Going to italy is probably the most typical german holiday. I’ve spent a lot of time on crowded beaches with my family when I was a kid and I remember exploring old, and charming cities. This time, my trip didn’t take me to the beach or big cities but into north Italy, an area that is mostly covered by mountain ranges. One of the most impressive places there is the UNESCO world heritage called Dolomites.

Together with Florian Wenzel, who perfectly planned our route, I took a two day photography trip to explore those rough landscapes. Our AirBnB room only cost us about 50€ and was in the heart of the Dolomites, a place called “Pozza di Fassa”. The place we wanted to take photos at in the morning was only about 60 kilometers away but what we didn’t consider was the fact that it easily takes 1.5 hours to drive this distance through the mountains. Getting up at 5am, I navigated us through quite scary serpentines and my car’s motor was howling through the night as we got higher and higher to our sunrise destination. The best place to set base in this area seems to be “St. Christina” as it’s directly in the middle of quite a few beautiful landmarks.

suedtirol-1001suedtirol-1002

Seiser Alm / Alp Di Siusi

The “Alp Di Siusi”, as the Italians call it is a plateau surrounded by a 360° mountain view. Getting there can be quite easy but we took the hard route. Like many times before, Google maps didn’t realise that i’m only driving a Skóda Fabia and not a fancy SUV. I ended up on a road that I wasn’t supposed to drive on and that led directly uphill into a forest. We tried to figure out the situation for a few minutes and then decided that this seems to be the only possible way to get there. So there we were, driving on a one way street through pitch black, sometimes on the edge of a river, sometimes I don’t even want to know what there was or wasn’t next to the road. Even though we didn’t know exactly which point on the Alp Di Siusi we wanna go, the road brought us to the perfect spot with a beautiful view towards the sunrise and a big field full of small wooden houses in front of us. Another thing that we didn’t consider was that the sunrise might be scheduled at 7:30 but it takes nearly another hour until it rises over the top of the mountain. After finding the perfect spot for taking our shots, we stood another hour in the cold, walking in circles to keep us warm just to capture that one moment.

On the way down we found out that there is actually an easier, bigger and “official” road to the Alp Di Siusi. So please, if you plan to go there: don’t take the scary route through the woods. Google Maps might tell you so because it’s shorter but if you drive through a mountain village called “Kastelruth”, it’s a bit longer but you’ll have a way lower heart rate when you arrive. Plus the village is the origin of a super awful german/austrian folk-music group called “Kastelruther Spatzen” so you also drive through a bit of embarrassing music history.

suedtirol-1004suedtirol-1006suedtirol-1003suedtirol-1007suedtirol-1005suedtirol-1008suedtirol-1009suedtirol-1010suedtirol-1011suedtirol-1013suedtirol-1012suedtirol-1014suedtirol-1015suedtirol-1017suedtirol-1016suedtirol-1018suedtirol-1019suedtirol-1023suedtirol-1022suedtirol-1020suedtirol-1025suedtirol-1021suedtirol-1024

Gardena Pass / Sella Pass

If you have a bit more time and fitness, you might wanna target two beautiful mountain passes called “Gardena Pass” and “Sella Pass”, just make sure you bring proper hiking shoes cause if you go there anywhere close to winter, some tracks will be quite slippery. And believe me, you wanna takes those tracks because they are the ones that bring you to really nice views. The upside of going there in winter is that there is basically no bad light for photography. On one of the mountain passes I photographed in midday sun and the light shaped the mountains in a beautiful, three dimensional way. It’s also quite safe to get there by car. Apart from the usual winding roads, you’ll have no problems and it’s a perfect area if you wanna go for a hike.

suedtirol-1028suedtirol-1026suedtirol-1027suedtirol-1029suedtirol-1031suedtirol-1030

In April i bought a Sony A7II and got the brand new ZEISS Batis 18mm 2.8 for testing. I did a video test for the Website Netucated.com, that you can find here. Moreover i did a written test for kwerfeldein.de which can be found here. Both tests are in German. I just wanted to quickly show you a few photos i took with the lens.DSC00200DSC00172DSC00084DSC00204DSC00199DSC00207-EditDSC00037-EditAnd this is what the lens looks on a Sony A7II. Pretty big, huh?IMG_6691

It's winter, it's cold, it's dark outside, the weather is awful... it's time to try something new! While i used speedlites sometimes in my people photography, especially for shooting band's portraits, flash-photography is mostly a trial and error for me. It's one of these "I have no idea what i'm doing" situations but eventually i figured out how i can use it to my advantage to make people stand out, give a scene a more three-dimensional look or create backlight situations on weddings for example.

Lately i began to adore more and more food photographers. And those guys, who are highly specialised in shooting food seem to have it all figured out. I rarely see light and shadows so perfectly set and so carefully designed as in the classic tabletop food-photography. Why not try that myself to learn something new? It's great how many "behind the scenes"-shots of light setups you find when you search for it on Facebook or Google. And it's amazing how many approaches there are.

Alrighty, let's try it out ourselves, shall we? Have you got your 5.000€ Pro-Photo setup all ready? Great! Because for what we try out now, you can sell all of that, buy the equipment i used and do a really (really) nice vacation with the rest of the money.

One light

Considering you already have a camera and a lens, the photographic equipment  you still need can be as cheap as about 190$. But then you've got everything to start and do proper tabletop-photography (and a lot more). I'll post Amazon-links to the equipment used in this article including a complete listing at the end of the post. All the links used are affiliate links. If you buy stuff with those links, you can support me. You won't pay a cent more but i'll get a little share from Amazon.

Let's take a look at this photo:

IMG_1393

After some research, i realised that the photos i found most interesting make use of backlight (which is anyways what i like). While i wasn't yet able to give my scene as much depth as i wanted to, i was amazed by how fast i achieved results like the above picture. The big question now is: how did my light-setup look?

diagram_englisch

As you can see on this chart, I used only one flash and I even used it as backlight. You should note that "backlight" doesn't automatically mean that the light is directly opposite to the camera, it simply means the light comes from behind the subject, creating a rimlight. The shadows are faced towards the camera which can be a really good thing as those many shapes of shadows create great depth in your photo. Even greater depth combined with the mentioned rimlight! The Flash I used was a Yongnuo YN560. It's a completely manual flash but has a built in receiver for the Yongnuo RF-603 that I put into my camera's hot shoe. With this combination i can fire the flash wireless. My light modifier was a really, really cheap Umbrella softbox. I love it mostly because you can fold it up like an umbrella without any effort so it's a great softbox for traveling. You can even fit it in a suitcase to take it on planes. Togehter with my lightstand, it results in a perfect speedlite travel kit for me. I can also take it easily on the subway or other public transport if I have to.

So if you look at the end picture above, the flash and softbox were placed on the left side behind the coffeemaker, facing more into the scene then towards the camera. By only using this flash, the front of my subjects turned out a bit too dark and without any details. I simply put my Reflector on a chair to the right and it filled in the shadows as I wanted it. Well.. not quite. Light from a reflector can loose it's intensity pretty fast and the little pot with the coffeebeans still needed a bit more pop. I looked around our flat and eventually turned up with my girlfriends Make-Up mirror. It's placed just outside the frame to the right. The great thing about this mirror is, that i could tilt it up and down. It took me a while to get the perfect angle but i ended up with this nice reflection that you can see on the right side of the pot, which made it look really three-dimensional. It was great what a huge impact this simple mirror had on the scene.

And that's it! That's all that happened in the picture above. One flash, a reflector and a mirror. Using backlight works out folds like the ones in the table-cloth especially well. It is usually a great thing as it adds depth to a photo but you should be on the lookout for distracting things. For example now when I look at the picture above, it kinda irritates me, that there is such a big fold in the back of the photo, directly above the jam jar. If i'd redo this shot, I would definitely try to remove it.

Anyways, here are a few more pictures that were done with exactly the same light setup:

IMG_1327IMG_1307-2IMG_1417IMG_1446

Not all shots turned out quite the way I wanted them. Sometimes I would have wanted a bit more "darkness" and depth. But my light-setup helped me get in the desired direction I and i'm sure with  more practice and playing around, I can get it right.

I really loved using coffee beans for this shot. Their dark colour and grainy structure ended up very contrasty and detailed in combination with the backlight.

Two lights

But there's more! I tried around a bit further and doubled my flash-equipment to take a few more shots with flashes from both sides. So what you see in the next pictures is my flash-setup, Yongnuo YN560 + umbrella softbox doubled. One from directly left, the other one from directly right. The center of the softboxes were pretty much aligned with the subject on the table and I didn't tilt them down so I would get maximum shape into my subjects. I saw this light setup many times and wanted to try it myself.

bw1IMG_1062IMG_1035-EditIMG_1145IMG_1071IMG_1198IMG_1026

It turned out completely different then expected. I simply had a scene, flooded with light but still, I loved the outcome. Every flash created some shadows too and with the photographic angle from directly above, it resulted in some nice shapes and especially the cups looked more three-dimensional.

If you look at the heart made out of coffeebeans, you'll see what I mentioned earlier: The color and structure of the beans turn out amazing with flashlight.

In some cases I needed to use a little trick to define light and shadows a more. You'll see two photos with hands and a pile of coffeebeans. On my first try, the pile of beans looked a bit flat so I had to make the pile higher on one side. If you would look at it from the side and not from above, you'd see a little ramp. You cannot see this "ramp" in the shots but i helped the light shape around them so there's more direction to it.

And that's it. That's been my first real try of tabletop-photography. I didn't get everything right, I didn't get exactly the results I wanted but the great thing about trying new things is, you always learn something and I learned a bunch of things with just two light-setups.

Need props?

If you do tabletop-photography, it's important to have some characteristic props. They'll make the scene. You don't need to spend a lot of money on those, really! Just visit a flea-market and collect what you want. You'll end up with a great collection for a few bucks. That burlap underlay you see is simply a bag that cost me about 5€. The grey cloth was on sale in a store and I used it as a backdrop in one of the shots too. The little cups and bowls you see: flea market.

Even the wooden board / table is just made out of some floor plates I bought in a building store. I basically bought square plates that are supposed to become a terrace-floore because I liked the wood. I took them apart and re-attached them together so i have a wooden underground for my shots. Did cost me 20€ and I can use them to look like chopping-boards, a table or a floor.

Get creative! It's easy to spend a lot of money on that stuff but you'll end up with more authentic and unique shots if you simply buy used stuff and/or build your own things.

It's even more helpful if you have somebody with an eye for scenes. I couldn't have set up those photos like they are myself. My girlfriend did all the designing and I could completely care about light. Get some help to create your scenes so you can focus on the photography. It's anyways more fun if you have some company.

Your turn!

Did this tutorial help you in any way? Do you have any tips for me? Did I do anything totally wrong or miss something? Show me the photos, you did with these light-setups, I'd love to see what other people achieve. I'm looking forward to your comments!

Equipment list

Okay, again: Those are amazon affiliate-links. You won't pay a cent more but if you buy stuff using those links, you support me because I get a little share. Those are links for the Amazon US-Store. If you wanna buy from the german store, scroll up and choose "german" at the top of this article.

Yongnuo YN560

Yongnuo RF-603

Umbrella softbox

Lighstand

Reflector

Make-Up mirror

Es ist Winter, es ist kalt und dunkel und das Wetter ist furchtbar... Zeit was Neues auszuprobieren! Ich habe mit Speedlites schon immer wieder mal in meiner People-Fotografie gearbeitet, vor allem wenn ich Bands fotografiert habe. Trotzdem bleibt das Fotografieren mit Blitz für mich immer noch irgendwie ein ewiges Trial & Error. Eigentlich hab ich die meiste Zeit nicht wirklich eine Ahnung, was ich da gerade tue. Trotzdem habe ich über die Zeit hinweg gelernt, Blitze zu meinem Vorteil zu nutzen um mein Motiv etwas herausstechen zu lassen, der Szenen eine plastischeren Look zu geben oder einfach mal auf Hochzeiten mein eigenes Gegenlicht zu zaubern.

In letzter Zeit folge ich immer mehr Food-Fotografen und das sind wirklich die Fotografen, die's raus haben. Selten sonst sehe ich so perfekte Inszenierungen von Licht und Schatten wie in der Tabletop Food-Fotografie. Das wollte ich jetzt selbst mal ausprobieren, einfach um etwas neues zu lernen. Wenn man sich mal etwas mit dem Thema beschäftigt, findet man recht schnell und einfach viele Behind-the-scenes Bilder von Lichtsetups über Google oder Facebook und es ist faszinierend, wie viele Herangehensweisen es dafür gibt.

Okay, sollen wir's selbst mal probieren? Habt ihr Euer 5.000€ Pro-Photo Equipment bereit liegen? Super! Für das, was ich Euch jetzt zeige könnt Ihr das ganze Zeug erstmal verkaufen, Euch die Ausrüstung holen, die ich benutzt habe und vom restlichen Geld einen sehr (sehr) schönen Urlaub machen.

Ein Licht

Wenn man mal davon ausgeht, dass Ihr bereits eine Kamera und ein Objektiv besitzt müsst Ihr gerade mal noch etwas mehr als 150€ investieren, um mit der Tabletop-Fotografie anzufangen (jedenfalls wenn Ihr meine Licht-Setups nachmachen wollt). Dann habt ihr aber wirklich alles, was ihr braucht um etwas zu experimentieren und noch andere Dinge zu fotografieren. Ich werde in diesem Artikel Amazon Affiliate-Links zum benutzten Equipment posten. Wenn Ihr etwas über diese Links kauft, zahlt Ihr keinen Cent mehr, ich bekomme aber ein bisschen was als Provision (und das hilft mir sehr).

Schauen wir uns mal dieses Foto hier an:

IMG_1393

Nachdem ich mich ein bisschen mit der Thematik auseinander gesetzt hatte, zeichnete sich deutlich ab, dass die Bilder, die mir am besten gefallen immer durch den Einsatz von Gegenlicht entstanden sind (und das benutze ich sowieso am liebsten). Ich habe es noch nicht wirklich geschafft, meinem Bild so viel Tiefe zu geben wie ich es gerne wollte, konnte aber trotzdem recht schnell Ergebnisse wie auf dem eben gezeigten Bild erzielen. Die Große Frage ist also: Wie sah mein Licht-Setup aus?

diagramm_deutsch

Auf dem Diagramm sieht man es sehr gut: Ich habe nur einen Blitz benutzt und Diesen auch noch als Gegenlicht. "Gegenlicht" heißt nicht automatisch, dass das Licht direkt gegenüber der Kamera platziert ist und in das Objektiv leuchtet, es heißt ganz einfach nur, dass das Licht von hinter dem Motiv kommt und ein Rimlight (Lichtkanten) erzeugt. Die Kamera sieht vom Motiv hauptsächlich Schatten aber das kann etwas sehr gutes sein, weil die vielen verschiedenen Abstufungen der Schatten eine schöne Tiefe ins Bild bringen. Noch tiefer wird das ganze sogar durch das angesprochene Rimlight! Der genutzte Blitz ist ein Yongnuo YN-560. Es handelt sich um einen komplett manuellen Blitz, der einen eingebauten Empfänger für das Signal des Yongnuo RF603 hat, den ich auf dem Blitzschuh meiner Kamera betreibe. In dieser Kombination kann ich den Blitz kabellos und entfesselt betreiben und brauche lediglich den RF-603 Sender. Als Lichtformer benutzte ich eine wirklich billige Schirmsoftbox. Ich mag die Softbox vor allem deswegen, weil man sie tatsächlich wie einen Schirm zusammenfalten kann (ohne irgend etwas auseinander bauen zu müssen). Zusammen mit meinem kleinen Lichstativ ist das ein super Travel-Kit, das man auch problemlos in einem größeren Koffer (z.B. für Flugzeuge) oder im öffentlichen Nahverkehr transportieren kann.

Wenn man also auf das Bild oben schaut, dann war der Blitz mit der Softbox links hinter der Kaffeekanne und etwas mehr in die Szene hinein gedreht als zur Kamera. Da ich nur diesen einen Blitz benutzt habe, wurde der komplette Vordergrund etwas zu dunkel und ist im Schatten verschwunden. Deshalb habe ich auf der rechten Seite einen Reflektor auf einem Stuhl genutzt. Dadurch wurden die Schatten wieder etwas aufgefüllt. Naja... jedenfalls fast. So ein Reflektor kann schon recht schnell an Intensität verlieren und der kleine Topf mit den Kaffeebohnen war immer noch etwas zu dunkel. Ich habe mich ein bisschen in meiner Wohnung umgesehen und irgendwann den Schminkspiegel meiner Freundin entdeckt. Den habe ich einfach auf der rechten Seite, ganz knapp außerhalb des Bildausschnittes platziert. Das gute an dem Spiegel ist, dass ich ihn nach oben und unten neigen kann. Nachdem ich ein bisschen herumprobiert habe, konnte ich einen schönen Lichtreflex erzeugen, den man auf der rechten Seite des Topfes sieht.

Und das war's auch schon! Mehr ist in dem Bild oben nicht passiert. Ein Blitz, ein Reflektor und ein Spiegel. Wenn man Gegenlicht nutzt, dann werden Falten wie die in der Tischdecke besonders herausgehoben. Auch das ist normalerweise eher nützlich als störend, man muss einfach nur gut darauf achten. Rückblickend stört mich etwas die große Falte im Hintergrund, die man direkt über dem Marmeladen-Glass sieht. Wenn ich das Bild nochmal machen würde, wäre diese Falte nicht mehr da.

Hier sind noch ein paar Bilder, die mit genau dem gleichen Lichtsetup entstanden sind:

IMG_1327IMG_1307-2IMG_1417IMG_1446

Nicht alle Bilder sind so rausgekomen wie ich es wollte. Manchmal hätte ich mir ein bisschen mehr Tiefe und Schatten gewünscht aber das Setup hat mich auf jeden Fall schonmal in eine gute Richtung gebracht und mit genug Übung und Experimentierfreude wird das noch besser.

Es war eine wirklich gute Entscheidung, Kaffeebohnen für die Bilder zu nutzen. Die dunkle Farbe und raue Struktur kommen durch das Gegenlicht sehr kontrastreich und plastisch heraus.

Zwei Lichter

Aber es gibt noch mehr! Ich hab etwas weiter ausprobiert, mein Lichtequipment verdoppelt und Bilder mit Blitzen von beiden Seiten gemacht. Was man also auf den nächsten Bildern sieht ist mein Licht-Setup, Yongnuo YN560 + Schirm-Softbox mal Zwei. Ein Blitz direkt von links, der andere direkt von rechts. Der Mittelpunkt der Softboxen wurden ziemlich genau mit dem Motiv ausgerichtet und nicht nach unten geneigt, damit ich eine schöne Definition in das Licht bekomme. Ich habe dieses Lichtsetup schon oft gesehen und wollte es selbst mal ausprobieren.

bw1IMG_1062IMG_1035-EditIMG_1145IMG_1071IMG_1198IMG_1026

Die Bilder sind ganz anders geworden, als ich es mir vorgestellt hatte. Im Endeffekt kam eine Lichtgeflutete Szene heraus, was ich aber sehr gerne mochte. Jeder Blitz hat natürlich auch Schatten erzeugt. Zusammen mit dem Blickwinkel direkt von oben ergab sich eine schön dreidimensionale Szene und vor allem die Tassen sind gut herausgekommen.

Wenn man sich das Herz aus Kaffeebohnen anschaut, sieht man nochmal was ich vorhin gesagt habe: Die Farbe und die Struktur der Bohnen lässt sich mit dem Blitzlicht wunderbar herausarbeiten.

Manchmal musste ich etwas tricksen, um das Licht definierter zu bekommen. Es gibt zwei Bilder mit Händen und einem Haufen von Kaffeebohnen. Beim ersten Versuch sah dieser Haufen etwas flach aus, also stapelte ich eine Seite davon höher als die andere. Wenn man von der Seite auf diesen Haufen geschaut hätte, hätte es wie eine kleine Rampe ausgesehen aber von oben merkt man es fast nicht mehr. Das Licht hat sich praktisch um diese Rampe herum geformt, sodass die Lichtrichtung etwas definierter wurde.

Und das War's soweit. Mein erster wirklicher Versuch der Tabletop-Fotografie. Ich hab nicht wirklich alles so hinbekommen wie ich es wollte aber das tolle am herumprobieren ist, dass man wirklich immer etwas lernt und ich habe mit diesen zwei Lichtsetups einen ganzen Haufen neuer Dinge gelernt.

Ihr braucht Utensilien?

Für die Tabletop Fotografie ist es sehr vorteilhaft, wenn man ein paar charakteristische Utensilien hat. Damit steht und Fällt eine Szene. Man muss auf keinen fall viel Geld für irgendwelche Designer-Dinge ausgeben. Besucht einfach mal einen Flohmarkt in Eurer Nähe. Ihr werdet total viele tolle Sachen für wenige Euros finden. Dieser Jute-Sack, den man auf meinen Bildern hin- und wieder als Untergrund sieht ist z.B. ebenfalls vom Flohmarkt. Die graue Tischdecke gab's als B-Ware in einem Depot und ich habe sie sogar hin und wieder als Hintergrund genutzt. Die kleinen Töpfe und Pfannen: Flohmarkt.

Sogar dieses Holzbrett / der Holztisch sind aus Bodenplatten zusammen gebaut. Ich habe in einem Bauhaus einfach Bodenplatten, die man für eine Terrasse verwenden kann gekauft, weil mir das Holz gefallen halt. Diese habe ich dann auseinander genommen und neu zusammengesetzt, damit ich einen Holzuntergrund für Bilder habe. Das ganze hat mich 20€ gekostet und ich kann es als Schneidebrett oder Holztisch oder auch Holzboden nutzen.

Seid einfach ein bisschen kreativ! Man kann sehr leicht viel Geld für solche Dinge ausgeben aber ihr bekommt viel authentischere und einzigartigere Bilder, wenn ihr einfach benutzte Dinge kauft oder selbst etwas baut.

Noch besser wird es, wenn Ihr Euch von jemandem helfen lasst, der einen guten Blick für Dekoration und solche Szenen hat. Ich hätte das alles selbst nicht so hinbekommen. Meine Freundin hat die Szenen komplett gestaltet und ich musste mich nur noch um das Licht kümmern. Sucht Euch einfach jemanden, der Euch hilft, dann könnt ihr Euch komplett auf die Fotografie konzentrieren. Zusammen macht es sowieso viel mehr Spaß!

Ihr seid dran!

Hat Euch meine Anleitung etwas gebracht? Habt ihr Tips für mich? Hab ich irgendwas total falsch gemacht oder übersehen? Zeigt ruhig auch Bilder, die Ihr mit diesen Licht-Setups gemacht hab. Ich fänd's interessant zu sehen, was noch möglich ist. Ich freu mich auf Kommentare!

Equipment Liste

Okay, nochmal: Das sind Amazon Affiliate-Links. Ihr zahlt keinen Cent mehr aber wenn Ihr etwas über diese Links kauft, bekomme ich eine kleine Provision. Damit unterstützt Ihr mich ungemein!

Yongnuo YN-560

Yongnuo RF603

Schirmsoftbox

Lichstativ

Reflektor

Schminkspiegel

I still love shooting with my iPhone and while the camera of this little piece of technology get's better and better, i enjoy mobile photography more and more. It's not only great for capturing memories but also for serious photography when I don't have a big camera with me.

My Instagram-stream became something like a social diary with highlights of my year. I've been on as many hikes as never before, was on trips to shoot photos for ZEISS and Mercedes and went to Mallorca to take promotional photos for a german musician.

I still use VSCOCam for processing most of the time but also got hooked with RNIFilms. Some time ago, i even bought proper lenses to go onto the iPhone from Moment. So far i only own the wide angle lens but i like it so much that i will definitively give the 60mm a go too!

For 2016 i decided to use my Instagram account not only for my mobile photography but also for my other shots, just like i use Flickr. It seems like the days where Instagram was a mobile-only network are gone and i feel like i'm missing out on sharing and discussing in this big community. So it'll be best, if you simply follow me 😉

My Instagram Account

At the beginning of 2015, I wrote an article in a german photography online-magazine about how and why i use manual focus. I turned out that ZEISS read that article and they contacted me a few days later. They asked me if I would be interested in doing some photos and texts for them with some lenses they would send me. Who would say no to that? I ended up with the Distagon 25mm 2.0, Apo Sonar 135mm 2.0 and the Otus 85mm 1.4.

For about a month I took these lenses with me everywhere i went together with my Planar 50m 1.4. I tried to deliver as much variety as possible and as much bokeh as possible 'cause I guess that's what they wanted. I took trip to the Black Forest, areas in Switzerland and France and just walks in my hometown. On many of those photos you'll see my girlfriend but also Luke was with me for a few days. He studies photography in Leeds and contacted me over the internet to ask, if he could join me on a few trips. So he came over and visited me.

They must have been pretty happy with a few of those photos as they used them for their brochures and in photography magazines to advertise their lenses, which is a great reference for me now. Also i have to say that i'm more of a fanboy now. I always imagined ZEISS as a pretty old and conservative company but the contacts I made there were so nice and open for all ideas that i brought to them. It was great working with these guys.

Five years of photography, way more than 100.000 frames, about 40 weddings and becoming a full time photographer just to shoot one roll of film that shows me: I know nothing about photography. Sure, if i shoot digital and have as many shots as i want, i can try. I don't really need to see light or the right scene, i can just shoot until i get it right. But wen it comes down to one frame, everything gets a lot harder.

Yeah, it takes some practice and nobody can just shoot film at the first try but when i look at some frames i wonder what i thought when i shot them. The background was completely overexposed and blown out and the foreground was still to dark... simply bad light. Also the colours are many times not what i expected them to be. I used Kodak Portra 400 here, which might not have been the best decision for that kind of day but i had no other roll and wanted to try to make the best of it.

So you see what i mean? Yeah, i can shoot digital, no problem at all! But i understand now why people say "you need to know what you're doing, when you shoot film". Anyways, i love that my results are bad. That means that i found something new to discover and will continue shooting film. I already shot another half roll of Fuji Pro 400H. I guess it's all about the practice.

In this post you'll find my favourite frames - speaking of color. I'd say the first three are the best. I feel really sorry for my girlfriend, she did a great job with posing for only one frame and i messed it up so much 😉

Have you guys had any experience with film? What are your favourite films?

tam-1003

tam-1004

tam-1009

tam-1002

tam-1008

tam-1001

tam-1005

tam-1007

Happy new year guys! I hope you had an awesome 2014 and 2015 will be even better. As the last few years, i did a daily December project. One photo a day for 31 days and in case you missed it on Facebook or Flickr, you can find all of these photos in this blogpost. It was a bit easier this time as i moved into a new city last year and i still find new and amazing things around every corner. Enjoy these photos!

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

You wanna win this signed 30x30cm print? That's easy! Just leave a comment (in german or english) on this blogpost telling me why you wanna win this print and you take part (don't forget to leave your e-mail address)! You have time until August 3rd, midnight. I'm gonna announce the winner on August 4th.

print-1001

Hi guys, I have a limited edition offer for you! I made 10 x 40 by 30cm prints of my Wainui Beach photo, onto “Hahnemühle Fine Art Premium K3 Epson" paper. This is awesomely textured, high quality paper. If you’re quick, you can purchase it in my store for only 40 euros -postage to germany is free!

Wainui Beach 30x40cm print on fine-art paper (limited to 10 copies)

print_wainui_beach-1

fuji-3

Why?

Four years ago I bought my first big DSLR camera, and of course I was absolutely stoked with it; how professionally the camera works and what can be created with it.  When you’re out and about with such a big camera, shooting street or lifestyle snaps, you receive one or the other look from people, and often wind up having a discussion about it. It’s simply a cool thing, and everyone, no matter how uninformed, associates a certain professionality with it.

At some point however, such a large, expert camera for everyday use becomes tiresome. More importantly: you eventually come to the realisation that it’s not the camera that makes the photo, but the photographer. Proof of a true photographer’s merit can be that despite those times when you don’t have a “professional” camera at hand, you can still create great photos.

Besides, such a DSLR is simply heavy, clunky, and often too bulky and conspicuous. Therefore, what I wanted was a smaller camera. It should, however, be able to shoot photos in RAW, have good ISO capabilities, allow uncomplicated manual adjustments, and ideally have a prime lens with wide aperture and manual focus. May I introduce: the Fujifilm X100s. 

What i like

The Operating Concept

The Camera abandons the mode dial for various automatic modes on the surface. Instead, there’s a dial for exposure time and one for over/under exposure. The aperture can be set directly on the lens, and the "fn" button can be used to change the ISO. On top of that, all of these control dials have a very nice feel. For me personally, they work more than perfectly, and I like them a lot better than the operating concept of my Canon 5D Mark II.

The Lens

Fujinion 23mm / f 2.0 with a possibility of manual focus. Through the APSC sensor, the whole thing becomes a “real” 35mm lens. It captures really very sharply, and provides excellent picture quality and in combination with the sensor, a nice bokeh.

The Picture quality

Definitely way higher than my expectations! Beautiful details that are actually not so far away from the 5D Mark II. But what’s even better is the ISO capability. I have shot photos at ISO 2000 and couldn’t believe what I saw: NOTHING. I checked my EXIFs but it was actually ISO 2000. I didn’t expect such quality from this camera. Absolute WOW effect. My 5D Mark II produces more noise! 

The assistance for manual focus

Various focussing helpers can be set for the Liveview and digital viewfinder. Among other things, a sectional view and – my personal favourite: "Focus Peak Highlight" an oversharp representation of the area in focus which results in white lines on the display. I only knew of this from professional videocameras, and it works for me wonderfully.

HDR and Panorama Function

The camera offers the ability to create HDR-photos over multiple exposures. On top of that, there’s a panorama function, similar to that of modern Smartphones in the way that it works by moving the camera horizontally.

The Digital Viewfinder

Basically the display is presented  1:1 in the viewfinder. Personally, I find this very comfortable, even though it’s something to get used to. Cool: the image area is able to be zoomed in on like in the liveview, and therefore easier to focus.

What i don't like

The size

Of course! I wanted a smaller camera, but it feels somewhat strange in my hands and I feel a bit cramped, even though I don’t have particularly big hands. Maybe it’s simply a matter of getting used to.

The Autofocus

In bad lighting conditions, it functions a bit unreliably, and isn’t the fastest. For me personally that’s not a big minus point, because I focus 98% manually.

The Manual Focus

Works great, except the translation of the mechanical focus ring is unreliably slow, so that I’m sometimes not sure if it’s doing anything or not.

The rotary dial

In principal a really good thing: similar to the big Canons, the camera has a rotary dial on the right of the display, that can also be pressed. Although here it’s so flimsily and sensitively built, that I worry that it won’t last long in my hands.

No WiFi & Folding Display

This is too bad. The camera has an extra menu with settings for Eye-Fi-cards but no WiFi of its own. Cheaper cameras have had this function for ages, and it would have been a really useful and comfortable addition here. It's the same with the folding display. Almost state of the art technology, and it would make things a lot easier for me. 

Conclusion

Short and easy: Yes, it does what a professional photographer would expect of it. Yes, it's worth the money. Hell yes, it looks sexy!

fuji-4

fuji-6

fuji-7

fuji-8

Shot with the Fuji X100s

fuji-1

fuji-2

ISO 4000 out of cam, full resolution

(right click - open in new tab)

fuji_full-1More photos to follow in the next Blogposts!

Ⓒ 2022, Christopher Kreymborg
Imprint & Privacy Policy
cross

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.