There are a few things that speak to me, mainly, they are moments. Movies. One of my favorite cinematic displays is the movie, Drive. I can’t say that I love the actual movie because I’m a wuss when it comes to gore and violence. The second - Music. Give me a warm evening at dusk while blasting a progressive song that builds throughout and I’m content. Pictures are the last. I guess these could all be summed up into a overarching category of “art”, so maybe this entire paragraph was pointless.
Getting on with it here…we spent some time in France a few weeks back and wanted to share a few of the scenes because they are something I’m proud of and excited about. They aren’t perfect in the technical sense, they aren’t even the most interesting photographs I’ve taken but they speak to me. They speak of freedom, storms and companionship.
All shot with my Fujifilm XT10 and 35mm f/2.
Canon Canon Canon…Fuji. I’ve had the Fujifilm X-T10 for a few months now. It’s unique, small and exciting.
Electronic Viewfinder, because it actually picks up what my eyes visualize and it makes me excited about the creative process. It’s hard to explain but the exposure and tones are processed in-camera (even JPEGs) close to what I hope for. Perhaps it’s because I see in soft mid tones and highlights, like my mind is metering the same way Fuji cameras meter. For a while I struggled with exposure accuracy with Canon, especially when I’m dealing with backlit images. Plain and simple, the EVF excites me and adds a different element into the shooting process. When I go back to my Canon 5D II, I still enjoy the full frame look but the actual shooting process isn’t as exciting as it is with my Fuji.
Focus. I’m comparing this to my Canon 5D II. The Fuji picks up focusing better in low light and doesn’t hunt for me. I’m surprised at how I can nail a shot with one attempt but with my canon I always take 2-3 shots just to make sure I have a focused shot. Granted, I’m not shooting with L lenses because the cost spread between a $400 lens and a $1,400 can be used to pay rent, gas for a few months…it just doesn’t add up for me. That being said, the focus at high apertures on my Fuji is so dead on that it takes the guessing out of the equation. Where before, I would take five shots with my Canon “just to be safe” I can take one or two with my Fuji and feel confident, especially when you combine the focusing accuracy with the EVF.
Lenses. My sample size is small, very small, because I only own the new 35mm f/2 and have not used another lens. Comparatively speaking, the value of this purchase is so much higher than other lenses that I’ve purchased. I can’t wait to purchase other lenses because I know the build quality and technology will not disappoint, I hope. I remember when the lens arrived, I was shocked at the small size and how well-built it feels. It’s so solid! In fact, the whole setup with the X-T10 and the 35mm f/2 feels incredibly durable and I don’t worry about it’s toughness. Back to the lens…I love love love shooting with the aperture ring. Again, the experience of shooting with the electronic viewfinder + the aperture ring is like Christmas morning. The only “bad thing” about this lens is the style of it. Have you seen it? It’s such and odd shape and honestly looks disgusting. Other than that, I’ve been happy with the production.
Brand. This is huge for me. I don’t feel like I’m being screwed over by a huge corporation like I do with Canon. No offense to Canon, but you take forever and a day to release new products that are priced well and excited your following. Fujifilm is passionate about the process of creating the photograph, not just the technology. It’s evident that their customers are important to them and I “feel” that when I shoot Fuji. They don’t seem interested in creating a 100mpx camera and a $5k lens. Fuji is a breath of fresh air.
This is a short list. The battery doesn’t last that long so if you’re used to DSLR batteries that last for days it seems likes, you’ll need to buy multiple batteries and just get over it. I’ve taken my Fuji X-T10 on a few paid gigs and I really enjoyed having it as a side pistol because the shooting experience is different than Canon. If I’m truly honest and not attempting to please the hipster nation, I’ll admit that I still enjoy my full frame Canon for paid gigs. The images have so much depth and I have a comfort level with Canon, I know what my images will look like and I know how to edit them. Under cinematic, soft lighting situations, the Fuji is my preferred choice. Under backlit situations, Canon is my choice. This is my only gripe with Fuji - the camera and the lens control flare way too much and it’s hard to get epic backlit shots.
As you can see from the photos, I’m not shooting in these types of conditions with my Fuji anyways. This is a camera that is designed to be extremely personal and go with you in the most personal situations. The experience of producing the photograph is meant to mean as much to you as the end result. Because of this, my respect for Fujifilm products and recommendation to anyone seeking a different photography experience: you need this.
I scouted out a hilltop for some awesome golden hour shots, I knew from the very beginning of the day that we were going to have great light. Thank you, Kate, for being a trooper and scaling the hillside.
Jimmy and Emili Robeson are some of the kindest people I know. Without knowing, they’ve set a positive example for myself and so many other people - for raising a family, for being good friends, and so much more.
This has to be one of my favorite shoots. It’s meaningful because of who it is and the lighting was extra crisp.