I’ve worked as a photographer for the last 30 years, working on personal projects that have come to fruition in the form of books, exhibitions and audiovisual works. Most of my work is poetic in nature, focused on questioning the vision we have of the world, and almost always steering clear of narrative subjects, although sometimes, either to fulfill the requirements of an assignment or at my own initiative, I have also addressed other subjects though images.
Over a large part of these years, I used analog cameras, but for some time now I have used digital technology, convinced that it offers important advantages for my work. I follow the same philosophy as then when taking pictures. That’s why what I noticed the most at first were the differences in the camera itself. Analog cameras seemed more intuitive to me, simpler and more direct. They worked better as an extension of my eye and body.
That was until I got my first FUJIFILM X100. Ever since the first cameras in this series came out, I’ve been an enthusiastic user of all of them. They bring together all the best parts of analog cameras, such as the ease and speed of use through physical controls and the optional optical viewer, together with marvelous image quality and an incredibly compact size that makes them manageable and discreet. Even the texture of the image is similar to photographic film.
With each new model, I grew to appreciate all the improvements that were introduced, right up to the X100F, which stands out for its exceptional image quality, the speed of all the processes and in particular, its focus; its low battery consumption and the various added functions that have come along over time.
I’ve worked with them especially when traveling, a situation for which they are undoubtedly ideal, although they have also been a way to bring back the habit of carrying a camera with me in everyday life, which was a normal practice in my early years. They’ve traveled with me to Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Iran, among many other places.
I have a particularly intense memory of my work with these cameras in Lalibela, a place in the heart of Ethiopia known for an impressive complex of orthodox temples carved into solid rock, connected by an intricate network of tunnels and galleries. It’s one of the most impressive places in the country, and probably on the African continent.
Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated every year in January in these temples, with a series of acts and rituals preceded by a vigil in which tens of thousands of people wrapped in white blankets gather during the night to read the Bible and wait for dawn on Christmas morning.
Witnessing that night was one of the most extraordinary experiences I can recall. At times, I felt like I was living in a dream. The light was so dim in many places that I could barely see with my own eyes. In this situation, taking photos with an X100 series camera made possible what others would not have been able to do. Its electronic shutter, absolutely silent, its small size and magnificent performance in high sensitivities worked miracles.
In addition to the X100 series, I have used other FUJIFILM cameras like the X-Pro2 and the GFX 50R; each of them is excellent in its own field. But being fully compatible and in some ways complementary to them, the X100F is a camera that has been able to keep me in love with this series over the years, making it one I always want to have on hand.