I couldn't quite believe my luck around mid 2020 (feels like so long ago with everything being quite groundhog day at the moment!), when Fujifilm approached me and asked me if I would be up for getting involved in putting a new landscape lens through its paces. It also meant being involved in shooting for a short film; not just about the lens but focused around me too! Of course it took no pondering at all - the answer was a huge yes!
After being postponed a couple of times due to Covid, myself and the team finally managed to meet on the Jurassic Coast. The team consisted of Laura Ross (Fujifilm Marketing Exec and all round legend!) and Chris Turner (Freelance Filmmaker and totally cool guy!) and I have to say the entire day was an absolute pleasure!
After long, careful planning, we met just before sunrise at Kimmeridge Bay. The tide was super high, one of the highest I'd seen there in fact! I set up by the old wartime structure and captured the water moving very fast around it. The sun was just about peeking over the hill and some gorgeous golden light filled the scene in front of us. Chris worked his magic around me, recording the moments as we went. It didn't take long for us to both bag exactly what we needed, so we headed onto the next location, Durdle Door.
On arrival it was pretty quiet, it was around 9am so the sunrise photographers had left, and not many others had arrived yet. It seemed to be perfect timing. We spent some time wandering around the door, with me shooting in the direction of Bats Head, just due to the positioning of the sun. Capturing the long sweeping shoreline as it lead to the white, chalky cliffs and blue skies overhead. Not the most ideal time for me shooting; as a landscape photographer blue skies are my enemy and harsh light definitely not a friend! But regardless, I found a way to make it work and was surprised how I quite enjoyed the results. We had discussed previously how it made sense to try and do some filming in the water. It was all about my connection with the ocean and being a regular dipper, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to jump in! So we went back to the car to grab the wetsuits then headed down to Man O War bay. The water was amazing. It felt so good to be in, and to be able to include this magical moment in the water in the film felt like a huge privilege. Chris wasn't afraid to get in there with me either, being an open water swimmer too he seemed to enjoy the opportunity as much as I did! Then a coffee and a warm up and off to the next location.
Next was the final destination for the days shoot which was Portland Bill, but not before a refuel on the way. We came across a lovely cliff top cafe on the way, with a beautiful vegan burger - perfect!
The great thing about shoot days in the winter is less daylight hours, which is perfect for a landscape photographer looking to shoot both sunrise and sunset! We arrived at Portland and we were already slipping into golden hour. We got in some nice bits of film before settling on my spot for the main event. The moments before sunset gave us a beautiful golden glow and set the scene perfectly. It couldn't have gone better. Then it was onto Weymouth to record some Q&A ready for the voiceover.
I have to be honest, by this point I was absolutely exhausted and ready to chill. Thankfully both Laura and Chris asked some great questions to really get the snippets needed to complete the film.
It was a long and tiring day but one that fills me with joy looking back at it now.
Anyway, here's the film in full so please do take a look:
I hope you enjoyed watching it?
You probably want to see some captures from the day, so here are my set of images from the day; all shot on the Fujifilm X-T3 and the XF10-24mm lens, in addition to some stills from the film shot by Chris Turner on the X-T4.
In the run up to the big day, I was lucky enough to have the XF10-24mm for quite some time, to be able to put it to the test. I took it to Dartmoor for a day out in the rain on the moor and the rivers as well as using it pretty much daily here at home in Bournemouth. It was down at the beach with me all the time, taking a continual soaking of sea spray as well as the occasional rain shower. So what did I think of it? Well obviously the weather sealing was the major part for me. To be able to use a lens that you can rely on in all conditions is super important. It was quick, sharp, the aperture ring on the lens was great - so easy to use. The amount I could get within the frame was amazing too, just as you would expect from a wide angle lens. An all round great landscape lens and one I can highly recommend.
I won't delve into the technical details as you can discover the features of the XF10-24mm here on the Fujifilm website. Take a look!
Anyway, massive thanks to both Laura and Chris for such a great experience. I can't thank Chris enough for his amazing videography skills and making me look good! haha.
Thanks for reading and sticking with me this far and of course for watching the film everyone!