Catching up....

Its truly been so many months since my last post, it really is catching up since it feels like its been years. Its all on me too. It has been a busy summer, more so personally but there has been some work side business too.

I’m not going to dwell on this and some of you know of it but my wife has been afflicted with a disorder constant with an early onset of Alzheimers disease. We have been coping with the disability together for about 3 yrs now, and its a prime reason I curtailed my business back to a few days a week. I wanted to spend more time working with her. It is NOT the reason I moved from my studio. She is doing well and being a fighter she carries on as normally as she can. But some things just overwhelm her and mid summer she took a fall which resulted in a broken foot. Thankfully it was a “easy” break but a break nonetheless and it meant a huge change of routine, and the wearing of a “walking boot”. This hit her hard and it really changed her demeanor, adding to her depression and just totally changed the way she functioned. It upped my need to spend time with her and take care of her. So work was sparse those 6 weeks of recuperation. I am glad to say, since recovery, she is rebounding very well and back to about where she was prior to the fall.

AND… recovery came right when I had a flurry of activity with my business and it coincided with lots of announcements in the photography industry. My work is pretty much all location work now excepting for a bit of product work I can do in a spare room of my house. Working on location has really challenged me too, as I think I got fairly complacent with conducting sessions in my known, well stocked studio environment. So this is a good thing. It means putting some thought into what to take and what not to take. I have a nice sized SUV so its easy to just take along stuff I MIGHT need for a shoot. But after doing this a few times, I see its not the right way to work. I have become better and better at only bringing those items I will truly use. And that makes a huge difference.

I CONTINUE… to light with Godox and do not see that changing. The equipment just works too well. I added to my lighting arsenal with their new AD400Pro. A 400 w/s light with all the pro level features and its a wonderful light to work with. Its battery powered of course, its the right size and heft, and it is very easy to tote along when on location or even for run-and-gun types of shooting where you are moving pretty much the whole time. Its not the cheapest Godox light and will set you back some $650 but nothing on the market regardless of price, will perform any better and some lights that are twice and three times the price can’t match it. The AD400Pro has been helpful in my work but the AD200 is my work horse even still. Both work extremely well together.

SOME KNOW…I have been in the market for a second body in the Fuji X system since buying my X-H1 in the spring, The X-H1 is a do-everything camera for me. with it’s feature set, there truly is nothing it doesn’t do. Granted its not the king of autofocus and tracking but I have missed very few shots because of it and those missed were very difficult birds and insects in flight. I recently shot some very active dancers over the course of an afternoon and in continuous low mode, at about 5-7 fps, I didn’t miss one shot and in fact surprised my client by getting shots she didn’t expect. I enjoy working with that camera but I always knew I needed a second body for just in case moments should something fail, but more for expanded coverage where I could use two lenses of varied length and performance, one on each camera, to better ensure me getting the images required. Wedding and event photographers know of that which I speak! I was about to buy another X-H1, but decided to wait for the new X-T3 body. I took delivery of it back on the 20th of Sept, when they became available. It is NOT like the X-H1 exactly. Its close. It’s menu’s are pretty much the same but the controls are typical of the XT series with dials and buttons. Its not stabilized internally either and its not as big, even with the battery grip. Somehow though its cheaper than the X-T2 was at intro, yet it does have some extreme enhancements in autofocus and tracking, in frames per second capture, the and EVF. It’s got a new sensor which means the ISO performance has been remapped to take advantage of Fuji’s first back lit sensor. I need more time with it under conditions that push the ISO but it does have a native low ISO of 160 now, and a high useable native limit of 12,800. It can go to 25,600 but the images while there are not stellar. But then at that setting on any camera its the same result. The images at 12,800 are actually not too bad and quite usable although I would not be printing 24x36 with them. The AF and tracking along with the exposure calculations are over 10x faster than even my X-H1 and thats a top camera in that department. The X-T3 sports a new quad processor which allows for all the improvements in focusing and exposure. It just rips through the algorithms and just may be the most advanced camera currently available in this regard. I think the bulk of the processing power though is for its video performance. I don’t do video much but for those that do, the X-T3 became an instant hit since it outperforms video rigs now - and this was not expected by the masses. I will post more about the X-T3 once I spend more time with it. I have a race coming up this weekend where I hope to slam it a bit and push it.

GODOX… is continuing to bring out new products; some major and some minor additions to their system. I have a few items like the round head for the AD200 (its works VERY well!) and they did just announce a round head speed light to which is coming in November. I am admittedly pretty well set for lights and cameras now and for the future but Fuji did make some announcements dealing with their medium format line at Photokina last month. Thankfully, those are 2020 deliveries so my wallet has time to recover.

FINALLY…, for now anyway, Capture One announced full support for Fujifilm cameras, even the medium format GFX. I about fell over when I learned of this. I consider C1 to be the very best post processing software product out there and nothing touches it when tethering. It was said a year and half ago, Phase One would never support the GFX…ok, well never say never. Fujifilm really stepped up and convinced them to package the Capture One product for their cameras. I will be writing more about this in coming posts but man, happy days are here again!

Take care everyone. More to come….

Wally KilburgComment