Tuesday Tidbits

I’m genuinely excited about today’s Apple Event: there’s just something that feels historical—and a tad touching—about this first Steve Jobs Theater gig. So I got a bunch of things done this morning, clearing my schedule to catch the presentation via live streaming. I know...I’m a total geek. 

DRESSED REHEARSAL

Miriodor is headed for RIO—Rock in Opposition Festival—in Carmaux, France. If you’re around and into prog/avant rock of the highest caliber check this one out. Last night they played their full set, one last casual rehearsal, over beers, in front of a few friends. I shot a couple of images for the hell of it—X-Pro2, straight to Acros JPEG (processed in LR).

KAGE IN SEPTEMBER

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So we called this new issue WE DID WHAT WE COULD...which is self-explanatory. Things got in the way of a September 1st release but we finally managed to get it out. Jonas wrote the editorial/intro again this month and I believe he pretty much nailed it. Always surprising to see everyone pull together in the end.

A PORTUGAL SERIES

Robert Kahn is a client, who’s also a photographer, who became a friend. Life’s fun like that. We did a couple of workshops together and we’ve since kept an ongoing remote training series. Robert has always had obvious talent but this last trip to Portugal blew me away. He just recently launched a personal website if you want to take a look. Beautiful stuff. 

 

BIG FUJI DAY

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A short one to address the massive announcements out of Fujifilm this morning: a revamped X-E3, new XF and GF lenses, Kaizen firmware updates...did I miss anything? Oh yeah: native RAW conversion software. I did say massive. You’ll find tons of info about all of this pretty much everywhere today, so I won’t repeat readily available details (my buddy Derek has an extensive overview). Here’s a quick personal take instead.

A (VERY) NEW X-E3

I’ve never been an X-E shooter but I know how important this is to some of you. Essentially this is a baby X-Pro2, eschewing the optical viewfinder for a smaller footprint. I’ve always seen this line as an interchangeable lens version of the X100 series—which is certainly nothing to sneeze at. The X-E3 however is breaking away from what we’ve known so far, opting for a simpler layout and an entirely new UX: put simply, the D-Pad is gone. Except, not really: the new touch screen replaces D-Pad functions with gestures. So you swipe right or left for white balance for instance—as opposed to clicking a button. And you can apparently do this without removing the camera from your eye. Now, this sounds seriously esoteric and I haven’t tried it, but my friend and KAGE colleague Jonas Rask has and he’s sold. I highly recommend his review if you’re interested in this camera.

Of course, the X-E3 gets 4K video. Which leads me to...

KAIZEN

When the X-T2 was released I wrote a post titled On Flagships: X-T2 and X-Pro2. The gist of it was that we now had—for the first time in the history of the X-series—two flagship cameras, distinguished not by technology but ergonomics and approach. A rangefinder-type, a DSLR-type. But some differences remained between the two that, frankly, annoyed the hell out of me—namely 4K video and tethering. Not anymore.

The upcoming November update will be introducing those two features, bringing the X-Pro2 once again almost on-par with its brother (I say almost because some AF features are still tied to hardware). As an X-Pro diehard this makes me extremely happy.

The one thing I’m still holding out for? Software uniformity. We can name our presets in the X-Pro2 but none of the other cameras. I think this should be implemented across the board, if only to bring clarity. More importantly: I want the rear command dial on the X-Pro2 to be assignable for back-button focussing—like it is on the X100F, the X-T2 and the GFX 50S. Let’s just say I know for a fact it’s possible and I miss it terribly. Hopefully this gigantic update (across the line) will also iron out some of the disparities that have creeped in over the past year.

But hey: tethering :))

LENSES

I have a lot of lenses. I’m trying to simplify my life. I want to add maybe two to my GFX setup (I only own the 63mm) but that’s it. And then someone a few weeks ago shows me images from the new 80mm. Crap. As always, I’m sure both newly announced lenses are going to be spectacular: the XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro and the GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR. Plus we have a new roadmap with a wider XF zoom and a longer GF telephoto on the horizon.

We ain’t out of G.A.S yet honey. In the immortal words of Michael Corleone: but they keep pulling me....ok you know, I don’t have to spell it out.

UNIVERSALITY

To top it all off, we got the following announcement from Profoto:

Together with Fujifilm, we are proud to announce our latest family member – the Air Remote TTL-F. Light is the essence of every image and the Profoto AirTTL makes light shaping easier. It unlocks new creative possibilities and helps you go from idea to final image faster. We are happy to help the world’s most ambitious image creators turn their ambition into reality
— Anders Hedebark, President of Profoto.

I’ve already been using the new Godox X1-TF and some of their strobes (AD600 and TT350F)—it’s a game changer. Profoto compatibility has just made the entire Fujifilm ecosystem that much more powerful.

Big Day?
Man...HUMONGOUS day.
Later

P.S I'm intrigued by the conversion software. No opinion until I get to try it out.

The Damned Mirrors

The air comes in through the tube. Enough at first, then less and less. It’s barely noticeable, this trickle, this slow drag...until I find myself gasping.

I don’t know what to make of the speed at which life is now moving. I’ve sensed its acceleration for years—I’ve written about it multiple times, to the point of obsession—but I still believed it would plateau, eventually. It won’t. The kids are back in school today and this summer feels like a missed opportunity. Like we began something, forgot to follow through and it ended, crashing. Months became days, became hours.

I fucking hate time.
I loathe its screeching whisper arrowheads, plunged into our helpless body. This deconstruction, systematic and granular. One morning I woke up with fingers numb. One morning pain became my new reality. It made its nest in my bones and decided to stay. I want to rage against loss and all manners of metamorphosis. Against fatigue that eats away at our strengths until we give in.

Ok...sorry about the darkness. There’s light in here too:
This is the summer Anaïs became a cook.
It’s the summer Jacob’s voice dropped an octave.
The summer Héloïse devoured books like her older siblings.
Hell, I started a band...

new spell
voodoo rites and magic nites
a quickening of electrons
this Horse Machine.

I’ll be in Stockholm soon (from September 18 through 21). A much too quick and busy jump across the ocean but I’m very excited. First time in Scandinavia—hoping to make the most of it. I’ve also got quite the backlog to go through so...stay tuned.

It’s good to be back.
No really, it is ;)

P.S To anyone in Harvey’s path: be safe. Our thoughts are with you.  


SHot with the GFX 50S and GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR


The Colour of Mercury

We weren’t in the path of darkness. The world didn’t stop, the birds kept on singing, the light stubbornly refused to fade—at 58% on a bright summer afternoon, we could easily have missed the eclipse entirely.

But we stopped and sat on the lawn, soldering masks in hand. Miles away from any awe and frenzy.
We saw a black crescent
over a mercury green sun.


Shot with the X-Pro2 and XF 35mm f/2 R WR


Montreal Workshops | P1

I came back last night from a quick couple of days in Lakeville (Ontario), shooting an exciting project I’ll have the pleasure to share in the not-too-distant future. I’ll just say this for the time being: 1) the GFX 50S equipped with the EVF Tilt Adapter* is a revelation; 2) syncing flash at 1/4000 sec with this medium-format camera is a f#$@g dream come true. Seriously.

Tonight we kick off a week of actual, honest to goodness summer vacation with an evening of giant puppets under a starry sky (Théatre de la Dame de Cœur). Then we become wildlings again...

Before we do, here’s part one** of those Montreal workshops as promised. A few images I shot along the way. These are all processed from JPEG files, using Acros R with pushed settings (Shadows +3, Highlights +2)—the Moriyama look, transforming the X-Pro2’s viewfinder into a living, breathing underground movie. You have to be careful with this one: it’s easy to believe every frame is an art house masterpiece. But man is it ever inspiring.

Catch you all in a week or so :)

P.S If you’re looking for more stuff to browse, check out our august issue at KAGE.

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* B&H link just for info, no affiliate kickback.
 ** Part two is here.


Shot with the X-Pro2 and XF 35mm f/1.4 R