When I’m not shooting weddings, I’m normally off doing headshots, studio work, landscapes and all that!
A few weeks back I was shooting in the studio with the very talented Lucy.
The shots were very simple, in all but one of these images it was just me, Lucy, a camera and a single light, nothing to fancy.
I don’t post too much non-wedding stuff on this site, but if you are on Instagram or ‘Gram (as I once heard a pro photographer refer to it as) and you want to see what I’m up to or want to keep in touch – heard over and find me!
With all my wedding couples I love to give them the option of having colour and black & white images – often when I’m editing I lean towards the black & white images, but sometimes a colour one stands out.
When I met up with Claire and Josh a few weeks back we had to deal with wind and rain. Early on I could see that the black & white images were going to stand out and I really wanted to give a sense of the weather we were shooting in. In this shot I’m using Josh to give a sense of depth whilst focusing on Claire; I positioned Claire so the wind would play games with her hair – and it worked and the image for me is full of character and depth.
The only thing I’m not sure about is whether I prefer the colour or the black & white version…?
Along with shooting weddings, I also do a lot of headshot work. A lot of companies now have an online gallery of their key staff members and I’m also seeing a lot of individuals taking more care with their own online identity.
With the rise of Linkedin people realise that to look ‘professional’ they need to look ‘professional’ – so no Snapchat filters or startled look headshots – people see the need to get a professional to take their picture and capture a good headshot.
This image was from a recent shoot using the Godox AD600 light as the main light and two Godox AD200’s firing into my Lastolite Hilite. Its a wonderfully portable set-up which requires very little space and fits in the back of my Brabus Smart Car.
If you are interested in having a professional headshot for your social media or job application – please get in touch.
2017 was a cracking year for Fujifilm and the lovers of flash photography; especially high speed sync.
Fuji has been behind the times when it comes to off camera and TBH on camera flash options. When I first got my XT1 the options were very limited for on-camera flash – we had the small Fujifilm EF-X20 (which I still use) and the Fujifilm EF-42 Flashgun – which was a rebadge flash from China and it was pants. As for off-camera flash – you had to use third party triggers and they didn’t play ball with each other – at least not when I used them.
About 18 months ago Fujifilm launched the Fujifilm EF-X500 TTL Flash which I own and use at every wedding. It’s a nice flash but again Fujifilm was behind the times – for example, it was £500 for a single flash and if you wanted to trigger it off camera using TTL you had to buy another one… WTF and so I didn’t bother with off-camera flash. But £500 was the price for a single Fujifilm EF-X500 TTL Flash and that’s what I had to pay to get all the functions I wanted in a flash and because it was a Fujifilm brand, I knew that new camera firmware would not cause problems with the flash (unlike Nissin flash and Fujifilm firmware).
But during 2017 something happened – Fuji started to give out or let 3rd party manufacturers have use of their flash protocols, and now pretty much all manufacturers (except you Elinchrom…) now offer full Fujifilm compatibility – Profoto has recently launched their own Fujifilm specific trigger (although its far too expensive for what it is).
One of the early companies to offer full Fuji support including TTL and HSS was Godox / Flashpoint / Pixapro (all the same but different branding). And what they have developed in a short space of time has been immense. Godox / Flashpoint / Pixapro have developed some really unique flash products and have done it for a good price and now I’m all in and I love the results.
I currently own 2x Godox AD200’s a Godox AD-B2 dual head mount and a PIXAPRO CITI 600. The photo’s you are seeing on this page are all shot with the Godox AD200’s using the AD-B2 head and mounted in a Bowens mount octagon softbox.
When you mount the two AD200’s together you get 400 w of power which I have found to be just enough power for some high speed sync Fujifilm loveliness. The shot above was shot at 1/500th of a second, ISO 100 @ F2 using my stunning Fujifilm GFX and the GF110 lens. As it was shot in open shade I didn’t need to go full power – unlike the image at the top of the page which was shot at 1/1000th of a second with the other settings the same – this shot was just about the maximum I could get out of the flashes without having to move the flash closer or removing some diffusion from the softbox.
Because the Godox AD200’s are battery powered and can last for 500 full power flashes you don’t need to carry a big battery pack around with you like the Elinchrom Quadra stuff I use to use with my Canon – it was PITA and the sodding cables always used to get in the way! – But thankfully that is no more, in this shot I hid the flash on my right hand side just around the corner. This was a good test of the Godox X1T-F trigger as I was a good distance away, using TTL and BOOM it fired and the shot came out great.
People think that high-speed sync is only useful for overpowering the sun when you want to keep the detail in the sky and you want that dramatic look – but high-speed sync can also be a godsend in the studio.
The above shot was taken in the studio with the sun coming in from the overhead glass panels and the glass doors – which is not what we wanted for this shot. We wanted to control the ambient light and let James be lit with the flash and nothing else. We also wanted to use F2.. well because it looks amazing on the Fuji GFX.
We needed to use a very quick shutter speed to get rid of the ambient light in the room and that meant – high-speed sync. The above shot was ISO 100, F2 and 1/1000th of a second – not the normal settings for a portrait in a studio, but we knew the shot we wanted and we knew the only way of getting to F2 (and not F16) was to use high speed sync – and it worked and the results when viewed on a proper monitor are breathtaking.
So I’m a month into ownership of the Godox stuff and I can say that I’m soooo impressed with the quality, the build and the light that they produce.
I have a few more shoots lined up and will be posting a few more things over the coming weeks.
About a year or so ago Fujifilm introduced the Fujifilm Professional Service, this is pro level support for customers who have purchased qualifying products.
As soon as Fuji opened the registration, I was there with all my gear ready to get everything registered on their dedicated site.
With a break in my weddings for a good few weeks I thought it was time to get a few things looked at on one of my XT2’s and get the other booked in for its annual checkup, body clean and most importantly the sensor clean.
I gave Fujifilm abuzz last Friday (12th of Jan) and spoke to a helpful service advisor who pointed me to the Fujifilm repair centre website. From here I login in using my FPS details picked which item on my account I wanted to repair and after I submitted my payment details I got an email confirming that packaging would be sent to me free of charge along with details for postage.
Now – I thought that would take a while, but amazing the return packaging was delivered to me on the Saturday (13th of Jan).
I followed the instructions and got the cameras packed up and popped in the 1 pm guaranteed delivery bag that they sent.
Monday (15th) I took a trip to the post office and handed over my parcel – making sure to get a receipt of posting. Now I expected Fuji to get the camera’s on Tuesday, have them for a few days and maybe return them the following week – But NO!
Fuji sent me a text to say that they had received the camera’s and they will be looked at ASAP. Later on the Tuesday (16th), I had a further text to say that my cameras had been repaired, cleaned and had been dispatched…. then another text from DPD the delivery company to say that my cameras would be delivered back to me on the Wednesday! (17th)
I had a simple clean on one of my XT’2, the other one I had lost the half press action on the shutter button and the screws for the tripod mount had fallen out – so that bit just rattled around. For the shutter button issue, they have replaced the whole top plate section of the camera.
The clean was free, but the repair was done at a standard charge – which was £153 after the FPS discount – £180 without the discount.
Fujifilm has waived the annual fee for the first two years of registering yourself as an FPS member after the two years there is an annual charge of £260 a year. This might seem a bit steep to casual shooters, but for someone that relies heavily on my cameras to be able to shoot weddings, £260 is nothing when you consider how quickly the repair took and the annual clean.
Really good – I couldn’t have asked for better. I registered the repair on the Friday and got the camera’s back on Wednesday – short of me going to Fujifilm with the cameras and waiting for them to be repaired, I’m not sure they could have done it any quicker. It really has given me comfort that not only do Fujifilm look after us shooters with firmware updates etc.. but they look after us if something goes wrong.
Now time for the GFX to get cleaned!