X-Photographer’s Spotlight – Matt Hart

Tell us about yourself and what got you into photography?

I was born in Hammersmith in London, England UK. I was born Dyslexic and I struggled at school with the more academic subjects, but did very well in the Arts and Science. I found being Dyslexic more of a gift than a disability. My Dyslexia was one of the more rare forms where two areas of the brain are not connected in the Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area, so there was no hope for me to improve my academic skills. After I found out Einstein was Dyslexic along with quite a few photographers at the time, there was no holding me back. I had a dream of one day becoming a photographer. I left school with average grades and started out shooting events and weddings with 35mm film. This was short lived due to starting a family so the photography was hit and miss over the years. I am now a professional photographer shooting events and street photography, as well as teaching photographers on training courses and workshops in Street photography.

I moved to the North West of England about 9 years ago to be with my girlfriend Jane, at first it was quite hard to adjust but now I find that Liverpool inspires me to take more and more images. The North West is also in a great position in the UK for me to travel up and down the country to teach courses and talk at events.

I have always been a people watcher, it’s in my nature to want to know what is going on out there on the street, and I feel at home out in the streets of our cities. I think Street is very important even to this day of digital. There have been so many amazing Street photographers in the past and if it had not been for them documenting the streets of the world we would not be able to look back at our history.

What I love about Street is that you never quite know what you are going to get. Things happen all the time in fractions of a second that will never happen again, and only the person who is there that day with a camera can get that shot. No one can recreate or set up some of these amazing Street moments and that’s what makes Street photography unique. So my style is still developing, I was heading in one direction but now I use the X Series, I have slowed down to re-evaluate where I am going.

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Why did you choose Fujifilm cameras?

I was shooting with Nikon for over 30 years but started to get fed up with the weight of the equipment. I had a fall on the Isle of Skye whilst shooting landscapes on holiday and broke a few ribs; this was down to the sheer weight of camera gear on my back.

When I got back home I started to look for new options and bought myself a Fuji X100 – Wow! What a great little camera. I started to use the X100 more and more and found myself leaving the Nikon D3s in the bag.  For street photography, the X100 was amazing.  Soon after that I bought the XPro1 and shot Liverpool International Music Festival with the Fuji and the Nikon D3s. Following the festival, I decided to shoot Fuji only. I sold all my Nikon Pro gear! It was a big brave move but one I do not regret. I shoot mainly black and white and the Fuji X series are perfect for my style of shooting.

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Do you have a photographic philosophy you live by?

I learnt my craft from the days of film, so I guess my philosophy is to keep it real. I would much rather go back to a landscape 20 times in my life and capture the perfect landscape than to create the landscape in Photoshop. When I look back over the years, the images that mean the most to me are the ones that are the most real. I don’t always look for the sharpest most perfect images, I want the images to speak to me and tell me a story that means something to me as well as the viewer. So its got to be right from the moment of capture, that is why I love Street and Fuji cameras, its all about keeping it real.

 

Key inspirations – What & who inspires you?

Most people can come up with list of great names for inspiration but I always struggle with this question. David Bailey was my inspiration as a young lad and also Michael Boys. I guess I love how creative these guys were and still are. I do admire some of the great Street Photographers work and styles but try not to let their images change what I am trying to achieve in my work.

The images my parents took of each other and myself as a child are the images that are stuck in my head from childhood. So I guess I draw my inspiration from family street photography.

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Do you have any tips or tricks you could share with us?

  1. My style of street photography is more candid so I try and dress for the area I visit to blend in. This is why I love to use the X100T it’s so very discreet. I very rarely ever ask to shoot a portrait. I try and shoot the subject as naturally as possible, but if they do notice me at the point I am taking the shot, I will just smile and say thanks. On these occasions I have made many new social media contacts, given out business cards or even sent a print as a thank you.
  2. I like to pick busy days in the city or town I choose to shoot my street photography. This opens up the options for lots of opportunities and subjects. People tend to be busy going about their everyday business and won’t even notice me, even if I am standing right in front of them. The busy towns always have great side streets where people walk in and out of town to shop or visit friends.
  3. If I find a great area I like to spend a lot of time just hanging and blending in, just taking a few shots like a fumbling tourist so that people lose interest in me, that way I can catch them as naturally as possible. Train stations are very interesting especially the seating areas, as people are thinking more about their journey or their day.
  4. I like to look for interesting subjects, someone who stands out from the crowd, people dressed in an interesting way or with an interesting look that will compliment the background. Flamboyant, outgoing people make great subjects, but are also very aware of cameras and photographers so are better subjects to ask for a portrait.
  5. I like to find great atmospheric areas that have lots of character, I then wait for the right subject to walk in to frame. This can take quite a while, sometimes hours on some occasions. I can revisit great areas a few times before I have success. Some days you get great light in a fantastic area but no subject, the next day lots of subjects and poor light, it’s a waiting game but worth it, every time.

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What’s next for you?

I always do a yearly project and this year its natural light street photography with a bit of a twist. I am starting it towards the end of march and the images will be on my website here and I will be talking at the photography show for Fujifilm on the street stage in March http://ow.ly/JcdsE

Contact info

Blog: https://matthewhartphotography.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matthewhartphotography

Twitter: @matt6t6

Website: www.lighttraveler.co.uk

Email: matt@matthewhartphotography.com

Google +: https://plus.google.com/+MattHart/posts

 

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Edinburgh Street Photography Workshop with Matt Hart

Spend the day with renowned Fujifilm X Photographer Matt Hart, exploring the exciting streets of Edinburgh picking up tricks and tips from Matt along the way. This will be delivered in a relaxed and often, very entertaining way. You will also have personal guide Ami Strachan for the day to reveal all the best locations to shoot street in Edinburgh.

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The course will give you an insight into the way Matt works and his style of Street Photography. You will learn how to anticipate and capture decisive moments throughout the city.  And, having a guide for the day will help to future-proof your knowledge of the area. So, if you choose to come back – you’ll know all the best spots!

What you will learn:

  • The skill in spotting a possible subject.
  • What  to look for in a great scene.
  • How to blend in and be invisible.
  • See and compose a subject with a scene or background.
  • Capture a subject without intrusion.
  • Develop confidence in shooting in the street.
  • Photography in public places safely.
  • Use different depths of field for different types of shot.
  • Use varying speeds for different effects.
  • How to review your own work.

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After the event you will be able to post your work and talk to Matt through his Social Media pages or by e mail; this can include online critique and coaching when requested.

When and where?

The workshop will take place on Sunday the 8th of March from 10:30am till 4:30pm with a break for lunch. Don’t worry – there will be plenty of comfort breaks for those who need them throughout the day.

In addition to Matt’s expertise, a Fujifilm representative will also be on hand with a selection of the latest cameras and lenses to try, and will be there to help answer any of your technical questions.

The exact location will be made known when a ticket is purchased and will be distributed via email.

For more information on cost or to book, please visit the event page here.

Images from past events can be found here.

About Matt

matt_hart__headshot_186x280Matt is a black & white street and event Photographer based in Liverpool England.
His journey through photography has been over 40 years mostly using film. He still shoots film, but more recently he prefers the freedom and flexibility of the digital medium striving to retain the integrity of the original image. Matt’s stock images have been used in advertising all over the world, his work has also been published in many books and magazines, including many photography magazines.

X-Photographers Spotlight – Matt Hart
 

 

Get more from your photography – Live talks with X-Photographers at The Photography Show

The Photography Show is our annual excuse to talk all things camera, and to add to the excitement we have an expert line-up of pro X photographers who will be sharing their hands-on experience with you throughout the show.

Bert Stephani

bert_stephani__headshot_186x280Bert is a professional photographer from Belgium who spends most of his time shooting creative portraits for editorial, commercial and private clients. He believes in sharing knowledge with other photographers by teaching workshops around the world, blogging and producing educational videos.

 

The Beauty of the Imperfection

Here you will learn tips and tricks for shooting creative portraits with simple camera & lighting equipment. Bert will also talk about the importance of subject interaction.

Date: Tuesday 24 March 2015
Time: 11:30 – 12:00
Stage: Live Stage

Date: Monday 23 March 2015
Time: 11:30 – 12:00
Stage: Live Stage

Twitter: @bertstephani
X-Photographer

Kevin Mullins

kevin_mullins__headshot_webKevin Mullins is a Wiltshire-based award winning wedding photographer who specialises in telling stories, through pictures, of weddings. The style of wedding photography he uses is known as documentary wedding photography, or reportage wedding photography and he is passionate about photographing weddings authentically, sympathetically and responsibly.

 

Reportage Photography for Weddings

Explore reportage photography from a wedding and social documentary point of view. Learn how to get close to your subjects without disrupting the event and how to look for humour and emotion in a scene.

Date: Monday 23 March 2015
Time: 13:00 – 13:40
Stage: Behind the Lens theatre

Twitter: @kevin_mullins
X-Photographer

Paul Sanders

paul_sanders_headshot_webPaul became a professional photographer in 1984, and moved into newspapers in 1991, eventually becoming Picture Editor of The Times. In 2011 he left The Times to pursue his love of landscape photography and to launch a project for young children to develop visual and creative awareness through photography.

His work conveys the emotional and spiritual responses he has to the landscape in front of him. His journey from news photographer to landscape photography began as a form of therapy to help deal with the stress of his job. Through photography he was able to express himself where words failed him.

Connecting with your Landscape

Learn a mindful approach to landscape photography and how to connect with your subject. Paul will also show you the importance of equipment that doesn’t get in the way of your vision.

Date: Monday 23 March 2015
Time: 17:00-17:40
Stage: Behind the Lens Theatre

Twitter: @wiggys
X-Photographer

Matt Hart

matt_hart__headshot_186x280Matt Hart is a black and white Street and Event Photographer based in Liverpool. He is an official Fujifilm X Photographer; a Formatt Hitech featured Artist and the founder of The Fujiholics Social Media Group.

Matt is passionate about Street Photography, he has developed the skill to observe and be virtually invisible, letting the world carry on around him without affecting the scene. The subject is unaware. Matt keeps the system and process as simple as possible so as not to over complicate the task. This is why he has chosen the Fuji X system for his professional work which helps him to achieve his style.

Street Life

Here you will learn Matt Hart’s modern street style and how to be invisible when shooting street photography. You will also be shown street camera techniques that Matt uses to maximum effect.

Date: Saturday 21 March 2015
Time: 12:00-12:30
Stage: Streetscape

Date: Sunday 22 March 2015
Time: 15:00-15:30
Stage: Streetscape

Twitter: @matt6t6
X-Photographer

All shows listed above are free of charge (as long as you have purchased a Photography Show entry ticket) – the show recommends that you arrive 15 minutes early to ensure a seat.

We look forward to seeing you all there very soon!

 

Fujifilm at Photokina 2014!

Last week we were at photokina, the world’s largest imaging fair, from Tuesday 16th to Sunday 21st September. It’s been a complete blast and this post will hopefully highlight the bits you missed if you couldn’t make it to Cologne this year.

Our booth was big. It was made up with lots of different sections covering many different areas of our business, all with the same common goal – helping people with photography.

The X-Photographers Gallery

We had images from many different photographers displayed how they were always meant to be seen – printed.

Some were printed on FUJIFLEX Crystal Archive Printing Material and others on Fujicolor Crystal Archive Digital Paper but they were all amazingly good to look at. We’ve combined our X series cameras with many years’ experience of printing and finally the creativity of real users of our cameras to create a truly awe inspiring array of beautiful prints. Many visitors to the stand told us that they thought these were the best prints on display at the show.

The X-Photographers Stage

For me the stage was the real star of the show.

We had 23 photographers from all over the world talking about a wide range of subjects. Some were very inspirational, other educational, but all were very interesting. We will post another blog post shortly with more detail on each of the photographers and what their talk was like. Sign up at the top-right of the page to receive notifications when it is published.

“Touch and Try” section

On the stand we had the new X100T and X30 cameras and the new XF50-140mm F2.8  and XF56mm APD lenses available in our “Touch and Try” section for people to use. We also made sure there was something beautiful to shoot in the way of a BMW i8 and some lovely models so everyone had something to shoot.

The X100T is an evolution from the X100 and X100S with the main upgrades being a 1/32000th electronic shutter, digital rangefinder and new Classic Chrome film simulation.

Shot by Kevin Mullins at f/2 and 1/32000th in bright sunlight using Classic Chrome film simulation
Image by Kevin Mullins using the X100T at f/2 and 1/32000th using Classic Chrome film simulation

The X30 takes the popular X20 and gives it a new high-resolution Electronic Viewfinder, tilting LCD, new control ring, lots of new customisable Function buttons and the same awesome Classic Chrome Film Simulation as sported by the X100T.

Image by Alex Lambrechts using the X30 with new Classic Chrome film simulation
Image by Alex Lambrechts using the X30 with new Classic Chrome film simulation

The XF50-140mm is our first weather resistant constant aperture lens. It boasts f/2.8 throughout its focal length range and contains a lot of amazing technology to make sure the results are comparable to prime lens quality

The XF56mm APD is a fast, sharp prime lens that contains an Apodisation filter that helps produce an even smoother bokeh affect than the standard XF56mm.

The final new product people could get their hands on was the new X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition pictured below.

The full X line-up

Additionally, behind a glass cabinet we had the entire range lined up (click the image below for a larger display)

Full X series lineup. Click to enlarge
Full X series lineup. Click to enlarge

Notable products were:

The XF16mmF1.4 has the same focus ring as the XF14 and XF23 with focus distance and depth of field guide on the barrel itself.

The XF16-55mmF2.8 appears to have OIS dropped from its name suggesting that the final lens will not have OIS, but instead aim for absolute optimal image quality. This is still to be confirmed though.

The XF90mmF2 looks like it’s going to be a big bit of glass. Similar in length to the XF56mm but a bit thicker.

Finally, previously known as the Super Tele-Photo Zoom Lens on the roadmap, a lens with no label underneath. However, it had an inscription bearing the specifications “XF 140-400mmF4-5.6 R LM OIS WR”. I’d like to point out that these are not 100% final specifications. They just needed to put something on the front of the mock-up lens to give a better idea of what the final lens would look like. Either way this gives us a guide as to what sort of spec the final lens is likely to be, and also how big it will be.

Free maintenance and camera loan service

maintenance

We offered a FREE maintenance service and a FREE camera loan service for the six days of photokina, In total we were able to service 510 cameras and loaned 433 cameras and lenses combined.

Technologies

We showcased a few of our technologies – some current and some in development

Film simulation
Fujifilm Film Simulations
Film is our heritage and therefore we spend a lot of time developing (pun not intended) our film simulation modes for our digital cameras. The latest film simulation mode we have released is Classic Chrome and it is available on the new X100T, X30 and will be made available via a firmware update for the X-T1 later this year.

Electronic rangefinder
tech-x100t-viewfinder
Here’s what the Hybrid Viewfinder in the X100T looks like. Learn more about the X100T Electronic Rangefinder here.

Lens coating demo
Nano GI comparison demoAlthough it’s pretty hard to see in this photo, here we demonstrate the lens coating on the new XF50-140. It has a special coating applied to reduce the amount of light that is reflected away.
Learn more about the technology that goes into the XF50-140mm lens, including Nano GI technology, here.

Remote “Multi-shooting” application
tech-multi-shoot Here’s a new app we’re currently working on that allows you to wirelessly control and shoot up to three cameras at one time using the same tablet computer.

Applications for this could be for recording video, creating 3D imagery or shooting event photography.

Since the launch of the X-T1 we have seen some amazingly creative uses people have found for the existing remote shooting app so we hope that this will allow people to be even more creative with their photography.

 

The Cologne photokina Photowalk

photowalk

On Saturday night we held a photowalk with X-Photographers Elia Locardi and Ken Kaminesky. 213 people showed up, despite the threat for heavy rain beforehand. Most people brought their own equipment to shoot with and Fujifilm X-T1s and lenses were available for people to borrow if they wished.

We met at the Dom and then walked as a very large group around the cathedral and then across the river to watch the sunset from the East bank. It was a great event and we’re sure everyone enjoyed themselves and made a few new friends that share their love of photography.

These guys even won some prizes by having their names drawn at random:photowalk-prize-winners

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Fabiano Dallmeyer , Richard Powazynski, Jens Fricke, Ken Kaminesky, Carl Nasman, Patrick Mayon, Elia Locardi, Florin Lucian Patras and Michael Magner

Participants soohting the padlocks on the bridge (image by Naomi Locardi)
Participants shooting padlocks on the bridge (image by Naomi Locardi)
An after-dark image by Naomi Locardi
After-dark (image by Naomi Locardi)
Me, being mocked by Justin from Fujifilm USA... (image also by Naomi Locardi)
And finally me, being unwittingly mocked by Justin from Fujifilm USA… (image also by Naomi Locardi)

Many more photos from participants of the event have uploaded and will continue to be added to the Google Plus public event here: https://plus.google.com/events/chu5ri84smk6smt9ags8inu36l4

Fujifilm X Live

For more photos from the whole photokina event, and to keep up to date in real time with future events like this, please check out our Social Media accounts:

http://www.facebook.com/FujifilmXLive
http://twitter.com/FujifilmXLive
http://instagram.com/FujifilmXLive

Fujifilm X-Photographers website update

The Fujifilm X-Photographers website has been updated. We’ve added new galleries for Ben Cherry, Dave Wall, Jamie Stoker and our first female UK X-Photographer, Kerry Hendry.

Visit the X-Photographers website

bencherryBen Cherry

Ben is a 22-year-old Zoology student who combines his love of nature with photography. Focusing on capturing moments, Ben has travelled the world through these two passions discovering new cultures and visiting some of nature’s wonders; from the Great Barrier Reef, the Victoria Falls, Simian Mountains of Ethiopia, and the rainforests of Borneo. He has won photographic competitions with National Geographic and the Rotary Foundation as well as being highly commended in Travel Photographer of the Year and finalised in BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

See full gallery
Visit Ben Cherry’s website

davewallDave Wall

Dave Wall is not just an Award Winning Commercial Photographer, but professional retoucher and highly regarded trainer traveling the globe teaching both Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom. His most recent accolades include winning The SWPP Commercial Photographer of the Year award, not once but twice in consecutive years.

See full gallery
Visit Dave Wall’s website

jamiestokerJamie Stoker

Jamie is a freelance photographer based in his home city of London. He honed his craft at the London College of Communication and University of Brighton and now shoots a mixture of fashion and portrait commissions alongside personal work. He has photographed editorial assignments for Dazed & Confused, Port Magazine and The Fader and has recent commercial clients that include Nike and Warner Music.

See full gallery
Visit Jamie Stoker’s website

kerryhendryKerry Hendry

Kerry is an outdoor photographer who is passionate about landscape photography, alongside fine art equestrian commissions and adventures. Her equine images have been widely published in national media and sell worldwide. A keen rider from a very young age, Kerry combines her three main passions in life – horses, photography and travel.

Visit Kerry’s Love The Image website
See full gallery