Shoot irresistible Foodie Photos With Your X Series Camera

You sit in front of a scrumptious dish and want to capture its colour and glisten. Get a picture that makes salivating viewers covet the next bite. Develop your abilities in foodie photography, whether it’s to remember your own digestive endeavours or to help restaurants and publications.

Learn the tricks to style, frame and light these shots so that you capture food at its most camera-ready moment.

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“The smallest and lightest X Series model,” by @panaromico, Fujifilm X70

1. Avoid lugging a heavy camera.

As a foodie photographer, you might bounce from one dish to the next and from one restaurant to another. The nimble workflow warrants a lightweight camera body, like one of the Fujifilm X-Series, which boasts a vintage body style that doesn’t look cumbersome as you shoot amid diners.

2. Use lenses with high maximum aperture.

Your foodie photos benefit if you shoot with at least a couple of lenses.

First you want a good macro lens with a high aperture, like the Fujifilm 60mm, which shoots vibrantly at F2.4. That maximum aperture is important because you want to frame tightly yet compose with bokeh, the section that falls out of focus in your frame.

For overhead shots of your plate setting, try a wide lens, like the Fujifilm XF14mmF2.8. For mid-range shots, or if you want a single lens in all situations, the Fujifilm XF35mmF1.4 works well with its bright F1.4 maximum aperture.

3. Set the table before it’s too late!

You have a small time frame to get your shot once a dish is ready, especially if it’s hot. After a while, it slouches in stature and loses its shimmer. Plan your table setting and camera angle in advance.

Think through the entire shot, from plates to props. When plating, you might prefer large, white dishes because of the contrast they create with your meal. Find raw ingredients represented in the food, and set them with plating and cutlery. Remember that plates and props must be perfectly clean—dirt doesn’t encourage the appetite.

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“Eat well and stay warm,” by @laurdora, Fujifilm X-T1

4. Think about colour and light.

Colour is important in any of your photos, but it is even more critical in your food photography. If your image is distorted with hues too warm or cool, the viewers won’t crave the next bite. Your X Series camera has white control where you can adjust the colour temperature. To ensure you obtain correct colour select the “WB custom” function, frame a white object (such as a piece of white paper), and press the shutter as your camera reconfigures its balance, alternatively, this can be done in post processing if you are photographing in a RAW file format.

Foodie pictures do not often require multiple light sources. A single light source should suffice, especially if it backlights your image because backlighting brings out the texture of your dish. When possible, use natural light, because artificial sources are more likely to distort with a blue or yellow tint.

With your expertise of foodie photography, you can use your X Series camera to take drool-inducing shots.

An Interview with Adam Baidawi after a Trip To North Korea with the FUJIFILM X100T

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Can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you enjoy crafting a story using the imaging medium?

I’m a 26-year-old writer and photographer. The bulk of my work is a combination of celebrity profile pieces and long form reportage. I’ve reported on stories from Iraq, Colombia, and all throughout Europe and Australia. Most recently, I travelled to North Korea to write and shoot a feature for the Australian edition of GQ magazine. I also do a little brand consulting and wedding photography.

As a younger freelancer, I started to realise that the more ambitious stories that I wanted to tell needed to be supported by imagery. We’re visual creatures. Photos stimulate us and pull us into a story. Now, my best features prioritise words and photography equally.

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Based on your first impressions before going to North Korea and what you know now, are you surprised by the way people live there?

This is a tricky one. Tourism in North Korea is so impeccably controlled, so micro-managed, so on-rails, that it’s impossible to say whether or not what you see represents the reality.

We spent most of our time in Pyongyang, the city of the elites. You don’t make it in Pyongyang unless your family has paid its dues. It’s not representative of life there.

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For me, the closest we came to seeing regular life in the DPRK was in the in-between moments: The famers carrying heavy loads on the side of a rural highway. The kids being petulant to their parents on the way home from school in a little country town. The way our tour guides would relax and go a little red in the face after a few beers. I loved those mundane moments. People still go to work, and save up for the clothing they want – they still get a little sleepy in the mid-afternoon and like bragging about accomplishments. They’re just people. Those moments meant more to me than any choreographed events on our itinerary.

You mentioned to us you were planning on taking a Digital SLR to North Korea. Can you tell us why you chose to take the Fujifilm X100T instead?

I actually did take a full DSLR kit to North Korea – I had a full-frame Canon and a slew of lenses. My big ol’ kit. But, by chance, I’d bought an X100T a few months earlier. I’d been craving something smaller and snappier. I bought it along to North Korea too.

I was a few months into owning my X100T and was starting to fall in love with it a little. I’d just shot a feature all over South Africa with it – I was feeling confident. I loved its small size, its silent operation, and its insanely pretty straight-out-of-camera colours.

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But this was a bigger, once-in-a-lifetime assignment. I never expected to use the X100T as much as I did. After a few days in Pyongyang, I couldn’t help myself – I benched my bulky DSLR, and made the X100T my go-to. Seeing the end product, I have no regrets.

How did you find the Fujifilm X100T for capturing spontaneous and candid moments? Was there any stand out feature(s) you loved using?

This will sound a little naïve, but coming from DSLR land, I was totally blown away by the viewfinder. To see, more or less, precisely how an image will look – exposure and all – before I even take it? Unreal. It gave me so much confidence. It also meant that I could pay way more attention to the moment that was unfolding in front of me. The X100T’s viewfinder has improved my framing dramatically.

The whole experience has me teetering on the edge to switching my professional kit to a Fujifilm mirrorless system. Maybe the X-T2. We’ll see.

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When capturing photographs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea did you ever think the officials would take the photos away from you? Was there any moments where you were a bit worried or became paranoid?

Totally. I was paranoid the whole time I was there. After I Facetimed my girlfriend from Beijing airport to say goodbye, I had no way of communicating with my friends or family for a week. Not being permitted to wander off alone, and a persistent, sinking feeling of being watched takes a mental toll on you.

Without an invitation from the government, travelling to the DPRK as a journalist was risky. Despite working for a magazine, I embarked on this story as a lone freelancer. If everything went to hell, I’d be in it on my own, and I’d only have myself to blame.

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As tourists, we were told not to photograph any military officials, nor residents in poorer rural areas. Happily, the tiny, unassuming design of the X100T helped me operate a little more stealthily. Aside from being super pleasing to the eye, its retro styling conceals the power it has under the hood.

There was one moment that I do regret – while travelling on a bus en route to a rural destination, I snuck a photo of a soldier at a security checkpoint. I didn’t even have the camera up to my eye, but he instantly knew I’d photographed him. I was pulled off the bus and grilled for a few minutes. I was lucky to get away with it.

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On the journey back to Beijing – a 24-hour train-ride – we were stopped at the Chinese border and had our belongings inspected thoroughly. They went through every camera and every phone, shot-by-shot. I’d deleted every incriminating photo off my camera, and had the whole week backed up on several SD cards, which were stashed all through my luggage.

Looking at your photographs what did you want to portray as an overall body of work?

I hate dehumanisation. I hate it when a population is painted with the same brush that its leader is. That thinking has been the cause of so many horrific things. When I chatted to people in Iraq on the ten-year anniversary of the invasion, I was astonished at how gentle, considered, thoughtful and empathetic they were. Yet the citizens of Baghdad had been painted uniformly as America-hating, dictator-worshipping would-be insurgents. That thinking is dangerous – I want to counter that.

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I was determined to show a different side of the DPRK – something beyond the marches and mass dances and the iconic leader. Something more dull and mundane and familiar and warm. It’s a little cheesy to say, but humanity always finds a way to show through, especially in adverse situations. I wanted to show that humanity.

You were there to participate in a marathon, did you end up capturing any photographs in the stadium and surrounding areas? What were your observations and reaction when taking photos of the people?

I did. The citizens of the DPRK were as fascinated by us as we were them. The whole thing was like a symbiotic zoo – staring at each other with amazement, but wholly unable to communicate meaningfully.

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If you were to change or add one feature on the Fujifilm X100T to make it a better camera what would it be and why?

Can I be greedy and ask for more than one? It’s so close to my dream camera.

My priorities would be:
• Improving the battery life. I’m the type to get serious battery anxiety – I remedy that by bringing a portable USB powerpack around.
• Increasing the megapixel count (I love printing photos at ridiculous sizes).
• Giving the video functionality a little more love. The film simulations and viewfinder give it an unbelievably cool foundation. I’d add smart autofocus, OIS, and a high FPS mode for silky, filmic slow motion.
• Add the ACROS film simulation!! I’m dying to try it.

To view more of Adam’s work we suggest following him on Instagram or visiting his website.

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.

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Janice Kho

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Our final X-Thusiast photographer of 2016 is Janice Kho. Born in Malaysia, Janice now calls Perth her home, using her X-T10 to capture landscapes, food and nature.

Tell us a little about yourself, Janice. Where are you from? What are your hobbies? What inspires you from day to day?

My name is Janice Kho and I live in the beautiful coastal city of Perth in Western Australia. I was born in Malaysia and spent some of my childhood there before I migrated to Perth. For as long as I can remember, I always had a passion for the arts and creative pursuits. While I ended up pursuing a career in health care, photography has become my passion and creative outlet. Besides photography, I love travelling to new places, sharing food with friends and family and curling up with a good book.
Exploring new places, meeting interesting people and gaining new experiences is what inspires my photography. I’m also inspired by people who pursue their passions while contributing to the world in a positive way.

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“A view of Mt. Cook at the end of Hooker Valley walk, New Zealand,” by Janice Kho, Fujifilm X-T10 + XF18-55mmF2.8-4.

 

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

Before jumping into the Fujifilm X-Series, I was using a Canon DSLR. While I loved shooting with that camera, I found the weight and size of it was stopping me from taking it everywhere I went in my day-to-day life. It was also harder to blend into the crowd when I was travelling. Since the first Fujifilm X-Series camera came out several years ago, I was instantly attracted to the retro look and have been looking for the perfect mirrorless system to switch to. When the X-T10 came out, that sealed the deal. I was attracted to the inconspicuous look and the small size. It was perfect for everyday use and for longer trips.
I think my photography has evolved over the years and I’m still trying to find my photographic style. I enjoy shooting a variety of subjects but landscapes, nature, urban life and food dominate what I shoot. With that in mind, I would say I’m driven to document life and experiences through my eyes in an unobtrusive way.

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“Urban reflections,” by Janice Kho, Fujifilm X-T10 + XF18-55mmF2.8-4

What constitutes a good photograph for you? Could you describe your shooting strategy?

I think a good photograph is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Personally, though, I’m attracted to photos with really strong composition, especially when I’m viewing landscapes, portraits and architecture photos. I’m not sure if I have a shooting strategy as such, but I try to take my camera with me when I head out of the house on the weekends and will think about the sorts of photo opportunities that will be there so that I’m prepared with the right camera/lens combination. I’ll also do the same when I’m packing for a longer trip away.

Why did you choose the Fujifilm X-T10? Why do you prefer the X-T10 model and what is your favourite aspect?

When I was looking to get a smaller, nimbler camera, I spent some time researching the various mirrorless systems available on the market but I kept coming back to the Fujifilm X Series cameras. At the time, the Fujifilm X-T1 was the closest to what I was looking for but the price point and weight put me off a little. When the X-T10 came out, I knew that was the camera I was looking for. It was the right price point for me to swap from my DSLR and it had a familiar DSLR feel to it in my hands. It’s also smaller and lighter while still maintaining the same excellent image quality of the X-T1. My favourite aspect is definitely the small weight and size. It means I take out my camera more often and I have the freedom to shoot unhindered.

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“Beautiful Perth city at twilight,” by Janice Kho, Fujifilm X-T10 + XF35mmF1.4

Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer to use with your Fujifilm X-T10 camera? Tell us why.

I currently have three Fujinon lenses, the XF27mmF2.8, XF35mmF1.4 and XF18-55mmF2.8-4. It’s a tough choice to state which is my favourite lens of the three as they are all such high-quality lenses, each with a specific purpose in my kit. I found the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 to be the perfect lens for travelling because it’s versatile and can cover a variety of subjects, but it’s probably the lens I use the least because of its heavier weight compared to my other two lenses. The XF35mm F1.4 creates beautiful images with amazing bokeh, and it’s the lens I use whenever I’m photographing people or night scenes. The XF27mm F2.8 is by far the most used lens of the three. It’s super light and small. It’s a great focal length for everyday shooting. It’s the lens I have sitting on my camera by default. With all that being said, I’m itching to get my hands on a fourth lens to shoot some wide, sweeping landscapes!

Could you describe your photo processing? Do you prefer any editing tools, social networks or camera accessories to enhance your work?

My post-processing is pretty simple and I don’t tend to spend a lot of time on editing. I use Lightroom for photo editing on the computer. Given how good the Fujifilm jpegs are, I will generally only do some small adjustments before it’s ready to be shared on my blog or social media. My more recent photos tend to have a subtle, faded look, but I’ll mix it up and create something with more saturation and colour when I feel like it. If I want to share a photo fairly quickly on social media, I will upload the photo directly from the camera via Wi-Fi to my phone using the Fujifilm Camera App. I’ll then use VSCO to edit the photo on my phone before sharing it on Instagram and Facebook.

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“Coffee stop at Hylin Café after a hike,” by Janice Kho, Fujifilm X-T10 + XF35mmF1.4

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

Don’t worry so much about the gear you have, just get out there, shoot and experiment. Eventually, you’ll find what you like and dislike shooting. If you’re new, focus on learning the basic principles of the exposure triangle (ISO, aperture and shutter speed). I think it’s also important to slow down when you’re shooting and focus more on composition. I find a lot of inspiration following photography blogs and looking at photos on places like Instagram.

Any final thoughts or tips?

Keep shooting what you love and eventually, your passion will be noticed. But most importantly—have fun shooting!

If you would like to see more of Janice’s work follow her on Instagram, Twitter or visit her blog.

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.

Fuji Guys: Using the Fujifilm EF-X500 Flash for Portait Photography

In the latest video by the Fuji Guys Australia, Will Anlezark and Warrewyk Williams show some portrait results you can obtain when using the new Fujifilm EF-X500 flash as either a master or remote flash.

Fuji Guys: External Shoe Mount Flash Settings – EF-X500 

For more information about this and other Fujifilm products, please visit these websites.

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