Tag: tripod

Inside Bryan Minear’s Camera Bag

X-Photographer strip BLACK

By Bryan Minear

As a landscape photographer, I venture out to shoot – a lot. Much of my work is reliant on timing and interesting light. I’m based in Michigan, which isn’t conventionally known as a photo wonderland, so I am constantly exploring, scouting locations, and biding my time for that special segment of time where the light is just right and I can realize my vision. Most of the time, this involves me running out the door and into my car at the start of golden hour, and my Fujifilm bag (a unique co-branded creation) is perfect for those spontaneous moments.

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Admittedly, I’m a bag snob, and I struggled with settling with any camera bag for my minimal kit until now. I could never find one that was just right for what I needed. When I heard that Fujifilm and Domke were partnering to create a never-before-seen version of several Domke classics, I was definitely interested. If the same attention to detail and capability that Fujifilm puts into their products went into the bags, I was going to be in for a treat. Long story short, the camera bag does not disappoint. The FUJIFILM X Series Domke F-803 has just the right amount of storage for me to take my X-Pro2, XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, XF56mmF1.2 R, and X100T – my perfect minimal setup. Even with the kit, the bag still has plenty of room left over for the accessories and extras, like my 10-stop ND filter, polarizers, solar-powered battery backup, and even my lightweight Vanguard VEO 235AB tripod, rendering me completely handsfree.

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One problem that I usually have with messenger bags is that they end up being too bulky and uncomfortable, which is not the case with the FUJIFILM X Series F-803.  It has a very low profile and feels perfect when it is slung across your body, all while looking super sexy (yep, I said it). The combination of sand canvas and brown leather make for a really classic look. It pairs so well with the aesthetic of the X Series cameras – you know, for people who care about that sort of thing. On the run and chasing light, I’ll be suited up with my new favorite premium X accessory.

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Learn more about X Series Domke co-branded bags here!

Currently only available in the United States.

Story behind the photo – Strong Contrasts

I thought I’d put together a blog on how I came about taking this image and the thought process I went through.

It was a grey and gloomy day, not overly inspiring for photography but I thought I’d bring my X100s with the TCL-X100 converter attached with me while I took my dogs out for a walk. Most of the walk was spent either trying to avoid slipping over in the thick, wet mud or turning my body to avoid having a face full of rain. I was shooting with the black and white + red filter preset as it worked well with the gloomy conditions for some moody shots. As I reached the top of the hill I was walking up, I noticed how quickly the clouds were moving across an adjacent hilltop and instantly decided to drive back to this location with my tripod and filters*.

I was imagining the image I want to produce while walking back down with the dogs. There was a strong contrast between the immovable trees and the blustery clouds so I wanted to exaggerate this.

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What you can’t make out from this photo is the speed of the clouds moving from right to left. That is because the shutter speed used has frozen the clouds, so there is no sign of movement.

I decided to use the X-T1 and the XF18-135mm lens because it was very versatile and meant I could change my composition with minimal effort! I mounted the camera onto a tripod and attached a filter holder system. I have a collection of square filters, these are very helpful as you can use square filters with a variety of lenses with different filter thread sizes, all you need are different filter adapters. Though the systems are relatively expensive, in the long run they are more economical than circular filters. I also used a remote trigger which means I don’t have to touch the camera and introduce any unnecessary camera shake to take the picture, this is very helpful for long exposures.

Behind the shot If you look at the above photo you can see that I have a filter inserted into the filter holder. I decided to use a gradual neutral density filter as this allowed me to darken the sky while having less/little effect on the ground.

The left filter is a gradual neutral density filter, it isn’t square which means you can adjust how far down you want the gradient to affect your picture. The filter on the right is a neutral density filter, which is constant throughout. This particular one is a 10-stop filter hence why it is so dark as it cuts the amount of light passing through it by ten times, so slowing down shutter speeds drastically.

I put the gradual filter in first and set it up how I wanted it, set focus and then inserted the 10-stop filter. The reason why I set the focus first is the 10-stop filter can make auto-focus very difficult so it is better to have it all set beforehand. On this occasion the 10-stop filter didn’t take the shutter speed below 30 seconds, which means the camera is able to accurately read the exposure required. If a 30 second exposure is still too short once you’ve applied the filter, then you’ll need to refer to a chart that shows the difference.

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This was taken with only the gradual filter so the shutter speed was still high enough to freeze the clouds.

Despite the fact that I’ve used a graduated neutral density filter, I’ve deliberately under exposed the picture to keep it dark and moody, hence why the ground is still dark. The slideshow below is a collection of images that used the 10-stop neutral density filter to slow down the shutter speed and as a result capture the cloud motion.

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My photos are dominated by the sky – I deliberately kept the horizon low in the picture as the sky was the main subject for me. With the wider shots, I could have moved the horizon up more but the foreground content wasn’t particularly exciting, the sheep weren’t overly inspiring!

I hope this has been helpful and if you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to ask. There is one colour image above, I’d love to know which is your favourite out of the final four. For me it is the portrait orientated shot as I was lucky enough to capture the sun peering through the clouds.

*If you haven’t already seen my previous blog about photographing winter, then check it out here: https://fujifilm.blog/2014/12/31/capturing-winter/