And a new start with some new gear
So My last Blog was around the new year and talk about resolutions and parental leave. It feels like a lot have happened since then, both in the world ( Obviously!) but also in my own life and also when it comes to my photography.
The world when it comes to the strange reality we find ourselves in at this time, with the virus and the quarantine and all the problems that have come with them.
If i would have thought something like this would happen before Christmas or someone would have told me id have laughed it off thinking it was a trip of some sort. But here it is and we all try and adjust the best way we can both with life in general but also with our work( for those lucky to still have one). You really get perspective and like in similar situations in life where you are put through difficulties you think about what’s important and revaluate things around you, for good and for bad.
Before this mess i just got back from a great time with my son Julius, and had not been working for 3 months. I followed him and his development and loved every second of it.
I wanted to document as much as i could along the way and managed to get a lot of nice memories for the future. Especially now with everything going on, having those images and memories feels extra special. Whatever happens he and i will have those to share in better times ahead. I was also at some sort of new stage in my life when it came to my Photography where i had hit a wall( in good way) and realized what i loved to shoot and with what gear i wanted to shoot with.
A lot of Nikon Photographers were ”upgrading” to the mirrorless Z -system with the Z6 or Z7, but i never felt any allure when it came to those cameras. Not only do i think they are ugly( yes its true!) but i did not like the idea of an adapter to use all my great lenses with the Z cameras. Also i love the 2 camera bodies i have now, and the only ”upgrade” for me would be to get something similar to what i have or i will just keep shooting with them until they break down. I currently use a D4 and a Df body with all the lenses i really need. As a day to day camera i use my Leica Q-P and it goes with me everywhere i go.
So finally arriving at a point where i felt absolutely no GAS any longer ( i won’t go as far as to say its totally cured….but for now), and being very happy with what i had i started to spend more time planning what to actually shoot rather than gear to use for what i wanted to shoot. Felt great.
My focus started to shift towards my lighting equipment. I had used my Nikon Speedlights on location for years, and always felt somewhat limited but at the same time scared of taking the plunge into something more serious. For what i did the stuff i had was mostly sufficient. But i now felt to take my lighting to a higher level i needed to get something more powerful but still portable. I had heard so many great things about Godox and their system and i finally got around to starting to build my kit in that Ecosystem.
I think i might 2/3 on the way on that new journey but so far i am very happy i decided to make the change. I still have some of my Nikon Flashes as a backup, but my main flashes include the Ad400 and Ad200 and another smaller speed light in the V860ii. For those i have found the Aputure Lightdome mark 2 soft boxes which are great in every regard, great soft light and so very quick and easy to setup! Love them. I will try and make some reviews in the future as i sometimes do when i have used something for a long while and still think its great.
I have only used the Godox kit for about a month or so now and have not really got to test it out properly. I have taken some test shots together with my son and daughter in my small home studio and outside at one point.
I have found some new inspiration to learn new setup with lights and being more creative and will try and do some new projects ahead. if its something this quarantine brings its time to experiment with that among other things around the house. So not all bad!
Im lucky to have a full-time job besides my Photography and that makes me able to choose what i really like and not be stressed out when i miss out on assignments. A few of my booked weddings and other work has been canceled but at same time i have had requests of other more fun projects as well. So will try and post some of that in my blogg in the near future.
Also Spring is here soon, the light is better and the times ahead if health allows will hopefully be full of great fun photography outside.
Stay safe and keep shooting.
/Over and out..
So time to add a new entry to the blog. It is soon New years after all and a good time to think about what have transpired this year and maybe dream and look forward to the next year and what that will hold.
I am writing this just a few days before NY and it should be cold here now, at least if i compare to a time i always seem to go back to when i compare. Namely my childhood. Not sure why i do that, but i really enjoyed the white winters we had back then here north of Stockholm. I guess something has changed and maybe it has to do with climate change or just that ”cycle” those ”shady” people keep referring to …
I remember we had snow up to our windows and that we could use our sleds and our skies every day, we even took the skies to school or sleds as well some days.
This winter we had like 7 or 8 of these beautiful wintery days, so every time i tried going out to try and capture some of its beauty. Being on parental leave still i usually take a small walk with my son when he is asleep, and sometimes that is enough to take a few photos and hope for the best.
As always nowadays i bring my Leica Q-P everywhere, so that is always the weapon of choice especially when it comes to capturing these spontaneous ”nature snapshots” that i think the Q-P is great at doing. I think it renders the colors beautifully, and its usually sharp and crisp.
Thinking back now to the year that has been and trying to summarize it and get a grasp of everything that has happened is not always easy.
When it comes to my personal life, getting a son has of course affected everything and changed it for the second time in that regard. My other child being my daughter that is 10 now, making it a long time since i changed diapers and took care of a small person needing me and demanding all of my time and love. But that also means my passion for photography has got some new fuel to its fire as documenting everything from a birth to his first year has been amazing in every way.
When my son came i owned my first Q and i used that to document his birth and the months afterwards. For me it was perfect. But during the year i also changed gear a lot and i went back to Fuji as i have written in other blog entries in the past. And i have captured some great memories with that system as well. The X-T3 was great for filming as well and for stills i loved using the 16mm, the 56mm and the 90mm. All magnificent Fuji lenses.
As i also stated in an earlier entry i think that path was necessary to walk down to finally decide to go back to the Q again as my day to day documenting camera body.
I thought that the speed of the X-T3 would be a great addition especially when you would have a small boy running around at full speed, and it was a great idea, but the reason i got the Q the first time was to simplify things and not having two overlapping systems( as i also shoot Nikon) and adding more stress with having to choose between several systems and lenses every time heading out to take pictures.
So while the Fuji was one of the better camera bodies i have owned when it came to the technical aspects, i really missed the simplicity and inspiration the Q gave me and during the year i sold all my Fuji gear and bought the Q-P. That actually cured the most of the GAS i had i the past and i am very happy i made that choice in the end.
So the year has been a year of change on many levels, and i know from experience that those times are usually when you also develop the most. So while that is hard to see when you are in the middle of it and in that phase, i think and hope that is something i can look back on and take pleasure in that it changed and made me ”better” in some ways. Both as a photographer and a human being somehow.
It certainly made me think about the importance and meaning of things, also as a photographer and human being.
And when it comes to photography especially the importance of creating memories for our kids and creating a legacy that can be left behind. And photographs of our family is something that we can point to and be proud of in ways we might not be able to with our ”work” as a photographer in the same way.
Speaking of work i don’t work as often as i wish as a photographer, and being employed at a school as my full-time job and being a father of two makes the time to be able to put in the extra work almost impossible sometimes. But it also makes me able to choose between different work and only do what i like and say no to what does not inspire me or for some other reason does not make me want that assignment.
I managed to squeeze a few weddings in and also got some pictures publicized which was nice.
Even so i think now when my thoughts go to the time ahead and after NY, i think my own resolution for next year will be to get things in print and try to make books from my photography. Too many images lies on our hard drives and never see the ink on print in our lifetime. And that is a shame and a waste in my opinion. We live our life on social media and seem be ”satisfied” with that and to upload our work there.
So that will be one ( maybe that is enough, since we have such a hard time keeping those promises anyhow) resolution i am really going to try and keep next year. For me and my legacy and my children.
So back to present time, X-mas just passed by in a flash. and i managed to get some photography done and test some lighting in my small apartment which was great. I also added a new lens that i owned in the past ( the 85mm f1,4G) which i sometimes have felt i missed and especially inside the the 105 i usually take 70% of my portraiture with feels to long.
So now before making this the longest blogpost in the history of blogs i will just wish you a Merry Xmas and post a few X-mas pictures to get that holiday spirit up a notch.
/Over and out…
Hello from Sweden a cold Autumn evening. Thought it would be a good time to continue from my last post about Fuji and my new addition in the Q-P. It has now been a few months and i have reacquainted myself with the Q and also got some new inspiration from the freshness of the Q-P model of the Q.
Now with some perspective on my move from Fuji i can safely say i made the right choice. It just feels right for me and and the phase i am in right now and my photography. I was very guilty of getting too much gear and constantly searching and updating things to get inspired or getting the most out of my photography.
I felt that the Q-P finally cured some of that searching….or yes GAS as we also like to call it!
I now shoot almost exclusively with the Q-P for my day to day photography.
With a 1 year old son to follow and document its the perfect camera for that and family photography in general in my opinion. It goes with me everywhere now and i really really cant emphasize enough how much i like using it.
This is also one of the reasons why i felt it suited me so well at this time in my life. I had too much gear and decisions to make every time i was suppose to go out to shoot. And that killed a lot of my inspiration for shooting in the first place. having to choose between two systems i liked and then the choices of which lenses etc too made it almost stressful at times because i always wondered if i choose right or if i would regret what i brought with me going on a trip etc.
Now i just grab the Q-P every time and i know it will be sufficient for almost everything or at least compensate for all those other choices.
Following my son around now makes me even more happy of that choice. The 28 mm and the 1,7 aperture and quick Af makes it perfect to photograph babies and kids.
Whats so cool is i actually used my last Q to shoot my sons birth and his first month, i was really fond of those pictures and some of those are now framed and on my walls, so getting the Q back again his last couple of months feels like a perfect way to continue telling and documenting his story.
He is now able to walk and everything goes so quickly. He just love to explore the world and everything in it. So curious about every little detail he comes across.
He has always been very fond of books but also about listening to music and trying to do the gestures and movements to those songs and make us do them together. He is very expressive and trying to take pictures to remember those fun moments is one of my favorite things to shoot with him.
So, this was just a quick post to continue my blog and some thoughts after the switch to the Q-P. I will try and add more pictures and thoughts about it later on and also add some other content about other gear i use a lot together with the Q-P and like in a few weeks.
Il finish with some recent pictures also with the Q-P that mirrors the weather and Autumn we are experiencing right now in Stockholm Sweden.
/Over and out..
Hello! So it has been a while since i have written anything in the blog, but i think it is time now. One reason being that the new year is here and also because a lot have happened in my life when it comes to photography.
Some new projects has been done and some new gear has been tested in different environments.
Last year was quite chaotic to sa the least on a personal level, even so i managed to do a lot of photography in my spare time, i find taking photos to be both therapeutic but also so much fun so i could not be without it no matter what life is like.
I made a big decision about some of my gear, and after thinking it through long while i finally took the plunge and sold my whole Fuji setup. The great X-T2, the X100F and my precious lenses. Why? Because i bought a Leica Q. It might seem like a weird choice since the Q has only a fixed lens, but my fuji gear was for me a great choice for traveling light but i also liked the retro look and simple controls on it. And i feel that the Leica Q does all that but gets down even more to basic with the 28mm lens and great ergonomics.
I had been pondering this purchase for almost a year even before i started buying some of my Fuji gear. But at that point found it a little bit too expensive( i still do to some degree!) and also a little bit too big since it was not pocketable anyhow and also i found the Leica look was a bit too tasty for thieves to resist stealing it if i wanted to travel with it or use it for street photography.
The year went by and i used my Fuji gear a lot and i loved using it. So again why did i decide to trade it for the Q in the end.
Well, besides the points i listed earlier i always had a regret of never been able to try a Leica out, and after looking at the Q earlier a Q was still high on my list of cameras id love to at least try at some point. Reading so much great things about it, and talking to a friend from Denmark that praised it saying it was THE camera for him and that if h could choose 1 camera that would be it. Also during the year i found myself having a hard time sometimes choosing between all the gear i had. Besides the Fuji gear i use Nikon and have 2 cameras i use in that system with some great lenses for them. So every time i went somewhere and wanted to bring a camera i felt it took too much time trying to choose what would fit the occasion best. Especially the random spontaneous trips i made into town or just with the family when we took a trip somewhere. It took a lot of fun out of the creative parts of photography in my case and i felt a camera like the Leica Q would be a great remedy for that. And i would still keep my Nikon gear with the heavier but capable DSLR bodies if i needed a more demanding camera body for payed work.
So i took the plunge and ordered the Q, the Titanium grey that i got good price for to be precise.
It arrived at some point in late autumn and i have to say its one of the most beautiful camera bodies i have ever used to be honest. Among other favorites like the Nikon DF and Fuji X-T2, its up there with the DF at least. It just appeals to the eye in a way not many other cameras do.
It really feels like you get something special just unpacking it! With the small Leica branded bags and the small ”drawers” that they put the accessories in.
I know its not considered manly to go on about that sort of thing, but the box it came in would put a LV bag to shame!
So enough ranting about the looks of the camera, also when it came to the feel of the camera body itself the quality and design and ergonomics is all i hoped for. It is just so simple to use and it really makes you want to pick it up all the time to play with it and take photos. It is a lot of fun to use. I won’t go into technical specifications or go into it in depths at this time since i might make a review later on at some point.
So i started using it over the next few weeks nearing X-mas and at first i was still in regret selling my Fuji gear to be honest. I missed the lenses and sometimes felt a bit limited when i brought only the Q to some of the trips. But i decided really spending time with it, learning it as much as i possibly could making using it second nature to me after a while.
It gave fruit and i started to see why it was held in such high regard by people using it.
And i felt what i also had hoped for when i was thinking about buying it earlier, that it helped me focus more on the photography itself rather than the gear and having to choose to much. It was forcing me to use the one lens stuck on it and made me much more creative. And faster. Its a great camera for street photography. Its fast, its simple, and the 28mm in my mind is also perfect. I know a lot of other people like the 35 field of view or the 50 a lot more. But i always felt a wider angle helped me tell my store better and also gave the pictures a lot more personal style and feel to them. I find the 35 a bit more boring and too narrow for many of the shots i want to make. Sure its not the best FOV for a portrait in the classical sens. But for portraits in the documentary setting its perfect. And it has great Bokeh when you use the 1,7 aperture .
I used it almost every time i went to town or just going to places in general. And i really love using this camera.I its the one i use now mainly if i am not doing something bigger.
I would say its the perfect camera to document your day to day life as well as your perfect street camera. It makes you have to go a little close to get the shot you want, which in my case is very good. because i have always had a little of a tough time when it comes to getting too close to people. Feeling i get in their personal space too much. But this really trains you in that regard. And the pictures get so much more interesting in my opinion.
So in the near future i will most likely make some sort of review for it and post more pictures. But so far i am very happy with my Q.
Happy new year and happy shooting.
So, what was the fascination with the X100 series and a fixed lens i asked myself when i first saw the camera back when it was introduced. I would feel so limited i thought.
That was before i had the X-T1 and the X-T2. I had used the Fuji X20 and really liked the look of that camera but it still had the problem of ”watery” green areas and always felt it lacked too much to be a reliable travel camera for me.
I have used my Nikon gear for such a long time now and love the quality and the reliability of the system for most of my work, but sometimes using it feel more like work and a chore when you lugg that heavy camera and the heavy lenses around town or up hills in the countryside. Also it screams ”steal me” wherever you take it, always makes you be on your guard when you walk around the city.
When i got the X-T1 though and took it with me to Paris it felt perfect. The first camera i could bring with me without breaking my back and that gave me somewhat of a similar quality to my Nikon gear.
Then i started to buy more lenses and get a pretty decent backup for my Nikon system that i felt i could actually use in case of my Nikon gear failing me in the future. Also it was a lot of fun shooting with Fuji and gave me a lot of motivation again which was equally important.
At the same time the lenses grew bigger again and when the X-T2 came a long i got that and its grip and suddenly the Fuji was not as spontaneous to bring a long as it once was and not as small or light as i considered it fro the beginning. It was still an awesome camera and something i love shooting with but not the little fun companion that you just enjoy taking wherever you go any longer.
So i felt i missed something and a feeling i had when i shot with my film cameras.
Something about just having a point and shoot and the joy of just being able to bring it everywhere you go and not having to think about post production or tweaking it for hours afterwards or having to switch lenses all the time.
So getting the X100F felt like coming full circle again. Never imagined it could be so much fun again!
Its easy to take with you, the film simulations are a lot of fun and the quality of the pictures even the Jpegs are fantastic. Add the easiness of ”Zapping” the Jpegs over to your phone through the Fuji app and you have a very cool travel camera that you can use for just fun documenting your time traveling or any social occasion.
This is not a review by any means and i wont go into any specifications or details but just trying to express the joy i feel using this camera and how much i like using it thus far.
Having that fixed lens now actually feels liberating and adds to the fun.
Look forward to sharing more pictures and thoughts on the Fuji X100F in the near future. I suspect it will be my most used camera the months to come 🙂