X-Thusiast Featured Photographer Josh Delany: Melbourne Views

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 ‘Moody Icebergs’ Fujifilm X-T1 ISO 200, 31.5mm, f/22, 5.3 seconds

Fujifilm Australia are happy to announce Josh Delany as our X-Thusiast Featured Photographer for November 2016. In our Q&A, Josh relays his interest in photography and how his Fujifilm X Series kit enables him to capture the natural beauty of the world around him.

 

Tell us about yourself. Where is home? What inspires you from day to day?

Home at the moment is Maribyrnong, in the northwest of the greatest city in the world, Melbourne. Hobbies include kayaking, cycling and of course photography. I’ve found photography my main focus lately as I can get a bit of exercise done whilst out exploring for a great photo opportunity. Daily inspiration is trying to make each day better than the last. In terms of photography, my inspiration mainly comes from the beauty of nature. It continues to amaze me. There is so much beauty in this world, I like to try and capture it from its best angle.

 

How did you develop an interest in photography? How did you learn and develop your craft?

While I was studying to be a building designer, I remember going to an architecture exhibition and being amazed by the architectural photography on display.

 

I’ve always appreciated photography and honestly, it was through getting Instagram a few years ago that I started taking photos on my phone and playing around with editing. It wasn’t until about 18 months ago I decided to take it more seriously and purchase a camera. The research I did was thorough and I eventually decided on the Fujifilm X-T1.

 

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“Porsche Exposure” – Fujifilm X-T10, ISO 100, 18mm, F9.0, 30 seconds

 

Do you have a particular photographic style? If so, what would you consider that to be? We noticed you like landscape photography; can you tell us what you look for in an ideal landscape shot?

I am still very much a novice, so I am still trying to develop a style and intend to spread my wings a little and try my hand at portrait and architectural photography. For the moment, I really enjoy landscape photography. There’s a great feeling of adventure going away for a weekend, exploring, not knowing what exactly you’ll see but knowing it will be beautiful along the way.

 

I love water and sunsets. Long-exposure photos of running water is a particular favourite, so waterfalls are very appealing. I also love when the sky turns pink during a sunset and the hues bounce off everything around. An amazing landscape shot would be a combination of a waterfall and a beautiful pink sun setting sky.

 

What’s your favourite location to shoot in Australia? What’s your favourite subject to shoot in general?

Living in Melbourne, I’m often out and about so I regularly shoot in St. Kilda and Williamstown. They are on opposite sides of Port Phillip Bay and have great views of the city. I plan to do a lot more exploring of Australia with my camera in the future, so would love to be asked that question again in a few years. I like shooting nature in general, sunsets, water of any kind—including bays, oceans, rivers and waterfalls. I also like to include some man-made subjects in my photos like buildings, cars, boats—you name it.

 

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“Never Say Never” – Fujifilm X-T10, ISO 100, 18mm, F2.8, 2.3 seconds

 

What’s your favourite (or recommended) X Series camera? Why do you prefer that particular model?

The first serious camera I purchased was the Fujifilm X-T1, around 18 months ago. I loved the style, size and functionality of it. I picked up the basic skills quite easily on that body with the external dials and loved the feel. Unfortunately, on one of my adventures road tripping back to Melbourne from Sydney, I tried to get a sunrise photo of Horse Head Rock in Bermagui, NSW at high tide and was knocked over by a wave as I was climbing around the rocks into the water. The camera was damaged beyond repair with the salt water. I decided not to buy another X-T1 as I wanted to wait for the X-T2. So in the interim, I purchased the smaller Fujifilm X-T10. I find that it has all the features I require and has been just as good as the X-T1. When I do pull the trigger on purchasing the X-T2, I’ll keep the smaller, lighter X-T10 for the more adventurous shots where there is a risk of the camera being damaged.

 

Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer or recommend?

I’ve only ever used the Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 on both Fujifilm camera bodies I’ve owned and subsequently all of my photos. I’ve found the lens to be very sharp with no issues at all. This has been a great lens for my learning over the last 18 months. I intend to purchase the XF10-24mmF4 when I upgrade camera bodies, from what I have seen it is an amazing lens for landscapes and suits my current needs.

 

Do you have a particularly favourite image in mind that you feel strongly about? Can you share the story behind this image?

All of the images I share publicly I appreciate. They were often enjoyed with amazing people who were with me exploring with many laughs along the way. One particular photo that stands out for me is of a beautiful sunset at Pennington Bay on Kangaroo Island, which is off mainland Australia. The water was an amazingly clear aqua colour, the sky was a mix of purples and pinks, and the rocky landscape was still being lit up by the sun. It was an amazing moment with great company and I was really happy I captured a photo to remember it by.

 

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“Stunning Pennington” – Fujifilm X-T10, ISO 100, 19.6mm, F11, 14 seconds

 

Could you describe your photographic workflow? How do you share your images with your audience (Facebook/Instagram?)

Once the photo is taken, I try to edit the photo that day as soon as I’m home, so the excitement and environment is still fresh in the mind. I simply remove the memory card and insert it into my MacBook Pro. I upload the photos directly to Lightroom. From there, I like to enhance the presence of the photo by adjusting the clarity, vibrance and saturation. This is a delicate task as it is easy to overedit. I’ll then make minor adjustments to the tone of the image with exposure, contrast, blacks, whites and shadows. Lastly, I might make some changes to colours, only if I think it is required. I mainly use Instagram (@josh_delany) to share my images, as that is where my main interest in photography started. I do have a Facebook page (Josh Delany Photography) but I’m not as active on that platform.

Do you prefer any third-party, post-processing software, camera accessories to further develop your work?

As mentioned in the previous question, the only post-processing I use at the moment is Adobe Lightroom. I’m still learning my way through the program but feel I know the basics. Next step for me is to learn how to use Photoshop effectively.

 

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“Lucy Liu Bar & Restaurant, Melbourne” – Fujifilm X-T1 + XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS

 

Do you have any final thoughts regarding Fujifilm X Series? Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to share for other photographers out there pursuing their craft?

I feel the Fujifilm X Series is the leader in the mirrorless range of cameras. I really love the style and practicality of the models they produce. As for tips and advice, I’m still a novice myself, constantly learning new things, with much more to learn. I’ve found the more you know about your camera, the better prepared you’ll be when on-site trying to shoot your subject. So study the camera, research any difficulties you may have found today, so you’re more prepared tomorrow. Get out and practice, practice, practice. The main thing is to have fun! Get out and explore, get creative, take chances. Enjoy the moment while it’s in front of you as well as taking a photo that will last forever.

 

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.

X-Thusiast Featured Photographer William Solis: Familiar Can be New

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In continuation from last month, we are happy to announce William Solis as our new X-Thusiasts Featured Photographer for September 2016. In his recent interview, Solis relays his thrill for cinematography and travel through Fujifilm photography.

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“Starry Night”, Fujifilm X-T1 + Samyang 12mm F2 @ F2, 30 sec, ISO16000

Let’s start with the basics: Where is home? What are your hobbies? What inspires you from day to day?

Home is Newport in the Northern Beaches NSW. It’s a beautiful place, and I simply enjoy watching the ocean in my spare time. My hobbies other than photography are fitness, cinema and technology. Each hobby has some carryover to the other and ultimately gives me some variety.

My biggest daily inspiration is seeing the incredible shots in places that I’ve been to many times. There have been times where I haven’t gone out shooting because I felt I’ve covered every inch of that location, only to see someone else’s photograph from there; I’ve gained a perspective I had never considered as if I had never seen that place before. It’s really opened my eyes to continually try different shots, so I carry my camera with me everywhere. As I look for those shots, sometimes a great scene shows up, and I’m only able to capture it because I have my camera on me.

How did you develop an interest in photography? How did you learn and develop your craft?

Cinema has always been a big part of my life—even now it is a gigantic inspiration for my photography. I grew up watching movies and the cinematography was a very important aspect to me. The way the scenes were filmed, it was a perspective I had never seen in my day-to-day life. I wanted to capture my life like that. I also really appreciated my childhood photographs and they help me remember moments in my life that would otherwise be a fragment. I also felt they showed the moment better than I could explain it.

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“Fireworks in Darling Harbour”, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF23mmF1.4

My parents got me a compact camera when I was about 15. From there, I took photos of anything and everything—at first, I emulated the compositions I liked in the movies without really understanding what made them look so good. Over time, I researched composition guidelines, photography FAQs, beginner guides, etc. I joined photography websites and spent a lot of time analysing shots I liked, matching them up with the composition and post-processing posts I was reading. I would get some constructive criticism from other photographers, but most times I would come back to my earlier shots and see what didn’t work based on the experience I had gained since then. My goal was to understand the thought process and develop my eye in order to take better shots.

Over the years, I have met other photographers who have taught me a lot and I have attended workshops that have taught me things that would have otherwise taken me way longer to learn. I am still developing my vision through experimenting, mixing it up or looking at shots from people who have different viewpoints.

 

Do you have a particular photographic style? If so, what would you consider that to be?

Travel photography would be the best way I could describe it. I try to see the places I go to as if I was seeing it through the eyes of someone who’s been there for the first time and I like to think if after looking at their shots, how would they have photographed it differently? From the beginning, my goal has always been to photograph to remember the life I have lived.

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“Sunset at Barrenjoey Headland”, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF35mmF1.4, shutter 1/5000

What’s your favourite location to shoot in Australia?

Barrenjoey headland at Palm Beach; not only is it beautiful but there are so many ways that it can be photographed. I find it’s a playground, an open-air studio that I am free to enjoy.

 

Consider your favourite or most memorable Fujifilm photograph. Where was it taken, how was it shot and what does this photo mean to you?

That is not easy to answer! Most memorable for me would be a rain cloud I photographed from Newport beach in the morning. I went down to the beach despite it being a cloudy morning. I did not think I was going to get anything special but I went anyway. I just wanted to photograph.

I reached the beach and saw this wonderful view of a rain cloud over the ocean and the sun behind it. I wanted to give some context and sand wasn’t working so I walked past the ocean pool and onto the rocks. There was a rock that the waves kept crashing against and I saw a shot in my head. I squatted down, tilted the screen up on my X-T1 and composed the rock in the foreground and the rain cloud in the background. I simply waited for it to appear in front of my camera. I was listening to Simon and Garfunkel during the shoot and I know that influenced my shot.

The shot represents a couple of things to me: To go out even if it doesn’t look ideal and that you don’t always know what you’re going to get, so put yourself out there.

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“Good morning, Newport”, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF23mmF1.4

What’s your favourite X Series camera? Why do you prefer that particular model?

X-T1 without a doubt. Specifically the EVF, flip-up screen and design. I’ve used a variety of cameras in my life but there has always been something that has hindered me or been not as enjoyable to use. The X-T1 is easily the most enjoyable—it is just right in the places that I need and almost feels tailored to me. It’s like the makers had a wishlist for a camera that they would use themselves and made it. I’m just glad that it exists! I refer to my X-T1 as my electronic eye because it feels like an extension of me and the closest I can get to saving the moments I see with my own eyes.

 

Which Fujinon lens(es) do you prefer?

The 23mm F1.4 is my main lens. It enables me to get the shots I am after. I do not feel hindered by it, especially in low light. There are many shots I would not have been able to get if I did not have that lens. I also use the 35mm F1.4 for subjects farther away and the Samyang 12mm F2 if I want to go wider.

 

Could you describe your photographic workflow? Do you prefer any third-party, post-processing software, camera accessories or community networks to develop and share your work?

My in-camera settings are Pro Neg Std and Colour +2. I shoot in RAW but the look of that film simulation works for me as a base idea. I use Lightroom predominantly and Nik Collection for sharpening as I find it does a better job. I import my photos with VSCO 06 400H+1 + because it gives me a feel of what I’m after and starts the process of connecting the photograph I have in my head to the final image. Usually, I get the colours first then highlights/shadows/curves and then finish off with colour afterwards. Sometimes the missing piece is changing the colour hue, usually blue and yellow. Sometimes I edit a bunch of images and by the last one, I have found the look I am after and apply it to the previous shots.

I upload to Flickr and share it to Instagram. I also back up my exported images to an external hard drive. Sometimes I feel I don’t need to go to Lightroom and instead convert in-camera to the look I’m after and send it to my phone. I then edit in Snapseed and upload from there.

 

Do you have any additional final thoughts regarding Fujifilm X Series? Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to share with other photographers out there pursuing their craft?

Firstly, I am very interested in the X-T2—especially for the video and AF—so I will be checking that out when I can. I highly appreciate the firmware updates and Fujifilm listening to feedback (any video-centric firmware updates for the X-T1 would be greatly appreciated).

I often get asked what camera I recommend and I would love for Fujifilm to make a 1″ sensor successor to the X30. I have a feeling that it will fill a gap for many people and would be an excellent introduction to Fujifilm. On a similar note, I would really like Fujifilm to host more events because it would allow people to try out the gear in real-life scenarios. I would definitely like to be involved or attend such events.

My advice for photographers would be to never stop learning and be open to new ideas, different compositions and styles because it may open you up to take photographs that you would have never considered.

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“Sunset on St. Leonards, NSW”, Fujifilm X-T1 + XF23mmF1.4

To see more of Will’s work, you can follow him on Instagram at @willsolis1.

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