Why i moved to the Fujifilm X system

Ok, i can hear you all moaning already “not another i’ve moved to Fuji blog” well yes, sorry, but it is.  It’s a poignant post for me as i’ve been integrating Fuji x cameras into my workflow for some time and now the move is now complete.  Yes, i’ve sold all my DSLR gear and am now a ‘fully Fuji’ X system photographer.  So, this is a little blog of why ‘I’ personally have made the move.

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The Fujifilm x100

Some years ago, and a year or so after its initial launch, i purchased the original Fuji x100 which I was drawn to after seeing a full page add on the back of a camera mag.  I though “WOW that looks awesome” the design was amazing, it had so much character and it just called out to me – I wanted one so much!!  Yes, i can be a bit of an impulsive buyer but I mused over the idea for sometime on whether to purchase one.  Anyway i did and made my purchase almost a year after it’s initial launch.  Sods law though, not long after my purchase, Fuji released the X100s with many improvements – lesson learned do some more thorough research.  But not perturbed i persevered with the x100 and I remember being in awe of the first few initial test images.  Below is my first portrait of my daughter with the x100, about the 5th frame i made since taking it out of the box.  Simple window light on a dull day with a not so willing model.  Her expression was ‘hurry up, i want to go out’ – she didn’t share my excitement over my new toy.

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First image out of the x100 – 

My kids had been my test subject on many occasions and somehow this little camera made grabbing images of them somewhat easier.  It was far less intimidating than my big DSLR with equally big lens, easier to grab and pop it my my pocket at a moments notice and it quickly became my ‘go to’ camera for family outings etc but thats as far as it went.  For some bizarre reason i never considered it a tool for my professional work.

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X100 | f/4 | 1/250 |iso200

For my professional photography i stuck with the DSLR gear and continued to do so for a couple more years but as a Wedding and Commercial Photographer, along with some other random assignments & commissions, 2 full frame DSLR’s and an accompaniment of lens’ was quickly taking it’s toll, and my back was beginning to groan.  I’m a small chap at 5′ 5″ and i felt like the weight was compressing my spine reducing those valuable inches even further.

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Street photography with the x100

 

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Street Photography with the X-T1 | 1/4sec Handheld

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X-T1 | Ramada Hotel, Leicester

In a bid to ease my back woes i researched and tried many options for carrying the DSLR’s, waist holsters, double harnesses, roller bags, the lot, and none seemed to suit me.  I’d used the ThinkTank belt pouch system for a number of years but sold my set during my quest to find a suitable alternative but i ended up buying another as it proved to be the best of what i’d tried.  But, at the end of a busy wedding at the end of the 2014 season, i could take no more and i decided to look at alternative camera systems.

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/1.4 | 1/125th | iso200

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/4.5 | 1/30th | iso400

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/1.4 | 1/420th | iso200

Over the Christmas break of 2014/15 i looked around at the alternatives.  I loved my X100 and the X100T, a successor to the x100s, had just been released but i wanted a system that offered interchangeable lens’ and being left eye dominant i wanted a central viewfinder DSLR style design.  I was drawn by the Fuji lure to the X-T1.  I can’t remember where i first saw this camera but i had heard wonderful things about it.  It had been on the market for almost a year and a few other photographers that i know were already using it in a professional capacity and raving about it.  So, my Christmas holidays were spent between my family and frenzied research for more info about this camera in eager anticipation of an early new year purchase.

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Fujifilm X-T1

I purchased my first Fujifilm X-T1 Graphite Silver edition with a couple of lens’ and, just like the impact the X100 had one me, i was blown away with the image quality.  It was on par, if not surpassing, what i was getting from my Canon DSLR.  The instant image preview with live exposure simulation in the large EVF was a dream to use and the camera instantly felt much more comfortable in my smallish hands compared to my DSLR.  The tactile controls, reminiscent of a bygone age, were very different to my DSLR but took me back to my days with the Canon AE1, oh the irony!!

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/1.4 | 1/4000th | iso200

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X-T1 | xf35.. | f/1.4 | 1/2300th | iso200

From the outset of 2015 it worked amazingly alongside my Canon gear, using it to shoot weddings and commercial commissions, but it lacked a vital element that was crucial to a particular genre of photography that i also undertook, corporate events with onsite sales, which required me to shoot tethered.  At The Photography Show last year i spoke to the Fuji team who said the software was coming and had already been given out to a select few for testing.  In fact, i recalled Bert Stephani seamlessly shooting tethered during his presentation at the show,  it gave me hope that it wasn’t far away. By the way, i’ve followed Bert’s work for a few years with his early YouTube ‘Confessions of a Photographer‘ and ‘Motivational Light’ video series and it’s well worth checking out.  Here’s a few commercial jobs undertaken with the X-T1.

One of the biggest factors forcing my move was weight and during my weddings of 2015 i found i was using the X-T1 more and more.  The X-T1 and a selection of lens’ was a massive weight saving.  I felt a sense of liberation from the heavy ‘bricks’ that were weighing me down during long wedding shoots, sometimes in excess of ten hours.  The image preview in the EVF allowed me to see what i was getting before the shot was taken so i was shooting less but ending up with many more ‘keepers’, thus speeding up my post processing workflow.  Here’s a bunch of wedding related images shot on my X-T1’s, nothing overly fancy, im still building on my X-T1 wedding portfolio but you can find more of my wedding photography here.

Very soon the DSLR never made it out of the bag and after just a few months with my initial X-T1 i purchased another, this time a black model, and further lens’ to compliment what i already had.  Additionally, i found that i was favouring prime lens’ having always used zoom’s on my DSLR and the quality of the Fuji glass is equally as good and my Canon L series lens’.  Once the tethering issue was sorted with the software patch for Adobe Lightroom being made available it was full steam ahead with my complete move to the Fuji platform.

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Derwent Reservoir | X-T1 | xf14mm | f/11 | 1/30th |iso200

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Saltburn Pier | X-T1 | xf18-55 @20mm | f/14 | 14secs | iso200 | Lee Filters

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Ladybower Reservoir | X-T1 | xf14mm | f/11 | 1/30th | iso200 | Lee Filters

I’ve used the Fuji X-T1’s extensively now across my compliment of services covering weddings, landscapes, commercial & charity events and also a little travel photography where i took them to Morocco, North Africa.  Shooting from the city to the edge of the Sahara where the temperatures often exceeded 45 degrees celsius and the camera never faltered.  Moreover, the massive weight reduction compared to my much heavier DSLR gear made working thought the day in the blistering heat bearable.  Below are a few images from that trip but you can find my blog post with more images from that trip here and a clip on YouTube here.

This by no means a technical evaluation or reasoning for my move, i’ve purposefully avoided going down that route on this blog post for the sake of simplicity, many of the factors are just personal preference for me.  The system has proven to be a worthy workhorse across all the genres that i cover and not once have i regretted my decision to move away from DSLR’s.   I’m not saying its a camera system that will suit everyone and i’m not ruling out a further change somewhere down the line myself, the recently released X-Pro-2 looks sublime and is receiving much hype on social media and i’m eagerly awaiting to hear more of the much anticipated X-T2, but for now its a tool that i am more than happy with and would happily recommend to others.  The journey, and the story continues………

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x100 | Oban, Argyll

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x100 | St Pancras, London

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x100 | St Pancras, London

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X-T1 | St Pancras, London

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X-T1 | London

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Pre-Wedding Photoshoots by Nottingham Photographer

As a Nottingham Wedding Photographer a pre-wedding photoshoot is an inclusive element of our “all day wedding photography package”, but what are they? and do you need one?

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One of the most common things people say to me during wedding consultations is that they “hate having their photo taken”.  To be honest who could blame them?  I for one wouldn’t feel comfortable, on a big day that has cost me thousands and have it a photographed by a complete stranger.

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That, in essence, is one of the biggest reasons i like to include a pre-wedding shoot.  Its an opportunity for you, the happy couple and me as your wedding photographer to get to know each other a little better.  It’s a way of helping you to feel relaxed and comfortable having your photographs taken and to help banish those nerves.

It’s an ideal opportunity for you to see how i work to create the natural looking images you see on my website, a way to show you what can be created with the minimal amount of direction.  If ‘you’ are relaxed it will show through in your images.

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We try, where possible, to hold your pre-wedding photoshoots at your chosen wedding venue, this allows us to explore the venue together to scout out the best of what it can offer.  Again, this will make it familiar territory on your big day.  It may be that some locations at the venue don’t lend themselves to your wedding attire etc and if little challenges like these are addressed beforehand it can only help in making your day run smoothly.

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Other reasons to have a pre-wedding photoshoot could be to create something unique for your big day such as personalised invitations, a photo guestbook or a guest signature frame.  It could also be possible to have your pre-wedding photos playing on a slideshow during your reception.

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All this said, the pre-wedding photoshoot is not for everyone or every wedding.  The choice is completely up to the clients.  Some may already feel completely relaxed in front of the camera, other just want to save it all for the big day.  For others it may not be possible, for example, if you are flying in from overseas just for your wedding etc.

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If you’d like to find out more about our wedding photography services or have any questions about pre-wedding photoshoots, or any other aspect of our wedding photography, please do not hesitate to get in touch, we would love to hear from you.  You could also visit our wedding photography website.

Guest Signature Frames

Guestbooks have been a feature of wedding receptions for many years and they personally record a short message from your guests for you to have as a lasting keepsake.  But where do most of these guestbooks end up?  on a bookshelf, out of view and probably not looked at until your anniversary.

Whilst its important to have this keepsake, why not compliment it with our guest signature frame? A beautiful bespoke keepsake that will always be on view.

With an image from your pre-wedding photoshoot (included FREE with our All-Day package) or one of your own, surrounded by your guests little messages, you will have a unique piece of wall art.

Our frames are hand crafted by our select local framer and supplied with soft lead pencils at your reception for your guests to sign.

Check out the few examples from past wedding below.  We even offer a range of frame options available too.  These frames can be added to your wedding package from as little as £140 but are a feature of our seasonal special offers.

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As  Nottingham Wedding Photographers we are ideally situated to serve the whole of the UK or even your Destination Wedding.

If you would like to find out more about our wedding photography please do check out our website or get in touch.  We would love to hear from you and talk about your special day.

 

 

Sheffield Portrait Photography

I arranged a photoshoot yesterday with Ashleigh, an amateur model who i have worked with a few times before and has attended my last two big Charity Photoshoots at Rufford Abbey.  I wanted to combine this shoot as a venture into a new location and also to put my new addition to my camera family through its paces.  By no means will this be a blog post about the Fuji X-T1, i’ll leave that to the technical types, but lets just say that it is exceeding any expectations that i had before its purchase.

We ventured into Victoria Quay in Sheffield and found an abundance of little spots that gave more than enough creative inspiration for the small 3 hours we had for the shoot.  We even ventured into the multi-storey car-park which threw a whole different angle on things.

Anyway, here are my favourite images from the shoot and all of these were taken on the X-T1 mainly using the 35mm f/1.4 and i have to say that i was blown away with the clarity & sharpness it produces, it was way above what i ever could achieve from the Canon lenses.  Admittedly, i only use zoom lenses on the Canon and not primes so maybe its time to change those too!!

Hope you like the images, please leave me some feedback and i’ll look forward to sharing more X-T1 images soon.

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Before i go, i’d like to say a massive thanks to the lady who owns the cafe at Victoria Quay who, having just closed for the day and was about to drive off, kindly re-opened and served us all hot chocolate.

Fashion Portrait Photography

Doncaster Event Photography – Aurora Cancer Charity

I had the huge honour of being asked to photograph the Aurora Cancer Charity Christmas Ball again this year.  The event is a spectacular finale celebrating all their fundraising efforts over the year and awards are given to some very deserving finalists.

The charity rallies support from the local business community, health care professionals and those affected by cancer either directly or indirectly and monies raised goes towards funding the Aurora Wellbeing Centres.  The centres exist to help anyone with a cancer diagnosis by offering a free package of well-being treatments to help raise their confidence and self-esteem and create a general sense of well being.  More info can be found on their website.

The Christmas Ball was an evening of glitz, glamour and fun with a full three course meal, awards presentations and a lively disco.  Our event Photo Booth proved to be popular once again and many people headed home with a mounted image from our onsite printing team.

If you’d like more information of how our Commercial Event Photography services can add that little extra to your event, whether a Charity or Corporate event, then please do get in touch for further information or see our website.

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World Record Photography

It’s not very often you get to photograph a Guinness World Record Attempt but that exactly what i did back in April, yes sorry for the delay on this blog, its been a little busy 🙂

I was commissioned by North Notts Business Connections who put the event together in the hope of stealing the title of “The most people at a networking event” which was currently held by the Aussies.  It needed a venue of mammoth proportions so where better to hold the event than the Newark Showground?  This sprawling venue, which at one time used to be RAF Swinderby where i spent the early days of my RAF career, boasts multiple function rooms, more than ample parking and east access to to the A1.

The event was well attended by businesses from around the region involving 16 different networking groups but fell short of the required target to snatch the mantle from the Aussies but many businesses many many new contacts and im sure they will reap the rewards.

Here are just a few images from the day.  Don’t forget we can cover many corporate & commercial events as part of our photographic services.  To find out more check out our website or get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

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Clumber Park Hotel & Spa Wedding Photography – Melanie & Gareth

I photographed my penultimate wedding of 2013 recently at Clumber Park Hotel & Spa.  A venue which is just ten minutes from my home and nestled on the outskirts of the wonderful Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park.  Melanie & Gareth booked me to capture their special day some time ago, you may remember a recent blog of their pre-wedding photoshoot.

Here are a few images from their special day, they even managed to book a ten minute rain shower in the evening that allowed me to capture a special image for the bride & groom.  Many thanks once again to the ever helpful staff at Clumber Park Hotel.  If you would like to enquire about our wedding photography services please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.  To see more of my work why not drop by my website, Facebook or Twitter pages.

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