Swapping over to the Fuji X-T2

Back in early September I borrowed my friends Fuji X-T2 and a few lens to see what all the fuss was about. I knew how nice the colour came through in their images as I had got myself an X30 for a family holiday in 2015, so I had been keeping a careful eye on what they were manufacturing since then.

Having shot Canon since 2009 and all my equipment being set up for that I did not think that after a weekend of playing with the XT2  I would find myself putting all the Canon gear up for sale just a few weeks later. I even had a 5d MK4 sat there waiting for me to buy and collect from Wex Photographic where I work, but to be honest I think after seeing how well the Auto focus and ISO performed and let’s not forget how much less the weight of the Fuji is in comparison to the Canon that order got cancelled and I found myself parting with my money for a whole new experience with the Fuji system.

2 days after it arrived and I had only had time to mess about with it in the house due to work and UNI commitments, but on the Friday I was running a workshop with the model Bernadette Lemon taking centre stage and managed to find time to take a few handheld shots with various lens. One thing I found easy to use was the Wifi and the fact that all the dials are just in the right place to allow quick use, just like they are with the Canon I had been using.

From this I instantly realised that the A/F on the camera is reliable and also not a problem to be using either .

Shot with the Fuji 14mm

Shot with the Fuji 14mm and a Bowens Light and beauty dish off frame to the left

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Shot handheld with the Fuji 14mm and lit using the Westcott Icelight 2

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Shot on a tripod with the Fuji 56mm @f/1.2 and lit with the Westcott Icelight 2

Next stop with the Camera was a Full Day Landscape workshop I was running with my 2 good photography mates on the Norfolk Coast with Through the lens workshops. I will hold my hand up here and say when I like to shoot landscapes I am probably like the rest of you all and like to spend plenty of time composing and thinking about the shots I am taking, quality over quantity and all that…..

We had paying customers on the session so the time aspect was not going to happen and since that session time nor the weather has been on my side to get out and have a real play about and shoot my favourite style of photography. All the shots I took were with the Fuji 10-24mm and using a selection of different Formatt Hitech filters.

The thing I really struggled with on these shots was getting the focus pin sharp so that when I go into the shots in Photoshop and zoom into 100% the focus is bang on. Some were really good and I was happy with, some were just ok and below what I would be happy to print off. But hey I have just changed camera system completely and I reckon it will just take a bit of getting used to.

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters 3.0 firecrest nd to slow down the water and a .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters 3.0 firecrest nd to slow down the clouds .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters 3.0 firecrest nd to slow down the clouds .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters .6 resin grad

If I am honest I will say when I got home I was a little worried about how well the focusing had performed, I was having a few doubts about what I had done buy moving over to Fuji. But in for a penny and in for a pound as they say. The fact that I had got images as sharp as I like did reassure me a little that the camera is going to do what I wanted it to do, so all I needed was a little more time to go out and shoot some more and get up to scratch with how I want the images to look.

I  just purchased the fully manual Samyang 12mm f/2 lens for shooting astronomy images over the winter and landscapes and I am a bit of a wide angle junky so this lens will sit well in the kit bag. I look after my gear so the fact that it is not weather sealed is not an issue for me in the slightest. So what is the 1st thing you do after 12 hrs at work, you take the lens and photograph anything that will let you. In this case it was the dog that I had just woken up. I used the Icelight2 in my left hand to illuminate her and held the camera and focused the shot with my right hand and captured this.

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Samyang 12mm, @f/2, 1/200th sec, iso 400 and handheld

My next trip out was scuppered by even more rain so I opted for a day of photographing church interiors instead of some nice landscapes with the autumn colours. This time round rather than just relying on my eye for the focus being spot on I used focus peaking, I highly recommend this to anybody that uses manual focus a lot. I set it to red high and away I went with photos just how I like them.

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Shot with the Samyang 12mm at f/8 on a tripod

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Shot with the Samyang 12mm at f/8 on a tripod

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Shot with the Samyang 12mm at f/11 on a tripod

So for me did I make the right choice…….. Well, one week after the camera getting delivered I could not be happier. You just have to remember….Like any new bit of equipment or software we use for work, you have to get used to it and this camera is no exception to that. You can’t just expect to pick it up and get the results in an instant. Reading the manual (something I have never done before) was a great help to me even though I am dyslexic.

Customising the Q menu is so straightforward.

Using the wifi is easy and as I shoot a lot of events over the year and I can see this will be very handy for myself and my clients with social media.

The flip out screen is well designed and handy, you dont have to get yourself into funny position to see the screen and that is a blessing.

The dual slot sd cover is nice and rigid and the rest of the camera feels like it is built like a tank.

But the 2 most important things I like the most about the camera are the Quality of the images you can produce if you put your mind to it and the weight of the camera system in comparison to my old 5dmk3.

And I would just like to say thank you to the few mates who I have pestered quite a bit over the last few weeks with some questions being very daft but needing to be asked and answered… So if anybody reading this has any questions you would like to know (remember it is just my opinion) then feel free to send me them over

 

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Hunstanton Sperm Whale 2016

When the sad news came along on the Friday that a large Sperm whale had beached on the North Norfolk coast at Hunstanton all I could hope was that it would be able to get back out to the sea and be on its way. Unfortunately despite the best efforts of lots of rescuers I just guess there is no way to move a mass of over a estimated 30 tons and nearly 40 ft in length quickly and in a way that will not harm it.

To make a sad story even sadder it was a shock when more whales ended up in the same position further up the coast at Skegness only a few days later.

I debated for a few days if I would actually go and photograph it and when my mate Tom messaged me and a few other people said I should I though I will go and have a look and see how I would do it.

We arrived just as the tide was going out and the whale was still rocking about with the waves so we had to wait for 45 minuets for it to be stationary so we could shoot it with long exposures. In that time I was shocked at the number of people that were coming to have a look even though it was now nearly 9 pm. Some were just having a look and others were talking a selfy while hugging it. I could not thing of anything worse than hugging a whale that had been dead for 4 days.

The shots we lit using the Wescott Icelight and painted it with light and I have to say I think this has to be the biggest and strangest thing I have light painted so far.

We then packed up and began the 20 minute walk back to the car and half way back we heard this almighty explosion and 30 seconds later the worst smell you could imagine. So I can only guess that we had had a lucky escape and not been covered in parts of the whale, unlike the 10 people who we left at the whale.

Sorry about the shortage of photos but each one took about 30 minuets to get right as we were having to run around on slippery rocks and it was for sure a interesting but yet difficult subject to be illuminating.

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Night Bunkers. Norfolk-2015

My Uni project for the start of year 3 started off with a rather chilled out walk around Orford Ness in Suffolk back in September… I have always had a fascination with the remains of war and in Particular WW2.  3 months into a project I have loved shooting and I am now going to carry on further. You know you are enjoying what you are doing when you have spent many nights out in the cold  seeing some great sights and very moody skies with good mates who have helped me out and kept me company. If the weather looked calm then I would head out after 8pm armed with the camera and a map of approximate locations of the buildings I have photographed and would ask on social media if people were up for keeping me company and helping to carry photo equipment.

So thank you  Phil, David, Amanda, Ben, Davy and Faryal

The idea of this project was to just go around and document the structures in a way they have not normally been seen before…. Normally because sensible people are at home keeping warm and sleeping. But I decided to have a go at this and illuminate as many structures as I could.. I made myself a map and would just drive for 4-6 hours each night and stop at each location. All together I have driven all around Norfolk looking for the nicest looking buildings. I have even managed to upset a few landowners late at night who in the end turned out to be fine with what I was doing and even confused a few police officers who thought I was rather odd until I showed them the images and then they had to go and have a look at the Pillbox for themselves.

All the images were lit using the Westcott Icelight 2 that I would to say has become a good friend of mine now and also the Elinchrom rx2 lights and a powerpack. So a nice variety of lighting for a lot of the shots. So roll on after the christmas holidays when I will be ready for the next load of bunkers to go and shoot.

And thanks to Richard at UK Airfields for his help in identifying some of the buildings too

Happisburgh Battery 1
Happisburgh Pillbox 1
Happisburgh Battery 2
Happisburgh Pillbox 2
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RAF Ludham Airfield Watch Office
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RAF Ludham Airfield Watch Tower
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Hulver Pillbox
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Guist Pillbox
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Lenwade ROC Post
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Bawburgh Pillbox
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Bawburgh Buildings 1
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Bawburgh Buildings 2
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Corton Pillbox 1
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Corton Pillbox 2
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Cley Next The Sea Pillbox
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Corton Pillbox 3

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Joe Ringer Band at Potters Leisure resort, Norfolk.

Getting a nice phone call while at a shoot asking if I could shoot a very known local band that can blast out some rather cool music. The following words taken from their website, this is what they have to say about themselves. So it was off to the  Potters Resort in Hopton Norfolk for a night of top entertainment.

‘We’re not your run-of-the-mill wedding band ‒ our set is built around the songs YOU love and put together in such a way to guarantee your guests will be up and dancing all night. We play all the party hits from the 1960’s through to today’s chart toppers, from The Beatles and Stevie Wonder to Bruno Mars and Daft Punk. We keep the band’s repertoire up to date, with our sets always featuring new songs by current artists’ 

An absolute pleasure to be shooting and also getting to listed to the amazing set-up on the night, so here are a few images for you to have a look over

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The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Norfolk 2015

What is it all about then, taken straight of the website of this great charity

http://www.gentlemansride.com/

‘I SAY! WHAT A SPIFFY BLAZER. WHO IS YOUR TAILOR, SIR?’

Sadly, sentences like these are not often declared anymore. For one day a year, thousands of distinguished gentlemen (and genteel ladyfolk) in hundreds of cities worldwide don their cravats, press their tweed and sit astride their classic-styled motorcycles to raise funds for prostate cancer research and awareness. It’s a day about spreading merriment whilst raising awareness of a pressing issue.

DAPPER FOR A CAUSE: WHERE WE’VE COME FROM AND WHERE WE’RE HEADED

On Sunday September 27th 2015, more than 30,000 smartly-dressed gentlefolk in over 400 cities will straddle the saddles of their café racers, bobbers, scramblers and other marvellous custom motorcycles to raise awareness and help fund the cure for prostate cancer.

In grand style, dapper gents and elegant ladies shall ride their steeds spreading merriment and joy throughout their communities whilst raising awareness for men’s health.

In 2013, over 11,000 participants in 145 cities around the world raised over $277,000 for prostate cancer research.

In 2014, over 20,000 participants in 257 cities in 58 countries raised over $1.5 million (USD) for prostate cancer research. Our fundraising goal for 2015 is $3 million (USD).

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride was founded in 2012 in Sydney Australia, inspired by a photo of Mad Men’s Don Draper astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit. It was decided a themed ride would be a great way to combat the often-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, whilst connecting niche motorcycle communities together. That first ride brought together over 2,500 riders across 64 cities. The success of the event encouraged the founder to consider how it could be used to support a worthy cause. And the rest, as they say, is eloquently attired history.

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Eleanor and Sculthorpe

Some point of the start of the year  Eleanor helped me out with a shoot for my uni work, It was linked with a tourism brief I had been set, so when I saw her pop a casting up asking to do a shoot I thought It was only fair if I returned the favour to her.

Eleanor is a keen athlete and a member of the GB Frisbee team, so she was wanting to shoot her sport wear in a desolate location, so what better than going up to the site in north Norfolk that is popular with dog walkers and we knew we would be left undistributed. After shooting a bit of the sports clothing we then decided to put on something a bit more classy and go for some more classic shots still using the same surroundings.

For the lighting I used mainly natural lighting but I also applied a subtle amount of fill in light using a beauty dish and some Elinchrom lights and a power pack. For a few of the shots we also used a speedlight as well so we could balance the light falling onto the model.

 

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AWDC Comp safari race. Norfolk 2015

Spring farm just outside Taverham in Norfolk hosted this leg of the AWDC Comp safari race.. Jesus christ it was fun to shoot. I came away with mud in my hair and all over my face. Loads of fun and cant wait to do something like this again. Cheers for the heads up about this one Adi 🙂

What is compsafari?

Comp-safari ,also known as cross country motorsport is a form of offroad motorsport using mostly but not entirely 4 wheel drive vehicles. The events as they are called are timed against the clock and consist of a number of ‘runs’ anywhere from 4 to 10 runs is common, it depends on the length of the course. Each ‘run’ is normally over 2 miles long and contains features such as jumps, water splashes, logs, narrow gateposts, going through barns etc.
The events added up over a season form a championship with many different classes depending on type of vehicle, engine size, suspension type etc. Although the costs involved of building some of the vehicles may not be that high, the largest expense is in repairs from the harsh terrain. The speeds of some of the vehicles using varied v8 engines and modified components can be awesome.

Each vehicle is identified by a number which is displayed on the windscreen and to the middle of the vehicle as high as possible.The allocated number stays with the vehicle for the year and usually corresponds to where the person finished in the championship the previous year.

More about the event can be found right here

The full album with over 300 images from the day can be seen on my Facebook photography page

 

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The fresh air Company

I was asked if I could shoot some images of a air conditioning company that are based in Norfolk as they needed some fresh images for their website. So after waiting for other contractors to finish on the site it was all system go for a two our shoot so we could showcase what the company is all about and the equipment that they use. The shoot was great fun as Brian the main man knew exactly what he wanted; I just had to capture his vision. Using a mixture of on camera and wireless flash we made the most of the two hours we had in the enormous industrial unit offices to shoot as much as was possible.

Showing Brian what we were achieving in the back of camera as we went we knew we were getting the results very quickly that he needed.

With his client base covering most of the biggest companies in the region and further afield it was no surprise that while shooting that his engineers were quick to set up everything needed for each shot, thus making the time I was waiting to shoot each shot was very short.

You can see more about what the company is all about right here

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Hillbilly, Heron and Happisburgh

Decided as it was the school summer holidays to take Eliza out exploring and go have some fun with the cameras, also it was good to catch up with my mate Andy who I had not seen for a good few months. We headed to the Norfolk and Suffolk borders to start off with and check out two old farm houses and bits of a old WW2 airfield that had been left to rot away. After that we decided to head all the way up to the north Norfolk coast to Happisburgh to have a look at the old gun batteries and have a little dip in the sea. This was also a good opportunity to have a play around with the Cokin ND grad system and see how much fun I could have with the nice cloudy skies on what turned out to be a very nice sunny Norfolk afternoon.

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The fools summer show at Wroxham barns

This week saw the start of the summer residency at Wroxham Barns for the fools circus troupe. Every year they do a Easter show and summer show and each time it just get crazier and crazier. If you are looking for a great day out then pop along to the farms for the morning and then grab a ticket for £5 to go see one of the shows that are on at 12 pm and 2 pm every day apart from Saturdays.

I have not included to many images as you have to see it for your self to enjoy_MG_5260 _MG_5264 _MG_5302 _MG_5313 _MG_5339 _MG_5367 _MG_5371 _MG_5385 _MG_5388 _MG_5398 _MG_5408 _MG_5436 _MG_5449.

 

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