Back in May, my friend James Millar (check out his work, it's awesome!) asked me to join him for a weekend in Huddersfield photographing the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival. It was an awesome experience, everyone was so kind and welcoming and talented, there was music and laughter everywhere and I really didn't want to leave them when I had to head back to London.
We shot a hell of a lot of images, so here is just a tiny selection....
On a quiet Sunday in a quiet bit of town.
Evie & I went back to the garden where we first took photos together, almost 2 years ago.
It wasn't really about photos, it was an excuse to catch up after several months.
A reason to chat.
Once a year, there's a weekend where something other than sleep takes over. This year we spent the weekend, early in the year, in Pretenderos.
A weekend of stories and songs and dances. Love, loss, romance and battles. Wizards and elves and shadow children and butchers with tiny hands.
Creativity and art and emotion.
It's such an honour to stay up all weekend with these people.
I give you the crazy, amazing, talented cast of the London Improvathon 2017.
All shot on the glorious new Fuji xt2 - with the 50-140mm, a lens that didn't miss a focus all weekend!!
Firstly, I have to state that this was not a month of normal camera use. This was a total baptism of fire. In the last month I have shot over 300gb of images!!
Secondly, I should state that I don't normally write reviews. I have, however, been so amazed by the images I have got out of this camera that I wanted to make note of them.
Promises, Promises - production shots.
This was the first show I've ever shot without the old-faithful canon 5dmk2 at least present. Just Fuji, how would it cope? how fast is it really? What's it like in contrast-y, colourful theatre lighting? In short, it was a delight.
Shooting almost exclusively with the 50-140mm f2.8 (I had a sneaky 27mm on my spare xt-10) I skipped round the stage perimeter not even noticing the camera in my hand. That brings me to point 1.... I'm not a weedy little girl, but the 5dmk2 with 70-200mm f2.8 slapped on the front is a weight-training exercise in itself. Shooting a full show with the Fuji kit is a dream in comparison. My arm no longer falling off at the end of act two.
Hadn't yet sorted out new RAW processing options so these are edited from the jpegs. Quite frankly, every exposure was perfect just needed a tiny bit of colour correction.
London Jam & the Improvathon.
8 individual shows across 4 evenings followed by 50hrs of continuous improv theatre.
From beautifully placed delicate Ibsen & Austen to fast moving fight scenes of Dungeons & Dragons and massed Irish dancing. Shot entirely with the 50-140 I have to say that the lens didn't miss a single shot!!
These are edited from the RAWs on photoshop cc. Loving how much extra is in the RAW files, even though the jpegs are pretty wonderful straight out of camera.
Portraits with Evie & Sarah-Jane.
These are the photos we take completely for fun, I was also desperate to shoot some portraits on the new camera. And it really didn't let me down, I hooked it up to the cactus triggers and my canon speedlights and we created ourselves a makeshift studio.
The one thing I'm going to have to learn is how to better retouch images because this camera is so detailed that it's unforgiving. I guess that's not a bad problem to have. :-)
There will be a blog of more of these images but just a couple for now.
Just some wandering round in the chilly mist.
All with my beloved 35mm f1.4 - mostly at f1.4 (is there any other f stop?!). All edited from the RAWs.
I adore this camera, but then I adored the xt-10. What's special about this one? The extra bit of body size makes for a better balance with the larger lenses, it fits really well in my hand. I bought the battery grip but I haven't experimented with it yet because, quite frankly, I don't own enough spare batteries to make it worthwhile! I liked the grip with the xt-1 so I'm sure it'll be just as good this time.
I love the layout of the dials, having the iso so accessible is really useful. I also find myself altering the exposure compensation without even looking at it, just to "correct" to exposure when shooting aperture priority (how I shot the street scenes), it's already become the way I like to shoot.
I find the menus a little complicated, a few things weren't quite where I expected them, but then there's a hell of a lot to go through and I'm sure if I read the manual it would be quite simple!!
I have found the joystick a little hard to find, but I think that's just a change from using the 4 buttons on the xt-10. The extra choosable focus points are just brilliant.
The purchase of this camera and new lens is pretty much the complete crossover to being a fuji-shooter for everything I choose to photograph. The canon is no longer my camera of choice - even though it's still a lovely camera. It's just there's something about the fuji x system that makes me want to shoot more, and I adore the images from it.
….there's a crazy little show by the name of Saucy Jack and The Space Vixens - this year it's 20yrs old, a fact which dates me as I saw it "way back when…" and it's definitely not child-friendly!!
Anyway, last friday I popped by the Kings Head Theatre in Islington to make some images of this fabulous 20th anniversary cast, on the eve of their closing night.
These were grabbed in the stairwell as people ran past prepping for the show, with just a silver reflector as a suitably spacey backdrop, the light from the window - I could make a ridiculously geeky reference to another cult show at this point but no…. - a couple of shutter presses for each character and nothing more.
So, with no further ado, I give you Saucy Jack and The Space Vixens.
These lovely people are....
Zoe Nicholls, Jamie Birkett, Lorna Clare Hall
Ashton Charge, Hugh Stubbins, Sophie Cordwell Jones
Caspar Cordwell Jones, Tom Whalley & Kristopher Bosch.
All Fuji and Snapseed. Sometimes photos need to be a little more mobile.