Interviews

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Laurie Davison: Chasing Waterfalls in Tasmania

Australia strip BLACK

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Remote Area, NE Tasmania” by Laurie Davison, taken with Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mmF4

We are excited to introduce Laurie Davison as the next X-Thusiast featured photographer for October 2016.

Hailing from North West Tasmania, Laurie enjoys capturing the hidden depths of nature along the Western Tiers and Tarkine wilderness with his Fujifilm X-T1 and, more recently, X-T2.

 

Let’s start with the basics: Where is home? What are your hobbies? What inspires you from day to day?

My home is the North West of Tasmania. There, my hobbies include amateur radio, bushwalking and of course, photography. My inspiration mainly comes from the beauty of nature and adventurous bushwalks, especially rainforests, mountain streams and waterfalls.

 

How did you develop an interest in photography? How did you learn and develop your craft?

I have always had an interest in photography but it never really took off until after the workload eased off, so I honestly consider myself a novice, having only started with enthusiasm around four years ago.

My interest developed from the wish to record all the waterfalls my wife and I would visit on our bush walks. The learning basically came from experience, experimentation and the desire to improve the quality of shots. I would see photographs I liked taken by others (not necessarily well-known photographers), and I would try and emulate what I had seen. It was pretty rough for a while (still is at times), but over time, things improved and I’m still learning today without winging it quite so much.

 

Do you have a particular photographic style? If so, what would you consider that to be?

I wouldn’t call it a particular style, but I try and present my own interpretation of what I see. Although, over time, I have tried to emulate other styles and incorporate some of that into my photos. I still try and produce an end result that I am pleased with—one that is not necessarily tagged with fads of time. I like to try and keep it reasonably natural except where flowing water is involved … I prefer a longer exposure on waterfall shots.

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“Liffey Falls section” by Laurie Davison, taken with Fujifilm XT-1 + XF10-24mmF4

 

What’s your favourite location to shoot in Australia? What’s your favourite subject to shoot in general?

I really do have a mad affair with the Western Tiers and the Tarkine in Tasmania. In saying that, I also really appreciate anything along the eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range. My favourite subjects are without a doubt waterfalls of any size, shape and form.

Consider your favourite or most memorable Fujifilm photograph. Where was it taken, how was it shot and what does this photo mean to you?

I really don’t have a favourite, but the shots that mean the most to me are probably the shots that have been the hardest to obtain, such as remote areas that take a real effort to reach.

To me, it’s about the whole trip from start to finish, and there is something about looking at a photograph and recalling the complete journey.

 

What’s your favourite X Series camera? Why do you prefer that particular model?

The X-T2. I have the X-T1 as well, and it has taught me a lot, but the new X-T2 is like the X-T1 on steroids.
For years I lugged about a DSLR full-frame kit and to be honest, it’s not getting any easier as I get older, so that is why I looked at the lighter mirrorless systems. I tried a few and eventually settled on the Fujifilm system as I found myself more at ease with it. It’s more or less not much different to operating the familiar DSLR—not having to dive into menus all the time to change settings for me is a real plus. Those dials at your fingertips is the way it should be.

 

Which Fujinon lens(es) do you prefer?

I prefer the XF10-24mmF4, as it suits the environment I am usually in. Quite often I’m not in a situation where I can back up with a prime to fit it all in, and when I do have the room I can be flexible. It really fits in well and is my go-to lens 95 percent of the time.

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Lavender fields, Northern Tasmania” by Laurie Davison, taken with Fujifilm XT-1 + XF10-24mmF4

Could you describe your photographic workflow? Do you prefer any third-party, post-processing software, camera accessories or community networks to develop and share your work?

I try and keep the bulk of my workflow simple, confining it to using Lightroom with the odd time utilising the use of Photoshop CC. To me, it’s another steep learning curve at the moment as I have only started using the latter in recent months. If I have something special as a one-off to work on, then I will use CaptureOne as I find it and the Fujifilm RAW files work well together.

 

Do you have any additional final thoughts regarding Fujifilm X Series? Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to share for other photographers out there pursuing their craft?

I’m just glad that Fujifilm keeps updating our cameras with regular firmware improvements. Other cameras I have owned certainly didn’t see as regular updates and this possibly held them back a little. Now I know I have the latest in technology available.

As far as tips are concerned, the best I can offer is to learn as much about the camera you’re using as possible. Get to know it inside out. With the photography part itself, just do what you love and keep learning. Your passion will eventually show through in the results. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the people you admire and look up to because most are only too willing to lend a hand. Most of all, have fun doing it.

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“Cascades on the Western Tiers” by Laurie Davison, taken with Fujifilm XT-1 + XF10-24mmF4

To see more of Laurie’s work, you can follow him on Instagram at @ljdphotos.

If you, or someone you know in Australia, is interested in joining our X-Thusiast community, check out the full X-Thusiast Gallery and Submission details here.

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