I spent 45 minutes shooting on the streets today with the Fuji X-T1 and the 56mm f1.2. As the name of this blog suggests, I like to shoot street with a 35mm focal length, so with the 56mm coming out at 85mm (with the 1.5 crop), this was way different from what I usually shoot (on the street anyway). I fired off a shot to see how my exposure was looking. As I was in Aperture Priority Mode it was really to see if I needed any exposure compensation. A woman was walking in front of me and I stopped and took a shot of the back of her head (it was only for exposure after all). When the shot was previewed for half a second in my viewfinder I could see that not only did this lens look stunning, but the X-T1 focuses really quick. My settings were Auto ISO 3200 with a minimum shutter speed of 1/125th sec and my aperture was set to f2.8. Usually I would be shooting street photography with my X100 at f8 to give me a bit of leeway with the focus and moving subjects, but this was a new experience in the world of X.
I was curious to see if the 23mm f1.4 would perform as well, and if the X-T1 would become my new go to camera for street, even though I had no intention of this new body being my street camera. But to be honest, I was enjoying the 56mm too much and I decided that the 23mm would have to wait for another day when it could have the X-T1 all to it’s self. So I’m sure that will be my next blog post here soon.
Feel free to ask any questions about the X-T1 in the comments.
It’s been a long wet winter. We get about eight or nine hours of daylight at this time of year in Scotland. By 4:30pm it’s dark, but what light we do get is mostly poor. Last Sunday showed a little glimmer of hope with some nice light. Even though it’s the middle of winter, there was no shortage of tourists in Edinburgh. Here are a few shots Taken late in the afternoon and into the early night.
The big announcement today is that we have gone from four to seven members over at The Kage Collective. Our three new members are fellow documentary photographers (in alphabetical order) Vincent Baldensperger fron Toulouse, France, Craig Litten from Palm Beach, USA and Fuji X photographer Bert Stephani from Steenokkerzeel, Belgium. All three of them are great photographers in their own right and we look forward to including their stories in the near future. But for now you can take a look at our updated Members Portfolio section on the Kage Collective site. All seven portfolios are newly updated…so check them all.
It’s a privilege to be part of a collective with such a fantastic group of photographers. I would like to single out the hardest working member of the Kage Collective. Patrick (La Roque) created our Kage website and keeps it up to date and running smoothly. We all upload our own content, but everything else is Patrick. He is also the founder and both the magnet that brought us together and the glue that keeps us as a collective. A friend, a colleague and an absolute star.
First two photos (above and below) are from Verona, the home of Romeo & Juliet, a big coliseum and a lot of strange people. It’s a great place to wander round a shoot street photos.
I was about to post this shot with a few others from the same day, but as it’s one of a sequence of three, I thought it might be good to have a look at them together to see the reasons one is chosen over the other. A lot of street photography is about one shot. Someone walks toward you, you take the shot and they’re gone, never to be repeated ever again. But sometimes you have a chance to fire of two or three. This was one of those times because the dog slowed things down. I shot this in Glasgow (Scotland) with the X100. It’s still my favourite street camera, even though I now have the 23mm f1.4 (35mm full frame) for the X-Pro1. There’s just something special about this tiny silent camera. As a side note – the X100s in black was announced yesterday…food for thought.
SHOT 1: I like this street as it has character, but it’s not usually busy. I think this was my second shot of the day. I saw this guy walking his dog and I liked the contrast of the long dark coat and the odd wooly dog. I knew we were a bit far apart for the 35mm field of view, but as it was only my second shot of the day, I took a test shot and checked the photo in the viewfinder. If you are not familiar with the Fuji X100 ( and XPro1), the viewfinder has a tiny screen that slides in when you take a shot and let’s you see the photo without chimping on the camera LCD. My exposure was ok. The Sky was a bit blown out, but it was a grey day and it was more important to expose for the street. But I knew this wouldn’t be a keeper. I knew that before I pressed the shutter.
SHOT 2: I moved closer and he moved closer. I crouched low to get a better angle. This is the shot that works best for me. It has strong leading lines that take the viewers eye to both subjects. It doesn’t matter if your eye reached the man or the dog first because the tight lead that connects them also causes you to shift from one to the other. I really like the pose, it’s a little stiff with one foot slightly raised and twisted as it leaves the kerb. The expression is good and makes you wonder what’s going on in his life. He has things on his mind that might be worrying him. I also like the man walking in the opposite direction on the other side of the street and the ‘Beer Cafe’ sign seems to suit the overall look of this street too. There’s a lot of elements that just work in this shot and it’s the one I chose as the keeper.
SHOT 3: This shot is usable, but a lot of the elements that worked in shot 2 are missing. The man on the left has almost gone, the dog lead is hanging loose and doesn’t work as well as a leading line. Although the main subjects pose is ok, his expression is nowhere near as good. In this shot he looks more annoyed at me taking pictures than lost in his own thoughts. This is all subjective of course and I realise some of you will prefer shot 3 over shot 2. But for me there is more to keep my attention in the second shot. It’s important to take the time to study a shot. We tend to fast forward everything in this digital world, but there’s nothing better than sitting down with a cup of tea or coffee and a big photography book.
This is a cross post with my blog at Derek Clark Photography for the following reason. When it comes to street photography I’ve always had my feet planted in the black and white side of the fence as it just looks more interesting to me. It strips away the distraction of colour and narrows the photograph down to composition and content. It also gives street shots a timeless quality. This blog has had only three colour pictures (I think), which were on the earliest posts. Since then it’s been B&W all the way and even the post processing has been the exact same home made recipe that I cooked up in Silver Efex Pro way back. But lately I’ve noticed that some colour street photography has been catching my eye and that’s unusual for me. I tend to think colour street shots look a little too bland, but never say never!
So here’s the thing. All the shots on this post are in black and white, but you will find the same ones in colour over at DerekClarkPhotography by clicking HERE. They were all shot with the amazing new Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 on the X-Pro1, a pair that hasn’t been separated since the lens was released. Have a look at both blog posts and see what you prefer. I’d love to here what you think. Do they all look better in colour? Do they all look better in B&W? Or does it depend on the individual photo?
Have a look at both B&W and colour versions, then leave a comment & use the poll bellow (or both).
I like the way people hang around in hot countries. Everything slows, nobody’s in a rush. Most people on UK streets are heading somewhere or shopping, but people don’t hang around on street corners, just living their lives, they’re somewhere between A and B. They’re in Transit.
I like street photography that has hidden gems that are not always visible at first glance. In the shot above, your eye immediately goes to the girl, but there’s more to it.
Here’s a couple of long exposures that I shot with the X-Pro1 and the 18-55mm f2.8-f4. It might be a bit odd to shoot street photography with a tripod, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. The shot above was 2.5 seconds at f18 ISO 200 and the shot below was at a quarter of a second at f6.4. I’ve posted some long exposures of a different kind HERE.
I almost forgot. This is post number 100 here on 35mmStreet. Thanks to all of you who’ve stopped by here, left comments or clicked like. It’s thanks to you guys that I know I’m doing something right. You’ve gave me so much confidence as a street photographer. I’m in no way comparing myself to Vivian Maier, but maybe if she had a blog (and internet), she would have realised she was doing something right?
So here is more photos from Wan Chai Market in Hong Kong, or to be more precise, four shots from the market and one on the way back. My stay in Hong Kong is coming to an end on Saturday. Next stop will be the Philippines. My next post might be more HK, or Macau or somewhere in the Philippines. But it will depend on wifi availability. Speaking of the next post, it will be the 100th post on this blog. But, I’ll talk about that in the next post.
I don’t feel I’m ready to leave Hong Kong, I like the way of life, especially staying on Lamma Island like we have. There’s no cars on Lamma. It’s relaxed and peaceful, but the buzz of Hong Kong is just a ferry ride away. Best of both worlds for a street photographer.
I think his was the last shot on the way back to catch the ferry to Lamma Island.