Loupedeck again...

So I've received my Loupedeck, used it for a few days and simply put, it's awesome. 

I can see how this is not for everyone. I do most of my editing in Lightroom and while I don't really retouch my photos, since I pretty much hate that, I use Photoshop mainly for clearing up skin and cloning away things since I like the cloning tools better in Photoshop. Now and then I work in layers for some reason, but it's not very often but it happens. Otherwise I use Lightroom mainly for my post processing and when I get fully used to using the Loupedeck I can really see how much it will speed up my work. It has a lot of potential. 

Since I have a background with music recording and mixing and I still do some stuff in my home studio now and then, I like a "hands on" approach like a mixing desk and instead of using the mouse for adjusting highlights/shadows, exposure and things like that, having dedicated knobs to turn is VERY awesome. And assigning buttons for my presets, that is awesome as well. There are 8 programmable buttons that can be used for that and I can put the presets that I'm using at the moment on them and just change them out, but to apply those this fast and easily is awesome, since as far as I know, there is no keyboard shortcuts for that except for copying and pasting settings on to photos which is not really the same. 

And while there are keyboard shortcuts for many things, they are many times a combination of two or three keys, here they have their own keys and I like that. Of course there are not keys for every function in Lightroom, but for the main functions that I use, so far I think there is. For some it can be hard to justify the price since the Loupedeck is far from cheap, I totally get that, but for me it is so worth it. 

But I use adjustment brushes quite a bit in Lightroom, obviously I can't do that with the Loupedeck, that's a task for a mouse or pen tablet like some thing from Wacom, as is using the curve tool. 

I haven't had the Loupedeck for more than a few days, and I still have to look down to see what I'm doing sometimes, but am already starting to get used to it, and I already find it being a perfect tool for what I do. 

The only negative thing I can say so far is that it is another thing taking up space on my desk that already has no room left on it. But I can live with that...

Loupedeck

I've been interested in the Loupedeck ever since I first saw it on Indiegogo in 2016. 

I really like the idea of a "hands on" approach to editing in Lightroom in form of a "mixing desk" and I think it will definitely quicken up the workflow, after passing the learning curve of getting used to it and not having to look for the knobs and buttons. 

As I have mentioned here more than once before, post processing is not my favourite part of photography. But since I do probably 90% of my editing in Lightroom, I think (or hope) that it will make it faster and also making it more fun because of that. 

I have not received it yet, but counting the days and it will be a perfect time to try it out since I have quite the task when it comes to editing after this (still on going) London trip. 

But yeah, I will get back on the subject. And for those who don't know what it is, have a look at the video or at Loupedeck.

 

 

Nearly done...

...with my shoots for this trip. 

I've had 5 shoots in 4 days and it's been pretty awesome most of the time. The weather wasn't really co-operating yesterday so we had to cut down on shooting time on my second shoot for the day, though we did get some good shots before that so it's all good. 

And tomorrow I'm having my last shoot with Nicole and I think it'll be pretty awesome. 

And I have to admit that I'm actually extremely happy that I bought the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R a while ago. Well, I actually bought it a lot because of having today's shoot with the amazing Ayla in mind. 
Though 35mm (FF equivalent) is not a favourite focal length of mine, it is very useful in either smaller spaces or when you want something wider, but not as wide as for example the XF 16mm f/1.4 (24mm FF equivalent) which normally is too wide and I shot a lot of my urbex shoot with Helen this Sunday and a lot at The Hacienda studio with Ayla today. But it's of course not a lens for headshots, there would be too much distortion and there I used the XF 56mm f/1.2 R, but for full or half body shots it is really nice. 

 

 

So I'm in London again...

...and started off with an epic nude shoot with Helen yesterday at an abandoned factory site outside of London. 

It was awesome, the place was so cool and Helen was fantastic, and had no limitation on what to do for a shot, and walked barefoot on broken glass, in murky water, sitting on the dirty floor, lying in moss and climbing around sharp objects and old cables, all totally nude. 

And we ran into a graffiti artist, making some art and his friend and video operator. The artist is sponsored by a spray can company and they were doing a kind of documentary for that and suddenly Helen and I had cameo rolls in it. :) 

I'm interested to see what it turned out to look like. 

I've only looked through some of the shots and made some previews for Helen and this one underneath, since my 13" MacBook Pro is a bit small to do any extensive editing on, at least for me, though it is a great little computer for travelling with. 

Gonna get ready for today's shoot but will be back with more travel stuff.

DSCF3893.jpg

 

 

Fro is pretty right here

Jared is pretty right about this. 

There are limitations to what you can do with some gear, nothing can change that, but at the same time there is nothing that stops anyone to still take great shots unregarding to what type of camera equipment you have. It really is to know and use what you've got. 

The Reality of Making a Living with Photography

I am not a professional photographer and I don't want to be either. Matt Day pretty much explains all the reasons why I would not want to be a professional photographer, in this honest video. 

Following is not about photography, but it's similar.

Many years ago, I built a recording studio with one of my oldest friends since that's what I always wanted to do. I put all my spare time into building it and then running it, not full time since I had my regular job as well, but on a semi pro level so to speak. For years, it totally killed my passion for music, having to record, sure some good but more often not so good music. Projects that I didn't want but had to do, so I can really relate to this.

I often read in forums where people desperately wants to be full time professional photographers. They want it so much, but I don't think they have a clue of what they're getting themselves into. I think they have a pretty romanticised version of what it's like to "be a pro". For some it would mean that you get to travel the world, shooting landscapes and animals for National Geographic, or shooting fashion shows or editorials for Vogue or something like that, depending on what you're into. For a few lucky people (they are few compared to how many people there are who wants to), that dream comes through.
But for most people who try out being a pro, they'll end up struggling to find jobs, and when they find them, they're not fun projects, but boring ones, with customers who doesn't want to pay. This struggle kills their passion for photography and they'll end up shooting catalogues for shitty school kids, something as repetitive as working on an assembly line, and they'll have to do it just to survive. 

So absolutely no thanks. 

But watch the video.

It's still not the most fun part...

Over a month since I made a post here. 

And I'm still post processing, And it's not any more fun than before. I've had a couple of shoots in the last month and I have finished processing a few shoots that are now posted in "portraits" and "nudes", but I'm still working on it and I still have more to post, but has to wait. 

Had a shoot the other day with Diviana, that didn't go too well. Sure, we got some really cool shots I think, but the forecast was not exactly right and during a supposed to be rain free day, of course it started to rain. And in the morning I had smashed my foot which hurt like a M-F. But it wasn't that bad when I left to pick Diviana up, but after a few hours in a shoe, walking around in the forest it had swollen up and I could hardly walk anymore.
So I had to stop shooting and post pone the part that I had looked forward to the most since I couldn't walk the distance and climb down the rocks that was needed. And also, the rocks would have been too dangerous as well when wet from rain and I wouldn't risk my model's safety for it.

But I was kinda pissed since it's not every day that I get to shoot with Diviana, since she's usually very busy and had to come to Sweden from Denmark. And though it's not very far, it takes a lot of time to travel.

So that was not fun, and on top of that I just realised that I have to re-do a bunch of photos that I've already put quite some time into. Sometimes it would be better to forget photography completely and stick with playing the PS4... 

 

Post processing is NOT the most fun part of doing photography

No, it is a part that kinda sucks, to me.

But it's a part of photography that is needed and it's nice when those photos are done. But it takes so much time and while I have posted a few new photos in my "Portraits" and "Nudes" sections, I still have a lot left to do. And I've also done a couple of new shoots since I got back from London, which has added even more to the work load. 

But I'll be done at some point next month...

New London trip

I am trying to organise a new London trip in September. I mean, hotel and flights are already taken care of, as well as a couple of shoots including models and studios for that. But I still have things to sort out and shoots to book since there are a number of models that I want to shoot with. 

Will update on this further on.

More post processing...

Still trying to get stuff done, so I can actually post any new photos. 

But still post processing which I have only done a little since been on call at work since I got back from London (and doing more shoots). But there will soon be new non nudes and nudes posted here. Lots of them. 

Post processing

Alright, so I'm back in Sweden, back to the old boring regular life, though I have a few cool shoots lined up for the summer. 

I left my hotel in London on Saturday morning and got home to Sweden in the evening. And on Sunday morning I woke up to the news of a new attack in London. Totally meaningless. Too bad the perpetrators were shot to death, since they deserved something much worse.

But I've already started to arrange for a new trip back ton London in Septembe again. So far I've already arranged hotel and started to organise shoots, but that hasn't come very far yet when it comes to that part. 

And I've started post processing, which will take forever since I'll start working again on the day after tomorrow and be on call again and won't have much time, which will make it an out drawn process. And it's also not exactly my favourite part of the process, but it is of course necessary. All the fun is the shooting and interacting with the models, but of course it's fun to get the actual end result, but the post processing isn't. 

So yeah, time to get back to work...

London baby!

I've been really bad at updating my blog as usual.

Today is my ninth day in London, since arriving late on last Saturday afternoon. On the last Sunday morning I had a walk along Grosvenor Road, grabbing a few long exposure shots of the iconic Battersea Power Station from across the river Thames.

Later in the afternoon I had a walk from Embankment to South Bank and towards Westminster. Met Peter and Steve, two really nice Fujifilm enthusiasts and had a chat with them. Afterwards I grabbed a few long exposure shots of the Palace of Westminster and afterwards when I walked over Westminster Bridge I couldn't help to look over my shoulder a few extra times, while reminded of the meaningless attack on the bridge two months earlier.

On last Monday I had two great shoots with Tann and Roswell, two awesome models at a really cool studio (more like a 5 story Victorian era house). These photos will end up in my portraits and nudes sections in a few weeks when I've had the time to edit them. 

On Tuesday you could feel the tension in London, after yet another meaningless terrorist attack, this time in Manchester on Monday evening. It's always weird at least for me to see the police armed with automatic weapons, patrolling places like Oxford Circus.  

On Wednesday I had great shoot with the lovely Beth (my third shoot with her) at Epping Forest. And on the Thursday I had another awesome shoot, this time with Ayla, another amazing model, in her own home. On this Saturday I had a really cool shoot with Lauren, again in Epping Forest. Yesterday I had a great shoot with Anna. We had a full day pretty much and shot for a couple of hours on the back streets of Shoreditch, before going back to the same studio I used last Monday. 

All these shots will end up in my portraits and nudes sections in a few weeks when I've had the time to post process everything. 

And I've still got three more shoots booked for this week. Pretty cool.

Goodbye Canon

So, I've been talking about this for a while, but finally I've got around to make it become reality. 

I've already sold two lenses and now my Canon 5D MkIII is leaving in a couple of days and when I get the money from the lenses and the body it will be used to buy a Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR and the Fujinon XF 1.4x TC WR.

Still got a couple of Canon lenses left to sell as well, and while I'm in no real rush, I want to get it over with and since I'm not made out of money, it'll come handy. So now it's Fujifilm all the way, even if it's pretty much been like that since I bought the X-T1 two and a half years ago. 

So, yeah, that's it.

Trying out the new 3LT Winston and Lee Filters Seven5

I just tried out my new tripod and my Lee Filters Seven5 filters a little this morning. The weather was not that awesome (just as usual) and not very inspiring. I don't mind grey skies that much, but it was a pretty uninteresting grey sky, with not much definition. 

So yeah, not exactly my best shots ever, and not the most interesting location either and I've shot similar shots before, but whatever. Most of them with the Seven5 filters. 

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4, Lee Filters Seven5 Big Stopper

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4, Lee Filters Seven5 Big Stopper

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4, no filter

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4, Lee Filters Seven5 Little Stopper

3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston

So I received this tripod the other day through a 20% off drive at one of Sweden's best known camera stores, so I got it at very nice price even if it's still not exactly a cheap tripod. I just did a quick test today to check it out, so this is not a review, just a few thoughts. 

This tripod is extremely sturdy. It's made of 8 layer 100% pure carbon fibre and magnesium alloy. It is the biggest tripod that 3LT have in their current line-up of awesomeness. It's also the third 3LT tripod I have in my possession now. It's not a travel tripod, since it's too big and heavy, though it's still not heavy and ways in at 1.75kg without the head. The head that comes with it is the Airhed 360 which weighs 408g and the combination seems extremely sturdy. The tripod and the head both have a maximum load capacity of 40kg, which is quite a lot. I also added the Equinox Switch Clamp which is a quick release clamp instead of the "screw in and tighten" clamp that is original (which is a 360 pano clamp on this one, but I don't shoot panoramas anyways) and it works very smoothly and clamps on with a very firm grip on my RSS L-plate (all 3LT heads and clamps are Arca Swiss compatible). 

The locking system is second to none and since the tubes on this tripod are pretty fat, the locks are big, chunky and awesome to use (made of rubberised magnesium alloy). And while the locks are good on my 3LT Brian, these are even better. 

And like all other 3LT tripods, one leg is removable and can be used as a monopod. 

At the bottom of the center column, there is an attachment ring to hang some type of ballast from, to weigh the tripod down even more during extremely windy conditions. The tripod comes in a nice carrying bag (with shoulder strap) made of military grade canvas, which can be used as a ballast as well. It also comes with a multi tool/carabiner/bottle opener.

So yes, this is not the smallest or lightest tripod, but compared to my old Manfrotto 055 Nat3 tripod it's not even half its weight. And even though my 3LT Brian is awesome and sturdy for nearly everything, when it comes to several minute long exposures at the beach, something even sturdier is needed since even the slightest movement will end in a blurry photo, that's why I got this tripod, even if it won't come with me when I travel abroad. 

Landscape photography

I started out as a landscape photographer, and I enjoyed it for years, but then got a bit fed up with it, since I'm not living in a super exciting part of the world and kind of got bored with the possibilities in my area. Possibilities which actually are pretty much endless, but still. I got bored.

If I could travel on and on to exciting and beautiful places, I really would, but because of my regular job with on call duty and the limited days of vacation every year, it's not possible. It's not a matter of money, not that I am rich in any way, but it's free time that is my limitation. I enjoy shooting portraits and models a lot at the moment and I have to travel for that as well, since the amount of models are quite limited around where I live. 

But still, I have found inspiration again to take up landscape photography. I've invested in the most over priced piece of aluminium one can buy (I think), the $190 (plus taxes and shipping) Really Right Stuff BXT2 L-bracket for Fujifilm X-T2 w/ battery grip. It looks nice and I'm sure it'll work perfectly fine for a long time, and it's more or less a must while shooting a lot on a tripod. But damn, it's ridiculously over priced. Not to talk about how much it costs in Sweden. I paid around 2600 SEK for it when I ordered it directly from RRS (including shipping and taxes) and if I'd like to buy it in Sweden, I'd have to pay nearly 4000 SEK. And it probably costs 50 SEK to make. So it's ridiculously overpriced. 

I've also just received a pretty full set of Lee Filters Seven5 series of filters for my Fujifilm cameras and I tested it out a bit this weekend. 
Weather here where I live is usually different kind of white/grey skies, with different amount of rain and wind. If it stops raining and the sun comes out, usually all the clouds disappear as well. So it's either all white, no texture shitty skies, or blue with no clouds shitty skies. The weekend when I had set off to try this new stuff had first the blue skies with no clouds and then it completely turned to white and rain. So it kinda sucked. I tried the Really Right Stuff L-bracket, which worked fine and I tried the Little, Big and Super Stopper (6, 10 and 15 step ND filters), but the outcome wasn't spectacular since there was no interest in the skies. But it'll be fine. The Super Stopper renders crazy long exposures, but where I tried it, the ground wasn't stable enough for that type of exposures, so they didn't turn out sharp, but it doesn't really matter since the sky was so boring. 

I will try them out more when the weather is more suitable and I will post some photos of the gear and the outcome and write more about using them.

 

Fujifilm promoting GFX 50 with topless model

So apparently Fujifilm tried to promote its new medium format camera, the GFX 50 with a half naked female model in a room full of men. The camera is innovative and something fresh, but the way they tried to promote it wasn't. This has stirred up a bit of a shit storm, which is perfectly understandable. 

Now I don't have a problem with nudity what so ever, and I shoot nudes myself, but what happened here is not cool and does not feel very fresh. 

Well, read the article.

http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/24/fuji-tried-to-promote-its-new-camera-by-providing-a-half-naked-model-to-photographers-6470997/

Watermarking

The topic of watermarking your photos or not has been going on forever and is still going strong on forums on the internet. 
Myself I used to do it for years, but then I stopped. For a few of reasons. 

  1. If someone wants to steal my photos, they have and they will, watermarked or not. 
  2. It doesn't look very nice even if the watermark is a nice logo, font or combination. 
  3. For it to be effective, it has to be big and cover a lot of the photo and why then even upload it.

There are a few reasons to keep watermarking, but I decided a few years ago not to use it anymore and I don't think I will change it back.

Anyhow, here's a pretty good video from Jason Lanier regarding this subject. 

Shooting tethered

So I tried shooting tethered for the actual first time yesterday. Haven't done it before, since I usually shoot on location where it's usually not super convenient to bring a laptop. 

I bought the ridiculously expensive Lightroom plugin from Adobe. For some reason my Fujifilm X-T2 needs a $79 plugin for tethering, just another way for the people at Adobe and Fujifilm (they probably share the profit) to make money. And I got a ridiculously expensive TetherPro USB 3.0 cable from Tether Tools. Sure, it's thicker and better than regular UBS cables, with gold contacts for better connection and with the one on the camera end in a 90° angle. It's also in a highly visible orange colour, which tethering cables usually are (I think). But still ridiculously expensive for what it is.  

I shot with the gorgeous Diviana in a house in Copenhagen and tethering was pretty convenient, since we could check the photos continuously from my MacBook Pro while shooting and it worked well, so in the end, I guess it was pretty well invested money, even if I probably won't use it that regularly, since I like I said before, mostly shoot on location. 

By the way, check back at the end of the week and there will probably be photos from this shoot., under Portraits and Diviana.