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. 

New London trip

So I've started to plan for my next trip to my favourite city, London.

My old passport will expire soon and I'm gonna pick up my new passport from the police this upcoming week and then I'm going to book the flights and hotel.
About the old one expiring, I renewed it just before moving to Australia. So, where the fuck did these last 5 years go?

Anyways, this time I'm gonna be staying around two weeks and I've started to get in contact with some models that I want to shoot with and they're more than before. I still haven't puzzled the actual dates together yet, but will do that this upcoming week after I have decided on the exact dates. I might try to squeeze in a couple more models than I've already been in contact with, but we'll see. I do want to do a bit more cityscapes and street photography than I did last time. 

The trip will be at the end of May and a few days into June. I'm also gonna go to MCM Comic Con, since I've heard that it's even bigger and better than London Film & Comic Con that I visited on my last trip in July/August 2016. We'll see about that as well.

Anyhow, here's an old photo of Millennium Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral.

Are cameras sexy?

No. They're cameras. 

Came across this discussion on a Fujifilm group on Facebook. 
I understand if someone is enthusiastic about their new camera, but posting photos of your camera and saying it's sexy? It's a camera. It's a tool to take photos with, that's all it is. It's fine if you like it, but sexy? 

I prefer to shoot with my X-T2 (and X-T1 and X100t) because they're more fun and enjoyable to shoot with than my Canon 5D MkIII. And they're smaller and lighter with better dynamic range and so on and so one. And I like the "hands on" approach of the Fujifilm cameras, with the type of shutter speed and ISO controls that they have and the aperture ring on the lenses. Back to basics, kinda, but it makes them more fun to shoot with for me.

What I don't get is the sexy part. 
And I don't get why someone would be buying the newly announced graphite version just because "it looks cool". Especially not when people sell their X-T2 (or X-Pro2) and lose money, to buy the same camera, with the same specs, just more expensive, less stealthy and just completely unnecessary. If you buy a camera for its looks, you're a hipster. 

But congratulations Fujifilm, you've found a way to cash in on some people's GAS, 

Maybe it is time to say "bye bye" to Canon?

I've been thinking about this for 2 years now. I bought my first Fujifilm camera (X-T1) a little bit more than 2 years ago now, and while it's a great camera, for some things I still haven't trusted it a 100%, and still don't since especially the autofocus is not good enough for some things. 

So I've kept my Canon 5D MkIII and lenses as a "security net" but I've hardly used it and now after having my third Fujifilm camera, the X-T2 which still is far from perfect, but still a lot better when it comes to autofocus for example, I think it might be time to let it go. 

The last two years I've moved away from shooting landscapes (even though I've started to think about coming back to it again), and I first started to shoot a lot of street photography and now mostly portraits/models. Sure, the 5D MkIII being a full frame body can create even shallower DOF than the X-T1/X-T2, but I don't really care that much about the difference since I really didn't shoot that much portraits before I started to use Fujifilm, and quite frankly, many times even focus on the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 becomes hard to hit exactly right since the DOF is so shallow, and I don't that that much shallower than that is not really any point of having. 

And when it comes to shooting landscapes, to be honest, the Canon falls short compared to Fujifilm since Fujifilm has a much better dynamic range, something that is very useful and important for landscape photography. Sure, there are ND filters to help balancing exposures and there is of course also a limit for what Fujifilm cameras are capable of, but there's still quite a difference. I'm still gonna buy quite a few Lee Filters Sev5n filters for my Fujifilm setup.

And I've also thought about things and, I don't really need a super fast autofocus, since I don't shoot sports or wildlife, I just need one that is accurate for portraits and landscapes and like I said, the Fujifilm X-T2 is quite a bit better than the X-T1 and probably not that far behind the 5D MkIII, so it'll be okay for street photography. 

 

Fujifilm X-T2 PRO

Unfortunately this is not a real camera, but it's a few thought about one. If you're interested, keep on reading and please leave a comment if you have one. 

Let me start off by saying that while I think my Fujifilm cameras are great for their small size and lightness, small size is not always only great news. It depends on what they're used for. If I shoot street photography for example, obviously I want the camera to be as non intrusive as possible, and light to walk around with for hours, so then obviously having an attached battery grip is not the best and it will come off then. Also while travelling, size and weight is important, trust me, I know. For landscape shooting it could be either way, if hiking a lot, obviously size and weight matters as well and the smaller size is be good here. But since I mostly shoot models/portraits at the moment, the battery grip is at least for me essential for good ergonomics. 

I had a short discussion with another photographer on Fuji X-Forum about camera body size and the thought about a "pro" sized body version of the X-T2 came up. And I totally support that idea. An X-T2 with a built in battery grip, with the same features as the battery grip has today, but integrated all in one piece, like Canon's 1DxII or Nikon's D5 but still just as big as the X-T2 with battery grip. It would open up for a larger and better battery, with more power or maybe even space for two of them. Since it's an integrated grip, a lot of room could be used, that aren't being used today because of the construction of the body and grip, so to speak. 

This could attract "pro" photographers that not only like Vanessa Joy (see my last post) care about what looks professional, actually needs and wants the features, especially with use of longer lenses or when shooting lots in portrait mode. Sure, there's only 2 larger Fujinon lenses today, but there might come more with time. 

I would buy this camera in an instance, and I don't think I'd be alone.

I don't think there will ever be one, but how awesome would it be? Sure, it wouldn't be as flexible as the X-T2 with an attached battery grip that can come on and off when needed to either save weight/size or when the features are needed. At the same time you would get an even sturdier design with an integrated grip, better ergonomics while shooting with big lenses or in portrait mode and the ability to have more power, something that is still a weakness of any power-hungry mirrorless camera.

In respond to Vanessa Joy, a great video by Jason Lanier

Wedding photographer Vanessa Joy wrote an article on Fstoppers about mirrorless cameras. 

I've read the article and it's ridiculous. While having seen Vanessa Joy's photos, I can't say that she isn't a good photographer, because she is, but this article is plain bullshit. 

While there are times when mirrorless cameras still aren't on par with DSLR's, what's limiting them the most of the time is the person using the camera, myself included. 

And here's a great video in response to that article, made by SONY Artisan of Imagery, Jason Lanier. And while I'm not a huge fan of SONY cameras myself I do agree with Jason most of the time (not always though), and he is spot on with this video.

Real testing of the X-T2, model shoots and boring life

Haven't updated much here and I see it has passed nearly a month since my last update. 

But the thing is that autumn has hit the south of Sweden where I live, and weather usually turns to shit and unshootable (probably not a real word) conditions. Especially for model and portrait stuff, the things I do mostly these days. 

The weird thing is that I have a new camera and I haven't used it that much, but the reason is pretty much the above. And the lack of models. And my regular job that includes on call duty which I hate to such a degree...

BUT this weekend I've been shooting in Copenhagen with the amazing Diviana. Both on Friday night and on Saturday. I got off work earlier on Friday and travelled to Copenhagen, met up with Diviana and took her to Tivoli in the heart of Copenhagen. What I haven't mentioned yet is that the weather obviously turned out to be the worst so far this autumn. I mean why the fuck wouldn't it?... 

It rained all Friday, with a few minutes here and there in the evening when it actually didn't. I had this idea of shooting inside of Tivoli, when they have fixed it up for Halloween. That would have been pretty cool if not the rain had ruined most of the mood. Where there should have been smoke and stuff, there were none since the rain killed it. And it was too dark and even if it was shit weather, too crowded with people. Sure, I brought one of my Rotolight NEO's with me to lit Diviana with, but it was still hard to get anything decent. But we tried for a couple of hours before  I gave up and let my poor model who was all damp and cold, go home and I went to my hotel. 

And then yesterday morning when I had the first look outside from the 15th floor, it was the greyest sky I've seen for ages and of course it was raining, and the wind was more present. Awesome...

I checked out from my hotel after a few hours and met up with Diviana again, this time we went for Botanisk Have (the Botanical Gardens) and it was much colder outside than on the night before, but we shot some in the gardens and then we went inside the big glass house where it's a bit more tropical feel than outside, to both get away from the rain and for Diviana to get a chance to warm up a bit. After that Diviana went for a change of outfit and we went for Christiansborg Palace to shoot some more. 

In all, yeah, the weather fucking sucked, but Diviana is really nice, a great model and was a champ even if the weather was bad and I still think that we got some pretty nice shots (that I'm currently working on) in the end. And we have ideas for more shoots, so we'll work together again in a few months. And until I'm done with these new photos, have a look at my other portraits of her here, or nudes of her here

So, real testing of the X-T2 right? Still, this is not a review, more thoughts on actually using it.

I guess I've done some testing of it now, this was the third time I used it to shoot a model and it's working pretty good I'd say. The autofocus is faster and a bit more exact, but it still struggled pretty bad when it was dark, but that was together with the XF 35mm f/1.4 R, which is a great lens optically, but focus motor not so much. 
And I've shot with high ISO on Friday night at Tivoli. Is it better than the X-T1? Well, I haven't compared but maybe, I still think it looks like shit though. ISO can go up to 12800 while shooting in RAW (obviously, since who shoots JPG?) but it's really noisy and it lacks so much detail it's not even funny. And while the X-T2 is really awesome, ISO still sucks. And I'm not talking about shooting at ISO 12800, I'm talking 6400, and it's not usable. But otherwise, it is pretty great. It's been raining on it, not too much since I've mostly been using the mentioned XF 35mm f/1.4 R and the XF 56mm f/1.2 R and they're not weather resistant, but worked perfectly. I only used my favourite lens, the XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR for a few shots. Weather resistance or not is not so vital, since you can't really shoot when it gets too bad anyways. It's another thing while shooting seascapes or something like that.
I've only used the X-T2 together with the battery grip, but maybe I shot around 750 shots yesterday, and only one bar dropped on the internal battery on the screen and none on the two in the grip. If that is true or not, I don't know, but seems unlikely. But I've shot 1500 with the X-T1 with battery grip, and only one bar went down on that one as well, so I don't think it's reliable on either of them. But as long as you have spare batteries it's okay. 

I might sound critical, and I am since it's not a cheap camera. But it's still a great camera and it's better than the X-T1. But I don't love it, and I don't love any of my cameras, since they're cameras which are tools to capture images with. Some people want to give them "souls" but that's stupid. First, souls does not exist, and second, they're dead things. But what they are, is cameras for photographers. There are many great cameras and I don't want to bash any, but what I've read and seen (and tried) about SONY cameras, well it's miles between them when it comes to being "real" cameras. Don't get me wrong, SONY make awesome sensors (it's a SONY sensor in the X-T2 as far as I know) and you can capture amazing photos with them, but the handling of them, well it's not the best. I haven't tried them all, but for the A7RII for example, it feels so backwards and non user friendly and those menus are ridiculous. With the Fuji's like the X-T2 you've got a camera, that feels like a camera, with the SONY's you've got electronic gadgets that you can capture images with. Great ones though, but I will never want to own one.

Anyhow, I will get back with more thoughts about the real use of the X-T2 along the way.

Not a review of the Fujifilm X-T2

No, this is not a review of it. I've had it for a week and it's much too soon to write a review on it, but I can tell you this, it seems promising. 

I've only shot a couple of test shots nearby and I've shot some model shots with it and some family shots for a work colleague, so it's way too soon to actually review it. So far I can say that it feels quicker than the X-T1, the autofocus feels faster and a bit more precise and the joystick for focus point is a nice addition, though I'll need some time to get used to it. The camera feels a little bit bigger, but since it is a little bit bigger, that's pretty natural. The camera feels solid and with the battery grip, it definitely is beefier than the X-T1 with battery grip, but it just makes the handling of the camera actually a bit easier. It's not a tiny camera with the battery grip attached, but still not big as in "Canon-5D-MkIII-w/-battery-grip" big. And definitely not as heavy either.

What else... The locking mechanism of the shutter speed and ISO dials, I don't know if I like it better or not than the one on the X-T1. I actually didn't mind how they worked. The third "axis" of tilting the screen is pretty nice though. 11 frames/second with the mechanical shutter is pretty fast, but I don't know why you would need 14 frames/second with the electronic shutter, since the problem with rolling shutter effect. But maybe they've done something about that? I don't know otherwise it's a pretty useless feature. And someone said it can shoot 4k video? That's nonsense, who shoots video with a still camera? 

The files then? Well, the dynamic range is supposed to be a little bit better than the X-T1, don't know if I can really tell yet though, I probably will when I've shot more with it. ISO is supposed to be better, don't know that either, it still doesn't look that nice on ISO 6400 I think. Haven't shot a person on that high ISO yet. 6400 on the X-T1 was useless, hopefully this will be better.

I don't know, can't be bothered writing more about it right now. Gonna take it more for a spin this weekend with two different model shoots in Copenhagen on Saturday, and see how it behaves. 

Like most people on social media do, here's shots OF the X-T2, not photos taken with it...

The whole family. Shot with iPhone 6.