art

Why are you not printing your work?

It’s a simple questions really.  With all the chatter, to be more accurate, clacking, about the ease and instant gratification of digital cameras why are you not printing your work?  It’s just as easy to do and to do well.  Inkjet printers are capable of creating stunning prints.  Printers are affordable and easy to use.  So I ask again; why are you not printing your work?

I went to Beaumont a few weeks ago and had lunch with two very talented and smart photographer friends of mine.  Oh and we had amazing Indian food, but I digress.  While waiting for Jeff to give us a meet up time Richard and I were in his living room talking about many topics one of which was the printed image.  Richard’s living room is a fine art photography gallery.  Showcasing is amazing, and I do mean, AMAZING photographs which are printed and hanging with great care.  I remember commenting then that no one prints their work anymore, why?  Cost?  Access to quality printing?  Who knows the answer to the question but what I do know is this:

The image you are seeing one your iPhone or iPad or what other “i” device you are using cannot compare the quality of a well done print.  Don’t believe me?  Then pay just one time and have a high quality print done of your favorite image and then see if you still think the iScreen is as good.  If you are going to take the time to learn how to use our new D-whatever that cost you $3,000.00 or more and then take the time to learn Lightroom or Photoshop, why are you not learning how to print?  It’s like hitting the ball over then fence and then stopping at 3rd base.  Take it all the way home and PRINT YOUR WORK, ya bunch of knuckleheads 🙂

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Houston brides should know….

How to choose your wedding photographer:

  • Do not shop by price alone
  • Ask if they are full time
  • Can they provide references
  • Are they willing to meet with you prior to booking
  • Do they put what they promise in writing
  • Are they nice
  • Ask if they took the images that are on their website

These are some of the basics when choosing a wedding or portrait photographer. Below are my opinions on what I feel is important when choosing your photographer:

1) If you are shopping price alone you are doing yourself a disservice.  Think about this for a second.  Your wedding photos will outlast everything else associated with your wedding.  They will outlast your cake, food, D.J, flowers and even your dress.  So why in the world would you go “cheap” on the one thing that will outlast all others?

2) A fill time photographer usually means they are serious, committed to quality and customer service driven.  Part time photographers will say they are “professional” when in fact they are not.  They are low cost for a reason and that reason is because they are using your wedding for their practice!

3) Asking for references is something I conflicted about.  What I mean is, no one will ever give the name of someone who is going to say bad things about their photography.  So what can you do to get information to help you make the right decision?  The internet!  Google them, Yelp them.  It is up to you to do your research before writing your deposit check.  But still ask and if they refuse to give references do NOT hire them!

4) If the photographer is not willing to meet with you prior to booking this is a HUGE red flag.  I would go so far as to say immediately remove them from your list.  If they are not willing to meet prior to booking then they may not be willing to actually show up for your wedding!

5) A true, honest, legitimate and professional photographer will always put what you agree to for services in writing.  I provide a contract to all my clients.  If you do NOT get it in writing then you have no legal recourse if things go bad! Simply put; no contract, no sale!

6) Are they nice?  Well, they sure should be right!  The photographer will have more interaction with you and your guests than any other vendor you hire.  If your photographer is grumpy and lacks personality with you on the phone image how they will be at your wedding.  Trust your gut and hire someone who is nice.  In the long run “nice” really does matter.

7) Why ask if they took all the images on their website? Because beginners, part-timers or like I like to call them, “weekend warriors” use stolen or stock images to sell their services.  Some may have had an assistant shoot the images and are passing them off as their own.  When you hire a photographer make sure they are the ones who will actually be taking the photos!

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing your photographer but the one thing that gets ignored the most during this process is your gut feeling.  If you trust what your gut is telling your, both good and bad, and you learn to trust it then you should be ok in the end.

If you have any questions please vista me on-line at: http://www.instylephotography.net


 

Fuji 55-210 3.5-4.8 OIS is a BIG SURPRISE!

I have been doing some Fuji bashing lately, well deserved bashing might I add, but I thought I would take a break from flogging the Fuji horse and talk about something positive with the Fuji X system.  I am talking about the Fuji 55-210 3.5-4.8 R LM OIS!

We all know I have a huge issue with the claims that the new Fuji XT1 is a DSLR killer, which it is not by they way, but I digress.  I was in Houston Camera Exchange about 3 weeks ago and was looking to buy something.  Didn’t really care what, just knew I wanted to buy something, anything!  After looking around I spotted a few used Fuji X lenses and I asked mi amigo Craig what he had on the shelf and low and behold a used 55-210!  I asked how much.  He gave a price.  I scoffed and said, here is what I can pay today, and he said OK!  My mission was accomplished.  Plus I didn’t think I’d get hurt too bad at an out the door price of $350.00.

With my Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II long since sold I was concerned that when shooting weddings I did not have a lens that would be long enough to accommodate the Catholics.  We fellow wedding photographer know how the Catholics love to put us photographers way in the back, turn out all the lights and say NO FLASH!  With the lens costing a just $350.00, I figured it was a low enough price to take a calculated risk. An added bonus is the crop factor is 1.5x which make this a seriously long reaching lens.  I must say I did feel more comfortable and confident knowing I had this lens in my bag.  And now I could shoot a wedding without ticking off the Catholics LOL!  So now my thoughts:

I was on my way to shoot a wedding at the end of March with my newest lens (yes latest firmware installed) and had my XT1, X Pro-1, XE-2 and X100s in my bag.  The XE-2 held the 18-55 and the XT1 was adorned with my new’/used 55-210.  Right away I noticed how smooth everything was on the lens.  The autofocus was pert-near silent and actually pretty responsive.  Now keep in mind, I was shooting in the prefect sun-setting, beautiful light.  The zoom function was buttery smooth and the feel of this lens on the XT1 was substantial, in a good way.  Everything felt solid and well balanced.  Oh yea, you must use the new grip for the XT1 to get that balanced feel.  All in all the lens felt good, no, felt great in my hands.  But what about performance?

I must admit I had little to no expectations as to the image quality of this lens, after all it’s a “kit lens” and what pro would ever dream of using one of those things?  As I snapped the first few test shots before the bride strolled down the isle I noticed the images on the back of the camera where sharp, I mean fixed lens sharp.  The colors and contrast were what you would expect from the Fuji XF lenses.  To be honest I was stunned with what I was seeing and crossed my fingers that the quality would be the same on my iMac.  And so far so good!


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Fuji XT1 with 55-210 3.5-4.8 OIS.


 

As you can see from the .jpeg images above (Lightroom did not have a RAW plugin yet) not bad.  Not bad for a “kit lens and most of all not bad for $350.00!  I will freely admit that I was spoiled by the Fuji 35mm 1.4 on my X Pro-1. That combo just may be the greatest lens/camera combo to date.  Take that Leica lovers!  All kidding aside, the image quality was not only more than acceptable it was down right fantastic!  Will I use this lens more?  I already have. in fact I use it at every event I shoot now.  Understanding this lens is slow and therefore you will not do as well in low light, even with a superb OIS lens stabilization, but for what it is and for the price point, even new, this lens is a steal!  If you are trying to decide what to add to your bad I implore you to take a long and lustful look at the surprise Fuji 55-210 3.5-4.8 OIS.  You will be glad you did!

Fuji X Series Cameras, I’m In Love!

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I am a huge fan of the Fuji X series cameras!  Ok that is the end of my blog post!  Kidding, of course.  Let me explain why it is I love these cameras.

I dipped my toe into the Fuji X pool a little over a year ago when I bought my X-Pro 1.  I was just like everyone else who used this camera, I couldn’t wait for the next firmware update!  The X-Pro was beautiful and maddening at the same time.  It missed focus a ton, was slow and unsure of itself.  But as time went on and as Fuji listened to their customers, through diligent firmware upgrades that camera started to soar!  Now I can gladly say that not only do I love my X-Pro1 but I also love my X100s and X-E2!

I love that these cameras excel where a camera should, image quality.  Fuji did it right with their sensor and mojo thingy that is inside the wonderful little jewels of image producing perfectness!  The colors are bold, different but no so different that they are not believable.  As close to film as I have come with digital.  The auto focusing is much better on the newer versions but at the end of the day I never thought they that bad after the first few firmware upgrades.  Are they DSLR fast, no, but then again they are not supposed to be a DSLR.  They work exactly the way they should.  As a tool to help you achieve the best possible image quality, period!

If you are a B&W lover, like I am, then you will not find anything out there that does B&W better than the Fuji X system cameras.  I know this may sound like a bold, dare I say dangerous statement to make but I will stand buy it until I am proven wrong.  I am not sure what it is about the B&W’s that come out of these cameras but when I pair a B&W image from my X-Pro with my Epson 7880 which is loaded with Peizography ink sets, well it is as close to wet darkroom as you can get.  I print on Canson fiber based baryta papers and I will say the prints are stunning.  And the Fuji’s have a lot to do with that.  The detail, sharpness and dynamic range in RAW is exceptional and most of all I can shoot RAW and keep all of the lush goodness the Fuji files give me.

Let’s be real here.  The Fuji’s are not a magic box that will make you a better photographer, but I will say, when I hold one of these wonderfully built instruments I do “feel” like a photographer.  it is a hard thing to explain and I freely admit it makes no sense but it is a feeling that is real and genuine.

What do I want to see next from Fuji?  Full frame!  I shudder at what can be accomplished as a photographer if Fuji put out a $2,500.00 18-24mp, full frame work of art!  I will be the first in line to buy one!