Hi. My name is Levi. I'm the brand new Chief Creative Officer at Cladwell, and I want to share with you a few things we believe. And then we'll get to the photos.
We believe that people are valuable. This is not contingent on their clothing or their style, it's inherit to being a human. But because there is so much pressure from the style industry to look and feel a certain way, there is a ton of shame heaped on people who don't fit the "perceived ideal." Cladwell is doing our part to fight those voices that are saying "you're not doing it right." It’s hard enough to pick out clothes to wear, so it doesn’t make sense for us to also push people to aspire to a life they can’t live.
So here's what you can expect from Cladwell--and from me--starting with this post: attainable, relatable, genuine, authentic imagery of real people doing real things wearing real clothes in the real world.
These are some photos I snapped of valuable people on the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio in the month of October. (Photographers, see the nerd notes at the bottom of this post)
If you find yourself in Cincinnati, keep an eye out for me. I may just ask to take a photo of your outfit.
Nerd notes: All photos were taken in natural light with a stock Fuji x100s with no lens attachments (except for the cover photo. That was iPhone 6s). For street photos I like to set my shutter speed and ISO to auto. In the camera menu I set a base ISO of 800*** and a max of 6400 with a minimum shutter speed of 1/80. I then control the exposure by having manual control over the aperture and exposure compensation. If my shutter speed creeps too high, I'll adjust by either using the built-in ND filter (which I've mapped to the top function button) or by stopping down my aperture. I love the look of f/2.8 through f/5.6 with this camera. That's my personal "sweet spot." Unless I'm shooting into the sun, I'll keep my metering on Multi, but I'll switch to Spot if I need the control. Of course I'm shooting RAW--like a gentleman--so I can usually push or pull a couple stops of exposure if I reeeeeally need it. I will typically shoot in AF-S, but with the focus area being dead center. I focus and meter at the same time (typically on the person's face), and then frame it up. With as fast as I try to be (out of respect for a stranger whose time I'm using) I need to get better at this step. The theme here is finding a balance between speed and beauty, and my camera and its settings can help me get there. Your mileage may vary, and probably should. I love having civil and nerdy conversations about gear and methods. I'm always learning. If you've read this far, let's talk. firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Instagram: @levibethune
*** One of our readers, Mark, reached out to me and asked this really great question:
I wanted to ask why your base ISO is 640? Wouldn't a lower setting like 100 be ideal for noise reduction, and also for keeping your shutter speed in check (as you stated that is sometimes an issue)?
Ah! Thank you you Mark. First, I realized I misspoke. I typed 640 when it's actually 800. And here's why: One important note I forgot to mention in my write-up is that I have Dynamic Range turned on at 400%, which really helps control highlights and--because I'm shooting RAW--gives me about 3 stops to work with in post. That setting automatically throttles the base ISO so that the sensor can capture that extra information in both directions. I'm certainly taking a hit on noise, but I'm gaining some latitude on exposure, so that is a sacrifice I'm willing to make. (Plus, I have grown to appreciate the noise pattern from this sensor.) BUT, only because I'm trying to snap 4 solid set-ups in about 30 seconds. If I had the luxury of time and environment, then I would certainly turn DR off, and slam my base ISO as low as RAW would let me (200). I would still use Auto ISO. I love how Fuji designed that feature. Thanks Mark.