Xpert Advice: How to Effectively Focus and Recompose When Capturing Candid Moments

While companies put loads and loads of autofocusing points into their newer cameras, veteran photographers may still prefer the tried and true focus and recompose method. Sometimes it’s just flat out faster vs trying to move your Fujifilm X Pro 2 or Fujifilm X-T2’s joystick to get from one focusing point to the other. With these cameras, focusing and recomposing works really well simply due to the way the system is set up.

Continue reading…

Xpert Advice: Telling More Effective Stories Through Depth of Field

One of the most effective ways to tell stories in your images is to use depth of field. It’s a cinematic technique filmmakers have been using for years and years. The fundamental way story telling has worked is by having very specific things in focus for the viewer to pay attention to. This isn’t only a cinematic technique though, it’s also one that photographers have been using for years. It goes all the way back to the film days when photographers were using Fujifilm Astia, Velvia, Acros and other emulsions to tell their stories.

Continue reading…

Xpert Advice: Creating Sharper Portraits in Camera

The secrets to getting sharper portraits in camera are a lot simpler to figure out than you’d honestly think. There are three key components: light, contrast, and stability.

To start, we always recommend stopping your lens down just a bit. With Fujifilm’s lenses and the X Trans Sensor’s 1.5x crop factor though, you generally don’t need to. Part of this is due to a slightly deeper depth of field vs medium format or full frame 35mm sensors. If you have a camera with the company’s 24MP sensor like the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X Pro 2, then you’re guaranteed to get really sharp results to begin with. That’s easy, right?

Continue reading…

Xpert Advice: Gaining Confidence With Street Photography By Using the LCD Screen

Some of the most experienced street photographers wouldn’t dare not look through a viewfinder and let someone know that they’re in the act of capturing a photo of them. But when you’re just cutting your teeth, Street photography is a very intimidating task. There is that natural fear that you’re not going to know how people will react to you. For that reason, many street photographers like shooting from the hip. In truth though, many don’t leave this method because of the viewing experience that it allows. With the Fujifilm X-T2, you can use the tilting LCD screen to do just that with ease.

The Fujifilm X-T2 has an LCD screen with various displays. We recommend the Live View preview and slinging the camera around your shoulder or cross body. Then, simply go about shooting in the same way that medium format photographers used to: but looking down at the screen, focusing, composing and shooting. Be sure to choose a focusing point beforehand and set it to the largest focusing point setting; as that’s the easiest way to ensure that you get your subject in focus. The X-T2’s screen goes even further by also flipping out to the side, which can make photographing people at a higher level (in the case of sitting down and waiting for folks to go by) even easier by opening up more creative possibilities.

Before I go on, just a little bit of a disclaimer: street photography is all about intent. If you are photographing in this way because you simply want to document a beautiful candid moment, then please proceed. Be ready to explain yourself, apologize, possibly delete an image, or use the camera’s Wifi to beam the image to the person’s phone. Photography (especially street photography) is people work!

To make this even easier, we recommending using a wide angle prime lens from Fujifilm’s great offerings. These lenses have a focusing ring that shifts backwards and lets you do something called zone focusing. It’s a sort of manual focusing that lets you always get the subject tack sharp in focus as long as you keep a certain distance away from them. It’s how photographers have shot for years!

However, the wider lenses are also great because they focus faster. Due to the laws of physics and depth of field effects, the X Trans sensor inside the X-T2 has a 1.5x crop factor that makes an f1.4 lens have the same depth of field as an f2.1 lens in full frame standards. To that end, more is in focus and you can shoot at a faster shutter speed–making it better for street photography.

Xpert Advice is a monthly collaboration between the Phoblographer and Fujifilm designed to teach you photography tips and tricks in a bite-sized package.

Xpert Advice: Less is More – Using Color Effectively in Portraits

If you look at the work of some of the master portrait photographers, you’ll notice that much of their work tries to keep the use of color very minimal. Why? Portraiture is a type of photography that involves putting an emphasis on a person or thing and when the colors in the scene are very complicated, the scene can be distracting to the viewer. In fact, specific films were developed to create better skin tones and colors for portraiture. Some of the best from Fujifilm were Astia and Fujifilm Pro400H.

So how do you make that happen in-camera?

Continue reading…

Xpert Advice: Capturing Fast Moving Subjects With Your Camera

Fast moving subjects can be incredibly tough to capture no matter what camera system you use. One of the best things that any photographer can have is foresight into knowing and predicting what’s about to happen in front of you–and that requires paying a lot of attention to the scene.

But capturing fast moving subjects can be done in a variety of different ways and can use a large number of creative image techniques to get the scene. First and foremost, lots of photographers will obviously use a variety of autofocus techniques. Luckily, Fujifilm’s autofocus on the new X-Pro 2 and X-T2 are super fast–even in the dark and with older lenses with firmware updates. A great idea is to use the center focusing point/group area, focus as quickly as you can on your subject, and immediately take the photo. Just ensure that the point/area covers the subject entirely and for the best results, you may want to use continuous autofocus.

Continue reading…

Xpert Advice: How to Tell a Story with a Camera

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm Xpert Advice Telling a story with a camera (1 of 1)ISO 2001-250 sec

For the photojournalist, telling a story with a camera requires careful attention to the scenes and building a series of photos that always stick to the point. Though each story is very individual to their own ends, there are images that are essential to any sort of documentary or photojournalistic story. Some of those are:

  • Establishing shot: to tell us where all of this is taking place
  • Cover shot: doesn’t at all have to be the first photo, but it needs to be the single strongest photo of the series that makes someone really want to pay attention to it.
  • Detail shot: photos of close details such as hands, objects, etc.
  • Closing shot: the image that ties everything together in the end and closes the story. Doesn’t necessarily need to be the last photo that you’ve taken.

This is why photojournalists who use Fujifilm cameras will probably reach for the company’s 16-55mm f2.8 R WR and a 50-140mm f2.8 R WR lens. Alternatively, Fujifilm’s 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, and 16mm f1.4 are all solid choices for storytelling. These lenses also let a photographer make use of creative story telling techniques such as depth of field (bokeh.) More of these can be found in the Phoblographer’s guide to Fujifilm lenses.

When working for newspapers or wires, you’re most likely going to be shooting a lot of filler images that help tell the story. Whatever you do, just make sure that they help keep the flow of the story moving. Also be sure to provide captions for each image that help an editor tell what’s happening. That way, if they need to make the appropriate crops to make the images stronger, they’ll know what to focus on. With Fujifilm cameras, you can even start to send images right to your phone and upload them to the company’s Instagram if they give you the permission and you’ve built that level of trust with them.

The images that will really sell your story are ones that involve intimate moments, emotional moments (as in eliciting an emotion out of someone immediately when they see the image) and the newsworthy–i.e. the most important moments of it all.

Be sure to keep these in mind when you head out to photograph your next local story or big documentary project. And always remember: stick to the story!

Xpert Advice is a monthly collaboration between the Phoblographer and Fujifilm designed to teach you photography tips and tricks in a bite-sized package.

Xpert Advice: Composing Photos by Color in Autumn

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Xpert Advice Autumn Composing by color (1 of 1)ISO 4001-105 sec at f - 2.0

The very last bits of the Autumn are among us–have you gone out and photographed it in all it’s gorgeous beauty? If you haven’t that’s quite sad; it gives you the opportunity to try a new method of focusing.

To start, this requires looking at the world and the way that colors play out and contrast from one another. Indeed, contrast is one of the biggest parts of composing by color–the method we’re focusing on in this edition of Xpert Advice. Using the Fujifilm Velvia Film color profile may help out the most here.

Everyone knows about using the rule of thirds– and your Fujifilm camera not only has a rule of thirds composition display but also a 24 grid display option that can help even further. These compositional aides can help when composing a scene by color. This is a different method and often involves:

  • Positioning specific colors on an intersecting line of the rule of thirds to grab the viewer’s attention. You can also just move it along the grid until the scene looks artistically pleasing. It’s best to think abstract here.
  • Putting a color that really stands out in the scene as something prominent in the photo overall so that folks pay attention to it
  • Balancing the use of positive and negative space to actually make this color stand out and draw someone’s attention to the scene.

The simplest way to do this is by using the rule of thirds but by specifically putting a super punchy color on that intersecting line. Composing by color also involves things like the use of depth of field to get the most out of it. In general, it’s best to go on either extreme with super shallow depth of field or everything totally in focus. Also, try choosing a certain color and simply moving your camera around in all sorts of angles and directions.

Go get out and shoot before all the leaves are gone!

Xpert Advice is a monthly collaboration between the Phoblographer and Fujifilm designed to teach you photography tips and tricks in a bite-sized package.