Montag, 19. September 2016

Sport photography with your Fuji X-T1

A lot of people on the web are writing about the new AF performance of the new X-T2 and how good this camera will perform when it comes to fast moving subjects.

Yesterday I had my old trusty Fuji X-T1 hanging around my neck with the Fujinon 55-200 mm attached to it. I love to use this combination when I am out in the wild or - like I did yesterday - at the beach. It gives you a good range from normal to telephoto and helps you to compose your shots under changing conditions when you are for a walk like my wife and I did.


After composing some dense shots like the one above I spotted some kites in the sky and by following the ropes down to the ground I saw some guys with surfboards. Usually I don't do much sport photography, but the setting and the light was perfect.


I dialed in a fast shutter speed and a wide open aperture going into the maximal focal length of 200 mm. I also activated the continuous AF and drive mode to get some material to choose from. I took plenty of shots hoping for the decisive one in the pile of images. I also tried to create some kind of visual storytelling. This helps a lot to get into the mood and gives the viewer some more information around the main activity.





These shots are the result of a quick and dirty fifteen minute session and show how great even the old X-T1 (and the 55-200 zoom) can perform in such conditions.

Cheers,

Nils

Montag, 5. September 2016

Why it is no pain to cary your heavy tool always with you...

I know that it could be a pain sometimes to cary your camera almost every day with you. It feels like a little brick sometimes in my messenger bag, but there is this little moment where you wish you had your camera with you.


I took this shot on my way home from work. I was waiting for my wife to pick me up by car when I saw a muslim girl smoking an electric cigarette. I took five to six photos an this one was my favorite.


Trust me: the best opportunity for taking good photos in the streets is here and now. You can't leave the house to take good photos. The situations are coming to you. They just happen in front of your eyes. And imagine all these moments without where your camera was at home laying in a cupboard.

Try to love your little brick and cary it around, even if your heading for some groceries.

Cheers,

Nils

Dienstag, 23. August 2016

Know your rights

Some days ago I had an unpleasant experience with a security guy. I was taking photos of a skyscraper in a public area in Hamburg. After I aimed my camera at the building I heard him shouting after me from three meters away. After I turned around he came closer telling me that I need a permission from the owner to take a photo of this building.


I asked him if he knows the German media laws and that there is no need for a permission for various reasons. He just repeated the same phrase over and over again. I had a bit of a short temper this day and told him that he behaving not in a polite way and that he is pestering me. I left the scene without listening to his angry voice anymore.

This incident showed me how important it is to know your rights as a private or commercial photographer. Maybe you get into a similar situation with someone more important than the security staff or the police. When you know your rights you can argue better and stay cool.

Cheers,

Nils

Freitag, 5. August 2016

Haters...

...gonna hate. The internet is a great place to hide and rant. After watching the latest videos from Eric Kim I browsed through the comments and was shocked by the amount of hate people put into some lines of text. They criticized the way he was taking photos in the video and some technical aspects. He must be doing it all wrong.

What is wrong with you guys? If you have something to mention then do it the right way:

"Don´t shove your camera into the subjects face and a wide angle lens will ruin the portrait."
(wrong)

"I saw in your video that you get real close to the subjects face. What are your experiences with wide angle lenses and how do the subjects react to this way of taken portraits?"
(right)

Be kind and ask question or make suggestions. What do you expect to happen when you post a hate comment on YouTube? Try to learn something from a living exchange not by offending other people.

It is a sad that such things are even going on in the street photography community.

Cheers,

Nils

Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2016

I need more time for photography

Really? When photography is very important for you but not your main source of income there are just small slices of time left for it.

Have you ever made a list how your day divided into certain actions:

  1. get up in the morning
  2. go to work
  3. work
  4. go back home
  5. grocery shopping
  6. cooking some food and eat it
  7. cleaning some things up, feeding the cats etc.
  8. watch television or play a game
  9. sleep
Maybe this is the typical daily routine for most people and there are some points that can have a tremendous impact on the amount of time that is left for your precious inspirational hobby. What can you do to get more time?

the daily grind...

You work too much

Sounds harsh, but sometimes we don't reflect on the things we do and forget that lifetime is limited until you die and that work is not the main thing you will remember on your deathbed. Maybe you can work a bit less and leave your workplace a bit earlier. Don't forget that you can't buy time back with all the money you made from your job. It is gone forever!

Integrate your hobby into your daily routine

When you have your camera always with you (like I do), you can take photos whenever you want. Think about all the photos that are possible in the daily grind. You also get a different viewing angle on things of your daily routine.

Stop watching television or playing computer games

Television and playing a computer game is not creative. It is nice to watch and play a bit but it can be a real waste of time if you do it too often. You are a consumer not a maker when you see things that are all made up for your entertainment. You get lazy and hypnotized and lose the sense of time and space. So many hours are running down the drain...



Try to make the daily grind feel like a little vacation

The best thing my wife and I did the last years was meeting up after work and explore our own hometown. It is a bit like being a tourist in your own city. And as a tourist you enjoy a good cup of hand brewed coffee and go for a walk to find new places and enjoy the place you already live. After a while you forget that work is just an hour away and time stretches and you feel like being on a great vacation. Pull your camera out of your bag and take some awesome photos to document this great time! ;-)

Reflect

The most important thing is that you take the time to think about your life and what are the things that make you happy. It is important to be honest and kind to yourself. Without a real evidence that there is a life after death we should try to get the most out of time that is left in a sand clock where the amount of sand is unknown. And read this manifesto, it contains all the important stuff to think about.

What are your thoughts about this topic? Leave me a comment!

Cheers,

Nils

Dienstag, 26. Juli 2016

Always be ready with zone focusing!

My camera is always set to a distance between 2,5 and 5 meters and an aperture of 8.0 (Auto ISO turned on). From time to time I turn the shutter dial to match the situation (between 125 and 1000). For most situations the camera is ready to take a photo instantly having everything in focus. There are so many things that are suddenly appear in front of your eyes and most of the times there is no time left to make various settings and get the focus right. The composition and the right moment are enough work to do in such a short time-frame.

Segways are nearly noiseless and the was a whole group of fancy dressed men passing by. This was the only usable photo I got in that split second.

With this setup you can react very fast and it is easy to set the camera back to auto focus or other settings. Remember how good it feels when you hang your camera around your neck ready for action. When you own a camera with simple dials like the Fuji X100s, you can set aperture and shutter-speed without turning the whole camera on and go into the menu. This is simple and great and you are in full control of what your are doing.

Every time I take my camera out of my messenger bag I check the settings. Do you work the same way? Just let me know in the comments.

Cheers,

Nils

PS: Also read my article about the OVF.

Freitag, 15. Juli 2016

Lines, holes and moving subjects

Composition and timing are good friends. When you find a good spot it is useful to camp there and wait for something to come into the frame. The following photo was made in a backyard of a group of small skyscrapers. Each building was painted in a different color and the backyard was mostly grey with some trees in the middle. I stopped by an interesting scene full of diagonals, shapes and an open frame that called for a moving subject walking into it.


The walking subject adds more life to the photo. The lines are leading the viewers eyes into the hole in the upper middle where the movement is taking place. The different shades of grey and the green and blue tones in the fore- and background creating an artificial and futuristic look. Perfect for an urban street photo.

I will print this one and hang it on a wall at home.

Cheers,

Nils