Shooting U2 Without DSLR

I have been to the U2 concert in the Ziggo Dome last Tuesday. Since I had no accreditation I couldn't breng a DSLR or big camera, So I took my small and trusty Fuji X100. And I must say that little monster performed really well! I had a nice spot near the B-stage with only a 2 or 3 (large)people in front of my, So it was holding up the camera and hope for the best. And I must say it was almost a better spot then the spot that was for the press photographers.  

I always work in manual mode during concerts. This because of the chancing light and the dark clothing. If I set it manual I know exactly how to set the exposure. 

Dance photography session Part 1: The headshots

In the upcoming blogs I am going to take you through the process of a dance photography shoot. A few weeks a go I got the call from Djenz Factor that they needed new promotional photo's for their new website. Having worked with them multiple times before I knew this was going to be fun! For location we have been to the area of the Lichtfabriek in Haarlem. Because that is where the new dance studio is going to be. We wanted to start with an outside session. It is in an old industrial area so it is really nice. The only thing that was looking to be a problem was the weather, but it was great weather that evening! We started with the head shots of the creative team

The Set up


For the Headshots I used a fairly basic setup. On the location we found this lovely brick wall to use as a background. For the lighting I used my Elinchrom Quadra set with A heads. The main light was in the A port with the 100 Rotalux octa soft box. I Also placed a second light on the background, that was in the B port with the Elinchrom 18cm reflector and grid, so it had a little bit of a natural vignette. To have a little bit of fill I used a silver reflector handheld by my assistant. For camera I was using the Fuji X-pro1 with the Fuji 56mm 1.2 lens. I was really happy to use it for the first time on a job. Setting were: raw+jpeg fine, F10, 1/125 ISO 100.

Going to Post

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.13.36

When I first opened the files in Lightroom I was really impressed by the jpegs of the camera. They where so good that I even have delivered some pure jpeg's to my clients. I also noticed that the Lightroom Fuji profiles are still of and not matching enough for my taste. For post I really have speeded up my workflow. In the past I was using Nik Color Efex pro a lot, but the loading time was getting to long for me. When I just have to do a few pictures it is no problem, but when you have to do around 50, it is too long. So I have started to create some actions to speed everything up.

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.17.04

I first started to remove some of the basic blemishes with the healing brush. After that I used the Inverse High pass skin softening action. Which is based on a technique I learned from Scott Kelby on KelbyOne. It gives a nice skin in just a few seconds. After the skin was done I wanted to make the eyes pop a little more. So I created another layer, set it to screen and hidden it with a layer mask. Than used a brush to reveal it on the eyes and used the opacity to make it look more natural. To add a little more contrast I made two level adjustments and painted them in the Layer masks. To finish it off used the High Pass filter to give it a little more sharpness on some areas.


And that was all I did. If you have any questions post a reaction down below!

Djenz Factor Haarlem Lichtfabriek FB res--2


North Sea Jazz festival 2014

Some of you may have already heard it on Facebook but I had the privilege to expose at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2014 in Ahoy Rotterdam with my Dutch Jazz Portraits project. It was a heavy but fun week. A lot of getting in bed around 3 and waking up at 11 and get back to Rotterdam. Swamp Donkeys at North Sea Jazz festival 2014

The music was great and I have met some great people. Also I have met new artist who will get into the Dutch Jazz portraits. Also some of the artists who are already been photographed for the Dutch Jazz Portraits project signed their photo at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2014. Guys like Benjamin Herman and Ruud Breuls.

Ruud Breuls Signing

Jett Rebel at North Sea Jazz-

The DapKings at North Sea Jazz festival 2014

For gear I used my Fuji;s only, mainly the X-E1 with the 35mm and the X-pro1 with the 56 1.2 which I bought the morning of the first day of the festival. And is a great lens, I used it sunday on it's first commercial dance photoshoot.

Easton davy

Shooting The Preacher Men

A couple of weeks a go I got the question from Efraim Trujillo if I could should o location. I told him I just bough a new Elinchrom Quadra RX set and can do photoshoots everywhere. So I got the question if I would like to make some promotional photo's for his new Jazz project "The Preacher Men". We could only plan the shoot a hour before there first gig so I had to work fast. Armed with my Fuji X-pro1 with the 35 1.4 and X-E1 with the 18-55 2.8-4 and the Elinchrom quadra with the Westcott 60" umbrella I went to the gig.

The Preachermen Web-1453
The Preachermen Web-1453

I started with a few portraits of the individual band member. I found this red chair and used the umbrella half closed to create a poor mens soft box, a trick I learned from Zack Arias.

The Preachermen Web-1482
The Preachermen Web-1482
The Preachermen Web-1520
The Preachermen Web-1520
The Preachermen Web-1532
The Preachermen Web-1532

After the ones on the chair I found a couple of doors I thought that look cool and would gave them some extra choices in different kind of looks.  So the final groupshot I did in front of those doors

The Preachermen Web-1576
The Preachermen Web-1576

In post I just did some extra sharpening and darkened the  background with the chair shots to get of the background noise.

Click here to follow the Preacher Men on there Facebook!

I Went Fuji

Ok it's official I went Fuji! After years of shooting Canon I have moved over! The reason, the arrogance of the people that represent Canon and I wanted a smaller and lighter kit. I already had the Fuji X100 last year and fell in love with it. Although it can be a pain in the ass camera sometimes, but when it works with you it's a superb camera.

My kit

My Current Fuji kit is:

  • X-Pro1
  • X-E1
  • XF 35mm 1.4
  • XF 18-55 2.8-4
  • X100

Fuji X100

Workshop OneLight 8214 9433

The X100 was my first Fuji X camera (my first digital compact camera's where also Fuji's like the S5600). I really love this camera. It has a fixed 23mm (35mm eqv.) f2 lens and I really love the small size and focal length. It is ideal for street and reportage photography. Also the leaf shutter gives you a really fast X-sync, and the 3 stops internal ND filter makes it a great camera!

Another downfall are the sticky blades. Luckily Fuji have a great service and after two weeks of missing the camera I got it back completly repaired and checked.


Elisa Haarlem web--2

I have been wanting this camera for a while, After seeing Zack Arias with it, and some work of other photographers  I was like I also want that style. I also been doubting a long time of going to Olympus 4/3 camera's. I love the OM-D EM-5. But the X-pro1 is just a little bit more what I wanted. I wanted a small camera with great sensor and just a few buttons. The only ones I need are Shutter time, Aperture, Iso, Shutter release and a on/of switch. Just like the Analog camera's I like to use .

Also I love to play with a smaller Depth of field. Believe me I still would love to work with the Olympus OM-D EM 5, but for may hands the buttons are just a bit to small and wobbly and there is a little bit to much trickery in it. Also the people at Olympus are great, friendly and helpful and I can recommend the Olympus Camera's to anybody, but for my taste the Fuji Camera's where more fulfilling my needs.

Daniel Lanois web-4

The first real shoot with the Fuji X-Pro1 for me was with Daniel Lanois in the Carre theater in Amsterdam. I only had the 35mm lens for it. I loved how it focused. Also the EVF was nice to have. Being in a theater only being able to shoot availeble light it is a blast to have WYSIWYG fews of your photo's.

During a testshoot for a upcoming commercial shoot it had a few times where it wouldn't trigger my flash. This is something I halve to dig in to. During the day It worked fine in the studio. I don't know if it is the trigger or the camera yet, but it was annoying. Also I really hate i that first all the photo's have to by written to the card before you can really preview them. Notice that you get a 1.5 sec preview after you took the shot in de OVF/EVF.

The OVF is also once to have shooting in low light and on the street. It gives you a more few of also the surrounding. Also it gives you more eye contact with the model.


Fam verwoert-1129

The X-E1 I almost got for free! I wanted the XF-18-55 2.8-4 lens. The lens costs €699,- and as a kit with the X-E1 €749, so for €50,- I got the Fuji X-E1 with it. Firstly I bought it as a back up camera, but as it is almost the same as the X-Pro1 I use it as a co camera, mainly not to have switch lenses or use when I maxed at to buffer and have to keep shooting.

Fam verwoert-

The 18-55 2.8-4 lens became my standard lens. As I am used to  use the Canon 24-70 2.8, it is a great replacement.  Much sharper, cheaper and lighter!

Arno Bakker-1437


The Fuji X-Pro1 and X-E1 also have video functions, and to be short, the box is checked for video. But actually it sucks, the quality is not that well. So if you want to do also a lot of video get an Olympus or Nikon!

DSLR Killer?

Are the Fuji's DSLR-killers? The be honest not quite yet. I would use the Fuji kit for any kind of job, but I still keep a DSLR on the side. My Canon gear is going out the door, but A Nikon D610 or D800 will come in for video and high-resolution work on which some more post/photoshoping has to be done. Also the teetering functions are nice to have with a client watching over your shoulder and with workshops/training sessions!

Arno Bakker-1505


On my whilst is the 56 1.2 portrait lens and many trading in the 18-55 for the upcoming 18-135 for allround lens. Further camera-wise:

  • Be able to look back pictures while the photo's are being written to the card!!
  • Thetering options
  • Shooting ISO100 with Raw Files

Elisa Haarlem web--3

My second love: The Fuji X100

Het zal voor velen geen geheim zijn dat ik al een tijdje met de Fuji X100 Camera werk. Ik moet zeggen: "Deze camera begint echt mijn tweede liefde te worden". Deze camera is ongeveer aan mijn schouder vast genaaid, ik ga bijna nooit zonder deze camera de deur uit. Waar mijn Canon 5D MkII mijn echte werk camera is, is de Fuji X100 de camera die mee gaat als ik wil fotograferen. Als je nu denkt dat het een fun camera is, Nee, absoluut niet, ik gebruik hem wanneer ik maar even kan, ook bij commerciële opdrachten!

De Specificaties

Ik ben geen specificatiefetishist, voor mij moet een camera gewoon lekker werken. Maar om het verhaal toch compleet te maken alvast bij deze:

- Megapixels: 12.3 - Image sensor: 23.6mmx15.8mm CMOS - Opslag: SD(HC/XC) - Bestandsformaten: JPG, RAW. Film: H.265 (MOV) met stereo geluid - Lens opbouw: 6 groepen met 8 lenzen (1 aspherische lens) - Diafragma: f/2.0 - f/16 - Minimale scherpstel afstand: 80cm - ISO waardes: 100 tot 12800 - FPS: Tot 10 foto's in JPEG en 8 in RAW of RAW-JPG - Hotshoe: ja - LCD monitor: 2.8", TFT kleuren LCD monitor (100% dekking) - Video opname: 1280x720px (24 frames / sec) - HDMI-mini uitgang - Afmetingen: 126.5x74.4x53.9mm - Gewicht: 445 gram (met batterij en geheugenkaart)


De Fuji X100 is niet alleen door zijn look maar ook door zijn werking een klassieker. Vaak als ik met de camera ergens kom is de eerste vraag: "is dat een oude met rolletje?". Als ik uitleg dat het een digitale is wil iedereen gelijk meer weten. Zelfs een keer bij de Nikon Booth op de IBC beurs wilden de Nikon mensen meer weten over de camera!

55k Fotografie 98

De Sensor

Ondanks de camera "maar" een 12.3 megapixel sensor in een periode van een megapixelwetloop heeft. zijn het wel 12.3 hele goede megapixels! Het gebruik van het unieke patroon zorgt voor een uniek dynamisch bereik. In volle tegenzon kan je nog steeds details in de schaduwen houden. Zelfs een ⅓ crop (foto hieronder) blijft nog overeind op een grote afdruk (a4 formaat).

55k Fotografie 84

De Sluiter

Het volgende hoogstandje van de camera is de sluiter. De Fuji X100 heeft namelijk een centraalsluiter. Dit heeft twee grote voordelen. Aan de ene kant zorgt het voor een hoge X-sync, je kan de Fuji X100 tot een 1/4000e synchroniseren, doe dat maar eens met een DSLR! Zonder het gebruik van energie slurpende High Speed Sync te gebruiken! Je kan dus in de volle zon nog steeds met 1 flitser werken en het daglicht weg duwen.

Ferry Knijn Fotografie site-37

Het andere grote voordeel van de centraalsluiter is dat hij super stil is. Je hoort hem bijna niet. Wat zorgt dat de camerasluiter niet afleid. Zoals bijvoorbeeld in een volle kerk.

55k Fotografie 50


Hoge Iso

Het bijzondere patroon van de Fuji X-Transsensor zorgt ook voor zeer hoge ISO-prestaties. Op hoge iso' rond de 3200/4000 werkt hij beter dan de Canon 5D MkII!

55k Fotografie 10355k Fotografie 51


Kleur vs Zwart/Wit

Ondanks de kleuren van deze camera prachtig zijn. Vooral de Velvia en Astia, werk ik het liefst in het Zwart/Wit met deze camera. Vraag me niet waarom. Op de één of andere manier vraagt deze camera er gewoon om!

Tevens ben ik blij als Adobe komt met de update voor Lightroom waarbij de kleuren nog beter ondersteund worden in RAW modus. Hierna hoop ik ook meer de kleuren functies te gaan gebruiken.

55k Fotografie 8755k Fotografie 52

Compact contact

De compactheid en de OVF zorgt ook voor meer contact met je onderwerp. Als je met de Fuji X100 iemand portretteert heb je niet een enorm gevaarte voor je gezicht. Door de OVF blijf je ook echt oogcontact houden. Dit maakt het portreteeren veel intiemer.


Deze camera is één van de beste camera's die ik ooit gekocht heb. Ik zou iedere opdracht aandurven met alleen deze camera. Tevens heeft Fuji een voorzetlens aangekondigd waarmee de de 23 je een 50mm (35equiv) kan creëren. Wat de camera nog veelzijdiger maakt! Kortom als je deze camera nog niet hebt, koop hem als het even kan!