This project is an impressionistic look at some of the famous architecture, both old and new, and the maritime heritage of the Liverpool Waterfront. The method of abstraction in this case involved photographing the reflections in the very water on which Liverpool’s maritime history was built.Read More
As any photographer will know, planning what gear to take for a trip or holiday can be a bit of a headache. We like to travel but we also like to have all of our gear to hand. The problem with this is that we end up with too much gear, weighing us down to the point that it tires us and becomes a burden.
I'm very much that photographer. I like to have everything I could possibly need with me at all times. I'm also like this in my everyday life. This is why I can mostly be seen wearing cargo style shorts. Big pockets = more room for stuff that I might need!
I'm about to go away on holiday to New Zealand so choosing and packing my gear is very much on my mind. I've spent the last couple of weeks making a list of all my lenses and filters and other stuff that I will more than likely want and need for the work that I'm planning to produce. There's a lot there and even though I have a fairly small and light mirrorless system now, it's still going to be heavy by the time I carry everything on the list.
When I plan a trip or a shoot, I like to set myself a creative constraint in order to help me think differently about how to approach the work and also to flex my photographic creativity and skill. This trip is going to be no different. After a lot of thought and consideration I've decided to travel light this time, really light. I will be travelling with only my Fuji x100t and a couple of filters. The fuji x100t* is an extraordinary camera that every photographer should own. It's a small, fixed focal length (35mm equivalent) camera that you can fit in your pocket. It's perfect for travel, for portraits, for all different types of work. Many pro's swear by them, for example Zack Arias who recently said if all of his gear was to be taken from him then all he would want left would be his x100 cameras. It produces gorgeous photographs, aided by fuji's film simulation modes which were designed based on the film rolls that fuji used to make.
By using a single camera with a single focal length it will force me to be more aware of my composition, my proximity to my subject. It will force me to think outside the box and think creatively about how I photograph. Also it's such a lightweight kit that it won't be hard work or tiring to carry it around all day, thus allowing me to stay fresher and be more receptive to my surroundings. It's going to be quite different from my usual kit that I carry and a challenge for sure but I'm very excited about it. I think the results will be facinating and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you on my return. My kit list, for the nerds among you is as follows:
Think Tank Retrospective 7 Bag
Glanz 110cm 5 in 1 reflector
Fuji x100t camera
Fuji WCL-x100 wide angle lens converter
X-rite Color Checker Passport
Lens pen and blower
Gorillapod mini tripod
49mm Kenko circular polarising filter
A couple of spare batteries and charger
Lee Seven5 Soft Grad ND filters (0.3/0.6/0.9)
Lee Filter holder
Think Tank memory card holder with 6 16GB SDHC cards
A couple of lens cloths
Notebook and pen
Finally it's time for me to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year celebration. I may post the occaisional photograph from my trip as we go, depending on the wifi situation. Apart from that I've nothing more to say other than I'll see you in 2015!
* There are actually now 3 cameras in the x100 series, the first generation x100, the x100s and the most recently released x100t.
A common question that I was asked recently (when I invited you all to submit some questions) was my choice of gear, specifically why I choose mirrorless cameras over more “traditional” DSLR’s.
First let me start by saying this is not going to be yet another long, endless, drawn out post about why mirrorless is going to take over the world and DSLR’s will be extinct in 5 years. Nor is this going to be a post telling you to go out and ditch all your gear and go mirrorless. You shouldn’t.
So why mirrorless?
For the uninitiated of you, mirrorless cameras, in a nutshell, are lighter and smaller versions of DSLR cameras. They’re made smaller by removing the traditional mirror that flips up inside the body of a DSLR as you press the shutter but still retain most, if not all, of the features of a DSLR. I’ll leave it at that as not to complicate or bore you further. With that concept in mind, many of you will be thinking that surely a smaller, lighter camera is better right? Especially as they tend to be cheaper than many DSLR cameras! In the right hands for the right purpose they are. That’s the important part that I feel a lot of people are missing out when entering this discussion.
For me; primarily a landscape and commercial photographer who regularly prints many of my photographs, I have three important things to look for in my cameras. I want something with good resolution, a camera that will survive the elements and lastly something fairly lightweight to travel with, as I travel often.
Well lightweight we’ve covered. Mirrorless certainly offers that but at the same time I need something sturdy, something that feels strong and resistant to weather and dust. DSLR’s are kings for this but a number of mirrorless bodies now offer weather sealing and the same type of strong magnesium bodies as their DSLR “cousins”. To what kind of degree is still debatable in some circles but I’ve found them to be perfectly adequate for me.
So with resolution, the widely held theory is that a larger sensor offers a higher and better resolution. This is mostly true however there are some smaller format sensors on APS-C and Micro four thirds cameras which offer very very good resolution nowadays. One in particular is the X-Trans sensor in the Fujifilm X series of cameras. Their sensor pattern is slightly different to a traditional camera sensor (you can read about this here). I personally believe that the images are just as good as a full frame sensor. Pixel peepers will disagree but if you feel that you need to look at a photograph with a magnifying glass then that’s up to you. I prefer just to look at the photograph itself.
So as you can see for me a mirrorless camera fits the bill perfectly. Even more so now that they are starting to mature as full camera systems. Those of you with a keen interest in the photography world will have I’m sure, read about many pro’s who are switching or have switched to a mirrorless system. There are still some people for whom the mirrorless systems are still not quite what they need whether it’s down to ergonomics or functionality but the gap is closing pretty quickly. Will mirrorless take over completely? Maybe not but that’s neither here nor there. We as photographers need the best tools for us to ply our trade, mirrorless or otherwise.
I believe that I have that in my mirrorless system.