Tag: interview

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Johny Spencer

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 first interview in Series Three is with New South Wales based photographer, Johny Spencer.

Johny, can you tell us about yourself and what photography means to you?

 

I’m a full-time landscape and nature photographer for the National Parks service here in Australia and have been working for them for 17 years.

 

Photography to me is all about the moments, memories and experiences that happen as part of your photography journey. The photos themselves are just a bonus that I get to use to inspire and motivate others to push their creative boundaries.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/60 second – F16 – ISO 200

 

 

You recently reviewed the Fujifilm X-Pro2 after taking it abroad to the US on a 5000 km road trip. Can you share with us what you thought about the camera from a travel and landscape photography perspective?

 

I shot this camera exclusively on this trip, I put it through its paces, in every type of environmental condition possible from wet, cold snow forests, to dry hot, dusty deserts. I really liked the feel of it in hand; overall it felt solid.

 

I was so surprised of the detail in the pictures! I usually shoot with a camera containing a 40MP plus sensor, and I found the 24MP sensor of the X-PRO2 surprising incredible. The dynamic range of the camera was also outstanding for the sensor size.

 

In all, I think the X-PRO2 makes a good all around camera for both landscape and travel. I can see this being a great camera for street photography with the hybrid viewfinder.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 200mm – 1/125 second – F5.6 – ISO 500

 

 

In your opinion what was the best photo, you captured in the US using the Fujifilm X-Pro2? What was the story behind the image and how did you set up the shot?

 

I know it’s a bit obvious but Horseshoe Bend was incredible, it’s one of those places you can’t fully understand how grand it is until you visit it.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/8 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

I got there for sunset, and it was packed with people everywhere, the light wasn’t that good, so I decided to revisit the location for sunrise the next morning.

 

The decision to reshoot worked out perfectly as there were fewer people. I had heaps of options to get the perfect spot to photography the bend. I was hoping for that magnet-pinky light that happens when you shoot away from the setting or rising sun.

 

The camera was locked down on a tripod, with the two-second timer turned on in order not to cause any camera shake when pressing the shutter button. I focused one-third into the scene at F8, so the whole scene was in focus. The ISO was set too low to avoid any noise issues. The lingering cloud was in the perfect spot for a photo, in the end, it was just a waiting game to see what the light was going to do.

 

Minutes later that first light glow started and boom! The pink tones were perfect, I fired the shutter and just adjusted the shutter speed to get the exposure right. I was able to capture the rising sun perfectly thanks to the dynamic range the camera offered.

 

It was a great experience one of those places that you will never forget in a hurry.

 

 

 

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

 

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.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/4 second – F8 – ISO 250

 

 

 

What processing workflow do you use when importing images from the Fujifilm X-Pro2? Do you have an example you can show us?

 

I’m a huge fan of Adobe Lightroom, I just find the photo management and processing work perfectly with my brain.

 

In fact in my day job working for National Parks I have to process several thousand images a month, so it’s critical for me to have a killer efficient post processing workflow.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 156.10mm – 1/125 second – F8 – ISO 400

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/125 second – F8 – ISO 400

 

Here’s a quick video showing how I edit multiple Fujifilm RAW files quickly using Lightroom. By the way, I’ll be using my Ultimate Lightroom Workflow, something I developed to make post-processing super easy and fast.

 

 

 

Did you find the Fujifilm Camera Remote App useful when travelling on the road when it came to transferring your images to your phone? Could you provide some feedback on how the app could be improved?

 

I’m a huge fan of the app. It made it so easy to just share images straight from the camera to my phone so that I could share on social and with friends. I was surprised how easy it was to setup and use, and I bet it’s one of those little features not many people know about that really make a camera fun to use.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 21.90mm – 1/640 second – F5.6 – ISO 500 – HDR

 

 

 

What lenses did you take with the X-Pro2? Was there a particular Fujinon lens that stood out regarding versatility and quality for landscape photography?

 

My favourite lens was, of course, the super wide XF10-24mmF4. I found it sharp for edge to edge and the coupled with the X-PRO2 the image quality was stellar. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any landscape photographer.

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

 

I also love the fact it’s an F4 lens! Have you ever tried to hike with the F2.8 lens in your pack? They are usually super heavy! You don’t need the fastest lens for landscapes and F4 is a good compromise between speed and weight.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – 10mm – 1/30 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

 

 

 

You have previously used a range of different camera brands for landscape photography. In your opinion how does Fujifilm’s image quality stack up against the rest?

 

Like I said before the image quality of those X-Trans CMOS sensors is unbelievably sharp and provides much clarity. It’s more than enough for any landscape photographer.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – 60.70mm – 1/250 second – F8 – ISO 200

 

If you would like to see more of Johny’s photography then visit his website or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or YouTube.

 

 

 

 

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Greg Cromie

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

Greg, tell us a bit about your photography journey and how you ended up choosing street photography as your main genre?

I studied film photography in art school however once I graduated I did not pursue it any further.  It was 20 years later, in 2013, that I was encouraged to take up photography again. My wife had just passed away and I used street photography as a way to get out and face the world.  Through street photography I was able to see that the world and life went on. From behind the safety of my camera I captured life and love and happiness and every other emotion without feeling like it would swamp me in my raw state. A bit like snorkelling on a reef. I almost felt invisible and unaffected by what I was seeing. My street photography journey has been a tremendous part of dealing with my grief, reconnecting with the world and expressing myself through my images. It was, and still is, a form of therapy for me.

Queen Victorian Market – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF35mmF1.4 – 35mm – ISO 1000 – F2 – 1/1000 second


You mentioned you jumped from the X100 to the X-T1 and more recently to the Fujifilm X-T2. What made you want to upgrade your X Series camera?

When I picked up the original X100 I was instantly intrigued by the Fujifilm X Series. The image quality and the way that the Fujifilm X System renders images was just amazing and very unique. I prefer shooting with primes and having interchangeable lenses so it was not long before I sold all my DSLR gear and bought the Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF23mmF1.4 and the XF16mmF1.4. I loved the build quality of the Fujifilm X Series products. To have the manual controls so accessible on the camera allowed me complete creative control. It reminded me of my film photography days and the joy of creating a photo.

I took my Fujifilm X-T1 with me wherever I went – including two trips to Japan. It is such a compact and light kit that I could take my camera with a prime lens everywhere and hardly even notice it was in my bag. When the Fujifilm X-T2 launched I was quick to get my hands on one. Such a significant upgrade in capabilities from the X-T1 to the X-T2. The X-T1 had taught me the joy of controlling light and time to create images. The X-T2 has allowed me to master my photography and take it to the next level.

Melbourne Man – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF18mmF2 – 18mm – ISO 3200 – F2 – 1/640 second

 

There’s a lot of emotion that unveils itself on the street, can you share the photo you’ve captured with the most impact and tell us a bit about what you were feeling when you captured it?

On my last trip to Japan, I took a Shinkansen from Kyoto to Hiroshima on the International Day of Peace. Such a humbling and highly emotional experience. On August 6, 1945, 80,000 people were immediately killed when the first deployed atomic weapon was unleashed by the United States. 6,000 degrees Celsius. 90 percent of the city destroyed. Tens of thousands later died due to radiation exposure and disease. Nothing like it had ever been experienced before nor since.

Converging on Hiroshima were school groups, survivors and the families of victims visiting the site to perhaps share in hope that the world never had to visit such devastation and loss again. This shot was taken outside the building now known as the Atomic Bomb Dome – the exact location over which the atomic bomb detonated. The building is a shell of twisted steel and even melted concrete and bricks. This class of students with their matching yellow hats were all listening attentively and respectfully to their teacher.  I could not understand what was being said but the implied lesson was clear.

I think my own personal experience with loss and grief was awoken that day as I could all too clearly understand losing so much. But I was equally encouraged by the composure of the Japanese people and their ability to endure the worst of the worst and still prosper.

Hiroshima Education – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF50-140mmF2.8 – 140mm – ISO 200 – F2.8 – 1/500 second

 

What are the sorts of subjects you look for on the street and do you prefer a particular focal length to capture them?

I find my style of street photography to be an organic process. I prefer to capture images that tell some sort of story of the human experience. Where are we? What are the political and social considerations of the time and how does this subject interact with those? Is there tension or joy or stillness in the subject’s emotional experience? How are others impacting the scene or the experience of the subject? How is the subject impacting others? I will stroll though a location with camera in hand while my eyes scan the scene looking for the alignment of all these factors and much more. My preferred focal length for shooting street is 23mm. Something about this length allows me to capture a subject but also enough of the surrounding scene to suggest or tell the story.

Dayelsford Entertainer – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF23mmF2 – 23mm – ISO 400 – F2.8 – 1/1000 second

 

What’s it like owning the F2 trinity? Which lens out of the three do you prefer to use and can you show us your favourite photo captured with it?

With the recent release of the XF50mmF2 I was able to complete the F2 trinity of Fujifilm lenses. I prefer to shoot with primes so now that I have the XF23mmF2, XF35mmF2 and the XF50mmF2 I feel like my street kit (and my travel kit) is complete. The 23mm gives me the subject within the scene and allows for both to tell the story. The 35mm allows me to isolate the subject more but still allow for background and foreground elements to play a small part.  The 50mm gives me greater reach to capture the subject in isolation. To pull the subject out of the scene without disrupting it.

With my X-T2 and these three lenses I can carry my kit in a messenger bag and hardly notice the weight. When paired with the X-T2 each of these lenses are sharp and super quick on the auto focus. Plus, this makes my whole kit weather resistant. My favourite of these three lenses changes as they are all exceptional lenses. At the moment my ‘new’ favourite is the XF50mmF2 probably because it is the newest and there is so much enjoyment to be had with a new focal length. I look forward to taking only the F2 trinity with me to Japan again later this year.

Coffee Capital – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF23mmF2 – 23mm – ISO 1600 – F2 – 1/250 second

Here I am – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF35mmF2 – 35mm – ISO 400 – F5 – 1/250 second

Head – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF50mmF2 – 50mm – ISO 200 – F4 – 1/250 second

 

 

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

A lot of people seem to have a fear about how to use their new gear. I see a lot of questions appear on forums from new photographers saying that they have camera X and lens Y and they want advice on the best settings to shoot something straight forward. This is so unnecessary as unlike in the film days, digital cameras give us limitless opportunity for trial and error. Your only real obstacle is how long your battery will last or how much your SD card can hold.

Be brave and take lots and lots of photos. If you are using a camera like one from the Fujifilm X Series, then set the Aperture and ISO to A (Auto) and just experiment with the Shutter Speed manually for a day or two. At the end of your shoot review your images and take note of the ones that you love and the ones you hate. What settings did you use? The next day, just use ISO on manual to see how this changes your images. Carry your camera everywhere and shoot everything. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your camera. As long as there is a hint of light, you can make an image.

Kyoto Couple – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF23mmF1.4 – 23mm – ISO 200 – F1.4 – 1/1000 second

 

Your passion for street photography has recently taken you to Japan for a second time, how did you find photographing people on the streets compared to Australia? Did you prefer a particular lens over another?

I have always had an affinity with Japanese culture so to be able to travel there was a big item on my bucket list. The first trip was to Tokyo and I stayed in Shibuya. What a crazy and amazing experience that was. A very youth centric area in the heart of the biggest and most densely populated city on the planet. The second time I travelled to Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

Doing street photography in Japan is incredible. Such diverse cities with backdrops that range from hyper-futuristic ‘Bladerunner’ style scenes in Tokyo to the still and sacred spaces that house the traditional temples and shrines in Kyoto. One day I was photographing in Shibuya at the scramble crossing, where thousands of people cross a giant zebra-crossing every few minutes. The next I was in the Tsukiji Central Fish Market photographing fish mongers carving giant tuna. On both trips to Japan I took my X-T1 and predominantly used the XF16mmF1.4 and XF23mmF1.4 lenses. I swapped between these two quite a bit and on days or nights when it was raining I stuck with the XF16mmF1.4 due to its weather resistance. They are both very versatile lenses and can be used for street, landscape and architecture.

Fish Monger – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF16mmF1.4 – 16mm – ISO 5000 – F2.2 – 1/500 second

Prayer – Fujifilm X-T1 with XF23mmF1.4 – 23mm – ISO 800 – F2.2 – 1/125 second

 

Based on your experience what would you like to see included on a future X Series camera?

When I first purchased the X-T1 I knew I was using such an incredible camera. The build quality, aesthetics, ergonomics and overall capabilities of the camera were amazing. My wish list for improvements was non-existent as the system was meeting all my needs at the time. Then the X-T2 was developed and Fujifilm managed to deliver a greater photography experience by adding features that I didn’t even know I wanted or needed. Superior sensor and processor, dual SD card slots and I find the AF toggle stick such a great addition for street photography. The quality and capabilities of this camera has also allowed me to start my own photography business and offer a broader range of photographic services. Conceptually an X-T3 could include improved battery durability and a performance boost system without the need for the additional battery grip to make it worthwhile. One of my favourite features of the Fujifilm X System is the film simulations. Further film simulations would be a fantastic addition.

Ice Cream Girl – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF35mmF1.4R – 35mm – ISO 800 – F2 – 1/2000 second

 

To view more of Greg’s work visit his web landing page that links to all of his social media profiles.

Other interviews in this series

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jared Morgan

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Tony Gardiner

 

 

 

 

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Rhys Tattersall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through a Photographer’s Eye: 9 Photographers Share Their Advice

Over the last two and a half months, you would have seen a series of interviews which formed Series One of Through a Photographer’s Eye. 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 Two of Through a Photographer’s Eye begins next week, 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?

 

Drew Hopper

Just get out there and shoot! It is not about becoming famous or having all the gear available on the market. It is about enjoying yourself and finding your own style. Shoot what you like shooting, and avoid copying the work of others with the belief that it will make you a ‘better’ photographer. It’s totally fine to follow other photographer’s work, that’s how you find inspiration, but don’t compare yourself to other people’s success. Make your own success. Most importantly, save your money for a flight somewhere, not camera gear. Memories are worth more, and great photos wait for no one.

Fujifilm X100S – 23mm – F4 – 1/100 second – ISO 200

 

Alamby Leung

Social media is a great place for inspiration and to receive feedback, but developing your personal style and be creative with your ideas are important too.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF18mmF2 R – 18mm – ISO 400 – F2.8 – 1/6000 second

 

Ian Tan

Advice for new photographers? Don’t get hung up on the gear. I go a bit nuts about gear myself but at the end of the day, they are just tools. You use the right one for the job, and everyone has their preference for which tools they like to use. Cameras and lenses from any major brand these days are all very capable – heck, even the iPhone takes awesome images – provided you use them properly. So learning how to use your chosen camera (and editing software) well to translate the creative vision that you see in your mind into beautiful images is more important than staying up to date with the latest and greatest gear.

Get out and shoot more. Learn to connect with others and draw inspiration from them, not intimidation. Having said that, I love Fujifilm, the way the cameras handle, the image quality, and the company’s philosophy in how they make cameras and support them through continuous firmware improvements (gotta love kaizen!).

Ice Patterns: X-T2, XF14mmF2.8 – ISO 500 – F4 – 1/125 second

 

Dale Rogers

If you are just starting out in photography, I recommend you follow and watch other photographers on social media especially those who are shooting similar things to yourself. By watching others, you see perspectives or ideas for shooting that you would not have thought of or you start analysing the images trying to determine how the shot was achieved.

Have a look at some of the old masters (or current masters) of photography and see their images. My inspiration for intimate landscapes came from Eliot Porter, one of the first professionals to use colour film, and Jai Maisel who currently shoots street photography in New York City. Have a look at their work and see if you can see the connection I made between them.

I also encourage photographers to try one of the 52-week challenges that exist. On our Photo Rangers Community Facebook page, we host a 52-week challenge. This is a personal challenge and not a contest or competitive event. The purpose is to get photographers creating photos and shooting subjects they would not have done otherwise. If you want to join along in this supportive community, come on over to http://facebook.com/groups/photorangerscommunity.

Fujifilm X-T10 – XF18mmF2 R – ISO 200 – F9 – 1/30 second

Josselin Cornou

Buy a camera with a fixed manual lens. In a day of automation, it is easy to go into the classic auto mode. It works really well in most cases, but this also means that the user will hardly learn any photographic concept. Having a limited focal length will help the user reframe the shot, avoiding any bad practices like constantly zooming. My first camera was a Panasonic GH2 + Voigtlander 25mmF0.95. That setup really helped me step up my game.

If you want to do landscape, then get an ultra wide angled lens. These lenses are expensive, but they will help you frame those ultra wide shots – making it totally worth it.

Fujifilm X100F – ISO 200 – F7.1 – 4.3 seconds

Anirban Chatterjee

Have fun and enjoy. You can be the most technically gifted photographer, but if you are not having fun or enjoying the process, your images will be boring.

And if you are starting to do photography on the street, please be respectful to others. In Australia, it is perfectly legal to do photography in public places, but that doesn’t give you a licence to be a nuisance. As much as we have the right to take photographs in public places, the other person also has a right to walk on the street minding their own business. We live in a community, and respect must be mutual. An image is not worth it if it ruins someone’s day. So please be respectful.

Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 6400 – F16 – 1/210 second

 

Harmeet Gabha

Don’t be scared, just do it (as the Nike ad says). There are so many free resources available online that you will be able to learn and pick up any area of photography very quickly and easily. Google is your best friend; just type in what you are looking for and you’ll find the answer within minutes.

I’m also focusing more on my blog (photoinsomnia.com), by creating content for people just starting out in photography. It’s a resource where they can learn some techniques quickly that will make them more confident and inspired.

“Casa Balto, Barcelona” – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF18-135mmF3.5-4.8 – ISO 400 – F3.5 – 1/180 second

Benjamin Lee

⁃ Shoot everything and as often as possible

⁃ Explore all types of photography, take note of the genre’s aesthetic of photography that really motivates you and hones in on it.

⁃ Consume and view as much photography and art as you are producing (if not more). This will really help you refine your taste and personal aesthetic.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/100 – F2.8 – ISO2500

Joe Jongue

Don’t be caught up in the gear, just go out and shoot. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone; chances are, you may be good in a particular genre than you may think. Join a local photography community, be open to advice and more importantly, interact with other photographers.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/180 – F4 – ISO200