GF30mmF5.6 T/S and GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro: Interior Life
Architectural lifestyle photographer Renée Kemps finds a creative home in FUJINON GF30mmF5.6 T/S and GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro
Renée Kemps seeks to document a sense of place. Beyond the natural world or human behaviour, where many other image makers find their interest, it is the spaces we create and choose to live that interest her.
“I felt so drawn to photography,” she begins. “I couldn’t really speak in words, I find that difficult, but visually I could capture a feeling. Images felt right. You can transport someone with an image. They can look at it and feel something, or be pulled towards a place.”
After beginning in food photography, Renée quickly settled into her true calling.
“I told myself, if you want to learn more about all the essential elements of photography, the easiest thing is to build mini scenes around something available daily: food” the creative continues. “That got a little bit out of hand,” she laughs. “After a few years, I got invited to New York for a photography award, but I didn’t want to be a food photographer. I didn’t feel connected to that.
“I realised what I really loved was playing with light, textures, and compositions. I found that in architecture and interiors. Over the past eight years, that’s developed.”
Finding Perspective in Architecture Photography
Individuality is the heart of Renée’s work and having built her own style around it, she urges others to trust their instincts. Most recently, she’s had a pair of new FUJINON lenses to shape her unique view. Presented with the opportunity to use FUJINON GF30mmF5.6 T/S and GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro, she went about her photography process with all-new capabilities.
“The most beautiful thing is that every photographer will get completely different work, even at the same location. I think it takes a lot of time and self-development to understand that, though,” Renée explains. “There’s something in a space, a property or architecture, that really only speaks to you. Focus on that individual perspective. Personally, I love intimacy in my images, but there’s also elegance and fragility.
“What I love in my existing GF prime lenses is that I have some options to give me a wide perspective and others to give me beautiful, detailed frames. I think that’s really nice to carry over into GF30mmF5.6 T/S and GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro. It’s quite unusual to have a telephoto tilt-shift lens. Often, they’re only made super wide, which limits you. I think this variety is beautiful to have, because for me and a lot of other people, it lets us apply tilt-shift benefits to so many different things. Partnered with the shorter lens, you have an incredible range. You can play around and take a whole different approach to scenes.”
Architectural Photography with Tilt Shift Lenses
Architecture is an ideal genre for the practical benefits of a tilt-shift lens. While there’s plenty of creativity to be had, perspective correction remains first and foremost among the lens’s uses.
“Straight lines are so important. It’s always the main thing to consider, whether it’s interior or exterior architecture. It’s the first thing and last thing I check,” Renée reveals. “It needs to be correct. Of course, when we show a house or a space, it has to be straight, because that’s how it’s built in reality, more often than not.
“The main issue is when we photograph details. I’m often working with a slightly downwards perspective, onto, let’s say, furniture. You’ll have a corner of a table, a window, and a wall – and all those different lines have to be straight. We can do that in post, but then we have to back up significantly, so that when we digitally straighten out the lines, it doesn’t completely warp perspective, and because this process crops significantly. You lose around a quarter of an image. The other thing is, it worries clients, because when they see the image on your camera, before it’s been through post-production, it doesn’t look correct.
“With a tilt-shift lens, it’s incredible, because you can fix that perspective in the moment. If you have that downwards angle, you simply tilt the lens upwards, and lines become straight. You get to keep your whole file and it looks perfect without editing. That’s such a big difference.
“Again, my style of architectural photography isn’t traditional. I don’t necessarily want to show the entire space. It leaves room for imagination and mystery. But for photographers including even more space, with even more lines and more complex perspectives, the benefits of tilt-shift go even further.”
The Benefits of FUJINON GF30mmF5.6 T/S and GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro
Despite specialised functionality, usability remained paramount in the design of GF30mmF5.6 T/S and GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro. Across both lenses, the direction of tilt and shift functionality can be altered by ±90°, while rotational adjustment allows the movement direction of the tilt and shift functionality to be set from orthogonal to parallel at 0°, 30°, 60°, and 90°.
“Both lenses are so well made,” Renée enthuses. “The dials are so smooth. And they’re really a pleasure to work with, because they’re so detailed yet easy to operate. I love the rotating function because it’s incredibly easy to move between landscape and portrait orientation.
“I’m always grateful for this level of design because it makes your kit work for you. You get so comfortable that you know exactly how to use your creative tools, and exactly what they’ll give you, which is very important in photography. Your images are an extension of you, so you want your camera and lenses to be an extension of you too, because that’s the only way you can create in your own specific way.”
Using FUJIFILM GFX100 II for Architecture Photography
GF30mmF5.6 T/S and GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro weren’t the only new tools Renée had to create with, however. Both lenses were attached to the groundbreaking FUJIFILM GFX100 II body – offering astounding 102-megapixel quality with the rapid functionality of X-Processor 5.
It’s image quality above all else that serves Renée’s creative vision, and GFX System’s new addition reaffirms the beginnings of her large format love affair.
“For the first few years of my career, I used a full-frame DSLR, and I enjoyed it, but the one thing I kept experiencing was lack of quality,” the photographer notes. “I took a job producing a billboard campaign and this camera just didn’t live up to it. I noticed I needed a system that could offer me much more quality, but also usability and a range of lenses.
“I started using GFX System through FUJIFILM UK’s loan scheme, which was great, because when I had the biggest jobs booked, I could arrange the kit I needed. I upgraded my own camera and lenses as soon as I could, and I went straight for FUJIFILM GFX100S and four different primes.
“GFX100 II is better than ever. You’re a composer of your images, which does mean retouching and colour correcting, or cropping further to get your perfect composition. When you photograph a property, space can become a challenge. The spot you love can be an awkward one. So, having enough sensor quality to crop with is important. With GFX100 II, the files are so huge and beautiful, you can do whatever you want to them.
“With interiors and architecture, often it’s a beautiful, slow process. You’re framing and taking your time. You’re setting up exactly what you want. I feel that in the field I’m working in, you don’t need much apart from quality kit and really good files.”
Renée’s final thoughts on GF30mmF5.6 T/S and GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro continue this idea – doubling as an important reminder that great care leads not only to better imagery, but a more enjoyable process along the way.
“I could make every single image during a considered job like this with a tilt-shift lens. When you need to run out and photograph a different set-up in the space of two minutes, between your main shots, it’s nice to keep the greater efficiency of a traditional prime lens. But I also feel what I really experienced with GF30mmF5.6 T/S and GF110mmF5.6 T/S Macro is that they actually push you to be a bit more mindful about what you document, which is a good thing,” she concludes.
“They make you slow down a little. Sometimes, you just end up running around a property photographing everything all at once, because it looks so good. With this pair, you can really say: ‘This is the corner I want to document, and I want to have it perfect.’ You live in that moment, and that’s where you can create your best work.”