Collected here are portraits I have taken with my beloved Fuji X-Pro1, not loads but enough to have a look at what I have created with my X-Series camera.
I say reflections in my title as I have been looking back on almost 2 years of Fuji X-Pro1 ownership and have been analysing where I stand with it now. When I first got the camera I was overwhelmed, it was amazing, the design, the old school external controls that made picture taking intuitive and reminiscent of my days with film. I was urging everyone to get one, (I really would urge everyone to get one)…
Recently however something has changed, I still love the X-Pro1, its design and its ease of use. Nothing has changed with the camera, the change has happened in me, the way I view the Fuji and the quality of work I produce with it. The X-Pro1 has become the camera I take when I feel lazy, or when I feel a job is a quick job, a job that requires less effort. We all know there are no jobs like this, that all jobs are equal in terms of effort and skill. Psychologically for me the Fuji has become a tool to be a bit lazy, it started off as the saviour of my inspiration, a tool that got me back to shooting a lot but these days it represents something less and the quality of my output has stuttered. I have built a psychological association with the the X-Pro1 as somehow being the light option,the lesser option. Its perceived benefits have become its weaknesses in my strange mind. I find it so weird how this has happened, I still love the design and the function but I have reinforced my own thoughts with my actions and have suffered the consequences.
This has nothing at all to do with the Fuji X-Pro1 but everything to do with me and where I am with what I am doing.
I have the opportunity now to exchange my whole kit for an old Phase One Digital back, I will pair it with my old Mamyia RZ and get back to heavy and slow and see where that takes me. A shift in the process of creation is maybe what keeps things fresh. The Fuji X-Pro1 is an amazing camera as I am sure the X-T1 is, but I must move on for now I feel…
Enjoy my Portraits:
I am very late sharing the images in this post. I shot this over a year ago now… a couple are already up on my site http://www.paularcher-uk.com I shot all these with the trusty Fuji X-Pro1 so I will blog it.
So way back in 2013 I was asked to take some photos of Kim Wilde (everyone must know Kim Wilde, right? Legend) recording her christmas album “Wilde Winter Song Book”. Pretty cool hey!
So Guess what kit I took??? Well yes all of it, every camera I own, but… I had a special place in my hand for the Fuji X-Pro1. It ended up getting even more use than my Canon gear, seems to be a real trend that has developed since I bought the X-Pro1.
It was a lot of fun, its always great to be inside a recording studio whilst the magic is happening and to be there with such an iconic artist as Kim Wilde was awesome. It was at the famous RAK studios in St Johns Wood, loads of music history there, have a read about them here:
I could go on and on about how cool and lovely everyone is (they totally are btw) but I wont, we need to see some pictures, I’ll just give a big shout out to Scarlett and Ricky, go give them a follow on twitter and see what the Wilde’s get up to…
Would you believe that it snowed, on the very day a christmas album was being recorded.. in march!! What Luck! So we dashed outside to grab some lovely wintery christmas shots…
If you bought the album “Wilde Winter Song Book”, you would have seen some of the images I am about to show you inside the CD sleeve.
So a day shooting inside a darkened recording studio, certainly a good challenge for the Fuji, I wan’t using flash so as not to disturb what was going on, the last thing everyone there wanted was a flash going off in their face all day. So it was a test of the low light capacity of the X-Pro1, I had to have it dialled up to about 2500 iso for most of the day, really not ideal but I noticed a drop off in quality compared with the lower iso images I have taken before. Not all bad though, but not perfect, although I don’t think any camera is perfect in that context.
At the end of the day they were pleased and I was pleased so job done!
Here are a few photos for you from inside the studio, enjoy…
I think these images go some way to demonstrate that you can use the fuji X-Pro1 in a working photographers environment and it does have a place along side DSLR’s, i will be posting some more images from other jobs that I have chosen to use the Fuji X-Pro1 over my Canon cameras so keep checking back.
It was a big day at Leamington Rugby Club, Dog’s last game… This is Dog here…
Dog or Simon David as he is known in a more professional context has hit 50 and has decided to hang up his boots. To still be turning out on a rugby pitch at age 50 is an achievement that should be recognised, recognised it certainly was as a full compliment of old boys dusted off their boots and took to the pitch for his final game. Dog even played along side his son in the centre at one point in the match. It was team sheet full of promise, although we wont mention the final score so as not to taint the glow of nostalgia…
As I had my camera with me I thought it right to capture few snaps of the historic day! I wish I had taken more in all honesty, it could have made a nice series if I had given it more thought and attention. I will state that I had my camera taken off me in a ploy to get me on the field of play and running around. It all looked a bit rough and I didn’t fancy it, I cant take it these days.
What I was really doing whilst I was in my rugby kit pretending to warm up was playing with my new Fujinon 50-230mm Lens. With all the Fuji lens deals on recently it has been easy to pick them up at a fraction of what they should cost, I saw this one almost being given away so I thought I’d add it to the quiver. You never know when you might need a long lens. Its not a very fast lens and that would usually put me off, but I can’t ever see myself using it in low light.
My impressions of the lens were great, especially considering the price, it was a bit strange having to change the aperture via the wheel button but I got used to it pretty quick. It seems sharp enough, although the photos here aren’t super sharp I am sure with a bit of skill you’d get it lovely and crisp. I did notice a slight vignette when looking in post, although I really don’t mind that as it helped me get the look i was going for! The fall off or Bokeh as its called is lovely, I cant actually fault it as a lens. Another bonus is it was nice and light too.
So lets have a look at my mini photo series. I thought I’d push these a little more than I feel comfortable with, I want to try getting some more contrasty and punchy black and whites so I had a play. I wanted to keep them all in the same world, a bit moody, using the shadows to add atmosphere. Considering process and colour for all 20 of these images took me about 30 minutes I am very happy with the results. You have to keep changing your style I think, or at least try a process with which you are not very comfortable, helps the creative process.
So with out any more waffling I present the photo series.
“The Dog Days are Over”
Take a look at leamington rugby club here: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/leamington/
Here is my website should you fancy a look: http://www.paularcher-uk.com
The stars of this post are XANDER and The PEACE PIRATES www.xanderandthepeacepirates.co.uk
Before you read any further go and check out their music. So much soul and rock and Roll… The Xander Brothers deserve your attention for sure.
I love photographing bands, so when I got a call from Stu Xander asking if I was keen, my answer was of course yes straight off the bat! These guys are seriously cool, they are in tune with the world and the situation it’s in now and are trying to make a difference. They certainly spread love with their soulful music! We hit it off straight away and I loved working with them.
They are fresh off the back of a trip to LA where they played at the NAMM show. This is where their story got interesting… They have hooked up with Eddie Kramer, he is the guy that recorded Hendrix and Led Zeppelin to name a few. That’s some pretty big stuff! They have a Pledge Music site going where you can donate to help fund and receive cool items, I love this new approach to music…
check it out http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thepeacepirates
So lets have a look at what I created…
So you may look at my camera settings and think, ‘why such high ISO?’ well the answer lays in the story of the day. The shoot was almost cancelled due to the guys car breaking down on route form Liverpool to London that morning… They eventually made it but late into the afternoon, as it was winter the sun left the sky around 4pm so we had to work fast. It was not ideal but these things happen and you have to adapt and work it all out quickly. So thank you Fuji and the nice high ISO… I must say the quality is great even though they were shot as the day entered dusk.
I shot everything on the Fujinon 35mm f1.4 lens, its nice and fast for the lowlight and you can get that beautiful bokeh from the wide open lens.
We decided that we wanted something a bit soft with a little tip of the hat towards the 60’s & 70’s music. I went for a quite washed out colour with a bit of twist.
I got all the flairs in camera, I did this by taping some baking paper to the edges of the lens, a low tech solution, but I quite like the effect and have used it several time now. Have a go its pretty cool!
I shot the images around Little Venice in London and chose to use the Fuji X-Pro1 because its so inconspicuous. I love the fact that you can walk around busy areas and no one notices it. It doesn’t scream professional camera so wont attract attention and unwanted questions. Most people assume its an old film camera too, I have to say that when I have used it on jobs I have had to explain to clients how good it actually is as they often seem to wonder why your not rocking a big old setup!
Once again the Fuji has proved it is very capable.. I am buying more lenses and expanding my kit, I think it will be with an X-E2 rather than an X-T1 but who knows… One thing I know for sure is that I am defiantly adding the Fujinon 56mm lens to my kit. http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/fujifilm_xf_56mm_f1_2_review
Check out Xander and the Peace Pirates Music… It’s AMAZING
Check out some of my other work here… http://www.paularcher-uk.com
Yup you read that title correct, I shot a big job with my Fuji X-Pro1. I got brave, well not that brave as I had a double camera setup, the ever trusted Canon 5D2 was along for the ride.
So let me fill you in. I spent a few months in Brazil, spreading my reach as it were, it’s part of a big life change and I shall be living/working in Brazil as well as working in the UK.
Part of this new life is about getting clients in Brazil. One of my first is the Brazilian Street-wear brand NEPHEW. Its the creation of well known Brazilian DJ Vitor Martins and has a lot of attitude and style. A great brand to be working with.
Check them out here: http://www.nephew.com.br Here is a portrait I shot of Vitor at the shoot.
As you can see the style of photography is not what I would usually shoot, it is certainly a strong look with hard flash. I was up for the challenge however and managed to create a look based on the references the client gave me. (no prizes for guessing the main reference – answers in the comments section haha!) He had a good concept, put pretty girls in his mens clothing to get the guys to look at it. Great idea and fun to shoot too!!
Here are some teasers shot on the Fuji X-Pro1
This was the first is the first time I had tried the Fuji X-Pro1 out in studio conditions and I was very surprised. Well not that surprised, I knew it would be great. I should say this was the first time I had synced it with a studio flash head. The images from the camera looked great, really nice and sharp, I think its the first time I have used the X-Pro1 with so much light, and boy does it love light, there was so much detail in the files. Now I realise how good the sensor is! Maybe I need to upgrade to a Fuji with a newer sensor!!!
I had the simplest setup possible for this shoot. One light with a beauty dish and a white wall, nothing else. It does the job, no need to over complicate things. It hit the clients brief which is what needs to be done on a job.
Right then as I said before I had my Canon with me. You maybe wondering why as I seem so blown away by the X-Pro1. The reason is simple, I like to shoot tethered and so far I haven’t been able to get the Fuji hooked up. My workflow with the canon is good, and especially on a job like this where I have an Eizo monitor running from my laptop so clients can see whats going on without crowding round my capture station. So thats why I used the Canon for a lot of this job, I just switched to the Fuji for some of the shots once the client was happy with what they saw on screen.
To be honest now that I have done my post production I am hard pressed to see which files are which, they are of equal quality in my eyes. Some of the Fuji files are super sharp as are some of the Canon files, equally both produced soft files too. This is down to operator error, not the camera obviously. I have no need to pixel peep at them as they have filled the brief look good and have been sent to client. Job done really.
Have a look on the nephew website and see if you can tell which files are Canon and which are Fuji without seeing the camera data. http://www.nephew.com.br
I am inching ever closer to ditching the canon gear and using the Fuji system along side a digital medium format camera system, although I will have to wait until I invest in a Phase One camera back. Maybe by the end of the year??? The reality is the Fuji X-Pro1 can handle a studio, it probably wouldn’t be your first choice if you have other camera systems, but its a good thing to know if you are considering investing in this system alone, pretty sure we will see tethering available soon. (maybe there is and I have missed it) I
So still over a year on from when I purchased the Fuji X-Pro1 I still love using it. Its a pretty good do it all camera, I have done most things with it now (about to do some landscapes too) its hasn’t let me down. Its an awesome street camera, great for portraits and can get away with working in the studio too!
Check out my other work here: http://www.paularcher-uk.com