Location Portraits with the Fuji X10 and 5D MkIII – Portrait Photographer Hampshire

Location Portraits with the Fuji X10 and 5D MkIII – Portrait Photographer Hampshire

Today’s outing was fun for two reasons, not only did I get a chance to work with one of my favourite location portrait photographers Michael Turner, but I would also be indulging in some location portraits with the Fuji x10 and 5D MkIII, which I have only just purchased. Successful portrait photographers usually invest wisely in their business, and more importantly in their own personal development. We never stop learning, no matter how long we’ve been in the business, and no matter how well qualified we are. Therefore investment in self-improvement should be a vital component of any serious photographer’s yearly overhead. Improvement can be in the form of attending sit down seminars and lectures, or by shooting alongside a photographer you admire.  This is particularly relevant to me, since I’m defined as a “lifestyle location portrait photographer”. Aside from the fact that Michael Turner is a brilliant photographer and teacher, I was particularly interested in learning more about his approach to business and marketing since a new perspective can help you to see effective ways of reaching new clients. I would gladly have spent a week in Michael’s company given the chance.

After discussing marketing plans in the morning, we had the opportunity to photograph our gorgeous couple around the hotel grounds and part of the old city centre – the Tudor building you see was (sadly) one of the few ancient structures to survive bombing by the Germans during the war.


I have a full lineup of professional kit, with at least two levels of backup equipment. But I often enjoy capturing some images on a compact camera – it’s a really great way of reminding clients that it’s our training and knowledge which gets the shots – not the camera we use. I had my Fuji X 10 with me as usual and the portraits below (and the shots above) were taken with it. I think it’s a great little camera for controlled portraiture, it has all the manual controls a photographer needs and it feels solid and responsive in the hand. The portraits below (and the images above) were all captured with the X10 (by the way, that’s not noise on the background in the picture below – it’s a sort of pebble-dash finish favoured by some hotels).

I’m not suggesting that a compact camera can cover all bases (nor would a compact make a viable alternative to a DSLR) – since there are occasions where we have to compress perspective and introduce shallow depth of field (such as when we want to lose cluttered backgrounds) and this is very much the province of larger sensor cameras (ditto we will need recourse to a good DSLR when fast and very accurate auto focus is needed) so for the images below I used the new Canon 5D MkIII.  In fact this was the first time I’d use this camera for portraits, and I have to say the quality of the RAW files is fantastic, and very little work is needed when it comes to processing them. When I first got the camera last month I didn’t have RAW support in the software I was using, so I shot JPEG on my first outing, and I have to say I was disappointed by how soft and lacking in detail those JPEGs were – it was such a relief to see the full beauty of the RAW files, and the lowlight capability of this camera is simply phenomenal. And so it should be, given the price! On a slightly less positive note it is bigger and heavier than its predecessor – and since RSI and joint damage is increasingly common in our profession, that is not particularly good news – and it does explain why I will use the X 10 for my casual photography and the less complex portraiture that I do.

You can see more of my Fuji X10 images here:

Breakfast at Amberley Chalk Pits Museum

Wey Navigations Guildford

Weald and Downland Museum West Sussex

Amberley Chalk Pits Museum

Hampton Court Palace

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  • Dave - May 18, 2012 - 10:50 pm

    Boy, I sure do love your work!

  • Lindsay - May 19, 2012 - 9:26 am

    Thank you Dave.

  • Richard - May 20, 2012 - 9:39 am

    Hi Lindsay

    I saw your comments in the discussion about Orbs at the X10 group on Flickr. I am probably going to get an X0 for work and I wanted to get some ‘genuine’ feeling for how the camera performs.

    Firstly, I’d like to say how shocked I was at the way your comments were attacked – clearly some folk are living in a shallow DoF world!

    I do like your shots taken with the X10. I can see you are an accomplished photographer but it is also clear that the camera is capable of performing to an excellent standard too.

    I feel much happier now, about my decision to purchase the Fuji – thank you.

    Rich

    P.S. Rich3591 on Flickr if you want to take a look and I’ll let you know what the Blog and Twitter details for work are in due course – if you are interested that is!

  • Lindsay - May 20, 2012 - 1:59 pm

    Hi Richard, lovely to hear from you – Flickr is certainly the best place for a balanced appraisal of any camera and as you noted my positive comments about the X10 ended up on DPReview where they were torn to pieces (there seems to be a profound anti-Fuji contingent over there). I find the X10 is an excellent all round performer and quite exceptional as compacts go (though different to an SLR of course and it should not be viewed as a substitute for one) – in fact I currently use my X10 more than any other camera I own. I don’t shoot in the situations where harsh specularity would occur so I have no issue with the orbs that others have seen under certain conditions (and of course there is Fuji’s impending sensor swap programme for those individuals). I will look you up on Flickr and please do let me have the Blog and Twitter details (though I am not on Twitter as yet).

  • Will - May 20, 2012 - 7:35 pm

    Wow Lindsay! Great candid shots, along with the posed photographs, and your composition is fantastic……these photographs are just plan fun to look at – as well as perfect. Just great!

    Thanks for your insight! Will try to follow your lead. Suffice to say ‘just trying’ to emulating what you do is a challenge enough!

  • Lindsay - May 20, 2012 - 7:38 pm

    Great to hear from you Will, and thank you so much for the kind words. Photographic improvement is a long road for everyone, even professionals. The best way to develop your skills is to just get out shooting and have fun!

  • Keith - June 17, 2012 - 5:32 pm

    Hello Lindsay, I love the shot’s taken with the Fuji X10, can I ask are they jpeg or raw files

    I have just purchased this camera for my wife to use on an up coming cruise with he mother, she will only use it in EXP mode as she will simply point and shoot, but from what I have seen I expect some very good results. I have also shown her the panorama and video, so looking forward to her endeavours.

    Congratulations on your excellent work and I will be viewing the galleries on your sight regularly for the great photographs and inspiration.

    Regards Keith

  • Lindsay - June 17, 2012 - 5:56 pm

    Hi Keith, thank you for the kind words. I mostly shoot JPEG with the X10 unless I find myself in mixed lighting. I’m sure your wife will love it, though to get the best results there is a bit of a learning curve. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t even tried the video yet so I’ll be interested in your wife’s results!

  • Alan - June 30, 2012 - 5:17 pm

    Some great shots, you certainly know how to make the X10 work for you. I’ve just got one myself after seeing on other sites as well as yours what can be done with little gem of a camera. I only take snaps but am trying hard to improve…I’ve a long way to go

    Keep up the good work and don’t let certain idiots interfere with that.

    Good luck

    Alan

  • Lindsay - June 30, 2012 - 6:12 pm

    Thank you Alan. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the X10, I find it amazingly versatile and it goes with me everywhere.

  • Dennis Brooks - July 11, 2012 - 9:07 pm

    Hi Lindsay,
    Love your site, some great photos on there. I like you am loving my X10, I also shoot with a Canon 5D mk11 & a 1Ds mk11 but the bulk for carrying everywhere is getting a bit much. I also find it hard to beat the jpegs of the X10. Just wondered if you are considering the sensor swap, I’m tempted to leave well alone?
    Cheers,
    Dennis.

  • Lindsay - July 11, 2012 - 9:26 pm

    Hi Dennis, I know exactly what you mean about the weight of a large Canon DSLR getting a bit too much at times! I find the X 10 incredibly useful in so many situations. I did have the sensor changed in anticipation of reflective chrome in sunshine at the car shows I tend to shoot in the summer. So far though we’ve had no sunshine and the floods have put paid to some of the car shows, but for the last three weeks I’ve put the new sensor through its paces and the output and getting is very good. Under my Personal Work section you will find plenty of photographs from recent outings, including:

    http://lindsaydobsonphotography.com/blog/amberley-chalkpits-museum-west-sussex/
    http://lindsaydobsonphotography.com/blog/a-lull/
    http://lindsaydobsonphotography.com/blog/wild-flowers-west-sussex/

    If you don’t shoot in situations which produced blooming then there’s not really any need to get the sensor swapped. In any case, the service centre in the UK is probably very busy at the moment, so it might be best to leave it for a while anyway until the initial surge dies down.

  • Jimmy K. Phua - January 14, 2013 - 12:03 pm

    Wow its really amazing what the x10 can do. I own the X10 and did a blog on my website about it, you can check out ‘Travel with my Fuji X10’

    I’m planning to use strobe for the x10 to test out its capability. Love your work.

  • Lindsay - January 14, 2013 - 7:20 pm

    Hi Jimmy, the X 10 is a great little camera and really puts the fun back into photography. It’s also a very good travel camera as your shots prove. And your macro images are great!

  • Luis - July 22, 2013 - 12:41 am

    Hello Lindsday, firstable your work is amazing And beautiful, really great pics.!
    Im amateur in photography And i just bougth the x10 And im really happy, but i cant get the color And contraste that you get in some of you pics of interiors,
    so could it be posisible that you can make a tutorial about ti, or maybe can you do one ,about interiors or portraits with te X10 , i think people really apreciate that!
    Any advice id wellcome, hace a great day!

  • Lindsay - July 22, 2013 - 3:48 pm

    Hi Luis, thank you very much indeed for the kind compliment. Getting the pictures to look a certain way depends on two things (presuming you are shooting the X10 as JPEG) – firstly your in camera settings need to suit your tastes. Personally I use a Standard Film Simulation and either DR200 or DR100. If you have the new (non blooming) sensor then there is no need to reduce the sharpening, but I tend to set the Highlights to -1. The next stage is to do some subtle postprocessing in a program such as Adobe Lightroom. This is very much a matter of taste, but the most important factor is to get to the Curve right so I would advise playing with this yourself until things look nice. I don’t add clarity but I sometimes add a small amount of Vibrance. I try to avoid pushing up the exposure slider, instead I preferred to lift the Lights because this can help to avoid blowing the highlights and bringing out noise in the shadows. Set the Blacks wherever it looks best.

  • Luis - July 22, 2013 - 8:54 pm

    Thanks your your advice Lindsay, i will try to set my camera and try to process in ligthroom, i use photoshop but i think ligthroom is better for this job. Have agreat day!!

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