Walking San Francisco

I'm Only Human - San Francisco - 2016

A special weekend in San Francisco – walking the streets with Valérie Jardin and her San Francisco Street Photography workshop participants. On Saturday, we had the beautiful bright sunny day that street photographers love. Today we had a mostly overcast day. Valérie is a great workshop leader – I had a special time with her in Paris in the fall of 2014 and will be going to Rome with her later this year. I highly recommend her workshops!

I was shooting – seriously for the first time – with a new Fujifilm X70. I came away delighted with the experience – this is a great camera for street photography – especially when mostly shooting in full automatic mode. I like to set the ISO to float between 1600 and 6400 – which helps push the shutter speed up and the aperture more open. The camera is ideal for those quick shots – where you really don’t want to bother with a viewfinder (the X70 doesn’t have one) and you can just learn to trust the 28mm wide angle of the fixed lens along with the camera’s programming to make great images.

For the last year I’ve been almost exclusively shooting with the Fujifilm X100T – loving its 35mm fixed lens and learning how to use its controls to help me shoot street images. For this weekend, I had the X100T in the bottom of my camera bag – as a backup – but I spent the whole weekend shooting with just the X70. I’ve included a few more images from the weekend below – my full album of my best shots is here on Flickr.

Sunflower - San Francisco - 2016

Look Away - Maiden Lane San Francisco - 2016

Light Fantastic - Ross Alley San Francisco - 2016

East of Grant Avenue - San Francisco - 2016

6 Replies to “Walking San Francisco”

  1. Hi Scott,
    Maybe I am missing something, but I find your statement confusing;

    “I like to set the ISO to float between 1600 and 6400 – which helps push the shutter speed up and the aperture more open.”

    I can see that the camera would use a higher shutter speed, but how does setting the camera to use a higher ISO “encourage” a more open (lower number) aperture? It seems like this would result in a higher F-stop in most cases?

    Thanks for the writeup, I too am enjoying my X70,
    Tom

    1. Hi Tom. I don’t know enough about how automatic mode balances between shutter speed and aperture at any given ISO. In addition to set auto ISO to that range, I typically also set a minimum shutter speed to 1/250 – opting to capture gesture.

          1. Scott, I have been shooting Fuji for just over three years, starting with the X-E1, then the X-T1, and now the X70. Prior to Fuji I had (have) a strong attachment to Sigma Foveon sensor cameras, but that’s another story.

            My setup of the X70 is pretty simple. I attached a left hand wrist strap (heavy duty) to it as my style is to carry my camera in the crook of my left arm and grab it with my right hand to bring it up and shoot. As for settings, I have been lately setting the camera to auto mode (not the auto lever) and adjusting auto ISO to a minimum shutter speed of 1/125 or 1/200 and minimum ISO to 400.

            Until very recently I have always been shooting RAW because I wasn’t happy with the amount of detail I got from jpeg images at high ISO. After reading you article about settings, I have been experimenting with jpeg and shooting BW. Setting noise reduction to -2 does indeed bring back most of the detail I want at ISO 6400.

            About my shooting, that is a while other story that I will put into a follow up comment. If you want to see my work, take a trip over to http://photobubba.com
            Tom

          2. Scott, you asked me what kind of shooting I use the Fuji X70 for, so here is my story;

            From a photographic standpoint I am essentially an (mostly amateur) event photographer. I take photos at motorcycle events, for the motorcycle club community. Primarily around the greater Austin Texas area.

            I am also a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association local chapter called New Life Riders, and the Chaplain of UCOA (United Clubs of Austin http://ucotexas.org ), an organization that facilitates communications between clubs for events and benefits. I am also one of a very small number of photographers that has been given full access to the motorcycle club communities events, as well as freedom to publish my photos. This is a privilege I take very seriously.

            As you might imagine, many motorcycle event take place in venues that have far from ideal lighting, bars, clubs, and often at night. So, the need for a camera that works well in low light is paramount. Prior to Fuji, I used a Sony A77, which was great for daytime events, but was really lacking in low light capability with a lot of Chroma noise at high ISO and much lost detail. When I first saw the Fuji X-E1, and how well it worked at ISO 6400 in RAW, I was astounded. Yes there was noise, but very little Chroma noise. The X-E1 worked well for me though autofocus was a weak area. The X-T1 mostly fixed that. I initially purchased the X-E1 with the 18-55mm lens, and that lens is truly outstanding. After I purchased the X-T1, I bought the 18mm f/2 and i found that combination to be ideal for my style of photography. It was wide and fast, which worked well for me. Now, with the X70, which is a pocket-able replacement for that combination, I can really feel less encumbered. The X-T1 is of course far smaller than the Sony A77, but the X70 seems to be really ideal in almost every area except the slightly slower lens.

            I will again list my web site for anyone reading this; http://photobubba.com

            Tom

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