The GF20-35mm experience (part IV)

Behind the scenes photoshoot feat. Angelina Rakova

This last session that was featured in Fujifilm’s testimonial video took place in probably the most famous landmark in Toulouse. I’ve worked there a couple times now, but unlike other places, I still enjoy creating images there. We had the place to ourselves, I would have loved staying a bit longer that morning (but that’s always the case)… but we still had enough time to make some pretty cool images there.



If you missed the first 3 sessions:

The GF20-35mm experience (part I)
The GF20-35mm experience (part II)
The GF20-35mm experience (part III)

Angelina Rakova is back, and unlike the first session we did together we were not affected by the weather that day. Something I didn’t tell you in the behind the scenes video of our first outdoor session made with this GF 20 35mm lens. Because of the rain, we had to postpone our 1st session. For this one on the other hand, we were safe.


We worked indoors, and they facilitated our access to the building. I still only brought 1 strobe with me. I wanted a compact set up that morning because we had to move fast in between scenes.


So I didn’t have the Godox parabolic but the Godox QR P120 with the grid. I wanted control and a bit of freedom at the same time. Knowing the place, I knew I wanted to accentuate the strong red color in some scenes with a red outfit. But I also wanted to go the opposite way and play with color contrast with a green dress. And I did my usual dress extension shots with a fabric I almost always bring with me when I know the color red will be in play.


Angelina Rakova (Capitole de Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s + GF 20-35 mm F4 R WR

1/125sec f/4 ISO 500 at 24mm



Angelina Rakova (Capitole de Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s + GF 20-35 mm F4 R WR

1/400sec f/6.4 ISO 100 at 30mm




Gear wise we are again with the Fujifilm GFX100s and the GF20-35mm lens. Being able to suck most of my environnement in my images is something I love. It works well with places like these. Nothing fancy with my light placements, the only challenge was to find the right balance between the amount of details I wanted to keep from the windows when they were visible and the right amount of ambient light inside. I hate using the word “right” because I believe this is subjective. Some would easily let the windows blow out, others would want to keep all the details visible outdoors. I kept a window in the shot only twice, the rest of the time they were barely visible.


Angelina Rakova (Capitole de Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s + GF 20-35 mm F4 R WR

1/100sec f/4 ISO 50 at 20mm



For some images I did photograph empty plates and even took separate additional photos where I lit other parts of my scene that I wanted to emphasize or that I found too dark. Just in case… we never know what could be needed in post.


Angelina Rakova (Capitole de Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s + GF 20-35 mm F4 R WR

1/125sec f/4 ISO 640 at 20mm


Side by side 2 similar images that were made differently. One of the 2 is a combination of 2 different images merged together where I changed the position of my light for one of the shots to better expose the statue placed on the right. For the other photo I just used the dodge & burn technique to highlight specific parts of the image. 2 different approaches, is there one better… What I can say is that one is obviously easier and faster to make.



Now you know...

This is the one where I merged 2 different photos!



Angelina Rakova (Capitole de Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s + GF 20-35 mm F4 R WR

1/160sec f/4 ISO 500 at 26mm



I was only using one light. Composition on most of the shots was my priority, so I had to find a way to get my light right with what I had.


Angelina Rakova (Capitole de Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s + GF 20-35 mm F4 R WR

1/125sec f/4 ISO 640 at 26mm



This session is also the only one where I had to really battle with the sun. I only brought the AD600 pro that day, so for those of you who still wonder if this strobe is powerful enough… Well it is, and in a lot of situations.


Angelina Rakova (Capitole de Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s + GF 20-35 mm F4 R WR

1/125sec f/4 ISO 640 at 20mm



What a fun ride! I really loved it. While filming that video for Fujifilm I knew I would want longer versions of each session. Their videos are usually really short packed with a lot of images, so it’s really hard to really understand what's going on and how things were done.

Friday October 7 I will be at the Salon de la photo in Paris for a new workshop with Fujifilm this time. If you are in Paris, come by and say hi!


The GF20-35mm experience (part II)
The GF20-35mm experience (part III)
The GF20-35mm experience (part IV)