I find it fitting that in less than a week I will be back in France where my love affair with both Fujifilm and street photography began almost two years ago to the day. I could not have imagined at the time that my X100T would open up so many doors for me. Here are some reflections on just how important that little camera is to me.
A Bit of History
Two years ago I was in a bit of a photographic depression, so to speak. I felt my images were becoming repetitive and predictable. I still loved photography. However, I felt like my skill as a photographer had plateaued, and this was reflected in my images, they were boring! So to shake things up, I decided to try something completely different on a trip to France we were taking. I decided to ditch all my heavy, pro, DSLR gear in favour of something smaller. After hours of research into the best camera brands and models, I settled on the little 23 mm fixed lens Fujifilm X100T. My husband said I was crazy! How would I get good shots with a wide angle lens?
That trip was the most liberating trip I have ever been on, photographically speaking. The X100T was so easy to carry around. But most importantly, it taught me to see differently. I was used to working with zoom lenses, and mostly of the telephoto variety. I learned to move my feet and be much more creative with this camera. It changed my entire perspective on photography!
The night we landed in Paris we took a short walk to the Louvre. It was late, but I was thrilled to see that we could get into the central plaza where the glass pyramids rise out of the square. A night shot of the lights, pyramids and reflections was high on my shot list. However, there were too many people wandering around! I could not seem to frame up a shot without someone getting in my way! Then it hit me, include the people, you dummy! And that is how my street photography passion began.
I don’t think I would have made the connection that people make photographs come alive if I had been using my DSLR gear. Instead, I would have continued taking predictable, monotonous shots devoid of any kind of spark. From that point on, I began to see things differently and searched out characters for my shots.
Not to sound cliché, but there is something special about the Fujifilm community. And I’m not trying to knock other camera brands. But, I have met so many incredible people because I am using this camera. I have had people stop me in the streets to ask about my gear, or tell me their own Fuji stories. I have made many Fuji friends through social media who have inspired me and taught me so much. And I am extremely lucky to live in the same city as Ian MacDonald and Olaf Sztaba, who have become not only incredible mentors but wonderfully supportive friends.
My Next Adventure
Next week we leave on our second trip to France, with an extension to Scotland. In Normandy, I will be shooting mostly street and travel. In Scotland, we will be doing a lot of hiking and landscape photography. This time I will have my trusty X100F with me and his big brother, the X-T2, along with my 50 mm f/2. I think this will make a fantastic combination for documenting life along the Normandy coastline. I have also made a DIY pinhole lens which I am looking forward to experimenting with on the beaches of Normandy.
For our Scotish hikes and landscape work, I will carry my 50-140 mm f/2.8 to isolate features in the glens, mountains and coastline. For wider views, I will use my 10-24 mm f/2.8-4. This lens will also act as a backup for the 23 mm focal length I love so much on my X100F.
Even with two bodies and three lenses, my bag will be extremely light compared to what I would have taken in my DSLR days. This will let me concentrate on image making and not the aches and pains associated with heavy gear.
Over the past two years, I have enjoyed photography more than ever. I have said this before, as have many other Fuji shooters, these cameras really do make photography fun. If it wasn’t for my first little X100T, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be talking with you today. Not only am I excited about creating images, but I am loving writing about the process too. My inspiration comes in a large part, from that little camera with a single, fixed, 23mm lens!
I am excited to see where my Fujifilm journey takes me. In the next year, I will continue to develop my street photography and will work on my storytelling skills. I love to learn. Life would be way too monotonous if we knew it all!
I will be putting my blog on hold for a month, so I can really enjoy my time with Paul on our upcoming holiday and focus (pardon the pun) on making some exciting new images. In the meantime, here is a sample of those first photographs I captured with my X100T two years ago. Cheers for now, and talk with you again in mid-July.