Gear Inspiration Interviews

Learn from the X-Guys: Pilar Silvestre

· 19.December.2015

Here comes my second LEARN FROM THE X-GUYS interview. Today I am talking about shooting sports with Pilar Silvestre, official Fujifilm X-Photographer from Spain. Pilar is proving that sport photography with the Fuji X system is more than just “doable”.

Tomash: Many people still argue that the Fuji X system is not the best choice when it comes to sport and wildlife photography. You shoot sports a lot. Do you feel completely comfortable with your Fujifilm equipment or are there still things you would like Fujifilm to improve, which would help you even more?

Pilar: Before the X-T1, I owned the X-100 and X-Pro1 and since then, I was looking forward to Fujifilm fabricate more powerful tools to use for sports photography. With the arrival of the X-T1 I knew the time had come, I just had to wait for the arrival of a bright and fast lens, and they manufactured the XF 50-140mm. My time had come!!! I am very happy now. We must learn to know our cameras and squeeze everything we can, and they will give us very good results. I have no doubt that further improvements by Fuji will be a treat, but already today I can photograph happily.

Tomash: Could you share with us the camera settings for this particular shot (ISO, shutter speed, aperture)? Which camera and lens combination did you use here?




Pilar: Absolutely, here you go:




I wanted to test the new tracking approach, which I did with the X-T10, even with a short burst, because it had not yet reached the 4.0 firmware to the X-T1. I mainly use the 50-140mm lens, but occasionally I also grab my wide 10-24mm to achieve different results and images like this:



Tomash: You must be quite happy with all the recent improvements to the Fujifilm autofocusing system. Which of the focusing options are you using the most when it comes to shooting sports and why?

Pilar: I use the approach “track and release priority” in photographs of diving, because they freeze the action perfectly. I also use the same system in BMX jumps or photos of skaters. I always works brilliantly. In the photographs of Waterpolo I use the spot focus, because there is less lateral movements. I photograph with wide apertures (F2,8). I need accurate focus on the eyes, I can not let the focus be diverted to arms or simply capture splashing water droplets.

Tomash: Your street photographs are mainly black and white. Are you using one of the built-in film simulation modes or converting your photos into b&w in post processing?

Pilar: I never use the simulation modes. I have my own personal workflow in Lightroom, which I follow. I need only 20 seconds to make my photograph black and white. I know very well the use of the different commands and how to play with whites, lights, highlights, shadows, darks, blacks… all this makes an interesting combination to achieve your own custom results.

Tomash: Could you share with us your last three most favourite photographs?






Make sure you explore Pilar Sylvester’s work on her own website or visit her 500px portfolio.

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