Yesterday was a monumental day. I finished the shoot for my project. Initially I was meant to interview the head monk but alas things conspired against that happening, so I got to interview a child monk and photograph the absolutely wonderful child monks.
Whilst there I had the privilege to witness one of the volunteers Virginia. At one 19 with no actual professional teaching experience she had complete command of her class. She teaches with humour creativity and a real love for the children and the material she presents .
I really believe that the challenge of Nepal brings out the best in people when I saw her teaching I was very impressed. It was like I was seeing someone much older.
Then to finish the shoot we went to film in the Junior school project, where all the little ones start there educational journey in pepsi cola just near the airport. The spirit of the children really shines they are so photogenic and love being in front of the camera .
Yesterday I went to a buddhist medicine bowl shop here in Bhaktapur . It was quite an amazing experience. They basically wack this bowl around your body which sends out a reasonence that is meant to open everything up get blood flow moving and the like. Whilst I dont know if it was actually doing anything , the sensation and the sound was very relaxing. I bought one of the bowls which is stunning. Mostly made out of copper with beautiful inlays. The bowl is completely made by hand . Its a thing of beauty. Its other use is to put on a table and wack it with the supplied mallot then meditate to its deep rich harmonic sound.
So the shoot is over and I am now officially on holiday. After a really dreadful year, where my health failed me on multiple occasions , my confidence was shot. I feel this project has been a exercise in healing. How so you might ask? The challenge of this project and overcoming its multiple issues along the way has given me a huge confidence boost to take home to Australia. I don’t feel broken anymore. I now truly feel that is behind me . I can go home edit the film and take some real momentum into my life.
The first week here was very stressful I had a nasty stomach bug but I worked my way through it and just treated it as another challenge. Tomorrow, Saturday I am off to Pokhara the lake side city. I am being driven one way and flying the other. There I am going up in a hot ait balloon hopefully doing some meditation just chilling after a frantic last 2 weeks .
From what I hear the drive to Pohkara is unbelievable beautiful , if not a tad hairy. The road is very narrow . I am lucky I have a local to take me. I can stop take pictures and really customise it to my liking.. more to come
Recently my mother returned from a amazing trip shooting in Sri Lanka. There she shot with her X Pro 1 and a Variety of lenses the 18-55 2.8 the 55-200 the 14mm. I as her son and fellow photographer processed and edited her pictures in lightroom. I applied VSCO filters. I mainly utilised the Kodak Portra settings which together with mum we found the most pleasing. http://vsco.co
She found the focusing very frustrating with the camera. My point of view is its very quirky and you have to learn a whole different thought process when focusing with the camera. But when it worked boy did it work well. The lenses are sharp.
When you see the pictures there is grain present. I have put that in myself as we both like the aesthetic . I realise its not to everyones taste but I think they came up really well.
From her pictures we have completed a book project produced by Albumworks HD book. http://www.albumworks.com.au
There books are lovely unlike most book manufactures they print at a very high DPI of 2400 which producers super sharp and detailed printing. The whole process only took 4 days .
Recently I have started shooting using a Blackrapid Metro strap. I have to say until you have shot using one of these things you dont know what your missing. This model is on of the most cost effective at US$39.
The strap goes across the shoulder and spreads the weight of the camera evenly across the body. When you want to take a picture the camera comes up the strap, take the picture then put the camera down by your side. I have long struggled with heavy gear around my neck causing my neck and back pain. The strap is equally comfortable whether your using a heavier lens such as a 55-200 or a much lighter 35mm lens . The strap keeps everything well balanced and feeling comfortable across your body.
The strap screws into my shoot grip via the tripod mount . Its tight and secure.
Coupled with the X PRO 1 and this strap shooting has become far more enjoyable and less taxing. I am also getting shots I didnt get before because my camera is far more accessible than it was either in a bag or around my neck. The strap can be adjusted for all body types and heights making its very useful for all. At $39 its a great buy.
The other day I took delivery of the iShoot grip for the X Pro 1.
This is a copy of a grip made in europe which is more than double the price of this one made in China.
The camera grip comes in at $69 so what is the quality like? It is quite incredible that this grip is a Chinese knockoff. It is made of well made metal everything is tight and fits wonderfully well. I decided to get this grip after being very frustrated by the official X Pro 1 grip. That grip covered up the card and battery compartment , where this one allows complete accsess to change your battery or card without taking the grip of.
Where this grip really impresses is the hand grip . It has indentations for 3 fingers and just makes the camera feel more secure and comfortable in my hands.
The Grip really doesn’t feel any more heavier than it did with the official fuji grip.
All in all a really worthwhile purchase they can be found by doing a search on Ebay.
A quick Post.
I have just got back from a few days in Sydney.
There I shot the picture below with my Fuji X pro 1 and processed with VSCO film filters for the X pro 1.
I really like the mood the grain and added warmth brings. Enjoy
Ever since I started shooting digital, I have longed for the romance and look of film.
Today I purchased the VSCO 1 film pack for the Fuji X pro 1 and I have to say I am in love.
I shot Kodak Portra film for a good number of years and have to say the emulation in this film pack is bloody nice.
I love the tones and the grain. I love the retro look and the warmth that can be achieved with a single click.
Most of the time shooting with the X pro 1 feels filmic in the way that you shoot. NOw with the VSCO film pack I can get the results I am after.
The pack isn’t cheap its $100 but in my opinion if your shooting enough and want what it offers its totally worth it. The packs can be purchased from there site at http://vsco.co/film
I had a chance today to go shoot some stuff out in Fitzroy.
It is a meca for street art and alternative life styles here in Melbourne.
With the new firmware the camera was very fast. It started very quickly and auto focus didn’t miss a beat.
Everything below was shot with the 35mm 1.4.
The work is extremely cool and artistic . As you can see I also operated the camera in panorama mode.
I also noticed this mode to work a lot faster. It did not freeze or stutter as it did with the original firmware.
I found it a lot easier to use. As well as the faster focusing this mode is now very usable and fun to boot.