Introducing Stocksy Photographer Gary Radler

Since the start of February, we are featuring eight Stocksy photographers who use Fujifilm X Series cameras to capture their images for commercial use. Discover what they like about their kit and how they utilise the equipment to obtain the best results.

 

Our third interview is with Victorian based photographer, Gary Radler.

 

Can you tell us about yourself and what you most love about photography?

 

I am a husband, father, grandfather and lover of photography. I work both as a clinical psychologist and photographer.

 

My work as a photographer grew from my work as a psychologist with people with a developmental disability. In this role I often provided talks, professional development workshops and other presentations. I supported these with slide presentations, but when searching for images to include from the available stock libraries I was disappointed to find that these mostly showed people with disabilities in stereotyped and patronising ways. Instead I wanted images of people with disabilities as citizens of our communities doing things that were valued and ordinary. I wanted photos showing them as contributing, active and engaged people in everyday and valued roles. Given the dearth of such images, I decided to make my own! Then, all of a sudden I fell in love with photography. I was well and truly hooked. Nothing was safe from my lens.

 

Then, by pure serendipity, I started specialising in photographing Aboriginal Australians. In 2008 on my way back to my car after a meeting, I bumped into a man who I now count as a friend, Dootrule, a Wurundjeri Elder, and asked if I could take his photo (I always had my X100 with me). (Here’s a link to a video I made of Dootrule and his partner, Tracey: http://www.garyradler.com/Video/Dootrule/). He said yes and from there I struck up many more relationships with Aboriginal Australians over the ensuing years, who became my models. I soon learned that the stock photos of Aboriginal Australians were also clichéd and failed to portray them as citizens of contemporary Australia and so I took it upon myself to fill this gap!

 

I came up with a mission statement: “My aim in my stock photography is to create compelling, high quality images of people who are members of groups that have demonstrated resilience and survival in the face of marginalisation and discrimination. My goal is to portray the models in ways that advance their dignity and opportunity.  My mission is to make photographs that can be used politically, commercially and educationally to promote equality and to enhance the social standing of the people and groups that they portray.”

 

You describe yourself as a photographer of members of groups that have demonstrated resilience and survival.” Can you share two pictures you have captured using the Fujifilm X-T2 that best portray this and tell us the story behind the images?

 

 

Matt deserves a medal. Matt works for a Disability Support Organisation and for a week in every month he transports, mentors and has a great time with people with a disability who work at various farms in North East Victoria.

 

Matt is a quiet, gentle, respectful, hard-working dedicated young man. He is skilled at promoting the engagement of all of the participants he supports in his quiet, unobtrusive, and natural way, and it is a pleasure to witness.

 

Jarod is one of the men that Matt supports. He is man whose appetite for work is unsurpassed. This photo shows Matt and Jarod relaxing in the Ovens River after a hot day’s work at a blueberry and garlic farm in Myrtleford. To me this work exemplifies how people with a disability can be truly afforded respect and dignity in their lives by giving them opportunities and support to live the ordinary lives other citizens, like me, take for granted.

 

 

This next photo shows a woman, Lesley, who was rehearsing a contemporary dance performance. It was one of many I took of her and other people with a disability when I was commissioned by the State Government of Victoria as the photographer for their State Disability Plan 2017-2020 (you can download the plan here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/state-disability-plan-2017-2020). Again, my approach was to spend time with each of the models as they went about living their lives. The unobtrusive X-T2 paired with the small and high class prime lenses were perfect for the job.

 

 

Having used multiple Fujifilm X Series cameras over the years, including the original X100 how do you see the system has developed? Has it been going in the right direction or could there be more improvements?

 

I remember just holding the X100 and enjoying the tactile experience. Weird, I know. As a piece of modern-retro design I thought it was exquisite, and a work of art in and of itself. Then it also made the making of art a simple, enjoyable experience. It was unobtrusive and suited my style of portrait photography perfectly. It’s fixed 23mm lens taught me to get to know what an image would look like at this focal length even before I put the viewfinder to my eye. That leaf shutter with the resulting 1/1000th second flash sync speed made shooting outdoor shallow-depth-of-field portraits a breeze.

 

Since then I have owned the X100S (which I lost – much to my annoyance), the X100T, the X20, the X70, the X-T1, the X-PRO2 and the X-T2. I have since given away the X20, and sold the X-T1 and X-PRO2.

 

The development of the X system has seen improvements I have appreciated, including the increase in resolution, the tilt screen (the absence of a tilt screen was my main reason for selling the X-PRO2), and the greater range of built in film styles.

 

 

When you are out on assignment photographing people, do you have any tips on how to best approach and engage with individuals?

 

Just talk. Have real conversations. Become so accustomed with the technical aspects of photography that you can forget the camera, relate to and interact naturally with the people in front of you, and just wait for the light to be just so and the moment to unfold. For me, the best photographs are all about the moment, the light, and composition. As I write this I am wondering if I’m coming across as someone who can do this. I can’t! But I am striving to.

 

 

If we were to look in your photography bag, what Fujifilm cameras would we find? Can you tell us the reason why you chose the Fujifilm X-T2?

 

It depends on what sort of photography I’m doing. This generally varies between my stock photography of people with a disability and Aboriginal Australians, landscape, street, family photography (I have a 3 year old grandson now and he is perhaps the most photographed child in the world!), commissioned assignments, weddings, and travel photography.

 

For my portraiture work you’ll generally find the Fujifilm X-T2, the XF23mmF2, XF16mmF1.4, and XF56mmF1.2. I use my old Nikon SB-900 flash (from my DSLR days), Cactus V6 HSS II flash transceivers, and a variety of portable light modifiers.

 

Buying the Fujifilm X-T2 was not a hard choice for me to make. It has what I need; which is not to say there is not more I would like in a future model.

 

 

Do you find living in the outskirts of Melbourne to be an advantage to your photography? Has it opened up any doors for you over city based photographers?

 

The main advantage is that the beautiful Yarra Valley is virtually out my front door. I have taken to cycling with an electric bike, which has been such fun as it means I ride now instead of drive as it flattens out the very hilly terrain, and I always take my camera with me. The rural and agricultural landscape around here is stunning, and I have found that cycling has meant I am seeing and appreciating it like I have never before.

 

 

Based on your experience, if you were to include a feature in a new Fujifilm camera what would it be and why?

 

In-body image stabilisation. I never use a tripod for my work and being able to shoot at slower shutter speeds hand-held would be cool.

 

 

What advice can you give for someone who wishes to make their start as a photographer and why did you choose Stocky to represent your work?

 

My advice would be if it grabs you in such a way that you can hardly think about anything else, then go for it! There is a lot of technical stuff to learn, and it’s only when this is under your belt (if it ever is!) that the real learning about image making starts. This amount of learning can only happen by putting in the hours. And this only happens when you love it. So if you love it drown yourself in the flood of learning resources available on the web (I learned heaps from Kelby Training), listen to the image making podcasts (the best being The Candid Frame, LensWork, and PPN-Inspiration Show, The Art of Photography), but make the act of actually taking photos your main learning method.

 

I chose Stocksy after being ripped off by iStock for a few years with the paltry commission they pay to their image creators! Stocksy was a breath of fresh air in so many ways, and not just because it pays its photographers a decent commission of 50%. It is a cooperative of its contributing artists, supported, represented and guided by it’s “head office” of talented, impassioned, cutting-edge and funky leaders. It encourages its photographers to be artists and doesn’t reject photos because of trivial “artefacts” (whatever the hell they are) because they were not shot at an ISO of 100!

Introducing Stocksy Photographer Jacqui Miller

Since the start of February, we are featuring eight Stocksy photographers who use Fujifilm X Series cameras to capture their images for commercial use. Discover what they like about their kit and how they utilise the equipment to obtain the best results.

 

Our second interview is with Perth based photographer, Jacqui Miller.

Can you tell us about yourself and what you love most about photography?

 

Hi there! I live in Perth, Western Australia with my husband and two daughters. Growing up, I always had a desire to create art, but I was hopeless at drawing and painting. When I finally found photography, I found an art form that fit. I fell in love with slow shutter motion blur when I got my first DSLR in 2010.

 

You use a Fujifilm X100S to capture commercial images, how do you find the camera performs when compared to your digital SLR?

 

There are certain images I like to create where the X100S is my go to camera. For example, I find its lighter weight and compact size easier to handle when panning. I like playing with seascape and landscape motion images, and the X100S never disappoints.

 

What do you think are the most important things to look for when capturing an image?

 

For me, it’s content and mood. I love seeing images that evoke a strong emotional response in me. Those images stay with me for ages, and I revisit them often. To give you an example of images that have really moved me, I’ve created a gallery on Stocksy with some of my favourites from fellow Stocksy photographers.

What has been your favourite shot you have captured using the X100S? Can you tell us the story behind the image and let us know why you decided to take it that way?

 

My favourites are probably the abstract images. I love the whirling details in human movement, the way the colours blend together in seascapes and landscapes, and the intense colours and sharp lines when shooting lights at night. I have to remind myself to shoot the authentic scene as well because it’s too easy for me to get caught up in the abstract. Having said that, I love all of the images from my last holiday. I challenged myself to travel light, to leave my heavy camera gear at home and only take the X100S. It was amazing and utterly freeing.

 

Are there any photographers who have inspired your photography? Have their images pushed you to explore new techniques or to photograph new genres?

 

I’m inspired by so many photographers and by a whole range of styles and techniques. I feel like I should be able to reel off a list of the most influential photographers of all time but, to be honest, it’s current, everyday photographers who inspire me the most.

 

 

What has been your most successful commercial image taken with the X100S? Why do you think this picture has sold so well?

 

I’ve sold quite a few of my images taken with the X100S. I can’t think of any standouts, many of them are still relatively new to my online portfolio. I have had the pleasure of selling some of my abstract movement images. It’s always a thrill for me when I sell an image I enjoyed making.

 

 

From your experience, what should photographers be aware of when constructing online galleries for commercial sale? Are there any particular elements or genres that should be included?

 

I haven’t been in stock photography for long, and my knowledge/experience is limited. However, I do think it’s essential to be aware of the current trends (themes/colours) when shooting for commercial sale. I’m lucky to be a part of a company (Stocksy United) that has a dedicated editor team with high curatorial standards. In my experience, if I follow the current trends, those images are more likely to make it into the collection.

 

What advice can you give to someone who wishes to make their start as a photographer and why did you choose Stocksy to represent your work?

 

The best advice I ever received was ‘shoot what you love’, and that’s the first piece of advice I give to others. I also recommend uploading your best/favourite work to an online platform and get involved. I signed up to Flickr in 2010 when I received my first digital SLR. I joined groups, met loads of amazing people, learnt heaps and had loads of fun.

Eventually, it was an online contact which led me to Stocksy. I wasn’t actively looking for a stock agency at the time, but I loved everything I was reading/hearing about Stocksy. I was thrilled when they accepted my application.

 

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer – Billy Thompson

This month, Irish native Billy Thompson brightens our palette with some dazzling seascapes and nature photography. Learn why he loves the X-T2 and how he finds opportunity in everyday places.

Blue Moon – XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – F8 – 0.9 sec – ISO 200 

 

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

 

Hi everyone! I am Billy Thompson and I am a keen amateur photographer. I was born in Northern Ireland, and spent most of my childhood and early adult life living and working in County Antrim. In 2007, my work brought my family and I to South Australia where we now live. Our home is in the north western suburb of North Haven, about 22 km out of Adelaide. North Haven offers a relaxed beachside lifestyle, and it is the perfect base for getting to fantastic photography locations in and around Adelaide. Adelaide arguably has the best sunsets in the world!

 

 

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

 

Growing up in Ireland, I was fascinated by the changes that each season brought. In particular I loved the coming of spring, the new growth, and the feeling of renewal and warmth. As a boy I started to play around with an old film camera and tried hard to capture the moments of rejuvenation that spring brought each year. Many years later, having moved to Australia I again fell in love with photography. It was a perfect means of capturing life in a new country. Fujifilm equipment provides me with a camera and lens system that meets my needs, creates crystal clear images, and has a lightweight setup tough enough to take anywhere. My X-T2 brings back fond memories of that old film camera I used as a boy.

Largs Jetty – XF 10-24mmF4 – F8 – 2.6 sec – ISO 200

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

At heart, I’m a landscape photographer. I love nature, getting out with my camera exploring new locations, or revisiting familiar ones hoping to find a perfect composition. My preferred time of day to shoot is definitely around sunset; the change in light provides so much opportunity to nail a great shot. My strategy is all about taking photographs that make people stop and really look at what I have captured. I always aim to create images that will allow people to see just what I saw in that moment.

 

 

What inspires your photography?

 

I’m inspired by the beauty that is around us, not only the beauty found at iconic locations, but also the beauty that is right at our fingertips, in our backyards, on a local beach, or in the streets we walk everyday. Photography makes me look at and see the world in a different way. My brother-in-law Martin was an avid photographer and had the uncanny knack of being able to capture a shot that made you stop and look into the scene. Martin’s work and influence inspires me to take better shots.

The Bay – XF10-24mmF4 – F11 – 1 sec – ISO 100

 

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

 

My favourite shots almost always contain a water element — river and oceanside locations are prominently featured in my work. Living close to the beach and the Port Adelaide River makes it easy to get out, and more often than not a seascape or riverscape shot is what catches my eye. The light at the end of the day is my preferred option, not just for the sunsets but also for that soft golden light that comes just before and after the sunset. After sunset, I will often hang around to watch the light slowly melt into blue hour.

 

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

I have lots of fond memories from photo sessions, but if I had to pick a favourite it would have to be from a recent trip to Innes National Park in South Australia. Innes is a special place and the beauty of the area is just jaw dropping. To be honest, I don’t think my shots did it justice, but I loved the experience of being there and trying to capture it. It’s going to be a regular photography location for me in the future.

 

 

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

 

I shoot with the Fujifilm X-T2 and what impresses me most is the image quality. The images are just awesome straight out of the camera. Another joy is how lightweight and easy it is to use. The controls are very intuitive and give me the personalised options that I want right at my fingertips.

The Old Port – XF10-24mmF4 – 26 sec – F11 – ISO 200

 

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

 

I currently own three Fujinon lenses; the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS stays on my camera 90% of the time. It’s a great general purpose lens that produces exceptionally sharp images. When I’m in full landscape mode and want to get that big foreground element, I reach for my XF10-24mmF4 R OIS. This lens is amazing, I love the results I get from it. When I need that little bit of extra low light capability, I opt for the super sharp XF14mmF2.8 R. This little lens is a joy to use and when travelling it is my go-to wide angle lens.

 

 

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

 

I always shoot in RAW. I like to have total control of the post creative aspect of my work, and shooting in RAW allows me to do that. My typical workflow is copy the RAW file to Lightroom and convert it to DNG via Irident X-Transformer and then I post process in Lightroom. Occasionally I will use Photoshop to help with cleanup, removing unwanted objects, or for photo-stacking to help get total front to back sharpness.

 

 

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?

 

As I mentioned earlier, my preferred time of day to shoot is without a doubt in the late evening around sunset. I like to slow the shutter speed down and to do that I use neutral density filters. I find that aperture priority mode is my default setting. It allows me to shoot at F8 to F13 which results in front to back sharp images and the ability to control my shutter speed to get that long-exposure look. ISO is almost always at 100 or 200, although in low light I will use ISO as a means of controlling my shutter speed to perfection. The X-T2 has fantastic dynamic range and bumping up the ISO can be done with absolute confidence.

 

 

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

 

For me, there are three elements: composition, light and opportunity. Taking the opportunity to be out there as often as you can will allow you to hone your framing and composition skills and then just maybe when you get that perfect light you will be ready to nail your magic shot.

Haven – XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – F8 – 7 sec – ISO 100

 

To see more of Billy’s work visit his 500px portfolio or follow him on Instagram – @BTAdelaide.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Stocksy Photographer Rowena Naylor

Over the next eight weeks, we will be featuring eight Stocksy photographers who use Fujifilm X Series cameras to capture their images for commercial use. Discover what they like about their kit and how they utilise the equipment to obtain the best results.

 

Our first interview is with Melbourne based photographer, Rowena Naylor.

 

Can you tell us about yourself and what you most love about photography?

 

I had my first camera at the age of 12, my father was the classic 1970s wedding photographer. I shudder when I look at his work now but being exposed to taking photos, developing, darkrooms and classic film cameras of the day apparently affected me as I haven’t put a camera down since. I eventually ‘gave up my day job’ to pursue a photography career in 2008, and have never looked back. I love my job!

 

Alongside shooting professionally for clients, I also have a healthy and expensive obsession with film and film cameras. I have even been experimenting with some of the old analogue lenses on the Fujifilm X-T2 recently and have loved the results.

 

You have previously used a Fujifilm X-T1 for your commercial work, how did you find the upgrade to the X-T2? Was there a noticeable difference in performance and quality?

 

I was definitely the classic early adopter of the Fujifilm X Series, I had my name on the waitlist for the very first X100 and can still remember the excitement when the camera store called to say it had arrived!

 

I followed through with purchasing the X-PRO1 followed by the X-T1 and most recently, the X-T2. It was a slow transition in using the X-T1 in my commercial work, but when the X-T2 arrived I put away the huge Digital SLR and used the X-T2 for all commercial and stock shooting.

 

Performance and quality are on par with what I was previously shooting with the Canon 5D MK II

 

When you photograph architectural interiors what are the steps you follow before a shoot? Do you do much preparation to get the scene ready?

 

Yes, quite a bit of prep is needed to get a great interior shot. It always worth checking natural light, sun direction and time of day that the room will look it best.

 

What has been the most challenging photography shoot you have done and how did this experience improve your photography?

 

I had a big energy company client that I worked for during the construction phase of gas drilling rigs. This was challenging work, especially working in tight spaces high up on rig platforms capturing workers and equipment being moved and placed by cranes. Working with the Fujifilm X Series cameras was great in these conditions. The small compact lenses offered easy portability and excellent low-light resolution. I found it easy to change lenses while moving around in tight areas with the camera strapped to my body. The X-T2 improved my work by giving me the confidence that I could take the camera anywhere without feeling it would be an encumbrance.

 

When you travel what Fujinon lenses do you take with you? Is there a mixture of wide angle, portrait and telephoto, or do you just take one lens?

 

I always travel with two Fujifilm bodies, the X-T2 and X-PRO1. I always find it difficult deciding which lens to take and which to leave behind. My favourite picks are always the XF56mmF1.2, XF23mmF1.4, XF16mm1.4 and the XF27mm2.8. I also usually pack the XF50-140mmF2.8 for most shoots too.

 

Can you take us through your workflow? Do you photograph in RAW or capture images in Jpeg? Is there much editing work involved?

 

I always shoot in RAW. The photos captured are imported into Adobe Lightroom, and editing is dependent on the client’s brief. I find I hardly crop images when post processing. I think I put this down to the fact that I shoot with primes, which force you into composing a scene in a particular way.

 

What do you like most about the Fujifilm X-T2, and if you were to add or improve a feature to assist your photography what would it be?

 

I love the weight and handling of the X-T2. When I need it to look like a big camera (for clients) I add the Vertical Battery Power Booster Grip. When I want to roam the streets, to make the camera smaller and lighter, I remove the grip and mount the XF27mmF2.8 pancake lens. Improvement? I am happy right now, but still, do dream of a full frame X-T model.

 

What advice can you give someone who wishes to make their start as a photographer and why did you choose Stocky to represent your work?

 

It seems everyone is a photographer these days, and I encourage that premise. We all need to catalogue and preserve our history and lives.

 

My advice to new photographers would be to work with prime lenses. Drop the zooms and teach yourself to move and frame your shot using one fixed focal length lens. Also if you intend to make it a career, I would say specialise in one area of photography, and be good at it.

I am honoured to have Stocksy present my work. They were introduced to me by a fellow stock photographer before start up, and I eagerly jumped on board. The growth and path they have taken since launch in 2013 has been amazing and empowering and I have definitely grown as a photographer by being part of the Stocksy Co-operative.

How Fujifilm Builds Strong, Quality Cameras

A world leader in optic technology, Fujifilm has been building cameras since the 1940s. Today, our Fujinon lenses are used in medical equipment, satellites and high-end filming devices, as well as countless additional products.

While Fujifilm is well-known for analogue photography, we’ve made major strides into the digital realm, and our flagship cameras include the X-Pro2, X-T2 and the recently released GFX 50S. Known for their strength and durability as well as their unmatched photo quality, these models are all assembled in our Taiwa factory in Sendai, Japan. Here’s how.

 

Made in Japan

 

A sign of quality, craftsmanship and reliability, we proudly etch “Made in Japan” onto all of our flagship models like the Fujifilm GFX 50S, X-T2 and X-Pro2. Among other products, the X100F, X-T2 and X-Pro2 all undergo final assembly in our Taiwa plant about 20 miles outside of Sendai, the largest city in Japan’s Tohoku region, roughly 370 kilometres northeast of Tokyo.

 

From Raw to Refined

 

Our optics division is also the only company in the industry that handles every step of the production process, from raw materials to finished product. Fujifilm Optics Co. has three more factories in Japan that mould glass, process barrels and polish lenses.

 

Handmade with Care

 

As our visitors can attest, very little automation occurs in our Taiwa facility. Skilled workers carefully assemble and test every lens, barrel and finished camera, ensuring the highest degree of precision and craftsmanship. One lens may take several hours to produce, and the production process includes at least seven different tests and inspections. Even our more hazardous, automated processes are watched over by skilled workers and managers.

Image by @azul_zaidi via Instagram

 

An Eye for Details

 

That level of handiwork also requires exquisite attention to detail. Small devices in and of themselves, each camera contains hundreds of tiny components, each of which must be properly placed to produce a functioning product. In particular, aligning the image sensor is the most important and difficult part of the process, requiring a trained eye, patience and several in-process tests.

 

Safety and Cleanliness

 

Getting dirt on your lens is bad enough. It would be terrible if you opened a new camera to find grit in the lens, or to realize its moving parts weren’t working because of debris. To ensure the cleanest, safest production environment possible, we require all of our workers to wear lint-free fabrics, and some technicians also don double-layered hoods, surgical masks and padded booties. When making precise, highly sensitive lenses and cameras, no precaution can be spared.

Image by @danielrucci via Instagram

 

Rigorous Quality Control

 

Last but certainly not least, our rigorous quality-control process all but eliminates the chance a customer will receive a faulty product. Each assembled lens passes through quality control, where it is tested for mechanics and sharpness. Any failed unit is adjusted and readjusted until it renders the test image correctly. Even then, 10 percent of all packaged lenses are randomly selected, unpackaged and loaded onto a camera to ensure they’ll operate properly for customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Top 9 Camera Accessories

Are you looking for a few add-ons to take your photos (and photo business) to the next level? Or are you shopping for a photographer? Either way, there are more camera accessories available today than ever before. From lenses to simple, reliable cases and cleaners, there’s something for everyone. Here are the top nine camera accessories you might want to consider for your Fujifilm camera.

Image by @Hendralou via Instagram

  1. Lenses

 

A photographer’s skill will impact a shot more than anything – but a top-notch lens sure doesn’t hurt! In fact, the lens affects photo quality more than the camera body itself. If your shots aren’t turning out the way you want, and you’ve only got one accessory in the budget, a new lens is your best bet.

 

There’s quite a selection of Fujinon XC, XF or GF lenses to choose from, but most lenses fit into one of two categories. Prime, or fixed, lenses are versatile and low-cost, but they can’t zoom in and out. Zoom lenses, on the other hand, allow for a variety of depths of field, often at the touch of a button.

 

  1. External Flashes

 

As new photographers quickly learn, the built-in flashes on most cameras aren’t strong enough to light a subject that’s further away, images can start to look underexposed and too dark.

 

An external flash like the Fujifilm EF-X500, however, can strategically shine light into an area that reflects onto your subject from an angle. Mounted onto your camera or even a stand in another part of the room, you can point multiple flashes wherever you like – the ceiling, for instance – and set them to fire in sync with your shutter.

 

  1. Filters

 

A flash helps you control how much light hits your subject; a filter limits the light that reaches your camera’s image sensor. In general, filters come in one of three categories. Ultraviolet (UV) filters block out harsh light, but cheaper ones may reduce clarity. Neutral density (ND) filters limit the overall amount of light that passes through your lens, allowing for longer shutter speeds without overexposure. Finally, polarizing filters reduce glare and reflections, somewhat like putting a pair of sunglasses on your lens.

Image by @tylerweberphoto via Instagram

 

  1. Reflectors

 

Simple and effective, reflectors reduce unwanted shadows by reflecting light onto a subject. The angle, material and colour of the reflector determine the intensity of that light. White produces the softest light, while silver and gold offer a higher intensity and degree of warmth. To achieve the opposite effect, you can even add a black panel to a reflector, preventing a light source from hitting your subject from a certain angle.

 

  1. Photo Tents

 

Most commonly used for shooting flowers, food and other small objects. Tents are translucent “boxes” that diffuse light from multiple sources. In effect, they allow for even, almost shadowless lighting – perfect for product photography with a de-emphasized background.

 

  1. Cleaning Kits

 

Dust and dirt are a photographer’s nightmare, and even the best lenses won’t shoot clearly when they’re dirty. A microfiber cloth is perfect for wiping away debris, but a blower can make the job easier and faster. Also, while most new cameras have self-cleaning sensors, you may still need a sensor cleaning kit to keep your camera in tip-top shape during frequent shoots. Although sensor cleaning kits are available we highly recommend sending in your Fujifilm camera in to your nearest Fujifilm repair centre to have your camera serviced by a qualified technician.

 

  1. Battery Grips

 

You never want to run out of power during a long shoot. You can carry an extra battery in your pack, but a more convenient option is the battery grip: a holding device that plugs into the bottom of your camera. Many photographers enjoy the extra heft it adds to an otherwise small device, and many models include extra buttons that make portrait shooting more ergonomic.

 

  1. Lens Hoods

 

Almost like a hat for your camera, a lens hood can improve image quality by blocking strong sunlight from directly hitting your lens. A sturdy hood also provides physical protection, preventing bumps and scratches to the most important – and expensive – part of your setup.

 

  1. Tripods and Ballheads

 

Does your shoot require laser-like focus and an impossibly steady hand? If so, a tripod is your best bet. Today’s carbon fiber tripods are lightweight, sturdy and stylish, and they come in a variety of sizes for use at different heights. Topped with an adjustable ball head, they can be used to position your camera at virtually any angle.

Image by @myahya09 via Instagram

 

If you’re interested in a Fujifilm camera, but don’t know where to start looking, download our free eBook, Which X Series Should I Buy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer – David Tan

Our first X-Thusiast of 2018 evokes passion and inspiration with his colourful landscape photography. Learn how Singapore native David Tan uses his Fujifilm X-T1 to capture tranquil waters and sprawling outdoor scenes.

Kirkjufell – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 58 sec – F8​ – ISO 200

 

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

 

Hey everyone! My name is David, and I was born and raised in Singapore. I’ve been living on the Gold Coast for the past year and am in the midst of completing my Bachelor of Pharmacology. My photography focus started around weddings and portraiture but has moved purely to travel and landscapes in recent years. I have been in love with the Fujifilm collection for the past three years and am absolutely honoured to be featured by Fujifilm Australia.

 

 

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

 

While hiking up a mountain in Norway with my DSLR and heavy photography gear, I realised I wanted something a lot more compact and light that had the image quality I was looking for. A friend introduced me to the X-T1 and after a bit of research, I made the jump to Fujifilm and have never looked back. The X-T1 produces amazing colours, is intuitive to use and is easy to bring along on my travels, which is important to me.

Vestrahorn – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 30 sec – F16 – ISO 200

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

Tough question! I think my style is pensive, quiet and to an extent, almost melancholic. I commonly incorporate water movement as it really adds to the depth of the photo. That combined with beautiful geographic formations is what really does it for me. Funny enough, I don’t like having people in my landscapes, though I’m quite a people person. I may possibly explore that in the future.
As for strategy, it is quite straightforward. Find awesome locations, wait till sunset then photograph it!

 

 

What inspires your photography?

 

Nature. Every time I see a mountain, waterfall or lake, I immediately want to photograph it. They seem so peaceful and I could sit there the whole day looking at it. At sunrise and sunset, it’s pure magic.

 

 

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

 

Iceland is the definite winner, it has amazing landscapes which change so dramatically within such a short distance and looks almost out of this world. Australia and New Zealand also have really beautiful landscapes and are much closer for me to travel to.

I absolutely love shooting at sunrise and sunset; the light is golden and the sky gets some crazy colours. It’s the best when the light hits from the side and you get such a good depth.

Stokksnes – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 125 sec – F16 – ISO 200

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

My favourite memory would be photographing Vestrahorn, Iceland. Driving around Iceland for eight days, eating hot dogs and sleeping in the car was an absolute experience. I didn’t know about Vestrahorn but when I drove past, the mountains against the black sand and ocean, I knew I had go back. I remember trying out a technique to stretch the mountains in-camera and was so excited to process the photo when I got back. It ended up being my favourite photo of the trip!

 

 

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

 

I’ve only ever owned and used the Fujifilm X-T1 Silver Graphite. It’s an amazing camera, aesthetically pleasing, shoots great photos and does everything I need it to do. The X-T2 would be an awesome upgrade and maybe the X100F might slip in there too!

Nugget Point – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 30 sec – F11 – ISO 200

 

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

 

For my landscape work, I exclusively use the XF 10-24mm F4. It’s got the focal range I need and has amazing image quality, much love for this lens. The XF 56mm F1.2 and XF 35mm F1.4 are also amazing lenses that I have used. Very sharp lenses, great colour and flare.

 

 

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

 

I’m a very straightforward workflow kind of guy. 30s shutter speed, ISO 200, f16, manual focus, 10-stop ND filter and tripod. This sets me up for the majority of my shots and really helps to keep me focused with composition rather than worrying about all the settings. I shoot JPEG + RAW which allows me to process multiple exposures of my photos in camera, which I then bring into Photoshop. Simple luminance masking brings back any details lost in shadows, luminance toning, colour toning, selective sharpening and a slight vignette to finish it all off!

 

 

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?

 

Get comfortable with the technical side of it and know which parameters you need to achieve the look you’re going for, everything else is just compensation. A great way to start is aperture or shutter speed control. Once that’s down, your mind is free to explore the creative side of things without having to worry about the technical.
Again, I am a huge advocate of shooting during sunset, the light is golden, colours are vibrant and everything just looks beautiful. I’m also a lot more awake at sunset compared to sunrise. Knowing the location and how you plan on photographing it is also important for landscapes as it will determine if sunrise or sunset will work better for the photo.

 

 

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

 

Make memories, not just photos. Too many times have I just gone out just to photograph an amazing location to come back home realising I didn’t soak it all in. Enjoy the view, sit on it and then, take the photo.

Arnarstapi – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 30 sec – F16 – ISO 200

 

Would you like to become our next featured X-Thusiast photographer? Check out our full X-Thusiast Gallery and submission details.

 

 

 

 

 

Why The X100F Is My Camera of Choice

by Mark Condon

As the founder of Shotkit, I’m in the fortunate position to have access to virtually any photography related product. Being a huge fan of the Fujifilm X Series cameras and lenses, I’ve handled every camera and lens in the line up.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/160 second – F4 – ISO 640

 

Herein lies the one thing that I actually dislike about the Fujifilm –series – there are just too many great cameras and lenses to choose from! With functionality which overlaps between camera models and excellent image quality across the board, choosing a Fujifilm X Series camera is a somewhat challenging process…

 

After almost a year of umming and ahing and reading countless online reviews (like this one on my own site!), I finally settled on one camera – the Fujifilm X100F.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/220 second – F4 – ISO 200

 

In this guest post, I’d like to go into the 3 main reasons why I decided upon this understated fixed lens camera as my camera of choice, and ultimately decided it was the best travel camera of 2017.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/2000 second – F2.5 – ISO 320

 

  1. Size

 

It’s no surprise that the number one reason for dSLR shooters to move to the mirrorless camera format is due to the smaller size of the camera and/or lenses.

 

All the camera bodies in the Fujifilm X Series line-up are smaller and lighter than dSLRs with equivalent APS-C sensors. This makes them very attractive to anyone who carries their gear for long periods of time, particularly professionals.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/160 second – F2 – ISO 640

 

In the Fujifilm X Series lineup, the Fujifilm X100F isn’t the smallest and lightest camera, but to me, its size and weight are perfect.

 

I have rather large hands, so anything smaller than this camera feels far too fiddly to use. In addition, I believe that a camera body needs to have a certain weight to it to be used effectively. The proportions of the X100F provide great balance in the hand, and its weight is reassuring – not too light to feel like a toy, but not too heavy to be cumbersome.

 

Another important factor that contributes to the compact size of the Fujifilm X100F is its fixed lens, which leads me on to point number 2.

 

  1. Lens

 

Having written extensively about the best Fujifilm lenses, I feel somewhat hypocritical choosing a camera which uses a fixed lens! With all that stellar Fujifilm glass on offer, why would I choose a camera with a fixed lens?!

 

Tying in with the point above, whilst I do love the Fujifilm (interchangeable) lenses, they do add size and weight to any Fujifilm camera body. Even the smallest, lightest Fujifilm prime lens will add bulk on to the front of the camera. Whether or not this is relevant to you is questionable, but for me, I love the fact that the Fujifilm X100F is (and will always be)… compact!

Fujifilm X100F – 1/1900 second – F5.6 – ISO 200

 

Aside from the size benefit of using a compact camera with one fixed lens, there are 2 other less obvious advantages of the XF23mmF2 lens of the Fujifilm X100F.

 

The first is somewhat subjective, but I absolutely love the images that are produced by the combination of this lens and the camera. I’m sure the boffins at Fujifilm HQ can elaborate, but there’s something about this combination that seems to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/160 second – F4 – ISO 320

 

I’ve shot with the Fujifilm X-T2 with a Fujinon XF23mmF2 WR lens attached, and whilst it’s an excellent combo, the Fujifilm X100F still beats it for me.

 

The other advantage is also slightly subjective, but having a fixed lens helps you improve as a photographer faster than any other accessory. Anyone who shoots with prime lenses (as opposed to zooms) will tell you something similar, but having a fixed focal length really allows you to visualise your scene and composition much easier, even before lifting the viewfinder to your eye.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/500 second – F4 – ISO 200

 

By having a prime lens that’s literally fixed to your camera body forever, you’ll get really good at this, and start seeing the world in 35mm. Also, by limiting your options with only one lens, you’ll push yourself harder to innovate and experiment with your photography – after all, restrictions encourage creativity.

 

  1. The Design

 

In my opinion, the Fujifilm X100F is the best looking camera available today. I have to say that all the X Series cameras look good, but for me, the Fujifilm X100F stands head and shoulders above the rest.

 

I used to own a black and silver Fujifilm X100S and received compliments on it wherever I went. When I upgraded to the Fujifilm X100F, I chose the all black version, and absolutely love how it looks.

 

I don’t receive many compliments on it anymore, but perhaps this is due to the fact that it’s more inconspicuous in jet black, which makes it perfect for photographing unnoticed, helping to achieve candid and natural-looking shots.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/250 second – F3.5 – ISO 200

 

The way a camera looks may seem insignificant, but I believe it’s actually very important. Whilst it bears no correlation to the image produced, having a camera that gives you pleasure to see and hold will make you more likely to pick it up and use.

 

Out of all the cameras I own, the Fujifilm X100F is the only one I display proudly in the open, as opposed to keeping it stuffed away in a camera bag. I actually have it hanging on a hook in my living room (much to my wife’s dismay!) It’s always the first camera I reach for when I need to capture a moment, and I never grow tired of looking at it.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/160 second – F2 – ISO 250

 

The other reasons I love my Fujifilm X100F are the features shared with most of the other cameras in the X Series line-up, including the excellent JPEG and RAW image quality; impressive high ISO performance; fun film simulations; fast auto-focus; fast start-up time, and much more.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/280 second – F4 – ISO 200

Fujifilm X100F – 1/420 second – F7.1 – ISO 200

It’s been a long process to find the one camera to document all my precious moments, but I’m confident I’ve chosen wisely with the Fujifilm X100F.

Fujifilm X100F – 1/1700 second – F6.4 – ISO 200

 

Guest review by Mark Condon, wedding photographer , author and founder of Shotkit.

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer – Alessia Francischiello

This month’s featured photographer is Italian-born Alessia Francischiello, a freelance photographer with lots of wisdom to share about getting the right shot and finding the best photos even in the most unlikely places.

 

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

 

Hi to all Fujifilm lovers. I am Alessia Francischiello and come from Italy. I’ve been living in Australia for the last four years and it’s been full of opportunities in the photography field, especially thanks to Fujifilm, which I have been using for the last three years. I am, in fact, honoured to be featured by Fujifilm Australia, which is the greatest company I ever dealt with. I work in a camera store in Sydney and am a freelance photographer. My passion for photography started about seven years ago while living in Rome, mostly interested in street and architectural style. Studying photography for several years in Italy and Australia caused my interest to turn to portraiture, as I am a real people person. My photography now is mostly beauty and fashion, with a few publications done for magazines around the world, but I also enjoy landscape and street photography.

 

 

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

 

I haven’t always been a Fujifilm shooter because when I started there weren’t all the amazing options we have now with this brand. Since I bought my first X-T1 my passion for photography grew more and more, thanks to the excellence of the products and the feeling of comfort using them. I felt so confident in shooting portraits thanks to the discretion of the equipment and its portability. I also enjoy the colours and the old style dials on top of the cameras which are great for people who just shoot manual like I do.

‘Black Soul’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR – F5.6 – 1/125 second – ISO 200

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

My style is made by anything that communicates effectively and is enjoyable for the viewers. Mostly studio or outdoor fashion and beauty style.

 

I like to keep it natural as much as I can. I like new and original ideas. I take my time to create mood boards and work closely with makeup artists and models to make sure we always have innovative and creative content.

 

 

What inspires your photography?

 

People! I love being around people and making them feel comfortable (models or not), which is an easy task with Fujifilm equipment. How many of you felt like paparazzi when using a big DSLR? Well, I did! I like discretion and not being invasive showing off my equipment to everyone.

‘Simple is Perfect’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 R – F1.2 – 1/500 second – ISO 200

 

 

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

 

Australia is full of places to take stunning shots. I love water and beaches, which are not hard to find here. I love natural light because you have to deal with it and it pushes you to think about it. I am also fascinated by studio lighting because it is editable and you can learn how to control it to make your own ideas come true.

 

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

I have many memories and positive experiences. But I can say the best moment I remember is during my last beauty session, shot with studio lights indoor, where this model was so into the role of punk diva that we laughed genuinely for half an hour.

 

 

Can you tell us which is your favourite Fujifilm camera to use and why?

 

I currently use X-T2 and a bunch of XF lenses that all work smooth on it. Its fast performance allows me to shoot in any situation and any weather, because it’s weather-sealed, and I feel comfortable not worrying about it. I shoot in windy and sandy situations, rainy, low light and it never lets me down. The low light capability in this new version is astonishing and I wouldn’t change it. I love its ergonomic grip which makes it easy to balance with any kind of lens, like for example the XF50-140mmF2.8.

 

 

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

 

I love my XF56mm1.2 R! The best lens I have ever used and the speed and sharpness allows me to use it in studio or outdoor without limits. Even at F1.2 the sharpness doesn’t look compromised and this is one of the most important characteristics I like about it.

 

My second favourite lens is the XF18mmF2. It’s affordable, small and fast. It’s my first choice when I am on holiday, hiking or with friends in day or nighttime, because it’s discrete and the sharpness is high standard for the price you pay.

 

I have to say, Fujifilm is the only brand with such great quality lenses in any price range, and for any kind of shooters.

‘Natural Beauty’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 – F2.2 – 1/125 second – ISO 200

 

 

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

 

I am not a big fan of post-processing but when you work with models and fashion products you don’t have much choice. I always try to keep my work as real as possible and help the viewer to recognise the real beauty. I use mostly Lightroom for quick editing and Photoshop for deeper improvements. Both perfectly compatible with Fujifilm files.

 

I always shoot Raw+JPEG. Raw is necessary for me, especially for work, because I want to have the best file I can to work on after. I am fascinated by the quality of JPEGs in this camera: Colours are shiny and real, quality is amazing despite the compression and having the WiFi option, I love to share the JPEGs straight out of the camera, especially when on holiday and have no time to do post-processing.

 

As you can see, these products can be used for really any kind of photography.

‘Innocence’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 – F2 – 1/5000 second – ISO 200

 

 

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?

 

Have fun and enjoy your moments with the camera! I never had more fun shooting in my life than now that I am using these products. I feel I can do anything I want with it in my hands. Some people told me this is not the best brand if I wanted to do studio photography. Well, my pictures speak for me.

 

A tip for X-T2 shooters: Get your Power Booster Grip and use it all the time. It’s perfect to balance long telephoto lenses or to get better performance from your camera anywhere, anytime. I always have it with me and it makes the difference.

 

 

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

 

Don’t think a portrait is good just when the background is blurred or a landscape is stunning only when it’s all sharp. Be creative, help innovate the way people look at images. Create a story, not only a picture. What remains of them nowadays is just a big file on your computer unless you’re able to push yourself to the limits and try something different. And if you own a Fujifilm camera you’ll understand how good it feels when you’re equipment thinks like you do, responds to your needs and is your loyal friend in any situation.

 

Don’t buy a camera because it looks professional, buy it because when you use it — it makes you feel you’re doing the right thing, learn on it and make mistakes. The best photos are the ones you weren’t meant to take.

‘Simple is Perfect 2’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 – F7.1 – 1/125 second – ISO 200

 

To see more of Alessia’s photography follow her on Instagram, Facebook or visit alessiafrancischiello.com

 

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