Create a surreal moon composition

Create a surreal moon composition

Create a surreal moon composition

Create a surreal moon composition – For as long as night has followed day, humans have been obsessed with the moon, whether they’ve been viewing it through a telescope, or landing on it in the 1960s and 1970s. Artistically though, it makes a great focus for a composition!

In this project, we’re going to explore how to make a composition realistic in tone, if not in scale. The idea is simple: our subject is placing a moon into the sky with help from a step ladder, and so we’re going to need to make sure the image is balanced in terms of the size of its elements. Don’t be afraid to lay out your stock images on the page when you start: sometimes before making a composition such as this, it can help to rough it out first.

The most important thing, though, is just to have fun and experiment whenever you can. There are loads of great techniques you can learn from attempting a project like this, and we’ve supplied everything you’ll need to recreate this image in your own style on the FileSilo. So download, and get creating!

Learn how to age portraits

Learn how to age portraits

Learn how to age portraits

Learn how to age portraits – Posters, commercials, and various advertisements today all seem to be selling some sort of age-defying product, feeding an eager public with tips and tricks on how to look younger than they actually are. The cosmetics industry alone makes billions from skin products that mask fine lines and obvious indications of age, while clothing lines keep releasing collections aimed at people who want to wear clothes that make them look young. Everyone seems to want to go back to the so-called happier times of their youth, but the truth is that age is not something to deny or shy away from – it is something to be welcomed. After all, no wrinkle will ever dull your true shine, right?

This tutorial will focus on quick and easy tips for how to make a portrait look older, just to prove that getting old doesn’t have to be a terrifying task. In fact, by using subtle blending with layer masks, you can age a photo realistically and gracefully. Are you curious to see how you’d look like in a few years? Go ahead and try it out – age your own photo at home and embrace the best years of your life that are yet to come!

Dodge and burn your photos

Dodge and burn your photos

Dodge and burn your photos

Dodge and burn your photos – There are so many techniques for making your images pop. Different photo editors use different skills to try and get their images sharp, contrasted and bright, but two of the most popular tools for finishing off your photos are Dodge and Burn.

Polar opposites but used in conjunction with one another, Dodge and Burn are two of the oldest features, but are still popular for their command of tone and brightness. They can be applied to any image to improve the light and shade in your photos. They’re extremely similar to brushes: think of them as being brushes that apply blend modes to your work rather than colour. Namely, Color Burn in the case of Burn, and Screen in the case of Dodge.

While you can apply the Dodge and Burn tools to any image, the absolute best way to apply them is to do so non-destructively. By making your edits on a new layer, you can use them almost like an adjustment layer, enabling yourself to edit them again if needed, reduce the opacity, or delete them completely. Editing nondestructively is the most organised way to work, for these reasons, but also so that you can view each of your edits as layers, and stay on top of your workflow.

Dodge and Burn might not be fancy new tools added in the latest few versions of Elements, but they’re solid, reliable and capable of improving your photos to various degrees.

Blending digital and traditional artwork

Blending digital and traditional artwork

Blending digital and traditional artwork – Finding one’s style in Photoshop is something that every digital artist does, but learning to develop and evolve your style is something altogether more challenging.

With her Little Red Boubou project, a children’s book based on the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood, Typhaine Le Gallo took her original creative process and then adapted it for the needs of the project. The subsequent illustrations have been featured in Behance’s Photoshop and Illustration galleries as a result, proving that often the very best work comes from innovation.

We caught up with Typhaine to ask about her creative process, her influences, and how she made these beautiful illustrations.

Have you always been interested in art, Typhaine?

I initially studied mathematics and computer programming; I worked for around 10 years as a graphic programmer in the video game industry. But I have always enjoyed drawing and four years ago I decided to go back to university to take illustration classes and study for a graphic design baccalaureate. This is where I discovered Photoshop.

As a graphic programmer, was it easy to get to grips with Photoshop when you first used it?

Yes, I found it to be mathematics applied on pixels. The layers, masks and post-effects work are very intuitive for me as I developed similar features in video games. I chose to take a professional photography class to learn how to edit pictures, as to start with I simply wanted to create illustrations with traditional materials and enhance them in Photoshop.

Who would you say are your biggest artistic influences?

My biggest artistic influence is Rebecca Dautremer, a wonderful French children’s book illustrator. I think she uses Photoshop almost exactly for the same steps than my own process: to improve a sketch, to test colours before applying traditional mediums, and to enhance the final scanned picture. A few years ago I discovered another big influence: the work of Victo Ngai, an editorial illustrator. For the first time I discovered a process almost entirely done in Photoshop, which was truly resonating with me, and it was the one I decided to use for the Little Red Boubou project.

So was the Little Red Boubou project completed entirely in the Photoshop software?

Well, for Little Red Boubou I wanted to push my use of Photoshop, but still use my usual watercolour pencil textures. To do so, I drew lines with black ink on paper, scanned the drawings and a lot of textures created with traditional mediums, and assembled the whole thing in Photoshop. I always start with a sketch on paper, then I move and distort the objects and characters a lot in Photoshop until I’m happy with the composition.

What are your favourite tools to use in Photoshop?

Mainly the tools I use are the Magic Wand Tool in conjunction with the Refine Edge option. I also love using certain adjustment layers, specifically Selective Color, Hue/ Saturation and Brightness/Contrast. For the Little Red Boubou project, I created the illustrations by selecting areas between the black lines and using masks to apply my scanned textures to the selected areas and to the lines. Then for every area, I modified the colour of the applied texture to get the exact colour that I had in mind. Finally I added shadows and highlights by darkening or lightening the colours of my lines and textures on specific areas.

This creative process is slightly different to your usual, then. What made you head in a new direction for this project?

The style I used for the Little Red Boubou project differs a little bit from my usual illustrations, even if they are still similar. There are two reasons for that: first I had a very short amount of time to finish the illustrations for this book, secondly as I wanted heavily contrasted black-and-white drawings to be able to select the areas easily, I used black ink and continuous lines. As a result my lines are a little bit stronger and the look is more ‘naive’ and colourful than usual, which was not a problem for me as I thought it was a good match to represent an African adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood.

Nothing is better than to work on a whole project of at least 10 illustrations by applying the same Photoshop recipe on all the illustrations. This recipe should be compatible with what you like to do with traditional mediums: for example, for me it was essential to keep the textures of watercolour pencils. I learnt a lot during the Little Red Boubou project. I only really mastered the software after spending a lot of time on these 32 pages of illustrations in Photoshop. Before that I was mainly trying to edit my pictures to fix the loss of colours and contrast due to the scan. Since then I am still using traditional techniques, but now Photoshop is an essential part of my process to get the final atmosphere and palette of colours that I have in mind.

Turn any photo into an abstract oil painting

Turn any photo into an abstract oil painting

Turn any photo into an abstract oil painting

Turn any photo into an abstract oil painting – There are several ways to create an oil painting effect in Photoshop. The fastest and easiest way is a rather cool feature, aptly named the Oil Paint filter. It enables you to take any photo and easily turn it into a ‘painting’ by tweaking a few sliders. As is the case with many other Photoshop filters, using it alone creates a common-looking, much less interesting result. However, combining it with other filters opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

In this tutorial, we’ll take you through the process of transforming a mandrill photo into an illustration,

and show you how we use filters in Photoshop to speed up and achieve a painting effect. We’ll also show you how to prepare your image before applying the filters to get the result we want. Check out our Expert Tip for more specific advice on the Blend-If sliders.

The images used in this tutorial are all provided on the FileSilo. You can also download the layered PSD to get a better understanding of exactly how you can build up your artwork. Once you have worked through the technique, you can try applying it to other kinds of photos.

Master basic 3D in Photoshop

Master basic 3D in Photoshop

Get to grips with the essentials of Photoshop’s 3D tools to create a background scene for a digital painting

Master basic 3D in Photoshop – Cities look beautiful at night, and they can be an attractive setting to use in digital paintings and illustrations. However, without any perspective tools or objects, city scenes can be an intimidating subject to paint. But with a little knowledge of Photoshop’s 3D tools, you can make this process a lot less painful.

Before you start, make sure your computer is powerful enough to run the 3D software. If you have never modelled a 3D object in your life before, don’t worry. In this tutorial, we will be covering the absolute basics of creating and reshaping 3D objects in Photoshop.

Although Photoshop’s built-in 3D tools are not as powerful as the tools featured in dedicated programs such as Maya, they are certainly enough for creating shapes that fit the perspective of the scene you want to paint, which is exactly what we need to complete this cityscape piece.

We will also be using illustrative and digital painting techniques to complete this image, so even if you do not intend to use 3D objects in your work on a regular basis, there are drawing and colour-editing techniques you may still find useful. Most importantly, though, be sure to have fun!

going plAces

Venture into supertelephoto photography without spending a fortune and with a zoom lens that’s much more versatile than a big prime.

Læs mere om den kreative fotograf her

Prime telephoto lenses are wonderful things, but they’re also highly specialised, unless you’re shooting sports or wildlife all the time. It’s a lot of expensive lens to have sitting around idle in between the few times you want to venture to 300mm, 400mm or even 600mm.

So a 150-600mm telezoom looks like a much better alternative, not just in terms of practicality, but also affordability.

Of course, there are always compromises, and let’s deal with the two main ones right at the start. A supertelephoto zoom like this is always going to be comparatively slow compared to a prime lens, especially when the focal range is also long. But it’s those large-diameter elements that make an f2.8-speed 300mm or 400mm so expensive… and so big. And the question has to be asked – is a maximum aperture range of f5.0-6.3 such an issue in these days of ever-improving high ISO performances, especially from full35mm format sensors? The depthof-field isn’t quite as shallow, but in

Going back to the subject of size, the new Tamron 150600mm zoom still isn’t a small lens, but it’s a case of swings and roundabouts – from 150mm to 200mm it’s bigger than a prime equivalent, at 300mm it’s probably line ball compared to an f4.0 speed prime, and from 400mm to 600mm it’s a whole lot more compact – and lighter in weight than the prime big guns. If you’re going to be mostly using it in the 300mm to 600mm range then you’re definitely ahead here, not to mention the state of your bank balance. Consequently, the pros still pretty convincingly outweigh the cons.

As one of Tamron’s ‘G2’ models (short for Generation 2), the new 150-600mm f5.0-6.3 is a complete re-do of the previous model, both internally and externally.

As far as the latter is concerned, the styling has been given a more contemporary look with a smoother profile, matte black finish and flush-fitting control rings. The aluminium alloy barrel is weather sealed, and this protection extends to a substantial gasket around the lens mount and a fluorine coating on the exposed face of the front element. This is a fairly expansive piece of glass so we’re not sure that you’ll really want to leave it exposed – even if 95 mm diameter screwthread filters aren’t cheap but if you do, the fluorine coating is designed to repel both moisture and grease. Obviously weatherproofing is an important feature for a lens that’s going to be primarily used outdoors and in situations where moisture and dust could well be issues (but, frankly, if this is often going to be the case, buy that protective filter).

sTeadY sPeed

At the other end of the barrel, the Tamron 150-600mm is fitted with a very beefy tripod-mounting collar which is made from magnesium alloy to help save weight. As on the G2 70-200mm f2.8 zoom, the quick-release plate is the ArcaSwiss type, which is arguably the closest thing there is to a standard fitting in the tripod world. The rails-and-clamp configuration certainly allows for quick and easy attaching and detaching, plus there’s an additional weight saving because you don’t have to fit a separate plate.

The lens barrel rotates within the mount’s collar and the whole assembly can be detached, although tripod usage – or at least a monopod – is going to be hard to avoid with this lens in some situations. However, it is equipped with Tamron’s ‘Vibration Compensation’ (VC) optical image stabilisation which is claimed to give up to 4.5 stops of correction for camera shake.

Theoretically then, shooting at 600mm, you should be able to hand-hold the lens at shutter speeds down to around 1/30 second. But there is the not-solittle matter of the zoom’s size and weight to consider too. It’s often just going to be a whole lot more comfortable to have the lens on a tripod or monopod, especially when you’re shooting for long periods of a time. At ten grams under two kilograms, the G2 150600mm zoom isn’t excessively heavy, but over time it will start to feel like it. However, the image stabilisation means a monopod is a good compromise, providing some physical support without compromising your mobility and, in fact, actually better than a tripod give up to 4.5 stops of correction for camera shake.

Theoretically then, shooting at 600mm, you should be able to hand-hold the lens at shutter speeds down to around 1/30 second. But there is the not-solittle matter of the zoom’s size and weight to consider too. It’s often just going to be a whole lot more comfortable to have the lens on a tripod or monopod, especially when you’re shooting for long periods of a time. At ten grams under two kilograms, the G2 150600mm zoom isn’t excessively heavy, but over time it will start to feel like it. However, the image stabilisation means a monopod is a good compromise, providing some physical support without compromising your mobility and, in fact, actually better than a tripod down to smallish birds. Given the magnification ratio is close to quarter lifesize (actually, 0.256x) a 10 cm bird would reproduce at 25 mm on the sensor… which isn’t far off full frame with a 35mm format sensor.

The focus limiter switch has three settings for Full, ten metres to infinity or 2.2 metres to ten metres. Both the shorter range settings speed things up considerably if you’re only working at these distances, and the limiter is especially useful when shooting close-ups.

in The elemenTs

The optical construction comprises 21 elements in 13 groups, with three of these made from glass with extra-low dispersion characteristics to help reduce both axial and lateral chromatic aberrations. Tamron’s ‘BBAR’ (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) and ‘eBAND’ (Extended Bandwidth and Angular-Dependency) multicoatings are used to minimise internal reflections and ghosting with strong light sources.

There’s a nine-blade diaphragm to give smoother out-of-focus effects.

The 150-600mm is compatible with Tamron’s current 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters which boost the focal range to 210-420mm and 300-1200mm respectively while reducing the maximum aperture range by one and two stops respectively. Full autofocusing capabilities are retained and, importantly, the minimum focusing distance remains unchanged.

If you use these combos on an ‘APS-C’ format D-SLR (at 1.5x), you end up with 315-630mm and 450-1800mm!

The G2 model is also compatible with the Tap-In Console USB dock, which enables firmware upgrades and small adjustments to either the autofocusing or the VC image stabilisation.

The VeRdiCT


In terms of size, the 150600mm G2 looks bigger than it really is, perhaps because of the way the barrel flares out towards the front-most element. Park it alongside the typical 70-200mm f2.8 zoom and there’s actually very little difference in the diameter while the length is only around a couple of centimetres more. Our ‘resident’ AF-S Nikkor 70200mm f2.8 – with an Arca-Swiss mounting plate fitted – tipped the scales at 1810 grams, so the Tamron 150-600mm is only 180 grams heavier… in return for a whole lot more optical fire power. In the field then, it’s a surprisingly comfortable lens to handle (and you can save 210 grams by taking off the tripod mounting collar). It feels well-balanced on both the mid-sized and larger full-35mm D-SLR bodies so shooting handheld is completely feasible – ably assisted by the optical image stabilisation – but, as noted earlier, the total weight is likely to become an issue over time. Given both sports/action and wildlife photography often involve having the camera all set up and ready to go but then waiting around for the action to actually happen, using a tripod is going to be an inevitability with this lens. That said, if you do need to use it in a ‘run-and-gun’ situation, it really can be done… even when shooting at 600mm.


With its revised optical design (which includes one more element than the previous model) and new manufacturing techniques with tighter tolerances, the G2 150-600mm telezoom delivers improved performance in a number of areas. Maintaining uniformity of sharpness (i.e. from centre-tocorner) is always a challenge with zooms covering long telephoto focal lengths, but Tamron has done a pretty decent job here.

Overall sharpness is good at 150mm through to 200mm, but the corners are even better between 200mm to 400mm, while there’s some softening between 500mm and 600mm.

At this extreme telephoto end of the zooming range, you haven’t got a lot to play with in terms of stopping down before diffraction starts to compromise sharpness. Nevertheless, at f8.0 and f11, the sharpness fall-off at 600mm is reduced by a little, and overall again images look nicely crisp, assisted by a good amount of contrast. A 600mm prime telephoto is always going to deliver better performance in terms of sharpness, but of course you’ll pay dearly for it and, in real world terms, the Tamron zoom may be the better option.

Vignetting – brightness fall-off at the frame’s corners – is very slight across the focal range when shooting at the widest apertures, but is virtually eliminated by stopping down. Likewise for lateral chromatic aberrations, although colour fringing can be quite marked in the corners of the frame at the longest focal lengths. The correction for axial chromatic aberrations appears more effective, so the effect is minimal. Some pin-cushion type distortion (i.e. the inward bending of straight edges) is present across the focal range, but is never particularly pronounced and won’t be noticeable at all if there are no straight lines positioned near the edges of the image frame.

Given the Tamron’s 150600mm’s focal range and length, imaging performance – particularly the various corrections – is outstanding and turns what looks like fabulous potential on paper into an even more fabulous reality.


Ultra-wides are currently the exotic of the accessory lens world, but supertelephotos can be just as much fun, and open up equally exciting new creative imaging possibilities. Tamron’s 150-600mm G2 offers the added versatility of a wide focal range combined with very useful closeup capabilities and optical image stabilisation giving up to 4.5 stops of correction for camera shake. That it’s so manageable in terms of size and weight – and also delivers excellent optical performance for a very long telezoom – increases the possibilities in terms of applications beyond the obvious ones. It also allows you to make the most of shooting situations… exploiting those supertelephoto capabilities without the usual physical demands and restrictions.

With this lens in your camera bag, you’re unlikely to be sitting around at home very much.

fuJifiLm x100f

Despite its mirrorless camera successes, Fujifilm is keeping the faith with its fixed lens classic and the fourth generation model is the best yet… which means it’s simply brilliant.

Tilbage til fotografen her

It’s probably merely coincidence, but every time the annual judging of the TIPA Awards comes around, there always seems to be a really appropriate Fujifilm camera on test. Back in 2012 when the destination was Cape Town in South Africa, it was the X-S1… the perfect superzoom camera for going on safari (and it’s a pity Fujifilm hasn’t continued to develop this model). In 2013, the location was Hong Kong where the X20 high-end compact was the best thing for shooting in crowded streets. In 2014 we headed for Canada with the X-T1 which – as the first weather-proofed X Mount camera – acquitted itself admirably when photographing the Northern Lights just outside Yellowknife when the temperature was a challenging -30 degrees Celsius. The X-T1 just kept on working.

In 2016, it was the X-Pro2’s turn and its then-new ACROS ‘Film Simulation’ preset was ideal for replicating the rich tones of The retro rangefinder camera styling fits right in with the 1950s and ’60s vintage American cars that are everywhere on Havana’s streets. Keeping these machines going is a necessity rather than a luxury but, along with the faded glory of many of the buildings,  a classic Ansel Adams’s B&W landscape photograph as I followed in the great man’s footsteps through Yosemite National Park. AA would have just loved ACROS+Red.

This year’s destination was Havana, Cuba, and what just happened to be waiting in line for testing? Yep, Fujifilm’s fourth iteration of its classic X100, a street camera par excellence.

The X100F is, of course, even more capable than the previous three generations as it inherits all the latest goodies from the X-Pro2 and X-T2, including the higher-res 24.3 megapixels sensor.

they create a real feeling of stepping back in time… so the X100F didn’t look at all out of place. Being comparatively compact and unobtrusive – plus a whole lot faster than before thanks to the new processor and AF system – are advantages too when shooting on the street, although the Habaneros are a very friendly lot and don’t seem to mind being photographed as long as you ask first.

TraDiTionaL reciPe

In terms of styling, Fujifilm has wisely stuck with the tried-andtrue formula of the very first X100, although to some extent, this is dictated by the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder which gives these cameras the classic ‘RF look’.

Everything that made the original model so right continues here – an all-metal bodyshell, milled dials, an uncluttered control layout on the back panel and a comfortable EVF eyepiece – but there have been a number of significant improvements. These are essentially all the ‘second gen’ updates introduced on the X-Pro2 or X-T2 models, starting with the joystick-type control for focus point selection which Fujifilm matterof-factly calls “The Focus Stick”. Pressing it in selects the focus area mode and then there’s eightway directional control. Logically, the joystick can also be used as an alternative method of navigating the menus or browsing images in playback. Importantly, the X100F now gets a front input wheel (a.k.a. the “Front Command Dial”) which can be set to a variety of duties, including cycling through the menu tabs and setting the size of the focusing frame. Arguably more usefully though, is that it can be configured to switch between – via a quick press – setting exposure compensation or sensitivity. Of course, the ‘old school’ way of setting either of these remains, but the F now has the updated dial arrangement of the X-Pro2. Consequently, the exposure compensation dial has settings spanning +/-3.0 EV, but this can be extended to +/-5.0 EV by parking it on a position marked ‘C’… and then using the front input wheel. ISO selection is done by lifting the rim of the shutter speed dial and turning until the desired setting appears in the read-out window. It’s as traditional as traditional can be – and so seems absolutely right for the X100F – but there’s the option of setting this control to ‘A’ and then assigning the front input wheel to select ISO settings.

As before, the exposure control modes are set via the ‘A’ (for ‘auto’ obviously) positions on the shutter speed dial and/or the aperture collar… something photographers of a certain vintage will be very familiar with. However, when using manual shutter speed selection, the rear input wheel gives access to the one-third stop speeds either side of the dial’s setting, allowing for finer exposure control. Additionally, the slower speeds – from two to 30 seconds – are accessed by setting the dial to its ‘T’ position and then again using the rear input wheel to select the settings, although in fact the full speed range is actually available here too, so there’s a ‘new school’ alternative to using the dial. Longer exposure times of up to 60 minutes are possible via the ‘B’ setting.

As per its predecessor, the X100F supplements its conventional leaf-type shutter with a sensor-based shutter which allows for a faster top speed of 1/32,000 second rather than the former’s max of 1/4000 second. Of course, the sensor shutter is also totally silent in operation… although the physical shutter (misleadingly termed the “mechanical shutter”, although it’s actually electronically controlled) is hardly noisy.

Either shutter type can be selected or, alternatively, hybrid operation, which automatically switches between the types for example, when the higher shutter speeds are required to handle exposure.

The rear panel layout had undergone a re-design and is now very similar to that of the X-Pro2 so it comprises the basic replay and display buttons, a four-key navigation cluster with a central ‘OK’ button and the previously mentioned joystick. It’s a simpler and more logical arrangement than before, but the fixed, 1.04 megadots LCD monitor screen remains unchanged from the X100T.

on VieW

Also unchanged is the 23mm f2.0 prime lens (equivalent to 35mm in the 35mm format), but Fujifilm has made using the optional conversion lenses now in new ‘II’ versions – more convenient as the camera automatically recognises when one is fitted and adjusts the optical finder’s LED frame accordingly.

The wide-angle converter delivers the equivalent of 28mm and the teleconverter boosts the focal length to 50mm, but there are also two ‘Digital Teleconverter’ settings – similar to the Leica Q – but which give either 50mm or 70mm. These are, of course, crops on the sensor, but now that the X100F has more resolution on tap, they’re potentially more useful (at 16 and 12 MP respectively), although only available with JPEG capture. The multi-function control ring on the lens can be set to select the digital teleconverter settings, although obviously its main role is manual focusing. The other options are white balance and the ‘Film Simulation’ presets.

The ‘Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder’ is still the star of the show and although EVFs have advanced greatly since Fujifilm dreamt up its dual optical/ electronic design, it continues to offer advantages.

The biggest one is the key capability of a classic rangefindertype camera in that you can see what’s going on just outside the image frame and so anticipate the action. And good though today’s EVFs undoubtedly are, the optical finder is still ahead on colour, contrast and continuity.

In the hybrid mode these are combined with the convenience of digital elements such as a realtime histogram, a level indicator and guide grids. Additionally, there’s the option of an ‘Electronic Range Finder’ (ERF) display which appears as a small panel inset at the lower right corner of the frame. This is a TTL feed direct from the sensor and shows either the full EVF image (new on the F) or the focus area magnified to either 2.5x or 6.0x. In addition to focus, the ERF panel indicates the exposure, white balance and any other previewable settings. When focusing manually, it can also show the focus peaking display to provide further assistance. It really is the best of both worlds.

The minimum focusing distance is ten centimetres and, in the Auto Macro mode, the AF covers the full range so there’s no need to manually select a close-up mode.

more res, more sPeeD

Inside, the X100F is essentially an all-new camera compared to its predecessor and has much the same imaging stage as both the X-Pro2 and X-T2. This is based on the latest ‘X-Trans CMOS III’ sensor which increases the effective pixel count to 24.3 million and delivers improvements to the read-out speed, signal-to-noise ratio and sensitivity.

The native sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 200 to 12,800 with extensions either side – down to ISO 100 and up to 51,200.

The ‘X-Trans’ name refers to Fujifilm’s unique 6×6 RGB aperiodic colour filter array – as opposed to the standard 2×2 Bayer pattern – which is designed to minimise moiré patterns without the need for an optical low-pass filter.

The ‘X Processor Pro’ engine is claimed to be four times faster than the processor used in the X100T and this translates into a shutter lag time of 0.01 seconds, a start-up time of 0.5 seconds and a fastest AF time of 0.08 seconds. The maximum continuous shooting speed is now 8.0 fps (as on the X-Pro2) with a bigger buffer memory allowing a burst of 60 best-quality JPEGs or 25 RAW files. These are the quoted figures, but in practice we found the burst lengths to be more on a par with those of the X-Pro2… in other words, quite a bit lengthier.

The ‘X-Trans’ name refers to Fujifilm’s unique 6×6 RGB aperiodic colour filter array – as opposed to the standard 2×2 Bayer pattern – which is designed to minimise moiré patterns without the need for an optical low-pass filter.

The ‘X Processor Pro’ engine is claimed to be four times faster than the processor used in the X100T and this translates into a shutter lag time of 0.01 seconds, a start-up time of 0.5 seconds and a fastest AF time of 0.08 seconds. The maximum continuous shooting speed is now 8.0 fps (as on the X-Pro2) with a bigger buffer memory allowing a burst of 60 best-quality JPEGs or 25 RAW files. These are the quoted figures, but in practice we found the burst lengths to be more on a par with those of the X-Pro2… in other words, quite a bit lengthier.

massive 230 percent increase in coverage. There’s the choice of single-point, zone or wide/tracking area modes. Single-point selection can be across the full 325 points, but there is the option of switching to using only 91 points (arranged in a 13×7 pattern) for faster setting. Additionally, there’s a choice of five point sizes to vary selectivity. The zone focus areas can be set to 7×7, 5×5 or 3×3 point clusters which are also selected from the 91 points. The tracking mode uses clusters of up to nine points depending on the subject’s size. Face/eye detection is also available, and the latter can be fine-tuned to either left- or righteye priority.

Not surprisingly, AF performance is greatly improved over all the previous versions of the X100 and has to be one of the main incentives for an upgrade… even for model T owners.

Exposure control remains largely unchanged and is based on Fujifilm’s now well-proven 256-segment metering which gives a choice of multi-zone, fully averaged, centre-weighted average or spot measurements. These drive the standard choice of ‘PASM’ control modes and the auto options are supplemented by an AE lock, compensation (as mentioned earlier, extended up to +/-5.0 EV) and auto bracketing over a sequence of three frames (also extended, and now up to +/-2.0 EV per frame).

Like its X Mount cousins, the X100F offers a total of five auto bracketing functions – all operating over sequences of three frames the other choices being for white balance, ISO, dynamic range and the ‘Film Simulation’ presets.

ClassiC looks

The X100F also steps up to the current full complement of 15 ‘Film Simulation’ presets which include the Kodachrome-lookalike Classic Chrome and the latest ACROS B&W settings which were introduced with the X-Pro2.

The latter are, of course, named after Fujifilm’s famous fine-grained black and white negative film and, as with the standard B&W preset, there’s the choice of additional settings combined with yellow, red or green contrast-control filters. However, unlike the standard B&W presets, the ACROS processing is designed to give a tone curve which emphasises detail in the highlights and mid-tones, but gives enhanced smoothness in the shadow areas as a balance. The noise reduction algorithm is also different and, in fact, processes the noise to look like film grain, even varying the effect according to the ISO setting. If so desired, the same processing can be applied to the other ‘Film Simulation’ presets via a ‘Grain Effect’ function which offers the choice of either Weak or Strong settings.

Additionally, adjustments are provided for colour saturation, sharpness, highlight tone and shadow tone. The X100F also has a set of eight ‘Advanced Filter’ effects, dynamic range expansion processing, noise reduction for both long exposures and high sensitivity, an intervalometer (for sequences of up to 999 frames), in-camera panorama stitching and a three-stop ND filter. It’s all or nothing with this, but it would be nice to be able to vary its effect.

The white balance control options comprise auto correction, a selection of seven presets (including for underwater), finetuning, provisions for creating up to three custom settings and manual colour temperature control over a range of 2500 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin.

in The hand

Few other cameras feel so absolutely right in the hand as Fujifilm’s X100 models (Leica’s Q is, not surprisingly, one of them) thanks to the balance of size, heft and controllability. This last characteristic is further enhanced by the various revisions to the F model and these also bring it more into line with the basic operation of a D-SLR or mirrorless camera so swapping between them – which undoubtedly would happen a lot requires less mental gymnastics.

A total of seven controls are customisable – including the four navigator keys – and their default duties can be replaced with any one of over 30 userassignable functions. Like its X Mount cousins, the X100F also has a customisable ‘My Menu’ which can be created from the main menus, and with the items arranged in any desired order.

Alternatively, the ‘Quick Menu’ screen provides direct access to a selection of capturerelated functions and, again, can be customised to give up to seven banks of settings. As noted earlier, the X100F doesn’t have touchscreen controls, but the ‘Quick Menu’ is still faster to navigate – especially thanks to the F’s joystick control – than trawling through the main menus. And, by just creating two or three customised settings banks, you’ll have everything you’re ever going to need immediately to hand.

Likewise with the displays as the optical viewfinder overlays, EVF and LCD monitor screen can be extensively customised – and not just in terms of major elements such as the real-time histogram or electronic level, but also with a long list of read-outs and status indicators. Subsequently, you can switch between information on/ off displays for the OVF and EVF plus the external monitor which, in addition, has an info-only page. This includes the AF point grid, a real-time histogram, exposure mode and read-outs, battery power level (usefully expressed as a percentage of the total) and a total of 15 capture-related settings.

There’s a choice of three screens for image replay, two of them displaying a thumbnail with a brightness histogram and different sets of capture info. The thumbnail can be configured to additionally show a highlight warning and the

As we’ve noted with the previous versions, the Fujifilm X100 is very much designed as a stills camera and so the provision of video recording is really more of a box-ticking exercise than anything else.

If you’re an ardent Fujifilm fan who wants to make higherend videos, the much more capable X-T2 is your camera… especially now that the X Mount Fujinon MK series cinematography lenses are available. Nevertheless, if you want to occasionally shoot video clips with your X100F then the good news is that it now has built-in stereo microphones which are a big improvement on the previous mono pick-up. An external microphone can be connected via a 2.5 mm input and the audio recording level is adjustable.

Unlike the current X Mount bodies, this camera doesn’t record 4K video, but it has expanded Full HD capabilities, including a choice of 60, 50, 30, 25 or 24 fps speeds with a bit rate of 36 Mb/second. The maximum clip length is 14 minutes. HD recording is at 16 Mb/second with the maximum clip length extended to 27 minutes. Video is recorded in the MOV format using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression.

The new AF system offers much more reliable tracking performance and all exposure adjustments are available during recording.

All the ‘Film Simulation’ presets are also available as are the picture parameter adjustments for saturation, contrast and tone.

It’s enough if you’re making video clips just for the fun of it and the Full HD footage looks just fine – but you’ll want more if you need to do more.

Focusing point(s) that were used. If you want to check the focus, pressing in the rear command dial instantly zooms in on this point which is very handy for on-the-spot assessments (and pressing it again returns you to the full-frame view).

Again the same as the current X Mount bodies, the X100F’s in-camera editing functions include RAW-toJPEG conversion (with 13 adjustable parameters), red-eye removal, cropping, resizing, Fujifilm’s ‘PhotoBook Assist’ feature (which allows up to 300 images to be organised for reproduction in a photo book) and direct printing to an Instax instant printer unit via WiFi.

sPeed and PeRFoRmanCe

With our reference memory card Lexar’s Professional 2000x 128 GB SDXC UHS-II/U3 speed device – aboard, the X100F captured a burst of 95 JPEG/ large/fine frames in 11.781 seconds which represents a continuous shooting speed of 8.06 fps. This is virtually spoton the quoted maximum speed, but significantly better than the quoted burst length of 60 frames. The test file sizes were around 14 MB on average.

What’s immediately noticeable is the vast improvement in the autofocusing. Previously it could be a bit slow off the mark and then occasionally indecisive enough to miss a shot, but the X100F’s system is extremely responsive and snaps onto the subject in an instant. The AF tracking is also a lot more reliable than before and while this certainly isn’t designed to be a sports camera, the new zone area modes mean that the strike rate with moving subjects – such as you might encounter in street photography – is much higher. In low-light situations the AF still performs reliably and accurately.

The 23mm f2.0 lens obviously faces greater resolution demands than ever before (remember that the original X100 had a 12 MP sensor), but appears to be comfortably up to the job. The corner-tocorner uniformity of sharpness remains impressive – even when shooting at f2.0 – and there’s negligible distortion or chromatic aberrations. However, flare remains an issue with contra-jour lighting… and fitting a hood requires an additional purchase (of both the hood and an adaptor ring). As has been the case from the original X100, corner sharpness falls off noticeably when shooting at the minimum focusing distance, but can largely be rectified by stopping down to around f4.0 or f5.6.

We’ve now seen the same combination of sensor and processor at work in the company’s X-Pro2,

FujiFilm X100F

few other cAmerAs feel so Absolutely right in the hAnd As fuJifilm’s X100 models thAnKs to the bAlAnce of siZe, heft And controllAbility.

X-T2 and X-T20 with impressive results, so it’s no surprise that the X100F joins the club… which adds impressive image quality to its already long CV.

The best-quality JPEGs simply zing with definition, contrast and colour fidelity. Additionally, the dynamic range is very wide straight out of the camera and the tonal gradations are beautifully smooth irrespective of the saturation level. However, there’s also plenty of scope for extracting more detail out of the shadows post camera – without any major noise issues.

It’s worth repeating here – as we’ve noted with all the current generation X Mount cameras that Fujifilm’s ‘Film Simulation’ presets are much more sophisticated than most picture modes as they’ve been designed to balance colorimetric colour – in other words, real colour – with expected or ‘memorised’ colour. This results in better handling of both the colour saturation and the contrast, balancing realism with a rendition that’s more pleasing to the human eye.

Noise remains very wellmanaged up to ISO 3200 and there are still only relatively small reductions in definition and saturation at ISO 6400 or even ISO 12,800. Graininess in areas of continuous tone becomes more noticeable at ISO 12,800, but these images are still useable for certain applications. Perhaps not surprisingly, the two extension settings don’t look nearly as good… except if you’re using the ACROS ‘Film Simulation’ modes and then the processed grain effect creates a pretty convincing impression of high-speed film. Street photography is so often about shooting in very low light situations – in B&W too – and here the X100F absolutely excels. However, overall the high ISO performance is exceptional especially as the full native range is actually realistically useable and not just wishful thinking.

As noted previously, but it’s worth emphasising again, the quality of the JPEGs is so good, that there’s not much of an advantage to be gained by shooting RAW. The increases in detailing, dynamic range and noise characteristics are comparatively small. Interesting, eh?

The VeRdiCT

Age has not wearied the basic X100 concept. It remains a brilliant blending of the classical with the contemporary, made even better in this fourth-generation iteration by the various ergonomic revisions made on the outside and the many performance enhancements made on the inside.

While the X100F may look a lot like its predecessors, it represents the biggest overall upgrade of any of them, creating what is essentially a more compact, fixed-lens version of the X-Pro2. Consequently, it’s also the most expensive X100 yet, but is still many times more affordable than its main rivals from Sony and Leica. Of course, both these cameras have full-35mm size sensors, but Fujifilm has already proved that its latest X-Trans ‘APS-C’ can compete effectively here when it comes to both the signal-to-noise ratio and the high ISO performance. Additionally, it’s a lot smaller than the chunky Leica Q, and has a much better viewfinder and ergonomics than the clunky Sony RX1R II.

The improvements to autofocusing and image quality are substantial while the changes to the control layout significantly increase the operational efficiencies without compromising the ‘classic camera’ characteristics which have made all the X100 models so engaging. But because it is so much better in many areas – including the balance of compactness and capabilities –

the X100F is even more irresistible. It simply delivers on every level – looks, handling and results.

Can Fujifilm make it even better? Probably, but for now the X100F is as brilliant as it can be.


The Picture

As Cuba starts to welcome more tourists from overseas, Havana’s magnificently restored Old Town Centre is a very popular place. Enterprising locals – including this trio – are making the most of increased visitor numbers, providing lots of opportunities to capture the local colour. This image is for a future article on the courtesies of photographing people when you’re travelling in foreign countries.

Se flere artikler om foto her

The Photographer

Camera editor Min fars Røv was in Havana to participate in the judging of the 2017 TIPA Awards and stayed on afterwards to make the most of a city which is destined to change, but right now is a photographer’s paradise.

The Equipment

Panasonic Lumix GX8 mirrorless camera fitted with an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO zoom lens, hand-held.

The Technique

It’s often tempting to shoot people candidly, but this makes for images that are mostly impersonal. Eye contact really helps viewers become involved in the image, so it’s best to be up front about your intentions.

These ladies were actually on a break from parading around a big square, but the coloured background was too good to pass up… so a few gestures (and a few coins) later, they happily posed.

How It Was Done

Speed is of the essence in these situations, but you still need to take time to compose, frame and focus. Starting wide and zooming gives a few framing options for later on (and avoids cropping the image), but also remember to try a vertical framing too.

Tricks Of The Trade

Communication is the key to successful people photography (and portraiture) so, if even you been doing. Oh, and by the way, if somebody really doesn’t want you to take a photograph, then don’t.

Degree Of Difficulty (Out of 10)

There’s always an element of good fortune in travel photography and you can just happen to be in the right place at the right time. The challenge is to make the most of these situations, because things will soon change. Everything comes together here to score a solid nine.

Can You Try This At Home?

don’t speak the language, make some connection with your subjects. Don’t try to orchestrate too much, but a little posing is acceptable if it’s appropriate and adds to the image. In this case, there was just one frame where

everything looked just right. Always remember to thank your subjects and, in many countries, this means handing over a few coins. And don’t forget to show them a couple of the images… just so they can see what you’ve

If you’re feeling shy about photographing people then start with family and friends so you can work on your communications and also start to understand how expressions and poses can look in the image. The more you experiment with photographing people, the better you’ll get… and if you’re relaxed and comfortable, then your subjects will be too.

all aBout eXPoSuRe ContRol

Following on from last issue’s article, here we delve deeper into the key elements of controlling exposure and also the visual effects that are directly linked to the aperture and shutter speed settings.

Fotograf til erhverv

Determining exposure settings

– apertures, shutter speeds and sensitivity

– is not solely dictated by how much light is available, but also by the type of subject that you are photographing and what visual effects that you want to create in your picture.

Modern cameras are able to control exposure automatically based on the amount of available light, but these settings are entirely dictated by technical requirements with no scope for any creative considerations.

In other words, leaving the camera in auto won’t give you the amount of control you want, particularly in terms reproducing movement – blurring or freezing – or obtaining the necessary depth-of-field. Consequently, you may wish to switch to either semi-auto exposure control or fully manual operation. Here’s how the exposure control modes work.

PROGRAM (P) – the camera sets both the aperture and shutter speeds automatically according to the available light level.

APERTURE-PRIORITY AUTO (A) – you set the aperture manually and the camera sets the corresponding shutter speed automatically. You may also see this mode written as aperturepriority AE (for ‘auto exposure’). Canon uses the term ‘Aperture Value’ (Av for short).

SHUTTER-PRIORITY AUTO (S) – you set the shutter speed manually and the camera sets the corresponding aperture automatically. Again, you may see this mode written as shutterpriority AE (for ‘auto exposure’).

Canon uses the term ‘Time Value’ (Tv for short).

MANUAL (M) – you set both the apertures and shutter speeds manually, guided by the camera’s metering system.

SUBJECT PROGRAMS – most consumer-level cameras offer a selection of exposure modes tuned to specific types of subject such as portraits, sports action, close-ups, landscapes and night scenes. These are fully automatic, but the apertures and/or shutter speeds are selected to best match the pictorial requirements of these subjects. These modes mostly work well, but are no real substitute for learning how to control exposure manually.

Creative exposure Control

There are a number of ways that you can either control exposures totally manually or override the automatic controls to better suit the subject or situation.

Let’s look at the auto override functions first, because these can be very useful in quickly adjusting exposures to obtain a desired creative outcome. You can use any of these if the camera is being used in any of its automatic exposure control modes (i.e. program auto, aperture-priority auto or shutter-priority auto). The exposure compensation facility allow you to dial in a certain amount of under- or overexposure – over a range of up to plus or minus five stops, depending on the camera – and in either half-stop or one-third stop steps. You’ll see this feature written in a camera’s specifications as, for example, +/-5.0 EV (the ‘EV’ obviously standing for ‘exposure value’). Many photographers use a small amount of under- or overexposure as a matter of course because, with experience, they’ve found that their images look better this way. Often with digital capture, it’s advisable to use a small amount of underexposure (say two-thirds of a stop) in order to preserve detail in the brighter highlights. This is related to the dynamic range of imaging sensor and something we’ll cover in a future Back To Basics article.

If in doubt about the exposure settings to use, you can select the auto exposure bracketing (AEB) function. Bracketing is the term given to the procedure of taking a number of frames of the same subject, slightly adjusting the exposure each time, usually from under to over. You can do this manually, of course, but auto bracketing saves time by automatically capturing a sequence of three (or maybe more) frames, applying whatever under/over adjustment you’ve set. The bracketing range available varies according to the camera model, but is generally around plus/minus two stops per frame. AEB sequences can be up to nine frames on some models, but in reality you’re unlikely to need to go beyond either three or five frames to get one with the desired exposure.

Bracketing exposures is good insurance, but obviously it triples your usage of memory space. With experience, you should be able to tell what exposure correction is required so you might adjust the bracketing settings accordingly.

Another useful override is the auto exposure lock – or AE lock

– which, as the name suggests, locks in a light reading (and the applied exposure settings) so it won’t change if you subsequently move the camera to reframe a scene. The AE lock is especially handy when using either spot or selective area metering patterns

– more about these in a moment

– to measure a small area of the scene which represents the tone (i.e. the brightness level) on which you want to base the exposure. Pressing the AE lock button holds the exposure settings while you recompose your shot… otherwise, the metering would simply keep changing depending on which bit of the scene it was measuring.

Measuring Light

All exposure control deliberations start with the camera’s light meter which measures the amount of light coming through the lens… hence it’s known as TTL metering. D-SLRs mostly employ a separate sensor for light metering while mirrorless cameras and fixed-lens models use the imaging sensor.

of the subject and/or the lighting situation. All the meter can do is tell you how much light is available, but nothing about the brightness range within the scene (known as contrast) or where the areas of brightness and darkness occur and how much of the frame

What’s important to know about a light meter of any sort is that the information it gives you is often only a starting point for determining exposure settings, and you may also have to apply some subjective judgements based on your personal evaluation they occupy. This is where you need to learn evaluate the scene to determine whether the meter’s recommendations will need modifying or overriding using one of the manual camera’s exposure controls described previously. This may well be necessary if you want to be creative with your exposure control (for example, deliberately under- or overexposing to give a particular visual effect).

Any camera exposure meter ultimately arrives at a light reading that represents an average of all the brightness levels contained within the viewfinder frame. Some camera meters are cleverer than others, but the output is still the same… a value that represents a mid-tone equal to an 18 percent grey tone. Even advanced meters that have some colour sensitivity

– such as in the higher-end D-SLRs – still have to arrive at a single value which determines the aperture and/or shutter speed setting. Depending on the contrast characteristics of the scene, this may or may not be ‘correct’. And here’s the most important point to make about exposure control… it’s rarely about being technically correct, it’s about either what looks right in terms of the image’s brightness or the particular visual effect that you wanted to achieve (which could either be underexposed or overexposed compared to the so-called ‘correct exposure’).

To illustrate, if you pointed the meter at a white cat, the exposure settings it recommends would actually give you an 18 percent grey cat. Likewise, if you point it at a black cat, and then used the exposure settings recommended by the camera, you’d also end up with an 18 percent grey cat. So, if you want the white cat to be reproduced as white, you’d need to deliberately overexpose, and if you want the black cat to be black in your picture, you’d need to underexpose.

Here then, is a basic rule for metering; pick a tone in the scene that either is 18 percent grey (or close to it) or, more importantly, that you want to be 18 percent grey… and use this measurement on which to base the exposure. In the first option all the tones lighter and darker than 18 percent grey will then be reproduced pretty accurately. In the second scenario

– where you pick a tone to ‘act’ as 18 percent grey, but in reality it’s actually brighter or darker – all the other tones will ‘shift’ accordingly thereby producing under- or overexposure respectively. You would pick this option if you want to expose for either the highlights or the shadows… which, of course, if you didn’t apply some correction would result in, respectively again, underexposure or overexposure.

Even if you simply understand that the camera’s meter is always averaging the contrast range in a scene to a mid-tone, then you’ll appreciate why some under- or overexposure adjustment will usually be needed… either just so the image brightness looks right or it looks the way you want it to.

Of course, digital imaging allows for brightness to be adjusted after the picture has been taken, but there are still compelling reasons for getting the exposure right incamera, including – as noted earlier – the dynamic range limitations of the camera’s sensor.

Light Metering Patterns

Once you know how the camera’s light meter is working, you can then start to appreciate when you’ll need to make corrections to get what you want in terms of the exposure. Another good example of this is a bright snow scene – all that reflected light will result in massive underexposure if you don’t do anything about it and you’d end with snow that’s blue (in colour) or grey (in B&W).

To ensure white snow in your picture, you’ll need to give more exposure than the camera is recommending, perhaps as much as one or two stops more such is the high level of reflectance off ice crystals. As we’ve now seen, you can apply this overexposure in one of a number of ways – dial in some plus exposure compensation if using an auto control mode, switch to manual control and increase the exposure by using either a larger aperture or slower shutter speed (or a combination both) than is being recommended by the camera’s meter, use auto exposure bracketing, or use the spot metering pattern and find something in the scene that’s more representative of a mid-tone than snow (maybe a rock or the trunk of a tree) then use the AE lock to hold this measurement while you recompose your picture. Other circumstances may dictate which method is the most effective or efficient, and when shooting snow (or sand) there needs to be a balance with the exposure settings to avoid ending up with overly bright highlights… but you get the idea.

The camera manufacturers provide a choice of metering patterns precisely to give you more options when dealing with specific subjects or lighting situations, or using exposure more creatively.

Multi-zone – Also called multi-pattern metering or by a proprietary name such as Matrix metering in the case of Nikon D-SLRs. The image area is divided into a pattern zones or segments and the brightness level of each is measured separately. This information is then compared with a database of scenes stored in the camera to determine which pattern fits best, and which zone(s) should be used as the basis for the exposure recommendations.

Multi-zone metering works well with scenes with a wide brightness range, but where there is roughly equal amounts of bright and dark tones. Remember, though, it still arrives at an average reading, and large areas of brightness or shadow will cause problems.

Centre-Weighted AverAge – This type of metering was very common in 35mm SLR cameras from the 1970s and ’80s, and is still on most D-SLRs and mirrorless cameras. It averages all the light and dark areas in the frame, but then biases (or ‘weights’) this reading more towards the brightness level predominant at the centre of the frame. If your subject isn’t located centrally, or the background is either very bright or quite dark, this meter will give an inaccurate reading that would result in either under- or overexposure respectively.

Spot – This method of metering concentrates all its attention (or ‘weighting’) on a very small area represented as a spot in the centre of the viewfinder frame. Typically spot meters only cover between two to five percent of the total frame area. However, they’re quite useful if you understand the principles of exposure control and prefer to meter off a selected tone to obtain bright highlights or deep shadows. Selective area metering – or partial area metering as Canon calls it – works along the same lines, but bases the exposure measurement on a slightly larger area, which some photographers prefer.

Some cameras allow for the spot metering to be linked to the autofocusing point so the exposure measurement will be based on the subject, rather than being influenced by any other part of the scene, such as a bright background.