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 👇👇
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…
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.
One of the most annoying questions I see (almost every day) posted in Facebook groups and the like are “what lens should I buy next”, often with very little explanation. (I am willing to accept that this is my issue and lack of tolerance).
With this question in mind, this post is a run-through of the lenses I took to Cannes along with quick explanations of how I used them along with samples.
Tackling that list in order, I start with the workhorse; the 16-55/F2.8 Of all the lenses, this is the lens that is probably of most use in general purpose photography. From a wide angle through to a slight telephoto (full frame equivalence of approximately 24-70), it is suitable for almost everything and should (almost) be the starting point for any kit bag.
In Cannes, my main use of this lens is on the Red Carpet, mounted on a X-T3 with the V1 flash fitted for shooting the full-length fashion type images as well as half-length portraits.
At the start of the week, I experimented using the 27mm pancake lens on the Red Carpet – mostly I use it as a camera body cap and walk-around lens. The way it deals with light coming directly into the lens (flare control) means it was not really suitable on the carpet or at gigs
Both of these lenses are perfectly good and produce nice contrast images (if you set your camera up appropriately) but for me, they show up the limitation of using an APS-C sensor, there is a limitation on getting a shallow depth of field. For this reason my two really favourite lens are the 56mm/F1.2 & the 90mm/F2 . I use both of these in a similar way.
The 56 is a great portrait lens, the distances involved on the Red Carpet means I usually create 3 quarter or half-length images with it, always shooting wide open. After all there is no point using a nice fast lens and then not making use of the shallower depth-of-field.
The 90mm I use in the same way, just tighter images (normally on the X-T2 body as the focal length leads to the images rarely needing much cropping). One thing I will say is the 90mm does seem to produce richer images than the 56.
The 50-140 telephoto lens is another real workhorse lens, enabling me to get fairly tight portraits when the subjects are at a closer range or full-length group shots up on the staircase. I think (on my X-T3’s with grips) that this lens handles fantastically, the zoom ring is lovely and smooth.
Because of distances, crowds, my love of tight portraits and less posed images, my 100-400 is my second most used lens (after the 16-55). With it I can shoot the talent in the crowds at the head of the carpet, create really tight and personal looking portraits on the carpet as well as head-shots up the stairs.
Hope this post gives a little insight on how my use of lenses helps to create different images and gives me more creative options.
Next week I will write my guide to back restorative exercises needed after carrying them all around for 2 weeks. Actually I will probably write about the GFX50R which I purchased last winter during the lockdown with the prime aim of shooting more landscapes (and for use in the studio shooting portraits).
As usual this will not be a really technical write up (there are far more techie blogs and better writers for that), what follows are a few of my thoughts and experiences.
The first thing to talk about and one of the real reasons for getting this flash is the quality of the light. Not only is the fall off of the light at the edges far more pleasing, the hotspot in the centre seems, well less hot and more flat. (The above images have had the white and black points expanded to hi-light the fall off pattern.)
The second thing to talk about is the quality, this flash feels solid, well made, very similar to the AD200 and a definite improvement over their other on-camera units.
The battery is chunky and comes with it’s own USB-C charger which charges quite quickly. That said, even with heavy use (on the evening of amFar) I do not think I used more than one bar.
This quality and battery add up to a unit that is quite heavy and when top mounted on an X-T3 (even one with a fully loaded grip and 16-55/F2.8) the result is very top heavy. As my main use for flash during red carpet events is to shoot full length images, I use a custom flash bracket CB Mini-RC and in this configuration it does not feel to bad at all).
Actually using the unit took a little getting used to. Although it does support High-Speed Sync and has TTL Metering, in red carpet situations I found this combination to be a little sporadic and the additional power required for HSS meant slower recycling (and the manual states that the thermal cutout is likely to cut in earlier). In slower situations this has not proved to be a problem.
Once in manual the unit really is consistent (see the two images above). With a bit of experimentation I came to the power setting of 1/16 +0.7, which allowed the unit to keep up with my X-T3 in High Burst Mode for the short bursts I shoot (Its a technique to try and ensure no other flashes and open eyes on the subject).
With the manual power set and the shutter fixed between 1/200 & 1/250 (so not using HSS) I worked back to get a suitable iso from the selected F-Stop.
As the subject distance varied on the carpet, I needed to allowed for the fixed output of the flash by opening the aperture slightly (maybe 1.2 a stop) so I think the zoom head was also helping as little in this regard.
Overall I am very happy with the unit and its a great addition to my Godox kit, adding to the two AD200’s , the TT685 and single AD600. Like the other units it can act as a slave, controlled by any of the Godox Remote Controllers. Or it can act as the Master in a multi-flash set-up (which is how I will use it for portraits with the AD200 at the up-coming Frightfest where I will be returning as the house photographer)
I am just back from working overseas covering the 74th Festival de Cannes (Cannes International Film Festival).
I say “just back”, it’s actually 5 days now and I have just dropped off my “Day 5 test to release PCR-Test” so hopefully I’ll be back working soon.
I plan to write a couple of posts this week that will talk about the experience of covering the festival but in the meantime, here is a slide-show of monochrome photos from the 2 weeks, all shot on X-T3 and X-T2 Fuji’s.
A quick post. As I am in Cannes covering the annual film festival, I thought I would share some images from the first 7 days here:
Bill Murray poses on the red carpet for the opening night film, The Dead Dont Die on Tuesday 14 May 2019 at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, Palais des Festivals, Cannes. Pictured: Bill Murray. Picture by Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon. All usages must be credited Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon.
Elle Fanning poses on the red carpet for Les misérables on Wednesday 15 May 2019 at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, Palais des Festivals, Cannes. Pictured: Elle Fanning. Picture by Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon. All usages must be credited Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon.
Elton John and Taron Egerton poses on the red carpet for Rocketman on Thursday 16 May 2019 at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, Palais des Festivals, Cannes. Pictured: Elton John , Taron Egerton. Picture by Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon. All usages must be credited Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon.
Eva Longoria poses at a photocall for Kering Women In Motion Talk with Eva Longoria on Friday 17 May 2019 at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, Majestic Hotel, Cannes. Pictured: Eva Longoria. \
Monica Bellucci poses on the red carpet for The Best Years of a Life on Saturday 18 May 2019 at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, Palais des Festivals, Cannes. Pictured: Monica Bellucci. Picture by Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon. All usages must be credited Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon.
Toni Garrn and Petra Nemcova poses on the red carpet for A Hidden Life on Sunday 19 May 2019 at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, Palais des Festivals, Cannes. Pictured: Toni Garrn, Petra Nemcova. Picture by Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon. All usages must be credited Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon.
Marion Cotillard poses on the red carpet for La Belle Epoque ( The good times ) on Monday 20 May 2019 at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, Palais des Festivals, Cannes. Pictured: Marion Cotillard. Picture by Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon. All usages must be credited Julie Edwards/LFI/Avalon.
Last Sunday (the 12th) was my annual trip to photograph the stars arriving for the British Academy Film Awards which, this year, took place at The Royal Albert Hall. As usual I was shooting on on Fujifilm X-Series, mostly the X-T1 and 50-140 with some on the 56mm mounted on a second X-t1. The wide images are using the 14mm mounted on an X-Pro1.
One interesting fact is that despite shooting over 1700 images on the 2 X-T1’s, I only changed the battery once in each camera (and the 50-140 body shot way more than the 56 body). In very cold weather, thats not too bad
Normally I would post a series of images here but I think its just easier to pass you over to my main side and a slideshow.