shot brake down

 For the love of COMPOSITION 

Camera settings and details

Camera – Sony A7R3, mounted on a mono pod
Lens – Tamron 28-75 F2.8, shot at 75mm F4
Shutter speed – 1/100
ISO – 800
Time of Day – 17:40
Weather – sunny, no wind, scattered clouds
Flash – not used
Reflector – not used
Coffee – 4 cups for the day, black and strong

Location – Seven Passes Bridge, George, see second photo for location brake down

Braking down the settings, I try to always keep my shutter speed at or
above 1/100, this helps keep my portraits nice and in focus, as I love coffee
and my hands do tend to be a bit shaky so to also help.

I put my camera on a mono pod to help give me a stable platform to work with, to correctly
expose I had to boost my ISO to 800.

Though shooting on the sony it handles
iso 800 without any problems

Aperture I went with F4, as I am shooting multiple people I had to ensure they where all in focus ad for close intimate shots like this one I had to use F4 as well I had to keep them parallel to the camera and lens, meaning both where standing more or less right next to each other to insure they will be in the same pane of focus

The time of day was chosen as the sun will not be directly on them but rather be blocked semi by the mountain range, meaning with no direct sun that the scene would be filled with natural bounce light only, the blue on the male subject was reflected light from a small blue building behind to the left of the frame, the yellow glow on the female subject came from a close river bed to the bottom left of the frame , see second photo for a visual brake down, on the second photo the red line would be where the subjects where standing, me I was at the yellow line, and the two light sources you can see marked as 1 and 2 with 1 for the male subject and 2 for the female subject

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For posing you will see that I had the male subject behind the head of the female subject this ensured that I preserve the blue reflected light on him by blocking the yellow reflected light using the other subject, making a fake 2 light photo possible

For focusing I used the sony built in eye detect auto focus which grabbed focus on the male subject, if I did not have eye detect auto focus i would have used single point auto focus and made sure my focus point was around the nose area for the male subject that would ensure both subject would be in focus

if you have any questions or such, feel free to drop a comment and I will help out where I am able to

 if you have any questions or such, feel free to drop a comment and I will help out where I am able to

My most popular photo to date

 Lightning, the random beauty

This was one of those one in a life time photos, the pure power and random nature of lighting makes each time it fires off a special moment only showing itself for a fraction of time, to capture this moment you need to be ether lucky or rather well trained in the art of shooting long exposures , I like to think that I am more lucky then skilled

so lets dive into how I manage this shot and the story behind it .

 The Story

The evening started much like any other got coffee sat around at work , though I noticed something strange on the weather, they predicted lightning , this is rather uncommon in the area that I live in, as we normally ether get light rain or heavy rain, lightning is something of a strange accurrance, from checking the weather it looked like the lightning was going to move over just after 6 PM with rain to follow

now this is where professional gear comes in handy, fully weather sealed gear means that I would be able to shoot even when it started to rain, this would prove to be invaluable as the location that I had in mind was rather open with no real cover for me to use should it start raining, here I will add a photo of the location in normal light to the right hand side for you.

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This location has been on my list to grab a great photo of for some time, I always had the problem of net getting the light perfectly hens it has always been missing from my landscape collection, though with lightning perhaps this finally would give me what I need, something interesting for the sky plus a great view of the mountain itself, what could go wrong right ?

Well I soon found out that this spot would be a horrible spot for one the weather was moving over the mountain towards town which if fine but it did add in a extra element that I never though of and that was the fast moving clouds with rain first followed by lightning, think this was due to being so close to the mountain itself, even with my weather sealed gear it proved extremely difficult to grab a proper photo , water kept getting on the lens and I had a car or two that kept moving past producing light on the rain itself which just killed the entire photo

Though I think the biggest problem was that yes I had managed to get into a perfect spot to grab some lightning, though the lightning was hitting the mountain itself on the other side facing away from me which just simply gave me a white glow and no bolts that looked like anything that would be useful to me, well other than a interesting light cloud on top of a mountain, though it was lacking what I was looking for.

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It was at this moment while looking at the back of the screen that the realization started to sink in that maybe I would never be able to get the perfect lighting on top of this dammed mountain that I had kept my eye on for so long, I simply sat down in the grass , it was a nice evening after all, nice and cool soft rain all over and you could smell the rain so crisp and to boot the power was off completely in the entire town, load shedding has created this opportunity to be able to grab a night time shot from my location which was more or less in town surrounded by street lights and such, the darkness was contrasted by the bright light from the lightning every now and then kind off showing you the light, this was truly a beautiful sight and as some one once told me

-Not everything that looks good shoots good

I refused to give up though, dragged my wet ass back up and grabbed my phone, from knowing weather a bit from a study or two I have done before I knew that this little storm would keep moving over town which presented a different type of opening to shoot lightning , calculating where it would move I tossed my gear in the back of my truck and drove off to a location I believed would be perfect for the storms movement.

The annoyance of government being able to switch power off and back on also showed it’s ugly face, power was switched back on while I was driving all the lights popped back on and the dark night sky went bright with street lights and honking horns from frustrated drivers cursing at each other as all the robots went stuck on red, leaving me semi stuck in traffic at night time, not the best when I only have a few moments to get to the location that I marked out .

Though I did not give up, I know the local area and jumped on the back roads, charging through the night to the middle of town, not something that would seem important to most, though I did arrive at my spot and I could see the storm moving over slowly, parked and grabbed my tripod with camera in one single move, did also remember to lock my car at least .

Now finally I was in a good spot to grab what I wanted even though the street lights where out and even though the mountain was no where near me I was determined to grab this dam lightning already.

I setup my Panasonic G9 with the kit lens the 14-42 with the lens zoomed in to around 16mm to cut off a little bit of the buildings around me though still maintaining a good amount of sky in the frame, for setting I put the G9 to the lowest native ISO to ensure that I get a nice clean photo , ISO 200 , with all other controls on manual I changed my focus to infinity and then pulled back a little bit, lightning never sticks around for you to grab focus anyway, so I guessed where it would be more or less and hoped that it would be in focus should I even be able to grab it at all, shutter speed I put on 15 seconds, yes that’s right a entire 15 seconds. Bit long though I hoped that with the speed that lightning has that perhaps i would be lucky and grab a strike in the few seconds that I gave myself .

Did make one error though when I was setting up my camera, I accidentally taped the ISO dial and changed my ISO to 400, no big problem though as it would still give me a nice crisp photo.

I then put my camera on time lapse mode, what this means is that it will shoot one photo which takes 15 seconds then wait 1 seconds and shoot another photo, and repeat this for the amount that I set this function to, I set this to shoot 300 photos total just in case, now this meant my camera will be shooting for a total of 300 x 15 = 4500 seconds, one photo after the next , this adds a great deal of stress on the sensor of the camera though this is where professional cameras shine compared to normal cameras , they are built to withstand much more punishment compared to other cameras .

All that was left was for me to let rip with the shutter and sit back and hope everything was correct, standing by with a lens cloth to clean water off the lens after every shot .

Though while shooting I noticed something all my photos where more or less properly exposed though once lightning did strike the photo would go extremely bright, meaning I was not even sure I managed to capture anything at all hell here have a look at how the photos showed up on the back of the camera .

Untitled

With seeing every photo with lightning turning out like this I though bugger, I messed up something , though I left the camera so that it would finish the time lapse , hell I started it might as well finish the time lapse, so with most photos that hopefully contain lightning being extremely over exposed I headed to editing to check them all out, this is why you shoot in RAW format , so that you can recover as much detail as possible , though something as over exposed as this made me wonder if it would at all even be recoverable when editing .

So then lets get to what happened in editing, after checking the almost 300 photos I did find one, not just one but one showing something rather interesting, well not just interesting it was amazing seeing how much details I was able to recover have a look at the before and after .

Raw files work so dam awesome, here let add in the final edit for you as well, this is the photo that I also posted online

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The photo ended up rather interesting indeed, now one thing that I am really good at is editing and delivering photos rather fast and knowing that the lighting storm was something rather uncommon in my area , I finished and uploaded the photo to facebook to the local group for my town, seeing as they would love seeing something like this .

Now this is where things get interesting not only did I post the photo to my own Facebook , I shared it in the local Facebook group as well as I reached out to the local news paper who where rather delighted in the photo so I sent them a lower res social media copy of the photo as well which they also posted to there Facebook page, within the first few minutes of posting the photo had already gotten over 100 shares and had gone wild over the the local groups and people with my Facebook going insane with notification on comments and such, scary on the one hand and awesome on the other hand .

 The stats

Now here the power of social media comes into play, if one person shares something and 5 of the friends they have also share that same thing to 5 of the friends they have then you have a potential for something as simple as a photo of lightning to be shared an extreme amount of times not only that but it will also reach so many eyes that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of everything.

I reached out to the local news Paper to ask them if they would be willing to share the details on the photo that they posted, I was exited to find out that they had no problems with that at all so here we go lets have a look at what there post shows . Now as you can see it has a good amount of views and such though the interesting thing comes in with the shares and comments, on the post they made they had a total of 290 combined, not bad though they also shared the back-end stats for the post, which shows a total of 1 900 reactions , comments and shares , which means from the post itself they had a rather good amount of engagement though the shares I would say made up even more of the engagement itself .

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one of the biggest numbers on the stats will be the reach, that shows the total amount of people that have seen the post ether directly or from some one that shared the post itself 42 300 total more or less, rather a large number .

the post the George Harold made looks dam good indeed some interesting stats to look at to boot, extremely grateful that they made a post and allowed my photo to reach so many eyes . Now lets look at my post that I shared to the local Facebook group for the town I live in .

Sadly for this group I am not able to obtain the details on reach and share amount due to the way the page is setup and managed, though from the stats and comparing them to the post made by the news paper they have similar reactions around 1 000 , which means we can say that it as well has a reach more or less in the 40 000 possibly more possibly less, we can only speculate though the locals loved the hell out of the photo which was rather awesome to see.

my share 1

Now those two stats came from shares and a post made by the local news paper rather a good reach so far though how will that compare with the stats on my own page ? well lets have a look .

finally we can see some more stats compared to the other two think mine did rather well, odd that I managed to get 4 sad faces for some reason 🙂 though most of my post reach comes from the shares themselves , those 120 shares creates a 41 000 plus reach for the photo, rather interesting .

use me

 Conclusion

Well why the hell does all this even matter at all ? well it shows a couple things that you need to keep in mind when you are creating content for social media , something that is local such as this lightning storm which was a odd thing in itself , carries more weight with locals compared to lets say people in Cape town, so keeping that in mind to help grow my own Facebook group I have focused more on creating content that locals would enjoy things that when they see it they go “ooo yea I remember this” or things like that , and in this manner not only do I grow my page I also grow my business and potential client base to boot.

This was and will most likely always be my most viewed and most reaching photo, all due to me grabbing the moment and creating something that resonates with the people in my town.

Yes this photo has made me no money to date, though the smiles and moment that I captures has brought joy to many and this in itself is a reward which I would always be happy to take.

Remember to always keep in mind why you create content and build on that.

Keep well everyone and stay safe.

Different software paid and free

greetings fellow photo people, I have seen it come up a couple times where some one asks which software to use for editing, well here let me list a couple for you all that might be handy, hope this helps some one, if you have any other software that comes to mind feel free to poke me and I will add them on the list 🙂

Photo editing on PC :

PhotoShop and lightroom , both are included in the monthly fee from adobe , both are extensively used by many photographers and for good reason they are the market leader when it comes to editing , you can grab it from here

Photoshop – https://www.adobe.com/africa/creativecloud/plans.html

Another more free alternitive to photoshop is a program called Gimp, it does some dam fine photo editing much like Photoshop, it is a free alternitive and extreamly powerfull for a free application you can grab a copy here

Gimp – https://www.gimp.org/downloads/

alternitive to light room is a application called darktable , it functions much the same as light room where it has a catalog option and some nice features that allow you to edit batches of photos at a time , you can grab it here

Darktable – https://www.darktable.org/install/

if you are editing on your phone there are mainly two applications that you should look at

Lightroom, the lightroom version for mobile is free to download and use on your mobile device, it still maintains powerful functions for a mobile application grab a copy here

Lightroom mobile

Andriod – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details

Iphone – https://apps.apple.com/…/adobe-lightroom-photo-…/id878783582

Alternatively a much more user friendly application for mobile devices is called snapseed , it also has some powerful functions for a mobile application and is free to use , grab a copy here

Snapseed

andriod – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details

Iphone – https://apps.apple.com/za/app/snapseed/id439438619

alternatively there are many other applications that you can use as well , just jump to google to find them 🙂

google – https://www.google.com/

Scouting locations part one

Scouting locations

Lets talk about something a little bit fun, scouting locations if often over looked by some photographers, which is sad as it is a vital skill set that a photographer needs, and this is not limited to landscapes, but portrait photography as well.

Scouting locations helps you see what you have to work with such as light , safety as well as the general details in the area.

some things that you need to take note of when you do go out to look for locations should be:

1 – Scouting at the right time of day, this gives you a good idea of how the natural light will impact your location.

2 – take some photos of the location, helps you get an idea of what you have to work with

3 – evaluate the area, meaning check things like safety , cellphone reception , available power and such, make a good evaluation of the area insuring it covers everything you need

4 – use google maps to drop pins with notes so that you know which area is where, would suck not being able to find a great place when you need it

5 – check the pricing and availability, some locations need money to gain access to them if this is the case you need to know how much it would cost so you can adjust your price accordingly, as well it helps knowing when you are allowed into a location and the restrictions around the location itself

6 – parking and dressing rooms, you need a place for models to get ready or you need to know if they should arrive ready, parking is essential as you do not want to stop in the middle of no where and leave your car standing while you hike 5 km away, a location should have proper and easy to access parking, or at least safe parking

7 – light o mother of light, always check the light of a location , some light conditions such a reflective light could make or brake anything that you have in mind, knowing how the light works at different times of day would safe you so much time when planing a shoot to a scouted location

8 – talk with some locals if you can find them, they know the in and outs of locations and some times this can be extremely handy for knowing if a location has gang activity or things as such, a location might only look as good as it does at that time, locals knowledge is a good source to tap into

9 – examine the elements, such as sun , rain snow , wind and other elements these will directly impact the location you are scouting, knowing if the location has extreme wind all the time or things like that help you plan which time of day or even which time of year would have the correct conditions for shooting at the location

10 – decide where to setup your gear and which angle is your primary focus, having a good location is key but also having a good angle in mind saves so much time, once you have the shot you want sure anything else goes, but stick to what you have in mind

11 – revisit the location, this is impotent as you might never know that a location is even still around after a few weeks, with construction and other elements some locations might be great now but be gone in a weeks time

12 – keep notes, keep as many notes as possible on a location, everything from the above in notes would make it much easier to know what goes on at a location and makes it much easier to explain to clients and models that you have this location that looks like this that has these things going for it at these times of the year

13 – do not spend to much time at a location that clearly does not offer you anything that you or a client might be looking for, this is impotent as spending a day trip out to a location that has nothing to offer but looks kind of good on photos might be a good way to waist a entire trip for basically nothing, know when to give up on a location

 Example of a location scout

here let me show you an example of a area that I scouted out a week or so ago.

I found this location by accident while having a little road trip, at first I drove past and did not think much of the location itself, though on my drive back I decided to stop and have a look at the location, I was greeted with the following sight .

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Now when you look at this photo you will notice that both side have some interesting light going for one I am looking more at the right hand side compared to the left hand side, the light on the right hand just looks to blend a bit better with the graffiti, not only that but if I had to bring a model out she would fit in much better compared to the blue and green left hand side.

Though lets have a look closer first at the left hand side and see what we have to work with for that part of the location.

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Well not very surprised at the light has this blue and green glow, which will make skin look a bit crap when I bring a model out, though it has some interesting characteristics, for one the right hand side graffiti has a nice look to it, maybe a male model would fit in here a bit better compared to a female model.

this side is nice and clean as well, surprising for a half abandoned bus stop place as they are normally extremely filthy, the left hand side though, personally I do not think it will work very well for a shoot with a model it lacks punch.

Well lets have a look at the other bus stop thing and see what we could work with on that side .

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Looks good, it does however have a much more red glow to it, the time of day also means that the shadow from the left hand side helps keep the bounce light from below in check.

For this side the colors are much more prominent as the graffiti stands out much better compared to the blue, this side is also nice and clean.Plus I am noticing that on this side both the right hand and left hand side of the frame could be used without to much of a color balance problem though the right hand side does have some writing on it sadly which would need to be photo shopped out.

Though over all this side works better for what I have in mind, I also played around with some angles to see which one would work best for placing a model, decided on this angle.

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This angle for me I think would work great at a different time of day though as well perhaps when its cloudy since the highlight at the top left hand side of the frame could create some distraction from the main subject.

As well looking from this angle hides the right hand side and gives it a tiny bit of depth, might need to change the angle slightly more though for a first scout to this location think I have a good idea for what I need to bring with as well what angle I will have to play with to get a good look going.

 

As far as the location itself goes, parking is nice and close which is a plus point means I would always be close to my car and gear, Location has free access also a plus point, light is kind of ok in mid day though will return at sun down and sun rise to check the light again, as far as elements go light winds when I was scouting though nothing to dramatic.

negatives though are no dressing rooms or toilets which means models will have to come dressed as well, the negatives can be worked around though so they are not that huge of a problem

safety for the location is relatively good as well it is at the entrance to a town with a gated community not that far off which do have guards as well the police seem to petrol the area every so often 

I dropped a pin for the location on my phone and will be adding it to my locations list, think this location could be good for a model shoot maybe a shoot for a model looking to expand there portfolio with a more urban style or something, not 100% sure though will find a use for it.

The most impotent thing though is that I managed to find the location now that I have it I can start working on what to do with the location, scouting a location does not mean a photo shoot or anything would ever take place, though its good knowing what you have available when clients need something, or just for personal work.

 Final Thoughts

Remember scouting a location is impotent, it helps you build up a inventory of locations that you have available to suite what clients need, though most impotently it saves you time, saves your clients time and helps insure you do not waist the time of a model.

The location in my example I will most likely not have a use for any time soon though I might plan to use it as a training location for my students, as it provides a good balance between colors as well elements .

Though always remember when you do go out scouting keep safe , keep to public roads, and for the love of all that is holy do not leave your car standing in the middle of a open field or something like that, commonsense  goes a long way.

if you have any questions or thoughts  leave them below.

have a good one.

Fujifilm XT-100

Well this little camera has been a joy to use, or well will be once I manage to finally have it for myself for a bit of time, a few weeks ago I bought the XT-100, the original idea was to have a cheap little backup camera to use for teaching other more about photography, though I think it has become a bit more.
The first day of having this little camera was a fun one the controls are easy to use, the kit lens was ok as well, though the magic happened once I connected up my professional lenses to the tiny body, to my surprise it delivered quality comparable to my Fujifilm XH-1, not only that but at times the quality would even surpass that of my much more expensive camera.

The biggest thing about the Fujifilm XT-100 would be the user friendly controls and the fun factor of shooting with the camera , in the last 3 to 4 weeks of owning this camera it has been borrowed and used by at least 8 different people, these people range from other professional photographers to artists as well as business owners and they all seem to come to the same conclusion this tiny little camera is a joy to use, from the kit lens being so versatile to the film simulations giving them the look they want and the most fun part the camera links up so great with the Fujifilm app on your phone, this makes it extremely easy to move photos to your mobile device for sharing and posting on social media, hell just look on my own Facebook page and website, you would be surprised at how many photos where taken with the XT-100.
viewing this camera from a beginners view point it makes learning photography much easier as well for the none photographers the point and shoot SR+ mode on the camera works perfectly and makes creating photos and capturing memories so much more fun, the camera also has more advanced modes that work great for learning such as the aperture priority mode or manual mode, also note even when in manual mode you are able to set many option to auto which makes learning manual mode nice and easy, the most fun thing for starter photographers or people just looking to have fun is that out of the box the XT-100 is a great fun camera to use with the keyword being fun, which is why many of us pick up a camera for.

On a more professional level, this tiny little camera works great as a backup camera, links up perfectly with all my fuji gear and flashes not to mention the quality that you are able to get out of this little camera is comparable to much more expensive cameras, for settings though double check and triple check them before you start shooting and also always shoot raw the filter that is on the sensor provides a very vivid image in my experience meaning that I had to drop the color in the Q many as well the shadows a bit to get the look out of camera that works for my work flow, though the most impotent thing about this tiny camera for professional work is the glass you put on the sensor, for working with the 56mm f1.2 lens which when paired up with the XT-100 delivers super crisp photos even the 18-55 delivers super crisp photos, though the kit lens the 15-45 does work ok in some cases the lens itself is a bit to slow sadly which for me was a bit of a problem as I am so use to shooting with fast lenses that I had to make a bit of an adjustment to use the kit lens
overall the camera itself works really great, not just for photography but as a tool for training it has become so useful, the nice thing about using it as a teaching tool is that all the controls are easy to use and easy to teach.

From digging around a bit the XT-100 is powered by a fun CMOS sensor with an interesting Bayer filter, this combo of sensor and filter seem to create a much more sharper image using high quality glass compared to my expensive camera, I think it might have something to do with the filter on the sensor, or perhaps its just a case of something special in a tiny body.

did a fun little video with Adin Walls not that long ago have a look it contains some more information plus it gives a nice brake down of the tiny little camera – https://youtu.be/njp5Lf0dlxY

to check out some more work done with this camera and my XH-1 check out my website – https://andrewbasson.com/

have a good one all and keep having some fun

Fuji film as seen from an X Nikon user

Greetings all, it has now been a good couple of months since moving over to Fujifilm from my Nikon gear, thought I should share a couple things I have noticed as well a couple things I would like to compare between the two systems.
To start of with the most important thing for me from a photography company is the support they give you, as I am moving more and more into the professional side of photography having a good support system in place gives me peace of mind as well insures that when I do have a problem that it is something that can be fixed without any trouble, with my old camera system I did in fact get to a point where I had a problem and no matter how much I tried I was not able to get it resolved with them, though on the flip side of things since moving over to Fujifilm I was happily surprised at how fast and reliable the support has been everything from allowing me to test gear so I can have a better understanding of what I am using to technical support when my XT20 stopped working with the WiFi or even that time I almost completely burned the poor sensor to death, with all of those things Fujifilm support has been there every step of the way to ensure that I get resolved what I need resolved .

With great support from a camera manufacturer it give me great peace of mind that no matter what struggles I might have with the gear they provide the support needed which makes moving to more professional work much easier for myself knowing that the manufacturer I am using has my back covered .

In regards to the experience with the Fuji community as a whole I must say they truly do make you feel at home not only that but one can see that the community on their side consists of photographers who love photography everything from sharing knowledge to sharing the work they do all in all they have been much more accommodating compared to some other communities I know of, not only that but when you meet fellow Fuji photographers they are all pleasant and fun people to talk with and I am looking forward to meeting more of them and possibly working with them as well at some point .

Though one of the things I would like to share with everyone is the gear itself, Fuji rock the mirror less camera system which has been a complete 180 change from what I was using, not only that but the electronic viewfinder on the cameras do save so much time as you are able to see what you get before even talking the picture, not only that but the cameras have a boost mode or high performance mode which basically puts your camera on steroids the colors and black and white photos I am able to get with Fujis built in profiles on the camera truly do make taking photos a joy, best of all since swapping over to Fuji my editing has gone down to about nothing since the photos provided straight from the camera are all really pleasing to look at, yes I still miss focus every now and then but all the other times love it, they ever work dam great in low light which is where I normally find myself shooting photos at, with great high iso performance they still have some grain in the photos though the grain feels much more natural

Now the biggest surprise from swapping to Fuji has come from the lenses they provide, I have yet to use a Fuji lens which is bad, they focus super fast they shoot really well and the build quality on them gives me the feeling that I could infect use them as self defense weapons and still be able to take photos when I am done, the camera build quality is also top notch with the two Fuji cameras I currently own I have no complaints

Currently I am shooting with the Fujifilm XT20 as well recently added the Fujifilm XH1 and I must say the XT20 being a older camera still has dam good build quality though the XH1 I feel I might damage the floor if I somehow drop it, that thing is built like a tank and it shows with features as well the XH1 as well the XT20 both are cameras that make me want to shoot more photos,though I should also mention that I also have a old 35mm film camera, just waiting on some fuji 35mm film for it then things should get even more interesting, then I can say that I have shot using all formats fuji has available, seeing as I also had the opportunity to use the new GFX100 medium format camera at a resent Fujifilm event, that camera shoots in a quality that would make anyone happy bit expensive for my blood though

at the end my move to Fuji was inspired by expanding my company though since moving it has become more than just a company investment, I do urge anyone that might be interested in getting a new camera to have a look at what they offer from my side it was money well spent, hell life is to short to be stuck struggling with gear

my future plans will be to produce more quality content and to have more smiling clients though at some point I hope to possibly be more active in the Fuji community itself

hope you all enjoyed this little write up, if you have any questions please leave a comment or get in touch with me, have a good one and keep well

The First 10 000

For some time now I have been using my trusty Nikon D5300, it has served me well and has been at my side day in and day out though after 10 000 plus photos what have I learned and what will be changing
my love for my Nikon system started back in January, picked up the lovely D5300, it is by no means a professional grade camera though for the deal they had running it not only suited my budget but it also suited my needs perfectly, and now with well over 10 000 photos taken I feel that I should share some of the more interesting stories that I have come across since using this camera.
The first few hundred photos where all part of getting to know the camera and playing around with settings, from shots of my feet to some early flower type photos all in an effort to learn the controls of the new system all in all everything was going really good

Some of the first photos I took that where worth sharing with others where all taken in my mother garden, with many awesome flowers growing it provided some of the more interesting photos I have taken so far, and one of my most favorite photos still to this day is this one

This shot was the first proper photo that I took with the new system and the best part of this photo is that this how how it came out from the camera itself nice vibrant and mostly in focus
Moving on from this photo I decided to focus more on macro photography, the only form of photography that allows you to enter a entirely new world showing detail on a scale that most will never even see, hell just have a look at most of the photos I share on Facebook most of them are macro photos of insects or other random interesting things I find while running around

Though while busy hunting bugs at the George Botanical Gardens, one Saturday I was suddenly surrounded by so many people, I would alter find out that these people where part of the park run which takes place every Saturday, was an experience and a half darting between the well over 500 people to catch shots of the small bugs or flowers that I found though with all the runners it did make things a little bit more complicated, though from that day I made contact with the park runs organizers and opted in for the volunteering part which allowed me to get a bit more experience on the sports photography department which was a win win for them as well as myself, they get some decent photos to use on there Facebook page and I get something interesting to do on Saturdays, to date I have done well over 6000 photos for them, though not only that but being out there so early I had some great access to hunting bugs and interesting critters super early in the mornings not only that but knowing which routes the runners take helped me to plan my early morning bug hunting much better as well

at the park runs I have had the opportunity to meet some interesting people ranging from scientists to just normal people out for the morning having a good time, and there dogs some really fun ones always show up as well, just love it and I would recommend the park run as a fun Saturday morning event for anyone who enjoys the outside a bit

apart from the park runs I have also shot some events as well had the opportunity to work with some models, all of this was interesting as can be seeing as I never planned to take photos of people as well insects being my main focus it was an adjustment that turned out really good in the end

with all the new found photography subjects I have learned a few interesting things, for one you do much better when you specialize into one field of photography for me this has always been macro photography since well insects and really small subject are easy to work with, you simply need to catch them when the weather is cold then they move slow and they become extremely easy to photograph, though with all the new experiences that I have had over the last few months I find myself moving more and more away from insects towards people as well people not only seem to turn out more interesting on photos but the communication and working with them and helping them capture the special moments of portraits that seems to be a much more interesting thing to do, so I have slowly started doing less and less macro photography and focusing more on portraits and working with people on events, this has been the start of me moving from the hobbyist level to professional photographer
This change has also made me look more in detail into the gear that I use and I have since added proper lighting to my inventory allowing me to take some really great photos as with portraits and with any other photos that are of people the light plays a much more important role in the quality of the photo itself a good example of this as an example is this photo which was taken at the most resent park run using natural lighting to get a good effect

now compared to a photo taken using my 90x90cm lighting system you will notice a difference in not only quality but in clarity as well

lights do make a definite change in how photos look both where taken with the same camera and same lens as well, not only lights but the mood itself is also important when taking photos of people they way they feel and there mood changes small details on how there expressions turn out on photos, unlike my beloved insects which all sit still sleeping most times

So from the first 10 000 photos taken I have learned more then what I had thought was possible in the relatively short amount of time, on average I take around 700 photos a week those 700 photos normally range mostly from bugs and flowers and other small items with the rest being divided between events and the park run photos, though looking forward and moving towards the more professional market I will be changing things around a bit taking much less macro photos and focusing more on developing my style for portraits and event photography, this has also lead me to look more closely at my needs and what will work better for moving into the professional market

My current Nikon D5300 is great it covers my current work really well as well , though Nikon support is horrible as well from working this long with this camera I have noticed that I am missing easy shots due to the auto focus on the camera being off slightly most time I take a fast burst of about 5 photos so that I am guaranteed having one that is in perfect focus or rather so that I know I will definitely have one in focus, from what I have found out the auto focusing system inside my camera is better suited for nature style photography and not so well suited for more professional work

From looking around a bit I have decided to swap to a camera brand that specializes not only in the sensor type they use but also in the lenses they make for that system
Fujifilm makes a interesting camera which is more suited for the professional market not only that but it allows for some extreme customization which means it can be adjusted for every event and every type of photos that would be needed, not only that they only specialize in making APS-C style cameras and lenses meaning that there range of cameras are class leading, with software updates that fix things and auto focusing systems that not only work perfectly they also work better at a reduced cost, value for money comes to mind when looking at there systems

There for I will be retiring my Nikon camera gear by slowly selling what I do not use and moving over to the Fujifilm x t30, the Fujifilm camera system combined with there well made lenses will allow me to move into the professional photography world not only due to there outstanding support in South Africa but due to there cameras having such a extreme custom settings range means that it will always be able to do any form of work that is thrown at it, bu all means not the best camera system on the market though the flexibility it offers out weighs just about anything else on the market not only that but the value for money and world leading support for there clients makes it a no brainier as a good and solid investment

So moving forward my next 10 000 plus photos will be aimed at a more professional market, though my first 10 000 will always hold a special place in my heart as being the building stones to a long and successful photography career

Thank you one and all for being part of my tiny Facebook page, your support has been part of my driving force and I look forward to sharing many more interesting photos with you all

garden exploration

 garden exploration

Over the last weekend I went exploring in my mothers huge garden , hunting down some critters and playing a bit with exposure settings and such learning a bit more about my new camera .

I found out that some of the little critters love to run away when you try to get to close to them , which was a shame though did manage to grab a few of them

Though the magic started happening when my focus was moved toward flowers , seeing as my mothers garden is well stocked with a wide range of flowers this allowed me to grab up some really impressive shots though these shots are no where near award winning they where great practice in figuring out the different settings on my new camera

Though once I nailed the camera settings and such I was able to capture my favorite picture to date , nice and close with the correct lighting and the a bit of fiddling with the ISO and such and I was able to produce this lovely picture of a close up flower

All in all I am extremely happy with the outcome of the weekends random photos , experimenting and working on my own style of photography , better every day that’s the aim

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