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Guest Blog - Mastering Travel Photography by Leigh Diprose

Guest Blog #3 Our third guest blog comes from Leigh Diprose: Fuji Employee, Fuji Ambassador and Senior Contributor to fstoplounge.com. Leigh has taken the time to consider the question: How do you take great travel photos?

Mastering Travel Photography 

by Leigh Diprose


It’s a common question and one we will explore in this article, but first let’s talk about gear.

If you’re planning a trip overseas, interstate or on your next holiday, there are a few things you should think about when it comes to capturing memories.

GEAR

One of the first things to think about is what type of camera you should take. Rather than capturing photos with a smartphone, consider capturing photographs with a Mirrorless camera that will enable you to get in close to your subject without having to sacrifice image resolution.

With the current line up of Fujifilm X-Series cameras available there are plenty of options for lens combinations and X-Series camera bodies that will offer you a range of focal lengths, ensuring you get the best travel photos at an affordable price.



Three travel lens combinations worth considering are the versatile XF18-135mm F3.5-5.6, XF10-24mm F4 ultra wide angle and for the professional there’s the XF16-55mm F2.8 wide lens. A mix of these lenses will offer a great combination for capturing scenic locations, family portraits, abstract images and the general travel photos you might want to take along the way.

When you couple either of these lenses with a Fujifilm X-T10 or X-T1 camera, your carry on luggage will weigh a lot less than a digital SLR equivalent thanks to the lightweight construction and small size. Additionally these two benefits are a huge advantage to your back when you have a camera around your neck the whole day!

Now that you have your gear all sorted how can you improve your travel photography?

TIPS

Below you’ll find eight travel photography tips that will make a huge difference to your photo album.

Tip 1: Get down low and include foreground interest



Whenever you see a scene rather than taking the photo while you’re standing up, try getting down low to change your perspective of the scene. Think about incorporating objects in the foreground of your frame. What this will do is create foreground interest and offer some perspective to the viewer.

Tip 2: Use a circular polariser



If you plan on visiting a place with harsh light during the day (like Australia or the Pacific Islands) then a circular polariser is a must. When using this special screw in filter on the front of your lens, you’ll retain all the details in the highlight areas (typically the sky).

Often, without a filter the sky will become blown out and overexposed as there is a difference in exposure between the land and sky. By rotating the front ring on the circular polarising filter you can adjust the polarisation of the filter to darken the sky and even out the exposure.

Tip 3: Carry a lightweight small tripod



The reason to include a small tripod in your travel kit (like a 3 Legged Thing Tripod) is so you can capture the sunrise and sunset. If you plan on holding your camera during these golden times, then you’ll most likely end up with blurry photos. By using a tripod, combined with the camera's self timer (or optional cable release) you’ll be able to photograph long exposures that are blur free.

Tip 4: Change your camera's white balance at sunset



If you want a rich warm colour at sunrise or sunset then change your camera’s white balance from ‘Auto’ to ‘Shade’ or ‘Cloudy’. When you do this your photos will instantly appear warmer. Just remember to change your white balance back to ‘Auto’ once the light has disappeared.

Tip 5: Wait until you can no longer see the sun



When you see a sunset happening wait until the sun completely disappears if you want to get the best light. It’s during this period (that will last around 15-20 mins) that the sun in most cases will provide warm soft light onto the clouds and ‘light up the sky’. This is the moment where you want to make sure your camera is on a tripod and your white balance has been changed.

Tip 6: Carry a Instax Share Printer



If you want to take the best portrait shots of people while you travel try giving them an instant print. Start up a conversation with them first and then proceed to take their photo. In exchange for the photo you can offer them an instant print directly from your Instax Share Printer.

The majority of Fujifilm X-Series cameras connect wirelessly to the printer (with no internet connection needed). Simply take the photo, preview it on the back of the camera and send it directly to the printer. Once the photo has printed out you can leave it with the person you just photographed. In most cases this should lead to another opportunity to take an even better photo of them smiling.

Tip 7: Carry spare batteries and more memory than you think you’ll need



Ensure you have enough spare batteries to last a full day and night without having to charge them. If you’re using a Fujifilm X-T10 or X-T1 it’s recommended that you take around two extra batteries. The other essential to take is memory cards. Think about taking multiple smaller sized cards rather than one large one. In other words you don’t want to carry all your eggs in one basket just in case one gets lost with all of your photos.


Tip 8: Look behind you



One of the simplest pieces of advice for travel photography is to look behind you. Often the light may change behind you while you’re photographing or there could be even a better scene just waiting to be captured. Allow yourself the time to explore the scene around you, find your composition and master it!

Hopefully with these simple tips you’ll be able to master travel photography like a professional does! Remember, sometimes the best thing you can do, is to put your gear down and enjoy the culture and beauty that surrounds you without taking a photo.

Happy travelling.






Guest Blog - Tamron Lens Review by Alex Cearns

Guest Blog #2 Our second guest comes from Australia’s leading animal photographer Alex Cearns who took the time out to review two Tamron lenses; the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens and Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens. Alex is the Global Ambassador for Tamron’s Super Performance Series Lenses and uses Tamron Lenses in her work daily.

Tamron Lens Review
By Alex Cearns

THE TEST SHOOT
Photographing animals outdoors and in a studio setting means I need versatile, fast and sharp lenses that enable me to get in close and capture detail in a split second.  As the Tamron Super Performance Series Ambassador I was very keen to trial their new prime lens models, both with additional new lens features - the 35mm  35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lens and  45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lens. My animal subjects are always moving and I need my equipment to respond immediately when I see an action or expression I want to capture. If I miss the shot, the opportunity to take it might not present itself again.

Since I spend most of my time in the studio I decided to do a studio shoot with my dogs Pip and Pixel, to test the 35mm and 45mm lenses. The general rule of pet photography is that your own pets are the hardest to photograph as the photographer doesn’t have a novelty factor and your own expectations of what your pet will and won’t do differs to those placed on a dog you haven’t met before.  So in short, this was going to be a challenge!

My main go to studio lens is the Tamron 24-70mm but I was keen to break out of my comfort zone for this trial and test five main areas of both lenses which play a combined role in my resulting images.

My 5 factors of consideration were;
·                     how close I could get to my subjects (focal distance)
·                     focussing speed
·                     vibration compensation
·                     lens build/weight
·                     lens motor noise

HOW CLOSE I COULD GET TO MY SUBJECTS
With a depth of field starting at f1.8 for both lenses they are extremely fast in low light. During my test I shot handheld at f13, my usual studio depth of field, and was physically able to get the lens very close to my dog subjects, closer than I expected in fact. The lenses almost have a macro feel to them, given I was around an inch or two from my subject and I was able to capture every minute detail as a result. The image quality was maintained whether I was in close or shooting wide and in my experience; few non-macro lenses have the same up-close capabilities. Being able to move right in on the subject will come in handy when I’m photographing insects and small animals, or when I want to get emphasise part of a larger animal, such as the pattern on their nose, or their eyes.




FOCUSSING SPEED
When using a prime lens, you have to physically move to zoom in. As both dogs were moving for most of their photo session I felt this would be one of the greatest lens tests, pushing them to see if they could focus fast enough for me to capture the shots I wanted. I wasn’t disappointed. Both lenses were able to adapt to focussing through short changes in distance on a subject moving at speed. When working with a live subject, even the slightest movement can cause an image to blur. The 35mm and 45mm both performed exceptionally well at all distances, and the images were pin sharp thanks to the fast locking focus.




VIBRATION COMPENSATION
The incorporation of vibration compensation (VC) into the Tamron 35mm and 45mm lenses is a game changer. It identifies even the slightest camera shake and adjusts accordingly. Not only can you shoot more images in low light thanks to the aperture of f1.8 the VC adds to the versatility of the lens. You can now shoot at smaller apertures (like f13) or at slower shutter speeds and continue to handhold the lens/camera with VC activated, alleviating the need for a tripod. When I’m constantly chasing a subject around through the viewfinder and moving my hands, VC ensures a crisp result when I press the shutter button.



LENS BUILD/WEIGHT
I shoot handheld, without a tripod and the first thing I noticed was that both lenses are comfortable to hold. They are similar in size and weight, with the 45mm slightly heavier of the lenses. Neither is clunky, yet they have a solid feel to them. Both lenses are built tough, with an all-aluminium metal exterior and weather sealing around the camera mount and focussing ring. This additional sealing his will come in handy when I’m photographing wildlife outdoors, protecting the lenses from moisture. The front lens element has an added fluorine coat to repel water, fingerprints, and smudges, enabling for easier cleaning of the lens surface. This is a great feature given the amount of dog nose smudge marks and drooly licks my lenses have to endure.

LENS MOTOR NOISE
My dog clients are very aware of every noise in the studio, from the fan, to the lights, to the lens motor drive. I photograph many nervous dogs, and any sound can be a distraction to them, or cause them to startle. I need lenses with a silent motor, and the Tamron 35mm and 45mm both deliver on this with silent focus, making them super quiet. This helps put my subjects at ease, enabling me to get the shots I need for my clients.




CONCLUSION
Both lenses were a dream to use. I can see them appealing to all types of photographers – wedding, landscape, portrait and architectural especially. VC is an excellent feature, allowing photographers to really push these lenses in different lighting conditions. The 45mm, being only 5mm off a 50mm, will give the current 50mm lenses a run for their money.

These images were captured handheld, at ISO 100, 1/200th sec and f13 with 35mm and 45mm Tamron lenses on a Canon 1DX camera body.




Alex Cearns of “Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns”
ABOUT ALEX CEARNS 



Alex Cearns is one of Australia’s leading animal photographers and the Creative Director of Houndstooth Studio. Her images have won numerous awards and have been published widely in Australian and international print and online media, in books, magazines, campaigns, and even in an Australia Post stamp collection. Inspired by the joy of working with animals, Alex’s philanthropy and passionate advocacy for animal rescue has earned her high regard among Australia’s population of animal lovers. She has published three books with Penguin Books Australia and her 4th book will be published with Harper Collins in New York in late 2016. Alex is the Global Ambassador for Tamron’s Super Performance Series Lenses and uses Tamron Lenses in her work daily. 

Guest Blog - Olympus at Work with Rachel Devine

Guest Blog #1
Over the next week at DCW we will be publishing and sharing a number of daily guest blogs from our partners and guest photo bloggers. Our first contribution comes from commercial photographer and photo blogger Rachel Devine. Rachel has been shooting consistently with the Olympus System since 2014. Find out a little more about how she uses Olympus for her work.


Olympus at work
with Rachel Devine


I was first introduced to the Olympus system through the OM-D E-M10 as a family holiday camera in 2014. I was so impressed with the performance and features of that model that I wanted to see if the OM-D E-M1 could revolutionise my professional photography as well.

From the first professional shoot I did with the OM-D E-M1, it was clear that it was a game changer for my career. The camera is lightweight yet still powerful. I was able to get all the shots I needed with no physical strain. The OM-D E-M1 is small enough that it is not at all intimidating to my models on commercial shoots yet sturdy enough that it can keep on shooting all day long. Despite the small size, the camera with its 16.3 MP Live-MOS sensor and Image Processor was able to capture accurate colour and detail while rendering the image with minimal noise in unpredictable lighting situations which is essential to a natural light photographer.





The autofocus system on the camera is fast and accurate even in low light situations and that is an essential feature in my career of photographing fast moving kids. You can set the autofocus to find faces or even refine that down to focusing on the closest eye to the camera. For product shoots and detailed imagery, I like to switch over to manual focus. Here is where the OM-D E-M1 absolutely shines. With focal area enlargement and focus peaking both turned on in the manual focus assist menu settings, I can be absolutely certain that I have tack sharp focus even in macro images with extremely shallow depth of field. What this means is that when I choose the focal point and press the shutter halfway down the selected area of the image is enlarged in the viewfinder. As I turn the manual focus ring the outline of what is in focus begins to glow white at the edges when it is sharp. No more second guessing my eyesight, I know that I have nailed the focus.




The controls on the OM-D E-M1 feel so natural in my hands that I can make necessary adjustments to exposure without taking my eye off the viewfinder. The buttons and dials are all customisable so I have set them to perfectly reflect my shooting style. One of the main benefits of this system over the DSLR is the live electronic viewfinder. I feel more engaged with my subjects with my eye to the viewfinder instead of on the LCD and the viewfinder on the OM-D E-M1 displays the changes to the resulting image as I make them. Now I can shoot confidently through the viewfinder knowing that my shots are perfectly exposed as I press the shutter release without having to stop and check the LCD.As my clients come to me for PR imagery and time sensitive campaigns, I must get my images right in camera so that the editing is minimal and the turnaround time is extremely quick.

With a short deadline and the client present at the shoot, I depend on the OM-D E-M1’s wireless capability. I can either shoot invisibly tethered to an iPad using the camera’s inbuilt WiFi and the Olympus Image Share app or I can transfer the shots wirelessly to the iPad at the end of a session with the same technology. With Live View on the iPad via the Olympus Image Share app, my clients can see the photographs as they are taken without having to stand over my shoulder. With the flexibility of wireless available on all Olympus PEN & OM-D cameras, it allows us to not be physically tied to a computer or confined to a studio. As the input from the client is in real time, adjustments can be made in the moment avoiding the need to set up that particular shot again. All of these innovations with the OM-D E-M1 mean happier clients who feel like they are a part of the process. This feature happens to be my favourite for my family photography as well. The kids love to control the camera for family selfies and with the images then on my phone, I can share them immediately online.

In the case of headshots, editorial and PR photography where deadlines can be even tighter or even immediate in the case of events, I can shoot and transfer to the iPad on site so that the client makes their image selections as soon as we are finished shooting. If there is any editing to be done, I can simply import the selects into Lightroom on my iPad. Simple alterations of exposure, white balance and cropping can easily be done in the app to the delight of the client. If any larger editing requests come up such as complex skin retouching, it is easy with the Creative Cloud version of Lightroom to transfer the working file to my Macbook Pro laptop to finish in the full version of the program on there. Then again, that is rarely needed and most of my headshot clients leave the session having selected their photos, approved the edits and received a link via email to their gallery of final files hosted on my site without the images having even touched a computer.



The way shooting with the OM-D E-M1 has streamlined my photography business is the biggest development I have experienced since going from film to digital in 2004.
I love taking photographs. It has been my passion and career for a long time and shooting with the OM-D E-M1 means I can spend more of my time taking great photographs and making clients happy than sitting at my computer and editing images.

Author Bio
Rachel Devine is a commercial photographer and photo blogger. She has worked in the children’s media industry since the beginning doing headshots and PR imagery for many child actors and models. She has shot ad campaigns and kid clothing lines as well as branching out into photographing grown-ups too. From Los Angeles, California, since 2008 she has called Melbourne, Australia home. This year marks her twentieth anniversary in the photography business. Rachel is the author of four photography books including Beyond Snapshots (Random House/Amphoto/Ten Speed) and Life in Natural Light (Digital Photography School). In her two decades of professional photography she has used most every camera format out there from instant film to large format, but has not shot with anything except the Olympus system since 2014.

The Holiday Checklist

Preparing for your Holidays from a Photographic Perspective.

They don’t call the end of year holiday season the silly season for nothing. Things have a tendency to get quite ridiculous around this time. Presents, families, trips, time off work, parties, adventures!

One thing that you really need to be on top of before the holidays start is getting your camera equipment set up correctly and having it ready to go because if you want to capture those lifetime memories effectively you really need to plan ahead. We have put together a list of things to consider before the holiday period and there are a few items on here that you could even request from the bearded man in the red suit.


Memory Cards

The first thing you need to think about when it comes to memory cards is how many photos or videos can I store? Make sure you have a card that is big enough to hold what you expect you will shoot and a buffer on top of that. If you are going to that ideal holiday location then you are bound to get a little snap happy so take that into consideration.

Still rocking that dusty old 2GB that you have had for the last 3 cameras? Perhaps it is time for an upgrade. Cards do have a usage life and older cards are more likely to corrupt once they get to be quite old. As a general rule of thumb cards will last for 500-1000 uses. Don't leave anything to chance.

Picture this, you have your shot lined up and ready to go when… MEMORY FULL. That once in a life time opportunity is gone. It is a shame to miss that photo while you stop to delete some images. Have a large enough card to cover you and perhaps even a spare or two.

Memory cards are rated in speeds with different speed cards suited to different tasks. If you are shooting 4K footage on a brand-spanking new camera you need a card that is fast enough to keep up and store the footage.

Keeping all the cards together is a good idea too. There are plenty of good options for card storage that will keep them secure.

Don’t forget to backup your images to a second location as soon as possible. A card reader for a laptop is a great idea or a tablet or portable backup or thumb drive.

“I was running a photo walk and had brought my trusty Olympus Pen camera to shoot for the night. We had prepped the attendees and were about to launch into the walk when I went to take my first shot when I realised that I had not put the card back in after downloading shots that morning. Luckily I always keep a spare memory card on a special holder on my keyring so I popped that in and away I went. Having a spare saved the day and some embarrassment.”
- Daniel, Educational Co-ordinator



Batteries

Current battery technology is great. Batteries generally hold charge well and last a decent while but when dealing in holiday time merriment or a trip away with family or friends you are going to need more than one battery. It is worth having two or three spare batteries generally and if you will be away from power for an extended period of time consider getting more. Don’t forget your accessories that also need charge, a stack of alkaline AA batteries or rechargeable AA batteries are a great idea. Keep in mind that video shooting is resource heavy, it consumes card space and battery charge faster than still shooting.

“One time I was in Japan and went to the famous robot restaurant (lasers! robots!) for the show. You are allowed to take photos of anything and I was snapping away when I ran out of battery. I missed the last 45 minutes or so of the show and was kicking myself for not having a spare battery on me. Probably a once in a lifetime experience and I couldn't shoot everything that I wanted to. I now carry 3 spare batteries and 5 memory cards at all times.”
- Marc, National Sales Manager







Power

Flat batteries need a charge, so in the craziness of the packing and loading the car don’t forget your chargers. Our pro-tip on this one is to get a universal charger that works with multiple batteries and charges in the car. Some video cameras charge in camera which can be handy for long recording sessions indoors.

Many chargers are universal voltage so they will work between 100 & 240 volts but if you are travelling overseas it is a good idea to get a plug adaptor. Using a plug adaptor with a powerboard will give you more spots for plugs. There are even solar options if you are off the beaten track.

“Travelling up north for two weeks with the family over Christmas saw us packing the car with all manner of things, including pool toys, hair straighteners, snacks, bikes and more. When looking at all of the chargers that we would need to keep power to all of the phones, cameras, game consoles, e-readers, DVD players and other devices it became apparent that we would need another bag. Space was already an issue as we knew from previous trips that packing the car was a like lining up blocks in Tetris. The simple solution was a universal battery charger to keep us all powered up. Perhaps better still would have been an unplugged Christmas but maybe we’ll try that next year. ;)”
- Store Salesperson


Weather Proofing & Protection

You need to protect your equipment against the elements. Holiday travel to exotic destinations often comes with extreme temperature, rain, dust, snow, sand and condensation; all enemies of camera and electronic equipment. You really need to make sure that your camera is protected. There are a range of options to keep gear protected. A good camera bag is a good start and many have an all-weather style cover that slides over the bag, great if you get caught in a rain or dust storm. A single grain of sand can cause a camera to short out or a lens to jam up so be wary when shooting at the beach. Look at an all-weather cover and a screen protector for that extra protection.

A filter to protect the front element of the lens can protect from a knock to the lens or even smashing an element in a dropped camera. Cleaning dust off the lens can scratch the coating so always better to have a filter in place. Many cameras are weather proof or even water proof but you need to make sure the seals are fresh and clean. If you want to shoot in the rain, a rain cover will protect you from the elements.

Weather proof sealed cases are great when dealing with humidity or changing temperatures and a Moisture Muncher can adsorb some excess moisture. It is best when moving between varying temperatures quickly to let the camera warm or cool in the bag slowly to stop that sudden condensation build up.
“During a trip to South America I was super excited to get out and take some pictures a few days in. We had been backpacking around and staying in hostels and we had splurged on an air-conditioned room. Taking the camera from the cool air-conditioned room into the humid mid-summer heat of Brazil caused condensation to form inside of my camera and lens. The condensation build up eventually dried. Luckily the condensation had not ruined the camera as it dried out but not before I had missed some excellent opportunities for photos.”
- Call-Centre Staff Member

Cleaning

After you have been out in that snow storm you may need something to clean your camera. A cleaning kit will help to keep your gear squeaky clean. The last thing you want is some dust making it’s way onto your sensor and leaving spots on your images. You may need to clean the body of the camera, the lens, the lens elements and even the camera sensor. Cleaning should be done with care and the proper equipment. A cleaning cloth is a must-have part of any kit.
“I was in Japan on the Shinkansen (mag-lev train), amazed at the speed of the gorgeous landscape whizzing by. To try to photo the immense sense of speed, I took a long exposure panning shot at f16. I loved the shot, but when I got home and opened the file, I noticed the small spots of dust on the same place of every photo - I'd had dust on my sensor the whole time. Thanks to the glories of photoshop, it was easy to fix in post-production, but now I make sure to clean before every major shoot.”
- Victor, Technical Journalist
Remember to have fun and enjoy the holiday season. Take a breath between photos occasionally to take it all in… but then get back to recording those memories. One last thing is the obligatory group photo, you need a tripod to set that up. Check out the Manfrotto Pixi Evo Mini Tripod if you want something to fit on a table that is compact and stable.

EISA AWARDS 2015-16 Announced

On the weekend the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) Awards for 2015-16 were announced.

EISA Awards are chosen annually by Expert Groups representing nearly 50 prominent Photography, Hi-Fi, Home Theatre Audio, Home Theatre Display & Video, In-Car Electronics and Mobile Devices magazines from up to 22 European countries. All Expert Groups work separately, but are under contract to the European Imaging & Sound Association.

In their Photography Awards category there are more than a few worthy and familiar new products which have come out in the last 12 months. Check out the full list of photography awards below.

PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS LIST

EUROPEAN PROFESSIONAL DSLR LENS 2015-2016

EUROPEAN PROFESSIONAL DSLR CAMERA 2015-2016

EUROPEAN PROSUMER DSLR CAMERA 2015-2016

EUROPEAN PHOTO INNOVATION 2015-2016
DxO ONE

EUROPEAN COMPACT SYSTEM ZOOM LENS 2015-2016

EUROPEAN CONSUMER COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERA 2015-2016

EUROPEAN PREMIUM COMPACT CAMERA 2015-2016
Leica Q

EUROPEAN SMARTPHONE CAMERA 2015-2016
LG G4

EUROPEAN CONSUMER DSLR CAMERA 2015-2016

EUROPEAN PROFESSIONAL COMPACT SYSTEM LENS 2015-2016

EUROPEAN PROSUMER COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERA

EUROPEAN PHOTO & VIDEO CAMERA 2015-2016

EUROPEAN DSLR TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS 2015-2016

EUROPEAN DSLR LENS 2015-2016

EUROPEAN TRAVEL COMPACT CAMERA 2015-2016

EUROPEAN COMPACT SYSTEM LENS 2015-2016

EUROPEAN PROFESSIONAL COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERA 2015-2016

EUROPEAN DSLR ZOOM LENS 2015-2016

I’m not a Photographer… or am I?

I’m surrounded by photographers every day. And it’s a privilege to listen to creative people that notice things slightly differently than I do. They consider images closely. And I never really have.

One of the biggest challenges of being a non-photographer amongst photographers is really the most obvious one of all: I just don’t know what people are talking about. I understand the basics such as camera, focus and framing. But if you ask me about ISO, depth of field, shutter speed, aperture or anything more complicated, I’d blink slowly and smile a non-committal smile in your direction. I wouldn’t know how to respond.

So, in order to get a better understanding of taking photos, a couple of other Senior Managers in Head Office (also non-photographers) and I have created a fierce competition among ourselves. We get a theme every weekend and post our best shot after the weekend to DCWs’s Instagram account (DCWarehouse) and see who gets the most likes.

Last week’s theme was Architecture. I lost and now I have to buy my competitors lunch. I always claim to be not very competitive, so in that spirit, here’s what I ‘won’ from my first weekend of being a photographer:

  • I took the time to walk around my neighbourhood and really look at it. And it’s gorgeous. It has a huge church with a steeple that can be seen from surrounding suburbs, quirky art-deco apartment blocks and old shop-fronts with 1940s character.
  • I used manual focus for the first time ever. Ever. It was fun and empowering to take control of whether the building would be in focus, or the tree.
  • I tried to frame my shots appropriately. I looked at the scene and what I could capture with my camera. Sometimes I even chose not to shoot a building because there was not a good angle to capture it.
  • Taking photos and sharing them is fun.
  • It’s really not intimidating to pull out a camera and take a photo.
  • The beauty in a photo is in the eye of the beholder (which I will continue to tell myself as I lose this competition). 
My plan from here is to ask the photographers that I work with for help. Any of our staff in-store, in our Contact Centre and most of our support staff at Head Office could help me improve. And next week I’ll have an even better entry, and I might just come in second!


Vivid Sydney 2015 - We can help you take your best photos

Vivid! What an awesome time to be in Sydney. Walking through the streets at night, being dazzled by lights on buildings, in the harbour, on sculptures and seeing purpose-built light installations scattered throughout parks and along streetscapes.

Last year, we opened our inaugural Creative Space, where we hosted guest speakers, set off on free photo walks, ran workshops and created a meeting space where photography enthusiasts could come and learn, be inspired and be creative.







This year, we’re doing it again! Our venue at 360 Kent St, is the perfect starting point for all the photo walks we have organised. We’ve researched and mapped out our routes to highlight the best locations - Martin Place, Circular Quay, Customs House, Museum of Sydney, and Sydney Harbour and surrounds.



We’ve got our own DCW Guides as well as experts from Fujifilm, Sony and Olympus that will help participants capture their best shots during walking tours, giving one-on-one instruction on how to get the most out of manual and creative settings on their camera.

In addition to experts from major brands, we also have Andrew Hall, Fujifilm’s Ambassador, guiding a walk on Thursday 28 May. Andrew has over 25 years’ experience as a professional, award-winning photographer. He photographs a range of genres including motorsport, landscapes and portraiture. And we also have James Brickwood, one on Fairfax’s Photographers guiding a walk on Saturday 6 June. James has been a staff photographer with The Sydney Morning Herald since 2007.


Our photo walks are an amazing way to learn, through hands-on, guided experience. We also have in-store ‘show and tells’ at our Kent St store, with Fujifilm, Sony and Olympus, showcasing their latest camera technologies. We’ll have a mini exhibition in our Kent St store to showcase Andrew Hall’s work as well as images and bios from some of Fujifilm Australia’s other Ambassadors. We will have extended trading hours and a hub for recharging your camera batteries.


We love the Vivid Festival! It’s colourful, it builds community and it’s a great platform to share photographic knowledge. 

Fujifilm X-T1 firmware update includes a new AF system with upgraded autofocus performance

11 May 2015
Fujifilm X-T1 firmware update includes a new AF system with upgraded autofocus performance Firmware designed for Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition cameras

(this is an extract directly from the Media Release despatched by Fujifilm Australia)

FUJIFILM announced today that it is introducing new firmware Ver. 4.00 for the X-T1 and X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition cameras that will feature nine key changes aimed at substantially improving the AF performance and operation.


The new firmware Ver.4.00 will be available from late June 2015. The new AF system makes it easier than ever to capture moving subjects, dramatically increasing your shooting options. Features include:

Zone and Wide / Tracking modes to accurately capture moving subjects
- 77 autofocus points are used across a wider area to substantially improve the camera’s ability to capture moving subjects.
- Zone mode allows users to choose a 3x3, 5x3 or 5x5 zone from the 77-point AF area.
- When combined with the AF-C continuous focusing mode, the camera tracks a subject in the centre of the selected zone. - Wide / Tracking mode displays the area in focus identified automatically out of the 77-point AF area, and tracks the subject across the entire 77-point AF area. Focus can be maintained on subjects that move vertically, horizontally, or back and forth.

2. Improved AF accuracy for enhanced focusing performance
- Single point AF divides the focus area into smaller sections to more accurately determine the distance to the subject.
- Built-in phase detection pixels now have a detection range of 0.5EV (previously 2.5EV), delivering phase detection AF performance that enables fast focus in low light conditions and on low-contrast subjects.

3. Eye Detection AF for more beautiful portraits
- By activating Face Detection AF and Eye Detection AF, the camera automatically detects and focuses on human eyes even in difficult conditions.

4. Auto Macro Mode for convenient close-up photography
- This feature eliminates the need to press the Macro button before shooting close-ups, while maintaining the conventional AF speed, allowing the user to assign a different function for the macro button.
5. Improved AF in Movie mode for smoother video recording
- The optimised algorithm delivers a more natural and smooth AF action during movie recording.

6. Improved Shutter Speed Dial Operation
When the Shutter Speed Dial is set to T and the Shutter Type to Mechanical + Electronic, the command dial can be set to a full range of exposure times from 30 - 1/32000 seconds enabling you to change the shutter speed across a broader range without having to change camera position. This is useful when shooting in portrait orientation with the optional Vertical Battery Grip.
7. Exposure Compensation in Manual Exposure mode
You can use the Exposure Compensation dial to make exposure adjustments while shooting in the Manual exposure mode with the ISO Auto setting.

8. Finer Lines on the framing grid enhances visibility
The lines on the framing grid, which can be displayed in the Screen Set-Up menu, are now finer making it easier to view the subject.

9. Name of Silent mode changed
The Silent mode has been renamed to “SOUND & FLASH OFF” to avoid confusion.
FUJIFILM Australia Product and Marketing Manager - Electronic Imaging, Alex Zitser, said the nine key changes are a reflection of feedback from users.
“This demonstrates that Fujifilm continues to listen to customer feedback to boost the performance of X Series cameras. In particular, Fujifilm has taken the ability to capture moving subjects to a whole new level,” Mr Zitser said.

The new X-T1 firmware Ver.4.00 will be available from late June 2015.

About FUJIFILM
FUJIFILM is a world leader in imaging, information and document technologies. With a commitment to extensive research and development, FUJIFILM provides a leading edge range of products and services that incorporate proprietary technologies which contribute to the advancement of such fields as culture, science, technology and industry, as well as improved health and environment protection. Ultimately, FUJIFILM’s aim is to help enhance the quality of life for people worldwide.

www.fujifilm.com.au
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FUJIFILM Australia Pty Ltd E: deidre.mcalinden@bigpond.com.au