Wedding with the Fuji

This past weekend, I broke my cardinal rule of photography, which is not to shoot weddings.  There is something about knowing that you get a single chance to get everything right that adds just a little bit of pressure to an already exciting day.  My cousin-in-law and his bride-to-be asked me to be their photographer and even after I warned them about my skill level (lack thereof) and general inexperience with weddings, they still wanted me to shoot it.  I couldn’t say no, and I’m glad that my own insecurities were shoved aside for that day.  What did make it a bit more interesting was using my new camera system, the Fujifilm X-E1 and trying to adapt to its personality.  I ended up using all 3 of the lenses I own, the 18-55mm (reception), 55-200mm (ceremony) and the 35mm f/1.4 (detail and reception) and overall, they all performed their job with little fault.  I also had a Fuji EF-42 TTL flash on the camera for some of the shots as well as a messenger bag stocked with extra batteries, memory cards, cleaning cloths, gels, diffusers, etc.  The day was perfect, as it was an outdoor ceremony starting at 2pm.  Everything fell into place and I enjoyed a good day of picture taking.

Shooting with the Fuji X-E1 was both great and challenging at the same time.  The AF speed was adequate, but going from an OMD E-M5 was certainly noticeable and made me think more about focus instead of just pushing the button and it locking immediately.  On the plus side of the Fuji was the controls, which made setting everything up so easy and effortless.  It really felt great to be able to set my controls and keep them locked in and even view them with the camera turned off.  The smaller size of the Fuji system (compared to my old full frame Nikon D700 and the f/2.8 glass I had) made shooting with it all day easy.  I was able to pack everything I needed (and then some) into a ThinkTank CityWalker 20 messenger bag and carry it for most of the day without any fatigue.  I also brought another Kata bag that contained a few lightstands, umbrella’s, reflectors, triggers, etc for use when doing the large family portraits.  That gear was used only for a short time and wasn’t carried around much.

Overall, I am very pleased with the results.  For it being my only 2nd wedding, I’ll give myself a passing grade.

Senior portraits: round 2

I concluded the senior portrait shoot over the weekend at Laurel Hill State Park by the lake.  It was a bit later in the evening than I was hoping for, but the light held out and I was happy with what turned out.  This time I had a brand new Fujinon XF 55-200mm telephoto lens to use.  The package arrived right before the shoot and I opened the shipping box, pulled out the black Fujinon lens box, grabbed the lens and went.  Thankfully it worked very well and so far I love the images it produces.  Using this lens versus the 18-55mm zoom gave me a better working distance and let me blow the background out quite easily.

Past the lake and around the dam

Camping is a favorite summertime getaway for my family.  It allows us to relax, spend time together and just walk away from the stresses of life.  For me, this is doubly true when my daughter and wife take a nap and I go out on a short hike with some camera gear.  This time, I loaded up my pack with the Fuji X-E1, 18-55m, 55-200mm, some filters and a small tripod. A small bottle of water finished off the pack and away I went.  Below are some of the sights.

A quick portrait session

Earlier today my sister in law and I took a walk around town with the goal of getting some senior portraits done.  This was the first time I was using the new Fuji X-E1 for portrait work and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Needless to say, it worked very well.  I set my ISO to Auto 400, clicked the shutter speed dial to 1/125 and let the aperture float to where it was needed.  The lighting conditions made it stick right around it’s maximum of f/4, so that was perfect.  On most of the shots, I used a speedlight with a small softbox attached and triggered by a pair of generic radio triggers.  The power was set low so that it gave the image just a slight bump in light.  Everything came together beautifully.  Here are just a few from the walk.