model: Cassidy @ Liz Bell Agency
hair/makeup: Stefania Flex @ Blanche Macdonald
photography: Kale JF
Do you shoot tethered ? Here’s how you can avoid a $500 repair to your camera
Well as photographers one of our biggest fears is having our gear crap out. It just makes me perspire thinking about standing in front of a client shooting and have a strobe blow out or my camera fail. Well this is exactly what happened to me a couple weeks ago. Luckily a backup body saved the day. I moved over to shooting tethered about 3 years ago for every studio shoot, and honestly I couldn’t imagine not having the client review pictures as I shoot and the freedom and reliability it’s brought to my shoots. But, with this great innovation comes some dangers; I’ve never had a camera hit the ground but no matter how you prepare or position your equipment, someone on set will find a way to awkwardly squeeze between the camera, computer and say a strobe stand. After a few years of said awkward people squeezing between the camera and computer, tripping over the chord almost every time it happened. The USB on my 5D Mark II crapped out, people tripping and tugging on the mini USB managed to dislodge the port inside my camera, et voila, screwed. After a quick read online I knew I was in for an expensive fix, and as it turns out to have fast transfer speeds the USB port has to be attached directly to the main PCB, mean the entire PCB has to be replaced. I don’t know about you but the less money I have to dump into gear, the better, and the $500 I just paid to have this fixed could have been avoided. How ? Quite simply, because the people of Canon have such big hearts and I paid them $500) sent me along a simple little device that is supposed to stop your tether cable from wiggling and the potential for a break like this.
Simply enough, it pops in the side fitting in to the other plugs above and below the USB. Beside the wiggling that causes a broken USB port, another nightmare is a plug getting kicked, which can rip the USB cable right out of your camera, meaning, wear and tear on your camera and potential for losing photographs that are transferring. Not. Cool.
Another solution I’ve come across you can find on Adorama http://www.adorama.com/TTJS020.html The Tether Tools Jerkstopper. $16 that may save you from a very expensive repair in the future.
I know other variations of these devices exist so I highly recommend you search one out and buy one ASAP and save yourself the 500 clams.
A nostalgic trip to the Abbotsford Airshow with the Fujifilm X-T1 and the XF 18-135mm lens
As a kid growing up in Saskatchewan, one of the highlights of every Summer was the Air show. My Dad would load up chairs, snack and my brother and I and we’d spend a day baking in the summer sun and checking out what used to be an amazing display of aeronautics. A fond memory from one year was a massive thunder and lightning storm arriving in the afternoon and we got to hide from the storm inside a C-130 Hercules, at that moment the kid inside of me hoped it would take off to take us for a cruise, didn’t happen. Living in Vancouver, the city of Abbotsford, nearby hosts an airshow each year and this was the first time in years that I was actually in town to check it out.
So my brother, 2 friends and myself packed snacks, chairs, water and other “grown up” supplies and headed to the air show. In my camera bag, simply enough, the Fujifilm X-T1 and the brand new XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR. The XF 18-135 has been called the “tourist lens” due to the fact that it’s focal lengths are perfect for almost any situation, from architectural to portrait. The first thing I noticed was the amount of people that came out to camp for the full 3 days, huge expensive trailers and motor homes, lining the camp site that sat on the edge of the airport. Upon entering it was amazing to see all the young faces so filled with that same excitement I once had, and to be honest, I tapped in to that excitement again with the smell of jet fuel in the air. We were graced with perfect weather and an almost full moon as the sun went down. The XF18-135mm lens worked wonderfully with the X-T1, and as you can see the image stabilization worked wonders in very low light situations.
Photographs shot on the Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR and all photographs processed using Capture One Pro 7. All photographs copyright Kale JF Photography 2014. Photographs may not be used without written consent by Kale JF Photography.
Making intimate pictures means packing light and indiscreet
I just got back last week from an amazing 11 days in Europe, mainly in Paris and Amsterdam. When you get to do what you love time passes quickly and sometimes you look up and it’s been 2 years since you’ve been able to take a vacation. So was my wife and my situation. So after a snap decision we booked our plane tickets.
As any obsessive photographers might admit, when planning a trip, one of the biggest anxieties is what will I need ? How much gear can I squeeze in my carry on?. This was my first time out of many trips to Europe where I brought a small kit, and left my DSLR at home. For this trip I packed one of my favourite cameras I’ve ever owned the Fujifilm X-E1 and the brand new Fujifilm X-T1, 3 batteries, and for lenses the XF 18mm f2, XF 14mm f2.8 and the beautiful 35mm f1.4. All this fit into my small shoulder bag, versus the backpack I used to have to lug around.
Outside of my fashion, beauty and commercial work I consider myself a documentary photographer, not for any other reason other than telling my story to the world, and making photographs of things that move me, sadden me, and enlighten me. Having spent almost 4 years living in Paris, and being the birth place of my love and now lifelong obsession of making photographs, I was excited to see the city through new eyes after not visiting for almost 3 years. At the end of 11 days spent in Paris and Amsterdam I shot about 400 photographs with my X-E1 and X-T1, and 2 rolls of film with my little Canon Canonet, all photographs were processed with VSCO presets for Adobe Lightroom. As I’m sure I mentioned a million times, in the end there are two factors in a great camera for me, simplicity in design and use and beautiful RAW files, which is why I use Fujifilm. C’est tout.
The Seine River, Paris, France 5am
The River Seine, Paris, France. 5am
View of the Sacre Coeur from the George Pompidou Centre
A tourist naps infront of the George Pompidou Centre.
The Palais Royal, Paris, France.
Pigeon and flowers, The Palais Royal. Paris, France.
Woman relaxing in the sun at the Palais Royal. Paris, France.
View of the gardens in the Palais Royal. Paris, France.
A man reads the paper infront of the Basilique Notre-Dame des Victoires.
Door of the Basilique Notre-Dame des Victoires.
Roma Immigrants at the entrance to the St. Eustache Church.
Entering the Louvre.
Roma immigrant with a dog on the streets of Paris, France.
A Roma Immigrant young woman and a child, surrounded by volunteer Red Cross workers.
Small street off of Rue des Petits Carreaux, Paris, France.
A couple embraces near midnight along the Seine River.
Man smokes a cigarette as he watches through the packed windows of a local gambling shop.
Elderly lady that I remember from years ago taking a break from the sun near the Fontain St. Michel
Roma in Paris. Recumbent people of Paris.
I spent 2006-2009 living in Paris, France. It was in this city my life changed drastically. The most important, it’s the birthplace of my love for making photographs. I remember the first time I went to Paris in 2004, emerging from the RER I was immediately in love. The class, the grit, the architecture, streets that were alive at all hours. Having done my fair share of travel, and in spite of all it’s faults, Paris remains my favourite city in the world. 2 days ago I got back from a trip to Paris with my wife, after 2 years of working and not taking a vacation we decided Paris would be the perfect place for a vacation to find some much needed inspiration.
Back in 2006 one thing about life in Paris that struck me was the large number of Roma Immigrants. For many years the Roma immigrants have been a very contentious issue for French people. What does France do to deal with what they perceived as a pest. In all honesty I was blown away at the number of Roma in Paris, taking the RER first thing in the morning I would be serenaded by Roma women, or entertained by young boys with instruments (violins with a single string ), or karaoke machines belting out pop songs to not so enthusiastic French people on their morning commute to work. Anyone whose done the trip from the Chatelet metro station out to the Charles de Gaulle Airport can attest to the hundreds of camper cars packed tightly into any empty work site outside the city. Beyond the singing, dancing there were other methods being used to evoke sympathy from passers by. Puppies. All over the city young Roma men and women sitting on dirty blankets with adorable puppies. Back to my trip this May, I noticed that the puppies that used to garner spare change from Parisians and tourists were being replaced with newborns. Very young looking women, sat on mattresses with newborn babies, or surrounded by multiple children. As mentioned the Roma have been a long debated topic for Parisians, and I myself am hard pressed to see this as a black and white situation. Regardless they are there, everywhere, and nowhere at the same time. Stuck between modern society that expects “integration” and an antiquated style of living outside societal norms.
Since I began taking photographs on the street I’ve photographed conditions of poverty and the homeless. I can’t help that no matter which huge city I visit around the world, I’m hard pressed to ignore what I see beyond the beauty and allure of a city like Paris. A comment made recently on a social media site called my photos in this series “inhumane”. I can’t say I agree with this comment. As a photographer I feel it is my duty to document life as I see it. My hope is that future generations will be able to look at these photos in shock of how people “used to” live. Whether we want to accept it or not, there are growing numbers of men, women, children, and elderly living in extreme poverty around the world, turning a blind eye or ignoring these people won’t make them go away. The following photographs touch on two perspectives of life on the street in Paris. Meant to spur a reaction and hopefully a debate, in you the viewer.
Films not dead, it’s just sleeping
Inspired by a recent growing need to understand what it means to choose a moment for a photograph. I just shot my first roll of film in a long, long time. Having shot a lot of photographs with digital cameras the last 4 years has helped me immensely as a photographer, I’ve learned a lot about my own sensibilities and how to anticipate a moment, as well that you don’t need to shoot 300 photographs every time you pick up your camera. Even with my digital Fujifilm cameras (which I carry with me every single day), I mostly shoot around 30 photographs in a week. Quality over quantity is never more apparent than in photography.
My favourite camera type to use is a rangefinder, and for the last 2 years I’ve hummed and hawed over at what level I wanted to invest in shooting film again. I’m a meat and potatoes guy, fast glass, aperture, ISO and shutter speed, all I need. So there I was on Craigslist and stumbled across the Canon Canonet G III QL, a very well known and sought after rangefinder. I passed on a Canonet 2 years ago and thought I shouldn’t let that happen again, next day, I managed to get my hands on one. In my experience at least, whenever I’ve bought a camera that is 30 or more years old, I always feel like the 1st roll of film I shoot with it will determine whether I bought a POS or something good, almost all my film cameras have been from flea markets, weird estate sales or from family. After developing my first roll of Fujifilm Superia 400 I have to say, I’m in love with the Canonet, and not only that I’m even more in love with photography.
Anyways, here are a selection of 15 of 24 photos from this first roll.
Goldwell Colorzoom 2014 – Learn and shoot with Goldwell’s Top Artists
Are you a hairstylist that works with Goldwell color and are thinking about entering the Colorzoom ’14 ? I will be joining 2013 Colorzoom Gold Winner, Derrick Zeno and Goldwell Artistic Director, Rodica Hristu for the 2014 Creating a Color Challenge workshops.
Where?: Mississauga, Ontario March 16th, 17th and 18th 2014. Winnipeg Manitoba April 6th, 7th and 8th 2014. Vancouver, BC April 13th, 14th and 15th.
Why take the workshop ?: At the 3 day workshop you will be guided by 2013 Gold winner Derrick Zeno and Goldwell Goldwell Artistic Director Rodica Hristu through the whole process of creating a winning entry and on the final day you’ll shoot your winning look with me ! Did I mention the finalists go to BERLIN GERMANY ?!!
A little about myself:
I am a professional fashion and beauty photographer currently based in Vancouver, Canada. For the the last 4 years I have specialized in hair photography helping many of Canada’s top hairstylist bring home multiple awards including; Contessa Awards – Canadian Hairstylist of the Year 2013, Salon Team of the Year 2014, BC Hairtylist of the Year 2014, Goldwell Color Zoom Partner Category Gold Winner, Derrick Zeno, 6 out of 9 Finalists for Canada (2 Gold Winners. 1 Silver Winner and 3 Bronze). My photographs have been featured in Estetica Magazine, Highlights Magazine, Modern Salon and Salon Magazine. Having extensive experience as a specialist in hair photography I have the knowledge and tools that are needed to produce beautiful, original and award winning photographs.
What to expect:
Expect 3 full days of awesome ! For 2 days you’ll learn and work with Derrick and Rodica from concept to creation of your Colorzoom entry and have your own photo shoot on the 3rd. I had the chance last year to work with Derrick Zeno and Michelle Pargee and was blown away. Derrick and Michelle were incredibly attentive to each student through out the whole process, always there to help with questions or suggestions to help attendees unleash their creative power. As they say the proof is in the pudding, with so many attendees making semi finalist and finalist from last years workshops there’s no doubt this workshop will not only be a super fun time but it’ll also help you create an incredible entry. The class this year is taught again by Derrick Zeno and joining him, Goldwell Artistic Director, Rodica Hristu, a truly dynamic duo
The shoot: I will be arriving the day before the shoot so we’ll have the chance to and go over your look, at this point I will be able to answer any of your questions and get an idea of what angles you’d like to shoot and the over all goal for your final photo. The day of the shoot we’ll be taking each hairstylist and their model in to the studio to shoot your look! Whether you are an experienced stylists that’s entered before or a total noob, this class will have something for you.
After the shoot: You’ll receive your top 5 images to choose from for editing. This is when the fun part happens. We’ll work together to give you the best possible photograph for entry in Colorzoom.
For all the details follow the links below:
Briefing Kit www.colorzoom.com/briefingkit
More info: www.colorzoom.com
Well I hope this has inspired you and given you a bit of any idea of what to expect at this years Goldwell Colorzoom Creating a Color Challenge Entry workshop ! I’m really looking forward to seeing you there!
Kale JF Photography in Social Media: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KaleJFPhotography Twitter: @kalejfphoto Instagram: @kalejfphoto
I took a Fujifilm X-M1 and 18-55mm f2.8 lens up a mountain – Here’s my thoughts
So I’ve had the Fujifilm X-M1 for a while now and used it here and there, not really ever sure where it fit in to my kit. I knew with the “pancake” XF 27mm lens it was a great super compact camera that took stunning photos, but I thought I’d give it a chance in some harsher conditions, like -10 degrees celcius on a blowing mountain. So first off I had the ISO at 200, white balance Fine, if memory serves me aperture around f11. On the front of the camera I popped on the “kit lens” XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 lens which as you see in the photos is one of the best “kit” lenses you’ll ever buy.
Design thoughts: Keeping with the classic styling of all the X series cameras the X-M1 is no exception. The Good: Dials, I’m a fan of dials the more control I have with less scrolling through menus the better, depending on the lens aperture can be controlled with the back dial or on many Fujinon XF lenses on the lens itself. The Q button means access to everything you’d really need to change on the fly, another great design idea from Fujifilm. Regardless of it’s position lower down the ladder of X series cameras the X-M1 still has a solid build and feels heavy enough in the hand with a lens like the 18-55mm kit lens attached. Room for improvement: First off the fact that all the buttons on the back of the camera feel a little cramped I found myself pressing all kinds of different things while handing the camera, which is a problem if you have bigger hands (or are using gloves), what I would love to have seen is a bigger built up spot for your thumb to go to keep my hand from mashing all the buttons (maybe even less buttons) when using it with one hand. Shutter button seems a little crammed between the top two dials, but not a big deal. I find almost all cameras have an issue with accidental bumping or changing settings, and if you are like me with one around my neck at all times, even it moving around and brushing up against my shirt can sometimes move the shutter dial on my X-E1. Possible Design Solution: A lock switch or button that locks down ALL controls, preferably on the front of the camera for easy access. This means we wouldn’t have to worry about depressing a button or turning the shutter dial by accident, in turn ruining that 1/1000th of second.
click on photos for a close up view
AF and shooting with the X-M1: Well no qualms here, the AF with the XF 18-55mm is very snappy and even while shooting at passing objects moving in the opposite direction ex. Sky lift chairs, the AF performed very well. Keeping in mind this was a light soaked condition being surrounded by snow, in darker light I would imagine AF would be a bit slower, but as well as lots of light there was very little contrast in the scene which is what surprised me the most in how quick the AF performed. No viewfinder no prob… actually: In a lot of situations the fact that you are looking at the back of the camera is okay, I’d still take a viewfinder over none every day of the week, but up on the mountain or out in bright sunlight day you can’t see a damn thing on the back of the camera, any glare or direct light leaves you shooting completely blind, which was fine when I was shooting at 18mm end but when I tried to shoot a friend snowboarding I was completely blind, “spray and prey”?. I thought about the idea of an added eye piece on to the hot shoe but considering it’s probable cost ($150-$200) one would be inclined to just invest a bit more for an X-E2 or other X series with a viewfinder, but regardless a little optic to help with framing would be a cool addition to the X-M1 and it’d look neat.
What counts most at the end of the day?: For me, it’s image quality. And as David Hobby put it well, you are getting the same amazing sensor as the bigger brothers in the X series line up at a lower cost, which in itself makes this camera great. As you can see from the images below, this camera takes really good photographs, good enough that I would print them big and proudly hang them in a gallery or even use them in magazine print. Having shot accidentally (damn touchy dials and buttons !) some photos overexposed I was still able to bring back a lot of detail and get very usable photos. Bang for your buck factor is high for the X-M1.
Final Thoughts: If you are looking for an awesome compact camera with as many or little options of automation or manual use to capture day to day snap shots, stunning vacation photos this is your camera ! Do you have a big heavy DSLR but can’t stand lugging it out to take pictures of family or events ? This could be your new little friend ! If you already own another Fujifilm or are hoping to invest in one of the more “professional” Fujifilm cameras in the near future this is a great entry point, and hey you can use the same lenses on your X-M1 as all the other interchangeable X series cameras. Again for me, it’s all about image quality, which the X-M1 scores huge, usability scores slightly lower due to the button mashing and lack of viewfinder. Well I hope my 2 cents have helped a bit in understanding the little powerhouse that is the Fujifilm X-M1. PS. Shooting all day with the X-M1 in the cold I had no issues what so ever to report !
NYC. I love you.
Over the last couple years I’ve had the chance to do quite a bit of travel in and around North America, the thing is, it’s usually for work or attending events, which means little to no time to walk around with my camera and explore. So when my wife and I decided to slip over to New York City from Toronto (attending Contessa Awards) earlier this month I was super excited, having travelled to many major cosmopolitan centres around North America and Europe, this would be my first time in NYC. Like any photographer, the first thing you do is stress out about what gear you can bring and how the hell am I going to fit it all in my carry on. But that was the old me, the huge DSLR carrying me. With my Fujifilm system it was pretty damn simple to fit a couple bodies and 4 lenses into a small bag. Although, as we had planned to squeeze in a shoot at the beautiful Wella Professionals Studio at the Rockefeller Center, I still had to lug my Canon and 85mm along, I would have just used my X-E1 or X-E2 for the studio shoot but (ahem..) alas no tethering capability. Just before I left for this trip I got my hands on a couple of lenses I knew were going to work nicely in the city, the Fujinon XF 23mm f1.4 and the Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4, as I knew the sun would be down by 5pm and I would need that sweet large aperture to suck up any light to make photographs. As we got off the plane and took a taxi in to our hotel in Manhattan, I made what turned out to be one of my favourite photographs of the trip, with the sun almost completely down, from the window of the taxi I saw the Manhattan skyline for the first time, *click. Hello New York City, I love you already.
Now, here is where as a photographer the greedy, selfish side of me comes out. I find now more than ever that when I travel some place new, I go in to almost a trance in the street where I’m not really taking part in what’s going on around me, I’m immersed yet on the outside of everything going on around me, it’s a liberating and intoxicating feeling that I think only other photographers can understand. But as I was on vacation with my wife I really had to fight the urge to spend the entire trip with my camera up to my face. Another difficult part of visiting a new city is that you want to try and cover as much ground is possible, see all the sites, eat at good restaurants, visit museums, etc. etc., so inevitably you end up at 9pm with blown out feet and zero energy left to hit the streets to take photographs. In my mind the only way to over come all these difficulties is to find a great new city and move there, which is why my wife and I are currently going through the heavy process of attaining visas and if all works as planned will be New Yorkers sometime mid to late in 2014. So when I got home and realized I only took about 200 photographs while in New York City, which in this digital age seems like nothing, but I know that each time I took a photograph it was with care and attention.
Fujifilm X-E2 Is here ! – Improving on an already amazing camera – My first impressions
When I first heard that there would be an X-E2 coming out this year, I have to say the gear nerd inside of me did a tiny fist pump. I’ve been shooting on my X-E1 for almost a year and I really can’t imagine not having this camera in my life, so I figured with the X-E2 things could only get better, and as I had hoped, I was correct. The design, well no surprise here, no real major changes from the body shape and design of the X-E1, which I don’t mind one bit, I’m a ‘don’t mess with a good thing’ guy, and the bonus ? my grip from my X-E1 fits perfectly, one less accessory to purchase. The couple changes you will find are; the Q button has moved, there is no longer a View Mode button and there’s now a F2 button to give you another button to program, making 4 in total. For you photographers that like to do a lot of button pressing on your camera this should be a welcomed edition as well you can now set the exposure compensation dial now goes to 3 stops.
I think the biggest and best changes to the X-E2 happened on the inside. They’ve upgraded the guts to the 16MP X-Trans CMOS II & EXR Processor II and the Intelligent Hybrid AF (Phase & Contrast Detection) which promises a great improvement to the AF function of the camera as proved by the X100S. There is a list at the bottom with a break down of all the features of the X-E2, but for me this camera is all about taking a very well designed camera and making it take better photographs, simple as that. You’re probably asking yourself, what about manual focus ? No huge changes here, you’ll find the two different options available for a highlight or split screen, of which I’ve found I prefer the highlight option as it’s less obtrusive in the frame, I noticed as well that the improved processor means the EVF reacts noticeably smoother and quicker in manual focus mode . I only had a few days with the X-E2 so this isn’t as much as review but a ‘First Impression’ but the good news is I will be taking an X-E2 with me to New York City in November to put it through it’s paces on the street and on some fashion shoots for one week, so I’ll be able to update this post with more of an in depth analysis and a huge pile of photos !
As in all things in life, nothing is perfect, so let me get my one bugaboo out of the way now. I shoot with the EVF or OVF on any camera I use, I never have image preview turned on, never shoot from the LCD and for the most part I don’t chimp, my issue is that on the new X-E2 it’s not possible to shoot through the EVF with the LCD turned off and then hit the play button to preview a photo or use the menu, you have to look through the EVF which I’ve found to be dangerous and down right clumsy if you are out in the street shooting, the new options are LCD only, EVF with eye sensor or EVF only, I undestand the idea of having the eye sensor is to save on battery power while you walk around with your camera on all day, but if you are like me, my camera lives on a strap over my shoulder, so the fact that the camera is laying against my body means the sensor is on anyway, as I mentioned earlier in general I don’t chimp but there are some moments where you want to take the time to check your photograph and make sure you got what you were intending, as well sometimes you just want to scroll through the menu on the LCD. DISCLAIMER; The version of the X-E2 I received was a pre-production model so the good people at Fujifilm will be ironing out some quirks before they hit the shelves, so it’s my hope that this simple oddity can be fixed on the production models in the form of a firmware update, and bring back the same preview system as the X-E1, other than that I really can’t think of anything I don’t love about this camera.
Well, to the meat and potatoes. What’s new ! Here’s a list of some of the most important updates and features found on the new X-E2 and below some sample images I shot on the camera.
• 16MP X-Trans CMOS II & EXR Processor II
• Intelligent Hybrid AF (Phase & Contrast Detection)
• Focus Peaking & Split Image Focusing
• Lens Modulation Optimizer technology
• Face Detection (Stills and Movies)
• Super Intelligent Flash (Super i-Flash)
• 8 Advanced Filters
• 1.04M Dot LCD
• 4 Customizable Buttons: Fn1, Fn2, AE, Down Direction Pad
• Full HD 1080p with choice of 60/30fps
Here are some photos I shot over the couple days I had with the X-E2. As there wasn’t any software out there that could work with the pre production RAFs, I had to convert them to JPGs in camera and import, but I’m excited for some updates that will allow me to work with the RAFs to work with photographs in all there uncompressed glory. All images straight from camera JPGs with slight adjustments to White Balance and exposure in Adobe Lightroom.
Well I hoped you enjoyed my first impression of the brand new Fujifilm X-E2, now get out there and take some photographs !
Some other blog posts by my fellow Canadian X-Photographers on the new X-E2
Riley Joseph http://rileyjoseph.com/
Head over to Fujifilm Canada for more details and the official announcement ! http://www.fujifilm.ca/products/digital_cameras/index.html