Contemporary portrait and X-Photographer Damien Lovegrove is no stranger to shooting portraits on-location. In this useful article, he gives you all the tips you need to create his two point lighting set up, specifically when shooting portraits on city streets.
As I finish my preparations for another epic road trip adventure it gives me a great excuse to share with you my passion for what has to be one of the finest locations for photography on the planet; The Wild West of the USA. The high deserts of Arizona, the Canyons of Utah and the rock formations of Nevada deliver a spectacular backdrop while Route 66 and small town America provide us with a texture and cultural heritage to be cherished and immortalised on camera. Read More
Damien Lovegrove is considered by many to be one of the worlds most influential contemporary photographers. He is best known for creating portraits that make women look fabulous. He is a confident director and great fun to shoot with too. Damien’s lighting style is distinctive and his picture composition unique.
Damien is an official Fujifilm UK ambassador and a renowned Fuji X-Photographer.
It was in May 2012 that I ditched my SLRs for a Fuji X-Pro1 and the three prime lenses it launched with. From day one I utilised the mirrorless advantage to leap ahead of my competition. I had been using a Fuji X100 fixed lens camera for a year integrating it into my workflow alongside my SLRs and I loved the pictures I captured with it so the leap to mirrorless was a gentle one for me.
The Fujifilm X-T2 is the camera I’ve been waiting for. It’s no surprise it’s here but what I love most is that the consultation period with X-Photographers has delivered a camera that is spot on mechanically. Everything that could have been improved on the X-T1 from the dial locks to the tilting screen has been perfected on the X-T2.
The Fuji X-Pro1 gave me mirrorless shooting and it rekindled my passion for photography. The X-T1 gave me the extra usability I craved, The X-Pro2 took the image file to the next level and brought the technical specification of the X system bang up to date. Now the the Fujifilm X-T2 has brought it all together and raised the bar again. The sum of all the tweaks and changes in this new camera make a huge difference and leave me not wanting more.
The Fuji X-T2 features that I love the most:
• The locking buttons on the ISO and Shutter speed dials combined with the higher profile work perfectly. Being able to lock the dials in any position is genius.
• The bi-directional tilting screen is wonderful. It’s a must for a portrait photographer.
• The camera size and weight are spot on. The ultra reliable and compact W126 battery has been retained. The weight of the camera in the hand is really important to me. I never want my photography to feel like a chore again.
• The media door has a newly designed latch that is really secure.
• The joystick to move the focus position makes the shooting process faster.
• The 1/250th second flash sync is welcome and is the new setting for all my studio flash working.
I team the Fuji X-T2 with the fast primes because I love a shallow depth of field combined with absolute resolution. A prime lens is lighter on the camera than the equivalent zoom and this suits my way of shooting well. I have the XF16mm f/1.4, XF23mm f/1.4, XF35mm f/1.4, XF56mm f/1.2, and the XF90mm f/2 lenses. There are times when a telephoto zoom is the perfect lens for a shoot and I use the XF50-140mm or the XF100-400mm lenses depending upon the assignment. The zooms offer optical image stabilisation and this really comes into its own at longer focal lengths.
And the results?
I had planned this first sequence of shots about a year ahead of the shoot. I bought the dresses from an Asian manufacturer via the internet and I transported them to the USA in my luggage. The location is in the high deserts of Arizona, USA. I used the XF100-400mm and XF50-140mm lenses to compress the perspective. These frames were all lit with natural sunlight.
I spent 12 days touring the USA and in that time I shot about 5000 frames on the Fuji X-T2.
Arielle leans on a rat rod running a big bore Chevvy. A ¼ mile takes about 10 seconds in this loud, lean, speed machine. XF35mm f/1.4 at f/4
The narrative of the Wild West is in the fabric of abandoned buildings, and telegraph poles. Arielle sits in the window of a derelict frontier house on the old Route 66. The old road was replaced with a six lane highway just 100m behind us. XF35mm f/1.4 at f/8
Chantelle is in a restored classic car with a $30k price ticket in a showroom in Kingman on the old 66. There is an inspiring love for recent heritage in this part of the USA. XF35mm f/1.4 at f/2
Since then I’ve added another 4000 frames in Europe to my camera testing routine. The camera feels just right in the hand and there is nothing I would change about the mechanics of the build.
Carole is dancing in the sun in Lucerne, Switzerland. It was baking hot and the building that’s behind her reminded me of some of the Mediterranean places I used to shoot weddings at ten years ago. I used the trusty XF35mm f/1.4 lens for this shot. The XF35mm lens is a stellar optic and is the first XF lens that I bought.
Margaux is lit with a Lupo 1000 spotlight and Scattergel. I used the tilting screen and held my monopod above the bed to get the shot. I used the self timer on 10 seconds to trigger the shutter. XF23mm f/1.4 at f/1.6
Recently we teamed up with Amateur Photographer (AP) to create an experience day for 60 of their lucky readers.
While we were there we interviewed our three guest speakers and asked them all to tell own story as to how they made the switch to Fujifilm. Check out what made Damien Lovegrove, Matt Hart and Paul Sanders switch to the Fujifilm system, and also what has made them stay using it.
Portrait & lighting guru Damien Lovegrove talks about how he made the switch to the Fujifilm system and how using the smaller system helps him connect more with his subject. Can you guess which Fujifilm camera first caught his eye?
Street & event photographer Matt Hart tells his system switching story and praises the benefits of using the Fujifilm cameras; from the exposure previewing LCD screen, to the discrete ergonomics and quality of the final imagery.
Former Picture Editor of The Times Paul Sanders explains how DSLRs created a barrier between him and the landscape and how using the smaller Fujifilm system brought back his passion for shooting. Not only that, he also shares some excellent philosophy to shooting pictures.
The day itself was a perfect opportunity for Amateur Photographer readers to get hands-on with the Fujifilm X system and to learn from our very own Fujifilm X-Photographers. Throughout the day, multiple workshop sessions were held, allowing the experienced professionals to pass on their photographic tips & tricks covering long exposure landscapes, single light portraiture to the in-the-moment street photography.