406 Days With the Fuji X100F

406 days ago my friends at Fujifilm asked me if I would like to be one of 50 Official Fuji X Photographers to beta test the new (at the time) Fuji X100F.

390 days ago the camera arrived.

12,942 frames later, I am still shooting 90% of my personal work with the X100F.  I simply love this camera.

Over the past few years I have worked with pre-production models of many Fuji products but, as a long time X100 series user, this was the camera that I was really looking forward to.  I, like many others, have tried to put into words what it is about this camera that inspires me so much; but to be honest, I still can’t.  The X100 series, and especially the X100F, really is the embodiment of the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.  I am very fortunate to also own an X-T2 and an X-Pro2, both incredibly capable cameras, but it is the X100F that I always reach for first unless I have a specific need for one of the other cameras.

Two years ago I wrote an article entitled, “What’s next for the Fuji X100T?”, in which I shared my wish list for the successor to that camera.  Earlier this year Fuji not only delivered, but surpassed everything that I had hoped for (other than weather sealing).  As I sit here, contemplating what I would love to see in the successor to the Fuji X100F, the truth is that the list is pretty small as the “F” ticks all of the boxes for me (key words:  “for me”).  Yes, I would like to see weather sealing come to the next generation of this camera, but I can also say that I have shot in rain with the X100F many times and have not had any problems.  I would like the ability to select the number of film simulations I can bracket (I usually only want two), and I would like to be able to save a RAW file alongside an Advanced Filter image.  Sure, we could always use faster autofocus, but there is nothing in this camera that is a barrier to creating the work I see in my head.   On the contrary, there is something elusive about it that inspires me to go out and make new work.  As many others have said before me:  this is definitely my desert island camera.

As I reflect back on this past year in my photographic life, I’d like to share two dozen images taken with the Fuji X100F (some that were posted in previous articles and some that haven’t been posted before).  The versatility of this camera never ceases to amaze me and I can’t wait to see what Fuji does next.

Do you shoot with an X100 series camera?  If so I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ian

 

Winter is Coming

I missed the transition from summer to fall this year.  I’m not sure how, but one day it was oppressively hot and the next day it wasn’t.  My September was busy, including a trip to Europe to teach a workshop in Amsterdam and to shoot some personal photography in Paris… maybe that is why I missed it.  Suddenly the peaceful calm of summer, with its long lazy days, was replaced by the chaos of the fall:  work, dance lessons for my daughter, business trips, family events, booking weddings and workshops for next year, etc.

The transition from fall to winter feels different though, I can feel the change this time;  the days are getting shorter, the skies darker, the weather colder and the rain is pounding down.  Soon it will officially be winter vacation for my daughter and wife (who is a teacher), Christmas will come, there will be more rain and, I am sure, snow.

Is this happening faster each year?  I swear it is, and I have to remind myself to savour each day, each experience, each memory.  I have to remind myself to be mindful and present so that it doesn’t pass by in the blink of an eye again like the end of summer did.  My life is pretty amazing, full of opportunity, but it is so easy to get swept down the river by the current if I’m not careful.  As they say, it is about the journey – not just the destination.

Here is a short photo essay I took last winter, with one or two images thrown in from the year before but re-processed in black and white.  It won’t be long until the world looks like this again and I can’t wait.  My cameras are ready.

96 Hours in Paris – Part Four

A few years ago my PTSD raised its ugly head, a hidden scar from years of working as a paramedic that plunged me into darkness.  The long process of healing, of becoming whole again, taught me a lot about mindfulness and purpose.  It led me to re-define my entire life, for the better.  In a strange way PTSD ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me because I, like many others before me, built a new life out of adversity.

This trip to Paris, which came on the heels of teaching a sold out workshop in Amsterdam, was a celebration of this new life in a way.  There is a saying you hear every now and then that goes something like “build a life that you don’t need to take a vacation from”.  That, right there, is exactly what I have done over the past few years.  On this trip I walked the streets of Paris for 96 hours, a camera in my hands, creating art.  Art that I will write about.  Art that will be sold as prints.  Art that I will share on stage during my presentations.  Art that I will use to support my workshops and the books I have in development.  Not art made on a vacation, but art made as part of the creative life that I built and choose to live.

And, to get to do it in Paris, a city that I love dearly, is a beautiful thing.  After all, Audrey Hepburn said it best:

“Paris is always a good idea!”

I hope you like the final set of images from this series.   I have really enjoyed processing them, and I am very thankful for all of the kind words and comments that they have received.  Sharing art is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Until next time!

Ian