FUJIFILM GFX 50S: A Professional’s View

By Steven Hanna

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.


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Through a Photographer’s Eye: Johny Spencer

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 first interview in Series Three is with New South Wales based photographer, Johny Spencer.

Johny, can you tell us about yourself and what photography means to you?

 

I’m a full-time landscape and nature photographer for the National Parks service here in Australia and have been working for them for 17 years.

 

Photography to me is all about the moments, memories and experiences that happen as part of your photography journey. The photos themselves are just a bonus that I get to use to inspire and motivate others to push their creative boundaries.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/60 second – F16 – ISO 200

 

 

You recently reviewed the Fujifilm X-Pro2 after taking it abroad to the US on a 5000 km road trip. Can you share with us what you thought about the camera from a travel and landscape photography perspective?

 

I shot this camera exclusively on this trip, I put it through its paces, in every type of environmental condition possible from wet, cold snow forests, to dry hot, dusty deserts. I really liked the feel of it in hand; overall it felt solid.

 

I was so surprised of the detail in the pictures! I usually shoot with a camera containing a 40MP plus sensor, and I found the 24MP sensor of the X-PRO2 surprising incredible. The dynamic range of the camera was also outstanding for the sensor size.

 

In all, I think the X-PRO2 makes a good all around camera for both landscape and travel. I can see this being a great camera for street photography with the hybrid viewfinder.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 200mm – 1/125 second – F5.6 – ISO 500

 

 

In your opinion what was the best photo, you captured in the US using the Fujifilm X-Pro2? What was the story behind the image and how did you set up the shot?

 

I know it’s a bit obvious but Horseshoe Bend was incredible, it’s one of those places you can’t fully understand how grand it is until you visit it.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/8 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

I got there for sunset, and it was packed with people everywhere, the light wasn’t that good, so I decided to revisit the location for sunrise the next morning.

 

The decision to reshoot worked out perfectly as there were fewer people. I had heaps of options to get the perfect spot to photography the bend. I was hoping for that magnet-pinky light that happens when you shoot away from the setting or rising sun.

 

The camera was locked down on a tripod, with the two-second timer turned on in order not to cause any camera shake when pressing the shutter button. I focused one-third into the scene at F8, so the whole scene was in focus. The ISO was set too low to avoid any noise issues. The lingering cloud was in the perfect spot for a photo, in the end, it was just a waiting game to see what the light was going to do.

 

Minutes later that first light glow started and boom! The pink tones were perfect, I fired the shutter and just adjusted the shutter speed to get the exposure right. I was able to capture the rising sun perfectly thanks to the dynamic range the camera offered.

 

It was a great experience one of those places that you will never forget in a hurry.

 

 

 

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.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/4 second – F8 – ISO 250

 

 

 

What processing workflow do you use when importing images from the Fujifilm X-Pro2? Do you have an example you can show us?

 

I’m a huge fan of Adobe Lightroom, I just find the photo management and processing work perfectly with my brain.

 

In fact in my day job working for National Parks I have to process several thousand images a month, so it’s critical for me to have a killer efficient post processing workflow.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 156.10mm – 1/125 second – F8 – ISO 400

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/125 second – F8 – ISO 400

 

Here’s a quick video showing how I edit multiple Fujifilm RAW files quickly using Lightroom. By the way, I’ll be using my Ultimate Lightroom Workflow, something I developed to make post-processing super easy and fast.

 

 

 

Did you find the Fujifilm Camera Remote App useful when travelling on the road when it came to transferring your images to your phone? Could you provide some feedback on how the app could be improved?

 

I’m a huge fan of the app. It made it so easy to just share images straight from the camera to my phone so that I could share on social and with friends. I was surprised how easy it was to setup and use, and I bet it’s one of those little features not many people know about that really make a camera fun to use.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 21.90mm – 1/640 second – F5.6 – ISO 500 – HDR

 

 

 

What lenses did you take with the X-Pro2? Was there a particular Fujinon lens that stood out regarding versatility and quality for landscape photography?

 

My favourite lens was, of course, the super wide XF10-24mmF4. I found it sharp for edge to edge and the coupled with the X-PRO2 the image quality was stellar. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any landscape photographer.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/60 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

I also love the fact it’s an F4 lens! Have you ever tried to hike with the F2.8 lens in your pack? They are usually super heavy! You don’t need the fastest lens for landscapes and F4 is a good compromise between speed and weight.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/30 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

 

 

 

You have previously used a range of different camera brands for landscape photography. In your opinion how does Fujifilm’s image quality stack up against the rest?

 

Like I said before the image quality of those X-Trans CMOS sensors is unbelievably sharp and provides much clarity. It’s more than enough for any landscape photographer.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 60.70mm – 1/250 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

If you would like to see more of Johny’s photography then visit his website or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or YouTube.

 

 

 

 

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: 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.

Through a Photographer’s Eye: 9 Photographers Share Their Advice

Over the last two and a half months, you would have seen a series of interviews which formed Series One of Through a Photographer’s Eye. 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 Two of Through a Photographer’s Eye begins next week, 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?

 

Drew Hopper

Just get out there and shoot! It is not about becoming famous or having all the gear available on the market. It is about enjoying yourself and finding your own style. Shoot what you like shooting, and avoid copying the work of others with the belief that it will make you a ‘better’ photographer. It’s totally fine to follow other photographer’s work, that’s how you find inspiration, but don’t compare yourself to other people’s success. Make your own success. Most importantly, save your money for a flight somewhere, not camera gear. Memories are worth more, and great photos wait for no one.

Fujifilm X100S – 23mm – F4 – 1/100 second – ISO 200

 

Alamby Leung

Social media is a great place for inspiration and to receive feedback, but developing your personal style and be creative with your ideas are important too.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF18mmF2 R – 18mm – ISO 400 – F2.8 – 1/6000 second

 

Ian Tan

Advice for new photographers? Don’t get hung up on the gear. I go a bit nuts about gear myself but at the end of the day, they are just tools. You use the right one for the job, and everyone has their preference for which tools they like to use. Cameras and lenses from any major brand these days are all very capable – heck, even the iPhone takes awesome images – provided you use them properly. So learning how to use your chosen camera (and editing software) well to translate the creative vision that you see in your mind into beautiful images is more important than staying up to date with the latest and greatest gear.

Get out and shoot more. Learn to connect with others and draw inspiration from them, not intimidation. Having said that, I love Fujifilm, the way the cameras handle, the image quality, and the company’s philosophy in how they make cameras and support them through continuous firmware improvements (gotta love kaizen!).

Ice Patterns: X-T2, XF14mmF2.8 – ISO 500 – F4 – 1/125 second

 

Dale Rogers

If you are just starting out in photography, I recommend you follow and watch other photographers on social media especially those who are shooting similar things to yourself. By watching others, you see perspectives or ideas for shooting that you would not have thought of or you start analysing the images trying to determine how the shot was achieved.

Have a look at some of the old masters (or current masters) of photography and see their images. My inspiration for intimate landscapes came from Eliot Porter, one of the first professionals to use colour film, and Jai Maisel who currently shoots street photography in New York City. Have a look at their work and see if you can see the connection I made between them.

I also encourage photographers to try one of the 52-week challenges that exist. On our Photo Rangers Community Facebook page, we host a 52-week challenge. This is a personal challenge and not a contest or competitive event. The purpose is to get photographers creating photos and shooting subjects they would not have done otherwise. If you want to join along in this supportive community, come on over to http://facebook.com/groups/photorangerscommunity.

Fujifilm X-T10 – XF18mmF2 R – ISO 200 – F9 – 1/30 second

Josselin Cornou

Buy a camera with a fixed manual lens. In a day of automation, it is easy to go into the classic auto mode. It works really well in most cases, but this also means that the user will hardly learn any photographic concept. Having a limited focal length will help the user reframe the shot, avoiding any bad practices like constantly zooming. My first camera was a Panasonic GH2 + Voigtlander 25mmF0.95. That setup really helped me step up my game.

If you want to do landscape, then get an ultra wide angled lens. These lenses are expensive, but they will help you frame those ultra wide shots – making it totally worth it.

Fujifilm X100F – ISO 200 – F7.1 – 4.3 seconds

Anirban Chatterjee

Have fun and enjoy. You can be the most technically gifted photographer, but if you are not having fun or enjoying the process, your images will be boring.

And if you are starting to do photography on the street, please be respectful to others. In Australia, it is perfectly legal to do photography in public places, but that doesn’t give you a licence to be a nuisance. As much as we have the right to take photographs in public places, the other person also has a right to walk on the street minding their own business. We live in a community, and respect must be mutual. An image is not worth it if it ruins someone’s day. So please be respectful.

Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 6400 – F16 – 1/210 second

 

Harmeet Gabha

Don’t be scared, just do it (as the Nike ad says). There are so many free resources available online that you will be able to learn and pick up any area of photography very quickly and easily. Google is your best friend; just type in what you are looking for and you’ll find the answer within minutes.

I’m also focusing more on my blog (photoinsomnia.com), by creating content for people just starting out in photography. It’s a resource where they can learn some techniques quickly that will make them more confident and inspired.

“Casa Balto, Barcelona” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 400 – F3.5 – 1/180 second

Benjamin Lee

⁃ Shoot everything and as often as possible

⁃ Explore all types of photography, take note of the genre’s aesthetic of photography that really motivates you and hones in on it.

⁃ Consume and view as much photography and art as you are producing (if not more). This will really help you refine your taste and personal aesthetic.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/100 – F2.8 – ISO2500

Joe Jongue

Don’t be caught up in the gear, just go out and shoot. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone; chances are, you may be good in a particular genre than you may think. Join a local photography community, be open to advice and more importantly, interact with other photographers.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/180 – F4 – ISO200

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Harmeet Gabha

through-a-photographers-eye

Through a photographer’s eye is the first in a series of interviews featuring Australian photographers. In each interview, we learn about the person behind the camera and how they use Fujifilm X Series cameras to photograph the world around them. Our eighth interview is with Sydney based photographer, Harmeet Gabha.

profile-xf56mm1-4

Harmeet, can you tell us about how you got into photography and why you pursue it?

 

I got into photography in 2005 when a colleague handed me his DSLR to take some pictures at a work cruise. The sun was setting and the Sydney Harbour Bridge was in the backdrop. I took the picture and he showed me the image on the LCD. As soon as I saw that, a spark lit up in my mind and I was hooked. I wanted to capture my own images like that. Later that year I saved up and bought my first Digital Camera a Fujifilm FinePix S5000, a 6 Megapixel camera.

I started taking pictures of friends and family during my travels. The more I photographed the more I realised that the world around me is changing so rapidly. Without images, we have no documented history of our lives. Now as a father, I have so many images of my daughter that when I look back at her early years as an infant, many beautiful memories keep flooding back. The joy and the memories that photography preserves are priceless.

Being able to freeze time with your camera is what keeps me excited about pursuing my passion.

casa-batllo-barcelona

“Casa Balto, Barcelona” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 400 – F3.5 – 1/180 second

The advancement in the photography field is just astonishing and, at the same time, I see people being scared and feeling lost when they buy their first camera. I enjoy helping others when they need help and sharing what I have learned throughout my journey. I get a sense of fulfilment when I see that by helping someone I have helped them get to their next level in their own journey. All this keeps me going.

 

After viewing your blog and vlog we see you travel quite a bit, what Fujifilm equipment do you take with you on these trips and why?

 

I’m using an X-T1 and XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 lens as my primary combo for travel. The camera is absolutely fantastic and the lens is versatile for a lot of shooting situations. I can use it for wide-angle photos through to the telephoto range without having to swap the lens. I can just throw the camera over my shoulder and I go out and shoot. Also being weather resistant I don’t have to worry about the occasional shower.

hobbiton-nz-hdr

“Hobbiton, New Zealand” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 400 – F6.4 – 1/2200 second

I also carry in my bag a XF23mmF1.4 which is an awesome prime lens and works beautifully indoors in low light conditions. Coupled with the X-T1 it has such brilliant performance at high ISOs, I can easily push the camera to ISO 3200 and shoot handheld. After dragging 10kg+ backpacks through airports loaded with DSLRs, batteries & lens and a hernia operation something had to change! The X-T1 was the perfect solution and a welcome change on my back.

 

Can you provide some insight into how you best process a RAW image taken by a Fujifilm X-T1? What software do you use and are there any settings you set on the camera for optimal colour?

 

I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for processing my RAW files from the X-T1. Lightroom has an easy to use interface that lets me create the final image I want. I always apply the desired camera profile like Vivid or Pro Neg. Hi to my images in Lightroom before proceeding with my edit.

I have tried using Capture One Pro, which a lot of X Series shooters use but it’s too clunky and complex to learn. I have tried using it several times but the User Interface (UI) just puts me off. Additionally, to Lightroom, I use software such as Luminar, Aurora HDR 2017, Photoshop, Google Nik Collection and currently testing On1 Photo Raw.

While shooting in Camera, I mostly shoot RAW+JPEG and I set Velvia as the Film Simulation for the JPEG. I find that the jpegs straight out of the camera are also great for sharing on social media using the WiFi feature of the camera. It’s so convenient and easy! I also enjoy editing RAW images directly on the Fujifilm X-T1.

For HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos, I just turn one mode dial and I am ready to shoot bracketed images. I will import the images for initial adjustments in Lightroom, followed by Aurora HDR 2017, which processes the 3 images to create the final HDR image.

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“la sagrada familia – before” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 200 – F3.5 – 1/500 second

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“la sagrada familia – after” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 200 – F3.5 – 1/500 second

So depending what I want to create, I use different tools for processing my RAW images. However, I’d say the majority of them just require Lightroom edits and I’m done.

 

How did you find the transition from your previous camera to Fujifilm mirrorless?

 

As I mentioned earlier, my back thanks me for making the change, however, the transition from Canon DSLRs was a very pleasant surprise. I quickly adapted to the X Series system. All the major controls for image capture are at your fingertips. With the dials and buttons, it makes it easy to setup for any scene. I suppose, what I like about it most is in order to shoot you don’t have to dig into the menus or press multiple buttons to take a photo.

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“Bondi Sculptures” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 200 – F8 – 2.8 seconds

The Fujifilm X-Trans sensor is brilliant; there is so much detail in the shadows that you can pull out from the RAW file. And I don’t mean just light shadows; I mean really dark almost black areas in the image can be lighted up via RAW processing. Best thing is the image quality is quite clean and noise free. On my previous camera that was not the case, shadows could not be pushed as much as the X-T1 and if you did noise would appear. However, I have to say the X-T1 doesn’t recover highlights as well as my previous camera. So I tend to underexpose my image when I have some bright spots in the image, by doing this I can be confident that shadows can be recovered easily.

 

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

 

Don’t be scared, just do it (as the Nike ad says). There are so many free resources available online that you will be able to learn and pick up any area of photography very quickly and easily. Google is your best friend; just type in what you are looking for and you’ll find the answer within minutes.

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“la sangrada familia, Barcelona” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 800 – F3.5 – 1/50 second

I’m also focusing more on my blog (photoinsomnia.com), by creating content for people just starting out in photography. It’s a resource where they can learn some techniques quickly that will make them more confident and inspired.

 

What sort of misconceptions do you hear (in conversation or online) when talking about mirrorless?

 

I’ve heard two main misconceptions; People think that mirrorless cameras won’t produce as good quality images as a DSLR but the fact is that my X-T1 produces much better images than many DSLRs. In my opinion, on Fujifilm cameras, the colours are richer and real. The sharpness of the images is amazing even at a very shallow depth of field e.g. F1.2 or F1.4.

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“Park Guel, Barcelona” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 400 – F8 – 1/400 second

The second one misconception is that the ‘battery life on mirrorless is crap’. I agree that battery life is not as long as DSLR. I get 350-400 images on full charge whereas on a DSLR you can expect 600-700 images. But people forget battery capacity is proportional to its physical size. Smaller camera, smaller battery.

I’ve even taken 600+ images out of one charge with the X-T1 when shooting a Time Lapse sequence, probably because the LCD wasn’t being used and the camera was just firing off images for 30-40mins.

Also, I’d like to point out the benefit of the Electronic View Finder compared to an optical one – “what you see is what you will get”. By having one on the X-T1 you tend to shoot less wasteful frames, you only capture exactly what you want. In a DSLR you will have more throwaway shots, as the mirror will show you one thing while your result might be totally different if you get your settings wrong. But with the X-T1, what you see is what you get, so the shutter is only pressed when you are happy with your settings and what you are seeing through the camera.

 

Being a Fujifilm X-T1 user, where you excited to see the X-T2 arrive and do you think it met your expectations in a newer model?

 

Indeed, it was exciting to see the brand new camera packed with features and improvements released in the X-T2. I attended its launch event in Sydney and had an exclusive opportunity to try out the camera before it hit the market.

It was great to see that Fujifilm was listening to its market and incorporated the feedback to improve the next camera. On the X-T2 dials, it now has a locking mechanism, the camera has a new focus lever, tripod thread position and exposure compensation making an overall improvement to the useability.

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“New Plymouth” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 400 – F8 – 1/750 second

They improved the video capabilities of the camera to 4K so people wanting to film can be confident in capturing video. The one thing that still disappoints me is that Fujifilm doesn’t believe much in bracketing features as still you can only bracket -1 & +1 exposures and no more. I would love to see one of the firmware updates to just extend this range.

 

Answer this: If you could have your dream Fujifilm kit, what would it consist of?

 

My dream gear would be an X-T2 with an XF18-135mm lens and an X-Pro2 with an XF23mmF1.4 lens. But for the moment I’m very happy with what I’m using. The camera delivers the results for what I do and is rock solid.

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“Burning Man Sculpture, Reno, Nevarda” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 1000 – F3.5 – 1/2400 second

 

To view more of Harmeet’s work visit his blog or visit any of his social channels: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram.

Other interviews in this series

Through A Photographer’s Eye: Drew Hopper

Through A Photographer’s Eye: Alamby Leung

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Ian Tan

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Dale Rogers

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Josselin Cornou

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Chris Hopkins

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Anirban Chatterjee

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Josselin Cornou

Through a photographer’s eye is the first in a series of interviews featuring Australian photographers. In each interview, we learn about the person behind the camera and how they use Fujifilm X Series cameras to photograph the world around them. Our fifth interview is with Sydney based photographer, Josselin Cornou.

Josselin, your photography is extraordinary, can you tell us about yourself, what you do and why you enjoy taking photos?

Photography is simply more than just a hobby, it’s sometimes a way of life. Working in a highly competitive and technical environment, I see photography as a way to express my feelings and develop my artistic mindset. I also see a real opportunity to use photography to gain impact by campaigning, in order to help great causes, like the reduction of CO2 in the world.

Funny enough, I was lucky to follow the training “Search Inside Yourself”, the #1 most popular training program at Google, and I was stunned to see that photography is actually really similar to the process of meditating and journaling. Slowing down and appreciating without judging, in order to capture the moment at its fullest!

 

 

You recently ventured to the Rocky Creek Canyon in New South Wales to test out the new Fujifilm X100F. Tell us, how did you find the experience and did the X100F perform well?

 

The Fujifilm performed well, it felt like the previous X100S, just better. The top ISO dial was really useful in order to change settings on the fly. This is actually really useful, as you can’t always carry a tripod while venturing through canyons.

It is interesting to know that, while shooting in a long ‘technical’ Canyon, you need to be aware that time can be against you:

  1. You spend typically at least a good 80-90% of your time swimming/abseiling/jumping around/throwing bags in the water. You need a camera that you can take quickly, and being able to change setting in a click of a button is a real advantage.
  2. You will spend less than 20% of the time with a tripod. Time counts, and trust me – you don’t want to get stuck in the water (it’s freezing)

To add to the complexity of canyoning photography, you need to manage really wide dynamic range, and bracketing is sometimes the only option to capture the moment.

I think the X100F is a nice camera to venture into incredible landscapes. While I am a big adept of ultra wide angle, it is good sometimes to keep yourself at a 35mm focal length (full frame equivalent). If I needed a wider field of view, I would simply create a stitched pano. The fact that the X100 series has a small lens is actually a big plus for panorama photography. You will unlikely see any parallax issues while composing your panorama.

 

 

Again, I have to say I do love the new top dial to change the ISO on the fly. Also, I like the compact size of the body.

 

The canyon was quite treacherous in some parts, can you let the readers know how you kept the Fujifilm X100F dry? Also, did the battery life perform for the day-long expedition?

 

My solution: Use a dry bag in a dry bag 🙂 Macpac do sell those small 5L dry bags for a couple of dollars, and that should cover you for most situations when venturing through the water. Using an underwater housing would be best, but those dry bags do the job just fine.

I only needed to use one battery. That was actually more than enough for a day shooting in a canyon (about 400 shots). I personally never wondered why battery life on mirrorless was an issue. Those batteries are much lighter than DSLR cameras.

 

How do you like to push the photographic boundaries from a technical imaging aspect and can you show us an example of your imaging process and explain how you formed the final shot?

 

Below are two examples on how I process my photos from start to finish.

 

Example One: My personal three-way incremental techniques. A technique to render photos within 5-10 minutes:

 

  1. First, you have to think about the colour pattern that is going to be used for the photos (e.g. colour wheel). Start with the original image and edit it using Lightroom. I quickly work on the highlights, shadows, white and blacks in the photo. I also correct the hue/saturation of the different colour channels in order to follow my preferred colour wheel scheme. I finally correct distortion and the general aspect ratio in order to bring back the photo as close as I saw it with my own eyes.

 

 

2. I continue to the second step by opening the photo with Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4. I usually apply a custom version of the recipe named “Soft Landscape” and remove any vignetting but add some sharpness back to the photos. Also, I apply some of the filters to the selected part of the photo.

3. Then, I reiterate on step one and two until I am happy with the photo.

 Before

After

 

Example Two: HDR (High Dynamic Range)

 

One of my best photography techniques is to bracket multiple exposures of the same shot. Why would you do this you might say?

 

Sometimes you need more dynamic range, and you don’t have time to manually change your settings. This is particularly useful if you go on a non-photography tour. This technique should give you way more flexibility to edit your photo.

 

Originals:

 

  1. Here I am happy with the general colours of the photos so I will stick with the Analogous colour scheme (groups of three colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel) to portray the natural colour of the rock.
  2. Following this, I will then create my HDR using Lightroom. This technique should work 99% percent of the time. If not, I would recommend using Photoshop to merge your HDR.

 

  1. At this stage, I generally disable auto tone, because it sometimes gives an unrealistic (and ugly) result:

 

  1. Instead of enabling this feature, I reset the auto tone, and play with HDR photos produced by Lightroom. My rule of thumb here is to only edit incrementally, slowly so that I don’t go over the top with any settings:

 

 

Settings:
In this image you can see the settings I used in Lightroom to achieve the overall look.

 

  1. As seen in the photo, during our expedition, the sunlight was hitting the green fern and trees, adding a green ambient light. However, the rock colours remained with a warmer tonality. (It is also interesting to note that Bayer sensors are twice more sensitive to green). I decided to bring back the original colours of the rocks by using an elliptic tool. The end result gave me a nice gradient between the two colour tones. It was important to note that I had to make sure to keep the colours within the predefined Analogous colour scheme.

 

 

  1. I then process two copies of the photo using a Lightroom Plugin called Color Efex Pro and Analog Efex Pro with two different tonalities:

left image – Analog Efex Pro, right image –  Color Efex Pro.

 

  1. Here you can see the final result of both photos. The Analog Efex Pro layer will be used for vignetting, while the Color Efex Pro layer(a warmer version of the original photo) will be used for the centre area to obtain the following rendition. Again changes are extremely subtle:

 

  1. Finally, we can reprocess the image with Lightroom. The goal here is to slightly increase the exposure of the centre of this frame and slightly accentuate the contrast of the underexposed areas. This should create an all round better depth in the image.

 

This should give me a more natural, more realistic photo – depicting a better vision of what was seen during that moment.

Before

 

After

 

Something worth noting is that you can use the following programs to continually reprocess your image to recreate the scene. By making small incremental changes in Lightroom followed by Nik software and then Photoshop, you will be able to recreate the scene as you saw it with your own eyes. I personally used this processing workflow for some of my most popular shots, such as these: ‘Lonely Solitude‘, ‘Sunrise with the old Gods‘ and ‘Sakura, from the leaves to the sky‘.

 

 

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

 

Buy a camera with a fixed manual lens. In a day of automation, it is easy to go into the classic auto mode. It works really well in most cases, but this also means that the user will hardly learn any photographic concept. Having a limited focal length will help the user reframe the shot, avoiding any bad practices like constantly zooming. My first camera was a Panasonic GH2 + Voigtlander 25mmF0.95. That setup really helped me step up my game.

 

If you want to do landscape, then get an ultra wide angled lens. These lenses are expensive, but they will help you frame those ultra wide shots – making it totally worth it.

 

 

You mentioned in a conversation you had a previous X Series model, what made you decide on Fujifilm X Series equipment in the first place and how do you see it’s future unfolding with the introduction of mirrorless medium format?

 

I love the compactness of the system. One camera that really interested me was the X70. I liked it because it provides a 28mm with an adapter to go to 21mm. I travel a lot for work and leisure, and I want to keep my gear light.

 

I think Fujifilm is going toward a good direction with the medium format:

  1. The camera market is shrinking, it’s very evident with CIPA shipment hitting a new low this year. In the way I see things going, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the interchangeable camera market becoming a niche. To prevent this, camera manufacturers needs to innovate on a hardware and software point of view.
  2. Full frame cameras are now proposing higher megapixel cameras. The problem is that effective resolution on full frame camera tops around ~50-70MP. Two solutions to increase those: scale up the size of the sensor, or change the design of the sensor (3 layers stacked one, etc.).

 

Now you have had some time with the X100F, were there any features you enjoyed using and what would you like to see improved in future X Series models?

 

Enjoyed using:

  1. ISO dial, it was great!
  2. Quick menu settings.
  3. The small joystick that can be used to navigate and change focus points.
  4. Backwards compatibility with X100 series lens and accessories.

 

Things to improve:

–   ISO dial is great, I love it. It is sometimes hard to change it on the go.

–   Please provide an app store where we could install apps for time-lapse, overlay with apps (e.g. predicting the position of the sun, etc), social media apps (snap, etc.). Transferring photo to a laptop is old. Sometimes we just want to share on the go.

 

Looking at your photos we noticed you love to travel. Are there any essential pieces of equipment you like to take with you before travelling and what’s the best way to conduct research on the places you are planning to visit?

 

I usually like to bring with me:

  1. Drone (DJI Mavic Pro).
  2. Camera with wide angle lens (15-30mm ~), 50mm lens and 70-200mm. And the kit lens of course (for my underwater housing). Oh and I always have a second old body, just in case one breaks.
  3. Underwater housing, if I plan on bringing the camera underwater. I have a cheap one that does an excellent job (Meikon).
  4. Solar panel to charge on the go + 10,000 mAh battery so that I can quickly charge my camera and equipment.
  5. A phone camera, that is always good to have.
  6. A small tripod, and sometimes a bigger one.

 

The best way to conduct research on places I am planning to visit: That’s a tough question – I usually look at travel guides, I also look at the weather, and the likelihood to see wildlife and scenery (that will dictate which lens I am taking). Also use an app like Photopills to know what I am going to shoot (night photography, etc.). In most cases, I wait only a few days before booking my hotel. The weather might change, and this may dictate your choice of location.

 

I don’t like to look at too many photos from other photographers of the place I’m going to, because it sometimes might spoil the feeling of that place, and it will also give me too much temptation to imitate them. It also gives the opportunity to look at a place differently.

To see more photos from Josselin follow him on Instagram or visit his website here.

Other interviews in this series

Through A Photographer’s Eye: Drew Hopper

Through A Photographer’s Eye: Alamby Leung

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Ian Tan

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Dale Rogers

 

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.

 

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

 

 

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.

 

mitch-hill-003
“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.

 


mitch-hill-004
“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.