Joerg Metzner is the winner of the March FujiLove Magazine photo assignment “Low Light” (see the winning photograph above). We wanted to know more about Joerg and his work. Here comes our conversation with him!
Tomash: Who is Joerg Metzner?
Joerg: I was born and raised in the Harz Mountains of Germany, trained and worked as dental technician before moving to Ireland where I herded goats, photographed and painted. After traveling across Europe I ended up in Los Angeles. Today I am living in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago where I work as a Graphic Designer and Photographer. One of my current projects is a vintage road stop in the California desert and a series of environmental portraits of local artists in their creative spaces.
When did you start using the Fujifilm camera system and what are its features that you enjoy the most?
In 2017 I traded my Nikon kit for the X-T2 with the 18-55mm lens. Soon I added the XF35mm f/2, XF23mm f/2, and XF50mm f/2 lenses. I love the overall built quality of the body and lenses, the light weight and especially the manual controls. Shooting mirrorless and being able to see the actual exposures in the viewfinder is a game changer. I shoot in RAW and JPG and a lot of the time I shoot with the Acros black and white setting. While I appreciate the 50mm f/2 lens, especially for portraits, my go-to lens is the 35mm f/2. Lately I set the proportion of my images to 16:9 as I love the cinematic feel.
Could you share a story behind your image with FujiLove community?
The photograph of the vintage 1968 Ford Ranchero GT at night is part of of my photo essay “The other day in California”, which tells the story of mysterious encounters on a lonely stretch of highway in the Mojave desert. Queue Ry Cooder from the “Paris, Texas” soundtrack for this classic Route 66 experience. Just as I was about to run out of gas and the skies darkened I saw a sign for the Four Aces, Gas, Food and Lodging ahead. It seemed as I had traveled back in time. Luckily I had my trusty X-T2 and 35mm f/2 WR with me to record what felt like being in a 60’s road movie. I have come to appreciate and count on the X-T2’s ruggedness, low light performance and unparalleled film simulations. There I was like a kid in a candy store, shooting until I was out of batteries. And indeed the Four Aces are a set built in the desert, so real that people frequently try to gas up at this make belief road stop.
How about a few more favorite photographs of yours? What do you enjoy shooting the most?
Besides capturing the empty landscapes and endless skies I encounter on my road trips across the United States I very much enjoy my latest, long-term, project “Picturing Evanston” for which I shoot environmental portraits of the many artists in my community. Photographing people was, up until last year, pretty much the one thing that I had avoided all my years of shooting. It was time to get out of my comfort zone and I decided to get as close and intimate as possible with this new work. I am glad I did.
Anything particular you would like to see coming from Fujifilm in the upcoming months and years?
I have to say that the X-T2 leaves me feeling pretty complete. I eyed the GFX 50R, but it starts feeling heavy and more cumbersome again. Instead of a medium format how about full frame?
Thanks a lot, Joerg!