Fujifilm X100s Snapshots to Greatshots

July 25, 2017 | Author: sumacorp5618 | Category: Shutter Speed, Exposure (Photography), Aperture, Secure Digital, Autofocus
Share Embed Donate


Short Description

Fujifilm, X100s, Photography,...

Description

final spine = 0.4785"

From Snapshots to Great Shots Now that you’ve bought the amazing Fujifilm X100S, you need a exactly how to use the camera to take great pictures. With Fujifilm X100S: From Snapshots to Great Shots, you get the perfect blend of photography instruction and camera reference that will take your images to the next level! Beautifully illustrated with large, vibrant photos, this book teaches you how to take control of your photography to get the image you want every time you pick up the camera. Follow along with your friendly and knowledgeable guide, photographer and author Kevin Mullins, and you will: • Learn the top ten things you need to know about shooting with the X100S • Use the X100S’s advanced camera settings to gain full control over the look and feel of your images • Master the photographic basics of composition, focus, depth of field, and much more • Learn all the best tricks and techniques for getting great street photographs, landscapes, and portraits • Find out how to get great shots in low light • Learn the basics behind shooting video with your X100S and start making movies of your own

Fujifilm X-Photographer, Kevin regularly speaks at conventions and trade shows on behalf of Fujifilm. He is also an established photography business educator, a frequent presenter at seminars on wedding photography and the business of photography, and a regular contributor to journals and websites around the world. Learn more about Kevin at his wedding website (www.kevinmullinsphotography.co.uk) and his Fujifilm site (www.the-owl.co.uk).

From Snapshots to Great Shots

Kevin Mullins is a full-time, award-winning documentary photographer specializing in weddings and social reportage. As an official

book that goes beyond a tour of the camera’s features to show you

Fujifilm X100S

Fujifilm X100S

Get great detail in your subjects!

Fujifilm X100S From Snapshots to Great Shots

Learn the best ways to compose your pictures!

Peachpit Press

www.peachpit.com Level: Beginning / Intermediate Category: Digital Photography Cover Design: Aren Straiger Cover Image: Kevin Mullins Author Photo: Bert Stephani

• Fully grasp all the concepts and techniques as you go, with assignments at the end of every chapter And once you’ve got the shot, show it off! Join the book’s Flickr group, share your photos, and discuss how you use your X100S to get great shots at flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots.

facebook.com/PeachpitCreativeLearning @peachpit

Mullins

US $24.99  Can $25.99

Kevin Mullins

From the Library of ohn Cleland 9780321984395_FujifilmX100SSNP_Cvr.indd 1

5/16/14 4:47 PM

Fujifilm X100S: From

Snapshots to Great Shots

This page intentionally left blank

Fujifilm X100S: From

Snapshots to

Great Shots

Kevin Mullins

Fujifilm X100S: From Snapshots to Great Shots Kevin Mullins Peachpit Press www.peachpit.com To report errors, please send a note to [email protected] Peachpit Press is a division of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2014 by Peachpit Press All images copyright © 2014 by Kevin Mullins Project Editor: Valerie Witte Production Editor: Tracey Croom Copyeditor: Emily K. Wolman Proofreader: Patricia J. Pane Composition: WolfsonDesign Indexer: James Minkin Cover Image: Kevin Mullins Cover Design: Aren Straiger Interior Design: Mimi Heft Notice of Rights All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information on getting permission for reprints and excerpts, contact [email protected] Notice of Liability The information in this book is distributed on an “As Is” basis, without warranty. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of the book, neither the author nor Peachpit shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book or by the computer software and hardware products described in it. Trademark “From Snapshots to Great Shots” is a trademark, in the U.S. and/or other countries, of Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliates.  All Fujifilm products are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fujifilm Corporation. Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and Peachpit was aware of a trademark claim, the designations appear as requested by the owner of the trademark. All other product names and services identified throughout this book are used in editorial fashion only and for the benefit of such companies with no intention of infringement of the trademark. No such use, or the use of any trade name, is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this book. ISBN-13: 978- 0-321-98439-5 ISBN–10: 0-321-98439-0 987654321 Printed and bound in the United States of America

Dedication For Gemma, Rosa, and Albie. With Love. And for my nanna. I kept pushing.

Acknowledgements I’m an extremely lucky person. I’m a photographer. I get to travel, I get to meet fine people all over the world…but most of all, I get to make pictures. Photography was a relatively late calling for me, but a calling that I have relished receiving and have thrown myself at with gusto. I am very fortunate to be in a position where I make a living doing exactly the thing I enjoy doing most. I’m very aware that this chapter of my life has not come about purely of my own making. There is one person in particular who has sacrificed so much, in order for me to achieve my goals: my wife, Gemma. Simply put, without her, this book and almost everything I do now could not have happened. She’s my anchor, and I cannot easily put into words how much her encouragement, love, and support has helped me. I have become great friends with many people in the photography world, but I must take time to acknowledge some in particular. My friends at Fujifilm, who continue to make amazing cameras that allow me to get on with my job so easily: Katie Teesdale-Ward, Marc Horner, and Nathan Wake at Fuji UK. Toshi-san, Kunio-san, Yuto-san, Yuta-san, and the whole Fujifilm team in Tokyo have all been a great help in the creation of this book, and more. Bert Stephani, who is a great Fujifilm X-series photographer in his own right. His picture is my profile picture for this book, and his help in fine-tuning the technical aspects of the book are greatly appreciated. Grtz, Bert. Damien Lovegrove is another great photographer and friend who kindly allowed me to use his amazing studio in Bristol for some of the shots used in this book. It would be remiss of me not to mention the two photographers who inspired and helped me the most on my professional journey as a wedding photographer: Allister Freeman and Neale James are two of the most wonderfully skilled wedding photographers out there, and both great gentlemen. And briefly, thanks to Zack Arias and David Hobby, who are probably totally unaware that a brief conversation over a drink in Japan helped me make a lot of decisions about my life. The support and guidance received from the team at Peachpit has been invaluable too. Specifically, I’d like to praise and thank Valerie Witte, Emily Wolman, and Tracey Croom. And thanks also, to the rest of the team behind all the great publications that Peachpit puts out every year. And finally, to all the faces in this book. Thanks.

Contents Introduction Chapter 1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

xii 1

Ten tips to get you going right out of the box Poring Over the Camera

2

Poring Over the Camera

4

1. Make Sure You Have Everything You Need

5

2. Charge the Battery

6

3. Ensure Optimal Performance

7

4. Set the Image Quality: JPEG vs. RAW

8

5. Set the ISO Level

10

6. Set the Exposure Mode

11

7. Set the Autofocus Mode and Focus Point

12

8. Set the Color Space

14

9. Understand the Viewfinders

15

10. Review Your Images

17

Chapter 1 Assignments

19

Chapter 2: First Things First

21

What to know before you begin taking pictures Poring Over the Picture

22

Poring Over the Picture

24

The X100 vs. the X100S

26

Choosing and Formatting Your Memory Card

27

Updating the X100S’s Firmware

29

Understanding the Lens and Focal Length

30

Understanding Exposure

33

Understanding Motion and Depth of Field

36

Chapter 2 Assignments

41

Contents

 vii

Chapter 3: The Viewfinders

43

Two interfaces for added flexibility Poring Over the Viewfinders

44

The Optical Viewfinder

47

The Electronic Viewfinder

52

Switching Between the Viewfinders

53

Customizing the Viewfinders

54

Chapter 3 Assignments

57

Chapter 4: The Professional Modes

59

Taking your photography to the next level Poring Over the Picture

60

Program (P) Mode

62

Shutter Priority (S) Mode

66

Aperture Priority (A) Mode

70

Manual (M) Mode

75

Exposure Compensation

79

Exposure Lock

82

Notes About Auto ISO

84

How I Shoot: My Preferred Settings

85

Chapter 4 Assignments

89

Chapter 5: Say Cheese!

91

Settings and features to make great portraits

viii 

Poring Over the Picture

92

Poring Over the Picture

94

Using Aperture Priority Mode

96

Lighting and Background

98

White Balance and ISO

100

Metering Modes

101

Locking Exposure

104

Getting Creative with Film Simulation

105

Focus: It’s All About the Eyes

106

Focusing and Recomposing

109

Using Fill Flash for Reducing Shadows

110

Using Off-Camera Flash

110

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Candid Portraits on the Move

114

Shooting Better Portraits

115

Chapter 5 Assignments

117

Chapter 6: Landscape Photography

119

Getting the most out of your landscape photographs Poring Over the Picture

120

Poring Over the Picture

122

Sharp and In Focus

124

Selecting the Correct ISO

126

Using Filters

127

White Balance

131

Beautiful Black-and-White Landscapes

135

The Golden Light

137

Focusing

139

Composition and the Rule of Thirds

140

Advanced Techniques to Explore

142

Chapter 6 Assignments

147

Chapter 7: Low Lighting

149

Shooting when the lights get low Poring Over the Picture

150

Understanding High ISO Capabilities

152

Stabilizing the Camera

157

Focusing in Low Light

158

Shooting Long Exposures in Low Light

160

Using the Built-In Flash

161

Removing Red-Eye

166

Compensating for Flash Exposure

167

Chapter 7 Assignments

168

Chapter 8: Creative Compositions

171

Improving your pictures with compositional flare Poring Over the Picture

172

Poring Over the Picture

174

Depth of Field

176

Angles

178

Light

179

 ix 

Point of View and Perspective

180

Color

182

Contrast

184

Leading Lines

185

Backgrounds

186

Bringing It All Together

187

Chapter 8 Assignments

188

Chapter 9: Hitting the Streets

191

The art of candid photography Poring Over the Picture

192

What Is Street Photography?

194

Constructing a Great Street Image

194

Beating the Fear

196

It’s Not Always About People

198

Using Focus Modes

200

Shooting Through the Moment

206

Tips for Shooting Quickly

207

A Few Final Thoughts on Street Photography

211

Chapter 9 Assignments

215

Chapter 10: Advanced Features

217

Creativity within the controls

x 

Poring Over the Picture

218

Poring Over the Picture

220

Spot Metering

222

Bracketing Exposures

225

ISO Bracketing

226

Film Simulation Bracketing

227

Dynamic Range Bracketing

228

Multiple Exposures

229

Macro Photography

230

Avoiding Lens Flare

233

High Dynamic Range Photography

234

Chapter 10 Assignments

237

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Chapter 11: Making Movies

239

It’s Hollywood time Poring Over the LCD Monitor

240

Movie Settings

241

Audio

243

Exposure and Focus

244

Getting Creative with Film Simulation

247

Technicalities

248

Watching Your Movies

249

Editing and Workflow

250

Chapter 11 Assignments

251

Chapter 12: Pimp My Ride

253

Upgrades and accessories to expand your camera’s creative potential Poring Over the Picture

254

Wide Conversion Lens

256

Bags

259

Hoods and Straps

260

Thumb Grips

261

Soft Release Buttons

261

Image Stabilization Tools

261

Flash Systems

263

Chapter 12 Assignments

265

Index

266

 xi 

Introduction Purchasing a new camera is a gratifying experience and often very exciting. Over the last few years, there has been a considered move by many amateurs and professionals alike toward the compact mirrorless cameras. I have been excited by these moves that Fujifilm and other manufacturers are taking, and have appreciated the added dimension that using smaller, fast cameras has added to my photography. Of course, the greatest thrill you get out of owning a new camera is through the photographs you produce. It’s how your new camera allows you to move your creative vision from your mind to the digital or print canvas. The camera is just the conduit, but it will help you fulfill that vision and make your investment in the camera worthwhile.

xii 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

I’ve approached this book about the Fuji X100S with a clear objective in mind: I want to tell you more than just how to set a particular control on your camera. I want to share the reasons behind the settings, how I shoot, and why I choose particular configurations. As a result, hopefully you will get more out of this great little camera. This book is not a comprehensive and exhaustive guide to every feature that the X100S offers—the Owner’s Manual covers that. Instead, I’ve focused my attention on the controls and features that I believe you get the most benefit out of understanding how I use them. Regardless of whether you are shooting portraits, travel, landscapes, or street photography, the words and images that I share in this book will help you gain confidence in how to make great images. Whether you are new to the X100S or upgrading from the X100, this book will provide you with a valuable context and understanding of the many features found in the X100S. Before we get into the core of the book, I want to answer some common questions that I believe will help you make the most of what this book has to offer.

Q: What does this book cover that I won’t find in the Owner’s Manual? A: The Fujifilm X100S Owner’s Manual provides concise information on how to enable or change a particular control or function, but it’s often lacking a sense of when and why you would want to use a specific feature. Though the manual may give some general examples of when you might want to use a certain metering mode over another, it isn’t really rooted in the kinds of images that people like you and me make regularly. This is what you will find in this book. I’ve written this book based on my own personal journey with the X100S, so you’ll find a point of view and a voice that you won’t find in the Owner’s Manual. It’s the kind of information I’d disseminate if we were on a photo walk together. It’s important to remember that just because this is the way that I use the camera, it’s not necessarily going to be the way you use the camera. We are all different photographers and photography is very subjective. However, I think you’ll find that my discussion of the camera, its features, and how it impacts my photography will make the camera more accessible to you.

I n t r o d u c t i o n

 xiii

Q: Does the book cover every feature of the X100S? A: Nearly, but it emphasizes the features and controls that will have the biggest impact on the quality of your photographs. I go into detail on what I consider to be the key features of the camera, and I also delve into controls that you may use only periodically to handle difficult or challenging shooting conditions. As you use the camera more, you will use certain features over and over again, regardless of the subject focus of your image. These features are the ones that I help you to understand and eventually master. As you gain this understanding, the importance (or lack of importance) of other features will become clearer to you. So instead of somebody telling you what is best, you can make informed decisions on these controls based on your own images and what you need as a photographer.

Q: Should I read this book straight through or can I jump around? A: You can do both, though it would probably be worth your while to at least read the first few chapters in order, especially if you are a new user of the X100S. As mentioned, this book is my own take on styles and shooting technique, so the chapters are written from a point of view that may provide you with fresh insight into an area you feel may be familiar or a control setting that you think you don’t need. I would advise you to approach the book at a modest pace. I know you want to be out shooting, but the X100S is a camera with many features—and some quirks—so don’t pressure yourself to understand it in its entirety overnight.

xiv 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Q: How important are the assignments at the end of each chapter? A: The assignments are there for a reason: to clarify the theory. I’ve included them to empower you to put into practice the information you have learned in the chapter. You may not understand what you are reading in the chapter until you try it yourself. Going out and shooting is what makes us all better photographers. Practicing with specific goals and assignments in mind provides us with the opportunity to learn our craft and make us better photographers. Additionally, I’d love to see as many of your images as possible in the Flickr group dedicated to this book (flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots). I’ll be in there regularly and I hope to “meet” as many of you as possible!

Q: How can I make the most of this book and my camera? A: Patience is a virtue, right? Impatience has likely produced more bad photography than any cheap camera or poorly produced manual. When I’m patient and think more about what I’m doing with my camera, I’m much more consistent with the images I’m producing. When I’m impatient and rushing them, the thing I do consistently is make mistakes. The joy of photography comes from making photographs that complete my vision of the subject of the scene, and the moment. And I can do that repeatedly by knowing my instrument, practicing, and remembering to enjoy myself at the same time. I hope this book helps you to discover that joy, too.

Introduction

xv

ISO 500  •  1/3 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

1

The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List Ten tips to get you going right out of the box So, you have your new Fujifilm X100S. Isn’t it great? If you are anything like me, you will be eager to break into that box and get the camera up and running right away. Nothing is more satisfying than sitting in a brand-new car, cooking in a freshly installed kitchen, or shooting with a brand-new camera. One of the things that I nearly always put to one side when opening a new camera is the manual. I mean, it’s boring, right? You want to shoot, not read! Well, boring as it may be, the little manual that accompanies the X100S is going to prove to be an invaluable resource, given time. However, I thought I’d help you out a little with a quick-start guide, so this chapter comprises a Top Ten list of tips to get you familiar with your camera, and up and running almost immediately. All you need, apart from the contents in the box, is a memory card and a power socket.

 1

Poring Over the Camera Camera Front

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

A Viewfinder Selector

E Viewfinder Window

B AF-Assist Illuminator/Self-Timer Lamp

F Focus Mode Selector

C Flash

G Lens

D Microphone

2 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Camera Back

G

F

E

H

D

I C

J

B K

A

L

N

M

A View Mode Button

F Viewfinder Window

K Command Dial

B Drive/Zoom Out Button

G Diopter Adjuster

L Q Button

C AE/Zoom In Button

H Indicator Lamp

M Disp (Display)/Back Button

D Playback Button

I Exposure/Focus Lock Button

N LCD Monitor

E Command Control Lever

J Menu/OK Button

1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

 3

Poring Over the Camera Camera Top

A B

D

E

F

C

I

A Front Ring

F Function Button

B Focus Ring

G Exposure Compensation Dial

C Aperture Ring

H Shutter Speed Dial

D On/Off Switch

I Hot Shoe

E Shutter Button

4 

H

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

G

1. Make Sure You Have Everything You Need Assuming you have purchased the standard retail version of the X100S (rather than a limited edition), then almost everything you need to get started is right there in the box: • The camera body itself • An NP-95 rechargeable battery • A BC-65N battery charger and cord • Lens cap • USB cable • CD-ROM • Clip attaching tool (don’t lose this!) • Two metal strap clips • X100S owner’s manual • A cool shoulder strap Note that you’ll use the clip attaching tool and the two metal strap clips for attaching the shoulder strap. Make sure you keep the attaching tool safe in case you need to reset the clips or change them in the future. The only additional item you will require is a memory card. The Fuji X100S stores images on the SD (Secure Digital), SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity), and SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity) memory cards. The camera will shoot one image without a card installed, though this image cannot be played back or used in any way after exposure. SD is a nonvolatile memory-card format used in electronic devices such as cameras, tablets, GPS devices, and some mobile phones. SD cards are relatively small in physical size. This can be a good thing, or potentially a bad thing. It’s good because it helps keep camera systems small and light, though it’s potentially bad, as they are easier to lose and a little less robust if handled incorrectly than the larger CompactFlash (CF) cards. Modern SDXC cards can have a capacity of up to 2 TB, which in theory would hold around 4500 RAW files. (There are many brands of SD cards on the market. However, I typically use SanDisk Extreme Pro cards.) When you shoot an image, it is buffered to the memory card. The time this takes depends somewhat on the speed of the memory card, which is measured in megabytes per second (MB/s). For wedding photography and time-critical work where the moment is of the essence, (like street or sports photography), I use cards with a minimum speed of 95 MB/s.

1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

 5

Red Lamp and Buffering When the indicator lamp on the back of the camera is red, an image is being buffered (written) to the memory card. Generally, this is a very quick operation, but in certain circumstances you may see the lamp illuminated for a period of time. For example, in burst mode (where you shoot many frames per second), it will take longer for the camera to move all the images from the buffer to the card. Also, RAW files are generally larger and will take more time to move to the SD card. Use fast SD cards to alleviate any issues with buffer speed.

2. Charge the Battery The most onerous task any new camera owner has to go through is charging the battery. A little patience is needed, as the NP-95 battery that ships with the camera is not charged up and ready for use. You may find if you insert the battery into the camera without charging it, there may be some juice. Try to resist shooting straight away, though, and always charge the battery fully first. You’ll get more shooting time after the initial charge, and the manufacturers always stipulate a battery should be fully charged for first use— this will prolong the life of the battery. When the battery is in the charger, the charging indicator will be in one of three states: •

On: Contrary to many other manufacturers, the Fuji X100S charger’s indicator lamp is constant green when the battery is charging.



Off: When the battery is fully charged, the lamp goes off completely.



Blinking: A blinking indicator lamp means there is a fault with the battery. Time for a new one.

Once the battery is fully charged, insert it into the base of the camera. Be careful here, though, as the battery can be inserted in multiple directions and only one way will work. Line up the contacts on the batteries with the contacts at the bottom of the battery chamber. The battery indicator in the viewfinder or LCD monitor will give you an estimate as to how much battery power you have left. However, I find that the battery indicator is a little misleading when it gets to the lower end of the scale. The battery can go from two bars available to empty very quickly, so be aware of this when shooting. It’s quite easy to be caught off guard with a dead battery!

6 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Keeping a Backup Battery (or Three) I shoot a lot with my Fuji X100S, and that means I can go through several batteries in one day’s continuous shooting. If you are going to be shooting for a prolonged period, I suggest keeping at least one spare, fully charged battery with you. They are very light and easy to store in your camera bag. This will lengthen your shooting time and avoid any frustrations when out shooting.

3. Ensure Optimal Performance Out of the box, the X100S is a powerful camera, and a full battery will likely see you through 300 to 450 shots before a recharge or a new battery needs to be inserted. To get the most out of the camera, you can tweak a couple of settings and increase the battery life and performance. First, setting the Auto Power Off feature to 2 minutes forces the camera to shut down when it hasn’t been used for 2 minutes or more, saving unnecessary battery loss. To reawaken the camera when it has gone to sleep, simply press the shutter button halfway. Also, I always turn on the High Performance option as soon as I power up a new X100S. The High Performance option configures the camera to have quicker start-up and focus times. This has a marginal impact on battery life, but the advantages of having the High Performance option set to On outweigh the battery recharge issues.

Setting the optimum performance level: 1. Turn on the camera. 2. Press the Menu button. 3. Using the command dial, navigate to Setup Menu 2. 4. Using the command dial, scroll down and select the Power Management option. 5. Press the command dial right to enter the submenu. 6. Set the Auto Power Off submenu to 2 Min and the High Performance option to On. n

1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

 7

4. Set the Image Quality: JPEG vs. RAW Your shiny new X100S has a number of image settings to choose from, and you can adjust them according to your needs and post-processing preferences. By default, the camera is set up to create JPEG files, but you can also set it to create RAW files or even JPEGs and RAW files at the same time. The JPEG format has been around since the mid-1990s and is actually a method of reducing file size while retaining image quality. Technically, JPEG isn’t a file format—it’s an equation. Because of the way JPEG files work, in order to reduce the file size, some of the information is lost via a process called lossy compression. This is a key point to understand because by choosing a lower JPEG setting, you are choosing to create a lower-quality image. The X100S has two quality settings for the JPEG format: Fine and Normal. It’s useful to understand how JPEG files work before choosing a quality setting. Personally, I use only the Fine option because it offers the most latitude when it comes to editing and printing the files. Additionally, you can choose the image size. There are many image sizes and aspect ratios to choose from. Pictures with an aspect ratio of 3:2 have the same proportions as a 35mm film, so usually I choose the Large (L) 3:2 size. One key advantage of JPEG files is that generally they are smaller than RAW files, so you can store more on a memory card. Also, when you download the JPEG files, the camera’s built-in image processing is retained, so what you see when reviewing an image on the LCD monitor is what you will see in the image on your computer screen. When you shoot in JPEG mode, your camera, within the processing of the image itself, makes adjustments for color, sharpness, contrast, and so on, essentially optimizing the image for you. For example, if you shoot using a black-and-white film simulation in JPEG mode, the images you download to your computer will be black and white. Most people using the X100S will likely shoot JPEG, but you can also choose to shoot in RAW. RAW files are left unprocessed by the camera. They offer greater flexibility when it comes to editing, but straight out of the camera they don’t look so good. If you really want to make your RAW files look great, you will need to “process” them first using image-editing software. Fundamentally, RAW files hold more data and, thus, are larger in file size. RAW files are sometimes called “digital negatives,” as they are similar in role to film negatives in that they need to be processed and converted to a printable format such as TIFF or JPEG. Whilst many people will shoot JPEG, I tend to change my file-storage type depending on the job. For example, if I’m shooting family snapshots or noncritical street photography, I will shoot in JPEG so I can get more images on the card and have the camera do most of

8 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

the processing for me. However, if I’m shooting a wedding or commercial work, I’m more likely to choose RAW. This gives me more flexibility, but more work, during post-processing of the images. There is another option with the Fuji X100S: to shoot RAW+JPEG. This does exactly as the name suggests—records both a JPEG file and a RAW file. The advantage of this is that you have the JPEG for quick editing and printing, assuming the exposure is good, and the RAW file if the exposure is not so great and needs a little tweaking. The disadvantages to shooting RAW+JPEG are that you will use up memory-card space more quickly, and it takes a little longer for two files to be written to the memory card, compared to just one.

Setting the image format: 1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 1. 3. Using the command dial, scroll down and select Image Quality. 4. Press the command dial right to enter the submenu. 5. Select the quality setting that you prefer: Fine, Normal, Fine+RAW, Normal+RAW, or just RAW. 6. Press the Menu/OK button to confirm. n If you selected Fine or Normal, then you can adjust the file size and ratio.

Setting the file size and ratio: 1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 1. 3. Using the command dial, scroll down and select Image Size. 4. Press the command dial right to enter the submenu. 5. Select the size and ratio you wish to use. 6. Press the Menu/OK button to confirm. n

1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

 9

Fuji RAF? Each camera manufacturer that supports RAW has a different naming convention for its files. Fuji X-Series cameras use the .RAF file extension for their RAW files. A .RAF file can be opened only in a RAW-processing software application such as Silkypix, Adobe Lightroom, or Adobe Camera Raw (amongst others). You are unlikely to be able to open a .RAF file in your standard desktop image viewer.

5. Set the ISO Level Perhaps one of the most important settings on your new camera is the ISO. ISO is the sensitivity of your camera to light. Essentially, the lower the ISO number, the more light is required in order to produce a good exposure. In practice, this means in good light such as a bright summer day, an ISO of 200 would be more than capable of capturing a good image. As light becomes poorer, a higher ISO may be necessary. So, for example, as dusk falls, you may need to increase your ISO setting to 400 or 800. But be aware that higher ISO levels can introduce noise, or more accurately, can increase noise levels in an image. Noise appears as small grain-like speckles, especially in an image’s darker areas. (Here’s a tip: Always be prepared to increase ISO levels if the light levels are falling, as it will help sustain a constant shutter speed that’s fast enough for a sharp exposure. It’s more appealing to have a sharp image with some noise distortion than an image that is too blurry to see because the ISO level has been kept too low.) The X100S has a default range of ISO 200 through to 6400 (with expanded options available). When it comes to deciding on the ISO level to use, the rule of thumb is the lighter the scene, the lower the ISO level needed. However, in some cases it may be important to have little or no noise present even in a low-lit environment. In this case, using a lower ISO would have to be offset with a slower shutter speed. In these cases it may be necessary to use a tripod to achieve the desired exposure. The X100S also has a very useful Auto ISO feature, which allows the camera to change ISO levels dynamically as the light changes around it. I use the Auto ISO feature a lot, and recommend it especially when shooting candid scenes where the light may change regularly. Essentially, the camera makes the decision about which ISO level to set the camera at, based on the chosen aperture (discussed in the next section), shutter speed (also discussed next), exposure compensation, and Dynamic Range setting (discussed further in Chapter 10, “Advanced Features”). You set the minimum and maximum ISO levels between which you are willing to shoot and the minimum shutter speed—for example, an Auto ISO range of 400 and 3200 and a minimum shutter speed of 1/125 of a second.

10 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Then the camera will adjust the ISO according to the scene and conform to those settings wherever possible. However, it’s important to be aware that the camera may also override the shutter speed and reduce it beyond the minimum setting if it can’t get an exposure. Sometimes it’s simply too dark and the camera needs to account for that.

Setting the ISO level: 1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 1. 3. Using the command dial, scroll down and select ISO. 4. Press the command dial right to enter the submenu. 5. Select the ISO level at which you want to shoot. 6. Press Menu/OK to confirm. n You will notice there are also options here for Auto ISO. I discuss this further in Chapter 4, “The Professional Modes.”

Expanded ISO For most situations, the X100S will shoot at a range of ISO 200 to ISO 6400. If you are shooting in RAW, you cannot shoot outside of these boundaries. However, if you are shooting in JPEG, in most circumstances you can choose a range of ISO 100 up to ISO 25,600.

6. Set the Exposure Mode To get the most out of your X100S and to ensure you can take full creative control of its features, along with ISO you will need to understand shutter speed and aperture. Shutter speed controls the length of time that the shutter remains open, usually measured in a fraction of a second (1/200 of a second, for example). The aperture is the reference of the opening of the lens blades. It’s usually referred to as an f-stop (f/2.8, for example). The combination of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture is what defines the exposure, and they’re closely connected: Adjust one setting, and it impacts the others.

1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

 11

The X100S offers several exposure modes, each offering various levels of control over the shutter speed and aperture: •

Program (P): Allows the camera to adjust both shutter speed and aperture. Often this gives optimal exposure at the sacrifice of creative control over depth of field or motion blur. To select Program mode, rotate the aperture ring to A and then the shutter speed dial to A.



Shutter Priority (S): Gives you control over the shutter speed while letting the camera select the optimum aperture. This setting gives you creative control over motion blur, or capturing a very quickly moving subject with a fast shutter speed. To select Shutter Priority mode, rotate the aperture ring to A and then use the shutter speed dial to adjust the shutter speed.



Aperture Priority (A): Allows you to adjust the aperture manually while letting the camera select the optimal shutter speed. This is useful in situations where the light is low and you want to use a faster f-stop, or where you want to control the depth of field. To select Aperture Priority mode, rotate the shutter speed dial to A and then use the aperture ring to adjust the aperture.



Manual (M): Gives you full control over the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Manual mode is especially useful when you want to keep exposures consistent across a shooting range. To enter Manual mode, ensure that both the shutter speed dial and the aperture ring are set to numeric values, as opposed to A.



Bulb (B) and Time (T): These modes are for very long exposures. Time mode allows you to stipulate an exposure time, whereas Bulb mode will expose for as long as the shutter is held open (either by the shutter button or shutter release cable). A tripod is recommended for these modes, which are useful for scenes such as fireworks or capturing the motion of running water. To select Bulb or Time mode, rotate the shutter speed dial to B or T, respectively.

7. Set the Autofocus Mode and Focus Point The Fuji X100S is an advanced camera, and its speed of focusing is a marked improvement over its predecessor, the X100. In the X100S, 49 focus points are available when using the electronic viewfinder, while the optical viewfinder offers 25. (I discuss the X100S’s viewfinders in more detail in Tip #9, below.)

12 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

The X100S doesn’t have any “automatic” focusing modes, so you are not at risk of the camera making a false assumption of the subject on which you are trying to focus. So how do you determine which autofocus (AF) mode to use? The X100S offers two autofocus options, which you can select using the focus mode selector, a small switch on the side of the camera body: • AF-S (single shot): Focus locks when the shutter button is pressed halfway. This setting is used in almost all situations. • AF-C (continuous): Focus is adjusted continually to reflect changes in distance to the subject (even when the shutter button is not pressed halfway). This setting is used mainly for sports or fast-moving subjects. There is a third focus option, MF (manual focus). In this mode you control the focus by rotating the focus ring on the lens with your hand. This is most commonly used when you need to shoot very quickly or where autofocus is not a possibility. Once you have selected your AF mode, it’s time to decide on your focus point, the point on which the camera will attempt to achieve focus. When starting out, you should select the central focus point, as this is generally the most reactive point and eases framing of the subject. Once you become more comfortable with the camera and the focusing system, you can experiment by moving the focus point around.

Setting the focus point: 1. Press the AF Button (command dial up). 2. Use the command dial to position the focus point of choice. 3. Press the Menu/OK button to confirm the focus point. n

1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

 13

8. Set the Color Space Color space is an oft-overlooked configuration setting available in most DSLRs. Essentially, the color space is the amount of color that a camera can “see,” capture, and record to card. The Fuji X100S offers two color spaces: • sRGB: This is the color space that matches more widely with images displayed on electronic media such as computer screens, tablets, and phones. It’s also the color space that a majority of the print labs use. • Adobe RGB: This color space has a wider color gamut than sRGB, which means it can produce more vivid and accurate colors on many high-end printers. If you are not planning on using high-end printing devices, or if your print lab specifically requests Adobe RGB, then sRGB is a good option. Broadly speaking, using sRGB will simplify your workflow and display better on the Web without the need for conversion. Also, it’s invariably an easier one to work with in post-production. That said, I tend to go against the grain a little, and generally I use Adobe RGB within my cameras. Adobe RGB may require some additional workflow steps, but it captures more color information in your images and potentially gives better results. The main reason I prefer Adobe RGB is that I use a high-end digital recording device that can photograph fast-moving objects, shoot in low light, and even record HD movies. So why would I compromise on the quality of the images I ask it to record for me? Also, I prefer to see my images in print rather than view them online or on devices, so I use Adobe RGB as my color space of choice. The primary downside of shooting with the Adobe RGB color space is that when processing your images for display on the Web or for certain print labs, you may need to down-sample the color space to sRGB. However, this is easy enough, and all image-editing software can do this (conversely, you can’t up-sample sRGB to Adobe RGB in the same way). In sum, if you are simply likely just to copy your images from the camera and upload them to the Internet for sharing, or print them on a consumer-level printer at home, then sRGB will be perfectly good to use. Adobe RGB is really an option for those who wish to have more latitude when editing, or will be printing on professional-level printers or using professional labs for their printing.

14 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Setting the color space: 1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Setup-Menu 3. 3. Rotate the command dial and select Color Space. 4. Select Adobe RGB or sRGB. 5. Press the Menu/OK button to confirm your choice. n Once you set the color space, you won’t notice any visual change in the image on the LCD monitor—color space is all about behind-the-scenes image processing.

A Note About RAW and Color Space RAW files are not affected by the color space you choose; color space configuration applies only to JPEG files. With RAW files you have the option to change the color space as you wish in your image-editing software.

9. Understand the Viewfinders More than likely, one of the reasons you were attracted to the Fuji X100S is its gorgeous hybrid viewfinder technology. It sounds a little like something out of Star Trek, doesn’t it? Hybrid viewfinder. Well, it’s not that far-fetched and is actually an amazing feature of the X100S—and one of the core features that I use all the time when shooting. The hybrid viewfinder, which I discuss in Chapter 3, “The Viewfinders,” combines the optical viewfinder (OVF) system found in DSLR cameras with the electronic viewfinder (EVF) system found in mirrorless systems. Simply having a choice of viewfinder will give you creativity and functional benefits. For example, you may use the electronic viewfinder for a critical focusing situation macro shot, or, if you need to reduce shutter lag and shoot quicker, you can change very quickly to the optical viewfinder.

1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

 15

Whether you’re framing your shot through the OVF or EVF, your eye will see not only the subject and scene, but also a range of shooting data projected by an integrated highdefinition LCD panel. Each of the viewfinders has its advantages over the other, and one of the great features of the X100S is the ability to simply switch between the two using the viewfinder selector on the front of the camera.

Optical Viewfinder The OVF is a sharply defined, bright frame projected by the LCD panel (Figure 1.1). It gives a reasonably accurate view of the image inside the viewfinder. In addition to allowing you to view the wider scene, a number of customized areas on the viewfinder enable you to view key exposure and camera settings such as exposure compensation, ISO, distance indicator, and AF target (amongst others). These settings are discussed in Chapter 3. The OVF is similar to the viewfinder of a traditional rangefinder camera, in that you get to see the wider area around

Figure 1.1  The Optical Viewfinder is bright and large and allows you to compose and shoot images quickly, with very little lag.

the frame in the viewfinder. This can be extremely useful when lining up shots or simply watching a scene unfold—you can literally watch a subject enter the frame, then shoot it. I use the optical viewfinder most when I need to work quickly. Because the camera displays less electronic information in the viewfinder, it reacts more quickly, and thus the AF speed and exposure control do as well. This is because when the camera is in OVF mode, it has less processing to do when displaying the information in the viewfinder, as it doesn’t show full exposure simulation.

16 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Electronic Viewfinder The EVF is a vividly displayed bright frame where you will see 100 percent frame coverage on a sharp image display, thanks to the 0.48-inch, highdefinition, 2360K dot-resolution LCD panel (Figure 1.2). From precision framing of macro shots in Live View mode to quick post-shot reviewing of your results, the EVF is ready with its vividly accurate display whenever you need it. Typically, I use the EVF when focusing is critical, or in lowlight situations.

Figure 1.2  The Electronic Viewfinder displays a reasonably accurate view of the image that the camera will take and allows you to make exposure adjustments based on what you see in the viewfinder.

A Note About Parallax Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight and is a consideration when using the optical viewfinder. In one of the earlier firmware updates to the X100, Fuji mitigated this issue somewhat by introducing the Corrected AF Frame feature. This can be seen in action in Figure 1.1 (the double focus boxes in the center of the viewfinder) and is discussed further in Chapter 3. This adjusts the visual autofocus target position in the OVF to account for the parallax when focusing on close subjects.

10. Review Your Images When digital cameras became mainstream, apart from the apparent savings in film and processing fees, the ability to view your image—immediately, on the LCD monitor—was seen by some as a complete revelation. With digital cameras, each time you shoot an image, whether you are in RAW or JPEG mode, the camera records an embedded JPEG image that you can use to review the image. This feedback allows you to check your exposure and composition and retake the shot if necessary. By default, the X100S will show you the image you have just taken in the actual viewfinder, which is a very cool feature if you are not trying to shoot reportage or street photography, in which case you don’t want your view of the scene impaired by the image review. I prefer to switch the viewfinder image review setting to Off, which unshackles me from the demon that is termed “chimping” (constantly checking the image to see if the exposure was nailed).

1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

 17

Changing the image auto-review duration: 1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Setup Menu 2. 3. Rotate the command dial and select Screen Setup. 4. Set Image Disp. to your preferred setting (I suggest you turn it to Off). 5. Press Menu/OK to confirm your selection. n Once you take a break from shooting, you may want to flick through the shots you have taken and review them in more detail. To do this, simply press the green Playback button, at the top-left of the rear of the camera. This will immediately display your most recent shot on the LCD monitor. By default, not only can you see the image you shot, but you can also see the exposure date along the bottom of the LCD monitor, as well as useful information such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. You can customize the data that the LCD monitor displays to show various other settings, too. However, I encourage you to use the Detail Information view, which gives more detailed exposure information as well as a histogram and any blown highlights (parts of the image where detail has been lost) will be indicated by blinks.

Viewing image-detail information: 1. Press the Playback button on the back of the camera. 2. When the image appears, press the Disp/Back button. 3. Press the Disp/Back button to continue to scroll through the image view options until you select Detail Information. n The image-detail information will be displayed as standard hereafter. If you wish to revert to one of the other view options, simply follow the steps again, selecting the view option you want.

18 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Chapter 1 Assignments Let’s begin our shooting assignments by setting up and using all of the elements of in the Top Ten list. When you have completed the assignments, not only will you have configured your camera correctly, but you will be ready to start shooting!

Set up the basics Charge the battery until it’s 100 percent juiced up. When it’s charged, insert it into the camera, fix the strap to the camera, insert your memory card, and turn on the camera. Now set the camera to its optimal setting by adjusting the Auto Power Off and High Performance options. Finally, set up your preferred file format and file size.

Think about exposure Now you need to consider ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. If you are shooting in a well-lit environment, start with ISO 400. Initially, using Program (P) mode for your exposure mode will get you up and running quickest. Next, make sure your focus point is set to the central spot. For the time being, this configuration will get you shooting straight away.

Pick a viewfinder Viewfinder selection can be totally subjective, so just decide which one you prefer. If you like the uncluttered view and speed of the optical viewfinder, go for that. If you prefer to see an accurate simulation of the exposure in the viewfinder, switch to the electronic viewfinder.

Focus on a subject Find a family member or friend with your camera configured properly. You are ready to shoot! Focus on the subject, press the shutter button halfway (keep an eye on the focus point in the viewfinder or LCD monitor for confirmation of focus lock), and … shoot!

Evaluate your pictures with the LCD monitor Set up your image display properties, and then review some of your images using the different display modes. Review the shooting information for each image, and take a look at the Detail Information, paying close attention to any blinking areas on the image that may represent blown highlights. Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

1: The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List

19

ISO 400  •  1/320 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

2

First Things First What to know before you begin taking pictures Looking at the Fujifilm X100S, you may find it a little intimidating with all its dials, buttons, viewfinders, and controls. But regardless of how complex the camera seems, there are only a few key features that you really need to understand to get a lot out of the camera. The important thing is to use the X100S as often as possible, get used to it, and, most important, enjoy shooting with it. It’s a wonderful camera that really comes into its own if you understand the fundamentals of photography and how to operate and maintain the camera. In this chapter, I’ll guide you through the essential elements of photography and also get you up to speed with important aspects of the X100S, such as performing firmware updates and memory card selection. Of course, other features of the camera and photography are also important. But by focusing on and mastering its core features and functions, you’ll be able to get the absolute best out of your X100S and quickly move from “snapshots” to “great shots.”

 21

Poring Over the Picture

The Fuji X100S is the perfect size to handhold yet still allows you to be creative with exposure. In this image, I chose a very low shutter speed and “tracked” the van as it crossed through the frame. By locking focus on the van as it approached and rotating my upper body as the van moved, I was able to capture this image, highlighting the movement and speed of the traffic.

The lines and alternating shapes of the road crossing add to the impact of the image.

I shot this with the Pro Neg. HI film simulation, which adds vibrancy and contrast to the colors.

ISO 200  •  1/15 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

Poring Over the Picture

The near silent operation of the Fuji X100S allowed me to get extremely close to this couple without attracting their attention.The small form factor and ability to handhold in many shooting situations, coupled with the silence of the leaf shutter, makes the X100S a perfect companion for anyone shooting street photography.

Using a large aperture kept a lot of the background scene relevant to the image.

ISO 500  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

The X100 vs. the X100S I think it’s important to outline the differences between the X100 and the X100S, because although the models are similar, a number of features have changed in the X100S. Although the addition of an “S” doesn’t really suggest significant changes, Fuji has made some big feature improvements and functionality updates that you should be aware of. In all, there are nearly 70 feature differences between the X100 and the X100S. This section discusses the key changes, allowing you to begin shooting quicker with the new model (Figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1  Aesthetically, there is little difference between the X100S (left) and the X100 (right). However, in many areas the X100S is a distinct improvement over its predecessor.

The X100S’s core feature upgrades are the following: • Higher resolution: 16 megapixels (MP) versus 12.2 MP • Higher-resolution movies: 1080p 60 frames per second (fps) versus 720p 30 fps • Better, expanded ISO: 25,600 versus 12,800 • Faster burst mode: 6 fps versus 5 fps Additionally, the X100S offers the following improvements: • Better XTRANS CMOS II sensor and autofocus processor. Close-up focusing without resorting to macro means no noticeable shutter lag with the X100S, compared to a much more noticeable one with the X100. • Autofocus (AF), thanks to the phase-detection system in the X100S, allows for nearly instant focusing, whereas the original X100 suffered a little with AF speeds. • Focus Peak Highlight and Digital Split Image options allow you to check the focal plane when focusing manually.

26 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

X100 and Firmware It’s worth noting that some of the improved features in the X100S have actually been rolled out to the X100 in a series of firmware upgrades (see “Upgrading the X100S’s Firmware” later in this chapter). However, even with those firmware upgrades, the X100S remains a more powerful and versatile camera.

Choosing and Formatting Your Memory Card Digital memory cards are essentially the media that replace the need for film. Every shot you take will be stored on the memory card at the moment of capture. The cards are available in many sizes and forms. The X100S uses Secure Digital (SD), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC), or Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) cards (Figure 2.2). Some people prefer to use smaller capacity cards and change them more often. This is because, in the unlikely event that the card is damaged or lost, you lose only the

Figure 2.2  Make sure you select a card with enough capacity and speed to handle your shoot requirements.

images on that card; images on different cards will be saved. However, I prefer to shoot with large-capacity cards, almost always 32GB. This means I can concentrate on shooting for longer periods without worrying about changing cards. It also mitigates the risk of losing the card during the process of changing it. However, it’s true that if I damage or lose the card, I’ll lose a lot more images. Here are some tips for selecting and using memory cards: • Always be careful with your cards! It’s extremely important to take care when inserting and handling them. On commercial shoots, I keep all my cards in a secure pouch that is attached to my belt. I don’t remove that pouch until I’m at home or back in the studio where I can download and back up the images. • I use SDHC cards, which enable images to be written to them much faster—thereby allowing you to shoot more quickly. They are generally faster at downloading to your computer, too. If you are shooting movies (see Chapter 11, “Making Movies”) or using continuous shooting mode (see Chapter 9, “Hitting the Streets”), you should use an SDHC card with a minimum rating of 6. The higher the class number, the faster the card operates.

2 : F i r s t T h i n gs F i r s t

 27

• The X100S is also SDXC-compliant, so you can use extremely fast cards with very large capacities. While widely available, SDXC cards are not supported by all card readers and other equipment, so be sure you check your other hardware for feature compatibility before using SDXC cards. • Always make sure you have spare cards with you. You never know when you will need the additional space. Missing a great shot because you don’t have the capacity on your cards is not a great feeling! • Format the memory card in the camera itself, rather than on a computer. Whenever I put a new card in the camera, I press the Play button to review any images that are on the card. It’s a safety procedure in case I haven’t downloaded the images previously recorded to the card. If images appear, I can verify that I have already downloaded the images or, if not, choose to use a different card. If you put a card in your camera without formatting it, chances are it will work; however, to ensure that the images are stored correctly, the card needs to be initialized, minimizing the risk of card failure further down the line. If there are images on the card that were taken with a different camera, you will see the “gift” icon during the image review (Figure 2.3). This is important to bear in mind, as it means that in order to continue using the card safely, you really should format it again (in the X100S). To be safe, it’s always best to format the card in the camera it is going to be used in.

Figure 2.3  A “gift” icon during image review indicates a picture taken on a camera other than an X100S.

28 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Formatting a memory card: 1. Press the Menu Button and, using the command dial, navigate to Setup Menu. 2. Using the command dial, select Format. 3. Using the command dial, select OK. 4. Press Menu/OK to confirm the format. n

Updating the X100S’s Firmware Firmware is the software inside the camera that operates all of its functions and features. Fujifilm has rolled out some amazing features via firmware, such as focus peaking in the original X100, and often the later firmware versions improve functions such as focus speed and image buffer lag. Fuji often updates firmware, and at the time of this writing, the X100S firmware is at version 1.10. All new purchases of the X100S will come with the latest firmware available at the time it was manufactured. However, the manufacture date may have been some time ago, so check the firmware and update to the very latest version. (Also do this if you have purchased a secondhand camera.) Updating the firmware is a two-step process. But before you do it, make sure you have a fully charged battery and a completely empty (formatted) memory card at hand. Once you have those in place, head over to the Fujifilm global site: www.fujifilm.com/ support/digital_cameras/software/ firmware/x/x100s. First things first: Verify which version of the firmware you already have installed. If the version installed on your camera is the same as the one on the website, then an update is not required. To do so, turn on the camera while holding down the Disp/Back button. The firmware version will be displayed in the LCD monitor.

2 : F i r s t T h i n gs F i r s t

 29

If your firmware version is different from the one available on the website, you should upgrade.

Updating the camera’s firmware: 1. Download the firmware from the Fujifilm website to your computer’s desktop. 2. Copy the firmware file (usually a .DAT file) to the root of your memory card. The root is the top-level folder on your memory card, which you can access via Finder on a Mac or Windows Explorer on a PC. 3. Turn on the camera while holding down the Disp/Back button.

A

4. Press the Left button to select OK (A). 5. Press the Menu/OK button. 6. Once the warning appears telling you not to switch off the camera, press the Menu/OK button. The upgrade will begin. While the upgrade is being performed, do not turn off the camera or operate it in any way. 7. When the upgrade is finished, turn off the camera. n

Understanding the Lens and Focal Length If you ask most photographers what they believe to be the most critical piece of their photography arsenal, they will likely tell you it’s the lens. The technology and engineering that goes into your camera is a marvel, but it’s not worth anything if the light from outside can’t reach the sensor. The X100S includes one built-in lens capable of a multitude of tasks, including focusing on the subject, metering the scene, and delivering and focusing the light onto the sensor. The lens on the X100S is fixed, meaning it is not a zoom lens, and the focal length on the X100S is 23.6mm (usually rounded down to 23mm). With the exception of the addition of a conversion lens (see Chapter 12, “Pimp My Ride”), this means your images will always be shot at the fixed focal range of 23mm. For many, the lack of a zoom feature could be seen as a detriment. When you consider other cameras that offer a zooming lens, such as the Canon PowerShot G range of cameras, it might seem odd to choose a camera with only one focal length. However, for me, the fixed focal length is one of the things that appeals most about the X100S. It adds a

30 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

consistency to my images, and really makes me think more about composition and image structure. It also means that I’m less lazy when shooting and I have to move around more, rather than resort to a zoom feature to get the images I want. The X100S’s 23mm lens is perfect for many situations and lets you include a large scene in the frame (Figure 2.4). Using a large depth of field, it allows you to keep the foreground and background sharp, making the X100S perfect for landscape photography. The lens also works very well in tight spaces where there is very little elbow room to maneuver (Figure 2.5). Using the X100S’s full aperture range to its maximum potential can be helpful when you want to keep only a certain amount of the image in focus (Figure 2.6).

Figure 2.4  A 23mm range on the X100S is an excellent choice for wide landscape images. A large depth of field allows you to keep a lot of the foreground and background in focus throughout the frame. ISO 200  •  1/210 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

2 : F i r s t T h i n gs F i r s t

 31

Figure 2.5  At close quarters, the X100S 23mm lens allows you to get very near to the subjects, and it is especially good for capturing candid scenes. ISO 3200  •  1/35 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Figure 2.6  A medium aperture of f/5.6 ensures the foreground subjects were kept in focus while the less interesting elements were deemphasized. ISO 200  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

32

Because the lens is fixed in terms of focal length at 23mm, there is very little lens barrel distortion, when the lens appears to barrel or distort toward the edges. Barrel distortion is often experienced at the wide end of zoom lenses and some very wide fixed lenses. The f/2 23mm lens in the X100S is free of this phenomenon and can be used comfortably across a wide range of shooting subjects.

A Note on 35mm Equivalent Focal Lengths In digital photography, you will often see focal lengths referred to in their 35mm equivalent. Somewhat confusingly, the X100S 23mm lens has a 35mm equivalence of 35mm. Without wading into the complicated science of optics, here’s a simplified explanation of what that actually means. Traditionally, a photo exposed on film using a 35mm lens delivered a “normal” image, which is close to the view that your eyes see naturally. In many digital cameras that aren’t “full frame,” the image sensor is generally smaller than the frame of film exposed in old cameras, so the area of data recorded by a digital camera is smaller than the area of light that the lens is actually seeing. The narrower field of view creates the same effect as zooming in, which is often referred to as the “crop factor.” The crop factor for the X100S is roughly 1.5; thus, the 23mm view is about what you would see if you used a 35mm lens on a film camera (for the mathematically bright: 1.5 x 23.6 = 35.4).

Understanding Exposure To get the most from your X100S now, you need to understand the principles of exposure. Without this basic understanding, it may be difficult to move forward and improve your photography. It’s easier to go from “snapshots” to “great shots” with a clear understanding of the core photographic principles. Exposure is the process whereby the light reflecting off a subject passes through the opening in the camera lens onto the sensor within the camera, for a certain period of time. Technically, this combination of the lens opening, the shutter speed selected, and the sensitivity of the sensor is known as the exposure value (EV), the sum of these components needed to properly expose a scene. This relationship is often referred to as the “exposure triangle” and is made up of the following elements: • ISO: This is the measurement that determines the camera sensor’s sensitivity level. ISO stands for International Standards Organization, but the acronym itself is used to describe the level of sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. The higher the ISO, the less light is required to obtain a good exposure. Or, in reverse, the lower the light levels, the higher the ISO that is needed.

2 : F i r s t T h i n gs F i r s t

 33

• To achieve a proper exposure, the lens needs to adjust the aperture diaphragm to control the volume of light entering the camera. Then the shutter is opened for a relatively short period of time to allow the light to hit the sensor long enough for it to record the image. • Standard ISO numbers for the X100S start at 200 and then double in sensitivity as you double the number. So ISO 400 is twice as sensitive as 200. • Aperture: Essentially, aperture is the size of the lens opening when a photograph is taken. The size of the hole has a direct correlation to the amount of light that can get into the sensor. The larger the aperture size, the more light will fall on the sensor; the smaller the aperture size, the less light will fall on the sensor. The X100S’s aperture range is f/2 through f/16. Generally speaking, a lower f-stop number will allow you to shoot in lower light, and will usually offer more depth of field and bokeh depending on the subject and the framing. • Shutter speed: The speed to which you set the shutter on the camera controls the amount of time the shutter remains open, which in turn determines how much light can hit the sensor. The shutter speeds available on the X100S range from 30 seconds to 1/4000 of a second. Normal shooting will see you working within a range of around 1/30 to 1/2000 of a second, but obviously this may change depending on the circumstances of the shot you are taking at the time. A change in any of these factors (ISO, aperture, or shutter speed) will require a reciprocal adjustment in one or both of the others. For example, if you let more light into the lens by choosing a larger aperture, you will need to shorten the time the shutter is open. Conversely, if you increase the shutter opening time to allow more light, then you’ll need to decrease the aperture.

Always Be Prepared to Shoot My camera goes everywhere with me. Because I’m always keeping an eye out for great photographic opportunities, it’s important to me that my camera is at the ready at all times. I rarely have the camera stored in a bag or under my coat, even in poor weather. Instead, I prefer to have the camera on a strap over my shoulder or in a hip holster. The lens cap is always off when I’m out shooting, so I’m ready to capture an image as soon as the opportunity arises. To be ready and able to focus my attention on shooting at all times, initially I set the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed—thus I’m not preoccupied with configuring my camera constantly.

34 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

When you point your camera at a scene, the light reflecting off your subject enters the lens and is allowed to pass through the sensor for a period of time dictated by the shutter speed. The amount and duration of the light needed for a proper exposure depends on how much light is being reflected and how sensitive the sensor is. To work it out, your camera utilizes a built-in light meter that looks through the lens and measures the amount of light. That level is then calculated against the sensitivity of the ISO setting and an EV is established.

What’s a Stop? The term stop is used a lot in the photography world. It refers to the f-stop, which is the term used to describe the aperture opening of the lens. When you need to increase your exposure, you might refer to “adding a stop.” This is not specific to just aperture, however; it can also relate to ISO and shutter speed. So when your image is too light or too dark, or you have too much motion in the scene, you will likely change things by moving a “stop” or more.

There are many ways to achieve a perfect exposure, because the f-stop and the shutter speed can be combined in different ways to allow the same amount of exposure. The following table shows a list of reciprocal settings that would all produce the same exposure. This means that any of these settings would each result in the same amount of light hitting the camera’s sensor to make the exposure. Reciprocal Exposures at ISO 100

Aperture (F-Stop)

2.8

4

5.6

8

11

16

22

Shutter Speed

1/1600

1/800

1/400

1/200

1/100

1/50

1/25

Note that each time we cut the f-stop in half, we reciprocate by doubling the shutter speed. Now we can start using this newfound knowledge and information to make educated choices with respect to shutter speed and f-stop. Let’s bring the third element into this by changing our ISO by one stop (doubling it) from 100 to 200. Reciprocal Exposures at ISO 200

Aperture (F-Stop)

2.8

4

5.6

8

11

16

22

Shutter Speed

1/3200

1/1600

1/800

1/400

1/200

1/100

1/50

You can see that as we have doubled the sensitivity of the sensor (ISO), we now need half as much exposure as before to achieve the same result.

2 : F i r s t T h i n gs F i r s t

 35

You may be asking, why not just use the exposure setting of f/16 at 1/100 second? Why bother with all the reciprocal values when this setting clearly gives us an established and accurate exposure? The answer is that the f-stop and shutter speed also control two other important aspects of the image: motion and depth of field.

Sunny 16 There is a commonly quoted rule in photography called the “Sunny 16 Rule.” The idea is that on a bright sunny day with no cloud cover, you will obtain the correct exposure by setting your aperture to f/16 and your shutter speed to the same amount as your ISO. For example, if your ISO is 200, the proper exposure would be f/16 at 1/200 second. If your ISO is 400, the exposure would be f/16 at 1/400 of a second.

Understanding Motion and Depth of Field Various factors are related to changes in aperture and shutter speed. Because shutter speed controls the length of time the light strikes the sensor, consequently it controls blurriness of the image. As you can imagine, the less time the light has to hit the sensor, the less time your subjects have to move around and become blurry. While many will see blur as an affliction to exposure, it can actually be used creatively, and you can impose some control like freezing the motion of a fast-moving subject (Figure 2.7) or even blurring the subject to give an intentional feel of movement (Figure 2.8). The aperture controls the amount of light that comes through the lens, and it also determines the bokeh (or lack of bokeh) of the image. Bokeh is the blur of the out-of-focus area of an image. Technically controlled by the depth of field, bokeh is perhaps one of the most powerful of the creative features available through standard exposure.

36 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 2.7  A fast shutter speed allowed me to freeze the action mid-jump. ISO 200  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Figure 2.8  A slower shutter speed (combined with the X100S’s built-in neutral density filter) allowed me to illustrate the motion of the water in this shot. ISO 200  •  2.1 sec.  •  f/13  •  23mm lens

37

It is, of course, possible to use both aperture and shutter speed together creatively (Figure 2.9). As a rule of thumb, think of a smaller aperture (a larger f-stop) as resulting in greater overall sharpness from front to back in an image (Figure 2.10). A larger aperture (a smaller f-stop) means less sharpness, or greater blurring of objects at distances other than your subject (Figure 2.11). In cases where you want to keep a moving subject sharp (Figure 2.12) but still give an indication of motion, you may need to keep your shutter speed lower and rely on ISO and aperture to ensure a good exposure.

Resorting to a Flash In many conditions, it’s just not possible to get an acceptable exposure in low light without adding more light artificially, so you’ll need to use a flash to create your images. The X100S has a small, integrated flash unit, which actually packs a powerful punch and lights the subject while retaining as much ambient light as possible.

Figure 2.9  I wanted to get the station name in focus while illustrating the motion of the train. To achieve this, I needed to use a small aperture of f/16 (to get the station sign in focus) and slow shutter speed (to illustrate the motion of the train). ISO 6400  •  1/30 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

38 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 2.10  Using a small aperture of f/16 allowed me to get everything in this cityscape in focus from front to back. ISO 400  •  1/400 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

Figure 2.11  Isolating elements of an image can be accomplished by using a larger aperture, which produces a narrow area of sharp focus. ISO 400  •  1/150 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

39

Figure 2.12  I wanted to keep the porters in sharp focus, and without increasing ISO I resorted to a slow shutter speed, which also allowed me to portray motion in the image. ISO 250  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

As we further explore the features of the X100S, you will learn not only how to utilize the elements of exposure to capture properly exposed photographs, but also how you can adjust exposure to emphasize your subject or make creative enhancements to the image. Being creative with motion, speed, and focus or bokeh will allow you to move from snapshots to great shots in no time at all.

40 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Chapter 2 Assignments Now that we have reviewed some of the more important features of the X100S and photography techniques to get you started, it’s time to put that knowledge to the test. These assignments will run you through configuring your camera so it’s up to date and understanding the lens that the X100S has on board.

Format your memory card Even though you may already have started using your camera, ensure you are familiar with formatting the SD card. If you haven’t done so already, follow the directions in the “Choosing and Formatting Your Memory Card” section, earlier in the chapter, and format as described. Make sure you save any images on the card that may already be on it!

Check and update the firmware Charge your camera, set aside a memory card, and go ahead and check the firmware version your camera already has installed. If it’s not the latest version, download the latest one and install it on your camera.

Explore the lens The X100S has a wonderfully simple yet complex lens on board. Spend a little time shooting with all the different focal apertures and shutter speeds. Adjust your ISO and shutter speed to try to obtain creative imagery emulating motion, or stopping a moving subject in a freeze frame. Take several shots of the same frame using different apertures. What do you notice occurring with the depth of field? Try and achieve the same exposure using a combination of f-stops and shutter speeds. Notice how it is possible to achieve the same exposure with different combinations. Try shooting in a restricted light environment using a low ISO and a high shutter speed. See how adjusting the ISO affects the exposure and brightens the overall image. Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

2 : F i r s t T h i n gs F i r s t

41

ISO 400  •  1/35. sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

3

The Viewfinders Two interfaces for added flexibility When Fujifilm launched the original X100, one of the standout features was the hybrid viewfinder. It offered the unique opportunity to shoot using an optical viewfinder (OVF) and electronic viewfinder (EVF). It was a “marriage of intuitive analog operation and state-of-the-art digital functionality,” according to Fujifilm. The X100’s hybrid viewfinder has been developed further and is now also a core feature of your X100S. It really does offer a flexibility rarely seen in other camera systems: The OVF enables you to view the scene with maximum quality and reduce any perceivable shutter lag; and you can use the EVF for confirmation of focus, exposure, white balance, and depth of field while shooting the scene.

 43

Poring Over the Viewfinders Optical Viewfinder

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I J K S R

L

Q

44 

P

O

N

M

A Flash Mode

F Number of Available Frames

K Bright Frame

P Shutter Speed

B Metering

G Image Quality and Size

L Distance Indicator

Q Shooting Mode

C White Balance

H Battery Level

M Sensitivity (ISO)

R Histogram

D Film Simulation

I Focus Frame

N Aperture

S Exposure

E Dynamic Range

J Virtual Horizon

O Exposure Lock

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Electronic Viewfinder

A

B

C

H

D

E

G F

A Macro/Close Up

D Blur Warning

G Monitor Sunlight Mode

B Self-timer Indicator

E Wide Converter Lens (WCL)

H Depth of Field Preview

C Continuous Mode

F Silent Mode Indicator

3: The Viewfinders

 45

Understanding Histograms

Light

Medium

Simply put, histograms are two-dimensional representations of your images in graph form. The histogram in the X100S is a luminance histogram, which displays pixel brightness and is very valuable when evaluating your exposures. This sounds terribly complicated, but actually it’s not—and it’s incredibly useful. The histogram graph represents the entire tonal range that your camera can capture, from the darkest blacks to the lightest whites (Figure 3.1).

Dark

Let’s take a moment to discuss histograms. Histograms can be displayed in both the optical and electronic viewfinders, and I strongly encourage you to display them and take time to use them correctly.

Figure 3.1  A typical histogram where the dark to light tones run from left to right.

The left side of the histogram represents black and the right represents white. The heights of the peaks in the “mountain range” represent the number of pixels that contain those luminance levels. For example, a tall peak in the middle would mean your image contains a large number of medium-bright pixels. Looking at an image, it can be hard to determine where all of the ranges of light and dark areas are. If you look at the histogram, you can see exactly the structure of your exposure in terms of darks, lights, and pixel density in those areas. In most cases, you will want a histogram that indicates that you have captured the entire range of tones, from dark to light, in your images. If your histogram has a spike on the far left or right, that means you are clipping detail from your image in the shadows or in the highlights. In essence, you are trying to record values that are either too dark or too light for the X100S’s sensor to record accurately. Generally, this indicates under- or overexposure in an image. If this occurs, you should adjust your exposure if possible so as not to clip the highlights or shadows. Sometimes, however, clipping is unavoidable and it may not be possible to improve the exposure. For example, if you are shooting a scene on a bright, sunny day with the sun in the shot, you are not going to get any detail in the sun, and it will be clipped. Similarly, if you are shooting something that has true black in it, that portion of the image won’t show any detail. The main goal is to ensure that you aren’t clipping any “important” visual information, and that is achieved by keeping an eye on your histogram.

46 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

The Optical Viewfinder Here is an overview of the functions that you’ll see displayed in the Optical Viewfinder. • Flash Mode: Use the built-in flash for additional lighting when shooting at night or indoors under low light. To choose a flash mode, press the command dial to the right to display the flash options, then rotate the dial or press it left or right to highlight an option, and press Menu/OK to select. (See Chapter 7, “Low Lighting,” for more information.) • Metering: To choose how the camera meters exposure, press the AE button to display the metering options. Use the command dial to highlight an option and press AE to select. (See Chapter 10, “Advanced Features.”) • White Balance: Press the command dial down to display the white balance options, then rotate the dial or press it left or right to highlight an option that matches the light source, and press Menu/OK to confirm. (See Chapter 6, “Landscape Photography.”) • Film Simulation: Simulate the effects of different kinds of film, including black and white and sepia. (See Chapter 5, “Say Cheese!”) • Dynamic Range: Control contrast by choosing lower values to increase contrast when shooting indoors or under dark skies, and higher values to reduce loss of detail in highlights and shadows when photographing high-contrast scenes. (See Chapter 10.) • Number of Available Frames: This indicates how many more images can be stored on the memory card. (See Chapter 1, “The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List.”) • Image Quality and Size: This indicates the size of the file and the file type, either JPEG or RAW. (See Chapter 1.) • Battery Level: Indicates whether the battery level is full or partially discharged (full battery icon), more than half discharged (half battery icon), low (red battery icon), or exhausted (blinking red battery icon). (See Chapter 1.) • Focus Frame: Use the focus frame for composing your images. (See the parallax coverage later in this chapter.) • Virtual Horizon: The camera is level when the two horizon lines overlap. (See the “Customizing the Viewfinders” section, later in this chapter.) • Bright Frame: This refers to the outer border of the image. Note that in the OVF you can see beyond the edges of the bright frame. • Distance Indicator: When focusing manually, use the focus distance scale to gauge how far from your camera your area of focus will be, using the current aperture. (See Chapter 9, “Hitting the Streets.”)

3: The Viewfinders

 47

• Sensitivity (ISO): You can set the camera’s ISO levels between 200 and 6400 (or 100, 12800, and 25600 in expanded mode). The sensitivity refers to the camera’s sensitivity to light. (See Chapter 1 and Chapter 4, “The Professional Modes.”) • Aperture: To adjust the aperture, manually rotate the aperture dial on the lens barrel. (See Chapter 4.) • Exposure Lock: This indicates that the exposure has been locked into the camera settings by pressing the AFL/AEL button. (See Chapters 4 and 5.) • Shutter Speed: To adjust the shutter speed manually, rotate the shutter speed dial on the top of the camera. (See Chapter 4.) • Shooting Mode: The camera offers a choice of Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes. (See Chapter 4.) • Histogram: Histograms show the distribution of tones in the image. Brightness is shown by the horizontal axis and the number of pixels by the vertical axis. (See the “Understanding Histograms” sidebar, earlier in this chapter.) • Exposure Compensation/Indicator: Exposure can be altered by rotating the exposure compensation dial in Program, Shutter Priority, and Aperture Priority mode. In Manual mode, the exposure cannot be altered and the indicator represents overall exposure brightness. (See Chapter 4.) I will discuss how to switch between the standard view and the custom view later in the chapter; however, it’s worth pointing out that the viewfinder image in the Poring Over the Viewfinders section is set up to show as many of the available options for ease of reference, and your viewfinder display may vary slightly. Some icons are not displayed in the reference image, as they are mutually exclusive with other items. Here are a few icons that may appear on your OVF yet are not captured in the Poring Over the Viewfinders image for the OVF: Manual focus indicator: Appears in the top left, to the left of the flash icon, when you have the camera in manual focus (MF) mode (See Chapter 9.) ND filter icon: Appears to the right of the Dynamic Range icon when the ND (Neutral Density) filter is switched on. (See Chapter 6.) Internal memory indicator: Appears to the left of the Number of Available Frames Left icon. It indicates that no memory card is inserted and that pictures will be stored in the camera’s internal memory (room for about two RAW files, so always shoot with a card in place!).  Temperature warning: Appears in the viewfinder just to the right of the focus frames. If this appears, you are likely in a very warm environment. Switch off the camera immediately, go get a cool drink, and try again later.

48 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Note also that continuous shooting (burst) mode is available when using the OVF, though no icon appears. However, an icon for continuous shooting appears in the EVF. With the OVF you will get a very sharp, bright view of the actual scene in front of the camera. Because you are looking through the optical viewfinder, the image will always be sharply focused, regardless of your focusing technique, just like the viewfinder in traditional DSLR cameras. The OVF offers a great shooting environment, and it will display much of the shooting data that you require in the large viewfinder window. Because it’s using the optical window, there will be no shutter lag, meaning you can focus and shoot quicker than when using the EVF. Another benefit of the OVF is that it provides a view that is slightly larger than the image actually recorded. Similar to rangefinder-type viewfinders, you can actually view content that is outside of the photographic frame. I use this a lot when shooting street photography, as I can see much more of the overall scene and watch a scene evolving before the core subjects even enter the frame.

Peripheral Vision The OVF offers a great opportunity for street and reportage photographers, as we can see what is happening around the frame before deciding when to actually press the shutter to capture the moment. When I shoot with the OVF, I also tend to shoot with both of my eyes open. But by shooting with both eyes open, with the added benefit of the larger field of view in the OVF, I can almost always plan and see a shot moments before it needs to be taken, because there is a lot more occurring in my peripheral vision. It allows me to react and work much quicker. It’s not for everybody and it’s certainly not something you would do all the time, but it’s worth trying sometimes.

The Problem of Parallax The view you see through the optical viewfinder has what’s known as a parallax effect. This isn’t some kind of rare illness that requires a trip to the doctor. Rather, it’s simply a symptom of viewing the image through the window near the lens, not through the lens itself, as most DSLR systems do. As defined by Wikipedia, parallax is a “displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle of inclination between those two lines.” For example, “it can be seen in the dashboard of motor vehicles that use a needle-style speedometer gauge. When viewed from directly in front, the speed may show exactly 60; but when viewed from the passenger seat the needle may appear to show a slightly different speed, due to the angle of viewing.”

3: The Viewfinders

 49

Essentially, this means the view you see through the OVF is slightly offset, and thus different from what the actual lens is seeing and the image that will ultimately be created. Parallax is more apparent the closer you get to the subject; if you are shooting from a long distance, you are unlikely to notice it at all. Shooting close up will make it more profound, so if you switch to macro mode the camera automatically reverts to the EVF, as the OVF would be almost useless at very close distances from the subject.

Addressing Parallax with Corrected AF Frame Fuji has thought about this parallax problem and introduced the Corrected AF Frame option to help in situations where it may be an issue. As we know, parallax affects only the optical viewfinder, so this option has no impact on the EVF. Further, it is applicable only to Area mode AF. If you don’t have the Correct AF Frame option turned on (Figure 3.2), you will see the single focus area; depending on your focus accuracy, you may end up missing some shots because of the effect of parallax. For this reason, when shooting with the OVF, I always ensure I have the Corrected AF Frame option turned on (Figure 3.3).

Figure 3.2  The OVF when the Corrected AF Frame option is not set to On.

50 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 3.3  The OVF when the Corrected AF Frame option is set to On.

Setting up the Corrected AF Frame option: 1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 4. 3. Using the command dial, scroll down and select Corrected AF Frame. 4. Press the command dial right to enter the submenu. 5. Select On and then press Menu/OK to confirm. n When Corrected AF Frame is on, you will notice a second focus frame appears just below, and to the right of, the primary focus frame. When you focus on an object (really noticeable only on relatively close objects) and press the shutter button halfway, you will see a third focus frame appear in the viewfinder (Figure 3.4). These different focus frames represent different focus planes: the solid white frame represents the infinity focus distance; the broken frame (four corner brackets) represents the closest focus area; and

Figure 3.4  The OVF when the Corrected AF Frame option is set to On with the third focus frame displayed.

when focus is achieved, a green frame appears that represents the focus point at your current focusing distance. Note that if the focus cannot be achieved, the third green focus frame will instead be red and the icon AF! will appear next to it, indicating that focus cannot be attained. Your subject’s distance in relation to you determines how close the green focus frame is to the primary AF frame. The farther away you are from your subject, the closer the focus frames will become as the parallax lessens. The closer you are to the subject, the more pronounced the parallax error, thus the farther apart these focus frames become. If you are too close (around 50 cm or fewer), you should shoot in macro mode, which is available only using the EVF.

3: The Viewfinders

 51

The Electronic Viewfinder Since the electronic viewfinder is functionally very similar to the optical viewfinder, the icons and layout are almost identical, with the exception of the icons and features that are applicable only to shooting in the Electronic Viewfinder mode. For that reason, in this Poring Over the Viewfinders image for the EVF, I am showing functions that are visible only on the EVF screen. In addition to the functions labeled here, you may see the Eye-Fi upload icon (   ). The X100S can be used with third-party Eye-Fi cards for transferring images directly from the camera to a computer. (The Eye-Fi card was unavailable in the UK at the time of this writing.) Here are the functions visible only on the EVF screen: • Macro/Close Up: To focus at a distance as close as 10 cm, or 4 inches, press the command dial left and select Macro On. (See Chapter 10.) • Self-timer Indicator: Use the timer for self-portraits or to prevent blur caused by camera shake. (See Chapter 7.) • Continuous Mode: Press the Drive button to display drive options. Press the command dial up or down to highlight Continuous and select the speed. • Blur Warning: This icon, presented in the viewfinder to the right of the focus frame, indicates the exposure is likely to result in blur due to low shutter speed. • Wide Converter Lens (WCL): This icon appears when the WCL is attached and the option in the shooting menu has been activated. (See Chapter 12, “Pimp My Ride.”) • Silent Mode Indicator: Setting the camera to Silent Mode On disables the speaker, flash, and focus illuminator in situations where camera sounds or lights may be unwelcome. (See Chapter 1.) • Monitor Sunlight Mode: Reflections and glare caused by ambient lighting may make it hard to see the display in the monitor, particularly when the camera is used outdoors. This can be addressed by holding down the Q button to trigger the outdoor mode. • Depth of Field Preview: This preview can be assigned to the Fn button. When this is the case, the aperture is stopped down, allowing depth of field to be previewed in the viewfinder or LCD monitor. (See Chapter 4.) The OVF is great if you want to work quickly and view the subject in a bright frame using the natural light around you. However, many people, myself included, often use the electronic viewfinder for general shooting purposes.

52 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

The EVF offers a lot more shooting information on the display, such as the silent mode indicator. It also, crucially, gives you a “what you see is what you get” view of the image. This means that the EVF will mostly give you an accurate representation of focus, depth of field, exposure, white balance, etc., enabling you to make conscious decisions about exposure before you shoot the image. What you will lose using the EVF is the very bright framed image that you see in the OVF. Your view is likely to be much dimmer, and there will be a display refresh lag, too. Because you are essentially seeing an electronic simulation of the image, you do not need to worry about parallax, but you may notice that your battery diminishes quicker using the EVF. This is because the electronic display takes up far more battery during the image playback of the image.

Switching Between the Viewfinders To switch between the OVF and the EVF, you must pull the little viewfinder selector, which is located on the front of the camera above and to the left of the lens as you look at the camera (Figure 3.5). You can use the viewfinder selector only when you have selected Viewfinder or Eye Sensor mode with the View Mode button (Figure 3.6).

Figure 3.5  Use the viewfinder selector to switch between the viewfinders.

Figure 3.6  The View Mode button enables you to switch between the camera’s view modes.

3: The Viewfinders

 53

The View Mode button allows you to cycle between the X100S’s three different view modes: • LCD: In this mode, the viewfinder (live view), menus, image review, and all display options are presented on the rear LCD panel. • Viewfinder: Selecting this option moves the camera into the viewfinder mode, and you can then use the viewfinder selector to select the optical or electronic viewfinder. With the EVF, you will see all shooting data, playback and image review, menus, and all display options in the viewfinder when you peer through it. If you choose the OVF, you will be able to see the bright frame and shooting data through the viewfinder. If you choose to view a menu or perform an image review when the OVF is active, the viewfinder will switch off, and the display will resort to the EVF display using the LCD panel on the back of the camera. • Eye Sensor: With this mode, the view will always be in the LCD panel unless you raise the viewfinder to your eye (or, in fact, pass any object in front of the sensor next to the viewfinder). At that point, the view will revert to a viewfinder view. It will display either the EVF or the OVF, depending on what your viewing preference was the last time you used the viewfinder view.

Customizing the Viewfinders You have a certain amount of control over what appears, and what does not appear, in the viewfinders. Both EVF/LCD and OVF have configurable display options. This is known as Display Custom Setting and involves a two-step process. First you need to select the items you wish to display in your viewfinder. Then you need to tell the camera to display the viewfinder’s “custom view.” Before I explain how to do this, let’s look at the options you have to include in the viewfinder displays: • Framing Guideline

• Flash

• Electronic Level

• White Balance

• AF Distance Indicator

• Film Simulation

• MF Distance Indicator

• Dynamic Range

• Histogram

• Frames Remaining

• Aperture/Shutter Speed/ISO

• Image Size/Quality

• Exp. Compensation

• Battery Level

• Photometry

54 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

You can choose to display all or none of these in your viewfinder. I find that having all of them on display can be a bit distracting, so I tend to switch off the ones that I rarely use or that I’m always going to be aware of anyway. My list usually looks like this: • MF Distance Indicator • Histogram • Aperture/Shutter Speed/ISO • Exp. Compensation • Flash • Frames Remaining • Battery Level

Customizing viewfinder displays: 1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 3. 3. Using the command dial, scroll down and select Disp. Custom setting (A). 4. Select either OVF or EVF/LCD and press the command dial to the right to enter the submenu. 5. Using the command dial, scroll through each of the items using Menu/OK to toggle on or off (B). A

B

3: The Viewfinders

 55

6. Press Disp/Back to save and confirm your settings.

C

As I mentioned, this is only the first part of configuring your custom viewfinder. Both the EVF and OVF have two different display options: Standard and Custom. Unless you tell the camera to display the Custom display, your customized viewfinder will never appear. 7. Press the Disp/Back button to view the display choices (C). Once you press Disp/Back, you need to move quickly to select the Custom display option. 8. Use the command dial to select the Custom option. n To make things even more confusing, the LCD panel has a third display mode called Detailed (Figure 3.7). This will show you your shooting configuration and current exposure values.

Figure 3.7  Available only on the LCD panel, the Detailed view shows your focus point and other relevant shooting data.

56 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Chapter 3 Assignments In this chapter, we have taken a comprehensive look at the hybrid viewfinder that is featured in the X100S. While using either the EVF or OVF is unlikely to make a difference to your photographic ability, each has a place, I think, depending on what and how you are shooting. Let’s see what we have learned in this chapter.

Work with parallax Put the camera into OVF mode and make sure the Corrected AF Frame setting is switched on. Focus and take a shot from around 2 feet away from your subject, making a mental note as to the location of the third AF frame when it is illuminated in the viewfinder upon achieving focus. Now move back a few feet and repeat the exercise. Now move back much farther. What happens to the AF frame?

Shoot quickly with the OVF Head out into the city streets and try and shoot some street photography (see Chapter 9). Shoot for a while with the EVF, paying attention to the exposure displayed in the viewfinder. Now switch to the OVF and notice how you can no longer rely on the visual exposure in the viewfinder. Can you shoot faster? Can you achieve good exposures?

Rely on the histogram Now that you are shooting quickly using the OVF, you will need to rely on the histogram to ensure that your exposures are as accurate as possible. Find an area where there are lots of bright or white areas. What happens to your histogram? What happens when you find the opposite end of the spectrum and try to shoot a scene that has a lot of black or shadow areas? Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

3: The Viewfinders

57

ISO 800  •  1/250 sec.  •  f/2.8  •  23mm lens

4

The Professional Modes Taking your photography to the next level You can take even more creative control of your camera by using the exposure modes, or “professional modes,” as most photographers call them. Anyone who is familiar with photography will understand the concepts of the professional exposure modes, and by the end of this chapter, so will you. The exposure modes allow you to influence two of the most important factors in taking great photographs: aperture and shutter speed. Accessing these modes on the Fujifilm X100S is relatively simple, and is controlled by the aperture ring and the shutter speed dial. The options are Program (P), Shutter Priority (S), Aperture Priority (A), and Manual (M). Every photograph you take will be in one of these modes. If you really want to take your X100S photography to the next level, it’s important not only to understand what these modes are, but also when and why to use them. Let’s get started!

 59

Poring Over the Picture When traveling to a new city, it’s great to try and discover its people, sights, and events, as well as its compositional features. When I spent time in Yokohama, Japan, the city experienced its largest snowstorm in 45 years, and I managed to capture the beginning of the storm. Using the elevated walkway, an architectural feature of Yokohama, I added a sense of identity to the image.

Using the 19mm wide conversion lens, I was able to include wider elements in the frame.

I used a very small aperture to increase the depth of field as much as possible.

ISO 1000  •  1/50 sec.  •  f/12  •  19mm wide conversion lens (WCL)

Program (P) Mode Program mode is perhaps the shooting mode that most people will start with. It allows the camera to take control of both shutter speed and aperture to produce an optimal exposure for your picture. P mode gives the camera the most control of any of the shooting modes.

Aperture Ring Shutter Speed Dial

Unlike some other compact and advanced cameras, the X100S doesn’t actually have a mode option in the menu system, or a mode dial. You don’t simply select “P” for Program or “A” for Aperture Priority, for example. You select your exposure mode by using the aperture ring and shutter speed dial. Various combinations of these selections will put the camera into the correct mode.

Where Are the Automatic Modes? Unlike many modern digital cameras, the X100S does not feature any automatic or “scene” modes. Many cameras facilitate switching to “Sport” mode or “Portrait” mode. The modes effectively preconfigure the camera to the best settings for those shooting scenarios. For example, in Sport mode, the camera would likely be configured with a very fast shutter speed and automatically select burst-mode shooting. Not having these features shouldn’t be seen as detrimental. The X100S is a very sophisticated camera, and with its plethora of settings and the ability to save custom functions (see Chapter 9, “Hitting the Streets”), you can easily move beyond the shackles of the automatic modes found on other cameras.

62 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

To put the camera in P mode, set the aperture ring (the ring around the lens, with numbers from 2 to 16, and the letter A) to the letter A, which is bright red. This essentially commands the camera to configure the aperture automatically. You also need to set the shutter speed dial (on the top of the camera) to the bright red A, which tells the camera to look after shutter speed too. When configured this way, the camera is in Program mode, and you will see this indicated in the viewfinder or on the LCD panel with a large P symbol in the bottom left of the screen. If you are using the optical viewfinder, the P will not have the red background and, in some cases, such as when you are using some of the advanced filters or Panoramic mode, for example, it will not appear at all. That, believe it or not, is pretty much all there is to configuring your camera to Program mode. You simply compose your image, aim, and shoot; the camera’s builtin metering system will configure the settings and select the shutter speed and aperture to get the best exposure. The exposure will, of course, take into account the ISO setting, the metering mode selected, and other exposure settings to create the best possible exposure. The shutter speed and aperture the camera has selected will appear in the viewfinder (Figure 4.1). One thing to be aware of is that if your

Figure 4.1  The shutter speed appears just to the right of the P icon, which indicates you are shooting in Program mode, and the aperture will be to the right of that.

ISO or dynamic range menu options (both discussed further in this chapter) are set to Auto, then the shutter speed and the aperture the camera has selected will not appear until you press the shutter button halfway (this is because the camera takes into account the ISO and dynamic range settings at that point). If you have those settings set to physical numerical values, then the camera can constantly meter and identify the best aperture and shutter speed, and will display those values continually, even before you press the shutter button.

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 63

So, if the camera does most things for us in P mode, why wouldn’t we want to use it? Well, let me first stipulate that I and many other professionals probably use P mode the least. This is because P mode, while allowing you to shoot quickly, gives you less creative control than the other exposure modes. There are occasions, however, when P mode is very useful, like in wildly changing lighting scenarios when I don’t have time to configure the camera to deal with each change (Figure 4.2). Or perhaps I’m just shooting casual shots and I’m not looking for portfolio pictures. Occasionally when I scope out a wedding venue, I will take snaps in P mode as a visual reminder rather than anything of commercial value. Although the camera is controlling two of the vital attributes of any exposure in P mode, you do still have a fair amount of control and ability to override the exposure to a certain extent. You can use exposure bracketing (see Chapter 10, “Advanced Features”), exposure compensation (discussed later in this chapter), and program shift (which is applicable only to Program mode). Figure 4.2  Sometimes Program mode is useful when there is an abundance of wildly changing light. I am confident that the camera will provide a fast enough shutter speed and an aperture suitable for a good exposure. ISO 400  •  1/800 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

64 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Program shift is essentially an override for the dual-exposure settings that are automatically controlled by P mode: aperture and shutter speed. The core principle of program shift is to allow the camera to identify a combination of exposures that will actually produce the same exposure, for example, 1/1600 at f/4 or 1/800 at f/5.6. (See Chapter 2, “First Things First,” for more on exposure tables.) At first glance, you may wonder why program shift is there at all. If the shutter speed and aperture value combinations it chooses always result in the same exposure, then why bother? Well, in some cases it makes perfect sense. Imagine a situation where you are shooting a cycling race. You want to make sure you get a great exposure, so you use Program mode to obtain the best exposure given the current lighting situation. Then you decide that you want to use a slower shutter speed to emphasize the motion of the cyclists as they go past you. Using program shift means you can safely shift the settings to an exposure that uses a slower shutter speed, safe in the knowledge that the photograph will still be well exposed (although it’s worth noting that in Program mode you can go as slow as only 1/4 shutter speed). It’s also useful to know when program shift won’t be available to you. If the ISO or dynamic range is set to the Auto settings as mentioned above, or if the flash is in any configured state where it may fire, you won’t be able to use the program shift function. To utilize program shift, simply turn the command dial right or left, or you can use the command control, which I often find easier to reach with my thumb. When the

Figure 4.3  Yellow exposure numbers indicate a shift in exposure values.

camera has chosen a different exposure for you, the aperture and shutter speed numbers will switch from white (or blue if you are using Auto-ISO or Auto-DR) to yellow (Figure 4.3). To return to the original exposure settings, simply use the control dial or command control to select them. Let’s set up the camera for Program mode and see how we can make all this come together.

Setting up and shooting in Program mode: 1. Turn on the camera and turn the aperture ring to align with the red A. 2. Turn the shutter speed dial to also align with the red A. 3. Select your ISO as you normally would (using Shooting Menu 1, ISO). 4. Aim the camera at your subject and activate the camera meter by pressing the shutter button halfway. 5. View the exposure information on the LCD panel or in the viewfinder. 6. While the meter is activated (and assuming you have not set Auto ISO or Auto Dynamic Range, or are trying to use the flash), use your thumb to turn the command control to see the different exposure values available. 7. Select the exposure that is correct for you and start shooting. n 4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 65

Shutter Priority (S) Mode Shutter Priority mode gives us a little more freedom to control certain aspects of our photography—in this case, the shutter speed. The selected shutter speed determines how long you expose your camera’s sensor to light. The basic principle is this: The longer the shutter is open, the more light will hit the sensor; the shorter the time the shutter is open, the less light will hit the sensor. Shutter speed is also very important when trying to achieve sharp images. The main factors that affect sharpness of an image are camera shake and the subject’s movement. If your shutter is open for too long, it means the light from your subject is hitting the sensor for too long a period, and any movement by the subject will appear as blur in your images.

Aperture Ring Shutter Speed Dial

What’s in a Name? What Fujifilm calls Shutter Priority, other manufacturers may call Time Value Priority (often referred to as Tv). It’s useful to know that the nomenclature may be different, but the principles are the same across all cameras when shooting in Shutter (or Time Value) Priority (S) mode.

In S mode, you choose the shutter speed and the camera will set the correct aperture in order to achieve a proper exposure of the image. So, to put the camera in S mode, you set the aperture ring to the red letter A, just like in Program mode. Remember, this commands the camera to configure the aperture automatically. You then set the shutter speed dial to the speed for which you want the shutter to be open during the exposure. When the camera is in Shutter Priority mode, you will see that the icon in the lower-left corner of the viewfinder will be—surprise!—an S on a red background in the electronic viewfinder or the LCD panel (or no background if you are using the optical viewfinder).

66 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

The shutter speed you have selected and aperture the camera has selected will appear in the viewfinder, just like in P mode (Figure 4.4). So when would you need to use Shutter Priority mode? Some instances might be when you are shooting fast-moving subjects and want to freeze the action (Figure 4.5); when you want to show motion in your subject with motion blur or panning (Figure 4.6); or when you want to use a long exposure to photograph a subject in very low light and emphasize motion at the

Figure 4.4  The S exposure setting indicates you are shooting in Shutter Priority mode.

same time (Figure 4.7; see Chapter 7, “Low Lighting,” for more on this type of shot). Figure 4.5  Fast-moving subjects in close proximity to the camera can be frozen with a fast shutter speed. ISO 400  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 67

Figure 4.6  Using a slower shutter speed and panning with the car, I was able to get an image that suggests motion. ISO 400  •  1/30 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Figure 4.7  A long exposure can capture light over a prolonged period of time, bringing out the detail in the city as well as adding motion trails to the moving cars. ISO 6400  •  1/8 sec.  •  f/4  •  19mm wide conversion lens (WCL)

68

You will notice that when you aim the camera at different light sources, the camera will adjust the aperture in accordance with the shutter speed (and ISO) that you have set in the camera to obtain a good exposure. Now, again, like Program mode, this operation is somewhat dependent on how you have configured the ISO and dynamic range settings. If you have set dedicated values, then the camera will evaluate the exposure continually and display it at the bottom of the frame in the shooting data area. If, however, either the ISO or dynamic range is set to Auto, then the aperture will be established only when you press the shutter button halfway. Something to note here is that not all shutter speeds are available all the time. Generally, you can shoot from 1/4000 of a second all the way down to 30-second exposures (and even longer in Bulb [B] mode). However, the faster shutter speeds of 1/4000 and 1/3000 are available only for apertures of f/8 and higher; 1/2000, 1/1600, and 1/1500 are available only for apertures of f/4 or higher; and shutter speeds of 1/1000 and slower are available with any aperture. If your exposure can’t be achieved, then the camera will report that back to you by displaying the aperture value in red (Figure 4.8). It’s important to keep an eye on this; although the camera will still take the shot, it’s always best to try and make sure you are getting a good exposure in the first place. It’s also worth noting that some shutter speeds are not available on the shutter speed dial. You can fine-tune your shutter speed by rotating the command dial on the back of the camera left or right, and selecting intermediate shutter speeds such

Figure 4.8  If the aperture value appears in red, it means the exposure can’t be achieved and you should try a different exposure.

as 1/320 and 1/400.

Shutter Speed Terminology A “fast” shutter speed means that the shutter is open for a very short period of time, perhaps 1/250 of a second or less. A “slow” shutter speed means the shutter is open for a longer period of time, perhaps 1/25 of a second or more.

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 69

Let’s set up the camera for S mode and see how we can make all this come together.

Setting up and shooting in Shutter Priority mode: 1. Turn on the camera and turn the aperture ring to align with the red A. 2. Turn the shutter speed dial to the shutter speed of your choice. 3. Select your ISO as you normally would (using Shooting Menu 1, ISO). 4. Aim the camera at your subject and activate the camera meter by pressing the shutter button halfway. 5. View the exposure information on the LCD panel or in the viewfinder. 6. While the meter is activated (and assuming you have not set Auto ISO or Auto Dynamic Range), rotate the command dial on the back of the camera to select intermediary shutter speeds. 7. Start shooting. n

Aperture Priority (A) Mode Aperture Priority (A) mode is essentially the opposite of S mode. In S mode, you control the shutter speed and the camera controls the aperture. In A mode, you control the aperture and the camera controls the shutter speed.

Aperture Ring Shutter Speed Dial

Aperture Priority is probably my favorite shooting mode, and that of many professional photographers, because it’s aperture that helps control depth of field. Depth of field, along with composition, is a major factor in how you direct your viewer’s attention to what is important in your image (see Chapter 8, “Creative Compositions,” for more on

70 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

this). Although the X100S is a crop-sensor camera, meaning it doesn’t have the same depth of field capabilities as a full-frame camera, shooting at wide apertures such as f/2 and f/2.8 can still allow creative use of depth of field. To put the camera in A mode, set the aperture ring to the aperture of your choice and set the shutter speed dial to the red letter A. The indicator in the viewfinder will switch to A with a red background (or no colored background if using the optical viewfinder). The aperture you have selected will appear in the shooting data area, along with the shutter speed that the camera has chosen (Figure 4.9). Although Aperture Priority is used primarily to minimize the depth of field and create a blurred background, of course it can

Figure 4.9  The A exposure setting indicates you are shooting in Aperture Priority mode.

be used for the complete opposite effect. Whereas a large aperture of, say, f/2 will cause a blurred background depending on the distance to the subject, a smaller aperture of, say, f/8 will ensure that the subject is crisp and sharp. For this reason, I tend to use A mode when shooting portraits (Figure 4.10). (See more on this in Chapter 5, “Say Cheese!”) Figure 4.10  Using Aperture Priority mode and setting the aperture to f/11 ensured that the subject appeared pin-sharp. The camera chose the shutter speed that would make a good exposure. ISO 200  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/11  •  23mm lens

71

Aperture Priority is useful in controlling depth of field, but it’s also very important in determining the limits of available light in which you can shoot. The X100S has a maximum aperture of f/2, which is reasonable for low-light shooting. The larger the maximum aperture, the less light you need in order to make a properly exposed picture (Figure 4.11). You may recall when we discussed Shutter Priority how the speed of the shutter can be directly responsible for the presence of blur or camera shake in an image. With a wide aperture of f/2 like the X100S has, you can let in lots of light all at once, which means the camera can use faster shutter speeds. This is why lenses with large apertures such as f/2 or even wider are often referred to as “fast” lenses.

Figure 4.11  Using Aperture Priority in an extreme low-light situation meant the camera reduced my shutter speed in accordance with my wide aperture and ISO setting to ensure I got the shot. ISO 6400  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

72 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Because of the limitations of the leaf shutter and very fast shutter speeds (mentioned later in this chapter), it can be a challenge to shoot wide open with a very fast shutter speed. In these cases, I will often shoot with the Neutral Density (ND) filter in place (Figure 4.12). On the other hand, bright scenes may require the use of a small aperture, such as f/16 (the X100S’s smallest aperture), especially if you want to use a slower shutter speed. That small opening reduces the amount of incoming light, which requires the shutter to stay open longer (Figure 4.13). Figure 4.12  Setting my aperture to f/2 meant I could emphasize the cactus leaf and throw the background out of focus. The camera decided on the shutter speed of 1/1000 as it was a bright day, and shooting at a wide aperture meant it needed to restrict the light hitting the sensor. ISO 200  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Figure 4.13  With such perfect light, I used A mode to select a very small aperture of f/16 to get the whole scene in focus. The camera chose the shutter speed accordingly. ISO 200  •  1/180 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 73

Consistent with P mode and S mode, if you have ISO or Dynamic Range set to Auto, the camera will establish the correct shutter speed only when you press the shutter button halfway. Setting the ISO and dynamic range to physical numbers will result in the camera displaying the shutter speed dynamically in the viewfinder’s shooting data area. And once again, if the exposure is not going to be reliable for a good exposure, the shutter speed will appear in red as a warning—remember, the shot can still be taken, though it’s best to get the exposure correct, if possible. You will remember that with S mode you can make intermediary adjustments to the shutter speed by rotating the command dial on the back of the camera. Similarly, for A mode you can make adjustments to the aperture by using the command control, which is the black rocker switch at the top right of the back of the camera. As with Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority mode has a few limitations. For example, the camera will not allow a shutter speed of 1/1500 of a second (or faster) unless the aperture is f/4 or smaller, and it won’t allow 1/3000 or faster unless the aperture is at f/8 or even narrower. According to the X100S owner’s manual, the slowest shutter speed allowed in A mode when OVF Power Save Mode is on is 1/4 of a second (see Chapter 1, “The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List”).

F-Stops and Aperture The numeric value of your lens aperture is referred to as an f-stop. The f-stop is one of the old photography terms that, technically, relates to the focal length of the lens (e.g., 23mm) divided by the effective aperture diameter. These measurements are defined as “stops” and work incrementally with your shutter speed to create the exposure. Lenses generally use one-stop increments to assist in exposure adjustments, such as 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, and 22. Each stop represents about half the amount of light entering the lens as the larger stop before it. Although most modern lenses use electronics to perform the adjustments, the X100S still has the aperture f-stops on the lens barrel.

Setting up and shooting in Aperture Priority mode: 1. Turn on the camera and turn the shutter speed dial to align with the red A. 2. Turn the aperture ring on the lens to the aperture of your choice. 3. Select your ISO as you normally would (using Shooting Menu 1, ISO). 4. Aim the camera at your subject and activate the camera meter by pressing the shutter button halfway. 5. View the exposure information on the LCD panel or in the viewfinder.

74 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

6. While the meter is activated (and assuming you have not set Auto ISO or Auto Dynamic Range), nudge the command control on the back of the camera to select intermediary apertures. 7. Start shooting. n

Depth of Field Preview In Aperture Priority (and Manual) mode, you can configure the Fn button to activate Depth of Field Preview (see Chapter 9 for more details on the Fn button). Essentially, when this is configured, the viewfinder will set the camera’s physical aperture to the selected value, enabling you to see in the electronic viewfinder or the LCD panel what effect the aperture will have on the depth of field.

Manual (M) Mode As its name suggests, Manual mode gives you manual control over both shutter speed and aperture. This mode is most popular with photographers who want complete control over the exposure. I use M mode quite a lot, especially when shooting weddings, and like any other feature of the X100S, it should be treated as a tool that can be learned and mastered.

Aperture Ring Shutter Speed Dial

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 75

When your camera is set to Manual mode, the camera meter will give you a reading of the scene you are photographing. It’s your job, though, to set both the aperture and the shutter speed—no helping hands in M mode. Remember from the exposure triangle discussion in Chapter 2 that if you need a faster shutter speed, you will need to make a reciprocal change to your aperture. Using any other mode, such as Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority, would mean that you have to worry about only one of these changes, but in Manual mode you have to concentrate on doing it all yourself. This can seem a bit daunting, but spending time getting this right will make you a better photographer, as you will need a complete understanding of how each change affects your exposure. I tend to lean toward starting with the value that is most important to me for that image. If depth of field is going to be primary, then I set the aperture first. If I’m shooting a motion shot or trying to freeze something in the frame, I’ll start with the shutter speed. To put the camera into Manual, select a physical shutter speed on the shutter speed dial and an aperture on the lens’s aperture ring. When shooting in M mode, the indicator in the viewfinder will switch to M with a red background (or no colored background if using the optical viewfinder). The aperture and shutter speed you have selected will appear in the shooting data area at the bottom of the viewfinder (Figure 4.14). We will discuss exposure compensation in the next section, but I want to mention

Figure 4.14  The M exposure setting indicates you are shooting in Manual mode.

here that the exposure compensation scale that appears within the viewfinder behaves differently when shooting in Manual mode. At the left of the screen is the scale, with values from +2 to -2 and a status pointer. In the other modes, this indicates exposure compensation; but in Manual mode, the scale gives you a visual indication of how close your settings are to the camera’s metered settings. In Figure 4.15, the scale is indicating that my exposure will be very dark. I would need to adjust my shutter speed, aperture, or both to get the pointer to the zero, which would indicate a good exposure. If the pointer goes above the central point, it indicates my image would be overexposed. But keep in mind that this is just a guide. Especially if shooting RAW, I very purposefully aim to have the pointer just under the central mark, which indicates the image would be underexposed. It’s better to have an underexposed image than

76 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

an overexposed image, because you can recover details in the shadows—but you can’t recover details from totally blown-out areas. Remember the intermediary adjustment tools we talked about in Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority? Well, those work in Manual, too. All in all, Manual is a mode I use most when I have more time to consider the light and the shooting environment (Figure 4.16). I don’t use it consistently, but if the lighting is mixed or difficult and I have the time, I will shoot in Manual (Figure 4.17). Figure 4.15  The scale is indicating a very dark exposure.

Figure 4.16  Exposing this image manually allowed me to take into consideration the foreground hill as well as the background mountain. I managed to get an exposure that kept detail throughout the whole image. ISO 200  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

Figure 4.17  Exposing this image manually ensured I could keep the rainbow in detail as well as the foreground pool and the light on the hotel itself. ISO 400  •  1/100 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 77

Setting up and shooting in Manual mode: 1. Turn on the camera and turn the shutter speed dial to the shutter speed of your choice. 2. Turn the aperture ring on the lens to the aperture of your choice. 3. Select your ISO as you normally would (using Shooting Menu 1, ISO). 4. Aim the camera at your subject and activate the camera meter by pressing the shutter button halfway. 5. View the exposure information on the LCD panel or in the viewfinder. 6. Keep an eye on the exposure gauge in the viewfinder. Try to keep the dial central or a little under the center mark. 7. Start shooting. n

A Note About Fast Shutter Speeds and Aperture Page 40 of the Fujifilm X100S Owner’s Manual states that fast shutter speeds may not be available at large apertures. Essentially, because the camera uses an internal leaf shutter, shooting at very fast shutter speeds at large apertures will likely affect the bokeh in the image. This is because at this speed the shutter is able to uncover only part, rather than the full diameter, of the aperture. When shooting in P mode, for example, you will see that if you are shooting in bright sunlight at f/2, the camera will refuse to shoot at a shutter speed of 1/4000, stopping down to 1/1000 instead. However, if you are shooting manually, you can shoot at any exposure value you wish—so, for example, if you want to shoot at f/2 at 1/4000 of a second, you can. The shutter speed in the viewfinder will appear in red, a warning from the camera that you are creating an exposure that may not be perfect. In truth, I shoot manually a lot, and I frequently shoot at large apertures with fast shutter speeds for creative reasons. In fact, a few of the images in this book have been shot in this way. I find that unless you examine the images microscopically, they are usually fine. But if I’m working a commercial shoot or a shoot where the images are going to be printed large, then I will generally follow the guidelines on page 40 of the owner’s manual. Just be aware that if you want to shoot at fast shutter speeds using a large aperture, you have to shoot in Manual and effectively override the camera’s decision on the best exposure.

78 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Exposure Compensation The metering modes in the X100S are amazingly accurate, but sometimes they can be fooled by dramatic or wildly changing light, or scenes with a high concentration of dark or light areas. The camera may deliver an exposure that is close, but perhaps not quite what you envisage for the final image. In these situations, you can adjust the exposure when using P, A, or S mode (Figure 4.18). This is known as exposure compensation.

Exposure Compensation Dial

Figure 4.18  You control exposure compensation using the exposure compensation dial on the top of the camera.

Using the exposure compensation dial, you can decrease or increase the exposure in increments of 1/3 of a stop. You can compensate exposure by a maximum of two stops in either direction. Rotating the dial counterclockwise increases the compensation; rotating it clockwise decreases the compensation. Monitor the compensation that is being applied by looking at the compensation dial, or in the viewfinder by looking at the exposure compensation scale (Figure 4.19). The scale in the viewfinder will have a +/- above it. If the dial is below the central marker, that means you are reducing the exposure. If it is above the mark, it means you are increasing the exposure. If the mark is at the central point of the scale, no exposure compensation will be added to the image.

Figure 4.19  In this case, we are reducing the exposure by one stop using the compensation dial.

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 79

When you are in P mode, the amount of compensation may impact both the shutter speed and the aperture. In A mode, the camera will apply the compensation by changing the shutter speed only (because you are controlling the aperture). In S mode, the camera will apply the exposure compensation by changing the aperture (because you are controlling the shutter speed). For example, let’s say you are shooting in A mode and the camera is providing an exposure of 1/125 at f/5.6, but when you review the image in the viewfinder or LCD panel, the subject looks too dark (Figure 4.20). In this case, you can increase the exposure by compensating it by +1 stop using the exposure compensation dial. The camera will reduce the shutter speed to 1/60 of a second, which is the equivalent to one full stop of exposure. So now your image will be exposed at 1/60 of a second at f/5.6, which gives a good exposure (Figure 4.21).

Figure 4.20  The subject is underexposed in this image, because the camera’s metering system is taking into account the bright wall and its dominance in the frame. ISO 400  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

80 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 4.21  Adjusting the image by one full stop using the exposure compensation dial allowed me to correct the exposure quickly and easily. ISO 400  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

Exposure compensation can be used for both increasing and decreasing the exposure when necessary (Figure 4.22). Remember, in M mode you have complete autonomy over the shutter speed and aperture, so the exposure compensation dial is, in effect, redundant.

Figure 4.22  The camera made a good effort of metering this image, but I wanted to have the TV aerials in focus yet silhouetted, so I decreased the exposure using compensation. ISO 400  •  1/120 sec.  •  f/11  •  23mm lens

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 81

Exposure Lock The camera is constantly metering the scene in front of it. As you move the camera, the shutter speed and aperture combinations will adjust as the contents of the scene change when you are shooting in P, S, or A modes. In M mode, the metering will change, but the shutter speed and aperture will remain fixed to the values you have selected. Generally, you want the camera to meter the scene continually; however, in some cases you may need to recompose an image without changing the exposure. This is where exposure lock comes into play. Exposure lock is facilitated by the Focus Lock/Exposure (AFL/AEL) button (Figure 4.23).

Figure 4.23  The Focus Lock/Exposure button is located on the back right-hand side of the camera.

Your configuration setting of the AFL/AEL button in the Shooting Menu 4 (see Chapter 9) determines how the button operates. It can lock either exposure or focus, or lock both. It’s a simple concept, but a very powerful one. Essentially, when you point the camera at an object, it will meter for that object. Perhaps the primary focus of your image is going to be in the bottom left of the frame, but you want the camera to expose for that object, rather than for something else in the frame before you recompose. Simply point your camera at the subject, then press and hold the AFL/AEL button (or press and release it, depending on how you have configured the menu option) (Figure 4.24). The focus and/or exposure information will be locked into the meter and you can recompose your image and shoot. Again, depending on how you configure the menu options, you will need to either hold down the AFL/AEL button to keep the exposure data locked (releasing the button will release the lock), or press the button to lock it and press it again to release it (in the case of toggle mode).

82 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 4.24  This office worker would have been overexposed in a composition with so much shadow and dark area. By metering the scene and locking the exposure, I achieved the look I was aiming for. ISO 1000  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 83

Notes About Auto ISO As you know from Chapters 1 and 2, ISO plays a pivotal part in the exposure triangle. The X100S has a very neat feature called Auto ISO, which I use quite extensively. Similar to the exposure modes mentioned throughout this chapter, Auto ISO allows the camera to do some of the work for us. In the case of Auto ISO, it will choose an appropriate ISO level based on other exposure settings and the light, of course.

Setting the Auto ISO level: 1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list.

A

2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 1. 3. Using the command dial, scroll down and select ISO (A). 4. Press the command dial to the right to enter the submenu. 5. Select the Auto option at the bottom of the list (B). 6. Press the command dial to the right to enter the Auto ISO configuration. 7. Configure your Auto ISO settings accordingly (C). 8. Press the Back button to confirm your settings. n B

84 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

C

Essentially, by following these steps you are dictating a set of preferred limits to sensitivity and shutter speed. I say “preferred” because actually, if the camera cannot work within these boundaries, it will lower the shutter speed to try and obtain an exposure. You configure the Auto ISO by first setting the default sensitivity; this can be set anywhere between 200 and 6400. The camera will use the setting you choose here as its base ISO setting (when you are in Auto ISO mode). This means that the camera will avoid raising the ISO above this level if possible to avoid a slower shutter speed. The next configuration to set is Max. Sensitivity—and this is the highest ISO level the camera will achieve under Auto ISO settings. This can be set anywhere between 400 and 6400. The final piece of this jigsaw is Min. Shutter Speed; this, of course, is the minimum shutter speed the camera will shoot at and can range from 1/4 of a second to 1/125 of a second—no faster than 1/125, unfortunately. Note that the minimum shutter speed affects shooting only in A mode and P mode. This is because in S mode and M mode you are controlling the shutter speed manually. Using Auto ISO can be very beneficial, especially if you are shooting in rapidly changing lighting conditions. Suppose you are out shooting on a day with broken heavy clouds. You may be in A or P mode and shooting good exposures when the sun is covered by clouds and the environment becomes much darker. In this case, the camera will attempt to use the Auto ISO settings to increase the ISO and adjust the shutter speed to compensate for the change in light and achieve a good exposure. In manual mode, as mentioned, the only parameter of the exposure triangle that Auto ISO will adjust is the ISO level itself, and you would need to keep an eye on the exposure gauge in the viewfinder to ensure accurate exposures.

How I Shoot: My Preferred Settings In this section, I’m going to run through the way I generally shoot in relation to the exposure modes we have just talked about. I will also discuss some of the other features we have referred to throughout the chapter, such as dynamic range. Primarily I’m a documentary photographer, which means I like to take story-telling images rather than posed studio shots. So, for the majority, I shoot in Aperture Priority and Manual modes. Occasionally, especially if I’m trying to emphasize motion, I will use Shutter Priority mode. I rarely use Program mode, as I find it too restrictive of my creative options. However, Program mode is a great place to start, and I would encourage you to investigate this mode if you are new to shooting with the X100S.

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 85

The reason I shoot a lot of my assignments in A mode is that the depth of field is usually a factor in the image I’m making—whether that’s a shallow depth of field for a portrait where I’m trying to emphasize the subject within the frame by shooting at f/2 or f/2.8, or a street scene where I will use a small aperture such as f/8 or f/16 to maximize the detail and sharpness of the subject throughout the frame. When I’m shooting like this, I’m always keeping one eye on the shutter speed. Even though the camera is controlling the shutter speed in Aperture Priority mode, I need to make sure it doesn’t drop too low, especially if I’m shooting handheld, to affect the sharpness of the image. When I’m facing a challenging lighting situation, or I want to be very creative (for example, to make a silhouette), I will shoot in Manual mode. I’ll also shoot in Manual mode if I want to obtain a constant exposure across a range of images. So, for example, if I’m shooting a wedding ceremony I may meter the scene at the start, lock my exposure in the camera, and shoot the whole ceremony with the same manual exposure settings. This will offer uniformity to the exposures and help me when it comes to postproduction. If I have time, I’ll usually create a test shot and check it on the LCD panel first. If I notice areas that are overexposed or shadows that are too dark, I can adjust my exposure accordingly. If I’m happy with the results, I’ll keep shooting. In most cases, the camera will get a very good exposure for me. If I’m in S or A mode and I need to adjust the exposure slightly, I can always resort to exposure compensation to fine-tune the brightness of the photograph.

Dynamic Range I’ve mentioned dynamic range quite a bit throughout this chapter and, indeed, throughout the book. The dynamic range of an image is the range between the light and dark. The X100S’s Dynamic Range setting, on Shooting Menu 1, in essence allows you to set a level at which the camera will handle shadows and highlights. Cameras have a fairly restricted dynamic range compared to humans, which is why High Dynamic Range (HDR) images need to use multiple exposures (see Chapter 10) to try and composite an image with a higher dynamic range than a single exposure allows. There are four settings in the Dynamic Range menu: Auto, 100%, 200%, and 400%. Auto is the default and can be used only when shooting in P, A, and S modes. In some circumstances, Auto Dynamic Range will be unavailable, such as when shooting multiple exposures.

86 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Setting the dynamic range: 1. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 1. 3. Using the command dial, scroll down and select Dynamic Range (A). 4. Press the command dial to the right to enter the submenu. 5. Select the option you want (B). 6. Press the Menu/OK button to confirm your settings. n A

B

Essentially, selecting Auto commands the camera to decide which of the dynamic range options (100%, 200%, or 400%) to use. Of course, you can select Auto or choose the dynamic range yourself. The higher dynamic range options are useful for scenes where there is a clearly defined separation or contrast between the dark areas and light areas. At 400% dynamic range, for example, the camera will increase detail in darker areas and reduce brightness in lighter areas, thus trying to achieve a better tonality across the image. The only time I change dynamic range from Auto is when I have a heavily contrasting image, perhaps one where a subject is half in shade and half in daylight. If you shoot RAW, you can adjust all of this after the fact, of course. It’s worth noting that the dynamic range setting does affect RAW files. As a broad rule of thumb, if you are shooting at 400% dynamic range, your images will be two stops underexposed. At 200% dynamic range, the images will be one stop underexposed.

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

 87

Other Shooting Options Throughout the book I discuss all the options available in the X100S’s menus. A few are very subjective and come down to personal taste, but I thought I’d share my “standard” shooting configuration here (Figure 4.25). Bear in mind these options affect only JPEGs and reflect my personal preferences. I encourage you to try combinations and settle on a system that works for you. • Color: I set this to +1 (Medium High). This option simply allows you to

Figure 4.25  I like to adjust the Color, Sharpness, Highlight Tone, Shadow Tone, and Noise Reduction settings.

adjust the color saturation of the JPEG images. I shoot in black and white a lot, but when I shoot in my preferred color film simulation of Velvia, I like to see the colors a little more vividly than the standard. • Sharpness: I set this to +1 (Medium High). This option has the same settings as Color (Hard, Medium Hard, Standard, Medium Soft, and Soft). I prefer to see my images with more defined edges and sharp lines, as opposed to slightly softer. • Highlight Tone: I set this to -1 (Medium Soft). The setting affects the overall contrast in the lighter parts of an image. I prefer to set this to -1, as I want a clear separation between light and dark areas of the image. • Shadow Tone: I set this to -1 (Medium Soft). The opposite of Highlight Tone, this setting affects the overall contrast in the darker parts of your images. I prefer to set this to -1 for exactly the same reason as I set Highlight Tone to -1; I don’t want the dark areas in the images to be overly emphasized unless I’m looking for a particularly dark and gritty effect. • Noise Reduction: I generally set this to -1, as I find the standard noise reduction that the camera adds a little harsh. It’s not possible to switch off noise reduction completely, and the camera will always apply some level of noise treatment to the JPEG files.

88 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Chapter 4 Assignments We have covered a lot in this chapter, and by now you should be getting up to speed with your X100S and the amazing features it has to offer. If you want to grab some quick snaps, Program mode is always an option. But if you want to get more creative and have more control, then the Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes are worth investigating.

Let’s start with Program mode Put your camera in Program mode and start shooting! Keep an eye on the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture that the camera decides upon.

Control depth of field with Aperture Priority Try setting up several similar items in a row, extending away from you—perhaps chess pieces or at least items of similar sizes. Focus on the middle item and set your camera to a medium aperture such as f/5.6. While holding focus on the middle item, start shooting with an ever-smaller aperture until you are at the smallest aperture of f/16. Now, come back down the scale until you reach the largest aperture of f/2. Take a look at the images and get an idea of how the depth of field has affected the overall pictures.

Shooting in Shutter Priority mode Find some moving objects (kids are always a good bet!) and put your camera into Shutter Priority mode. Start with a slow shutter speed of, say, 1/4 of a second, and then shoot faster and faster until you reach the higher end of 1/2000 and 1/4000 and you can totally freeze the action.

Be Brave—shoot manually Knowing what you do now about the exposure triangle, go out on a sunny day and set your camera to Manual mode. At all times keep an eye on the exposure dial in the viewfinder or on the LCD panel. Now head indoors or to a shaded area, and without changing your settings, shoot again. The exposure will be notably different. Using the shutter speed dial and aperture dial, adjust your exposure accordingly to get a reasonable exposure.

Compensate the exposure Try to find a light subject that has a light background (a child in a white dress against a white wall, for example). Set your camera to P, S, or A mode. Shoot and, after the first exposure, use the exposure compensation dial to increase the exposure by +1 and +2. Then reduce the exposure by -1 and -2. Compare the images to see how the light areas look, paying particular attention to any overexposed areas. Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

4 : T h e P r o f e ss i o n a l M o d e s

89

ISO 400  •  1/35 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

5

Say Cheese! Settings and features to make great portraits What’s the most photographed subject on the planet? Yes, you guessed it: people. Many of you will have purchased the Fujifilm X100S to capture some lovely portraits of friends and family. Although the X100S has a fixed lens, it offers a range of versatility beyond that of many other cameras, which makes using the X100S to photograph people and make engaging portraits easy and fun. Shooting portraits involves much more than just awareness of your camera settings—it’s also about human interaction, backgrounds, and lighting. Taking pictures of people is one of the great joys of photography. You should experience a great sense of accomplishment when you capture the spirit and personality of someone in a photograph. In this chapter, we will cover all the key factors in making you a great portraitist.

 91

Poring Over the Picture

Shooting in black and white allowed me to focus more on the subject and less on the distractingly colored background.

Positioning myself at an angle to the background, I was able to use the lines to help guide the viewer’s eye.

To emphasize my niece, Katie, I moved in close and used a large aperture to minimize the depth of field, which blurs the background. By focusing on her eyes, I was able to ensure critical sharpness while making the eyes the focal point of the image.

Choosing an area of shade provided me with a soft, diffused light, which illuminated the subject well.

ISO 200  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Poring Over the Picture

Placing my subject centrally but aligning his face along a “third” helped with the composition of the image.

I used Aperture Priority mode to take complete control over the depth of field while keeping an eye on the camera’s shutter speed.

The background is often just as important as the subject. A poor choice in background, as well as poor lighting, can destroy an image. In this image, I used a simple garage door to help frame my subject, Tim. The contrast between the white garage and the clothes he is wearing helps draw the viewer’s eye to my subject and his expression.

I kept an eye out for backgrounds that would complement the subject and help create a better portrait.

ISO 200  •  1/2000 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

Using Aperture Priority Mode Aperture Priority (A) mode, discussed at length in Chapter 4, “The Professional Modes,” is the mode that is most often the best choice for creating portraits. Even though the X100S has a fixed lens, Aperture Priority still gives you complete control over depth of field and allows you greater control over the look of your image, whether it’s a tightly framed headshot or a wide environmental portrait (Figure 5.1). The choice of aperture achieves more than simply a good exposure; it also becomes the means by which you begin to creatively control the look of your portraits (Figure 5.2).

Figure 5.1  Choosing to place my subject inside the garage added context to this environmental portrait. ISO 640  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

96 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 5.2  Using Aperture Priority mode to control depth of field allowed me to make an engaging portrait with the background blurred, drawing more attention to the subject. ISO 200  •  1/800 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Not only will a large aperture such as f/2 give you the narrowest depth of field, but it will also allow you to shoot in lower light with lower ISO settings. Of course, this doesn’t mean you always have to use the largest aperture for your portraits (environmental or otherwise). A good place to start is around f/4 or f/5.6. This will give you enough depth of field to keep the entire face in focus while also providing some background blur, also referred to as the “bokeh effect,” to eliminate potential distractions in the background.

Shoot Environmental Portraits Wide An environmental portrait is an image that goes beyond a simple headshot to encapsulate the subject and their environment. You can create portraits that emphasize someone’s hobby or job, for example, by including a sweeping backdrop. For such images, I suggest not coming in too tight. Allow the environment to become the canvas of the image, and place the subject within that canvas. To get images that are a little wider than the 23mm lens that is standard with the X100S, you may want to consider the wide conversion lens (WCL-X100). Using the WCL-X100 will give you a 19mm focal length that may be more appropriate for some environmental portraiture. (See Chapter 12, “Pimp My Ride,” for more information.)

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 97

Lighting and Background Whenever you make a portrait, you should always consider the background and the lighting available to you. Even before I’ve shot an image I’m constantly thinking about the best location to shoot the portrait in terms of background and light. Lighting can come from many sources: on-camera flash, off-camera flash, natural light, ambient light sources, etc. Generally, most of us shoot with available or natural light, perhaps with the added use of the on-camera flash for some fill light from time to time. When shooting outdoors during the day, usually an open shade area—generated by a building or a tree, for example—is going to result in the best and even light (Figure 5.3). Placing the subject just at the cusp of the shadow and light area generally will produce good results, as the subject is protected from the harsh light but also benefits from some softer light as it blends into shadow. Figure 5.3  Shooting in the shade of a building or a tree not only creates a nice backdrop for the image, but also creates nice, even light across the subject. ISO 200  •  1/900 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

98

The other major consideration when shooting portraits is the background. You should be able to address any issues with the background and distracting objects by either clearing the distractions, moving the subject, or using depth of field to mitigate the distractions (Figure 5.4). I usually try and choose as simple and clean a background as possible, and I won’t hesitate to ask my portrait subjects to move if it means the background—and the portrait—will be better.

Figure 5.4  Pets can be subjects too! In this portrait, it wasn’t possible for me to move my dog, nor address the background, so I resorted to a narrow depth of field for creative effect and to clear out the distracting background. ISO 400  •  1/15 sec.  •  f/2.2  •  23mm lens

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 99

White Balance and ISO If I’m shooting in open shade, I will usually set my white balance to the Shade setting. With this setting, the camera will attempt to maintain a flattering look in the skin tones. I find if the white balance is set to Fine, the images have a bluish tint because shade naturally has a bluish tint. Setting the white balance to Shade adds a little warmth to the image, which compensates for the colder shade colors (Figure 5.5). When shooting in open shade, usually I will also end up increasing the ISO slightly. It may be only from 200 to 400—it depends entirely on the quality of the light available and how that is affecting my shutter speed. If I’m shooting at a smaller aperture, such as f/5.6 or even f/8, more than likely I will have to increase my ISO further to maintain a fast-enough shutter speed to keep the image sharp and in focus. With all these considerations made, I can concentrate on building the composition of the image and a rapport with my subject. Figure 5.5  Keeping an eye on your white balance will reduce work in postproduction. When shooting in open shade, set your white balance preset to Shade. ISO 400  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2.5  •  23mm lens

100 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Metering Modes The X100S has three different metering (or photometry) modes: Multi, Spot, and Average. Multi is regarded as the general setting useful for most shooting conditions and is where the camera will evaluate the brightness of the image throughout a scene, specifically how the bright areas are distributed through the scene itself. Spot metering (discussed in further depth in Chapter 10, “Advanced Features”) takes into account only the light inside the middle section of the scene. Spot metering is very useful in difficult lighting conditions where harsh light may be falling on certain parts of the image and you want to meter for that. The last metering mode is Average, when the camera takes an average of the measure of light across the whole scene to generate the exposure. Generally, this mode is useful for situations where there is not a lot of dramatic light contrast in a scene, such as landscapes and even portraits.

Changing the metering mode: 1. Press the AE button on the rear of the camera. 2. Using the command dial, select the metering mode you wish to use. 3. Using the command dial, select OK. n As mentioned, Multi metering mode is perfectly fine for most of my shooting requirements and generally results in usable exposures. If I’m using Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, or even Program mode, I can always resort to exposure compensation (as we discussed in the previous chapter) to adjust my images accordingly.

Photometry or Metering? Fujifilm prefers to use the word photometry throughout the X100S camera and manual rather than the word metering, which most other camera manufacturers use. These have essentially the same meaning, so don’t worry about the difference between them. For those of a very scientific nature, here is the Wikipedia definition of photometry: “the science of the measurement of light, in terms of its perceived brightness to the human eye. It is distinct from radiometry, which is the science of measurement of radiant energy in terms of absolute power.”

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 101

On some occasions, however, I may switch to Average metering when I want to emphasize my subject for the basis of the exposure. This will take an even meter reading, meaning the camera will always meter for the subjects (Figure 5.6).

Figure 5.6  In this low-light scene, to ensure a good exposure for the portrait of my father and my son, I chose to meter the scene using Average metering mode. ISO 800  •  1/150 sec.  •  f/2.5  •  23mm lens

102 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

If the area behind my subject is heavily backlit, then I will look at using Multi metering mode or even Spot metering to isolate the exposure on my central subject (Figure 5.7). In some cases, this may result in the background being blown out, which means the highlights are fully exposed. However, if the background is of little importance, it is often better to get a good exposure that focuses primarily on the subject. Figure 5.7  This was a test shot for a studio shoot, and the light coming from an open window behind me made for a tricky exposure before I switched to flash. In this case, Spot metering helped even out the exposure as the camera isolated the exposure on the model’s face. ISO 1600  •  1/400 sec.  •  f/2.8  •  23mm lens

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 103

Locking Exposure Sometimes it’s handy to be able to lock your exposure settings in the camera to stop the meter from reevaluating the scene. This may come up, for example, if you want to recompose your image because you’re in an environment where there is sufficient lighting on your subject but the background is significantly darker (or brighter) (Figure 5.8). The metering in your camera will change depending on where the center of the viewfinder is aimed. If you try to compose the image so that the subject is off-center, the camera will meter for the wrong part of the scene. To alleviate this, you can meter for one part of the image (your subject), lock those settings so that they don’t change, then recompose the image and shoot the image. For more information on this, check out Chapter 4. Figure 5.8  Because so much of this image contained shadow, it was important to lock the exposure to get a correctly balanced image in terms of shadows and highlights. ISO 200  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

104

Getting Creative with Film Simulation The X100S has an array of built-in film simulations, which I discuss several times throughout the book. These film simulation modes can give your portraits an added dimension and certainly help them stand out. I’m a big fan of monochrome and sepia images, and I often shoot my family portraiture using the Sepia setting (Figure 5.9). There is something very timeless about black-and-white portraits; this style eliminates the distraction of color, especially if the background is cluttered, and puts all the emphasis on the subject.

Figure 5.9  In this image, I chose to use the Sepia film simulation to add an element of vintage film to the image. ISO 200  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 105

Selecting the Sepia film simulation: 1. Press the Menu/OK button. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Film Simulation on Shooting Menu 1. 3. Press the command dial right. 4. Use the command dial to select Sepia. 5. Press Menu/OK to confirm your selection. n As mentioned in Chapter 10, there are ten film simulation modes in total, and I would encourage you to investigate them all. Each one will be subjective in its appeal, but often a film simulation can really make the difference between liking an image and loving an image. The film simulation modes apply only to JPEG images. If you are shooting in RAW, the picture that shows up on the LCD panel or in the viewfinder during image review will resemble an image with the film simulation applied, but it will appear as a color image when you open it in any RAW processing software. So, for example, if you are using Adobe Lightroom to edit and process your images, the RAW image will appear as an unaltered, color image; you will have to use Lightroom to convert it to black and white. If you want to compare how an image will look using three different film simulations, you can try the film simulation bracketing feature, discussed in Chapter 10.

Focus: It’s All About the Eyes The eyes are, quite simply, the most important feature of any portrait. They are the very first place we are drawn to when we look at an image of a person. The same is true of paintings, and it’s no coincidence that the great artists took a lot of time and attention getting the perspective, size, and shape of the eyes in their masterpieces perfect. As a result, eyes almost always need to be the sharpest element in the frame. If the eyes aren’t in focus, the viewer’s experience of the portrait can be diminished. In order to ensure they are in focus, you need to fully control your focusing because, regardless of how sophisticated the camera’s autofocusing is, it doesn’t guarantee that the subject’s eyes will always be the most in-focus part of the frame. When it comes to making a portrait, I prefer to set up the camera with the smallest focus point, allowing me to really nail the focus on the eyes (Figure 5.10).

106 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 5.10  I used the smallest focus point to ensure I locked on the eyes and, thus, made them the sharpest part of the image. ISO 200  •  1/180 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

Changing the focus point size: 1. Using the focus mode selector on the left side of the camera, switch the camera to single autofocus mode (AF-S). 2. Press the AF (up) button on the back of the camera to reveal the focus point selector. 3. Use the command control to decrease the size of the focus point. 4. Press Menu/OK to confirm your setting. n

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 107

Using this focus mechanism enables you to really concentrate on getting those eyes in focus. Further, if shooting close-up portraits, using the smallest focus point and macro mode will allow you to get in close to your subject and create a very intimate portrait (Figure 5.11). Figure 5.11  Getting in very close, and using a small focus point and macro mode, enabled me to create a very intimate portrait. ISO 200  •  1/640 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

Which Eye? As you change the composition of your photograph, the focus point may need to be changed accordingly. If the subject is slightly turned away from the camera, it’s best to focus on the eye closest to the camera. If you are using a very shallow depth of field, such as f/2, the focus is critical and any movement of the subject may cause your focus point to shift, so be even more aware of the eyes—and the focusing—when shooting at large apertures.

108 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

The images in Figures 5.9 and 5.10 were shot in a studio environment with subjects who were stationary, which helped me focus on their eyes. In such situations, using the smallest focus point is ideal. However, if you are shooting candid portraits or portraits of children who may not be so patient in front of the camera, you may need to experiment with the tolerance level of the focus point that suits you the most, given the shooting situation. It may be worth noting at this point that the X100S does not feature “face detection” AF technology. Prevalent in many modern cameras, face detection helps track a face within the scene and automatically focus on it. There is a face-detection element of image playback, however. If the camera has detected a face within the scene when you are reviewing images on the LCD panel, it will inform you of this. However, there is no focus assist with face detection.

Focusing and Recomposing Typically, I will use the single AF for focus selection when shooting portraits (as opposed to manual or continuous focus). There are 49 focus points on the X100S that allow you a great deal of choices when it comes to deciding where to focus within the frame. However, personally I find it easier to place the focus point directly on the location where my critical focus should be established and then recompose the shot. Even though the focus point can be placed anywhere in the frame, generally it takes longer to figure out where the focus point should be in relation to the subject. By using the center point, I can quickly establish focus and get on with my shooting.

Setting your focus to a single point and shoot: 1. Using the focus mode selector on the left side of the camera, switch the camera to AF-S mode. 2. Press the AF (up) button on the back of the camera to reveal the focus point selector. 3. Using the left, right, up, and down buttons on the back of the camera, choose your active focus point (generally the center one for me). 4. To shoot using this focus point, place that point on your subject’s eye and press the shutter button halfway, until the focus is achieved. 5. While still holding down the shutter button halfway, recompose and take the photograph. n

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 109

Using Fill Flash for Reducing Shadows A common problem when taking pictures of people outside, especially during the midday hours, is that the overhead sun can create dark shadows under the eyes and chin. You could have your subject turn his or her face to the sun, but of course, that is not comfortable for the subject. So, how can you have your subject’s back to the sun and still get a decent exposure of their face? The answer is by using the X100S’s built-in flash unit (discussed in more detail in Chapter 7, “Low Lighting”). Using the built-in flash can turn a shadow-filled image (Figure 5.12) into a more flattering image where the shadows are mitigated (Figure 5.13).

Figure 5.12  Without fill flash, there are harsh shadows across the nose and upper-lip area.

Figure 5.13  Applying fill flash on the camera mitigates much of the shadow across the face.

ISO 400  •  1/320 sec.  •  f/13  •  23mm lens

ISO 400  •  1/400 sec.  •  f/14  •  23mm lens

Using Off-Camera Flash Despite its diminutive size, the X100S is a very capable studio camera. In fact, it has a flash sync speed in excess of 1/1000 of a second, which is far quicker than most DSLRs and significantly quicker than other cameras in the Fujifilm X-series range. The X100S can be used with professional studio lighting systems via the use of “triggers,” which sit in the camera’s hot shoe—a socket that is situated at the top of the camera and has contacts to allow it to connect to various accessories (such as triggers and flash units)—and are used to trigger the studio lights.

110 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Although I rarely use flash photography, one of the accessories that accompanies me pretty much everywhere is the EF-X20 flash unit. This little gadget, with a guide number (GN) of 20, can sit in the hot shoe, or it can be used as a slave flash unit, meaning it can be triggered using the X100S onboard flash acting as a commander, and used very creatively (Figure 5.14). (The GN is an approximation of the strength of the light from the flash unit. As a rule of thumb, the higher the number, the stronger the light.) The setup and configuration of off-camera flash units is beyond the scope of this book, but I wanted to cover it a little here to give you an insight into the advanced flash control functionality that the X100S can offer. Figure 5.14  The EF-X20 flash unit on a boom arm in a studio lighting situation. The flash is triggered by the X100S’s onboard flash. ISO 400  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/8

Silent Mode and the Hot Shoe If you decide to use the hot shoe for a trigger, or for any peripheral in fact, note that if you have the camera set up in silent mode, the hot shoe is disabled.

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 111

Setting up the X100S as a commander: 1. Press the flash/right button on the back of the camera. 2. Choose Commander. n Working with an off-camera flash can be fun and offers a great avenue for creative output. Using flash units that are more powerful than the X100S’s built-in flash will enable you to produce professionallevel photographs. You can even use multiple flashes to set up shots such as that in Figure 5.15. Figure 5.15  Using an off-camera flash can create very professional results, despite the X100S’s diminutive size. ISO 200  •  1/640 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

112

Turning Off Exposure Preview If you intend on using an off-camera flash with your X100S, I strongly advise you to ensure that your camera has the very latest firmware (see Chapter 2, “First Things First”). Introduced in the X100S’s firmware’s version 1.10 was the ability to switch off the image preview in Manual mode. Before I explain how to do this, it may be worth explaining why you need to do it. In fact, many X100S users I have met who shoot with an off-camera flash are unaware of this feature. When you are shooting manually in a studio or with an off-camera flash (or, in fact, the onboard flash unit), you will often underexpose the ambient light. For example, in a studio environment, you may configure the camera to 1/60 at f/5.6 knowing full well that the flash is going to provide the light necessary to illuminate the subject. When you press the shutter halfway to focus the image, the viewfinder will automatically give you an “exposure preview.” In general shooting conditions this is a good feature, but as you can appreciate, when shooting with a flash, the preview is going to be very dark—remember, the flash is going to illuminate the subject. This can make focusing and composing the image very difficult. Fortunately, in firmware 1.10, Fuji introduced a menu option with which you can switch off the exposure preview in Manual mode.

Switching off the exposure preview in Manual mode: 1. Press the Menu/OK button. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Screen Setup on Setup Menu 2. 3. Press the command dial right. 4. Use the command dial, select Preview Exp. In Manual Mode. 5. Set it to Off. 6. Press Menu/OK to confirm your selection. n Setting Preview Exp. In Manual Mode to Off instructs the camera not to show you the exposure preview when you press the shutter button halfway, which, in turn, allows you to continue to focus and compose your images.

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 113

Candid Portraits on the Move As alluded to earlier, not all portrait subjects will sit still and wait patiently for you to press the shutter button. Sometimes you might want to get an action shot that says something Figure 5.16  As my daughter rarely sits still, shooting in Continuous focus mode and burst shooting enabled me to get this shot, even in very low light conditions. ISO 6400  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

114 

about the person, similar to an environmental portrait. Children especially are constantly on the move, and there is no need to fight this. When I’m creating portraits of children being children, I always make sure I’m in Shutter Priority (S) mode and set a relatively fast shutter speed of a minimum of 1/125 a second. I put the camera in continuous autofocus (AF-C) mode using the focus selector switch on the side of the camera. Then I put the camera in continuous shooting (or burst) mode and just fire the shots. As with most shoots that involve increased drive modes and focusing, there are quite a few throwaway images, but usually you can get some good shots that exhibit the behavior you are trying to capture (Figure 5.16).

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Setting up the camera to shoot fast-action portraits: 1. Using the focus selector switch on the side of the camera, select AF-C (continuous autofocus). 2. Press the Drive button on the back of the camera. 3. Using the command dial, scroll down to the second option and choose 6.0 or 3.0fps (frames per second). 4. Focus on your subject, and keep the focus point on the subject as it moves around. 5. Press and hold down the shutter button to take rapid, multiple images. n

Shooting Better Portraits Here are a few extra portrait-taking pointers that don’t necessarily have anything to do with the physical controls and settings of the camera. Many books and online resources cover subjects such as portrait lighting, posing, and so on, but here are a few general ideas that may make your portraits look a little better.

Look for the Light Unless you are specifically shooting with flash units for creative reasons, you will still need to look for the best light for your images. As with landscape photography, the best light is often at the start or the end of the day. Using flattering soft light will enhance your portraits. Don’t be afraid to use blinds, curtains, and shades as light diffusers or mechanisms for sculpting the light onto your subject (Figure 5.17).

Figure 5.17  Using shades and blinds while keeping an eye on the natural light outside the room allowed me to create a well-composed portrait without the need of a flash. ISO 400  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

 115

Watch the Cutoff There is an old rule about photographing people: Never crop the picture at a joint. This means ankles and knees if at all possible. If you have to crop the legs, the best place is mid-shin or mid-thigh (Figure 5.18).

Go with Portrait Orientation Most people are longer than they are wide. And so it follows that most people will look better in a full-length portrait rather than a horizontal one (Figure 5.19).

Catchlights A catchlight is that little sparkle that adds life to the eyes. When you are photographing a person with a light source in front of them, you will usually get a reflection of that light in their eyes— whether it’s your flash on the camera, an off-camera flash source, or the sun. The light is reflected off the surface of the eyes as bright highlights, which brings attention to the eyes.

Figure 5.18 (left)  A good crop for people is mid-thigh or mid-shin. Avoid cropping at ankles or knees. ISO 200  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

Figure 5.19 (right)  A vertical portrait orientation shot is often more flattering than a horizontal full-body shot. ISO 200  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

116 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Chapter 5 Assignments Photographing people is fun—and people are probably the subjects you will spend most of your time capturing. We’ve covered a lot in this chapter and, hopefully, you will be able to move forward and take portraits with a greater knowledge of how to make them look good. Let’s put some of this newfound knowledge into practice.

Use depth of field in portraits Start simple. Grab your partner or a friend and start experimenting with using different aperture settings. Shoot wide open at f/2 and then stop down to f/8 and f/16. Look at the difference in the images—specifically the depth of field.

Discover natural light Wait for a nice sunny day and try shooting some portraits in the bright midday sun. Now move the subject into an open shade area where they are just enclosed in the shade, but still exposed to some of the sunlight. Notice how the hard shadows disappear and the light is much more flattering on the subject.

Meter correctly Find a very dark or very light background and place your subject in front of it. Take a couple of shots, ensuring that plenty of the background is on show in the images. Now, using the Photometry options, switch between each of the three metering modes. What differences do you notice in the exposures?

Fill in the shadows Again, wait for a bright sunny day and take your subject out for a photo shoot. Using the X100S’s onboard flash, try to eliminate any harsh midday shadows that may appear on your subject’s face.

Create a timeless black-and-white image Using the Monochrome or Sepia film simulation, produce a timeless portrait where color is not a feature. Watch out for shadows and highlights, as they are often more prevalent in black-and-white images. Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

5 : S ay C h e e s e !

117

ISO 200  •  1/4000 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

6

Landscape Photography Getting the most out of your landscape photographs The countryside where I live is beautiful, and it’s a great place to capture stunning landscape photographs. Landscapes offer a great training ground for photographers, particularly in the areas of light and composition— and if you enjoy spending time outdoors, what better way to do so? But landscape photography isn’t just about capturing fields and skies—it includes cities, beaches, and seascapes, too. In this chapter, I will outline some of the features of the Fuji X100S that will improve your landscape, cityscape, and seascape photography.

 119

Poring Over the Picture Once I spotted this gorgeous early evening sunset over a London park, I knew I had to work fast to capture it before the light disappeared. I used a sturdy tripod and a remote release cable to ensure sharpness of the photograph.

Shooting in JPEG using an auto white balance allowed me to take advantage of the X100S’s beautiful in-camera image processing.

ISO 400  •  1/50 sec.  •  f/2  •  19mm lens (WCL)

Including the plane trails offers context to the image.

By placing the tree line in the far bottom of the frame, I am using extreme composition, giving the image an added dynamic. The sunset is the main feature, but the silhouetted trees add interest to the photograph.

Poring Over the Picture Shooting landscapes doesn’t have to be a preplanned exercise. This image presented itself to me while I was skiing. As the clouds rolled into the valley, I realized this was a shot I needed to get. Always be aware of the environment around you.

Although not taken during the “golden hours,” accurate metering allowed me to show detail even in the shadow side of the valley.

Using the Fine white balance setting gave me accurate colors.

A small aperture allowed me to keep everything in focus throughout the frame.

ISO 200  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

Sharp and In Focus We talked about stabilization techniques in Chapter 7, “Low Lighting,” but it’s worth going over some detail again here, as it’s imperative that you have your images sharp and in focus when shooting landscapes. Apart from your camera, the most essential part of your kit for serious landscape imagery will be a tripod. You may be able to shoot some images without a tripod, of course (for example, the second Poring over the Picture in this chapter was shot handheld), but for serious shooting you are likely to need a sturdy tripod. Many of the best landscape photographs are made at sunrise or sunset, when the light levels are quite low. When shooting at these times of the day, you need to increase exposure time, which will result in a slower shutter speed and, thus, may be too slow to handhold. If you take such photos with your camera handheld, you’ll likely get some camera shake. Using a tripod is the best way of alleviating this problem. Also, with landscape photography you often want as much of the image in focus as possible. To achieve this, you are going to need to use very small apertures (f/11 or f/16, perhaps), which will require you to compensate with a longer, slower shutter speed. Additionally, if you are bracketing your images with the intention of creating an HDR (High Dynamic Range) composite, then you will absolutely need to use a tripod to keep your scene stable and correctly aligned throughout the three exposures. Many people also shoot long exposures of the night sky or try and capture water in motion; for both of these you will need a very good tripod to keep the camera steady during the exposures. Let’s quickly review why using a tripod is so important when you have a slow shutter speed. As you know by now, the physical shutter in your camera opens and closes to capture the light coming through your lens. The longer the shutter stays open, the more camera shake and blur you could potentially add to your image if the subject moves. With landscapes your subject shouldn’t be moving, so by keeping your camera still, you prevent adding blur to your image. Keeping your image sharp and in focus is probably the most important element of shooting a beautiful landscape photograph.

Slowing Down One of the benefits of using a tripod is that essentially it forces you to slow down, which can be a very good thing. Compositional judgment should be part of the process of every landscape photograph, and using a tripod will help you spend time considering all the elements of the image before locking the camera in position. Also, it forces you to carefully evaluate everything in the frame, which will increase the likelihood of making a great photograph.

124 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Minimum Sustainable Shutter Speed The “rule of thumb” for when to place the camera on a tripod is when your shutter speed is approximately the same as your focal length (or slower). For example, if you are using the standard 23mm lens and your metered exposure indicates a shutter speed of 1/25 or slower, you should consider using a tripod to make the picture.

Choosing a Tripod Tripods are seemingly as numerous as camera models, and because a tripod can potentially last you for years, it makes sense to research and get a suitable one for you. The heavier the tripod, the sturdier it will be. If you are shooting landscapes, you are likely to be in exposed conditions where even a slight gust of wind will have an impact on the exposure. You may sometimes find yourself needing to plant the legs in water, too, so it’s really worth investigating the best option for the photographs you want to create with your X100S. It’s also worth considering a tripod that can extend to and beyond your eye level. This will save you from having to bend down to compose your images, and it enables you to shoot from higher up with added stability. A tripod itself is useless without a head that you can use to affix the camera to the tripod. Personally, I prefer ball heads with quick release plates. The quick release plate attaches to the tripod fix on the bottom of your X100S, which, in turn, sits in the head on the tripod itself. The quick release plate allows you to remove the camera easily from the tripod should you need to do so quickly.

Tripod Stability Most tripods have a center column that allows the user to extend the height of the camera above the point where the tripod legs join together. This might seem like a great idea, but the reality is that the farther you raise that column, the less stable your tripod becomes. To get the most solid base for your camera, always try to use it with the center column at its lowest point so that your camera is right at the apex of the legs.

6 : L a n ds c a p e P h o t o g r a p h y

 125

Selecting the Correct ISO One of the most important things you’ll learn about landscape photography is to shoot with the lowest ISO possible. The lower the ISO, the better the image quality (Figure 6.1). The higher the ISO, the more noise will appear in your image (Figure 6.2). Figure 6.1  By using a very low ISO, I was able to avoid noise and keep this image very clean. ISO 200  •  1/210 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

Figure 6.2  Using a high ISO setting created a lot of digital noise in this image, resulting in a loss of detail. ISO 5000  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

126 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Noise can detract from the color and quality of a photograph’s fine details. When shooting landscape images, you will want to preserve as much detail as possible. Shooting with a lower ISO forces you to shoot at a slower shutter speed, which is even more relevant when stopping down to apertures such as f/16 to maximize depth of field.

Setting the ISO: 1. Press the Menu/OK button. 2. Using the command dial, select ISO. 3. Using the command dial, select the lowest ISO you can achieve in the exposure. 4. Press Menu/OK to confirm the ISO setting. n Remember that, as you’ll often be shooting under low light conditions, a tripod will allow you the freedom to shoot at lower ISO settings than if you were handholding the camera. Because of the stability that the tripod offers, you can shoot at a low ISO and still produce sharp images.

Using Filters Sometimes, if you are not shooting in low light, you may find the X100S doesn’t have a fast enough shutter speed to enable you to create an image without overexposing it. The quickest possible shutter speed for the X100S is 1/4000 of a second, which may not be enough to avoid overexposing the image, especially if you are shooting at large apertures such as f/2. You may also want to use a very slow shutter speed to add creative effects to your image, such as blurring moving water or shooting a scene with a very bright sky but a darker foreground area. Cameras cannot deal with the dynamic range that we humans see, so you may need to resort to filters to manage these types of situations.

6 : L a n ds c a p e P h o t o g r a p h y

 127

The Built-in ND Filter The X100S has a very handy built-in feature called an electronic Neutral Density (ND) filter, which essentially cuts down the amount of light that can reach the sensor. ND filters are common in landscape photography and often are physical pieces of glass that are screwed, or somehow fixed, in front of the lens element to achieve the same result of reducing the amount of light that can reach the sensor. The built-in ND filter is useful, as discussed, if you need to shoot at wide apertures but the lighting conditions are too bright for, say, a 1/4000 shutter speed to have any reasonable effect on the image exposure. It’s also very useful if you need to use a slow shutter speed— for example, if you are trying to shoot moving traffic and want to represent motion using a shutter speed of perhaps 1/4 of a second. Even if you use the lowest possible ISO, you still may not be able to get that image if the ambient light is too much (Figure 6.3). In these situations, you can activate the built-in ND filter, reducing the light hitting the sensor by three stops. This great feature gives you the latitude to get images that perhaps you wouldn’t be able to without a physical filter (Figure 6.4).

Figure 6.3  Without using the ND filter, my image is badly overexposed.

Figure 6.4  With the ND filter in place, the image is exposed correctly.

ISO 200  •  1/140 sec.  •  f/4

ISO 320  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2

Using the Fn Button Quite often when I’m out shooting in bright environments I will program the Fn button to activate the ND filter. This way I can access the ND filter at the touch of a button and can activate it or deactivate it very quickly. You can read more about the Fn button and how to configure it in Chapter 9, “Hitting the Streets.”

128 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Switching on the ND filter: 1. Press the Menu/OK button. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 2. 3. Using the command dial, select ND Filter. 4. Press Menu/OK to confirm the setting. n

Using Physical Filters Although the X100S’s built-in ND filter is a very useful feature, sometimes it doesn’t offer as much light blocking as a professional set of third-party filters would. Perhaps you really want to slow down an exposure or shoot a scene where light is very bright. In these cases, I use third-party filters that screw onto the front of the X100S and offer varying degrees of creative control as well as light blocking. In the case of trying to represent motion within a water scene, for example, it’s important to have a shutter speed slow enough to blur the water, so it doesn’t just look like a choppy waterfall (Figure 6.5). In order to achieve this image, I used a Big Stopper filter from Lee Filters. This filter simply attaches to the front of the lens and offers an additional seven stops beyond the built-in ND filter, providing a ten-stop reduction in light hitting the sensor. Figure 6.5  Using a physical ND filter allowed me to restrict the amount of light that hit the sensor. ISO 200  •  2.1 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

129

In Figure 6.5, initially the camera had set an exposure of 1/500 of a second to expose the waterfall correctly. Clearly, that would not have illustrated the motion in the water or allowed for the blurred effect. Using the Big Stopper allowed me to shoot at just over 2 seconds without affecting the ISO or aperture. Shooting the image at this shutter speed without the filter in place would have resulted in an extremely overexposed image. Another type of filter is an ND graduated or grad, filter, which landscape photographers commonly use to keep detail in a highlight area of an image, such as a sky (Figure 6.6). Grad filters also offer different stops of light blocking, but the filter has a gradient to allow more light to hit the sensor at different parts of the image. Different types of grad filters offer varying degrees of “hardness.” As a rule of thumb, the hard filters should be used for images with a distinct visual separation between elements, such as a horizon line in an image. Softer grad filters could be used for less defined elements, such as when shooting in mist or woodland. Figure 6.6  Using an ND grad filter allowed me to keep a well-exposed sky and retain the moodiness without compromising the foreground exposure. ISO 400  •  1/320 sec.  •  f/16  •  19mm lens (WCL)

130 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

White Balance Getting an accurate white balance is important when shooting any photograph, perhaps especially so with landscape images. There are likely to be many tones and colors in the image, and you will want to ensure that these accurately reflect what you saw before your eyes when you took the picture. Just like a camera can’t see the same dynamic range that we humans can, it can’t identify colors like we do. Cameras “see” images and the hues within as “temperatures” of light, and it is the temperature of light that is the underlying control point of white balance. This temperature is measured in Kelvin (K). Cool, or bluer, temperatures have a lower K value, whereas warmer images have a higher K value. Like most modern digital cameras, the X100S offers a set of white balance presets along with the ability to use an auto white balance. The choices for white balance with the X100S are: Auto, Custom, Color Temperature, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent Light 1, Fluorescent Light 2, Fluorescent Light 3, Incandescent, and Underwater.

Selecting the white balance: 1. Press the down (WB) button on the back of the camera. A popup menu will appear with the white balance choices. 2. Using the command dial (or pressing the up and down button), select the white balance you want to use. 3. Press Menu/OK to confirm your setting. n Auto white balance is fairly self-explanatory: It allows the camera to make a best guess at the white balance. Although this is useful in some shooting conditions—for example, if shooting street photography where you need the camera to react very quickly—it is generally not the best choice for landscape work where you have more time to get the white balance correct in camera. The Fine white balance option is essentially direct sunlight, and Shade is used when shooting in shade or subdued natural lighting. There are, somewhat confusingly, three Fluorescent Light settings. One is for daylight lamps, two is warm white lamps, and three is cool white. I often find I have to do a little bit of test shooting before getting the correct fluorescent light white balance setting. Incandescent and Underwater presets can also be used under those particular lighting conditions.

6 : L a n ds c a p e P h o t o g r a p h y

 131

On occasion, you may need to set the white balance manually, for example, when faced with difficult or mixed lighting scenarios, by choosing Custom. However, remember that light can change very quickly. If you select Custom and the light changes (even slightly), you may need to redo the custom white balance.

Setting custom white balance: 1. Press the down (WB) button on the back of the camera. A popup menu will appear with the white balance choices. 2. Using the command dial (or pressing the up and down button), select Custom. 3. Press Menu/OK. The Custom WB screen will appear (A). 4. Press OK. 5. Point the lens at a white or neutral gray surface that fills the square on the screen. 6. Press the shutter button. The camera will display “Completed!” if the white balance has been set correctly (B). If the camera displays “Under!” or “Over!” instead of “Completed!,” then the light was either too bright (over) or too low (under) to register the custom white balance, and you should retry the procedure. n A

B

Each of the white balance settings, including Custom, allows you to “shift” the white balance slightly. This can be quite useful if you want to adjust a setting by a small amount, or if you want to create a white balance setting with a custom warm or cool tint effect.

132 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Shifting the white balance: 1. Press the down (WB) Button on the back of the camera. A popup menu will appear with the white balance choices. 2. Using the command dial (or pressing the up and down button), select the white balance you want to use. 3. Press the right button to take you to the Shift screen. 4. Use the four direction buttons to adjust the color according to your requirements. 5. Press the Menu/OK button to lock the white balance shift adjustments. n These shifts will affect any image where that particular white balance setting is in place, so remember to reset the dot to the central position if you no longer wish to use the white balance shift function. The final white balance setting is Color Temperature. You can set a specific Kelvin (K) value if you know it.

Setting the Color Temperature white balance: 1. Press the down (WB) button on the back of the camera. A popup menu will appear with the white balance choices. 2. Using the command dial (or pressing the up and down button), select Color Temperature. 3. Press the right button to select the Kelvin (K) value that you want to use. n The X100S Owner’s Manual that came with your camera has a table that lists the Kelvin number for certain light temperatures. For example, it states that sunlight is 5000K. You can use this table as a guide to which Kelvin temperatures to set the camera’s white balance.

6 : L a n ds c a p e P h o t o g r a p h y

 133

White balance is a powerful and creative tool, and you should take time to understand and master it. Using white balance correctly will result in images that accurately reflect the colors of the scene you shot (Figure 6.7). An incorrect white balance can result in a lot of unnecessary post-production work or even the total loss of otherwise fine images (Figure 6.8).

Figure 6.7  Using the Fine white balance setting, I created an image with an accurate color and hue balance that’s the same as the scene at the time I shot the picture.

Figure 6.8  Using Fluorescent 1 white balance resulted in an image that appears much warmer than the actual color of the scene at the time the image was taken.

ISO 400  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

ISO 400  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

White Balance and RAW Remember, if you shoot in RAW mode, you have much greater latitude when attempting to change the white balance in post-production. If you shoot in JPEG mode, it’s much more important to get the white balance correct at the time of shooting (although tools such as Adobe Lightroom still allow a degree of adjustment after the fact). Even if you shoot RAW, however, I encourage you to avoid using auto white balance and to get it right at the time of shooting. It’s good practice and will also make your editing easier later on.

134 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Beautiful Black-and-White Landscapes Black-and-white imagery can be timeless and is a great option for capturing gorgeous landscape images. The X100S has a set of film simulation modes (discussed in Chapter 5, “Say Cheese!”), and when I’m shooting black-and-white landscapes I like to choose the Monochrome+R filter. According to the Fuji description, this “enhances contrast and darkens skies considerably.”

Selecting the Monochrome+R film simulation: 1. Press the Menu/OK button. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Film Simulation on Shooting Menu 1 (A). 3. Press the right button. 4. Use the command dial or down button to select Monochrome+R (B). 5. Press Menu/OK to confirm your selection. n A

B

I also make a minor adjustment to the image settings. I detail my preferred settings in Chapter 4, “The Professional Modes,” but it’s worth going over the settings I adjust when shooting for landscapes in black-and-white mode: I set both the Highlight Tone and Shadow Tone to -1. This keeps an extra level of detail in the contrast of both the shadows and highlights. This is especially important with a monochrome image, since it is essentially composed of highlights and shadows. Having a setting of +1 here will make the shadows much darker and the highlights lighter. If I need to do any post-processing of the shadows or highlights, I give myself a little more latitude by selecting -1 for these settings.

6 : L a n ds c a p e P h o t o g r a p h y

 135

Setting the highlight and shadow tones: 1. Press the Menu/OK button. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 2. 3. Press the right button. 4. Use the command dial or down button to select Highlight Tone. 5. Press the right button and select -1 (Medium Soft). 6. Press Menu/OK to confirm your selection. 7. Repeat for Shadow Tone. n Of course, you should experiment to create your preferred configuration for shooting landscapes in black and white. There are various other monochrome and sepia film simulations to choose from, and you can adjust the Highlight Tone and Shadow Tone settings according to taste. Personally, I love shooting in black and white with the X100S, which produces wonderful black-and-white landscape images (Figure 6.9). Figure 6.9  Using the X100S’s built-in film simulations allows you to create beautiful black-and-white landscape images. ISO 200  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

136 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

The Golden Light The best times to shoot landscapes are early in the morning, around sunrise, and later in the evening, around sunset (Figure 6.10). Also referred to as “the Golden Hour” or “the Magic Hour,” technically these are the times immediately before sunset or sunrise. The light from sunrise to about an hour afterward, as well as from an hour before sunset until the sun slips below the horizon, is the most commonly used light in landscape photography. At these times, the sun is at an extreme angle to the earth, casting long shadows, and because of all the atmospheric debris it must pass through at these angles, the light is warm and enhances existing color (Figure 6.11). Figure 6.10  This sunset’s gorgeous colors were available for only a short period of time. ISO 400  •  1/50 sec.  •  f/2  •  19mm lens (WCL)

Figure 6.11  The sun at dusk, hitting the rock, makes a beautiful golden light that is perfect for capturing this landscape. ISO 200  •  1/50 sec.  •  f/13  •  23mm lens

6 : L a n ds c a p e P h o t o g r a p h y

 137

Clear, or bald, skies are nice when shooting with golden light—shooting toward the north, the sky will become an even deeper blue. But unique cloud formations can also enhance landscapes at these times of the day, adding structure to skies that may otherwise lack interest (Figure 6.12).

Figure 6.12  Cloud structure can often add interest to an otherwise seemingly dull photograph. ISO 200  •  1/50 sec.  •  f/11  •  19mm lens (WCL)

138 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Focusing Pretty much every time you shoot a landscape image you are going to want as much of the image in focus, from front to back, as possible. From the foreground to far-off points in the distance, you will want all the details pin sharp. This means you need to think carefully about your focusing when shooting landscape images. If you focus on an image too far in the distance, it may result in an image whose foreground details are soft and out of focus, even if you are using a smaller aperture to maximize depth of field. In order to get it right, you may want to use the smallest aperture of the camera (f/16 on the X100S). As we know, shooting at a small aperture such as f/16 is likely to lead to a slower shutter speed and require that you use a tripod to take the image. Using a tripod will allow you to concentrate on where to focus to achieve maximum depth of field. This is where something called hyperfocal distance (HFD) comes into play. HFD is the closest point of focus to the lens where the remaining distance, all the way to infinity, will be sharp. If you combine practicing HFD with a small aperture, you will get images that are tack sharp every time. A simple way to achieve this is to focus on an object that is about one-third of the way into your frame (Figure 6.13). This is probably the easiest way to remember HFD and is the way that most professional landscape photographers operate. Figure 6.13  By focusing on an object around one-third of the way into the frame and using a small aperture of f/14, I have enough depth of field to ensure the image is sharp from front to back. ISO 200  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/14  •  23mm lens

139

Easier Focusing The X100S’s autofocus (AF) mechanism is very good, but sometimes you may need to turn to manual focus to fine-tune your composition. This is especially true when shooting on a tripod, as it may not be possible to select an AF point easily that matches your HFD calculations. This situation often arises when you have a foreground element that is fairly low in the frame. One way to address this is to use a single focus point set low in your viewfinder and then pan the camera down until it rests on your subject. You would then need to press the shutter halfway to focus the camera, and then try to recompose and lock down the tripod—which is not an easy task. However, a much easier way to get the focus right is to use autofocus, and then focus the lens manually to fine-tune your composition.

Composition and the Rule of Thirds We talk extensively about composition in Chapter 8, “Creative Compositions,” but it’s worth taking some time here to discuss the relevant elements for landscape photography. As the photographer, it is your job to lead the viewer through the picture. You accomplish this by utilizing the principles of composition, which essentially is the arrangement of elements in the scene that draws the viewer’s eye through your image and holds their attention. There is a general order in which we look at elements in a photograph. The first is brightness. The eye wants to travel to the brightest object within a scene. So, if you have a very bright sky, it’s more than likely the first place the viewer’s eye will travel. The second order of attention is sharpness. Sharp, detailed elements will get more attention than soft, blurry areas. And finally, the eye will move toward vivid colors while leaving the dull, flat colors until last. If you can keep these features of image reading in mind, you will be in a good position to create well-composed and visually appealing landscape images (Figure 6.14). The simplest of all compositional “rules” is the rule of thirds. The premise of this rule is simply to divide an image into thirds by two horizontal and two vertical lines that divide the frame equally. The key to this method of composition is to locate your main subject near, or on, one of the intersecting points of the lines. As a general rule, try to avoid placing your subject right in the middle of the frame. Occasionally this can work, but it requires the right subject matter and overall scene to work well. Otherwise, the image will likely be less visually appealing and may not hold the viewers’ attention, because it doesn’t convey to the viewer which element carries visual importance. Similarly, when you shoot landscapes, you should position the horizon one-third of the way up or down in the frame (Figure 6.15). Splitting the frame in half is usually not as effective as dividing the image based on the rule of thirds.

140 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 6.14  The compositional elements in the frame pull the viewer’s eye around the image leading from the sky to the vivid area of blue water in the center. ISO 200  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

Figure 6.15  Placing the horizon line at the top third of the frame allowed me to create an interesting, but simple, composition focusing on the reflection of the setting sun in the sea. ISO 800  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/14  •  23mm lens

141

Framing Guidelines The X100S allows you to set up framing guidelines in the electronic viewfinder, which makes composing using the rule of thirds a breeze. Check out Chapter 3, “The Viewfinders,” for more details on how to configure this helpful feature.

Advanced Techniques to Explore Although the X100S with its fixed lens may not be everyone’s ideal landscape photography camera, it is certainly able to produce beautiful images. With careful consideration of composition, structure, and light, you will be able to migrate from snapshots to great shots in no time. Moreover, the X100S does have a couple of very neat features up its sleeve that many other cameras don’t. Let’s explore motion panoramas and advanced filters.

Shooting Panoramas The X100S has an incredible built-in panorama system that essentially takes multiple images and stitches them together, in camera, to produce one panoramic image (Figures 6.16 and 6.17). Using a tripod with a panning head will yield the best results, but it’s certainly possible to shoot panoramas without a tripod.

Figure 6.16  Using the X100S’s motion panorama feature, I was able to capture a sweeping scene from the bay right out into the ocean. ISO 400  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

142 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 6.17  Using the motion panorama feature, I was able to capture the whole bay, from one side to the other, in a 180-degree coverage. ISO 400  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

Shooting motion panoramas: 1. Press the Drive button on the back of the camera.

A

2. Using the command dial, navigate to the last option, Motion Panorama (A). 3. Per the prompt on the next screen, press the command dial to the left to choose the angle and right to choose the direction (B). 4. Press the command dial left and select 120 or 180 Degrees (C). The degree selection screen will disappear automatically. B

C

6 : L a n ds c a p e P h o t o g r a p h y

 143

5. Press the command dial right to go to the direction selection screen (D).

D

6. Use the command dial to select the direction. The screen will disappear and it will be time to shoot the image. 7. Aim at the start of your panoramic image and, keeping the camera as steady as possible, follow the line through the arc of the panorama. When you have completed the arc through the panoramic scene, the camera will stop shooting and make the image by stitching together all the exposures it created during the shot. n It’s important to note that the exposure of the whole panorama is set with the first frame. Also, the camera may stop while shooting the panorama if it senses you have moved wildly off the central line or if you press the shutter button during recording. You are fairly restricted in terms of how the panorama image is created. Although the option to shoot a motion panorama will be available in the Drive menu, if you are in RAW shooting mode the image created will be a JPEG. Additionally, you can’t use flash, expanded ISO, self-timer, or advanced filters when shooting in this mode.

Advanced Filters Advanced filters are built-in special effects that give you a creative outlet for making images with considerable flexibility. The advanced filters are available only for JPEG files and are accessed via the Shooting Menu 4’s Advanced Filters option. Once set, if you wish to switch off Advanced Filter shooting, return to this menu and select Off.

144 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Selecting an advanced filter: 1. Press the Menu/OK button. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 4. 3. Select Advanced Filter by pressing the command dial to the right. 4. Select the filter you wish to use. 5. Press Menu/OK to confirm the selection. n When you shoot using the advanced filters, along with shooting only in JPEG, you will not be able to adjust many of the camera settings such as dynamic range, film simulation, ISO, sharpness, color, etc. This makes sense, as the advanced filters themselves will adjust these settings internally to create the image in the designated filter. There are 13 advanced filters to choose from: • Toy Camera • Miniature • Pop Color • High-Key • Low-Key • Dynamic Tone • Soft Focus • Partial Color (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple) Each filter has a different effect. For example, shooting with and without the Dynamic Tone filter, you can see the dramatic effect that some of the filters have (Figures 6.18 and 6.19). Some filters are likely to be more appealing than others, and choosing which to use depends, to a certain extent, on your artistic taste. So let your creative juices flow and enjoy experimenting with the filters to add a very different and dynamic flair to your landscape images.

6 : L a n ds c a p e P h o t o g r a p h y

 145

Figure 6.18  Before the Dynamic Tone advanced filter is applied. ISO 400  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

Figure 6.19  After the Dynamic Tone advanced filter is applied. ISO 400  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

146

Chapter 6 Assignments We’ve covered a lot in this chapter, including getting your landscape images sharp, using the lowest ISO, using filters, taking panoramas, and even playing with advanced filters. Landscape photography is all about conveying your artistic vision for an image to the viewer. Let’s see what you’ve learned and put some of that new knowledge into practice.

Keep it sharp and in focus To create landscape images that are filled with detail and in focus, we know that we need to use a small aperture (f/11 or f/16, for example) and the lowest ISO possible. Try shooting these images handheld, and then shoot the same scene using a tripod without changing the exposure settings. You should see that the images are extremely difficult to shoot handheld without upsetting the image quality.

Use a filter If you intend to take landscape photography seriously, you could invest in professional ND and ND grad filters. I use ones that Lee Filters builds for the X100S; however, the X100S does have a three-stop ND filter built in. Find a scene with fast-moving water and create an image illustrating the motion of the water. First shoot without the ND filter (or screw-on filter if you have one) and then with the filter. You should be able to shoot longer exposure times, allowing you to create a lovely, smoky water movement.

White balance your scene Using the camera’s white balance features, take several images of the same scene using different white balances and even a custom white balance. Note the difference in the hue and temperature of the image. Try and “shift” the white balance to create a warmer image, then a cooler one.

Shoot at different times Try shooting a landscape image at various times of the day, ensuring that you shoot at the Golden Hours (dusk and dawn). How do those images differ to, say, an image shot at midday?

Create a panorama Using the camera’s Motion Panorama mode, create two sweeping images of the same scene. Shoot one at 120 degrees and the other at 180 degrees. If you are shooting handheld, hold the camera firm, plant your feet, and swivel at the hips. You should see quite a difference between the image shot at 120 degrees and the one shot at 180 degrees.

Experiment with advanced filters There are 13 advanced filters to experiment with. My favorite ones are Dynamic Tone and Miniature. See if you can shoot the same scene with each of the 13 filters to get a great overview of what each one looks like. Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

6 : L a n ds c a p e P h o t o g r a p h y

147

ISO 3200  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

7

Low Lighting Shooting when the lights get low For a camera so small, the Fujifilm X100S is exemplary when it comes to low-light shooting situations. The X-Trans CMOS II sensor allows you to shoot at much higher ISO levels than were even thought possible a few years ago, while retaining sharp and high-contrast image quality. Low-light shooting used to be the realm only of those well versed in Flash, but now it’s possible to produce superb images in the most challenging of lighting conditions.

 149

Poring Over the Picture

Shooting in low light requires a steady hand or a tripod to achieve accurate exposure. For this image, I had to shoot at 1/15th of a second to get enough light into the camera. Using the flash would have ruined the mood of the image, which is lit entirely by a television to the left.

Noise control on the X100S is excellent. This image was shot at a very high ISO but exhibits little digital noise, which might have been the case with a lesser camera.

ISO 6400  •  1/15 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Photographing scenes like this requires steady hands and a slow shutter speed.

Understanding High ISO Capabilities As light fades, it’s likely that you’ll need to raise the camera’s ISO settings. The X100S has a native ISO range of 200 through 6400, and you may need to use ISO levels of 1600, 3200, or even 6400 to achieve a good exposure for the shutter speed and aperture combination that you desire. Such was the case in this shot of a local band playing in a dark bar (Figure 7.1). Figure 7.1  I used a fast aperture of f/2 in combination with a relatively slow shutter speed, as well as a high ISO to ensure the correct exposure in this dark environment. ISO 3200  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Not so long ago, shooting in very low-light situations without resorting to flash was virtually impossible. But recent developments in camera technology have led to substantial improvements in terms of low-light shooting capabilities. Having the power and versatility of the large ISO range is one of the most important features of modern digital cameras (Figure 7.2).

152 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 7.2  In the past, I would have used a flash to capture this image. Instead, I can expose this shot handheld at 4000 ISO to get the image I want. ISO 4000  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) set the flash-free path in motion with amazingly high ISO sensitivity in the sensors. Now, mirrorless cameras are meeting, and in some cases beating, those benchmarks with their ISO capabilities. It’s now possible with cameras like the X100S to produce images that can stand up to enlargement and substantial postprocessing editing even at higher ISOs. I’m never afraid to lean on increasing the ISO, preferring to do this in almost all cases over using the built-in flash or off-camera flashes. I much prefer the more natural look of ambient light. Your ISO choice is closely related to the shutter speed at which you are shooting. This is especially important for handheld shots. The X100S is small and light with a fixed lens, so handholding it at 1/60 of a second is likely going to result in much better exposures than handholding a large DSLR with a 200mm lens attached. This is because the smaller camera will allow less camera shake due to the sheer lack of weight imbalance. If you are holding a much smaller body and lens, you will likely hold it steadier than you would a heavier body with a long lens attached. Even simply pressing the shutter button can have a major effect on the movement of the camera, so the less camera shake, the better (Figure 7.3). Whether you are shooting in a high school, local bar, or out late at night, low-light conditions will always require that you consider increasing the ISO in order to achieve a good

7: Low Lighting

 153

Figure 7.3  In this relatively dark church, I was able to shoot at a high ISO but with a slow shutter speed, enabling me to shoot the image without relying on a flash. ISO 1000  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

154 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

exposure. Good-condition shooting generally takes place between 200 and 800, whereas indoor shooting with ambient light may require a setting of 1600 or higher. Depending on where you take your camera, of course, you will probably need to think about lowlight shooting only sparingly. However, it’s very important to understand when, where, and why you may need to increase the ISO in your X100S. For example, you may need to increase the ISO if you simply need a faster shutter speed to capture fast-moving action in a low-light environment. Remember, as discussed in Chapter 1, “The Fujifilm X100S Top Ten List,” the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture settings all directly affect each other. Increasing the ISO can allow you to shoot with a faster shutter speed, but it will introduce noise into the image. Increasing the ISO level essentially increases the camera’s sensitivity to light by amplifying the image signal. The downside is that this amplification also increases the risk of amplifying the impurities in the image. Using the zoom feature on the LCD monitor when reviewing your images will help you establish how much noise is evident in the images. Also, if you are shooting JPEG (as opposed to RAW), the camera will apply a certain amount of built-in noise reduction. I generally set this to -1, as I find the standard noise reduction a little harsh. Essentially, I’m asking the camera to apply a little less noise reduction. This affects only JPEG files, however; RAW files are unaffected. Remember that shooting in RAW is going to result in a totally unprocessed image, whereas shooting in JPEG will allow the camera to make certain processing adjustments to your images, such as noise reduction. If you shoot in RAW+JPEG mode, you will get one processed image and one unprocessed image. I often shoot like this if I’m unsure of how the final JPEG will end up, which gives me more latitude in post-production.

Auto ISO When the X100S’s ISO setting is set to one of the Auto values, the camera will adjust the ISO accordingly as the ambient light levels change. For situations where you need to react very quickly, this can be beneficial. However, where the ISO level is critical (and in low light it always is), I suggest setting the ISO manually and not using the Auto ISO feature. Setting the ISO manually means you are very aware of the exposure settings and the surrounding light. It will also ensure that all your shots under the same lighting conditions remain consistent with regard to noise.

Natively, the X100S will allow you to shoot between the range of ISO 200 and 6400, and in most cases this will be sufficient. However, in some cases you may find yourself in such low light that using a flash is not an option, and in order to get the shot, you need to use the expanded ISO. The expanded ISO for the X100S extends two more levels to 12,800 and even 25,600. At such high ISO levels as these, you simply can’t expect the images not

to suffer dramatic image degradation. There will be a lot of noise, but if the choice is between getting the shot or not, it’s worth using these levels (Figure 7.4). Note that when using the expanded ISO levels, the letter “H” appears in the ISO setting display, indicating a high ISO. Conversely, if you are shooting in very bright light, you can extend the lower range of ISO also—down to ISO 100—and this is preceded with an “L” (for low) in the ISO display. Figure 7.4  This image was shot at the expanded ISO range of 12,800. It’s remarkably noiseless considering the elevated ISO level. ISO 12,800  •  1/40 sec.  •  f/11  •  23mm lens

Setting up ISO expansion (JPEG mode only): 1. Press the Menu button. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 1. 3. Using the command dial, scroll down and select the ISO option. 4. Select either H(12800) or H(25600). n

156 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

As mentioned, using the expanded ISO levels should be a last resort, as you will see a noticeable degradation in image quality and an increase in noise within the photograph. To that end, I also encourage you to set the in-camera Noise Reduction setting to +2 if you are shooting at these expanded ISO levels.

Stabilizing the Camera The X100S is a fixed-lens system, meaning you can’t change lens options depending on shooting scenarios. Camera systems that offer interchangeable lenses often offer “image stabilized” or “vibration reduced” lenses. Because the fixed lens of the X100S is relatively wide at 23mm, in most circumstances it should be possible to handhold and shoot. However, in some cases, when shooting in low light you may need to open the shutter (expose) for longer than it would be possible to handhold without introducing camera shake. In this shot of Malmesbury Abbey (Figure 7.5), I wanted to include as much ambient light as possible, and so I had to shoot at a very slow shutter speed. To achieve this, I used a Gorillapod tripod system, which attaches to the tripod thread on the base of the camera. Figure 7.5  Stabilizing the camera mitigates camera shake and thus aids in getting sharp shots. In this image, I used a long exposure to capture all of the ambient light fully and a tripod was necessary to minimize movement in the camera. This allowed me to shoot at a more reasonable exposure as opposed to an exposure that may introduce noise. ISO 200  •  30 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

7: low l iGhtin G

15

Focusing in Low Light One of the greatest challenges you may encounter when shooting in low light is simply focusing the camera. The camera may struggle to focus if there is insufficient ambient light or contrast against which it can detect focus points. This is often the case when shooting in low-light scenarios. Utilizing a higher ISO to control the shutter speed while holding the camera steady will give you a better chance of focusing during low light (Figure 7.6). As an example, consider trying to focus your camera on a solid white wall. It is unlikely the camera will obtain a focus point, as there are no contrast elements within the scene for it to focus against. If you find a situation where the camera is constantly “hunting” for focus, chances are there is not enough light or contrast for the lens to focus against.

Figure 7.6  In an environment where a flash would be intrusive, I used a high ISO to give me an exposure that I could shoot handheld. ISO 6400  •  1/120 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

158 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Phase-Detection Autofocus When the X100S was announced, one of the standout features compared to the previous X100 was the introduction of on-sensor phase-detection autofocus (AF). Essentially, this means that in good light, the X100S will use the more accurate phase-detection system (applicable in the central 40 percent of the frame), as opposed to contrast-detect AF. When the light or contrast is more difficult for the camera to handle, it will automatically revert to the older contrast-detect AF as seen in the original X100. Phase detection is faster than contrast detection, as it uses only one motor movement of the AF system, whereas contrast detection often hunts back and forth when searching for a focus point.

When I have trouble finding focus in low light, I will usually make sure my focus point is set manually—depending on the subject’s location within the frame, of course. If the subject is on the left of the frame, I will select a focus point on the left of the frame rather than using the central focus point and recomposing (Figure 7.7). Initially, I will attempt to lock focus by holding down the shutter button halfway and preparing to shoot when the focus is locked. Another technique is to focus on some-

Figure 7.7  Adjusting the focus point in the viewfinder can aid focusing in low-light conditions.

thing else that does have enough contrast and that is approximately the same distance away as the subject you want to shoot. Detect and lock focus on this subject, recompose for the actual subject, and shoot. Alternatively, you can focus manually using the Focus Peak Highlight and enlarged view features (advanced manual focus is discussed in more detail in Chapter 9, “Hitting the Streets”). By switching the camera focus to manual and selecting the Focus Peak Highlight option, in the viewfinder you’ll see the currently focused area of the scene via the shimmering section of

Figure 7.8  Using Focus Peak Highlight is a great way of ensuring focus accuracy when autofocus is not possible. You can make out the white dapples in the image that indicate the focus point.

the image (Figure 7.8).

7: Low Lighting

 159

Enabling Focus Peak Highlight: 1. Using the focus mode selector on the left side of the camera, switch the camera to manual focus (MF). 2. Press the command control and hold it down for approximately 2 seconds until Focus Peak Highlight is displayed. n You can use the focus ring on the lens to move the correct part of the frame into focus. Because you are in MF mode, you can even press the AFL/AEL (focus lock/exposure) button on the back of the camera to quickly snap the focus into place, and then use the focus ring to manually adjust or correct the designated focus. You may even prefer to use Digital Split Image or the enlarged focus point when focusing manually (again, these features are covered in Chapter 9).

Shooting Long Exposures in Low Light As you now know, shooting at elevated ISOs in low light reduces noise in images. However, it is possible, in certain circumstances, to shoot in low light and remain at a low ISO for optimum quality. It depends on the subject and the light within the subject. For example, if you are shooting fireworks and you want to capture the light and movement, you can utilize a combination of low ISO and a long shutter speed (Figure 7.9). Figure 7.9  A low ISO is required in low-light scenes where the subject is a bright object. In this image, I used Bulb mode with the camera on a tripod to capture the fireworks’ motion and brightness. ISO 200  •  3.2 sec. (Bulb mode)  •  f/11  •  23mm lens

160

If you use the X100S to shoot very long exposures in low light, the shutter speeds are going to be much longer than you could possibly manage by handholding the camera. In cases like these, essentially you have three options: 1. You can shoot using a predefined shutter speed. 2. You can shoot using Time (T) mode (allow a selection between .5 and 30 seconds). 3. You can shoot using Bulb (B) mode, which effectively allows you to create an exposure for any length you see fit. To get started, when shooting in JPEG mode and making long low-light exposures, make sure the Long Exposure NR (Noise Reduction) menu is set to On. This enables the camera to handle some of the noise and artifacts that inevitably appear when shooting long exposures, especially in low light. Once you have turned on Long Exposure Noise Reduction, make sure that your camera is on a tripod or on stable ground (not handheld), and put your camera into Bulb mode or set the timer to the exposure time you wish to achieve. You can set the aperture to a relatively large value (F11 or F16), especially if the subject is going to be some distance away. Set the ISO low, something like 200 or 400, to maximize the quality of the image and reduce the amount of noise. If it is too dark to focus, consider focusing manually. And if you have a cable release on hand, use it to ensure optimum stability during the exposure (just the motion of pressing and depressing the shutter button can cause camera movement). Once the image is created, you may notice a delay in the time it takes to appear on the LCD monitor or image review. This is because the camera is applying the noise reduction. You can experiment with long exposures using Bulb mode, or alternatively, use Aperture Priority (A) mode and concentrate on setting the aperture yourself. Using Aperture Priority will give you control over the length of time the shutter stays open, but only at the available speeds on the shutter speed dial. To use anything slower than those settings, you will need to use Time or Bulb mode.

Using the Built-In Flash Sometimes it’s just not possible to get an acceptable exposure in low light without adding more light artificially. The X100S has a small integrated flash unit, which actually packs a powerful punch. A flash is there to light the subject, while at the same time retain as much of the ambient light as possible. The X100S uses a TTL (through the lens) metering system, which means that flash metering is done via the camera lens. In short, the flash evaluation is based on what you (or the

7: Low Lighting

 161

camera) are actually seeing and metering for through the lens itself. To identify the correct amount of flash necessary, the camera emits an initial test flash, which it uses to calculate the reflected light. Along with the other information the camera has established from the exposure settings and focus distance, this information is used to generate the perfect amount of flash necessary for the subject to be lit and exposed correctly. TTL flash metering can be used in all kinds of lighting situations, for example, shooting outside to illuminate a backlit subject (Figure 7.10) or when shooting indoors and requiring additional light to fall on a subject (Figure 7.11).

Figure 7.10  On a gloomy day, with the natural light behind the subject, I used the built-in flash to “fill in” the shadows so I could shoot from beneath these berries. ISO 400  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

162 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 7.11  For this image of a wedding cake, I decided to use a flash instead of increasing the ISO levels to get the image I required. ISO 200  •  1/200 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

7: Low Lighting

 163

To control the built-in flash on the X100S, press the command dial to the right to display the following options. Then rotate the dial, or press it left or right, to highlight the desired option and press the Menu/OK button to select it. • Auto: The flash will fire as and when the camera thinks it is necessary. This flash mode is available only in Program (P) automatic exposure mode. Before the camera resorts to using the flash in this mode, it will do everything technically possible under the current exposure settings to avoid using the flash. Part of this process may include the camera adjusting the ISO, adjusting the shutter speed, and widening the aperture before ultimately setting the flash. • Forced Flash: The flash fires every time a picture is taken and is available in all exposure modes. In Forced Flash mode, the camera will still aim to light the subject correctly by adjusting the exposure settings, but will always result in the flash being fired. When using Aperture Priority or Program mode, the camera will attempt to use an exposure that will not exceed 1/30 of a second. • Suppressed Flash: The flash is off and will not fire, even if the image will be severely underexposed. • Slow Sync: The camera tries to capture both the ambient light in the background and the subject. This flash mode is available in Program or Aperture Priority mode, because the camera has to be able to control the shutter speed. In this flash mode, the camera may choose to expose the image at slower than 1/30 of a second (which is what differentiates it from Forced Flash). • Commander: The built-in flash can be used to control optional remote flash units. • External Flash: Select this option when you have an external flash unit mounted to the hot shoe. Note that the flash will not fire if your camera is in silent mode. Also, it is wise to remove the optional lens hood if it is attached when using the flash, as this can cause shadowing within the image. In most circumstances, the Auto flash mode will be sufficient, and you will see that the X100S produces even and well-balanced light across the subject (Figure 7.12). If you require the flash to fire regardless (even in bright daylight, the flash can often help lift out shadows—a technique known as “fill flash”), set the camera to Forced Flash. In some situations, you will want to illuminate the main subject and keep some ambient light in the background using Slow Sync (Figure 7.13). Often, you can create much more attractive and artistically modified light using external flash guns both on the hot shoe and remotely. I discuss using external flashes in more detail in Chapter 12, “Pimp My Ride.”

164 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 7.12  This image was shot using Auto flash mode. Note the red-eye as well as the lack of detail in the building in the background. ISO 400  •  1/35 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Figure 7.13  This image was shot with Slow Sync, which allows the camera to capture the ambient light in the background. ISO 400  •  1/8 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

7: Low Lighting

 165

Removing Red-Eye All the flash modes allow you to use a feature known as Red-Eye Removal. Red-eye is caused by the reflection of the flash’s light off the subject’s eye, and can be exhibited in humans and animals alike. Red-eye is often a problem with internal flash systems because it is difficult to avoid shooting the flash directly at the subject. This effect can be mitigated when using external flash systems, as they allow a much more directional approach for the flash. The X100S has an excellent Red-Eye Removal feature that uses both a physical method and a software-based method of reducing red-eye. In the first instance, when Red-Eye Removal is activated, the camera will fire a short pre-flash, which forces the subject’s pupils to shrink or constrict. This in itself reduces the reflection from the eye’s retina. Then, when generating the JPEGs, the camera will use software to remove any further remaining red-eye issues in the image (Figure 7.14). Figure 7.14  Unlike the image in Figure 7.13, this image was shot with the Red-Eye Removal option on, which removes red-eye in most circumstances. ISO 400  •  1/8 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

166 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Setting up Red Eye Removal: 1. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 5. 2. Using the command dial, select Red Eye Removal. 3. Select On and press Menu/OK to confirm the selection. n

Shooting Manually When using a flash, if time allows, I usually shoot manually. I set my shutter speed to 1/125 and my aperture accordingly. I always avoid using Auto ISO; generally I set my ISO at a level that will give me the ambient light I want, often starting at ISO 800 and adjusting if necessary. Working this way gives me complete control over the built-in flash, and I can use the results displayed on the LCD monitor, or in the electronic viewfinder, as a guide. I can create the exposure and make adjustments to the flash compensation as necessary by viewing the image on the LCD monitor and making an informed guess.

Compensating for Flash Exposure Although the X100S’s built-in flash system is an excellent provider of fill light and flash, and ordinarily produces a good exposure, sometimes the camera’s metering of the scene results in a flash that is too light or too dark. In such cases, when the metering system is having problems with the exposure, you may need to adjust the flash’s output to suit your desired exposure. Unlike exposure compensation, which is controlled by the exposure compensation dial on top of the camera and can be adjusted by up to two full stops, flash exposure compensation can be adjusted by a maximum of two-thirds of a stop.

Adjusting the flash: 1. Press the Menu button. 2. Using the command dial, select Shooting Menu 4. 3. Using the command dial, select Flash. 4. Select the level of compensation you require. A positive amount will increase the flash output; a negative amount will decrease the output. n

7: Low Lighting

 167

Chapter 7 Assignments Now that you are familiar with shooting in low-light scenarios, it’s time to put all this new knowledge to the test. These assignments should test your knowledge of low-light shooting both with and without a flash.

Steady hands? It’s important to understand just how slow a shutter speed you can control yourself by handholding the camera. Find a static subject and, with the camera in your hand, set your camera to Shutter Priority and take a few shots at 1/8 of a second, 1/30 of a second, and 1/60 of a second. Next, place the camera on a steady base or a tripod and repeat the shots. Compare your images to see how much camera shake you are creating by handholding at lower shutter speeds.

Push the ISO boundaries Ensure your camera is set to the Fine JPEG quality setting. Find an area to shoot where the natural or ambient light is low (outdoors after dusk or indoors in a dark room). Configure your camera to use the exposure mode of your choice and begin making a series of photographs. With each shot, increase the ISO one full stop (200, then 400, etc.) until you get to the ceiling of 25,600. Look at each image and especially make note of the noise in the shadowy areas.

Remove noise Again, ensuring your camera is shooting in JPEG mode, set the Noise Reduction to +1 or +2 and repeat the preceding assignment. Only you can personally decide which levels of noise are acceptable with and without the High ISO Noise Reduction feature turned on.

168

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Take long exposures in the dark Using a tripod, find a suitable place to experiment with long-exposure shooting. Set up your camera using Aperture Priority mode, and use Time or Bulb mode to activate the shutter release (if you have a cable release, even better). Shoot in an area that has some levels of natural or ambient light, such as traffic lights, a block of buildings, or even a full moon. The idea is to get some dramatic low-light shots, perhaps with moving traffic streams.

Focus in low light Find a low-light scenario—indoors perhaps, or after dusk in an area with little ambient light. Locate a subject that has little contrast and detail, such as a brick wall or the hood of a car. Attempt to focus on the subject as you would normally using autofocus. If you experience difficulty, move the camera into manual focus mode and use the Focus Peak Highlight feature to focus the photograph manually. Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

7: Low Lighting

169

ISO 400  •  1/800 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

8

Creative Compositions Improving your pictures with compositional flare Creating well-composed images involves more than just using the “rule of thirds” to control to a certain extent the viewer’s experience of your images. Composition is about understanding how people view an image and how you can use those elements to your advantage to create pleasing and interesting photographs. In this chapter, we will examine some of these compositional techniques to see how you can use them to—often dramatically—improve your photographs.

 171

Poring Over the Picture

The vertical lines in the building help draw the eye down to the cyclist, who is the main subject.

The main subject of the image resides on the axis of two of the “thirds.”

ISO 200  •  1/180 sec.  •  f/10  •  23mm lens

Using negative space helps give a sense of size and perspective.

Being aware of what draws the human eye can allow you to make photographs easier for a viewer to “read.” Knowing that the eye is drawn to isolated objects and contrasting areas of color allowed me to build a composition where the cyclist became the heart of the image, yet remains very small in the frame.

Poring Over the Picture

Creating a good photograph isn’t just about the camera settings—it’s also about framing the image. I wanted a cityscape shot of London and decided to get as high as possible to get a birds-eye view. However, height wasn’t the only attribute: I used the city’s natural elements, such as the skyscrapers, bridges, and rivers, to help form the overall composition of the image.

A wide-angle focal length and large f-stop allow the image to remain sharp throughout.

The core subject of the image is on the axis of two “thirds” in the image.

ISO 250  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

The curve of the river helps the viewer navigate through the whole image.

Depth of Field One primary element of sound composition is depth of field. Selectively focusing is a great way of emphasizing your subject by controlling the depth of field, and by using a wide aperture on the X100S, you can blur the background to do just that (Figure 8.1). This allows the viewer to understand what the photographer considers the most important element within the photograph. In this example, the partial reflection in the table also enhances the composition, and the background, even if it’s blurred, provides context to the scene.

Figure 8.1  The use of a wide aperture has thrown the busy bar background out of focus and allowed me to focus exclusively on the primary subject in the image. ISO 400  •  1/400 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

176 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Shooting Reflections A mirror or reflective surface has two dimensions, so why do you have to focus at a different distance from the image in the reflection? The answer, as with many things in photography, is related to light. When you focus your lens, you are focusing the light being reflected off a surface onto your camera sensor. So if you want to focus on the reflective surface itself, you would focus from one distance, but if you wanted to focus on the subject being reflected, you would have to account for both the object’s distance from the reflective surface and its distance to you. Remember that the light from the subject has to travel all the way to the mirror and then to your lens. This is why a smaller aperture can be required when shooting reflected subjects.

I used a small aperture to increase the depth of field when photographing this tower so that as much of the frame as possible would appear sharp (Figure 8.2). Although this image is quite solitary in its subject choice, other elements such as color, contrast, and negative space all play a part in the successful composition of the photograph. Figure 8.2  The depth of field provided by the f/9 aperture helped to emphasize the tower’s height. The negative space and contrasting color also enhance the composition by helping to draw the viewer’s eye to the subject. ISO 200  •  1/2000 sec.  •  f/9  •  23mm lens

8 : C r e at i v e C o m p o s i t i o n s

 177

Angles Strong angular lines in an image can add to the composition, especially when they are juxtaposed to each other (Figure 8.3). This can create a tension that is different from the standard horizontal and vertical lines that we are so accustomed to seeing in more traditional photographs. Figure 8.3  The strong lines of the balconies create a dynamic composition. ISO 200  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

178 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Light Perhaps the most complex yet necessary compositional element is light. Brightness (highlights) and darkness (shadows) can really come together in an image to make a dynamic compositional piece. All photographs should be a study of the presence and absence of light; a pleasing aesthetic is achieved when light and dark are balanced harmoniously (Figure 8.4). Viewers’ eyes are drawn to the brightest elements in an image. This is something that painters use to their advantage on their canvases, and it’s something we, as photographers, can keep in mind, too. So it’s often best to ensure that the subject or part of the subject is in the brightest element of the frame. If something in the background or a secondary element is brighter, it can compete too heavily with the primary subject for the viewer’s attention (Figure 8.5).

Figure 8.4  The shaft of light illuminating the office workers and the contrast with the dark areas help lead the viewer’s eye. ISO 800  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

Figure 8.5  The brightest element of this frame is the pile of snow. This distracts the viewer from the core subject, the man on the left of the frame. Ensuring the key subjects are brightest in the frame will result in a much better composition. ISO 800  •  1/500 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

8 : C r e at i v e C o m p o s i t i o n s

 179

Point of View and Perspective Sometimes the easiest way to influence your photographs is simply to change your perspective. Instead of always shooting from eye level, try moving your camera to a place where you would not normally see your subject. Try getting down very low, or at least placing the camera very low. This low angle can completely change how you view your subject and create a new interest in the scene (Figures 8.6 and 8.7). Figure 8.6  Placing the camera at ground level gives a different perspective to an otherwise normal image. ISO 640  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2  •  19mm lens

180 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 8.7  By lying on the ground and photographing my little boy in the car, I get a more unique perspective of the scene. ISO 400  •  1/755 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

8 : C r e at i v e C o m p o s i t i o n s

 181

Color Color works well as a compositional tool when you have saturated colors to work with. The primary colors of red, green, and blue work especially well together, as they can be juxtaposed to create visual tension (Figure 8.8). This compositional mechanism adds drama and excitement to the scene and, when combined with other compositional elements, will aid in the creation of an excellent photograph. Highly contrasting or saturated colors such as white and blue, and red and yellow, can add visual appeal (Figure 8.9). Saturated colors also have a vibrancy to them that can draw the viewer into the image easily. Whether you are working with clothing, buildings, or simple everyday objects, color can be a very effective tool in your compositional arsenal. I often create images that are dominated by one color, which helps with the structure and composition of the image as a whole by giving the eye a lot less information to take in before being drawn to the primary subject (Figure 8.10).

Figure 8.8  Heavy blue skies against another primary color (the green grass) work well as compositional elements. ISO 200  •  1/210 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

Figure 8.9  Direct sunlight provided hard light that emphasized the contrast between the wall and the sky. The sun also created a shadow that brought some depth to the image. ISO 200  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

182 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 8.10  The façade’s deep red color against the black of the door and the lady help control how the viewer looks at the image, as the colors help lead the eye toward the central subject of the photograph. ISO 400  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

8 : C r e at i v e C o m p o s i t i o n s

 183

Contrast Areas in a photograph where light meets shadow can be very compelling to the viewer. Whether it’s a contrast of shape, color, or a silhouette, contrast can be a great vehicle for drawing the viewers’ attention to the story within the frame (Figure 8.11). Of course, contrast doesn’t have to be about light and dark; it can be a juxtaposition of color or even shape. But, ultimately, it’s the contrast that will make an image visually interesting.

Figure 8.11  Utilizing the contrast between dark and light creates this atmospheric silhouette. ISO 400  •  1/160 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

184 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Leading Lines Directing the viewer’s eye to the subject of an image is an import facet of compositional structure. One way to do this is to include leading lines in your images (Figure 8.12). A leading line essentially draws the viewer to the subject via elements of the image that are not necessarily part of the core story within the frame.

Figure 8.12  The leading line of the escalator rail draws the viewer’s eyes to the subjects within the image. ISO 400  •  1/640 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

8 : C r e at i v e C o m p o s i t i o n s

 185

Backgrounds All too often it’s easy to concentrate too much on a shot’s main subject, and to forget about how the rest of the frame affects the image. Backgrounds are a constant in every photograph, and it’s important not to let the background compete with the primary subject if it’s not intended to do so (Figure 8.13). Generally, you can shift your position or the subject to eliminate distracting backgrounds. By avoiding background clutter and distractions, you can help the viewer focus on the main subject.

Figure 8.13  Use the macro mode and a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus, preventing a cluttered background from distracting from the image’s subject. ISO 400  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens (macro)

186 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Bringing It All Together We’ve talked about the core elements of composition, including color, contrast, perspective, backgrounds, angles, and leading lines. In some cases, just one of those compositional elements is all that is needed to make a good image. However, if you can combine many good compositional practices into one image, you can achieve a very visually appealing result—even from a relatively simple image. The image in Figure 8.14 works because it utilizes several key compositional elements. The red color contrasts strongly with the white of the mocha, and the background stands out with its simplicity and vivid color. Also, shooting from above the cup offers an unusual perspective, and the shadow highlights angles and leading lines directing the viewer to the primary subject of the image.

Figure 8.14  This simple image is visually strong, as it incorporates many elements of good composition: color, contrast, clean background, and perspective. ISO 6400  •  1/45 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens (macro)

8 : C r e at i v e C o m p o s i t i o n s

 187

Chapter 8 Assignments If you apply the shooting techniques and tools that you have learned in the previous chapter to these assignments, you’ll improve your ability to incorporate good composition into your photographs. Try to experiment with all the different elements of composition and see how you can combine them to add interest to your images.

See color and lines Take your camera for a walk around your local town. Look for contrasting colors and leading lines. Don’t worry so much about getting great shots, just look for the color and lines, and develop your eye for these details.

The ABCs of composition Photographer Vincent Versace suggests shooting the alphabet to enhance your compositional skills. This is a tough challenge, but grab your camera and go out and look for letters. Don’t necessarily find printed letters; rather, look for objects that have the shape of letters. (Hint: Study tree branches and clouds.)

Using aperture to focus attention Depth of field plays an important role in defining your images and establishing depth and dimension. Practice shooting wide open (perhaps close-up in macro mode) using the largest aperture available in your environment to get a good exposure.

188

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Shoot low or high Changing your perspective when shooting will enable the viewer to see a scene from an unusual angle. Get down very low and shoot. Then shoot the same scene from eye level. Is there any more compositional impact from the image shot down low?

Exploit the light Go for a walk around an hour before sunset. You will likely see lovely golden light that breaks between buildings and falls in pools on the ground. Try and utilize this light to throw the focus directly onto the main subject of your image.

Combine compositional elements See if you can create an image that pulls in three, four, or even all of the compositional elements that we have discussed in this chapter. Does the image work? If not, why? Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

8 : C r e at i v e C o m p o s i t i o n s

189

ISO 800  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

9

Hitting the Streets The art of candid photography One of the things that attracts so many photographers to the Fujifilm X100S is its amazing form factor. Its retro look, tactile buttons and functions, and ability to shoot quickly in difficult situations make it a perfect tool for street photography. Candid photography, in its rawest form, is a way of shooting a subject who is unaware that a photograph is even being taken. Of course, candid photography does not have to take place on the street, much like street photography does not have to be candid. Many excellent street photographers tell their stories through portraits, and some wedding photojournalists— myself included—shoot candidly when photographing weddings. This chapter will cover the mechanisms of candid photography and also help you get the most out of some of the advanced features of the X100S that will aid you in any form of shooting. So let’s get going!

 191

Poring Over the Picture

Using the walls and alcoves on the station helped with the composition of the image, breaking it down into layers for the viewer.

Focusing here and using a shallow depth of field (f/2) ensures the sharpest focus point is at the front of the frame.

ISO 400  •  1/340 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

The X100S is a perfect companion for street photographers, enabling you to shoot quietly and discreetly. As with all images, it’s best if the photograph tells a story. In this shot, I wanted to capture a study of “modern life,” showing how almost everybody on the platform is interacting with an electronic device.

What Is Street Photography? You can define most types of photography quite easily. Sports photography, wedding photography, landscape, and portraits are all specific genres, and the range of how the photographer shoots is relatively fixed. Street photography, however, is much more difficult to define because it can—and often does—encompass many types of photography along the way. The rapid reactions of a sports photographer, the compositional elegance of a landscape photographer, and the subject-appreciation skills of a portrait photographer are in the arsenal of a good street photographer. Often, people assume that street photography is just “candid shooting” on the streets. For the most part, actually, this is true. But if you ask professional, working street photographers of today, almost always they will each give you a different definition. To me, “street photography” is just a term for a photographer’s style, and it certainly doesn’t have to be restricted to shooting on the streets. Storytelling should be the foundation, and the building blocks of telling the story are the moment, the composition, and the light. Including all three of those attributes is almost always going to result in a great image.

Constructing a Great Street Image For me, street photography, while not restricted to the cities we live in, should revolve around people. People—and their behaviors and mannerisms—are what interest me when I’m looking at street photography. Of course, that doesn’t mean people have to be in every street photograph, but it’s important to focus on the human world, and capture and tell people’s stories—their creations and the world they live in. As mentioned above, at the core of street photography are these elements: moment, composition, and light.

The Moment This is what storytelling photography is all about. The “decisive moment” is a concept termed by Henri Cartier-Bresson as a way to describe his style of street photography, which recognized that every event has a clear, defining moment. Photographs should involve composition and light, but without a “moment” to pull those two attributes together, you won’t truly be able to call it a great street photograph. For me, the moment is more important than the composition and the light when it comes to street photography. The story, or the moment, should form the fabric of why the image exists and, ideally, the image should need no words to give it context.

194 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Composition One of the “rules” of photography is composition. A seemingly good image can be deemed unusable if the composition isn’t quite right. In street photography, composition is almost as important as the moment itself. Mess up the compositional structure of the image and you could ruin a potentially brilliant photograph. The composition of any image is made up of constituent parts. These could include the focal subject, leading lines, or the negative space that is part of the overall composition (see Chapter 8, “Creative Composition”). What makes good composition is often subjective, but you can’t get away from the fact that a well-composed photograph, coupled with an interesting moment, is going to make a rewarding image.

Light Photography literally means “playing with light.” Light can fall in all directions, can be soft or hard, can be angled or baffled away… but the one constant is that light is essential to creating photographs. Of course, images can be made without great light, but ask any landscape photographer about the “golden hour” and what it means to them. If you ask a street photographer, you are likely to hear a similar story. Light is good most of the time, but it’s only great some of the time. If you can capture an image that has wonderful light, brilliant composition, and a decisive moment, you have a winning formula for a strong photograph (Figure 9.1). Figure 9.1  The skills needed for street photography can be used anywhere. At this wedding I waited for the right moment, composed the image, and had excellent light to work with. ISO 3200  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

195

The Decisive Moment Henri Cartier-Bresson’s book The Decisive Moment (1952, Simon & Schuster) is a celebrated body of work for street photographers the world over. Famously, Cartier-Bresson explains that “photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.”

Beating the Fear Getting out and about on the streets is all well and good, but you need to be able to conquer street photographers’ greatest problem of all: the fear of shooting in public, namely of being caught taking photographs of people, and the consequences should that happen. As a wedding photojournalist, it’s my job to blend in with my surroundings and shoot the wedding story unfolding in front of my eyes. As a street photographer, your goal is the same—but the stage for the story is different. It may be difficult to simply pick up your camera and start photographing the public straight away; you will need patience, stealth, and a lot of discretion. But with a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it. Essentially, things may get problematic only if you are spotted taking a photograph. In that case, many people will just ignore you, but in all other cases the best weapon on you at that point is your smile (Figure 9.2). In this scenario, I had photographed the gentleman as I walked toward him. After I took the shot, he looked at me and I simply smiled and nodded slightly. I find smiling at people disarms a potentially tricky situation and, if it’s a candid portrait you have shot, you may even offer to show the image to the subject. Different countries have different rules on what you may or may not use in terms of images photographed on the street. It’s wise to understand your local laws, as you may need a model release to use the images online or elsewhere. A model release is simply a signature from the subject that grants you use of their image. Generally speaking, images taken in public places, of the public, are considered fine to use—but be safe and sure of local jurisdiction rules.

196 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 9.2  It’s better to wait for an image than to chase it, and reciprocate with a smile if necessary. ISO 400  •  1/280 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Work the Light “Patience is a virtue,” or so they say. Certainly in street photography it is. If I come across a scene that has great light but little action going on, then I wait. And then I wait some more. Hopefully, eventually something engaging will happen within the scene that is worth making a picture of. If not, I move on, but at the very least I give a scene with beautiful light time to mature into a workable photograph.

9: Hit ting the Streets

 197

It’s Not Always About People While street photography involves studying humans and their behaviors, it should also reach beyond them to the wider environment, which means that not all good street photographs have people in them (Figure 9.3). The environment that we live in and create should also be part of the canvas available to street photographers. A good tip is to give yourself a topic for your day’s street shooting. This could be the color yellow, cars, or something more elaborate like the study of human communication. Whatever you choose, by giving yourself a focused topic, you are more likely to home in on the shots you want to capture. Without this plan, you may find yourself overshooting and searching for images that just aren’t there. Also, when I’m out shooting, I try not to repeat subject matter ideas too often. The largest city near to me is London, which is a huge canvas with multitudes of ideas and subject areas to investigate. Figure 9.3  Street photography doesn’t always have to be about people. Selecting a topic for the day often works; in this case, my theme was transportation. ISO 20  •  1/15 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

198 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

It’s also worth remembering that you are not going to get award-winning photographs with every click of the shutter button. Sometimes you will come back with no images worth keeping, and other times only a few. The great photographer Ansel Adams once said, “Twelve significant photographs in one year is a good crop.” It’s worth bearing that in mind if you return from a fruitless street photography day (Figure 9.4). Figure 9.4  The real purpose of street photography is to capture interesting moments. Using the X100S allows you to get very close to people without them even noticing, or to get a quirky shot like this one. ISO 200  •  1/250 sec.  •  f/2.8  •  23mm lens

Be Inspired Great street photographers of the past, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Eugene Atget, and modern custodians of the art of street shooting, such as Martin Parr and Bruce Gilden, all offer different styles and approaches to shooting on the streets. Whether you adopt a more abrupt style such as Gilden’s or a more considered and structured approach such as Cartier-Bresson’s, street photography remains an art form that photographers all over the world continue to explore and enjoy.

9: Hit ting the Streets

 199

Using Focus Modes The X100S is armed with three focus modes, each of which can be used for different types of photography, but all of which can be especially useful when shooting candidly or rapidly in any environment. These include: • MF (manual focus) • AF-S (single autofocus) • AF-C (continuous autofocus) Use the focus mode selector to choose the mode you wish to use (Figure 9.5). Understanding all of the focus modes will help you get great shots when you are out shooting. Do you need to use continuous

Figure 9.5  The focus mode selector.

mode all the time? Is there any place for manual focus in a fast-moving shooting scenario? Is single AF mode going to slow you down? Let’s investigate the focus mode options.

AF Mode Before we review the focus modes fully, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the AF Mode menu option (Figure 9.6). This option allows you to select how the camera chooses a focus location in the scene when you are using AF-S focus mode. The X100S has 49 possible focus points if you are using the electronic viewfinder or LCD panel, and 25 focus points if you are using the optical viewfinder. Essentially, the choice between the two is one of control over automation.

Figure 9.6  The focus mode menu.

To move the focus point around, press the AF button on the command dial (up button) and move the focus frame selectors by using the selector buttons. Confirm your focus frame selection by pressing the OK/Menu button. When you focus now, you will hear a beep and the focus frame will turn green to indicate focus lock. Occasionally, if the camera can’t achieve focus, the frame will turn red. In this

200 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

case, you may be too close to the subject (the minimum focus distance on the X100S is 80cm, unless you are in macro mode). In area mode (see next section), you can also adjust the size of the focus frame, which helps if you are shooting subjects where focus is critical. For example, if you are shooting a portrait you may want to ensure the focus is on the eye, so you might consider making the focus point smaller. To adjust the focus point size, press the AF button on the command dial (up button), then use the command control to make the frame smaller or larger as required.

Single Autofocus AF-S is probably the widest-used focus mode on the X100S. In this mode, the camera will not attempt to achieve focus until you press the shutter button halfway. At this point, the camera will lock focus and exposure if it is able. The focus area frame will turn green, and the indicator lamp will also appear green when good focus is achieved. If the indicator lamp flashes green, this indicates that there may be an issue with exposure, such as blur caused by a very slow shutter speed. In this case, unless that is exactly what you are trying to achieve, check your exposure before reattempting the shot. At this point, focus is locked for the duration you keep the shutter button pressed halfway. Of course, if the subject you are shooting moves, focus is likely to be lost. Pressing the shutter button fully shoots the photograph. Single AF mode is often the quickest mode to use when taking street or candid photographs. Changing the focus point using the command dial each time is fine when shooting in a controlled environment, but when shooting on the streets or candidly at a wedding, for example, you simply will not have the time to change the focus point for each image.

Multi and Area AF Modes In AF-S mode, you have a choice of Multi or Area for the AF mode. If you choose Multi, when you press the shutter button halfway, the camera will not give you a focus point option; instead, it will guess based on the frame it sees and what it decides is the main subject, and focus on that. When the camera has established focus on a subject, it will display a green focus frame at that location and lock the focus (Figure 9.7). The area AF mode allows you greater latitude in selecting the focus point. Further, you can choose any of the 49 focus points in the electronic viewfinder or LCD panel view, or the 29 focus points in the optical viewfinder. Once chosen, the

Figure 9.7  A green focus frame appears when the camera establishes focus on the subject.

9: Hit ting the Streets

 201

camera will focus only using the selected focus frame. Personally, I prefer area mode, as it gives me much more control over focus point selection. With the camera configured with area AF mode and the focus frame set to the center, I usually shoot using the “focus and recompose” method (Figure 9.8). Although the focus point is set at the center of the camera, not every subject I want to shoot is going to be in the center of the frame. So I focus using the center frame, then recompose the image in the viewfinder or on the LCD panel.

Figure 9.8  Using AF-S and the “focus and recompose” method is a very quick way of getting in close, taking a shot, and moving away without interference. ISO 200  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

202 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Continuous Autofocus The AF-C mode essentially instructs the camera to track a subject continually, even if the subject moves away from or toward the camera until the point of focus lock. This mode of focusing is best used when you are sure your subjects are going to move, for example, when photographing sports or children. When shooting using AF-C, you will notice that the focus box becomes a white crosshair (Figure 9.9), and you may also notice a whirring noise from the lens mechanism. This is perfectly normal and is a result of the focus mecha-

Figure 9.9  The focus box becomes a white crosshair when shooting in AF-C mode.

nism readjusting depending on the movement of the subject. While the X100S’s continuous AF mode is not as responsive as the equivalent on professional DSLRs (such as AI Servo mode on Canon cameras), it certainly presents you with an opportunity to get shots in focus that you may not have managed with single AF mode (Figure 9.10). Figure 9.10  Using AF-C, I could focus on the lady who was moving away from me, and the camera tracked her position reliably until I was ready to shoot the image. ISO 200  •  1/2000 sec.  •  f/5.6  •  23mm lens

9: Hit ting the Streets

 203

The focusing in AF-C mode is instant, meaning you don’t need to press the shutter button halfway before it starts to hunt for the focus point. When you do press the shutter button halfway, focus is locked, much like in single AF mode, and the crosshair will turn green to confirm the focus. It’s important to note that after this point, the camera no longer performs focus tracking. The AF Mode menu option (Area or Multi) is not enabled when shooting in AF-C, because there is no focus frame that can be selected when using continuous focus.

Manual Focus Manual focus (MF), or the thought of it, often fills photographers with dread. We have become accustomed to cameras with rocket-fast autofocus that essentially takes the pain of focusing away from us. However, many seasoned street photographers insist on using manual focus, and I use it all the time when shooting weddings as well as street photography. This is because with manual focus, you have complete control over the focusing and can fine-tune it very precisely. In low-light situations where you can’t rely on flash light, it’s often the only way to obtain focus, as there may not be enough contrast for the AF mechanism to work with. Also, when shooting close-up macro photography, for example, you may be able to achieve focus on the area of the subject you want only by manually focusing. When you activate MF using the focus mode selector, it’s important to take note of the focus distance scale in the viewfinder. You adjust the focus by turning the focus ring to the left or right. The focus distance scale will give you an indication of the focus distance from you in a range of feet or meters. Note that this is an approximate focus distance, but I always find it to be very reliable. In Chapter 2, “First Things First,” we discussed exposure, how the aperture chosen affects the depth of field, and how much of an image will be in focus given that aperture. Using that knowledge, many street photographers preset their manual focus to a given distance, say 8 feet, and set their aperture moderately wide, say f/8. This means that everything around 8 feet away, give or take a few feet in front and behind, is likely to be in focus. If the aperture was set to f/2, then there would be much less of a focus range to work with, and moderately less of the distance in front and behind the 8-feet marker would be in focus (Figure 9.11). Setting up your camera like this means that you can simply press the shutter button immediately and the camera will not try to autofocus; instead, it will very quickly take the frame (Figure 9.12). You can even “shoot from the hip” using this shooting philosophy, keeping the camera down by your side, holding it at waist level in front of you and firing shots.

204 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 9.11  Using manual focus, I was able to prefocus on the area of paving stone that I wanted to shoot. Then I just had to wait for the subject to come into the frame and shoot. ISO 1000  •  1/80 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Figure 9.12  Waiting for the right moment is all part of candid and street photography. I knew at some point the block tower would collapse, so I waited for it to occur before shooting. ISO 400  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

9: Hit ting the Streets

 205

In some cases, when using manual focus, you may want to determine if you can achieve accurate focus by pressing the command control. The display area will enlarge, enabling you to fine-tune the focus very precisely. Press the command control once again to return to normal view. You may also use Digital Split Image and Focus Peak Highlight as focus aids (see Chapter 7, “Low Lighting”). A really neat way of having the best of both worlds in terms of focusing on the X100S is to use the AFL/AEL (focus lock/exposure) button on the back of the camera to “snap” focus, while in manual focus mode. This essentially allows the camera to autofocus for you, but you can also use the focus ring to fine-tune the focus further if required.

Shooting Through the Moment The moment is key in any image, whether you’re shooting on the street, at a wedding, or just candidly around the home. An image that doesn’t stir any emotion, comment, or thought is not likely to have a strong moment occurring within it. If you consider that a moment in time occurs instantaneously, sometimes it’s a good idea to try and shoot “through” the moment. By that, I mean shoot some frames before and after the perceived “moment” based on the understanding that you will have a greater chance of capturing the perfect moment among the mix of frames shot. The X100S’s burst shooting mode is perfect for this and enables you to shoot several frames rapidly as you hold down the shutter button. The X100S has two burst speeds: 6 frames per second (fps) and 3 fps.

Setting up burst mode: 1. Press the Drive button on the back of the camera. 2. Using the command dial, select the Burst Shooting icon. 3. Choose either 6 or 3 frames per second. n In order to shoot at 6 fps, the camera must be shooting at greater than 1/100 of a second; for 3 fps that drops down to 1/10 of a second.

206 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Exposure is locked based on the first frame the camera shoots in this mode, so shooting in burst mode in an environment where the light is changing rapidly will not yield consistent results. While burst mode is a very good feature to use when the time is right, I wouldn’t suggest using it all the time. You will notice that it can take quite some time to buffer the images to the card when the shooting is complete and, also, shooting in this mode can drain the battery quickly.

Tips for Shooting Quickly When you are out shooting for prolonged periods of time, you need to be able to rely on the camera at all times to get the shots you want. The X100S has some great features that allow you to use it quickly and effectively.

AFL/AEL Button You can configure the AFL/AEL button on the back of the camera to function essentially as an autofocus override (Figure 9.13). It decouples the autofocus mechanism from the shutter release button, so shooting becomes more rapid as the focus is locked once (when pressing the AFL/AEL button) and the shutter button becomes responsible just for firing

Figure 9.13  The AFL/AEL button.

the shutter. Often referred to as “back button focusing,” this is used by many photojournalists and sports photographers to speed up shooting. To get the camera completely set up for this type of shooting, however, there are a couple of menu changes that need considering. First, and most important, this method of shooting works only when the camera is in manual focus mode.

9: Hit ting the Streets

 207

Configuring the camera for back button focusing: 1. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 4. 2. Scroll down to the AE/AF-Lock Mode and set it to AE&AF On/Off Switch. 3. Press the Disp/Back button to go back to the shooting menu. 4. Scroll down to AE-AF-Lock Button and set it to AE/AF Lock. 5. Press the Menu/OK button to save and exit. n Now when you shoot, it is imperative to remember to use the AFL/AEL button as your focus button. Shooting this way is much more responsive as you lock the focus using the AFL/ AEL button, and you can shoot more rapidly by pressing the shutter release button quickly.

The Q Button The Q button (A) is an amazingly handy tool that lets you configure much of your shooting options all within the same place. Pressing the Q menu in shooting mode will present you with the shooting configuration options (B). This button provides quick and easy access to many of the shooting options available, including ISO, white balance, image quality, etc. Use the direction buttons to select the option you want to change; to change the setting, turn the command dial. A

208 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

B

Holding down the Q Button without releasing it for about 2 seconds will turn on Outdoor mode, which essentially brightens the LCD monitor, useful for bright sunny days. To return the LCD monitor to its normal brightness, hold down the Q button for another 2 seconds.

Custom Settings Custom settings include a range of options that you can store for any given shooting scenario, and recall at any time without having to set up the camera completely from scratch. You can store three custom settings: Custom 1, Custom 2, and Custom 3.

Creating custom settings: 1. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 3. 2. Scroll down to Edit/Save Custom Setting. 3. Press the command dial right to choose one of the custom settings. 4. Configure each option in this menu with your desired settings. 5. Once you are satisfied with your configuration, press Disp/Back. You will be presented with an option to save the custom setting. 6. Highlight OK and press the Menu/OK button to confirm. n Most of the settings you configure here affect JPEG files only; however, it’s a really great way of setting up a working environment for multiple shooting scenarios. For example, you may set up one custom setting for shooting in really low light with a high ISO, or you may set up one to shoot in black and white. When you are ready to call upon a custom setting you have saved in the past, you use the other menu in this group, Select Custom Setting.

9: Hit ting the Streets

 209

Choosing a custom setting: 1. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 3. 2. Scroll down to Select Custom Setting. 3. Choose the custom setting you want to use and press Menu/OK to confirm. n

The Function Button The Function (Fn) button is a very useful, programmable button that allows you to call up a single option that you have configured and to adjust that setting without digging through the menu options first (Figure 9.14).

Figure 9.14  The Function (Fn) button.

Setting up the Fn button: 1. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu 3. 2. Scroll down to Fn Button and press the command dial right to select it. You will be presented with a list of options to which you can set the Fn button. 3. Scroll to find the option you want. 4. Press Menu/OK to save and exit. n Typically, I set my Fn button to ISO, as that is the setting I change the most. You can select a multitude of options, of course, and next time you press the Fn button you will be taken immediately to the configuration screen for that setting.

210 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

A Few Final Thoughts on Street Photography Street photography or any kind of candid photography can be very rewarding, but spending prolonged time out on the streets can put physical constraints on your body. It’s also a challenge to be both creative and fearless as you get started. Here are a few tips to help you succeed: • Always wear comfortable, waterproof shoes. • Carry a bottle of water with you at all times. • Don’t be afraid to take the shots you want to take, within reason of course. Always respect any laws or privacy issues, and if a subject appears to be uncomfortable when you are shooting, simply move on. • Remember that the city is a canvas and the painting unfolding on that canvas is there for you to capture in camera. • Look for anything that is unique and attention-grabbing—interesting angles, humorous images, or social commentary (Figures 9.15–9.17). Figure 9.15  Keeping an eye out for humorous images can be very rewarding. ISO 400  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

9: Hit ting the Streets

 211

Figure 9.16  Just watching the environment around you will yield interesting pictures of the people who make up the fabric of your community. ISO 400  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

212 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 9.17  Look all around you—you may find some lovely geometric shapes, lines, or patterns simply by glancing up. ISO 400  •  1/200 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

The X100S has quickly become a favorite of amateur and professional street photographers alike due to its unobtrusive looks, light weight, and amazing image quality. If you ever find yourself wondering what to shoot next, just pick up the camera and wander the streets. You may be amazed by what you find (Figure 9.18).

Figure 9.18  Shopping centers or malls can be a great place to photograph candid images of the world in motion. Look for pleasing images that make you smile. ISO 2000  •  1/80 sec.  •  f/2.8  •  23mm lens

214 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Chapter 9 Assignments Now that you know how to use the X100S as the perfect candid camera, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into practice. These assignments will help you break down the fear factor with street photography and produce some images to be proud of.

Overcome your fears If you are not comfortable shooting on the streets, you will never become an accomplished street photographer. Remember, the X100S is a perfect camera for street photography, so try and put it through its paces. Find a very busy part of your city, perhaps a fair or music festival. Consider stopping three or four complete strangers and taking their portrait. Ask politely and offer to send them an image afterward. You will be amazed at how reciprocal most people are.

Shoot from the hip Set up the camera to manual focus at around 8 feet. Set the aperture to f/8 and, depending on the light, consider increasing the ISO. You want to be able to shoot at least 1/80 of a second. Now, with the camera at hip level, go for a walk and shoot images that you think will make good stories. You can shoot freely, as very few people will realize you are actually shooting with the camera at your hip level. Now adjust your aperture to f/2 and try again. Comparing the two sets of images, how many more of the images shot at f/8 are “keepers” compared to those shot at f/2?

Take the test Professional street photographers test their strongest images very simply: by captioning the image. Take an image, look at it briefly, and then write down a short caption for the photograph to convey the emotion or story within the frame. If you struggle to write a caption, then likely the image isn’t a strong one.

Back button shooting Configure the camera to use the AFL/AEL button as the autofocus button. Remember to keep the camera in manual focus mode. Hit the streets and shoot for a period of time. Notice how you can shoot more rapidly using this method. Now switch the camera to AF-S and shoot again. Do you notice it slowing you down when shooting?

Find the canvas Find an area with great light, perhaps where there are strong shadows, or at dusk in the city. Then wait until something happens within the scene that is engaging enough for you to take the shot you have been waiting for. Note that the shot may never happen; the art of street photography is often in the patience involved in capturing the shots you want. Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

9: Hit ting the Streets

215

ISO 400  •  1/600 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

10

Advanced Features Creativity within the controls We have focused on many features of the Fujifilm X100S, but before we move on to the next chapter (Chapter 11, “Making Movies”), it’s worth discussing some more advanced features of the camera that you may find valuable in your photography. You may never use some of these features, and some you may not even have known existed, but nevertheless they are there for you to explore and call upon should you wish to expand your skill set and the creative possibilities of your photography. By shooting with a camera like the X100S, you have chosen to use a machine that empowers you to take not only snapshots, but great shots, too! Don’t be afraid to explore the camera thoroughly. You can become very creative with features such as spot metering, macro mode, autoexposure (AE) bracketing, and panorama modes.

 217

Poring Over the Picture Being able to use the X100S skillfully means you can capture great candid shots like this one from a wedding. By preconfiguring the camera to ensure an accurate exposure and sharp photograph, I was able to bring the camera to my eye, frame the image, and make the photograph quickly.

Using an aperture of f/2 ensured that my main subject remained sharp, but that there was front and back detail in the image, too.

ISO 400  •  1/400 sec.  •  f/2  •  19mm lens

The in-camera black-and-white mode produced a pleasing monochrome image.

With Spot metering mode on, the camera used the central subject as the base for its exposure evaluation.

Poring Over the Picture

The camera’s Multi metering mode was a good option for handling the wide exposure range in this image.

I used an aperture of f/2 in this macro image to create a shallow depth of field and pleasing bokeh in front of and behind the focal point.

Using the built-in macro mode on the X100S allows you to take close-up shots that, depending on the aperture chosen, feature a pleasing depth of field and bokeh. Getting close to the subject and focusing manually helped me achieve the look I wanted in this image.

Converting to black and white—this time in software—again creates a pleasing aesthetic result.

ISO 200  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/4  •  23mm lens

Spot Metering The X100S has three metering modes: Multi, Spot, and Average. We discussed the metering modes in some detail in Chapter 5, “Say Cheese!” Generally speaking, Multi and Average metering modes will provide accurate metering information for most of your photography. They do an excellent job of evaluating the scene and then relaying the proper exposure information to you. The only problem with any metering mode on the camera is that it doesn’t actually know what it is looking at and makes educated guesses based on the levels of gray, light, and dark in the scene. There may be specific circumstances in which you want to get an accurate reading just from a portion of a scene and discount all of the remaining area in the frame. To give you greater control of the metering operation, switch the camera to Spot metering mode—a very powerful mode when used correctly (Figure 10.1). Spot metering allows the camera to take a light reading from a very small area in the center of the viewfinder, while ignoring the rest of the viewfinder area. Figure 10.1  Seeing a scene in a different way from how most people would view it is part of being a good photographer. Think about getting creative with the camera to produce shots that will impress. ISO 400  •  1/320 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

222 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Selecting Spot metering mode: 1. Press the AE button on the rear of the camera. 2. Using the command dial, select Spot. 3. Using the command dial, select OK. n So when would you need to use spot metering? Think of a dark room that has spot-lit tables (Figure 10.2). In Multi and Average metering modes, the camera would see the whole scene and try to adjust the exposure information so that the walls and other areas of the image were exposed to render a lighter wall. This means the scene would actually be overexposed and the subject would then appear too light. To correct this, you can select Spot metering mode; the camera will take a meter reading right from, and only from, the subject, ignoring the walls and background completely. Figure 10.2  Using the camera’s Spot metering mode meant the bright walls in the background did not interfere with the exposure of the table settings that I was aiming to photograph. ISO 320  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2.8  •  23mm lens

1 0 : A d v a n c e d F e at u r e s

 223

Other situations where spot metering would be beneficial include: • Beach environments or snowy scenes where the overall brightness level would potentially cause problems for the camera meter (Figures 10.3 and 10.4) • Portraits where the person is standing in front of a very dark wall Figure 10.3  Using Spot metering mode allowed me to create an image that kept the bright sand and sea from overpowering the detail in the cloudscape. This also allowed the reflection to show more clearly. ISO 320  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2.8  •  23mm lens

Figure 10.4  In this image, spot metering on the clouds allowed me to bring out the details there while silhouetting the rocks in the foreground. ISO 200  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

224

Bracketing Exposures One of the options in the X100S’s Drive menu is AE BKT (AE bracket), or exposure bracketing. With AE bracketing, when you press the shutter button, the camera takes three images, each with differing exposure levels. The exposure value options range between a full stop, two-thirds of a stop, and one-third of a stop. The camera handles each change of exposure automatically, eliminating the need for you to make an exposure adjustment for each image. The amount of exposure adjustment between individual images will depend on how wide an exposure range you need to capture. For example, a very highcontrast scene might call for a full-stop exposure change. There are a number of reasons why you might want to take several versions of the same scene, but with differing exposure values. You may: • Be concerned about ensuring a single image has the best exposure. By taking three exposures, you are likely to find the “sweet spot” amongst the images created by the camera. • Want to have images with different exposure values so you can merge selected areas of the image into a final composite. • Want to use all the images to create a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image in postprocessing. An HDR image is often used to create composite images that are beyond the dynamic range limits of the camera’s sensor.

Setting up AE bracketing: 1. Press the Drive button on the rear of the camera. 2. Using the command dial, select AE BKT. 3. Using the command dial, select either +-1, +-2/3, or +-1/3. 4. Press the Menu/OK button to confirm. n

1 0 : A d v a n c e d F e at u r e s

 225

When you press the shutter button after composing your image, the camera will take three exposures in quick succession. You do not need to hold down the shutter button; simply pressing it once will command the camera to take the three exposures (Figures 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7). Note that the shutter speed varies across the three exposures. This is because I shot the images in Aperture Priority (A) mode, and the camera uses the shutter speed to alter the exposures of the images.

Figure 10.5  This image, taken using the AE bracketing feature, is underexposed by one stop.

Figure 10.6  This image is exposed at the metered value.

Figure 10.7  This image is overexposed by one stop.

ISO 320  •  1/6 sec.  •  f/11  •  23mm lens

ISO 320  •  1/3 sec.  •  f/11  •  23mm lens

ISO 320  •  1/12 sec.  •  f/11  •  23mm lens

ISO Bracketing ISO bracketing (ISO BKT on the Drive menu) is very similar to AE bracketing. While AE bracketing adjusts the shutter speed or aperture to adjust the exposure, ISO bracketing adjusts the ISO levels for the three images in the sequence.

Setting up ISO bracketing: 1. Press the Drive button on the back of the camera. 2. Using the command dial, select ISO BKT. 3. Using the command dial, select either +-1, +-2/3, or +-1/3. 4. Press the Menu/OK button to confirm. n

226 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

You have exactly the same choices in terms of stop intervals in ISO bracketing as you do in AE bracketing. The fundamental difference between the two is that AE bracketing forces the camera to take three separate exposures, yet ISO bracketing forces the camera to take only one exposure—the two other images (with the positive and negative ISO adjustments) are created in the camera automatically.

ISO Bracketing and RAW ISO bracketing works only for JPEG images. If your camera is set to create RAW files, you will not be able to use ISO bracketing, and the ISO BKT option will not appear in the Drive menu. Even in JPEG mode, you can bracket only at the lowest range of 200 and the highest range of 6400.

Film Simulation Bracketing As with the AE and ISO bracketing, film simulation bracketing allows you to set up the camera to shoot three exposures, each with a different film simulation setting. You can select from the ten film simulation choices: Provia, Velvia, Astia, Pro Neg. Hi, Pro Neg. Std, Monochrome, Monochrome+Y, Monochrome+R, Monochrome+G, and Sepia. I use film simulation bracketing if I specifically want to capture images in both a color simulation and a black-and-white simulation. There is a two-step process to configuring this bracketing option correctly. First, select the film simulations you wish to use in the sequence. Second, set up the camera to use the Film Simulation BKT option in the Drive menu.

Setting up film simulation bracketing: 1. Press the Menu button and select Film Simulation BKT from the Shooting Menu 1.

A

2. Select Film 1 and choose the film simulation you wish to use (A). 3. Press the Menu/OK button to confirm the selection. 4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for Film 2 and Film 3. 5. Once you have set all three, press the Disp/Back button to set the bracketing option.

1 0 : A d v a n c e d F e at u r e s

 227

6. Press the Disp/Back button one more time to exit the menu system.

B

7. Press the Drive button on the rear of the camera. 8. Using the command dial, scroll down and select Film Simulation BKT (B). n Just like with ISO bracketing, once you have composed your image and pressed the shutter button, the camera will take only one photograph, then create the other two images in the camera. And as with ISO bracketing, the Film Simulation Bracketing option is available only when shooting in JPEG mode.

Dynamic Range Bracketing When you select the Dynamic Range BKT option from the Drive menu, there is no stop option or further setting to configure. The camera will create three images at the dynamic range options of 100%, 200%, and 400%. Like AE bracketing, the camera will take three separate shots with the three different Dynamic Range settings. Yet like ISO and film simulation bracketing, dynamic range bracketing is available only in JPEG mode.

Setting up dynamic range bracketing: 1. Press the Drive button on the rear of the camera. 2. Using the command dial, select Dynamic Range BKT. 3. Press the Menu/OK Button to confirm. n

228 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Multiple Exposures Although tricky to master, capturing multiple exposures is a very rewarding technique for creating images that will wow others. The Fuji X100S’s Multiple Exposures feature takes two photographs, each with a slightly different scene or with a subject in a different position, and the camera blends the images into one ghostly photograph (Figures 10.8 and 10.9).

Figure 10.8  Using the Multiple Exposure feature allowed me to create the illusion of having two knives in this image, when in fact it’s the same object just moved slightly.

Figure 10.9  Using the Multiple Exposure feature allowed me to photograph the book closed, and then opened to a page. ISO 400  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

ISO 400  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Creating a multiple-exposure image involves a few steps and can take a bit of practice to get right. If you are shooting in RAW, you can still select Multiple Exposure; however, the camera will revert to JPEG mode. You can use Multiple Exposure very creatively, for example, shooting someone walking through a door, perhaps, or even shooting a skier at the top and the bottom of the hill.

1 0 : A d v a n c e d F e at u r e s

 229

Creating a multiple-exposure image: 1. Press the Drive button on the rear of the camera. 2. Using the command dial, select Multiple Exposure. 3. Compose your image and press the shutter button. The camera will display the image and give you the option to retry the shot (press the command dial left) or take the next image (press OK). 4. Press the OK button to continue to the next shot. In the viewfinder you can see the second image superimposed over the first. 5. Make any changes or movements of subjects and press the shutter button to capture the second image. The camera will give you the option to retake the second image (press the command dial left) or store the second image, as well as the first, as the final multiple exposure. n

Macro Photography Like most modern digital cameras, the X100S offers a macro mode, which enables you to take close-up images. The subject is often, but not always, small, like a flower or an insect. Using macro mode on the camera opens up substantial opportunities for creativity, and will also encourage you to consider subjects that perhaps you hadn’t thought about shooting before, such as parts of your garden or objects in your kitchen. You can use macro photography to offer a different dimension to standard photography, such as portraiture (Figure 10.10); and if you are a nature lover, you have a never-ending source of artistic opportunities right in your backyard. When you shoot with macro photography, you’ll gain a whole new perspective on seemingly boring subjects (Figure 10.11).

230 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 10.10  Creative, close-up composition can make striking imagery—even standard portraits take on a new dimension. ISO 2000  •  1/60 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

Figure 10.11  Macro photography can make interesting studies out of seemingly uninteresting subjects. ISO 1250  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

231

Shooting in macro mode: 1. Press the command dial to the left (denoted with a flower symbol). 2. Press the command dial to the left again to lock the camera in macro mode. 3. Focus on your subject and shoot the picture. n With the camera in macro mode, Fuji claims you can shoot as close as 4 inches from subjects; in some cases, where images have high contrast, I have been able to focus even closer than 4 inches. As a point of interest, even in non-macro mode, the X100S can focus at a very close distance. However, in macro mode the focusing speed is greatly enhanced, so it’s always best to shoot close-up objects in macro mode—but don’t leave your camera in this mode when shooting regularly, as it can slow down your shooting and AF speed. Although Fuji recommend not shooting macro images at an aperture greater than F4, shooting with faster apertures does work and in fact produces wonderful results. If you are shooting very close-up to delicate objects such as flowers, you may want to consider using a tripod (Figure 10.12). You may also consider other stabilization methods that we discussed in Chapter 7, “Low Lighting,” such as a cable release and the camera’s self-timer functions. Figure 10.12  Taking close-up images of delicate items, such as flowers, with slow shutter speeds requires stabilization of the camera and the subject. ISO 2000  •  1/25 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

232

Avoiding Lens Flare Lens flare is one of the problems you may encounter when shooting in the bright sunshine. It’s useful to understand lens flare, how to avoid it, and how to use it creatively to the advantage of the image being created. Lens flare will show up as bright circles or odd appearances of color on an image (Figure 10.13). Often you will see multiple circles in a line leading from a very bright light source, such as the sun. The flare is a result of the sun bouncing off the multiple elements of optical glass in the lens and then being reflected back onto the sensor.

Figure 10.13  The bright sun in the upper part of the frame has created lens flare that appears as circles radiating down into the image. ISO 200  •  1/180 sec.  •  f/11  •  23mm lens

1 0 : A d v a n c e d F e at u r e s

 233

You can avoid the problem of lens flare by using one these methods: • Try to shoot with the sun coming from behind you, not in front of you or in your scene. • Use a lens hood, which can be purchased for the X100S. A lens hood will help to block the unwanted light from striking the lens. You don’t have to have the sun in your viewfinder for lens flare to be an issue; all that has to happen for lens flare to occur is the light to strike the front glass of the lens. • If you don’t have a lens hood, try using your hand or some other object to block the light (be careful the object you use does not enter the frame).

High Dynamic Range Photography Relatively recently there has been a trend in digital photography to blend multiple exposures into one High Dynamic Range (HDR) image. When you photograph a scene that has a wide range of tones from shadows to highlights, typically you have to make a decision regarding which tonal values you are going to emphasize and adjust your exposure accordingly. This is because the X100S (in fact, almost all cameras) has a limited dynamic range compared to our human eyesight. HDR photography allows you to capture multiple exposures for the highlights, shadows, and midtones, and then combine them into a single image using software (Figures 10.14 through 10.17). Many software applications allow you to combine the images and then perform a process called tone mapping, in which the complete range of exposures are blended and represented in a single image. For my HDR example in this chapter, I used Adobe Photoshop’s HDR functionality. The software details are beyond the scope of this chapter, but I will take you through the process of shooting a scene to help you render properly captured images for the HDR process. I strongly suggest you use a tripod to give you perfect alignment of each image.

234 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 10.14  Underexposing this image resulted in more detail in the sky and lighter areas.

Figure 10.15  This is the normal exposure as set by the camera meter.

ISO 400  •  1/210 sec.  •  f/13  •  23mm lens

ISO 400  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/13  •  23mm lens

Figure 10.16  Overexposing this image ensured the darker areas are exposed to get details in the shadows. ISO 400  •  1/50 sec.  •  f/13  •  23mm lens

Figure 10.17  This is the final HDR image that was rendered from the previous three images.

1 0 : A d v a n c e d F e at u r e s

 235

Setting up for HDR shooting:

A

1. Set your ISO to as low as reasonably possible, given the light. This will help ensure noise-free images (A). 2. Set your camera to shoot in RAW. This will give you the most dynamic range available and a much larger range of exposure values than a JPEG file (B). 3. Press the Drive button on the back of the camera. 4. Using the command dial, select AE BKT (C). 5. Using the command dial, select either +-1, +-2/3, or +-1/3. 6. Press the Menu/OK button to confirm. 7. Focus the camera, compose your shot, secure the tripod if you are using one, and hold down the shutter button until the camera has finished its three exposures. 8. Use a software program such as Photoshop or Google’s HDR Efex Pro to process your exposure-bracketed images into a single HDR file. There is no functionality to create HDR images inside the camera itself. n B

236 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

C

Chapter 10 Assignments We’ve covered a fair bit of ground in this chapter, and I hope you’ve discovered some aspects of the X100S that you may not have used before. Photography is all about creating memorable images, and using some of the advanced features we talked about here will get you images that perhaps others would not even attempt.

Spot meter in awkward light Find a subject that is awkwardly lit, perhaps a friend or model with light hitting them from behind. First, shooting in Multi metering mode, try to get a good exposure on their face. Now adjust the camera to shoot in Spot metering mode. Do you notice a difference? How can you enhance the background of the image this time?

Make your exposures spot-on Using Spot metering mode can give accurate results, but only when the subject has a middle tone. Try adding something gray to the scene and taking a shot. Switch back to Multi metering mode and notice the difference in the exposure.

Take some bracket shots Shoot a range of images using AE bracketing. Next, shoot the same set of images using ISO bracketing. How does the camera behave differently? Do you notice a difference in the images created?

Create some HDR images Find an interesting scene, perhaps a landscape or cityscape. Using an AE bracket of one full stop, generate a High Dynamic Range image in a post-processing software tool such as Adobe Photoshop. Can you see how blending different exposures can allow you to create images outside of the natural boundaries of the camera’s dynamic range?

Play with multiple exposures Have some fun with multiple exposures. Try creating a multiple exposure of a closed door that has opened, or of a person in two places at the same time in a room. You may want a tripod for this to stabilize the image.

Get close-up Macro photography is best practiced on stationary subjects such as flowers. Enable the camera’s macro mode, and experiment with how close you can get to the subject and achieve good focus. Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

1 0 : A d v a n c e d F e at u r e s

237

ISO 200  •  1/2000 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

11

Making Movies It’s Hollywood time Almost all modern digital cameras, whether they are high-end DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras or simple point-and-shoots, have the ability to record high-definition (HD) video. While the video-recording functionality of the X100S is not as capable as that of a high-end DSLR or camcorder, it does offer a great system for capturing movies on the go or for short movie projects. Shooting movies involves many of the techniques and topics that we have already discussed in the book, such as understanding light, creative composition, and being able to achieve the correct exposures. However, as you will find out in this chapter, shooting movies often requires a subtle mentality change and other considerations.

 239

Poring Over the LCD Monitor

A B

C F

E

240 

D

A Recording Time Remaining

D Aperture

B Full HD Indicator

E Movie Mode Indicator

C Virtual Horizon

F Exposure Compensation/Indicator

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Movie Settings Before you can start recording your first blockbuster, you need to understand the intricacies of the X100S’s movie-recording features as well as some movie-making jargon and techniques.

Getting Started Unlike a lot of other cameras with video functionality, the X100S doesn’t have a simple “record” button. Instead, to activate the Movie mode, you must press the Drive button and select Movie from the menu. Alternatively, if you are likely to be shooting a lot of movie footage throughout the day, you can configure the Fn (Function) button to Movie, which means that you can switch between Movie mode and stills mode at the touch of the button. Once you have selected Movie mode, many of the same principles of shooting stills with the X100S apply: adjusting exposure, starting and stopping the recording, and various other settings that control the video recording.

To get shooting straight away: 1. Using the focus mode selector on the side of the camera, select AF-C. This will force the camera to autofocus continually throughout the recording. 2. Using the aperture ring, set the desired aperture. I suggest setting it to A (Auto) to allow the camera to work out the best aperture during the recording. 3. To begin recording, press the shutter button fully down. You will see the time remaining of the recording on the LCD. The indicator lamp will be constantly orange during the recording. 4. To stop shooting, press the shutter button again. n

11: Making Movies

 241

Movie Mode Although the X100S’s video-recording capability is fairly rudimentary, there are some video-specific settings that are worth discussing so you can make the most of the available shooting features. Your camera has two video-recording modes that essentially allow you to choose the frames per second (fps, or frame rate) at which the camera will record. As a rule of thumb, 60 fps is preferable to 30 fps, but in order to decide which is right for your shooting scenario, you need to understand the differences between the two recording rates. If you have good light, or are intending to shoot for slow motion, then 60 fps is the best choice. If you consider the number of frames shot per second, it makes sense that the faster speed will result in less jittery footage, especially if you are shooting fast-moving subjects like an athlete or a passing train. Of course, unless it’s for a creative reason, you will want your movies to be as smooth as possible; 60 fps is likely to offer that quality. However, remembering back to our discussions about low-light shooting (Chapter 7, “Low Lighting”), you will recall that the faster the shutter speed, the less light reaches the sensor. For example, at 60 fps (1/60 second), less light is reaching the shutter than at 30 fps (1/30 second). So, if the ambient or available light in which you are shooting is not bright enough, you may need to use the 30 fps option.

Selecting Movie mode: 1. Select Movie from the Drive menu and press the Menu/OK button. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Shooting Menu. 3. Using the command dial, select Movie Mode. 4. Select the Movie mode of your choice (60fps or 30fps). 5. Press Menu/OK to confirm the setting. n

242 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Audio Have you ever considered what the movie Jaws would be like without the epic soundtrack? Or Star Wars? What about the movie Psycho? Most iconic movies owe their success, at least partly, to their soundtracks. If you think of any of those movies, you will automatically recall the unique-sounding music. Some professional filmmakers will tell you that, when it comes to making a great movie, audio is actually more important than visuals. From the soundtrack to the dubbing (making sure the words are in sync with the speech), the audio needs to be at the forefront of any movie being produced. With the X100S, you can record audio either directly to the SD (Secure Digital) card via the built-in microphone or an external microphone tethered to the camera (such as the Fujifilm MIC ST1 shown in Figure 11.1), or to a separate sound device and then sync the audio in postproduction. My preferred method is to record directly to the SD card in the camera, as it avoids any syncing difficulties you may have later on in production. The built-in microphone on the X100S is adequate for most small videos that you may shoot, especially indoors. However, if you are looking to record high-qual-

Figure 11.1  Using an external microphone, like the Fujifilm MIC ST1, is a much better audio-recording solution than recording to a separate device and syncing in production.

ity sound, I recommend checking out Fuji’s MIC ST1. Its audio quality is of a much higher level compared to the built-in mic. Additionally, this microphone has a windscreen that comes in handy when recording outside, as it eliminates most noise that wind makes when whistling past the microphone. Further, unlike when recording audio with the X100S’s built-in microphone, you will not hear all of the operational or focusing noises that the camera makes on the recording. In terms of controlling the audio within the camera itself, the Mic Level Adjustment feature lets you set the level of the sound between a low level of 1 and high level of 4. When you open up the Mic Level Adjustment, you will see the two volume meters. These meters will react to any noise the camera is picking up (whether it’s from the internal microphones or an external microphone).

11: Making Movies

 243

You need to set this microphone level such that the indicators are not turning red at the top. If the indicators are turning red (Figure 11.2), the audio will likely be clipped and possibly not useable at all. Orange, the level below red, is also a warning indicator for me, and I like to adjust the levels until the indicators are not showing any red or orange at all (Figure 11.3).

Figure 11.2  Gauge the audio level being received by the camera using the Microphone Level Adjustment.

Figure 11.3  Having no red or orange in the audio bars will yield good results.

Setting the microphone level: 1. Select Movie from the Drive menu and press the Menu/OK button. 2. Using the command dial, navigate to Mic Level Adjustment. 3. Using the command dial, select the level you are comfortable with. 4. Press Menu/OK to confirm the setting. n

Exposure and Focus It’s crucial to understand the differences between shooting stills and shooting movies. Not only is the mindset different, but you also need to address certain elements of exposure and focus so you can make creative and awe-inspiring movies with your X100S.

Controlling Exposure When shooting movies with the X100S, it’s important to understand what level of control you have over exposure. You have some, but not as much as when you are shooting stills. Understanding these limitations when recording movies will mitigate frustration when shooting.

244 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

First, selecting the shutter speed is redundant when shooting movies. You will have already decided on 60 fps or 30 fps in the Movie mode menu, and you cannot override this at all using the shutter speed dial. For peace of mind, I tend to set the shutter speed dial on A, just to avoid confusion if I happen to glance at the dial. In many circumstances, when you are not looking to shoot creative depth of field effects, you may want to set the aperture ring to A. This effectively puts the camera into Program mode, which means that when shooting the movie, the camera will control exposure to the best of its ability in order to create a well-exposed movie clip. Personally, I love to utilize aperture to create dramatic depth of field in both my stills and also in movies that I shoot with the X100S. You can use the aperture ring just like when shooting stills to create a

Figure 11.4  Using aperture to create depth of field works well in movies as well as in stills.

narrow or wide depth of field (Figure 11.4). As we know from Chapter 7, a lower f-stop will allow us to shoot in lower light. So shooting at f/2 or f/2.8 not only produces a blurred background or foreground, but also may be the difference between shooting at 60 fps or 30 fps if the light is fading. Note that when the movie is rolling, you can’t adjust the aperture. This means you can shoot each clip at only one particular aperture; adjusting the aperture ring when the movie is rolling will have no effect. The rules of exposure still apply when shooting movies, so keep in mind that the aperture you are using and the light in which you are shooting may not be conducive to achieving a good exposure. To check this, keep an eye on the aperture reading on the LCD monitor while you are recording. If the aperture reading appears red, that means the camera is having difficulty exposing the movie at that aperture (Figure 11.5). If this is the case, you will have to do one of the following: • Adjust your aperture.

Figure 11.5  A red aperture reading indicates the camera can’t create a good exposure.

• Increase the ambient light. • Adjust the exposure using compensation (again, this must be set before you start shooting). • Consider shooting at 30 fps instead of 60 fps.

11: Making Movies

 245

Exposure Compensation in Movie Mode Exposure compensation, where you increase or decrease the brightness of the scene, affects movies just like it does stills. The primary consideration, however, is that you need to set the exposure compensation before you start recording your movie. Rotate the exposure compensation dial (on the top of the camera) to the positive values to increase brightness or the negative values to decrease brightness.

Selecting a Focus Mode You can use all three of the X100S’s focus modes when shooting video; however, there are some limitations. If you choose to use AF-C, as mentioned earlier in the chapter, the camera will attempt to autofocus throughout the video recording. The camera will always use the central focusing point when using AF-C, and you cannot adjust this manually. This focus mechanism might be useful if your focus points are likely to change within the movie, or if the subject itself moves within the frame (for example, if you are shooting a person walking toward you). You can use the AF-S mode to prefocus on a spot before the recording commences. For example, if you’re filming a faucet of running water, you would likely focus on the faucet using AF-S to lock the focus in place before pressing the shutter button to start recording. Assuming the camera doesn’t move (as we know the faucet won’t), then you can be sure the focus will be correct throughout the video clip. For ultimate creative control, however, focusing manually will yield the best results. Focusing manually means you can adjust your focus point while the camera is recording, which can have a very powerful effect on the final movie. In professional film making this is known as “rack focus.” You may notice only subtle focus shifts at smaller apertures like f/16, but using a bigger aperture such as f/2 can often yield dramatic effects (Figures 11.6, 11.7, and 11.8). Figure 11.6  Using manual focus, I can start recording while focusing on a subject at the back of the scene.

246 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 11.7  Rotating the focus ring moves the focus point toward me.

Figure 11.8  And finally, as I’m using a large f/2 aperture, the closest item in the frame becomes the focal point.

White Balance You should also be aware of your white balance settings when shooting video. It’s really more crucial than when shooting stills, because correcting white balance in movies in postproduction is a far more complicated job than correcting it in stills. You cannot use a custom white balance when shooting video, and generally I keep the white balance set to Auto when shooting video. Unless you are confident that your lighting is not going to change, and one of the presets (such as Shade) is the correct white balance for the shoot, then auto white balance will do a good job.

Getting Creative with Film Simulation One of the great joys of the Fuji X100S is its built-in Fujifilm film simulations, which are authentic in-camera replications of famous traditional “film” looks. Fujifilm is world renowned for its film stock and color and black-and-white renderings—and, just as with shooting stills, you can shoot movies using these film simulations. Professional filmmakers may spend hours color grading their movies to get the look and feel that they want in postproduction. However, you have a great opportunity with the X100S to add a bit of creative magic right in the camera using its film simulations. If, like me, you are a sucker for black-and-white movies, now you can produce beautifully rendered black-and-white footage straight out of your camera.

11: Making Movies

 247

You can choose to film in Provia, Velvia, Astia, Pro Neg. Hi, Pro Neg. Std, B&W (with or without filters), or Sepia. I have found that it’s very difficult to get anything resembling the Provia or Velvia filmic finishes in postproduction using any other recording device. Using cameras that don’t have the film simulations built in means you will need to edit the movie substantially to try to emulate those film stocks.

Technicalities Shooting movies on the X100S is rewarding, and given patience and your newly acquired skill, you will be making beautiful movies that you can enjoy. There are a couple of technical elements of shooting movies that you should be aware of, however, to get the most out of the camera and its features.

Recording Time It’s worth noting that the maximum recording time for any one sequence on the X100S is 10 minutes. You will find that all “still cameras” that shoot video have a limit of just under 30 minutes, because equipment that can shoot more than 30-minute bursts must legally be referred to as a “video camera.” The X100S falls somewhat short of the 30-minute maximum offered by most other still cameras that shoot movies. However, if you look at any professionally produced movie or TV show, you’ll notice that it is extremely rare to see a scene that is more than a few minutes in length. You can, of course, shoot multiple sequences, up to the capacity of your memory card (an 8 GB card will give you approximately 25 minutes of shooting time). Whenever I shoot video, I tend to use a 32 GB card to give me more recording time. It’s wise to use a card with a rating of 10 or more, which will give you enough speed to buffer the movie to the card adequately. A slower card speed is likely to cause problems, as the camera needs to buffer the footage to the memory card as fast as possible. It’s worth investing in faster cards even for still photography, but it’s essential for video recording.

Resolution and Aspect Ratio All movies recorded on the X100S are in full HD at a resolution of 1920x180 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio (this looks wonderful in wide-screen format). You have no control over the pixel resolution or aspect ratio.

248 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

File Formats All X100S movies are generated using the .MOV file format (Apple QuickTime), which can be read on all modern computers and imported into all postproduction software suites such as Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut Pro.

Watching Your Movies To watch your videos, simply press the Playback button and select the movie. If your card contains a combination of still shots and movies, you can tell the ones that are movies by the gray sprockets down the left- and right-hand sides of the preview (Figure 11.9). Once you can see the preview of the movie you wish to watch, press the Down button on the command dial to commence playback. You will see the movie on the LCD monitor, and the gray progress indicator bar will tell you how much of the movie

Figure 11.9  Movies are easy to identify in playback due to the film-like sprockets on the left and right.

has expired and how much is remaining. Similarly, to pause playback, press the command dial down; to stop the movie completely, press it up. You can adjust the playback volume by rotating the command dial. You can also skip through frames when paused by pressing the dial left and right. Of course, the best way to experience your movies is on a computer screen after the movies have been copied from your card. You move the video files from your camera to your computer in much the same way as you do still photographs. You can even use asset management software such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to import the movies for you. Remember, however, that movie files are likely to be much larger than the still files you may be used to, so you may need more storage space or an external drive to hold the files. Once the movies are offloaded, you can watch them in exactly the format produced by the camera, or you can choose to edit them (see the next section) to add even more cinematic wow.

11: Making Movies

 249

Editing and Workflow If you wish to enhance your movies further, you can use post-processing tools that are readily available. On the Apple platform, iMovie offers basic but useful editing opportunities, as does Microsoft’s Movie Maker on the Windows platform (Figure 11.10). Using these tools, you can perform basic enhancements such as clipping and splicing (chopping up your movie and putting scenes into an order), add fades and transitions, and even do some basic color grading. Color grading refers to using software to alter the look of the movie in terms of its overall color and tone. For example, in postproduction you can change a movie from color to black and white. You can also use these tools to add sound files and text clips to use as credits. Figure 11.10  Using tools such as Windows Movie Maker (shown here) or iMovie, you can make enhancements to your movies very quickly.

If you fancy yourself the next Steven Spielberg, you can consider some more advanced editing tools such as Adobe Premiere Elements, which will give you far more flexibility in your editing and final output. Using a more complex tool like Premiere Elements allows you to get creative with slow-motion editing, animated titling, and specialized film effects. For asset management of stills as well as video files, I tend to use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Lightroom is a great tool for cataloging and grouping your digital assets, and you can even make some basic adjustments to video files from within the software itself. If you wish to provide a viewing platform for the wider world, you can even use most of these tools to upload your video in Internet streaming formats (such as .MP4) to videohosting sites such as Vimeo or YouTube. The benefits of using these hosting solutions are many and varied. For example, for the most part, hosting is free unless you are planning on storing a lot of movie content online. You can also embed and share movies seamlessly into social media streams such as Facebook and Twitter, giving you a great platform to show off your newfound filmmaking skills.

250 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Chapter 11 Assignments Now that you understand the creative opportunities available to you as a moviemaker using your Fuji X100S, it’s time to put those newfound director talents to the test! These assignments will take you through the essentials of movie making while encouraging you to explore your creativity and sense of adventure.

Shoot your first movie Find a well-lit environment, perhaps the backyard or a local park. Using the Drive menu, switch the camera to Movie mode. Set the focus switch to AF-C, set the aperture ring to A, and press the shutter button fully to start recording your first movie. Walk around and move the camera as you walk. Preview the video and watch how the camera automatically adjusts its focus point for you.

Shoot in low light Take your camera to a low-light environment, perhaps a bar or a theater. Set the aperture to f/2 and adjust the exposure using the exposure compensation option if necessary. As the light fades further, put the camera into the 30 fps mode. Review your movies. Do you see any difference between 60 fps and 30 fps? Is the 30 fps a little more jittery during playback?

Focus creatively Using manual focus, create a movie at a large aperture, such as f/2 or f/2.8, and concentrate on moving focus between subjects during the recording. Keep steady with the focus ring!

Make a black-and-white documentary Using all of the techniques you have acquired in this chapter, shoot a short documentary or interview with a friend. Use one of the black-and-white film simulation modes for added creative flair. Shoot several scenes and copy them all to your computer. Using a video-editing tool, splice and cut your first movie. Sit back, grab the popcorn, and enjoy! Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

11: Making Movies

251

ISO 2000  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/2  •  23mm lens

12

Pimp My Ride Upgrades and accessories to expand your camera’s creative potential Many people are attracted to the original Fujifilm X100 because of its retro looks and old-style manual features and functions. That theme runs true through some of the available accessories and tools that you can add to your X100S to enhance your shooting experience. In addition to making your camera look very cool, these accessories—some of which I use on a daily basis—make the art of photographing with the X100S easier and even more pleasurable.

 253

Poring Over the Picture The X100S is a perfect camera for shooting candidly on the street, family holidays, commercial assignments, and landscape photography. With its great image rendering, dynamic range, and high ISO capabilities, it has become the camera of choice for many professionals. Hopefully, you can now use your X100S and make the migration from “snapshots” to “great shots”!

Adding foreground interest often adds to the image composition, as the bird and the leaves do here.

Using the wide conversion lens allowed me to include more of the scene without having to move position.

ISO 800  •  1/125 sec.  •  f/16  •  23mm lens

Wide Conversion Lens Although the X100S is considered a fixed-lens system, Fujifilm does offer a lens-adjusting accessory for the original X100. The wide conversion lens (WCL-X100) works perfectly well with the X100S, and essentially converts the 23mm lens that is standard with the X100S to a 19mm wide-angle lens. In 35mm equivalent ratios, it converts the lens on your X100S from a 35mm to a 28mm. The wide conversion lens attaches directly onto the X100S and opens up a whole new chapter for your shooting style. I’ve found the lens especially useful for landscape shooting and street photography when I’ve been in very close proximity to my subject but wanted a wider field of view (Figure 12.1). In situations where you can’t step back any farther, this lens allows that added width that might make the difference between having some of the image cropped (Figure 12.2) and including everything you want in the image (Figure 12.3). Figure 12.1  Using the wide conversion lens for this image allowed me to include the house as well as the decorative garden feature on the lawn. ISO 200  •  1/1000 sec.  •  f/2  •  19mm lens

256 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Figure 12.2  Without the wide conversion lens attached, I could not include the tree to the right of this frame. ISO 200  •  1/75 sec.  •  f/8  •  23mm lens

Figure 12.3  Using the wide conversion lens for this image allowed me to include more of the tree to the right of the frame and achieve the shot I wanted. ISO 200  •  1/75 sec.  •  f/8  •  19mm

12: Pimp My Ride

 257

If you can’t move farther back physically to include all the elements in a frame that you would like, you will end up chopping off certain elements of the image with the standard 23mm lens. With the 19mm that the WCL-X100 offers, usually you can mitigate that (Figure 12.4). When using the WCL-X100, it’s important to set the Wide Conversion Lens option in the camera’s shooting menu. Figure 12.4  The wide conversion lens fixed to my X100S.

Wide Conversion Lens and Sharpness Often, adding adapters and lens-adjusting mechanisms to camera systems will result in a lack of sharpness or some other image degradation during the exposure. However, the WCL-X100 delivers superb optical quality and maximizes versatility of the X100S by ensuring comparable image quality, even at the f/2 wide aperture setting, while retaining the original optical characteristics, including the attractive bokeh effect the lens exhibits when shooting “wide open.” Often, I shoot the whole day with the WCL-X100 attached to the camera.

258 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Tele Conversion Lens At the time of this writing, Fuji has just announced a new Tele Conversion Lens (TCL). The TCL will be very similar to the Wide Conversion Lens, with one difference: instead of widening the view of the lens, it narrows it. The Tele Conversion Lens will be an adapter that connects to the X100S in exactly the same way as the WCL, and it will allow you to shoot at the 35mm equivalent of 50mm with your X100S. If you have both conversion lenses, you will effectively have a system of 19mm, 23mm, and 35mm—a great combination.

Bags You’re not a real photographer if you haven’t pored over bags, cases, and straps. If you are anything like me, you will have a whole closet stacked full of bags and other items that aren’t “quite right.” So, how do you choose the right bag for you? Well, to a certain extent it depends on the type of shooting you are planning to do. But because the X100S doesn’t offer an interchangeable lens, it’s unlikely that you will need a very large carrying system for this camera. With this in mind, my personal favorite for shooting for prolonged periods of time is the Think Tank Retrospective 7 (Figure 12.5). It’s got a large central cargo area, which is plenty big enough for the camera and accessories like the wide conversion lens. Often, I will take a charger with me, spare batteries of course, and lens wipes as well. The bag has a rear pocket that is perfect for my tablet and plenty of secure storage for mobile phones, wallets, etc. If you’re shooting with the X100S, I really don’t think you need anything bigger than this. That said, if you need to carry tripods, wet weather gear, and other supplies, you might need something a little larger.

Figure 12.5  Loaded with my X100S, charger, and wide conversion lens, my Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 bag still has plenty more space.

12: Pimp My Ride

 259

Hoods and Straps The X100S doesn’t come with a lens hood, but I recommend purchasing a compatible one. A lens hood is useful primarily to help block out some of the light that could come into the lens and cause flare by striking the elements within the lens. Additionally, a lens hood helps protect the lens from bumps and scratches. I have added the official Fujifilm LH-X100 lens hood and adapter ring to my X100S. The adapter ring that comes with the lens hood is needed if you want to add additional filters to your lens (filters, such as UV filters, can also be purchased, though personally I don’t use them). There are plenty of aftermarket lens hoods out there that you may consider. But for me, the Fujifilm LH-X100 lens hood, while quite expensive, is worth it, as it is made from the same magnesium alloy as the X100S, making it sturdy and reliable (Figure 12.6).

Figure 12.6  The Fujifilm LH-X100 lens hood for the X100S helps to avoid lens flare while also protecting the lens.

Almost as important as the lens hood is the strap that you use with the camera. The branded strap that comes with the X100S is fine for casual use, but, if like me, you prefer to carry your camera over your shoulder (rather than around your neck) when you use it Figure 12.7  A stable camera strap is an essential addition to your accessories list, especially when shooting for prolonged periods of time.

260 

for a prolonged period of time, you’ll notice that it’s very easy for the camera to slip off your shoulders. When shooting on the street or at a wedding, you need to be able to rely on your camera not to slip and always to be available for capturing those great shots. So for my work, I prefer to use a different strap. Of course, lots of straps are available. I use an aftermarket strap by UPstrap USA called the RF Nylon Web Camera Strap (Figure 12.7). UPstraps are made of Kevlar and are virtually nonslip, so I can shoot comfortably for the whole day without worrying about the camera falling off my shoulder.

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Thumb Grips A thumb grip can help with the stability in handling of the camera. Especially if you shoot one-handed, the thumb grip can bring great support to the camera in landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) mode. Thumb grips are usually curved, offering a much more natural position for the thumb while not hindering operation

Figure 12.8  Adding a thumb grip to your X100S will aid with stability when shooting in either portrait or landscape orientation.

of the camera (Figure 12.8).

Soft Release Buttons The X100S has a threaded shutter button, which means you can add accessories like soft release buttons. A soft release button allows you more leverage on the shutter button by essentially creating a larger shutter button. Added stability from the soft release button also helps during long exposures. Soft release buttons come in many sizes and designs, too, so you can choose one that adds a splash of color or makes a design statement. Personally, mine are bright red (Figure 12.9).

Figure 12.9  Soft release buttons make the shutter button more tactile and can add a bit of personality to your X100S.

Image Stabilization Tools One of the most important things to do when taking photographs is to ensure that your camera is stable. There are plenty of ways to reduce camera shake and, in turn, increase image sharpness.

Tripods and Tripod Heads Few accessories for your camera are more essential than a tripod. A tripod is the perfect tool for reducing camera shake and capturing rock-steady images. It can make your images sharper while enabling you to shoot in any lighting condition (see Chapter 7, “Low Lighting”).

12: Pimp My Ride

 261

When shopping for a tripod, you have a plethora of options to choose from, so how do you pick the right one for you and your X100S? Primary considerations should be weight, height, and the tripod head (often sold separately). For starters, weight. One key advantage of an X100S is the compact size and weight of the camera itself. It may seem awkward to couple the camera with a very heavy or large tripod, and to a certain extent the size of the tripod will likely determine how far you travel with it. There are many types of materials used to build tripods and, as usual, you get what you pay for with the high-end, more expensive carbon-fiber options. But you may also consider an aluminum tripod that is both heavy and sturdy enough for the light X100S. Second, height. Make sure the tripod extends to a height that is tall enough to allow you to shoot from your standing position. Some tripods are great for people who are 5 feet 6 inches tall, but not so great for those who are 6 feet 5 inches tall. Because the X100S is not very heavy at all, the taller the tripod, the sturdier it needs to be to maintain a rigid base. Next, you’ll need to consider the head that you use on the tripod. There are two main styles to choose from: ball and pan. Ball heads use a ball joint mechanism that allows you to position the camera freely and secure it according to the image you are trying to make. Pan heads usually swivel and use hinged joints that allow the camera to pan left and right, or move up and down. Often, handles or levers are used on these heads to allow accurate positioning of the camera. The pan head is probably the most widely used head by photographers.

Gorillapods If you don’t want to carry around a tripod and are unsure if you will need one on your shoot, consider a Gorillapod. A Gorillapod is a small and flexible tripod that you can bend and rotate, offering a range of positioning possibilities for your camera. It is very lightweight, with the added bonus of having legs that can wrap and attach themselves to almost any surface type. A Gorillapod can fit easily in your camera bag, and as long as you are happy with its limitations (shorter and less sturdy than a full tripod), it may be the perfect companion for your X100S when you’re out shooting.

262 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Shutter Release Cables The obvious piece of equipment to use to reduce camera shake is a tripod, but remember that other options are available. A shutter release cable enables you to shoot in Bulb (B) mode or long-exposure images without the risk of camera shake being introduced while pressing the shutter button. A shutter release cable is by no means an essential accessory— in fact, in its absence you can always use the X100S’s self-timer feature. But if you are going to be doing any serious landscape, cityscape, or long-exposure work, consider investing in a shutter release cable as an added weapon in the quest for shake-free images.

Flash Systems Although the X100S has an onboard flash, which works in harmony with the camera’s exposure controls to create well-lit and exposed images, it is limited in power. Also, it’s a fixed flash with no means of changing its position. However, a number of options are available if you want to experiment with the creativity that dedicated flash units offer. All modern external flashes offered by Fujifilm work well with the X100S, thanks to the camera’s hot shoe, the mounting point on top of the camera. While used primarily for mounting an external flash unit, the hot shoe can also be used for other accessories such as the thumb grips mentioned earlier in this chapter. If you want a TTL (through the lens) flash, you can choose between the EF-20, the EF-X20, or the EF-42. • The EF-20 is a very small, portable flash unit that aesthetically works very well aboard the X100S. The EF-20 sits in the hot shoe. Crucially, it can be tilted, unlike the onboard flash; this enables the use of bounced flash. Bounced flash is exactly as the name suggests: flash (or light) that is bounced off a reflective surface. You may bounce the flash off a light-colored wall, for example, to soften the harshness of the light and allow it to spill around the subject more evenly. The EF-20 also sports a built-in diffuser, which is great for, well, diffusing the light, especially for wide-angle shots. The EF-20 has a guide number (GN) of 20. The GN refers to the flash’s ability to illuminate the subject. Broadly speaking, the higher the guide number, the stronger the flash. The X100S’s built-in flash has a GN of approximately 4.5.

12: Pimp My Ride

 263

• My personal favorite flash unit is the EF-X20 (Figure 12.10), which also has a GN of 20. Usually, I have it in my bag at weddings, as well as when shooting in very low-light situations on the streets. This tiny TTL flash fits in the palm of your hand and features what Fuji calls “unique flash control technology,” automatically optimizing the amount of light suitable to every shooting condition. You can use this flash unit in a number of ways: sitting

Figure 12.10  The EF-X20 flash unit.

in the hot shoe on the camera just like the EF-20, handheld and triggered as a slave unit by the built-in flash (in this case, the X100S’s built-in flash triggers the EF-X20; the X100S is the master, and the EF-X20 is the slave), or via a hot shoe cord (I use the Canon OC-E3 Off Camera Shoe Cord, which works perfectly). The hot shoe cord gives you complete control over the flash’s position. You can use it to bounce flash back at the subject or for creative lighting situations such as ghoul lighting, where you shine the flash directly up under the subject’s face to create a ghoulish effect (namely, dark shadows around the eyes, similar to a ghoulish caricature). • The EF-42 is a far more powerful flash, with a guide number of 42, and its flash head can be rotated left to right as well as tilted up and down. The benefit of the EF-42 is in its power, though for some, the sheer size and weight, coupled with the X100S, may be a little unwieldy.

What About the Onboard Flash? The X100S’s built-in flash performs adequately well for everyday shooting (see Chapter 7, “Low Lighting”). In situations where you need fill flash or don’t require the additional flexibility of an off-camera flash system, the X100S’s onboard flash is perfectly suitable.

264 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Chapter 12 Assignments This chapter introduced you to some of the accessories that I use with my X100S on a daily basis. Of course, whether you choose to use them or not is entirely up to you! If you do, here are a couple of tasks to help you get started with them.

Go wide If you purchase a wide conversion lens, find a subject to photograph that would restrict your physical movement, such as a small room or a theater where you are restricted to shooting from your seat. Shoot with the standard lens, then add the wide conversion lens and shoot the same image. Compare both images and notice how much more of the scene you captured with the wide conversion lens.

Shoot without shake With a soft release cable attached to your X100S, set up the camera in Bulb mode and take a low-light image that requires absolute sharpness, for example, a nighttime shot of a lit-up city. (If you don’t have a soft release cable, consider shooting the image using a tripod to avoid camera shake.) Once you’ve shot the image, take another shot, this time handheld. Notice the difference in clarity and sharpness between the two images.

Use a handheld flash With a slave flash such as the EF-X20 in your hand, use the X100S’s onboard flash to trigger the flash unit in your hand. Try holding the flash above, below, and to the side of a subject, and look at the different effects that can be created simply by moving the flash around the subject. Share your results with the book’s Flickr group! Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/fujiX100S_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

12: Pimp My Ride

265

Index A about this book, xiii–xv accessories, 253–265 bags, 259 conversion lenses, 256–259 flash systems, 263–264 hoods and straps, 260 shutter release cables, 263 soft release buttons, 261 thumb grips, 261 tripods and heads, 261–262 action portraits, 114–115 Adams, Ansel, 199 adapter ring, 260 Adobe RGB color space, 14 advanced filters, 144–146, 147 AE bracketing, 225–226 AF Mode menu option, 200–201 AF-C mode, 13, 114, 203–204, 246 AFL/AEL button, 82, 206, 207–208 AF-S mode, 13, 109, 201–202, 246 ambient light, 153, 155, 167 angles, compositions using, 178 Aperture Priority (A) mode, 12, 70–75 assignment on using, 89 author’s preference for, 86 camera configuration for, 71 Depth of Field Preview in, 75 exposure compensation in, 80 long exposures using, 161 photo examples taken in, 71, 72, 73 portrait photography and, 71, 96–97 setting up and shooting in, 74–75 shutter speed limitations in, 74 situations for using, 71–73

266 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

aperture settings adjusting, 48 depth of field and, 38, 39, 70–71 explained, 11, 34 exposure and, 34, 35 focusing attention using, 188 f-stops and, 11, 74 landscape photography and, 139 portrait photography and, 96–97 shutter speed and, 38, 69, 74, 78 street photography and, 204 video recording and, 245 X100S examples of, 31, 32 area AF mode, 201–202 aspect ratio, 8, 9, 248 Atget, Eugene, 199 audio recording, 243–244 Auto Dynamic Range setting, 86, 87 Auto flash mode, 164, 165 Auto ISO feature, 10–11, 84–85, 155 Auto Power Off feature, 7 Auto white balance, 131 autofocus (AF) modes, 13 automatic modes, 62 Average metering mode, 101, 102

B back button focusing, 207–208, 215 backgrounds blurring, 97, 176 composition and, 186 portrait, 96–97, 99 backlit subjects, 162 back-of-camera features, 3

backup battery, 7 bags, camera, 259 ball heads, 262 barrel distortion, 33 battery backup, 7 charging, 6 battery indicator, 6, 47 beach scenes, 224 Big Stopper filter, 129–130 black-and-white images landscapes as, 135–136 portraits as, 92–93, 105, 117 blur background, 97, 176 motion, 36, 37 blur warning icon, 52 bokeh, 36, 97 bounced flash, 263 bracketing exposures, 225–228 AE bracketing, 225–226 assignment about, 237 dynamic range bracketing, 228 film simulation bracketing, 227–228 ISO bracketing, 226–227 bright frame, 47 brightness, 140, 179 buffering process, 5–6 built-in flash, 161–165, 264 Bulb (B) mode, 12, 160, 161 burst mode action portraits and, 114 street photography and, 206–207

C camera shake, 124, 153, 157, 168 candid photography, 191 action portraits as, 114–115

annotated examples of, 192–193, 218–219 focus modes for, 200–206 See also street photography captioning images, 215 Cartier-Bresson, Henri, 194, 196, 199 catchlight, 116 charging the battery, 6 chimping, 17 clipping, 46 close-up photography. See macro photography clouds in photos, 138 color composition, 182–183, 188 color saturation settings, 88 color space settings, 14–15 color temperature, 133 colors contrasting, 182 eyes drawn to, 140 saturated, 182 command control, 65, 74, 206 Commander mode, 112, 164 composition, 171–189 angles and, 178 annotated examples of, 172–175 assignments on, 188–189 backgrounds and, 186 color and, 182–183 combining elements of, 187, 189 contrast and, 182, 184 depth of field and, 176–177 landscape, 140–142 leading lines and, 185 light and, 179 point of view and, 180–181 portrait, 116 reflections and, 177 rule of thirds and, 140–141 street photography, 195 continuous autofocus (AF-C) mode, 13, 114, 203–204, 246 continuous shooting mode, 52 action portraits and, 114 street photography and, 206–207 contrast-detect AF, 159 contrasting elements, 182, 184

Corrected AF Frame option, 17, 50–51 crop factor, 33 cropping portraits, 116 crop-sensor camera, 71 custom settings, 209–210 Custom white balance, 132 customizing viewfinder displays, 54–56

D decisive moment, 194, 196 depth of field aperture settings and, 38, 39, 70–71 bokeh and, 36, 97 composition and, 176–177 focusing attention using, 188 landscape photography and, 139 portrait photography and, 96–97, 117 preview option for, 52, 75 X100S lens and, 31 Depth of Field Preview option, 52, 75 Detail Information view, 18 Detailed display mode, 56 digital negatives, 8 Digital Split Image option, 206 Display Custom setting, 54, 55 distance indicator, 47 distortion, barrel, 33 documentary photography, 85 Drive button, 52, 206 DSLR cameras, 153 dynamic range, 47, 86–87, 234 dynamic range bracketing, 228 Dynamic Tone filter, 145, 146

E editing videos, 250 EF-20 flash unit, 263 EF-42 flash unit, 264 EF-X20 flash unit, 111, 264 electronic viewfinder (EVF), 17, 52–53 assignment on using, 57

illustration of options in, 45 overview of functions in, 52–53 environmental portraits, 96, 97 equivalent focal lengths, 33 expanded ISO levels, 11, 155–157 exposure, 33–36 bracketing, 225–228 definition of, 33 elements of, 11, 33–34 locking, 48, 82–83, 104 long, 67, 68 multiple, 229–230 reciprocal settings for, 35–36 video recording and, 244–246 exposure compensation, 48, 79–81 assignment on using, 89 dial for controlling, 79 exposure modes and, 80–81 flash exposures and, 167 scale indicating, 76–77, 79 video recording and, 246 exposure lock, 48, 82–83 exposure modes, 12, 48, 59–68 See also professional modes exposure preview, 113 exposure triangle, 33 exposure value (EV), 33 External Flash mode, 164 See also off-camera flash Eye Sensor view mode, 54 Eye-Fi cards, 52 eyes catchlight in, 116 focusing on, 106–107, 108

F face detection, 109 fast lenses, 72 fast shutter speeds, 69, 78 fill flash, 110, 117, 164 film simulation bracketing, 227–228 film simulation modes, 47, 105–106 Monochrome+R, 135 Sepia, 105, 106 video recording in, 247–248, 251

Index

 267

filters, 127–130 advanced, 144–146, 147 neutral density, 48, 73, 128–129, 147 third-party, 129–130 Fine white balance, 131, 134 fireworks, 160 firmware updates, 27, 29–30, 41 fixed lens, 30 flash bounced, 263 built-in, 161–165, 264 choosing modes for, 47 exposure compensation for, 167 fill, 110, 117, 164 low lighting and, 38, 161–165 manually shooting with, 167 off-camera, 110–113, 164, 263–264, 265 options for controlling, 164 red-eye removal for, 166–167 TTL metering for, 161–162 flash exposure compensation, 167 Flickr group for book, xv, 19 Fluorescent white balance, 131, 134 Fn button, 75, 128, 210 focal length, 30, 33 focus distance scale, 204 focus frame, 47, 200–201 Focus Lock/Exposure button, 82 focus modes, 200–206 assignment on exploring, 215 continuous autofocus, 13, 114, 203–204 focus frame adjustments, 200–201 manual focus, 48, 140, 204–206 single autofocus, 13, 109, 201–202 video recording and, 246–247 Focus Peak Highlight option, 159–160, 206 focus points changing the size of, 107 EVF vs. OVF, 12, 200 low-light photography and, 159

268 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

portrait photography and, 107, 109 steps for setting, 13 focusing for landscape photography, 139–140 for low-light photography, 158–160, 169 for portrait photography, 106–109 for street photography, 201, 202, 203, 204–205, 207–208 for video recording, 246–247, 251 Forced Flash mode, 164 formatting memory cards, 28, 29, 41 frame rate for video, 242 framing images, 142 freezing motion, 36, 37, 67 front-of-camera features, 2 f-stops, 11, 34, 35, 74 See also aperture settings Fujifilm website, 29 Fujifilm X100 camera, 26, 27 Fujifilm X100S camera features illustration, 2–4 firmware updates, 29–30 Fujifilm X100 compared to, 26 items included with, 5 viewfinders, 15–17, 43–57 Function (Fn) button, 75, 128, 210

bracketing exposures for, 225 setting up for shooting, 236 tripods required for, 124 High Performance option, 7 Highlight Tone settings, 88, 135–136 histograms, 46, 48, 57 horizon line, 140, 141 hot shoe, 110, 111, 263 humorous images, 211 hybrid viewfinder, 15, 43, 57 hyperfocal distance (HFD), 139

I

gift icon, 28 Gilden, Bruce, 199 golden light, 137–138 Gorillapod, 157, 262 graduated filters, 130

image formats, 8–9 image quality settings, 8–9, 47 image size settings, 8, 9, 47 iMovie program, 250 Incandescent white balance, 131 internal memory indicator, 48 ISO bracketing, 226–227 ISO settings assignment on exploring, 168 Auto ISO feature, 10–11, 84–85, 155 expanded, 11, 155–157 explained, 10, 33 exposure and, 33, 34, 35 landscape photos and, 126–127 low-light photos and, 152–157 noise in images and, 126–127, 155 portrait photography and, 100 sensitivity options, 48, 85 shutter speed and, 153, 154, 155 steps for selecting, 11, 127

H

J

handheld photography, 153, 157, 168, 265 heads, tripod, 125, 262 High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, 234–236 assignment on shooting, 237

JPEG file format, 8–9 advanced filters and, 144, 145 film simulation modes and, 106 ISO bracketing and, 227 noise reduction and, 155

G

L landscape photography, 119–147 annotated examples of, 120–123 assignments on shooting, 147 black-and-white, 135–136 composition in, 140–142 depth of field in, 139 filters for, 127–130, 144–146, 147 focusing for, 139–140 golden light in, 137–138 hyperfocal distance in, 139 ISO settings for, 126–127 manual focus mode for, 140 panoramas and, 142–144, 147 sunrise/sunset in, 137–138 tripods used for, 124–125, 139, 147 waterfall shots in, 129–130 white balance settings for, 131–134, 147 LCD monitor Detailed view, 56 video recording display, 240 view modes using, 54 zoom feature, 155 leading lines, 185, 188 lens barrel distortion, 33 lens flare, 233–234 lens hood, 234, 260 lens on Fujifilm X100S, 30–33 accessories for, 256–259 assignment on exploring, 41 lighting composition and, 179, 189 portrait photography and, 98, 115 street photography and, 195, 197 See also flash; low-light photography Lightroom, 106, 134, 249, 250 lines, leading, 185, 188 locking exposure, 48, 82–83, 104 London cityscape photo, 174–175 Long Exposure Noise Reduction, 161

long exposures low-light photography and, 160–161, 169 Shutter Priority mode for, 67, 68 lossy compression, 8 low-light photography, 149–169 annotated example of, 150–151 Aperture Priority mode for, 72 assignments on shooting, 168–169 built-in flash for, 38, 161–165 flash exposure compensation for, 167 focusing for, 158–160, 169 ISO settings for, 152–157 long exposures for, 67, 68, 160–161, 169 noise reduction for, 155, 161 red-eye removal for, 166–167 stabilizing the camera for, 157 tripods used for, 157 video recording and, 251 luminance histogram, 46

M macro photography, 52, 230–232 annotated example of, 220–221 assignment on exploring, 237 macro mode for shooting, 232 manual focus (MF) mode, 13, 204–206 fine-tuning compositions using, 140 Focus Peak Highlight option, 159–160 OVF icon indicating, 48 video recording using, 246–247 Manual (M) mode, 12, 75–78 assignment on using, 89 camera configuration for, 76 Depth of Field Preview in, 75 exposure compensation scale in, 76–77 fast shutter speeds and, 78

flash photography in, 167 photo examples taken in, 77 setting up and shooting in, 78 situations for using, 77, 86 turning off exposure preview in, 113 Max. Sensitivity setting, 85 memory cards, 27–29 buffering to, 5–6 capacity considerations, 27 characteristics of SD, 5 formatting, 28, 29, 41 tips on using, 27–28 video and, 243, 248 metering modes, 47, 101–103, 117 Average, 101, 102 Multi, 101, 103 Spot, 101, 103, 222–224 microphones, 243–244 Min. Shutter Speed setting, 85 mirrorless cameras, 153 model release, 196 Monitor Sunlight mode, 52 Monochrome+R film simulation, 135 motion blurring, 36, 37 freezing, 36, 37, 67 portraying, 22–23, 38, 40, 67, 68 shutter speed and, 36, 37, 38, 40 motion panorama feature, 142, 143–144 .MOV file format, 249 Movie mode, 241, 242, 246 See also video recording Multi AF mode, 201 Multi metering mode, 101, 103 Multiple Exposure feature, 229–230, 237

N natural light, 117 ND (neutral density) filter built-in, 128–129 OVF icon indicating, 48 third-party, 129–130, 147

Index

 269

noise in images ISO settings and, 126–127, 155, 156 long exposures and, 161 Noise Reduction settings, 88, 155, 161, 168

O off-camera flash, 110–113 exposure preview and, 113 handheld flash as, 265 how it works, 110–111 setting up for, 112 units recommended for, 263–264 optical viewfinder (OVF), 16, 44, 47–51 assignment on using, 57 benefits of using, 49 Corrected AF Frame option, 50–51 illustration of options in, 44 overview of functions in, 47–49 parallax effect and, 49–50, 51 Outdoor mode, 52, 209 overexposed images, 76–77

P pan heads, 262 panoramas, 142–144, 147 parallax, 17, 49–50 assignment on working with, 57 Corrected AF Frame option for, 50–51 optical viewfinder and, 49–50, 51 Parr, Martin, 199 performance level settings, 7 peripheral vision, 49 perspective, 180–181, 189 pet photography, 99 phase-detection AF, 159 photometry, 101 Photoshop, 234, 236, 237 Playback button, 18, 249 point of view, 180–181, 189

270 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

portrait orientation, 116 portraits, 91–117 action shots as, 114–115 annotated examples of, 92–95 Aperture Priority mode for, 71, 96–97 assignments on shooting, 117 backgrounds for, 96–97, 99 black-and-white, 92–93, 105, 117 composition of, 116 depth of field in, 96–97, 117 environmental, 96, 97 fill flash for, 110 film simulations for, 105–106 focusing for, 106–109 ISO setting for, 100 lighting for, 98, 115 locking exposure for, 104 macro photography for, 231 metering modes for, 101–103, 117, 224 off-camera flash for, 110–113 tips for shooting, 115–116 white balance for, 100 Power Management option, 7 Premiere Elements, 250 preparedness for shooting, 34 professional modes, 59–78 Aperture Priority mode, 70–75 assignments on using, 89 Manual mode, 75–78 Program mode, 62–65 Shutter Priority mode, 66–70 Program (P) mode, 12, 62–65 assignment on using, 89 Auto flash mode and, 164 camera configuration for, 63 exposure compensation in, 80 limitations in, 64, 78 photo example taken in, 64 program shift in, 65 setting up and shooting in, 65 situations for using, 64, 65 program shift, 65

Q Q button, 208–209 quality settings, 8–9

R .RAF file extension, 10 RAW file format, 8–9 color space and, 15 dynamic range setting and, 87 film simulation modes and, 106 Fuji X-Series files and, 10 HDR photography and, 236 ISO bracketing and, 227 noise reduction and, 155 white balance and, 134 RAW+JPEG option, 9, 155 reciprocal exposures, 35–36 recomposing portraits, 109 Red-Eye Removal feature, 166–167 reflections, shooting, 177 resolution image, 26 video, 26, 248 reviewing images, 17–18 assignment on, 19 Detail Information view for, 18 duration setting for, 18 rule of thirds, 140–141

S saturated colors, 182 scene modes, 62 screen display. See LCD monitor SD cards, 5, 27–29, 243 See also memory cards SDHC cards, 27 SDXC cards, 28 self-timer, 52, 263 sensitivity, ISO, 48, 85 Sepia film simulation, 105, 106 Shade white balance, 100, 131 Shadow Tone settings, 88, 135–136 shadows composition using, 179 fill flash for reducing, 110, 117, 164 sharpness of photos aperture settings and, 38, 39 eyes drawn to, 140

hyperfocal distance and, 139 option for adjusting, 88 wide conversion lens and, 258 shooting configuration options, 208 shooting from the hip, 204, 215 Shooting menu, 9, 11, 51, 55, 84 Shutter Priority (S) mode, 12, 66–70 action portraits and, 114 aperture limitations in, 69 assignment on using, 89 camera configuration for, 66–67 exposure compensation in, 80 photo examples taken in, 67, 68 setting up and shooting in, 70 situations for using, 67–68 shutter release cables, 161, 263, 265 shutter speed adjusting, 48, 69 aperture settings and, 38, 69, 74, 78 explained, 11, 34 exposure and, 34, 35 fast vs. slow, 69 intermediate selections for, 69 ISO setting and, 153, 154, 155 minimum setting for, 85 motion and, 36, 37, 38, 40 tripod use and, 124, 125 silent mode EVF indicator for, 52 hot shoe disabled in, 111 single autofocus (AF-S) mode, 13, 109, 201–202, 246 slow shutter speeds, 69 Slow Sync flash mode, 164, 165 soft release buttons, 261 Spot metering mode, 101, 103, 222–224 assignments on exploring, 237 situations for using, 223–224 steps for selecting, 223 sRGB color space, 14 storytelling photography, 194 straps, camera, 260

street photography, 191–215 annotated examples of, 24–25, 192–193 assignments on shooting, 215 back button focusing for, 207–208, 215 beating your fear of, 196–197, 215 burst mode for, 206–207 choosing topics for, 198 composition of, 195 configuring features for, 207–210 decisive moment in, 194, 196 definition of, 194 elements of, 194–195 focus modes for, 200–206 inspirations for, 199 light used in, 195, 197 patience required for, 197 tips for shooting, 211–214 sunlight lens flare from, 233–234 portrait photography and, 110, 117 Sunny 16 Rule, 36 sunrise/sunset photos, 137–138 Suppressed Flash mode, 164

T Tele Conversion Lens (TCL), 259 temperature warning icon, 48 Think Tank Retrospective 7 bag, 259 third-party filters, 129–130 thumb grips, 261 tight spaces, 31, 32 Time (T) mode, 12, 161 Time Value Priority (Tv) mode, 66 tone mapping process, 234 top-of-camera features, 4 triggers, flash, 110 tripods, 261–262 advice on choosing, 125, 262 ball and pan heads for, 262 landscape photography and, 124–125, 139, 147 low-light photography and, 157

shutter speed for using, 125 stability considerations, 125 TTL metering, 161–162

U underexposed images, 76–77 Underwater white balance, 131 updating the firmware, 27, 29–30, 41

V Versace, Vincent, 188 video recording, 239–251 assignments on, 251 audio for, 243–244 editing tools for, 250 exposure for, 244–246 file format for, 249 film simulations for, 247–248, 251 focus modes for, 246–247, 251 frame rate for, 242 LCD monitor display for, 240 maximum time for, 248 memory cards and, 243, 248 Movie mode for, 241, 242, 246 resolution and aspect ratio for, 248 setting up and starting, 241, 251 watching/reviewing, 249 white balance for, 247 View Mode button, 53–54 Viewfinder mode, 54 viewfinders, 15–17, 43–57 assignments on using, 57 customizing, 54–56 electronic, 17, 45, 52–53 explained, 15–16, 43 histogram in, 46, 57 optical, 16, 44, 47–51 selecting, 19, 53 switching between, 53–54 virtual horizon, 47

Index

 271

W water, showing motion in, 129–130 WCL-X100 conversion lens, 97, 256–258 white balance settings color temperature and, 133 creating custom, 132 displayed in OVF, 47 landscape photography and, 131–134, 147 portrait photography and, 100 presets available as, 131 RAW file format and, 134 shift function for, 133 steps for selecting, 131 video recording and, 247 wide conversion lens, 52, 97, 256–258, 265 Windows Movie Maker, 250

Y Yokohama, Japan, 60–61

272 

F u j i f i l m X 1 0 0 S : F r o m S n a p s h o t s t o G r e at S h o t s

Join the

Peachpit Affiliate Team!

You love our books and you love to share them with your colleagues and friends...why not earn some $$ doing it!

If you have a website, blog or even a Facebook page, you can start earning money by putting a Peachpit link on your page. If a visitor clicks on that link and purchases something on peachpit.com, you earn commissions* on all sales! Every sale you bring to our site will earn you a commission. All you have to do is post an ad and we’ll take care of the rest.

Apply and get started! It’s quick and easy to apply. To learn more go to: http://www.peachpit.com/affiliates/ *Valid for all books, eBooks and video sales at www.Peachpit.com

View more...

Comments

Copyright ©2017 KUPDF Inc.
SUPPORT KUPDF