How to capture the true personality of your subject behind the lens

Commercial and editorial photographer James Bellorini is no stranger to portrait photography and has captured many faces on camera, including entrepreneurs, performers, DJs and musicians. We wanted to ask James for his advice on how to capture a subject’s true personality behind the lens. Continue reading How to capture the true personality of your subject behind the lens

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract Architecture Photography with the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 Lens

By Felix Mooneeram

I first became interested in the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 lens when I had an idea for a specific photo series which came to mind as I was travelling around my home city: Manchester. There’s a lot of history here but there’s also been a great deal of new architecture built in the last 10 or 15 years. For a few months, I imagined a series of images where I could get closer to the architecture that was catching my eye everyday around the city. I wanted to explore the relationships between the old and the new, whilst examining the styles and materials of the recent developments more closely and the XF100-400mm was the definitely the lens to do this. Not only was I interested to see how a lens typically used for sports and wildlife photography could work in a city; but I was excited about the new perspective it could gave me on buildings that I pass on a daily basis. Continue reading Abstract Architecture Photography with the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 Lens

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Carlo Mark Almadro

 

Carlo Mark Almadro, also known as the Stray Storyteller, is a photographer from the countryside in Victoria. Learn more about his adventures filming cosplay characters and street photography in Melbourne.

 

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

 

My name is Carlo Mark Almadro and I live in a small town in country Victoria. I usually like to introduce myself with the moniker “The Stray Storyteller.” I got the idea from a popular street photographer who, in describing another photographer, wrote that we should “wander the streets like a stray dog.” So that’s what I started to enjoy doing, but the name “stray dog” was already taken, so I ended up wandering the streets like a stray storyteller.

 

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

 

I’ve always liked browsing through great photos online, especially the ones taken by everyday people. I would always stare and wonder how some of them are able to evoke emotions and memories with a single still image. I wanted to be able to do what they did, so I started saving up to buy my first “big” camera. What I ended up buying was the Fujifilm FinePix X100. With zero knowledge in photography, I went out with my X100 and started taking random photos in full auto. Once I saw the images that it produced, I was hooked and I wanted to do and learn more.

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

I don’t have a specific style yet and I am still learning, but I do like pouring over the work of several documentary and street photographers and try to emulate what they do and incorporate that into the photos I like to take. I’ve been experimenting a lot with different styles. I think it’ll be pretty apparent once you see my Instagram feed. It’s predominantly cosplay portraits at the moment but there is a good mix of everything.

 

03-ethereal

“Ethereal” – StarPandora as Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia | X-T1 + XF56mmF1.2 – F1.8 – 1/1000 second – ISO 200

 

What inspires your photography?

I’m inspired by the desire to learn and do more with photography. Every once in a while I will see a photo that truly stuns and inspires me. There is so much beauty, and there are so many stories I want to capture and immortalise. In order to do so properly, I have to keep learning and improving. My hope is that one day, maybe one of my own images will have that same impact on someone else.

 

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

 

Melbourne, definitely! I love Melbourne. I love walking around the city, getting lost in the laneways, finding small nooks and crannies, meeting different people, watching the buskers, and seeing myriad scenes unfold before me.

06-street-art

“Street Art” – a graffiti artist working on his art as passers-by go on with their day | X-T1 + XF18mmF2

 

I’m still trying to get a better grip of natural light photography so my preferred type of day to shoot in would be really cloudy days where the light would be diffused beautifully. Overcast days also give that moody feel to a photo that I love. I also very much enjoy taking portraits of cosplayers at pop culture conventions. The fun atmosphere at these events is very infectious and the costumes made and worn by the cosplayers are so full of colour and detail.

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

I’ve never done an organised photo session before, but if a street session counts, then my favourite would be the first time I went to a pop culture convention. I remember asking cosplayers if I could take their photo and they would always say yes. Every time I would review the image, I would feel happy. The character, the colours, the feeling—everything just looked right.

04-hunter

“Hunter” – Ataraxy Creative as Aloy of the game Horizon Zero Dawn | X-T1 + XF56mmF1.2 – F1.4 – 1/125 second – ISO 400

 

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

 

My favourite would be my X-T1. I like the way it is so easy to handle and fits in the hand nicely. It took some getting used to but now I love having dials for all the things I like to adjust.

 

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

 

The XF56mmF1.2 hands down, because portraits just look so dreamy and everything just comes out great all the time.

my-melbourne

“Music window” – street photo of a busker on Bourke street | X-Pro1 + XF18mmF2 – F2.8 – 1/2000 second – ISO 3200

 

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

 

I shoot RAW+JPEG. The Fujifilm jpegs are already beautiful from the get-go and I always use them if I want to share something real quick. The RAW files, I import to Adobe Lightroom CC using my own personal preset that I based heavily on the Fujifilm Pro-Neg Hi Film Simulation. Usually, I would stop there, but if I’m not totally happy with an image, I would then make some adjustments to achieve the look I want.

 

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

 

I’m no technical expert but I do have some personal preferences. I predominantly shoot in the daytime so my ISO is almost always set to 200. I usually try to keep my shutter speed at 1/180 second. Depending on the mood I’m after I interchange between two of my go-to White Balance settings: R +2 : Y -2 or B +2 : G -2. Then before taking the shot, I’d play around with the aperture ring until I get the exposure I want. Every situation would always need something different but that’s usually what I have once I step out the door.

 

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

 

Attend a pop culture convention. The atmosphere is great and it is the best place you can practice taking portraits and adjusting your settings on the fly. Cosplayers are also among the friendliest people out there. Ask to take their portrait and once they get into character and strike their signature poses, the resulting photo will almost always look great.

 

When shooting in the streets, be constantly aware of your surroundings. Being the enthusiasts that we are, it’s too easy to get carried away and be oblivious to everything else that’s happening around us that we potentially could get into an accident or be a nuisance to others. I know I have been guilty of this several times in the past.

 

Don’t stress too much and enjoy yourself, and to do this, the one piece of advice that I keep in mind at all times that always helps is: If the person who took the photo loves their photo, then it is good.

 

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.

 

 

Fujifilm X-Thusiast: Bringing Photographers Together

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The Fujifilm X-Thusiast program is entering its second year and is brimming with beautiful works of art. In the last year, our X-Thusiasts took us on amazing journeys, from the Australian Outback to the foothills of Mount Cook. We saw delicious dishes, tasty treats and crashing waves from distant shores.

But most of all, we found inspiration in your submissions, and were honoured you’ve taken these journeys with your X Series camera. We know photography is about the journey, not the destination, and are glad to be there right along with you as you hone your skills.

“I feel a lot of enthusiasts and hobbyists will benefit from having such a program to submit their work to, be inspired by and have something to work towards,” says December 2016 featured photographer Janice Kho. “I actually found answering the interview questions a fantastic exercise, as it really made me think about my photography, how I use my gear to make images and reflect
on what photography means to me and how far I’ve come. It has also given me more confidence in my ability as a photographer, it’s a great feeling to get that positive feedback on your work, especially among so many photographers I admire in this community.”

We continue to encourage you to submit your photos and engage with the other photographers in our community. Photography can often seem like a lonely endeavour, but with conversation and collaboration, you can develop new skills and ideas.

By checking out the works of others in our X-Thusiast gallery and sharing insights, you can start a conversation, get advice and take your photography to the next level. The X-Thusiast program serves to foster a community where photographers can stay on top of trends, while establishing their credibility as a Fujifilm-recognised photographer.

To get discovered today, share your work with us and expand your potential!

Featured image by X-Thusiast – Laurie Davison

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Mitch Hill

 

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

 

I’ve recently moved from Sydney to Melbourne and have been serious about photography for a few years now. I fell in love with Melbourne when I first visited a few years ago. I couldn’t get enough of it and now feel lucky to call it home. Besides photography all I really do is work, and one day I would love to call photography work. I’m inspired by the people close to me and travel whenever I can.

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“Forest Fog” by Mitch Hill, Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 35mmF2 R WR

 

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

 

I stumbled across Fujifilm in 2013. I was only shooting film at that point and was trying to learn how to take photos outside the comfort of my iPhone. Then I fell in love with the original X100 and the rest was history. After playing around with that for a bit I picked up the X100T when it came out, then picked up the X-T1, but when the X-Pro2 came out, I had to have it. Plus, I love the film simulations – I’d feel lost without them I think!

As for my photographic style, I’d like to think my photos feel soft and have a strange sense of familiarity about them.

 

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

 

A good photograph for me is just an image that can be easily gazed upon; a fleeting moment that is captured in time.

I think it would be silly to not say that social media is a huge inspiration for my photography. Seeing photographs from all around the world at my fingertips makes me want to shoot every single day.

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“Lone” by Mitch Hill, Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 35mmF2 R WR

 

Where are your favourite places to shoot in Melbourne?

 

I haven’t had a chance to head to a bunch of places I really want to shoot, but so far my favourite places to shoot have been St. Kilda Beach, Mount Baw Baw, Mount Donna Buang, Warburton Redwood Forest and Gibson Steps on the Great Ocean Road.

 

Why did you choose the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-Pro2? Which model do you prefer most and what is your favourite aspect?

 

I chose the X-T1 to start playing around with an interchangeable lens system but switched to the X-Pro2 when it came out because I missed the optical viewfinder and rangefinder design of the X100T. So the X-Pro 2 is somewhat the best of both worlds, and for that reason I prefer the X-Pro2. I don’t really have a favourite aspect, it’s just exactly what I want and need in a camera.

 

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“Sunset Strolls” by Mitch Hill, Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 35mmF2 R WR

 

Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer to use with your Fujifilm X-T1 and X-Pro2 camera? Tell us why.

 

My go-to is the 35mmF2. It is everything. I’ve got my eye on the 56mmF1.2, 90mmF2 and the 23mmF2, though, which I will hopefully get my hands on soon.

 

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

 

I get my favourite edits through VSCO and if I’m not using that, I’m editing in Lightroom.

 


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“Another Moment” by Mitch Hill, Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 35mmF2 R WR

 

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

 

Just do it. I honestly think shooting Fujifilm helps me do it. Get out and explore and capture those fleeting moments.

 

Any final thoughts or tips?

Keep shooting, try new things and always have a camera on you. (Your iPhone does count!)

 

To see more of Mitch’s work, you can follow him on Instagram @MitchyHill.

 

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.