Istanbul City Stories : most bizarre real life Fuji X100S video review.

The following movie is an story about how I've hitchhiked with my best friend Ondra from Czech Republic through Europe to Istanbul with no particular plan, very little equipment packed in a small Lowepro PhotoSport backpack and a great desire for leaving the comfort zone, having a great adventure in a big world and shoot some photos.

It was our first big (23 days) intense adventure outside from our country and it was so exciting, that we haven't shot a lot of things because we we're simply too busy living them. I probably don't need to tell how much we regret it while we were editing a footage&photos.

Speaking of footage: I shot all the stills and Ondra was the motion guy. We edited the final movie together on my 2010 MacbookPro with an iMovie (neither of us haven't worked with moving pictures before, so another first thing!:)

Very soon in the editing process we realised that we really don't have enough footage to tell the story of our trip in a "classic" way and we'll have to improvise.

And most importantly, tell the whole thing OUR WAY.

Very dorky, very expressive, without a big need for making sense, but with a great love of living&creating.

Simply, made a story about how great it is to be just a little bit insane.

It's also a story about my favourite camera in the world. The Fuji X100S which is an absolute beast and I've finally put it where it shines the most: in the streets.I have never seen such a mix of a streetphoto and video and for me, this is the review I want to see. The real life one. This camera is awesome tool, but I'm pretty sure we all know that by this time.

And  it's a teaser for something bigger we are "planning" right now. In a couple days we want to leave that bloody comfort zone big time and hitchhike further. To Dubai.

Where, in a March 7-14 is taking place the most important photography event of the year, the Gulf Photo Plus. I was on a London PopUP and along with this Istanbul trip it was the most memorable experience of my life.

If you care about the craft of photography, you really don't want to miss the opportunity to meet the most inspiring photographers in the world. Like Zack, who was in Istanbul before us. Or David, or Joe, or Gregory or John and many more others.

Damn, we have to get to Dubai.

But I'm quite sure it would not be as easy as getting to Istanbul.

But then again, nobody can expects that a career in photography will be easy, right?:)

PS: Fujifilm bought some images to represent capabilites of an X100S in their new& nice print catalogue which is dropping around  Europe right now. Great honour for me!

Full gallery HERE

Low budget product photography

When I was starting to build my photography b̶̷u̶̷s̶̷i̶̷n̶̷e̶̷s̶̷ whatever it is I'm building right now, being a cheap-ass resourceful punk was the necessity cause I've started with practically no money. 

Now it's few years later and I'm still trying to be that same resourceful guy, so when Gregory Heisler in this most important video in photography history says the line "it has to work" it really resonates in me. 

"It has to work" was exactly the feeling I had when I landed this product shooting gig in a November 2012 for a local handbag designer/art gallery owner. It was an important gig not just because I was broke (sidenote: damn! I really need to learn to manage my money better) but mostly because George ( the client) is a good friend of my uncle, a great fine-art painter. So yeah, you don't want to screw that one up.

I knew I cannot go with that e-shop just-shoot-them-on white (which was something I was expect/paid to do) route cause sterile photos like that almost makes me want to vomit and I'm a terrible technical photographer- my horizons always falls, lines on my photos are weird-ish and I have no clue how to work with that colourful chart. I had to do it my way. Dark-ish wide-angle portraits of an unique design handbags.

It worked for both of us and we started working together more across the whole year. This leads me to a couple weeks ago, when I got a call if "I'm in town and could shoot some more?" You probably know my answer:)

But I was in town only to visit my lovely other half so I didn't have any strobes or speedlites with me-great chance to finally try those fluorescent constant light.

Which in my case is just a fancy name for those strip lights under the kitchen cabinet which I bought two for 15$ a piece, tune them with a duct-tape barn doors and tape them to a broom handle.

30$ worth of light and a Fuji X100 compact camera.

It has to work

Poor lightning sketch:

"It’s not you it’s me"

Mindset/Strobist talk: I wanted to create a corky scene of an romatic movies marathon after tough that breakup. The girl on the picture is my lovely girlfriend who has a tremendous amount of patience with me, even when I'm shooting not particularly flattering pictures of her :) 

Lightning started with Profoto PRO81 head with 4foot octa right right on axis behind me, blue-geled to fill the room with an after-dusk blue ambient, to give me some exposure range to work in.

-Keylight for the desperate girl was another Profoto PRO41 with a gridded beauty dish from the right side, without color gel- wanted to create sort of a TV/projector light, blue but not to blue to completely destroy the skin tones. (I still haven't found the right way how to mix blue light with an caucasian skin)

-Outside on the balcony were two blue-filtered Vivitar 285 speedlites.

-The rim light for the couch was PRO41 head with a gridded zoom reflector, filtered blue as well, motivated by the two speedlites outside which for me sort of stitches the whole scene together lighting-wise.

That's grand total of 3 strobe heads, 2 speedlites and about two hours of fiddling and fine tuning light (sidenote: when building a lighting setup, always make just one change at a time)

And it was shot on a Fujifilm X100, 1/500s and F2.

Poor light sketch:

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