Posts By johnDavidson

20170918 Beaches Jazzfest, Lightroom mobile & Fuji

Jerome Tucker • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 800

Having an iPad is somewhat liberating. The iPad Pro is even more liberating because not only can one write with it, but import RAW and JPG photo files and edit them in Lightroom. And while doing this sync the adjustments to my desktop computers – from anywhere! And all the changes made to the files in Lightroom on the iPad are automatically synced to the Mac desktop to fine tune for final output later on (if necessary). All so very cool.

But I’m ahead of myself. This is a post about something more specific. Sure,  I wanted to briefly discuss that I can  marry my Fuji X cameras to the iPad and it’s software. But its really a marriage between two passions: Photography and music.

I am a jazz fan. Well, a music fan in general, but I do love jazz. Especially live jazz. A few weeks ago I attended several concerts and a street fest at the 29th Beaches International Jazz Festival in Toronto. Shooting photos of musicians while they perform has always been fun.  I feel the music as I shoot it and usually this helps me in the creation of better pictures. Well, not usually, always. Besides, it’s a blast to shoot pictures with the combined ambience of sight and sound right in front of and enveloping you. It’s a rush.

Like at all jazz festivals the word ‘jazz’ itself is a bit of a stretch. By that I mean – certainly there’s not a great deal of quiet piano, bass and drums, or much traditional or bebop. But lots of groove, funk and world beat. I don’t care much either way, as I love all of it.

I certainly have no desire to point out much regarding all the technical comparisons of RAW vs in-camera processed files – there are many articles and publications which do that quite nicely.  Besides, I want the pictures to speak for themselves…which they most certainly do. But I must state that almost every image used here began as a JPG using the X-T2’s Fuji Acros black and white film simulation mode.

As for gear,  I decided to shoot almost every image with the 24 megapixel APS sized sensor Fujifilm X-T2 through the glass of the superbly sharp XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lens – shooting almost exclusively in Fuji’s Acros JPG mode (along with RAW which I always shoot). I knew that if I wanted the chance to have colour back ups and higher bit depth (if I were I not happy with the B&W JPGs straight out of the camera) I needed to cover all the bases.

Although shooting both RAW and JPG has been my habit since my very first digital camera (the lowly, yet venerable Nikon D70) and one which certainly occupies a great deal of storage space – were it not for wanting the odd colour image, I now might have to question the very need to shoot RAW at all.  Especially when the ultimate goal is black and white. Sure, one can fine tune the image, bring out detail in shadows, all that stuff. But isn’t that what good exposure is for? Particularly in the black and white image where so much information – namely colour – has been removed?

Yes, as you will see, the JPGs are rich in detail, not overly doctored, or sharpened and certainly have a life-like film look that takes me back in time…the likes of which I’ve not seen in any other digital camera. But I do suppose a lot of it has to do with that Fuji X-Trans lll sensor. Magic to be sure. Either way the images impress so much. I really wanted to see how well the X-T2 and that 50-140mm f/2.8 would handle bright and contrasty sunlight, as well as low stage lighting at night.

The result? I can’t see any lighting situation with this Fuji combination that the B&W JPG film simulation mode cannot do well. It really does feel like shooting with a film camera. And the look! What follows is a gallery of images which, apart from the accompanying captions, will speak for themselves.  And one final (reluctant) thought…I could never have shot B&W images with this much shadow detail, lack of grain, sharpness and much more at ISO’s approaching 5000 or higher on film. There, I finally admit it. Enjoy!

Jazz fan • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 200

Funk Frequency Band • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 5000

Rob Christian • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 1000

Spencer Mackenzie • FUJIFILM X-Pro2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 200

Spacey Street Scene • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS • ISO 3200

Lance Anderson – The Last Waltz • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 500

Exodus • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 250

Smilin’ Bob Adams – Zed Head • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 1000

Larnell Lewis • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 800

Jerome Tucker • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 1000

Neil Chapman – Zed Head • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 5000

Bill King • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 200

Turbo Street Funk • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 1000

Funk Frequency Band • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 1600

Quisha Wint • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 1600

Rob Christian • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 1000

Funk Frequency Band • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 5000

Exodus • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 200

Turbo Street Funk • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 1000

Rob Christian • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 640

Larnell Lewis • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 800

Rich Brown • FUJIFILM X-T2 • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR • ISO 320

 


				

April 2016 Events and More

 

Contact20_logo smaller copy

CONTACT & Other Shows

• CONTACT 2016 Scotia Bank Photography Festival (Toronto-Cobalt Gallery)
May 1 – 31, 2016 Opening Reception April 30. A joint exhibit with Lisa Robertson


Contact 2016 this year is going to be an exciting time. Once again, the city Toronto will be the “focus” of photography as Contact celebrates its 20th anniversary.

So happy to be participating in the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto.

The Art of Junk: Lisa Robertson & John Davidson
Mark April 30th in your calendars & please drop by from 5-9pm to visit our show opening. We will be exhibiting new work at the cozy Cobalt Gallery on Kingston Road in the upper Beaches. Until May 31, 2016.

The Art of Junk is our contribution to Contact 2016 – the world’s largest photography event, now celebrating its 20th consecutive year.

To quote from the Contact home page:
“CONTACT is the largest photography event in the world, and a premiere cultural experience in Canada, with over 1500 artists in 200 exhibitions and happenings throughout the month in the Greater Toronto Area. Founded in 1997, CONTACT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and fostering the art and profession of photography.”

http://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/exhibitions
http://cobaltgallery.ca

Ad single card

 

 

Other Shows In the weeks ahead

• Pelham Art Festival (Fonthill) – May 6 – 8, 2016
• Rotary Arts Festival (Cobourg) – July 1 – 3, 2016
• Buckhorn Fine Art Festival (Buckhorn) – August 12 – 14, 2016

Finalist in Exposed (The Robert McLaughlin Gallery)
This past October, my image Another View, Toronto Island, was selected as a finalist for RMG Exposed.

A lovely gala evening and all final images auctioned off to charity. Here is that image:

Another View, Toronto Island_DSF2325 copy

Another View, Toronto Island.

Fujifilm Canada
2016 is shaping up to be another terrific year of collaboration with Fujifilm Canada. Their continued support and interest is most appreciated.
Of course this relationship with Fuji is based solely on their fine product line, which I simply cannot find enough wonderful things to say about it.

And what a great start to 2016:
New cameras, (FUJIFILM X-Pro2with 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor/FUJIFILM X-E2S/FUJIFILM X-A2) new lenses (FUJINON XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR) and new firmware updates which for me are a real highlight and supports my belief that existing Fuji X photographers will continue to be supported.

Through Fuji, so far this year I have an image on a desktop calendar, another on the World Wide Fuji X photographer book and a full-page ad (with an image of yours truly) in two photo magazines. Soon, some of my images will be used in a sample print book to be distributed to Fuji dealers.

Gallery Of Recent Fuji
Thank you for reading.To finish off this short entry here is a sampling of some recent Fuji images:
To finish off this short entry here is a sampling of some recent Fuji images:

Front St FB_DSF5422 2

X-E2 • 10-24mm • 200 ISO

 

 

Put that in the bank FB 20160215-Feb152016_6719 copy

X-E2 • 10-24mm • 800 ISO

 

 

Tall Grasses FB Mar042016_7729

X-E2 • 100-400mm • 200 ISO

 

 

Long Seault FB _DSF5469 2

X-T1 • 10-24mm • 200 ISO

 

 

Feb232016_6999

X-T1 • 100-400mm • 400 ISO

 

 

Fema Card Jan122016_2904

X-T1 • 100-400mm • 800 ISO

 

 

In the belly of the bear FB Feb192016_6859

X-E2 • 10-24mm • 320 ISO

 

 

Lake FB Jan222016_4730 copy

X-E2 • 18mm • 200 ISO

 

 

False Impressions FB DSCF9159

X-T1 • 10-24mm • 200 ISO

 

 

FB Mar022016_7350

X-T1 • 10-24mm • 200 ISO

 

 

Jarvis. FB_DSF5405 2

X-T1 • 10-24mm • 200 ISO

 

 

Bark FB Dec192015_0595-2 copy

X-T1 • 56mm • 400 ISO

 

 

Another view FB_DSF8992

X-E2 • 100-400mm • 200 ISO

 

 

CN & Masts FB Jan162016_3683

X-T1 • 100-400mm • 200 ISO

 

 

Belly of the Bear 2Feb192016_6872

X-E2 • 10-24mm • 200 ISO

 

 

Lake 18mm 2 FB Jan132016_2927

X-T1 • 18mm • 200 ISO

 

 

Liberty FB_DSF4467

X-T1 • 100-400mm • 250 ISO

 

 

 

 

The Allure of Fujifilm X

Fujifilm
So happy to find a bit of time to make this entry. There have been many exciting (well, for me at least) photo related events to report.
I’ve shot a great deal of images in the past several months: Pan Am Games and events, Para Pan Games and events, assorted other work for the city, Trees Foundation, some commercial work, portraits and events. Additionally I’ve participated in and prepared for an assortment of shows at Arts events such as Pelham Fine Arts, Contact 2015, Cobourg and the Buckhorn Fine Arts Festival – even a photo contest in which I was selected a finalist {I say this because the chosen image for this was shot with some of the Fuji equipment discussed in this entry).
But this is mostly an update to the love affair I have with certain Fujifilm products.
Ok, allow me to clear up one thing. I have for a number of years always relied on Nikon cameras and lenses for the bulk of the shooting that the Fuji system will now do. Yes, Nikon film cameras, going back to the F2, FM2, F801s and many of the new crop of DSLR Nikons. I still use them (even the film cameras) and have no concern with their quality and reliability – or the sharpness, of Nikon glass. Fabulous products which (in my case at least) don’t even break down.
But I consider it good fortune that this past July, Fujifilm Canada asked me to become an X Series photographer. This is an honour that I accepted readily. Kind of makes me a Fuji ambassador, as I get to try out an assortment of new cameras and lenses. Yet, promoting Fuji comes naturally for me, as I’ve always loved love their products – going back to Fuji film such as Fuji Velvia colour slide, Fuji Portrait NHP 400 neg film and their beautiful silvery, Neopan black and white films such as Neopan Acros 100, which I still shoot. Pretty magical film stock.
I also want to say that this is NOT going to be a technical analysis, complete with lens test charts, resolution data and detailed pixel information. There is enough written by those far more adept at this. I want only to show samples and relay some of the experiences I’ve had.

The Allure of the Mirrorless Camera
But I want to discuss Fujifilm’s mirrorless cameras: In particular the Fuji X-E2, the X-T1 and a few lenses that work so well with either of these cameras. No, I’m not discussing the X Pro 1, the X100 series, or even the new X-T10 (which I understand to be mostly a slightly scaled down X-T1). Besides, I have really only used these two.

Why go mirrorless? Let’s face it, recently there has been an increased movement towards mirrorless cameras in general and not without reason. They are small, sleek, quiet and compromise very little when compared to the venerable DSLRs (in common use now for close to 15 years). Of course the small size is largely a result of the absence of the big flopping noisy mirror.

Fuji X-E2 with 18mm f/2 lens and RRS L-Plate

Fuji X-E2 with 18mm f/2 lens and RRS L-Plate

My introduction to the world of the Fuji X series was the X-E2. It was acquired just over a year ago. At the time I felt it would fulfill all my requirements of having a small precise camera with super sharp interchangeable lenses. The X-E2 – pictured here – is the camera that feels so solid, so small; almost Leica like. I immediately found a Really Right Stuff (RRS) grip (used) as I am accustomed to using these on my cameras. This Arca Swiss style grip allows the photographer to quickly mount the camera body to a comparably equipped tripod head.

Fuji X-T1 with Fuji grip. Not an L bracket but still an Arca Swiss fitting mount.

Fuji X-T1 with Fuji grip. Not an L bracket but still an Arca Swiss fitting mount.

The X-T1 camera has the Fuji grip fitted with the Arca Swiss type mount. Both of these are beautifully manufactured. Additionally, with the grip they fit nicely in the hand.

The X-T1 is more expensive, slightly larger and 90 grams heavier. It is weather sealed and has an articulating screen. Weather sealing is great if you shoot in the outdoors in rain and sleet, but only if the lens you have mounted is also weather sealed. Well, I suppose it is good to have the camera protected at least. Only some of the Fuji lenses are built this way. The tilting screen (to some), isn’t a game changer;  but I’ve come to realize after all that this can be important. Getting the camera low enough to shoot from the ground level – with ease, is very helpful and a reminder why waist level medium formats were appealing to me in the same way. The screen can be useful in other ways as well.

But the differences between these cameras are really quite minor, because at the core of both is that superb 16MP X-Trans CMOS ll Sensor which is capable of delivering images that are simply beautiful. And the beauty isn’t only when shooting at low ISO settings. I have shot images at 3200 – 6400 ISO that continue to surprise.  But whether the photographer needs the speed, faster focusing, slightly higher shooting rate – an astonishing eight frames per second vs seven for the X-E2  – articulating screen and more: these are the deciding points to consider before the purchase. If they’re not important factors, then honestly, I think that most people would be happy with the X-E2.

This image shows the two cameras side by side. Both sleek, with beautiful finishes.

X-E2 left and the X-T1. the X-T1 is larger but not but by much.

X-E2 on the left and the X-T1. The X-T1 is larger, but not but by much. RRS, Arca-Swiss type plate on left, Fuji plate on right.

The Lenses & what they can deliver
Initially, I ended up getting two lenses; the kit Fujifilm XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS zoom and the  Fujifilm XF18mm f/2. They were indeed a great introduction.

Fuji kit lens: XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

Fuji kit lens: XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

The kit lens is so sharp. This 18-55mm zoom is the equivalent of a 27-84mm in the 35mm format and most anything may be photographed in this range. Additionally, with the lens’ f/2.8 aperture at its widest setting, built in OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), combined with a small body without the vibrations of a large mirror, it becomes a rather fast walkabout lens, as it can provide several longer shutter speeds of sharpness without resorting to a tripod.
The 18mm was a promotional gift available to anyone purchasing at the time. Seems redundant having two 18mm focal lengths, but the 18mm at f/2 is faster, so small and I simply love its size for shooting in a completely unobtrusive way. Besides, it was free!
These tools are reliable and work flawlessly as they should.
Here are a few samples of images shot with both of these lenses. The first two are with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit and the third, the 18mm f/2:

X-E2 • 18-55mm f/2.8-4 • at 18mm • 400 ISO

X-E2 • 18-55mm f/2.8-4 • at 18mm • 400 ISO

18-55mm f/2.8-4 • at 18mm • 200 ISO

X-E2 • 18-55mm f/2.8-4 • at 18mm • 200 ISO[/captio
 

18mm f/2 • 400 ISO 18mm f/2 • 400 ISO

Red Badge” lenses
This past summer I shot a series of events including some sports, relating to the PanAm and ParaPan Games held in Toronto. It was about this time that I became an X Photographer for Fujifilm Canada and so I took that opportunity to try out some other lenses along with the X-T1 camera.
Initially I received the following remarkable prototype “Red Badge” products:
Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM W
• Fujifilm XF50-140.. f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
• Fujifilm X-T1 Camera Body
The 50-140 soon became my go-to lens. Fast, sharp, weather sealed and of course lighter that my 70-200 f/2.8 Nikon. (Here’s a fun fact; with the Fotodiox adapter – available from Amazon – Nikon, Canon and many other lenses, may be fitted onto Fuji X Series cameras for use in complete manual mode!).

Here is what it can do with fast moving subjects and a high (3200) ISO setting. Oh yes, this image has been seriously cropped – to about a third of it’s original size:

50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 3200 ISO

X-T1 • 50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 3200 ISO

As a portrait/event lens it can make ‘in focus’ areas pop gorgeously, as seen in the next images:

50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 400 ISO

50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 400 ISO

50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 200 ISO

50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 200 ISO

50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 200 ISO

50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 200 ISO

50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 800 ISO

50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 800 ISO

X-T1 • 50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 200 ISO

X-T1 • 50-140mm f/2.8 • at 140mm • 200 ISO

The Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Red Badge series lens shows incredible resolving power, is also weather sealed, at f/2.8 is fast and it’s focal range is equivalent to the other 24-70 pro zooms out there. Is it as sharp as the Fujifilm 56mm f1.2? Perhaps not, but it is a different lens, meant for different purposes and truthfully, is so good it may be hard to tell the difference. Take into account it’s versatility and it really becomes a winner. Too bad it is not a bit smaller (lighter) like its baby brother – the previously discussed Fujifilm XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS. These images were shot with the 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Red Badge lens:

16-55mm f/2.8 • at 16mm • 400 ISO

16-55mm f/2.8 • at 16mm • 400 ISO

X-T1 • Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 • at 55mm • 200 ISO

X-T1 • Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 • at 55mm • 200 ISO

Here are some other lens samples shot with these cameras. Some colour, some not. This one with the wild Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens. At it’s 10mm widest it is the equivalent of a 15mm on a full frame or 35mm film camera. A very wide 110 degree angle of view indeed!

X-T1 • Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS Lens • 200 ISO

X-T1 • Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS Lens • 200 ISO

The next few vary in focal length. Either the fast Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 and the even faster Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2. Love both of these so much.
Note that the Fuji black and white images really do have a special quality: Almost film-like, and I do love film!  It is hard to put one’s finger on it, but there is just something special about that sensor! And when combined with these very special lenses the results are quite magical. It doesn’t matter if you are shooting landscapes, portraits, architecture, or street photography – these cameras and lenses pleasantly surprise. And oh my, the look, feel and results are wonderful.
Will the X-E2 or X-T1 force me to sell my Nikon gear? No. Besides, film cameras remain another option, whether Nikon, or others. Not about to give that up either. And, when it comes to events where a flash is required, Nikon and Canon are far ahead.  If Fuji wants to compete in that area it has some catching up to do. But I would bet that Fuji, being aware of this, will introduce a pro flash system to match their cameras very soon. Is the Fuji system perfect? Hardly. Although the lenses are spectacular in terms of colour, sharpness and contrast they do not always focus quite as well as a high end DSLR (although, I confess they are very close). I do recognize that this is not even an issue for some: Landscape photographers immediately come to mind. Fuji doesn’t have the range of specialty lenses either (yet). But if I am asked which digital camera I want to carry for a full day of shooting super sharp, rich images – at almost half the weight and size? Fuji easily gets the nod.
jd

X-T1 • 35mm f/1.4 • 500 ISO

X-T1 • Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 • 500 ISO

X-E2 • Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 • 320 ISO

X-E2 • Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 • 320 ISO

 

X-T1 • Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 • 1600 ISO

X-T1 • Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 • 1600 ISO

 

X-T1 • Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 • 200 ISO

X-T1 • Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 • 200 ISO

 

X-T1 • Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 • 1600 ISO

X-T1 • Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 • 1600 ISO

 

X-E2 • Fujifilm 56mm f/2.8 • 200 ISO

X-E2 • Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 • 200 ISO