Archive | September 2013

Shooting Beauty Portraits – Fuji X-Pro1 vs Canon 5D Mk2 Review: DAY 254

EDIT – for more portraits with the Fuji X-Pro1 head over to my new blog http://www.justhumansbeing.com

Here I go on another comparison test… I’ll say straight up its not very scientific in its methods considering the cameras had slight a difference in settings, plus the idea of doing a blog post like this was an after though. I was actually just taking pictures not testing cameras… But all the same I hope it’s of use to one or two people who want some more info on the differences/quality of these two camera systems.

So I wanted to shoot a couple of beauty portraits so I had my friend Samantha Englelbrecht come over, she is a model and actress so that was a big help. I wanted to stay away from the standard “BOOM’ flash with beauty dish, I wanted to get something a little softer, so I tested in daylight/available light.

I was using the Fuji X-Pro1 with the fujinon 35mm f1.4 lens and the Canon 5D mk2 with a Canon 50mm f1.2 Lens. These lens’ are a fairly good match up for comparisons.

I have been using the Fuji X-Pro1 almost all the time recently, on head shot jobs and even a whole fashion story, keep checking back as I will post those up soon… For this though I went straight to the Canon, I find it more of a go to camera for structured shoots like this. But I had the Fuji there next to me the whole time and snapped away a little more freely. I find I am more considered in composition with the Canon. Maybe that is due to its larger size and more professional feel, saying that it is probably just some little psychological nuance on my part. Although I find I am even more considered again when using a medium format system such as a Hassleblad with a PhaseOne back…

So enough talking lets see some pictures… Below are two shots, one from the Fuji X-Pro1 and one from the Canon 5Dmk2.

Fuji X-Pro1: 1/125 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 640

Fuji X-Pro1: 1/125 sec; f/1.4; ISO 640

Canon 5Dmk2: 1/100 sec;   f/2.0;   ISO 320

Canon 5Dmk2: 1/100 sec; f/2.0; ISO 320

Beautiful… I would say at a quick glance you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference, preference would come down to composition more than anything! So lets have a look at the process and some crops to see the differences.

Lets start with the shots as they are Straight out of camera (SOOC), so here I am opening up the process and letting you in on secrets as obviously the above images have been retouched, your about to see the difference before and after.

SOOC file comparison and adjustments in Capture One

SOOC file comparison and adjustments in Capture One

So as you can see the way the cameras handled the colour was fairly similar, I personally preferred the canon, but adjusted them both anyway to let a bit more light in and make them slightly cooler.

So now you have seen the before images you can play a bit of spot the difference. Yes I have cleaned up her skin, standard practice….  What I have done in the Fuji image is simplify the background, this brings more attention to her, and by enlarging up the light source behind it makes for a nicer composition. I am guessing that a few people will be scorning me now…”Oh my God!” “this is an outrage” they’ll say, offended that I didn’t get it all in camera. You know what though, I’d love to live in a massive flat with huge windows that flood in light, but I don’t and if I can change a few things to make it feel more that way then why not, use the tools available I say… The Canon image is a bit more honest, all I did was rotate and crop to get the final composition.

So now for some crops, I am impressed with the Fuji X-Pro1, when you get it sharp, man is it sharp. However I like to shoot wide open so sharpness is not always there for me…. Got lucky with these though hey!

Files @ 50%

Files @ 50%

Files @ 100%

Files @ 100%

Looking at this I would say the canon is sharper, but there really is nothing in it, in all reality its probably just my ability to focus, (as I said its not scientific). So take from this what you will The Fuji X-Pro1 is such an amazing camera and can stand toe to toe in a lot of areas with the Canon 5D mk2, there is a coupe of things it cant do quite as well, auto focus being one, have a look at my wedding photography with the Fuji X-Pro1 blog post where I talk about my frustrations with the Fuji System, https://roughly365.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/the-fuji-x-pro1-photographs-a-wedding-on-its-own-day-183/

Lets have a quick look at another image comparison, for this image I wanted to make it feel like there was early morning light breaking through the curtains. I basically removed all the light from the room and let a soft stream come through the window.

Canon 5d mk2: 1/80 sec;   f/1.6;   ISO 500

Canon 5d mk2: 1/80 sec; f/1.6; ISO 500

Fuji X-Pro1: 1/64 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 640

Fuji X-Pro1: 1/64 sec; f/1.4; ISO 640

So here with these it comes down to composition again, the more considered Canon shot wins there… A great test for lo-light photography though. I think both cameras handled it very well.. But we already know they can do that!

Here are the SOOC and capture one adjusted files.

File comparrison

File comparrison

So as you can see there is not to much crazy retouch going on here, just some colour work to add the mood, once again here my preference was the canon file for colour SOOC, this preference made me adjust the Fuji file toward the feel of the Canon in Capture One. So that’s the before and after, again just a little skin clean up was made…

Onto the zooms, Lo-light zooms…

Files @ 50%

Files @ 50%

Files @ 100%

Files @ 100%

For me the winner here is the Canon, but as before that could be my approach, as you can see in the 100% Fuji crop I have missed my focus on the front eye, the focus is just catching the rear eye. Poor technique yes, it could explain the lack of detail in the skin compared to the Canon too. But hey I think they are both beautiful images, the Fuji for a small camera has stood up to the canon…

The more I use the Fuji, especially with the 35mm f1.4 lens, the more impressed I am with it, I love it. But, as I have stated in previous posts, I personally wouldn’t have it as my main camera, but its the best second camera I can think of. I haven’t taken my Canon 7D out of my Pelicase since I bought the Fuji… If your on the fence about buying one I say do it, I was back and forth, yes and no, before I got mine, best decision I made!

If you or anyone you know is in Brazil check out my site for wedding/lifestyle photography based out of Belo Horizonte MG

http://www.studio-a.co.uk

http://www.paularcher-uk.com

Wife: Day 253

The title gives a clue to this one…

 

1/500 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 250

1/500 sec; f/1.4; ISO 250

 

http://www.paularcher-uk.com

http://www.studio-a.co.uk

Still Life with the Fuji X-Pro1- My Process Start to Finish: Day 252

So today I show you a series of flowers I shot with the Fuji X-Pro1 using the 35mm 1.4 lens. This lens is wonderful, it’s totally changed the way I use the X-Pro1. To be honest I have forgotten where I left my 18mm its that good… I am well aware that its is not a lens to be doing this type of photography with really but its is the lens that is on my camera and I wont let it stop me taking photos. This series is not meant to be an example of amazing still life photography, a still life photographer I am not, for me this a way to use my camera and get shooting, I just love taking pictures as I am sure all of you do, but sometimes you fall out of the groove. This is one way to get back in that groove, especially as the whole shoot from start to finished image took an hour. Have a read and see how my process went.

multi new

There I was sat on the sofa, itching to take some photos, and I caught sight of the flowers in the window. Inspiration hit! I’ll take photos of flowers… As I was also hungry and thinking about baking a cake I struck upon the idea of using baking paper as my background. So  I set about making a mini studio, I love daylight so it was always going to be a soft diffused light that wanted. I chose my spot in the lounge, you can see it in the picture, next to the TV, the light had a beautiful fall off just there. You can also see Seymour my wooden robot!

That's it, a simple baking paper Studio.

That’s it, a simple baking paper Studio.

So I began to photograph the flowers, I shot quite dark so I could get some fall off and shadow into the images. Once I had all my flowers shot I got them all into capture one. Have a look at the screen shots, I didn’t really make any wild adjustments, small subtle stuff, not really noticeable. I could of gone to town here, I instead decide to keep the images pretty natural.

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 15.48.42 Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 15.48.38 Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 15.48.33 Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 15.48.28 Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 15.48.19

So now I process the files and get to work in Photoshop, this is where I do most of my adjustments. As you can see in the pictures below there is not that many adjustments made, I just accentuated what was already there. I did need to extend my background though, which is super simple, just stretch the edges out, as long as you can’t see the stretch in the background you’ll be alright, if you can just stick some noise on it to hide it a little… I also put a crop on the file to focus the attention in more.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

So there you have it, nothing groundbreaking, maybe I could have spent a lot longer on the images but they are what they are and served the purpose of some practice, idea generation and photography inspiration!

Are they perfect? No! But I am not a still life photographer, They look good, and I feel like I achieved something instead of wasting an hour, not bad for a first attempt I think!

1/500 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 250

1/500 sec; f/1.4; ISO 250

1/500 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 250

1/500 sec; f/1.4; ISO 250

1/500 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 250

1/500 sec; f/1.4; ISO 250

1/500 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 250

1/500 sec; f/1.4; ISO 250

1/500 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 250

1/500 sec; f/1.4; ISO 250

Little Venice Snapshots: Day 251

Had my parents in town, had some coffee, took some photos. Simple..

1/250 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 320

1/250 sec; f/1.8; ISO 320

/250 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 320

/250 sec; f/1.8; ISO 320

/250 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 320

/250 sec; f/1.8; ISO 320

1/250 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 320

1/250 sec; f/1.8; ISO 320

1/250 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 320

1/250 sec; f/1.8; ISO 320

1/1000 sec;   f/1.6;   ISO 320

1/1000 sec; f/1.6; ISO 320

1/1000 sec;   f/2.0;   ISO 320

1/1000 sec; f/2.0; ISO 320

1/1000 sec;   f/2.0;   ISO 320

1/1000 sec; f/2.0; ISO 320

 

Brother in Law: Day 250

Been MIA again.. Ooops, I really want to get back on track, just finding it hard to fit it in, I still take the photos all the time, editing through them is time consuming though…

Here is a snap of my Bro-in-law meandering his way through the streets of Camden…

1/250 sec;   f/1.8;   ISO 640

1/250 sec; f/1.8; ISO 640