So today marked a big day for the photography industry in the UK. It was the first day of the inaugural Photography Show held at the NEC in Birmingham.
Last year when everyone heard the news that Focus on Imaging was to end, everyone’s hearts were heavy and no-one was quite sure if this was a sign that the imaging industry might be on the decline. However, when it was announced that The Photography Show would take it’s place, optimism was restored and we’ve been looking forward to this event ever since.
Here’s a few images I shot throughout the day. If you can’t make it, hopefully this will give you a bit of an insight into what you are missing.
The Fujifilm X-Photographers website showcases the work of 215 different professional photographers from 44 different countries – all using Fujifilm X cameras for their craft. We have very recently added another twelve new photographers, including the following four from the UK:
Damien Lovegrove left his role as a cameraman and lighting director at the BBC back in 1998 after 14 successful years to create the renowned Lovegrove Weddings partnership with his wife Julie. Together they shot over 400 top weddings for discerning clients worldwide.
The X100 rekindled my creative soul and made me fall in love with picture taking again. I saw a prototype of the X100 in a glass cabinet at Photokina back in 2010 and I knew my life was about to change. Photography is my life. It’s my release. I love to see and capture beauty in people in a freely expressive way. I create my pictures from scratch. I control the light and I direct emotion.
Nick has been a professional photographer for over thirty years during which time he has worked in must area’s of photography from journalism to fashion, commercial to fine art including owning one of the largest commercial studio’s in Scotland he now enjoys passing on his knowledge through teaching photography from his home in the north east of Scotland.
I now use the Fuji X System exclusively, operating an X-Pro1 and two X-E2s. Teaching with the X System also has its advantages as many students believed that good results could only be achieved from high end DSLR’s so when they see their tutor using this type of equipment it’s easy to see why but now with the Fuji X System they can get the same results from a camera well within the budget of most photographers coupled with the ease of use and the compact size it makes the X System the obvious choice.
Patrick Stubbs is a photographer based in Lincoln, in the heart of the UK. He photographs people and places, professionally and for love. His personal project for 2014 is to document his whole extended family using the X-Pro1.
The first camera in a long long time that I really have fallen in love with – photography is suddenly fun again!
I can travel with high quality camera gear in a very manageable bag! Fantastic quality jpegs, low light capabilities, the lenses available, and the way it blends into the background makes the X-Pro1 the perfect all round camera for me.
Nick Palliser is a documentary and portrait photographer based on the South West coast of England.
He is also a photography teacher and runs University classes on the Business of Photography and Location Fashion Photography.
I am fortunate to have the use of many types of camera at my fingertips, yet my tools of choice are the Fuji X cameras. I am a print photographer and as such quality is paramount to me and the X-Pro1 and X100s never disappoint !
When wearing out shoe leather as I do, the weight and ergonomics of a camera become very important. Not only do the Fuji’s provide the quality, their form factor makes working with them for many hours at a time, a joy.
The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) is holding the CP+2014 Camera & Photo Imaging Show from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th Feb in Yokohama, Japan. CP+ is a comprehensive camera and photo imaging show covering a wide range of aspects of the photographic industry.
Like most years, Fujifilm is in attendance and has a great stand demonstrating our wide range of products including X series cameras, Instax instant cameras and prints.
Unlike most years, Fujifilm decided to invite some active professional photographers from Europe to come out to the show to talk to visitors about their photographic experiences and in particular explain why they shoot with X series cameras.
This is also the first major show that is open to the public where the brand new X-T1 will be on display for users to try out and talk to our staff about.
The Fujifilm stage
One of Kevin Mullins’ shots.
The show opened for VIPs and Press at 10:00 Japan-time today – the general public has to wait until high noon for their stand-off.
Despite the fact that the show wasn’t officially open, it was pretty clear from the start what product was catching most attention.
We had a wander around the show and checked out many other great products. From portable stabilisation systems, high quality cases and straps to small and relatively-inexpensive helicopter-like drones to allow you to shoot from the air, there was a lot to see.
But besides a small queue of people on the Sigma stand who wanted to check out their recently announced DP2 Quattro, the only camera with any sort of demand to see was the Fujifilm X-T1.
It’s hardly surprising. The anticipation for this camera has been high since it’s announcement (and even before that!) but it was still flattering for us to see that camera is very interesting to so many people.
Fujifilm would be nothing without the photographers using their products. This was reflected with a great gallery of images from photographers all over the world plus a stage where in total there will be 20 talks from X-Photographers over the course of the 4 days. Additionally there are some interviews with the R&D team and the Design team. We will publish all of these as videos soon (the interviews are in Japanese but with English subtitles)
Day 1 saw British Photographer Jim Marks and Italian photographer Gianluca Colli take to the stage to share their experiences with the audience.
Jim’s talk started with an introduction to him as a photographer. His needs and requirements, his shooting style, and how important it is to be in the right place with the right kit if you ever want to record that “killer” photo.
He showed some example shots he has taken using the X-Pro1 on various assignments including a great set of images with Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean that simply wasn’t possible to shoot on a standard D-SLR camera because it was drawing too much attention from passers-by.
He then went on to talk about how he believes that Fujifilm’s kaizen (改善) philosophy of continuous improvement is the main reason why he has stayed using Fujifilm products from the original X100, right up to the brand new X-T1 before then sharing his own views on the X-T1 camera he has been using for the last few weeks and why he thinks it will completely supersede the X-Pro1 he has been using for his professional work over the last 2 years.
During the Q&A sessions at the end, someone asked him what his favourite Fujifilm camera was and why. He replied with
“The X-T1 and for three reasons:
1. The viewfinder is almost comparable to an OVF but with the added benefit of allowing additional information such as Digital Split Image MF assist
2. The ISO dial. The X-Pro1 controls are instinctive and easy to use, and the X-T1 takes that base and adds even more
3. The vertical grip. It gives you double battery life and makes it is perfectly easy to hold and control in either orientation.”
Gianluca similarly kicked off by talking about his style of photography and how he believes that his equipment should by compact and easy to control so he can forget all about the tool he is using, and focus entirely on creating images.
He started his relationship with Fujifilm with the X100, using it alongside his normal D-SLR. In many situations his clients were unable to notice any difference between shots taken on his D-SLR and those taken on the X100 and following the launch of the X-Pro1, plus continued development of the XF lens range, he has slowly become less and less reliant on D-SLR up to the point where he virtually never uses it anymore unless he is shooting something that has a specific requirement for it.
He stated his dislike for EVFs on digital cameras and says he only ever uses his X100 or X-Pro1 in OVF mode. He was never interested in trying an X-E1 or X-E2 for this very reason, however he says that the Real Time Viewfinder on the X-T1 is an altogether difference beast.
He finished with these wise words:
“We will not be remembered for our gear but by pictures we take. / But Fujifilm gear allows you to take great pictures”
Once the videos are ready, we will post them online so you can listen to everything they had to say.
Internationally-renowned photographer Alex Lambrechts insists on excellence – so naturally he uses X-series cameras
Photographer Alex Lambrechts will turn 40 later this year, but seems to have lived more lives than most people have had hot dinners. When reading his biography for the first time you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s been a horrible error at the proofing stage, resulting in a mash-up of the life stories of seven, maybe eight individuals – but this is all Alex. He’s achieved excellence in martial arts, running his own training school at the age of 19 at the same time as setting up and managing several bars and restaurants in Sydney, before slipping into the mysterious world of personal protection and joining the private security details of several Hollywood A-listers and international businessmen. In the nineties Alex switched paths again and rose to the top as Creative Marketing Director for British American Tobacco – a modern-day Don Draper of sorts – before returning to his restaurant roots and a career behind the scenes of several high-profile eateries. He attends the Cannes Film Festival every year and runs private parties for discerning individuals – past clients have included Quentin Tarantino, Naomi Campbell and Paris Hilton – and amongst all of this, he’s also found time to become an internationally-renowned photographer. He’s making the rest of us look very bad indeed.
A man of the world
Born in Uruguay and raised in Australia, Alex lived in London for the past ten years but is currently to be found in New York, where he’s quite sure that he’s found the ideal space for him at this time in his life. “This is definitely where I want to be at this stage in my career – I think I will be here for some time,” he says. “I do travel all over the world for work though and photography is great like that – you can just pick up your gear, jump on a plane and go!”
Having first picked up a camera in earnest at the end of 2009, Alex is a relative latecomer to professional photography – but as he grew up amongst his parents’ photographic printing labs he found he had years of experience to draw upon. “I was using 35mm SLR cameras from a very young age,” he explains. “I left photography for many years, until four years ago when I started shooting friends at parties I was hosting in London.” At this stage, Alex was shooting with rangefinders and larger, bulky DSLRs – but by his own admission he prefers the smaller rangefinder-styled cameras such as the Fujifilm X100S. Nowadays he shoots with various cameras, depending on the assignment’s unique requirements – but his favourite and most-often used camera is still the X-Pro1. “I love this camera,” Alex enthuses about the Fujifilm CSC.
“I try to use it first at every opportunity. I’d say I use it on every job. But it’s not only about cameras for me: the lenses are really important. If I have a big job on, I have the usual spare lenses – always prime lenses, I’m not a fan of zooms. How [the lenses] behave, what kind of unique qualities they have – this is usually what I think about before [I think about] which camera. And the X100S has the perfect lens built in,” he smiles.
A lifetime of inspiration
Lambrecht’s varied career has influenced his image-making by providing him with a wealth of references to draw upon when approaching a new commission. “Everything I have done in my life comes into play when I pick up a camera: my ability to be vigilant and observant, looking for nuances in everyday life, looking for subtext, knowing how to work with brands – it’s all of invaluable benefit,” he says. “I think it definitely gives me an edge when working in teams and especially when working with clients, as I understand their requirements on many levels.”
As you’d expect from someone with a background
in top-end corporate marketing, Alex is a keen follower of the creative fields – particularly art and fashion – and is currently experimenting with more physical forms of artistic expression. “I’m currently experimenting with painting, combined with my street and documentary photography,” he hints. “I have a couple of galleries which are eager to show and sell my work here in New York, however I haven’t released this to the public yet, so that’s as much as I can tell you about that until the launch…”
Shooting the Big Apple
New York is a city that’s hard to resist, and every corner seems to present a new photographic opportunity – so it’s no wonder that Alex is choosing to spend his time indulging his love of street photography. He’s just one of many Fujifilm-using photographers enjoying the fast-paced hunt for the “decisive moment”, but tends to keep his pure street photography for himself as a break from his day job pictures. Alex’s moody black & white street work is filled with emotion and impact, and the X100’s diminutive size yet powerful performance makes it ideally suited to this demanding type of picture-taking where travelling light is the name of the game. “I shoot street photography every single day,” he says, “especially here in New York. My street photography is a very personal project for me and I am extremely critical of my own work, and set strict standards for myself. I shoot a lot of commercial work so it’s nice to have [street photography] that I can do completely on my own terms. I follow my own rules and I don’t expect others to understand – I am definitely my own harshest critic!”
Alex’s interest in street shooting spills across into to his approach to all his image making, with his biography describing his characteristic style as both ‘raw’ and ‘street’. “I tend to add a little more subtext [to my images] than your typical fashion photographer might – I like to have a fly-on-the-wall feel to my photography whilst not being voyeuristic… trying to stay true to the subject matter,” he says. “I guess my images convey my style better than I can describe it – it’s natural for me, and I tend not to think too much about it. I want the viewer to be drawn in and gradually work out the various messages encoded both intentionally and intuitively.”
Secret of his success
Alex now works with many commercial clients who love the engaging, emotive imagery that he can create, such as the vividly striking shoot for children’s fashion line That’s Not Fair, all of which were shot on the X-Pro1. Yet when pushed for advice, it transpires that the secret to his unique photography doesn’t actually rely on Alex’s many lives-worth of experience: for those looking to try their own hand at creating portraiture like Lambrecht’s, the photographer has these simple pointers. “Spend time getting to know your subject and shoot them as they are, without imposing too much of your own experiences and preconceived notions into the image. That’s the challenge,” he says.