Fuji X-E1 and a grid softbox flash shoot fest

Sometimes things just happen in a free style free thinking way and I really like working that way. Turning up at a shoot with no plan,no idea what I am shooting, ok so it’s a little scary but I have been shooting for this client for some time so we are familiar. This time however I turn up and they are looking for something new.. like very different to anything we have before. Ummm challenging.

I have included number of out-takes from the shoot.
Working on the fly is great. The salon team wanted something edgy, hard-light deep shadows. I had a couple of Nikon speed lights in my bag and a grid to tack to the front of it.

Triggered with the CTR 301 wireless trigger. I first needed to shoot some single portraits of the girls, I popped a soft brolly over the second speed light and rattled off the 8 or so single portraits.

The group shot was challenge. The salon is not a huge space. There is a huge number of mirrors. And several on every wall so I needed to hide the 46″ soft box but still light a group over 8 with just the one strobe. Ummm yep challenging but managed to find an angle that made the shot. (Not included as used by the client.) next up was a shot of three of the team but hard light was needed. Switching off the strobe with the softbox and moved to the grid light. Finding an off angle again with no mirror to grab the the shot without a nasty reflection. Here is another outtake of the setup shots with two of the stylists.
Next up was for my own benefit how could I resist not shooting the wonderful hair style and colour with Sarah. Sticking with the grid strobe Sarah kindly posed for a few shots against the only small section of wall in the salon that did not have a mirror hanging on it. A few clicks later we were all wrapped up. 1.5 hrs all done. Shooting portraits at f1.4 is not easy but I love the results when I nail the focus.
Shooting this way was such a laugh, very relaxed and just shooting and posing with only the results in the Fuji’s viewfinder to see the light and gauge the changes you need to make. Great stuff.


My kit now is so versatile and I am getting more and more confident and now no longer presents any challenges in its operations, combined with the Fuji X100 leaf shutter the strobe speed light the combination is really covering a wide range of my photography needs. I need to work on some better solutions for stand and I would like to look for a portable or collapsable beauty dish or ring light. A third speed light would be a nice to have to help get more creative with some backdrops using coloured gel, but then I think I would have this location kit neat and tidy.
If your wondering about settings. All manual on the camera and the speed light. I can’t work with iTTL in this sort of situation, beside as I shoot test shots I get some great out-takes in the process and if you know your kit well your should be in the range within a few shots. The more I work this way the more I learn. The results will be published on the salon website in a week or two.
This Fuji with either the 18-55 or the 35mm is just a joy to see the results. The handling is fabulous much better than my old DSLR. If I had one gripe it would be the slow sync speed on the X-E1 but then I have the X100 in my bag if I’m stuck, sync that at 1000/sec yeah. I would like to get hold of the X100s to have the X-Trans and super leaf shutter sync speed would be almost the perfect two body setup for my needs.
Fujifilm ….you could send me one of those beautiful little X100s’s if you like and I will test the pants off it for you . ๐Ÿ™‚

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