Posted by manager
Fuji does Strictly
I must admit when you’re asked to attend a Ballroom dancing competition, it does kind of make one think…wow, I’m 50 and is this what it’s come too?
Well, I had an email requesting that I attend the world ballroom dance competition in Blackpool, It was going to be held in the majestic Empress Ballroom, Winter Gardens This was the only official Blackpool Dance Festival, of course Dance Festivals held in Blackpool are world famous, so the thought of entering this wonderful venue does have a lasting impression on oneself.
The building is very impressive, built in the 1890’s, it has the most spectacular barrel-vaulted ceiling, incredible sparkling chandeliers, a spectacular parquet flooring and ornate balconies that impress. I have to admit it’s quite a staggering venue.
The Empress Ballroom has hosted many fantastic events, everything from political party conferences to pop concerts – its architectural splendour, vast capacity and unrivalled flexibility making it extremely popular with regional, national and international event organisers alike. The Empress Ballroom is directly linked to the spacious Arena.
Well, i decided I was going to take my Fuji Xpro2 along with me for the official photography bit, i had my Fuji 16mm f1.4 wide angle lens attached and my faithful 56mm lens, I was thinking that maybe, I would possibly have the opportunity to snap a few images of the dancing and, as always, push my camera equipment; my thoughts were, probably the lighting would be quite a challenge, how would the focus perform? But to be honest I didn’t think it would be too much of an issue taking a few photos, without flash, because Ballroom dancing is quite a slow deliberate art!! If i’m photographing the first dance at weddings, I will use flash, slow shutter speed to capture the action, however Ballroom dancing (I thought) will be very slow! Was I completely and utterly wrong!
If you haven’t seen the film “Strictly Ballroom” I suggest you do, the competitiveness of these incredible dancers was unbelievable, you could see the emotion and determination in their eyes, you could feel the determination, cut the (Fiery) atmosphere with a knife!
Before I get to the images and the camera’s performance, I must tell you, I was absolutely blown away, the dancers had to perform up to 5 dances in one run, from Cha Cha
Foxtrot, Jive, Lindy Hop, Mambo, Paso Doble, Quickstep, Rumba, and the Viennese waltz was incredible, the speed and beauty of this dance, the dancers would float at an incredible speed from one end of the ballroom to the other, I was amazed.
Here we go then, I thought, I want to capture this magical competition, so I set the Camera to manual, took a couple of test shots to set the exposure, using f1.4, Zone focusing and continuous, I fired away, I was sat just behind the main judges and to ensure I wasn’t blocking the people’s view from behind me, I stayed sat in my seat, to be honest I couldn’t move around too much in my Tuxedo (something I wouldn’t usually wear, I don’t quite look as good as James Bond in his!) So all these shots were taken being as unobtrusive as possible.
But I have to say that the Xpro2 camera nailed the shots, yes, I did miss a few shots as I was trying to move with the action and stay out of the way but the Fuji Xpro2 was a blast to use.
Many of you know that my profession is (mainly) as a Wedding Photographer these days, I do occasionally provide my photography services for a few corporate events.
The reason for me attending this event was to capture the After Party atmosphere but who wouldn’t want to grab a few photos of the dance atmosphere?
Take a look at the images and see what you think, one thing I can say, don’t be afraid to push these cameras, you will be very impressed.
“Photography is a journey, take it with Fuji” – Michael Gane – thefxworks
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Posted by manager
Fuji Xpro2 Four month’s on
Four months on and 12 wedding’s now covered using the Fuji Xpro2, many of my reader’s have read my reviews about my experiences using this mirrorless camera and checked out the images I have posted, well I thought I would provide an update and a few more photos from a recent wedding taken just outside the City of Bath.
I’ll do my best to provide as many hands on details as possible however as usual please don’t expect a comprehensive article, this blog will run through the positive and yes some of the more frustrating challenges I have experienced whist using and loving the Xpro2 camera.
The camera feels great in the hands, very user friendly, ergonomically great, many of the guest’s at wedding’s ask what camera am I using, they seem to love the retro look and to be honest the majority of guest’s now have huge Canon or Nikon’s so it’s great that to be different from the crowd as it were!
I did have an issue with the spot metering on the camera at first, I didn’t feel it was as good as the XT1 however after several wedding’s I now use spot metering 90% of the time when I’m not in full manual mode.
The battery life has improved after cutting down on checking the image’s and tuning the camera off when it’s not in use, it starts up pretty quickly so that’s not an issue but one thing I have become aware of is the body does seem to get quite warm with constant use, love to hear from anyone who has experienced similar.
It was great reading that the Xpro2 would have the diopter next to the viewfinder for those of us without 20/20 vision but the amount of times I have to reset this little dial is a real pain, it tends to get accidentally turned during shooting, not a major issue however it does get a little frustrating when I have to reset several times during a photo shoot!
Having the dual slot is fantastic, I have never really worried about having twin slots but I must admit I now love it, having all the image’s saved to my number 2 (128gb) card is great.
Focusing is wonderful, I use f1.2 for many of my shots when using the 56mm lens and 98% of the photo’s are nailed perfect, its fast in good light and pretty darn accurate in low light, yes I may miss a few shots however I did when I shot with my canon 5d in low light.
When I move into the church or venue for the ceremony or where light is pretty steady I’ll take a shot in P mode then set the camera to full manual, shooting in manual is exceptional, I can be confident that every exposure will be similar, this is how I shoot the speeches too.
I leave the white balance set to Auto, its pretty darn accurate and to be honest, I just never have time to alter the white-balance during a wedding!
To be completely honest that’s really about all I can say at this stage, the camera is superb for my style of reportage photography, please take a look at the few image’s below and make the move to Fuji if you haven’t already! I have added a few more images for you to view taken with this stunning Fuji Xpro2.
The English country side is one of the most beautiful places in the world and especially more so when the weather is balmy, summer time is incredible with the colours. Small quaint village’s, with all the history of long ago times.
I love photographing wedding’s around the Somerset countryside, we are extremely blessed as we live on the Somerset Border, close to Bath but also Wiltshire being just a few miles down the road.
Last weekend we had the pleasure of photographing and filming a wonderful English county wedding in one such Village, the small church of St Katherine nestled in the Somerset Village of East Woodlands, very close to the Longleat Estate.
The floral displays in the church were beautiful, wild Daisy, corn flowers, foxglove’s and forget me knots, the perfect floral display for the theme chosen by Scarlett and Jason.
The ceremony was beautiful, the words, reading’s and vows beautifully written to match the style that Scarlett and Jason had wished for on the wedding day, this really was a beautiful and romantic wedding.
The Marquee decorations held perfectly to the English country theme, wild flowers, wooden tables with gorgeous flowers in dainty cups, hay-bales adorned the meadow, just perfect for the guest’s but also wonderful for my photography, as I love to match the couple’s personalities, when requested to take the group image’s.
Such a memorable wedding for all the family and friends and a beautiful wedding for me to have the privilege to photograph.
We wish Scarlett and Jason all the luck and love in the world.
Michael Gane – thefxworks