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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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’d prefer it in silver.
The 56mm f/1.2 lens
- 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.
- Nothing. This lens is perfect for portraits.
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 :)