Always use a Lens Hood – but it doesn’t have to be from Fuji

In previous articles, I spoke about the advantages of always using a Lens Hood. In addition to providing physical protection to the front element, it can help to cut down on unwanted flare. While I love the quality of both the build and optical performance of Fuji’s XF lenses, I haven’t always enjoyed using their lens hoods.

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Fuji XF 23mm f1.4 with its factory hood

 

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My Real Estate Photography featured in Toronto Life

Yes, I still use the old, reliable, Fuji X-Pro1 camera bodies for my real estate photography. my professional work is featured in Toronto Life magazine’s House of the Week –

http://torontolife.com/real-estate/houses/toronto-house-for-sale-28-dunbar-road/

 

I’ll write more about the techniques I used to do the shoot.  But I hope my readers like the work.

Fuji X Camera Advice for a Student

Recently, a nice lady saw me at a restaurant with my Fuji X cameras, and she asked me for advice on which Fuji cameras to get for her daughter. Her daughter was enrolled in a high school program with a strong specialty on visual arts, and photography was one of their areas of study.

What follows below is an abbreviated version of my Fuji gear advice to them:

“Fuji X cameras with Interchangeable Lenses

While there are Fuji X cameras that have a fixed lens (I’ll discuss one at the very end of this paper), for a student of photography who wants to grow with her art, choosing a camera that can interchange lenses is the wisest, long-term investment.  Continue reading

The Fuji X Daily Carry Part II: 2 or more Lenses

Fuji X camera with an XF 18mm (28mm-e) and the Zeiss Touit 32mm (50mm-e) X mount

Fuji X camera with an XF 18mm (28mm-e) and the Zeiss Touit 32mm (50mm-e) X mount

In an ideal world, as photographers, we would be able to do all of our work with a single, compact, fast lens. In reality, even the most minimalist photographers will carry at least one other lens, depending on the situation.

There are some Magnum photographers who are well-known for carrying a minimum of equipment. David Allan Harvey is famous for carrying just a 35mm or 50mm equivalent lens. But even he will have another lens with him. He has cited that he sometimes will carry a 35mm with a 28mm, or perhaps a 35mm and a 50mm.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, famous for shooting the majority of his work with a 50mm, also carried a 35mm and 90mm, with a second M body, in a tiny bag. In the 70’s, which was his last active decade as a photographer before he devoted himself primarily to sketching, he replaced the 35mm with the petite 40mm Summicron.

Another Magnum photographer who didn’t bring that much gear with him, but still had a selection of three lenses, is Josef Koudelka. During the 80’s, he worked with 28mm, 35mm and 50mm lenses. I saw him on the street with a 35mm Summilux on a battered old Leica M4, and on a separate occasion with the same 35mm and M4, plus an Olympus OM film body with a 50mm as well as a Fuji panoramic film camera.

It’s great to be able to shoot with a single fixed focal length, but having another lens or two opens up the possibilities on the street considerably. And as long as you have a small bag to carry the extra bit of equipment conveniently, it can be quite easy to carry this gear, even on a daily basis.

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The Optical Viewfinder Experience on the Fuji X-T1 & X-T10

Fuji X-T1 with a vintage Leitz (Leica) 28mm brightline optical viewfinder

Fuji X-T1 with a vintage Leitz (Leica) 28mm brightline optical viewfinder

With decades of Leica M usage, I’ve become quite partial to the rangefinder form. The Fuji X-Pro1 is a camera that I become comfortable in handling very quickly. It’s familiar in all of the best ways, with its innovative hybrid finder that can switch to an optical view instanteously. And unlike its popular cousins from the X100 series, the X-Pro1 had interchangeable lenses, which increases its versatility.

The X-Pro1, however, is quite long in the tooth and its performance, particularly in AF, falls ever further behind. The last couple of months saw the release of the budget Fuji X-T10 and the firmware 4.0 update to the X-T1. Those two Fuji X camera bodies are now many steps beyond the aging X-Pro1’s focusing performance, but they are EVF only.  There’s a relatively economical way, however, to have optical finder capability on Fuji’s latest cameras.

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The Fuji X Daily Carry Part I: Always have one Fuji camera with you at all times

A Fuji X camera with an 18mm (28mm-e) lens, carried discretely under a jacket

A Fuji X camera with an 18mm (28mm-e) lens, carried discretely under a jacket

My favorite type of photography that I do for myself (rather than for my professional photography work) is street photography. I’ve been doing it since I was a teenager, back in the ‘80’s, and have continued on and off with it, over the decades. It’s always a difficult pursuit for me. I find it’s a lot like poetry – on the surface, it seems quite easy, yet it’s wickedly difficult if you ever try to attempt it yourself.

Creating a street photograph that is an ideal blend of form and content is a challenging endeavor, that doesn’t seem to get easier over the years. That elusive blend is definitely the hardest aspect of shooting street photography.

The easy part is knowing one’s equipment and how to use it. That’s relatively easy to learn, and I’m happy to share some of the techniques that I’ve acquired over the years. I’ve already discussed how I use and set up the Fuji X-Pro1 for street shooting. For this post, I’d like to discuss how to carry a single Fuji X camera (or any other compact camera), so that it’s always with you at all times.

Always have your camera with you

The start of being ready and able to shoot, is always having your camera with you. Even if you don’t intend to being shooting that day, ALWAYS bring it with you.

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Documentary Footage of Master Street Photographers at Work

I’ve received a few inquiries asking about the documentary footage of master street photographers I was referring to in my post on using the Fuji X-Pro1 for street work.

While I believe the best way to learn from the great photographers who practice street photography at the highest level, is to study their actual work – looking at their great photographs carefully and repeatedly – it’s also educational to see them while they’re working.

A perfect example of being inspired by watching others work is how that influenced Joel Meyerowitz.  Watching Robert Frank at a photo shoot in the ’60’s drove Mr. Meyerowitz from his career path as an art director, into photography.  A few years later, he also saw the great Cartier-Bresson at work, shooting the street.

Here are a few links to YouTube, starting with the great master, Henri Cartier-Bresson.  This one is absolutely delightful to watch – HCB moves so lightly and unobtrusively on the street.

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