A photographer’s perspective on the art of mindfulness through photography

By Alex Carp

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health issues at some point in their lives and that is quite a stark statistic. I am a strong believer in taking up photography as a hobby when it comes to helping people who are experiencing mental health issues. Whilst there have many discussions around what can potentially lead to mental health issues, and ways in which people can get treatment and support, I haven’t seen many talking about how photography, can help your mind stay healthy. Getting out and about with a camera in hand helps people to become more present, more aware and more mindful. Continue reading A photographer’s perspective on the art of mindfulness through photography

Introducing Stocksy Photographer Robert Lang

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

 

Our fourth interview is with South Australian based photographer, Robert Lang.

 

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

 

I’m from Port Lincoln, South Australia. I was originally a qualified carpenter building residential homes before changing my career to professional photography. It sort of just fell in my lap really, I never truly chased it. Starting on small jobs for friends and local businesses would somehow always create enough demand for that next job to roll in. Once I started freelancing, I was hooked completely. I work a lot on my own now; I love the flexibility of working to my own schedule and the more time it has given me at home with my family. For me, taking pictures borderlines addiction. You never know what that next shot will be like, so it’s become this constant pursuit of the unknown.

 

You currently use the Fujifilm X100T, how do you find the image quality stacks up against other brands?

 

I was immediately impressed how a much smaller camera in my hands could still give me such a high-quality image. I quite often find the SOOC (straight out of camera) jpegs are so on point that I would question myself if it was even worth post processing the image at all.

 

For the ones I did wish to play around with, I found the RAW files if ever needed could be pushed as hard as I would use my regular DSLR workhorse. Adding in the high ISO noise performance on the X100T alone, now meant on my everyday excursions I was successfully grabbing useable handheld shots from low light scenes you just would never expect from a camera that size.

 

How did you get your start as a stock photographer and do you find it to be rewarding?

 

I got my foot in the door after a friend of mine, noticed the style I was already shooting. He suggested I try and join a few different stock agencies that he was already in. At the time I didn’t have much photography gear, so I used the passive income to re-invest in new equipment, slowly replacing the second-hand gear I started on and setting myself up with everything I needed to move into a profession. Stock photography has given me an uncomplicated form of access to clients I would normally never have the opportunity to sell to and has given me a wonderful new group of extremely talented like-minded friends all around the world.

 

 

 

What do you most like about the Fujifilm X100T and has it changed you as a photographer?

 

It was the first time I ever held any camera that truly compelled me to go and take a picture, purely because of how it felt and looked in my hands, I didn’t just want to go photographing with it, I needed to. It was smaller, more lightweight than my normal chunky DSLR, something I would often leave at home. Now I finally had something that I could take with me everywhere, so straight up I was taking more pictures than I used to and without the somewhat intimidation of a larger camera.

 

A feature I frequently love using is customising the setting of the Fn (Function) button to the inbuilt neutral density filter. I also get a real kick out of using the OVF (Optical View Finder) and leaving my shot reviews until I get back to the computer later. Combined with the slick retro look and feel of the camera itself, it gave shooting that addictive old school feel. My all-time favourite focal length is already 35mm, so with its 23mmF2 lens (35mm full frame equivalent) it even has me covered there too. Overall, there is this seductive and confident freedom the X100T gives me from shooting on a smaller camera, yet still in no way, ever compromise on the quality. You feel unobtrusive in simple moments, which makes for some beautiful candid photographs.

 

 

When you shoot, do you use any particular settings like aperture priority, set on the X100T?

 

I’m a fan of the cameras Classic Chrome jpegs for sure. For actual shooting style, it’s got to be full manual control all the way for me, and I particularly love the focus peak highlight in manual focus with the AE & AF (Auto Exposure & Auto Focus) set to switch mode.

 

 

Do you have any tips when it comes to photographing children and animals?

 

Probably nothing that hasn’t been said before. Getting down to their eye level certainly, does help. I think it comes down more to the moment you choose to hit the shutter button instead. I do like my high-speed burst mode in the drive button settings to increase my chance of getting the right frame in the moment something is happening. I would then go back and delete the ones that I didn’t need. I have looked them over post shoot and found some pure gold this way. Just make sure you have an SD card with a fast write speed if you want to keep up with this camera though.

 

 

What has been your favourite image captured using the Fujifilm X100T? Can you tell us the story behind the photo?

 

It would have to be the one of my Border Collie called Reggie who was asleep on the shearing shed floor. I just got my hands on the WCL-X100 wide angle conversion lens and went for a walk at home to fire off some new shots. It was the first photograph I took with it, so yeah just a test shot that I fell in love with.

 

 

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

 

Always value your own work, if you don’t then neither will your clients and never waste an opportunity that knocks on your door either. My best advice though I was given starting out still rings true for me today “always shoot for fun and the rest will sort itself out”. I just love Stocksy, and I’m really proud to be a part of their team.

 

In my opinion, the photographers are quite simply world class; it’s high-quality premium content at every turn. This quality over quantity approach to their collection also means the submissions are stringent, so if I ever get a photo accepted I wear it like a badge. Money talks too, as Stocksy has the highest royalty rates in the industry, and as a Co-Op, it really bucks the trend that has seen artist’s rates declining over time by sharing the bottom line back to its own photographers.

 

 

Introducing Stocksy Photographer Rowena Naylor

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

9 Ways to Develop Your Own Photography Style

You are getting serious about photography and want to develop your reputation. You feel like establishing a look so that each photo fits into a greater catalogue of work.

 

Develop a recognisable and genuine photography style by following a few tips.

 

Exercise patience and dabble in many styles.

 

Take time to become comfortable as a photographer. Master fundamentals of composition, angles and lighting. Experiment with every photo style you can imagine. Expand your creative eye and learn what shots you take best.

Image by Clément Breuille

 

Study the work of others.

 

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. So review the work of other photographers, past and present. Learn what inspires you and what resonates with you emotionally.

 

Imagine beyond your current equipment.

 

You might have too much gear but be best suited as a nimble photographer who carries one camera and one lens in order to move freely around a subject. You might have a savvy eye for wildlife photography but lack the zoom to capture animals quickly from afar. Borrow or rent and experiment with photo equipment to delve into any style that intrigues you. Make your creative path more about your passion than today’s possessions.

 

Express yourself.

 

All creative work is, in some sense, biographical. Even in picturing other people and sites, you give the world a sense of yourself. Be in touch with your own hopes, desires and fears so you convey a sense of sincere yearning through your art.

Image by Chelsey Elliott

 

Separate subject from style.

 

Saying you shoot portraits, cityscapes or sports is not enough. True style is not just what you photograph but how you photograph it. The perspective you offer to stage, frame and light your shots defines you. Think about the smallest details as you create your portfolio.

 

Contemplate your business model and your market.

 

Think of how genres of photography follow different economic models. Portrait photographers acquire clients and guarantee pay by booking sessions, whereas landscape photographers often sell shots long after shooting. Consider your market. It is easier to do portraits in a bustling city where many people need headshots. If a genre appeals to you, decide whether relocation increases opportunities.

Image by Nadeesha Rathayake

 

Find the moments when people compel you.

 

When your style involves people, think about the instant when you see their true essence. It could be when they talk about difficult times, have a drink or belt out a laugh. Determine when people seem to you their true selves, capture them in it and make that an element of your signature style.

 

Create recurring elements using aperture, light and colour.

 

Many photographers are known for their use of lighting, whether natural, interior or DIY. Others are known for revisiting a colour or two in many shots. Set at least a few attributes of lighting, colour palette or depth of field to coalesce your photos into a grouped look.

 

Harness post-production to mark your style.

 

Refine images with photo-editing software to further establish your aesthetic. Subtle but persistent changes to contrast, highlights, shadows and other elements give photos a unified look and set your aesthetic.

Image by Scott Grant

 

As you learn how you view the world and what elements you bring to each shot, you make recognisable work with a photography style that wows.

 

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Harrison Candlin

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 sixth interview in Series Three is with Brisbane based photographer, Harrison Candlin.

Harrison, your travel, adventure and landscape photography is spectacular. Why do you think you were drawn to photography and how will it impact your future career?

 

I think the reason I became so fond of photography is because of my father. I would like to say I followed in his footsteps. As a retired professional landscape and wildlife photographer, he always inspired me by his landscape imagery and how a person could capture and convey a scene with a camera. The ability to document the world around us; specifically, the natural world, opened my eyes to the possibilities of photography and how it could lead me to places and see things a bit differently to everyone else. As a travel, adventure and landscape photographer, I attempt to capture the true surroundings and emotional feelings of a scene. To me, that’s something that cannot be replaced, and this is how my style has evolved. Travelling around Australia and Europe has broadened my horizons immensely. Only four years ago I hadn’t travelled anywhere. I think the more of the world I get to see, the more landscape I can walk, and the more culture I experience, the deeper my perspective of the world will become. I’ll be a graduate Industrial Designer in a month, so having knowledge of the world is fundamental for design.

 

 

You mentioned on social media you used the Fujifilm X-E2S and Fujifilm X-Pro1. Can you provide some insight into why you choose a rangefinder over a Digital SLR?

 

They are both excellent cameras that have performed exceptionally well. Having previously owned DSLR’s, I never felt overly comfortable with using them and just never felt at home. The Fujifilm system is incredibly discreet and compact, and the light weight factor was a major selling point. The unique conservative design was different to the regular camera shape, and that caught my attention dramatically. Back in 2013 when I saw Fujifilm release the interchangeable lens system of the X-Pro1, I was captivated by its size, retro style, and image quality. Since then, Fujifilm and mirrorless cameras in general, have taken a huge leap forward in competition with DSLR’s. I think the major reason for wanting to own a rangefinder is its direct correlation to its old film predecessors. It makes me feel connected to photography, not just part of it.

 

 

Based on your experience, how would you describe Fujifilm’s quality when talking about image quality and the design of X Series cameras?

 

The image quality is superb. The colour rendition is phenomenal, and editing capability in the RAW files is outstanding for an APS-C sensor. Regarding design, Fujifilm to me has led the way in beautiful classic, refined cameras. The materials are solid, well-constructed and I feel the sense of true craftsmanship and dedication when using them.

 

 

Do you have a favourite location to photograph? How did you stumble upon it?

 

For me when I photograph in nature, I pursue the feeling of reflection and the escape that comes with it. The disconnect from the modern world when entering the natural, untampered world is a feeling I will always chase. Mount Barney National Park in the Gold Coast area and lately the New England National Park in the Northern NSW Tablelands has become a favourite place of mine. These places are relatively close to home and leave me with a greater sense of appreciation every time I go. I’m drawn to wild places where I can enjoy the surreal feeling of standing high on a mountain overlooking valleys, gorges, and lush rainforest. I’m very lucky to have such raw beauty and rugged mountains so close to home. I find most of my locations from word of mouth, books or Instagram.

 

 

How do you find the natural environment impacts your photography?

 

I’m lured by light and moved by the characteristic of the changing landscape. I feel a sense of security and embeddedness in the natural environment while I’m hiking and climbing, alone or with friends. It brings me to life. I feel freedom in the wild and can truly slowdown from the fast paced world. This is the basis for my photography. Enjoying the moment and slowing down, capturing what I can and leaving with a sense of accomplishment whether or not I took a great shot.

 

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

 

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.

 

 

Lenses obviously play an important part of overall quality, so with this in mind what lenses do you prefer to use and why?

 

In my field, the classic 24-70mm range out performs any other lens in versatility, and with that in mind, I use the Fujinon XF16-55mm (equivalent in 35mm). This lens is fantastic; weather sealed, durable, and exceptionally fast and well performing. In the travel, adventure, and landscape field, I always have a need to go wide and to go tight depending on the scene and landscape. Therefore, this lens covers the focal lengths I use most often while keeping a constant F2.8 aperture which is imperative for low light and shallow depth of field. Before I bought my Fujinon XF16-55mm, the majority of my landscape shots were shot on the Fujinon XC50-230mm. This lens is versatile because of its mid-telephoto to long telephoto length. It’s a great, light weight and cost effective lens that has served me for three years now, allowing me to take some of my best work in over five countries.

 

An expensive and fast lens doesn’t always make your photos any better. For city traveling purposes, I tend to use my Fujinon XF18mm, because of its small form factor, great width, and fast aperture. These are my go to lenses that cover nearly all of my photography and give the versatility to work scenes and make something brilliant. I have recently bought the Fujinon XF55-200mm.

 

 

What does traveling to new places mean to you and do you partake in any location research before you go?

 

I research a lot before I go anywhere, more so the access, facilities, and tracks instead of the photos. I like to be open minded when visiting new places so my images don’t sub consciously conform around other photographer’s work that I’ve seen.

 

 

To see more of Harrison’s photography visit his website or follow him on Instagram.

Previous interviews from Series Three of Through a Photographer’s Eye:

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Johny Spencer

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Gavin Host

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Mike Bell

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Ryan Cantwell

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Sarp Soysal

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Stephen Hobbs

This month’s photographer is Stephen Hobbs, who hails from England. He brings a unique perspective to photography with a natural approach. He enjoys working with manual cameras, so check out our interview with him to learn how he is developing his photography style.

 

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

My name is Stephen Hobbs, originally from a small town in England on the South Coast called Lee-on-the-Solent. I migrated to Australia 14 years ago, living initially on the northern beaches of Sydney but now on a vineyard in the Hunter Valley. I have several hobbies, which include sailing, motorbike riding, touring and, of course, photography.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF10-24mmF4 – 1/60 second – F4 – ISO 6400

 

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

 

My interest in photography developed while at college. I had a spare college unit and photography fit in the time I had. I was very lucky in having access to a darkroom and some very basic equipment. We used Zenit-Es — about as manual as you can get! Even had to manually stop down the aperture after focusing before taking an image. It’s maybe this history I have with a fully manual camera that first attracted me to the Fujifilm X Series range. I love the fact that I have access to these manual controls through dials rather than hunting through menu structures. It brings back memories of feeling in control of the image-making process rather than being reliant on auto this and auto that.

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

It just keeps developing! I started off only printing black and white in a darkroom so I tend to be pulled back in that direction. I also love the SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) jpegs using the Fujifilm simulations. ACROS is just amazing! I have recently been drawn to a more documentary style; I’m uncomfortable with getting people to pose, so I prefer a more natural approach to shooting images of people. I would love to try to convey emotion rather than just imagery, and it is an aspect I try to focus on more as my photography style develops. Over the years, I have been more a point-and-shoot person; it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve tried to focus on the emotion. Sometimes I feel like it’s only me who can see the emotion in a photograph, which is fine. Photography can be quite a selfish medium with most people taking photographs that only have meaning for the photographer.

 

What inspires your photography?

People doing everyday things. I love to try to capture people interacting with each other or their surroundings.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 – 1/18 second – F5 – ISO 6400

 

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

 

I generally prefer early mornings to any other time of day, empty streets, great tonal variations that don’t mess with dynamic range too much. My aim is to try to capture what I’m feeling when walking through empty streets. Whether that be local or while away on vacation. I also like to combine my love of motorcycle touring and photography. This is where the small-form factor of the Fujifilm system is a real bonus. That combined with having access to all the major controls externally.

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

This is pretty easy, if you can count a two-week motorcycling tour in America as a single session. The landscapes through the mountains and deserts of the Western Seaboard of America are just amazing. The early morning light, while riding into Monument Valley is just perfect. Spine-tingling moments just made for the adventurous photographer.

 

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

 

This would have to be the last one. I have owned the Fujifilm X-E1, X-E2, X-T1 and now the X-T2. The X-T2 is just amazing, the new simulations with the new sensor just delivers. Each camera has improved over the last while still keeping true to the heritage of maintaining and improving image quality. As a bonus, the usability of each camera has improved over the years, too.

 

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

 

I thought I would do the geeky thing and check which lens is used by looking up the metadata on the lenses used in Lightroom. I was surprised to find it was XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6, however, when I did the same after filtering on the rating it turns out that I consistently rate the XF10-24mmF4 based images highest of all. I’m not too surprised, as I just love this lens.

 

Fujifilm X-E2 with XF10-24mmF4 – 1/400 second – F7.1 – ISO 200. Converted in to Black and White in Silver Efex Pro.

 

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

I always shoot both RAW and JPEG, however I only used the RAW file when there is a really good JPEG image that I want to spend more time on. The vast majority of the time the SOOC JPEGS are perfect for my needs. All post processing is done in Lightroom, with ample use of the Silver Efex Pro plug-in when needed.

 

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?

 

I really am an amateur so don’t necessarily feel qualified to provide technical tips on how best to set up the camera. The only advice I would give would be to try to carry the camera with you as much as possible. You can’t capture that one in a million shot if the camera is in a bag at home.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 – 1/420 second – F10 – ISO 400

 

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

 

Don’t be afraid to take the shot and remember that another person’s criticism is just their opinion. Remember, someone paid a lot of money for a pile of bricks at the Tate Modern and we are still talking about it today, maybe that was the artist’s aim? If that was the artist’s goal then surely it succeeded beyond the artist’s wildest dreams.

 

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

 

 

Shoot with a Zoom Lens in These 7 Photography Instances

Some photographers decry use of the zoom lens and insist that you work with a prime whenever possible. There is no replacement for getting close to your subject for a sharper angle and a frame-filling view, this contingent will argue, and they are partly right. Yet there are many instances when it is appropriate, and even ideal, to shoot with a zoom.

 

Here are just seven of the photography moments that will give you reason to turn to your zoom lens.

 

Fill the frame from far away.

 

The first and most obvious use for your zoom is to fill your frame in moments when you do not have access to physically approach your subject. If you are attending an arts performance or sporting event and lack access to the stage or field, your zoom helps you obtain a shot focused on your person of interest.

Image by Pete Bridgwood

 

Pack light, especially on the road, with your zoom.

 

If you are traveling, then you cannot be bogged down with all of the prime lenses needed for various shots. Carry a zoom instead of multiple primes and enjoy the ease of flying and touring with your lightweight kit.

Image by Patricia Davidson

 

Capture the quick-moving subject.

 

Do you want to take action shots of sprinting athletes or charging animals? These subjects are usually distant from you and are moving fast through your frame. Your zoom lens lets you set up a shot from several metres away and establish your composition by anticipating when the subject will jolt through the frame.

 

Get raw, candid shots.

 

Sometimes the best shots are those you get when your subject is unaware of the camera and you can capture them in their natural, unposed state. Your zoom lens can help you achieve this raw, candid photo by taking them from farther away.

 

Compress your foreground and background.

 

Bring your foreground and background together. Not every shot benefits from visible depth of field between the objects nearest and farthest from your camera. With your zoom, you can establish a telephoto effect, making all objects in your frame appear flatter in their depth.


Image by Jamison Ford

 

Bring the crowd together, and feature a favourite.

 

Street photography of crowds is an especially good time for you to create the telephoto effect with your zoom. The many people in your shot will appear even more huddled because of flattened depth. Experiment with compositions that focus on the entire group and others that highlight one face.

Image by Brian Li

 

Flatter your profile subjects.

 

Portrait photography may not seem like the most obvious use for a zoom. But with your zoom you have the option to distance yourself from your subject, giving him or her comfortable space, and get a close shot. It also prevents unfavourable angles, like enlarged noses and chins, from being created when you shoot too close with a prime lens.

 

Of course your zoom is never an excuse for laziness, as some of the prime lens purists fear. Whenever possible, be an agile artist who crouches, slides and approaches to get the perfect angle for the moment.

 

Are you looking for a Fujifilm camera but aren’t sure which one to purchase? Our buying guide helps you determine which one will work best for your photography needs.

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.

 

 

 

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Simone Cheung

This month, our featured X-Thusiast photographer is bringing social responsibility to the forefront. Her photos from locations around the world incorporate nostalgia and people’s interactions with one another, and are both intriguing and inspiring works of art.

 

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

 

My name is Simone Cheung and I live in Sydney. Largely self-taught, I’ve always had an interest in photography since I was young when I used to take my parents film camera around and take endless photos.

 

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

 

I love travelling and street photography, and I hated lugging around my heavy, bulky SLR. I wanted to downsize my kit without compromising quality and the Fujifilm X-T1 did just that. And let’s be honest, it also makes me look less like a dork photographer!

 


Barber Shop: Split, Croatia. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF14mmF2.8

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

Photography has always been a way for me to combine my big passions in life — travel and promoting social responsibility, human rights and social equality. As a result, I do a lot of street photography to show that every single person regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or social status has that magical moment just waiting to be captured.

 

I enjoy photo documentary and bringing out those social issues through my photography. I have been a volunteer photographer with various not-for-profit organisations including Oxfam, Global Sisters, Women’s March on Sydney and others.

 

What inspires your photography?

 

“Goya” in Urdu means the suspension of disbelief that occurs in good storytelling. That is what my photography is all about — capturing those simple, ordinary moments in a special way where goya occurs; where the “as if” feels like reality.

 

Night Swim: Sydney, Australia. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF23mmF1.4

 

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

 

The beauty of street photography and photo documentary is that you can find a stunning image anywhere, at any time, in any light. The premise of a lot of my images is that even though they are taken in different places at different times around the world, people’s interaction with light is the same, highlighting that we are in fact “more alike than unalike,” in the words of Maya Angelou.

 

Looking through my own photos, I tend to be drawn toward scenes of nostalgia, of places past, lives lived and the glories that used to be. I tend to love photographing in abandoned sites and old shopfronts, and also shooting at night.

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

I was recently lucky enough to do a workshop with Andrew Quilty, who is one of my favourite photo journalists. We spent the afternoon on the Manly ferry and the Corso where I was able to watch Andrew in his element and learn from him.

 


Set Fire to the Rain: Port Vila, Vanuatu. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF23mmF1.4

 

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

 

I have only tried my XT-1 and I love it. It fits snugly in my hands and I love the manual dials and just the overall feel of it. Because it is so compact, I take it with me everywhere and my husband no longer has to carry my camera gear anymore when we travel!

 

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

 

I love all of them! I have the XF14mmF2.8, XF23mmF1.4 and XF56mmF1.2 and they are all fantastic. I particularly love the XF56mmF1.2 as it gives nice creamy portraits and is also great for low light.

 

 


Instant Photos: Budapest, Hungary. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF14mmF2.8

 

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

 

I shoot in RAW and I process everything in Lightroom. I am not very good at editing, so I usually only make minor adjustments such as contrast, exposure, etc. I also love the Wi-Fi function of the X-T1 so I can upload straight onto my phone and share on social media. This is particularly handy when I’m travelling.

 

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?

 

The main advice is that there is no one magic setting. The more you shoot, the more you will understand what each function does and the impact on your image. Eventually, you will know what settings to use in what environment with only minor tweaking. I tend to shoot very wide apertures to isolate my subjects, which is particularly important in street photography.

 

Schlafwagen: Budapest, Hungary. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF14mmF2.8

 

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

 

I spent many years taking photos (some good, some bad) until I found what my style was. I still experiment a lot with techniques and try to learn and draw inspiration from others. Your gear is only one part of being a photographer; your eyes are the other part.

 

In the shadow: Tumbarumba, Australia. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF23mmF1.4

 

Anything else?

 

I think we need to raise the visibility of women street photographers. When I try to look for inspirational women street photographers, I notice that there are significantly fewer women in street photography than men. Maybe there are less, or maybe they are less visible in the sense that they don’t submit to collectives as much or they don’t receive as much exposure, but we should definitely start celebrating them more.

To view more of Simone’s work visit her website or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

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