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.
This month i wanted to do something for my hero and lifetime idol( yes I’m old, but i am trying to keep young so i have idols! ) David Bowie.
My first Vinyl was Ziggy Stardust, so incorporating the ”Flash” from those years and those characters seemed like something i would want in a tribute photo.
My wife also wanted a few new pictures for her websites so we played with a few ideas and locations before and what equipment to use.
I wanted 2 indoors locations and one outdoor location and decided on shooting the first pictures in our bedroom where we have a big window to let some background light inside.
I wanted all shots to look classic in style and the first one was going to have a blowup background and use one or two light modifiers from the front to light the face up so as not to get just a darker siluette of my wife.
This was one of the shots i was most pleased with, but my wife kept the ones where you could see more of her.
In the beginning i shot with my DF using the Noct to get a really shallow depth of field. Those shots became really light and beautiful and the blur started almost after her temples. The only light modifier i used in the ”airy” light shots here are a Rapidbox Octa from Westcott with a speed light and the natural light from the back, and in some shots i used a reflector from my right to get some extra catchlights in her eyes.
Since i do not have a proper studio i usually use the bedroom or my hallway which are the bigger rooms and space to put up the light stands and backgrounds if needed.
Also it tends to get very messy and chaotic with our kids running around at the same time, and sometimes we get them in for a quick picture as well since we got all that equipment set up which is a pain to take down again, so might as well be effective and take some pictures of them while it is up.
Here is a quick picture of my daughter who liked playing with one of my wife hats:
After that it was time for the Tribute picture which i wanted against a dark background. I also incorporated a Hat i liked for the shot.
It was quite hard to create a dark atmosphere in the room though as a lot of spill light was coming in through the windows, i tried shutting it out using the curtains and use the bigger background to block it while shooting.
After i had done the shoot and looked through the pictures i actually took the actual Ziggy flash and worked it into the picture( yes i cheated!) to get the feel i wanted, i realized we would not have time to take the makeup off to continue with the rest of the shoot, so that worked out better for us.
For this shot i also added another flash from the back as a hair light and gelled it with a darker blur gel which in the end added another level to the picture in my opinion and a little more drama.
All in all i was very happy with the pictures from the bedroom.
After that it was time to go outside. I had chosen a location not far from our house in a forest where i had shot my wife earlier a few times. It is a little secluded so you get the privacy you would like when shooting and putting up your gear.
It turned out to be a pretty difficult shoot outdoors though due to the cold damp weather and the race against the sun going down!
Also i wanted to try out a few new triggers from Phottix i had bought since the SU-800 was difficult to use outside as a transmitter due to the infrared getting blocked easier there.
As it turned out the Odin trigger was a little bit too big to fit under the flash when it was mounted against the Rapid octa softbox…Now there is the problem you run into when you have not tried your new stuff out in beforehand. It is always a treat finding it out the hard way during a shoot with a cold wife and the patience running out fast..
I improvised and got the trigger working and used my Noct and my 70-200 VR 2 for these pictures since it was so dark.
Really, shooting in the dark like we did was not something i would recommend. I had to crank the ISO way up but with the cameras nowadays it is still possible to get decent results.
I wanted something a little more creative in these shots so i decided to play a bit with some gels and the white balance to create some different effects.
This is how it turned out…
The softbox was gelled with a full cut of orange so the contrast became quite big with the white balance put to fluorescent . I kind of liked the effect i got.
So this was my Tribute shot for David Bowie. Now i am looking forward to spring to be honest, but i might do another shoot or two before the winter is out here in Sweden.
/Over and out…
Just a quick post about traveling and gear, as a follow up to my last post about reviews and gear.
It is summer here in Sweden, and a few new trips are scheduled this semester . I will obviously bring a camera to these trips, but one of the constant dilemmas are what to bring and how much you should carry with you to maximize your photographic experience and get those money shots with you back home.
The last 2 trips i skipped all my heavy gear after a trip i made to Rome a year back. It was a great trip, but i had backspins and shoulder pains a while after because of bringing too much stuff. Also before that i only had my D700 and brought that with lenses for all my trips.
It was after that i got my X-T1 and lenses and bringing that to Paris for 2 trips was just a joy. So light in comparison! And still got great pictures and had fun shooting with it.
Now i also have the pleasure of choosing between that and my Nikon DF also. So now the X-T1 have a serious competitor for me since it is also lighter than the D810 i will most likely leave back home for the more serious assignments.
So, what do i bring for my Berlin trip this Summer? Any suggestions?
I have sort of made up my mind about what house i will bring actually, and it will most likely be my DF, and i am still contemplating what lenses i will bring. They will have to fit my new Lowpro Flipside sport 10L bag. So about 3 lenses. No zooms. So will be 1 wide lens, one normal, and also some sort of tele.
it is a nice dilemma to have though. Summer, photography , choosing what to bring for my trip. Life is good right now 🙂
Do not burn yourself!
/Over and out..