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!
From engagement to wedding to maternity to newborn, I’ve had the blessing of taking all of Lucas and Kayla’s life event photos. It’s been a blast! And, this last shoot was just as exciting as the others have been. It’s a truly amazing moment to see all of life come together in the next generation. This was my first shoot managed and edited with Lightroom too. Still getting to know the software environment so I was noticeably slower than I was with Aperture. However, the speed at which Lightroom can edit and deal with D800 RAW files with amazing, blows Aperture 3 out of the water. One thing that was better in Aperture was the healing/clone brush. Lightroom’s spot retouch works better, but Apertures brush was nicer than having to do everything with little circles. I also miss Aperture’s file handling. It was so much easier to backup everything into vaults. But, the trade off is well worth it. I’m really enjoying Lightroom and glad I made the switch.
Here’s some highlights from the shoot. But first, a video of Mr. Burns talking about the Jade Monkey. (I couldn’t resist.)
Every year our parish holds a “Mission Festival” where we bring in a speaker to talk about the important mission work he or she or they have been doing. This year, we were pleased to have Rev. DJ Kim join us in Oxbow. He’s an ordained Lutheran pastor who is serving as a street minister and also works as a chaplain with the Regina Police force. He shared some amazing stories – some of them very graphic – about what a police chaplain does. He helps serve members of the police force, especially people struggling with PTSD, in addition to helping victims of crime on the path to healing and restoration. Rev. Kim also crosses the great divide in that he does outreach to the people who have committed the heinous crimes too. He truly has an amazing vocation in that he covers the whole spectrum of sin and hurt from the culprits to the victims to the people who nobly have to deal with it day in and day out. Growing up in Korea, Rev. Kim had a very difficult childhood. He comes from a broken home, was raised in foster homes and the street. He’s been both a leader of gangs as well as a mixed martial arts champion. In short, he can relate to people on both sides of the law. He’s been through the very depths of hell and as such, he can relate to people who are currently living there now and help them on the path out. He’s an amazing individual and we are blessed to have him as part of our church. He’s the first to tell you that the only thing that can turn a troubled life around is the grace of God. “Look at me,” he says, “I’m the living proof!”