part of me to shoot people as a subject, but when I shoot it has to be candid. True Street as I have always understood it, will not interfere with the dynamic in the street, and this is the Street Photography I love.  I know the point where you press the shutter to being spotted and getting a reaction or creating a reaction, is a very fine line involving fractions of a seconded, and find this point very well discussed in the street world.

Street portraits are on the rise but I stopped asking a for portraits years back,  I do ask for the odd one or two if the subject is very exciting but hardly every post the images.

I want to go back to my early days and explore the early days of street in my everyday life and workshops and explore the more modern side of street in my new project.

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I have shot Street with film for years and as many people know I had a fire in my Flat many years ago and lost my camera gear all my prints and negatives. I stopped shooting for long time and only used a camera to record my family growing up. I just took family snaps in colour and black and white,before the calling of the photography world grabbed me again.

I always preferred black and white film and when I first moved over to digital, I hated the way digital cameras would process black and white and colour.

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I stuck to black and white for all the reasons people used black and white in digital, but have been shooting film for my unseen personal work, I will continue shooting film and hope in the future have even more time shoot more and more film and less digital.

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I have always struggled with colour in digital and I know in Photoshop you can almost make the colours how you want them and almost do the same in Lightroom but I don’t want to spend hours and hours trying to make colours look how I want them to look. The days of transparency film were so simple, shoot get developed and view! Print your work! Job done…

Up to last weekend I have shot 95% black and white but the more I get in to Street the more the colour medium is calling me and thanks to Fujifilm this is so easy, my XPro1 and X-T1 produce such amazing colours, I hardly have to touch them in Lightroom. So it looks like I will be shooting more and more colour over the coming months. I will start off with just street images that feel right in colour and put them mainly in my Tumblr account to see how I feel, and a few on Instagram and possibly a few on Google + Its very hard to mix colour and black and white so I am going to struggle with this in 2015.  But I am starting to fall back in love with colour again thanks to Fujifilm.

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I shoot in RAW and the cameras are all set to standard for colour and Lightroom imports the RAW file and I hardly touch the RAW file it’s just a little levels and curves and dodging and burning but I am at last after all this time starting to find my Colour feet.

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I very much doubt I will go over to shooting more colour than black and white as I find colour distracting and not a great story telling medium, I also struggle in separating my subject at times in colour but I can’t ignore it any more! I guess it’s just part of the journey.  Who knows I might even shoot colour film again! But I doubt it.

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Face Behind The Keyboard – The End

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Natalie Donnelly

My 2014 Portrait Project became what I can only describe as complicated, this was for many reasons. One reason was arranging times when it was a convenient time for both my subject and I to be available for a shoot, it became quite apparent very quickly this was going to be a big issue. The weather also had a big part to play in the timing of shoots and it was too nice or two wet for some of the planned shoots. I also quickly decided shooting planed portraits was not for me. I love to shoot people but in a more candied reportage style, so the whole project started to go downhill from day one. But I decided to continue with the project and just see how it progressed.

If I ended up with just a hand full of images but learnt a lot from my project the whole year’s project would have been worth it. But hardly any progress was made over the first few months, I said to myself over and over again, never again….

Every project I start is for a reason and this project was designed to not only take me out of my comfort zone shooting people I had first met on the Internet, but also shooting people I had not met at all and only ever spoken to via social media. There were a couple of exceptions, an old friend Sam and her husband Chris who approached me at the start of the year. Sam does not like having her photo taken but wanted to step out of her comfort zone and have her portrait taken by me this year. How could I refuse, Chris ended up having his portrait taken as he waited for me to finish shooting Sam, the best part of this story is, Chris has now brought a camera and taken up photography. Looks like Sam will have to get used to having her portrait taken!

Chris Wilson

One thing I found out very quickly was trying to pin someone down to shoot them at a date and time was almost impossible, this alone made me want to throw the towel in from the start. I love street photography and event photography it’s the spontaneity that gets me excited, I just love it when all the elements of a great shot fall in to place. Trying to get a subject to be in the place they wanted to be, to be shot how they wanted to be shot on the right day at the right time in the right dress, with the right light was almost impossible !

On one occasion I was due to meet my subject at 9am, but after a few Facebook messages and phone calls they did not arrive until 1pm, by this time the light was useless and the planned location was in the wrong direction to the sun and it was pouring with rain. We had to wait for the rain to stop then shoot a new location. By the time we got the shot it was nearly dark. This was a big learning curve for me. Did I want to spend a whole day shooting one subject for my project! The simple answer was NO!

One Lady came all the way from Australia and was very much out of her comfort zone when I shot her image so thank you Linda.

Linda Ripper

I love all my projects, making each project last a year was a good move, it gives me time to completely hate the whole project and to want to throw in the towel, but when the mojo comes back to then pull yourself out of that hole using the towel as a rope !

I now know I hate shooting planned portraits, I can’t think of anything worse than trying to organise and plan a shoot with people you have not met and may not meet again. I found out the British weather is just as unpredictable as I thought it was. I found out getting people to relax for their portrait was very complicated and required a lot of work, most of the shoot in fact was taken up with getting the subject to relax. I have noticed even with some of the best portraits I have ever seen there is sometimes a look in the eyes of boredom or mind wondering! I have always hated that look, in street I always look for those few seconds before eye contact to try and make the shot.

I was lucky to be able to shoot a couple of my subjects as they worked; this made the whole process much easier. On the whole people are quite hard to work with as subjects, the more creative they are the more difficult this becomes.

Don’t get me wrong some people are great and I would like to say thank you to all the people who have allowed me to shoot them and use their portraits in this project.  It was a pleasure to shoot you all and in some cases quite a laugh.  Some people I could not shoot and this was more down to both my work commitments and theirs, as well as the distances we would have to travel.

Lou Brown

I have learnt quite a lot from my project I can now use in my street and event work, I also have far more confidence in asking random people for a portrait than ever before! I have always been able to ask people for portraits but, not always had the confidence with some types of people at the important times. I won’t let these given moments pass me buy any more. I probably won’t shoot this type of portraits again but if do, I will plan at least a day or half a day for each shoot.

James Stamp

I have also found the Fuji X cameras are just perfect for Portraits, the XPro1 is my favorite, it slows me down and makes me think and also relaxes my subjects a lot more than a huge great DSLR in between my face and theirs. The Fuji X-T1 is also great when you want to speed things up when you can see the subjects mind wondering.

So in the end I managed 14 images, not as many as I thought but more than one a month so not to bad.

So that’s the 2014 project out of the way now for my very exciting 2015 street project…

Steve Colman

Street Photography Workshops

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My street photography workshops have been going down very well in 2014, its quite sad that I have only got one left this year ! The last one is in Liverpool on the 14th of December at Wilkinson Cameras and will be concentrating on the Liverpool Markets. Its been a great year for me teaching the groups. I said for years I would not want to teach but have found the last year very enjoyable. I am very passionate about Street Photography, also about getting people to explore our great city’s in the UK. I love shooting people and with the modern street techniques and the amazing mirrorless Fuji X Cameras its now just a breeze.

I prefer the XPro1 with a 35mm lens for most of my street work. Looking back at when I shot film I was always wide and long ! So am quite excited about the new Fuji 90mm lens due out in 2016. I do like to get up close in my own work but there are occasions getting close is just not an option. The X-T1 is so much more simple to use but I love the rangefinder feel and style of the XPro1 so hope when the 90mm comes out the XPro2 will be coming out around the same time to give me a pair of Street cameras.

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The courses have been so much fun, I have decided to carry on with them in to 2015. I have some very exciting plans for instance  the  Edinburgh Workshop weekend is with Ami Strachan  who is one of my favorite UK street photographers and lives in Edinburgh so will be our guide for the day. People booking on the course can also contact me in advance if they want to try out some of the latest Fuji Cameras and lenses.  I only have 6 places on each course and they get booked very quickly so if you want a place on one of the published courses book now, you can try and get one for a Christmas present !

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I will be adding more courses in to the year but at the moment I am trying to fit in my other talks and workshop for some of the retailers in the UK like Cambrian Photography who have a Christmas show on the 6th of December and a very special event in 2015.

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I will be adding events in the south once we get in to the new year, so keep checking my Eventbrite page.   I am now an official Fujifilm X photographer and as you know a Formatt Hitech Featured Artist  so have a very interesting project planned for next year using the X Series cameras and Hithech filters in my Street Photography. Its all very exciting and I cant wait for 2015…

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First Event DSLR Free

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Africa Oye 2013          Nikon D3s  Sigma 300mm f/2.8

I did it ! I made the jump and I am OK !

Last year at Africa Oye I was shooting with a Nikon D3s and a variety of Nikon Pro glass, as well as my favourite Sigma 300mm lens. I also had a Fuji X100 with me.  I was thinking about trying out Mirrorless but had not made up my mind. I managed to get a few shots with the X100 and one got published.

I was worn out after two days shooting at Africa Oye 2013! If you have never shot an event believe me two or three days shooting all day with a heavy DSLR body takes its toll on your back and shoulders. I had been exploring the Fuji option for a while but felt I could not give up my D3s and 300mm f/2.8 !

But as most of you know from my previous posts I did give up my D3s last year at the end of the festival season. I went over to Fuji from Nikon and then spent the rest of the year shooting Fuji but in the back of my mind I was worried about the festival season.

My first event in the 2014 calendar was Africa Oye, this will be followed by Brazilica, the Giants and LIMF.  Even after spending quite a while shooting with the XPro1 and the X-T1 I would not have a fast enough lens for the job in low light. The 55-200mm is fine but it’s not a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 so would struggle in low light and is a little slow at times. The Fuji bodies only go up to 6400 ISO so my fear was as the light dropped I would run out of light and not be able to shoot!

Party Time       Fuji XPro1 35mm

I decided to shoot the crowd up close and personal with the Fuji XPro1 and 35mm lens and use the X-T1 with the 55-200mm for when the crowds were too tight for me to walk through or reach the subject.  I should explain, Africa Oye is family friendly and everyone is there with tents and blankets having a very nice family day out with BBQ’s etc so it’s not always that easy to get close to your subject as the day moves on.

I decided to shoot the stage with the 55-200mm on the X-T1 on the day and also get a few crowd shots with the 10-24mm from the pit. I also took the 60mm f/2.4 with me for when the light dropped off. I would have taken the 56mm but I have been holding off buying the 56mm due to the fact the 50-140mm f/2.8 will be out this year. To be honest the 60mm worked out fine but the 56mm would have been better.

Smokin..        Fuji XT-1 55-200mm

I have to say my plan worked like a dream, getting in amongst the crowd paid off with the XPro1, it was so nice getting close to all the people I have shot at previous events with a 70-200mm I was asked for business cards and where the images could be found. It was so nice to talk to people I see year after year at the events. So, not only had the change from Nikon to Fuji made me rethink the way I shoot, it put me right back in the crowd where I should be ! It was like going back to my Nikon Fm2 and 50mm lens in the film days. Yes the change from Nikon to Fuji has made me more social! How mad is that …

I was standing in the crowd halfway through the first day thinking how great the day was, how amazing the crowd was and how great the music and atmosphere was. I was not thinking about the weight of the camera around my neck for a change. I was worried about battery life as the Nikon D3s battery would last all day on most shoots.  I had a few back up Fuji batteries with me but was not sure if I had enough. I had three for the X-T1 and two for the XPro1 and went home on day one with one full battery and plenty of life in the two of the others. On day two I went home with a full battery and very little left in any of the others. I am not one to hammer the shutter to be honest and prefer to pick my shots. One of the reasons I love the XPro1.

Indians           Fuji X-T1 60mm

The whole weekend went to plan as the light dropped the 55-200mm was no good to me as I was at the ISO limit, so changed over to the 60mm f/2.4, those few extra stops allowed the ISO to drop to a more useable level. I shoot Auto ISO at events, it gives me the flexibility and speed I need to concentrate on the subject and composition. When the lights come up I instantly get 200 ISO. I shoot both camera bodies on Auto ISO setting the base speed to 1/125sec and ISO 6400.  If I want to play around with effects I will switch back to manual or Aperture priority.

Dance          Fuji X-T1 55-200mm

In the end I am not sure why I even questioned myself. Africa Oye was a great way for me to test the Fuji system at an event and it went very well. I can’t wait for the new 50-140mm f/2.8 to come out later in the year and I might have to invest in the 56mm as the 60mm does hunt a lot more in low light that the 56mm from the reports I have had. I managed to eliminate a lot of the 60mm hunting issues by just pre focusing using the back button focus in manual mode method.

Bobble Hat             Fuji X-T1 55-200mm

 

Africa Oye was an amazing weekend with record crowds but the best bit of all I went home without shoulder ache.  Did I miss my Nikon D3s and Pro glass? No way, I am more than happy with the Fuji X-T1 and the XPro1 and the stunning Fuji glass.  I had a friend ( Rich ) shooting with his X-T1 at the same event and he was using an adaptor with his Canon glass. This is an option I did think about a while back but decided for me it defeats the object of downsizing.  When I shoot street with the Fuji XPro1 and 35mm I love the fact it gets me up close to my subject because I have had to change the way I shoot at events by changing to Fuji it’s opened my eyes to a whole new style and I love it. I still had to shoot with the 55-200mm to pick out a few subjects from the crowd and the stage but hopefully in the future Fuji will bring out a 300mm Prime and a few more primes that will be useful at events.  I can’t wait to see what Fuji bring out in the future in the way of Bodies and Lenses.

I will leave you with a couple of  shots of Finley Quaye the headline act at Africa Oye 2014.

Finley Quaye        Fuji X-T1 60mm
Finley Quaye                Fuji X-T1 60mm