Rafael’s New Portable Photography Kit

Together, Rafael and I have been taking photos for five years now. Throughout our photo adventures, Rafael and I have shot in all kinds of lighting situations. On our very first date back in February of 2010, he used his high beams to light up my face to take portrait photos of me at night. It was quite the first impression. Once at a restaurant, him and a photo buddy used a napkin as a diffuser to create softer and more complimentary lighting. Always using our surroundings, we have tried to adapt and have fun with the available light in our environment. Throughout his photo journey for the last five years since I’ve known him, Rafael has used a Canon 5d Mark2, and a Canon 5d Mark3. When we weren’t using cell phones or street lights to light up a scene, we were also using traditional flashes, of course. It wasn’t until the end of last year when Rafael and I started using the Knog Qudos Action and the Knog Expose, when our lighting experience would change forever. When Rafael bought the Fujifilm X100T  in February, our photo experience would change as well, and all for the better.

When we first started using Knog lights, I was quite impressed at how versatile the light was, and how handy it would come in various situations on my outings with Rafael. I was amazed at how compact lighting can work in ways someone such as myself would least expect. Here were these tiny little gadgets giving off a impressive amount of light. If there’s one thing that Rafael has taught me, it’s that lighting can really go a long way when used properly, and can produce great results in enhancing any photograph. Once Rafael started using the Fujifilm X100T, the results were quite stunning when combined with the Knog lights.

DTLA
DTLA

WORDS FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER

The Fujifilm x100T combined with the Knog Qudos Action and the Knog Expose has to be the most portable set up I’ve ever had in my ten years as a photographer. With the Fujifilm hanging from my left shoulder, and the Knog lights in the back pockets of my Levi Commuter jacket, I was finally able to venture the streets and walk around without the need for a backpack to carry flashes, triggers, extra batteries, and other necessary photo accessories during China Town’s New Year Lunar Festival in February. Throughout the day, I simply had to reach in my pocket and pull out the Qudos to light up my seen while I set the light down somewhere. I also used the Knog Expose Smart Light for the iPhone to light my subjects. Lighting and photo set up only took me about a minute for each shot, and another couple of minutes to get the photos I really wanted.

The incredible versatility for photographic use of the Knog Qudos has me feeling like a kid again with a brand new toy. This has made shooting so much fun the past couple of months. I still haven’t tried every challenge I can think of for this light, but so far I have tried throwing it on a light stand with an umbrella to diffuse the light, I’ve put it on a gorilla pod and hung it on a tree branch, and I have even incorporated street signs and a couple of handrails. 


CHINATOWN’S 116TH ANNUAL GOLDEN DRAGON PARADE & NEW YEAR’S FESTIVAL

Our friend's Brenda (left) and Sam (right)
Our friend’s Brenda (left) and Sam (right)
Sam enjoying the confetti party and her Lollicup
Sam enjoying the confetti party and her Lollicup
Spotting Jesus
Spotting Jesus

THE LAST BOOKSTORE & DTLA 

The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore

Knog Qudos setup. 
Knog Qudos setup. 

WORDS FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER CONTINUED…

The packaging for the Qudos includes a tripod mount/hot-shoe mount, which alone can allow you to prop up the light on any flat surface as I have done in the photo above by letting it sit on a bookshelf. In the other image below, it’s propped up on the floor.

The pure enjoyment I get from picking up and shooting with the Fujifilm X100T is the satisfaction I’ve been missing from not having experience with any 35mm ragefinder. You get full manual control of your  F-stop using the aperture ring on the lens, and the shutter speed dial on the top right with the exposure compensation dial right beside it. This allows me to slow down while shooting images and really take in my surroundings as well as the composition, while I change my exposure settings and wait for the right moment to capture the image. When I shoot with a 5D Mark3 with a battery grip and an L series lens, it can get pretty heavy and tend to intimidate people with its size. Since the Fujifilm X100T is a much smaller, mirror-less camera, it allows me to become less noticeable, therefore in turn, less intimidating because people might mistake it for a less-threatening basic point and shoot. Due to its size, I feel more confident that I will now be able to sneak this camera into places that I’ve only ever been able to use my smart phone in.

Aside from the size, the camera has a leaf shutter, as well as an electronic shutter which makes the camera very quiet when shooting. The equivalent of a 35mm lens paired with the F 2.0 aperture makes shooting at night hassle-free. The built-in wifi feature let’s Nicolette and I share our photos instantly on our social media accounts. It also allows us to control the camera remotely.


Shot with the Qudos
Shot with the Qudos

Time and time again Rafael never ceases to amaze me with his photographic abilities and ingenuity. He has taught me to open my eyes to my surroundings and really take in all the details. I am still learning of course, but it’s always fun to assist him with weddings or other fun events, and of course continue to act as his muse and subject whenever we’re out together. We love the X100T and our Knog lights. I can’t wait to continue to share more photos!


Overview

WHY DO I NEED A KNOG LIGHT?

  • Portability
  • Innovative Design
  • For Videographers
  • For Photographers (of course)
  • Bluetooth Capability (Knog Expose Smart)
  • Waterproof (Qudos Action)
  • Perfect Selfie-lighting every time (Especially with the Knog Expose Smart)
  • Qudos can be partnered up with Go Pro, Sony Action cameras, DSLR’S
  • Adjust brightness levels.

If you love to cycle, they also have lights for cyclists!

If you’re looking for more reasons to invest in a Fujifilm X100T, they have detailed information of their key features here.

All photographs by Rafael Hernandez

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