Through a Photographer’s Eye: Athol Hill

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 ninth interview in Series Two is with Melbourne based photographer, Athol Hill.

 

Athol, you go by the name of ‘The Overrated Photographer’ online, can you tell us why and how you got started in photography?

 

I picked the name because of the keyboard warriors on the internet. I wanted a website where I could document my photographic journey and calling myself “The Overrated Photographer” seemed like a humorous way to eliminate the trolls.

 

Photography was a lazy start for me. I did most people did; I bought a DSLR and left it on auto or used the scene modes. I thought that photography was a talent you were born with. I’d hear people say a photographer had a good eye and I assumed I didn’t have it.

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR – 1/1400 second – F4 – ISO 200

 

My real introduction to photography came when I was kitesurfing regularly, and there weren’t many people taking photos of kitesurfers. I went through the process of learning the manual settings of my camera and over time, I started to realise that the “photography eye” was something you developed through experience and skill.

With the arrival of my children, my extreme sports photography opportunities dried up. This forced me to extend out to unfamiliar genres to keep myself taking photos, namely environmental portraits, family and street/abstract.

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF35mmF2 R WR – 1/4700 second – F2 – ISO 200

 

 

What do you most enjoy about photography and how have Fujifilm X Series cameras impacted the way you shoot?

 

Photography is my artistic and creative release. I’ve used to feel I had the artistic capacity of a brick because I lacked the ability to do the conventional arts (painting, drawing and sculpting). When I discovered photography it was the realisation that I found my creative art.

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR – 1/5800 second – F2.8 – ISO 200

 

Prior to moving to Fujifilm, I had bought into the propaganda machine that told us we “need” full frame cameras to create good photos. Fujifilm has given me an appreciation for how small my gear is and yet, I have lost absolutely nothing from an image quality perspective. My photographs look better than they did before and my bag weighs half of what it did.

 

I also think that photography is an ongoing learning process and EVF’s offer more opportunity for improvement because we’ve gone from imagining the photo to seeing them immediately.

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF35mmF2 R WR – 1/250 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

 

If we were to look into your camera bag what Fujifilm X Series equipment would we find?

 

I have a broad set of gear that I choose from depending on type of photography I am doing. That includes:

X-T2

X-E2S

X100T

XF23mmF2

XF35mmF2

XF60mmF2.4

XF90mmF2

XF16-55mmF2.8

XF50-140mmF2.8

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/250 second – F3.6 – ISO 400

 

What’s your favourite photo you’ve captured using the XF90mmF2, can you tell us the story behind the image?

 

My favourites will always come out of family due to the emotional attachment. My favourite is the one of my youngest daughter in a superhero mask, not because of the technical merit of the photograph or the composition, but simply because it epitomises the way children are. They’re about imagination, having fun and enjoying the moment. We forget that as adults and children help remind us.

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR – 1/900 second – F2.8 – ISO 1600

 

 

What photography genre do you prefer to shoot and why do you enjoy it?

 

Some people find a single genre and stay with it. I found this challenging because I appreciate different sides from each genres.

 

I’ve always loved extreme sports because the athletes inspire me. I enjoy watching people push their boundaries further and when people see a camera out, the “show off” side of their ego makes an appearance. The challenge with a family is finding the time to get out regularly, so more recently my preference now is environmental/child portraits and street/abstract, simply because of the accessibility.

Environmental/child portraits offer more opportunity to convey emotion whilst street, offers a broad variety of subjects and forces you to think outside the box.

 

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF90mmF2 R LM WR – 1/1000 second – F2 – ISO 1250

 

 

Can you mention where you might find your inspiration on any given day before you go out and shoot?

 

Finding inspiration with extreme sports is easier (when you have time) because I actively participate. I can look out the window and if there is wind, I’ll head to the beach for kitesurfing and take some photos before or after the session.

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF90mmF2 R LM WR – 1/110 second – F2 – ISO 200

 

For other genres it’s a little harder, and you have to push yourself outside your comfort zone. I try to carry a camera everywhere with me. That was part of the reason for getting the X100T, it offers accessibility and small size without compromising quality.

 

 

How do you find the Fujifilm X-T2 performs when reacting to something happening quickly before you? Does it get the job done and what’s the image quality like?

 

Pre-children, I used to think photographing sports was the peak of AF challenges, but I’d say photographing kids is far more challenging to AF system. With most sports, you have a defined path the object or person is moving in so that makes it predictable to large degree. A skater goes up in the air, does a trick and you know where he is going to go and when he will do it. Kids on the other hand will do what they want, when they want, and how they want, and there is no warning. The challenge becomes two-fold, keeping the lens on them and having the AF keep up. For these scenarios, I find the AF system in the X-T2 is remarkable. There are very few photos where the AF hasn’t done its job, it’s normally my inability to move the camera quickly enough that’s the problem.

 

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF90mmF2 R LM WR – 1/320 second – F2.8 – ISO 2000

 

I also think having full AF capability on the rear tilt screen is an advantage because it allows you to get low without having to lie down. There are no DSLR’s that offer comparable AF in liveview and in some situations, like a skate park, you can’t lie down or you are in the path of skaters. You must be on the move, getting out of the way quickly.

 

 

If you could see Fujifilm develop a future XF lens that doesn’t exist what would it be and what would you photograph with it?

 

A part of me that is still tied to extreme sports and for that reason, it happens to be one of lenses on the roadmap for 2018, namely the wide angle zoom. The wide angle zoom is something I’ve been waiting for. It’s not because I don’t like the 10-24mmF4, but primarily for weather resistance. When you shoot wide in water sports, you are generally close enough to be hit by the spray. I typically use a rain hood, but if something does happen, you want the environmental sealing for peace of mind.

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/1250 second – F2.8 – ISO 6400

 

 

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

 

Don’t become despondent about the number of good photographs you get when you start out. Novices often have a flawed perception about photography because they’ll see the 50 perfect wedding photographs in an album, not the 400 that didn’t make the cut. They aren’t aware that a studio photographer might take 100 photographs to get that one perfect shot. There are very few perfect first shot photographs, that is reality of photography. In time, your success rates will improve and you’ll have a higher percentage of keepers, but it’s a journey fraught with learnings and failure.

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF35mmF2 R WR – 1/250 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

It’s also important to find a medium that allows you to get constructive criticism. It’s great to post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and get 50 likes, and don’t stop that because the endorphins help keep your enthusiasm going. The challenge is 50 likes on Facebook won’t teach you how to make a good photo into a great photo, or a great photo into a spectacular photo and that’s the key to your progression. Don’t be scared of constructive criticism; we all started somewhere and making mistakes is a natural part of learning. Every mistake is an opportunity to do it better next time.

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF35mmF2 R WR – 1/350 second – F16 – ISO 200

 

To view more Athol’s work visit his website or follow him on Instagram, Twitter or Flickr.

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Tony Gardiner

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Greg Cromie

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Clèment Breuille

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Bhagiraj Sivagnanasundaram

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Joe Allam

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Chelsey Elliott

 

 

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Chelsey Elliott

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 eighth interview in Series Two is with Manly based photographer, Chelsey Elliott.

Chelsey, tell us about yourself and what made you choose Fujifilm X Series equipment to express your vision?

 

I started my photography passion in the SLR film days when I was taking more bad shots than good and spending all my money on film processing. When DSLRs appeared I bought a Canon like most people and took a million shots for a few years before I landed in a corporate career that took up my time and energy – so the camera was put aside.

 

Living in Manly, on Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches I met a great photojournalist Bradley Hunter, who really encouraged me to pick up the camera again and asked me to help him with his project of shooting a photo a day of local life in Manly. It was Bradley that introduced me to the Fujifilm X Series and the amazing X-T1. I instantly loved the compact, light feel, and the mirrorless feature of ‘what you see is what you get’ in the images.

 

The X-T1 gave me the ability to carry a discrete small camera everywhere, and the confidence to experiment with settings that were right at my finger tips – it was quite freeing. Then there is the weather sealing on the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T2! I love to travel, heading to snow fields annually and spending many weekends shooting seascape/ocean shots, so my gear is usually getting splashed, rained on or frozen. I’m glad to say I’ve never had an issue or a worry with my cameras or lenses, even in an igloo in the Arctic Circle…in winter!

 

Seagull to the Rescue – Manly Beach, NSW

Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 27.7mm – 1/400 second – F8 – ISO 200   

 

 

Your portfolio is quite diverse, how do you challenge yourself to keep taking interesting photos?

 

I guess, coming back into photography only a few years ago, I am still trying to find my preferred niche – so I’m trying out a range of ideas and styles to keep myself versatile. I am inspired by the beautiful place I live, so you will see a lot of landscape/seascape, and I am influenced greatly by the amazing artists on Instagram like Warren Keelan, Andy Mann and Kahn Ficarra. Shooting for a daily project also really forced me to take a different angle or find a new idea to keep the audience interested and coming back every day. I completely recommend a project like that for anyone stuck in a rut or wanting to be challenged.

 

When shooting a scene that has been done by the masses, like the Sydney Harbour Bridge or Manly Beach, I do try to find that different angle or odd composition to keep the picture appealing to the eye. So you will see me often lying down to find a reflection, or hiding behind trees to find some good framing.

 

Foam Dances – Manly Beach, NSW

Fujifilm X-T1 – XC50-230mmF4.5-6.7 – 95.4mm – 1/400 second –  F7.1 – ISO 400   

 

Bridge Reflections – Kirribilli, NSW

Fujifilm X-T1 – XF10-24mmF4 – 12.6mm – 1 second – F22 – ISO 200   

 

You recently made the upgrade to a Fujifilm X-T2 after starting with the X-T1. In your opinion was the upgrade in megapixels and features worth it and how has your photography improved since then?

 

Once I started to pick up some freelance work, I invested in a second body for on-location travel jobs. Luckily the X-T2 had just been released, and I’ve found it to be a really amazing camera. I can see the difference in image quality when I print beyond A2 size images for sale, and that quality definition is so important as I move into higher paid contracts. With the confidence of a ‘pro’ level camera producing money worthy shots, I have been able to put my name out there more for commercial jobs knowing that the end product is worthy of international marketing material. Not to forget to mention the Fujinon lenses – no one can argue that Fujifilm makes some of the best lenses in the world.

 

I’d really like to use the video features more on the X-T2 as the quality is outstanding and today’s digital-minded audience has come to expect great videos to keep them engaged. That visual medium is certainly my weak point, and I find it very challenging to compose a story correctly, it’s not something that comes naturally or comfortably to me. With some time and patience, I hope to greatly improve my videography skills using the X-T2.

 

Sunrise Ripples – Lake Macquarie, NSW

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF10-24mmF4 – 10mm – 1/60 second –  F4 – ISO 320   

 

 

Smoking Pipe – Manly Beach, NSW

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF10-24mmF4 – 10mm – 1/250 second –  F4.5 – ISO 800   

 

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

 

When I dusted off the old Canon DSLR, I took a couple of intensive online courses to brush up on the basics and just started to take shots of everything. The more I practised, the easier it was to remember what the best aperture was for a certain light, what the ISO was for, white balance, metering and all those things that slip the mind.

 

Then once I was comfortable with the basics – I picked a decent camera system (X Series) that I knew I would use ALL THE TIME. So choose a camera that you will have on you, as the best camera to buy is the one you will use. The X Series cameras fit in my jogging backpack, so I take one with me every day I go for a run. That way it’s there for a quick snap if the light looks good, or if something interesting pops around the corner.

 

I encourage everyone to get an Instagram account… even if it’s just for inspiration from the thousands of talented artists sharing their knowledge. It’s a fantastic media channel to review different styles, research your next shoot location or to build a connection with other like-minded photographers. It’s extremely satisfying when one of your favourite photographers leaves a positive comment on your photo; it encourages me to get back out there and create another beautiful image.

 

And finally I recommend taking up a daily photo challenge for a month, it will force you to take chances, put yourself out there and be creative.

 

Cloud Mountain – Curl Curl Beach, NSW

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 18mm – 1/1600 second – F8 – ISO 200   

 

 

 

What is your favourite beach image you have taken with the X-T2 and XF10-24mmF4 lens? Can you tell us the story behind the photo and how you captured it?

 

This one – I call it “Molten Cream” – was taken on Easter Sunday at sunset on my favourite beach in the whole world – North Curl Curl, NSW. The gold colours being reflected off the wet sand were intense, so I wanted to give it some contrast, or relief to the eye by adding in the swirling white foam water. I had to wade in with my gear and turn my back to the waves which is usually not the best idea if you want to stay mostly dry. I have fallen in love with the shapes that ocean foam creates which you only can appreciate when frozen in a photo – the swirl in the bottom left corner really grabs the eye.

It’s not the best composition as I feel it needs a figure in the centre to give it a proper focal point, but the magic of this beach is how unpopulated it always is, so this image (to me) highlights that feeling of a secluded untouched location.

 

The XF10-24mmF4 is my go to lens for all my landscapes. I purchased it for my Scandinavian trip last year, knowing I’d have some expansive mountain and waterfall scenery to capture. Even at the ultra-wide focal length of 10mm, the distortion is so minimal, and the sharpness is unbeatable. It has also functioned without missing a beat in minus 15-degree chilly temperatures!

 

Molten Cream – North Curl Curl Beach, NSW

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF10-24mmF4 – 10mm – 1/75 second – F5.6 –  ISO 200   

 

Do you have any tips on how to best photograph pets? Is there a best time to photograph them or a particular lens you would recommend?

 

Pet photography is certainly something I’d love to do more of. It’s a growing market as our cute fur-babies are more and more treated as a member of the family. As a devoted animal lover, what better way to spend time than playing with a puppy!

It’s a funny thing about animals, but they really find the lens an uncomfortable thing to look into, most dogs will look away like it’s a big eye staring at them. For close ups, I’ll have a stick, a favourite toy or a treat either just under or above the lens. The photo comes back like they are looking straight into the camera, but really they are waiting for their reward for being so patient. Time of day really depends on the type of animal but generally mornings and evenings when everyone’s a bit more active and playful.

 

For lenses, I like to use the XF35mmF2 lens for more ‘profile’ static type shots. It’s really versatile in a range of lighting conditions and picking up highlights, textures and being small is not so off-putting to the shy ones. Have the lens wide open at F2 really allows the image to be all about the face, or eyes, and less about the background. The incredible sharpness of the picture produced by the XF35mmF2 will really surprise you.

 

For more action shots you need a zoom like XF18-55mmF2.8-4 as a dog will run in and out of frame catching their toy.   The best thing about shooting dogs in action is they are more than happy to keep repeating the same shot until you get it right… just keep throwing the ball!

 

 

Freedom – Queenscliff, NSW

Fujifilm X-T2 – XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – 18mm – 1/350 second – F7.1 – ISO 200

 

What amount of time do you spend capturing photos versus being in front of the computer editing them? Do you find Fujifilm X Series equipment helps you be more creative?

 

You can easily get lost in the editing process, and over time the photo gets further away from the true picture, and you can lose hours heading down the rabbit hole of minute adjustments. So I have some of my own rules for the RAF/RAW images that I want to prepare for sale/print.

 

  1. Start editing the next day, or at least ½ a day later. It helps you to see the photo subjectively as opposed to the emotional connection you had when you took it. Sometimes your emotion can subconsciously lead you to over edit as you try to find the point of perfection that your mind remembers.

 

  1. Edit in a 3 phased approach – moving between photos each phase. First time to fix up the obvious (crop, dust, etc.). Second to adjust contrast, highlights, etc. The final step is to dial back what you did in the second phase, and then you have the perfect amount of adjustment.

 

These rules help me spend a lot more time behind the camera; I can happily sit and shoot at waves for hours on end, then editing the best one up in 10-15mins. Having now learnt NOT to take 100’s of shots of the same thing, my culling process is a lot faster than it used to be.

 

For the many photos that I don’t need to edit from RAF/RAW – the JPEGs that are produced by the X Series are incredible. I love the different film options available in camera, with Astia/Soft being a favourite. I also use the Bracketing functionality for my landscapes to give a HDR feel, the exposure options are perfect.

 

 

Shadow Puppet – Lowe Head, Tasmania

Fujifilm X-T1 – XF 18-55mmF2.8-4 – 18.8mm – 1.3 seconds – F5 – ISO5000   

 

We noticed you travelled to Iceland, what advice would you give someone who is planning on going and what Fujifilm X Series equipment would you recommend they take?

 

I have been fortunate to have travelled to many amazing countries all over the globe, and I have to say that Iceland is the most extraordinary place in the world. It should be on every landscape photographers bucket list. I visited Iceland for New Year’s Eve, so it was a white winter wonderland with quite low light and very short days. Having a week there, we only managed to cover the south coast from Reykjavik to the iceberg fields of Jokulsarlon. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t helping us view the Aurora Borealis. I have put Iceland back on my bucket list to visit in summer time when the land is completely green and the waterfalls at full flowing force.

 

If travelling there in winter, I recommend a good sturdy tripod that will stand up to the cold temperatures. The one I took from Australia pretty much shattered in the below 10-degree temperatures so now I have a replacement bought locally that is carbon fibre. For cameras, I can only recommend either the X-T1 or X-T2. The weather sealing was so important as it was often icy, snowing or raining and windy. The easy access settings dials were a huge help when you didn’t want to take your warm gloves off!

 

As for lenses, take an ultra-wide or wide angle, the vistas were immense, the waterfalls so tall that you virtually needed to take a panorama just to capture the full scene. I also recommend a prime lens with large aperture, like a F2 or F1.4 to assist with the low light conditions. Don’t forget your remote trigger, plenty of batteries and memory cards in case you are lucky enough to witness the elusive Northern Lights.

 

Skogafoss, Iceland

X-T1 XF10-24mmF4 – 10mm – 1 second – F22 – ISO 200

 

To view more Chelsey’s work visit her website, 500px gallery or follow her growing Instagram account.

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Tony Gardiner

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Greg Cromie

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Clèment Breuille

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Bhagiraj Sivagnanasundaram

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Joe Allam

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Mark Loader

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

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

 

What inspires your photography?

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

If you or someone you know in Australia is interested in joining our X-Thusiast community, check out the full X-Thusiast Gallery and submission details here.

 

5 Moments to Shoot With Manual Focus

In your early days as a photographer, you likely relied on your camera’s autofocus settings. There is nothing wrong with shooting that way. In fact, there are plenty of moments when even the most respected photographers utilise this mode, so there is no stigma for shooting in auto. There are some situations, though, when manual focus is most sensible.

 

 

Choose your focus wisely by knowing five moments when manual is ideal.

 

Locate fine detail in macro pics.

Macro photography — those shots of small objects at larger-than-life size — requires you to focus specifically on an intricate detail of a tiny object. In most cases, you will shoot with your narrowest depth of field in order to emphasise textures and distinguish your focal point. So even a slight error in focus makes your shot tell a different story. By shooting in manual, you retain control to communicate the details you want.

Image by @william_hartanto

 

Point to the pupils in portraits.

Portraits, like macro shots, call for focus at a highly specific point. You want the pupils of your subject to be in complete focus. With autofocus, you would prefocus your shot before finally framing and shooting, and in that time your subject could budge or blink. Manual focus allows you to locate the pupils and shoot in the instant you reach them.

Image by @timcubittphotography

 

Pick a tree or hilltop for your landscape images.

Landscape photos might seem like shots for auto because you likely do not shoot with a narrow depth of field. Even with these nature pictures, you can communicate a better story by identifying whatever tree limb or rock formation deserves viewers’ attention. Whereas some genres of photography require you to frame and shoot quickly, landscape work allows you to take your time and be methodical with your manual specificity.

Image by @adamatorres

 

 

Anticipate the action by focusing ahead.

Action photos are another sort that may seem, at first notion, more suited for auto. Objects are moving fast, so there is little time to adjust your settings. If you shoot action in auto, though, you can anticipate your frame by focusing on a particular point where your subject will pass through. Hit your shutter just as your object enters the frame.

Image by @russellordphoto

 

Travel through glass with fewer scratches and smears.

If you take photos from planes, museums and zoos, you may have to shoot from behind glass. Of course, that surface is often compromised by scratches and handprints, and it is also giving you reflections to worry about. Manual focus is much better for avoiding reflections and minimising the appearance of discrepancies on the glass.

Image by @alessandrobiggiphotography

 

Auto and manual both have their place in your repertoire as an artist. You can be strategic and confident that you know the moments for each focus.

 

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Tony Gardiner

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Andrey Moisseyev

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

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

 

What inspires your photography?

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR – F5 – 1/250 second – ISO 200

 

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

 

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

Radius 1.2-1.3

Detail 5

Masking 30

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

If you or someone you know in Australia is interested in joining our X-Thusiast community, check out the full X-Thusiast Gallery and submission details here.

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Joe Jongue

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 tenth interview is with Melbourne based photographer, Joe Jongue.

Joe, can you tell us about yourself and what sparks your creativity and gets you out shooting?

 

Like some people, my hobbies and passion for things always change with the wind. However, photography was never on that list, even though my grandfather was a professional photographer in his time (I still have his vintage C.P. Goerz Berlin Dagor lens).

 

The first camera I purchased was the (then stylish) Sony Cybershot T1 back in 2001 when compact ‘happy-snaps’ were in. Fast forward to 2013 which was when my interest and passion for photography began. After briefly using a friend’s Canon 650D, I went out the next week and purchased my own, and the rest was history.

 

It took two years for me to identify and develop my shooting style, it was around this time when I also developed an interest in Street Photography. What sparks my creativity when I’m out shooting is my gut instinct, I go with the flow, if I feel it, then I’ll shoot it, if I only manage one keeper at the end of the day, it’s a good day.

 

What do you photograph with and what gear do you like to take with you when you’re out photographing? 

 

I enjoy shooting Street Photography, anything that is candid and raw. So when I’m out and about, I carry my Fujifilm X-T20 mounted with the XF35mmF2 everywhere I go. It’s a perfect little lens when combined with the smaller body of the X-T20 and the Auto-Focus speed on it is fast enough to capture candid moments while producing tack sharp images in the process. I never leave home without it.

 

 

Can you tell us about the Facebook community you orchestrate and explain why the community is important in the field of photography? 

 

After my transition from DSLR to Fujifilm Mirrorless, there weren’t many support communities around, many of the group’s on Facebook posed as a dumping ground for unboxing photos of other people’s gear, there was little interaction between members of the group. So my good friend, Antonio Colaiacovo (whom I shared the journey of transitioning from DSLR to Fujifilm with), decided to start our own community group, Fujifilm X Australia Photographers Facebook Group.

 

 

What do you look for in a photo and do you worry about composition, lighting or focus? 

 

I enjoy black & white photos, I’m a big fan of leading lines and will always try and incorporate these into my images as I compose for a shot. I find that having a leading line in the scene can sometimes help frame and compose the shot for you than not having one. In terms of lighting, as opposed to most photographers who will try and seek out the ‘Golden’ hour for natural lighting and avoid the harsh 12 o’clock sun, I, on the other hand, prefer this, it creates more defined shadows and can often help create leading lines in situations that would not normally allow.

 

 

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

 

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.

 

How did you find out about Fujifilm X Series cameras and what made you choose the model you shoot with? 

 

I first came across the Fujifilm X Series when I was searching for an alternative solution to my encumbering DSLR set up. Before making the full transition, I purchased the compact Fujifilm X30 as it had the same sensor and processor as the X-T1. I immediately fell in love with the colours and clarity of its JPEG quality; the film simulation was also a bonus; however, I was still on the fence and needed a little more convincing. About two years ago I participated in the Global 500px Photo Walk hosted by Fujifilm Australia, it was my opportunity to ask some questions around areas of concern, but more so I had the chance to try the X-T1.

The very next week I sold all my DSLR gear and made a full transition over to Fujifilm and am now fully invested. I now shoot with the X-T20, I chose this over the more popular X-T2 because of the small size and light weight body but mainly because it was almost identical to the X-T2, I was happy without the extra features offered by X-T2, and it suited my style of shooting.

 

Can you tell us the story behind your favourite photo you have captured using an X Series camera? 

 

One of my favourite photos was the one taken of a man walking in the middle of the tram tracks; the shot was taken on Bourke St Mall, Melbourne using the Fujifilm X30 during the busy afternoon rush hour. What makes this special is that this particular street is usually busy with pedestrians crossing from all directions while trams run up and down the street at regular intervals.

While I was framing this shot, the intention was to capture the tram tracks leading up the hill to the horizon. However, while standing in the middle of the tram tracks, I could hear a tram approaching from behind, I wanted to move out the way but my gut instinct convinced me otherwise, and that’s when I noticed a man walking into my frame. I paused a moment even though the tram behind was honking for me to move, once the man was in the centre of the frame I took the shot and moved out the way for the oncoming tram. The end result would not have been possible if I had moved and not listened to my gut instinct.

 

What’s one photography tip you have learned from someone else that you would like to pass on to the greater audience?

 

Just because you have a fast prime i.e. F1.2 doesn’t mean you must shoot wide open, each lens has a sweet spot, understanding the aperture range can mean the difference between a tack sharp image and a blurry one.

To view more of Joe’s work visit his site or visit any of his profile on Facebook or Instagram.

Editors Note: Fujifilm Australia does not endorse photographing while standing on train or tram tracks.

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: Harmeet Gabha

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Benjamin Lee