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Capturing Carolers- Event shooting with the Fujifilm X100 series.



Carolers from Cavanaugh's 2016 (Fujifilm X100t)

Carolers from Cavanaughs 2016 (Fujifilm X100t)


Every December on the second weekend of the month, my lovely wife and I participate in a rather, em convivial, Christmas event, the annual caroling trip run by Cavanaugh’s Grille, which is our local pub.

It’s a non-paying gig, but nonetheless an interesting photographic opportunity, given the colorful holiday clothing, the festive spirit, and the inevitable breakdown in inhibitions as the night proceeds.


Don`t even Ask (Fujifilm X100s)

For you see, the trip`s premise is that we will visit and sing in most of the other pubs in the area. And professional singers these folks are not. They do know a thing or two about pubs, however.

Outside the Dorrance Inn (Fujifilm X100s)

The other local pubs are welcoming and appreciative as you might expect when 40-50 or so thirsty customers show up on a sleepy winter evening. They will often provide us with offerings of food and spirits.

At Damenti`s (Fujifilm X100)

At Damenti`s (Fujifilm X100)


Over the years I have utilized the X100 series to shoot the event, and they have never let me down. The combination of the fast 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens, the excellent low light capability, the quiet shutter and unobtrusive form, work perfectly. My only wish would be weather sealing, given the likelihood of a splash or spill as the night proceeds.

How Trouble Starts (Fujifilm X100s)

How Trouble Starts (Fujifilm X100s)




























As with shooting any event, it pays to scout the venue(s). Knowing the bartender helps, particularly if you need to have them bump up the light level a bit. As we tend to visit the same institutions each year, I have come to know which spots in each place produce good lighting for images.

Good Santa (Fujifilm X100t)

Good Santa (Fujifilm X100t)

We have a Santa on the trip who functions as our leader, sort of. If we enter a place where there are children with families, he tends to get pressed into service, reviewing their Christmas wishes. If only they could see him later that night…

Normal Santa (Fujifilm X100)



But I digress. With the X100s and t models, I leave the camera on RAW plus Jpg, with the auto ISO set to 6400, and try to keep the aperture at f2-2.2. This seems to work well. Where mixed color temps in the setting are unappealing or the light is low, I convert the images to black and white, which people seem to really like.

The Bus in Snow (Fujifilm X 100)

The Bus in Snow (Fujifilm X 100)

At the end, we repair back to Cavanaugh’s for the last thing people need…more drinks. Billy, the owner typically arranges to have food, and live music. Things then go rapidly downhill. The camera gear is put away as ethics demand.

As the Night Proceeds (Fujifilm X100s)




























As Christmas traditions go, it`s not exactly Currier and Ives.


It is, however, a whole lot of fun.


For additional images of  this and other Cavanaugh’s caroling trips throughout the years, visit my Smugmug site here