The Fuji, The Filters and the Tripod
This is a short blog about Lee Filters, 3 Legged Thing and Fuji, and how these companies changed the way I shoot.
I run a company called Ideas & Images. We provide both images and ideas to who ever wishes or wants them. Mostly we work within the Fashion world, the slow world of the landscape photographer seemed so far away…….
A while ago, I had a lovely e-mail from a lovely company who make Filters.
Lee Filters popped down to see me and left me with a set of filters specifically designed for CSC cameras. The Seven5 System filters are smaller than the normal 100mm system. The Filter Holder is designed for the compact system cameras and can hold the Lee Seven5 75x90mm filters. Lee also have a range of adapters for all the Fuji & Zeiss lenses. (The Zeiss pictured below is 52mm where as the 18 -55 lens is 58mm. Most of the lenses have different filter sizes). Being a more from the fashion world, I had NEVER used a filter in my life that was a not a screw on style ND, a Polariser or generic camera filter. Seeing how they worked and how they could be used to shoot fashion would be fun (more on that here). Aside from filters and fashion for a moment though. I wanted to explain how 3 Legged thing and Lee Filters changed the way I use the Fuji. I have documented already how the Fuji changed what I shoot. This is the Landscape version of that story.
The Lee Seven5 Filter Holder is designed for the compact system cameras and can hold the Lee Seven5 75x90mm filters. At first I must admit I was worried about the delicate nature of the glass filters, turns out I did not have to worry. All the the filters are VERY tough and not made of glass. I have treated these handmade filters as work tools and there for have not had the best care that they maybe should of had. I have stacked them in my pockets, chucked them under cables and cameras in my bags and they have shown that they are VERY tough indeed. My first worry was using filters on such a small compact system that is designed around portability would be this system would impact on the travel/portable nature of the camera and slow down the process. Be assured, these filters don’t need any extra TLC that your normal kit should have. When I am travelling, I pretty much always leave the filters on the camera and just have it ready to go. No worries. If you want more info on the Filter System check out David Clelands blog – http://www.flixelpix.com/landscapes/the-x100s-and-the-lee-seven5-system/
So, yes… here is the Tripod bit. A few years ago…. I was not a tripod fan.
Danny Lenihan (CEO @ 3 Legged Thing) said hello to me and showed be an early version of a 3 Legged Thing Tripod. This Tripod was called Eddie. A few weeks later and a few e-mails had been exchanged and an Eddie was delivered by UPS. (This is over a year ago since the creation of this blog) Up until then I had been using a very good, very stable Manfrotto Tripod. It did the job of holding the camera very well. It was heavy, tough, and everything that a tripod needed to be, but….. It did not inspire me. Fast forward to today, and the photos beneath this blog. All of them are shot with a Fuji Camera, supported by a 3LT tripod. Without these carbon fibre tripods, I would never of even thought about shooting these sorts of images. The Manfrotto was just to much hassle to use. It is not that Manfrotto make bad tripods, its just that they didn’t inspire me. When shooting with the Fuji, I have been using the very small, ultra compact Keith Tripod. Keith is a tripod designed for use with a CSC camera set up. It’s small size and light weight means that this funky tripod goes everywhere with me. Leading to interesting long exposure shots in some random locations. Gone are the days of having to note the location and return with a camera set up for such images. I can travel and shoot as and when I please. Always having the right gear with me is such a great feeling.
I like to take photos of places too (My last book was called People & Places). The combination of the Fuji, the Seven5 System and 3LT have shown me another way to have fun with photography. The 3 companies have done so much for me as a photographer and a person. Fuji made the X-Pro, they gave me back the passion. 3LT gave me the system to support and increase the range of photography I can cover with simple set ups and light weight kit. Lee Filters gave me all the tools needed to reduce the amount of post production and really get things right in camera. These things all apply to every aspect of my photography, fashion photography to landscape.
People say that the best camera is the one you have with you, which is kind of true (see my blog about this). The best tripod is the one that you can use in many diverse and interesting ways and is something that you WANT to have with you at all times. The Filters are the same. I have been using them for near all types of my photography. From Portraiture to landscape (see here for a lingerie shoot using the filters).
One of the things I have started to note as I have moved to a smaller downsized kit is that I am able to react much faster to the world around me. Using the kit I do enables faster set up times and smaller camera bags. This gives a wider range to the places I can shoot and the types of images I can get. The photos below are just great examples of this. The yellow image below is take out of a plane window and the image beneath that is a long exposure of Oxford street and Park Lane. Neither of these are shots I had planned or would of been able to take with a full size set up. It should be worth noting that not all the photos are using the Lee Filters and the Tripod. But all are shot on the Fuji.
We have been using a wide range of filters that Lee create and a couple of new colours too. Lots more coming soon.
If the best camera is the one you have with you, make sure you have the right kit to use that camera to full effect.