Blog - Lighttraveler

Light Traveler

  • Tue, 25 Sep 2018 09:35:13 +0000

    Ireland with the X100F
    DSCF0408Fujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 Soft Grad

    If you read my previous blog post or watched my YouTube video you will know I have just been to Ireland for the first time in years.

    I had a rough time in Ireland with my health so did not achieve all I wanted but had a relaxing time apart from the times I was kept awake all night with Gallstone Pain.

    DSCF0400Fujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG

    I was going to shoot lots of video but did not feel up to it so there is just a short film on YouTube this time.

    DSCF0323Fujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG

    My previous blog post was all about the iphone and how amazing it was to have with me so that I could shoot, process and upload the images in seconds.

    This is just post it just to share a few of the images I shot in Ireland with the Fujifilm X100F my favorite camera in the Fujifilm range for so many reasons and even though I have just brought two X-T3’s for Landscape and Video they will never beat the weight and ease of use of the X100F.

    DSCF0412Fujifilm X100F 0.9 SG

    I really did not want to be carrying a tripod and bags of gear with me everywhere I went in Ireland so kept it really simple. Canon G7X MKII in my pocket for video and back up, X100F over my shoulder and iphone in my pocket.

    DSCF0406Fujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG

    I have to confess to mostly using the iphone and then second came the X100F and last the G7X.

    IMG_0527Fujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG

    We were blessed with Storm Ali whilst we were in Northern Ireland so managed to get some interesting shots of the Giants Causeway and with storm force winds it was quite a challenge at times.

    DSCF0299-EditFujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG DSCF0319-EditFujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG

    I used the X100F with a Lee Filters 0.9 Grad handheld in front of the lens just to darken the sky and keep the spray off my lens on most of the shots.

    IMG_0538-EditFujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG

    We had an amazing time and now I have to put together a workshop on Achill Island with Matt Walkley so will leave you to look at a few of the images I made with the X100F.

    I am moving to YouTube next year so feel free to hop on over to YouTube and subscribe and hit the bell, that way you can see what I am up to in 2019.

    IMG_0481-EditFujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG DSCF0246-EditFujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG DSCF0427-EditFujifilm X100F Lee 0.9 SG

     

     

     

  • Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:20:05 +0000

    Ireland break.
    01EBFA37-8EB4-4510-8250-9A27D77244A7iphone7

    Working as a full time Professional Photographer is not easy at times and the hardest part it taking a break and  going on Holiday. When photography was a hobby you used to get really excited about you next trip to try out that new bit of kit.

    When you are full time you try and think of a way to take photos on holiday but not to weigh your self down with lots of camera gear.

    This time I managed to fit all my kit in to one bag and that’s a first. I needed to bring video kit for my YouTube channel and keep the stills kit to a minimum.

    Now I am putting more time in to YouTube the video kit comes first and that has forced me to look for smaller stills kit. On this trip I just brought the Fujifilm X100F and the Canon G7X Mark II ( the G7X also double as a video camera for hand held stuff) I brought the Canon M50 and the Canon 200D for vlogging, these will soon be replaced by two Fujifilm X-T3s.

    This trip so far it’s been a struggle  to shoot video as I have been having gallbladder issues for a few months now and trust me gallstone pain is not nice and has been wiping me out for up to 8 hours so I have not had time to shoot and edit much video and the stills have fallen by the wayside so far !

    I have managed a few iphone shots and a couple with my G7X but that is about it.

    IMG_0443-EditAthlone Canon G7X Mark II

    People don’t like to admit it but smartphones are so easy to use and we have them with us all the time so in reality they really are great unless you need a large image. I have blown my iphone7 images up to 10 x 8 and they are great.

    So on this break to Ireland I think my iphone will come in to its own.

    All iphone 7 images edited in SnapSeed.

    I won’t have time to do a YouTube update this week but will get something uploaded as soon as I get back.

    IMG_6190iphone7 IMG_0462-EditCanon G7X Mark II

     

    IMG_6173iphone7 E7EA32BF-6C72-44B3-B202-0585210CD3C0iphone7 2E0F946C-68A3-40BF-A3B2-2CCC29412902iphone7 B858436B-8BF4-4754-B880-41491EA2CD77iphone7 F92496FA-CB80-41AA-8CCC-1B1E47EE7B55iphone7 IMG_6194iphone7 C60A4105-F8BF-413D-BA8D-D5FA33769A68iphone7 7E282027-8F29-4262-8B3A-32A8F32E705Ciphone7 
  • Thu, 06 Sep 2018 06:52:20 +0000

    Fujifilm introduces the iconic X-T3

    X Series’ evolution into the 4th generation…

    Fujifilm introduces the iconic X-T3

     

    A complete upgrade: including an all-new back-illuminated 26MP X-Trans CMOS 4 (*1) sensor and X-Processor 4 image processing engine.  The X-T3 offers superb image quality and enhanced ability to track moving subjects – with substantial AF performance improvement and blackout-free burst shooting.  The FUJIFILM X-T3 mirrorless digital camera is the world’s first *2 APS-C mirrorless camera capable of 4K/60P 10 bit recording to meet the needs of professional videographers.

    FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that it will release the FUJIFILM X-T3 (hereinafter “X-T3”), the latest model in the X Series of mirrorless digital cameras, renowned for their unique colour reproduction technology to deliver outstanding image quality in both stills and video.

    X-T3_Black_Front+XF18-55mm.jpgThe X Series began with the 2011 release of X100. The X-Pro1, released in 2012, became the first model to feature the X-Trans CMOS sensor, which uses a unique colour filter array based on FUJIFILM’s extensive photographic expertise to achieve exceptional image-resolving performance and control of false colours at the same time, as well as the EXR Professor Pro image processing engine compatible with the sensor. For seven years, the X Series and its sensor – image processing engine combination have continued to evolve, with the company unveiling “X-Trans CMOS II” / “EXR Processor Pro II” in the X-T1, released in 2014, and “X-Trans CMOS III” / “X-Processor Pro” in the X-Pro2 and X-T2, released in 2016. The three generations of evolution have constantly advanced the X Series’ image quality and mobility.

     

    The latest model, X-T3, features the new X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 image processing engine, ushering in a new, fourth generation of the X Series.

     

    X-T3_Black_Front+XF18-55mm+VPB-XT3

     

    X-Trans CMOS 4: This is the back-illuminated APS-C sensor with more than 4 times the number of phase detection pixels than current models (*3), distributed across the surface. It boasts a high S/N ratio and the lowest sensitivity of ISO160 despite its 26MP resolution. The low-light autofocus limit has also been extended to -3EV, enabling accurate AF even in low light conditions, e.g. scene lit only with candlelight.

     

    X Processor 4: This engine has 4 CPU units to achieve image processing speed about 3 times faster than that of current models (*3). Not only boosting AF accuracy and speed substantially, the engine is the world’s first (*2) to delivers 4K/60P 10bit output, meeting the needs of professional videographers, in a mirrorless camera equipped with a sensor in the APS-C size or larger. It is also capable of instantaneously handling complex image processing tasks such as FUJIFILM’s unique “Colour Chrome Effect” and “Monochrome Adjustment” function, achieving Warm Black / Cool Black tone in digital, which is adopted as one of the way of expression for monochrome print in silver halide film.

     

    The X-T3 takes full advantage of the capability of these fourth-generation devices to enjoy significant performance improvement.

     

    Higher image quality: Highest level of 26.1MP resolution in APS-C size sensor. Also, it achieves keeps as low level of noise as current models (*3) even increasing the number of pixels.

     

    Dramatically improved AF performance: 1.5 times faster processing speed than current models (*3) to deliver faster and more accurate AF, and substantially enhanced performance in face / eye detection AF thanks to 2.16M phase detection pixels arrayed at entire frame.

    X-T3_Black_Back+VPB-XT3.jpg

    Significant improvement in tracking performance of fast-moving subject: Delivering blackout-free continuous shooting (*4) of up to 30 fps while using smooth Live View of 60fps to check your subject.

    Video performance for professionals: Supporting 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit internal SD card recording as well as 4K/60P 4:2:2 10bit HDMI output, which can be filmed at the same time. Also, featuring the video-specialized Film Simulation mode “ETERNA,” popular with the X-H1.

     

    *1 X-TransTM is FUJIFILM Corporation’s trademark or registered trademark. The sensor has a unique non-periodic filter array to reduce the appearance of moire patterns and false colours without the use of an optical low-pass filter.

    *2 As of September 6, 2018, according to FUJIFILM data

    *3 Comparison with current models “FUJIFILM X-T2” and “FUJIFILM X-H1”

    *4 Available only when using the electronic shutter

     

    Main Features

     

    Use of the Series’ fourth-generation devices, new sensor “X-Trans CMOS 4” and new processor “X-Processor 4,” for the highest image resolving performance, colour reproducibility and fastest processing in the history of the X Series

    • The X-T3 features the X Series’ fourth-generation APS-C sensor, newly developed “X-Trans CMOS 4” (26.1MP, without low-pass filter). It uses the unique colour filter array synonymous to X-Trans CMOS sensors to control moire and false colours and adopts the Series’ first back-illuminated structure to improve image resolution without compromising the S/N ratio. Furthermore, the sensitivity of ISO160, previously available only as extended ISO, is now part of the normal ISO range. It is very useful in daylight outdoor shooting or when trying to achieve bokeh with a fast large-aperture lens.

     

    • The X-T3 uses the new “X-Processor 4” image processing engine to add the new “monochrome adjustment” function to the Film Simulation modes, which are based on FUJIFILM’s proprietary technology to deliver diverse colour expressions. Warm black and cool black, conventionally achieved with a choice of specific photographic papers and developers, have been faithfully reproduced digitally to broaden the scope of monochrome expressions. This function is available in the standard “Monochrome” mode as well as the “ACROS” mode, which provides smooth halftones, deep blacks and beautiful textures.

     

    • The “Colour Chrome Effect,” previously only available in FUJIFILM’s medium-format mirrorless digital camera “GFX50S,” is featured in the X-T3, the first in the X Series. The effect produces deeper colours and gradation in subjects with highly saturated colours, such as vivid-coloured flowers with shadows, a notoriously difficult photo subject for gradation reproduction. The high-speed processing power of the X-Processor 4 means this effect can be applied not only in single shots but also in continuous shooting.

     

    Use of the new devices and improved algorithm for significant improvement in AF performance in low light and when tracking a moving subject

     

    • The X-Trans CMOS 4 has 2.16M phase detection pixels, more than 4 times compared to current models (*3), increasing the phase detection AF area to entire frame (approx. 100%). Fast and accurate phase detection AF can be used even on a subject that is positioned away from the centre of the frame. The low-light phase detection autofocus limit has also been extended by around 2 stops from -1EV to -3EV, making it possible to accurately focus in low light conditions, e.g. a scene lit only with candlelight, or night-time photography. Furthermore, the X-Processor 4’s high processing speed and improved phase detection algorithm means the camera refocuses (AF) and meters (AE) 1.5 times more frequently than current models (*3) to enable accurate autofocus even when shooting sports involving fast and erratic movements across the frame.

     

    • The performance of face-detection AF on a moving person has been doubled over current models (*3). The eye-detection AF supports the AF-C mode, maintaining accurate focus tracking even in portrait photography that involves movements. The X-T3 focuses accurately when shooting a person front-on or side-on, even in situations where the face- or eye-detection AF previously had difficulty. The face- and eye-detection AF is available also during video recording to achieve smooth filming of persons.

    Enhanced viewfinder performance improving the ability to track a moving subject

     

    • The X-T3 features a 3.69-million-dot high resolution EVF with a high magnification ratio of 0.75x. The display time lag of just 0.005 seconds and refresh rate of approx. 100 fps ensure smooth display of motions, allowing you to precisely identify subject movements and focus positions. Unlike current models (*3), continuous shooting of 11 fps with the mechanical shutter no longer requires the optional vertical grip, enabling fast continuous shooting while keeping the camera weight low.
    • The new “Sports finder mode” makes it easy to capture a moving subject. The mode shows approx. 16.6M (1.25x crop) area marking in the LCD/viewfinder, and shoots the area within the marking. This is particularly useful for sports photography and wildlife photography, as you can check the movements of a subject just outside the shooting frame and take advantage of shorter-than-usual blackout time.

     

    • Increased read speed from the sensor and high-speed processing capability have made it possible to enjoy AF/AE-tracking, blackout-free continuous shooting(*4) of up to 30 fps in approx. 16.6M (1.25x crop) mode, while using smooth Live View of 60fps to check your subject. The rolling shutter distortion, a typical issue of electronic shutters, has been halved compared to current (*3) models.

     

    In order to never miss a crucial shutter moment, the X-T3 has the new “Pre-Shoot” function (*4), in which the camera starts shooting as soon as the shutter button is half-pressed. You will never miss an important photo opportunity, previously caused by time lag between the moment when the shutter button is fully pressed and the moment when a photo is actually taken.

     

    Design / operability and expandability

     

    • The X-T3 inherits X-T2’s popular design features such as the positioning of dials on the top panel, central viewfinder style for added sense of stability, and excellent grip design for comfort. The silver color is lineup as standard, which features more classical tone compared with graphite silver, limited edition for previous models. Its styling that reminds you of traditional film cameras is combined with outstanding practicality, making it photographic equipment that is a pleasure to own for many years to come.

     

    • Enhanced operability and expandability in response to user feedback

     

    Specific areas of operability enhancement

    ・EVF’s diopter adjustment is lockable achieved by pulling out and rotating a diopter knob, so as to prevent unintended adjustments while carrying the camera.

    ・The X-T3 uses a touchscreen panel with higher contrast, wider viewing angle and better operability than those in previous models to enable intuitive operation.

    ・The X-T3 inherits X-H1’s features such as large top-panel dials / rear-panel buttons and comfortable clicking touch of front and rear command dials.

    ・A headphone jack is provided on the camera body so that all accessories required for video recording, such as microphone and HDMI devices can be centrally connected to the body for added mobility in videography.

    ・Terminal cover is removable, providing easy connectivity for HDMI cables, microphones, headphones. Also it will not disturb when setting up with rig for movie shooting.

    ・The USB terminal supports USB Type-C (USB3.1 Gen1) specifications. An Anker (*5) battery can be connected to significantly increase the maximum number of frames per charge and the maximum duration of video recording.

     

     

    X-T3_Silver_LeftObl+VPB-XT3+XF8-16mm.jpg

     

    Enhanced video performance

     

    • This is the world’s first (*2) mirrorless digital camera capable of internal SD card recording 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit. It is also the world’s first (*2) mirrorless digital camera with APS-C or larger sensor capable of 4K/60P 4:2:2 10bit HDMI output. Supported video formats include the widely-used H.264/MPEG-4 AVC as well as H.265/HEVC for greater data compression. This enables the use of high 200Mbps bitrate in recording of 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit, as well as simultaneous HDMI output while recording. Video compression options available are ALL-Intra (*6) and Long GOP. When using ALL-Intra, video is recorded at 400Mbps (*7).

     

    • The sensor’s read speed is about 50% faster than current models (*3), which enables fast 17msec reading of 4K/60P video. The rolling shutter distortion has been reduced for smooth replay of a fast-moving subject. The camera’s support for 10bit colour depth boosts the amount of colour information 64 times compared to 8bit. This is combined with 400% (approx. 12 stops) dynamic range for capturing materials of rich gradation, such as a sunset landscape.

     

    • The introduction of a new noise reduction process and new “4K interframe noise reduction” function have reduced noise by the equivalent of approx. 2 stops. The new NR process has an enhanced level of noise-identifying accuracy for appropriate reduction in noise. The 4K interframe NR function (*7) uses differential data between adjacent frames to reduce noise. Furthermore, the minimum sensitivity for shooting F-Log and DR400% footage has been extended from the current models’ (*3) ISO800 to ISO640, meeting the needs of videographers.

     

    • In addition to the abovementioned functions, the X-T3 will, after applying a firmware update to be released by the end of 2018, support video recording in the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), one of the formats defined in the ITU-R BT.2100 international standards. In response to user feedback, the firmware update is also due to give the X-T3 an ability to simultaneously output Film Simulation and F-Log footage.

     

    *5 Anker is trademark or registered trademark of Anker Innovations Limited or associated companies.

    *6 Available at 4K/29.97P, 25P, 24P, 23.98P, and FHD/59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 25P, 24P, 23.98P when H.265/HEVC is selected.

    Not compatible with H.264.

    *7 Available at 4K/29.97P, 25P, 24P or 23.98P.

    Requires an SD card with the video speed class of V60 or above to record at the bitrate of 400Mbps

     

    Optional accessories

     

    • Vertical Battery Grip VG-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)

     This grip is dust-resistant, water-resistant and capable of operating at temperatures as low as -10°C. It fits two batteries, bringing the total number of batteries to three, including the one on the camera body, to increase the maximum number of frames that can be taken per charge to approx. 1,100 (Normal mode). The camera does not need to suspend its operation to switch to a new battery, even during continuous shooting or video recording, providing a stress-free shooting experience.

    The grip features the shutter release button, focus lever, AE-L button, AF-L button, command dials, Q button and Fn button to provide the same level of excellent operability in vertical shooting as you get in horizontal operation.  The VG-XT3 itself has battery-charging functionality. Using the AC adapter supplied (AC-9VS), you can fully charge two batteries at the same time in approx. 2 hours.

     

    • Leather Case BLC-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)

    This is a genuine leather bottom case with luxurious textures.  The camera can stay in the case while the battery is replaced.  The case comes with a cloth to wrap the camera in when placing it in your bag.

     

    • Hand Grip MHG-XT3 (designed specifically for the X-T3)

    This hand grip makes it substantially more comfortable to hold the camera when it is mounted with a large-aperture lens, thereby reducing camera shake. The camera’s battery or SD cards can be replaced without having to remove the hand grip. The base can be used as a quick release shoe when using a dovetail mount on your tripod.

     

    • Cover Kit CVR-XT3 This is a cover kit specifically for the X-T3.

    1 x Sync terminal cover

    1 x Hot shoe cover

    1 x Vertical battery grip terminal cover (black)

    1 x Vertical battery grip terminal cover (silver)

    1 x Terminal cover

     

    • Remote Release RR-100

    This remote shutter release has a φ2.5mm jack. Similarly to the camera’s shutter release button, pressing the button halfway focuses on a subject, and pressing it all the way down takes a picture. In the BULB or continuous shooting mode, you can slide the shutter button to lock it. It is packaged with a right angle adapter for ease of storage and to prevent unintended cable dislodgment.

     

    • Recommended accessories: Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD (*8) (30W Power Delivery Wall Charger included) and Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD (30W Power Delivery Wall Charger Bundle included) (*9)

    Use “Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD” and “Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD”, which are both 30W Power Delivery Wall Charger bundle model, to significantly increase the maximum number of frames per charge and the maximum duration of video recording.

     

    *8 Anker and PowerCore are trademark or registered trademark of Anker Innovations Limited or associated companies.

    *9 Product may not be available on your country.

     

    X-T3_Silver_LeftObl+VPB-XT3+XF8-16mm.jpg

     

     

     

    X-T3_Silver_HighAngle+XF200mmF2.jpgX-T3_Silver_LeftObl+XF200mmF2.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

  • Tue, 31 Jul 2018 13:55:20 +0000

    Projects
    DSCF0135-EditFujifilm X100F

    I have always been passionate about Photography Projects and I even include Projects in my talks and workshops. Projects are fantastic for personal development but frustrating all at the same time. The hardest part with most projects is getting started ! Once you are started its not too hard to stay motivated, as long as its a short project.  A short project is for around a year.

    I started my ‘Where is Jane’ & ‘Where’s Jane’ project about six months ago but its not been going to plan. Its a long term, double project based on my old facebook posts about my travels with Jane.

    I got it wrong from the start and decided to shoot the project in Colour and with the Fujifilm GFX because I wanted to put the images in a Exhibition with really big prints. The downside to this idea was I really don’t carry the GFX with me everywhere I go with Jane, so the projects were not really getting off the ground and I ended up shooting with all types of camera, also I am  not a fan of colour so it was all at a standstill !

    This weekend in Edinburgh I shot the black and white image above and it was that lightbulb moment ! I was doing it all wrong and it should be in black and white and not camera specific !

    So I am going to start the project from scratch but this also means I can add into the project all the old images from facebook that made me want to start the project in the first place.

    ‘Where is Jane’ & ‘Where’s Jane’ are two very simple projects,  one is looking for Jane in the images and the other is knowing where she is in the world ! Trust me its confusing enough for me especially as I am Dyslexic so just the wording alone is confusing.

    Below is a set of images for ‘Where is Jane’.. as in where in the world…

     

    MKHF3110Fujifilm X100F DSCF0331Fujifilm GFX50S DSCF0325Fujifilm GFX50S

     

    The following set is for looking for Jane..

    Some are easy and some are a little harder !

    Some are a cross between the two projects..

    Still Confused ?

    DSCF4492Fujifilm X70 DSCF0312Fujifilm GFX50S DSCF0279Fujifilm GFX50S MKHF3100Fujifilm X100F

     

    I always find it interesting how a project evolves over time. The ‘Where is Jane’ project has been stalled for far too long but now at last I have found a way forward. Hopefully one day it will be a book and an exhibition. Its still a little confusing but I am quite sure it will all make sense in the end ! I hope.

  • Thu, 26 Jul 2018 21:06:03 +0000

    The Search
    DSCF0063-EditFujifilm X100F

    I have been driving myself and Jane mad for the last few weeks, its that time in my life that many of us look forward to but its is scary as hell ! Retirement ! What does it even mean, well I think I am searching for the answer. I know what I want to do from 2022 onwards its just the next four years that are driving me nuts.

    I plan to Semi Retire in October 2018 but that has taken its toll on my thought pattern, so much so that I have not been sleeping and every day I feel this massive pull to go out and find great light and photograph people but at the same time I need to finish planning and also get all the work done that needs doing with Fujiholics and my own company.

    I have been searching for the answers to a million questions in my head about the future and how to say NO ! But I find it hard  to get the balance right ! Not quite as easy as I thought it would be. I think its trying to slow the creative productive brain down and make it change direction. I guess its like slamming the breaks on whilst on black ice, you just don’t know where you might end up.

    I do have a plan but at the moment I am spinning on black ice searching for grip.

    I spend most weeks trying to pull other photographers out of a dip in mojo or loss of inspiration and this is a little like that but more information overload.

    The image above I think was me regaining grip and starting to get myself back on track, as the guy came in to view and I read what it said on his bag and I set up the shot I had a massive grin on my face. I guess I am  Searching for incredible in my work at all times and searching always for answers. Its what I think we strive for as Professional Photographers but sometimes never find.

    The most important thing about today was the simple fact I was out making photographs and enjoying it again and that has been so rare over the last few years so seeing this bag and smiling was just the traction I needed to steer me in the right direction.

    DSCF0071-EditFujifilm X100F DSCF0048-EditFujifilm X100F DSCF0051-EditFujifilm X100F
  • Mon, 23 Jul 2018 21:06:31 +0000

    Work Rest and Play
    IMG_0307-EditCanon G7X

    I guess we all struggle to get the work life balance right and being a full time self employed Photographer the work life balance can go right out of the window ! I have always had a big problem saying no to work and this year has been no exception. I expected after finishing working with Fujifilm UK in February things would go quiet and I could look forward to just planning my own workshops and time away for Jane and I.    I soon worked out its not quite that simple. The downside to our lifestyle at the moment is Jane works for the NHS and has mostly weekends off and I work most weekends so we don’t see much of each other at times, so we get used to quite a lot of time apart.

    The long term plan is now starting to fall in to place even though there is hardly any free time on this years year planner at the moment. I have now finished my Wex Photographic 2018 commitment and at last I am free to start planning 2019. I will still take on the odd days from some of the big companies like Wex and some of the other great shops like Wilkinsons, just not as many days as before.

    It was mentioned a few times on Social media this week that I had moved over to work with Canon now I had left Fujifilm.  I will put the record straight right here and now, I am not with Canon. This October I plan to be semi-retired so I will not be signing any contracts with anyone. I am still involved with Gnarbox as the only UK member of the Gnarbox Pro Team but my commitment to the team is minimal and also fits in very nicely with my future travel plans so will not hold me back from my work life balance goals.

    If you read my blog you will know that I bought the Canon G7x because my Fujifilm Cameras got locked in the Wex Glasgow store by accident a few weeks back and I needed to get a camera from Argos early on a Sunday morning so it was an impulse purchase but has turned out to be one of the best little pocket cameras I have ever owned.  The sensor is only one inch so its not as good as my Fujifilm X Series cameras but with its 24-100mm Equivalent  fast Zoom its so much better than my iphone as an every day pocket camera.

    I work most weeks teaching with the Fujifilm X100F and the X70 and these are just the best tools for me teaching Street Photography. When I go off on Landscape Trips or teach Landscape I take the GFX System as that is the right tool for me for Landscapes and I also have the XPro2 for Street and Landscape with a selection of lenses.

    I do have a few Canon Cameras and these are all for Shooting Video and they are the C100mk2 the 200D and the 5DMK4 and and a selection of lenses. I have some future Film plans and needed a camera system that was tried and tested.

    The beauty of not having a contract with any brand is that I don’t have to stick to one set of tools and can use the best tools for the job ! Fujifilm make the cameras I need for all my Stills work and Canon for my Video the little G7x is just an exception to the rule, its great for video but also just so much fun to take stills with.

    This weekend I got a very rare chance to get away in my Camper with Jane for a couple of days and decided not to take any camera gear. I did however take the G7x with me as a back up to my iphone ! Its light, fits in my pocket and the battery lasts all day and even if I do need to charge it I can just plug it in my powerbank !

    This weekend was a time to reflect and its great to find a campsite that has no phone reception to get away from it all for a couple of days. We love Cae Du Campsite its just one of the most quiet and peaceful sites in Wales and perfect to get away from it all. I have a long term and short term plan and at times in this job you just cant see the wood for the trees. I have now had time to reflect and put the next four years in to some order.

    My new workshops are online here and I will be putting a few more online over the next few months, these will be workshops I have designed to help people who already know how to use a camera, to discover more about the art of taking pictures.

    I also have a new business plan that will come in to action next March at my end of year, so all going well I should have lots more time to do what I want to do and that is travel and explore with Jane. This will at last redress my work life balance ! I hope.

    I will leave you with a few images taken over the weekend with the little Canon G7X in and around Beddgellert.

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  • Mon, 18 Jun 2018 16:23:33 +0000

    Canon G7X at Festivals

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    I have been shooting Festivals on and off for over 30 years. One thing I never have to think about is taking a Professional  looking camera in with me, as I am a Professional and always get a pass. I understand these days though, so many people are not allowed to take cameras in with big zoom lenses or a camera that looks Professional (whatever that means !)

    So this year I decided to just take my little pocket sized Canon G7X with me. It has a 24-100mm Equivalent Built in Zoom that is f/1.8-2.8 with a 1″ sensor. I did take a couple of back up cameras with me but in the end I shot the whole festival on the G7X and was very impressed.

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    I did have a couple of missed focus shots but not that many to be honest, only about 5% and that’s quite good. I would only expect about 3% with my Fuji’s so all in all very impressed. I have no doubt if I have more time with the G7X my hit rate would improve.

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    I am not a fan of Zooms but they do have a use at festivals and this little G7X zoom is great. It gives a nice wide view and also gets you in close when you need it.

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    I am so impressed with the G7X that I would take this camera with me to every festival as a back up or even as my main camera. I love it out on the Street and now as a Festival camera. I will leave you with a few shots from my Africa Oye my favourite Free UK festival that does allow you to take camera and have a chilled out,  family day out.

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  • Mon, 11 Jun 2018 23:02:43 +0000

    Canon Gx7 Mark II for Street

    Whilst away this weekend working in Scotland I made a stupid mistake. I was in a rush whilst working in Glasgow Wex and left my X100F and X70 in the store ! Locked up in Fujifilm Jail for the weekend.

    I woke up Sunday and realised what I had done and then had to face the whole prospect of a day out in Glasgow with my friends shooting Street without a camera ! I could not cope with that prospect, so went to Argos and after a search through the Argos Catalog (how old school was that) I decided the Canon Gx7 Mark II would be a great pocket Street Camera, so brought one.

    We all met up soon after my early morning purchase in Caffee Nero. The guys all looked at me with a new Canon on charge like I had two heads. You can only imagine the comments ! Canonholics was mentioned more than once !!

    After charging the battery to about half full I then plugged it in my power bank and off we went. I love the powerbank option for a start.

    I was not expecting much as I am a Fujifilm addict and the Gx7 only has a 1″ Sensor and I am a 1.5 Crop kinda guy. It’s also a Zoom and I am a Prime addict. I suppose the worst part was the fact the on off switch on most of the Fujifilm Cameras is a switch around the shutter button and on the GX7 that was the Zoom control, so it was a while before I got used to that.

    Once fully charged I was in full street flow learning the Gx7 on the fly and really getting to love the compact size and easy menus.

    I have to say I am Blown away and this little camera is going to go everywhere with me from now on. It’s 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 Zoom lens is stunning and the images out of this little camera have blown me away.

    It turns out leaving my Fujifilm Cameras locked in the shop has been a happy Accedent !

    The first image I shot with the Gx7 was the one below.

    From the moment I shot this image, I was in love with this little camera. It very much reminded me of the very first Fujifilm X10. I really missed my X10 it was such a great little camera. I never really got on with the X20 or X30 but this little tiny GX7 Mark II is just stunning. I can’t wait to get out and shoot with it again. I will update you over the next few months but so far it’s a stunning bit of kit.

  • Wed, 30 May 2018 16:40:47 +0000

    To Much Clutter !
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    Its been a very busy few years and I have not had a decent relaxing break for quite a while. I have just taken a week off and was only  60 miles from my front door in the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales. Jane said to me half way through the week “you have hardly been on your phone this week” I guess I am learning! It’s no good going away to Scotland and driving 600miles and not unloading the clutter in my mind by being on Social Media all the time or answering all the emails. So staying close to home saved me a lot of driving and allowed me to really relax.

    Working in the Photography industry is a bit full on at times, if you are not marketing you are planning or on Social Media and this can take over your life.

    Whilst away I decided on my 5 year plan and am now going to stick to it for a change.  I have about 14 more workshops to do for Wex Photographic and then a few other jobs to complete before October 2018. I will then semi retire.  I plan to fully retire in 2022 not that Photographers ever retire we just have more time to be creative.

    I will cut my workload in half  from October 2018 and start to take photos for me and begin to explore the five elements that make a great image( Light, Composition, Moment, Amazing Subject & Emotional Impact).    I want to focus on image making as this is so important to me.

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    I have put together a new series of workshops just to keep me going until 2022. I don’t think I can sit around for the next four years, so I might as well get out there and teach what I love. These workshops will explore the five elements but have nothing to do with gear and technology.  I also plan to put more time in to my YouTube channel to let you know about the creative process, this will also focus on my image making thought process.

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    Its amazing how taking a really good break from reality can focus the mind. I walked over 58 miles last week and only took my Fujifilm X100F with me. This transported me back to the day I bought my very first X100 ! Its the reason I moved over to Fujifilm from Nikon and the reason I fell in love with the X Series ! The X70 and the X100F are two of the best in the Fujifilm range by far. The GFX50 is the King but it’ not exactly portable but is the best tool in the toolbox !

    Spending a week with the X100F made me relax and enjoy my photography again so much so that I was thinking about selling most of my Fujifilm gear and just keeping that one camera. I still have some work to do with my GFX and three projects to finish and its far too amazing a camera to sell, so the GFX will be staying and so will my X70 and my Xpro2 as that’s one of my Personalised Camera Bodies that Fujifilm gave to me in recognition of my hard work.  I think the rest of the lenses and bodies might have to go, not that I have much left as I had a good clear out to buy the GFX last year.

    I think I will end up with the GFX50s,X100F,X70,Xpro2 but will probably only use the X100F / X70 most of the time.

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    One thing I did think about a lot when I was away on holiday was the obsession with gear amongst photographers and this is why I wrote This . It drives me mad watching people buying tons and tons of gear thinking it will make them a better Photographer ! If I make a YouTube video on ‘Gear’ I get 60,000+ hits, if I make one about the creative process I get a few hundred. It’s the same with Workshops, if I do a workshop for one of the brands everyone wants to book on it, but if its about creativity no one is interested and think they can learn it all from YouTube ! I wish it was that simple. You can learn from YouTube but it’s only when you go on a real physical workshop and sit and talk to other people does the real learning start. The more time you spend with a camera in your hand around like minded people the better your work will become. I have seen hundreds of people tell me how they learn from youtube. Most of these people have tons of gear and their image making process is just a bad template of the person they have been watching and they are stuck in the YouTube cycle of looking but not learning.

    I was tempted to go down the YouTube route to teach as well for myself and Fujiholics but have decided it would not be the fair or right thing to do.

    There are hundreds of people jumping on workshops as teachers but most are doing it for the wrong reasons. If they don’t have passion and it’s all about the money it really does show, so choose wisely !

    Photography is a life long learning curve and we all go through diferent stages as we progress, there are no short cuts. I am lucky as I started at 8 years old and have had a lifetimes experience so can now look forward to really exploring whats out there for me and passing on my knowledge !

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    So it’s time for me to de clutter my mind and my camera cupboard and start to explore the next stages of my Photography journey ! I am starting a series of workshops that will be available on my Eventbrite page very soon. These workshops are designed to give Photographers that have mastered their cameras the information they need to take the the next step up the ladder ! I am sure most people new to photography or even Photographers that have been at it for years get stuck in the gear cycle and keep buying more and more gear to hopefully inspire them to take better photos but always end up disappointed and chopping and changing brands etc to get that amazing image.  Its almost like being in a constant loop of disappointment. YouTube does not always help as you end up watching a YouTube video and then have a list of new clutter to buy ! This just puts you back in the sales funnel but does not help you !

    There are some great YouTube channels and the one I like at the moment is Sean Tucker 

    I hope to use my Photography experience gained over the last 40+ years, to pass on some great advice. This will be through a series of workshops that will take place over the next four years exploring what to look for and how to create some great images. This should then give you all the tools you need to get out and create your own work without the need for more and more gear. I will then bring the regular workshops to a close.

    I will then retire in 2022 but will update my YouTube channel about once a month and do a couple of talks or workshops a year just to hopefully inspire people to take the next steps in the journey and get of the gear loop !

    So if you want to de clutter and want to get off the gear loop I will see you on a future workshop.

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  • Mon, 14 May 2018 11:59:38 +0000

    Lucky Break

    Is there such a thing as a Lucky Break in this world ? Is there one in the Photography industry ? Personally I don’t think there is, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get anywhere in life these days. The kids that go on X Factor for instant fame, have to work hard at their singing or be born with a gift from the start but if they do get spotted, they then have to work twice as hard to make it work. Hundreds of hours of singing lessons and a crazy work schedule and at any time it could all be over.

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    I started in Photography the moment my parents gave me a camera as a small boy and from that moment onwards I wanted to be the next David Bailey! I was driven from an early age with a thirst for knowledge and the gift of Dyslexia. I was terrible at School but found my release in Photography and soon became addicted.

    I was taught back then that hard work and dedication is the way you get anywhere in life. As I grew up I got into a few different sports including swimming for Kent and won quite a few Powerlifting Competitions winning the British Bench Press at 82.5 Kilo class with a 260kilo bench press. I was no stranger to hard work, I was in the gym seven days a week training with the British Power Lifting Coach Ron Reeves.

    One of the most important lessons I learned from an early age was, waiting for luck will hold you back, it will eat you up and spit you out.

    Luck has no effect on how successful you are or how healthy or happy you are or how you feel every day when you wake up in the morning.

    You have to start taking credit for the opportunities you create for yourself and not sit around waiting for your share of luck to walk in the room, drop out of someones pocket and land in your lap or rub off on you from someone you think is being lucky.

    One of the most damaging aspects of the “lucky break” mentally is that it gives credit to un unseen force. If you give credit to luck you set yourself up to fail every time.

    If you going to consider your life a series of lucky or unlucky breaks that you have no influence over, you are not giving yourself the credit you deserve for your own hard work or failings.

    As you work towards your goals each day, week, month and year remember it’s you in charge of your success or failures! You alone,  no one else,  it’s up to you to  work as hard as you can to reach your goals. No one else will rescue you from the hard work that stands between you and achieving what you want.

    Commit to hard work in your life,  there are no shortcuts and you will always reach your end goal.

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    So, how did I get to work with Fujifilm UK as an X Photographer ! Was it a lucky break ?

    No, it was hard work and dedication and a lot of research.

    I was shooting with Nikon for over 40 years and as Mike Shore once said, “Matt had been knocking at Nikon’s door for a long time with no luck” not quite true about the luck Mike, however I was knocking on Nikon’s door along with Warren Miller.  Warren and I had some friendly banter about who could be in N Photo Magazine the most. We were both Photography Addicts and managed to get our images picked for Magazine features almost monthly. I had written for a few magazines and was selling a lot of Stock Photography at the time and doing very well in-fact so good for me,  it had become my main income.

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    I was having a few issues with my camera gear and getting fed up with the weight and faults that kept preventing me from doing my work. I was actively looking for a smaller camera system that would suit my needs and at the time there wasn’t much about. I looked at Sony they made great camera bodies but their lenses were not up to Nikon Pro glass Standard. The same time I was looking for a new camera system I started to look into the Fujifilm System.  Two names kept coming up, Kevin Mullins and Zak Aries. I read a few blogs about Fujifilm Cameras and not one said anything to tempt me,  so I carried on in my search. That was around 2012 when I was also frustrated with black and white digital processing and had started thinking about a project ‘A Year Of Black and White’.

    I could talk about Projects all day but will come back to that at some time in the future.

    I started talking on Social Media about my project and I had quite a lot of interest from Magazines who had seen my work on Instagram and Flicker. As the project evolved they showed more interest. This was also the year I noticed that my work started to stand out and people were starting to get interested in my Gig Photography and Street images. As I worked through my Black & White project I had discovered my digital black and white style and this was also getting me noticed.

    Surprisingly if I bought a new bag or piece of kit people would want to know all about what I was buying and using.  I was becoming an influencer without knowing it. Becoming an influencer was adding value to my brand and making me interesting to Retailers and Brands. I bought a ‘Next Canvas Bag’ and spoke about it on facebook. I turned up to a music event that weekend and so many people actually had the same bag ! Being a bit slow on the uptake I said to the first person with one “these bags are great, how long have you had yours ?” The girl replied, “I got it after you put it on facebook” !  I then realised that my Photography was getting me noticed by not just the brands and magazines but also lots of people were looking at what I was doing. It’s a very strange experience at first. I had been taking pictures all my life and now people were starting to notice my work ! I understood this had value but at the time was also a little embarrassed so from that moment decided to be very careful what I spoke about on Social Media.

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    I started out with a camera in 1971 and in 2012/2013 people were starting to look at my work.  I didn’t really notice this happening, but now that it had it was time for me to make some decisions.  You could say this is where the hard work started all over again.

    I was about a quarter of the way in to my Black & white project and I had bought a Fujifilm X100 second hand from eBay and started to use it more and more. I was shooting at the time with two Nikon D3s bodies, a D200 and a set of Pro lenses. Suddenly this little X100 was becoming my daily choice.

    I was researching Zak Arias and realised he was making a name for himself in America with these little cameras and in the UK apart from Kevin Mullins there were no real people of interest to me using the X Series. I studied the  X Series and how Zak was working his magic and it reminded me of all the years with my Nikon FM2.

    As interest in my work was growing from Magazines and Publishers, at the same time I was being asked to talk at clubs and societies about my black and white work.  I had been saying No to these groups because I wanted to follow Steve McCurry’s mantra and not ever teach or talk but to just spend every day perfecting my craft as a Photographer.

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    I did not have the confidence or belief in my work and still don’t to an extent. I am my worst critique and always will be, it was Jane that gave me the confidence to drive forward and her alone that gave me the strength to believe in myself.

    In 2012 I gave in and did my very first Photography Club talk and trust me every fear I had about it going wrong came true  ! On the way there I had the worst anxiety I have ever had in my life! I pushed on and on setting up, the projector did not work and my laptop wouldn’t work with the new projector they had found! Fighting the urge to walk out, I had to make a quick new powerpoint on the spot because the show had to go on! Trust me for someone with very bad IBS this was not the best day of my life ! They loved the talk by the way. They all said they were shocked by my passion and drive and that I was the best speaker they had ever had. After that night, on the way home in the car I said never again, EVER, will I do that!  I did however do many more talks and started teaching Photography soon after. This one night had just set me up for the future in more ways than one – I had got over my fear of public speaking.

    I was about to shoot Liverpool International Music Festival and I was on holiday in Wales and my Nikon Gear was playing up again.  I popped into Cambrian Photography in North Wales to get it all sent back to Nikon for repair. In the cabinet they had an XPro1 and the 35mm and 60mm lenses so after speaking to Sarah I decided to give them a try and after the Liverpool Music Festival I was hooked on Fujifilm Cameras!

    Soon after LIMF,  I took a trip to Venice with just the XPro1 and the 18-55mm, 35mm and 60mm lenses.  I was so impressed with the Fujifilm glass and sensors I sold all my Nikon gear and moved over to Fujifilm.

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    I was shooting with Fujifilm now for all my work and loving it at the same time. I was finding more and more time for my Street Photography and my following was growing. I have always had lots of facebook groups and at one time had 29,000 people on the old MySpace because of my shooting with ‘DontStayIn.com’ back in the day of the Free Party Scene. I had quite a big Social Media following, about 1 million on Google+  and 5000 on facebook.  This was all very distracting and I made the drastic decision to have a massive Cull, this was very refreshing.  I wanted to focus more on my Photography and enjoyed being outside in the real world with real people so I started doing Street Photography Workshops and Photowalks as this was what I wanted to do and where my passion was.

    I decided to set up a another facebook group for people who loved Fujifilm and one night came up with the name Fujiholics. This had a rocky start as some people have to be negative and can’t just be nice to each other on Social Media. The group was heavily controlled by myself and the Admin Team to prevent trouble and give real passionate people a place to share their love of the Fujifilm brand. The cull ruffled a few feathers but those people had nothing to contribute.

    The Fujifilm UK Team found the group and suddenly Fujifilm Team members from around the world joined the group and had made it very exclusive.  I then opened the group up to retail and trade by invitation only. The group is still exclusively Fujifilm Addicts with a slow growth and has not had any negativity or arguments for over two years. I did play around with other Fujiholics groups but mainly due to trolls they failed.  Running a few Social Media groups can be exhausting and a 24/7 job, trust me it’s no walk in the park. To this day though the Fujiholics closed group is still one of the best groups on facebook and has a small but loyal following.

    Around this time through Cambrian Photography I had met Richard Wan and some of the other members of the Fujifilm Team. They had noticed my Social Media presence and it was not long before I was asked to do a workshop for Fujifilm in London. I turned this down as it was shooting a model in a shop and this was not my thing.

    I knew I could do Photowalks and talk about Street Photography and that was the gap in the UK market for Fujifilm. As a poor mans Zak Arias at the time I was not sure they would go for it as I was in the middle of my Windows Street project.

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    So when Richard asked me again about a year later to do something I said why don’t  we do some photowalks and some weekend meet ups to get people outside using their cameras ? Richard agreed and I started to do more and more for Fujifilm. Eventually I was asked to talk at The Photography Show in Birmingham for Fujifilm.  At that point I was so glad I had done my time in the trenches talking at the Clubs etc as it was a great grounding for TPS !

    Prior to TPS I was asked if I would like to be an X Photographer and I was very happy to say yes. I had changed from Nikon to Fujifilm for the love of the brand and I also had met so many of the Fujifilm Team,  I was proud to be able to represent the Fujifilm brand around the UK and the world.

    I was warned at the start that this would attract some really negative people, haters and trolls. I had already picked up a few over the years as I have always been one to say it how it is,  if people don’t like what I have to say then so be it.

    I had spoken to quite a few of the other X Photographers and they had their fair share of haters as well so I was prepared. I have found over the years these people have an enormous amount to say behind your back but not one can ever face you in the street.

    I also do feel quite sorry for quite a few as they obviously have something missing in there lives if all they have to do all day is worry about someone else ! I have noticed over the years though that on Social Media I get less and less negativity. I have changed the way I work I guess so I hardly get any new Trolls. I have now started to grow my YouTube so expect a few more.

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    So,  no Lucky Break with Fujifilm UK it was a matter of pitching the right ideas, it was all just part of a journey.  Being able to come up with great quality images to show off the X Series for Fujifilm as a brand and have the drive to stand up on stage and talk to thousands of people and be able to work harder than I have ever worked in my life.  I travel all over the UK and walking up to 20 miles a day on Photowalks, talking to people for up to 12 hours a day about my passion for photography. The best part is I am doing what I love.

    Being an influencer before I worked with Fujifilm helped but so did the fact I already had my work out there in magazines and books. You can’t be an influencer without a following and you have to work hard at building that following. I lost quite a few people over the years because I was brand specific, but hope to change that over the coming years.

    I left Fujifilm as an X Photographer in January 2018  as many of you might know and  this was part of my original plan.  When I started out teaching and talking I was only ever going to do it for 5 years and then stop. I have so much more I want to do with my photography and feel I can’t do this tied to a brand. I still love the Fujifilm Brand and the whole Fujifilm Team and some have become friends for life.

    I am fully aware if I talk about a product on YouTube or Social Media my viewing figures sky rocket but the future is not about that.

    I want to focus on my own work, I want to talk about photography and not the gear and start making really interesting content for my YouTube videos and PodCasts. I want to work on projects that have been neglected over the last five years, work on Exhibitions and Photography Shows and put my passion back into making the image not on the gear.

    There are no shortcuts in this game it’s a lifetime’s journey and you really do get out what you put in ! Wait for it to happen or get out there and make it happen you choose ….

     

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