The sea at the back
I am Kristin Bethge, a photographer engaged in journalistic and portrait work. My photographs have been published in numerous international magazines – including the Zeit Magazine, M Le Monde and the SZ Magazine. I live and work in Berlin as well as Rio de Janeiro.
The very first FUJIFILM camera I acquired was the X100T. I used it to photograph my bachelor’s thesis project in 2015 in Rio de Janeiro. It comprised a photo series featuring 4 residents of the Favela Maré. The FUJIFILM X-T2 was my choice when I was commissioned for my first photography assignments in Brazil for international magazines. I took the X-T2 into the Amazon rain forest to produce photographic reports, as well as to the mega metropolis of São Paulo as well as to Guinea-Bissau, the Cape Verde and to Europe.
The new FUJIFILM X-T5 was my companion when I produced a photography project covering adolescents and their identity on the West African island of São Tomé. For this project, I created portraits of youth on the island. In conjunction with this project, I was especially interested in learning more about young people: Who are they, what activities do they engage in, what are their dreams and what are their plans for the future? And I also researched the question as to which trends make it to this islands and which don’t. I examined the role the Internet plays in this context.
On São Tomé I had the privilege to be able to focus entirely on my photography and the youth, thanks to the fact that working with the FUJIFILM X-T5 is so intuitive. In every situation I encountered, I was able to fully rely on the camera. Just like its predecessors, it feels comfortable in the hand and some of its control features have even been improved. The auto focus of the X-T5 is highly precise and works very quickly, even in the most complex lighting conditions.
Another thing I love about the FUJIFILM X-T5 is the color reproduction. The colors are brilliant, warm and highly authentic. This is enormously important to me since color compositions and contrasts play an important role in my images. To date, I have not been able to find another camera with such excellent color reproduction.
I also appreciate the fact that the camera is compact, quiet and understated. This is the deciding factor that ensures that the protagonists, males and females, all feel comfortable when we work on portraits and the presence of the small camera does not make them shy away from being photographed. I really love to take pictures with the FUJIFILM X-T5. It emphasizes my approach to the work and the philosophy behind it.
The body of the FUJIFILM X-T5 is actually even smaller as that of the FUJIFILM X-T4. At the same time, this is yet another relevant characteristic in my eyes, it is lightweight. Especially when I shoot reports over several days, this is a critical factor. It is easy to bring along one or two additional zoom lenses besides the one that is already mounted on the camera – all in a small backpack. It never gets too heavy, even after carrying the equipment with me for multi-day projects. Especially if I have to walk a lot, I am very aware of every gram I do not have to haul along and I am grateful. I photographed most of the São Tomé project using two prime lenses – the XF56mm F1.2 R WR and the XF33mm F1.4 R LM WR.
Every time I work with this camera, I am fascinated by its ability to deliver fantastic image quality with its new 40 megapixel sensor. For me, the outstanding image quality the X-T5 produces translates into an opportunity to advance to a superior league.
There is one thing that may be even more important: Thanks to the X-T5 I never even think twice whether I should take a picture of a scenario or not, which would often be the case with larger and heavier cameras. I photograph because it’s fun as well as comfortable and relaxed to work with the X-T5.
Very likely, the FUJIFILM X-T5 is the camera that is the best fit for me because it helps me to see, and more importantly, feel. It’s much less about technology, it is the intuition in photography and that’s what I like so much about the FUJIFILM X-T5.