Barbara Lewis is the winner of the January FujiLove Magazine photo assignment “Layers” (see the winning photograph above). We wanted to know more about Barbara and her work. Here comes our conversation with her!
Tomash: Who is Barbara Lewis?
Barbara: I am a photographer. Photography is my passion, and my camera is my constant companion. I currently live in America’s Pacific Northwest with all its trees and natural beauty to photograph while also loving to travel and discover our wonderful world with so much to see, feel, capture, and express with my camera. Through it I focus on meaningful and beautiful parts of life in a way that nourishes and soothes my soul. I can then share my soul vision with interested others. Nothing else fulfills me so completely.
When did you start using the Fujifilm camera system and what are its features that you enjoy the most?
My X100F is my 5th Fujifilm camera! I also own an X-T2. (My first Fujifilm camera was an X-E1 bought in 2013, followed by an X-T1 and X100T.) I appreciate the X100F, because it reminds me of my old film cameras and because of its portability and excellent lens, which being fixed, lessens decisions I make when photographing. As a film photographer, I only used one normal prime lens and shot only in manual. I still prefer the simplicity of such an approach (zoom lenses just add another decision I have to make). I use my X100F for street work and to carry with me when I don’t want to carry my X-T2. It also serves as my “wide” angle lens since anything wider than 23mm is not how I photograph. I also love my X-T2 especially paired with the XF50mm f/2 lens. Although I have the XF35mm f/1.4 and XF90mm f/2 lenses, I seldom carry extra lenses with me, preferring to choose one lens for the day and let that focal length and my feet simplify that day’s shooting. I like that both cameras and all lenses are light weight and produce photos with such beautiful exposures and colors. I also love that I can shoot in RAW, but set the camera and myself to see in monochrome, the amazing EVF, and all the function buttons to personalise my way of shooting (for example my button for back button focusing is on the front! Makes sense to me).
Could you share a story behind your image with FujiLove community?
The image “Conundrum” is clearly a double exposure. I have discovered a few alder tree farms in Washington and Oregon that I enjoy photographing and return to occasionally. Since trees growing neatly in rows is not the way of nature, there is a kind of unreal and mystical attraction that I feel and want to communicate when I visit the tree farms. Adding the double exposure in capturing the photo and the monochrome in editing make the trees seem even more surreal. When I first got my Fujifilm cameras, I didn’t take advantage of some of the drives such as Multiple Exposure, because I knew the images would be rendered as JPEGs instead of the RAW ones I prefer to shoot and edit. However, as I discovered how easy and fun working with multiple exposures is, as well as the interesting results this setting can produce, I began to play with them more, especially when I am after a different way of capturing and revealing my subject. I am often surprised and pleased with the results.
How about a few more favorite photographs of yours? What do you enjoy shooting the most?
I am pretty eclectic in my choice of shooting subjects. I like to photograph landscapes, both urban and rural, but almost always intimate and often impressionistic; street scenes including people, especially when traveling in other cultures; abstracts often done with bold colors; lines and geometric shapes occurring in nature and in architecture. I especially like creating images that communicate the slightly mysterious, the mystical, the ethereal. I often do this in post processing as I love to edit and see this as an extension of the creation of the final photograph. Also I recently self-published a book called “Far Away and Long Ago” of black and white street portraits of children I took many years ago in countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. So choosing a few more favorite photographs for this interview was a challenge. I finally selected more images of woods and trees, all captured and edited to suggest the mysterious and surreal and impressionistic.
Anything particular you would like to see coming from Fujifilm in the upcoming months and years?
My photography needs are always met and exceeded by Fujifilm. I am very happy with the company and their products. My only comment for them is: “Keep up the good work. You’re doing great!”
Thanks a lot, Barbara!