Tag: Through a Photographer’s Eye

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Piyush Bedi

Welcome to the Fourth Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this latest series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use FUJIFILM X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our third featured photographer is Piyush Bedi.

 

Piyush please tell us about yourself, why you love photography and how you got started?

I love travelling and collecting things. I knew I needed to get a different kind of collectible, when the fridge was overcome with fridge magnets and I started sticking them onto the oven. I purchased my first DSLR impulsively. I was quickly overwhelmed with all the controls and carrying it everywhere became a chore. Before I knew it, the camera was gathering dust on my shelf. My photos never looked the way I wanted them to and I didn’t have the right lenses to make it happen. Then a friend told me a few things that stuck: Don’t take it for granted, I’m lucky to even have a camera and the first 10,000 photos I take will be rubbish. Maybe I listened to him. 230,000 photos later, I wish I had heard it earlier.

Photos became the new collectible for my travels. I love that operating a camera is a job that requires both sides of the brain, an understanding about the environment, planning to be at the right place at the right time and more than a few spare batteries. Travelling too often becomes a rush job of getting from place to place, but when I see a view that captivates me, I like to come back to it, with some planning, a coffee, tripod and my camera, early in the morning or late at night, when no one else is around and find ways to capture why I am so captivated by it. Those are my favourite photographs.

 

You mentioned on your social media you travelled with your FUJIFILM X-T1 to Iceland to capture the icebergs of Jökulsárlón. Did the camera survive and what was your best shot from the trip?

I travelled to Iceland with the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. My research told me that the weather in Iceland would be diabolical: Cold, windy, icy, wet and during the month of October, also very dark, perfect for viewing the Northern Lights. While the clouds every night prevented me from seeing the Northern Lights, I made up for my disappointment with a visit to the amazing Vatnajökull glacier ice caves and the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon.

The ice cave was an amazing experience. Light came through the ice ceiling, but being a few metres thick and covered in snow, there wasn’t much. There was however a curved path on top of the cave entrance where the ice or snow was thinner, so it created a dazzling, shimmering light that stretched for the length of the cave. It was the part of the cave that captivated me most. It was approximately 2-3m high in height, so even with a wide angle lens I wouldn’t have been able to capture the entire length of that shimmering ceiling. I had to carefully position my camera on the wet ground and take a series of photos, carefully rotating the camera by a fixed angle between each shot. I would later stitch the photos together on my computer to form a panoramic image of the ceiling.

Later that day, I visited the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. It’s this magical area where a glacier meets a body of water. Blocks of ice fall off the glacier and very slowly drift through the lagoon, out to sea. You can walk up to huge blocks of ice sitting on a shore with black sand, glowing with refracted light. I spent the afternoon taking photos of these huge blocks of ice. While I captured many photos I liked, it was not until I was enjoying a celebratory coffee at a nearby cafe that the magic happened. The sun began to set and the sky turned to a fiery orange. The whole area began to glow. Promising the cafe owner I would pay him when I got back, I ran out the door to take photos along the enchanting sea shore.

The waves were a little rougher this time, so I set up the tripod and left the camera to take longer exposures, hoping to smooth out the water. After capturing this shot of an intricate block of ice, I set the shutter time to be a bit longer and stepped back to avoid shaking the tripod in any way. Unexpectedly, a powerful wave rushed in, and before I could rush to reach the camera, water hit the tripod. Miraculously, it didn’t topple, it just sunk further into the sand. I was so proud of my trusty, rusty tripod, “Go you good thing! when the going gets tough, you just ground yourself and keep at it!”. It was sitting in water that was ~50cm deep now. As I began to walk into the icy water to see what I had captured, a rogue chunk of glacial ice came straight for my trusty tripod. Riding a particularly strong wave, this glacial ice block hit the tripod and toppled my camera into the Atlantic ocean. While the camera never worked again, the SD card survived. While succumbing to the wild Atlantic ocean my X-T1 took one last photo which ended my being my best shot from the beach. I couldn’t be prouder of that last photo.

 

How do you feel FUJIFILM X Series equipment captures landscapes, is the quality okay from previous systems you may have used? Would you like to see any feature improvements on a future camera that might assist with capturing this genre?

My first camera was a Canon Rebel and it was great. It was durable, easy to use, budget-friendly and had a lightweight body. When travelling however, I found it hard to carry all day long (obviously I had tried ALL the cameras and lenses available). The debates around sensor noise were also a bigger issue back then. Not being able push the camera past ISO 800 without a lot of noticeable noise prompted me to begin searching for a better sensor, while retaining all the qualities that I liked about the Canon Rebel.

A few years later I was about to embark on a trip to Everest base camp in Nepal and at the same time started reading about the powerful X-Trans sensor in the X-E1. A lightweight mirrorless camera, with a sensor that not only provided exceptionally low noise, but also extreme sharpness. I bought the camera a day before my trip and read the manual on the flight. I wasn’t taking a laptop on this 3 week trip, so I would only be able to review the photos in detail on my return. I was nervous about my choice, but the feel of the lenses, electronic viewfinder and listening to my friends complain about the weight of their full frame DSLRs with telephoto lenses put a smile on my face. The only trouble was battery life. In the Himalayas there aren’t many charging points and the freezing cold temperatures drain the life out of the batteries. I had to ensure the electronic viewfinder was on strict power management as well as sleep with the batteries at night to keep them warm. The photos I got in the end could not have delighted me more. The sky looked as blue as I remembered it, noise free and boy were they SHARP! Taking a photo, looking back at the path I had walked across, I could see all the little towns underneath the mountain, many kilometres away. If you zoom into the photo of Mount Ama Dablam, you’ll be able to see the green and red roofs of the buildings.

When taking travel and landscapes, sharpness, dynamic range and low noise are incredibly important for image quality. The FUJIFILM X Series delivers all three in spades. Sharpness helps capture the fine details and textures of the environment. Dynamic range helps capture the varying tones of light, especially in unpredictable lighting conditions. Finally, the low sensor noise assists with keeping shutter speeds short, which both, help in avoiding camera shake and in capturing multiple sharp images to later stitch into panoramas.

Having a lightweight camera with weather resistance helps a great deal as well. After my X-E1 was damaged in a torrential rainfall, I immediately bought an X-T1 to replace it. It’s weather resistance helped it survive much longer on my travels in unpredictable environments.

Battery life hasn’t improved much over the FUJIFILM camera generations and is an area in which improvements would help travel and landscape photographers. Carrying fewer batteries would help lighten the load and require fewer pit stops for charging. While it counters the previous feature by being an energy drain, having an onboard GPS that geotags photos would be helpful for cataloging locations.

 

Can you take us through the process you use to stitch your photos together?

I love the effect of a good panoramic photograph. Sometimes one is lucky enough to witness a breath-taking vista and restricting the frame to only a small width just does not do the vista the justice it deserves. I take panoramic photos by taking multiple photos, each slightly apart from the other and then later stitching them together on a computer using the merge feature in Adobe Lightroom.

The first step of taking a panoramic photo begins with composition. Panoramic photos have to be stitched on a computer, so it’s difficult to visualise what the final composition will look like until you’re back on your computer. Fortunately, most smartphones have a pano photo mode on their camera these days, so I begin with taking a quick pano on my smartphone to work out the composition.

Next up, take a series of photos, where each photo has approximately a 30-50% overlap with the previous photo. Stitching software needs this overlap in order to know how to put the images together.

There are a few tips:

  • Don’t be too close to your subject otherwise it’ll result in unnatural distortion.
  • If you want a horizontal pano, shoot in portrait orientation. If you want a vertical pano, shoot in landscape orientation.
  • Ensure camera exposure and white balance settings are constant for all the photos otherwise you will have to spend time adjusting those settings in image editing software.
  • Stitching software is usually able to blend the photos together at the seams, but if the exposure settings are too far apart, you’ll see banding in your pano. X Series cameras come with an exposure lock button that helps with this.
  • Finally, ensure the focus doesn’t change between photos otherwise there will be very obvious differences across your pano. It’s best to switch to manual focus for the series of photos.

Finally, back on the computer, use the merge photos function in Adobe Lightroom (link). It does a great job of stitching photographs together while retaining editing abilities for post processing.

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

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

The advice of this great photographer still holds true. So in order to quickly move towards taking photos you’re happy with, you want to make it as easy as possible to take photos.

There are a lot of camera and lens options out there. Don’t worry too much about which lens to take because, a little secret, most of them are fantastic. Just have one or two and go for it. I kept my collection to two lenses for five years and only worried myself about how many batteries to carry so I wouldn’t have to return home.

Buy what you can afford, make sure you like how it feels and most importantly make sure it is so convenient that you never have to think twice about taking it somewhere. The easier a camera is to carry, the more likely you will take photos with it.

One final thing, once you start taking a lot of photos, you’ll realise it’s much harder to pick the few that you like best. Always make the effort to pick a small subset of the photos that you have taken and think about why you like them. This will help you develop your style.

How would you best describe what it’s like to be on top of a mountain taking photos? Does a camera really capture what you feel or is there something more to the scene that we just can’t experience in a photo?

When I travelled to the Himalayas in Nepal, I was awed. The mountains reached a few kilometres straight up and were right in front of me. I had trouble capturing that feeling with a single shot. I thought stitching panoramas from multiple shots would help, but being up in the mountains without a computer I had no idea if the final result would capture that feeling. I trusted the camera and it’s sharpness enough to give it a go. When I returned to Sydney and stitched the photos, the results were better than I could’ve hoped. I was in love with taking stitched panos and obsessed with capturing the sense of awe that comes from nature. Cliched as it is, nothing captures the feeling of being there, but that won’t stop me from trying.

Maybe one day soon, with virtual reality headsets, we’ll be able to capture and enjoy the depth and awe of mountain photography.

What FUJINON X Series lens would you recommend people use if they were getting started with landscape photography? Do you have a photo taken with the lens and the story behind the image you can share with us?

I have used the XF18mmF2 R for almost all my landscape work. It’s small, light and sharp – great factors for getting started with landscape and travel photography. While not a landscape photo, I recently used the XF18mmF2 R in Kyoto, Japan. It was peak cherry blossom season in Kyoto, so there were thousands of people on these streets. Many were dressed in traditional garb and looking forward to taking traditional photos in this beautiful part of town.

Here’s a photo of what it looked like during normal hours. Much like taking landscape photos, I had to wait for the right time to take photos of the area. For this particular one, that time happened to be around 6am, which meant I was up and out of my accommodation at 4:30am. I had the cold weather and whole area to myself. I patiently waited for the sun to rise – with my can of hot BOSS coffee from the vending machine – and was able to take my time composing and capturing this photo. By 6:15am, the area was filled with tripods, models and even a young married couple having their wedding photos taken. Sometimes it’s those quiet work hours with you and your camera that are the best.

Thanks for reading this far.

To see more of Piyush’s photography visit his Instagram profile.

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Felix Mooneeram

Welcome to the Fourth Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this latest series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers (or in this case a visiting photographer) and how they use FUJIFILM X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our second featured photographer is Felix Mooneeram.

 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what drives you as a photographer to capture images?

I am a professional photographer from the UK, but these images were captured for FUJIFILM Australia whilst on holiday there at the start of 2018. I mostly shoot architecture back at home, but making travel images is one of my favourite things to do whilst I’m away. I find that experiencing a new place with my camera opens my eyes to it makes me take it in more than if I didn’t have my camera.

I think quite differently when shooting on holiday compared to my professional work. It’s a lot freer; a lot looser. Sometimes I shoot blind; sometimes I go to higher ISOs that I wouldn’t in my regular work. I don’t worry much about getting perfect exposures – the images are more about the moment or the feeling at the time, and I find that liberating.

 

You visited Australia to document the country, where did you travel within Australia and what gear did you decide to take with you?

We stayed in Melbourne, spent four nights on the Great Ocean Road in a van, and had a long weekend in Sydney. I took my full set minus one lens. This kit consists of the FUJIFILM X-T2, XF50-140mmF2.8, XF35mmF1.4, XF10-24mmF4 (listed in order of which I like to use most for anyone wondering). I often look ahead or try to isolate elements in my frame, so I love the F2.8 zoom. The range is so versatile for this kind of photography, but the size of the lens can be a little cumbersome for travelling, it has to be said. For me, it’s totally worth it, and if ever leave it at home, I always wish I’d bought it. These three lenses give me a vast range of focal lengths to work with and cover most situations that I want to shoot in.

 

Your photos look unique, what was your workflow? Did you use any advanced techniques like HDR to overcome Australia’s harsh light?

Thank you! I found the light in Australia an absolute joy to work with. In the UK it often feels like you are struggling to get enough light onto the sensor because the weather is usually pretty poor. In Australia, I was shooting at speeds my dial doesn’t get anywhere near back home which was fun. It meant I could quickly capture things that caught my eye, all handheld, and at the lowest ISOs. Because of the amount of editing, I do through my professional work [link to my https://felixmooneeram.co.uk/Recent-Commissions%5D, I hardly shot any bracketed exposures. I wanted to keep the editing down to a minimum, so I created a preset in Lightroom that brought out the vibrant colours and the warm, sunny tones from the Australian summer and applied it to most of my edits. That usually involved dropping the highlights, bumping shadows, and a bit more yellow and green in the temperature/tint.

What was the story behind the photo featuring the Koalas?

For four days we had a van kindly lent to us by Awesome Campers to travel from Melbourne down the Great Ocean Road. This was probably our favourite part of the trip. I was so amazed by how you can be on beautiful beaches one minute and 15 – 20 minutes later in thick, super tall woodlands that felt like you’d be several hours inland.

We had always hoped to see some koalas in the wild, and as you drive down the Great Ocean Road, you can often tell where they are because other campervanners were parked up ahead aiming their cameras into the trees high above. With this shot, we got so so lucky as not only did we see some, but we saw them at ground level and up close.

My girlfriend spotted them out of the window on the roadside one morning, and we parked ahead so as not to disturb them. We got out of the van and walked back towards them and were so pleased when we saw it was actually a mother and her baby. It was a fantastic experience to see them like this in their natural habitat and was a real high point of the trip. They stayed by us for a few minutes as I made some images of them with the XF50-140mmF2.8 zoom lens (we didn’t want to cramp their style), and then they climbed away up a tree. We had smiles on our faces the entire day after that.

 

Do you have any tips for anyone who is thinking about visiting Australia to photograph Sydney and the surrounding suburbs?

We only had one weekend in Sydney, but we had a great time there. The Botanical Gardens are a must see. When you get through them to the viewpoint on the coastline and look back on the city in the background and beautiful, lush, gardens in the foreground – it’s hard to believe that it’s a real city.

That whole area around the harbour and the opera house is really photogenic. The city/business district itself is quite oppressive, and the architecture isn’t all that interesting. Stick near the water, and you’ll see the best of the views. The walk from Bondi to Coogee past all the small coves and beaches is a must do.

 

Can you share some insight into what you look for when photographing architectural design?

I love to play with geometry, symmetry and leading lines when shooting architecture. This is why I’m often drawn to more modern architecture. I sometimes like to use people in the frame to not only give a sense of scale to a building but to show how people interact with it. If you’d like to know more about how I shoot architecture, I have another FUJIFILM blog post here.

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

Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot as much as possible. Take your camera everywhere. This is the beauty of FUJIFILM and their mirrorless systems. They’re small enough and light enough to carry around, and the rangefinder style design means you make really strong connections between the functions of the camera and what results come from changing them. This is one of the main reasons I switched to FUJIFILM in the first place. I feel that using these cameras deepens your understanding of aperture, shutter speed and ISO like no DSLR could.

Swapping my Canon gear for FUJIFILM also opened up a new world of focal ranges for me. I was able to afford three lenses for the price of one Canon lens, and this changed my photography for the better. I could start to capture spaces from the details right back to the wider, covering shots. It helps to tell comprehensive and rich stories of a place.

To see more of Felix’s photography visit him over on Instagram and his website.

Through a Photographer’s Eye: Jane Sheers

Welcome to the Fourth Series of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In this latest series, we continue to learn about Australian photographers and how they use FUJIFILM X Series Cameras to photograph their world around them. Our first featured photographer is Jane Sheers.

I have been shooting with FUJIFILM cameras for the last four years. When I am travelling, I usually take my two FUJIFILM X-T2 bodies and the FUJINON XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR, and one of the telephoto zooms. This time, as I was flying back to Cambodia for the 5th time, I wanted to challenge myself by taking prime lenses only. This decision lead to quite high levels of “but what if I miss a shot” and “which primes to take” anxiety. The former I told myself to forget as no matter what gear you have there will always be shots you miss, but the latter was a bit more of a dilemma. Should I go with the FUJINON XF90mmF2 LM WR R or the FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R, or how about the FUJINON XF23mmFf1.2 R or the FUJINON XF35mmF2 R WR?

Every time I thought I had made my decision a siren named the FUJIFILM X100F called me day or night. She tempted and tormented me convincing me that all the things I preferred about the X-T2 over the rangefinders did not matter. She told me I needed her. I resisted the call with all my might. However, there was a universal conspiracy against my resistance in the form of the FUJIFILM Australia Cash Back, a timely ‘not to be missed sale’ and Tourist Refund Scheme. Being astute, I could read the signs, so off I went into the heat of early monsoon to Cambodia with the FUJIFILM X-T2 coupled with the FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R lens and my very new sexy silver FUJIFILM X100F.

In Cambodia, I spent most of my time in Siem Reap. Siem Reap is the town well and indeed on the world tourist map due to the magnificent Angkor Wat Temple, the tree (way more famous than the Wanaka Tree) at Ta Phrom made famous by Lara Croft, and the 216 huge stone faces of the Bayon. Each temple is excellent in its way and presents different challenges when it comes to photography. Angkor Wat is vast and on the first visit can be overwhelming for no other reason than it is just that – huge. I would recommend anyone going for their first-ever trip to leave your camera in your bag and walk around the place to get a feel for it (unless of course, the light is just perfect at that very moment). Then come again and start working it photographically.

I’ve been in there at least 20 times over the years and always see something new or different. I prefer details over the whole scene, and my real love is the Apsaras (celestial dancers or musicians). While there are many throughout the temple it is up in the top of the central shrines you will find the best ones. When in the labyrinth of Angkor Wat there is every likelihood you will see a monk in their bright orange robes making a nice contrast against the dark stone.

The Bayon is famous for its much-photographed faces supposedly of the Avalokiteshvara (the Buddha of Compassion), yet they reportedly bear a close resemblance to King Jayavarman VII who built this temple. As big and vast as Angkor Wat is the Bayon is tight and somewhat compact. It offers photo opportunities galore with the most popular being one of the faces through a window frame. The selfie opportunities: it almost resembles taking a number and waiting in line. Despite the hordes that visit, it is effortless to get away and find your quiet little spot for reflection, like the main shrine in the central tower. It is in the quiet places that I am happiest.

If you want to get away from the crowds, head to some of the other temples such as Banteay Kdei or Preah Khan. Aside from not being as busy as the main three, the additional advantage is they are not tightly controlled meaning you can scramble around more and get in touch with your inner Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. I love both of these temples, but of the two, I find there something special about Banteay Kdei. Maybe it is the fabulous Apsaras that are covered in orange lichen or the main gate into the temple that is a smaller version of the very popular southern gate at Angkor Thom. I suspect these temples will become more popular as people want to get away from the crowds; in fact, this is now happening with Preah Khan.

One of the beauties of Siem Reap is that the countryside is readily accessible in a remork (the Cambodia version of a tuk-tuk: a quaint carriage attached to the back of a motorbike). In just a short time you can leave behind the hustle and bustle of the town or temples to catch a glimpse of rural Cambodian life. Between the small villages, you will come across rice fields. At the beginning of the monsoon, the hard work of ploughing and planting rice begins, and rain doesn’t mean down time. In the late afternoon on a bright day, you can catch a gorgeous late afternoon golden glow in one of the surrounding villages.

There is more to Cambodia than Siem Reap and its ancient temples. I arranged to spend a couple of days with a local photographer (Eric d Vries who incidentally happens to use a FUJIFILM X-Pro1 or the X100T), around the Battambang area. This offered an opportunity to visit places I wouldn’t have otherwise seen and also for some mentoring in ‘the art of seeing’. My creative flow changed, and I even experimented with in-camera double exposures. This added something extra to creating images, but the one thing I wish we could do is to use more than two images with the multiple exposure mode. It would be great not to have to shoot the photos consecutively too. Can we have this in a Kaizen firmware update, please?

It was out on this trip I was able to meet some of the people of Cambodia and take their portraits. Cambodia is not called the Land of Smiles for no reason. Nobody seemed to have an issue with us taking their pictures, instead, they would call out “Barang” (Khmer for foreigner), and they would laugh at us. Let’s say we were not hard to spot being the only three westerners in places where westerners seldom visit and even more so given Eric is well over six foot and very fair. But what beautiful, friendly people. And some of the kids LOVE having their photo taken.

During my travels, both cameras served me well. I must admit that it was difficult jumping between the two bodies due to the different ergonomics. Both had their benefits, and I was surprised that I used my X100F more than I thought I would. I have near equal numbers of images from each camera and maybe balance tips more to the X100F. If I was going for a walk, I intentionally pick up the X100F. Where I think the X100F shone was in markets as it was so unobtrusive. Obviously, the siren was calling me, and I did need her after all. I have no regrets in heeding that call.

As for travelling with primes rather than zooms, after a few hours, I was no longer trying to twist the barrel of the lens to get my shot. Instead, I thought about the shot more before taking it or moved around more to get what I wanted. Remember, one of my original dilemmas was missing the shot if I didn’t have my zooms? Yes, there were a few times where I did miss the image that was going to make me famous, but I quickly forgot about that lost opportunity as I was presented with an alternative one almost immediately.

FUJIFILM continues to allow my muse to create. The FUJIFILM X-T2 will always be my special love. However the X100F has turned out to be a great little mistress to have on the side as she offers me different opportunities, and in fact, she is sitting beside my left hand as I write. I know we will continue to have more adventures together in the future and I have reserved a place for her in my bag as she is coming on my next overseas trip later in the year to Hong Kong. I’m counting the sleeps!

To see more of Jane’s photography visit her Instagram, blog or gallery.

TAPE: Series 3 – 10 Photographers Share Their Advice

Over the last ten weeks you would have seen ten interviews forming series three of Through a Photographer’s Eye (TAPE). 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 four of Through a Photographer’s Eye begins next month, 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?

 

Johny Spencer

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. – Read the full interview here.

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

 

Gavin Host

I believe learning how to work with light is the first step to understanding photography, and the only way to do this is to experiment. Learn how to shoot using manual before you begin automating anything (other than focus). It’s very important to understand the basics of ISO, aperture and shutter speed and how they impact both each other and the final photograph, before leaving it to the camera to decide anything. You’ll make mistakes and take some horrendous photographs (I cringe at some of my earlier work!) but it’s the best way to learn.

Also, find someone that is in the industry that you respect and ask them as many questions as you possibly can. I spent six months on work experience with one of Perth’s top fashion photographers and although it was in an area that I didn’t pursue, the knowledge that I gained from working alongside him on a daily basis formed the foundation for my photographic skills.

Immerse yourself in photography if that’s truly what you want to be doing. I literally never leave the house without a camera (be it film or digital). – Read the full interview here.

Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia – Fujifilm X-T1 – XF23mmF1.4 R – F2 – 1/640 second – ISO 400

 

Mike Bell

Photography is obviously a passion and not a job most people would choose if they were not into it, so by having that passion for what you do you are already halfway there. Create a service for clients that is reliable and ALWAYS deliver what you promise.

Taking an interest in your customer’s business, showing them you have done your research always helps. Never stop looking for new clients, self-marketing is key. Your creativity and skill will get you so far, that’s almost the easy bit, creating a customer base and the way you deal with your clients can be the difficult bit. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-T1 – XF16mmF1.4 R WR – 1/80 second – F2.2 – ISO 320

 

Ryan Cantwell

Don’t worry about the fancy technical side of the gear. Get a cheap camera and work with that. Don’t rely on editing so much. If you’re growing up in a ‘boring’ town that offers a lot of mundane surroundings and you feel like there’s nothing pretty to take photos of then you’re not paying enough attention.

You will learn to find ‘beauty’ and oddities in places rather than just visiting the regular postcard scenes and look outs. Look at art paintings and how they applied technique and composition. Paintings have been around a lot longer than the camera. Be forward with yourself and the people you approach it can be awkward, but your results will be more to the point you have in mind. Sometimes don’t take photos, so you can live in semi regret you didn’t take a photo of a wonderful thing, move on and remind yourself to be more mindful next time. – Read the full interview here.

 

Sarp Soysal

I’d say the biggest piece of advice I’d like to share with young photographers is not to get trapped in the technical side of photography or with camera reviews, equipment choices and stuff.

In my opinion, the most important first step is to get to know the gear that you have, whatever it might be, and understand everything about it so you can learn how to work with it and how to make it work for you. Because at the end of the day, when someone is looking at your photographs, no one cares really about what settings you used or what camera you have. It’s about the story you tell.

As any skill or art form, it requires a lot of practice. So take your camera with you everywhere and use every outing as a learning opportunity. Devote 20 hours a week, every week to making photographs. Get yourself a good pair of walking shoes and hit the streets or parks of your town or city and just shoot. Eventually, you’ll find your voice, and then you can focus on developing your own photographic style to tell your own stories. – Read the full interview here.

 

Harrison Candlin

Just pick up a camera and have a go. A lot of learning comes from mistakes I have realised. Dedication is something you will need to develop over time. It’s a fundamental key in developing your style, your photography quality and most importantly, being there to capture it. I have driven numerous six-hour drives to the same places just to get the shot I want, only to find out I couldn’t get it. However, if you’re dedicated enough, you’ll always want to go back and pursue it. The beauty of photography though is you might not always get your intended shot, but something else will always pop up. To be honest, most of my work has happened this way. Capture it, work the scene, change your angles, get down low or up high and fire away. Improvise and be spontaneous. – Read the full interview here.

 

Geoff Marshall

Learn the basics of exposure such as aperture, shutter, ISO and how to use them in combination to achieve desired outcomes. Consider your composition and just get out there and shoot. Analyse your photos, be self-critical and learn from your mistakes (we all make them) and develop a technique that you are happy with and produces results that you like. Don’t try and please everybody with your photographs, that’s an impossible task to achieve, we are all different, what one person likes the next will not. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-E1 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS – 1/60 – F5 – ISO 800

 

Myles Kalus

Looking into gear, I would say to buy a camera that is straightforward to use. A lot of cameras these days have added functionalities that sometimes become a distraction. I’ve personally found that the fewer choices I have, the more concentrated I’ve been with learning and studying the camera and photography. If possible, I’d highly recommend a camera with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) as it allows you to immediately see how the settings affect exposure and depth-of-field. All these factors taken into consideration will speed up your learning process significantly, and improve your technical mastery within a short span.

From a photography perspective, I’ve always advised newcomers to find a few photographers of which their works you like, go through their work obsessively, learn what is it about their work that you admire, and try to replicate their work. This forces you to experiment with your camera and pushes your eye to see what and how they saw and why they photographed it. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 R – 1/1000 second – F1.2 – ISO 640

 

Matt Murray

Learn as much as you can about your camera: read the manual, watch YouTube videos, go to photography meets, ask lots of questions. Although many photographers – including myself – always want the latest and greatest camera gear, some of my favourite photos were taken with my least expensive Fujifilm kit: an X-T10 and either the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS or the XF35mmF1.4 R lenses (approximately $1200 worth of gear).

Learn as much as you can about photography. There are so many good free websites and resources out there these days. Follow photographers on Instagram and study their photos. Join photography related Facebook groups – I’m a member of about a dozen. Post your work in there and ask for constructive criticism. One excellent group I recommend is Fuji X Australia where a dedicated group of admins encourage and support Australian and New Zealand Fujifilm photographers. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

 

Marc Busoli

Shoot as much and as often as you can. Do workshops and join photo walks, there are plenty of free options around the place, I think that’s a great path to education around photography. Be open to other styles and ideas. Take feedback well from people whose photography you admire, but always remember that you should only ever shoot to make yourself happy, that is what matters. – Read the full interview here.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 R – 1/140 second – F3.2 – ISO 400