Julia Sophie Liela on the streets of Munich ~ portraits with the Fuji X100

Apr 6, 2013 | Flash, Location | 14 comments

01. Munich is colourful and vibrant when the sun is out. Both of these shots were lit with two SB900 Speedlights on a Lovegrove Gemini bracket on a Lastolite Jupiter stand.

01. Both of these shots were lit with a pair of Nikon SB900 Speedlights firing into a 105cm silver parabolic umbrella mounted in a Lovegrove Gemini bracket on a Lastolite Jupiter stand. It’s my usual street kit for non windy days. Unfortunately it was windy and I could have done with a 50cm brolly instead.

Munich is colourful and vibrant when the sun is out. Radmila and I went to Starbucks for 10am in the centre of town to meet up with Julia, our model for the day. After warming up over coffee we exited the cafe by the back door and ventured into the park. Within seconds we were shooting. Here is a selection of the images I shot on my trusty Fuji X100

02. The Speedlight set up lifted Julia and gave her a radient glow on what was a very cold dull day at this time.

02. The Speedlight set up lifted Julia and gave her a radiant glow on what was a very cold dull day at this time.

03. It was too cold for Julia to take her coat off at the start of shooting but the day soon warmed up and so did we.

03. It was too cold for Julia to take her coat off at the start of shooting but the day soon warmed up and so did we. I love Julia’s beautiful, cute look. Radmila kept saying “you have such perfect teeth” and that made us laugh. We had fun despite the cold.

04. Columbs and arches are everywher in Munich. This gives me plenty of locations to take delegates if it is raining.

04. Columns and arches are everywhere in Munich. This gives me plenty of locations to take delegates if it is raining. After all, this was a recce shoot for a street fashion workshop.

05. I struggled to get the flash ambient

05. I struggled to get the flash ambient balance right for the shot on the left but finally I settled on this mix. The shots on the right are just delightful and lit with natural light. I love shooting into the light and the X100 lens is fabulous at rejecting flare.

06. When shooting portraits with the X100 (with it's fixed 35mm eqv lens) I have to ensure I don't get too close.

06. When shooting portraits with the X100 (with it’s fixed 35mm eqv lens) I have to ensure I don’t get too close. These are on the limit and are really better suited to a 50mm eqv lens like the 35mm f/1.4 on my Fuji X-Pro1.

07. Rather than faff around with carving blocks of stone for these buildings a few decorators popped in and painted the facades instead.

07. Rather than faff around with carving blocks of stone for these buildings a few decorators popped in and painted the façades instead. (Natural light)

My X100 settings for this shoot:

ISO 200, f/2 with a suitable shutter speed required to expose the scene as I wanted. I then added flash to taste. The X100 has an in lens shutter so I tend to use 1/60th – 1/1000 second as required.

08.

08. Munich was empty for us. I don’t know where everyone was but I was quite happy shooting in what looked like a large film set.

09.

09. Every now and then a group of tourists cluttered our backgrounds but really, I could cope with this. I spent many moments lying or kneeling on the cobbles. Radmila picked up a model shoot from a passing local right here. It’s being out and about shooting that gets the business, not sat in front of a computer.

10.

10. Here are a few sunlit portraits from our mini shoot session. The Fuji X100 pictures look fab straight out of camera. I’ve not had to adjust the colour balance on these at all. I whizzed them through Lightroom and here they are.

11. A bit more of the abandoned film set. The fountains were off because of freezing temperatures at night.

11. A bit more of the abandoned film set. The fountains were off because of freezing temperatures at night but in the summer this fountain must be spectacular.

A splash of direct flash

12. A splash of direct flash from my Gemini set up lit Julia beautifully. I needed both Speedlights on full power so I could cut the ambient exposure sufficiently. The whole scene including the background building is in full sun.

After a fabulous lunch amongst the business elite of Munich we found it hard to get going again so we shot for another twenty minutes or so and called it a wrap.

13. After a fabulous lunch amongst the business elite of Munich we found it hard to get going again so we shot for another twenty minutes or so and called it a wrap.

14.

14. We love you Julia. You are beautiful and fun.

If you would like to join me on a fully styled street shoot in Munich later in the year when it is a bit warmer, please email Laura.

Please feel free to comment on these pictures.

14 Comments

  1. Warren Butler

    The potential of the X100 never ceases to amaze. Any plans to run a street photography version of your X100 Creative Workshops?

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Warren,

      The X100 is a fab camera. I’m not really a ‘street’ photographer but I like to have fun with the X100 out on the street. The X100 workshops have had their day ;) It’s time for me to move on to more targeted creative workshops.

      Thanks, Damien.

      Reply
  2. Mike

    Nice natural looking images,can i ask if you are using,the raw setting,or the jpgs setting in these images Damien.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Mike,

      I always shoot jpeg and raw for technical reasons and I always process the RAW.So you see the RAW output via Lightroom. No Photoshop needed in my workflow.

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  3. Terrence

    I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the X100s :)

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Terrence,

      I’ve now had the opportunity to shoot my friends X100s alongside my X100 in identical circumstances and I’ve process the images. After much pixel peeping I’d say there is no more resolution despite there being more pixels because the x100 system is lens limited. Noise is about the same and I didn’t really notice much difference in focus speed. I prefer the Beyer sensor look anyway so even if I was offered a direct swap for free I’d keep my X100.

      A bit controversial perhaps but that’s the way it is.

      Nice to hear from you my friend :)

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  4. Vesselin Petkov

    HI, I’d love to join for a walk and street shoot in Munich this spring or summer. Where do I sign :-)

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Vesselin,

      Thank you. Unfortunately we might not be doing the street shoot in Munich. We were moved on by the secret police too many times and the atmosphere they created with their threatening manner was one of a hard oppressive regime not in line with the authorities I come across in other European cities who are polite and jovial. It’s a shame because I love the sights and feel of Munich and would be delighted to shoot there. That is why I recce every shoot I do.

      Why not join me in Venice instead where everyone is happy to party and photographers are welcome. Info is here: http://www.passionphotographyexperience.com/photography_training_in_italy.aspx

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  5. Philip Lord

    Nice work as always Damien. Until you acquired your Fuji’s I never have dreamed of using a compact for this sort of work.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Philip,

      Don’t confuse the Fuji cameras with compact cameras. They are worlds apart. The X-pro1 is not that small. It is the same size as a 35mm Leica and the X100 is only a bit smaller still. They both have the same size sensor as the Canon 7D. The X pro lenses are at another level too far exceeding most SLR optics that are more than 3 years old in design. The X100 lens is a perfect match for the sensor and produces better pictures than my 5D2 with the Canon 35mm f/1.4L prime lens. There will have to be a mk2 version of this Canon lens soon because the Sigma knocks spots off it too at a fraction of the price.

      It’s not about the camera any more it’s about the photographer and the vision. The only kit that really matters is the lens and the light.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  6. Darren Miles

    Stunning capture and a very broad, but also very natural range of poses. These kind of images are “right up my street” Damien and it’s really difficult for me to pick just one favourite. Absolutely loving your work at the moment – very inspiring indeed.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Darren. It was very cold indeed but we had fun :)

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  7. David Stubbs

    Inspiring work Damien. I have just bought a Fuji X100 and at the moment loving it! No intention to use it for work, just an easy pick-up and go camera for my family. The photos above are incredible, you have used the 35mm (23mm) with so much diversity. The ‘close up’ ones look great too.

    1 question: Do you shoot looking through the view finder? Or using the back screen like you do with the xPro1?

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your kind words again. I use the rear LCD to shoot with unless I’m in bright sunlight. Then I use the EVF. I never shoot with the optical viewfinder.

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply

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