I'm bored to death with gear heads.

Here we go again... 

So Nikon is entering the FF mirrorless arena with their Z6 and Z7. Who cares? A lot of Nikon shooters, I guess. And good for them. I'm just tired of all people who'll sell all their gear, be it what ever brand, just to get the newest. I've changed system twice myself. I had Minolta back in the 90's, moved to Canon in 2003 and in 2014 to Fujifilm (though kept my 5D MkIII for a while "just in case"). So one thing is if you want to change from DSLR to mirrorless for example, but going from Nikon to Sony to Fujifilm to Nikon again or any other path. Either read up on what system you're actually buying into, think about what you're shooting and what your needs are, don't be the first to jump on the train for something just because it's new or simply make your mind up and start shooting instead. 

Sure, if your camera's image quality sucks, get something newer, but no modern camera's image quality sucks, so most likely you've just got GAS. 

I still haven't bought the Fujifilm X-H1 for example. I use my money to hire models to actually shoot for example. But sure, I can see myself getting the X-H1 since I've been meaning to get into video for quite a while, but it will probably be its successor instead. Maybe. 

Is my X-T2 the best camera ever? Definitely not, but it's still pretty damn good, especially for what I shoot. Do I need 45 megapixels? Nope. Do I need FF? Nope. Though FF is better for higher ISO and also dynamic range so of course, that is a good thing. I could get even shallower DOF with FF, sure, but I don't really need any shallower DOF than I already have. Would I like an even better autofocus? Sure. Would a better Eye/Face detection be great? Sure, that could be cool. Do I need it? Nope. Would I switch to Sony to get FF, better autofocus and Eye/Face detection? Never. Sony is killing it right now and they've got cameras that delivers great image quality. Do I want one? Nope. Nothing about them gives me a bit of the good old GAS, I'm totally indifferent. 

One of the greatest things with the Fujifilm X-T2 for example, is that there are direct dials for ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation and then you have an actual aperture ring on the lenses. I think the actual handling of the camera is second to none. I will never go back to anything else if I'm not forced to it at some point. And then we have the lenses. They are pretty damn good as well, probably some of the best lens lineups there are today, and they're also not extremely expensive (with an exception of the XF 200mm f/2). Would I'd like Fujifilm to make some things better, I sure do. Is it better in the X-H1, maybe a couple of things. Are things gonna be better in the upcoming X-T3, maybe but I can't say that I'm that interested in the rumours. I'll see when it's actually released, but I have no plans in getting one.  The camera that I'd really like to get is the Fujifilm GSX50s or what comes next in line.
THAT would actually be a nice upgrade that would positively enhance and affect my own photography. Will I ever do it? Probably not, the system is just too expensive.

Okay, back to what I meant this post to be about. Gear heads.
We have the ones that buy whatever is the newest thing, what's "in" and what's the "best" to have at the moment. And we have the ones that are trying to justify their own (bad?) choices and what they've put their money into, and like to bitch about every other brand. And I'm so fucking tired of it. 

People bitch a lot about the fact that the Nikon Z6 and Z7 only have one card slot. Is it a deal breaker? For some people maybe. I always shoot with dual cards in backup mode. I'm not a pro, and do not want to be a pro either, but since I book models, and put some money into that and since it would suck if the card fails and you lose the time and money put into it. Would most "pro" photographers like to use double cards, I guess probably most, but people bitching about that you can't do pro work with a single card is just retarded. 

Ah, I can't be bothered writing any more... but Matt Granger has some good things to say about the "single card problem" and some other things as well in this video. 
Check it out.

...but it has turned out better

After a rocky start when it comes to the weather it has turned around. 

I've been to Cardiff, Wales, where the weather looked really bad at the beginning but turned out pretty nice. I started to shoot with Stephanie in my hotel room which was pretty huge (got upgraded for some reason) and after that she took me to a couple of awesome places.

 Sgwd Henrhyd (iPhone shot)

Sgwd Henrhyd (iPhone shot)

The Sgwd Henhryd (highest waterfall in South Wales, 27 meters high) which was awesome but for the day raging wild with mist spraying all over the place. And while we took a bunch of nudes here (which will eventually be posted), it was too dangerous to do what's usually can be done here. 

After that, Stephanie took me to another awesome location called Nash Point. We had to time it with the tide, because it can only be reached at low tide. And while shooting there, it has to be monitored so the tide won't catch you of guard since that could mean loss of equipment and even life from the truly raging see. We took many shots, mostly nudes there and they will be posted in the future when I'm back in Sweden and have had the time to post process them. 

I had a full and awesome day with Stephanie who's so nice and awesome, and which I hope I can shoot with again in a not so far future. 

After my second night in Cardiff it was time to catch the train towards York. But first I stopped by in Newport to shoot with Angharada. We had a great time, shooting in her own place, not as grandeur as the locations I had been to the day before, but we got some really nice shots and she was awesome. 

 Nash Point

Nash Point

After my shoot with Angharada I got on the train for York. What a nice little city that is. After my first night I had a full day of shooting with the little bundle of joy that is Nicole. It was my second time shooting with her and she's just awesome and funny and I had a great day, first shooting nudes at Nicole's Photography Palace (which is her flat) and then going for a walk through York, shooting some casual fashion (kind of) and portraits here and there. We did a bit of guerrilla style shooting, since Nicole decided to get naked in the museum park and we caught a few shots there in between looking out for people. Hilarious. We shall after this be known as "Team Guerrilla". Can't wait to shoot with her again. 

So after a second night here, I'm going to get ready to check out, have a little stroll around York and then catch the train back to London for a full week of shooting. Good times. 

Not the best weather so far...

  • In London - check
  • Coughing lungs out - check
  • Fucked up weather - check
  • Having to cancel shoot - check

So far not so good. Had a shoot with Sara yesterday. Wasn't too good (not her fault) since it was absolutely freezing. And I normally don't get cold that easily myself, but I am not well yet so that didn't help, and I didn't want to torture Sara either. 

So after shooting for little while in the cold, I felt kinda unmotivated and I was ready to give up. So we stopped by for a couple of hot drinks at Costa, and Sara suddenly had an idea. So thanks to that and to the friend that Sara is staying with, we had a place to shoot a little bit more inside. 

At the same time Roswell, my model for today messaged me about her fear that today's weather was getting worse than it looked like before. And our plan wouldn't work in even colder, windier and definitely rainier conditions. So we decided to cancel today. I'm not happy about it, since I really like shooting with her and was looking forward to it, but at the same time our plan wouldn't have worked and it would be a waste of time for us both. So, I'm looking forward until her upcoming visit to Denmark/Sweden in a few months . We'll make something epic out of that instead. :) 
 

 

Something is happening here

Finally, something photography related is happening here. 

I'm sitting at the Clarion Hotel at Copenhagen Airport waiting for tomorrow morning when I'm going back to the U.K. for a 14 day, 11 model tour, from London to Derby, Cardiff, York and back to London again. 

Hopefully it'll be great. It will be very very expensive and on top of that, I've been battling a cold for a couple of days, hopefully it'll get better soon. 

More updates will come soon.

Fujifilm X-H1

I guess I should make a post about the new Fujifilm X-H1. 

Have I bought one? Nope. Will I buy one? Probably yes since I am getting into video as well. But since I have this upcoming trip to London which will be a pretty expensive one, I will have to wait until June or something like that before getting the X-H1. 

It seems pretty awesome, the IBIS seems pretty good in it even if Fujifilm said that it wasn't possible to do because of the size of the X-mount and things like that, but okay, if it works it works. I'm not so sure about the removing of the exposure compensation dial, since I like that for photography, but it might be okay. A bit bigger grip is welcome though and of course the internal F-log. I've been thinking of getting an external recorder for the X-T2, but since they are pretty expensive (about 2/3 of an X-H1) I've been hesitating after hearing more about the X-H1 and now when it's not rumours anymore I'll pass on the recorder and put down some extra money and get a whole camera instead. 

I think it'll be good and I'll get back to that in a few months. 

Still nothing happening around here

Nope, not a single thing. And at the moment, I am on a sick leave from work since I have busted my knee and am walking with crutches. But hopefully only until later next week. 

Anyways, I'm pretty done with model booking for my upcoming London trip and awaiting my last confirmation. It'll be a busy (and expensive) trip, but hopefully worth it. 

Primordial

Not much going on here. Haven't touched a camera for a while which is cool. 

Been doing some music instead, and arranging my next photography trip to London/Wales/York. 

And instead of any photography stuff, here's a video by the magnificent Primordial. 

It's that time of year again...

...where nothing really photography oriented is happening. 

It's dark when I get up in the morning for work, it's dark when I get home from work, on the weekends it's raining, so yeah, it's boring as fuck. 

Which means that my intention to start doing video has stopped as well, though I am in the middle of buying stuff that I need, at the fastest pace I can so I have what I need when the weather gets better. Though I've got time to plan for shoots at the same time. 

But if photography gear is expensive, video gear is insane...

Anyhow, don't expect too much happening here since, well, not much is happening at the moment. Don't have any shoots planned or anything at the moment since it's shit weather all the time basically and I don't really shoot at studios. Though planning for the next year has started and will hopefully do some fun stuff together with Hanna and also Diviana. And then my upcoming mega model shooting trip to London in the spring. 

So things will happen again in a couple of months.

Herpy derp Adobe

Alright, so wtf about the Lightroom CC not being Lightroom CC but instead Lightroom Classic CC? And Lightroom Mobile being Lightroom CC, or? Many people online seem to be very confused about it, so well done Adobe, well done...

giphy.gif

 

Anyways I updated a couple of days ago, nothing weird with all the VSCO presets that I've made and everything seems normal, the same is with Photoshop CC, I didn't have to move any plugins or anything. But in Lightroom, if I delete rejected photos in while in the develop module and I try to go to the library module, well, it kinda gets all fucky. Never happened before, so probably a bug in the new version. 

And about the handling of Fujifilm RAF files, I've seen some people say it's better, I've also seen someone say it's worse, I don't really care. In fact, there hasn't been any problems with the Fujifilm RAF files for a long time, I think that people probably don't know what they're doing when it comes to processing photos or actually, take photos. It's actually pretty simple. If shit goes in - shit comes out. 

"Camera bags, why are they so damn ugly?"- bit of a follow up

Yes, they are still mostly real damn ugly. 

After I wrote the Camera bags, why are they so damn ugly? post, I've bought the Think Tank Retrospective 30 (Pinestone) and it seems very awesome. It actually looks really cool and I'm sure that it will look even better after being used for a while. It's big, with lots of room especially since I shoot Fujifilm. I haven't been on a shoot with it yet, but it feels like it's gonna be real good to reach for lenses and things like that while on urban model shoots for example. I will probably write a review after I've had the chance to use it. 

I've also got the Think Tank Airport Roller Derby for use while travelling and as a place to store excessive lenses and other gear while at home. I might haul it with me on the streets of London for example, going to shoots, but will probably just use it for the travel and then have my new Retrospective 30 back and forth to the shoots. I might also take it with me on shoots in Copenhagen. We'll see. I might also get back with a review of this one, but will not be travelling until April/May, so maybe won't really be testing it until then. 

By the way, it might not be completely fair to Think Tank, having this post mostly being about the two bags that I recently bought, and having a title like this. Their bags are really great, but I still believe that most of them also fall into the category of awful looking (except for the Retrospective line). 

I've actually written to Think Tank about a way to "spice up" their line of back packs. We'll see what they'll answer. :) 

Getting into video

This is a something that I didn't think I was going to write. Getting into video. 

Background:
I used to do quite a lot of video work back in the early 90's with my oldest friend and a couple of others. We shot lots af concerts and things like that, had a pretty cool setup with several S-VHS cameras with live-mixing since it wasn't as easy to edit footage back then. We didn't have Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premier which anyone can buy for a decent price (or even regular iMovie free for anyone with a Mac).
This was kind of a semi-pro setup, I mean for the amount of jobs that we had, we could not even dream about upgrading to Betacam because of the enormous cost of only one camera and one lens (easily €50.000 back then). But it was fun and the results pretty good for that time. 

But since then, I have been totally uninterested in shooting video for years and years. But I've been thinking more about it lately. Mostly it's actually doing some behind the scenes while I'm doing model shoots for example, maybe incorporating both time-lapses and video. I've got the DJI Osmo Mobile gimbal for my iPhone7. And while a phone obviously isn't a Canon C700 or a RED camera, there have been lots of things shot entirely with iPhones with pretty impressive results for what it is, since it can shoot in 4K. And since my X-T2 shoots in 4K as well I've been thinking "why not?". With the gimbal/iPhone I can not only get steady shots, but I can have it follow and film me or my model while on a tripod. Pretty cool. 

I have no intentions of trying to jump on the YouTube band wagon and start doing videos about gear or whatever. I mean, you never know, but I don't think I want to be that much in front of the camera (I'm far too ugly). But I will probably shoot some nature/landscape video on top of documenting my shoots, maybe a short film or documentary, maybe some "what's in my camera bag", who knows? I've ordered a fluid-damped video head (probably will put it on my biggest 3LT tripod since it's the sturdiest) to be able to shoot some nice damped panning shots. It's not what I'm going to concentrate on doing from now on, but something that would be cool to take up again a little on the side. And with minor investments, I'll have a simple but functional rig for my ambitions. 

But I've been looking at the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ since it's got a pretty nice camera, but it's €2000, so a bit expensive. But who knows, it would be pretty cool to shoot around some parts of the nature reserve close to my home, since there are many places that would be cool to shoot...

 

Camera bags, why are they so damn ugly?

Yes, why is it so? Of course it's a matter of taste and all of that, but still, most of them are hideous. 

I am currently on the look out for a new shoulder bag. And while I have the awesomeness that is the Wotancraft Scout in my possession, it is a bag that unfortunately is best suited for a camera with 2 lenses (one attached) or an X100T (or similar) and some other stuff and not for a bigger load of gear for a serious portrait session for example with the X-T2 w/ battery grip and lenses. I believe it is the best and coolest looking camera shoulder bag ever though, since it definitely doesn't look like one.

And I have a couple of amazing backpacks from F-stop (hands down the best brand when it comes to backpacks), but it's not always that a backpack is the best alternative either. For some serious walking/hiking/adventuring of course, but not for everything. 

So then it comes down to shoulder/messenger bags. Unfortunately most of them are hideous. Or too small. Or both. I mean, there are many great manufacturers like Domke, Billingham and LowePro for example, but their bags are so damn awful looking and they scream "camera bag". Think Tank is another awesome brand with mostly awful looking bags except for their Retrospective line which does not scream "camera bag". I would go for another Wotancraft bag, I mean YES, they are very expensive, but they are hand made and of extremely good quality, and you get what you pay for, but at the same time I don't think they have the right bag for what I'm looking for. It would be the Ranger but it goes for a whopping €629 and I still think it might be a bit small actually. Then there are ONA bags, all hipster photographer's favourite (as it seems to me). They are a bit on the expensive side (not like Wotancraft though) and they have a couple of bags that seem pretty good, but again, too small. 

So I think this might actually come down to the mentioned Think Tank and their Retrospective 30. It actually looks pretty cool and not like a camera bag and it seem to have quite a lot of space in it and it gets a lot of very good reviews. So even if I do want to get the Wotancraft Ranger, I might not be totally satisfied because of its size. And if I'd pay that much for a bag, I'd like to be satisfied. 

I'll get back on the subject.

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.