Tag: fuji blog

10 Tips for Better Wildlife Pictures

Struggling to catch the near-perfect wildlife shots you have seen in top magazines and exhibits? Now that camera technology has become more accessible, many people are branching out into nature. Wildlife photography isn’t for the faint of heart, however, and plenty of professionals and enthusiasts alike encounter challenges.

Photo by Ben Cherry (@benji_cherry), Fujifilm X-T2 with XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens

Fortunately, with the right equipment, research and mindset — and of course, plenty of practice — you can make major improvements. The following are 10 tips you can use to take better wildlife pictures today.

 

Study Your Subject

 

What kinds of environments do your local fauna love most? Which animals live within driving distance, and what are their migratory patterns and schedules? Will your subjects even be awake when you go to shoot? Wildlife photography is all about catching those fleeting moments that most people never get to see, and being there at the right time and place is a numbers game. Study your subject matter to give yourself the best chance of being in position for a great shot.

 

Stand Back, Zoom In

 

Animals are tough enough to shoot in urban environments; in nature, they can seem impossible to catch up close. To capture wildlife acting as naturally and unafraid as possible, you may need to rely on a long telephoto lens. When dealing with the most skittish creatures, the longer the focal length, the better.

Photo by Vincent Yuhiko, Fujifilm X-T1 with XF18-135mm R LM OIS WR lens

Broaden Your Horizons

 

As helpful as a long, narrow focus can be, you don’t always need to catch creatures up close — nor do you need to isolate them from their environments. Some shots are actually more powerful when taken with a wide angle that gives the viewer context. Experiment with both broad and narrow focuses to see which suits your tastes and subject matter. You’ll probably find that different shots are best for different situations.

 

Practice Patience

 

Nature is unpredictable. Even if you rigorously study the animal you want to shoot, you’ll probably have to play the waiting game once you get into position. In fact, patience is one of the defining factors of a great wildlife photographer, and some of the most iconic shots have only been possible after hours or even days of waiting and returning to the same spot.

Photo by Vinh Le (@mylittledistraktions), Fujifilm X-M1

Don’t Wait for Every Opportunity

 

At the same time, patience isn’t everything. You can’t always wait for great shots to materialise, especially when you only have a small window of decent lighting and weather. If your only goal is to capture a specific animal in a specific moment, then yes, you’ll need to wait. But if you just want to capture interesting shots within an environment, make the most of your time and seek out opportunities for great shots.

 

Simplify Your Backgrounds

 

Photography is all about using depth and contrast to highlight your subject, and wildlife photography is no exception. While some photos will be inherently “busy,” you can often create a dramatic effect by simply capturing an animal against a non-distracting background.

Photo by Daniel Bradford (@dbrad1992), Fujifilm X-T1

 

Keep Both Eyes Open

 

When you control neither your environment nor your subject matter, you’ve got to be ready for anything. To stay aware of your surroundings, keep both eyes open as you look through the viewfinder. If you’re only focused on what’s in the frame, you’ll miss far more opportunities than you see.

 

Focus and Exposure

 

A few setting tweaks can make all the difference between a clear shot and an indecipherable photo. If your camera allows, set your focus mode to “continuous” and your focus area to “zone.” Use a larger grid setting for larger animals and a smaller setting for small subjects. As for exposure, you’ll want to choose a small area for a shot that emphasises the subject and de-emphasizes the background.

Photo by Nina Dos Santos, Fujifilm X-T1 with XF27mmF2.8 R

Know Your Equipment

 

During a daylong shoot, you’ll encounter — at best — mere minutes of photo-worthy material. What’s more, each moment of interest may only last a few seconds. If you’re not familiar with the capabilities and settings of your camera and lens, you could miss once-in-a-lifetime shots. Know your equipment’s shutter speeds, memory card speeds and focal lengths, as well as all the options you have for toggling focus points and modes.

 

(Perfect) Practice Makes Perfect!

 

Last but not least, practice, practice, practice! Analyse the shots you take, and consult experienced photographers for advice on how you can improve. The more hours you can spend, the better you’ll become, but you can fast-track your progress by seeking feedback and making the most of each shot you take.

7 Tips For Macro Photography With Fujifilm X Series

Some images are larger than life. Macro photography, at its most technical definition, involves capturing something bigger in your frame than it appears in reality. Think of a tiny bug filling a large print, for instance. But used loosely, macro photography describes anything close to a 1:1 ratio of reproduction.

To get into macro photography with your Fujifilm X Series camera, keep in mind these seven tips.

Purchase a macro lens for larger reproduction.

The easiest way to take macro photos is with a macro lens, which is designed to have a short minimum focus distance. Macro lenses come in different focal lengths, from 50mm to 200mm, and magnify at a large reproduction ratio, though not always 1:1. For the Fujifilm X Series, there is the XF60mmF2.4 R macro lens, which mounts onto each camera in the series.

Experiment with an extension tube.

If you do not feel ready to invest in a macro lens, work with your current lens and add an extension tube, a light-tight accessory that fits between the mount and the lens. By shifting your lens farther from your body, the extension tube allows you to increase magnification. The Fujifilm MCEX-11 and MCEX-16 are built specifically for X Series cameras and attach sturdily to their bodies.

Photo by Ivar Fjeldheim (@ivar_fjeldheim), Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF90mmF2 R LM WR + MCEX-16

Use ring flash or a softbox.

Flash lighting can be too harsh for many macro photography shots. Instead, shoot with a ring flash or a softbox. If you must use flash lighting, set up a reflector to help you fill light evenly throughout your frame.

Be adventurous with unconventional angles.

Getting your small subject to fill the frame is nice, but don’t let that be the only intriguing element to your shot. Work from different angles. Try filling the frame diagonally with your subject. Shoot with front lighting to emphasise the subject’s colour and with side lighting to emphasise its detail.

Photo by Leigh Diprose, Fujifilm X-A1 with XF60mmF2.4 R Macro – F5.6 – 1/150 second – ISO800

Hold frail photo subjects in place with a clamp.

For macro pics of flowers or other outdoor objects, you may want a way to steady your subject from wind gusts. A plant clamp sometimes called a “plamp,” keeps them in position while you take your shots.

Steady your shot with a remote release.

Great macro photography shows intricate detail on its subject. To get minuscule attributes to appear clearly in the image, you want to avoid camera shake. Use a remote release to reduce the possibility of blur.

Photo by Leigh Diprose, Fujifilm X-T1 with XF60mmF2.4 R Macro – F2.4 – 1/1000 second – ISO200

Stack images to bring focal points into one shot.

Some of the fun in macro photography happens in post-production. Take many pictures of your subject, with the composition maintained in each photo but with slightly different focal points. Then, using software such as Adobe Photoshop, “focus stack” the images to see all of the focal points present in one image.

Photo by Leigh Diprose, Fujifilm X-A1 with XF60mmF2.4 R Macro – F5.6 – 1/170 second – ISO1000

Macro photography takes practise, but with effort and with the right accessories for your X Series system, you will soon have some great big images of the tiniest things.

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Janice Kho

janice-kho-001

Our final X-Thusiast photographer of 2016 is Janice Kho. Born in Malaysia, Janice now calls Perth her home, using her X-T10 to capture landscapes, food and nature.

Tell us a little about yourself, Janice. Where are you from? What are your hobbies? What inspires you from day to day?

My name is Janice Kho and I live in the beautiful coastal city of Perth in Western Australia. I was born in Malaysia and spent some of my childhood there before I migrated to Perth. For as long as I can remember, I always had a passion for the arts and creative pursuits. While I ended up pursuing a career in health care, photography has become my passion and creative outlet. Besides photography, I love travelling to new places, sharing food with friends and family and curling up with a good book.
Exploring new places, meeting interesting people and gaining new experiences is what inspires my photography. I’m also inspired by people who pursue their passions while contributing to the world in a positive way.

janice-kho-005

“A view of Mt. Cook at the end of Hooker Valley walk, New Zealand,” by Janice Kho, Fujifilm X-T10 + XF18-55mmF2.8-4.

 

How did you develop an interest in Fujifilm photography? How would you describe your photographic style?

Before jumping into the Fujifilm X-Series, I was using a Canon DSLR. While I loved shooting with that camera, I found the weight and size of it was stopping me from taking it everywhere I went in my day-to-day life. It was also harder to blend into the crowd when I was travelling. Since the first Fujifilm X-Series camera came out several years ago, I was instantly attracted to the retro look and have been looking for the perfect mirrorless system to switch to. When the X-T10 came out, that sealed the deal. I was attracted to the inconspicuous look and the small size. It was perfect for everyday use and for longer trips.
I think my photography has evolved over the years and I’m still trying to find my photographic style. I enjoy shooting a variety of subjects but landscapes, nature, urban life and food dominate what I shoot. With that in mind, I would say I’m driven to document life and experiences through my eyes in an unobtrusive way.

janice-kho-004

“Urban reflections,” by Janice Kho, Fujifilm X-T10 + XF18-55mmF2.8-4

What constitutes a good photograph for you? Could you describe your shooting strategy?

I think a good photograph is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Personally, though, I’m attracted to photos with really strong composition, especially when I’m viewing landscapes, portraits and architecture photos. I’m not sure if I have a shooting strategy as such, but I try to take my camera with me when I head out of the house on the weekends and will think about the sorts of photo opportunities that will be there so that I’m prepared with the right camera/lens combination. I’ll also do the same when I’m packing for a longer trip away.

Why did you choose the Fujifilm X-T10? Why do you prefer the X-T10 model and what is your favourite aspect?

When I was looking to get a smaller, nimbler camera, I spent some time researching the various mirrorless systems available on the market but I kept coming back to the Fujifilm X Series cameras. At the time, the Fujifilm X-T1 was the closest to what I was looking for but the price point and weight put me off a little. When the X-T10 came out, I knew that was the camera I was looking for. It was the right price point for me to swap from my DSLR and it had a familiar DSLR feel to it in my hands. It’s also smaller and lighter while still maintaining the same excellent image quality of the X-T1. My favourite aspect is definitely the small weight and size. It means I take out my camera more often and I have the freedom to shoot unhindered.

janice-kho-003

“Beautiful Perth city at twilight,” by Janice Kho, Fujifilm X-T10 + XF35mmF1.4

Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer to use with your Fujifilm X-T10 camera? Tell us why.

I currently have three Fujinon lenses, the XF27mmF2.8, XF35mmF1.4 and XF18-55mmF2.8-4. It’s a tough choice to state which is my favourite lens of the three as they are all such high-quality lenses, each with a specific purpose in my kit. I found the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 to be the perfect lens for travelling because it’s versatile and can cover a variety of subjects, but it’s probably the lens I use the least because of its heavier weight compared to my other two lenses. The XF35mm F1.4 creates beautiful images with amazing bokeh, and it’s the lens I use whenever I’m photographing people or night scenes. The XF27mm F2.8 is by far the most used lens of the three. It’s super light and small. It’s a great focal length for everyday shooting. It’s the lens I have sitting on my camera by default. With all that being said, I’m itching to get my hands on a fourth lens to shoot some wide, sweeping landscapes!

Could you describe your photo processing? Do you prefer any editing tools, social networks or camera accessories to enhance your work?

My post-processing is pretty simple and I don’t tend to spend a lot of time on editing. I use Lightroom for photo editing on the computer. Given how good the Fujifilm jpegs are, I will generally only do some small adjustments before it’s ready to be shared on my blog or social media. My more recent photos tend to have a subtle, faded look, but I’ll mix it up and create something with more saturation and colour when I feel like it. If I want to share a photo fairly quickly on social media, I will upload the photo directly from the camera via Wi-Fi to my phone using the Fujifilm Camera App. I’ll then use VSCO to edit the photo on my phone before sharing it on Instagram and Facebook.

janice-kho-002

“Coffee stop at Hylin Café after a hike,” by Janice Kho, Fujifilm X-T10 + XF35mmF1.4

Do you have advice for new photographers or the next potential X-Thusiast?

Don’t worry so much about the gear you have, just get out there, shoot and experiment. Eventually, you’ll find what you like and dislike shooting. If you’re new, focus on learning the basic principles of the exposure triangle (ISO, aperture and shutter speed). I think it’s also important to slow down when you’re shooting and focus more on composition. I find a lot of inspiration following photography blogs and looking at photos on places like Instagram.

Any final thoughts or tips?

Keep shooting what you love and eventually, your passion will be noticed. But most importantly—have fun shooting!

If you would like to see more of Janice’s work follow her on Instagram, Twitter or visit her blog.

If you, or someone you know in Australia, is interested in joining our X-Thusiast community, check out the full X-Thusiast Gallery and Submission details.

Fuji Guys: Using the Fujifilm EF-X500 Flash for Portait Photography

In the latest video by the Fuji Guys Australia, Will Anlezark and Warrewyk Williams show some portrait results you can obtain when using the new Fujifilm EF-X500 flash as either a master or remote flash.

Fuji Guys: External Shoe Mount Flash Settings – EF-X500 

For more information about this and other Fujifilm products, please visit these websites.

Australia

U.S.A.

Canada

UK