Fujifilm X100

Bladder Man

Do I need to say more than the title? :o)

I had a really great day out with fellow X-Photographer Kevin Mullins & Co in Glasgow today shooting street photography. Did anybody spot us? Long day but well worth it. Plus I have a bunch of new stuff to post here on 35mmStreet. Always good to meet a nice bunch of fellow street photographers.

Anatomy Of A Street Shot

I was about to post this shot with a few others from the same day, but as it's one of a sequence of three, I thought it might be good to have a look at them together to see the reasons one is chosen over the other. A lot of street photography is about one shot. Someone walks toward you, you take the shot and they're gone, never to be repeated ever again. But sometimes you have a chance to fire of two or three. This was one of those times because the dog slowed things down. I  shot this in Glasgow (Scotland) with the X100. It's still my favourite street camera, even though I now have the 23mm f1.4 (35mm full frame) for the X-Pro1. There's just something special about this tiny silent camera. As a side note - the X100s in black was announced yesterday...food for thought.

SHOT 1: I like this street as it has character, but it's not usually busy. I think this was my second shot of the day. I saw this guy walking his dog and I liked the contrast of the long dark coat and the odd wooly dog. I knew we were a bit far apart for the 35mm field of view, but as it was only my second shot of the day, I took a test shot and checked the photo in the viewfinder. If you are not familiar with the Fuji X100 ( and XPro1), the viewfinder has a tiny screen that slides in when you take a shot and let's you see the photo without chimping on the camera LCD. My exposure was ok. The Sky was a bit blown out, but it was a grey day and it was more important to expose for the street. But I knew this wouldn't be a keeper. I knew that before I pressed the shutter.

SHOT 2: I moved closer and he moved closer. I crouched low to get a better angle. This is the shot that works best for me. It has strong leading lines that take the viewers eye to both subjects. It doesn't matter if your eye reached the man or the dog first because the tight lead that connects them also causes you to shift from one to the other. I really like the pose, it's a little stiff with one foot slightly raised and twisted as it leaves the kerb. The expression is good and makes you wonder what's going on in his life. He has things on his mind that might be worrying him. I also like the man walking in the opposite direction on the other side of the street and the 'Beer Cafe' sign seems to suit the overall look of this street too. There's a lot of elements that just work in this shot and it's the one I chose as the keeper.

SHOT 3: This shot is usable, but a lot of the elements that worked in shot 2 are missing. The man on the left has almost gone, the dog lead is hanging loose and doesn't work as well as a leading line.  Although the main subjects pose is ok, his expression is nowhere near as good. In this shot he looks more annoyed at me taking pictures than lost in his own thoughts. This is all subjective of course and I realise some of you will prefer shot 3 over shot 2. But for me there is more to keep my attention in the second shot. It's important to take the time to study a shot. We tend to fast forward everything in this digital world, but there's nothing better than sitting down with a cup of tea or coffee and a big photography book.

Hong Kong Streets

I caught the earliest ferry from Lamma Island at 6:20am. 15 minutes later it arrived at pier 4 at Hong Kong, with the X100 ready to go. I wanted to get on the streets of HK early enough to shoot people arriving for work and avoid the 36 degree heat.

Hong Kong is a fantastic place for a street photographer, but being here early in the day was just magical. I was listening to an album on my iPhone called 'Flumina' by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Fennesz. It's a mixture of ambient synth and piano, it couldn't have been any more suitable for shooting street in such a Blade Runneresque city scape. I walked and shot on the HK streets for around three hours and it was like therapy. All I had to think about was what was in my frame.

This was also my first proper street shoot with the Fujinon 18-55mm f2.8-f4. I hadn't thought of it as a street lens, but it focuses pretty quick on the X-E1. The light is amazing in Asia and the colours from the X-Trans sensor look so great that it's a crime to convert some of them to black and white. For that reason, I'll post some colour shots from this crop on my photography blog (link at the end of this post). The shot bellow was created with a combination of long exposure and zooming. The one bellow that was a long exposure shot with the camera on a window ledge. I used a two second timer to avoid camera shake.


Street photography is a loaners sport. You need to get in the zone and in my opinion, that only happens when you're alone. it takes great concentration, but it should never feel like you're concentrating. I think I've said it before on this blog. It's photography jazz, you learn your scales (or in our case shutter speeds and apertures) and then you don't have to think about it. You just feel.

That's it for this post. Don't forget to have a look at my other blog for some colour shots by clicking HERE. And if you missed my post on the equipment I'm carrying on this trip, click HERE. I'll post more street photos from Asia as soon as I can. I've just got back to Hong Kong after a two day trip to Macau, so I'll have some shots from that crop soon. I'll also be in the Philippines soon.

Pickin-Up The Pieces

35mmStreet.com.DSCF2475-Edit A few shots from last week. 1 and 3 are from the X100 and number 2 is from the X-Pro1 (or maybe the X-E1). I'm so busy shooting and editing various things right now, portraits, events and documentary stuff for The Kage Collective. So I just wanted to post a few shots for now. If you're in the maket for an X100, check out the reviews by Patrick La Roque and Kevin Mullins. If you haven't seen it already, take a look at Paul Pride's new essay on Kage Collective called Spray35mmStreet.com.DSCF1951-Edit 35mmStreet.com.DSCF2471-Edit

Shooting Street Photography With The Fujifilm X100

35mmStreet.com.DSCF2155-Edit I get asked a lot about how I use the X100 when shooting street photography, so here it is.

My X100 Set-Up: I usually shoot at an aperture of f8 when doing street work. It gives a decent depth of field and should yield more keepers than if shooting wide open. Shallow depth of field (wide apertures) leaves little room for errors in focusing. I use Auto ISO set to a maximum of 3200, with the shutter speed set to a minimum of 125th sec. I find this shutter speed to be as low as a I like to go, unless I'm deliberately trying to add motion blur. The ability to set the Min shutter speed in Auto ISO is the main reason I prefer the X100 over the X-Pro1 and X-E1 (although I do use them for street from time to time). Another reason is the 35mm (full frame) lens that is perfect for street or documentary work. I also set Sharpness to Med-Hard (I tend to +1 the sharpness in all my Fuji cameras). I really like my X100 for street photography, but I think the X100s will be one of the best street cameras available! But with three X cameras in my arsenal, I can't justify the £1100 without offloading something first...or can I? One more thing...I use auto focus, rather than zone focusing.

35mmStreet.com.DSCF2150-Edit-2Post Processing: My street photography post processing is minimalist to say the least. I'd rather be shooting than sitting in front of the computer! My basic workflow is this. Inside my Light Room pictures folder, I wave a folder called Street Photography (it took me a while to come up with that one). Inside that, I make another folder and call it Street Photog-(place)-(Date). I then throw the photos from the days shoot in there and then import them into LR4. I flick through them and hit P for pick for all the keepers. I then filter the Picks and if I want to narrow them down ever more, I hit 7 to flag it as yellow. Yellow tends to be for printing or blogging. I then send the photos that have been flagged as yellow over to Nik's Silver Efex Pro. I have three versions of a the same preset, one -1 stop, one +1 stop and one in the middle. I can basically hit one of these presets and it's job done. The preset is one that I've refined over the last year.

35mmStreet.com.DSCF2139-EditWhat I Look For: I look for anything that stands out. It could be the way someone's dressed, their hair, their skin might show a full lifetime of wear and tear. I like a bit of humour too, sometimes you see it at the point of capture, sometimes it's in post. Composition is a big thing and I always have my focus point over to the left or over to the right (rule of 3rds style). If I'm walking close to the buildings on a street, my focus point will be on the opposite side, because that's the side people will be passing me.

I hope this has been of some use? If I've missed anything pop it in the comments and I'll reply there or add it to the bottom of the post. If you found this post useful, you might also like The Digital Contact Sheet :: Episode 5, where I take a contact sheet and show how I choose and edit sone of my documentary shots.

Professional Photographer Of The Year Finalist

PPOTYnews I'm delighted to be a finalist in The Professional Photographer Of The Year Awards. I received an email yesterday confirming I was in the final ten of the News category. A lot of the finalist photographs from all categories will be featured in the April edition of Professional Photographer Magazine (on sale in March) and the winners will be announced at the awards event in Cheltenham at the end of March.

Mean Streets with the X100

Doorway1000 The X-Pro1 and the X-E1 are great cameras, but when it comes to street photography, I keep coming back to the X100. It's a couple of things really, like the 23mm lens (35mm full frame wise) and the extremely quiet leaf shutter. The 35mm and the 18mm are great lenses, but for me, on the street, I like the classic 35mm angle of view. But then the title of the blog might have given that away!

Hanging Around

I'm having a bit of a clear out right now. I haven't been feeling too great recently so I've not been able to shoot much street. But to keep things moving along here on 35mmStreet I thought I'd post some shots that I didn't get round to posting closer to when they were shot. The first two are from Venice and were taken back in May this year when I was in Italy and shot Running Into Darkness, which can be seen at The Kage Collective. The second two were shot at this years Edinburgh Festival.-120514DSCF4238-Edit