A review from me: Fuji X100 – The “Noisy Cricket”

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Ok, so I have never really done this before on the blog, writing a review that is. But, I about fell in love with this camera so I thought I should. Now, I want anyone who is reading this blog (as you hopefully have been for some time now) to understand that I am and always have been, a Canon user and a Die-Hard one at that. I have had friends who have basically converted over to a four-thirds cameras, panasonic to be exact and while they are amazing camera’s I just can’t seem to do it.

With that said, the camera I want to talk about today about the Fuji X100. Granted ok this is not going to be a  massively in-depth review, you have to cut me some slack. i just wanted to write my take on it as a person who uses a professional camera to make a living. Now I know this has been done before. There are people out there that have put this camera though such a rigorous review that they practically took the camera apart down to its circuit boards, I on the other had, did not.

Quite frankly, all I did was call up my shooting partner from my wedding business, The Photo Collective, and ask him if I could borrow it for the day while I was down in Atlanta with a friend of mine taking some pictures of him that he wanted. Then, as i was driving down there, I said to myself “I am going to do a review on this camera!.”

Anyway, here goes. So yes, I borrowed the Fuji X100 from my friend. Decided on the drive down to Atlanta to give my take on it, and that I will do. With that said, I LOVED this camera. OK, so there were a few problems at first, the idea of the camera is to go back to how camera’s once were with the basically full manual control. Yes, granted its still a digital, you can change exposure settings and such through the actual digital menu, BUT you have the knobs on the outer body of the camera that is giving you the ability to do it as you would an older style film camera. I will admit, at first, I was perplexed as all get out. I think it took me half down to Atlanta to begin to figure out it. But, once I did, I fell in love quick with the quality.

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The pictures that you see above you are in order of the pictures that I took. Yes, I have show these before in a previous post i did about going down to Atlanta. The one of my buddy is the one I took right after I figure out how the hell to use the damn thing an not be taking consistent dark images. Granted there is a little bit of editing done to them, but not that much. The quality that comes out of this camera, right straight out of it is fantastic. I was stupefied of how good this camera is camera’s image quality was IN the camera before it is even put into an image processor. Granted it made it that much better after it was run through Photoshop and Lightroom.

Another great thing is that it as able to be used with my Canon external flashes and Yonunguo flash triggers when I was doing the photoshoot so being able to use external lighting equipment would be no problem when you are taking pictures with it. My favorite thing though is the exposure of this camera. You don’t have to do much to make the exposure right, I mean honestly, I only did slight adjustments through out the whole time I used it, and that was mainly for the depth of field that I want to maintain. When you used the external lighting, it just made it THAT much better. like you see below.

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All around this camera is by far one of the better smaller “point and shoot” style camera’s that I have ever used and will definitely be picking it up as soon as I can. However, be advised that it is in fact a little pricey, this base model is around 600 dollars new. Granted I am sure that you can find one a little bit cheaper used. But, I don’t see many people parting with this little guy. The “Noisy Cricket” as a photographer friend of mine calls his is a great find definitely suggested.

Just a little RAK: Random Act of Kindness

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For the longest time, I never really understood this abbreviation “RAK.”  I kept seeing it all over the internet for a while; both on Facebook and other thing such as blogs I randomly followed. I really started seeing it the most on a fellow photographers Facebook news feed. He would go out at random times during the week and walk around the city, giving helpful things to the homeless or people that just flat out needed help in some shape or form. I thought it was cool, did i do it myself? No, I didn’t Ill admit it. Not that I didn’t want to help people out but at the time, I wasn’t really able to and quite frankly probably needed the help myself.

So what does “RAK” stand for? Well, as I stated before it’s an abbreviation for “Random Act of Kindness.” Basically, you just help someone out, pay it forward, no questions no expectations of something in return, you just help! Honestly I have been that type of person these past few years. I began to tip well to servers, stopped questioning why to do something that may be good for someone else, and just did it. I have always put someone first, but now-a-days, its become kind of a second nature thing to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a fellow group member of a local Atlanta Chive Chapter reach out to us to possibly preform a RAK of a girl that she met off of the couchsufing.com website. This woman whom she was wanting to help, is an aspiring actress and was from Kentucky. I heard from the woman, and we set up  time on Saturday afternoon. We got together down in Atlanta and walked around Piedmont Park for about an hour an a half and got her some nice head shots!

Helping people out is what I love to do, and I hope these photos make it a little bit easier for her to get towards the goal that she is trying to obtain. Good luck Dusty!

Test…Test…One-Two – A day of testing

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It’s a hard thing to kind of fathom when I look back on where I started over 8 years ago. When I started doing photography, honestly all I wanted to do was shoot cars. Come to find out, 8 years later after getting pushed in the direction of going to school and obtaining my degree, I would be at the point where I would do some testing for a modeling agency.

Back at the end of February I reach out to a local model agency to see if I could possibly do some test shooting with them. I had actually done some photographing of their models back at the end of 2014 when I attended a photographers meet up at a local studio. Thats where I originally got introduced.

It took a few days but I got a response back and they were more then happy to send me some models for some test shoots. Kristen, their booker and I set up a day in the middle of the month of Match. So, I contacted a local studio and set up a block of time that I could rent it out and do some shooting.

Shooting day came, and I won’t lie, I was a little scared. Ok, well not scared, nervous. It was the first one that I had done. I was prepared and knew how I wanted to shoot, but you know how that goes, most of the time even though you’re prepared, your scared to fail. But, I went through the motions, believed in myself and just did the do! I came out of that that day very confident and after two weeks of working on them (coupled with a very busy schedule and crappy internet service, I sent them off.

I got word back fro the agency letting me know that they loved the images, and a few in particular. That was a good reassurance to the fact that I have indeed come a long way. I can’t wait to do it again.  I would like to give a shout out to Gene Pennington and his studio Atlanta Photoworks as well as Ursela Weidmen and all of her models!

below are a few examples from the day.

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An evening around the city.

Tim Chard Atlanta-61-EditI have been posting a lot lately which is great. I guess you could say that I am picking up the slack that I left when I was really down and out for a couple of years. It also has helped that I have had a good motivator come back in my life, in the form of my best friend. I know a few of my most recent posts have involved him lately so please do forgive me if this isn’t really something that is new.

We wanted to get some new pictures of him for some of his promotions and publications that he has got going on right now. his Tokyo Nigh Owl Blog, LoveTravelBass Instagram, and his Tim C/Time Slut DJ names. Tim wanted to have some graffiti in the shots. I suggested a place that I have not been too yet at all but head that it had some graffiti on it. So with that, we went to the Old Fourth Ward Park in down town Atlanta.

I’ve known that this park was awesomely known for a bad ass concrete skate park that they built a few year ago when they were doing a revitalizing of the area. I’ll have to say, seeing that in person, I was hating myself for ever stopping skating  because it was such a nice place.

Ok, back to what this post was about. We didn’t really shoot THAT much but we got awesome images for the few that we took. We ended up going from the Old Fourth Ward park, over to Krog Street and the “Famous” tunnel, and then ended the photo taking at Piedmont Park.   I also tried out a new camera. Ok, well not so new but it was new to me. I borrowed it from a business partner of mine because I wanted to see what it shot like and holy crap did I fall in love with it.

After we did the shooting we did something that has become somewhat of a tradition for him and I when he comes back from his travels. We visited Brickstore Pub in downtown Decatur. That pub has some of the best beers, and burgers in Atlanta in my personal opinion. Take a look at some of the images that I took.

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A weekend away with a good friend

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It has been a while since I have been able to go on a trip (albeit this one small) with a friend. A granted this was a weekend trip to pick up a free TV from an aunt of mine down in Jacksonville, FL. But it was a trip that was needed for not only myself but my best friend Tim that I asked to come along with me. A chance to talk, catch up, and just kinda reflect on things then, now, and hopefully to come in the future.

tim chard-154Recently, Tim came home-He’s been in Japan for the last three years where he’s basically stationed himself after a lot of travels around the pacific oceans abundant amount of countries. Back in 2010, he decided to start traveling again. Prior to this time around he had lived in Australia for 8 months exploring the outback, sleeping in fields, randomly hitchhiking with truckers going through the out back to make their deliveries ( there was even a driver named Texas!). But after a stent stateside, for a little under a year, he got bored and got the travel bug again. For over the past 4 years, he’s been traveling through out Asia. First stop was South Korea-where he taught english for a little over a year and a half. After that, he made his way through Laos, Vietnam, some places in Malaysia. His final resting stop? Japan.

Tasked originally as a vacation with a friend, he fell in love with the city. The music scene was strong. He is an aspiring DJ/Music Producer (you can check his stuff on the music community Sound Clound), the culture was something he loved being around so he set up camp in the city by getting a share house and becoming an english teacher on again like had done in South Korea over the 2 years he was there.

Over the two and half years Tim was in Japan, he taught english, had a corporate career at a financial consulting firm located in Tokyo and developed a music promotion group that although was small it had its loyal followers. He also became somewhat known over there in the music scene via his music promotion that he started with friend and his amazing ability to DJ. But, It was time to come home.

After a quick visit to visit some family over in London, and then Maine to do the same. He made his way back to Georgia. To get away and clear his head, I asked him if he would like to come with me to FL to pick up a TV my aunt wanted to give me for my new place (free? Um, YES PLEASE!) SO we got our stuff together and headed down there on the 13th of February to stay for the weekend. Once we go there around 1230 we passed out, then in the morning we went and visited St. Augustine. Tim’s only been to Jacksonville once when we were traveling through to pick up a friend on the way to Miami for a music Festival back in 2010.

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St. Augustine was a good moment to just kind of take in the sites. Supposedly it is the Oldest Settlement in the history of North America (that is LONG running debate between my parents, both being from FL). It has been a few years since I have been there myself so I didn’t really remember a lot of it. I always loved the Spanish Fort that was there, granted I love history in general, so I wanted to show him around the city.

We walked around the fort for a second, I took a few pictures, and then walked around the town. We definitely started to get hungry after walking around and going in a  few of the shops, and ended up stopping in a nice restaurant on the main street portion of the town. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but, due to the pretty awesome customer service, I remember the guys name that served us (i think he was the owner too).

Captain Steve, got us some food and, even got us something I didn’t even think about before, a warm cider and fireball. OMG was it amazing.  Once we got some food, we head back to Jacksonville to do a quick take at the beach. Went back to my aunts house, broke down the TV and its stand, had some food with my aunt and uncle, then went and had a beer a cousins bar he bartends that I have not even seen in about 7 years. The only way I knew it was him was the way he walked!

Since we did all that in one day, and then headed home the next morning on Sunday, it was a quick trip. But with getting to go together, and just talk and help each other figure some stuff out. You can’t have a better time. I’ve known this guy for over 20 years, and its been a pleasure and a privilege growing up with him and seeing us attempt to obtain the dreams that we both have. He’s been my best friend for these 20 years, and I know for another 20 he will still be around.

Kampi, Tim!

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