Ok, wow. I haven’t added an update in a really long time. So long, I may as well start again. It’s been bugging me a little lately that I’m not documenting some of my recent experiences so I might start with this little observation to kick things off.
I’ve been home a few weeks now. Back in Sydney and full of thoughts about my last assignment in Cusco and surrounds in Peru. One thing I’ve noticed is that though I’ve always used the Canon system for my critical work at home or abroad (I’m just so used to Canon’s menu layout and dial management, but more importantly I love the skin tones produced by the 5DIV and 5DsR behind L series glass (and certain Sigma Art series lenses), It’s been recent time spent on the side shooting as a hobbyist with the Fujifilm X-T20 that’s really helped me out of a recent kind of creative rut. Canon has always offered a very reliable and consistent shoot experience which is a good thing for the most part, but on my last four or five overseas assignments I’ve also brought along the X-T20 paired with either the Fujnon 23mm f1.4 or Fujinon 50-230mm F4.5-6.7. The latter lens has served as a really useful little eye honing tool during the tedious reality of long haul work. So these days I always secure a window seat so that when I’m taxing around an airport I can have fun with the simple experience of snapping away at the lines, patterns, textures and shapes that catch my attention through the passenger window.
It seems to be either aerial landscapes, airport buildings or patterns on the tarmac that interest me the most at the moment.
Playing with slower shutter speeds is always fun too.
And I think that’s the crux of it. Somewhere along the way it’s like I stopped looking to my Canon gear as a means to having fun photographically. There’s something to be said for the size and weight of a 5DIV married to a 70-200mm F2.8 L IS II USM. It’s a back breaker after just a couple of hours let alone a full day shooting an event or wedding, even though it produces stunning results. The Fujifilm system is so much lighter, which means it’s always near during my down time, which means it partners with my sense of random photographic fun much more readily. There’s also something special about the combination of the 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor paired with Fujfilm’s X-Processor Pro image processor and the high res detail offered by Fujinon glass. It’s a winning combination to me in that even though they don’t offer huge cropping potential compared to a 5D4 or 5DsR raw file, the Fuji raws offer a heap of dynamic range and colour tweaking flexibility. Enough to keep the fun side of me satisfied. I won’t be switching to Fujifilm immediately for my bread and butter, but watch this space. It’s looking like more and more of a possibility as I now consider an upgrade to the Fujifilm X-T3.
Equipment aside, it’s been the simple process of training my eye on elements around me (shape, colour, texture, pattern, movement) and finding a composition where a combination of those elements harmonise to my eye that’s brought the fun of hobbyist photography back into the forefront of my creative experience, and I think that’s only recently become a practice again because of the size, weight and portability of the Fujifilm X system.