Last Flowers: A Personal Project With the Fujifilm X100V

· 18.October.2021

After five years of hard work, I fulfilled one of my biggest dreams, to be named as an X-Photographer by Fujifilm Chile. It’s a story that began with a small Fujifilm X10 in my pocket, through which I learned the love I have for photography and cameras. For many people it’s “not the camera, it’s the photographer”, but in my case it’s different.

I know that most of those who are reading understand perfectly what I mean. In these years I have tried many brands but none gave me what Fujifilm gives: that desire to always have it with you and to create new projects – inspiration in every sense.

My first project was published on the FujiLove website in 2017 and was called ‘The Sound of Silence’. I showed the way I heard the city using a long exposure and intentional camera movement to represent my hearing problem.

Since 2019 we have been affected by a pandemic that has destroyed normality for the majority of the world’s population. Social distancing creates uncertainty about the future, leading to increased anxiety and depression. Losing physical contact with our family members and friends, getting away from everything and isolating ourselves has created, for many, a state of constant depression. At the same time, this has forced us to face our fears or insecurities, strengthened us and called us to leave our comfort zone, daring us to create different things.

From the beginning it was torturous, leaving the routine of going out to photograph every corner of the city and share with other artists. Stopping creating content is very complex, especially when most of us use Instagram, one of the most demanding platforms. Time passes and does not stop, the camera is not the same in hand, a different environment is felt, it is time to look for an alternative form of escape, to create a channel between the emotional world and the most intimate of nature, to learn to be aware of who we are and where we come from.

Inspired by the song ‘Last Flowers’ by Radiohead, this photographic series was made in the heart of the Valdivian forest using a long exposure technique and the intentional movement of the camera, which in turn represents my hearing problem in the image, similar to the effect achieved in my ‘Sound of Silence’ project.

Everything seemed simpler in my head; I always thought it would be the same as photographing on the street, just with more people, but it wasn’t. It was the first time that I was going to portray nude bodies. The first thing was to find the right people for this project, and after that to find the perfect place, not far from the city and with many trees, before finally taking the photos.

This time I decided to bring all my gear, including my Fujifilm X-T4 and my beloved X100V. I took some initial shots with the X-T4, XF16-80mmF4 and my Godox V1 in hand. The reality was not very comfortable. To create the image I used the movement of the camera and a long exposure and the weight of the camera and lens didn’t help much.

After several attempts, I decided to take the photos with the 100V and everything changed; the movement of the camera was more fluid and natural. After this, I continued using the 100V for the other sessions. The second and third sessions were all faster, as I knew what to avoid and what location would serve me the most.

I realized that I prefer to use the X-T4 in the studio for jobs where I need the backup of a second SD card and the possibility of changing lenses, depending on the work to be done. I use my X100V when I need to use more creativity for personal photography projects or where I have to go unnoticed by people.

Let me leave you with some final thoughts that I have on the project…

Uncertainty and fear of the unknown move us to seek an escape route and rethink the current task, find a different way to live with the imposed restrictions. This physical and social distancing reinforces the ‘urban sadness syndrome’ isolating us more and more every day. We are no longer safe in the concrete castle that sickens and kills us day by day. In this constant search, I find again my home among the trees, my refuge in the Valdivian jungle. I exchanged large groups of people on the street for a much more intimate project where bodies connect with nature. The speed and constant noise of the city are transformed into calm and silence accompanied by voices that create a perfect harmony between human beings and nature. In nature, we disconnect and make it easier for our obsessions, fears and anguish to dissipate.

I am currently working on my second photography book with the collaboration of a great Chilean-French singer and on the creation of 2 photographic projects that I hope to share with you later.

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