Corporate shoot with the Fuji X-T1

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Two years ago I was commissioned to shoot a ‘Day In The Life’ project at BBC Bristol centre where I worked for 14 years from 1984 until 1998. I shot the complete project on my Fuji X-Pro1 with the 18mm, 35mm and 60mm lenses. Last month I was back but this time I had the Fuji X-T1 with 14mm, 23mm, 35mm and 56mm lenses. I was asked to  shoot formal and informal behind the scenes shots capturing the goings on in the newsroom, out on location and of course back in the studio. The project took several days in total but here are a few shots from my studio series.bbc_pw_02

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The X-T1 delivered so much more for me this time around because of the tilting screen. This feature alone made capturing shots like the ones above a doodle where before it would have been more guess work with a bit of trial and error.

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The brief was loose but the needs of the end users were very specific. I was working for the PR and the social media departments. The PR department need shots for presenter cards, BBC iPlayer graphics, framed portraits in the reception and corridor areas of the buildings and for event posters.  The social media team look after the Facebook and Twitter content feed and they needed shots that can be sliced into header graphics etc.

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I shot each of the presenters in turn capturing both portrait and landscape aspect photographs from a variety of angles.

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I worked between transmissions so I asked my assistant Suzi to stand in as an ‘extra’ operating a camera to make it look like we might be on air.

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The graphic panels in the set are created with back projection and as theses projectors use DLP technology there was colour shifting when I shot above 1/60th second. The colour shifting will get sorted at the print stage. What I have here are selected jpegs for illustration purposes prior to final polishing are and are not ‘official release’.

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The light level in the BBC Bristol studio when I started in 1984 was 1200 lux for the Link 110 tube cameras. The lighting rig then was a selection of 5kw and 2.5kw fixtures for the key lights and 1kw pups for the back lights. The light level in the studio today is about 400 lux and this is more than enough for the latest generation of HD broadcast cameras. This level can easily be achieved with modern LED Fresnel spotlights from companies like Lupolux and Arri. My camera settings for this set of shots were in the region of ISO 1600, f/2 at 1/60th second.

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At least we had an authentic weather map to work with :) My thanks go to the whole team for making me feel welcomed home.

Please feel free to post comments or questions on the shoot, lighting or camera kit below.

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About Damien

Damien Lovegrove learned his trade as a cameraman and lighting director during 14 years at the BBC, working on programmes such as the Clothes Show, Top of the Pops and Casualty. Fifteen years on, Damien has become one of the foremost trainers of photography and entrepreneurial business strategies in our industry. A published writer and regular columnist, Damien has travelled the globe sharing his knowledge and expertise. “Photography fascinates me” declares Damien. "Much of my photography is inspired by a burning enthusiasm within me” explains Damien. “Picking up a camera gives me such a rush that I’m instantly driven to create pictures.”

9 thoughts on “Corporate shoot with the Fuji X-T1

  1. Great job Damien! I was surprised to read that the light level was so low (400 lumens). I would have figured that the modern HD cameras would require more than that. But, 1600 ISO should be no problem for quality images from the X-T1.

  2. Damien,

    Great set, but I wish this would be more about the considerations to be made when doing a shoot like this for a highly visible client. For example, how did you approach the framed portraits versus the social media images? How much of the technical side of the production equipment (cameras and studio lights) does a PR department like to see in the images? Do he presenters have a say in how they are portrayed in these images? Are they natural posers since they are so often on camera? Are they easier to work with in that case? For me its less about the famous Fuji. I am certainly not considering buying one, so some of the enthusiasm you have for what is a clearly capable bit of kit falls by the wayside.

  3. Well considering the title of the post was specifically for a corporate shoot with X-T1, I’m not sure why you would expect it to cover something else.

  4. Hi Rick,

    Thanks for the compliments. Modern HD cameras can shoot in 8 lumens but 400 is where it’s at for most studios. That is the same as a bright modern office. I regularly shoot my X-T1 at ISO 3200 without concern.

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

  5. Hi Philip,

    You raise some important questions there and I’ll address those below. This post is a picture post rather than a business or lighting post. I mention the Fuji cameras for two reasons. 1, because I have a group of blog readers that always ask what camera and lenses I am using and 2, It gives me thousands of views rather than hundreds if I don’t mention the camera. When I used to shoot Canon I did the same thing. This post back in 2008 when SLRs were king attracted 700,000 views: http://www.prophotonut.com/2008/09/20/canon-5d-mk2-high-iso-pictures/ (The current counter on this blog only started a couple of years ago). This post with the X100 has had 43,000 views in that time and my best to date has to be this post: http://www.prophotonut.com/2012/04/02/posing-couples-80-pictures-and-poses/ with 1.2 million views on the new counter. As a blogger, I need to know my audience and keep the key words, tags and titles targeted at bringing them back time and again.

    Here is the info you require in a concise manner fit for a comment box:

    1. Research. I looked at the BBC website, Facebook, Twitter feed, iPlayer and worked out how they use presenter and behind the scenes images. Size, shape, quantity, style etc. For instance I noticed pictures for iPlayer are all 16×9 and while TV and national radio have varied and multi coloured backgrounds often with striking use of negative space, local radio presenter pictures are high key white background. I looked around the building where my photographs are going to be displayed in frames and looked at the size and shape of existing frames.

    2. Plan. I liaised with the planning and presenter rotor team to establish who was going to be in on what day and when I was going to shoot them. They were then informed so that they could ensure they were having a good hair day and they had the right wardrobe items with them.

    3. Feedback. During each shoot session I showed the back of my camera to my client to get feedback and further ideas or needs from them. So there were no surprises when my pictures were uploaded to Dropbox after each session.

    It’s all basic stuff but it has to be done. I hope this helps,

    Damien.

  6. Damien,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond, and for the detailed answer. I understand a little better now.

    Regards, Philip.

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