What’s with the photos?

Hi all,

recently I’ve posted a few seemingly random images on instagram and twitter and I’ve had a bunch of emails from people asking if I’ve moved away from 3D. I thought I would give a brief rundown of my history so you understand more of what I’m about.

SP_001_Acros_01

Self portrait. One of the first shot I took on the X-T20, in the studio with a 2″ soft box and a tiny manfrotto lumimuse 8 as a rim light.

So, I started out as a photographer, back in the 90s. I’d studied photography, art and film at college but spent much time in the dark room (yes, this was pre digital) and fell in love with the process, not just the shooting but the the post processing. ┬áSo much so that when digital came along I jumped right in. I still have my old apple Quadra with photoshop on a huge stack of floppy discs.

As digital editing progressed I got a reputation for being the go to man in my area, as I was able to do things that couldn’t be done with traditional tools. I spent a few years doing more and more of this work until I moved to Games Workshop, where I was doing a mix of design, image editing and running the photo studio. At this time digital wasn’t as established as it needed to be. In fact I was taking photos of war-games miniatures and artwork using a 10×8 digital scan back. That thing was slow but the results were good, for the time. Still, that meant a lot of time colour correcting in photoshop.

At the same time I was moving on with my own projects and was doing more and more 3D, partly for fun and partly for personal clients. When I left GW I had a client base and a skill set that meant I could indulge all my passions, so I set up Pariah Studios. Although that didn’t become a limited company until a few years later.

Now, in 2018 I’m the editor of 3D World magazine, running my own studio, covering everything from animation and film making to photography and design. I still love photography and try to incorporate it into as much of my work as possible, which is why you’ll see the odd shot of cameras, drones and shooting gear.

X-T20

My new best friend, the Fuji X-T20, with the kit XC 16-50mm less, which has already gone, replaced by the XF 18-55 2.8

 

On to gear. After, the ‘how do you…’ type questions the one thing I get asked most is what gear I use. This is hard, as gear changes and what suits one job isn’t always best for another. That said I’ve just gone through the biggest change to date. At college I was using a Pentax and Canon SLRs (note the missing ‘D”) then when I started making money I moved on to a better Canon and a Mamiya 645, still one of the nicest cameras to use ever. However, I moved to Canon DSLRs and one Fuji S Pro and never looked back. I’ve toyed with other brands but Nikon focuses the wrong way round and Olympus just didn’t feel right. There is no such thing as a right or wrong, or a ‘best’. like any tool it’s what suits you and the situation most and for me that has been pretty much Canon for the last 20 odd years.

Until a few years ago when, talking to my friend Mike Griggs (@creativebloke) I decided to try out the Fuji x100, more as a simple light camera to keep with me, as the iPhone, good as it is, just doesn’t do what I want it to. I fell in love with the x100, which handles so well and produces beautiful images. The film simulations took me back to my analogue days, shooting on velvia and astia and all those great films.

Now, a few years later I’ve decided to ditch Canon and move to Fuji completely. I’ll still keep some Canon L glass but that will be for film work, as it works great on the Black Magic Design Ursa mini but for all photography I’ll be sticking with Fuji. I got a Fuji X-T20 to review and I’m in love. I’ll probably end up getting a bigger Fuji body at some point and one that is weather sealed but for now this thing is my new best friend. The sensor is fantastic, the colour handling is simply gorgeous, the simulations kick me right in the nostalgia centre and I can’t put it down.

I’ll stop there but look out for videos on my youtube channel soon, where I’ll talk about my new set up, which lenses I’m going with and a general look at my workflow.

To hear more about me and my work check out this interview with Chris Nichols from Chaos Group

 

Lastly, ergonomics aside (for filming) this thing shoots gorgeous 4K footage, w which can include the film simulations. I love grading in resolve and that will still be a big part of my work but the raw footage is superb. With a cage and a simple rig this could be the ideal b roll camera too. Or a great way to shoot plates for some mograph work. I’ve not tried it yet but I have a feeling the C4D tracker will like this footage. More in 3, 2, 1…

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