Interviews

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Tafa Ali

The latest featured photographer in our X-Thusiast program is Tafa Ali. Tafa was born in Indonesia, and lives in Sydney. Keen on fashion photography, Tafa shoots at runways and enjoys attending photo exhibits at art galleries.

 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you are from?

 

My name is Tafa Ali. I was born in Indonesia and I am currently living in Sydney, Australia. I’m a freelance photographer and I work at Spectrum Camera House.

tafa

Tafa Ali

I was focused on music and drawing when suddenly photography had a massive impact on me after I picked up a film camera in high school. It has now been six years that I have been shooting and have exhibited my work overseas and in Australia.

 

blue-and-gold-xpro2-56mm-apd

“Blue and Gold” X-Pro2 + XF56mmF1.2 R APD

 

How did you develop an interest in photography using Fujifilm equipment?

 

I was a Canon shooter before, but with the new mirrorless technology and the amount of gigs I was going to be doing, Fujifilm was a better choice for me. When first picking up a X100S from a mate, I loved how sharp my photos were and how easy it was to change the settings in manual mode using the dials. It reminded me of when I was shooting film. This simplicity made me want to purchase only Fujifilm cameras going forward.

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

My photography style is focused on fashion, portrait and event photography. Mostly I shoot with natural light or a direct flash for my portrait and fashion shots. Keep it simple and clean, unless the client wants a different setup.

oscar-de-la-renta-backstage-x100t

“Oscar de la Renta Backstage” X100T

 

What inspires your photography?

People – everyone has their own unique characters. I love capturing their personality.

 

Where are your favourite places to take photos and do you prefer a certain type of light to photograph in?

 

I don’t have any favourite places to shoot because I mostly shoot indoor. When I shoot outdoor, I like to shoot on random streets in the city or Newtown and mainly beaches, too. I like shooting in the shade because the light is very soft and diffused, which really helps to bring out nice skin tones.

botanic-garden-x-pro2-56mm-apd

“Botanic Garden” X-Pro2 +XF56mmF1.2 R APD

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

When I was shooting one of my favourite musicians, Steve Vai!

 

 

Can you tell us what is your favourite Fujifilm camera and why?

 

I used to have X-T1, but mostly I use the X100T because of the hybrid viewfinder. Now I prefer to use the X-Pro2 as my favourite camera to use. It has a much better autofocus – especially after the firmware update. And it’s super amazing in low light! I was photographing fireworks on New Year’s Eve at ISO 8000 and I barely saw any noise. Also, I can use all my vintage lenses from my film cameras on X-Pro2 with my adapters.

 

Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer to use with your Fujifilm camera and why?

 

I shoot 99% portrait and fashion, so the Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R APD is my favourite. It’s a super sharp lens at F1.2 and I just love the colours and the really nice soft bokeh!

sunday-morning-in-bronte-x100t

“Sunday Morning in Bronte” X100T

 

What sort of workflow do you use in your photography? Do you shoot in RAW or Jpeg?

 

Mostly I edit my photos using Lightroom and Photoshop. I shoot RAW and Jpeg on each individual SD card. For mobile editing, I can transfer and edit straight on my phone, for this I use snapseed and VSCO.

 

Do you have any technical tips you’d like to share? Perhaps suggestions on the best lighting, shutter speed, white balance, aperture, ISO, etc.? Other preferences?

 

Before I start shooting, I need to have a concept first. Planning ahead saves so much time on location later. I always set my ISO first, and then aperture; the last thing is shutter speed. If I need to change the exposure I just change the shutter speed dial. I always use auto white balance except when I shoot fashion runways. This is when you have to adjust your own white balance (saves a lot of editing time) because the lighting keeps changing every second.

newtown-chill-x100t

“Newtown Chill” X100T

 

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

 

Watch a lot of tutorials online but don’t spend too much time in front of your computer. Go outside and shoot, hang out and make friends with people who love photography too.

 

Attend photographic exhibitions, go to art galleries and join photo walks. I might see you there at the next People with Cameras by Fujifilm. Looking forward to the next one. 🙂

 

Are you interested in becoming our next featured X-Thusiast photographer? Check out our full X-Thusiast Gallery and submission details.

 

 

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