Interviews

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Michael Pilsworth

 

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Our first X-Thusiast featured photographer of 2017 is Michael Pilsworth, who hails from Western Australia and enjoys wedding landscape and coastal photography.

Let’s start with the basics, Michael. Where are you from? What are your hobbies? What are some important aspects of your life?

I’m lucky enough to live in the picturesque southwest of Western Australia, which has some of the most stunning coastlines in the world. For over 10 years my work was my hobby, as my wife and I photographed around 45 weddings per year. At each wedding, I would annoy my wife incessantly with the need to place the bride and groom “right over there on that rock” to photograph a spectacular sky and landscape — with the bride and groom, of course. After a change in direction due to a family situation in 2012, I became employed in a role in which I travel by road to most of Regional Western Australia, and now photograph those landscapes purely for enjoyment.

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“Little Beach, Albany-Western Australia” by Michael Pilsworth, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm – F22 – 10mm ISO200 – 27 seconds

How did you develop an interest in Fujifilm products? How would you describe your photographic style?

Carrying two Canon bodies and lenses for 10 to 12 hours a day at a wedding has some definite wear-and-tear effect. The last couple of years of wedding photography saw us change over from Canon to Fujifilm after reading how Australian wedding photographer James Day was enjoying the colour, focus, range, ease, benefits and style of the Fujifilm. I still placed brides and grooms “on top of that hill over there,” but what was produced from the Fujifilm had a different style altogether. Images were insanely crisper and cleaner, with zero focus issues, and incredible colour and depth. My wife – who culled, proofed and edited – found colour-correcting, tone and output of images were fast and accurate due to the Fujifilm capturing what we intended at the time.

What constitutes a good photograph for you? What inspires your photography?

Being a photographer in the southwest – with the calibre of nice blokes Christian Fletcher, Tony Hewitt and Ben Knapinski in my midst and as inspiration – forces you to take unique photographs. For me, capturing the different and the unusual is vital to keep mastering the unique image. I chase the setting sun in different locations from as far as Broome and Derby to farther south at Esperance. Although my wife tells me the sunrise is supremely more beautiful – I have yet to verify that statement.

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“Mutton Bird Island, Albany-Western Australia” by Michael Pilsworth, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF10-24mm – F8 – 10.5mm ISO400 – 8.5 seconds

Where are your favourite places to shoot in Australia?

A favourite location is difficult to choose from the places I have visited. The Pilbara and Kimberley areas are up high on the list of favourites due to the forever-changing and altering landscape from month to month, wet season to dry season, and there is an endless list of locations I have yet to explore. In contrast, though, a drive through Balingup and Bridgetown on a foggy, wintry day is often just as spectacular.

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“Pilbara, Western Australia,” by Michael Pilsworth, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF50-140mm – F8 – 66mm – ISO200 – 1/220s

Why did you choose the Fujifilm X-T1?

Apart from the size and the feel in my hand of a solid camera, the return of functions that remind me of the film cameras of my youth was a real delight of the X-T1. I am continually amazed and bore my family to tears with my enthusiastic diatribes of explanations on the output of images of clarity and depth of the X-T1. Shoving the back of the camera into their faces, exclaiming “zoom up, have a look at that!” is regular dinnertime conversation.

Where is your dream destination to shoot?

Returning to Karijini [National Park] after my one and only visit in 2010 is definitely on the list. Taking the Fujifilm’s through the gorges would be a real test of their capabilities.

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“Tree Farm — Gin Gin, Western Australia” by Michael Pilsworth, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF50-140mm – F8 – 74.4mm – ISO200 – 1/200s

Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer to use with your Fujifilm X-T1 camera? Tell us why.

I love the XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR. I like that it’s water-resistant, great low light capabilities and I like how it compresses the image on my landscapes. I have also been shooting with the 18-55mmF2.8-4 and 55-200mmF3.5-4.8 kit lenses and they are absolutely beautiful lenses; they are solid construction and the quality of images they produce are outstanding.

Do you prefer any particular editing tools, social networks or camera accessories to enhance your work?

Most of my editing is done in Adobe Lightroom. I edit on the road, so Lightroom on a laptop is ideal – then uploading to Instagram and Facebook. I use a remote trigger and a 10-stop ND filter as well as a Polariser filter. I also manually focus most of the time and use hyperfocal distance calculations.

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“Sand Dunes Near Lancelin, Western Australia,” by Michael Pilsworth, Fujifilm X-T1, XF50-140mm – F11 – 140mm – ISO200 – 1/450s

Do you have advice for new photographers or the next potential X-Thusiast?

Watch lots of tutorials and learn from the masters who love to educate. But most of all just keep shooting (with a Fujifilm of course).

Any final thoughts or tips?

Anxiously waiting on the release medium-format Fujifilm GFX 50S. The capabilities of this camera to capture and reproduce higher-quality resolution and print to a large spectacular size is something I am keen to try.

If you’d like to become our next X-Thusiast, learn more about our submission guidelines here.

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