With the Fujifilm X100F through Southeast Asia

When it comes to Travel Photography I hear a lot of questions which gear may be the best. Should You switch to a DSLR and a whole parade of lenses, or is something small and compact better?

Being Familiar with Your Camera

I prefer to use the gear that I am already familiar with and wouldn't switch anything. In Berlin, I use the Fujifim X100F and even though You might be scared to only have a fixed-focal-length camera with You and might miss some shots, this isn't really a problem. I am facing the same "problem" while photographing in Berlin and so far I have not run into a scene, that was impossible to photograph with this camera.

Instead of buying new gear just for a journey, use the camera that You are already familiar with and use it its maximum potential.

Hanoi

My first stop was Hanoi and I absolutely love this city and its small alleys as well as the characteristic of the sun.

Hanoi is famous for its train track which allows for some great leading lines, but also coffee and relaxation. Especially in the morning or evening hours when the sun is lower, the long drawn tracks are a great opportunity to get decent shots.

Normally, Hanoi is a very busy place and the train tracks are a great change of pace.

In this city, the Fujifilm X100F can also show its great versatility. Whether You are out shooting on the markets in old-town, the train tracks or visiting the Hoan-Kiem Lake at night, the camera always performs well. Crowded places, low light situations or directly into the sun, the X100F is suitable for all these situations.

The hardest Challenge in Indonesia

After Hanoi, I visited Saigon and Jakarta, which were great cities also, but not that different from Hanoi when it comes to travel photography.

On the contrary, in East Java, a real adventure waited for me and my photography. I planned to stay for a few weeks in the Indonesian Jungle and wanted to document the life in a remote village, as well as the miners at the Mount Ijen nearby.

Already on the second evening, my homestay's host invited me to the wedding of his cousin. I didn't know what to expect and how a traditional Indonesian wedding would look like. So I brought also my external flash with me because it gets dark very early there.

It was the right choice and in combination with the X100F, I managed to get some decent shots of the bride & groom, as well of the wedding party.

On the technical side, I like to pre-focus my camera to around 1.5 ~ 2 meters and use an aperture of f/8 or f/11. In low-light, the auto-focus can be a little weak, but by pre-focusing, I can circumvent this problem and still get my shots.

Mount Ijen

Then I arrived at the main reason of my journey - the Mount Ijen.

The mountain is best known for its "Blue Fire" at night and the reason why tourists, usually go there at the evening and leave in the early morning hours.

My purpose was different as I wanted to document the miners and their incredible hard job.

Mount Ijen is a volcano mountain and home to one of the largest sulfur source.

The miners carry manually up 70kg of sulfur on their back up and down the crater. What is already a difficult path without the weight on my shoulders and takes more than an hour, is even more of a challenge for the miners.

But they aren't satisfied with this one load, they do this tour four times during a work day, bringing around 280kg to the buyer.

Going down the crater and photographing at the same time is a huge challenge. From the bottom of the crater, toxic sulfur smokes rises and the wind is very unpredictable.

Apart from my own health, I was already afraid how my X100F would work in this environment. I didn't take any precautions for the camera aside from a new lens hood.

Of course, I wanted to get close and dive right into the scene, which meant that the camera was also exposed to the sulfur smoke and the dust.

Gas masks are mandatory when descending to the bottom of the crater, but my camera didn't have any additional protection.

Arriving at the bottom I photographed the direct mining of the sulfur, which normally no tourist is able to witness. Standing for around 20 minutes in the smoke, I could feel my lungs and eyes burn, but at the same time was very happy with the performance of the camera.

Escaping this surreal place I was very afraid that the camera would have taken damage from a long time in the smoke & dust.

Two months later, the camera still performs very well and has endured this tour very well. Some buttons are a little stiff, but this is honestly not a big problem for me and I am confident that with a little more time they will also improve again.

My conclusion is now, that it doesn't take a lot of gear or different equipment for such a journey where You are facing a lot of different places and events. For me, my Fujifilm X100F was more than sufficient and even survived toxic sulphur smoke.

I am sure, with any other setup I wouldn't be as happy and wouldn't change anything for the next trip."

Website: https://streetbounty.com/


The Exposure Triangle : ISO

The ISO setting is the odd one out in the exposure triangle and in some ways the most outdated and less important setting. In the future, I think it will be replaced by a gain dial or some other way to better suit the needs of a photographer.

'generally, the more expensive professional cameras produce less noise at higher ISO levels.' - AP magazine

With this in mind - this blog hopes to explain what ISO means to a photographer and how to best use the dial on your camera to get the best images you can.

Film Cameras & Digital Cameras.

Iso is the only setting linked to the Exposure Triangle that changed during the move from film cameras to digital cameras.

Or to be more relevant, the ISO dial is the most effected dial on a camera during the move from analog to digital. When digital sensors replaced rolls of film, nothing else really changed regarding how cameras work. We still have aperture settings, shutter speed settings & different focal lengths to work with. In the past, we would have to change the film to increase the sensitivity, but now we have a dial.

Above: An example of an image with grain/noise

The higher the number, the more boosted the digital signal is from the sensor. Boosting the signal, just like with audio speaker or microphone - increases static or noise - in other words, increasing the sensitivity will increase the static just as much as the signal we are trying to capture. This is visually apparent as a loss of quaily in an image.

Back in the film days - the fastest film commonly available was 3200 for B&W or 1600 for a colour image. Most photographers using digital cameras today are happy to shoot up into the higher settings with no problem. It is very hard to compare film to digital. But, from my own experience, we are way past the argument that film is better in terms of quality of image when looking for detail using like for like lighting settings. This is not to say which is better - in the right hand's film cameras can give awesome results going up against the most recent cameras today.

With the advancing technology moving forward, working with higher ISO's has become less or a worry. When I first started shooting I would do everything in my power to avoid going above ISO 800 due to a total lack of image quality. The above image shows a cut away from two images - one at 200 ISO and the other boosted to 12800 iso in Camera.

Interesting - I tried a quick experiment. Knowing that the ISO adjustment is just boosting the signal/sensitivity of the sensor. I took two images. One at the base (iso 200 on the X-Pro2) and one at 12800. The image at iso 200 was dark, as expected, but then I boosted the full amount Adobe Lightroom give. This is what we mean by 'post-produced' as we are appliing effects after the camera stage.  Both images captured in RAW.

Above: ISO 12800
Below: ISO 200 - adjusted in Adobe Lightroom to match exposure

Below: the same image photographed at ISO 200.

From this very quick test, it seems very clear that the technology and processing in camera is having a better final outcome than just adjusting the RAW files after. It seems like getting your ISO right in camera is going to give you a better and cleaner final image if you are working the camera, not just using post-processing tools to rescue files.

What does Noise look like?

Shooting the lowest possible ISO is the way to go. We can make adjustments using the exposure sliders after we can take the images in post-processing but with less quality than using the camera ISO dial. Digitally boosting the images will increase the amount of 'noise' in the image, but that is a trade-off for having a faster shutter speed or aperture setting that we wish to use.

From AP magazine - 20 tips n using ISO.

The Shutter Speed dial, Aperture Speed dial, and ISO dial are used together to balance out the settings for an image/exposure.

ISO is the only setting that does not artistically control any part of an image. It only adjusts how sensitive the sensor is, letting us have more freedom to use different shutter speeds and aperture settings. However, from personal experience, I have found that as the noise increases, the colour becomes less saturated and texture becomes softer.  The unedited image below was produced at 2000 iso. Normally using flash I would never use an ISO rating this high. Due to the amount of noise, the image seems a little soft with the hair and skin looking waxy.

This image of Roseanne was taken using the same lighting style but at a much lower (ISO 200). It's clear to see the difference. Look at the sharpness in the hairlines with how well the camera copes with the skin texture.

Is ISO linked to Dynamic Range?

Shooting your LOWEST ISO is always my main thought while setting up the camera. Getting this right is the very best way to get the most out of your camera.  This sunset (below) was photographed at ISO 50 on a Hasselblad 500C. Shooting the lowest ISO will give you the best flat out the start, and as you increase the ISO you will see colours change, become less vivid and less contrast. It is said that the range its- self is not linked but, you do seem to get a different range of colours. What do you think? Try your own tests. Remember the ISO values are not constant across brands, cameras or any listed spec sheet.

Shooting this image at iso 50, I was getting the best the camera could do in terms of sharpness, colour, contrast and all-out performance.

When to Use Low ISO

I might be wrong, but I would say always use the lowest ISO you can. This sometimes might be quite high as you should always give priority to your shutter speed and aperture settings as they control what your image is going to look like. Using Tripods and adding lighting are always going to be preferable to shooting higher ISO's if I can.

If you are planning on doing any sort of post-production, shooting the lowest ISO becomes even more critical. Retouching becomes harder the less you have to work in the first instance.

  • Landscape
  • Beauty
  • Advertising
  • Commercial
  • Wide Range of colours
  • Vivid Colour
  • Smooth Tones

What ISO Should You Use?

The lowest you can without having to introduce motion blur with your shutter settings.

Auto ISO - Good or Bad?

In many cameras, you can use an Auto ISO setting. The Fujifilm cameras have a range of settings you can pick from to limit the range of auto settings that the camera will use.

When is an image to 'noisy' & When to Use High ISO

I have and do use my full range of given ISO's in the camera, then sometimes boost them, even more, using tools like Photoshop or Lightroom.
Images like this one (below: Bowling for Soup) taken at 1600 are very common these days but would of been very risky even a few years ago.

Super high ISO shots are great for when you have fast moving subjects in a very low light area. With this image of Patent Pending, they are moving about quickly in a very dark red light. Boosting the ISO and using a fast lens was the only way to be able to have a fast enough shutter speed to avoid motion blur.  This image is taken at 12800 iso but had nose reduction applied in lightroom.

Sometimes shooting high ISO's can be used to create an effect - such as with this image of Ryan, Rob & Micky. We are using all the elements of distortion and degradation given using higher iso to provide the look in the image.  ISO 2500.   

In short, we all have to set our own levels of the image we are looking to create, however, I would say that using the lowest ISO you can is always the best idea - unless you are trying to use the higher ISO to capture the noisy gain, like in the image above.

The short version.....

ISO is linked to both Shutter Speed and Aperture - using this equation.

  • H=E x T
  • (H) Exposure = irradiance x time

Irradiance (E)

  • Amount of light falling on a unit area of a sensor per second (measured in lumins)
  • Controlled by the Aperture

Exposure Time (T)

  • in Seconds
  • Controlled by the Shutter

ISO only comes in to play when the result of this equation ( you set the aperture and shutter speed ) hits the sensor.

Fun Facts via Wikipieda.

  • The ASA and DIN film speed standards have been combined into the ISO standards since 1974.
  • The ISO standard ISO 12232:2006 gives digital still camera manufacturers a choice of five different techniques for determining the exposure index rating at each sensitivity setting provided by a particular camera model.
  • Digital cameras have far surpassed film in terms of sensitivity to light, with ISO equivalent speeds of up to 4,560,000 (Canon's ME20F) with the Nikon D5 having an ISO of 3280000.
  • Some high-speed black-and-white films, such as Ilford Delta 3200 and Kodak T-MAX P3200, are marketed with film speeds in excess of their true ISO speed as determined using the ISO testing method. For example, the Ilford product is actually an ISO 1000 film, according to its data sheet. The manufacturers do not indicate that the 3200 number is an ISO rating on their packaging. Kodak and Fuji also marketed E6 films designed for pushing (hence the "P" prefix), such as Ektachrome P800/1600 and Fujichrome P1600, both with a base speed of ISO 400.

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This blog is part of the EXPOSURE TRIANGLE blogs.

Find the links to the other two by clicking the images.

Extra reading - Marc Levoys lectures are very intense, but if you are looking for a more technical explanation of how photography works and the maths & equations behind it check out this link for a full comprehensive set of lectures. https://sites.google.com/site/marclevoylectures/


Edinburgh Street Photography Workshop with Matt Hart and Ami Strachan

There are only 8 places available on this workshop.
The cost is £120 per person but early bird tickets are £99
This workshop will encourage debate about Street Photography and help the participants to be more critical about their work.
The workshop is suitable for professional and amateur photographers of all levels. We ask you to familiarise yourself with using your camera and learn how to change settings quickly before attending the day, this will enable you to enjoy the experience fully.
The day will start at 10.30am and conclude at 16.30pm with a break for lunch and plenty of comfort breaks throughout the day, most of the day will be out on the streets. There is a lot of walking during the day and the event may take place in inclement weather so come prepared.
You will spend the day with Fujifilm X Photographer Matt Hartand the Edinburgh Street Photographer Ami Strachan exploring the streets picking up tricks and tips on Matt's and Ami’s styles of Street Photography.
Matt’s Street photography workshops and courses are fun, informative and relaxed. They are both challenging and highly enjoyable and designed to stretch your imagination.
Ami's Street photography workshops are also relaxed and very entertaining.
Together Ami and Matt have contrasting styles of Street Photography but they work very well together, so you get the best of both worlds.
Matt uses the Fuji X100F and XPro2 with a 23mm or 16mm Prime lens.
Ami uses the X100T
You can bring any DSLR or mirrorless camera on this course; fixed lens compacts are also welcome. If you are wondering what lenses to bring 50mm is ideal for full frame and 35mm film uses. APSC size sensors 35mm is ideal or lenses around the normal focal length.
The day normally starts at 10.30am with a coffee introductions and a discussion about the day. Matt will be giving a two hour talk on Street Photography in the morning and will touch on the ethics and law and how to deal with challenges in this area.
Next he will discuss camera set up for the day and the best set up for street photography with a practical demonstration of street camera technique.
Matt will cover what Street Photography is, and show you some of his favourite Street Photographers images. He will also show you the best way to approach his style of Street photography.
We normally spend around two hours covering these subjects then around 12.30am we head straight out on to the streets where you can watch the way Ami and Matt work and try out some of the tips and tricks that they share with you.
We break for lunch around 1.30pm where we can find a quiet place for a snack to discuss the mornings work and share our experiences.
We then go back out on the streets to practice your new street techniques and try and find your street rhythm and look for some interesting characters or great light!
We stay out shooting until about 4pm, we then find a quiet place to sit as a group to discuss the day and this will include lessons learnt. Matt will share his processing techniques and preferred software. Matt and Ami will give you their views on Critique and show you how to review your own work.
You will be able to post your work and talk to Matt and Ami after the event through his Social Media pages or by e mail, this includes a social media link to upload and share your best work.
Full details of the day will be sent by e mail one week prior to the event.

Terms and conditions.
We are unable to give a full refund in the event of non-attendance without notice, regardless of the circumstances. We will try to find you another place on a similar course or you can nominate a friend to take your place.
In the event of sufficient notice being given (two months) we will refund 75% of your payment, the remainder will cover the administration costs of refilling the place.
We also reserve the right to cancel any of the workshops if there is insufficient demand. We will confirm the workshop is running two months before the actual date so please don’t leave it too late in booking your place.
Tickets are not transferable without first contacting us.
Tickets cannot be exchanged, transferred, or resold for commercial gain.
No food, beverages, accommodation or transport is provided unless stated.
Please note Travel and Equipment Insurance is not included, please provide your own if required, as Fujiholics cannot accept any liability for loss damage or injury to you, your vehicle or equipment.
We do not tolerate racial, sexual, religious or abusive behaviour whether it be verbal or physical from any clients, either towards our staff or other attendees, should you take part in any behaviour which is deemed unsuitable you will be removed from the workshop without a refund. In extreme cases, legal action will be taken.
Please make us aware of any medical issue that may affect your ability to take part.
Fujiholics does not guarantee the weather, temperature or photographic perfection on any workshops - they are all subject to occasional adverse weather. We aim to teach techniques and skills that can be take away and practiced.
Each participant takes part in the workshop at their own risk, we will give a safety briefing at the start of each session but it is up to the participant to decide whether they are confident enough or physically able to take part in each session. If you have any questions, please contact us directly.


Fujifilm X Camera Workshop with Andrew Newson

Fujifilm X Camera Workshop with Andrew Newson
Pret A Manger
110 Paternoster Square
London
EC4M 7DY
10.30am-4.00pm
The workshop is £89.99
There are only 8 places available on this workshop.
The workshop aims to give participants a good introduction to the main features of their Fujifilm X camera. We will move away from using fully automatic modes and learn how to take better and more consistent photos.
This workshop is a fun and social way of learning. It's not important to have any prior knowledge of your camera.
Users of all Fuji X cameras, such as:
Fujifilm X100 / X100s / X100t / X100f
Fujifilm X-T1 / X-T2
Fujifilm X-Pro 1 / X-Pro 2
Fujifilm X-E1 / X-E2 / X-E2s
Fujifilm X-T10 / X-T20 / X-M1 / X-70
The day will start at 10.30 am and conclude at 16.00 pm.
The objectives are for you to take control of your camera by utilising Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual exposure modes so you can start to achieve consistently better photographs.
The day will start with coffee and introductions at Pret A Manger (Paternoster Square). Everyone will meet and get to know each other before Andrew gives a talk on how to use your camera. He will explain how best to control your camera, give advice on software and share some Fujifilm specific tips and tricks for getting the most out of your camera.
Everyone will be given notes to follow and these are yours to keep and refer back to. There will also be plenty of chance to ask questions too.
We will aim to leave Pret A Manager at no later than 12.00pm and embark on a photowalk of around 3 miles. This is your chance to put into practice what you have just learned and with Andrew on hand at all times to help, should you have any issues. He will also set up a few test photo scenarios, so everyone can practice getting their settings right.
As part of the course you will be set a little creative assignment, to photograph Andrew’s list of 10 things in a creative and unique way. There’s no pressure but it’s fun way to get creative, take some nice photos and get used to your camera.
The photowalk part of the course will finish at around 1.30pm where you will head to a pub and download your photographs and share with the group. Andrew will offer some feedback, both positive encouragement and constructive advice.
It would be useful if you could bring an iPad/tablet or laptop to download your images. It’s much easier and quicker if you can download your own images and choose your best photos to share with the group instead of having to wait to use just one device. If you don’t have a tablet or laptop you will be able to use Andrew’s.
The course will finish no later than 4.00pm.
You will be able to share your photos through Social Media after the event.
The photowalk is likely to be around 3 miles and the event may take place in inclement weather so come prepared.
Some of the things covered in the workshop…
ISO
APERTURE
SHUTTER SPEEDS
SHOOTING MODES: Programme, Aperture Priority & Shutter Priority
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION

WHAT WILL YOU NEED?
A Fujifilm X camera
Lens or Lenses
A Fully charged battery and ideally at least 1 spare
An empty memory card
An iPad, Tablet or Laptop (not essential, but useful)
A pen and pad to make some notes
Some money for lunch/drinks
Further details will be sent out one week before the event.

Terms and conditions.
We are unable to give a full refund in the event of non-attendance without notice, regardless of the circumstances. We will try to find you another place on a similar course or you can nominate a friend to take your place.
In the event of sufficient notice being given (two months) we will refund 75% of your payment, the remainder will cover the administration costs of refilling the place.
We also reserve the right to cancel any of the workshops if there is insufficient demand. We will confirm the workshop is running two months before the actual date so please don’t leave it too late in booking your place.
Tickets are not transferable without first contacting us.
Tickets cannot be exchanged, transferred, or resold for commercial gain.
No food, beverages, accommodation or transport is provided unless stated.
Please note Travel and Equipment Insurance is not included, please provide your own if required, as Fujiholics cannot accept any liability for loss damage or injury to you, your vehicle or equipment.
We do not tolerate racial, sexual, religious or abusive behaviour whether it be verbal or physical from any clients, either towards our staff or other attendees, should you take part in any behaviour which is deemed unsuitable you will be removed from the workshop without a refund. In extreme cases, legal action will be taken.
Please make us aware of any medical issue that may affect your ability to take part.
Fujiholics does not guarantee the weather, temperature or photographic perfection on any workshops - they are all subject to occasional adverse weather. We aim to teach techniques and skills that can be take away and practiced.
Each participant takes part in the workshop at their own risk, we will give a safety briefing at the start of each session but it is up to the participant to decide whether they are confident enough or physically able to take part in each session. If you have any questions, please contact us directly.


Fujiholics Clothing

We are pleased to announce that we have introduced Fujiholics clothing range starting with a T-shirt and Hoodie.

The T-Shirt & Hoodies come in various sizes and feature the Fujiholics - Feed The Addiction logo.

We've kept the design simple and not too loud..

 

Fujiholics - Feed the Addition Hoodie (Black)
Fujiholics - Feed the Addition Hoodie (Black)
Fujiholics - Feed the Addition TShirt (Black)
Fujiholics - Feed the Addition T-Shirt (Black)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


For more information and to order an item, please visit the following links

T-Shirt =  Fujiholics - Feed the Addition T-Shirt

Hoodie = Fujiholics - Feed the Addition Hoodie