Long live XPro1… welcome XPro2

It is that time of year when I don’t do anything about my blog/portfolio/self-promotion… As I did for past 400 days. But being the best Fuji X photographer in Bosnia (I’ll explain this later) bring some responsibility to all three of my readers to say something about what I did in past few hundred days.

Let’s start with frustration…
imageFeeds on my humble  social networking presence are overwhelmed with new Fuji gear, orgasmic reviews and pixel peeping comparisons. And… I like to read them all. To be honest… some of them for several times. And yes… I’m an XPro1 user… there is a new XPro2… and I need one more camera body… aaaaand it would be great to  get my hands on it… aaaaaaaaand no… my incomes are just no match to it…. Too bad, since I believe we would be a great match.

So… I decided to run one more story about how good my current camera is and to cover last year with some shots since I haven’t put even a word on my blog for more then a year. I wrote some initial thoughts on Fuji XPro1 two years ago here.

Confession…

You can call me whatever you like… hobbyist, enthusiast, amateur… Photography is a part of my life for more then a half of it (and I’m 36) so you do the math. Occasionally, I do get some paid jobs or some paid assignments but it is impossible to make a living out of it (I have other job which pays my mortgage, taxes, food, gas, kindergarten, some cigarettes, shoes and clothes from time to time…). Ok, my wife has a job too… ok,…. we have a decent life here but… still… as I said… incomes are insufficient when it comes to gear renewal. Last time I did it, I sold out all of my gear that I had and with  some additional savings I managed to purchase a new camera. Why? Because of the mileage of my previous one, because I wanted something lighter and because I needed something more technologically advanced. So I ended up with Fuji XPro1 and it was love at first sight and it still is.

XPro1 is ok but not on par with industry leaders? 

I was slicing my brains out to find some downsides and to make myself more criticizing about it… but without success. Yes… there are some stuff that DSLR purists will say that are more then a good reason to run away from it… (slow focusing, slow sync speed, precision-less OVF, etc.) but at the end… you just get used to it and start to love all the things that you made together. XPro1 is a great companion in every situation you can imagine yourself. At the time Fuji decided to upgrade their flagship model, you don’t feel cheated as most people do when some new technology comes out. At Fujis, new is good but the old one is still keeping up. This is not a praise to  Japan company (I do believe that they are no different than any other in terms of profitability and moneymaking business). Just want to point out that they did a great job back in 2012. On the other side I do think that models like XM1 or XA1 were unnecessary but hey… I’m not a business expert. I still think XPro1 is on par with most newer models made by competition. I have experience with most of them (Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic…) so my subjective opinion is based on usage and not on web reviews.

How I became THE BEST…

Very simple. You would think that I will probably tell you a story of how hard I was working on building my portfolio, shooting endless assignments, shooting days and nights until my finger cramp… and it is the common story of many of my fellow best photographers around the world, but not in my case.

I just bought the camera no one did in my country… so immediately I became the best X photographer in Bosnia (I’m pretty sure that I’m still the best around here or there are just a few best of us). So… being the BEST here, it gives me the right to ask some sample equipment to test it out from Fuji. Just point me at nearest camera store to pick it up. O wait… there is no camera stores around here. Ok… I’ll talk to your representatives in my country and try to convince them. O shit… yes… you don’t have it here.

My point is that Bosnia is not a market that is interesting not only to Fuji but to many other camera companies. But it would be great at least to have one specialized camera store here where one could go and test some equipment or maybe to rent it and at the end, to buy it. So… all of you dontknowwheretoinvestmymoney people, come to Bosnia, open a camera store and in some short time… you will loose everything, but hey… you’ll have a chance to become THE BEST camera store here ever. 😉

Ok… I lost it a bit. This post could easily become a sobbing confession of how hard life is around here… and how we have crappy politics… and how system of value is distorted and blah, blah,blah….

Enough…

imageOk… enough with story without any point. Long story short… XPro1 is still a great piece of gear. Since I’m in a process of thinking about additional camera body – it would be great to have a new XPro2 as a main camera but hey… I would be pretty much satisfied with another XPro1 body too. Good ergonomics, decent AF speed (no missing shots in 99%), decent high ISO output (at my standards, even ISO6400 is usable in some situations), good weight-shoulder ratio, 16MP sensor can give a print output of 70x55cm easily… do anyone need more?

Let me show you some images I did recently…

Motion

I love slow shutter speeds and how you can create surreal images in some simple and common situations and I noticed that when ever I shoot, no matter what, assignment or personal work… I always do a few slow shutter images.

Featured

If you went through my blog archives , you would notice that my work is often based around theatre. Also, I do follow some extreme sport clubs in region so you could find some xsports features… extreme climbing and uphill cycling. I do also a wedding photography from time to time but rarely. I’m an official photographer for Tourist organization of city of Prijedor since this year.

 

Portraits

I do consider myself a portrait photographer so here are some of the most recent I’m still working on for Prijedor city theater. They asked me to do some formal portraits of ensemble and I did it. But somehow, wasn’t very satisfied with it so I proposed a bit different approach. Idea is to show a theater that is not visible to majority of people. Old depots, hidden tunnels over the main hall, wardrobes, workshops, etc. And all of thatin form of a portrait. So… this is the result

If somehow you made it to this part of my blog post, I hope it was pretty much clear how XPro1 is more then a capable camera. Sports, weddings, documentary,off camera flash… you name it. Essentially, it is not up to camera… It depends on your imagination and preparation. Any camera would be as good as this one only…. you are makeing a relationship with any camera you are using and… I just think that XPro1 is more then any other generic model (no matter if a lot of them are technically superior) on a market. All the benefits combined with negative issues are creating a unique experience upon no one can be left indifferent.  Long live XPro1… welcome XPro2!!!

New portrait series. PAINTERS!!!

I’ve been off this blog for a long time and writing and posting again is injecting some strange energy. Main reason I was on stand by is that I became a father, so priorities in my life are drastically changed. Even though I didn’t post anything I was spending a lot of time thinking about this blog, what it became, what should be different, what it is…

I’m aware of fact that this blog is not much concerning a stuff you can read on it. A lot of photos so it could be called a photoblog too but I prefer just a blog, or web site, or sketch book… Also, I know that all those photos are scattered through posts and hard to find. In short – not presentable as a portfolio. So I decided to make it a blog/portfolio site. I’ll try to do it on fly so it is possible that sometimes these pages will be in weird condition but hopefully it will not last too long.

I started a new series of portraits calling it simple: “PAINTERS!!!” (don’t ask about exclamation marks – I just like it!).

In this series of portraits I will try to combine a portrait of a painter with a part of his/her work or with a whole opus. Initial thought was to combine a portrait with actual work (painting, drawing or a sculpture) but I ditched  the idea as a plain and dull and not creative.

Here, you will see a lot of photo manipulation – things that I haven’t did before in my work, at all. All the photographs combined in one portrait will be taken by me and complete visualization of a portrait will be produced by myself. Portraits you will see in this series are my own vision of someones work. For the artists with online portfolios I will not write much. Hopefully, I will publish one portrait per week (I think it is a reasonable goal since I’m still learning to act as and to be a parent 🙂 ).

First in a row is Dragan Indjic. As an inspiration, I used his grotesque portraits and tried to implement it without any changes on combined images except blending them together (3 photos).

Dragan Indjic

City portrait #24 – Nikola Bogdanović

Nikola is a young graphic designer from Prijedor, BiH, who caught my attention few years ago with his set of lamps that he made out of trash and industry remnants. His work is extraordinary and very creative so I decided to by some of it.
Concerning this portrait, I had a big dilemma how to show his inspiration by light. So… we tried several times but I was not satisfied with the result and finally, yesterday it just hit me and we did it in a few minutes.
Here is the result:
lampaman (1 of 4)

lampaman (2 of 4)

lampaman (3 of 4)

lampaman (4 of 4)

And one of our earlier attempts:
nikola bogdanovic (1 of 1)

Friday night in PD

Exhibition opened. It was rainy Friday night. If you have  chance, come and visit it until 25th of August in Prijedor city Gallery 96. Thank you all who came!!!

Special thanks to: Dejan Dejanović, Dino Mrkalj, Radenko Marin and Tiho Ilijašević

All photos below by Dragana Motl.

Exhibition tonight at 8:30pm

Everything is set to go so I’m using this opportunity to call all of you who are somewhere near to come tonight to Prijedor city Gallery 96. Opening is set for 8:30 pm and exhibition will last until 25th of August.

Final City Portrait

This is my first group portrait in City Portraits series and in the same time last one in the same series. On the picture is DUU MANIFEST.

Once again, exhibition will take place in Prijedor city Gallery 96 on 30th of July 2010 and will last for a month. So, wherever you are, I believe you will find time to come to see it.

If you are interested in technical stuff about the photo, here it is:

This is not composite photo. It is one exposure of 61 sec. where I was running around all these people, lighting them with two small strobes from my hand (why two strobes? – I used them alternately because of the charging time).   F stop was 8 because I find it ideal for the power of my strobes but also good enough for some decent depth of field.

City portraits Exhibition

I’m proud to announce an exhibition of my series of City portraits that will take place on 30th of July in Prijedor city Gallery 96. Opening ceremony is planed for 20:30 h, so I’m inviting all of you (no matter if you are near or far away) to come. I would like to thank DUU”Manifest” (Association of urban artists) who helped me to organize it.

I’ll give you more information about all details in next few days. Day after the opening, I’ll present a simple workshop on basic photographic technique that is free to attend (basic photographing technique, composition, light, etc.)

S ponosom želim da objavim moju narednu izložbu serije “City portraits” koja će biti otvorena od 30. jula u gradu Prijedoru u Gallery 96. Izložba će biti otvorena mjesec dana a dan nakon otvaranja održaću radionicu na temu osnovnih tehnika fotografisanja, kompozicije, svjetla… Ulaz je slobodan i svi zainteresovani su dobrodošli.

DUU”Manifest” je zaslužan za organizaciju ove izložbe i ovim putem im se zahvaljujem.

Više detalja slijedi u narednim danima.

City portrait #20 – Jelena Maksimović

jelena-maksimovic-4
I know Jelena for more then 15 years and ever since, she was ambitious and successful as she is today. She has a degree in Communications and mass media and works in city municipality as independent consultant for culture. She has been volunteering for long period of time and for several non governmental associations. While she was involved with “Sanus” organization (environmental protection association), she started a project for getting professional equipment for demo studio so young musicians from Prijedor region could record there.
So, therefore a portrait inside that same studio.

jelena-maksimovic-2

This is a two light setup. One light on camera right with small softbox and other bare light behind model. Studio is quite small so I had to be careful about unwanted reflections from musical instruments and bright ceiling. I like the texture that sound dumpers created. Good thing in such small room is that no ambient light is involved and you don’t have to worry about balancing it with your strobes. All control comes from amount of light from your strobes and your aperture value. Here… strobes are on half power, f7.1 and with shutter speed of 1/200. Because I didn’t have enough space to clean up the room, some of the instruments were covered with black canvas and those with most reflective surfaces were positioned behind me.

City portrait #19 – Rade Stupar

rade stupar
Rade Stupar – an actor. Oldest active actor in Prijedor city theater (although – retired officially). He played over thirty different characters in his career in several hundreds of shows. Very calm and pleasant person as well as expressive actor.
I imagine this portrait as a symbol to theater and that is why to faces on both sides of a photo. Tragedy and comedy. I put two lights setup on both sides of a subject and without any light modifier to gain a dramatic face expression. Put my camera to synchronize flashes on first curtain and through 30 seconds exposure we did two “side” faces that I lit up with small led torch (6 seconds each). Photo is taken in pitch dark so I needed some orientation points for subject where to stand. I used even smaller led torches on the flour.

rade stupar-2

City portrait #18 – Dalibor Popović Mikša (take two)

dalibor popovic-5

Again, I tried to do a portrait with Mikša. And again, I let my mind wondering, and as a result, it evolved my original idea to this. I love that process!!!
Original idea was to show Mikša as an all around artist – musician, painter, song writer, wanderer… Then, he showed me his 2D/3D installation of railroad electrification wires. It gave me an idea to do something similar with photography.

dalibor popovic-4

dalibor popovic-3

dalibor popovic-2

dalibor popovic

dalibor popovic-8

dalibor popovic-7

dalibor popovic-9