I was about to purchase a camera to start a professional career in photography. So why would I choose an Fujifilm X30 camera when no one getting serious about photography really considers it. And why should they, as we are all programmed to believe we need more, bigger and better. My story and love affair with the X30 unfolds.
I studied digital electronics and was an engineer for a few years. So I love the details and technicality and how to take advantage of technology. I have been an enthusiastic photographer for 37 years now, since I got my first Kodak Instamatic 104 film camera with the pop on flashcube. Since then I have had a few to mention Canon EOS Film and digital +-22 and 8years ago, Olympus +-15years ago and Panasonic with Leica lens +-5years ago.
So a year ago I decided to follow my passion and become a professional photographer, leaving the corporate world of sales and marketing. It has been tough yet enriching and I have learnt more in this year as a professional than the previous 37 years of photography.
My journey and eXperience with the X30 started at the same time, and together we have not only paid the bills but we have captured some great moments. When I started looking at investing in a camera I was not just going to have fun with, but produce professional material for various markets, serious consideration and effort was made in the selection.
Why then did I consider the X30?
I was fortunate a few years ago to connect with a great photographer Thorsten von Overgaard who was doing a workshop in Cape Town for Leica. I simply could not afford the cameras or the workshop but learnt so much on the day as a model with an enquiring mind. A rangefinder appealed to me, a single little camera that was unassuming, un-intimidating, and yet such a powerful tool for creating photographs that move us.
The search ensued going through all relevant brands when I came on to the Fujifilm X20, now this looked more like it. Similar to the little XQ1 I bought and took to Portugal with me that I loved so much, unfortunately stolen shortly after returning. The X20 had developed a name, and what drew me was that it was in essence a rangefinder, somewhat compact yet a good weighted handful.
A few moments later I was looking at the X30 which had just recently replaced the X20, as I researched all the reviews and tests done I saw some simple yet pertinent points. It was indeed a versatile camera that took accurate, sharp photographs with great color reproduction.
Each tester confirmed an excellent EVF that let the photographer see accurately and digitally the composition of the digital photo they composed. Now most of them also made mention that the sensor was a tad smaller being only 2/3-Inch and only 12 million pixels. Now in a time where 50 million pixels ruled.
What was I thinking?
I was thinking how well this tool the X30 used its balance with the sensor, processors, great lenses, design (which it won 2 awards for) and not least its system to enable its user great potential.
Wanting to focus mostly on the photography and less on the technology, with a tool that enabled me to manually control the subtleties, which would impart my creativity into the photograph.
I had recognized 2 perhaps 3 areas I would feel comfortable in and able to gain momentum to make my freelancing photography career a success. They where among others architecture and the property market, as well as events and portraiture. So I enquired and looked into what was required by these markets and could I deliver with the X30. Yes, yes and a resounding yes.
All required more skill by the photographer than by the specifications of the camera. None where doing fine art printing bigger than an A1 and most have requirements of less than 4000pix L.
Resolute I was in search for my new X30 in silver I loved the retro look and feel. A call to the local agent in Cape Town and Hein put me onto a reseller with great service and stock. After collecting my camera I ordered an extra battery and charger and bought a great think TANK bag to hold it all on me comfortably with my phone, cleaner and a few odds and ends.
The Journey has been amazing, and during the first few weeks I was shooting everything available with all the various filters and selections. Now! I wanted control, yes to create my own interpretation using as many manual settings possible and letting something beyond the technology into the creation.
eXploring so many of the settings in so many various conditions and environments, I have shot a LARGE amount of photographs in the past year. I have finely tuned what I do for my regular assignments to continually improve and excel in excellence.
Taking on new assignments I do my homework. I scope it out, perhaps read info see a video then emulate the shoot as much as I can prior. This way I know where the parameters are and mostly what I am capturing constructively, and what the client’s expectations are. Then I consider what I like now and what I want to improve on.
I am so honored and grateful to share my photography and my expression of the moment viewed and captured. The nuances and how I integrate with my camera, my apple pc, my software are a culmination of a lifetimes experience in different environments with different people and in various countries.
I love sharing how personal creating a photograph is, and how much of an eXtension it is of my physicality, together with the intentions and attention to the moment I compose.
As I run full manual 99.8% and so enjoy setting each element while feeling the space and light while creating. I find sharing the F-stop or shutter speed or any one of those 6 to 8 elements used in creating that photograph in that moment and space with that particular light a foreign concept. I simply don’t remember and I stopped looking at that history a while ago. I have accepted to try re-create something else somewhere else by someone else is folly.
I know my tools intimately and have a deep respect for those who master these. Naturally when I compose I am familiar with the guidelines I have experienced and use these constantly before fine tuning in that moment. Photography is like life for me, we need to eXperience it ourselves. By going out and applying myself and reviewing my work constantly, like a maturing art, the eXpression is timeless.