Last month I took a quick photography trip to our manufacturing facility in Tecate, Mexico. The previous shoot at the Oregon facility must have been impressive enough that co-worker Natasha and I are now on a piecemeal tour to capture companywide operations.
The Tecate trip was quick and stuffed to the brim - we were managing both video production and photography and had less than two full days onsite. Due to time constraints and language barrier I concentrated on a documentary style rather than the editorial style poses of the previous shoot. I do wish we had more time, I would have loved to explore the area a bit and interact with the beautiful people of Tecate!
BorrowLenses.com came through for us again, delivering quite a set of boxes to a FedEx pickup spot in SanDiego: Support and monitor gear for video production, a Fiilex 301 LED lighting kit, the Fuji XF 55-200mm zoom and the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 prime. We each brought some of our own gear as well, Natasha's Canon XA20 for video, and for photography my Fuji X-E1, Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 prime, the Fuji XF 18-55mm zoom lens, a few speed lights and modifiers. We packed it all into our rental car and headed across the border.
I spent the first day onsite shooting with Natasha's video camera on a slider rig, creating a bit of dramatic lighting where I could with the Fiilex lights. Natasha was always a step ahead, scoping out the next setup and keeping an eye on our shot list. I'm looking forward to seeing what she edits together from our video setups! It was only in the second day that we moved into photo mode - heading back over the U.S. border that afternoon.
The Tecate facility is beautiful - clean and bright with huge south facing windows. Fuji's XF 55-200mm zoom lens really shined in this environment. This was the first time I have used this particular lens, and clearly Fuji has made another excellent piece of glass! It's fast for a zoom, sharp, and even with strong backlighting I never saw any fringing.
Another treat was shooting with the Fiilex K301 light kit. These are high power LED continuous lights which can be easily tuned to any color temperature, no need to hang gels. I selected this kit for the video shoot but also put the lights to great use in our photography work. Even with the bright natural sunlight inside this facility the Fiilex P360 fixtures pumped out enough light to add some dramatic contrast. They are easy to set and don't heat up, there is no need to let them cool down before moving. Barn doors help flag light spill, while intensity and color temperature are dialed easily from the back of each fixture. It was what-you-see-is-what-you-get lighting, and that was perfect for quickly adding a little kick to our documentary style shoot.
At dusk I tried my hand at a bit of light painting - and it worked! I became a human powered flood light, stopping at different points around the factory building, pointing the speedlight and having Natasha trigger a shot from the Fuji X-E1 and Zeiss Touit 12mm set up across the street. The YN RF-603 triggers worked well for this setup, though range did become a bit of an issue at the furthest parts of the building. The exposures combined perfectly in Photoshop, and poof, there's a nicely lit building! Nothing dramatic here, it is just a manufacturing facility after all, some convenient dramatic clouds would have been nice, and I forgot to ask the building staff to leave interior lights on, but I'm happy enough with he results. And there was no signage on the building at the time, so that was 'shopped in afterward. Looking forward to trying this technique some more on future shoots!
Interested in the Fuji X System? You might want to check out these articles: http://www.adrielhenderson.com/fuji-x-tech