Best unpaid job around

On Saturday, I volunteered to make photos for my third Herowork project. It is definitely my favourite unpaid gig. Aside from supporting this great organization by providing them with documentary and promotional photos, I enjoy shooting in a completely different environment, with great people and with a very lightweight kit.

Given the chaotic environment of an active building site, I go as light and portable as I am able. I only carry my X-Pro 2, fronted with the XF35mm f/2 lens, and the X-H1, fronted with the XF14mm f/2.8 lens. The 14mm lens works really well in tight places and I can manage very large group shots with it as well. The XF35mm lens is my “close up” lens, when I want a tighter shot of an individual or I need to shoot from a distance. For the past two projects, this has been my kit. Previously, I have also used the XF50mm f/2 and XF23mm f/2 lenses. This time, they stayed in my bag.

The chaos of the construction site lends itself to shooting in a way that I really enjoy. There is frequently something to shoot through or around. Scaffolding and bare studs offer great geometry and framing opportunities. And I find that some of the most compelling environmental portraiture is a result of making a photo of someone while they are thoroughly engaged in their work. Finally, the organization and volunteers are amazing people, putting a tremendous effort into each project. No wonder, it’s my favourite unpaid job!


NB: I will take this opportunity to mention how poorly the new Alien Skin Exposure X4 has worked for me. I upgraded recently, in hopes that this would be the Lightroom replacement for which I have been looking. What a horrible experience. In short, Exposure X4 is not capable of handling a relatively small commercial shoot, from import to sorting to development and finally to delivery. I won’t be wasting any more time with this application.

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