X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Mark Loader

Our latest X-Thusiast photographer brings an inspiring approach to photographing his subjects. Learn how Mark Loader adds mood and emotion to his images, and be inspired.

 

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

 

My name is Mark Loader and I’m from Perth Western Australia. I currently live in the southern suburbs between Perth and Fremantle. I’m married with three children. You can see my work on Instagram under the name Ranford Stealth.

 

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

 

I only took up photography eight years ago (January 2009) after a lifetime of interest, so better late than never! I used DSLRs for the first few years and I still have those but rarely take them out now. I first discovered the X100 and was struck with its usability and IQ. The old-style shutter speed and aperture controls seemed so much more intuitive to me even though I wasn’t active with film SLRs. This naturally progressed to the interchangeable lens models, which I use constantly today.

Fujifilm X-E1 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS – F14 – 1/250 second – ISO 250

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

I was lucky in that my good friend Rob Miller is a pro and has mentored me. He impressed upon me the importance of an image’s background and its relationship to the subject. I mostly take portraits and I found this invaluable to my growth as a photographer. So it’s background first always. I try to get as much mood and emotion in a portrait as I can and I put relationship preeminent in my shoots. I like to know my subject. Finding great available light and playing with shadows affects my work as well. Shadows are to light what silence is to sound in music. They go hand in hand.

 

What inspires your photography?

 

My subjects of course, and the work of other photographers like W. Eugene Smith and Dan Winters. Locations often suggest ideas depending on the light and time of day.

 

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

 

I prefer cityscapes … alleys, lanes, doorways, etc. But I’m always open to new ideas and places.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF565mmF1.2 R – F5.6 – 1/250 second – ISO 250

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

A few years ago I went out with a friend (it was about the fourth time I’d shot with her) and we went from about 11am to 5pm (with breaks). Everything clicked that day; she became my muse, and I went home believing I had something to say as a photographer.

 

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

 

Mostly the X-T1, great workhorse and the live preview is wonderful. I always shoot manual so that helps with fine-tuning the exposure. I also use the X-Pro1 and X-E1 … I get attached!

Fujifilm X100 at 23mm – F8 – 1/250 second – ISO 250

 

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

 

For portraiture I love the XF56mmF1.2. The XF35mmF1.4 is a great all-rounder and the XF23mmF2 for street and it was a great asset for shooting bridal prep indoors at my friend’s wedding last November. I’m a bit stunned by the XF16mmF1.4 at the moment, a surprising choice for me considering I used to think the 35mm was ultra wide! The XF18-55mmF2.8-4 is so much more than a “kit” lens.

 

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

 

For portraits, I shoot RAW and JPEG, but usually just the latter for street. I edit in LR5 and Nik. Each picture presents a different mood and challenge so I don’t have too many default presets.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 with XF56mmF1.2 R – F2.8 – 1/250 second – ISO 400

 

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?

 

Learn the basics, sunny 16 rule, subject/background relationship, rule of thirds, Fibonacci’s principle. Getting it right in camera is a great discipline to adopt from the get go. Anyone who simply says “fix it in Photoshop” should be hunted down and dealt with severely! As should be those who say to ignore the rules. To that I say: Fine, break the rules if you want but do it for a reason, not out of ignorance. My photographic education really started when the camera was no longer an obstacle.

 

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

 

Be passionate. If you are not then photography may not be for you. That’s ok. Buy books, go for long walks looking for possible locations and where and when the great light hits it. Find a mentor if you can. If not buy “Road To Seeing” by Dan Winters before it’s out of print. Actually grab that book come what may, it’s a mentorship in itself. Find out who the top shooters are in your preferred genres and learn about them. And from them. Lastly, browse some photography quotes. You may find a gem or two in there to live by….”What’s the use of a great depth of field if there is not an adequate depth of feeling?” (W. Eugene Smith)…so be like Nike, fellow togs, and just DO it!

Fujifilm X-Pro1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – F2 – 1/250 second – ISO 500

 

 

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.

 

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Bhagiraj Sivagnanasundaram

Welcome to the Second Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our sixth interview in Series Two is with Sydney based photographer, Bhagiraj Sivagnanasundaram.

Bhagiraj, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in photography?

I’m a wanderer often travelling between two worlds, one as a Doctor in a busy Emergency Department, another as a photographer. 
There should be a starting point to any kind of passion. For us photographers, it’s mostly another photographer or a photo that pushes us to start exploring the world. For me, it was the photos taken by my cousin brother when I was just five or six years old. The small chicks under the monsoon mushrooms in Sri Lanka, the beautiful flowers and of course the photos of myself in different attires, sometimes as a fashionista and occasionally as a native hunter wearing just a leaf where appropriate. Those were the old film days which provoked the craving for the looks of films even though I hardly used a film camera – one strong point that made me fall in love with Fujifilm and its film simulations.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 1/15 second – F4.5 – ISO 400

The journey began with a small point and shoot ten years back; I went through different phases of bridge cameras, DSLRs and now have finally settled on Fujifilm X Series. Luckily I had early recognition of my work as some of them ended up in few magazines and some won awards. Slowly the passion to Travel started, and now I proudly call myself as a Travel & Documentary photographer even though occasionally I try other genres of photography out of curiosity.

 

We noticed travel and documentary photography form an important part of your portfolio.
 Can you tell us why?

Travel and documentary photography is something that challenges me. It’s highly unpredictable; scenes won’t wait for me, so I have to be at the right spot at the right time. I have to handle people with all types of personalities, and most importantly our world is rapidly evolving. We don’t see half as much of what our grandparents saw, and our grandkids won’t see much of what we see today. This reality constantly pushes me towards Travel and Photography.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF35mmF2 R WR – 1/20 second – F2 – ISO 500

My inspirations are from famous travel and documentary photographers, and I follow the passion of those travellers who witnessed the various cultures, people, lifestyle and stunning destinations. However, art should be unique, and I try my best to maintain my way of the journey. I explore my way of expressing my inner feelings of witnessing a moment, let it be a happy event or something bad, either way, I make sure it will be remembered forever for what it is and I share it with my audience.

It is not only about a process of making an infinite physical memory of my travels. It is also a medium that connects me to a lonely Shepard in a cold Himalayan region with whom I shared a hot coffee or with a cliff diver in a rural village in Sri Lanka who asked me to take a good picture of him doing the stunt, risking his life.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 1/500 second – F9 – ISO 250

Each moment I encounter has an unexplored history behind it. When explored, these moments become so important that they carry an experience of that fraction of a second. I become the portal connecting two unknown worlds, and the tool is my camera, from the artisans of Fujifilm. The fraction of a second that I encountered will never repeat, but it will resonate forever through my photographs.

 

What are your thoughts on editing an image by removing a distracting object from the scene? Do you change the scene in post processing or is your preferred capturing method SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) with much editing?

I do not modify the scene, but I create the image to represent the actual scene as much as possible. We are getting a little bit technical here. As we know human eyes have higher dynamic range than any of the consumer cameras ever produced. So it becomes essential to process the photos to a certain level, so they match the original dynamic range of the scenes.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 0.6 seconds – F16 – ISO 100

Over the course of a decade, I have used three different brands, and I have found Fujifilm is different to them. The mix of colours, shadows, and highlights are more artistic with this Japanese brand. When combined with stunning film simulations it just brings back my childhood memories, and it is one of the most important factors that opted me to do the big jump to the Fujifilm X Series territory. When used correctly the film simulations have some strange good emotions in them which I cannot explain, but I love them. Sometimes you don’t know why you love something, but it’s the best thing you can ever do.

SOOC has never been my method until I discovered Fujifilm. It is also one important reason I switched to the brand. With Fujifilm, all I have to do is a very basic editing for few a seconds or a couple of minutes, and sometimes I do nothing to the images at all.

One would argue that using film simulations is similar to digital manipulations. However being the photographer we should decide on what is the most important message we are conveying through our photographs. We should decide whether to give weight to the shadows, highlights or colours. Simulations help us to achieve them- I’m not talking about digital filters here.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 1/100 second – F8 – ISO 100

Depending on the genres of photography the use of simulations or post processing differ. For example, travel photographs can be a bit exaggerated replica of the reality in a more promotional way of a destination, while most of my documentary photographs undergo very little processing or none. A travel image with a stray dog or a light post with wires visible on the street could give a negative feeling to the viewer which is unwanted, where the same scene in a documentary (more towards photojournalism) photograph will work entirely differently. I mostly avoid those scenes for a travel picture than spending hours removing it in Photoshop. This is where the composition comes into the picture; I think it is the most ethical means of removing a distracting object from the picture or changing the distractor into a helper and I’m a very strong supporter of compositions. It is the most important thing for me in photography. One wise man once said, “Photography is an art of exclusions”.

 

You recently travelled to Sri Lanka with the XF10-24mmF4 and XF90mmF2. How did you find the XF10-24mmF4 lens for travel photography? Did the lens meet your expectations?


I never used such wide angle range. The minimum I have used previously was a 24mm (35mm equivalent). I was never keen on landscapes. Most of my landscapes were the backdrops of the environmental portraits. The Fujifilm XF10-24mmF4 was the first lens of its kind for me, and the intention was to capture more landscapes.

Fujifilm X-E2S with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 1/500 second – F4 – ISO 400

In the field, it was far beyond that, the use of it in creating beautiful compositions of day to day Sri Lankan life was impressive. The lens remained on one of the camera bodies for the rest of the trip because of its versatility. I no longer see the wide angle lens reserved mostly for landscapes. Of course, there will be issues with distortion. However, I worry more about the moment than the technical aspects of capturing it. You don’t need to switch to Fujifilm for this lens, it doesn’t mean it is inferior to any other branded wide angles, but if you are into Fujifilm, then this is one lens you should have.

Both the XF10-24mmF4 and XF90mmF2 were loaned products from Fujifilm Australia. When I returned the gear, I made sure those are the next two lenses I will acquire.

 

How did the portraits you captured using the XF90mmF2 differ from the lens you used previously? Where there any differences in quality, sharpness and autofocus speeds?

I would like to answer it differently. Could the XF90mmF2 truly replace the legendary lens I already used before making the switch to Fujifilm? The answer is, yes by all means! In reality, the Fujifilm XF90mmF2 almost equals the 35mm equivalent focal length of 135mm. It’s a specialised focal length with specific uses, particularly with portraitures. So many hardcore lens reviewers have already concluded that it is one of the best lenses in the current market.

Fujifilm X-E2S with X90mmF2 R LM WR – 1/400 second – F2 – ISO 320

The autofocus speed is super fast that I hardly missed any shots and it maintains its speed in low light – my favourite type of lighting situation. The sharpness is equally incredible, and corner sharpness is well maintained at any aperture. The beautiful bokeh, particularly at F2, works amazingly well when compared to other 135mm lenses from other brands. With the excellent contrast, colour rendition, weather resistant sealing, lesser weight than counterparts, there’s nothing more I need other than just to keep shooting with this beauty. It’s an instant boost to the confidence level in image making.

 

If someone was travelling to Sri Lanka, based on your experience what camera and lens configuration would you recommend they take?

Sri Lanka is a small tropical Island. In a matter of few hours, you will be on a misty mountain or a rain forest from a beach. Depending on the places and the season you visit the selection of camera gear will vary. In general, it is advisable to carry weather resistant lenses and cameras as most of the beautiful natural habitats in the country are water based. Also, the island has friendly people, rich traditions and festivals. So you will need lenses that can be wide opened (in aperture) and good at focusing in low light. It is also a land of leopards, elephants and the mighty blue whales. It’s one of the best places on earth to witness these giants. So you will need a good telephoto lens if you decide to take photos of them.

Fujifilm X-E2S with XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 1/4000 second – F5 – ISO 200

I would like to summarise the gear recommendation that will work for any travel and documentary photographer anywhere in the world.


Body Recommendations:

Main Camera – The Fujifilm X-T2.
Backup Camera – The Fujifilm X-T20.

Lens Recommendations:

The lenses listed below are the ones I carried.

Fujinon XF 18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Fujinon XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR
Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 R OIS
Fujinon XF90mmF2 R LM WR (I’m comfortable with this focal length, but some people prefer Fujifilm XF56mmF1.2 R)
Optional – Fujifilm XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR (If you are serious about wildlife photography).

 

 

Do you have a favourite image you captured on your trip? What was the story behind the shot?

My favourite image was from a remote village in Sri Lanka nestled among the large mountains ranges. It has a rich history dating back to many centuries. The village is abundant with beauty, and it was only recently received widespread attention from tourists after a few local films were shot in the location. Over very few years the village transformed dramatically, and now it’s a popular holiday hub for many tourists. Many villagers who relied primarily on paddy fields and other traditional lifestyle jobs are now into tourism as it gives more financial stability in the modern economy. Even though methods are implemented for sustainable tourism the rate at which tourism grows is a major threat to the centuries-old traditions of the village.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 1/100 second – F16 – ISO 200

I wanted to capture the essence of the community, and during a stroll, I saw a villager visiting his paddy field surrounded by dark foliages and huts built for tourists – a familiar scene throughout the village.

The whole scene was like an arena – the field is the village, the dark foliage from the mountains and the huts surrounding it portrayed how tourism was slowly penetrating into the heart of the village. The man was both the victim and witness of this event. It was like there was a spotlight turned on to an important event in that village which will change its future forever.

 

When you look at a scene what is the most important thing you try and capture? Does composition play an important part of your photography?


Most of the times it is about how unique the image is. In the current world, almost all of us have a camera of some sort, from smartphones to the high-end medium formats. So many photographs are made of the same subject each second. Once I visited the Taj Mahal in India, and I tried to go as early as possible before sunrise, and I was among the handful of photographers at that time, and in few minutes there are hundreds of people with cameras. So it means most of them are going to take photographs of the same place at the same time and my worry is how can I stand out from that crowd while retaining the true meaning of the scenes I encountered.

This is where composition becomes important. For me, it is the most important part of a photograph. How you place and connect the elements of a scene into a photo will decide how the picture will connect with the audience. Naturally, I’m inclined towards better compositions in my images. The actual scene may look dull, could have bad weather, etc, but still one can come out with a good image if the composition is different and unique – often turning those negative factors into positives.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 1/500 second – F4.5 – ISO 400

Just because a sunset looks beautiful or a shadow from a person in a city looks mysterious doesn’t mean they will make a great photograph unless they connect well with their surroundings and tell a story together which makes the audience have inner discussions about the image. Occasionally the story can come from just the subject alone like in close up portraits, but most of the time it’s something that evolves around the subject and its environment. So, we should be vigilant on how we are going to present the whole thing to the audience.

 

If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?

Learn how to be a tough critic of your images. You can book a trip for a few thousand, buy the most expensive photography gear to take to your exotic location, but at the end of the day in the hotel room; you should be brave enough to delete most of those images which you think are not the best. You shouldn’t reflect on the amount of effort you put in to get those shots.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 1/25 second – F16 – ISO 200

There is a difference between ‘creating’ images and ‘taking/capturing’ images. Photography is an art; we have to be the creators of the art. Perfection needs experience, and even with the best experience, it’s highly doubtful that anyone would become just perfect in image making, but keep fighting for it. Cherish the better pictures that you make today and compare these to the ones you shot last week and keep going. Keep connecting well with fellow photographers and share knowledge. Remember, it is not about the destination, but more about the journey. Good Luck!

 

To view more Bhagiraj’s work visit his websiteblog or Facebook Page. You can also follow him on Instagram.

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Tony Gardiner

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Greg Cromie

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Clèment Breuille

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Clèment Breuille

Welcome to the Second Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our fifth interview in Series Two is with Sydney based photographer, Clèment Breuille.

Clément, what do you most like about Australian landscape photography and how did you end up shooting with a Fujifilm X-Pro2? 

I’ve grown up in France and never really got the chance to travel before I was twenty. During my master in design at l’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantiques, it was mandatory for us to do an internship abroad. And this is where everything started. I’ve found my internship in Sydney, which is the farthest destination possible from France (17000km).

I think this is what the internship was all about, getting out of your comfort zone: discovering a new way of living, new language, new perspective, etc…

It’s a great thing as a designer to do this exercise as it does open your vision on the world. People understand the role of the designer only from a graphic approach, someone who is creating something visually attractive. This is not entirely true. Design is a process, a way of approaching a problem and developing a solution. I think this is why I’ve started photography. Not only as a hobby but as an exercise with rules and processes.

Landscape photography is my favourite subject down under. First of all for the challenge, but also for the magnificence of it.

As a European growing up in France for pretty much my entire life, I’m always amazed by the diversity and richness of this country, and this is even after two years of living here. As a designer, a photographer requires the appropriate tools to succeed. This is why I’ve ended up shooting with a Fujifilm X-Pro2 after having been Canon user for the last four years.

The X-Pro2 is a compact and lightweight camera, which is exactly what I need when I have to endure a long hike to access my dream locations. Additionally, the great details and quality produced by the camera are perfect.

 

What do you like most about the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and what do you like the least? 

The capability of the Fujifilm X-PRO2 is just incredible for a camera of its size. I can literally bring it with me everywhere each day with the ability to shoot within a few seconds.
I think this is what I like the most after using the camera for the last year. The capability of knowing what you are doing at all time and being able to obtain the best possible shot straight out of the camera with its viewfinder is just incredible for a photographer like me.

For me, the weakness of the X-Pro2 is visible when you mount it on a tripod. When shooting landscapes you don’t always have the luxury to get the camera at your height and in front of you, and for this reason, I’d love to have a tilt screen. Managing your settings and especially your ISO could be challenging. You need to pull up the ISO selector on the top of the camera, which sometimes can create a little vibration creating blur in your image. These two points were solved on the Fujifilm X-T2, but I wish that the features will be considered in the next generation of the X-Pro2.

 

We noticed you photograph quite a few long exposures, can you show us one and tell us the story behind the image?

Recently, during the Vivid Festival 2017. Josselin Cornou and I were photographing at Circular Quay. We were quite surprised at just how clear was the sky was. We decided to check the position of the Milky Way by using the Photopills app, as we knew that it was the perfect time to observe and shoot the stars. Josselin tried it first using his Fujifilm GFX 50S, to have as much detail as possible and check if the shot was worth trying. We didn’t wait long as the first attempt was a success.

Following that shot, we had been shooting continuously for at least two hours before. At the festival, there were many lights moving around making it hard to get that “perfect shot”. After a long shoot and a long process in Photoshop, I finally was able to produce this one.

I never post-process my shots that much, as I tend to have the best possible image straight out of the camera. I was quite surprised at just how much detail I was able to get back from the X-Pro2 even when I pushed it to the limit.

Of course, we are now comparing an image from a medium format camera, against an APS-C Sized sensor. But seeing the two final shots and forgetting about the two post-processing styles, I do think that the Fujifilm X-Pro2 holds up against its bigger brother.

As an expat living in Australia what artistic, environmental or logistical challenges have you found when photographing ‘down under’ compared with your homeland?

Australia is a great country for a landscape photographer. There are many opportunities to shoot here all time of the year. To capitalise on this, you need to be ready.
In France, it is quite different as everything is ‘close’. Here in Australia, you need to plan where you are going, and when you are going to leave. You can be isolated and most of the time without mobile reception.

Taking the above image as an example, the plan was to go at Stockton just above Newcastle for sunset. After a long day driving and shooting at some spots on our way, @Adriano, @Josselin and I finally got to our location. After a quick one hour walk, we arrived in front of the dunes just on time.

We were there on time, but we didn’t take into consideration that we had to climb the massive dunes that were separating the track from the actual sand area where we wanted to shoot. It took us a good twenty minutes to climb the high dunes with all of our gear and equipment. In the end, we were only able to capture some of the last light due to the unexpected obstacle.
Looking back, the thought of driving, walking and climbing just for one shot was quite insane, but totally worth it.

Luckily enough, the conditions were perfect. During our stay in the dunes, we spotted a lot of nebulas and shooting stars that were clearly visible with our own eyes. When you arrive, you certainly feel small as Stockton is massive. You are surrounded by sand, and as we were walking, we started losing the notion of distance or time.

Around 3 am, we were all tired and cold. We weren’t sure exactly how far the was car, so we made the decision to sleep on the dunes. Without a tent, we used our camera bags as pillows and used the clothes on our backs to warm us up. That was certainly some of the longest hours I’ve experienced in my life! Waiting for the cold and the wind to dissipate before the sun warmed us up.

I remember us looking for another spot to ‘sleep’ as the first one ended up being too windy. We were walking like zombies in the dark hoping that this would end up soon. And that was the time the sun camera up, bringing with it a mysterious fog.

The journey to the dunes certainly was an amazing experience. Putting aside all the great moment and images it could have ended up turning for the worst. For example, running low on water, getting cold in the dunes without mobile reception, these things were avoidable if only we didn’t rush and instead equipped ourselves with all the information we needed to succeed in our trip.

Photography is a passion that requires a lot of time and effort, but you should never put yourself in a dangerous situation. Remember that at the end of the day (or night in our case) it’s only an image and it is not worth breaking your equipment for the shot, or worst losing your life.

In summary, my advice would be to know where you are going and what the weather will be, bring a lot of water and food, and let people know where you are.

 

How do you find the colours produced from Fujifilm X Series cameras compared with previous brands you may have used?

The colours straight out of the camera on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 are just amazingly correct! I used to shoot on a Canon EOS 60D for a long time, and I remember always having to change the white balance to get the shot looking natural in camera. With the X-Pro2, I may sometimes just increase the saturation and that’s it.

As a landscape photographer, it’s a great thing to be able to trust your camera as you are not always able to post process on the go. The Fujifilm cameras have an excellent advantage; they boast a broad range of film simulation, which makes your shot ready for social media or printing SOOC (straight out of the camera).

 

If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?

The great thing about photography is that you have a lot of different genres to explore. For example, someone who is an excellent portrait photographer might find a new challenge in landscape photography. That’s why I love photography. You always have news technique and things to learn, it never stops.

My first piece of advice would be to not invest too much money in your gear. The most important aspect of your gear is to understand how it works. For that, you should bring it with you daily, take it to work for instance. Shoot as many different subjects as possible, until you learn what settings are best. There’s no need to have a professional camera body to start off with. I’ve seen a lot of people investing in professional cameras without even understanding it.

My second piece of advice would be not to limit yourself and your creativity. Recently I’ve participated in a creative meetup at the Vivid festival in Sydney. The purpose of the event was to produce an image based on the particular brief. By participating in meetups like this, you will find your creativity. As a designer, I’ll never be able to produce something if I didn’t have direction from the client. The same should be said when it comes to your photography. Try and push your ideas so that they develop into photos.

My final advice would be to stay aware and connected. With the chance to live in a connected world, where it’s easy to share and learn from other people it’s a great place to learn. I have watched a lot of tutorials on YouTube and other social media platforms to understand how to achieve things in my photography journey.

Share your work and ask for feedback. Even if the feedback is negative, remember people are judging an image not you. By listening and exploring your creativity, you will only improve your work.

If you could give Fujifilm any advice on future camera models what would it be and why?

Fujifilm designs their product very well and understands their end user. You can feel it when you have one of their cameras in your hand. However as I’ve mentioned, I’d love to understand why some of the features of the X-T2 such as the dedicated ISO selector and the tilt screen are not available for the X-PRO2. I’m also disappointed to see a particular range of L-Brackets and battery grips for the X-T2, whereas the X-Pro2 is lacking in the accessories arena. Reading this, you might be thinking why didn’t I purchased a Fujifilm X-T2? The reason is simple, at the time of buying my X-PRO2 nothing was communicated about the release of the X-T2.

I know that Fujifilm love to keep their product secret, but maybe a better communication for the next generation might be necessary.

Can you share any insight into any post processing techniques other Fujifilm users should explore?

When it comes to post processing, everybody has their preferences, the most popular programs I hear about are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.
As a personal choice, I only use Photoshop and Camera RAW which is part of Photoshop.

The important thing for me to remember is to keep the final image ‘natural’. It is good to think about this sometimes when you work on a picture. I find taking a break and returning to the edit later can be beneficial. The reason is when you process you might make a mistake. Having a fresh eye on your workflow will give you the ability to notice and improve your way of working.

For my editing process, I’ve followed some tutorials produced by Jimmy Mcintyre. I must say they have helped me on this difficult photographic journey. I will not get into details as I don’t want to steal the credit and effort that he put into his techniques, all I will say is you should check out his YouTube channel.

I’ll use this image shown below to explain how I best process an image.

The basic idea I like to use when processing one or multiple images is to use luminosity masks. The great thing about Fujifilm RAW files is they have a lot of image detail information in them. This gives you the ability to recover shadow or highlight details in a picture easily without affecting the final image. I must say though if you want to use multiple images, remember to use a tripod when shooting.

For this particular image, I used two photos: the RAW above and another image slightly more exposed for the fence. After the blending here is the results:

Once you have all blending completed and have one final image, move onto enhancing the image. This is a subjective step, and you can go as creative as you want, but I recommend for landscape photographers always to remember to be conservative and keep it ‘natural’. For this image, I enhanced the contrast and colours and finished with a soft vignette to lead the eyes to the subject.

 

To view more Clèment’s work visit his website or follow him on Instagram or Facebook.

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Tony Gardiner

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Greg Cromie

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Greg Cromie

Welcome to the Second Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our fourth interview in Series Two is with Melbourne based photographer, Greg Cromie.

Greg, tell us a bit about your photography journey and how you ended up choosing street photography as your main genre?

I studied film photography in art school however once I graduated I did not pursue it any further.  It was 20 years later, in 2013, that I was encouraged to take up photography again. My wife had just passed away and I used street photography as a way to get out and face the world.  Through street photography I was able to see that the world and life went on. From behind the safety of my camera I captured life and love and happiness and every other emotion without feeling like it would swamp me in my raw state. A bit like snorkelling on a reef. I almost felt invisible and unaffected by what I was seeing. My street photography journey has been a tremendous part of dealing with my grief, reconnecting with the world and expressing myself through my images. It was, and still is, a form of therapy for me.

Queen Victorian Market – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF35mmF1.4 – 35mm – ISO 1000 – F2 – 1/1000 second


You mentioned you jumped from the X100 to the X-T1 and more recently to the Fujifilm X-T2. What made you want to upgrade your X Series camera?

When I picked up the original X100 I was instantly intrigued by the Fujifilm X Series. The image quality and the way that the Fujifilm X System renders images was just amazing and very unique. I prefer shooting with primes and having interchangeable lenses so it was not long before I sold all my DSLR gear and bought the Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF23mmF1.4 and the XF16mmF1.4. I loved the build quality of the Fujifilm X Series products. To have the manual controls so accessible on the camera allowed me complete creative control. It reminded me of my film photography days and the joy of creating a photo.

I took my Fujifilm X-T1 with me wherever I went – including two trips to Japan. It is such a compact and light kit that I could take my camera with a prime lens everywhere and hardly even notice it was in my bag. When the Fujifilm X-T2 launched I was quick to get my hands on one. Such a significant upgrade in capabilities from the X-T1 to the X-T2. The X-T1 had taught me the joy of controlling light and time to create images. The X-T2 has allowed me to master my photography and take it to the next level.

Melbourne Man – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18mmF2 – 18mm – ISO 3200 – F2 – 1/640 second

 

There’s a lot of emotion that unveils itself on the street, can you share the photo you’ve captured with the most impact and tell us a bit about what you were feeling when you captured it?

On my last trip to Japan, I took a Shinkansen from Kyoto to Hiroshima on the International Day of Peace. Such a humbling and highly emotional experience. On August 6, 1945, 80,000 people were immediately killed when the first deployed atomic weapon was unleashed by the United States. 6,000 degrees Celsius. 90 percent of the city destroyed. Tens of thousands later died due to radiation exposure and disease. Nothing like it had ever been experienced before nor since.

Converging on Hiroshima were school groups, survivors and the families of victims visiting the site to perhaps share in hope that the world never had to visit such devastation and loss again. This shot was taken outside the building now known as the Atomic Bomb Dome – the exact location over which the atomic bomb detonated. The building is a shell of twisted steel and even melted concrete and bricks. This class of students with their matching yellow hats were all listening attentively and respectfully to their teacher.  I could not understand what was being said but the implied lesson was clear.

I think my own personal experience with loss and grief was awoken that day as I could all too clearly understand losing so much. But I was equally encouraged by the composure of the Japanese people and their ability to endure the worst of the worst and still prosper.

Hiroshima Education – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF50-140mmF2.8 – 140mm – ISO 200 – F2.8 – 1/500 second

 

What are the sorts of subjects you look for on the street and do you prefer a particular focal length to capture them?

I find my style of street photography to be an organic process. I prefer to capture images that tell some sort of story of the human experience. Where are we? What are the political and social considerations of the time and how does this subject interact with those? Is there tension or joy or stillness in the subject’s emotional experience? How are others impacting the scene or the experience of the subject? How is the subject impacting others? I will stroll though a location with camera in hand while my eyes scan the scene looking for the alignment of all these factors and much more. My preferred focal length for shooting street is 23mm. Something about this length allows me to capture a subject but also enough of the surrounding scene to suggest or tell the story.

Dayelsford Entertainer – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF23mmF2 – 23mm – ISO 400 – F2.8 – 1/1000 second

 

What’s it like owning the F2 trinity? Which lens out of the three do you prefer to use and can you show us your favourite photo captured with it?

With the recent release of the XF50mmF2 I was able to complete the F2 trinity of Fujifilm lenses. I prefer to shoot with primes so now that I have the XF23mmF2, XF35mmF2 and the XF50mmF2 I feel like my street kit (and my travel kit) is complete. The 23mm gives me the subject within the scene and allows for both to tell the story. The 35mm allows me to isolate the subject more but still allow for background and foreground elements to play a small part.  The 50mm gives me greater reach to capture the subject in isolation. To pull the subject out of the scene without disrupting it.

With my X-T2 and these three lenses I can carry my kit in a messenger bag and hardly notice the weight. When paired with the X-T2 each of these lenses are sharp and super quick on the auto focus. Plus, this makes my whole kit weather resistant. My favourite of these three lenses changes as they are all exceptional lenses. At the moment my ‘new’ favourite is the XF50mmF2 probably because it is the newest and there is so much enjoyment to be had with a new focal length. I look forward to taking only the F2 trinity with me to Japan again later this year.

Coffee Capital – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF23mmF2 – 23mm – ISO 1600 – F2 – 1/250 second

Here I am – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF35mmF2 – 35mm – ISO 400 – F5 – 1/250 second

Head – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF50mmF2 – 50mm – ISO 200 – F4 – 1/250 second

 

 

If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?

A lot of people seem to have a fear about how to use their new gear. I see a lot of questions appear on forums from new photographers saying that they have camera X and lens Y and they want advice on the best settings to shoot something straight forward. This is so unnecessary as unlike in the film days, digital cameras give us limitless opportunity for trial and error. Your only real obstacle is how long your battery will last or how much your SD card can hold.

Be brave and take lots and lots of photos. If you are using a camera like one from the Fujifilm X Series, then set the Aperture and ISO to A (Auto) and just experiment with the Shutter Speed manually for a day or two. At the end of your shoot review your images and take note of the ones that you love and the ones you hate. What settings did you use? The next day, just use ISO on manual to see how this changes your images. Carry your camera everywhere and shoot everything. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your camera. As long as there is a hint of light, you can make an image.

Kyoto Couple – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF23mmF1.4 – 23mm – ISO 200 – F1.4 – 1/1000 second

 

Your passion for street photography has recently taken you to Japan for a second time, how did you find photographing people on the streets compared to Australia? Did you prefer a particular lens over another?

I have always had an affinity with Japanese culture so to be able to travel there was a big item on my bucket list. The first trip was to Tokyo and I stayed in Shibuya. What a crazy and amazing experience that was. A very youth centric area in the heart of the biggest and most densely populated city on the planet. The second time I travelled to Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

Doing street photography in Japan is incredible. Such diverse cities with backdrops that range from hyper-futuristic ‘Bladerunner’ style scenes in Tokyo to the still and sacred spaces that house the traditional temples and shrines in Kyoto. One day I was photographing in Shibuya at the scramble crossing, where thousands of people cross a giant zebra-crossing every few minutes. The next I was in the Tsukiji Central Fish Market photographing fish mongers carving giant tuna. On both trips to Japan I took my X-T1 and predominantly used the XF16mmF1.4 and XF23mmF1.4 lenses. I swapped between these two quite a bit and on days or nights when it was raining I stuck with the XF16mmF1.4 due to its weather resistance. They are both very versatile lenses and can be used for street, landscape and architecture.

Fish Monger – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF16mmF1.4 – 16mm – ISO 5000 – F2.2 – 1/500 second

Prayer – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF23mmF1.4 – 23mm – ISO 800 – F2.2 – 1/125 second

 

Based on your experience what would you like to see included on a future X Series camera?

When I first purchased the X-T1 I knew I was using such an incredible camera. The build quality, aesthetics, ergonomics and overall capabilities of the camera were amazing. My wish list for improvements was non-existent as the system was meeting all my needs at the time. Then the X-T2 was developed and Fujifilm managed to deliver a greater photography experience by adding features that I didn’t even know I wanted or needed. Superior sensor and processor, dual SD card slots and I find the AF toggle stick such a great addition for street photography. The quality and capabilities of this camera has also allowed me to start my own photography business and offer a broader range of photographic services. Conceptually an X-T3 could include improved battery durability and a performance boost system without the need for the additional battery grip to make it worthwhile. One of my favourite features of the Fujifilm X System is the film simulations. Further film simulations would be a fantastic addition.

Ice Cream Girl – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF35mmF1.4R – 35mm – ISO 800 – F2 – 1/2000 second

 

To view more of Greg’s work visit his web landing page that links to all of his social media profiles.

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Tony Gardiner

 

 

 

 

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Tony Gardiner

Welcome to the Second Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our third interview in Series Two is with Sydney based photographer, Tony Gardiner.

Tony, cinematography has been a big part of your life and runs in your family, can you tell us why you decided to use the Fujifilm X-Pro2 to capture on set still images and how did your relationship with Fujifilm originally start?

 

I have been very fortunate to grow up around image-makers. Cinematography is the family business! My father and grandfather ran a film lab in Sydney Australia. Because of my long association with image making, I have always been familiar with Fujifilm & Fujinon products and have always held the lenses especially in high regard.

 

I was looking for a lightweight easy to use mirrorless camera to capture both on set stills and for my art projects because I have always liked the look of Fujifilm products.

 

 

Did you face any challenges while using the X-Pro2, XF50-140mmF2.8 or XF35mmF1.4? Can you tell us how you overcame them?

 

There were no significant challenges that would be specific to the X Series. I enjoyed the size and power of the camera. The main challenge was the size of the long lens. However, this is just the physics of glass elements and lens as a whole. The XF50-140mmF2.8 is a beautiful lens, but I just found it a bit too big to shoot from the hip on set.

 

 

You may have seen that Fujifilm released the new MK18-55mm T2.9 lens for E-Mount cameras, tell us in your professional opinion, based on what you have seen, how do you see Fujinon lenses changing the game for independent cinematographers?

 

I have always been a big fan of Fujinon Glass. Owning a set of Alura / Arri Studio zooms which unfortunately I no longer have, however, I have been able to get the Fujinon Cabrio range of zooms for the bigger “tent pole” episodes of the popular TV show, Home and Away. The size and quality of these lenses open up so many opportunities not just for independent but major productions alike.

 

Sony’s E- Mount series of cameras themselves have been wonderful assets to independent and small productions however the lens selection has been limited. The release of the lightweight E-Mount Fujinon lens is a significant step in taking a wonderful system from good to great.

 

 

 

Can you give us an insight into what it’s like working in a crew and how you depend on each other to create a scene?

 

I’m really lucky to have an amazing crew on Home on Away! We work 46 weeks a year together. Spending that much time together makes us kind of like family, and like family, there are ups and downs, but there is no way we could get our insane schedule completed without every single person on set. I have some of the best operators in the business who frame up what I want before I know I want it! My grip can build multiple lenses of track on the beach in no time. It’s because of their talent and ability to work in all conditions (sometimes in relatively harsh conditions) that we can produce excellent results day in day out.

 

 

 

If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?

 

Persistence, keep shooting. Shoot as often as you can and learn from every shot you take. I have been working on professional sets since I was 16 and almost every day I still learn new tricks or techniques that I can store in my bag of tricks.

 

 

As a cinematographer, do you do anything differently when capturing a scene on a stills camera compared to one that records video? Does composition and image ratio play an important part?

 

While photography and cinematography share a lot of the same skill sets, they both have very different sets of rules that you need to learn (so you can know when to stick by them and when to break them)! With photography, you are capturing a single moment in time, so the way you tell your story is very different. Cinematography allows you to tell a story with a moving image however it can have more restraints in framing and composition.

 

 

What was your favourite image captured using the Fujinon XF50-140mmF2.8? Can you tell us the story behind the picture?

 

My favourite image with the long lens is just a quick snapshot I took of a boat at sea while in-between setups on a “Home and Away” set at Palm Beach in Sydney. This was a lucky case of excellent timing with the seagull flying through shot. I love the ease of use of the X Series, while on set I was able to quickly pick up the camera and grab this image while shooting a scene.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR – 140mm – 1/32,000 – F2.8 – ISO 250

 

 

Considering you been in the industry for a while and used a lot of gear what would you like to see on a future X Series camera regarding settings and video features?

 

With the updates to the X-T2, I think Fujifilm has come a long way in making a very usable “B” camera for cinematography use. I would like to see 4K video capabilities included in the X-Pro2 camera. However, I understand this may change the ergonomics and size of the camera, so maybe I just have to man up and go for the X-T2!

 

To view more of Tony’s work visit his website or follow him on Instagram.

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Andrey Moisseyev

Our June X-Thusiast hails from South Australia and captures beaches, sunsets, street photography and more. Learn more about the diverse photography from Andrey Moisseyev, and get his advice for pursuing photography as your passion.

 

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

 

My name is Andrey Moisseyev and, yes, I realise my surname might be a tongue twister. I live in Adelaide and capture everything touching my life in the surrounding area. South Australia is a very beautiful state with great beaches, amazing sunsets and picturesque hills. My daily work is in information communication technology (ICT) within the city but photography is my passion, ensuring I carry a camera almost every day in order to find new angles and perspectives on life. My work has been used by such brands as SA Tourism Commission, Woolworths, Jetstar, Hahn, Mother’s Choice, different local councils, etc. I’ve also been published in Australian and international car magazines, calendars and local newspapers.

 

 

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

My interest in photography began at twelve when I took pictures for a short time but I was obliged to take a hiatus. I returned to photography at 26 after I grew dissatisfied with my simple 6MP point-and-shoot, and upgraded to a decent DSLR to capture higher-quality images of my family.

 

The results and sense of satisfaction thereafter led me to the realisation that photography would be my lifelong passion. All the while, my artistic eye, studio and technique expanded and improved, along with the range of equipment. Finally, I concluded that I needed to acquire something more compact that would easily fit into my backpack while maintaining an excellent image quality.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR – F13 – 30 seconds – ISO 200

 

Last year, I started to look for a camera that would meet all my expectations. I considered many brands before an email from my local camera shop arrived announcing the release of the Fujifilm X-T2 in Australia. I visited the shop and bumped into a Fujifilm representative demonstrating the camera in-store. I spent an hour or so talking to him whilst testing the camera. A few days later, I became a happy owner of the X-T2 with an XF18-135mm kit lens. Since then I have seldom been without this camera.

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

I’m still settling on a style but it is definitely within the spectrum of Velvia colours. Most of my subjects are cars, architecture and landscapes but I prefer not to box myself into a single genre, as my interests are wide: portraits, still life, street, macro, etc. Also, I shoot a lot for micro stocks, another reason to buy a compact camera that needs to be easily portable while still offering a resolution of at least 24 MP.

 

What inspires your photography?

 

I’m forever trying to improve myself in the field and learn new techniques. I follow other photographers through social networks and online art galleries and analyse how and why they are taking their pictures. In addition, the beauty, sheer scope and energetic light of Australian nature drives me onward to capture the ever-expanding horizons of our universe.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR – F8 – 10 seconds – ISO 200

 

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

 

I found myself shooting a lot of sunsets. Here in SA, we have the most beautiful sunsets viewed from the beaches with jetties. I also like night city views and I discovered that my X-T2 is very good at taking night and long-exposure photos. As for the quality of light, it is always different and one simply needs to be prepared to capture the right moment.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR – F6.4 – 1/250 second – ISO 200

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

I have many and it’s hard to remember all but the most recent, which was from our trip to Hahndorf, South Australia, where I was capturing the autumn colours of the village. After I uploaded a few pictures on Facebook, one of the photos went viral and was shared more than 30,000 times and viewed by more than 100,000 people in just a couple of weeks.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF27mmF2.8 – F7.1 – 1/250 second – ISO 200

 

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

 

Presently, I only own the Fujifilm X-T2 and am delighted with it. It is very compact, weather-sealed and has good build quality along with a perfect resolution for now. I also appreciate how it manages noise. I particularly enjoy the tilting screen feature, which allows me to get down very low or above my head. I’m keen to experiment with the GFX 50S when funds permit.

 

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

 

As I was striving for portability and universality, I’m happy with the XF18-135mm; however, recently I purchased the XF27mmF2.8 pancake lens, reducing my camera footprint to the point it fits into my pocket — which is great! Going forward, I plan to acquire the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6, XF56mmF1.2 and XF23mmF1.4, and hope I won’t have to wait too long for this to happen.

 

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

 

I shoot both. The X-T2 has two SD card slots and I set it up to write RAW into one and JPG into the other — it is very handy. After copying files to my PC I do a backup onto another hard drive straight away. I always use Adobe Lightroom to process RAW files and Photoshop for editing.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR – F5 – 1/250 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?

 

My technical tip is for RAW conversion in Lightroom to sharpen my photos, which I was very happy with. Following extensive experimentation, I achieved the desired result. In Develop module, Details tab for XF18-135mm lens, I use the following settings: Sharpening 70-80

Radius 1.2-1.3

Detail 5

Masking 30

After this — in Camera Calibration — I switch to profile “Camera Velvia/VIVID.”

 

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

 

Give it a go and never give up! Life is short and there is only one moment, which will never be repeated. It is the present — capture it! If you like to take pictures, just do it regardless of the opinions of another. I guarantee that a Fujifilm camera is the perfect tool with which to accomplish this.

 

To see more of Andrey’s work, check out his Instagram page.

 

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.

Adam Bonn: A Love Affair with Fujifilm

X-Pro2 - Douro Calm
X-Pro2 – Douro Calm

By Adam Bonn

 

Photographer, Adam Bonn, author of MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE FUJIFILM X-PRO1, has over 17 years’ experience shooting with Fujifilm. In this interview he tells us how he got in to photography, and why he loves his newest addition to his Fujifilm family; the X-Pro2.

 

Continue reading Adam Bonn: A Love Affair with Fujifilm

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

Welcome to the Second Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our second interview in Series Two is with Cairns, Queensland-based photographer, Jared Morgan.

 

When you first started out pursuing photography did you consider Fujifilm equipment and can you let us know why you use the gear now?

 

My only real experience with Fujifilm before the Fujifilm X-T10 and Fujifilm X-T2 was probably around 2006. If I remember correctly I had a Fujifilm FinePix S5500 bridge camera. I think it was a 4 Megapixel camera. They were a pretty good travel camera for the time. This camera did some hard travelling through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam after I purchased it.

 

The camera was also pushed into service as the camera I took in 2011 when I rode my motorcycle on a three-month trip around Australia. However, that trip eventually saw its demise, and it retired from active service!

 

I then went down a somewhat traditional route many photographers have gone down. I decided I liked the ergonomics of Nikon DSLR cameras and have used a Nikon DSLR system for several years. My interest for re-entering the Fujifilm world was I was looking for a lightweight travel system. I purchased the Fujifilm X-T10, XF18-55mmF2.8-4, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 and rented the XF10-24mmF4 for a personal trip to Japan in late 2016.

 

On my last few days in Japan, I purchased the Fujifilm X-T2. This was when I seriously considered the Fujifilm system for everyday professional use. I have been slowly but surely building up my Fujifilm inventory of equipment and introducing it to my professional work as my Nikon gear slowly phased out.

One of my first efforts exploring the Fujifilm X-T10 before Japan. Looking back at Cairns (Australia) over Trinity Inlet.

Fujifilm X-T10 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 18mm – F13 – 20sec – ISO200

 

 

Do you have a favourite photo you have captured using Fujifilm equipment? Can you tell us the story behind the image?

 

I think my favourite photo so far with the Fujifilm system is a photograph I simply call “Takayama”. This photograph was taken with the Fujifilm X-T10 in Takayama, Japan. I had travelled to Japan in November of 2016 and was still getting to know the Fujifilm X-T10 on the fly a little bit.

 

I tend to walk a lot when I travel, I have always been a bit of a wanderer, (I think it’s a great way to get to know the places you visit). I had planned to walk to Hida Folk Village in Takayama in the morning which is located about 5 kilometres from the town. Well, as plans go, sometimes things don’t go as expected. I had been out quite late doing some night photography and ended up sleeping in. After getting organised, I walked outside to the most amazing mist or fog that had enveloped Takayama. I grabbed the nearest taxi and high-tailed it! It turned out to be great timing; I had still arrived early enough that the crowds were minimal and I had about twenty minutes of the mist rolling down off and surrounding the hills before the sun rose enough and the magic evaporated.

 

This is just one of many shots taken that morning in great haste! It may not be the most technically proficient photo, but I still smile when I think of that time in Takayama. Hopefully, I captured something of what it was like.

Takayama – Fujifilm X-T10 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 18mm – F8 – 1/200sec – ISO200

 

 

 

We noticed you enjoy night photography, what sort of settings do you mainly use when photographing with your Fujifilm X-T2?

 

Night photography is something I very much enjoy. I consider myself a generalist at this stage in my photography career, but if I had to choose something I would prefer to do it would be out exploring in the dark with a camera.

 

I have always gravitated to night photography. Partly that’s just who I am, I am quite happy alone and exploring, and partly the technical challenge of finding light when there appears to be none. I have always been fascinated by the fact that mundane places can be very different, even spectacular when viewed through the filter of the darkness.

 

As for settings, it is rare for me to do much over a 30-second exposure. I find with the style of night photography I do there is usually enough in a 30-second exposure to make an image. I recently completed a small series of local waterfalls at night time. Almost all were taken with 30-second exposures, and occasionally multiple exposures blended together.

 

I found both the Fujifilm X-T10 and X-T2 easily the best cameras I have used for their ease of night photography. The Electronic View Finder has changed the way I shoot at night. I can compose in almost complete darkness and not have to take several high ISO shots to check my composition. This has most definitely kept my time spent ‘fiddling in the dark’ around to a minimum.

Takayama Swan – Fujifilm X-T10 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 31mm – 1/100sec – ISO200

 

 

 

Jared, as a part time professional photographer what do you see being the biggest hurdle in establishing yourself as a full-time professional?

 

I think the main hurdle to becoming a full-time professional photographer for me is a somewhat complicated question! Firstly, the decision to become full-time must be examined.

 

I see advantages in not relying on photography as my main source of income. I have a reliable stream of income from my current employment and, I see the benefit in remaining a part-time photographer and reducing my hours spent in my ‘day job’.

 

By not constantly being under pressure to source income from my photography, I feel I have much more control and can be a bit pickier in what and when I shoot. I also feel this allows me more freedom to explore my interests in photography and allows me to be more creative. I have learnt that this journey as a photographer is somewhat out of my control at this time. I am happy and willing to some extent to let the fortunes of fate decide what is in store for my photographic career.

 

Just a short time ago I would never have dreamed of an opportunity like appearing in this series by Fujifilm, and am more curious than ever to see where and what I end up doing in photography be that in a full or part-time capacity.

Crystal Cascades Cairns – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 39mm – F11 – 30sec – ISO200

 

 

 

Recently you travelled to Japan with the Fujifilm X-T10 and three XF lenses. How did you find the Fujifilm X Series system when travelling?

 

The catalyst for looking at the Fujifilm system for me was largely an issue of weight. I had travelled to Europe in 2015, and like many photographers who travel, I suspect I tend to travel with a bit too much gear in fear of losing “the shot”!

 

I started looking at compact systems for travel but I also definitely did not want to sacrifice image quality and capability. This is how I ended up researching the Fujifilm cameras initially. I was going to Japan in November of 2016 for a solo photography trip and decided on the Fujifilm X-T10, XF18-55mmF2.8-4, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 and I rented the XF10-24mmF4. I weighed my gear that I took to Europe and Japan recently to compare the weight savings of now using Fujifilm. The Fujifilm gear I now travel with is about half that of my other equipment! So, safe to say that part of my requirements was achieved – absolutely!

 

As I do enjoy night photography, safety is always a concern as well. Although this is not really an issue in Japan, the smaller less obtrusive gear does allow me somewhat to be less conspicuous and not necessarily look like I am carrying lots of expensive camera gear around.

 

I have also discovered that people photography or street photography is much more enjoyable with the Fujifilm. People don’t seem to be as concerned when they notice they may be being photographed with a smaller camera than a traditional DSLR type camera, so definitely a good system for street photographers I think.

 

Overall, I have found I am much more likely to nearly always have a camera on me now, and the Fujifilm X-T2 is just such a pleasure to use. I found no drawbacks with the Fujifilm system when it comes to travelling, and am looking forward to returning to Japan with my Fujifilm X-T2 in December.

Shibuya Crossing – Tokyo Japan – Fujifilm X-T10 with XF10-24mmF4 – 10mm – F4 – 1/5sec – ISO200

 

 

While you were in Japan, you purchased the Fujifilm X-T2. Tell us in a few sentences what you are most excited about exploring on this camera?

 

The Fujifilm X-T2 was a turning point for me. This camera made me realise the potential of the Fujifilm cameras to be used professionally and was largely responsible for me to start switching to Fujifilm full time and not just as a travel camera.

 

The latest features to be introduced via the recent firmware update that were of most interest to me were the ability to change ISO on the front dial, longer exposure times when in bulb mode and smaller focus points available. I have also been making use of the voice memo function to make a few notes on location while shooting. I am slowly starting to explore video as well so I will be spending a fair amount of time exploring the Fujifilm X-T2’s video capabilities in the coming months.

Old Man Kyoto – Fujifilm X-T10 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 55mm – F5.6 – 1/500sec – ISO800

Kyoto Reflections – Fujifilm X-T10 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 55mm – F5.6 – 1/500 – ISO800

 

 

When photographing in your hometown of Cairns, Australia how do you find people react to you using Fujifilm equipment? Do you notice any differences from changing over from a Digital SLR?

 

 

It has been very interesting seeing people’s reactions to the Fujifilm cameras. There are the people who are fascinated by the manual dials and many older people comment on the similarity of the Fujifilm cameras to the old film cameras they grew up with.

 

There is something special about the look of the cameras. They are a very tactile camera, and you just want to touch them! Then there are the “photographers” who can’t possibly even begin to understand that it’s not a Nikon or Canon, and will explain at length why brand x is better. I usually am happy to explain the benefits of the Fujifilm as I see them. I am more and more happy just to nod and smile and let the results speak for themselves!

 

The main differences I have noticed is obviously the reduction in weight. Also, I just want to use the camera more. I sometimes just pick the camera up so I can enjoy holding it…the X factor perhaps.

Trinity Inlet (Cairns Australia) – Fujifilm X-T10 – XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 35mm – F14 – 13sec – ISO200

 

 

If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?

 

My advice for someone starting out in photography would be to really learn the basic stuff like composition, colour, exposure, etc. Once you have the basics really sorted, you will be able to make the creative ideas you have in your head.

 

Vision and creativity are of course important, but if you don’t understand how to make it happen, it’s not of much use. I think being good at one will often make you better at the other. Secondly, don’t try and force a particular style. Your own style will develop naturally over time. Don’t follow the latest trends just because something may be popular right now. Develop YOUR photography style.

 

Don’t think the journey ends, never stop learning. Study other photographers, try new techniques and explore your ideas. Remember you will fail, learn from your failures. Lastly, always remember you make your images not the latest gadget!

Kyoto Gion District – Fujifilm X-T10 with XF10-24mmF4 – 10mm – F22 – 45sec – ISO200

 

To view more of Jared’s work visit his website or follow him on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Welcome to the Second Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our first interview in Series Two is with Sydney based photographer, Rhys Tattersall.

Rhys, tell us about you and what you most like about photography and video?

I am 22 years old and currently working retail. What I like most about photography and video is it allows me to be creative, it’s a means of expression when I’m not at work or home, I love being able to tell a story through my work.

You recently visited Japan with the Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF56mmF1.2 and XF16-55mmF2.8, was the gear well suited for travelling?

What lens did mainly use for photography and how did the camera perform in the snow?

Yeah, it was a great trip, and the gear worked superbly! The overall weight of the X-Pro2 body with the two lenses was great. The gear was very light, and it easily fit into my camera bag, which made it easy to do full day trips, I was thankful I didn’t get a sore back. I had the XF16-55mmF2.8 on most of the time because it was a versatile focal length for video and those split decision moments for a photo opportunity. The weather sealed body and lenses acted perfectly when it was snowing and raining.

What are your impressions on Fujifilm as a brand compared to others you may have used previously?

Fujifilm is a great brand that makes affordable products of a high quality. Although, I feel with great products they offer they could advertise and reach out to customers a lot better than they are doing so. Their social media is growing which is a great sign, but I feel they aren’t doing everything they can be to show off the amazing products they have on hand.

What’s been the most engaged photo you captured using the Fujifilm X-Pro2? Can you tell us the story behind the image?

At this point, it would be the photo I took of my mate walking ahead of me in a snow storm at Nozawa Onsen. We were on our way back from town to our Ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn), and it was lightly snowing at the time of leaving the restaurant. A few minutes later, the snow began to come down sideways – there was lots of it! Adrian happened to be walking ahead of me, and I wanted to capture the snow falling, so I switched to manual focus and pulled it back until I saw the most snow in focus. I was using the XF16-55mmF2.8 and shot the photo at 1/250 shutter speed combined with an aperture of F2.8 at ISO 200.

If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?

Don’t get caught up on the gear side of things. I learned using film and an old analogue camera. Photography being an art in a sense means there is no wrong way of doing things, only how you perceive it and portray it. Don’t be a copycat, find your own style.

We noticed you used the Fujifilm X-Pro2 to film a video in Tokyo. What video settings, pre and post processing, did you use to achieve the look?

The video settings I used were 1080p at 60fps (frames per second) which is Full HD. Although in saying that, when recording video, you want to make sure your shutter speed is close to as possible to double the fps (in this case, 60fps means I will want to keep my shutter speed at 1/120). Doing this will keep the video nice and smooth and allow for great slow motion in post. Post processing wise, I used Premiere Pro and edited with sequence settings at 24fps, which helped create smooth, realistic slow motion.

Have you used the Fujifilm X-Pro2 at night? How did it perform and was there any noticeable noise or artefacts in the photos?

Yes, Particularly with fireworks in Nozawa Onsen and the street lights of Tokyo! The Fujifilm X-Pro2 was great, its low light capabilities were very surprising and showed little to no noise artefacts. I was able to still get photos at a decent shutter speed when hand holding in low light scenarios.

What improvements would you like to see on a future X Series camera?

That’s a hard one, as settings seem to differ in each model. I think if the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Fujifilm X-T2 had the same software it would enable the X-Pro2 specifically to become more versatile. I think we are coming into an age where it’s common to have so many features in one product, opposed to having many different products with roughly the same features. If Fujifilm allowed the software and some hardware components to be utilised across all X Series Cameras, I feel it would be a good improvement to a future model.

To view more of Rhys’s work visit his Instagram profile or subscribe to his YouTube channel.