The Hole in my Shoe
Booked a GFX experience with Calumet, Manchester and Damien Lovegrove the portrait photographer., September 2017. The session was limited to 5 photographers and we each had our own GFX camera to use with the bonus of being given the memory card after our session. To complement the afternoon, Damien was accompanied by model Natasha.
On arrival, Damien was setting up the lights. He had two Godox AD200 portable flash units and various modifiers to control the light, plus some Lupo daylight spotlights with fresnel screens. These would be used later to show a 'Hollywood' lighting effect.
After being handed over our cameras, Damien then started to explain various features of the camera and Godox lights. Unfortunately, all this info went straight over our heads and so he broke it down into small chunks for us to absorb, which we all did!
So after setting up a one light studio, we all had the chance to photograph Natasha. Personally, I was blown away by the transformation this made to her. I just couldn't see what the one light was going to do, but as soon as the shot was taken the result was there to see, so to speak. Beautiful imagery on a huge sensor and the detail was amazing.
The camera itself is very similar and simple to set up - if you have a Fuji X-Pro1 or 2 or XT-1 or 2, then it's basically the same. I changed the settings on mine to how I like to shoot - square format and black and white. On this camera though there is Acros black and white and Damien suggested the Acros "G' mode, which enhances the skin tones. Took some great shots but was feeling the weight of the GFX and 110mm lens after a few minutes. It deffo needs a tripod unless you are really strong.
A second session was started with a second light placed behind Natasha. This gave a nice hair light and also Damian changed the front light facing her and added a wider grid style softbox. This cast the light further around her and had a more softening effect.
A short break and a change of clothes for Natasha and Damien changed the two Godox lights to a Lupo with fresnel. This was like the Hollywood lighting of the 20's and 30's. This is where having my camera in black and white payed dividends. There was no need to take a reading too - just alter the settings as you saw fit, which in my case was changing the ISO to 400 and shutter speed to 1/320 second with an aperture of f2. The look was sensational on Natasha who gave the impression of looking like a glamorous model of that period.
Natasha Lupo light
After a few shots and all photographers getting the hang of the camera, Damien added a sheet of clear cellophane with random black shapes over it and this gave a nice shadow effect to the background. The light was moved over to a plain white wall and Natasha did some of her best poses with just one light. All in all, it was a great afternoon and a fantastic introduction to Fuji's GFX 50mp camera, albeit a little too heavy for myself. The quality from the jpegs is just amazing with tremendous detail. My usual camera is the XT-1, so I can see the difference immediately. I also hired Fuji's X-Pro 2 for a weekend and the GFX just blows the socks off that camera too - but it is £6000 and over £2000 for 110mm lens!!