This event is held on the Beach (Car Park) at Santa Monica in an open sided tent.
The locals were very much about “It’s so cold” , “make sure you wear layers” etc. Having come from Berlin the week before and the BAFTA’s before that, I have to say, it might have been cold for L.A. but cold? Not really!
As I was shooting for clients mostly, I decided to shoot fairly straight up and down, choosing the 16-80mm & 50-140mm on the X-H2s and X-T3 respectively.
As usual, the images were edited in Lightroom Mobile and sent from a Cafe Santa Monica via Shuttersnitch (See the software page for links).
Here are a few of the images (with a couple of Oscar winners amongst them) ….
It was nice to see this image of Cate and Michelle used in the UK press the next day.
I had neglected this blog for so long but now I am getting in the habit of writing again it’s nice to see how you guys are returning to reading here. I mean what I say when I ask for comment, feedback or if there is any subject you would like me to cover – please comment 👇👇
I’m a bit slow to do this update but having a little time free on this trip before I fly home I thought I would update all the cameras I have with me.
I found this video about the AI technology (updates) in the X-H2s quite fascinating.
TBH in the next few months I will want to upgrade a second X-T3, it was going to be an X-H2 (not s) so I had a more versatility but I am now no longer sure as I love the speed of the s version. I can just expand my GFX kit to allow me to shoot more on the street & landscapes (as I have done on this trip).
I have been struggling for a couple of days deciding when to publish this post. I have the feeling that some may think I did this essay because I was feeling a little aggrieved that I was not covering the Academy Awards this year but the truth is I wanted to do this essay when I was last here in 2020 (but I did not have time). There was also the issue of not waiting too long as there would no longer be any relevance, so here it is…(a few days after being sent to press outlets)…
The story of the homeless in the area has been covered by so many in the USA and the UK and I really did not want to produce more “poverty porn”. However one of the effects of the Oscars is that it compresses the extremes of life, the richest and the poorest within a couple of blocks of Hollywood.
On Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA on the 1st March 2023, 12 days before the 95th Academy Awards will be presented in a ceremony held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, lanes the boulevard have been closed and work has started on the “build”for the Red Carpet event.
While the eyes of the world are trained on the red carpet event, scattered around the neighbourhood, some just a few hundred metres away from the event, many homeless people are living in tents on the sidewalk.
These tents were photographed on the 6th March 2023, 6 days before the awards, on the junction of Las Palmas Ave and Selma, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA.
The problem of homelessness in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA has been around for many years. In 2019, LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) launched the Comprehensive Cleaning and Rapid Engagement (CARE/CARE+) program including the Mobile Hygiene Program which provides restrooms and showers for unsheltered Angelenos.
Each client is provided with hygiene products, clean towels, and a clean change of clothes. Additionally, clients receive a hygiene kit with essentials that they can keep with them. Since inception, the MHU program has serviced more than 23,000 guests. This MHU was photographed on the junction of Las Palmas Ave and Selma, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA on the 6th March 2023, close to the tents pictured above
As the red carpet event “build” continues, further lanes of Hollywood Boulevard are closed off running a few blocks along from the event venue, the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA and the security is increased as seen on the 6th March 2023.
6th March 2023: North Highland, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. Meanwhile, further down N. Highland Avenue, the canvas homes are overlooked by the 95th Oscars signage.
7th March 2023: Vine Street, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. The problem is spread across the Hollywood neighbourhood, this small tent being pitched on Vine.
7th March 2023: Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. The tents are also highly visible on the famous Sunset Boulevard, a few blocks from the Academy Awards Venue.
7th March 2023: Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. During the day, many (homeless??) may be seen wandering the streets sorting through the litter (trash cans).
7th March 2023: Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. During the day, many (homeless??) may be seen wandering the streets of Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, carrying blankets.
All Images & Text by Julie Edwards.
The images were produced over the span of a week, shot on a mixture of the Fuji GFX50R, the X-H2s (with 16-80) and one on the iPhone13.
So, not my normal kind of post but one I hope resonates with you. Until the next post… let me know what you think….
My last post was written whilst in a cold and snowy Berlin. This post is written from a cold and rainy Los Angeles (I missed the snow by a few days… yes really … snow in Hollywoodland! )
I am here for a few jobs and then a little bit of a rest time for myself and a bit of art before returning home. So I guess the next post will be about Red (Blue) carpet’s on the beach, but until then, back to Berlin (a city and event I really love).
So “Crossing the streams” right away and posting a colour image immediately followed by a black and white (I use that phrase as I am sitting below a Ghostbusters poster as i write, but I digress).
Usually I set up with 2 cameras – one with flash, one without, one for full lengths and wides and the other for tight portraits. However after a little discussion and thought, I decided I would not bring the 100-400 with me, choosing the 50-140 as my longest lens on the trip. All the full lengths are being handled by the 16-80 (an often overlooked lens) – far lighter than the 16-55 with a very useful range for this kind of work.
Much of the time in Berlin I only set up a single camera; for all of the photocalls I used the 50-140 with which I could shoot single full lengths and headshots, for the red carpets, the 16-80, sometimes adding the 90/F2 if. I wanted a shot of the “talent” walking up the carpet.
This meant my usual plan of using flash on one camera and aiming to catch other peoples flash with the other was out of the window and so as you can see with the two shots above I choose to flip between these “modes” on the H2S by turning the flash on and off, slowing the shutter speed to help catch any possible flashes. It was a bit more hit and miss but there were enough hits….
At the photocalls, (above), it is easier to work this way with a single camera than on the carpet as the lighting is so good, a flash is not needed, leaving very few changes to the settings needing to be made as I shoot.
Leaving the 100-400 at home meant I only brought 2 X-series bodies with me (I usually travel with 3) so I had space the pack the GFX50R as my “walk around” camera. I may have mentioned before how I love the tones and graduations this camera offers.
The final image, taken on my final day in Berlin on this trip was taken inside the Neue Wache, a place I could spend hours inside, in silence. I find it incredibly moving and peaceful at the same time. I had been sitting in the corner for quite a while, almost in a meditative state with the camera on the floor just waiting for the feeling to be right to release the shutter. A couple walked in, both wearing red. They waked to the “Mother with dead son” work, paused for a short while then turned and headed back out. The red contrast felt right so I released the shutter with a resounding “thunk” the woman paused, turned and cocked her head, mirroring the mother, obviously noticing me for the first time.. “thunk” again… and thank you…. (1/100th @ F2.8 / 400ISO)
I have always said the key to photography is not kit, it is not speed, it is about waiting, understanding and sensing.. Make the right choices and wait.. If you take the time there are images everywhere.
(She says using a medium format digital camera that is out of many peoples pockets).
And on that note… time to wait… again.. for the next post 😉
Happy shooting and please let me know what you think. J x
A very quick post with a few images of the BAFTAS – why? Because I was told today by a follower (a fellow photographer in Berlin) that I am not writing enough……..
(I am writing this from the Berlin Film festival looking forward to photographing Cate Blanchett on the red Carpet tonight)
For me the BAFTAs this year were the start of a long trip away, with a number of different jobs that have very different requirements… so I spent Saturday away from my studio packing, then unpacking and re-packing..
So this trip covers 3 countries on 2 continents, which of course means 3 different power outlets.. UK, Euro and US.. Why can’t the world agree on a format for power sockets?? Sometimes I feel half my case is taken up with leads and adaptors to enable me to charge my kit…
However, I digress. Space at this years (new venue) BAFTA awards was in short supply and unlike in the past where the distance has required the 50-140mm plus the 100-400mm, this year I worked mostly with the 16-80mm/F4 (on the X-H2S) and the 90mm/F2 on a X-T3 with the main target being full length / fashion images.
The light was fine and with the clean backdrop (better than previous years) it made for nice, clean, if not a little boring, images.
I used the 90mm to try and get a little atmosphere (having positioned myself so that this would hopefully be possible). Unfortunately the set-up made this a little more tricky than in previous years with less of the queue visible. I did manage a few …
After the arrivals, it was off to the winners photo-call area, again with less space than previous years and my position was not great, I stuck to my original plan of staying tight, shooting on the 50-140 on the X-H2S
In the last week (and not having time to have it looked at before I traveled), my 50-140 has started “hunting” when in AF-C on the X-H2S / Face tracking. It’s still way better than it would be on an X-T3 however it is a little annoying – all other lenses on this body are fine so as soo as I return it will be off to the service dept I think.
I have a few more days here before moving on to my next destination and set of jobs. Ill post about Berlin from there…
The last post left me at about 3:30 on The Mall having got there early on the Wednesday morning.
After filing my images and managing to get a dinner with friends in Soho, I headed to Westminster Hall where I had a 30 minute slot to photograph the late Queen laying in state at 21:30.
Luckily before dinner I was able to store some of the kit I was carrying in a secure location so again, I needed to plan what images I wanted to make. Many of the National papers and major agencies had earlier time slots which enabled me to see what they had filed. As expected most had focused quite tightly on the coffin, guards and visitors (there is an saying in the press photography world “Tight, Bright and Shi……” .
The Westminster Hall, where the late Queen was laying is the oldest part of the parliamentary estate and having walked through it many times I had an idea of its grandeur and size. I headed back with the 35/1.4 mounted on the X-H2S and the Laowa Ultra wide on the GFX50R.
The sensor on the GFX50 has an enormous dynamic range and shooting in RAW on that camera gave me the best chance of getting detail in the rafter shadows as well as the colours of the Royal Standard & Yeoman Warders.
Stopping the lens down a bit and reducing the ISO enhanced this enabled me to slow the shutter and blur the members of the public giving them a ghostly appearance.
Stopping this lens down a bit also does give nice a nice star points.
With the H-2S i focused on the details like the changing of the guard.
The final post in this series will be later in the week when I focus on the day of the funeral. As always I would love to hear your comments and questions.
I was sitting with a number of other “entertainment” photographers at the Red Carpet for the Mercury Awards on the evening of the 8th when the PR for the televised event came and told us it was cancelled. Although we had an inkling earlier in the day, that was really the point at which I knew the Queen had passed away.
It was strange, although I have not covered “proper” news for some years, instinct kicked in, do I go to the the palace and wait for the flag to be lowered to half mast? Or do I go somewhere else? What I actually did was wait for the news to be confirmed by the palace and made a commitment to myself to make sure I do my upmost to photograph as much of the historical period as I could.
In the morning I was on the phone to Nathan at Fixation “can you get me a 150-500”? (In my mind the 100-400 might be pushing it over the next week or so for the upcoming state funeral and other events). Quite simply there were none of the new Fuji long zooms in stock. Next stop was Fuji themselves to see if there were any hire units available… yep! A few mail exchanges and I was sorted, about 30 minutes after which Nathan called me back “they have just come into stock, do you want one? I can get it to you tomorrow morning (Saturday)”. One credit card transaction later followed by a few hire cancellation emails and the new lens was winging its way to me.
All this occurred whilst i was on a train to London with 2 cameras and a couple of primes (the 35 & 90) to get a feel for the atmosphere there.
The mood was very sombre and quiet but I could not help but feel there was quite a few people being a bit over-zealous with “I’m sad” , “here’s a selfie of me being sad”, “here’s a picture of my flowers”, “here’s a selfie of me laying my flowers” oh and for good luck “here’s a picture of my flowers at the palace”..
I did not shoot much that day, nor over the weekend where I stayed at my studio in Worthing and on the beach practicing with the 150-600 which was delivered nice and early on the Saturday morning. (Posts to follow on this lens!)
My next day in London was Monday the 12th in the capacity of photographer for Mark Kermode Live at the BFI (a monthly show) preceded by a trip to Green Park to see how the floral tributes were shaping up. The mood remained sombre and I was pleased to see far less people making their visit about themselves.
I was back in town the next day; I needed to collect my accreditation and go through security checks for the procession to the laying in state the next day but also photograph the late Queen arriving at Buckingham Palace for the last time (as she was travelling down from Scotland that afternoon).
Hanging around the palace from about 2pm, taking a few more pictures and discussing the events with other photographers it was really difficult to judge what to do. It was clear for me the palace needed to be in the image (as surely that was the point) but knowing where the official position was and how many other photographers were around it was difficult to come up with a plan (where possible I don’t like to follow the herd, it’s true that sometimes there is just one image thats right but this night was not one of those cases). I was walking away from the front of the palace wondering if the wellington arch might be a better spot, concentrating on the hearse and the crowds and as I walked down the side of the palace I got an image in my head.
I did not have a clue if this would work. It would be dark by the time the Queen arrived (remember at this point we did not know the coffin would be lit) but I decided to do an all or nothing gamble. To be honest I thought I had maybe a 50/50 chance and even if it did work it would not be the sort of image that most of the press would use but I did think it would be a moment in history so I sat down, in the drizzle, hoping I would not be moved on and waited for 5 hours , chatting to those around me.
It got dark. Then it got darker. I kept turning the ISO dial, ending up on the max setting!
The image above is the one I had in my head. A small coffin returning to the large “state” (I hoped it would be lit by the car behind, the fact the coffin was lit was a huge bonus).
The second image probably tells the story better for many though. The coffin, clearly draped in the royal standard, lit, passes into the arch as 2 soldiers stand guard.
The latter part of this blog tells the story of one image, by one photographer. Image then how I an others must feel when we see pages like this one on the bbc site. All those images created by many photographers, each image (all much better than mine) with a story, planning and a lot of time by a photographer and yet not one photographer is credited. The credits go to the organisations that distributed the images (or the photographers employers) and the people that selected the images on the page.
So please. Next time you look at an image (still or moving) on the web or in the paper, spare a thought for the work that has gone into it by a photographer.
My next post will detail the following day of the state procession
Since 2009 my August Bank Holiday Weekend has been spent in Leicester Square as the official photographer for the Frightfest Film Festival.
This year was no different as I headed up last Thursday morning with the Think Tank Airport full to the brim with 3 Fuji Cameras, Assorted Lenses plus Godox lighting (with a couple of Lume LED’s thrown in for good measure).
With full control of the Frightfest Media Wall and it being many of the filmmakers first experience of one, I try to make it a fun time for all whilst I endeavour to create images that are a cut above the normal flat step and repeat images that emanate from most of these events.
I do this by setting up an AD200 on a stand controlled by a camera mounted V1 on the X-H2S. I also set up an X-T3 with a controller so I can switch to that using just the AD200 for single light portraits. With the V1 controlling the light I can change the balance, making the light flatter or adding more shape with the AD200 on the fly.
I augment this by moving mine and the subjects position / angle as we shoot to bring in the shadow I want.
Of course this is all only possible because I have complete freedom (within reason) and a bit more time than the rest of the photographers. With the number of films attending (I shot over 60 films + atmosphere & a dinner over the weekend) there are always time limits so I have to work fast.
These limits are even more pronounced when photographing a genre icon like Dario Argento. With the security pressures keeping the autograph hunters at bay along with Dario’s increasing frailty it meant working very fast while he was with me. As I have photographed Dario a few times I decided to go all out and just go for a single light portrait on the GFX. With the language barrier between us i knew I had to get the light right up front as I would not have much time to adjust. I have too say I was fairly pleased with this…
The Timelapse below shows creating this image
Away from the media wall I created a number of portraits over the weekend featuring the Cinema staff who wore horror cosplay. These portraits will be the subject of the next post.
As always, I select a good number of images from around the festival to create a slideshow on the IMAX screen before the last film screens. For the first time I put my self portrait / light test in. The bottom line is that the images have to be good & sharp to stand up to this huge sized scrutiny…. (They do 😉 )
Until the next post, let me know your thoughts and, as always, stay creative !
If you have read this blog for a long time or if you follow me on social media you will know I ride a motorbike and do not drive a car. This means if I choose to go to a festival and camp on the bike, I need to pack carefully. Some would say, right take 2 zooms, 16-55 & the 50-140 however one of the reasons I go to WOMAD is i don’t know what I’m going to get, which acts might become more relevant to press or who will be reviewed therefore I go with no pressure, no expectation, just having the aim of producing lovely images (there is always lots of colour here).
So my packing was 2 x X-T3, a 14/2.8, the 35/1.4 , a 56/1.2 & 90/2.0
Add to that a small tent, minimal wardrobe and the MT-07 is loaded.
Taking prime lenses means I have to work (slightly) harder to get the images, working the angles but this makes me think and slow down and think about how I want to portray the act.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “there is no point having fast lenses if you shoot with them closed down all the time” so probably 90% of my images are shot wide open
Japanese vocal performer Hatis Noit was a joy to shoot – bright colours, amazing shapes and lighting that shouted “play with me” and with the 90 on camera and the 56 on the other I obliged with both lenses rendering the colours (in Astia profile) really nicely with (the 56 mainly) beautiful flare.
Kae’s set was in complete contrast, more simple, stark and emotional
I was sad to read the demise of regular visitor Carters Steam Fair and although the modern replacements are colourful, making lovely images, I feel they are just too brash, not meeting the the atmosphere of the festival.
The 56 is well touted as a great portrait lens – shooting wide open with eye tracking as I did for this backstage portrait of Wayne Coyne, lead singer and songwriter of the Flaming Lips, renders the background and even the hair lovely sand soft ensuring the eyes and face get all of the views attention.
The 14mm was useful a few times none more so that with Taiwanese contemporary dance troupe B.Dance, closing the aperture down slightly to keep them all in focus.
Im writing this on the Sunday morning before I shoot the acts of the last day, (the super efficient workflow you have been reading about 🤪 means I am totally up to date with my editing and sending) .
I think the images from the first 3 days give a good enough flavour how I use (and am inspired by the quality of) the Fuji prime lenses.
I have tried not to use the same images as I have posted on my social media channels in this post so if you do not follow me, there are links elsewhere on the page.
So, break out the primes, don’t just twist, use your feet and brain, and go create some images.. I look forward to seeing them.
Ok, I know I said a few posts back “no camera reviews” , however – a few thoughts….
At the time of writing (a week or so ago), I had completed 4 “proper” jobs with the new flagship camera. Below are some images and thoughts from 3 of these jobs:
Kermode 3D at the BFI
Mabel at Somerset House
Bullet Train Gala
The above image is Nick, running the clips on the Kermode show at the BFI. He’s only lit by his laptop, no house lights. He is laughing (hence movement blur on the face). The camera had absolutely no problem locking onto his eyes. The technical details are below.
I’m closer this time – the eye tracking locked onto Nick’s eye despite so much of the face being covered.
The next job was Mabel performing at Somerset House. Shooting with the 90mm fully open on AF-C, face tracking. No issues with the flashing lights, dancers, fast movement or profile shots.
I’m still trying to get used to the button layout but as my camera’s are in Manual mode 90% of the time, the P-A-S-M dial is not an issue. That said I find it really annoying that in Manual mode I cannot re-assign the front command dial to roll the ISO as then it would match my X-T3’s and be far faster to adjust. When most of my lenses have aperture rings it really makes no sense to dedicate this dial to aperture!
The last of the 3 jobs was the Bullet Train UK gala screening. For this I used the X-H2s with the 100-400 for headshots. The eye tracking always found its target – tracking accurately as they walked and moved, even finding Brad Pitt’s eye on a 3/4 rear view (i.e. the dip in the profile where the eye was as he turned – i am wondering if it was the reflection on the sunglasses!)
Overall this camera is a HUGE step up from any of the other Fujifilm cameras with subject tracking that can be relied on at speed. Additionally although the CFExpress cards are expensive – seeing the RAW files download in a fraction of the time that it takes to download JPG images from the SD, the switch is positive.
Happy shooting and back to the Workflow with the next post.