Category: Wildlife

Ben Cherry – Who am I?

Hi there, my name is Ben Cherry and I am a guest blogger for Fujifilm. My primary interests are wildlife and travel photography but I’ve previously covered events from motorsport and snowboarding films to fashion shoots and weddings.

I have been a Fujifilm X-Series user for a year now, ever since I used an X-Pro1 for a trip Malaysian Borneo.

Ben Cherry X-Pro1
This is me…

What I look for in a photograph is a moment, from a smile to unusual animal behaviour, I try to capture a photograph that encompasses a situation and can tell a story. To me, photography is a form of story telling, like writing and painting it is how the content is perceived by the viewer that is important. If someone experiences an image, feeling and/or viewing the subject the way the photographer did at the moment of clicking the shutter, then to me that is the ultimate prize in expressing your experience of a moment.

Why Fujifilm?

I use Fujifilm cameras because for me this is the best system for my work, offering superb image quality, a small compact size for travelling and a wonderful enjoyment factor through the manual controls. From the X100s to the X-T1, all of the products I use offer something different to my photography, whether it’s the low light capabilities of the 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4 and 56mm f1.2 or the pocket-ability, go nowhere without it, design of the X100s.

The clear purpose and design of each product gives me the clarity needed to choose the right gear for the job at hand. In future posts I will be discussing what the Fujifilm X-Series offers me and also explain some helpful hints and tips for those who are new to photography and to those who are new to the X-Series.

In the meantime you can check out some of my previous blogs here and check out my website and social media:

www.bencherryphotos.com
Facebook page
Twitter
Instagram

What to shoot now – spring into life

It won’t be long before the natural world starts showing signs of life, which will give photographers across the globe plenty of subjects to train their cameras on.

To start, look low to the ground where bulbs will soon start to break the surface of the soil. Getting down low is the key to success and those X-series cameras with an articulated rear LCD will come in handy to help you frame up shots without having to lie on the floor.

Don’t be afraid to crop in close on snowdrops and daffodils, selecting the macro mode to ensure you focus as close as possible. If you’re shooting on a sunny day, placing your camera flat on the ground and pointing the lens upwards will deliver a ‘worm’s eye view’ of the flowers, which works particularly well with yellow crocus, tulips and daffodils set against a deep blue sky. Consider using the Velvia Film Simulation mode to boost colours, or fit a polarising filter to really saturate primary hues.

Feeding time

If you don’t fancy scrabbling in the dirt, birds and wildlife get a little bolder in the springtime as they start searching for mates and building nests. Use a telephoto lens like the XF55-200mm or XC50-230mm to keep a safe distance and make sure you shoot against a clear, uncluttered background such as foliage or even the sky to be sure nothing distracts from the subject. With any wildlife subject you’ll need to be patient; the best shots will come to those who wait… or those who set up feeding stations in their gardens!

Window light portraits

The low sun at this time of year is perfect for people shots indoors. Carefully choose a window – you want sunlight to bathe your subject in, not to blind them. Position your subject nice and close, then switch your camera to aperture-priority mode, using a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus.

Window Light Portraits

A day in your life

If a 365 project is too daunting, perhaps you can manage 24 hours. Pick a typical day and document your life. It’s easy to do with the portable X cameras. Start with your breakfast and only put the camera down when you go to bed. Apply the usual rules though: think about your shots and compose carefully, don’t simply machine-gun it.

A day in your life

Striking silhouettes

Set aside the usual approach to exposing your subject and expose for the background to get a dark, striking silhouette of a person, tree or church – easily recognisable subjects work best. Switch to spot metering and take a reading from the bright background to ensure your subject is rendered as an outline.

Striking Silhouettes

Film fanatics

Emulate the look of yesteryear’s photos with one of the X-series Film Simulation modes. All the X-series cameras offer these magic modes; the X-Pro1 boasts a stunning selection of 10, including names you may remember from film boxes, such as Provia and Velvia. Find them in your camera’s Shooting menu or via the Q menu.

Film Fanatics

Carnival spirit

In countries around the world, Shrove Tuesday (4 March) is a day for celebration; in many, such as Germany and Italy, this means carnival, while in the UK, it’s the chance to flip pancakes. Whichever is happening near you, photograph it. For a carnival parade, try the Pop Color Advanced Filter (on the XQ1, X100S, X-M1, X20 and X10).

Carnival Spirit