A few weeks ago I found myself in Joshua Tree. I’ve been there a few times now but this time around things were going to be different. I had some new lenses, new cameras, and a different eye.
The last few years I’ve been shooting a lot of Landscape and HDR photography and found myself getting stuck with the routine that often comes with those styles. I was just going with the trends and I needed to hit the breaks.
This year I’m trying to shoot everything I can, looking for those incidental stories and moods. It can be challenging to get great shots, but at least this way the results are your own.
2016 will be the year of the Monkey according to the Chinese calendar, so for our holiday card this year we ended up dressing our little one up as a monkey. This is the shot we ended up using for the card although I did manage to get a few more good ones.
Shooting little babies is tricky. She actually can’t sit up yet so we propped her up with some pillows and gave her a banana to play with. It was very difficult to get her in the perfect position and everything ready, then to get myself with the camera back in the perfect position.
For this shot, the camera I used was the Fujifilm XT1 with the 56mm f1.2 lens. I also only used one light; the Einstein E640 flash unit with a 48″ Westcott Rapid Octabox. What ended up happening was even with the power turned all the way down on the flash head, it was still too bright, so I had to aim it up and partially bounce it off the ceiling. I think it’s one of the drawbacks of Fujifilm’s lowest ISO only going to 200. The Einstein was just about one stop too bright when shooting wide open on an f1.2 lens. The good part about ISO 200 is even if you are one stop over exposed; you can always recover that information.
I believe I used a Kodak Ektar simulator but I can’t remember exactly. It was something in VSCO’s Film 5 Pack. Pretty much the only pack I use these days.
Fujifilm X-T1. ISO 200, f11, 0.6sec. + Fujinon10-24mm f4. @ 13mm
Here are a few more shots of the Rainbow Bridge in Long Beach. It’s been such an insanely busy year with the new child that I’ve hardly had time to shoot or even publish photos I’ve been taking.
I shot these with the Fuji X-T1 and the 10-24mm lens. It’s not the sharpest lens by Fujifilm but it is the widest. I kind of hope they start making us some nice ultra wide primes especially if the X-Pro 2 has 20+ megapixels. We’ll need it and then I can actually start using Fujfilm for some bigger landscape prints.
I’ve also picked up a few new lenses from Fujifilm. The 35mm f2 and the 27mm f1.4. Both are amazing lenses. The 35mm finally feels like a modern lens with the Canon-esque build quality, It doesn’t rattle or clunk when focusing or even have an incredibly loose aperture ring like most of the other Fujinon lenses. I’ll be posting shots as well as reviews from both of those very soon.
Fujifilm X-T1. ISO 200, f11, 1.7sec. + Fujinon10-24mm f4. @ 17mm
I haven’t been spending enough time with my Fujinon 10-24mm since it got back from repair. It really is a fun lens to use, especially for landscapes. My only gripe is who ever repaired it left a giant piece of dust on the inside of the rear element that screams at me when shooting anything over f11. I’m so tempted to open the thing up and remove it, but I guess I probably shouldn’t.
I actually shot on this night with the Sony A7r II as well as the XT1. I might post some of those A7r II shots later but this XT1 shot just called out to me, the colors are a lot nice for obvious reason (It Fujifilm). One crazy thing about one of the Sony A7r II shots was you could actually read the letters on the street sign between that crack in the bridge. It’s unbelievable the resolution you can achieve. But for the sake of shooting for this blog and vocationally making smaller prints, I’m very happy with what you can do with the Fujifilm APS-C system and it has become my primary camera system. I just wish it could auto bracket more than one stop.
For processing, I used Photomatix to get the initial look, then did some extra exposure blending and enhancements in Photoshop. Nothing too complicated, the RAW’s already looked great.
I’ve been shooting so much with my Sony A7r II these last few weeks, I kind of forgot what it was like shooting with the Fujifilm XT1.
After using it today for awhile, it hit me – man this thing is really fun to use. I mean, I knew that, but I guess I just forgot for a little bit.
I’ve always reserved my Fujifilm cameras for the time when I just want to have fun. When I don’t care about specs, speeds, bit rates, fps, 4k or 2k etc, etc, etc. They’re the cameras I keep around as my toys. Besides, let’s be honest, it’s 2015, none of that crap even matters anymore. Even the shittiest camera today is so good compared to what we had to use ten years ago, you have to really suck to not be able to get good pictures with it. 🙂
— see more photos —
Do you ever wonder if you’re using the most time efficient workflow?
If you’re a Fujifilm shooter and want to use Iridient Developer as your primary photo processing software, or even if you want to use it as a RAW converter, then have a solid and consistent workflow is not only going to save you a lot of time, but it will also make your photo editing process a lot simpler.
In this guide I want to share with you the way I use Iridient Developer to process my Fujifilm RAW files and a file structure to help you stay organized.
A relatively new trend has emerged in the online photography communities over the last few years that involves shooting into the sun or other bright light sources so that the bright light creates star points around it. Also known as sunstars.
I run across a lot of tutorials and tips of people explaining how to do it. Typical they all say about the same thing, shoot high apertures, anywhere from f16 to f22.
While this does usually work, it’s not always the best practice. I find that shooting at higher apertures on many of our high megapixel cameras has a massive impact on overall image quality due to diffraction.
When the Samsung NX1 hit the shelfs, it painted a lot of photographers faces with permanent smiles. And for good reason. The camera is loaded with almost all the features anyone could want with today’s technology and is also one of the best performing mirrorless cameras out right now.
So I rented it for a week to see what all the hype was about. Was I impressed? Yes and no. It feels like a cheap Canon but with a Sony quality.
Last night’s sunset near Dockweiler State Beach here in Los Angeles. We’ve been having some interesting weather lately which means some nice sunsets. But it can be hit and miss. Sometimes I’ll drive out to the beach and the clouds can be too thick and grey everything out.