Professional photographer and current PPANI Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017, Steven Hanna is from Northern Ireland and specialises in wedding and landscape photography. The FUJIFILM X-T2 and FUJIFILM X-Pro2 are his usual weapons of choice, however eager to try out the FUJIFILM GFX 50S, Steven recently put the medium format system through its paces. In this interview, we find out how he got on.
Want to get the most out of your Fujifilm X Series cameras? Our Quick Techniques will provide you with lots of handy hints and tips to help you understand the features our range offers. This week we look at exposure modes. Continue reading Quick Techniques – Beginners: Which exposure mode should I use and when should I use it?
IN FOCUS is a new series of articles where we will be asking some of the UK X-Photographers to give us advice, provide insight into their photography and share some of their favourite images of all time. In this blog post, they tell us what we should be doing to help improve our photography.
Over the last ten weeks you would have seen ten interviews forming series three of Through a Photographer’s Eye (TAPE). In each interview, we heard from a handful of Australian photographers and how they use Fujifilm X Series cameras to photograph the world around them.
Before series four of Through a Photographer’s Eye begins next month, let us take a look back at what advice was shared when each photographer was asked the question:
If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?
Shoot what you love and love what you shoot. When you’re obsessed with the thing you like, in my case photography, it will keep you shooting even when you get stuck on the technical stuff.
Your passion for the subject will push your creativity and help you overcome any challenge you face in your photography journey. – Read the full interview here.
Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/60 second – F8 – ISO 200
I believe learning how to work with light is the first step to understanding photography, and the only way to do this is to experiment. Learn how to shoot using manual before you begin automating anything (other than focus). It’s very important to understand the basics of ISO, aperture and shutter speed and how they impact both each other and the final photograph, before leaving it to the camera to decide anything. You’ll make mistakes and take some horrendous photographs (I cringe at some of my earlier work!) but it’s the best way to learn.
Also, find someone that is in the industry that you respect and ask them as many questions as you possibly can. I spent six months on work experience with one of Perth’s top fashion photographers and although it was in an area that I didn’t pursue, the knowledge that I gained from working alongside him on a daily basis formed the foundation for my photographic skills.
Immerse yourself in photography if that’s truly what you want to be doing. I literally never leave the house without a camera (be it film or digital). – Read the full interview here.
Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF23mmF1.4 R – F2 – 1/640 second – ISO 400
Photography is obviously a passion and not a job most people would choose if they were not into it, so by having that passion for what you do you are already halfway there. Create a service for clients that is reliable and ALWAYS deliver what you promise.
Taking an interest in your customer’s business, showing them you have done your research always helps. Never stop looking for new clients, self-marketing is key. Your creativity and skill will get you so far, that’s almost the easy bit, creating a customer base and the way you deal with your clients can be the difficult bit. – Read the full interview here.
Fujifilm X-T1 – XF16mmF1.4 R WR – 1/80 second – F2.2 – ISO 320
Don’t worry about the fancy technical side of the gear. Get a cheap camera and work with that. Don’t rely on editing so much. If you’re growing up in a ‘boring’ town that offers a lot of mundane surroundings and you feel like there’s nothing pretty to take photos of then you’re not paying enough attention.
You will learn to find ‘beauty’ and oddities in places rather than just visiting the regular postcard scenes and look outs. Look at art paintings and how they applied technique and composition. Paintings have been around a lot longer than the camera. Be forward with yourself and the people you approach it can be awkward, but your results will be more to the point you have in mind. Sometimes don’t take photos, so you can live in semi regret you didn’t take a photo of a wonderful thing, move on and remind yourself to be more mindful next time. – Read the full interview here.
I’d say the biggest piece of advice I’d like to share with young photographers is not to get trapped in the technical side of photography or with camera reviews, equipment choices and stuff.
In my opinion, the most important first step is to get to know the gear that you have, whatever it might be, and understand everything about it so you can learn how to work with it and how to make it work for you. Because at the end of the day, when someone is looking at your photographs, no one cares really about what settings you used or what camera you have. It’s about the story you tell.
As any skill or art form, it requires a lot of practice. So take your camera with you everywhere and use every outing as a learning opportunity. Devote 20 hours a week, every week to making photographs. Get yourself a good pair of walking shoes and hit the streets or parks of your town or city and just shoot. Eventually, you’ll find your voice, and then you can focus on developing your own photographic style to tell your own stories. – Read the full interview here.
Just pick up a camera and have a go. A lot of learning comes from mistakes I have realised. Dedication is something you will need to develop over time. It’s a fundamental key in developing your style, your photography quality and most importantly, being there to capture it. I have driven numerous six-hour drives to the same places just to get the shot I want, only to find out I couldn’t get it. However, if you’re dedicated enough, you’ll always want to go back and pursue it. The beauty of photography though is you might not always get your intended shot, but something else will always pop up. To be honest, most of my work has happened this way. Capture it, work the scene, change your angles, get down low or up high and fire away. Improvise and be spontaneous. – Read the full interview here.
Learn the basics of exposure such as aperture, shutter, ISO and how to use them in combination to achieve desired outcomes. Consider your composition and just get out there and shoot. Analyse your photos, be self-critical and learn from your mistakes (we all make them) and develop a technique that you are happy with and produces results that you like. Don’t try and please everybody with your photographs, that’s an impossible task to achieve, we are all different, what one person likes the next will not. – Read the full interview here.
Fujifilm X-E1 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS – 1/60 – F5 – ISO 800
Looking into gear, I would say to buy a camera that is straightforward to use. A lot of cameras these days have added functionalities that sometimes become a distraction. I’ve personally found that the fewer choices I have, the more concentrated I’ve been with learning and studying the camera and photography. If possible, I’d highly recommend a camera with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) as it allows you to immediately see how the settings affect exposure and depth-of-field. All these factors taken into consideration will speed up your learning process significantly, and improve your technical mastery within a short span.
From a photography perspective, I’ve always advised newcomers to find a few photographers of which their works you like, go through their work obsessively, learn what is it about their work that you admire, and try to replicate their work. This forces you to experiment with your camera and pushes your eye to see what and how they saw and why they photographed it. – Read the full interview here.
Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 R – 1/1000 second – F1.2 – ISO 640
Learn as much as you can about your camera: read the manual, watch YouTube videos, go to photography meets, ask lots of questions. Although many photographers – including myself – always want the latest and greatest camera gear, some of my favourite photos were taken with my least expensive Fujifilm kit: an X-T10 and either the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS or the XF35mmF1.4 R lenses (approximately $1200 worth of gear).
Learn as much as you can about photography. There are so many good free websites and resources out there these days. Follow photographers on Instagram and study their photos. Join photography related Facebook groups – I’m a member of about a dozen. Post your work in there and ask for constructive criticism. One excellent group I recommend is Fuji X Australia where a dedicated group of admins encourage and support Australian and New Zealand Fujifilm photographers. – Read the full interview here.
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Shoot as much and as often as you can. Do workshops and join photo walks, there are plenty of free options around the place, I think that’s a great path to education around photography. Be open to other styles and ideas. Take feedback well from people whose photography you admire, but always remember that you should only ever shoot to make yourself happy, that is what matters. – Read the full interview here.
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/140 second – F3.2 – ISO 400
Travel Light – The Ancient and Modern in Mexico
There is nothing like visiting a faraway land for the first time. Most photographers relish the opportunity to discover new places and experience a different culture. Continue reading Travel Light – The Ancient and Modern in Mexico
Since mirrorless digital cameras entered the photography scene in the late 2000s, the question has been whether they could be a better option than DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex). Since that time, the mirrorless system has grown in popularity, so it is clear photographers are increasingly making it their preference.
What’s a DSLR?
DSLR cameras (or digital single-lens reflex) use the design of old-school 35mm bodies, with light taking a path from the lens to the prism and then to the viewfinder, where you can see the preview of your image. As you hit the shutter button, the mirror flips up, a shutter opens and light reaches the image sensor, which retains the picture.
What’s a mirrorless camera?
The big difference with the mirrorless camera is that it has no mirror that flips when you open the shutter. Instead, light moves directly from the lens to the image sensor and the shot displays on your screen.
Which style is lighter?
Because mirrorless cameras do not need to store a mirror and a prism, they do not need to be as heavy or as large. If you like to travel with your camera or just enjoy a lightweight rig, then you may prefer the mirrorless system.
Which body has better focus?
Many years ago, DSLRs had the reputation of being the better – or at least faster – model for autofocus shooting. This is because DSLRs used phase detection, a quicker method that relies more on the camera’s electronic sensor, rather than contrast detection, the slower but more accurate system utilised in most mirrorless bodies. However, mirrorless cameras have since improved in this area. Now, many mirrorless bodies, including Fujifilm’s newer models, employ a contrast-phase hybrid autofocus system.
Which style is suited for continuous shooting?
If you want to capture fast-moving action, you may want a camera with the capacity for continuous shooting. Mirrorless cameras, with their simplified path for obtaining images, excel here. For instance, the Fujifilm X-T2, when photographing from its continuous shooting boost mode, shoots about 11 frames per second, well ahead of most other cameras on the market.
Which one shows an accurate shot in its viewfinder?
Mirrorless cameras also have viewfinders that display truer to what your photograph will become. Their electronic viewfinders allow you to see, in real time, adjustments to aperture and ISO, whereas the optical viewfinder found in DSLRs displays those changes only after you shoot the image. The mirrorless style has a big advantage here, as it saves you time from going back and forth between shooting and adjusting.
As with many debates over photography equipment, the choice comes down to your personal preference. If you find a camera that you handle comfortably and shoot naturally, then proudly make it yours and enjoy creating great shots with it!
For more Fujifilm camera options, download our 2017 Buying Guide.
Welcome to the Third 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 tenth interview in Series Three is with Queensland based photographer, Marc Busoli.
Marc, can you tell us about yourself and why you enjoy photographing people on the street?
I started photography in 1992 when I obtained a camera from my sister. I did a three-year diploma in photography five years after that and since then have shot images for commercial use, weddings, portraits and several blogs. I moved to my Fujifilm system after years of shooting with a full frame camera when I bought the original X100 and was blown away by the image quality and design of the camera. I loved it. I enjoy street style photography as it gives me an opportunity to observe and record the interaction of society in a shared space. I particularly like the idea of solitude in a crowded environment, people being on their own when surrounded by a crowd. I try to hide the faces of the people I photograph to accentuate the feeling of solitude and aloneness in a crowded city. I also enjoy the simplicity of simple designs in architecture, so I publish a few photos on my Instagram to mix it up a bit!
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/500 second – F9 – ISO 400
You mentioned you use the Fujifilm X-T1 with two primary lenses. What made you choose this camera over other mirrorless bodies and how do you find Fujinon optics for general everyday shooting?
I love the design of this camera, I’ve used a ton of cameras after working at Digital Camera Warehouse for seven years, and I can say that this is by far the best camera I’ve used. It just disappears when I’m using it, that’s really important to me as I don’t want the camera slowing me down due to bad design and the Fujifilm just is so natural to use for me.
The lenses themselves are just so sharp and not too big to be in the way when the camera is swinging around. The results are very sharp with a lovely bokeh. The two I use are the XF14mmF2.8 and the XF35mmF1.4. The XF35mmF1.4 just lives on the body, and I must admit I hardly ever pull the wide one out. The 35mm perfectly suits my eye and the results are faultless for my style.
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 – 1/18 second – F1.4 – ISO 800
Why do you shoot mainly in black and white? Do you use a Fujifilm Film Simulation to recreate a particular look or do you edit your RAW files in post-processing?
I love black and white. I started a hashtag #52weeksofblackandwhite to challenge myself to shoot an entire year of just black and white. That was over two years ago, and I haven’t stopped! I shoot in RAW before converting the photo using the Fujifilm Monochrome+R film simulation in camera. I send it to my iPad and do final edits in Snapseed and/or Lightroom mobile. Then it goes to social media. For more control, I import the RAW straight to my MacBook Pro and edit with Lightroom/Photoshop.
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 – 1/420 second – F1.4 – ISO 1250
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/55 second – F1.4 – ISO 1250
When using the Fujifilm X-T1 do you ever use the flip out LCD screen for street shooting or do you prefer to use the large electronic viewfinder? Can you explain why you shoot like this?
I use either the viewfinder (which is great, beautiful and big) or shoot from the hip without looking at the viewfinder or the LCD. Kind of Lomo style, it can produce some interesting shots, but it is very hit and miss, as you can imagine. Most times it’s using the viewfinder though, less distracting although you need to keep your non-shooting eye open, so you don’t miss any opportunities, this can be hard at the beginning.
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/60 second – F1.4 – ISO 800
If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?
Shoot as much and as often as you can. Do workshops and join photo walks, there are plenty of free options around the place, I think that’s a great path to education around photography. Be open to other styles and ideas. Take feedback well from people whose photography you admire, but always remember that you should only ever shoot to make yourself happy, that is what matters.
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/140 second – F3.2 – ISO 400
Do you have a favourite photo you have recently captured using the Fujifilm X-T1? Can you tell us the story about how you shot the photo and why you chose to compose the shot like you did?
This picture of a massive cloud formation off the Queensland coast is one of my favourite images. I used the XF14mmF2.8 to get as much in the frame as I could at the time. It was just massive in reality and when I cropped the image I pretty much just removed the top and bottom, but the width stayed the same. I tried to compose the shot to get a sense of the scale of the formation, and I really like how it turned out. I even managed to capture a little cloud-to-cloud lightning!
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF14mmF2.8 R – 2.5 seconds – F5.6 – ISO 200
In your opinion, what’s the best time of day to photography on the street and can you recommend any camera settings for someone who might wish to shoot similar photos?
Shooting street is such a reflection of the society that you’re recording that the ‘best’ time to shoot is any time that there are people around! I do prefer the drama of a late afternoon with some direct sunlight streaming in at a shallow angle. People in Melbourne CBD will know what I mean! I love to shoot directly into the light in those situations as I think it adds a sense of the dramatic to the scene, long shadows, silhouettes, bursts of light. It does tend to expose any limitations of your glass, but I’ve found the Fujifilm glass handles harsh direct light superbly.
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF14mmF2.8 R – 1/60 second – F22 – ISO 320
What methods do you use when trying to photograph people on the street? For example is there a best way to approach people if you see someone interesting or are there any ‘don’t do this’ for street photographers?
One of my favourite techniques is finding a spot with some awesome lighting, like under a street light at night or a late sunset, and staking the place out waiting for the perfect person to come onto my ‘stage.’ You need to be aware and ready to fire as soon as an opportunity presents itself, I’ve missed a few great shots when I was starting out simply by not recognising an upcoming opportunity. People are more open to being approached these days I think, mainly due to the ubiquitous of images and social media, I think they like the idea of potentially going a bit viral!
Fujifilm X-T1 with XF14mmF2.8 R – 1/340 second – F5.6 – ISO 320
To see more of Marc’s photography visit him on Instagram – @themadbusdi.
Previous interviews from Series Three of Through a Photographer’s Eye:
With ‘wild’ experiences becoming rarer as humanity continues its ferocious endeavour to progress, often at the natural world’s expense, how can we treasure those encounters however big or small? I personally think photography is the single most powerful medium when it comes to nature. Continue reading Making your photos WILD! – A Guide to Wildlife Photography
Street photographer Grant Ashford shares his unique photography methods and what inspires him to capture ordinary people doing everyday things. We caught up with Grant and learned about his experience with the X-Pro2.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where are you from?
I live in Sydney but grew up in Darwin, Northern Territory. I became interested in photography when given a Kodak pocket Instamatic film camera for my 13th birthday. Many years later I took some shots of a dark, thunderous storm front rolling in off the sea and decided then I’d love to be a professional photographer.
I began submitting articles to some popular Australian magazines by photographing and interviewing some of the unique characters living in the territory. The stories often veered to the far end of poetic license to fit the magazine’s criteria — I spun some good old Aussie yarns, to be honest. But all of my articles were accepted, and it wasn’t long before editors from the U.K. and U.S. were calling to buy second publishing rights.
After working in the glamour-shot industry for ten years, I packed away my cameras and decided to get out of photography altogether.
A few years later I was in Tijuana being a tourist wandering the back streets and wound up in a dodgy area. Oblivious, I was snapping away with my SLR when a little lady came over to me and said, “Señor! Put that camera away. You will be robbed.” As I turned the corner, I saw an American tourist being chased by a gang of locals. I immediately tucked the camera under my shirt.
This place intrigued me, so I remained on the street and started shooting from the hip with the camera lens peeking out from under my shirt. When I processed the film, I loved the prints. I had captured the naturalness of people doing their everyday things without being aware they were being photographed. It felt like a spiritual awakening. I found something I loved, and I seemed to know where to point instinctively. Every corner I turned was a scene unfolding before me, and I was in street photographers’ paradise.
“Cant Stop Cool” – Fujifilm X-PRo2 with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/200 second – F4 – ISO 1250
How did you develop an interest in photography using Fujifilm equipment?
Two years ago, I noticed a lot of Instagram street photographers were singing the praises of Fujifilm cameras and after a bit of research, I bought a Fujifilm X100T. I loved the feel and compactness of the rangefinder but felt a little constrained with the 23mm fixed lens. Luckily, the new Fujifilm X-Pro2 just came on the market, so I sold the X100T and bought the X-Pro2 and a zoom lens. I carry the camera everywhere now and absolutely love it.
How would you describe your photography style and strategy?
I like to photograph everyday people doing everyday things. However, I’m always on the lookout for funny or unusual juxtapositions people unwittingly place themselves in.
My technique is somewhat different. I hold the camera upside down with a wrist strap, and shoot one-handed from all different angles without looking in the viewfinder. I like to keep eye contact with the subject while I’m shooting. So I may be speaking with someone while getting very close and wide shots. They’re usually aware they’re being photographed but because I keep them engaged it stays unposed. Years of shooting like this enable me to know what I’m getting composure-wise. It keeps people at ease as they’re expecting me to look through the camera and say “cheese.” I don’t shoot hipshot much either these days. My technique is more like a gunslinger — grab the shot fast.
I walk all over the place searching for opportunities. The city’s like a theater brimming with wonderful sets and scenes and amazing actors and I’m like the inconspicuous scrap of newspaper scurrying on the breeze un-noticed through the crowd.
“Life at the Cross Roads” – Fujifilm X-PRo2 with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/400 second – F14 – ISO 1000
What inspires your photography?
Always at the back of my mind, I’m thinking about chronicling our current fashions, trends, and technologies for future generations to see how we lived.
When I was starting out, I would spend hours at the library browsing books by photographers W. Eugene Smith and Robert Capa and many others. I dissected the photos that interested me, analyzing composure, lighting and mood. I particularly liked the intimacy of Eugene Smith’s “Country Doctor” photo essay.
“Selfie Help” – Fujifilm X-PRo2 with XF18mmF2 R – 1/320 second – F5.6 – ISO 3200
Where are your favourite places to take photos and do you prefer a certain type of light?
Wherever there’s a crowd is where I want to be. I like old architecture and try to include that as background in portraits if possible; it gives a nice feel to an image. The CBD always has beautiful reflected light bouncing off the buildings.
“Smooth Operator” – Fujifilm X-PRo2 with XF18mmF2 R – 1/210 second – F2.8 – ISO 1000
What is your favourite memory from a photography session?
I assisted legendary landscape photographer Peter Jarver on an expedition into the Bungle Bungles in Western Australia a couple of years before he died. Peter taught me so much about photography. The light was foremost to Peter, and there were many pre-dawn treks by torchlight into the canyons. He used a Horseman large-format 4×5 camera and taught me some very valuable techniques — such as simply keeping horizons level — that I see many budding landscape photographers fail to do.
“Time Never Waits” – Fujifilm X-PRo2 with XF18mmF2 R – 1/210 second – F5 – ISO 1000
Can you tell us your favourite Fujifilm camera and why?
I can only speak on the Fujifilm X-Pro2, and it is a wonderful camera that goes everywhere with me. I love the old-school appearance, yet the technology inside is far from old. The quality of the images is excellent, and those Fujinon lenses are superb pieces of glass. I rarely use my other professional cameras anymore; the Fujifilm is the golden child.
Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer to use with your Fujifilm X-Pro2 and why?
I’m using the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 lens all the time. It provides good range from the wide 16mm street work or 55mm portrait lens, and the fast F2.8 gathers light well in darker locations. I’ve heard good reviews on the Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 but haven’t used one yet. I think that will be the next lens I try.
“Chilled to the Bone”- Fujifilm X-PRo2 with XF18mmF2 R – 1/220 second – F3.2 – ISO 1250
What sort of workflow do you use in your photography? Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG?
I now use both Affinity Photo and Snapseed on the iPad Pro for my processing. I transfer JPEG files from the camera via Wi-Fi through the Fujifilm Camera Remote App. I make a few tweaks in Affinity, then upload to Instagram and Facebook. For safekeeping, I back up images to an external hard drive.
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?
When I’m shooting on the street I like to make things easy for myself and with the X-Pro2 I can -the camera does all the work. I use AWB and set aperture, shutter and focus all to auto and I make manual adjustments with ISO dial. The daylight between buildings is quite balanced and the camera performs well in this environment. Any tricky lighting situations I switch to manual, and I’m not shy to push the ISO toward 10,000+.
I was lucky to begin photography before digital because the cost of film and processing made me think about what I was doing and to make each shot count you had to get things right. That’s why I don’t feel guilty using the camera on full auto — it’s a luxury I allow myself.
Do you have advice for new photographers or the next potential X-Thusiast?
I’m often asked by many photographers how I get so close to my subjects. The simple answer you’ve got to be bold, be alert and be ready. It’s usually fear of rejection that stops us from approaching someone, but to be good at anything you have to get out of the comfort zone. It won’t stay uncomfortable for long. I try to strike up a conversation; people generally like to talk about themselves.
Are you interested in becoming our next featured X-Thusiast photographer? Check out our full X-Thusiast Gallery and submission details.