A 164 frame engagement shoot with the Fuji X-T1 and 56mm f/1.2 lens

Mar 16, 2014 | Continuous Lighting, Location | 22 comments

1.

01.

Jake and Jolie are engaged to be married next year and agreed to model for my 1:2 training session with some clients from Scotland. We shot on the streets and in the bars of Bristol. I showed my clients how to find dry shooting locations if it’s raining and how to find amazing light no matter what the weather is doing. The day started with flat overcast light and ended with afternoon sunlight. These pictures were all taken using the available light and hand held.

02.

02.

I know this new lens and camera from Fuji is hot property right now so I thought I’d show what it can do and how the pictures look when shooting portraits wide open or nearly wide open. To save you wading through lots of images here I’ve exported a web gallery from Lightroom. Just click on the graphic and you will be transported to the gallery. Some Lightroom templates don’t display correctly on Google Chrome browser but Safari, IE and Firefox seem fine. Click on the thumbnails to see the Exif data. I’ve included it so you can see the aperture set etc.

Engagement photo shoot lightroom gallery

Click on the picture to go to the gallery. It contains all the 164 shots from this shoot and the EXIF data for your perusal.

 

I shot every frame on the Fujifilm X-T1 in manual exposure mode. I used the screen on the back or the big, bright viewfinder to set the framing and exposure of each shot before I pressed the button. This live preview is so much faster than the faff with an SLR of taking a shot, looking at it, adjusting settings etc and taking another one. I end up shooting far less pictures and get many more ‘hits’ in my output. It’s refreshing to have no ‘test’ shots that are under or over exposed etc.

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03.

As you may know Lightroom doesn’t support the RAW files from the X-T1 yet but as the sensor and gubbins in the X-T1 is the same as the X-E2 I decided to fool Lightroom into thinking the RAWs were from the X-E2 and it worked a treat. I used an app called EXIF Editor from the Mac app store and batch changed the ‘Model’ field in the whole set of images. It took about 2 minutes and then I imported the files into Lightroom in the normal way.

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The pictures are pretty much as shot. There is no skin blemish removal, fake vintage or other preset applied. Just good old fashioned real photography that shows it as it is. This is the kind of set my clients pick their album pictures from and I’d expect to produce an album with about 70 – 80 pictures from this set of 164 shots.

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05.

Shooting with the small and light X-T1 with the 56mm lens is so easy. I don’t even need to have a camera bag. This helps avoid being spotted as a professional and I’d expect never to get moved on. You don’t need lots of expensive gear to take great engagement pictures, just a good eye, an ability to build rapport, and some directing skills. This was the first time I’d met Jolie and Jake and after a swift Cappuccino we were having fun from shot one.

jj_18

06.

The X-T1

So much has already been written about the Fujifilm X-T1 it seems little point to me to repeat the tech stuff here. I’m getting used to the ISO lock on the control dial. I’m getting used to the recessed command dial. Within the next week or so the X-T1 will seem instantly familiar. The key to getting the most from new kit is to embrace change not fight it.

I like:

  • The big viewfinder. I don’t need to wear glasses to shoot.
  • The tilting viewfinder. Perfect for high and low shots.
  • The fast read write time with the 260Mb/s Toshiba cards.
  • The small neat non slip grip.

I dislike:

  • I’d prefer it in silver.
07.

07.

The 56mm f/1.2 lens

I like:

  • The f/1.2 look. It’s not as brutal as the Canon 85mm f/1.2 and I’d say the bokeh has a look similar to the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.8
  • The fast focus.
  • The lens hood. It works and looks okay.
  • The close focus is better than I’d ever hope for.

I dislike:

  • Nothing. This lens is perfect for portraits.
08.

08.

Here is the gallery with all 164 pictures. If you like the pictures do please leave a comment here. Thanks :)

Feel free to ask questions below. If you would like to spend a day shooting with me. Drop Laura or Blaise a call on +44(0)1275 853204 or email. We have an extensive list of resources and you get to choose the venue, the model, the genre. Let’s make it happen :)

22 Comments

  1. Radmila Kerl

    Beautiful. Love the energy in it, the light is beautiful. Would love to see the album. Great work as always!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Radmila,

      Thank you for your kind words. You are often in my thoughts.

      Damien x

      Reply
  2. Rick Lewis

    Beautiful work Damien. I just go my X-T1 and love it.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Rick,

      Enjoy your new camera :)

      Damien.

      Reply
  3. Helen Perry

    Hi Damien, fantastic photos as always. I bought this set up too and am excited about being liberated from the weight of the DSLR. I’d like to try getting the best JPEGS straight out of camera for personal work. Do you think it’s possible or is RAW still the only true way to go? Do you think the dynamic range feature eliminates the need for ND grads in landscapes?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Helen,

      Shoot RAWs but shoot like you are going to use the Jpegs. The dynamic range feature does not eliminate the need for grads in landscapes but you can choose if you want to use grads anyway. Not everyone does.

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  4. Carl

    Beautiful – absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Even if I owned the X-T1 (on order) and the 56 I don’t think I could ever produce what you did! I see it – but you did it! Amazing!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Wow, Thank you Carl. Kind words indeed.

      Best regards, Damien.

      Reply
  5. Murray

    Lovely pictures, a really nice set to choose from. My guess is you might use this couple as models going forward, they certainly look good together.

    That is an excellent portrait lens.

    Like the Lightroom gallery, I think it works better than having all the images in the blog.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Murray,

      Yes they are a great couple. I will use them again if I get asked for another 1:1 training session on photographing couples. I’ve stopped doing UK workshops now so all my training is on a truly bespoke basis where my clients get to choose the models, the venue and the date. It’s far better all round :)

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  6. Richard Mortimer

    That is one amazing camera (and photographer!). I’m really tempted to get one! Great photos as always.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks for your compliments Richard :)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  7. Graham Millett

    Lovely set of images Damien always find ideas when viewing your work. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Graham :)

      Reply
  8. Rosemary

    Damien do you ever do workshops in N Ireland My xT1 is on order

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Rosemary,

      I have done NI workshops. I’ve done them for the PPANI and if invited back I’d come again.

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  9. Warren Butler

    Fabulous pictures as always Damien. I feel another workshop coming on but just need to find one a little closer to home.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Warren,

      Thanks for your kind words. Manchester was great and maybe I’ll be back up North some day. Why not come to Cambodia or Sweden? Details are here.

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  10. mick

    Love the work. I shot a wedding with my X-t1 this week, and my 56mm should be here any minute!

    Mick.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Mick, Enjoy that X-T1 and 56mm combo. I know I do :)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  11. John

    Great set of images Damien. I always enjoy looking at your work.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks John :)

      Reply

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