Bright nights and city lights with the FUJIFILM X-T20

By Oliver Wheeldon

Being a London local, Oliver Wheeldon was extremely excited when the Lumiere Light Festival, a show of over fifty artistic light installations, came to town. Not only was Oliver able to capture some stunning shots of the lights transforming the city at night, he was also able to push the X-T20’s high ISO capabilities to the limit to capture the city streets after dark.

Continue reading Bright nights and city lights with the FUJIFILM X-T20

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer – Billy Thompson

This month, Irish native Billy Thompson brightens our palette with some dazzling seascapes and nature photography. Learn why he loves the X-T2 and how he finds opportunity in everyday places.

Blue Moon – XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – F8 – 0.9 sec – ISO 200 

 

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

 

Hi everyone! I am Billy Thompson and I am a keen amateur photographer. I was born in Northern Ireland, and spent most of my childhood and early adult life living and working in County Antrim. In 2007, my work brought my family and I to South Australia where we now live. Our home is in the north western suburb of North Haven, about 22 km out of Adelaide. North Haven offers a relaxed beachside lifestyle, and it is the perfect base for getting to fantastic photography locations in and around Adelaide. Adelaide arguably has the best sunsets in the world!

 

 

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

 

Growing up in Ireland, I was fascinated by the changes that each season brought. In particular I loved the coming of spring, the new growth, and the feeling of renewal and warmth. As a boy I started to play around with an old film camera and tried hard to capture the moments of rejuvenation that spring brought each year. Many years later, having moved to Australia I again fell in love with photography. It was a perfect means of capturing life in a new country. Fujifilm equipment provides me with a camera and lens system that meets my needs, creates crystal clear images, and has a lightweight setup tough enough to take anywhere. My X-T2 brings back fond memories of that old film camera I used as a boy.

Largs Jetty – XF 10-24mmF4 – F8 – 2.6 sec – ISO 200

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

At heart, I’m a landscape photographer. I love nature, getting out with my camera exploring new locations, or revisiting familiar ones hoping to find a perfect composition. My preferred time of day to shoot is definitely around sunset; the change in light provides so much opportunity to nail a great shot. My strategy is all about taking photographs that make people stop and really look at what I have captured. I always aim to create images that will allow people to see just what I saw in that moment.

 

 

What inspires your photography?

 

I’m inspired by the beauty that is around us, not only the beauty found at iconic locations, but also the beauty that is right at our fingertips, in our backyards, on a local beach, or in the streets we walk everyday. Photography makes me look at and see the world in a different way. My brother-in-law Martin was an avid photographer and had the uncanny knack of being able to capture a shot that made you stop and look into the scene. Martin’s work and influence inspires me to take better shots.

The Bay – XF10-24mmF4 – F11 – 1 sec – ISO 100

 

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

 

My favourite shots almost always contain a water element — river and oceanside locations are prominently featured in my work. Living close to the beach and the Port Adelaide River makes it easy to get out, and more often than not a seascape or riverscape shot is what catches my eye. The light at the end of the day is my preferred option, not just for the sunsets but also for that soft golden light that comes just before and after the sunset. After sunset, I will often hang around to watch the light slowly melt into blue hour.

 

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

I have lots of fond memories from photo sessions, but if I had to pick a favourite it would have to be from a recent trip to Innes National Park in South Australia. Innes is a special place and the beauty of the area is just jaw dropping. To be honest, I don’t think my shots did it justice, but I loved the experience of being there and trying to capture it. It’s going to be a regular photography location for me in the future.

 

 

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

 

I shoot with the Fujifilm X-T2 and what impresses me most is the image quality. The images are just awesome straight out of the camera. Another joy is how lightweight and easy it is to use. The controls are very intuitive and give me the personalised options that I want right at my fingertips.

The Old Port – XF10-24mmF4 – 26 sec – F11 – ISO 200

 

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

 

I currently own three Fujinon lenses; the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS stays on my camera 90% of the time. It’s a great general purpose lens that produces exceptionally sharp images. When I’m in full landscape mode and want to get that big foreground element, I reach for my XF10-24mmF4 R OIS. This lens is amazing, I love the results I get from it. When I need that little bit of extra low light capability, I opt for the super sharp XF14mmF2.8 R. This little lens is a joy to use and when travelling it is my go-to wide angle lens.

 

 

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

 

I always shoot in RAW. I like to have total control of the post creative aspect of my work, and shooting in RAW allows me to do that. My typical workflow is copy the RAW file to Lightroom and convert it to DNG via Irident X-Transformer and then I post process in Lightroom. Occasionally I will use Photoshop to help with cleanup, removing unwanted objects, or for photo-stacking to help get total front to back sharpness.

 

 

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?

 

As I mentioned earlier, my preferred time of day to shoot is without a doubt in the late evening around sunset. I like to slow the shutter speed down and to do that I use neutral density filters. I find that aperture priority mode is my default setting. It allows me to shoot at F8 to F13 which results in front to back sharp images and the ability to control my shutter speed to get that long-exposure look. ISO is almost always at 100 or 200, although in low light I will use ISO as a means of controlling my shutter speed to perfection. The X-T2 has fantastic dynamic range and bumping up the ISO can be done with absolute confidence.

 

 

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

 

For me, there are three elements: composition, light and opportunity. Taking the opportunity to be out there as often as you can will allow you to hone your framing and composition skills and then just maybe when you get that perfect light you will be ready to nail your magic shot.

Haven – XF18-55mmF2.8-4 – F8 – 7 sec – ISO 100

 

To see more of Billy’s work visit his 500px portfolio or follow him on Instagram – @BTAdelaide.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer – David Tan

Our first X-Thusiast of 2018 evokes passion and inspiration with his colourful landscape photography. Learn how Singapore native David Tan uses his Fujifilm X-T1 to capture tranquil waters and sprawling outdoor scenes.

Kirkjufell – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 58 sec – F8​ – ISO 200

 

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

 

Hey everyone! My name is David, and I was born and raised in Singapore. I’ve been living on the Gold Coast for the past year and am in the midst of completing my Bachelor of Pharmacology. My photography focus started around weddings and portraiture but has moved purely to travel and landscapes in recent years. I have been in love with the Fujifilm collection for the past three years and am absolutely honoured to be featured by Fujifilm Australia.

 

 

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

 

While hiking up a mountain in Norway with my DSLR and heavy photography gear, I realised I wanted something a lot more compact and light that had the image quality I was looking for. A friend introduced me to the X-T1 and after a bit of research, I made the jump to Fujifilm and have never looked back. The X-T1 produces amazing colours, is intuitive to use and is easy to bring along on my travels, which is important to me.

Vestrahorn – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 30 sec – F16 – ISO 200

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

Tough question! I think my style is pensive, quiet and to an extent, almost melancholic. I commonly incorporate water movement as it really adds to the depth of the photo. That combined with beautiful geographic formations is what really does it for me. Funny enough, I don’t like having people in my landscapes, though I’m quite a people person. I may possibly explore that in the future.
As for strategy, it is quite straightforward. Find awesome locations, wait till sunset then photograph it!

 

 

What inspires your photography?

 

Nature. Every time I see a mountain, waterfall or lake, I immediately want to photograph it. They seem so peaceful and I could sit there the whole day looking at it. At sunrise and sunset, it’s pure magic.

 

 

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

 

Iceland is the definite winner, it has amazing landscapes which change so dramatically within such a short distance and looks almost out of this world. Australia and New Zealand also have really beautiful landscapes and are much closer for me to travel to.

I absolutely love shooting at sunrise and sunset; the light is golden and the sky gets some crazy colours. It’s the best when the light hits from the side and you get such a good depth.

Stokksnes – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 125 sec – F16 – ISO 200

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

My favourite memory would be photographing Vestrahorn, Iceland. Driving around Iceland for eight days, eating hot dogs and sleeping in the car was an absolute experience. I didn’t know about Vestrahorn but when I drove past, the mountains against the black sand and ocean, I knew I had go back. I remember trying out a technique to stretch the mountains in-camera and was so excited to process the photo when I got back. It ended up being my favourite photo of the trip!

 

 

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

 

I’ve only ever owned and used the Fujifilm X-T1 Silver Graphite. It’s an amazing camera, aesthetically pleasing, shoots great photos and does everything I need it to do. The X-T2 would be an awesome upgrade and maybe the X100F might slip in there too!

Nugget Point – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 30 sec – F11 – ISO 200

 

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

 

For my landscape work, I exclusively use the XF 10-24mm F4. It’s got the focal range I need and has amazing image quality, much love for this lens. The XF 56mm F1.2 and XF 35mm F1.4 are also amazing lenses that I have used. Very sharp lenses, great colour and flare.

 

 

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

 

I’m a very straightforward workflow kind of guy. 30s shutter speed, ISO 200, f16, manual focus, 10-stop ND filter and tripod. This sets me up for the majority of my shots and really helps to keep me focused with composition rather than worrying about all the settings. I shoot JPEG + RAW which allows me to process multiple exposures of my photos in camera, which I then bring into Photoshop. Simple luminance masking brings back any details lost in shadows, luminance toning, colour toning, selective sharpening and a slight vignette to finish it all off!

 

 

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?

 

Get comfortable with the technical side of it and know which parameters you need to achieve the look you’re going for, everything else is just compensation. A great way to start is aperture or shutter speed control. Once that’s down, your mind is free to explore the creative side of things without having to worry about the technical.
Again, I am a huge advocate of shooting during sunset, the light is golden, colours are vibrant and everything just looks beautiful. I’m also a lot more awake at sunset compared to sunrise. Knowing the location and how you plan on photographing it is also important for landscapes as it will determine if sunrise or sunset will work better for the photo.

 

 

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

 

Make memories, not just photos. Too many times have I just gone out just to photograph an amazing location to come back home realising I didn’t soak it all in. Enjoy the view, sit on it and then, take the photo.

Arnarstapi – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 30 sec – F16 – ISO 200

 

Would you like to become our next featured X-Thusiast photographer? Check out our full X-Thusiast Gallery and submission details.

 

 

 

 

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer – Alessia Francischiello

This month’s featured photographer is Italian-born Alessia Francischiello, a freelance photographer with lots of wisdom to share about getting the right shot and finding the best photos even in the most unlikely places.

 

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

 

Hi to all Fujifilm lovers. I am Alessia Francischiello and come from Italy. I’ve been living in Australia for the last four years and it’s been full of opportunities in the photography field, especially thanks to Fujifilm, which I have been using for the last three years. I am, in fact, honoured to be featured by Fujifilm Australia, which is the greatest company I ever dealt with. I work in a camera store in Sydney and am a freelance photographer. My passion for photography started about seven years ago while living in Rome, mostly interested in street and architectural style. Studying photography for several years in Italy and Australia caused my interest to turn to portraiture, as I am a real people person. My photography now is mostly beauty and fashion, with a few publications done for magazines around the world, but I also enjoy landscape and street photography.

 

 

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

 

I haven’t always been a Fujifilm shooter because when I started there weren’t all the amazing options we have now with this brand. Since I bought my first X-T1 my passion for photography grew more and more, thanks to the excellence of the products and the feeling of comfort using them. I felt so confident in shooting portraits thanks to the discretion of the equipment and its portability. I also enjoy the colours and the old style dials on top of the cameras which are great for people who just shoot manual like I do.

‘Black Soul’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR – F5.6 – 1/125 second – ISO 200

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

My style is made by anything that communicates effectively and is enjoyable for the viewers. Mostly studio or outdoor fashion and beauty style.

 

I like to keep it natural as much as I can. I like new and original ideas. I take my time to create mood boards and work closely with makeup artists and models to make sure we always have innovative and creative content.

 

 

What inspires your photography?

 

People! I love being around people and making them feel comfortable (models or not), which is an easy task with Fujifilm equipment. How many of you felt like paparazzi when using a big DSLR? Well, I did! I like discretion and not being invasive showing off my equipment to everyone.

‘Simple is Perfect’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 R – F1.2 – 1/500 second – ISO 200

 

 

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

 

Australia is full of places to take stunning shots. I love water and beaches, which are not hard to find here. I love natural light because you have to deal with it and it pushes you to think about it. I am also fascinated by studio lighting because it is editable and you can learn how to control it to make your own ideas come true.

 

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

I have many memories and positive experiences. But I can say the best moment I remember is during my last beauty session, shot with studio lights indoor, where this model was so into the role of punk diva that we laughed genuinely for half an hour.

 

 

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

 

I currently use X-T2 and a bunch of XF lenses that all work smooth on it. Its fast performance allows me to shoot in any situation and any weather, because it’s weather-sealed, and I feel comfortable not worrying about it. I shoot in windy and sandy situations, rainy, low light and it never lets me down. The low light capability in this new version is astonishing and I wouldn’t change it. I love its ergonomic grip which makes it easy to balance with any kind of lens, like for example the XF50-140mmF2.8.

 

 

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

 

I love my XF56mm1.2 R! The best lens I have ever used and the speed and sharpness allows me to use it in studio or outdoor without limits. Even at F1.2 the sharpness doesn’t look compromised and this is one of the most important characteristics I like about it.

 

My second favourite lens is the XF18mmF2. It’s affordable, small and fast. It’s my first choice when I am on holiday, hiking or with friends in day or nighttime, because it’s discrete and the sharpness is high standard for the price you pay.

 

I have to say, Fujifilm is the only brand with such great quality lenses in any price range, and for any kind of shooters.

‘Natural Beauty’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 – F2.2 – 1/125 second – ISO 200

 

 

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

 

I am not a big fan of post-processing but when you work with models and fashion products you don’t have much choice. I always try to keep my work as real as possible and help the viewer to recognise the real beauty. I use mostly Lightroom for quick editing and Photoshop for deeper improvements. Both perfectly compatible with Fujifilm files.

 

I always shoot Raw+JPEG. Raw is necessary for me, especially for work, because I want to have the best file I can to work on after. I am fascinated by the quality of JPEGs in this camera: Colours are shiny and real, quality is amazing despite the compression and having the WiFi option, I love to share the JPEGs straight out of the camera, especially when on holiday and have no time to do post-processing.

 

As you can see, these products can be used for really any kind of photography.

‘Innocence’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 – F2 – 1/5000 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?

 

Have fun and enjoy your moments with the camera! I never had more fun shooting in my life than now that I am using these products. I feel I can do anything I want with it in my hands. Some people told me this is not the best brand if I wanted to do studio photography. Well, my pictures speak for me.

 

A tip for X-T2 shooters: Get your Power Booster Grip and use it all the time. It’s perfect to balance long telephoto lenses or to get better performance from your camera anywhere, anytime. I always have it with me and it makes the difference.

 

 

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

 

Don’t think a portrait is good just when the background is blurred or a landscape is stunning only when it’s all sharp. Be creative, help innovate the way people look at images. Create a story, not only a picture. What remains of them nowadays is just a big file on your computer unless you’re able to push yourself to the limits and try something different. And if you own a Fujifilm camera you’ll understand how good it feels when you’re equipment thinks like you do, responds to your needs and is your loyal friend in any situation.

 

Don’t buy a camera because it looks professional, buy it because when you use it — it makes you feel you’re doing the right thing, learn on it and make mistakes. The best photos are the ones you weren’t meant to take.

‘Simple is Perfect 2’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 – F7.1 – 1/125 second – ISO 200

 

To see more of Alessia’s photography follow her on Instagram, Facebook or visit alessiafrancischiello.com

 

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

X-T2: Engaging with the Beauty of the Natural World

By Oliver Wheeldon

Photographer Oliver Wheeldon normally shoots adventurous landscapes with the X-T1. In this article he tries the FUJIFILM X-T2 on location in Cornwall, and gives us his feedback, along with his top tips on how to engage with the beauty of the natural world. Continue reading X-T2: Engaging with the Beauty of the Natural World

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Stephen Hobbs

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

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

 

What inspires your photography?

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

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

 

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

 

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

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Simone Cheung

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


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

 

How would you describe your photography style and strategy?

 

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

 

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

 

What inspires your photography?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What is your favourite memory from a photography session?

 

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

 


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Anything else?

 

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

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

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

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.

 

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.