Flemming Bo Jensen http://flemmingbojensen.com Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:55:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Five Dollar Camera Baghttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/03/03/the-five-dollar-camera-bag/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/03/03/the-five-dollar-camera-bag/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:55:58 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6225 The Five Dollar Bag in it's glory.

The Five Dollar Bag in it’s glory.

Like most photographers, I have a bag fetish. The quest for the perfect camera bag keeps photographers busy and bag manufacturers happy! Most photographers have way more bags lying around than they want to admit. We’re suckers for bags for our gear. I have my fair share of bags but my quest is over. I have actually found my perfect bag. My preciousssss. It was waiting for me in Montana of all places.

I had been looking for a super light weight and small shoulder bag for my Fuji gear. I usually carry one camera and 2 lenses, headphones, wallet and my journal, so a small bag is all I need. And ever since having a neck problem in August 2014, I am super careful about my neck, shoulders and back. All of my current shoulderbags were just too heavy. I had been using a very small backpack for a while, which is good for my back and neck, but very impractical for shooting and trying to get gear in and out of a backpack.

Close up of the detailing by Charlene.

Close up of the detailing by Charlene.

One afternoon in October 2014, Charlene wandered around the lovely city of Missoula, Montana. We spotted a camera shop in a basement and went in. They had a small table with used gear and I immediately eyed this vintage funky bag. The brand of the bag is called Coastar and apparently the bag is from the 80s.  But it looks just like a 70s Pan Am aircrew carry-on bag – the ultimate in hipster cool camera bags! The bag was incredibly light weight. It had 3 compartments, just the right size for my stuff. The compartments were coloured blue inside, making it easy to see and find small items. It was worn with a perfect hipster look. And it had a$5 price tag  – yes, five dollars. The perfect price for a on-10-dollar-a-day budget gypsy!

This bag is awesome and I mean it. It really is my favourite of any camera bag I have used. Then Charlene drew my name and a lizard similar to my tattoo on it, making it perfect. It is now an essential part of my outfit.

The Five Dollar Bag, The One Bag to rule them all!

Jacket, boots and bag - my essential outfit! Picture by Charlene Winfred

Jacket, boots and bag – my essential outfit! Picture by Charlene Winfred

 

On the very night I bought The Five Dollar Bag I am causally diva posing with it in front of a motel! Image by Charlene Winfred

On the very night I bought The Five Dollar Bag I am causally diva posing with the full outfit on, in front of a motel in Missoula, Montana. Image by Charlene Winfred

 

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Zouk Singaporehttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/02/25/zouk-singapore/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/02/25/zouk-singapore/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 06:45:44 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6206 Zouk Singapore

Zouk Singapore

Zouk – I remember the name from reading music magazines in the early and mid 90s. The legendary Zouk nightclub where international superstar DJs went to play in the faraway land of Singapore (which I knew nothing about at the time). Fast forward a few years (well, quite a few!) and I find myself working and at times basking in the spotlight in Zouk, the 24 year old club that pioneered dance music in Asia.

Enjoying the spotlight for a moment - just before being asked if I was Ferry Corsten's brother!

Enjoying the spotlight for a moment – just before being asked if I was Ferry Corsten’s brother!

I have blogged extensively about our Fuji XF16-55mmF2.8 promotional shoot inside the club.  Zouk were incredibly forthcoming and open towards our project and it made it a true pleasure working inside the club (with the nicest security staff I have ever encountered).

The club itself is actually 3 clubs in one – Zouk mainfloor, Velvet Undergound and Phuture. All three connected through walkways inside the building, never do you leave the Zouk feeling. The Zouk mainfloor is by far the largest and leaning towards a more mainstream sound. It is a multi level masterpiece of club design, with the huge chandelier as the center piece. Phuture is a cool little corner venue, where we never ended up spending much time for some reason, although I did end up making a couple of good pictures in there. Velvet Underground was my favourite, an intimate venue with a super awesome sound and visual system. Those ceiling projections, LED lights I gather, are mesmerizingly awesome! I also loved the music in Velvet Underground. Jeremy Boon, Zouk resident DJ through 23 years, played some nice funky deep house warming up for none other than Mr. Simon Green of Bonobo fame on our last night at Zouk.

From the moment we stepped through the door, we entered the world of Zouk. It is an incredibly well designed club of escapism. Everything is perfect for a pure hedonistic fun, for a great night out forgetting all about the world outside. Late at night, getting a taxi back home to Charlene’s mother’s flat in the suburb of Tampines was literally going from one universe to a faraway corner of another. Zouk does this experience so well that I want to go back right now, to escape into the Zouk universe. Their lease is not getting renewed and they have to move, I very much hope they find a new venue, so the Zouk experience can live on. Until I one day can return, here are some more images, all captured on my Fuji X-T1 with the XF16-55mmF2.8 lens.

Crowd caught in strobe light in the Phuture club of Zouk

Crowd caught in strobe light in the Phuture club of Zouk

Jeremy Boon in Velvet Underground, sounded so awesome.

Jeremy Boon in Velvet Underground, this sounded so awesome.

Bonobo in the darkness of Velvet Underground.

Bonobo in the darkness of Velvet Underground.

The rear and celiing projections of Velvet Undergound are superb

The rear and celiing projections of Velvet Undergound are superb

The crowd worked hard to avoid the turbo lasers inside the Zouk Main room

The crowd worked hard to avoid the turbo lasers inside the Zouk Main room

Ferry Corsten always wanted to be a quarterback and gets ready to throw an imaginary pass.

Ferry Corsten always wanted to be a quarterback and gets ready to throw an imaginary pass.

One guy in the crowd could shoot huge laser bolts out of his arm. That's normal.

One guy in the crowd could shoot huge laser bolts out of his arm. That’s normal.

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Just a Travelerhttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/02/16/just-a-traveler/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/02/16/just-a-traveler/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 08:31:34 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6195
Charlene at Canyonlands, Utah. Fuji X-T1, 18mmF2 lens
Charlene at Canyonlands, Utah. Fuji X-T1, 18mmF2 lens

Canyonlands, Utah. The Southwest of the US is possibly my favourite area on the planet. On day one of a week long celebration of her birthday, Charlene contemplates the scale of the majestic canyons. They feel science fictional to urbanized eyes. Getting to the edge of this outhanging rock took crawling on the ground. The wind is fierce today. This is not a place for falling over. It is a place for loosing oneself in the open sky and the vast view. A place to feel the impact of nature. A place to visit in dreams until we can return.

“That’s what I am: just a traveler. Imagine it: no tax, no bills, no boss. Just the open sky.” 

“There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.”

— The Doctor, Doctor Who

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Singapore at Night with the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/02/05/singapore-at-night-with-the-fujinon-xf16-55mmf2-8/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/02/05/singapore-at-night-with-the-fujinon-xf16-55mmf2-8/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 15:17:43 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6169 We head for the light.

From the suburbs, we head for the light.

The main subject for the Fujifilm 16-55mmF2.8 promotional shoot was the two nights at Zouk nightclub (pictures here and here, and movie here), but we did also do a lot of night shooting and filming in Singapore at night. I can never find anything I like to shoot in Singapore during the day, but at night the city is interesting and quite often very epic – especially around the mindblowing Marina Bay Sands area. I have written about Nightwalking in Singapore before, it is one of my favourite things to do in Singapore.

Not much of this footage nor pictures was used as Zouk and the music photography was the main project for the promotional campaign, so here’s a small selection, all shot on the Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens. Apart from the first image, the rest is straight out of camera jpegs.

City still seems quiet

We arrive at Marina Bay Sands. City still seems quiet.

Loads of people at  Christmas at Gardens by the Bay...still quiet, well sort of...

Loads of people at Christmas at Gardens by the Bay, world’s most expensive building in the background…it is still quiet, well sort of…

The worlds most expensive building joined in.

The worlds most expensive building then joined in, with the nightly out of this world lasershow

But then the Bat signal was lit...

And then the Bat signal was lit, the soap bobbles came out, the party started, it was time to go to Zouk nightclub.

Charlene was making the kick-ass Fuji promotional movie (read behind the scenes fun here) so a lot of the time my view of the city was much improved! Not only did it look like this, it also came with a lot of polite instructions from the director (go back, forward, sideways, stop lookup, no up!, no! not so much, no don’t, argh….do it again!). Loved it! :)

Charlene creating the Fuji 16-55 promotional movie

Charlene creating the Fuji 16-55 promotional movie

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Look, it’s the Grand Canyonhttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/23/look-its-the-grand-canyon/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/23/look-its-the-grand-canyon/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:39:23 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6161 Charlene and the grandest of clouds of Grand Canyon

Charlene and the grandest of clouds at Grand Canyon

“Don’t you want to look at the Grand Canyon?”. For some reason, every time I think of Grand Canyon I think of that Grand Canyon scene in National Lampoon’s Vacation (either that, or the ending of Thelma & Louise). I watched the Griswold’s family and their road trip quest for Wallyworld so many times as a kid, I must admit there are a lot of scenes I can’t help but replay in my head when roadtripping through the Southwest.

The first time I visited Grand Canyon in April 2010 a snowstorm raged. This time when Charlene and I arrives just before noon in the middle of September 2014, a heat spell is toasting the entire Southwest. A spectacular storm in the horizon threatens rain. We wander along the rim in the heat and be tourists with the rest of the tourists (no Griswolds in sight). The dimensions of Grand Canyon almost seem impossible, incomprehensible for a human eye. Hoping that storm comes closer, but not too close. Staring, in awe, making pictures. And of course, searching for fridge magnets, our own little National Lampoon Vacation mission.

Don't you want to see the Grand Canyon? Hint: It's behind you.

Don’t you want to see the Grand Canyon? Hint: It’s behind you.

The grandest of Canyons

The grandest of Canyons

 

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Fujinon XF16-55 promotional movie – behind the scenes shenaniganshttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/14/fujinon-xf16-55-promotional-movie-behind-the-scenes-shenanigans/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/14/fujinon-xf16-55-promotional-movie-behind-the-scenes-shenanigans/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 11:56:48 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6140 I got to star in another movie! Wooohooooo!
I'm ready for my closeup!

I’m ready for my closeup!

While I was busy shooting stills (see here and here) with the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 lens, Charlene was busy shooting the promotional movie. If you haven’t seen it already, press play. If you have seen it, press play again!

Directed, filmed and edited by Fujifilm X-photographer Charlene Winfred. You can read much more about the making of the movie on Charlene’s blog on her filming experience post. I am just going to add the filming experience from my viewpoint!

Behind the scenes

During the 3 weeks of filming, this was often my viewpoint:

Charlene working faster than the camera can capture at Zouk Singapore nightclub.

Charlene working faster than the camera can capture at Zouk Singapore nightclub.

Now, yours truly, Hollywood-wannabe-diva, is no stranger to having a camera pointed at me. Diva here has starred in 3 movies previously, including the epic Beyond – and I did a TV appearance too. It appears the camera likes me…well I tell myself that, it’s more that I like the camera to a worrying ego-out-of-control degree. Hollywood surely will call me very soon.

The director did her usual directing: “walk that way, slowly, no faster, no slower, no look, stop, point the camera, no the wrong way, the other way, behind you, in front of you, don’t do that, do that! No, do it again”. This is the director’s third movie but from how good she is at making her directions heard, she’s a veteran already! You’d think that filming in a loud night club would make it harder for the director to make herself heard, but no, not really. One advantage of filming in a nightclub, there’s always a bar nearby and I could pretend I was a big movie star with catering on set (that I had to pay for, but still, catering was available).

The Dynamite Stick Sinker Cam

Charlene and the stick of dynamite.

Charlene and the stick of dynamite.

Why is Charlene holding a stick of dynamite? Because we find, working like this, people give us more space! No, this is the patented Sinker-cam. That just happens to look like a stick of dynamite. Charlene needed to stabilize the camera with some weights and we ended up making the Sinker-cam. It is my gorillapod, with something like 3 kilos of Charlene’s father’s homemade lead sinkers for fishing. Add tape and you have a Sinker-cam that worked remarkably well. It made the security team at Zouk freeze for a few seconds until Charlene demonstrated what the dynamite was for. To their credit, they then happily let us use it. The security team at Zouk is probably the friendliest I have ever encountered, even after we pulled a stick of dynamite out of the bag, they were nice.

Cardboard magic

Did you notice those amazing closeups of the lens with the light beams sweeps in the movie? That’s all Charlene’s magic. She cooked up a $5 product shoot setup that ended up looking outstanding. Read more about the making of the product shoot on her blog. I assisted in the shooting of these scenes by holding the black cardboard and as such, I considered myself an integral part of their success. That is, until I discovered my hold-the-cardboard up skills could be replaced by a cardboard box.

Voice over

Now, parading in front of the camera like a diva I can do. Voice over recording on the other hand is tough. I vote our next movie is a silent Buster Keaton throwback. I must have recorded the voice over 30 times. And that introduction of me at the beginning of the movie? 20 takes or so in different locations. If Singapore’s noise level didn’t kill the take, then I would surely trip over one of the words. Yes, silent movie next!

Credits and thanks

This was fun! What a great project this was to work on. It featured inputs or collaboration from Japan to Portland to Copenhagen to Singapore. And I was thrilled to be featured in a movie about what I love shooting the most, music photography.

  • Directed, filmed and edited by Charlene Winfred
  • Stills by yours truly
  • Original soundtrack by Rasmus Kjærbo. Rasmus made a kick-ass awesome soundtrack for this movie in record time, even at some point getting up in the middle of the night in Copenhagen to make a small correction for us just before deadline. Rasmus, you rock!
  • Thanks so much to Fujifilm Japan and Fujifilm Nordic for this opportunity.
  • Thanks to Zouk Singapore for being fantastic to work with and very supportive.

 

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Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 at Zouk Singapore: Notes & Pictures & Ferry Corstenhttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/09/fujinon-xf16-55mm-f2-8-lens-at-zouk-singapore-notes-pictures-ferry-corsten/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/09/fujinon-xf16-55mm-f2-8-lens-at-zouk-singapore-notes-pictures-ferry-corsten/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 06:24:31 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6112 Zouk Singapore, main room. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-5mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, main room. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-5mmF2.8 lens

“Are you Ferry Corsten? Or his brother? You know, you look exactly like Ferry Corsten. This was an actual conversation I had in the main room of Zouk, just before Ferry Corsten was about to DJ. A guy stared intensely at me taking pictures for 5 minutes and then worked up the courage to ask whether I was in fact the famous Dutch DJ – or his brother. I had to disappoint him and tell him I was David Bowie!

Our pitch to Fuji Japan for this promotinal project was Singapore by Night. The pictures are going to be used for the web, brochures, exhibitions and books from Fuji. The main story would be a photo and video shoot at a Singapore nightclub. Following up on my first impressions, here are some more random notes about Ferry Corsten’s brother using the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 lens and our experience creating the stills and the movie for this promotional project.

  • Charlene and I landed in Singapore on the 8th of December, and waiting for us was a big cardbox of wonderful gear sent to us from Fuji Japan. A graphite edition (so so beautiful!) Fuji X-T1 camera with pre-release 3.0 firmware (so we could test the new manual video options) and the XF23mmF1.4 lens for the movie, and of course, the highly anticipated 16-55mm lens. Jetlagged after two days of flying from LA, we still ripped open the box like kids on Christmas.
  • Over the next couple of days we filmed and shot extensively just to get used to the gear. I used the 16-55mm lens exclusively for the whole period of the project.
  • The first things I noticed after attaching the lens was: wow, the build quality is outstanding! And wow, it is a different, bigger and heavier experience compared to the 35mmF1.4 prime I normally use most of the time.
  • Then my next impression was: WOW, the autofocus is incredibly fast!
  • We actually shot and filmed a lot of Singapore by Night, the epic light of the Singapore CDB, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay etc. We ultimately ended up not using much of this as the main story and my main work is the music photography.
  • A week later we had our first of two nights, where Zouk Singapore had most kindly allowed us to shoot and film. We attended the Wednesday TGIW party and were blown away by this world-class absolutely amazing nightclub.
  • Wednesday: The first night at Zouk was a night of learning, learning the lens, the club, the angles, the lights. I made one good picture the entire night. That’s ok, it was a warm-up and using this zoom at f2.8 is a very different experience to using the small 1.4 primes I normally use for my nightclub work.
  • Saturday: 3 days later we had our main event, the big Saturday night with Ferry Corsten (and his brother!) and the fantastic Bonobo. This was our main night, Zouk was packed with people and the dancefloors were pumping around 2am when Ferry Corsten and Bonobo took the decks in the main room and Velvet Underground room.
  • By now I was in sync with using the 16-5mm lens, and Charlene was rocking the video setup. We made a lot of good pictures and video and Zouk was at it’s best this night, pumping dancefloors and amazing sound and light show with tripping the light fantastic lasers and projections.
  • Sunday: somewhat tired after a good night at Zouk, it was deadline for me to deliver the stills. Now, for a promotional shoot you have to deliver unedited straight out of camera JPEGS to Fuji Japan. No processing whatsoever, no cropping, no touching the file at all. This at least means post-processing time is zero, which pleased me. But it is quite a daunting experience to have to hand over un-touched un-edited raws and jpegs. Fortunately, Fuji X-cameras produce some incredibly good in-camera jpegs. Still, I very often wanted to crop a bit, or post-process a bit. No can do.
  • It’s a good experience actually, shooting with the fact in mind that I cannot post-process. For example, knowing I could not crop an image, I took great care in composing the image in camera (check those corners). This is quite a challenge in a nightclub where the light changes every split second, and everything that happens is chaotic.
  • OK, I lie slightly when I say no post-processing. The pictures are 100% straight out of camera BUT the X-cameras allow you to re-process a raw file (I shot raw+jpeg). So for some of the pictures, I could try different conversions in-camera with Provia, Velvia settings etc. Classic Chrome became available via 3.0 firmware but I don’t really like classic chrome for night club shots.
  • I have shot Fuji X- cameras exclusively for 4 years almost but never really used in-camera jpegs much. This exercise made me realise (yes I am very late to the game, it’s a lot of work being Ferry Corsten!) just how insanely good the Fuji in-camera raw converter is.
  • As for the lens itself, I have written my first impressions. I was mostly surprised by how well it actually worked for my club photography, it was a very positive experience. It helps that the main room of Zouk is well lit. In the extremely dark Velvet Underground room I struggled some as the 2.8 aperture was just not fast enough, even at iso6400. Here, my primes at f1.4 would be better
  • There has been a lot of talk about the lack of OIS. Having used this extensively I feel that if OIS would have added more weight, Fuji made the right choice in not including it. Also, the room range is 16-55. Unlike say 55-140mm, the range of 16-55mm is still fine to handhold without OIS. Yes, Fuji makes awewsome OIS, and yes, we as photographers want it all! I mean, I want this zoom to be a constant F1.4, with OIS, and have it be smaller than the 35mm lens. Make it so!
    We want it all, but that’s physically impossible – and would be boring too, what would we complain about!

All images are straight out of camera jpegs from the Fuji X-T1. Thanks so much again to Fujifilm Japan, Fujifilm Nordic and Zouk Singapore. Oh and it is worth repeating, I am a music photographer. I do not make the usual promotional low iso shots in controlled environments. These are real life images of working as a photographer in dark night clubs with next to no light at all, we’re talking shooting wide open always at iso6400. (Read my post about using the X-T1 for music photography.)

Also: Read my first impressions of the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 lens and watch Charlene Winfred’s Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 lens promotional movie and read the making of the movie from Charlene Winfred.

….and…. no I am not Ferry Corsten. Or his brother. David Bowie, yes!

Zouk Singapore, main room with Ferry Corsten. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, main room with Ferry Corsten. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, main room with Ferry Corsten. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, main room with Ferry Corsten. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, main room with TGIW. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, main room with Transfix. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, Velvet Underground with Bonobo. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, Velvet Underground with Bonobo. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, main room with Ferry Corsten. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

Zouk Singapore, main room with Ferry Corsten. Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens

My Fuji X-T1 with the Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens. Processing by Charlene Winfred.

My Fuji X-T1 with the Fujinon 16-55mmF2.8 lens.

Hamming it up for the camera is my superpower! PR shot for the movie, posing with the Fujinon XF16-55mm lens. Picture by Charlene Winfred.

Hamming it up for the camera is my superpower! PR shot for the movie, posing with the Fujinon XF16-55mm lens. Picture by Charlene Winfred.

 


 

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Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 lens at Zouk Singapore: My first impressionshttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/06/fujinon-xf16-55mm-f2-8-lens-at-zouk-singapore-my-first-impressions/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/06/fujinon-xf16-55mm-f2-8-lens-at-zouk-singapore-my-first-impressions/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 06:19:54 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6097 Main floor of Zouk Singapore. XT1 with 16-55mm lens, F2.8 at 1/45 second

Main floor of Zouk Singapore. XT1 with 16-55mm lens, F2.8 at 1/45 second

As some know, I am an official Fuji X-photographer, and for the last month I have had the highly anticipated Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 lens on loan for testing and shooting promotional material for Fuji Japan. At the same time, Charlene Winfred has made a promotional movie featuring me using the lens, click here to see it.

We were in Singapore during the making of this project and naturally, my 1st choice for a music venue to shoot in was Zouk SingaporeZouk Singapore is a legendary nightclub that is rated as one of the top 5 nightclubs in the world and I was dying to shoot there. Fortunately, Zouk was incredibly forthcoming and supportive of the project. This project was made over two nights of shooting at Zouk. Many thanks to Zouk for the access, and to Ethan Jones of Elixr Group for the introduction.

Today, I will post my first impressions and 3 images. Stay tuned this week for more in depth thoughts on the lens and the project and more pictures. Many thanks to Fuji Japan, Fuji Nordic and Zouk Singapore.

All sample images are Jpegs straight out of the camera

Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 first impressions

I should preface all of this by saying: I am a music photographer. I do not make usual promotional shots in controlled environments. These are real life images of working as a photographer in dark night clubs with next to no light at all, we’re talking shooting wide open always at iso6400 to make images. The Fuji X cameras and lenses are awesome for this, read my review of the X-T1 for music photography. But don’t except razor sharp iso200 images in perfect light, it’s not what I do. Now for the initial impressions of the 16-55:

  • I normally use Fujinon prime lenses such as 23mm, 35mm and 56mm for working in nightclubs because of their very fast F1.2 or F1.4 aperture. Shooting with a F2.8 zoom lens was a new experience. Most of the time I was fine with 2.8. The main room at Zouk was ok with 2.8, but I struggled in the smaller extremely dark Velvet Underground venue as it really is close to pitch black. Fortunately the image quality from this lens is so good, the images can be pushed a stop or two easily.
  • The autofocus is blindingly fast. And quiet. Fast. Did I mention fast! Maybe the fastest of any Fuji lens I have tried. OK, most of the time in a nightclub I have to use manual focus (focus peaking is nice here) but when I can I do trigger the autofocus using backbutton focus and it is soooooo fast on the 16-55mm.
  • The build quality is outstanding. The lens just feels amazing. The zoom ring and the focus ring are of exceptional quality.
  • Compared to the primes I normally use, it’s big. And heavy. OK, compared to the classic 24-70mm f2.8 lenses it is small and lightweight, absolutely. And it never felt heavy using it during the nights at Zouk. Still, it’s a big lens on a small camera.
  • Image quality? Prime quality. End of story. It is really a zoom that behaves like a prime, outstanding sharpness even at F2.8 (I don’t think I have shot the lens at anything but F2.8 come to think of it!). Sharp, contrasty, colourful, this lens behaves like a prime!
  • It really is an amazing all-round lens. I am amazed it works for my job, I was not expecting that. I would still prefer to use my primes in a nightclub, just because of the 1.4 aperture. But if I had to, I could do my job with just this lens, it’s that good.

More pictures, impressions and indepth story about the project coming over the next days (all good things to those who wait, I’m a bit slow). EDIT: Read the followup post on the XF16-55mmF2.8 here.

Do watch Charlene’s movie about the lens!

Main floor of Zouk Singapore. XT1 with 16-55mm lens, F2.8 at 1/550 second

Main floor of Zouk Singapore. XT1 with 16-55mm lens, F2.8 at 1/550 second

Bonobo at Velvet Underground, Zouk Singapore. XT1 with 16-55mm lens, F2.8 at 1/60 second

Bonobo at Velvet Underground, Zouk Singapore. XT1 with 16-55mm lens, F2.8 at 1/60 second

Yours truly and the 16-55mm lens. Image by Charlene Winfred.

Yours truly and the 16-55mm lens. Image by Charlene Winfred.

Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 – more pictures, read the 2nd part here.

 

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Trans Metro Expresshttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/05/trans-metro-express/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2015/01/05/trans-metro-express/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 14:18:12 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6073 Samuel André Madsen, Trans Metro Express, Strøm 2014

Samuel André Madsen meets a wolf, Trans Metro Express, Strøm 2014

How to create a Rave on a Train: You take a Copenhagen Metro train. Then you load it with Funktion One speakers and lots of other lovely gear. Next you fill it to the max with festival punters, who dance, smile, drink and jump up and down threatening to make the train leave the tracks. Most importantly of all: You have electronic musicians perform live while the train runs. The end result is Trans Metro Express, a classic event in the Strøm festival in Copenhagen.

Trans Metro Express ran for it’s 6th time this year during Strøm festival in August 2014, a remarkable feat. There is really nothing quite like it. A metro train transformed into a music venue. The music performed is composed and performed by the musicians to match the ever changing surroundings. Staring out the windows we pass big modern structures of glass and metal, go through tunnels, stop at stations while listening to a loud soundtrack tailored to our journey – sometimes slow, chill and dreamy, sometimes banging. At times the crowd will be jumping so much it feels like the train will leave the tracks.

The train makes two trips back and forth on the present Copenhagen Metro lines which gives 4 different musicians a change to soundtrack one of the legs of the journey. The event usually lasts 2-3 hours as stops at stations are much longer than normal – people literally spill out the doors when they open and it takes time to get everyone inside again. The train runs normal service, which lends itself to amusing scenes at the stations when the train stops and people on the platform encounter a pumping jumping raving train! Trans Metro Express is open for everyone, a normal Metro ticket is all that’s required. I have not come across any event in the world like this. It is a unique blend of magic, movement, music, claustrophobia, overheating and fun!  At the best of times, Trans Metro Express creates a holistic experience where the setting, the music, the movement, the atmosphere and the view of the city all come together.

Beat Poet Groove - BeatPoetGroove-6 copy

Trans Metro Express, Strøm 2012

 

A trainload of happy people at Trans Metro Express 2014

A trainload of happy people at Trans Metro Express 2014

Northern Structures at Trans Metro Express 2013

Northern Structures at Trans Metro Express 2013

Ametsub at Trans Metro Express 2013

Ametsub at Trans Metro Express 2013

Photography

I have photographed Trans Metro Express 3 years in a row for the festival. It seems the events gets more popular and more packed every year! It is almost impossible to move around after takeoff so it helps to have done it before, know where I want to shoot from and hold that ground for a while till I get my shot. Then try to move during stops at stations – usually involves jumping out of the train, running to the next door and trying to squeeze in! Having small cameras like my Fujis are a great help. Also, stay frosty, you never know when something awesome such as the wolf in the first picture pops up. Fortunately when that wolf ad appeared on the wall of the tunnel at Nørrebro station I was standing right in my favourite spot (like Sheldon would say, that’s my spot!).


Videos

There are many videos available about Trans Metro Express, and the videos do a great job of showing the atmosphere in the train. Check out these links:

http://youtu.be/lOUrdOkAUro

http://www.redbullstudios.com/copenhagen/videos/video-trans-metro-express-2014

http://www.aiaiai.dk/blog/trans-metro-express-2013

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A Road Worth Travellinghttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/29/a-road-worth-travelling/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/29/a-road-worth-travelling/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 15:20:42 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6058 The sun setting on the I-25 heading West from New Mexico towards Los Angeles. December 2014.

The sun setting on the I-25 heading West from New Mexico towards Los Angeles. December 2014.

“Every road has an end. Choose the one that is worth travelling!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

We spent 10,517 miles crisscrossing the entire Western half of the USA. Those 87 days of road tripping was a dream come true. That road ended 4 weeks ago and I miss the US like an addict without drugs. But must remember to keep choosing roads that are worth traveling and some day, soon, a road will lead back there.


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Finding Carl Jensenhttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/24/finding-carl-jensen/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/24/finding-carl-jensen/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:55:15 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=5740 With Christmas just a day away, I feel it is the perfect time to share this story. It is going to be rather long but it is a story I love deeply. The story of how I reconnected with the history of my great uncle Carl, who immigrated to the US in 1912. The story of how we found his grave. How we met and became friends with wonderful people who remembered him well and could relate many stories. And it is the story of how I got to play ping pong with a 72 year old cowboy.

Carl Jensen 1892 – 1967

Carl Jensen

Carl Jensen

My great uncle Carl (born Karl) was born in 1892 on our family farm, the same farm I grew up on 80 years later. For reasons not entirely known to us, he immigrated in 1912 to the USA. I am sure wanderlust had a big part in it, wanting to travel, to find a new life. He arrived in the US via the ferry and made his way to a small northeastern part of South Dakota, an area where many Norwegian and Danish immigrants had settled in the homesteading days.

After a while in South Dakota, he traveled around the US working on farms in several states. But he wrote that he always felt South Dakota was his home and he didn’t really know why he ever left South Dakota. He returned to live in Lake City, South Dakota in 1960 and lived there till he died in 1967.

He returned once to Denmark, for a year, in the early 1950s. My father has told me many times the wonderful story of how they’d heard rumours for a few months he might be on the way on the ferry. One rainy day, my 7 year old father saw a man get off the bus and start walking down the gravel road towards our farm. “He’s here, he’s here” my father cried out. My grandfather stepped outside the house. Then follows a magic moment described by my father as “they just stood there in the pouring rain, two brothers, shaking hands, not having seen each other for three decades”.

Carl hung around the farm in Denmark for a month (edit: a year) but I guess he missed his spiritual home and his friends in South Dakota, and one morning he was gone. He didn’t like goodbyes. He sent a postcard later that he was on the ferry back to the US. He never returned to Denmark again.

My dad was 7 years old at the time and only remembers little about him. My aunt was a few years older, but tells me she was to shy too talk much to him. So we do not know much about his life in the US, except through the letters he sent back over the years.

My aunt has done extensive research on his life in the US, and that is how we know where he lived his last years and where he is buried. We also knew he worked for the Damgaard family on their farm. For years, we have talked about how interesting it would be to actually get to South Dakota and see if the gravestone is still there and what else could be learned about his life. I have been to the US many times over the past 5 years but South Dakota has always been a bit too far away from where I was and I never had the time.

This time, for our 3 months US road trip starting in September 2014 Charlene and I made it our mission to get there. To drive halfway across the country from Los Angeles to Britton, South Dakota. To see if we could find traces of Carl.

Britton, South Dakota. September 2014

I gave up counting how many miles it is from Los Angeles to Britton, but Google Maps say around 1,700 miles. We took our time getting there, as the road is peppered with amazing sights such as Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. On the last day, driving from Rapid City to Britton, it felt like we would never get there. South Dakota is a lot of never ending farm land, you drive straight for an hour, turn 90 degrees, drive straight for another hour etc. Even shouting “Jooooooohn Deere” every time we saw a John Deere (many many!) got old. But, our direction proved true and our excitements high when we passed this sign:

Jensen Road in South Dakota

Jensen Road in South Dakota

Finally, the miles could be counted on two hands and then one (I wasn’t driving, so I could DJ and count miles!) and we arrived at Britton around sunset. We walked around the small town extremely excited, we had made it! The population of Britton is around 1,200 but not a soul was around on the Sunday evening we arrived. We soon learned why, as an armada of mosquitoes chased us around town until we found refuge and some insect repellent at the gas station.

The main road of Britton in dusk light. Sunday nights are quiet.

The main road of Britton in dusk light. Sunday nights are quiet.

Britton Library

We kicked off Monday morning at Britton Library. A few weeks earlier I had emailed them and Peggy from the library immediately replied with what proved to be essential information: She put me in contact with Neil Bien, grandson of the owner of the farm my great uncle worked for – more about this later. She also told us to drop by, she had the old newspapers on microfiche.

Peggy welcomed us at the library and found the old microfiche. I donned my reading glasses (those letters are small for old eyes!) and after intense searching I managed to find the eulogy in the Britton Journal from december 1967. This was a big moment, and it was to be just the very first of special moments during our 3 incredible days in Britton, South Dakota.

Even Jedi's need reading glasses to read a micro film! (Image by Charlene Winfred)

Even Jedi’s need reading glasses to read a micro film! Image by Charlene Winfred

Carl’s gravestone

High on the success of finding the eulogy, we drove a few miles outside of town to the Britton cemetery. After consulting the “directory” in the small chapel at the cemetery the correct lot was easily found. And I then found family history:

Found: Family history. The tombstone of my great uncle Carl.

Found: Family history. The gravestone of my great uncle Carl. Picture by Charlene Winfred.

Carl’s gravestone was in perfect condition and found on the Damgaard family lot. Apparently Carl and the Damgaards were very good friends as well, Carl’s stone is right next to Godtfred and Jensena Damgaards gravestone.

I had never given it any thought, how I would react when I saw the gravestone. Standing there, kneeling down, looking at Carl’s name and our family name Jensen. It was a moving moment. I always felt a certain connection to Carl, not that I knew him of course, but I connected to the stories about him. The wanderlust, traveling to the USA, looking for a new life, new adventures. All feelings I relate to. The gravestone was physical proof I had found Carl. I had found family history. But the days in Britton were just getting started.

The Damgaards and the Bien family

Peggy from the Britton Library kindly pointed me towards the Bien family, she mentioned they were descendants of the Damgaard family. One of the first nights on the road after leaving Los Angeles, I call Neil Bien. After just mentioning Carl’s name, Neil immediately says “oh yes I remember him, he was a wonderful man”. I was stunned, I had actually found a person who remembers my great uncle, something I just never had imagined possible. Neil immediately invites us to visit when we get to Britton.

Ben Steals The Show

Lyle Bien taking us on a tour - his dog Ben stealing every shot, and everyone's hearts!

Lyle Bien taking us on a tour – his dog Ben stealing every shot, and everyone’s hearts! Picture by Charlene Winfred.

Lyle Bien is the brother of Neil and the first of the Bien’s we meet as Neil is out of town on the Monday. Lyle has prepared a wonderful tour for us of the whole countryside around Britton, a tour so awesome I really believe Lyle could start a tour company.

Lyle brought his dog Ben along, and well, in 2 seconds he took over and stole the show for the rest of the day. Ben is gorgeous and a movie star, as he perfectly poses himself in every shot. Ben is charming, in a heartbeat Charlene falls in love and wants to adopt Ben. Lyle – and Ben – takes us around to where Carl’s house used to be:

Standing where Carl's house used to be.

Standing where Carl’s house used to be.

 

Carl in front of his house

Carl in front of his house and car.

Looking at over the fields from across where Carl's house was. The landscape is amazingly similar to where I - and Carl was born - in Denmark. It feels so familiar.

The following day, me looking at over the fields from across where Carl’s house was. The landscape is amazingly similar to where I – and Carl was born – in Denmark.

We spend the next 3 hours learning about the history of The Damgaards, the Biens and a lot of other families in the area. Lyle is a treasure trove of amazing stories and I could listen to him for days. All of this history, of which my great uncle was a part of, become very much alive through Lyle. One thing that strikes me is how similar the landscape looks to where I grew up. This would have looked very familiar to Carl. Through Lyle’s perfect timing of his tour, we end on the highest peak in the area to witness the sun set.

Ben steals the show again and is the best looking guy in the picture!

Ben steals the show again and is the best looking guy in the picture! Picture by Charlene Winfred.

I look out over the rolling hills and wonder how many times Carl stood here

I look out over the rolling hills and wonder how many times Carl stood here. Picture by Charlene Winfred.

Two days later, Neil Bien is back in town, so we are excited, we get go out to the Bien farm and meet Neil and his wife Muriel. Neil is the oldest of the grandchildren of Gotfred Damgaard and therefore remembers Carl well.

We start the day with a little tour of the ‘museum’ on the farm. The Bien’s have collected a lot of stuff over the years from days past including an impressive collection of vintage John Deere tractors! I get to try my hand at using a cream-milk-seperator machine, the very same machine Carl used! My years of training in growing up on a farm comes in handy here, observe the expert in action:

My great uncle Carl used to use this machine every day.

My great uncle Carl used to use this machine every day. Picture by Charlene Winfred

Neil poses with his grandfather's old leather saddle. Picture by Charlene Winfred.

Neil poses with his grandfather’s old leather saddle. Picture by Charlene Winfred.

Neil and Muriel takes us on another fantastic tour of the area. The Bien farm itself is quite a tour, 1500 cattle and 8,000 acres. We even get to taste the cattle! For dinner we have home grown angus steak burgers, that are absolutely fantastic. After dinner, it’s time for a little game of ping pong and pinball as the rec room in the house is very well equipped. I am fairly ok at ping pong but Neil turns out to be really good. I have to work really hard, and I only beat him as I am a bit more mobile. Cowboys can play ping pong!

Neil making me work really hard to beat him at ping pong. Picture by Charlene

Neil making me work really hard to beat him at ping pong. Picture by Charlene

Charlene breaking records on the pin ball machine.

Charlene breaking records on the pin ball machine.

I'm the one with the antlers!

I’m the one with the antlers!

A new family in South Dakota

Going to Britton was always an uncertainty. After a week of travel, we had no idea what we would find, if anything at all. Sitting at Carl’s gravestone was by itself a deeply moving experience and a slice of magic. But not only did I find a big chunk of family history, the Biens warmly welcomed Charlene and I into their lives and homes. I feel like I now have new family in South Dakota. After a few days I think the whole town of Britton knew who we were and why we were there. We’d meet a relative of Neil and Lyle and without any intro he’d jump straight into a story about Carl like “He had a dog, they used to fight over who got the sofa, the dog had sharper teeth and would win”. I will never forget these days in Britton and hope to return soon. Sometimes real magic happens!

Carl in front of his house and the Damgaard house in Britton, South Dakota

Carl in front of his house and the Damgaard house in Britton, South Dakota

CW-Birtton-09248

Carl’s grave as we get ready to leave Britton again. Picture by Charlene

 


Thanks

My aunt Solveig did a great job researching the family history, and without all the information and pictures she supplied this could never have happened. I just went there, she did all the work.  Charlene was a huge support and catalyst, her excitement, the energy she poured into it, it was all instrumental in making this happen. And she documented every day in awesome pictures (and stole a dog’s heart and vice versa!).

Neil and Muriel, Lyle (and Ben!) Bien were absolutely wonderful, you guys are all my new family in South Dakota. Thank you so much for everything you did for me and Charlene, I cannot express how much I value and appreciate it. I cannot wait till we can return and spend more time with you.

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Questlove in sessionhttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/15/portraits-of-questlove/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/15/portraits-of-questlove/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 13:30:55 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=6005
Questlove

Questlove

Questlove at the decks

Questlove at the decks

Crowd loves it

Crowd ecstacy 

Questlove at the decks

Questlove at the decks

Some rather famous friends of Questlove on stage.

Some rather famous friends of Questlove are on stage.

Crowd worshipped Questlove

Crowd worshipped every second of Questlove’s set

Questlove played one of the best DJ sets I have ever heard, it was two hours of total funkyness. I had a hard time standing still to shoot images, beats were begging my body to groove, jump and dance. All images captured at Red Bull Music Academy presents: Vanguard Late Night at Club Vega in Copenhagen, august 2014.

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My Singapore Life – Johnny Depp at the barber shophttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/12/my-singapore-life-johnny-depp-at-the-barber-shop/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/12/my-singapore-life-johnny-depp-at-the-barber-shop/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 02:32:42 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=5989 FlemmingBoJensen-blog-Singapore-barber-6960

“You look like Johnny Depp!”. The guys at my local barber shop in Tampines, Singapore, sure know how to make a customer feel good! Landing in Singapore 5 days ago, I was in desperate need for shorter and less sweaty length of hair on my head and ran down to my local Malay barbers. I guess the haircut was priority one, but really I was secretly hoping for more of the – wildly untrue – but awesome compliments.

“I have never cut blond hair before” my barber excitedly told me the first time I went to Sri Aduka Men Hairdressing Salon back in february. They do not see a lot of blonde tall Scandinavians in this neighbourhood. Actually I have been known to cause traffic accidents. At Sri Aduka I cause people to gather around outside trying to peek in without me noticing. It is all part of the fun Sri Aduka experience. And then there is the haircut itself. The 7 or so Malay guys working here are true hair artists, creating intricate work using scissors, razors, clippers – and compliments! Every hair is studied, compared to the picture I am holding up on my iphone, and cut to perfection. I have had 4-5 haircuts here and it is some of the best haircuts ever. The price? A grand total of $10 Singapore dollars (7 USD). And best of all – they still call me Johnny Depp.

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10,517 mileshttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/08/10517-miles/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/12/08/10517-miles/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 10:46:21 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=5985 Charlene hanging out in a closed down frozen-in-time burger place on Route 66 in Needles, California.

Charlene hanging out in a closed down frozen-in-time burger place on Route 66 in Needles, California.

10, 517 miles. 12 states. 7 national parks. Thousands of pictures taken. Thousands of tunes DJed in the car. And a countless number of Subway sandwiches and burgers consumed. It is almost impossible to believe that our 87 days of road tripping through basically most of the western half of the USA is over. One day later and I already miss it like crazy. The freedom, the open road, the gorgeous landscapes. Every day a new horizon, exploring the unknown. We shall weave some magic. We shall return soon.

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The Serenity of the New Mexican Wide Open Spacehttp://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/11/30/the-serenity-of-the-new-mexican-wide-open-space/ http://flemmingbojensen.com/blog/2014/11/30/the-serenity-of-the-new-mexican-wide-open-space/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 01:21:20 +0000 http://flemmingbojensen.com/?p=5978 Charlene looking out over the grand El Malpais landscape in New Mexico.

Charlene looking out over the grand El Malpais landscape in New Mexico.

The Wide Open Spaces of New Mexico. Ahhhhh the serenity. I am going to miss this so much after 4 weeks of living in magical Santa Fe, New Mexico. I first came here in 2010 and have been drawn back again and again. It becomes ever harder to leave. Must make possible a way to stay.

Image captured at El Malpais, the badlands in New Mexico on a trip with Brian Miller. Fuji X-T1, 18mm f/2.0 lens, classic chrome film simulation.

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