Riley and Taybrey had a beautiful day for a wedding back in August. It was a little blustery at first but the blue skies came out in full force and made for a lovely day. Here’s a couple of my favorite shots from the day. I’m also partial to this cool bridal party shot featuring a beautiful blue Pontiac. Total of 5 flashes. I earned the Joe McNally Jr. award for it!
My good friend Susan Hill, South East Saskatchewan’s premier wedding photographer, has convinced me to join her in the wedding madness. I’m a self proclaimed non-wedding shooter, but I can handle it when I join the Hill Team. We had an awesome time in Redvers on the weekend, despite the insane weather that required some quick location juggling to get the photos we needed. Josie & Tyler are an awesome couple and they were up for pretty much anything. When we saw the trampoline, both Susan and I immediately knew that awesomeness would soon entail. Josie was a super trooper to put up with our crazy photog ideas! The whole day went extremely well, we made some super images and had a blast doing it. We got to play with some cool lighting setups and put Scott to work on the “Gandalf-Stick”. What could be better? Oh yeah, Susan photobombing the caterer!
Finally got a chance to use the X100s in a real world scenario. My good friend Susan from Susan Hill Photography had a wedding gig lined up and I asked if I could tag along as second shooter to really try out the Fuji. She graciously obliged. Not only was I using the X100s, I also got to try it out with my new pocket wizard plus x triggers. I’m happy to report that everything worked amazingly well. I confess though, that I’m naturally a telephoto-eyed shooter. So, I couldn’t leave my D800 at home. I had it with my 85mm f/1.8 on a black rapid strap as well as the Fuji. It truly was a dynamic duo as you get a pretty nice 35mm equivalent FOV from the Fuji and decent telephoto from the 85mm. And, the Fuji is so nice as a second camera because it is super lightweight. You can carry it around all day and not get played out. So all in all, it was a sweet mix. I just swapped the pocket wizard trigger back and forth from camera to camera as I needed to. I was using a simple one speedlight rig in a Photoflex octodome NXT XS on an ultralight LumoPro stand. It was a perfect on the move, versatile lighting setup.
I really wanted to push the Fuji on this gig. So I tried to use it as much as possible and it didn’t disappoint. Despite being a wide-ish angle lens, you can really get some nice subject isolation with it. The colour and skin tones are amazing. I shot everything in RAW and JPEG but the images on this blog entry are all JPEG – they are simply that good. And, they tweak very nicely in post.
Some stuff though is just made for telephoto and I did find myself swapping in the D800. I still believe that people look best shot with telephoto focal lengths. But the variety of having both cameras and not having to change lenses (hence lugging around WAY less kit) is pure awesome.
This wedding session was all formals with some candids with the big family at the end. We setup in the Carnduff golf course because after all, it’s May and there is still snow lying around… shudder. But, we did our best. So we found this little tranquil spot and knew we could do something with it. When I got home and looked at the file, it struck me. This image looks fake! It looks like my 1985 kindergarten portrait studio backdrop! I think it’s attributed to the being able to nuke the sun with the deadly combo of the Fuji’s built in 3 stop ND filter and higher sync speed. This one was f/2.8 at 1/500 via Pocket Wizards. Sweet sassy! I’m gonna like that capability more and more me thinks.
The other killer thing with a small, lightweight camera is that you can hand hold slow shutter speed shots no problem. There were a metric tonne of kidlets around for the big family photo and I thought, lets get them buzzing around the bride. With the ND filter still on, I cranked the aperture up to f/11 and dialled the shutter down to 1/30s. The bride is sharp handheld, the kids are pleasantly blurred. My only regret is not popping a wee bit o’ flash on the bride. It would have made for a stellar image. But one gets caught up in the moment.
All in all, it was a super fun 2 hours on duty with the Fuji. I love that it’s small, lightweight and ready for anything – like when all the kids in the family decide to start rolling down a goose crap encrusted golf course hill. It’s just there and ready to rock!
It’s truly a blessing to have a photography club where like minded folks can get together and talk about what we love. There is always mutual learning and sharing that takes place, as well as great camaraderie. Last night’s club night was a wee bit sparse on attendance, but it was still a good time as it always is. The topic was changed from editing photos to watching a video called “Chased by the Light”. It was a video journey through Jim Brandenburg’s self-assigned photo quest. He took 1 photo per day for 90 days. Meaning, he made 1 frame (of film) from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice every day. 90 photos. And every photo is a winner. The exposure and composition and content of each picture is truly amazing. To be able to do this is in itself an incredible feat!! I’d be too worried about blowing the exposure but he nailed each and every one. Check out the trailer to learn more about it.
He has this uncanny ability to distill an image down to it’s essence, to really capture the heart of what makes a landscape a landscape, what makes an animal and animal. Really good portrait photographers can do the same with people. It’s not often the well lit smiling toothy grin image that takes the cake, nor is it the off the cuff candid portrait either. It’s the uncanny knack of capturing the essence of the person, the scene or the moment. This cannot be done with all the latest and greatest technology, new cameras, new lenses, lights, yada yada. It’s something greater than that. More on whatever that is in a future post. But suffice it to say, Brandenburg’s journey was incredible and the video was AMAZING! Breathtaking photos and inspiring creative renewal no doubt for him but also all who look through his images from the 90 days.
The Photo Club’s photo assignment for February was “Foreground Interest” – trying to capture interesting stuff happening in the front most portion of the camera. It’s neat to think of a photo as having 3 distinct planes or areas of composition. Foreground, middle ground and background. Really great landscape images always should have something happening in the foreground as it helps lead the eye through the photo. Same thing for any photo really. Having interesting stuff happening in each of the planes is a key tip for above average photos. Here are my submissions for the evening. All the images were shot with the month’s assignment in mind but the last one of the prairie scene was a rush job, shot an hour and half before the club meeting. Had to have something and this was it! heheheheh….
This image was shot in the Carnduff hockey rink. I noticed the people talking and decided it would make for cool foreground components. It gets at the heart of small town rink life! I noticed the photo, quickly changed lenses and dialled in my exposure and made the frame.
This photo was taken on a little photo walk I did trying to capture winter in contrasty black and white. I loved the old historic nature of the farm yard and liked how the frost had covered the remnants of this old weathered wood.
Finally, this was the fast photo. I needed to get an third photo and essentially ran out of time. This is just out behind my house and I brought along a flash. I triggered it off camera and lit the backlit prairie grass to mimic the light the sun was shining from behind it. It, along with the dried out clover stalk added some foreground interest, but it’s basically an example of making the photo vs. taking the photo.