Fine art photographer Claire Rosen uses FUJINON GF30mmF5.6 T/S to take a different approach to tilt-shift photography
For Claire Rosen, photography is about escapism. Her dreamlike images transport the viewer into a fantasy world that offers a break from the monotony of everyday life.
“It’s an extraordinary way to see the world – with your eyes open looking for things that are unusual and interesting. I would much rather do that than pretty much anything else,” Claire tells us.
With a desire to spark imagination through her images, Claire saw FUJINON GF30mmF5.6 T/S as the perfect opportunity to explore new ways of creating.
“It’s not just about tilting and shifting and moving your perspective around,” she explains, “but creating distortion, using the lens to form something magical that helps transport your viewer past a traditional 2D image.”
A Different View
Heavily influenced by the life and work of writer and conservationist Beatrix Potter, Claire paired GF30mmF5.6 T/S with FUJIFILM GFX100S to raise awareness of conservation using her unique fine art photographic style.
“I’m a big Beatrix Potter fan, I find her inspiring,” beams Claire. “And here on the farm where I live, we’re surrounded by about 1,000 acres of conserved land. So, I liked the idea of using the same sort of aesthetics and stories to talk about land conservation in an interesting, more whimsical way.
“I tried to pick scenarios that would allow me to either distort reality or increase it.”
These included windows into miniature worlds where guinea pigs tend gardens and two bad mice smash crockery in a doll’s house; wider frames of magical encounters with unicorns in high-ceilinged barns; and sprawling panoramas of dreamy, undulating landscapes.
In all cases, Claire found GF30mmF5.6 T/S’s wide 24mm equivalent focal length and advanced tilt-shift functionality to be ideal. The lens offers up to 15mm of perspective control and up to 90° of revolving tilt-shift control using a precision-engineered dial for the most minute adjustments.
“The guinea pig images are made from a very low angle, so I used the tilt-shift feature to make sure the surrounding structures look straight,” says Claire. “But I also used it to swing out some of the focus on the edges. This helps draw you in, so you feel like you are looking into this little world.”
GF30mmF5.6 T/S also features a built-in sensor, which tracks and records adjustments to assist lens cast calibration (LCC) tools. When combined with such precise perspective correction, the result is a more streamlined post-production workflow.
For Claire, this was particularly apparent when creating panoramas – and further complemented by the lens’s built-in tripod mount, which ensured the optical axis always remained centered.
“It was great to stay in one place and simply swing this way and that,” she recalls. “Then it was super easy to stitch together in post-production – with minimal distortion or editing required.
“I love the wider aspect ratio for image making. Your eye travels around it differently, so you get to travel through the picture in a distinct way.”
Maintaining Creative Freedom
Claire’s style of photography is such that she often finds herself on location in busy, challenging conditions. Equipment that is not only robust, but intuitive, is essential.
She tells us GF30mmF5.6 T/S – and the wider GFX System – provided her with just that. “The thing I like about Fujifilm gear is that it’s the last thing I have to think about,” she smiles.
“I care about the story and props – and building these worlds,” she continues. “There’s always a lot going on – it’s often chaos! So, the last thing I want to worry about is whether my camera is going to work, or navigating complicated menu systems to figure out where something is.
“GF30mmF5.6 T/S is robust and well-made – it’s a solid piece of glass. It’s sharp, the bokeh is smooth, and the fall-off is lovely. When combined with GFX100S, it’s so easy to use. The files always look great and the color is beautiful.”
Claire would love to continue her experience with GF30mmF5.6 T/S – it has opened up lots of creative opportunities.
“It’s interesting to have that much control and flexibility over the way you think about perspective and framing,” she asserts.
“Expanding your canvas beyond what’s in the frame without having to move, then being able to stitch that together so easily, was useful.
“The depth you can get is incredible, in terms of highlighting and showcasing all the little details of the set design – whether building miniature sets or big ones.”
Claire concludes by revealing that she feels GF30mmF5.6 T/S has applications beyond what you would traditionally expect for a tilt-shift lens.
“From a purely technical standpoint, this lens is going to make the lives of landscape photographers and anybody doing interiors a million times easier,” she extols.
“However, I think anybody who wants to push the boundaries of perspective and create surreal images has an opportunity here as well.
“This lens will perform excellently in both directions. On one side, for creating technically accurate images; and then, conversely, the exact opposite – for messing with perspective in interesting ways.”