Through a Photographer’s Eye: Piyush Bedi

Welcome to the Fourth Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this latest series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use FUJIFILM X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our third featured photographer is Piyush Bedi.

 

Piyush please tell us about yourself, why you love photography and how you got started?

I love travelling and collecting things. I knew I needed to get a different kind of collectible, when the fridge was overcome with fridge magnets and I started sticking them onto the oven. I purchased my first DSLR impulsively. I was quickly overwhelmed with all the controls and carrying it everywhere became a chore. Before I knew it, the camera was gathering dust on my shelf. My photos never looked the way I wanted them to and I didn’t have the right lenses to make it happen. Then a friend told me a few things that stuck: Don’t take it for granted, I’m lucky to even have a camera and the first 10,000 photos I take will be rubbish. Maybe I listened to him. 230,000 photos later, I wish I had heard it earlier.

Photos became the new collectible for my travels. I love that operating a camera is a job that requires both sides of the brain, an understanding about the environment, planning to be at the right place at the right time and more than a few spare batteries. Travelling too often becomes a rush job of getting from place to place, but when I see a view that captivates me, I like to come back to it, with some planning, a coffee, tripod and my camera, early in the morning or late at night, when no one else is around and find ways to capture why I am so captivated by it. Those are my favourite photographs.

 

You mentioned on your social media you travelled with your FUJIFILM X-T1 to Iceland to capture the icebergs of Jökulsárlón. Did the camera survive and what was your best shot from the trip?

I travelled to Iceland with the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. My research told me that the weather in Iceland would be diabolical: Cold, windy, icy, wet and during the month of October, also very dark, perfect for viewing the Northern Lights. While the clouds every night prevented me from seeing the Northern Lights, I made up for my disappointment with a visit to the amazing Vatnajökull glacier ice caves and the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon.

The ice cave was an amazing experience. Light came through the ice ceiling, but being a few metres thick and covered in snow, there wasn’t much. There was however a curved path on top of the cave entrance where the ice or snow was thinner, so it created a dazzling, shimmering light that stretched for the length of the cave. It was the part of the cave that captivated me most. It was approximately 2-3m high in height, so even with a wide angle lens I wouldn’t have been able to capture the entire length of that shimmering ceiling. I had to carefully position my camera on the wet ground and take a series of photos, carefully rotating the camera by a fixed angle between each shot. I would later stitch the photos together on my computer to form a panoramic image of the ceiling.

Later that day, I visited the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. It’s this magical area where a glacier meets a body of water. Blocks of ice fall off the glacier and very slowly drift through the lagoon, out to sea. You can walk up to huge blocks of ice sitting on a shore with black sand, glowing with refracted light. I spent the afternoon taking photos of these huge blocks of ice. While I captured many photos I liked, it was not until I was enjoying a celebratory coffee at a nearby cafe that the magic happened. The sun began to set and the sky turned to a fiery orange. The whole area began to glow. Promising the cafe owner I would pay him when I got back, I ran out the door to take photos along the enchanting sea shore.

The waves were a little rougher this time, so I set up the tripod and left the camera to take longer exposures, hoping to smooth out the water. After capturing this shot of an intricate block of ice, I set the shutter time to be a bit longer and stepped back to avoid shaking the tripod in any way. Unexpectedly, a powerful wave rushed in, and before I could rush to reach the camera, water hit the tripod. Miraculously, it didn’t topple, it just sunk further into the sand. I was so proud of my trusty, rusty tripod, “Go you good thing! when the going gets tough, you just ground yourself and keep at it!”. It was sitting in water that was ~50cm deep now. As I began to walk into the icy water to see what I had captured, a rogue chunk of glacial ice came straight for my trusty tripod. Riding a particularly strong wave, this glacial ice block hit the tripod and toppled my camera into the Atlantic ocean. While the camera never worked again, the SD card survived. While succumbing to the wild Atlantic ocean my X-T1 took one last photo which ended my being my best shot from the beach. I couldn’t be prouder of that last photo.

 

How do you feel FUJIFILM X Series equipment captures landscapes, is the quality okay from previous systems you may have used? Would you like to see any feature improvements on a future camera that might assist with capturing this genre?

My first camera was a Canon Rebel and it was great. It was durable, easy to use, budget-friendly and had a lightweight body. When travelling however, I found it hard to carry all day long (obviously I had tried ALL the cameras and lenses available). The debates around sensor noise were also a bigger issue back then. Not being able push the camera past ISO 800 without a lot of noticeable noise prompted me to begin searching for a better sensor, while retaining all the qualities that I liked about the Canon Rebel.

A few years later I was about to embark on a trip to Everest base camp in Nepal and at the same time started reading about the powerful X-Trans sensor in the X-E1. A lightweight mirrorless camera, with a sensor that not only provided exceptionally low noise, but also extreme sharpness. I bought the camera a day before my trip and read the manual on the flight. I wasn’t taking a laptop on this 3 week trip, so I would only be able to review the photos in detail on my return. I was nervous about my choice, but the feel of the lenses, electronic viewfinder and listening to my friends complain about the weight of their full frame DSLRs with telephoto lenses put a smile on my face. The only trouble was battery life. In the Himalayas there aren’t many charging points and the freezing cold temperatures drain the life out of the batteries. I had to ensure the electronic viewfinder was on strict power management as well as sleep with the batteries at night to keep them warm. The photos I got in the end could not have delighted me more. The sky looked as blue as I remembered it, noise free and boy were they SHARP! Taking a photo, looking back at the path I had walked across, I could see all the little towns underneath the mountain, many kilometres away. If you zoom into the photo of Mount Ama Dablam, you’ll be able to see the green and red roofs of the buildings.

When taking travel and landscapes, sharpness, dynamic range and low noise are incredibly important for image quality. The FUJIFILM X Series delivers all three in spades. Sharpness helps capture the fine details and textures of the environment. Dynamic range helps capture the varying tones of light, especially in unpredictable lighting conditions. Finally, the low sensor noise assists with keeping shutter speeds short, which both, help in avoiding camera shake and in capturing multiple sharp images to later stitch into panoramas.

Having a lightweight camera with weather resistance helps a great deal as well. After my X-E1 was damaged in a torrential rainfall, I immediately bought an X-T1 to replace it. It’s weather resistance helped it survive much longer on my travels in unpredictable environments.

Battery life hasn’t improved much over the FUJIFILM camera generations and is an area in which improvements would help travel and landscape photographers. Carrying fewer batteries would help lighten the load and require fewer pit stops for charging. While it counters the previous feature by being an energy drain, having an onboard GPS that geotags photos would be helpful for cataloging locations.

 

Can you take us through the process you use to stitch your photos together?

I love the effect of a good panoramic photograph. Sometimes one is lucky enough to witness a breath-taking vista and restricting the frame to only a small width just does not do the vista the justice it deserves. I take panoramic photos by taking multiple photos, each slightly apart from the other and then later stitching them together on a computer using the merge feature in Adobe Lightroom.

The first step of taking a panoramic photo begins with composition. Panoramic photos have to be stitched on a computer, so it’s difficult to visualise what the final composition will look like until you’re back on your computer. Fortunately, most smartphones have a pano photo mode on their camera these days, so I begin with taking a quick pano on my smartphone to work out the composition.

Next up, take a series of photos, where each photo has approximately a 30-50% overlap with the previous photo. Stitching software needs this overlap in order to know how to put the images together.

There are a few tips:

  • Don’t be too close to your subject otherwise it’ll result in unnatural distortion.
  • If you want a horizontal pano, shoot in portrait orientation. If you want a vertical pano, shoot in landscape orientation.
  • Ensure camera exposure and white balance settings are constant for all the photos otherwise you will have to spend time adjusting those settings in image editing software.
  • Stitching software is usually able to blend the photos together at the seams, but if the exposure settings are too far apart, you’ll see banding in your pano. X Series cameras come with an exposure lock button that helps with this.
  • Finally, ensure the focus doesn’t change between photos otherwise there will be very obvious differences across your pano. It’s best to switch to manual focus for the series of photos.

Finally, back on the computer, use the merge photos function in Adobe Lightroom (link). It does a great job of stitching photographs together while retaining editing abilities for post processing.

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

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

The advice of this great photographer still holds true. So in order to quickly move towards taking photos you’re happy with, you want to make it as easy as possible to take photos.

There are a lot of camera and lens options out there. Don’t worry too much about which lens to take because, a little secret, most of them are fantastic. Just have one or two and go for it. I kept my collection to two lenses for five years and only worried myself about how many batteries to carry so I wouldn’t have to return home.

Buy what you can afford, make sure you like how it feels and most importantly make sure it is so convenient that you never have to think twice about taking it somewhere. The easier a camera is to carry, the more likely you will take photos with it.

One final thing, once you start taking a lot of photos, you’ll realise it’s much harder to pick the few that you like best. Always make the effort to pick a small subset of the photos that you have taken and think about why you like them. This will help you develop your style.

How would you best describe what it’s like to be on top of a mountain taking photos? Does a camera really capture what you feel or is there something more to the scene that we just can’t experience in a photo?

When I travelled to the Himalayas in Nepal, I was awed. The mountains reached a few kilometres straight up and were right in front of me. I had trouble capturing that feeling with a single shot. I thought stitching panoramas from multiple shots would help, but being up in the mountains without a computer I had no idea if the final result would capture that feeling. I trusted the camera and it’s sharpness enough to give it a go. When I returned to Sydney and stitched the photos, the results were better than I could’ve hoped. I was in love with taking stitched panos and obsessed with capturing the sense of awe that comes from nature. Cliched as it is, nothing captures the feeling of being there, but that won’t stop me from trying.

Maybe one day soon, with virtual reality headsets, we’ll be able to capture and enjoy the depth and awe of mountain photography.

What FUJINON X Series lens would you recommend people use if they were getting started with landscape photography? Do you have a photo taken with the lens and the story behind the image you can share with us?

I have used the XF18mmF2 R for almost all my landscape work. It’s small, light and sharp – great factors for getting started with landscape and travel photography. While not a landscape photo, I recently used the XF18mmF2 R in Kyoto, Japan. It was peak cherry blossom season in Kyoto, so there were thousands of people on these streets. Many were dressed in traditional garb and looking forward to taking traditional photos in this beautiful part of town.

Here’s a photo of what it looked like during normal hours. Much like taking landscape photos, I had to wait for the right time to take photos of the area. For this particular one, that time happened to be around 6am, which meant I was up and out of my accommodation at 4:30am. I had the cold weather and whole area to myself. I patiently waited for the sun to rise – with my can of hot BOSS coffee from the vending machine – and was able to take my time composing and capturing this photo. By 6:15am, the area was filled with tripods, models and even a young married couple having their wedding photos taken. Sometimes it’s those quiet work hours with you and your camera that are the best.

Thanks for reading this far.

To see more of Piyush’s photography visit his Instagram profile.

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Felix Mooneeram

Welcome to the Fourth Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this latest series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers (or in this case a visiting photographer) and how they use FUJIFILM X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our second featured photographer is Felix Mooneeram.

 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what drives you as a photographer to capture images?

I am a professional photographer from the UK, but these images were captured for FUJIFILM Australia whilst on holiday there at the start of 2018. I mostly shoot architecture back at home, but making travel images is one of my favourite things to do whilst I’m away. I find that experiencing a new place with my camera opens my eyes to it makes me take it in more than if I didn’t have my camera.

I think quite differently when shooting on holiday compared to my professional work. It’s a lot freer; a lot looser. Sometimes I shoot blind; sometimes I go to higher ISOs that I wouldn’t in my regular work. I don’t worry much about getting perfect exposures – the images are more about the moment or the feeling at the time, and I find that liberating.

 

You visited Australia to document the country, where did you travel within Australia and what gear did you decide to take with you?

We stayed in Melbourne, spent four nights on the Great Ocean Road in a van, and had a long weekend in Sydney. I took my full set minus one lens. This kit consists of the FUJIFILM X-T2, XF50-140mmF2.8, XF35mmF1.4, XF10-24mmF4 (listed in order of which I like to use most for anyone wondering). I often look ahead or try to isolate elements in my frame, so I love the F2.8 zoom. The range is so versatile for this kind of photography, but the size of the lens can be a little cumbersome for travelling, it has to be said. For me, it’s totally worth it, and if ever leave it at home, I always wish I’d bought it. These three lenses give me a vast range of focal lengths to work with and cover most situations that I want to shoot in.

 

Your photos look unique, what was your workflow? Did you use any advanced techniques like HDR to overcome Australia’s harsh light?

Thank you! I found the light in Australia an absolute joy to work with. In the UK it often feels like you are struggling to get enough light onto the sensor because the weather is usually pretty poor. In Australia, I was shooting at speeds my dial doesn’t get anywhere near back home which was fun. It meant I could quickly capture things that caught my eye, all handheld, and at the lowest ISOs. Because of the amount of editing, I do through my professional work [link to my https://felixmooneeram.co.uk/Recent-Commissions], I hardly shot any bracketed exposures. I wanted to keep the editing down to a minimum, so I created a preset in Lightroom that brought out the vibrant colours and the warm, sunny tones from the Australian summer and applied it to most of my edits. That usually involved dropping the highlights, bumping shadows, and a bit more yellow and green in the temperature/tint.

What was the story behind the photo featuring the Koalas?

For four days we had a van kindly lent to us by Awesome Campers to travel from Melbourne down the Great Ocean Road. This was probably our favourite part of the trip. I was so amazed by how you can be on beautiful beaches one minute and 15 – 20 minutes later in thick, super tall woodlands that felt like you’d be several hours inland.

We had always hoped to see some koalas in the wild, and as you drive down the Great Ocean Road, you can often tell where they are because other campervanners were parked up ahead aiming their cameras into the trees high above. With this shot, we got so so lucky as not only did we see some, but we saw them at ground level and up close.

My girlfriend spotted them out of the window on the roadside one morning, and we parked ahead so as not to disturb them. We got out of the van and walked back towards them and were so pleased when we saw it was actually a mother and her baby. It was a fantastic experience to see them like this in their natural habitat and was a real high point of the trip. They stayed by us for a few minutes as I made some images of them with the XF50-140mmF2.8 zoom lens (we didn’t want to cramp their style), and then they climbed away up a tree. We had smiles on our faces the entire day after that.

 

Do you have any tips for anyone who is thinking about visiting Australia to photograph Sydney and the surrounding suburbs?

We only had one weekend in Sydney, but we had a great time there. The Botanical Gardens are a must see. When you get through them to the viewpoint on the coastline and look back on the city in the background and beautiful, lush, gardens in the foreground – it’s hard to believe that it’s a real city.

That whole area around the harbour and the opera house is really photogenic. The city/business district itself is quite oppressive, and the architecture isn’t all that interesting. Stick near the water, and you’ll see the best of the views. The walk from Bondi to Coogee past all the small coves and beaches is a must do.

 

Can you share some insight into what you look for when photographing architectural design?

I love to play with geometry, symmetry and leading lines when shooting architecture. This is why I’m often drawn to more modern architecture. I sometimes like to use people in the frame to not only give a sense of scale to a building but to show how people interact with it. If you’d like to know more about how I shoot architecture, I have another FUJIFILM blog post here.

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

Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot as much as possible. Take your camera everywhere. This is the beauty of FUJIFILM and their mirrorless systems. They’re small enough and light enough to carry around, and the rangefinder style design means you make really strong connections between the functions of the camera and what results come from changing them. This is one of the main reasons I switched to FUJIFILM in the first place. I feel that using these cameras deepens your understanding of aperture, shutter speed and ISO like no DSLR could.

Swapping my Canon gear for FUJIFILM also opened up a new world of focal ranges for me. I was able to afford three lenses for the price of one Canon lens, and this changed my photography for the better. I could start to capture spaces from the details right back to the wider, covering shots. It helps to tell comprehensive and rich stories of a place.

To see more of Felix’s photography visit him over on Instagram and his website.

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jane Sheers

Welcome to the Fourth Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this latest series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use FUJIFILM X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our first featured photographer is Jane Sheers.

I have been shooting with FUJIFILM cameras for the last four years. When I am travelling, I usually take my two FUJIFILM X-T2 bodies and the FUJINON XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR, and one of the telephoto zooms. This time, as I was flying back to Cambodia for the 5th time, I wanted to challenge myself by taking prime lenses only. This decision lead to quite high levels of “but what if I miss a shot” and “which primes to take” anxiety. The former I told myself to forget as no matter what gear you have there will always be shots you miss, but the latter was a bit more of a dilemma. Should I go with the FUJINON XF90mmF2 LM WR R or the FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R, or how about the FUJINON XF23mmFf1.2 R or the FUJINON XF35mmF2 R WR?

Every time I thought I had made my decision a siren named the FUJIFILM X100F called me day or night. She tempted and tormented me convincing me that all the things I preferred about the X-T2 over the rangefinders did not matter. She told me I needed her. I resisted the call with all my might. However, there was a universal conspiracy against my resistance in the form of the FUJIFILM Australia Cash Back, a timely ‘not to be missed sale’ and Tourist Refund Scheme. Being astute, I could read the signs, so off I went into the heat of early monsoon to Cambodia with the FUJIFILM X-T2 coupled with the FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R lens and my very new sexy silver FUJIFILM X100F.

In Cambodia, I spent most of my time in Siem Reap. Siem Reap is the town well and indeed on the world tourist map due to the magnificent Angkor Wat Temple, the tree (way more famous than the Wanaka Tree) at Ta Phrom made famous by Lara Croft, and the 216 huge stone faces of the Bayon. Each temple is excellent in its way and presents different challenges when it comes to photography. Angkor Wat is vast and on the first visit can be overwhelming for no other reason than it is just that – huge. I would recommend anyone going for their first-ever trip to leave your camera in your bag and walk around the place to get a feel for it (unless of course, the light is just perfect at that very moment). Then come again and start working it photographically.

I’ve been in there at least 20 times over the years and always see something new or different. I prefer details over the whole scene, and my real love is the Apsaras (celestial dancers or musicians). While there are many throughout the temple it is up in the top of the central shrines you will find the best ones. When in the labyrinth of Angkor Wat there is every likelihood you will see a monk in their bright orange robes making a nice contrast against the dark stone.

The Bayon is famous for its much-photographed faces supposedly of the Avalokiteshvara (the Buddha of Compassion), yet they reportedly bear a close resemblance to King Jayavarman VII who built this temple. As big and vast as Angkor Wat is the Bayon is tight and somewhat compact. It offers photo opportunities galore with the most popular being one of the faces through a window frame. The selfie opportunities: it almost resembles taking a number and waiting in line. Despite the hordes that visit, it is effortless to get away and find your quiet little spot for reflection, like the main shrine in the central tower. It is in the quiet places that I am happiest.

If you want to get away from the crowds, head to some of the other temples such as Banteay Kdei or Preah Khan. Aside from not being as busy as the main three, the additional advantage is they are not tightly controlled meaning you can scramble around more and get in touch with your inner Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. I love both of these temples, but of the two, I find there something special about Banteay Kdei. Maybe it is the fabulous Apsaras that are covered in orange lichen or the main gate into the temple that is a smaller version of the very popular southern gate at Angkor Thom. I suspect these temples will become more popular as people want to get away from the crowds; in fact, this is now happening with Preah Khan.

One of the beauties of Siem Reap is that the countryside is readily accessible in a remork (the Cambodia version of a tuk-tuk: a quaint carriage attached to the back of a motorbike). In just a short time you can leave behind the hustle and bustle of the town or temples to catch a glimpse of rural Cambodian life. Between the small villages, you will come across rice fields. At the beginning of the monsoon, the hard work of ploughing and planting rice begins, and rain doesn’t mean down time. In the late afternoon on a bright day, you can catch a gorgeous late afternoon golden glow in one of the surrounding villages.

There is more to Cambodia than Siem Reap and its ancient temples. I arranged to spend a couple of days with a local photographer (Eric d Vries who incidentally happens to use a FUJIFILM X-Pro1 or the X100T), around the Battambang area. This offered an opportunity to visit places I wouldn’t have otherwise seen and also for some mentoring in ‘the art of seeing’. My creative flow changed, and I even experimented with in-camera double exposures. This added something extra to creating images, but the one thing I wish we could do is to use more than two images with the multiple exposure mode. It would be great not to have to shoot the photos consecutively too. Can we have this in a Kaizen firmware update, please?

It was out on this trip I was able to meet some of the people of Cambodia and take their portraits. Cambodia is not called the Land of Smiles for no reason. Nobody seemed to have an issue with us taking their pictures, instead, they would call out “Barang” (Khmer for foreigner), and they would laugh at us. Let’s say we were not hard to spot being the only three westerners in places where westerners seldom visit and even more so given Eric is well over six foot and very fair. But what beautiful, friendly people. And some of the kids LOVE having their photo taken.

During my travels, both cameras served me well. I must admit that it was difficult jumping between the two bodies due to the different ergonomics. Both had their benefits, and I was surprised that I used my X100F more than I thought I would. I have near equal numbers of images from each camera and maybe balance tips more to the X100F. If I was going for a walk, I intentionally pick up the X100F. Where I think the X100F shone was in markets as it was so unobtrusive. Obviously, the siren was calling me, and I did need her after all. I have no regrets in heeding that call.

As for travelling with primes rather than zooms, after a few hours, I was no longer trying to twist the barrel of the lens to get my shot. Instead, I thought about the shot more before taking it or moved around more to get what I wanted. Remember, one of my original dilemmas was missing the shot if I didn’t have my zooms? Yes, there were a few times where I did miss the image that was going to make me famous, but I quickly forgot about that lost opportunity as I was presented with an alternative one almost immediately.

FUJIFILM continues to allow my muse to create. The FUJIFILM X-T2 will always be my special love. However the X100F has turned out to be a great little mistress to have on the side as she offers me different opportunities, and in fact, she is sitting beside my left hand as I write. I know we will continue to have more adventures together in the future and I have reserved a place for her in my bag as she is coming on my next overseas trip later in the year to Hong Kong. I’m counting the sleeps!

To see more of Jane’s photography visit her Instagram, blog or gallery.

TAPE: Series 3 – 10 Photographers Share Their Advice

Over the last ten weeks you would have seen ten interviews forming series three of Through a Photographer’s Eye (TAPE). In each interview, we heard from a handful of Australian photographers and how they use Fujifilm X Series cameras to photograph the world around them.

Before series four of Through a Photographer’s Eye begins next month, let us take a look back at what advice was shared when each photographer was asked the question:

 

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

 

Johny Spencer

Shoot what you love and love what you shoot. When you’re obsessed with the thing you like, in my case photography, it will keep you shooting even when you get stuck on the technical stuff.

Your passion for the subject will push your creativity and help you overcome any challenge you face in your photography journey. – Read the full interview here.

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

 

Gavin Host

I believe learning how to work with light is the first step to understanding photography, and the only way to do this is to experiment. Learn how to shoot using manual before you begin automating anything (other than focus). It’s very important to understand the basics of ISO, aperture and shutter speed and how they impact both each other and the final photograph, before leaving it to the camera to decide anything. You’ll make mistakes and take some horrendous photographs (I cringe at some of my earlier work!) but it’s the best way to learn.

Also, find someone that is in the industry that you respect and ask them as many questions as you possibly can. I spent six months on work experience with one of Perth’s top fashion photographers and although it was in an area that I didn’t pursue, the knowledge that I gained from working alongside him on a daily basis formed the foundation for my photographic skills.

Immerse yourself in photography if that’s truly what you want to be doing. I literally never leave the house without a camera (be it film or digital). – Read the full interview here.

Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF23mmF1.4 R – F2 – 1/640 second – ISO 400

 

Mike Bell

Photography is obviously a passion and not a job most people would choose if they were not into it, so by having that passion for what you do you are already halfway there. Create a service for clients that is reliable and ALWAYS deliver what you promise.

Taking an interest in your customer’s business, showing them you have done your research always helps. Never stop looking for new clients, self-marketing is key. Your creativity and skill will get you so far, that’s almost the easy bit, creating a customer base and the way you deal with your clients can be the difficult bit. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-T1 – XF16mmF1.4 R WR – 1/80 second – F2.2 – ISO 320

 

Ryan Cantwell

Don’t worry about the fancy technical side of the gear. Get a cheap camera and work with that. Don’t rely on editing so much. If you’re growing up in a ‘boring’ town that offers a lot of mundane surroundings and you feel like there’s nothing pretty to take photos of then you’re not paying enough attention.

You will learn to find ‘beauty’ and oddities in places rather than just visiting the regular postcard scenes and look outs. Look at art paintings and how they applied technique and composition. Paintings have been around a lot longer than the camera. Be forward with yourself and the people you approach it can be awkward, but your results will be more to the point you have in mind. Sometimes don’t take photos, so you can live in semi regret you didn’t take a photo of a wonderful thing, move on and remind yourself to be more mindful next time. – Read the full interview here.

 

Sarp Soysal

I’d say the biggest piece of advice I’d like to share with young photographers is not to get trapped in the technical side of photography or with camera reviews, equipment choices and stuff.

In my opinion, the most important first step is to get to know the gear that you have, whatever it might be, and understand everything about it so you can learn how to work with it and how to make it work for you. Because at the end of the day, when someone is looking at your photographs, no one cares really about what settings you used or what camera you have. It’s about the story you tell.

As any skill or art form, it requires a lot of practice. So take your camera with you everywhere and use every outing as a learning opportunity. Devote 20 hours a week, every week to making photographs. Get yourself a good pair of walking shoes and hit the streets or parks of your town or city and just shoot. Eventually, you’ll find your voice, and then you can focus on developing your own photographic style to tell your own stories. – Read the full interview here.

 

Harrison Candlin

Just pick up a camera and have a go. A lot of learning comes from mistakes I have realised. Dedication is something you will need to develop over time. It’s a fundamental key in developing your style, your photography quality and most importantly, being there to capture it. I have driven numerous six-hour drives to the same places just to get the shot I want, only to find out I couldn’t get it. However, if you’re dedicated enough, you’ll always want to go back and pursue it. The beauty of photography though is you might not always get your intended shot, but something else will always pop up. To be honest, most of my work has happened this way. Capture it, work the scene, change your angles, get down low or up high and fire away. Improvise and be spontaneous. – Read the full interview here.

 

Geoff Marshall

Learn the basics of exposure such as aperture, shutter, ISO and how to use them in combination to achieve desired outcomes. Consider your composition and just get out there and shoot. Analyse your photos, be self-critical and learn from your mistakes (we all make them) and develop a technique that you are happy with and produces results that you like. Don’t try and please everybody with your photographs, that’s an impossible task to achieve, we are all different, what one person likes the next will not. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-E1 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS – 1/60 – F5 – ISO 800

 

Myles Kalus

Looking into gear, I would say to buy a camera that is straightforward to use. A lot of cameras these days have added functionalities that sometimes become a distraction. I’ve personally found that the fewer choices I have, the more concentrated I’ve been with learning and studying the camera and photography. If possible, I’d highly recommend a camera with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) as it allows you to immediately see how the settings affect exposure and depth-of-field. All these factors taken into consideration will speed up your learning process significantly, and improve your technical mastery within a short span.

From a photography perspective, I’ve always advised newcomers to find a few photographers of which their works you like, go through their work obsessively, learn what is it about their work that you admire, and try to replicate their work. This forces you to experiment with your camera and pushes your eye to see what and how they saw and why they photographed it. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 R – 1/1000 second – F1.2 – ISO 640

 

Matt Murray

Learn as much as you can about your camera: read the manual, watch YouTube videos, go to photography meets, ask lots of questions. Although many photographers – including myself – always want the latest and greatest camera gear, some of my favourite photos were taken with my least expensive Fujifilm kit: an X-T10 and either the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS or the XF35mmF1.4 R lenses (approximately $1200 worth of gear).

Learn as much as you can about photography. There are so many good free websites and resources out there these days. Follow photographers on Instagram and study their photos. Join photography related Facebook groups – I’m a member of about a dozen. Post your work in there and ask for constructive criticism. One excellent group I recommend is Fuji X Australia where a dedicated group of admins encourage and support Australian and New Zealand Fujifilm photographers. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

 

Marc Busoli

Shoot as much and as often as you can. Do workshops and join photo walks, there are plenty of free options around the place, I think that’s a great path to education around photography. Be open to other styles and ideas. Take feedback well from people whose photography you admire, but always remember that you should only ever shoot to make yourself happy, that is what matters. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/140 second – F3.2 – ISO 400

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Marc Busoli

Welcome to the Third Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our tenth interview in Series Three is with Queensland based photographer, Marc Busoli.

Marc, can you tell us about yourself and why you enjoy photographing people on the street?

 

I started photography in 1992 when I obtained a camera from my sister. I did a three-year diploma in photography five years after that and since then have shot images for commercial use, weddings, portraits and several blogs. I moved to my Fujifilm system after years of shooting with a full frame camera when I bought the original X100 and was blown away by the image quality and design of the camera. I loved it. I enjoy street style photography as it gives me an opportunity to observe and record the interaction of society in a shared space. I particularly like the idea of solitude in a crowded environment, people being on their own when surrounded by a crowd. I try to hide the faces of the people I photograph to accentuate the feeling of solitude and aloneness in a crowded city. I also enjoy the simplicity of simple designs in architecture, so I publish a few photos on my Instagram to mix it up a bit!

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/500 second – F9 – ISO 400

 

 

You mentioned you use the Fujifilm X-T1 with two primary lenses. What made you choose this camera over other mirrorless bodies and how do you find Fujinon optics for general everyday shooting?

 

I love the design of this camera, I’ve used a ton of cameras after working at Digital Camera Warehouse for seven years, and I can say that this is by far the best camera I’ve used. It just disappears when I’m using it, that’s really important to me as I don’t want the camera slowing me down due to bad design and the Fujifilm just is so natural to use for me.

 

The lenses themselves are just so sharp and not too big to be in the way when the camera is swinging around. The results are very sharp with a lovely bokeh. The two I use are the XF14mmF2.8 and the XF35mmF1.4. The XF35mmF1.4 just lives on the body, and I must admit I hardly ever pull the wide one out. The 35mm perfectly suits my eye and the results are faultless for my style.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 – 1/18 second – F1.4 – ISO 800

 

 

Why do you shoot mainly in black and white? Do you use a Fujifilm Film Simulation to recreate a particular look or do you edit your RAW files in post-processing?

 

I love black and white. I started a hashtag #52weeksofblackandwhite to challenge myself to shoot an entire year of just black and white. That was over two years ago, and I haven’t stopped! I shoot in RAW before converting the photo using the Fujifilm Monochrome+R film simulation in camera. I send it to my iPad and do final edits in Snapseed and/or Lightroom mobile. Then it goes to social media. For more control, I import the RAW straight to my MacBook Pro and edit with Lightroom/Photoshop.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 – 1/420 second – F1.4 – ISO 1250

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/55 second – F1.4 – ISO 1250

 

 

When using the Fujifilm X-T1 do you ever use the flip out LCD screen for street shooting or do you prefer to use the large electronic viewfinder? Can you explain why you shoot like this?

 

I use either the viewfinder (which is great, beautiful and big) or shoot from the hip without looking at the viewfinder or the LCD. Kind of Lomo style, it can produce some interesting shots, but it is very hit and miss, as you can imagine. Most times it’s using the viewfinder though, less distracting although you need to keep your non-shooting eye open, so you don’t miss any opportunities, this can be hard at the beginning.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/60 second – F1.4 – ISO 800

 

 

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

 

Shoot as much and as often as you can. Do workshops and join photo walks, there are plenty of free options around the place, I think that’s a great path to education around photography. Be open to other styles and ideas. Take feedback well from people whose photography you admire, but always remember that you should only ever shoot to make yourself happy, that is what matters.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/140 second – F3.2 – ISO 400

 

 

Do you have a favourite photo you have recently captured using the Fujifilm X-T1? Can you tell us the story about how you shot the photo and why you chose to compose the shot like you did?

 

This picture of a massive cloud formation off the Queensland coast is one of my favourite images. I used the XF14mmF2.8 to get as much in the frame as I could at the time. It was just massive in reality and when I cropped the image I pretty much just removed the top and bottom, but the width stayed the same. I tried to compose the shot to get a sense of the scale of the formation, and I really like how it turned out. I even managed to capture a little cloud-to-cloud lightning!

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF14mmF2.8 R – 2.5 seconds – F5.6 – ISO 200

 

 

In your opinion, what’s the best time of day to photography on the street and can you recommend any camera settings for someone who might wish to shoot similar photos?

 

Shooting street is such a reflection of the society that you’re recording that the ‘best’ time to shoot is any time that there are people around! I do prefer the drama of a late afternoon with some direct sunlight streaming in at a shallow angle. People in Melbourne CBD will know what I mean! I love to shoot directly into the light in those situations as I think it adds a sense of the dramatic to the scene, long shadows, silhouettes, bursts of light. It does tend to expose any limitations of your glass, but I’ve found the Fujifilm glass handles harsh direct light superbly.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF14mmF2.8 R – 1/60 second – F22 – ISO 320

 

What methods do you use when trying to photograph people on the street? For example is there a best way to approach people if you see someone interesting or are there any ‘don’t do this’ for street photographers?

 

One of my favourite techniques is finding a spot with some awesome lighting, like under a street light at night or a late sunset, and staking the place out waiting for the perfect person to come onto my ‘stage.’ You need to be aware and ready to fire as soon as an opportunity presents itself, I’ve missed a few great shots when I was starting out simply by not recognising an upcoming opportunity. People are more open to being approached these days I think, mainly due to the ubiquitous of images and social media, I think they like the idea of potentially going a bit viral!

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF14mmF2.8 R – 1/340 second – F5.6 – ISO 320

 

To see more of Marc’s photography visit him on Instagram – @themadbusdi.

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

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

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Harrison Candlin

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Geoff Marshall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Myles Kalus

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Matt Murray

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Matt Murray

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 ninth interview in Series Three is with Brisbane based photographer, Matt Murray.

 

Matt, tell us about yourself and what your photographic journey has been?

When I was twenty, I travelled around Europe for two years with a Pentax 35mm film camera. A few months in I got the photos developed – they were terrible! I resolved to learn more about photography so I could do justice to all the amazing places I was visiting.

In the mid-90s I mostly shot 35mm prints and slides with Canon SLRs. I bought my first digital camera when I was living in the UK in 2001 – it was the Fujifilm FinePix 6800Z. It was such a novelty seeing images instantly on the back of a screen! I missed the manual controls of an SLR but really loved this camera. Over the next decade, I had various Canon and Nikon DSLRs and also bought a Rolleiflex T and started to shoot some 120 film. I purchased the original Fujifilm X100 in 2011. Compared to the Nikon and Canon images, the JPEGs straight out of camera (SOOC) were just beautiful, and I fell in love with them. In 2015 I sold my Nikon kit and bought into the Fujifilm X series system, initially with a Fujifilm X-T1 and five lenses.

In recent years I’ve become a huge instant film fan. I have a small collection of instant cameras including a couple that take peel-apart pack film – I wish Fujifilm would continue production of FP-100C! My daughter and I both have Instax Mini 8 cameras, and I have the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 printer, which is fantastic when travelling. I’ve also just bought the Fujifilm SQ10 hybrid camera, which takes the new Instax Square film format – very exciting!

Fujifilm X-T10 with XF35mmF1.4 R

 

Looking through your Instagram account we noticed your photos are very colourful, can you tell us what process your images go through and do you use any of the Fujifilm Film Simulations?

 

Ever since I shot my first roll of Velvia, I’ve always loved bright, vibrant punchy colours. I love shooting travel, landscape and nature photos, so not surprisingly the film simulation I’m drawn to most is Velvia. I try to get things right in camera, as I don’t enjoy spending hours upon hours on a single image in Lightroom or Photoshop. I shoot JPEG+RAW, but I rarely use the RAW files. I work on most images only for 2-3 minutes in Lightroom. A lot of the images on my @mattloves Instagram account are straight out of camera JPEGs with only slight tweaks in Lightroom or on my iPhone.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS.

 

You mentioned you in a blog post you currently use 10 Fujinon lenses. What is your favourite lens out of these and do you have a prized photo you have captured using the lens? Can you tell us the story behind the image?

 

Usually, the lens I’ve just bought is my favourite – in this case, it’s the XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR. I love using telephoto lenses for travel photography, although I do see the irony of buying a smaller mirrorless kit and loving the larger lenses most!

My favourite image taken this year is of a galah in the sunflower fields in southern Queensland early in the morning. Most of the other parrots flew off when I approached, but this cheeky galah sat there looking at me. I captured this image with my Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens. The image has been published in the latest Rough Guides travel photo book “You Are Here.” One of the judges was legendary Magnum photographer Martin Parr.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

 

When traveling in Australia, what Fujifilm X Series gear do you tend to take with you and do you find it restricts you in any way?

 

It depends on where I’m going and what I’ll be photographing. The XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS always gets packed: a large percentage of my favourite ever images have been taken with this lens. Next up is a telephoto: I used to pack the XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, but I suspect the XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR will take its place for a while now. If I’m going anywhere to photograph wildlife, I’ll also pack the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR.

As well as zooms, I also take a couple of fast primes, usually the XF16mmF1.4 R WR, the XF35mmF1.4 R or the XF60mmF2.4 R Macro. I’m really looking forward to the release of the Fujifilm XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro lens but I’ve run out of money for now so may have to sell some kit to buy it!

Fujifilm X-T10 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

 

 

 

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

 

Learn as much as you can about your camera: read the manual, watch YouTube videos, go to photography meets, ask lots of questions. Although many photographers – including myself – always want the latest and greatest camera gear, some of my favourite photos were taken with my least expensive Fujifilm kit: an X-T10 and either the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS or the XF35mmF1.4 R lenses (approximately $1200 worth of gear).

Learn as much as you can about photography. There are so many good free websites and resources out there these days. Follow photographers on Instagram and study their photos. Join photography related Facebook groups – I’m a member of about a dozen. Post your work in there and ask for constructive criticism. One excellent group I recommend is Fuji X Australia where a dedicated group of admins encourage and support Australian and New Zealand Fujifilm photographers.

Fujifilm X-T10 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

 

Do you use the Fujifilm Remote Camera App to transfer images to your smartphone? If so, can you recommend any future improvements you would like to see included within the app and lastly, how do you find Instagram has helped your exposure?

 

I sure do, it’s convenient, but can be frustrating to use. Sometimes it connects no problem at all, other times it says it’s connected, but it’s not. I’ve no idea if this is possible, but in a future version of the app, it would be amazing if you could transfer RAW files to the app and then see previews of the image with different film simulations, with the ability to export JPGs from there.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Instagram since I first heard about it in a photography podcast in 2010. The first account I started in 2011 was solely iPhone photos. I started my @mattloves account in 2016 as a kind of homage to Fujifilm cameras, and it’s been wonderful discovering so many fantastic photographers and being featured by large accounts such as @Queensland, @VisitBrisbane and @FujiCamerasAus.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

 

As a XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 owner, how do you find the auto focusing speed when mounted on the Fujifilm X-T2? Does the focus keep up with fast-moving subjects? What’s your overall experience with the lens?

 

I’ve only used the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens once with fast-moving subjects – that was at a local speedway on a sunny day. The Fujifilm X-T2 and lens kept up well with the action and I was happy with the results given. It was my first time photographing cars. I love using the lens for wildlife – especially the array of colourful parrots we have here in Australia. I would’ve liked to have taken it with me to the Faroe Islands in June 2017, but the XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR was a better fit overall for my trip to Europe and I’m very happy with the puffin shots I took with it.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

 

If you could list three stand out features of the Fujifilm X Series system, what would they be and why are the features important to you?

 

Fujifilm makes photography fun again! I’d fallen out of love with photography somewhat until I picked up the Fujifilm X100 in 2011. Since switching to Fujifilm, I am obsessed with photography again!

Image quality – the quality of the images from Fujifilm equipment is incredible.

The compact size of the equipment – unfortunately, this doesn’t mean I have a lighter bag, it just means I can pack more gear in my bag now!

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

 

To see more of Matt’s photography visit his blog, 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

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Harrison Candlin

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Geoff Marshall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Myles Kalus

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Myles Kalus

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 eighth interview in Series Three is with photographer, Myles Kalus.

Myles, tell us a bit about yourself and how you relate to Fujifilm X Series cameras?

 

I originally intended to pursue an engineering career and studied mechanical engineering at university. Towards the end of my degree, I realised that engineering wasn’t really for me. By some stroke of luck, I picked up a camera in my last semester and realised that photography was what I wanted to do. I finished my degree, and immediately immersed myself into photography. I spent some time looking for the right camera to work with as I grew as a photographer, bouncing between different brands and different types of cameras.

 

I eventually picked up a first Fujifilm camera, the X100S, and knew from using it that what I needed for my “perfect” camera was one that had the modern advancements of digital camera technology in the shape and feel of a traditional camera. Having the aperture, and shutter speed dials right there to see just felt right to me. So, when the Fujifilm X-T1 was announced, I sold all the gear I had and made sure I was the first one in line at my local camera store to get my hands on it. I’ve exclusively used Fujifilm cameras ever since for both work and leisure.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF23mmF1.4 R – 1/500 second – F5.6 – ISO 320

 

As someone who photographs a lot of portraits, do you have any recommendations for XF lenses to use? For instance, based on your experience which lens do you think is better, the XF56mmF1.2 or XF90mmF2?

 

It’s hard to pick between both as they have different qualities but I’d have to go with the XF56mmF1.2. While the XF90mmF2 is technically the perfect lens for portrait work, the XF56mmF1.2 allows me to get physically closer to the subject, allowing me to interact, and connect better with the person I’m photographing. It’s also a smaller lens, so it’s less intimidating for my subject.

 

I’ve always found the smaller more retro your gear looks; the more relaxed and natural people will be when photographing them. Alternatively, I’ve also used the XF23mmF1.4 to shoot portraits to provide a little more context to the picture and involve the environment to show where the portrait is captured. This lens has been instrumental when doing backstage work.

 

 

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

 

Looking into gear, I would say to buy a camera that is straightforward to use. A lot of cameras these days have added functionalities that sometimes become a distraction. I’ve personally found that the fewer choices I have, the more concentrated I’ve been with learning and studying the camera and photography. If possible, I’d highly recommend a camera with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) as it allows you to immediately see how the settings affect exposure and depth-of-field. All these factors taken into consideration will speed up your learning process significantly, and improve your technical mastery within a short span.

 

From a photography perspective, I’ve always advised newcomers to find a few photographers of which their works you like, go through their work obsessively, learn what is it about their work that you admire, and try to replicate their work. This forces you to experiment with your camera and pushes your eye to see what and how they saw and why they photographed it.

 

You have worked with many international clients, do you think the Fujifilm X Series system delivers the image quality they are after and what are your thoughts on the new Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format camera for fashion photography?

 

Yes. I can confidently say that the Fujifilm X Series fulfills what my clients need. I’ve never heard back from a client questioning me about the quality or questioning about the gear I used. Whatever does the job as per client requirements. That’s all that matters when working with a client.

 

I feel the Fujifilm GFX 50S is a great addition to the Fujifilm lineup, and see it as an ideal camera for those requiring the benefits of medium format when working within fashion photography; higher resolution for detail, reduced vibration from the lack of a mirror and expanded dynamic range. It also opens the doors to medium format that would otherwise be closed to many photographers due to how expensive other medium format cameras are in general.

 

 

What is Street Style Australia and how has it helped you establish yourself?

 

Street Style Australia is a documentary project I started some years ago with the goal of documenting how Australians express themselves through what they wear. No one was doing it properly back then. So, I decided to take it upon myself to do it. Doing the project has opened many doors for me, regarding meeting and working with people within the industry, and allowing me to create work and fulfil a niche for an international audience. It’s also allowed me to further delve into the inner-workings of the fashion world documenting backstage and behind-the-scenes for runways, fashion events, etc.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 R – 1/1000 second – F1.2 – ISO 640

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF56mmF1.2 R – 1/500 second – F1.4 – ISO 200

 

 

Aside from fashion, what elements of the photo do you think are important to make a portfolio-worthy fashion shot?

 

For me, the first step is understanding the purpose of the photo and working out how to deliver that goal through the photo. Great portfolio-worthy fashion photographs have always put feeling, mood, and story-telling before technicalities and aesthetics. An aesthetically pleasing photograph doesn’t cut it. Great fashion photographs also make the audience immediately look straight into and embrace the content within the frame as if it is a window, and see what the photographer is seeing. The presence of the photograph as an object to the viewer is invisible or non-existent.

 

So, giving an example from landscape photography, when I look at Ansel Adams’ photographs of Yosemite, I don’t think about how beautiful the photograph is. I think about how beautiful Yosemite is, feel how amazing it is to see the view. His photos make me feel like I’m there witnessing or at least, make me want to go there to witness Yosemite myself. I forget that the photo is a photo.

 

How important is it to work in a team in your field? Do you find stylists; makeup artists and models are all easy to work with? How does a general shoot form?

 

A good team is vital because you can’t-do everything yourself in general. How easy others are to work with is usually based on the individual and their capabilities. Most of the time, everyone’s down-to-earth and professional. Occasionally, you do get less than ideal team member, but that doesn’t often happen, thankfully.

 

Ideally, you’d work with those who understand what you’re trying to create in the photographs. A lot of discussion happens before shoots, to discuss how to execute the shoot, and to find the right people who can do what you need in the shoot.

 

Generally, a shoot forms when someone (client, creative director, stylist, or even the photographer) has an idea or a brief that they want executed. A team that they feel is right for the task is then assembled, pre-production for the shoot that involves location-scouting, pulling garments or accessories from brands/labels, identifying the right gear (camera, lighting, etc.) for the job. Then, once all the pre-production is hopefully done, then the shoot happens.

 

 

Can you share some insight into what it’s like to cover an event like Paris Fashion Week on the street? What gear would you recommend someone have to help capture stunning images?

 

Looking at the photos that usually come out from any fashion week, you can’t really tell but shooting street style at fashion week is quite a physically straining job; a lot of running, a lot of rushing from one venue to the other, staying outdoors regardless of how bad the weather is, barely any resting or eating from the deadlines and number of photographs you take in a day. I take about 5000 photos per day and go through them all at night to send them off to the client by morning.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 R – 1/2000 second – F1.4 – ISO 200

 

This goes on for each day of fashion week. I usually only get time to have a couple of small meals and about 4 hours of sleep each day during fashion week if I’m lucky. Also, the environment you photograph in is best described as chaos; there are so many unpredictable elements to juggle with, and you have to make quick judgment with what you see in front of you.

 

You’re dealing with trying to find the best angle to photograph the best-looking outfit or garment after finding it among a mass of people moving in an environment that is full of distracting elements, traffic, and at times, unforgiving weather. Think too much and you might lose your only opportunity to photograph a look.

 

Camera body-wise, the X-T2 with the grip was perfect. I bought it before flying off to Europe, and its upgrades over the X-T1 made my life much easier while shooting. The 11 FPS and high refresh rate in the EVF provided in Boost mode, and the customisable autofocus system the X-T2 has were a joy to have while shooting in the erratic shooting environment. For lenses, I predominantly used the XF56mmF1.2. Ideally, I would have preferred using the XF90mmF2 because I prefer the look produced by the lens, is weather-sealed, and is quicker at autofocusing, but ultimately chose not to use it as forced me to step too far back from the subject to photograph them. I did use the XF23mmF1.4 when I wanted to capture more of the environment. Though, I mainly use that lens backstage due to there being limited space.

 

To see more of Myles photography follow Street Style Australia on Instagram or mylekalus.

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

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Harrison Candlin

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Geoff Marshall

 

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Geoff Marshall

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 seventh interview in Series Three is with hobbyist photographer, Geoff Marshall.

Geoff, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in photography?

 

I am a hobbyist photographer and have been since 1979, back in the days of 35mm film and before digital. I enjoy photography very much and rather than shooting one genre I tend to shoot anything and everything. I started out with a Zenit 35mm film SLR but quickly moved onto the Olympus OM system. In 2000, I ditched all the Olympus gear to get into digital and purchased, of all things, a Sony Cybershot. I fortunately saw the error of my ways and in 2005 bought into the Nikon DSLR system. I always hankered after a smaller camera and tried out a number of compact cameras but none really did it for me. In January 2012 I purchased a Fujifilm X- E1 with the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 kit lens to see if this system was a viable option for me. I was blown away by the output of the files and that little kit lens attached to such a small body.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 1/60 – F4.8 – ISO 320

 

On your website, you showcase a selection of images taken from a range of Fujinon lenses. What’s your favourite photo you have taken and can you tell us the story behind the image?

 

That’s not a fair question! With getting on for 40K images shot with the Fujifilm X Series how can one choose a favourite photo?

 

Fujifilm X-E1 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS – 1/60 – F5 – ISO 800

 

I guess this image, it was taken during a trip back home to the UK. The photo has meaning for me as it was a great holiday albeit in mid-winter, and includes my youngest daughter (foreground) doing ‘touristy’ things in the big smoke of London.

 

What is it that you most like about Fujifilm X Series equipment?

 

I enjoy everything about the Fujifilm X Series equipment. It suits me very well because of its compact size and of course the file output. I have invested heavily into the X Series and my go-to combination is the X-T1 and the wonderful XF56mmF1.2, my most often used lens. Since switching to the Fujifilm X Series 4 years ago, I am primarily a prime lens shooter, my zooms seldom see the light of day but they should be shown more love for they perform very well.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF56mmF1.2 R – 1/850 – F2.5 – ISO 400

 

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

 

Learn the basics of exposure such as aperture, shutter, ISO and how to use them in combination to achieve desired outcomes. Consider your composition and just get out there and shoot. Analyse your photos, be self-critical and learn from your mistakes (we all make them) and develop a technique that you are happy with and produces results that you like. Don’t try and please everybody with your photographs, that’s an impossible task to achieve, we are all different, what one person likes the next will not.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF90mmF2 R LM WR – 1/75 – F8 – ISO 200

Fujifilm X-Pro1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/900 – F5.6 – ISO 800

 

 

You unfortunately recently experienced an issue with your Fujifilm X- T1. How did you find the repair process in Australia and do you have any thoughts on how Fujifilm can improve this process?

 

The fault with my X -T1 was frustrating, isn’t it always the same with any product we may purchase be it a camera or a car? The fault with the X- T1 occurred while under warranty and was dealt with promptly and professionally by Fujifilm Australia. From my initial enquiry to report the fault with the service team, to the safe return of my camera, the service was second to none. That said I hope I never need to use the service again.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF23mmF1.4 R – 1/80 – F11 – ISO 200

 

Not many photographers may have used the XF60mmF2.4 with an Extension Tube to take macro photos of insects. Do you have any tips you could share that would help someone getting started with Fujifilm equipment for macro photography?

 

I purchased the MCEX 11 extension tube so that I could get closer to 1:1 reproduction with my macro work. Although this can be achieved, the depth of field is reduced significantly and therefore you need to be careful with your point of focus or the impact of the shot will be lost. When photographing insects (crawling or flying bugs) I don’t use a tripod as they move too quickly (apart from snails, but they aren’t insects!). However, I do use a tripod for static subjects such as fungi. The number one attribute needed for macro photography, in my opinion, is patience. You also need to learn to slow down, a bush walk that would normally take an hour to complete could easily take me 4 hours as I’m looking for the small details. Oh yeah, one last thing, be prepared to get dirty and to have passers-by look at you strangely as you crawl around on the floor to get the shot!

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF60mmF2.4 R Macro – 1/125 – F4 – ISO 200

Have you ever experience a lull in your creative passion? How did you overcome it to keep taking photos?

I think all photographers go through a creativity block from time to time. It’s a challenge to make your images different, to stand out from the plethora of other images being produced by other photographers, after all most people have a convenient camera with them at all times due to the mobile phone technology we have available to us, collectively we must be taking millions of images on a daily basis. Recently I have purchased two books for moments when I get a creativity block, both provide challenges and ideas to kick start the creativity process, ‘The Photographers Play book’ (Fulford & Halpern) and ‘Use This If You Want To Take Great Photographs, A photo journal’ (Carroll).

Fujifilm X-E1 with XF27mmF2.8 – 1/60 – F8 – ISO3200

 

What sort of processing workflow do your photos experience and do you prefer to shoot in RAW or Jpeg?

 

I shoot exclusively in RAW, legacy from DSLR days I suppose. Many users of the Fujifilm X system rave about the JPEG output and I have used JPEG + RAW settings but I always gravitate toward the RAW files. I use Adobe Lightroom CC for all my processing needs (and cataloguing) and occasionally use the NIK Silver Effex program for processing to monochrome.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF56mmF1.2 R – 1/550 – F8 – ISO 200

 

To see more of Geoff’s photography visit his blog and website.

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

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Harrison Candlin

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Sarp Soysal

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 fifth interview in Series Three is with Melbourne based photographer, Sarp Soysal.

 

Sarp, your story about how you started photographing with the X100 is quite interesting. Can you share it with us?

 

Ah yes, it is actually a pretty interesting story but a little tragic at the same time. I was travelling around Europe a few years ago on a personal photography project with a fair bit of gear: a Nikon body and a bunch of lenses and even speedlights. I also had a tiny little backup camera buried somewhere deep in my backpack that I never touched and had barely even used before.

 

One day when I was shooting in Paris, my Nikon was set up on my tripod, and for some strange reason that I still haven’t figured out, the camera fell off and shattered. As a broke backpacker, I wasn’t at all in a position to buy any new gear, so I had to reach into my bag for that tiny backup camera which was, as it turns out, a Fujifilm X100.

 

I didn’t have much experience with this camera, but it was all I had to finish my project. I remember sitting in my hotel room and trying to figure out how I was going to finish working with this one small point and shoot and its fixed lens. It wasn’t even a full frame camera, and this was around five years ago when full frame cameras were seen as the only professional cameras. But when I actually started walking around with the Fujifilm X100, something quite strange happened.

 

Through its optical viewfinder, the world looked different. It reminded me of being a teenager and using my dad’s analogue rangefinders. I didn’t have my bag of lenses for every possible shot, but through Fujifilm X100’s fixed lens, the streets started to look more romantic to me almost. I would say this was the beginning of a very important, almost spiritual, transformation for me.

 

In the way, I shoot, see the world and travel. While I felt pretty lost after I broke my Nikon, in the end, I managed to complete my project with some pretty special images thanks to my little Fujifilm camera. Needless to say, when I arrived back in Melbourne, I sold all of Nikon gear including that ridiculous backpack. And I have never looked back.

 

 

After moving from the Fujifilm X100 to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 what sort of advantages have you found the newer camera offers?

 

I think the biggest advantage of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 over X100 for me is its weather-sealed body. Already, while travelling, my X-Pro2 has withstood thunderstorms, unexpected torrential rain, bumpy bus rides, the ridiculous dust of Kathmandu and you name what else. The X-Pro2 feels tough in my hands, with its brick-like body. Secondly, obviously, the X-Pro2 is a much faster camera than the X100, which is very important for my photography style, mostly being snapshots on the street. Despite these things though, I still have my original X100 and from time to time, shoot with it, for old time’s sake. It will always have a special place in my heart.

 

 

If you could explain X Series cameras to someone who had never heard of them before what would you say?

 

Well, that’s quite a difficult question to answer. Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t explain X Series cameras from a technical perspective but more an emotional one. Pretty much every camera brand on the market at the moment, many of which I’ve shot with in the past, is almost like shooting with a computer rather than a camera. Most of their mechanical or software features that help sell them don’t really add much to your shooting experience and in my opinion, don’t serve a lot of purpose in the actual field.

 

X Series cameras, however, are so thoughtfully designed, with the photographer’s experience in mind, they feel to me like an extended eye, or like an additional organ. The dials, the viewfinder and even their compact size and grip really create a very organic shooting experience that doesn’t distract you from creating images with technical functionality or settings. So if you ask me to explain X Series cameras, I’d say they are cameras for creativity and for storytelling. They are cameras with soul.

 

 

 

Travelling is obviously high on your agenda, where have you been recently and can you share your favourite photo and tell us the story behind the image?

 

Most recently, I did a 100 days project, beginning with a road trip from Melbourne to Queensland and then three months travelling across Asia. I visited Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and finally Nepal, where I am at the moment. I challenged myself to post a photograph everyday on Instagram that represented that day which turned out to be harder than I thought but I did it only skipping maybe 2 or 3 days. If I look back on my Instagram feed now, I’d say that my favourite image would be from day 40 of the journey, not necessarily because it is the best photograph but because of the story behind it.

 

I took this photograph in the south of Cebu Island (Philippines) on a modest fishing beach called Santander where all along the sand, there are tiny homes housing the families that collect seaweed and fish every morning. On one of my walks down to the beach, I found myself in the home of about 7 or 8 little hooligan kids who welcomed me with excited screams, dancing, playing and just general tomfoolery. These kids had next to nothing. Their clothes were ripped and dirty, their shoes didn’t match, and their play equipment consisted of some rope, a tree and a few planks of wood. I have honestly never seen happier, more energetic kids.

 

I ended up visiting these kids a few times during my stay on the island and got to know the family a little. I couldn’t stop taking their photographs because they got so adorably excited about having their picture taken and when they’d see their own faces on my LCD screen, they’d go crazy. I think I was the first person to ever take their photograph.

 

While portraiture isn’t my forte, I had to capture the kids’ faces which just beamed with spirit and hope. To me, this photograph is both a story and a lesson. It tells of hope and need and happiness and most importantly, of how much you actually need in order to be happy.

 

 

 

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

 

I’d say the biggest piece of advice I’d like to share with young photographers is not to get trapped in the technical side of photography or with camera reviews, equipment choices and stuff.

 

In my opinion, the most important first step is to get to know the gear that you have, whatever it might be, and understand everything about it so you can learn how to work with it and how to make it work for you. Because at the end of the day, when someone is looking at your photographs, no one cares really about what settings you used or what camera you have. It’s about the story you tell.

 

As any skill or art form, it requires a lot of practice. So take your camera with you everywhere and use every outing as a learning opportunity. Devote 20 hours a week, every week to making photographs. Get yourself a good pair of walking shoes and hit the streets or parks of your town or city and just shoot. Eventually, you’ll find your voice, and then you can focus on developing your own photographic style to tell your own stories.

 

 

 

You said the following statement after photographing with Fujifilm equipment over the last five years:

“My style has evolved to be a kind of poetry: subtle metaphoric images that tell stories through layers and light, shadows and figures”.

Can you provide a photographic example and explain the romance behind the image based on this statement?

 

Like I said before, X series cameras aren’t technically distracting so when I’m shooting on the street, I’m able to enter a kind of zone in which I am completely tunnel-visioned: all I see are light and shapes. Over time my photographs have moved more and more away from obvious compositions and stories and more towards combining elements under interesting light.

 

Most of the time, I take scenes that are seemingly nondescript but that through my lens I know will become something quite interesting. This image, for example, is one I took in Kathmandu, Nepal this month. While to my partner, it was nothing more than an ordinary Nepalese house front, to me, the shadows created a mysterious story: to whom does the hand belong? What is the child looking at? And why is he dressed so smartly while living in such an apparently poor house?

 

I like to make people wonder, and I think that my favourite kind of photographic story is not the one that I tell myself but the one that someone who looks at my photograph will imagine.

 

We noticed in your portfolio you have a number of portraits, can you give any tips on how to best approach people on the street to take their photo?

 

It’s funny that you say that because to be perfectly honest, I never feel that portraiture is my strong point. But I do like to include people and faces in my street scenes. I don’t really have any specific approach per se, but I do feel that if you’re a shy person, you will struggle as a street photographer. It is largely about engagement, with the elements around you and most importantly, the people you intend to photograph.

 

I suppose my photography reflects my personality in general as someone that tends to engage with strangers quite a bit, especially while travelling. To take someone’s portrait, is a kind of unspoken negotiation a lot of the time, relying on body language and your ability to read the situation. That said, a lot of the time, I usually avoid any kind of engagement before I’ve taken the shot.

 

My photography focuses a lot on candid, organic moments and so I like to be invisible. I even avoid eye contact because once the person is aware of the camera, the scene is shattered. Afterwards, I like to engage, chat with them or ask them questions depending on how open they are. And mostly people don’t have a problem with their photograph being taken.

 

 

The Melbourne streets are far from your travels, what do you like most about returning to the ‘Most Livable City in the world?

 

I love shooting on Melbourne’s streets. I guess it’s where I feel most comfortable. I have been living in St Kilda East specifically for almost seven years, and I’d say that the surrounding suburbs like Balaclava, St Kilda and Chapel Street are my usual photographic battlefields.

 

I know the culture and city very well, so I know how people usually react to my camera on the street which is important for the kind of work that I do. There isn’t the same chaos or exotic situations that you’ll find in Asia, but there is a very distinctive light that belongs to Melbourne that I think is almost recognisable. It helps to create its own kind of mysterious and dramatic images in an otherwise very orderly city.

 

To see more of Sarp’s photography 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