Shoot with Shannon and a Horse!

I was invited down Brighton way ( again! ) to do a fashion/bridal shoot with Shannon, whom I've worked with before, and some of the team that I worked with on various bridal shoots down that way ( Mode Bridal, Florissima, Sandra Parsons..the full list I will post below ).  The weather was not kind to us, but we managed, here are some shots.

 

Iceland model trip ( NSFW !!)

This is an old one, but still deserves a blog.  I went to Iceland just over a year and a half ago and dragged along the awesome Natasha Felix to model for me.  We went as a group of six, and I did a few shots with the other people on the trip too, Ponyo, Kaz and Vik.  I cannot overstate how awesome Iceland is, every photographer should go there at least once.  It's not that expensive to fly there, but accommodation and food IS expensive.  Gear used for me was a Fuji XT-1, 16mm 1.4 ( I used this ALOT ) and 90mm f2, 56mm 1.2.  Most of that gear is weather sealed and that was super important, as the weather in Iceland changes on a dime and I was often shooting in inclement weather.  Lastly, a big thank you to my models for being incredibly brave, as it was bloody cold out there and they did a stellar job.

 

8am on the glacier, using natural light and the 16mm 1.4

8am on the glacier, using natural light and the 16mm 1.4

90mm f2, I did use a speedlight hear as well. Yes she did get wet.

90mm f2, I did use a speedlight hear as well. Yes she did get wet.

16mm 1.4 and speedlight. Composite image to remove the French rap group in the cockpit.

16mm 1.4 and speedlight. Composite image to remove the French rap group in the cockpit.

90mm f2, natural light

90mm f2, natural light

90mm f2, natural light
90mm f2, composite image to get the blur on the fabric and water. It was cold.

90mm f2, composite image to get the blur on the fabric and water. It was cold.

90mm f2, a different perspective on the plane.

90mm f2, a different perspective on the plane.

Shoot at the Buckle Factory ( NSFW )

This shoot happened a while ago but I've completely forgotten to post about it, even though it was really cool.  There is a studio in London called Beltcraft, which is a natural light studio.  It's pretty awesome, there is loads of junk in the studio which means you can build some really interesting sets.  I took a couple of models with me but one of them was ill, luckily the remaining one is Artemis Fauna who is simply a brilliant model.  For lighting I used my trusty Godox AD360 with the little Octabox modifier.  As always, it worked flawlessly.  Camera used was the Fuji XPro-2 with the 35mm f2, 16mm 1.4 and 56mm 1.2 ( my favourite lens ).  I also used a smoke machine and composited some of the smoke shots with Artemis into one shot.

 

 

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Shoot at the Natural Light Studio in Northampton ( NSFW )

I've been looking for venues for some more natural light/speedlight courses and I'd seen a lot of positive feedback about the Natural Light Space in Northampton.  I decided I needed to check it out and so I booked some models who I had wanted to shoot with for ages, Sakura Star and Laura Draycon.  Camera used was the GFX50S and the 32-64 zoom along with the 120 f4 macro.  I used a godox 360 for most of the lighting, along with a Godox AD200 which I absolutely love, for the backlighting.  Here are some shots.  The studio was great and I'm aiming to go back as soon as I can, so check it out if you fancy a great natural light venue ( they have studio strobes as well ).

 

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Statues Shoot with Phoenix Red - NSFW

I'd been meaning to shoot with Phoenix for ages.  I love creative models who bring more to a shoot than just themselves and Phoenix definitely ticks all the boxes.  She is also a lovely person to get along with, as a I knew from meeting her a few times at the Reading Photography Social.  It's quite important to me when doing a test shoot that I get along well with the model as it just makes the day more fun.  Anyway, my friend Cornerstone ( that's his photographer secret identity ) had found a very interesting location north of Reading.  It was a field, and up the hill in the field were these large statues ( around 12ft tall I'd say ) and a ruined shack.  He was kind enough to take me out there to take a look and I knew I had to do a shoot there.  I took some location shots and showed Pheonix and she brought along some interesting headgear and a red dress to match the yellow field.  Here are the images...

 

PheonixRed-fineart-yellowfield
PheonixRed-mono-headdress
PhoenixRed-mono-artnude1
PhoenixRed-fineart-nude
PheonixRed-color-nude
PhoenixRed-urbex-artnude-mono
PheonixRed-smoke-nude

The photography was relatively simple.  I did take some lights, but it was very harsh light and my normal godox 360 had broken ( since fixed ), so I was down to one speedlight.  I did use it a bit but mostly just used the natural light.  This meant waiting sometimes  for the clouds to give us a bit of cover, or just using the angles to make sure the light hitting Phoenix didn't create unflattering shadows.  I was also conscious that the statues had a meaning and didn't want to treat them without respect so we tried hard to provide a context to the images.  The smoke bombs added some drama and using them was a first for me ( I know, I'm very late to the party ).

Gear used was a Fuji GFX50S, the 120 and 32-64 lenses.  I have to say the colour and dynamic range from this camera is unbelievable and it was a pleasure to use on this shoot.

Fuji GFX50S review ( NSFW )

I figured it was about time I reviewed this beast of a camera, I've been holding off doing so because I've felt, and still do, that there is so much to get to grips with here.  That isn't to say the shooting experience is particularly complex, it really isn't. especially if you are used to the XT-2.  

Most of what you need is on top of the camera, although it's missing the exposure compensation dial and they replaced it with an LCD display which I find a bit superfluous, but I guess if you were shooting in the dark it would be useful.  To be fair, I've not done much straight studio shooting with this camera and I guess in dark studios that LCD might be quite handy, but I'd rather they had kept the exposure compensation dial.  

While we are on gripes, lets deal with the other common gripe with this camera, those strap lugs.  I found the strap got twisted all the time with them, to the extent that I just removed the strap completely.  Although light for a medium format camera I'm not going to be wearing this thing around my neck much.

 

GFX50S 120 mm F4 

GFX50S 120 mm F4 

OK that's pretty much all my negatives out of the way, now lets get to the good stuff.  First off, the main reason you would buy this thing, image quality.  I've used a bunch of cameras over the years, including the D800, 5d3, D750 and almost all the X series cameras, as well as a brief go with a Sony A7.  The images from this thing really do blow them all away, I've seen nothing else like it.  People using the high end phase gear aside, this is the best you can get without selling your children.  Some people have said that the Sony A7r2 comes close, and that may well be the case, but for me, this camera lets me get images that blow my mind, and I still feel as though its part of the Fuji system I'm used to, I don't feel like I'm running two systems side by side.  Some people may be fine with that, but I've always found it a pain.  The sharpness and punch of these images is simply incredible, although much of that is lost as soon as you post it to something like facebook of course.  However, editing these images is such a pleasure, its quite difficult to go back to anything else once you have experienced it.  Certainly I've found with model shoots I'm using it all the time.  Dynamic range is awesome, as expected, and the transitions between highlights and shadows is very subtle, giving the images a certain something that's hard to define, but it's there.

GFX50S 32-64mm f4 

GFX50S 32-64mm f4 

Partly this is down to the lenses.  I've used all 3 of the Fuji ones and they are all stellar in their own way.  The 32-64 zoom is the best zoom in this range I've ever used, by far.  I've used a bunch of 24-70s, which this very roughly equates to, at least in terms of functionality, but this is so much better than all of them.  It feels like using a prime and the sharpness is just amazing.  Its faster to focus than the 63 and I do feel the 63 is a bit pointless if you have the zoom.  Yes, the 63 is a stop wider, but most of the time you don't shoot wider than f4 anyway as the depth of field becomes too narrow.  The zoom then gives you way more flexibility.  You can use it for wider portraits and for landscapes and anything in between.

 

Fuji GFX50S 32-64mm F4

Fuji GFX50S 32-64mm F4

Finally, we have the 120mm f4 Macro.  I did find this a peculiar lens to come out with before the 110 f2, but now I've used it, I feel its the more versatile of the two and I can see why it came out first.  It has image stabilisation, and anyone who has used a Fuji lens with IS will know, it really is superb.  I tend to use the zoom or the 63 on a tripod, but there is no need to with this lens, which is a big bonus.  It's also almost too sharp, and has very good bokeh.  I found that I used this lens more than the others when it came to shooting models and I absolutely love it.  It's not a 1:1 macro, its 1:2, but then you can crop in ALOT which kind of  makes up for it.

 

Fuji GFX50S 120mm f4 macro

Fuji GFX50S 120mm f4 macro

Fuji GFX50S 120mm F4 macro

Fuji GFX50S 120mm F4 macro

The flash sync speed is a little bit of a pain, being 125th of a second rather than the 1/250th on the latest X-series cameras.  However, base ISO is now 100 rather than the 200 found on the X-series.  The problem I found with 1/125th is that unless you are using the 120mm f4, if you are using flash, then you need to use a tripod, and you will probably need ND filters.  However, high speed sync is around the corner courtesy of Godox amongst others.

The other really fun thing about this camera is the amount of adapters already available for third party lenses.  Fotodiox have already released a bunch of them, including Nikon and Canon, and there are adapters for almost everything already out there, with better quality ones on the horizon.  At the moment you are restricted to manual focus, but its a lot easier to manually focus with all the focussing aids being mirrorless brings to the table.  Here is a shot I took on the Samyang 85 1.4 on a recent bridal shoot.

 

GFX50S Samyang 85 1.4 ( Fotodiox adapter )

GFX50S Samyang 85 1.4 ( Fotodiox adapter )

The GFX community have been getting some outstanding results with adapted lenses and this is a really fun aspect of the camera that should not be overlooked, especially if you have some high quality legacy glass hanging around.  If you don't, then the Samyang lenses seem to be a really good buy.  

So what is this thing like to shoot with?  Well, generally, an absolute pleasure, although it will make your shooting experience a bit more sedate.  Battery life is very good, I generally only get through one battery in a days shoot, and I have just one spare battery.  The EVF is excellent and the general handling makes shooting this camera very easy.  Personally, I'm going to be using it for model test shoots, commercial work and certain parts of weddings ( group shots and couple portraits, I've already used it on one engagement shoot ).  I've also got some fine art projects in the pipeline where I'll be printing big for galleries, and this is primarily the reason I bought the camera.  If you are just using instagram and facebook, this camera is a bit pointless for you.  I can say however, that getting into medium format has never been easier or cheaper ( not that it is cheap in any way, until you start comparing it to the competition ).  I absolutely love it and although I'm still working out how to get the best from it, that's a process I'm really enjoying.  Here are a few more images..

 

GFX50S 32-64 mm f4

GFX50S 32-64 mm f4

GFX50S 120mm F4

GFX50S 120mm F4

GFX50S 120mm F4

GFX50S 120mm F4

Shoot at Pozers Studio with Helen Diaz (NSFW)

This was my fourth shoot with Helen, who is as mad as a box of frogs, but also awesome fun to work with.  We mostly did simple studio sets with one or two softboxes, working on some yoga poses and fashion/fashion nude style images.  Cameras used were XPro-2, X100f and XT-2.

 

Welcome

Welcome to Modelography.net!  I decided to separate my model/fashion work from my wedding/commercial work and so this website is born.  This website is all about model photography.  I mostly do tests for agency models, but there are a bunch of other shoots that may creep onto this page, as well as some gear reviews.  I shoot with Fuji cameras, both the XT-2, Xpro-2 and the GFX50s.  I also teach photography, over the last 2 years I've run around 20 workshops and taught a bunch of one to ones, so if you think you would like to learn something from me get in touch.