Photojournalist Brad Hobbs talks about his experience with the Fujifilm X-A2, what does he think about it?
I was born in Margate, Kent on the south east coast of England on the 5th July 1990. I grew up about 40 minutes south of Margate in a small seaside town called Deal.
Growing up in the south east of England, there isn’t much to do unless you like being outside. Being a teenager, I wanted to either be in front of a TV sleeping the days away or out skateboarding. When I turned 13, my dad brought me my first camera and I took around with me everywhere. I mostly concentrated on the boats, beaches and surrounding farm land.
I moved to London in 2010, where I started working at a magazine as an intern for 3 months. Once my internship had ended I was quite lost as to what to do next. After networking around the city I fell into a PR job which kept me occupied for 3/4 years working with some big names in music, sports, movies & television. At some point I thought this would be a job for life but I slowly grew away from it and followed my dreams in photography and writing. Over the past 2 years, my life and career has had its ups and downs like most people, but things have recently really take a turn for the better with a few different ambitious projects.
So what do I think about the X-A2 for my style of photography?
When I first picked up this camera my instant thoughts were how lightweight and compact it is. Using the XC16-50MM kit lens it has fed me with everything I need.
With my style of photography I like to be as close to my subject as possible and to paint a scene of what’s happening around me. The Fujifilm X-A2 helps me capture those moments.
Once I started learning how to use the settings to their full capability, I found myself shooting at night, which was something I never used to do. The SR+ setting and High ISO settings really help capture what we as humans can see during the darker hours of the day, if not better than what we see. The end results from this camera are so good it is a shame to edit or tweak images.
During my time thus far with this camera, I have begun to edit less and take more photos that I am proud of. With the 175º tilting screen, shooting buildings and streets at interesting angles has never been easier. The resolution of the screen makes you want to take more and more images.
Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn. NY
Times Square, NY
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. CA
This camera is like having a little lightweight best friend around your neck that is never going to disappoint. It maybe even teach you a few things along the way.
Balmaha, Loch Lomond. Scotland
So far I have travelled to Glasgow, New York, London, Los Angeles and have never left the house without my camera. On all of these trips and locations the X-A2 makes me proud to be a photographer and proud to be using a Fuji camera.
Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset
Pell Street, Chinatown. NY
To follow Brad’s photographic adventure, please visit his social channels below:
Not many people realise it, but before I started travelling and shooting Motorsport, photographing pets was a major part of my business. I would shoot a lot of equine and dog portraits with the odd cat, snake or rat thrown in now and then. I still run Pawfolio, but it’s now more a project of love, or reserved for when people who know me as ‘the pet photographer’ really want me to shoot their most beloved….. not the kids, yep it’s always the dog!
I see a lot of people posting photos of their pets on instagram lately, with some pets even having their own pages. So I thought I would put a few tips together that might be fun to try out if you want to get a great shot of your own pooch…. some of the tips might even work on pictures of the kids too!
For my doggy model, I’m going to use Bria aka ‘The Beast’, my beautiful Sprocker Spaniel. These shots all involve natural light as I wanted this article to be of use to everyone. As long as you have a camera and a lens you can get stunning shots of your beast without expensive lighting.
In my ‘Pawfolio’ bag. Don’t panic! You don’t need all of this! this is just some of the equipment I use on various shoots… If you have only one lens and a camera you’ll be fine 🙂
Camera: XPro1, XT1, XT10
Lenses: 18mm F2, 35mm F1.4, 10-24 F4, 90mm F2, 50-140mm F2.8
Lighting: Ambient/Natural Light
Extras: Dog, lead, willing assistant (wife, kid, person you met on a dog walk?), dog treats / squeaky toy / bouncy ball / whistle, silly voice, insurance (if you want to shoot other peoples dogs!), mobile phone
Top Tip! Things become massively easy in life once a dog knows how to sit, stay, and look at food!! this is where all that training pays off! You will need a few basics such as;
Sit, Paw, Down/Sleep, Stay, Come…
(We had to learn some of these commands in polish once for a clients dog we photographed.)
A food-orientated dog is perfect, if this isn’t working then it’s down to the favourite toy, bouncy ball or failing that, making stupid noises…..dogs love this! The right noise will get a dog to tilt it’s head in a way that looks cute but whilst saying ‘what are you doing, human?’
Play with your beast first;
this builds a little trust between the dog and yourself.
It’s fun for both of you,
it burns off the dog’s energy reserve
A few minutes playing around the kit isn’t a bad thing either, it lets the dog know that the camera is nothing to be worried about and not something strange and dangerous…
Around the house – Your own dog
Ideal for practice and often the easiest of images to shoot are where the dog is relaxed in their own surroundings or favourite spot. I normally wait for ‘Beast’ to find somewhere nice to settle or I encourage her to sit roughly in the right place. Quite often I’ll pap her as she drifts off to sleep. These are candid based shots but can turn into gorgeous intimate photos.
I use any of the following 18mm f2, 35mm f1.4 and the 90mm F2 mostly to achieve the shallow depth of field for this type of shot. The XF35mm f2, XF16, XF23 and XF56mm would be amazing also. Any lens at F1.2 – F2 will make a stunning image. I often use the X-Pro1 and X-T1. The OVF on the X-Pro1 can be really useful in hybrid mode during low light if the EVF wont preview the shot.
#Tip – You can put the Fuji camera to silent mode if the dog is too distracted by the shutter sound. Beast used to hear the shutter then pounce on me because she thought the sound meant that the shoot was over.
The candid shots I usually try to get for every dog shoot are:
That big snuffler is amazing. Shot at 1.2 or on a Macro it makes a stunning detailed image.
The texture of the pads or the hairy paw is beautiful. If it’s your dog, hold the paw and capture a paw & hand selfie #TooCute
Like any face or portrait I shoot, I always focus on the eye closest to me. If you shoot the furthest one and the closer one is blurred, the image just looks wrong – please don’t do it!!
#Tip – Try shooting the dog from ‘a dogs view’ or from below the dog looking up. Crawling around in the dirt is just an everyday thing for me, but I think it’s really worth getting the unusual perspective. This is also now where the flip out screen is genius and the X-T1 or X-T10 becomes king.
That said, don’t rule out the standing up traditional viewpoint. Sometimes if you stand right over the dog looking down, you get that ‘puppy face’ beaming back up at you, and there is nothing cuter.
For outdoor shots, choose a nice spot your dog is going to love and that has some features or atmosphere about it. The beach is an awesome place for dogs, and one of our favourites, with lots of space, great light, and lots of zooming. For this a 90mm, 50-140 or the new 100-400 is ideal because the animal can move around freely but you can still fill the frame. This situation is ideal for the X-T1 or X-T10 because of their high frame rate. I would probably go for the X-T1 more to help keep the sand, salt and spray out of the camera. I would also recommend the weather resistant lenses for this type of shoot. A rogue wave splash or a shake down from the Beast can spray your gear from a surprising distance.
Rivers are great too, but always check the current is safe. Look for a spot on the bank with space and great moody lighting, perhaps between some trees. You should make sure your beast can get in and out easily, and I always have someone with me to throw a ball or something safe for the dog to chase, or I sometimes just sit and watch the animal play and have fun on their own.
My favourite lens for outdoor dog shoots has to be the 50-140 F2.8. With good flexibility and a shallow depth of field at F2.8 there’s always gorgeous bokeh in the background. I try to keep the shutter up between 2000th and 4000th of a second to keep the motion frozen. If the light is changing or the dog is running through light and dark patches, try ‘auto ISO’.
Set the the auto ISO range function to work between ISO 200 and 6400. To control the aperture, try to stay in the range of F2.8 – F4/5.6 or if you want some amazing textural shots and there is loads of light, dial in F8 – F11. Again get low… I have the tilt screen for this, or just get in the dirt and sand and the shots will be amazing.
You could also try the 16-55 F2.8 if you want the shot to be a little more environmental, shoot wide and get more of the landscape in your photos. When you print this type of shot they look great printed large.
If you want to get really creative try ‘panning’ the dog. This is a technique we use on the track to shoot cars at the races. Select a shutter speed between 1/8th (very creative) up to 1/200th (suggest you start there and work your way down to 1/8th), and rotate your body at the hips following and tracking your dog as it runs past. You want to work your shots at slower and slower shutter speeds to create a wonderful action arty shot…
More about the author
John Rourke has been shooting professionally for 15 years and is the owner of Adrenal Media, the Official Photography Agency for the FIA WEC (World Endurance Championship), and the ELMS (European Le Mans Series) including the world famous ‘Le Mans 24hr’. He shoots all of his professional and personal work on Fujifilm X series cameras.
X-Photographer Chris Upton shares his experience shooting with the new FUJIFILM X-E2S and how the Fujifilm X system as a whole has changed his photography for the better.
X-Photographer Chris Upton speaks about the latest Fujifilm X-E2S camera and how the Fujifilm X system has changed his photography for the better.
Chris is a Nottinghamshire based, award winning, photographer specialising in Travel and Landscape photography.
He is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, has received awards in national photographic competitions and twice been commissioned to photograph in Thailand on behalf of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Chris is also proud to be a Fujifilm X series photographer.
If you would like to see more of Chris’ work, please click here.
Find out why 2x Olympic gold medalist Pete Reed switched from a D-SLR system to the Fujifilm mirrorless cameras to capture his precious memories.
Olympic gold medallist & enthusiast photographer Pete Reed explains why he has moved from a D-SLR to a Fujifilm mirrorless system to capture his important memories, and more recently he has been using the FUJIFILM X70 camera – find out what he thinks about it in this video..
FujiGuy Marc takes you through all the exciting bits from the #5YearsofXSeries launch event 2016
What better way to celebrate 5 years of Fujifilm X series than by hosting our own event at our head office in Tokyo?! I was lucky enough to be here so I’m sharing the experience with you.
The event started at 13:30 local time, while most (but not all) of you were probably tucked up fast asleep. We had a countdown that had been running on our X-Pro1 website for the last ten days.
At 13:30 sharp [3m 9s], Fujifilm President Shigehiro Nakajima gave an introduction speech about how our company has evolved in recent years. Film sales peaked in the year 2000 and since then has quickly declined. We took our core competencies and technologies and the diversified our business to ensure survival of the company. At the heart of our company is, and always will be, photography. This is why the X series is so important to us.
Afterwards, the top man in the whole Optical Division, Mr Takahashi, [13m 21s] took to the stage to explain in more detail about the last 5 years of X series. He explained the key benefits of using our APS-C system, including image quality, operability, and portability. He thanked all of the Fujifilm X users across the world, with a special nod to the Official X-Photographers, for not only using our products, but for helping us design future products. It has been the constant feedback that has enabled us to make these products we all love so much.
Toshi explained and demonstrated the advantages of the Hybrid Viewfinder. We all know that an EVF is great because it shows you the image you are going to get, including your exposure settings and any other Film Simulation or White Balance options you have changed. But in a world where EVF refresh rates and LCD resolution seem to make Optical Viewfinders redundant, why on earth would an OVF be required anymore? Toshi explained how having a Rangefinder style OVF allows you to see what is going on outside the frame. This is something that cannot be done on a D-SLR, nor by using an EVF.
Also, two ‘problems’ still exist with using an OVF: “Parallax”, where the angle of the Viewfinder is slightly different from that of the lens making it hard to know precisely where the edge of the frame will be, and Manual Focus is virtually impossible because changing the focus ring doesn’t affect the OVF on a rangefinder. The X-Pro2 has overcome both of these problems by displaying a small LCD panel in the bottom of the frame. This can be used to either show the entire frame in a miniature form, or it can be used to zoom in to the focus point to allow manual focus while in OVF mode.
The X-Pro2 contains the new X-Trans CMOS III – the third generation sensor, which at 24-megapixels, has 50% more resolution that our current. It contains technology that allows faster transfer allowing lower noise at higher ISO.
80 years of film development gives us the expertise to recreate skin tones and other colours with exceptional realism. Toshi also talked about the new Acros film simulation monochrome mode that features smoother gradation, deep blacks and beautiful textures
Next up, Toshi invited Magnum and National Geographic photographer David Alan Harvey onto the stage to talk about how he has found the X-Pro2 since using a prototype for the last few months. Here is the short movie that was played just before he joined Toshi on stage
David’s approach to photography is nothing short of inspiring. David likes simplicity. He wants his camera to be as simple to use as possible, while achieving the quality he needs to do his work. He used the camera in full-auto mode most of the time, wanting to spend more time worrying about the content of the image than what shutter speed to use. This attitude towards photography is exactly what we are trying to get to when we made this camera. We want people to enjoy photography and in order to do this you need to not think about the camera, and instead think about your art.
Next up, Toshi introduced the new X-E2S camera. It’s basically a rangefinder brother for the X-T10. All of the technical features that made the DSLR-style X-T10 a more attractive camera have been matched, leaving the user to choose between the style of camera rather than the specifications.
If you want to be able to shoot with your right eye leaving your face fully exposed to engage with your subject, or you want the classic retro look of a rangefinder of days passed, the X-E2S will be for you. If you prefer the more modern look of a D-SLR, plus the advantage of having a tilting screen for shooting high or low angles more comfortably, the X-T10 will probably be your preference.
Either way, you now get to choose your camera based on who you are, rather than which one was better on paper. Current X-E2 users can also rejoice in the fact that the software enhancements in the X-E2S will be coming to the X-E2 via a FREE firmware update in the very near future.
Jeff has been a professional photographer for many years and he switched to Fujifilm on a recommendation of a peer. His chosen subjects to shoot vary massively from shooting at The 24 Hours of Le Mans race, to shooting landscapes near his home in Scotland. He’s been fully converted to the X system since 2014 and has most of the lenses in our lineup and finds a use for all of them. They went through a number of Jeff’s shots and discussed the lens lineup and direction and also his reasons for making his final switch and going full-Fujifilm X.
Toshi ended his interview with Jeff by talking about a product meeting Jeff had attended a few months ago. (You may or may not know that Fujifilm REALLY listen to their users for product feedback). He asked him if he remembered a particular request that Jeff had. This particular request was for a flashgun that could fire continuously and would also be weatherproof to suit his X-T1. Jeff confirmed that he remembered the request, to which Toshi then presented the next product…
The only product not due to be released in February is the EF-X500 flash. Similar to our lens roadmap updates, we wanted our users to know that we listen to their feedback and we are working on a hotshoe mount flashgun to compliment the X series.
It’ll have a low-profile design that is perfectly suited to X-Series cameras, and will support high-speed sync up to 1/8000 sec. (the same speed as the shutter in the new X-Pro2). It will also be weather and dust resistant, just like the X-T1 and X-Pro2 cameras.
The final product that was presented was the X70,. This camera is essentially an X100T + WCL-X100, in a tiny body. It doesn’t have a viewfinder, which is the reason it can afford to be so small, but it does have a tilting LCD screen to compose your shot with.
The same sensor as the X100T, the same processor as the X100T and an amazingly high-quality lens made by Fujinon (like the X100T). Now you can have a camera in your pocket at all times that won’t sacrifice image quality at all. Coupled with a 180° tilting LCD that’s pretty handy for selfies, the X70 really is the ultimate travel camera for someone that really needs to travel light but wants great results still.
X-Photographer Pete Bridgwood talks about the new X-Pro2 and how it has helped him translate the emotional experience of a landscape into his finished prints.
X-Photographer Pete Bridgwood talks about the new X-Pro2 and how it has helped him translate the emotional experience of a landscape into his finished prints.
Pete Bridgwood is a fine-art landscape photographer and writer from Nottingham in the UK. He started making photographs back in 1978 with black and white film and manual cameras, using wet-process in a traditional darkroom. This time spent in his youth, learning about the traditional process proved invaluable to Pete, but his workflow is now completely digital and he now uses X-Series cameras exclusively. “They facilitate communication for me in a way that’s impossible with any other type of camera and they rediscover this nostalgic feel for photography that was lost in the early digital years. Perhaps the greatest challenge in creative landscape photography comes from encapsulating the soul or spirit of the location and communicating that captured perception to the viewer of the final print. Fuji X-Series allow me to accomplish this emotive translation in a seamless way, and the X-Pro2 is the ultimate evolution of these amazing cameras”
If you would like to see more of Pete’s work, please click here.
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