Nov 262012

Fuji X100 Magic to create them. By Simon Peckham

One of the special things about the Fuji X100 that I have learnt and still learning while using the camera is the way the photographer can “play” with the light and the resulting image. I will try to explain how I use the camera to control the light in a little more detail. It’s only possible to be able to control the camera this way using the EVF, it is not possible with the live view or the OVF. Take a look at the lens flare in this image.

You can clearly see the wonderful “star” effect from the suns rays. This is due to the blades at smaller apertures. You can’t see these at wide aperture. Then it’s a question of just trying to get the correct camera angle. Taking care using the EVF set the camera to f11 or f16 it works better at these apertures. It’s ok at f8 but since your pointing the camera directly at the sun it’s better using the smaller. Take care doing this looming directly at the sun is not something any wine should be advising or advocating but to get the shot then we need to take some risk. You also need some subject that can be use as a gobo.

The sun is a giant studio or speed light after all so you need a gobo, this can be a tree, leave,car,building it can be all most anything. Now you need to start to frame the shot by looking at the sun and moving the camera to just get the sun to peep around the gobo, this starts the flare, using the EVF you will be able to “see” the flare now you just need to choose you image. It’s amazing to see the effects that can be created this way, I a, often looking to take shots into the sun, I normally choose to shoot towards the sun at the end of the day it seems a little easier to control. Here is another similar shot.

You can see the above shot has creatures a beautiful flare with a partial halo. I love this type of control that I believe can only be controlled using an EVF. I have not been able to do this on any other camera, I am not sure if it is because it is EVF or the fixed fujinion lens. I am really hoping I will still be able to use this technique with either the Fuji X-pro 1 or the new Fuji X-E1. I would certainly like to hear from any Fuji X-pro1 or Fuji X-e1 owners that can try this method and confirm if is works particularly on other lens’s. it would be a real shame to lose this ability to play with e flaring. Take a look at the next shot.

This halo is really fun to play with. I really cannot explain what this is I don’t really know how it is formed but I do know its a similar technique to get it as the 16 point flares, the halo seems to be best created with the wider apertures but it’s created over all the range if you GE the camera angle right. Again use the EVF to do this and not look directly at the sun using the OVF. The full halo takes a little bit of practice to get the right angle. It’s also very sensitive to getting the right angle, pointing the camera at the sun slowly tilt the camera vertically and you will find you can get the complete halo to appear.

Now it’s just up to you to frame this image compose the shot make the halo appear and click away. I will be playing more with this in the future and hope to be playing with the same either on the new Fuji X-E1 or the Fuji X-Pro1 what ever I end up getting and with what ever range of lens I have I really hope I will still be able to create these type of really cool reflective artifacts and flares. We shall see. Go out and have some fun with this and see if you GE the same or similar results as me.

Simon Peckham – His Blog is HERE

Jun 032011

Add some FLARE to your photos with FLARE!

An awesome app that is fun AND powerful!

Wow. About a week ago I was contacted by the creator of FLARE asking me if I wanted to try out his software and see how I liked it. It was yet another one of those “Apps” for your desktop that instantly transforms your photos into creative funky creations using presets. Wasn’t too interested so I let it sit on my desktop for a few days. One night I was bored and remembered that I downloaded this app…ah, what the hell. Worst case it is crap. Best case it is fun. Well, I ended up sitting there for 3 hours running some recent photos through the software and was very happy with what came out.

To date, Flare is my favorite “fun” photo software, but it is more than fun. You can get pretty cool and serious results with it if you play around a bit. First of all, this is for Apple/Mac only, sorry windows :) Once you download the software you get a free 15 day trial to play around with it but even if you want to buy it, it is only $20 and IMO, it is well worth it for those times when you want to add some easy, but effective effects to your photos.

There are 24 easy ONE CLICK presets included in Flare but the cool part is, you can edit those effects to make them your own. It is VERY customizable and you can adjust just about everything from within the quick and smooth interface. Watch the video above to check out the features.

You can download the App HERE and try it for yourself.

If you own a mac and want to own a copy of flare, download the trial and post an image that you used Flare on in the comments box below. The 1st five people to do so will win a free copy! I will set you up with a license code next week. I would need your name and email address to set them up, so if you are one of the 1st five email me here with the info.

Also, if you download this app you can also get more presets HERE!

Below are a few of my recent images that I processed with Flare, just using the presets! It’s a great app and makes it easy for those of us who are not Photoshop savvy to get cool results. Even the straight B&W conversion is good!

BTW, ALL images below were taken with various cameras such as the Leica M9, Fuji X100, Sony NEX-5, Sony A-33, Leica X1 and the Olympus E-Pl2.



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