artuk

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About artuk

  1. The pictures chosen for my article tried to demonstrate the development of my interest and style from candid street scenes to quite deliberate portraits. "Street photography" comes with so much baggage as a term, and as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, many modern examples do nothing for me and feel like "random snapping" - the "drive by shooting" approach that seems to have become so popular with some, which seems to turn the process almost entirely in chance and happenstance. I would consider some of my candid photos more as reportage or social documentary rather than the "street". I have come to find that the process of having the courage to ask as a generally enjoyable experience. The worst that can happen is that someone refuses - if you ask politely, you are extremely unlikely to get a more robust or threatening response. As I mentioned, I have the benefit of being an "outsider" and therefore some of the local social norms may not apply to me. I also benefit from photographing in places where people and culture may be more accepting of having photographs taken. I often find it a very positive experience as I may end up in conversation, be invited to sit and chat, or offered a drink with the subject. As a result, it has become a strange but quite charming way of meeting new people. albeit only in passing - but somehow the transient nature of the encounter gives it greater significance. In some cases, I have had long term contact with subjects, and am sometimes recognised by the people in the photos if I pass by months or years later, which again is quite charming and special. As I tried to explain, I think the most important thing is the attitude you bring to the process, which I think is reflected in the response that you get. I have met a large number of people who have become long term friends in south east Asia from chance encounters, so I never underestimate the value of any opportunity to meet people. To a large extent, this is a reflection of the society and culture in which other people live, and my status as an outsider. Of course, your approach will depend on the type of picture you want. Asking someone disturbs a moment, but allows me to photograph something direct and more intimate. Shooting candidly captures something more natural, but lacks the connection between the subject and the viewer. I'm not suggesting my approach is "better", but it is what I have realised I want to explore because of the connection I make with the subject. For you, or others, the right approach will be the one that creates the photograph and the narrative that you want. I sincerely hope my discourse in this thread isn't seen as arrogant as I don't regard myself as an expert in this by any means, but the article provided an opportunity to talk about the development of my own interests and style, and as such I am more than happy to share the process of learning and growing as I have found it to be a positive experience that has benefited my photography.
  2. Thank you - I'm glad that you found my article useful and informative. I should note that what works for me may not be what works for you. I feel you have to bring your own approach and style to the process otherwise there is a danger of doing something that isn't comfortable for you, which I think will be reflected in your demeanour and how you interact with people. There is also the issue of finding your own style and voice - a process that I still feel I am going through. However, I feel it is important to reflect on and understand why you like taking the photos that you do, as those insights may give you the opportunity to grow, adapt and develop. Knowing what you like to photograph, and understanding why and being honest with yourself about your motivations should encourage a process of personal growth and development. I also think any photograph needs a "photographic process", an approach you can use as a template and adapt as required to achieve a good quality result. For example, when taking physique sports portraits, I have learnt lighting set-ups and techniques that broadly achieve what I want, but I have to adapt them for every photo based on the situation and conditions. Taking a portrait on the street is no different - you need a broach approach to solve the "problem", both technical and artistic, so that you are able to identify and understand what may work (or not work), and have tactics and techniques to resolve the different issues that come up within the broad "pattern" of what you are doing. Taking things that don't work and understanding why is important for me, as both good and bad results help me to keep evolving what I am trying to do. With my cameras, face detection works quite well even in low light as long as there is some contrast on the face, as it avoids the need to keep moving the AF point around the frame, which takes time. I don't like focus and re-compose for large aperture work for the reasons I discussed in the article. Face detection doesn't always work, so the other approach is to pre-visualise where you may want their face in the frame, and move the AF point to that broad location before I even ask if I can take a picture of bring the camera to my eye for candids. That way. it speeds up the picture taking process whether face detection works or not. I must confess that sometimes I put the AF point in a location that isn't ideal before the shot, and then end up with framing that I don't particularly like because I prioritise taking the picture quickly over a protracted delay as I fiddle with the camera and the subject becomes nervous or bored. Fortunately, if the framing isn't ideal, it can often be saved by cropping post capture. With my camera, as long as one exposure parameter is under the control of the camera (e.g. Auto ISO), the camera will bias the exposure for the face. If this isn't what I like, exposure compensation will over-ride the program exposure for faces, or post processing will resolve issues as the sensor I use for many of the pictures has enormous exposure latitude. The last time I used a Fuji camera with face detection (X-M1), I don't believe it adjusted exposure for faces, it just focused, but that may have changed so do check how your specific camera works. I really hope this hasn't sounded like a sermon, but I'm trying to offer you practical personal advice and experience (which in fairness would have been good in the article). The most important thing is to know what you want to photograph (and why), and then find the right approach and equipment that allows you to do that. For me, low light performance and focusing were very important, so I chose a camera that excelled at that (but not other things).
  3. To get the engagement with the subject, and get them looking into the lens, and therefore making eye contact with the viewer of the photo, it is almost essential to ask first. My interest is not so much taking "random snaps" of people, but capturing something about them that drew my eye and interested me when I saw them.. The pictures have become about the private moment the subjects choose to share with me, which I think gives them a quite different atmosphere to the "whizz bang" drive by shooting of much modern street photography, Just my opinion - other people will have theirs. Thank you for your kind comments anyway, I appreciate it - I always try to make post processing look natural and atmospheric rather than excessive and distracting.
  4. The photography forum "Dear Susan" recently published a short article I wrote for them about street photography and street portraiture in South East Asia. It contains a number of my photographs from a few years ago taken with my X100 and X Pro-1, as well as with other cameras. "Dear Susan", named after Susan Sontag, is a forum which focuses on travel photography and art, and tends to write more about photography than equipment, although they do also write particularly about lenses, often Zeiss. It is manufacturer agnostic, although several of the forum's contributors use Fuji or Sony equipment. If you haven't read their forum previously, it may be worth a few minutes of your time to take a look and read a few of their articles. They are often informative, and occasionally provocative, but always interesting, and there is often great comments and discourse on some topics ("The Adobe Tithe" being a recent example). Travel Portraits in Asia
  5. We have had several discussions here about the "best" lens for landscapes, and how ultra wide angle lenses tend to render a very expansive view with very tiny details. For landscape work (I am assuming you mean countryside, trees etc) a "standard" zoom of the 24-70 or 28-85 may be a better choice.
  6. I like the graphic nature of the picture (straight lines and dark areas). Unfortunately, I think the women walking through the picture would be better if they were more to the right hand side of the photo of the model, rather than slightly in front of her. I appreciate timing can be difficult and it's an interesting photo, well exposed and a neat idea.
  7. Did anyone attend this years "The Photography Show" in the UK? What did you think? From a personal perspective I thought it was a rather boring show, and although 3 major UK dealers were present (as always), they all had the same prices and many of the "special show process" I looked at were exactly the same as the UK high street prices. For example, the Fuji GFX body was £6199. I actually spoke to one of the reps at one the dealers when I showed disappointment at the "special" prices, but I just got a lot of excuses. The reality is that you could buy cheaper that day from high street retailers or Amazon - which personally I thought was pretty poor compared to previous shows when there had been significant discounts and good deals. I attended a talk by Albert Watson, which was very disappointing as apart from seeing his excellent photography, he was quite poor at communicating, kept changing subject and as a result it was impossible to learn much about his approach, techniques etc. Many seemed to have attended to get their copy of his "Cyclops" book signed. Overall, very disappointed with this years show.
  8. I love this - except for the grass in the lower left - I appreciate it couldn't be avoided - but I think it would have looked much "dreamier" with just the water in the lower part of the frame.
  9. are you aware that the focus system in mirrorless cameras and the focus system in SLRs is a totally different technology, and therefore works in a different way, which therefore means that there are different considerations when focusing? SLR focus systems will often front or back focus with fast aperture lenses, for example, which is a problem that closed-loop focus systems found in mirrorless cameras generally does not have. however, the focus box on a mirrorless camera is not the same as a point or cross type AF sensor in an SLR, and therefore will react in a different way to different focusing challenges. I haven't owned an X camera since the X Pro 1, which certainly had it's own focus challenges (mostly speed, also mis-focusing when point light sources faced the front of the lens, even out of shot). I now use a different mirrorless system and in general it is very accurate, although occasionally gets confused. however, it's not quite as fast as an SLR in some circumstances, but in most situations is just as fast or better than the last FF SLR I owned. I'm certainly not saying your camera or lens doesn't have a problem, although its hard to see how this could be such a generalised problem that hasn't been noticed by others?
  10. I certainly found on earlier cameras that strong backlight and particularly bright point source side lighting could cause back focus problems, repeatedly. Not sure if a bright sky or the sun out of the frame but in front of the camera could cause similar problems? ultra wide lenses are well known to mis focus on very small details as everything is so small in the frame and the depth of field of the lens is very large, cause mis-focusing and focus issues did you turn the OSS off? OSS on with a tripod can cause unpredictable results with softness and blurring. in other systems I have used it can occasionally cause softness and blurring on one side of the frame. Alternatively, when OSS is off, the lens elements have to be "parked", and may not be 100% in the correct position - leading to some softness in some places in the frame
  11. storage is cheap... But not that cheap... Almost 0.5gb for one image VJC!? If you don't intend to edit, there is really no issue with exporting a jpeg directly from raw. I often export jpegs and perform simple edits and it produces no issues (I mean literally editing, not adjustments which are always best done from raw). Jpeg although lossy typically gives issues if saved many times. Tiffs have better bit depth and no compression but that may only be an advantage if adjusting files (e.g. Exposure contrast colour etc) which is much better done from raw directly if possible. I'm not saying tiffs aren't better but for simple edits and then printing I doubt anyone will see any difference. If every image I worked on needed almost 0.5gb of storage then I would need a 30TB disc rather than a 3Tb one... and of course many labs can't print tiff files anyway, and if they can they need to be 8-bit files... so the data ends up similar to an uncompressed jpeg anyway!
  12. certainly I've seen lot of selfie type photos that have been processed by apps to give very airbrushed looks, different paler skin tone, and even bigger eyes! one of the reasons for the strange skin tone is where the user has allowed the camera to operate in DR400 which evens out highlight and shadow to create a rather processed skin tone. The other as you say is the in camera NR being always on (in addition to what I believe is effectively noise smoothing in the demosaicing process by nature of it sampling larger clusters of pixels). never having used it I assume "portrait enhancer" is an in camera filter to make you look super airbrushed and perky? maybe I should try it in.lieu of endless retouching by hand!!
  13. Its true actually, I don't think I've read anything let alone seen one! I hear the lower tier Fuji products are quite popular in some parts of Asia, but maybe not so much in Europe where Fuji tends to be an enthusiast type brand.
  14. Alamy have no such requirement that I am aware regarding raw->tif->jpeg I submit jpegs from raw and some jpegs straight out of camera and they have never been rejected.
  15. recently other members reported issues with a lens (16-55 f2.8 in one case) or apparently with their camera not focusing accurately (there seems to be more than 1 report of this here). Fujis ISO values are generally inflated by about 1ev at higher iso values, so be aware this can affect your shutter speed.