Tag: xf16-55

Inspired Coastlines with X Series

X-Photographer strip BLACKBy Bryan Minear

At the beginning of December, I was on my way to California for a part-work, part-fun gig in SoCal.  Being that this was only my 2nd trip to California and my first to the coast, I wanted to take everything that I thought I might need. One of the perks of the FUJIFILM X Series system is that I’m able to bring a lot of gear without having to worry about my bag being too heavy, on account of everything being so small and light compared to a DSLR system.ona_bryanminearblog_4Gear List:

  • FUJIFILM X-T2
  • FUJIFILM X-Pro2
  • FUJIFILM XF10-24mmF4 R OIS
  • FUJIFILM XF16mmF1.4 R WR
  • FUJIFILM XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
  • FUJIFILM XF35mmF1.4 R
  • FUJIFILM XF56mmF1.2 R
  • FUJIFILM XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR
  • FUJIFILM XF1.4x TC & XF2.0x TC
  • Formatt-HItech Firecrest Holder
  • Formatt-HItech Firecrest 10-stop ND & 3-stop ND Grad
  • 13” Macbook Pro
  • 1TB SSD Hard Drive
  • Anker PowerCore 20000
  • The Camps Bay ONA Camera Bag in Smoke

ONA_BryanMinearBlog_6.jpgI’ve always had a love/hate relationship with shooting out of airplane windows. I’ve taken some beautiful shots, and some terrible ones, but regardless I always give it a shot and hope for the right combination of clouds and terrain to come away with something cool. For the first time in the sky I gave the X-T2 with XF50-140mm and XF1.4X Teleconverter a shot and it ended up being really awesome. Typically I have always tried shooting wide and always seemed to get the wing of the plane, reflections, or window scratches that made my shots unusable. But zooming in that far, and having the crazy good image stabilization of the 50-140 gave me some spectacular results.ONA_BryanMinearBlog_8.jpgWhen I finally landed in San Diego, I only had a few hours to get checked into my hotel and find a good spot to shoot the sunset before I had to shoot the event I was in town for. I grabbed my ONA bag and ran out the door to see what I could find. I just made my way toward the west-facing beach of Coronado.  This was my first “true” California coastal sunset, and it was a colorful cloudless sky. I took a few shots but mostly just took it in and enjoyed the moment.dscf5272Day 2 started when a friend picked me up and we drove out to Anza Borrego. It was an unbelievable experience for this midwestern boy; in just 2 hours, we went from beautiful rolling hills and coastline to mountainous desert. We spent some time shooting from Font’s Point which gave a breathtaking view of the terrain spread out in front of us. This was everything I always expected from California: palm trees and vast expansive desert spread out in front of me. We spent a few hours shooting the beautiful textures and colors of the desert before moving on.fxp23658Heading back towards the coast, we decided that the next stop would be the rocks of Corona Del Mar. Despite slipping multiple times and having extremely soggy shoes, I was thankful to have experienced one of the most beautiful sunsets of my entire life. Having 2 camera bodies is absolutely essential for the kind of work that I like to do. I split my time between my X-Pro2 with XF10-24mm set up on a tripod shooting long exposures, and my X-T2 with XF50-140mm combo in hand snapping away at boats, water and really fine-tuning my compositions with the compressed field of view. Having the 50-140 lens has turned me from a 100% wide shooter to a 60/40 tele/wide shooter and it has made such a huge impact on the work that I create.dscf5758The next day was spent shooting around the picturesque Laguna beach area. It was a semi-low tide so we climbed to an area along the coast that has a sinkhole with beautiful swirling water, and set up our gear. After a bit of droning and waiting to see what we would get in terms of a sunset burn, we all got a bit ambitious and ventured further out on the rocks that were exposed by the low tide. While setting up on a tripod to get some water movement shots, a rogue wave came out of nowhere and completely soaked me and my camera. There has never been a time that I was more thankful to have weather-resistant gear. I spent the rest of the night soaking wet from head to toe, but was able to continue to shoot the rest of the sunset.dscf5947After drying off at my hotel and grabbing a couple hours of sleep, I decided that my final morning before flying home was going spent in Long Beach shooting the sun coming up behind The Queen Mary. I arrived to a beautiful star-filled sky, giving me enough time to nitpick and get the composition that I really wanted. As I sat there on the rocks with my X-T2 on-tripod in front of me just waiting for the perfect moment, I thought about all I was able to experience on such a short trip, and how there is so much more of the world to see and explore. I couldn’t ask for anything better than being constantly inspired to create by my surroundings, and the gear that helps me capture it all. ona_bryanminearblog_12

Baby It’s Cold Outside..

10-xmas-fuji

X-Photographer strip BLACK

By Elli Cassidy

At Christmas it’s almost compulsory to take photographs and when you add a newborn baby into the equation it’s the perfect opportunity to create something extra special.

Whether you’re a fan of full-on Christmas decor, or prefer just a subtle nod to the season I hope this fills you with hints, tips and a sprinkle of festive inspiration.


If you are new to photographing babies you can keep it simple and natural, have baby lying on the back and photograph them awake and relaxed. Newborn babies can’t focus their eyes well, so I wait for them to stare into the distance and then move my camera into their line of sight, it can take a bit of patience but is usually worth it.

For this shot, I dressed the baby in a soft white romper and a berry headband which sets the season without needing a santa hat.

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1/100s, f/2.8, iso 100, X-T2, XF16-55

Another simple image to capture is baby toes, they can be awake or asleep for this, though for wrigglers I’m grateful for the fast focusing of the X-T2.  In the first shot you can see the out of focus fairy lights which add an interest to the composition, and for the second shot I used a berry coloured wrap to create a warm festive feel.  In the second shot I was actually gently holding the baby’s toes in place underneath the fabric to keep them at the angle I wanted.  The tilt screen on the X-T2 was handy here as I could both hold her feet and shoot one handed comfortably.

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1/100s, f/2.8, iso 100, X-T2, XF16-55
3-xmas-fuji
1/100s, f/2.8, iso 200, X-T2, XF16-55

Overhead shots are also easy shots to get whilst keeping baby safely lying down on fabric. The wreath I used is mainly fabric so is quite soft and not prickly, and I padded the middle out with a furry cushion cover so that she was well supported at all times.

If a baby isn’t the most settled then I will swaddle them with a wrap so they feel secure, and more often than not they fall asleep when wrapped.  For all these shots I stand over the baby, using a camera strap, and then use live view on the tilt screen of my X-T2 to compose the image.

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1/160s, f/2.8, iso 200, X-T2, XF16-55
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1/125s, f/2.8, iso 200, X-T2, XF16-55
6-xmas-fuji
1/125s, f/2.8, iso 200, X-T2, XF16-55

This shot is a more typical newborn baby pose, but using a seasonal coloured wrap keeps the image simple whilst adding a slight festive touch.

7-xmas-fuji
1/100s, f/2.8, iso 100, X-T2, XF16-55

Christmas is a great excuse to pull out some of my favourite props too, so here are a few where I’ve tried to recreate some of the magic of the holiday.  All of these images were taken with a spotter, which means I had someone on hand (usually a parent) to stay very close to the baby with the sole purpose of holding them if they start to move or roll.  Spotters are either just outside the frame but still within reach of the baby, or I edit them out in Photoshop.

To make it a bit more interesting I wanted to include some lights within these set-ups too, one having a candle lit effect lantern and the other incorporating some fairly lights.  Each of these meant I had to work out the best way to capture the lights whilst not overpowering them with flash.  I needed to shoot fairly wide open to be able to record as much of the ambient light as possible, yet I still needed to light the subject too with my flash. I had the ISO at 100 (or Low) and my aperture at 2.8 on the 16-55mm, if I shot at 1/250s I overpowered the fairly lights and you couldn’t really see any light from them at all, when I slowed down to 1/125s they were visible but quite small and hard. I couldn’t shoot any wider unless I swapped lenses, so the next option was to reduce the shutter speed further. As my baby model was asleep, as long as I held the camera steady, I was able to shoot at 1/15s which enabled the flash to still perfectly light my model without overpowering the ambient so I captured the nice effect of the lights too. Again using the tilt screen was invaluable as I could sit down and hold the camera steady without having to lie on the floor to see.

8-xmas-fuji
1/15s, f/2.8, iso 100, X-T2, XF16-55

With the lantern shot the candlelight wasn’t giving any spread at all as it was just so low powered, so I photoshopped the glow in afterwards. I thought including both images will show you the different ways of achieving the same kind of end result.  Where possible I do prefer to get it right in camera, but I’m not opposed to editing small things if it helps create the right feel either.

1/125s, f/2.2, iso 100, XT2, XF56,
1/125s, f/2.2, iso 100, XT2, XF56,

And finally a slight twist on a more advanced newborn pose known as The Potato Sack, I wanted to give a bit of a snowman feel so added a hat and then in photoshop I added some snow, just for the fun of it.  This pose is usually done with baby being supported and then the hand edited out afterwards.

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1/125, f/2.8, iso 200, XT2, XF16-55

All images were shot with the X-T2 and lit with a single Elinchrom d-lite1 and a 1m² softbox. I almost always position the light so that it flows down the baby’s face to give either a butterfly shadow under their nose or a loop shadow at the side of their nose.


And finally I few tips for you to help get your newborn model to sleep:

1. Heat – A toasty warm room and a fan heater near baby, I find it’s the warm breeze that helps settle them
2. Milk – A ‘milky drunk’ baby, I always ensure they have a full feed before we start so they are nice and full
3. White noise – Background noise helps send most babies to sleep and masks any noise you might make whilst working
4. Blankets – I use a blanket from home to hold them in whilst getting them to sleep as it smells familiar to them
5. Dummy – I always ask if they have one at all, you can pose the baby with their dummy and then just remove it for the individual shots
6. Patience – sometimes it takes a while for them to drop off to sleep but having all the above in place can make it much easier.

I hope you all have a great Christmas and I’d love to hear how you get on with your festive baby photographs!

Elli Cassidy
www.minimemories.co.uk

Capturing Captains with the Fujifilm X-T1

X-Photographer strip BLACK

tony-woolliscroft-jul-2014Think about it, it’s your dream job. You’re a Liverpool season ticket holder and supporter and as a professional photographer you are asked if you’re interested in photographing the portraits of a number of former and famous Liverpool FC captains for an upcoming book.

Of course I jumped at the chance!

My brief was pretty simple, make all the captains look good, but the harder part of the brief was to make all the pictures look like they had been shot in the same session at the same time ……. Of course this would mean shooting on location in ten different locations!


The first captain on our list was perhaps the hardest logistically to set up as when we arrived at Ron Yates’ home there was simply nowhere to set up my studio and Ron’s wife was not too pleased at the thought of moving everything around in her living room!

But we soon persuaded her that it was ok to shoot with a simple one-light set up and so photographed Ron on his sofa right there in the front room.

“One of the great advantages of shooting with my Fujifilm X-T1 camera system is that the camera is not overwhelming in size and this makes it easier to communicate with your client.”

Ron Yates
Ron Yates

I was not given a lot of time to take Ron’s portrait as he sadly suffers with Alzheimer’s so I needed to work quite quickly. This meant going for my trusty XF16-55mm f2.8 lens. This lens is amazing at times like these – it’s versatile in focal length from wide angle to zoom, sharp and very fast to focus.

From here I worked quickly, taking as many different portraits as I could in as short amount of time possible.


Over the next few captains that I photographed I was given more time and space to get what I had in mind for the book.

Robbie Fowler
Robbie Fowler

One location I was given was to shoot in was Jamie Redknapp’s garage at his home! It was a big space to set all my studio backdrop and lights in, plus I received refreshments from Jamie’s lovely wife Louise!

Jamie Redknapp
Jamie Redknapp

Also having the luxury of more time and a bigger working space is that I got to use my different Fujifilm prime lenses. And let’s not forget that with each different portrait sitting you have to come up with a variety of posed shots, I tend to shoot a full length sitting down shot, a ¾ length standing up shot and then a selection of close-up headshots. The lenses I use in my shoots are the XF16-55mm f2.8, XF23mm f1.4 and my XF56mm f1.2.

“I really love the 56mm as it’s pin sharp, fast to focus and gets a great headshot in a limited space.”


And the locations where quite varied too – from conference suites in Southampton Airport (amazing what access you can get in these places dropping Graeme Souness’ name) to removing furniture from Ronnie Whelan’s dining room so I could set my studio in there (Massive table and chairs out!).

Graeme Souness

There was also the time aspect to all this as each Captain was giving their time for free, so I was very conscious that my photoshoots didn’t drag on.


In my experience with these types of shoot I’ve come to know and trust the equipment that I use. From my portable studio set up to my Fujifilm camera and lenses, I know I’ll get great results each time.

Paul Ince
Paul Ince

One of the most common questions I get asked is which Captain was the most difficult to shoot.

It’s an easy answer really – Steven Gerrard.

On the day of the shoot Steven was very pushed for time as he had a big appointment in Milton Keynes for Adidas. To compound matters further the interview for the book ran over as well…… So in the end I was given just 60 seconds to get as many portraits out of the shoot as possible.

Lucky I had just enough time to set my studio up and was ready as he walked in. I used my Fujifilm X-T1 camera alongside my XF16-55mm lens to create the shot.

As I said before, in times like these you need equipment you can trust and that will simply get you a great result.

That’s why I shoot Fuji!

Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard

 

 

Using the Fujifilm XF16-55mm f/2.8 for press photography

Guest Blogger strip

By Rachel Megawhat

I began using Fuji cameras at the beginning of 2013. I had begun my photographic career in the days of film, primarily working as a studio fashion and portrait photographer. Through a lot of the time of digital I had been raising a family and working on fine art projects using film  but in 2013 I decided it was time to get a really great new digital camera. The Fujis were suggested to me and I just felt comfortable with them straight away- not least because of the familiar velvia and provia settings. Initially I got a X-E1 and did so much work with that that that I later got an X-T1 as well. I feel that much of the work I have done over the last two years has happened because I am so comfortable with these cameras.

Recently I’ve been trying out the Fuji XF16-55mm f/2.8. My XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 has seen 2 years of near daily use since I got my first Fuji camera, and compared with it, the 16-55/2.8 is a lot bigger lens, quite a lot heavier, and I wondered if the extra 2mm and constant 2.8 aperture could make that much difference.


I really love this lens.


I am a photographer not a writer so the best way to explain it is probably by showing some of the pictures I have taken with the lens.

On VJ day 70th anniversary after photographing the Queen arriving at the Church service, using a longer lens, I had switched back to the 16-55 as the Royal car drove past- given the heightened security it was not made clear which route she would be driving so I was lucky she drove past.

The image on the left is shot at 16mm and then zoomed in to 38mm for the shot on the right. The reflection on her face is a bit unfortunate but I love the way her hand is rested on Philip’s knee.

Last year there was a lot of focus on the Labour party and I covered a bit of this with the 16-55. L-R, Mr Corbyn arriving at the announcement of the Leadership Election, Yvette Cooper in a lift on the way to make a speech and Gordon Brown giving the speech where he walked over a mile, a real test of the camera’s autofocus speed as he literally didn’t stand still.

Like most photographers I see no reason to leave the camera at home if I go away for the weekend so I had the Fuji with me when I went to Weston-Super-Mare to visit Dismaland. It was one of the least dismal days of the year, and gave me the chance to test the lens for landscape shots.

I also tested out the low light action with left: Fat Boy Slim and right: Run The Jewels

One job which is always a welcome break from politicians is the London Zoo photocall. In August they weigh the animals and invite news photographer’s along to record it. This tiny frog was a nice test of the close up capabilities of the 16-55.

I quite often photograph celebrities, often campaigning and this month has seen its fair share with Charlotte Church and Emma Thompson for Greenpeace and Brian May for Badgers

I also covered the AIM Independent music awards with FKA Twigs and Michael Eavis

All in all the 16-55mm has dealt with everything I’ve needed it to do, I quickly got used to the extra weight and I would recommend it to anyone.

See more of Rachel’s work

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