Portrait photography can be a deeply rewarding experience for both the photographer and the portrait sitter. For the photographer it gives an opportunity to try to marry technical aspects of photography with the artistic attempt to capture the personality of the sitter.
I’ve always had a fondness for portrait photography, much to the chagrin of my loved ones.
I didn’t want this post to devolve into another love letter to Fuji’s cameras and lenses…suffice to say they are well-suited.
The included images are a mix of some captured just before the end of 2016 and a few weeks into 2017. My ease with the X-Pro2 and X-T2 has increased in just that short period, but practice does make perfect.
A lot more portraits to come this year along with everything else. Until then I hope you are happily engaged in what you love.
A few of the first images of 2017. Do you want to hear an interesting observation I’ve made? The right tool can affect how you work.
All of these images were shot with a rangefinder-style camera. I do feel like it is not only my personal style/preference to shoot in a more “journalistic” style, but that this type of camera almost demands it, or at least puts one in the frame of mind that facilitates it. I would doubtless have shot these same types of images with a dSLR, but the discreet nature of the rangefinder (and the stealthy silence of the electronic shutter) does make it easier to put people at ease and still the urge to perform for the camera. It is an advancement of why I enjoyed shooting with point-and-shoots a lot last year (the Fujifilm X10 & X30), but with greater technical capability.
I’m not a gear head, but I have to remark on how much I’m enjoying Fuji’s XF35mm f/2 R WR lens. As a “normal” lens I find it is pretty much living on my X-Pro2. With my preference for primes it’s a part of my “portrait trinity” along with the 90mm f/2.8 R LM WR, and 56mm f/1.2. Speaking of portraits, this is something I plan to focus more on this year both professionally and personally.
How is 2017 treating you and your photography this year?
For the last blog post of 2016 there are some major changes to mention; I have officially set aside my Canon gear which I have shot with for over a decade in favor of Fuji’s X-system. If you move about the internet in photographic circles you have likely heard this story and its sentiments expressed…often.
Yes, a major consideration was size and weight, the Fuji system is compact, and this will be a boon to landscape and street photography. The Fujifilm X10 and X30 were my first forays into Fuji’s X-system and went a long way toward my decision.
The design of the Fujifilm X-pro2 and XT-2 is supremely suited to my style of shooting. The X-pro 2 seems to me to be the perennial street camera; discreet, controls that are easily accessed without moving the camera from the eye, and fantastic image quality.
The X-trans sensor in the X-Pro2 and XT-2 continues to impress me. Additionally the lenses that Fujifilm is producing to be used with these cameras is stellar. I currently have the 35mm f2 R WR, 23mm f2 R WR, 56mm f1.2 R, 90mm f2 R LM WR, and 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR. I favor the primes obviously, and skew toward the weather resistant (to complement the weather resistant bodies). The characteristics of all these lenses has really impressed me.
As many before me have said the out-of-camera jpgs from the X-Trans sensor are pretty remarkable. Here’s a comparison side-by-side with an image processed from the RAW file.
While the second image is tweaked more in line with my personal style, that SOOC jpg is pretty darn nice too.
Changing systems has meant some adapting to the way I shoot and process, but nothing unexpected and I am supremely confident in this system going forward.
Going to round out this post with a few more images from my first three weeks with the X-system. I hope the new year finds you all happy and happily engaged in your endeavors.
After an unexpected three month hiatus here is the finale of my photostory of Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation. Even though it has been awhile I hope viewers new and old will enjoy these. Clicking on any image below with link to a larger view.
I’m lucky to have a number of children in my life though none of my own as yet. Children are inspiring in their potential, candor, and insight.
I’m always amused by the conviction that children have that adults are clueless. Perhaps the children are on to something. Everything to them is new, all their ideas original, their enthusiasm without artifice and, cas Milton put it the world is “flowers of all hue and without thorn the rose”. As adults we consider ruefully the process by which this enthusiasm was replaced with experience. Somewhere along the way that boundless joy is tempered by reality. Somewhere along the way we stop believing we can fly.
Suppose I had decided on a project. Suppose this project involved my predisposition to consider the mundane as worth of artistic attention as faraway landscapes. Suppose this project would involve the photographing of mundane activities as fine art subjects. Suppose this would be a thing.
Also, a self-portrait. Which is either me asserting my sense of self coming into the new year or narcissism.