The other day, I flew out to one of the glaciers and shot a section of images and video clips throughout the evening with my Fujifilm X-T4 and XF70-300mm lens. 

I found myself in a rather mellow mood, so instead of focusing on the “dramatic” and the “amazing” as I often do in my imagery, I decided to accentuate the more subtle aspects of this particular landscape.  

The result is a tiny little film with an original score called ICE in MOTION – One Minute of Serenity. It highlights the gentle and quiet moments that happen during the often chaotic and violent life of the average iceberg, as it completes its long journey down from the mountains and nears the end of its existence in that form. 

After returning home, I assembled the clips and set it to an original mini film score, in which I laid down a cinematic bed, and then improvised the entire minute of music in “one take”, using an orchestral string ensemble patch from Native Instruments.

I hope you enjoy this very brief nature interlude and take the full minute to appreciate the peace, calm and slowness that this landscape sometimes shows us, which can be just as quenching for our soul as those “really exciting moments” we often look for.

As I continue to combine my photography and video with my own music, look for more projects like this from me in the future.

June 30, 2022
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Watch My Mini Film “ICE in MOTION”

I’ve always loved photographing reflections when I’m out shooting landscapes. Who doesn’t?

Reflections can make for such interesting subjects, and there’s a lot you can do with them, aside from the ultra-classic “perfect mirror image” of the mountain scene reflecting in the lake that’s such a staple of this genre.

Essentially, reflection images allow us to juxtapose the “upside down” with the “right side up,” and there are lots of ways to approach this. These are all shots I’ve made within the last couple of weeks during my recent trips out to the glacier.

One of my favorite techniques is to zoom in and narrow down my composition, so that both the reflection and the “right side up” subject matter are reduced to mere abbreviations that contrast and play off of each other in the frame.

You can take this to extremes so that either the main subject or the reflection end up as very small parts of the frame. You’re including just enough to merely suggest this single abbreviated element, which creates a strong visual contrast between the two subject.

This also helps to increase the viewer’s own imagination and engagement with the image, because the “story” of the scene isn’t quite so apparent. They have to work for it as they disseminate the shot and try to figure out exactly what’s going on inside the frame.

In other cases, you’re not creating so much of a mystery, you’re simply including a very small bit of reflected material as a splash of “different” visual interest in an otherwise stragithward scene, as I’ve done here in the last few photos.

You can add even more interest when you combine this with other compositional technique like selective focus, shallow depth of field and the juxtaposition of opposing elements like warm and cool, near and far, big and small, etc…

Have fun with this technique as you’re out shooting this summer, and look for ways that you can create intriguing reflection photos that go behind the normal “perfect reflection” motif.

June 14, 2022
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Add New Creative Twist to Your Reflection Photos

In addition to the brand new 5th Generation X Series camera that Fujifilm unveiled last week, the X-H2s, Fujifilm also introduced two brand new lenses, as well, including the much-anticipated XF150-600mm f/5.6-8.

I know, I know… this is the one that a lot of you have been waiting for.

This new extreme telephoto-zoom features high performance optics, weather sealing, and incredible new options for framing and capturing your distant scenes, whether you shoot stills or motion.

XF150-600mm f/5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

Rumors of new XF150-600mm f/5.6-8 began circulating last year, and so there was much speculation about what it would actually look like when it was finally released.

Now that it’s finally here, the details of this new super-telephoto are quite impressive. First of all, it’s a lot less expensive than I would have thought. Given the Fuji’s “white barrel” 200mm /f2 lens is just shy of $6K, I figured that the XF150-600 would be quite a bit more than $1,999.00.

I’m glad I was wrong, because ar this price, it makes Fuji’s 150-600 a truly viable option for a wide range of sports, wildlife and nature photographers who want this kind of focal length and performance.

Costing only $100 more than Fuji’s awesome XF100-400 lens, the new XF150-600 offers a great deal of value for the price, size and weight, and it strikes an impressive balance between long reach and relatively portable design.

Yes, it has more glass, a larger front element, a barrel that’s 4 inches longer, and one half pound heavier, but considering that the angle of view is one third longer, those are reasonable concessions. The Fuji engineers did some serious number crunching on this one.

Now the longest focal length X-Mount lens in the line, the new XF150-600mm lens give you an incredibly extensive view, and the speed to back it up. Using Fuji’s Linear Autofocus Motor with internal zoom and focusing, and On-Lens focusing controls, this lens allows for very fast and accurate autofocus when you’re capturing those very distant or quick-moving subjects, like… ahem… birds.

Combine it with the next generation AF algorithms and performance that was introduced in the new X-H2s, and you’ll long-lens autofocus speed that you could only dream about a few years ago. This combo pretty much makes the most capable BIF setup you could imagine.

The optical design features 24 elements in 17 groups, including four Super ED and three ED elements to reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing, and help retain a very high degree of clarity, color accuracy and crispness access the entire zoom range.

Weighing at 3.5 lbs (1,605g) Fuji’s 150-600 is about 20% lighter than most other 150-600 lenses in the market. (Tamron’s version is 4.38 lbs, and Sigma’s is over 6 lbs.)

And while it’s not a super fast lens with its sliding f/5.6-8 aperture, with today’s sensor technology, incredibly high ISO performance and its 5-stop OIS image stabilization, shooting at those apertures is hardly the deal breaker that it used to be.

Sure, those numbers push out to f/11 and f/16 when using the 1.4X and 2x Teleconverters respectively, but even that’s not the end of the world, especially on the newer Fuji bodies. Of course, using those adapters, you’re able to push the view out to a standard 35mm equivalent focal lengths out to a max of a mind-blowing 1,828mm.

So, without the teleconverter, the 150-600 gives you almost a thousand millimeters of zoom. With the 2x, you’re pushing close to two thousand millimeters.

Either way, you can’t expect to get that kind of length without any compromises, but again, by cranking the ISO dial up, you’ll be able to nail your subjects with an incredibly close view and still get sharp photos that show off an impressive level of detail.

So yea, the new XF150-600mm f/5.6-8 is by no means a small lens, nor does it have an exceptionally fast max aperture, but anyone who hoped that it would be either of those things is living in a dream world.

Or they were prepared to spend a whole lot more money.

Thankfully, with this new lens, Fujifilm has offered an incredible high performing creative tool that offers reasonable size and wight, and a much lower price tag than most of us were thinking.

And it’s coming sooner than many of us had expected. Not knowing any details, I figured we wouldn’t see it until fall. It’s actually slated to ship on July 7. So yea… if you get your preorder in, you just might be able to have it for your mid summer vacation!

I gotta hand it to Fujifilm; they said this was coming, and man, did they deliver in a way that I think stunned a lot of people. Then again, who knows glass and lens design like Fujifilm?

I haven’t had the chance to try this lens out for myself, but I’m certainly looking forward to giving it a run and seeing what it can do!

Pre-order your XF150-600 lens here.

See more details about this lens at the Fujifilm website.

June 6, 2022
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Fujifilm Announces The New XF150-600mm Lens

Next Generation Performance Camera for Stills and Video Shooting

Yesterday, Fujifilm held their much anticipated X Summit, and officially unveiled the brand new flagship X-H2s camera body.

With a brand new stabilized 26.1MP X-Trans Stacked BSI sensor and 5th Generation 64-bit X Processor 5, the new X-H2s brings the X Series into a whole new level of unparalleled performance.

The stacked sensor offers faster readout speeds than ever before, and the updated X-Processor 5 chip, which is 2-3x faster than the electronics on the X-T4, allows for incredibly fast image and video capture.

The X-H2s can shoot blackout- free frame rates of up to 40 fps with the electronic shutter, 15 fps its the mechanical shutter, and up to 1,000 RAW frames in a single burst.

It also allows you to shoot using the HEIF image format straight out of the camera, which offers 10-bit image quality and file sizes that are up to 30% smaller than traditional JPEG format.

In addition, the X-H2s can shoot 6.2K video at 30p, high-speed 120p video at 4K, support for Apple ProRes, and it can capture expanded dynamic range with F-Log2. And it offers full RAW output via HDMI.

Faster, Faster, Faster!

The X-H2s is built for speed. In fact, as Fujifilm US team referred to it as the “Speed Camera” during the development phase, because it’s optimized to capture anything that’s moving, wether it’s shooting moving pictures or fast moving subjects.

Using improved AF prediction algorithms, and Deep Learning AI technology, the autofocus system on the X-H2s automatically detects and tracks a wide range of subject types with increase speed and accuracy.

It also supports Fuji’s AF+MF focus function when shooting video, which allow you to manually fine-tune the focus to help you dial in the precise focal point you want. And it offers “Subject Detection” AF when for more accurate tracking of fast moving subject when capturing movie footage.

The X-H2s has two card slots: one for standard SD cards, and one for CFexpress types cards, which feature incredibly fast write speeds of up to 1200 MB/s. Using these kinds of cards allows you to capture huge bursts of action at the highest frame rates.

Big Power in a Small Form Factor

I was surprised to see just how small and light the X-H2s is. Yes, with its top-deck LCD screen, the X-H2s is thicker than the X-T4, but only about 50g heavier. It retains the compact form factor of the X Series, but it offers a huge boost in speed and performance.

Unlike its predecessor, the X-H1, which had frustratingly short battery life, the X-H2s uses the same NP-W235 battery as the X-T4. Combined with reduced power consumption inside the processor, this allows for more frame rates and longer movie recording times than ever before Up to 720 frames and up to 70 minutes when shooting 4K video.

Quick Thoughts

We’ve been waiting with a high degree of anticipation to see what Fujifilm would come up with at their X-Summit, and in my mind, they did not disappoint. They delivered a stunning new camera that’s packed with a host of innovative features and upgrades that truly bring the X Series into the next generation.

With each new release, Fujifilm has continued to surprise us with amazing technology that helps us define the way we want to express our creativity. And now, with so many people adopting a hybrid style of shooting both stills and motion, the X Series continues to push the boundaries of what’s capable, no matter how, what or where we like to shoot.

If you’re a heavy video shooter, or if you like to photograph very fast action, like sports, birds or crazy kids, or if you just want the best performance for your artistry, then the X-H2s is worth a serious consideration.

It ups the performance game for mirrorless cameras in a huge way, even against Sony, Nikon and Canon, and offers an incredible amount of speed and shooting options in a surprisingly small form body.

And finally, it shows us what we can expect in the future for the next generation of X Series as these new features filter down through the line.

The X-H2s is slated to ship on July 7. You can preorder it here.

See the full specs and features of the X-H2s at the Fujifilm website.

June 1, 2022
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Fujifilm Unveils The New X-H2s

You can now watch the 10th and final episode of my Fujifilm retrospective, where I look back at my ten years shooting with the Fujifilm X Series cameras.

The series began with a short video about my fateful introduction to the Fujifilm X10, which I bought back in the fall of 2011, how I fell in love with this stylish little camera, and how it set me on a totally new course with my photography.

After that, I decided to keep going and turn it into a whole series, with each video covering a different year. In each new episode, I talked about the specific models and innovations that Fujifilm introduced with each new camera, shared the highlights of my own experiences with these cameras, and I shared my favorite images shot during the course of that year.

It’s been so much fun to go back and remember all this stuff, tell stories and share details of my Fuji life and show you my best photos that I made during the past decade.

Having been a photographer for over 30 years and a full time pro for over 25, this decade represented a significant period of growth, experience and creative evolution for me, especially since most of my life as a photographer has revolved around shooting with Fujifilm, either their film or cameras.

Anyway, I had a great time making this series, I was able to finish it up with the last episode just a few days before the upcoming Fujifilm Summit, which happens on May 31. During this event, Fujifilm is set to announce a number of brand new camera and lens models for both X Series and GFX and show off their latest innovations.

Enjoy this final 10th episode, and if you haven’t seen the rest of the episodes, you’ll definitely want to go back and watch each one, starting here. Or anytime you’re feeling a little nostalgic or are jonesing for some Fujifilm love, you can always rewatch the entire series.

May 26, 2022
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Watch The Final Episode of My Fujifilm Retrospective

A couple weeks ago, I did a webinar for DxO Labs showing off their new software PureRAW 2. I know that people were unable to watch in real time, but you can now watch the full replay of my DxO Webinar here.

In this tutorial, I show you how easy this software is to use, and how it can help you extract maximum quality from your RAW files.

The initial conversion, when RAW sensor data is compiled to make an actual image, is the most important step in your RAW shooting workflow. Not all software does an equal job “demosaicing” RAW files from different cameras, though, especially those that were captured with Fujifilm’s X-Trans sensor.

However, the latest version of PureRAW his been specially optimized for us X Series shooters, and it plays extremely well with the Fuji RAW files.

With DxO’s extensive lens profiles and advanced “DeepPRIME” de-noising algorithms working behind the scenes, PureRAW 2 allows you to automatically correct for common issues when shooting RAW. With this software, you can produce a wonderfully sharp, clean, noise-free image that you can either save and share right away, or bring into your favorite photo program for further editing.

DxO PureRAW 2 works as a standalone program, or as a plugin for Adobe Lightroom.

Watch my webinar here, and let me know what you think!

Before/After photo of an image processed in DxO PureRAW 2 (Click for full size)
Before/After photo of an image processed in DxO PureRAW 2 (Click for full size)
May 4, 2022
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Watch My DxO PureRAW 2 Webinar

You can now watch episodes #8 and #9 of my Fujifilm Retrospective video series, where I’m looking back at my 10-year history shooting with the Fujifilm X Series cameras. 

In each episode, I’m featuring the specific Fuji cameras I used during that time period, while discussing the notable innovations and improvements and innovations that were being introduced into each of the new models, and sharing the details of how all of this affected my own photography, and in some cases, the entire photo industry as a whole.

I’m also showing you a selection of my favorite images that were shot with those cameras and telling stories that highlight some of the adventures and experience I had during each year. Think of it as “Story Time with Dan Bailey.”

This continues to be a very fun and rewarding trip down memory lane, and on that’s very relatable to a large number of fellow photographers, given that so many people have had similar experiences with their own Fujifilm journey. 

Part 8 all about my continued love with the X-T3, my entry into shooting video, and the two amazing cameras that Fuji introduced in 2019: the small, but highly capable X-T30 and the gorgeous creative powerhouse X-Pro 3.

Part 9 is about my surprising infatuation with the X100V, shooting my own video projects, and the two other cameras that Fuji introduced in 2020: the new flagship X-T4 and its little brother/sister X-S10. Oh yea… and then there’s the whole pandemic thing.

Enjoy these two episode, keep the comments coming, and stay tuned for the next episode!

April 28, 2022
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Watch Parts 8 and 9 of My FUJIFILM X Series Retrospective

You can now watch episodes #6 and #7 of my Fujifilm Retrospective video series, where I’m looking back at my 10-year history shooting with the Fujifilm X Series cameras. 

In each episode, I’m featuring the specific X Series models I used during that time period, discussing the notable improvement and innovations that were being introduced into each new model, and how all of this affected not just my own photography, but the entire photo industry as a whole.

I’m also sharing a selection of my favorite images that were shot with each X Series model and telling a variety of stories that highlight some of the adventures and experience I had during each year. Think of it as “Story Time with Dan Bailey.”

This continues to be a very fun and rewarding trip down memory lane, and on that’s very relatable to a large number of fellow photographers, given that so many people have had similar experiences with their own Fujifilm journey. 

Part 6 features the X-T2, all about my continued exploration with the ultra rugged X-T2, more workshops, two Scotland trips, continued innovation with the X100F, X-T20 and X-E3, two new lenses: the XF50mm f/2, and the XF80mm Macro, and how I accidentally wrote my bestselling guide to the X Series.

Part 7 all about how Fujifilm continued to up the game and draw more photographers into the fold with more innovations, their first stabilized sensor camera, the X-H1, and the hot-rodded X-T3, both of which vastly increased the still and video capabilities of the X Series line.

It’s been great to everyones’s comments on each video and hear about your own experiences with the X Series, so keep ’em coming, and stay tuned for the next episode!

March 21, 2022
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Watch Parts 6 and 7 of my FUJIFILM X Series Retrospective

This week, I’m featured guest on the Liam Photography Podcast. In episode #224, I ramble on and on about we discuss a number of aspects of my own history with photography and talk about how I got started, bought my first camera and eventually transitioned to the Fujifilm System.

Fellow X Series shooter Liam and I had a great talk last week, and we went into quite a bit of detail about a number of different topics that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Visit Liam’s podcast page here, and check out his “Forgotten Pieces of Georgia” photography project.

March 10, 2022
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Listen to Me on the Liam Photography Podcast

Last week, I reached an incredible milestone, when my YouTube channel hit 10,000 subscribers.

Of course, all of this is due to the incredible level of support that I’ve gotten from my awesome followers during the past few years, and for that I am eternally grateful. 

In response, I made a very special video to express my genuine thanks to you guys for helping me turn my channel into a highly visible and recognized resource for photographers around the world.

In addition, I share a bit of history about how I got started making videos and grew my channel to this point. Enjoy the video, and as always, thanks so much for your continued support. 

March 7, 2022
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Special Thank You to My YouTube Subscribers