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Christian Bobst (Switzerland)

Christian Bobst (b. 1971, Switzerland) originally studied graphic design. For almost 15 years he worked as a internationally awarded Art- and Creative Director for major advertising agencies in Switzerland and Germany before he decided to work freelance and move on into documentary photography in 2010. Since then he covered stories in over 20 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, North- and South America. His pictures were published in Magazines and Newspapers such as NZZ, die Zeit, Huffington Post and Geo. Since 2014 he is a member of 13 Photo in Z├╝rich.


The FUJIFILM X100S was my first Fujifilm camera. For 7 years I have been relying on Nikon DSLRs for photojournalisim and travel photography. I would never have thought that the FUJIFILM X System would become a serious competitor to my DSLRs. I started to use the X100S professionally when I needed to work in areas where a big bulky camera would have drawn too much attention. Soon I discovered, that the silent shutter of the X100S is also a great advantage when shooting portraits. It helps to build up a more intimate atmosphere in a quiet surrounding. The Images 01 to 06 in the gallery are a few examples of some of the first portraits I shot with the X100S and X-Pro1 in some shaks in the township of Katutura in Namibia.
Later I replaced my X-Pro1 with the X-T1 for situations where I would need different focal lenghts and a flippable screen for low or high angle shots. The X100S and the X-T1 are my favorite tools whenever I want to travel light and without drawing too much attention. Further, the Wi-Fi Function and the lightweight of the X-T1 and my new X100T allows me to put my camera on a monopod and control it with my smartphone, so I can shoot perspectives I was not able to shoot before. I used that technique when visiting the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia during the Meskel Festival (Images 07-18 in the gallery). I wanted to preserve the gloomy atmosphere of the rock churches, therefore I was shooting at available light. It was so dark that I had to push the camera sensitivity up to 6400 ISO sometimes, even though I was using fast prime lenses such as the XF14mmF2.8, XF18mmF2, the XF23mmF1.4 and the XF35mmF1.4. Fortunately the construction of the X-Trans sensor produces a natural looking grain which looks pleasant on large prints, so I was not too worried about noise, even though I was aware that the grain would be well visible.
I shoot RAW files and I use Lightroom in combination with Alien Skin Exposure for my post production workflow.
My newest tool from Fujifilm will be the XF16-55mmF2.8 zoom, which will allow me to work under rugged weather conditions or in sandy deserts without having to worry about damage, one more reason to leave my good, old bulky DSLRs at home and enjoy traveling light weight while keeping a low profile.