Fujifilm

A Walk On The East Side

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It feels like a while since I shot some street photography in Edinburgh. I had an hour to spare while I was in the capital last week and decided to pull out the X70 for some Zone Focusing fun.

1 Hour 47 Minutes of Street

As the title would suggest; this post contains my favourite shots from 1 hour, 47 minutes on the street. Less than that really because I spent around 20 minutes in book shops). My first shot of the day was in the train station just after I got off the train (minding the gap) and the last was back at the station, just before I bought the train. I took 175 pictures, all of them on the Fujifilm X70. All were shot using the zone focus method and possibly all of them were taken at f8, 1/500th of a sec on Auto ISO. I used my EV compensation dial to adjust for changes in light (walking into shade, facing the sun etc). I selected 52 out of the 175, edited 34 in colour and then made virtual copies in black and white. I exported 62 pictures (31 colour, 31 b&w) and if my count is right, I have posted 26 of them here (6 colour, 20 b&w).

The light was really nice today. The way it bounced off buildings as the sun dropped lower in the sky was fantastic. Here in the UK we get extremes when it comes to the amount of daylight hours. In the winter it gets dark around 4 pm, but in the summer months we have daylight well past 10 pm. There’s almost 9 hours more daylight between the summer and the winter solstices, which is probably why we’re all pale and miserable here during the winter:o)

Spring Forward & Patches Of Light

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I’ve shot a boatload of street since the beginning of the year. Like anything we do a lot of, we start to develop our craft. It’s the 10,000-hour rule I suppose. Something that I’ve become really aware of lately is knowing where the light will be good at certain times of the day. I know on certain street corners that the light will drop between a couple of buildings and that it will bounce off glass and steel before reaching the pavement (sidewalk). The colours are fantastic and it really enhances the Classic Chrome film simulation in my Fuji cameras. I also know where to go next when the light disappears from my favorite corner.

We moved our clocks forward at the weekend for British summertime, so all the good light will be an hour later than usual. Pretty soon the sun will go down even later and the streets will be empty when all the good light is available. March might just be my new favorite month for street photography, but let's not wipe out April when it just began.

These pictures were shot with the Fuji X70 (28mm) and the X-Pro2 with the 16mm f2.8 (24mm).

Of course, I cannot neglect the monochrome side of things just because the light was great for colour. As always, all my black and white street pictures are post-processed using Nik, Silver Efex Pro (now owned by DXO and well worth the money).

Fujifilm 16mm f2.8: Too Wide?

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There is a sweet spot in wide angle street photography lenses. Just like the push and pull of the exposure triangle, there are trade-offs with different focal lengths, especially when zone focusing. The compromise of getting in really close, but having lots of depth of field to add a bit of forgiveness when judging the distance between your camera and the subject. If this isn’t making much sense, you might want to go and read my post on How To Zone Focus first and then come back here.

I love a 28mm lens (full frame equivalent) when I’m zone focusing, which is why my Fuji Fuji X70 is one of my favourite cameras for this type of street shooting. I love the classic 35mm focal length when I’m using a viewfinder on a camera like the X100F, but when shooting from the hip, that extra depth of field the 28mm gives me can be the difference between coming home with lots of good shots or coming home with just a few.

I get that 28mm can be a bit wide for some photographers on the street (especially beginners) because it forces you to get in close. But it just works in so many different levels. At f8 and focused to 6’, everything between 5’ and 8’ will be in focus (possibly even more). At f11 and focus set to 5’ I can get everything in focus between 4’ and 8’ and those are good distances to work at with a 28mm lens

I hit the street the other day with the 16/2.8, a tiny wide-angle gem of a lens. But as soon as I started taking pictures, I was reminded of just how much difference a few millimeters can make at the wide end, which would mean next to nothing on a telephoto lens. The Fujinon Super EBC XF 16mm f2.8 R WR (to give it it’s the full title) is a full-frame equivalent to a 24mm, but those 4mm between 24mm and a 28mm feels huge when you’re trying to judge how big in the frame someone will be. The difference of a second or two when someone is walking toward you is massive, and if you wait too long or if the camera has any kind of lag between shutter press and actual shutter release, the moment has gone. But press too soon and the subject appears way smaller in the frame than you can imagine. It takes a bit of practice and there is very little wiggle room, so I’ll be heading back out soon to try to get it right.

Another problem is the urge to point the camera up. I was using the X-Pro2 and it doesn’t have a tilt screen, so it’s complete guesswork. When I’m out with my X70 (28mm equivalent), I can pull the flip screen out just a fraction, which is just enough to make a rough composition. I don’t like tilt screens on my rangefinder style cameras, but if the X-E3 had one I’d probably buy it for street (even though it doesn’t have a D-Pad on the back).

But check those leading lines when shooting building from a slightly lower angle. Epic!

Berlin Street Photography

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Here's a random selection of street pictures from Berlin in both colour and black and white. These were shot last year during a bit of a heatwave, but although it was a little too sticky walking for hours on the streets of Berlin, it was a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll get back to Germany some day for more street photography.

BLACK AND WHITE

COLOUR

Photo 24 London

This is a selection of street photography shots I did while in London to lead some photowalks for Fujifilm UK at the recent(ish) Photo24 London event. The name probably gives it away, but basically, it's an annual event that has photographers of all levels hitting the London streets for a full 24 hours. Various events are laid on through the day to keep participants going and to keep things interesting, including photowalks during the day by me and others at night by Matt Hart.

It was a great event organised by Photography News and sponsored by Fujifilm UK. There was also the chance to borrow Fujifilm equipment and test drive it on the streets for free. Look out for next years Photo 24 London event if this is the sort of thing that floats your boat.

All of these pictures were shot in the Classic Chrome film simulation on either the Fujifilm X100F or X70. Basically anything that looks as though it was shot from a low angle is from the X70 using the Zone Focusing Method.

Street Photography With The Fujifilm 90mm f2

As a follow up to my review of the Fuji 90mm f2, I thought I'd throw up some of the street shots I took at the Edinburgh Festival with said lens. The 90mm comes out at 135mm in full frame terms, which is 100mm longer than I tend to shoot on the street...just saying. The order is a bit random, but so is life!

The 90mm was a blast on the street. Even at f2, the autofocus locked on and the look is fantastic. I tend to shoot at around f8 with a 35mm on the street, so it's kinda refreshing to see the buttery smooth shallow depth of field that the 90mm produces. I've recently picked up the new 35mm f2? So far I'm really impressed with the performance and at £299 in the UK it didn't break the bank. I'll get out soon and shoot some street with it, so stay tuned. I could do with an X-Pro2 to go along with the 35mm f2 now :o)

Paris Street Photography 2015

Here's a selection of street photos from a trip to Paris earlier this year. Paris is definitely a great place to shoot street, and although their laws are a little more strict on taking pictures of the public than they are in most countries, I was never challenged in any way. I had my usual routine when I'm in a foreign country of getting up around 6am and walking for hours, which is why the streets don't look too busy in these pictures.

These were shot with a mixture of the X100T with the fixed 23mm or the Wide Conversion Lens, and the X-T1 with the 35mm or 56mm. I don't really like the shape of the X-T1 for street photography, so on a more recent trip to New York, I took the X100T and X-E2. But more on that later.

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World Press Photo And A Wet Edinburgh Festival

A trip to Edinburgh with two of my photography buddies to visit the world Press Photo Exhibition gave me a chance to grab some street photos.

I don't do politics, but Jeremy Corbyn, who could be the next leader of the labour party here in the UK and then possibly Prime Minister, just happen to cross my lens on arrival at the train station.

Even though there has been a lot of controversy over the last year or so with World Press Photo, it was great to see this years exhibition in the Scottish Parliament building.

9 From The Hip

9 photos shot from the hip using zone focus with my trusty X100S. Sometimes it's nice to get a lower point of view. These were also taken on a great day out with Kevin Mullins &co on the cold streets of Glasgow (Scotland). Street works best alone, but it's nice to get together with other street photographers sometimes.

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