Monday, October 1, 2018

Fujifilm GF250

f/5.6 1/80 ISO 800
Processed entirely in C1-11

I can’t say enough good things about this lens.  The GF250 equates to 197mm (35mm equivalent) when mounted on a GFX50s, Be prepared for a large lens that weights in close to 3 pounds (1.42 kg) and measures 8” (203.5mm) in length; the sunshade is quite large as well. There’s a rotating removable tripod collar and the lens has anti shake and is also weather-sealed. There’s so much more to the lens that I suggest you go to Fuji and look at the specs yourself.
f/5.6 1/100 ISO 800
Handheld
 
It gets better with the GF1.4 TC WR Teleconverter.  Using the 1.4 with the 250 brings it to 350mm or approximately 280mm in 35mm terms.
 
f/9 1/100 ISO 400
Handheld
f/8 1/400 ISO 320
Handheld
 
I’ve been using the 250 and 1.4 since the end of July capturing hummingbirds and then to San Diego Wildlife Park recently without any issues. I’ve shot both on and off tripod and despite its weight I’ve found it very easy to shoot handheld as it is well balanced both with and without the 1.4. Autofocusing is what I’ve come to expect from my other Fujifilm GF lens. Quick and easy.
 
f/8 1/125 ISO 400
Handheld
 
I spent over 5-hours walking around the San Diego Wildlife Park with the GFX50s, GF250 and 1.4 around my neck shooting over 900 images with the majority of them on continuous mode. Up until the release of the GFX I felt that I would never shoot this much this way with anything other than a 35mm camera.
 
f/5.6 1/200 ISO 400
Handheld
 
The autofocus is spot on. The amount of detail offered by the GFX50s allows me the chance to zoom and crop into the files to achieve the image I want. My one wish is for a slightly longer focal length say around 300mm without the 1.4. A 300mm would give me close to 240mm before adding the 1.4 and 420 (336 35mm equivalent)with it.  The good news is that should I decide I really need a longer focal length I can easily use another companies lens.
 
f/5.6 1/250 ISO 400
Handheld
 
f/8 1/320 ISO 250
Handheld
 
I’m keeping this short as I have a lot to do within the short period.  There’s also great news in that Capture One now fully supports the GFX 50S and appears that they will do so with the GFX50R and GFX100 coming next year. I’ve been using C1-11 for several days now processing images that were captured in San Diego.  All the images shared here were processed using a combination of C1-11 and Photoshop.

Stay tuned for more.

Don
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Splash Art Photography with a Fujifilm GFX 50s Part 3

Neon Uproar
f/11 ISO 400 1-second
 
Train wreck
f/11 ISO 400 1-second
 
Splash Dance
f/22 ISO 400 1-second
Back again with more information.
ELF Disruption
f/22 ISO 400 1-second
 

I recently upped the anti by adding 2-addition siphons for a total of 3-separate drops valves. Doing this we also changed the brains of the system from Cognisys Stopshot Water Drop kit to the much more involved Stopshot Studio 3 valve water drop kit.

Several thoughts on the Studio 3 system are; I can now control the entire enterprise directly from my laptop. The software included runs on both a Mac or PC and I'm using it on a 15” Microsoft Surface Book II from one of my USB 3 ports. Another thought is that I have better control over the individual drop valves setting them for up to 3-drops at a time and various intervals. The same is true with the flashes and I now routinely use between 2 and 3 flashes per session.  There’s much more to this however the greatest aspect is that I can drop up to 3-colors now.
Fracas
f/22 ISO 400 1-second
 
When I first began dropping 3-colors I decided to go for the standard RGB as in Red, Green and Blue. I’ve tried Purple, Yellow, Purple as well as various other colors. I’ve also experimented leaving the well clear of color; at least until I begin dropping into it which after awhile can make for an interesting color. I’ve also added colors to the well to experiment with the results. UPDATE: I now fill the well with clear cold water letting the colors add as the drops fall. I change the water depending on how long I shoot. 
I’ve tested various combinations of drops, 1 each, 2,1,1, 2-each, 1,2,1 etc. You are limited only by your imagination.
Amok
f/18 ISO 400 1-second
 
The last blog I shared I had ended up trying and liking a black paint roller tray. That still works well however I since found a new tray to act as the well.  It’s plastic, black and measures 12x32 and  about 1.5’ deep on the shallow end. The width and depth are good however the length is what makes this tray perfect. Made by Husky, it's a x-large stackable garage storage bin I happened to find at my local The Home Depot. I've been using this for several weeks now with great success.
Shambles
f/18 ISO 400 1-second
 
I’ve now just about perfected my solutions making me feel more mad scientist each time I make a batch. I normally make a batch of gum the night before making enough to fill the well to the level I want with a little left over for the siphons. I’ve got a couple older glass beakers I used to use in making up a varnish for my canvas prints. 50mg gum, 50 mg 2%milk, 100mg water and a generous helping of food coloring. Stir well before filling the siphons.  I’ve not been adding any colors to the well knowing that in time the drops from the siphons will color it.  I also found I like the well to be a darker color mixture so the eye stays with the drop sculpture.
UPDATE: I've done more research and I now shoot I'll be using a pure gum solution with 2% milk and food coloring. This solution gives a more plastic look to the drops.  I also stopped adding any gum solution to the well, instead I'm using plain cold tap water.  I also very recently began using cold water that has been refrigerated overnight in the well at a depth of approximately 1.5 inches.
Twisted Imp
f/18 ISO 400 1-second
 
Please note that I began writing this a several weeks ago updating  information along the way.

I haven’t talked about how I’ve been setting the camera up until now. I had been doing this in a small confined area that only had room for the small (24x42) folding table and rolling computer stand. I was forced to set the camera on the table due to limited area and kept going back and forth using either a table top tripod or a large Platypod. Both worked and both had their strengths and weaknesses. The new table I’m now using is 30x60 and set up in the garage which allows me the freedom of using a choice of either a tripod or table pod.
Ka-Boom
f/16 ISO 400 2-seconds
 
Manifesto
f/10 ISO 400 1-second
 
Macro photography is about getting as close to the subject as possible. The GF120 while a macro lens is still a 50% lens. Using the new 45mm extension tube allows me to photograph at 100% at a much closer distance. I’ve now used the 120 with and without the extension tube. The extension tube allows me to get in closer however I find that I might be too close as I was getting the occasional water drops on the lens. Removing the extension tube allows me to set back a couple inches further keeping the lens dry. I also use the lens hood in order to better protect the lens from splashes.  I found that in each case I was very pleased to have a full frame image that I could print. Here again you’ll need to experiment with your own setup.
Distracted
f/10 ISO 400 1-second
 
While not water drop related it nevertheless is macro related. I’ve also begun experimenting using the 45mm extension tube on the Fuji GF250 lens. I’ve attached the 1.4 extension to the 250 as well as the macro tube. I’ve found I can get macro images at a focal distance of 5 to 6 feet. I’ll share a couple samples here and maybe write more about this process later.
 
GF250, 1.4 extender 45mm macro extension tube
f/5.6 1/200 ISO 160
Handheld - cropped to taste
 
GF250, 1.4 extender 45mm macro extension tube
f/8 1/160 ISO 160
Handheld - cropped to taste
 
GF250, 1.4 extender 45mm macro extension tube
f/11 1/200 ISO 200
Handheld - cropped to taste
 

That's it for now, thanks for visiting, feel free to leave a comment or question and I'll do my best to answer all.
 
 
 
Don
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Splash Art Photography with a Fujifilm GFX 50s Part 2

f/11 2-seconds ISO 400
Singh Ray Color Intensifier Filter
Dual flash
 

I recently shared information on capturing water drops and want to expand on it.
Here is the equipment I’ve used so far. The camera is a Fujifilm GFX 50s medium format with cropped sensor. The lens is the Fujifilm GF120 macro which by itself is about 50% less than a true 100% macro. I’m using the new MCXX 45G WR extension tube which when combined to the GF120 allows me 100% macro. Using the extension tube also allows me a much closer focus distance by a factor of one-half. I’ve experminated using various f/stops and seem to like f/11 the most for the shallow depth of field.  I began using ISO 100 when I used a single flash and changed that to ISO 400 after adding a second flash.
f/11 2-seconds
Singh Ray Color Intensifier Filter
ISO 400 Dual Flash
 
Flash – I now use 2-separate flashes with the primary flash set at 290ms and the 2nd at 300 to 400ms. I’ve found the position of the flashes are just as important as the flash settings. Too close and you get burnout; too far, darkness and shadows. I’ve found it normally takes a couple minutes for the water to settle down and I’ve taken a couple images moving the flashes around before I settle into place.
 
f/11 2-seconds
ISO 400 Dual Flash

Timing is everything
 
I use a very dark room to capture the images with the shutter set on bulb mode. The water drop is triggered by pushing a button on the StopShot console only after I open the shutter. Stopshot controls the water drop and  triggers the flashes. Once the flash has activated I close the shutter. The entire time the shutter is open is between 2 and 3-seconds with the time dependent on how fast I release the button on the remote shutter release.  The camera captures the image during the instant the flashes fire.
Focus is done manually. I fire a drop into a container to see where it lands. Using that as a point of reference I then hold a pencil in the water to set the focus.
f/11 6-seconds
Dual Flash ISO 400
 
f/11 4-seconds
Dual Flash ISO 400
 
f/11 3-seconds
Dual Flash ISO 400
Custom White Balance
 

Water – I try to add some strength to the water and will generally mix a batch of Xanthan Gum to 2-cups of warm water letting it sit overnight. I’ve found that the gum thickens the water giving it a plastic look.  I also use food coloring in both the drop tube as well as the container it drops into.  Go crazy with the coloring.
f/11 2-seconds
Dual Flash ISO 400
 
f/11 3-seconds
Dual Flash ISO 400
 

I’ve now experimented using a bowl, plate, burner cover and paint roller tray. Each container has their good points however I find I like using the paint tray the most (make certain you get a black one).
Water drops are very much like snowflakes as no two are alike. They will be similar however they’ll surprise you when you least expect it.  The makeup of the water is key; do you have hard or soft water as each presents their own issues. Heat of the water and ambient temperature add into the mix. I’ve shot 3-days in a row using different water mixtures and each day it was slightly different to where I needed to change the timing of the flashes.  I’ve found my main flash stays in the neighborhood of 290 to 291.5ms while the secondary flash is anywhere from 300 to a high of 900ms. If I hadn’t shared this before I’ll do it now. Patience is the key here. It took me several hours that first day before I captured my first collision. Patience will remain being the key as each day brings its own issues.  Each mixture will be off just enough to make you stumble. Okay – enough said on Patience…
f/16 2-seconds
Dual Flash ISO 400
 
f/22 2-seconds
Dual Flash ISO 400
 
Capture format – JPEG or RAW.  I always capture in RAW format as that will give me the most information available. Yes, RAW files are larger than JPEG and can take slightly slower to capture if you are in continuous (burst) mode, however I’m not. Besides, RAW files are larger for a reason; the information they contain, so use it.  I’ll normally take close to 200 files at a sitting and use less than 10%.  I’ve found that you get into a visual overload where all the images look good and you have a difficult time picking the best of the best..
 
You don’t need medium format camera to do this and actually from what I’ve been able to learn I might be the only one if not a rare few who do. The normal camera system is 35mm. The one thing you’ll need is a macro lens. If you are like me and have one that isn’t a true maco then you’ll also need an extension tube. An extension tube will allow you to set the camera up and focus much closer. A remote shutter release is also a must as it keeps you fingers off the camera. And of course, a sturdy tripod for your camera.

Visit the Cognisy website for much more information on the water drop kit as well as other tools available.
I’ve got much more planned so please stay tuned for another update.
Over Ice
f/11 2-seconds
Dual Flash ISO 400
 
 
Don