23, Calbro Court, Tuam Rd, Galway
Menu
menu
Fancher StudioAnywhere2 C1 jpg print 1

Firstly, let me begin with saying I follow Nick Fancher’s Instagram. It started with Nick’s post on Scott Kelby’s blog. I loved the work, and put in into practice immediately. It became part of my arsenal and I’ve used variations on it as time has passed. Working up towards publication, Nick’s Instagram feed has been the trailer for the book. Does it mean I’m a fan? Kinda. At the same time, disappointed fans can be harsher than those who may be more neutral in persuasion. So have I been disappointed? Only one way to find out!

The Book

Studio Anywhere 2: Hard Light is the movie version of Nick’s Instagram trailer. While there are BTS shots on Instagram as well, there isn’t the level of detail that Nick goes into with the book. This book is all about recipes for success with hard light. It also has a few scene quizzes along with way to make sure you’re keeping up.

Studio 2 Interior 04

Split into 9 chapters, with an educational Introduction, and a forward thinking Epilog, this book (which I’ve read as the ebook version) provides a great basis for working with hard light on location. Nick delves into his kit to reveal a tightly curated gear bag, perfect for travelling light, without feeling like you’re leaving something important behind. As I’ve given talks on shooting as Ryanair photo traveller, I’m totally down with that.

Lighting wise, I’m quite experienced, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything from the book. Quite the opposite in fact. Even in the intro, Nick discusses the difference between speedlight and monolight shadows. It’s something I’d know unconsciously, but having it spelled out on paper brings it into sharp focus. It boils down to having different experiences and Nick is imparting his experience, quite successfully, in the book.

I’m not going to do a blow by blow account of what’s in the book. It’s full of practical setups to get interesting light in a variety of situations. Often these include little hacks to make better use of your gear, with things like homemade snoots and barndoors, or hacks to make your reflector do even more work for you.

Studio 2 Interior 01

Soup to Nuts

As well as the background detail on the shoot, each setup generally contains a scene shot, a shot of the gear, the unedited Raw file, the Lightroom settings and the final edited image. You get to see everything that went into making the image. Where Photoshop played a part in the image, this information is included as well. Changes made to perfect the lighting also get a mention, so it’s a full soup to nuts approach to imparting knowledge.

The big thing that drew me to the book was the gel work from that Scott Kelby guest blog. This book includes both the original black and white inspiration work, and the resulting colour work, but takes it a step further. Because Nick has had time to work and refine the technique, a more mature version of it appears in the book. Coupled with colour theory, and the other gel related tips, this made for my favourite part of the book.

Studio 2 Interior 02

Getting Personal

There’s a lot in the book about Nick’s photography background, from his education right through to where he is now. He’s candid about his approach to clients, and gives out advice in relation to it. There’s also some pro tips, again based on his experience, to fill the book out even more. This means you’re getting business advice on top of the lighting techniques. Seeing Nick’s progress will definitely be a help to those working their way into a crowded market, or even those looking to add some extra cash from part time photo work.

Studio 2 Interior 03

Conclusion

The book is a great read. Like anything, you need to put the information into practice before it makes proper sense. Without that practice, you’ll never absorb the information. Is this book worth getting? Well, it’s a step up from introduction to lighting books, and there’s a certain amount of prior knowledge expected. It’s like you’ve joined in after a conversation has started-you have to pick up what’s already been said. As I haven’t read the original Studio Anywhere book, I can’t say if this information is in that book-it may well be. It’s not a problem, merely an observation. Despite the information being more intermediate than beginner, it’s still quite accessible. On the other hand, if you’ve been in the game a while, Nick provides plenty of new tricks in the book to satisfy your lust for light.

I’m struggling to pick holes in the book. The only thing I’d love to have seen is more final photos. As in a greater range of finished images showing slight variations in each technique-like a mini portfolio. What’s there is great, and really does serve as wonderful inspiration, but I’d love to have seen more. Weighing in at 226 pages including covers and index etc, more images would’ve made the book longer and even better-especially in a print version. But it’s truly just a nitpick.

Rating

As I’m not stuck with Amazon terms, I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5. If you enjoy using lighting at all, this book deserves to be in your library and will expand your options on all future shoots. The ebook version is available right now for $27.99, with the print version coming in January. Right now, the coupon code NEWNOVEMBER will take 35% off the eBook price!

With the lack of frequent of posts, you’d think that I wasn’t up to much, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’ll post more about it in my Newsletter shortly. Last week was Glor Tire though, 5 days of solid work shooting for this Gael Media production. Glor Tire translates as ‘Country Voice’ and is a singing contest with 9 contestants, 10 bands (including the cream of Irish country music), 3 judges and 2 presenters. Over the 5 days, 11 episodes were shot, so as you can imagine, it’s a bit intense. Here’s Johnny Brady from his set on the show.

20161110 Glor Tire S13 Thursday Xt10 3071 web

Shooting for the show is hectic. While there are lulls, they’re interspersed with high pressure shooting situations where time is absolutely against you. As the stills photographer, you’re completely squeezing all the required shots in around the production itself. I start with studio style portraits. This year I used the AD360 in the 120cm Octa as my white background. The key light was a 70X70cm softbox with a Neweer rebranded Godox V850. I could’ve used another V850 in the Octa, but the recycle time of the AD360 helped a lot. I held a Lastolite Silver/White Trigrip in my hand to fill in shadows using a modified clamshell setup. Each portrait was shot using a Fuji X-T2 and the 18-55mm lens. Using the dual card slot in the X-T2, I had Raw files going to Slot1, and Small Jpeg going to Slot 2. Slot 2 had an Eye-fi card, which was transmitting to Shutter Snitch on an iPad Mini 2 16Gb. This meant that each contest, judge and presenter could choose their favourite image immediately on set, bypassing the need for 15 selection galleries and back and forth with email.

GTS13BTS Cheers to Noel Vaughen for the BTS shot.

For the show, I ran with a double strap harness (just one I got on eBay). On the right was the X-T2, with the 50-140mm f2.8 Pro lens. On the left was the X-T10 with 18-55mm for the wider scene shots. Because of the nature of the show, I shot JPEG. I truly hope that one day, camera makers will offer a Lossy DNG option, to give JPEG sizes with White Balance and Highlight recovery. Generally, I shoot Raw for everything except super high volume stuff ilke this. I shot over 10,000 images, with a first pass bringing this down to 1000. The next pass will half that. 500 sounds like a lot, but with so much happening, it barely gives a flavour of the show, with a small bit of variety.

For the band nights, there’s 3 bands performing. There’s a contestant solo, and a duet with the band leader, as well as the band shots. Generally I shoot 4-5 songs, then import and do a first pass to get the basic edit done before the next band changes over. It makes better use of the down time, and helps reducing the mountain that edit would be otherwise.

This is my 7th year shooting for the series, and it’s always good fun, albeit a lot of work. For me, the Fuji setup I’m using here has made it the most comfortable series yet. The only way I feel I could improve it, would be to switch the wide setup to another X-T2, and perhaps the 16-55 lens (though the 18-55 performed flawlessly).

When the season begins broadcasting in January, I’ll do more posts with all the photos.

14305321 899791353498379 9067810521308501058 o

Getting a cover always feels great. So when the chance came to shoot Everything Shook for The Thin Air came up, I took it. The ladies were a joy to work with and everything was super chill. I took the bus up so travelled fairly light, especially as I was walking for a fair bit to get to them.

TTA Everything shook cover

For the shot, I used a single Cactus Image RF60 with V6II trigger. The flash was set to full power, and zoomed to 105 to give a tight, but powerful beam of light. This was place to camera left. It was on a Manfrotto Nano 5001b, which as at full height to allow the shadows to drop behind the girls onto the corrugated fencing behind them. The angle was such to allow a loupe light on the faces. The great thing about the Cactus RF-60 is that you can control both the zoom and the power from the V6II trigger.

I shot with a Fujifilm X-T10 with the 18-55mm, lens set at 40.7mm. That does mean I could’ve potentially used the 35mm f1.4, but for ease for the whole shoot (there are other images in the magazine), I went with a zoom. The exposure setting chosen were based on a few things. Firstly I wanted to used the ambient light as fill. Secondly, I didn’t want it to be a super flashed looking shots. The base ISO on the X-T10 is ISO200, so I started with that. The Flash Sync Speed was 1/180, so I started with that. The aperture gave a slightly underexposed ambient. Finally I set the flash power-which happened to be full power in this instance. Had I needed more, I could’ve moved the flash in closer.

As the shot was for the cover, and the text is located in the same place with each issue, I knew to leave space at the top for the title. Thanks to Brian and Loreana at The Thin Air for giving me the job! The print version of the magazine will be out soon, and available for free in venues and music stores around Ireland.

I’ve been a Digital SLR user for over 13 years now. Before that I shot film. Loads of Neopan and Velvia, as well as some Reala. I started with a particular camera brand, so when I changed from film to digital, I kept with that brand. Despite having a full complement of cameras and lenses in that system, I also kept a compact camera for travel. I was always looking for a smaller, lighter camera that did what my main body did. I even had cameras like the Fuji F10 and the F5000 as part of my kit at times.

FujiX 35

As time passed I got a pro compact from my main system maker, simply because it had a hotshoe. The hotshoe became a requirement for me in a compact system because I’ve been lighting as long as I’ve had a Digital body. When the mirrorless revolution came along, I watched with interest. In 2012, based on a lot of reading and study, I finally bought a mirrorless body and some lenses. There was a lot of influence from a UK photo educator, based on the fact that I love his work. It wasn’t a Fuji. It had loads more features and lenses than the X-system at the time, so for these reasons, I went for it. It could be completely customised to be like my main system, but still I fought with it. It was hard work and I eventually gave up and sold the whole system, camera, lenses and flash to a mate that makes a tonne of money with it!

FujiX 30

At the time, the X-Pro1 was on offer with 2 lenses, making the body effectively free. I tried one at a trade show and just loved it. It boiled down to Image Quality. The X-Pro1 simply outshone the other system. The files were on par with my main camera. And for me, it’s always been about the image. Features can be added, but the image quality has to be there first and foremost. Using the money from the first mirrorless system, I took the Fuji offer. The kit came with the 18mm f2.0 lens and I chose the 35mm lens as the 2nd lens. I opted not to get the 60mm at the time, though I have added it since. I began shooting a lot of personal work with those 2 lenses. There was so much to love about the X-Pro1. The handling, the feel. It was just right. But I wasn’t convinced yet. First, I didn’t have enough gear to use it as a main system. Secondly, it could also be a little slow to focus, and I did miss shots with it. But when it did focus, the shots were just brilliant. I tried it on some small jobs. It did ok, but I knew I’d probably have worked faster with my DSLR.

FujiX 32

When the X-T1 came along, I was very interested, but still wasn’t ready to make a move. I’d lost money changing systems already, and wasn’t confident enough based on my experience with the X-Pro1. In fact I was close to just selling the bits I had. Could the X-T1 cut it for paid work? I really didn’t know and it was beyond the level of investment I wanted to make to find out. I’ve often said to new photographers to choose wisely. You’re never just buying a camera. You’re buying into a system, so you have to be sure.

FujiX 24

The X-T10 was announced, and the features and pricing made it irresistible. Here was a camera that was 60% of the price of the X-T1, with about 90% of the features. I ordered one that day from my local camera shop. I fell in love with it straight away. While not a compactly sized person, I am short. The camera fitted my hands no problem and with a few changes to the many custom buttons and dials, I was ready to rock. Some personal shoots and a lot of playing with the camera increased my Fuji comfort level. I even learned that some of the features from the X-T10 also applied to the X-Pro1, so it went into my bag as a backup camera.

FujiX 16

My love for the X-series really expanded at that point and so did my lens arsenal. I now use it for over 90% of my work. The quality of the lenses are superb. The 50-140, despite the size is just incredible. I use Lightroom, which is very average with Fuji files, but the sharpness of this lens even wide open can overcome that. Even the kit lens, the 18-55 is magnificent. The shots are just gorgeous. I’ve done band work, TV work and even magazine work with the camera. I’m utterly delighted with it. I know the system will progress further and I look forward to using it exclusively. Recently I’ve shot a lot of commercial work with it. I make a point of showing my work as I go, and it instills confidence in the client that despite the small size of the camera, there’s no question of the quality.

FujiX 08

Despite the gushing, the system isn’t there yet. DSLR cameras use a secondary mirror system to focus, while mirrorless cameras focus directly from the sensor. DSLR flashes use a criss cross red/infra red beam to allow the camera to focus in low light. Fuji flashes, both system and third party don’t have this beam because the sensor can’t focus with it. It really needs more light to focus. So for my nightclub work, I use my DSLR, and pray for the day I can leave behind the weight! The new EF-X500 seems to have a white spot where the focus assist beam usually comes from, so I’m hoping this is a new LED that helps focus while shutting off during the flash phase!

030416 Edel Ewa 6857 Edit web

The other aspect of flash that holds me back is the lack of support for High Speed Sync. I do use and demo this at workshops, using my old system. It means I can use flash in open sun and still use prime lenses wide open. It’s something that’s much needed in the Fuji flash system. Again the EF-X500 promises this with the X-Pro2, but it still hasn’t landed yet.

050216 GN JessicaMcCarthy 9623 Edit Edit web

While the X-Pro2 looks like an amazing camera (and that 24MP sensor size was a big temptation), the X-T2 was a better choice for me. I’m glad I waited for it. It arrived yesterday, and instead of all the test shots you see on forums, I went straight into a job with it. It performed impeccably. In the meantime, it’s time to replace the 18-55 with a 16-55. I feel the need for one every day now. In what’s perhaps an ironic thought, my most used lenses on the full frame were the 17-40 and the 85mm. These translate to the 10-24 and the 56 in the Fujifilm lens lineup. Guess what? Those are exactly the lenses that I don’t have. If you’re a bit of a generalist, and want to have a good starting setup with Fuji, then grab an X-T10, the 10-24 and either the 60, or the 56. You won’t regret it.

150616 ChrisFahey 8293 Edit web

Since I started writing this post, I’ve also been using the Cactus V6II triggers to get High Speed Sync working on the X-T10. It’s just beautiful to use. Beautifully lit portraits with shallow depth of field outdoors. Just gorgeous. It’s not compatible with the X-T2 as yet, but that will come, I’m sure. Meanwhile the EF-X500 has been held back until Oct.

20160817 Emma V6II 8915 web

With the increase to 24MP outmatching the Canon 5DIII, I’m even more confident with the system being able to give me everything I need for the bulk of my work, both commercial and personal. I’m not shooting billboards as yet. Maybe when that happens it’ll be time for the rumoured Fuji Medium Format system. Who knows, but until then, onwards any upwards with Fuji.

Here’s a few of my music photo highlights from this years Galway International Arts Festival. I’ve also linked to further sets on The Thin Air.

Slowplacelikehome supporting Dan Deacon-Roisin Dubh, Galway-21/7/16-Sean McCormack
Slowplacelikehome supporting Dan Deacon-Roisin Dubh, Galway-21/7/16-Sean McCormack
Dan Deacon-Roisin Dubh, Galway-21/7/16-Sean McCormack
Dan Deacon-Roisin Dubh, Galway-21/7/16-Sean McCormack

Dan and Slowplacelikehome on The Thin Air

 

The Undertones supporting Elvis Costello and the Imposters-Absolut Big Top, Galway-Sean McCormack
The Undertones supporting Elvis Costello and the Imposters-Absolut Big Top, Galway-Sean McCormack
Elvis Costello and the Imposters-Absolut Big Top, Galway-Sean McCormack
Elvis Costello and the Imposters-Absolut Big Top, Galway-Sean McCormack
DSCF1510_web
The Orchid Collective supporting Pleasure Beach in the Roisin Dubh
DSCF1644_web
Pleasure Beach in the Roisin Dubh

Pleasure Beach

Villagers play the Absolut Big Top for the Galway International Arts Festival. Photo by Sean McCormack.
Villagers play the Absolut Big Top for the Galway International Arts Festival. Photo by Sean McCormack.
Mick Flannery supporting Villagers at the Absolut Big Top for the Galway International Arts Festival. Photo by Sean McCormack.
Mick Flannery supporting Villagers at the Absolut Big Top for the Galway International Arts Festival. Photo by Sean McCormack.

Villagers and Mick Flannery on The Thin Air

 

King Kong Company-15/7/16-Roisin Dubh, Galway-Sean McCormack
King Kong Company-15/7/16-Roisin Dubh, Galway-Sean McCormack

King Kong Company on The Thin Air

Suede-Absolut Big Top, Galway International Arts Festival-Sean McCormack
Suede-Absolut Big Top, Galway International Arts Festival-Sean McCormack
The Frank and Walters supporting Suede-Absolut Big Top, Galway International Arts Festival-Sean McCormack
The Frank and Walters supporting Suede-Absolut Big Top, Galway International Arts Festival-Sean McCormack

Suede and The Frank and Walters on The Thin Air.

BellX1-Absolut Big Top, Galway-Sean McCormack
BellX1-Absolut Big Top, Galway-Sean McCormack
The Academic supporting BellX1-Absolut Big Top, Galway-Sean McCormack
The Academic supporting BellX1-Absolut Big Top, Galway-Sean McCormack

 

With the official announcement of the new Fujifilm X-T2, the silence of the lucky testers can now be broken. Alas, I’m not one of the lucky ones. This time there’s a mix of Fuji X-Photographers and non Fuji users having gotten them to test, so being an ambassador doesn’t mean you’ll get one. My buddy Piet Van den Eynde got the X-Pro2 to test, but not the X-T2, for example. As I can’t write about a camera I’ve not used, here’s a roundup of blogs that have a range of things to say about this new camera.

You can now download the official Fujifilm X-T2 Catalogue (PDF link).

And now for the wait.

If you’re shooting landscapes, interiors or even wide environmental portraits on Fujifilm X Series cameras, you’re choices are limited. You’ve the Fujinon 10-24 or the 14mm. If you have the money and want a wide prime, there’s the Touit 12mm f2.8-the jury is out on the value of it. At 1/3 of the price and a full stop faster is the Samyang 12m f2.0. Samyang also goes by the Bower or Rokinon name, but they’re all the same lens. If I was giving advice to someone who want a versatile lens choice at a price, that would be a 17-40 and an 85 on full frame. That’s the 10-24 and 56 (or 60 at a push) on Fuji. I didn’t go that route myself as I started with the 18 and 35 Fujinon lenses. So for my wide I stayed prime and got the cheaper Samyang 12mm. By way of reference, that’s 18mm full frame equivalent field of view.

210416 Limerick 0377 HDR web

Don’t let the price fool you. This isn’t a cheap imitator hoping to wile away your cash and leave you disappointed. Think great value rather than cheap. As with most Samyang lenses, this is a manual only lens. That’s less of a problem than you think, because for most of the things you’d use this for, manual is fine. Set at f16, focus before the infinity more (using Hyperfocal Distancing) and it’ll all be in focus. For Astro stuff, where you really would make use of the f2.0 aperture, it needs some testing to get it just right, but when it’s set, it stays there. The focus ring is quite stiff, which is exactly how you want a manual lens. Mark the lens across the ring and distance scale, that way you can get it bang on the next time with no fuss. Be warned that the distance scale isn’t accurate, so do test with it before committing to shoot. The ring is also a back focusing ring, so the front element stays fixed. If you use screw on filters, or filters holders, you’ll be thankful for this! Personally I’m using the new Hitech-Formatt 85mm system with new holder design, using a 67mm ring. The new design is far better than the old one by miles and miles-but I digress.

NewImage

Being a manual lens, you get a manual aperture ring. This goes from f2.0 to f22 with a defined click at half stop intervals. It’s reasonably tight, so not prone to moving. At f22 you are hitting the limits of the APS sensor and getting diffraction, but again on APS f11-f16 with hyperfocal distancing should be in focus from front to back, without diffraction. If you don’t know what diffraction is, it’s blurring due to light bending through the aperture hole and not quite getting into the sensor photosites straight on. Smaller sensors with narrow apertures are susceptible to it. Generally I avoid f22 where I can. On the other end, it’s pretty sharp at f2.0. Often you have to open up for better sharpness, but this lens is quite good for it.

NewImage

I have 2 copies of this lens. The first was second hand and has a scratch which the buyer failed to mention on the lens. It’s generally not an issue, and only shows as flare when facing the light source. Of course, I shot a lot of interiors, so after a while, it did become a problem for me. I was happy enough with the lens performance, so I bought a new copy. It’s equally as good as the first, if not better (excluding the scratch, of course). The fact that I was willing to do this should show I’m a firm believer in the lens.

20150622 RenvyleNight 9052 web
So far the pros are great value, great range of aperture, solid focus ring, internal focus, sharp at f2, still sharp at f16. There are some cons. There are six aperture blades so bokeh is hexagonal. It does flare a little, giving lovely hexagons on your image (I’m being facetious, it’s not lovely). This is part of what drives the price down of course and it’s a fair trade off. Just keep the lens clean and it’s not as bad. It not so much direct sunlight as windows blowing out in an interior that make it obvious.

One bonus that’s happened since my purchase, is that Lightroom now has Lens Profiles for all named versions of this lens, so the distortions can be fixed automatically.

Screen Shot 2016 07 05 at 04 18 35

Verdict? If you want to go wide on a budget with Fuji, and don’t mind going manual, well, then this is a no brainer. If you need a zoom, then there’s only the 10-24 right now.. and it’s f4, so you’re losing 2 whole stops of light on this one. Amazon Amazon UK B&H Photo Video (Affiliate links)

Note, the silver version can be cheaper.

Rumours abound that the much delayed successor to the ancient EF-42, the EF-X500, has been delayed again until September. Originally due an end of May launch, it’s being pushed back further and further. The imminent July 7th announcement will supposedly have both a price and a Sept release date. Just another week in the Fuji Flash Saga. (Fujirumors have more pics and a potential price of over €500 for the EF-X500).

flash-fuji-940x533.jpg

 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s really great that it’s finally coming. I did get to see a mockup version at The Photography Show, but it’s both really late in terms of what’s out there, and in terms of the continuously delayed launch. What do I mean? Well, flash has been the weak point of the system all along, and the original specs for this flash show that it will have remote commander functions-but in optical form. Anyone using remote flash knows that even the super cheap systems out there now use radio triggers, which don’t require line of sight, and will still work outdoors in bright sunlight. Personally I’m hoping the addition of radio is part of the delay, but I’m not optimistic.

The X-T10 already has a commander mode option in the camera, so hopefully, this will work with the new flash. And hopefully it will be either able to use HSS (high speed sync), or get a firmware update for it. Now, the Nissan i40, a 3rd party flash for Fuji, does HSS in full manual power, through a secret handshake on turn on, so it is possible to get it that way, but on a low powered flash. So the sooner it arrives in official Fuji form, the better!

nissin_nd40_f_i40_compact_flash_for_1079740.jpg

 

As for remote TTL via Radio, I’ve already looked at the RobotSHOOT triggers. They’re well up to that task, and as bonus, let Nikon users keep their flashes for Fuji TTL use. The SB910 is a far better flash than the EF-42, and by using a camera bracket, you could easily run TTL with a more powerful flash off a Fuji camera.

120116-RoboSHOOT-7938_web.jpg

 

In reality, the long wait for a Fuji flash isn’t from a lack of trying on Fuji’s part. The current flagship flash is the EF-42. This is a rebranded Sunpak flash, made for the S series DSLR’s that Fuji once made. It also shows that Fuji depend on 3rd party manufacturers for flashes. They had Metz on board, but when Metz went under, it made for a major setback. Still, news from around the world is not bad for Fuji users with regards using flash.

10297417.jpg

Cactus Image have announced the V6II triggers which provide HSS to Fuji through a range of other flashes, so the external competition is already on. Piet from More Than Words, a fellow Fuji X Photographer, has a review set and it raving about them, and at how great the HSS is.

V6ii-1

 

There’s the other issue with Fuji flash, that I mention, but seems to be less public. On camera flash is used to light up dark and low light environments. In my case in nightclubs. On DSLRS, the flashes send out a red criss cross kind of pattern. The camera detects these via the secondary mirror system used to focus. The contrast allows the camera to focus, then the shot can fire. Mirrorless cameras focus directly from the sensor, and don’t respond to the standard focus assist beam. They need light to focus. This means a compatible flash needs a light beam, like an LED video light to focus. Product shots of the EF-X500 seems to show a white rectangle, which I really hope is a LED. Why? Because I’m tired of having to use the 5D3 for this one regular job, where I’d rather be using the Fuji.

It’s taken a long time to get to this point, so I really hope that this July 7th rumour pans out and that the EF-X500 will in fact put the flash weakness with the Fujifilm X-Series to bed.

The Fujifilm X-T10 was announced on the 18th June 2015. I rang Galway Camera Shop, got a price, had a think, then rang back and ordered one. That sounds a bit like a fanboy response, but it wasn’t. In fact, inside my head, I was done with Fuji at that point. The X-Pro1, much as I loved the image quality, was slow to focus.. and just slow in general. I had 2 lenses at the time too, an 18mm f2.0 and a 35mm f1.4. I shoot landscapes, interiors and portraits (of many kinds). The 18 mm wasn’t wide enough and 35 mm wasn’t long enough.

020915 Gatis 2544 web

When the X-T1 was announced, it solved many of my issues, but based on my lack of faith and the expense, I just couldn’t take the risk. When the X-T10 came out with a great feature set and a better price, I decided to give Fuji one last chance. Boy, am I glad. I was far more pleased than I ever expected to be. The X-T10 made me fall in love with photography all over again.

300516 XT10 6639 Edit web

The camera is really customisable, with plenty of features that made it an indispensable tool. Important things like being easily able to set up a button to turn the viewfinder Exposure preview off for my studio work- meaning it shows the scene in front of you, but not how it’s exposed. I could also turn the exposure preview back on to see how the photo are would look exactly when using natural light. I now find it hard to go back to digital SLRs, I have gotten so used to the electronic viewfinder on the X-T10. Why? Because with exposure preview on, what you see in the viewfinder is exactly what the photo looks like. And because I’ve the preview time set to 0.5 sec, I’m straight on to composing the next shot as my photo flashes by. (I’d even go shorter if it were possible).

20160315 Kerrie 6028 Edit Edit web

For easy access I’ve set a single press of the shutter speed dial to change it to the control to ISO. The camera focuses directly from the sensor, so the focus point can be anywhere on the image. I’m not restricted to the centre of the image like most digital SLR’s. By adding more glass to the system I’ve gained a lot of options. I now run from 12mm to 140mm, which is 18mm to 210mm in full frame terms. I have that Samyang 12mm, the Fuji 18mm, 35mm, 60mm, 18-55mm, and 50-140mm. This covers what I need for work. Had the camera not worked out, I’d have sold the what I had and continued with Canon full time. But fortunately, the X-T10 just clicked with me.

20160430 MaximumResultsShoot 1850 web

I don’t believe the system is complete yet but there is bright news on the horizon. One thing I missed from Canon is high speed sync(HSS). Fuji do not have it implemented in their flash system, though the new flash the EF-X500, will have HSS and an optical trigger system. Chinese manufacturer Cactus have announced version two of their V6 trigger which is multisystem compatible and will work with Fuji (including HSS). That solves my main concern with the system and flash. The remaining concern is flash in low light. Digital SLRs can use a red focus assist being to create contrast, allowing the lens to focus. Because mirrorless cameras focus from the sensor they really need light to focus. Hopefully this can be resolved so I can use Fuji for nightclub work and sell my Canon gear.

090416 GalwayEvening 6950 web

I’d like to talk about my progression with the camera. Initially I only used the Fuji for personal work, but as time passed I started using it more and more for commercial work. There were a lot of benefits to the system. The Wi-Fi connectivity was helpful for remote photography allowing me to shoot rooms while not present for my interiors work. I could set up the shot, turn on the Wi-Fi, then leave the room. From on my phone or tablet (iOS or Android) I could see the shot and remotely change the settings on the camera. It also enabled me to put the camera up on a tall pole making use of height for elevation photography. I also love the tilt screen for interiors. I tend to shoot slight about mid room height, so being able to angle the screen is perfect.

181115 TeresaCasserly 3857 web

For my people work I found the electronic viewfinder helped me nail more images. Because what you see is what you get you know before you shoot exactly what the shot is going to look like. For travel and speaking, the X-T10 with four prime lenses weighs less that my Canon Digital SLR. I’ve been able to fit the camera, the four prime lenses (12,18,35 & 60), a flash (Neewer TT850), triggers, spare batteries, memory cards and charger in a camera bag smaller than the Ryanair second carry on bag. Meaning my normal check-in bag is for my clothes again! Now if only there was room for a 7″ tablet in the small bag.

030416 Edel Ewa 6857 Edit Edit 2 web

I am a member of the IPPA the Irish Professional Photographers Association. At one of the Association meetings I met Irish Fuji X photographer, Tom Doherty. Tom explained a little bit about the process of becoming Fuji X photographer so I made contact with Fuji Ireland. From that initial contact I was eventually made a Fuji X photographer myself. I was absolutely delighted when this happened. It’s amazing that a camera, especially one of the cheaper cameras, could have made such an impact on my photography and I’m delighted to be included with this group of ambassadors for Fujifilm.

250116 untitled 1 web

Over the past few months I’ve been working with GalwayNOW doing some of their editorials and business sections. It’s been a joy to do this work, and the X-T10 has met no resistance with clients. Using either an Eye-Fi Card, or the Remote app, I show work as we go. Tether is definitely beneficial, so I really hope that we can get wifi tether added to the current wifi options.

020616 Airbnb 7517 web 310516 HeatherHeights 6755 web

I’m still speaking and teaching a lot. I did classes for The Societies Convention in January, and got to hang with Nathan Wake from Fuji UK-total gent. I’ve also taught at a residential week in Buxton in the UK, again using the Fuji. The most recent event was for the IPPA, where I did a half day class in flash, showing the X-T10 in operation. I did pull out the Canon for about 20 minutes to show HSS.

20160519 Buxton 5247 web 230116 untitled 8747 web

I see myself getting more lenses, the new flash, and the rumoured X-T2. Quite a turnaround from where I was just over a year ago! So after a year, is there anything I’d change? Well, I’m delighted with it, but yes there are things. One of them is huge. I’d lose the Drive dial. It’s worse than useless. It forever getting changed when I don’t want it too. Fortunately I know quickly now, but it had me confused. The times I need to change it are few and far between, and I’d rather have an ISO dial than a Drive dial. One thing I need for interiors is more accurate electronic levels. The current one has too wide a range to be useful and I use a hotshot bubble level instead. I also need an up down level so walls are straight. Canon do have one, and it’s great. Faster preview time too, like 0.3 or 0.2 sec. Um.. I’m sure there’s more, but honestly, the features are so good in general. Here’s to the next year with Fuji.

20160526 Va 6041 Edit web
MaxW0616

The May/June issue of Photoshop User (with Lightroom) Magazine is out now. In my monthly Column, Maximum Workflow, I do a walkthrough of Nik’s Analog EFEX Pro app. It’s part of the Google Nik Collection, which was recently made free of charge by Google. Analog EFEX is a great program with loads of retro looks available.