Damien Lovegrove is considered by many to be one of the worlds most influential contemporary photographers. He is best known for creating portraits that make women look fabulous. He is a confident director and great fun to shoot with too. Damien’s lighting style is distinctive and his picture composition unique.
Damien is an official Fujifilm UK ambassador and a renowned Fuji X-Photographer.
It was in May 2012 that I ditched my SLRs for a Fuji X-Pro1 and the three prime lenses it launched with. From day one I utilised the mirrorless advantage to leap ahead of my competition. I had been using a Fuji X100 fixed lens camera for a year integrating it into my workflow alongside my SLRs and I loved the pictures I captured with it so the leap to mirrorless was a gentle one for me.
The Fujifilm X-T2 is the camera I’ve been waiting for. It’s no surprise it’s here but what I love most is that the consultation period with X-Photographers has delivered a camera that is spot on mechanically. Everything that could have been improved on the X-T1 from the dial locks to the tilting screen has been perfected on the X-T2.
The Fuji X-Pro1 gave me mirrorless shooting and it rekindled my passion for photography. The X-T1 gave me the extra usability I craved, The X-Pro2 took the image file to the next level and brought the technical specification of the X system bang up to date. Now the the Fujifilm X-T2 has brought it all together and raised the bar again. The sum of all the tweaks and changes in this new camera make a huge difference and leave me not wanting more.
The Fuji X-T2 features that I love the most:
• The locking buttons on the ISO and Shutter speed dials combined with the higher profile work perfectly. Being able to lock the dials in any position is genius.
• The bi-directional tilting screen is wonderful. It’s a must for a portrait photographer.
• The camera size and weight are spot on. The ultra reliable and compact W126 battery has been retained. The weight of the camera in the hand is really important to me. I never want my photography to feel like a chore again.
• The media door has a newly designed latch that is really secure.
• The joystick to move the focus position makes the shooting process faster.
• The 1/250th second flash sync is welcome and is the new setting for all my studio flash working.
I team the Fuji X-T2 with the fast primes because I love a shallow depth of field combined with absolute resolution. A prime lens is lighter on the camera than the equivalent zoom and this suits my way of shooting well. I have the XF16mm f/1.4, XF23mm f/1.4, XF35mm f/1.4, XF56mm f/1.2, and the XF90mm f/2 lenses. There are times when a telephoto zoom is the perfect lens for a shoot and I use the XF50-140mm or the XF100-400mm lenses depending upon the assignment. The zooms offer optical image stabilisation and this really comes into its own at longer focal lengths.
And the results?
I had planned this first sequence of shots about a year ahead of the shoot. I bought the dresses from an Asian manufacturer via the internet and I transported them to the USA in my luggage. The location is in the high deserts of Arizona, USA. I used the XF100-400mm and XF50-140mm lenses to compress the perspective. These frames were all lit with natural sunlight.
I spent 12 days touring the USA and in that time I shot about 5000 frames on the Fuji X-T2.
Since then I’ve added another 4000 frames in Europe to my camera testing routine. The camera feels just right in the hand and there is nothing I would change about the mechanics of the build.