Street photography with the Fuji X-E2 in Omaha

If you follow my social media accounts, it’s no secret I’m in love. Fuji has changed how I think about photography and has made it fun for me again. I actually shoot for myself again instead of just on jobs. The shot above was done by balancing a speedlight in low hanging tree branches and facing it at the subjects head on. I then moved to their left and shot until they started ignoring the flash. It was set to 1/1 power so I could overpower the fading daylight and get the drama I wanted

I met a great drum line and they let me shoot as much as I wanted as close as I wanted because I took this portrait for them and printed it on the spot with the Fuji Instax SP-1.

When I wasn't using a speedlight to light the scenes, I used this powerful and adjustable LED flashlight to fill my shots. It's how I accomplished the shot below.

I approached Ken (pictured below) as he was closing his smoke shop. There was no way I was letting him get away without doing his portrait. He was a good sport. I didn't want to take any more of his time than necessary so I took it with only the lights hanging over the counter

The shot above was taken with the cell phone as a remote for the camera. I set the self timer for 2 seconds and dropped the phone in my pocket as soon as I started the timer. It took a few tries to get something I was OK with, but I like it enough that it's now my profile pic on Facebook.

The picture below was taken in shadow with the speedlight resting on a trash can and acting as a fill light from just out of frame

Utah Trip - (Spanish Fork, Provo, Salt Lake City)

I was in Utah to do another job, but made some time to explore for myself. While roaming around for the real job I staked out a few areas and went back to shoot when the light was better at as many places as I could. Well, as many as I remembered or could find again anyway. I ran out on whatever property had the best vantage point, asking permission where I could. I only packed the Fuji X-E2 this time and only shot hand-held or with a mono-pod on the real job and my personal stuff. Other than video and maybe sports, I'm starting to think my DSLR's are going to collect a lot of dust sitting on the shelf.

I used the same sales pitch on every property owner I met. "Hi there! I'm from Alabama and the only thing I have to look at back there is trees. Sorry for jumping the fence (or whatever my infraction), but do you mind if I shoot for a few minutes so the folks back home will believe me when I tell them how beautiful this place is?!?!" It worked every single time. As cheesy as it sounds, I really meant it too. 

When doing that kind of thing, make sure your gear is visible and be as "touristy" as possible. You want whoever sees you nosing around private property to immediately know why you are there. Use common sense. Don't step into buildings or go in dark corners. Don't trample plants or tear anything up getting into or out of where you are going. It's always best to ask first, but sometimes that just isn't possible and you have to make a decision about how much you want to risk for the shot. If there are "no trespass" signs and "beware of owner" signs posted everywhere, then it's probably best to find another angle.

I always find the first farmer I can in a place like this. (and by farmer, I mean any old dude in overalls or with fresh callouses on his hands)  I ask where/when the sun is coming up and going down. Then I ask where the best place to see those sunrises and sunsets are. I have an aversion to shooting the actual sun going up or down, but that info helps me plan for and visualize where the light is going to be during the day and when shots I find are going to look the best.

Most important is to have a camera with you at all times even when you don't think you'll be shooting anything during that part of the day. I don't know when I'll get to visit Utah again, and if I wouldn't have had my camera on me at all times, I would have missed some of these shots.

There are also a few shots from my travels to and from at the end.

I also took some cliche' travel pics which I'll add in here as a little bonus for those that like such things...

Skull Study

I spent about 4 or 5 hours on this little study. It was fun, but I didn't really have much of a plan going into it. I plan to do some more from different angles but I really want to give this one another go with charcoal.

Skull Study - Oil on Panel - 9x12

Skull Study - Oil on Panel - 9x12

Day At The Museum

My daughter and I spent all afternoon at the Birmingham Museum of Art. It's our favorite way to spend a day together and most of the time (believe it or not) I have to drag her away.

I may have some bias, but I think it's the best museum in the southeast by far. The collection is huge and the work spans all of art history.

My daughters favorite gallery is the 13th and 14th century Italian work. She is familiar with the stories behind the biblical iconography. She also enjoys the european biblical narrative paintings from slightly later for the same reasons.

Her individual favorites in the collection include the giant Bierstadt landscape and the Sargent portrait. We both think that "3 for 5" is in the top 5 too.