FUJIFILM Street Photography Workshop - Hamilton

Last Saturday we dropped knowledge left, right and centre while presenting at the Fujifilm street photography workshop in Hamilton. Two sessions ran throughout the day, each packed with enthusiastic photographers, some new to the Fujifilm X series and others who were still sitting on the fence waiting to fall.  

FUJIFILM XT1, 56mm, F1.2, 1/100s, ISO200 (CaptureOne + Photoshop)

After the presentation wrapped up, you could tell everyone was desperate to dig their teeth into the mirror less camera system. As the students picked cameras, we popped the X series hood and gave everyone a quick intro to their weapon of choice. FUJIFILM NZ was kind enough to prepare and supply at least one of everything from their product range; there were plenty of lenses and camera bodies for everyone.

The host, Snapshot camera (http://www.snapshot.co.nz), did a fantastic job directing the group around the streets. Without their in depth local knowledge it would have been challenging to guide the workshop to all the hot spots (no amount of internet research will ever trump local knowledge). Because our street portrait style relies heavily on population dense areas, the Snapshot staff had all the best spots mapped out and pre-planned, including the weather! Thanks a million for making it so easy Snapshot!

With the tips and tricks we outlined in the presentation preceding the practical component, many of the students found their own voice and had the guts to put our preachings into practice. It was an incredibly rewarding experience to see the smiles on everyone's faces after they created an image they were proud of. All it took was a couple words of encouragement.

Sam and I having a little fun during downtime.

FUJIFILM XT1, 23mm, F1.4, 1/2700s, ISO200 (CaptureOne + Photoshop)

FUJIFILM XT1, 23mm, F1.4, 1/280s, ISO200 (CaptureOne + Photoshop)


FUJIFILM XT1, 23mm, F1.4, 1/1800s, ISO200 (CaptureOne + Photoshop)

As the sun was quietly sinking towards the end of the day, the last of us finished up at the Waikato river. Enjoying the peaceful and quaint still water while waiting for the fisherman to cast his line one last time, we had to call it a day.

For all those who could not make it down to Hamilton for the workshop, below is a compilation of behind the scenes (BTS) images covering both sessions (morning and afternoon). A special thanks and shoutout to Sweta Parmar for snapping and sharing her BTS images with us. Sweta is the FUJIFILM NZ representative who came down, keeping us all on track and in line with the program, GREAT JOB!

Thanks to Snapshot camera for their behind the scenes video! Great work team!

Till next time Hamilton!

- Sven

Community Project - Summer Sun - Recap

We are celebrating summer and the beginning of 2014 with our very first community project of the year. Ten photographers and six models (only two of which showed and the rest cancelled two hours before the event) rocked the Auckland domain today using park benches, trees and flowering bushes as backdrops creating some fantastic summer portraits. 

Fuji XPRO1, 35mm, F1.4, 1/4000s, ISO200

Since we were short a few models (33.33% attendance) both myself and my mate, George, stepped up and took centre stage to strut our stuff! Thanks again George Lim, it is the support and self sacrifice (I know not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera) of individuals like yourself which makes these projects such a success. This was not our first rodeo, and planning shoots which involve large numbers of models being in one place at the right time can be considered a statistical anomaly, so it pays to roll with the punches. Even though our model numbers were low the weather was perfect, slightly overcast with occasional direct sun and a band was playing in the gazebo across the street. Not a bad way to be spending a Sunday afternoon if you ask me.

Fuji XPRO1, 60mm Macro, F2.4, 1/2000s, ISO200

It was great catching up with the friends we made in 2013 throughout the previous community project series and welcome all the new ones to the group. Even though I did very little shooting today it was still fun to be on the receiving end of some new images for our social media space. Hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves and those who asked for help learnt a few new tricks and tips on working in some of the most unpredictable lighting situations, with constantly changing natural light as the sun danced around the clouds. 

One of my continuous improvement goals for these projects is to try and spend a little more time with each attending photographer and give as many tips as I have time to dish out. Hopefully, I did a little better today and would love for anyone to leave a comment with suggestions for improvement. 

I hope everyone came away with some stunning images, and apologies to our two models who had their hands full trying to get a handle on all the photographers, you both did a fantastic job! Have fun editing your images and I can't wait to see what everyone came away with. 

Floating past below are a couple of our behind the scenes shots from today, if you have any you would like to put forward please get in touch. We look forward to seeing you all again next time.

- Sven 

Community Project - Back In Time - Recap

FUJI XPRO1, 35mm, F1.4, 1/500s, ISO800

It has been a few weeks in the making but the day finally rolled around when the fencibles stormed the Howick historic village and our community project team had the chance to go along armed with camera and lens in hand. Unfortunately my recent china trip clashed with the monthly schedule for the live days at the village and I was forced to push this project onto the horizon, luckily last Sunday the stars aligned and after exchanging a few emails with the village organisers I was able to make this project a reality.

The lighting was fairly even with the occasional rays peaking through the clouds. The image above is a perfect example of the unique lighting situation which we used to our full advantage while constructing set imagery from the ground up. In the above example you will notice the even light on the background house and grass garden leading you into the image. The primary focus is the lad in the foreground, side light from a stray sunbeam adding a slight touch of drama to the subject helping further differentiate and separate him from the background.

If you are familiar with natural light, you will know exactly how difficult it is to time and manage your exposure on a forever changing canvas with little to no control. You quickly learn to roll with the punches.

FUJI XPRO1, 35mm, F1.4, 1/80s, ISO400

My primary aim for this shoot was to use the unique setting of the 18 hundreds as my backdrop and create some intimate portraiture illustrating the time periods beauty. The shoot was a complete success and the actors were fantastic at playing along with all our requests. I hope the results make everyone involved proud.

FUJI XPRO1, 35mm, 1/140s, ISO400 

FUJI XPRO1, 35mm, F1.4, 1/1250s, ISO200

Throughout the live day there was a number of different experiences on offer, our group participated in a traditional church and school class where yours truly got asked to sing 'twinkle twinkle little star', all in good fun and a small price to pay for a round of laughs and the images I came away with afterwards (see the behind the scenes pics at the end of the post for proof, thank you Fergus for the shot). Sometimes it pays to give a little before asking what may seem like the world to those not commonly photographed. First impressions count and the relationship between you and your subject are the key to obtaining a natural and sincere look, at the very least smile and be polite.

It was great to get back into the swing of things and get amongst friends. I get a lot of satisfaction from organising trips and events which bring our community closer together. 

- Sven

Community Project - Shooting K - Recap

Even when the sun goes down there are a few who keep watch. FUJI XPRO1, 34mm, F1.4, 1/50s, ISO200

In a group of ten we set of yesterday marching down the infamous Karangahake Rd in central Auckland armed with a small photographic arsenal to keep even the most arrogant art director at bay. Heading out around 4:30pm in the afternoon on a Sunday was probably not the best move on my part as most people in their right mind where already at home trying to forget the misery Monday morning would bring. I feel sorry for the few we did encounter who were probably left frightened by the echoing shutter sounds bouncing through the otherwise fairly empty streets.  

FUJI XPRO1, 34mm, F1.4, 1/52s, ISO200

It was great to get out amongst friends once more and take our cameras for a test drive which would otherwise sit forgotten in a empty corner in their homes and left neglected. It is tough for many going up to strangers and asking them for a picture, I try to encourage it but few give it a go. I am very proud of Melody for giving it a shot after she saw what is probably the most snarky "NO PICTURES!" I have ever received when trying on my luck. While 90% of the time the people on the streets are more than willing participants you do get the occasional grump, but thats all part of the fun, the challenge and the chase of the unknown. 

Because we started so late in the day, this winter night showed no mercy and we were quickly relying on shop window and street lighting while fighting to make handheld exposures. My window of opportunity for creating 'street portraits' quickly closed and I came away with very little. But quantity is not important as long as the quality is there in the few which I did work on. To say the least I am very pleased with the overall outcome from the day, three shots to call my own is more than enough to keep my blog posts going and hopefully get others inspired to come join me and the gang on our next adventure.

- Sven