By Adam Bonn
Photographer, Adam Bonn, author of MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE FUJIFILM X-PRO1, has over 17 years’ experience shooting with Fujifilm. In this interview he tells us how he got in to photography, and why he loves his newest addition to his Fujifilm family; the X-Pro2.
Adam, tell us about you and your introduction to photography.
I’ve been interested in photography since the day I got a disc camera for my 14th birthday. When I was 15, my Dad lent me his SLR, and ever since then I was smitten! I started commercial work in 2002, shooting mainly corporate but also events and I’ve been working semi-professionally ever since.
I got my first Fujifilm compact camera in 2000 and I’ve owned and used Fujifilm ever since then. From the FinePix 2200 right through to the X-Pro2, I’ve been an avid Fujifilm user for over 17 years. The reason I began shooting with Fujifilm was because I wanted a digital camera from a manufacturer with experience of film. I liked Fujifilm colours and wanted access to these in the digital medium.
What was it that drew you in to the Fujifilm X Series?
When I completely left film to use a DLSR I went with Nikon. At the time, the Nikon had a more mature product in terms of feature set and lenses and my Fujifilm cameras continued to be for fun. When the mirrorless Fujifilm X Series arrived in 2012, I was immediately very interested. The X Series cameras allowed me to do all the things I could do with my Nikon kit, but with the added opportunity to keep the Fujifilm colours that I enjoyed so much. The Fujifilm control set was very much from an analogue perspective, which was the way I was taught to use a camera. In that respect, I felt at home with the X Series – I already knew how to use it before I picked it up.
Which camera do you currently use the most and why does it work for your style of documentary photography?
I currently shoot with the FUJIFILM X-Pro2. It’s just so versatile; the ‘rangefinder’ shape of the camera is a big positive, as it doesn’t scream ‘professional camera’ and people are not intimidated to be shot by it. The X-Pro2 can be effortlessly carried all day, hidden under a jacket if needed and I can take it anywhere. When you love something that’s essentially a tool, you feel inspired to work well with it.
I like to work in manual focus and exposure modes. This gives me control over how the image turns out. The various film simulations that the Fujifilm cameras offer help me understand the final look of the image, before I’ve hit the shutter. But the X-Pro2’s main draw for me is how the optical and electronic viewfinders work so well together. The optical viewfinder, with the framelines works particularly well for documentary and people and also makes you feel like you’re physically in the scene when you’re looking at something with a real-life view. The electronic viewfinder gives you a very clear idea of how the image will look after capture and having the two views available for use, both independently and simultaneously, is invaluable, only Fujifilm offer this technology and I’m a huge fan.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m primarily a colour photographer and I draw inspiration from as many places as possible, like old movies and adverts! For me, colour is part of the narrative – we can add a dimension to our images by authenticating them with a perception of colour. I’m always looking out for colour, be it the sky, what’s on TV, artwork and, of course, other photographers.
Do you have any tips you could share with us?
I would describe my photography style as documentary. I like to portray a subject in a fairly straightforward way – I want the viewer to know what they’re looking at – so typically I use three visual elements to compose the scene. Overall, relax, take your time and think about what you want your shot to look like before you start. Don’t just go hunting for something to shoot, instead decide what you’d like to photograph and go and find it.
Finally, over 17 years, you must have taken thousands of photos. If you could pick one favourite photo that you’ve taken, which one would it be and why?
Probably the image below, “Trying Mummy’s Breakfast”. It’s far from my most technically adroit piece of work, but it documents life. I’m emotionally connected to the subjects and I love the colours. This shot to me demonstrates what’s important in my photography, a moment in time and intimacy. The Fujifilm cameras are the ones I’ve got used to having to hand, ready for those moments that might have otherwise gone un-captured.
More from Adam Bonn
You can read more about my Fujifilm X-Pro story here.
You can view my work on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adzman/
17 thoughts on “Adam Bonn: A Love Affair with Fujifilm”
Great post and have used Fuji for the past 3 months I’m chuffed that I made the decision to move from Canon. My biggest fear (UI shoot weddings) would be the odd remark about the cameras being small etc. Nothing of the sort. People think I’m shooting film!
Glad to hear that you’re loving the jump to Fujifilm Andrew, that people are intrigued by the size and shape of our Fujifim cameras and want to talk with us about them is a wonderful way to engage with our subjects
Most of you had said it all. If you click on the blog article I wrote, you can see the strong feelings I have for Adam’s blog and his efforts to educate in an honest and clear way.
Very interesting post and pictures!
Thank you very much for your kind words Celebes
I have been visiting Adam’s site for over a year and it is a great source of advice and knowledge. If I ever come across a photography related question I can’t figure out I ask Adam!
Thanks Robert, I’m really pleased that you find me helpful
I came across Adam’s website when researching Fuji Cameras. I continually study his writings because I enjoy and trust his knowledge on this subject. Congratulations on being featured here Adam, you deserve it and thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Excellent article. Adam has a ton of information regarding Fuji cameras, etc. on his blog. Check it out here: https://adambonn.com. His photos in and around Porto are also excellent.
Adam was instrumental in calming the ASD fear of indulging in an X-Pro 1 when there was so much noise against it .
[ slow autofocus , tricky third party lenses etc ]
OK , it was a ridiculous new bargain at £168 plus i sold a Leica Barnack to afford a sole 27mm @ £150.
It’s my ‘compact ‘ with true quality at under £320 , plus a lovely pouch case I bought during a rare holiday in Malaysia where the discrete camera came into it’s own .
I am far from a photographer , just a snap shooter , as I am content with the occasional ‘Wow’ moment .
Adam’s articles call out for common sense and cutting through the nonsense and even advocating JPEGs for some of us !
I love my X-Pro 1 – I recently visited the Harry Potter experience in Uk . The camera with nom 42mm , fast enough @ f2.8 an stretching ISO as required , no messing with zooms and a bulky DSLR [ Pentax K-S1 / 35mm F2.8 ].
If you wish to cut the c..p associated with photography , Adam with guide you through .
Great article. I recently discovered Adam’s blog while looking for tutorials for the Silkypix Raw File Converter that came with my new Fuji. Adam has an excellent intro that really de-mystified the software for me. RFC has a very obscure-looking interface, but it does fantastic conversions from Fuji RAW. Adam took the time to walk through all the features and controls in a way that made RFC easy and fun to use. I’m looking forward to playing with RFC, and exploring more of Adam’s articles and pictures. The tutorial is here for those interested: https://adambonn.com/my-love-affair-with-the-fujifilm-x-pro1/xp2-thirty-seven/
Thank you Bill, my site is about 70 pages and 85,000 words and I can say with not a single moment of hesitation that the RFC article was by far the biggest pain in the ___ to write and illustrate with screen shots! That people have taken profit from it is really rewarding.
I recently read Adam’s great article series about the X-Pro 1.
It’s fun to read, and I like his balanced approach between “putting the finger where it hurts” (like workaround for the X-Pro 1’s somewhat delicate AF) and showing how relevant this camera can be for a photographer.
Keep on going Adam!
Great Article, the photographer’s passion shows. His blog has invaluable information.
Thanks for all the kind comments, it’s too self indulgent to reply to each one, but I really appreciate you taking the time to comment
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