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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
⁃ 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
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