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TAKE TEN: Greg Lumley

As Fujifilm is celebrating ten years of the X Mount system, we’re asking local Fujifilm users to showcase their ten best shots. Specialising in (gorgeous) wedding photography, Greg Lumley tells us why his fascination with lighting drives those around him nuts.

Why do you love photography?

I don’t have a fixed answer. I suppose it was always there, but I was a very late bloomer. I always had this thing about “capture” and I’ve never found a better way to explain it. When my daughter was born, I’d take pictures of her, but she was too quick for my camera. Before long I’d bought another camera, and another. All the while, practising and getting better at it. One day I went professional. That was in 2005. Boy, did I have imposter syndrome. Sometimes I still do.

Can you tell us a bit more about your photography and what you would like to achieve through this?

No matter how good you get, you should still want to get better. When anyone thinks they are good enough, that’s bad. That’s when people stagnate. I just want to get better and better. I practise every time I take a camera out.

My focus (excuse the pun) has always been people and their surrounding environment. Whether it be a landscape, a staircase or a back garden, I like to blend all the ingredients in an arty way. When I shoot, I mix it up. Some shots might require movement and some more static. I also thrive on lighting. From the get go I started with off camera flash. I’ve been doing that for a long time, it’s my thing.

I get a huge kick out of showing people my shots – I live for their reaction and it feeds me. Of course, I really need to be fed by my own shots too. I’m forever checking out composition, lighting and even direction in films as inspiration. It drives those around me nuts. I pause movies and series all the time to see if I can figure out what they’ve done with the lighting.

It’s not only about me though, I like to joke around and I’ve spent a huge amount of time learning to direct and getting my subjects to feel comfortable on camera. This is a hugely overlooked skill in photography. Having a great camera will only get you so far.

What made you switch to Fujifilm and when did this happen?

A mixture of reasons. Right off the bat, I like buttons and the rangefinder design is sexy! I love the fact I can set the camera exposure before switching it on. More often than not, I’d be in the ballpark. This is brilliant for those unexpected moments. Like when you change from a bright outside environment to a dark church. I shoot manually so it’s important for me to get around the camera settings quickly!

Then there’s the EVF, I love the EVF! Even on the X-T1 it was amazing. Now that I need reading glasses, EVF is a godsend. I can playback without even removing the camera from my face. If that’s not enough, the colours are a thing of beauty. Finally, images are tack sharp – it’s nuts! I zoom in and get excited every time.

Which Fujifilm camera do you use and what do you love most about the camera?

I use an X-T2 and an X-T3. They are so small and light, packing a massive amount of power in a small package. I love that they also have dual card slots. I shoot weddings so it’s important to have a backup. When you get used to where everything is, it’s a pleasure. I don’t want to look for functions; I should be able to get to everything without thinking about it, thereby detracting. Dedicated buttons and knowing where they are makes split second adjustments quick and easy.

On the lens side, you do, of course, have to have the stock standards, right?

  • 16-55mm 2.8
  • 50-140mm 2.8 – Stunning lens, the bokeh is fantastic
  • 16mm 1.4 – I also use this for macro shots with rings. You get amazing bokeh
  • 56mm 1.2 (85mm equivalent). This lens is magical, especially when shooting wide open and you couple it with the electronic shutter in bright sun. The bokeh is simply magical and you can really isolate a subject beautifully.

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