Model Shoot With the Fuji Film 35mm f2 R WR

Since purchasing the FujiFilm 35mm f2 i've wanted to put it through its' paces during a model shoot.  The effective field of view being 53mm on a full frame camera, I thought this would be appropriate.  I know this isn't an ideal portrait lens and that there are many other lenses by FujiFilm that would be more appropriate.  In addition to this lens I also own the 56mm 1.2 and love it for portraiture, but for this shoot I was looking for a wider field of view.  

Here in Northern California we are blessed with some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline that exist on this amazing planet.  I've always wanted to do an implied nude/nude photoshoot at one of the local beaches but the stars hadn't aligned until recently.  I have been working with an amazing local model that I found on modelmayhem.com .  Marie Jean is great to work with and I love the results we are able to obtain together.  After a short conversation she suggested the location and we set up the shoot.  My hope was to include the sunset but the weather gods weren't on our side.  The fog rolled in and wasn't going to lift.  We decided to go ahead with the shoot regardless.  I actually prefer to shoot in flat light or overcast skies.  You don't have to worry about harsh shadows or trying to balance the light on the model with the light of the sun.  

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

I'm a run and gun photographer.  When I shoot outdoors I don't like to lug around a ton of equipment.  I love natural light and believe that you don't always need a flash to make a great image.  Don't get me wrong, I love working with off camera flash and have done so often.  I usually reserve flash photography for my indoor work or when the light is just too harsh to balance with reflectors.  For this shoot I was lucky that all I needed was my Fuji XT1 and the 35mm f2 lens.  

The focus speed is fantastic with this lens.  There were a few times where I switched to manual focus and used the focus peaking feature.  For this shoot background blur or "bokeh" wasn't as important to me.  Most of the shots have distant backgrounds and this lens handled them beautifully.  

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Lately i've been exploring shooting implied nudes.  I have set out to push the boundaries of my photographic abilities and experiences.  I believe that you will never improve your craft unless you get outside of your comfort zone.  I was lucky enough to be working with an amazing young lady that put me at ease and was generous with her experience, suggesting spots and poses throughout the shoot.  

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

I've gotten to the point where I no longer have to worry about my equipment or settings.  I shot film for close to 25 years with a manual focus camera.  Settings come naturally to me.  The Fuji system is as close as I can get to using an old school film camera and is much like my old Nikon FE2.  The 35mm f2 lens is unbelievably compact and a joy to use.  The only draw back that I could possibly mention is that the provided lens hood is practically useless.  I can't imagine it makes much difference at all when attached.  There are aftermarket hoods available, but so far I haven't needed to use one.  This camera lens combination made this shoot effortless and fun.  I wouldn't hesitate to use it again in the future. 

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens.  Converted to B&W in Lightroom.

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens.

There are additional images that include nudes and semi nudes.  I have placed them in a separate post which you can access HERE.  Marie Jean can be found on modelmayhem.com and on Instagram.  I look forward to working with her again in the near future.  

The Sonoma Coast

Yesterday I decided that I would take some time for myself and head to the beach to make some images.  Living in Northern California I am spoiled by my beautiful surroundings.  The spot I chose was Goat Rock, located in the Sonoma Coast State Park.  It was a bit foggy, with a light breeze, but not cold.  I love shooting in foggy conditions as colors pop more with a gray sky.  Lately i've been shooting with my X100T.  I took my Nikon D7000 with me but it never left my bag.  More on that in a later blog.  All images were shot in RAW and then edited in Lightroom CC.  It's interesting, I have been uploading images to Instagram lately and have been using the WiFi feature of my Fuji to transfer images to my iPad.  Once there I have been using Snapseed to edit.  It was nice, for a change, to get back into Lightroom.  I have never been one to use Photoshop on my images.  The only time I use Photoshop is for creating graphics or when I have an issue that I need to resolve that Lightroom can't handle.  I love how my images look directly out of the camera with the X100T and usually only use a few features, in Lightroom, to do some fine tuning.

For this adventure I had no specific plan.  I just decided to let my heart guide me.  This is my favorite method.  I pick a location and let it show me the way.  I usually have a general idea of what I want to shoot but am open to whatever might come up.  This first shot was taken from an overlook along the road that leads to the beach.

Blind Beach, Sonoma Coast State Park, California

When I was five my family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Chicago.  I've always had a large body of water near where I live and I can't imagine it any other way.  Everywhere you go there are unique sights, smells and sounds and this is no exception.  I can't describe the feeling that I get when I go to the beach but it's something special.  I'm not a religious person but I am very spiritual.  I find that I am closer to whatever it is that makes this all happen, at the ocean and in the mountains.   I've split my adult life between the two but the ocean has been the winner over the last ten years.  

As I walked along the beach I found this pile of rocks.  I couldn't help myself, it was a picture that I had to take.

Rock Pile, Sonoma Coast State Park, California

I've been crazy busy lately.  It was nice to take a couple of hours away from home, by myself, in a place that brings me peace, doing something that I am passionate about.  I NEED to do more if this and I WILL do more of this.  Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope these images help to take you to a place where you can hear the gulls and the sound of the waves and smell the sea air.  

Reeds, Sonoma Coast State Park, California