Pål Laukli is a Norwegian commercial photographer who has worked with some of the best-known brands in the world. His photography has a reputation for its distinct use of both light and shadow and is often described as playful, clean, and almost minimalistic. Pål took the FUJIFILM GFX 100 back to basics in the studio to see how it performed straight-out-of-camera on a fashion and floral shoot in his elegantly simple style.
Pål’s gift for image-making has made him one of Norway’s most sought-after photographers. However, despite his innate talent, it wasn’t always his ambition. “I actually wanted to become a journalist,” reveals Pål, who realized where his true passion lay after seeing some remarkable things while visiting Kurdistan with his dad, an aid worker based in Northern Iraq. “Following that trip, I became more interested in photography. Then, at high school, I was allowed by the headmaster to start a photography club and build a darkroom,” he adds.
From then on, photography was Pål’s passion and he eventually quit studying journalism to become a photographer’s assistant. “After assisting some great photographers for a few years, I started working at a lab, printing black and whites for professional photographers,” says Pål. “During this time, I learned a lot from studying other people’s work. Back then, the person who got to know the secrets of a shoot was the guy doing the printing!”
From there, Pål began taking photographs professionally – and the rest is history.
Pål is an established FUJIFILM user, with a big collection of X Series and GFX system gear. “Camera-wise, I’m all FUJIFILM,” he tells us. “From the GFX system, I love the GF110mmF2 R LM WR lens. But I also carry the GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR, the GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro, and the GF250mmF4 R LM OIS WR. For the X Series there are so many options, I usually bring a whole bag!”
He mainly finds himself using the X Series for video and the GFX system for stills, so he already holds larger format photography close to his heart. “I love the bokeh it allows for, but also the high resolution and color depth is very special,” he says, going on to tell us why he chose this particular shoot to test the GFX 100’s capabilities. “We did a fashion/floral shoot in Oslo. We figured the colours and structures of the flowers, and the skin tones of the model, would put the camera to the test. The images you see here are actually straight out of the camera, with no retouching whatsoever,” he tells us.
Pål’s setup for this shoot included the FUJIFILM GFX 100 camera paired with the GF63mmF2.8 R WR, GF110mmF2 R LM WR, and GF250mmF4 R LM OIS WR lenses. In addition, he used Profoto Pro-10 flashes, ring lights, wind machines, and some custom-made set walls.
Pål tells us that his first impressions of the camera were positive. “I thought it was really something else. Even though this was a pre-production model, the camera still performed excellently,” he says. And as he began to explore the GFX 100’s advanced functionality, he became more convinced.
“An hour into the shoot, I realized that this is probably the best camera ever made,” Pål reveals. “The only real challenge we had was keeping more than 10,000 orchids fresh in a hot studio! Other than that, everything went smoothly.”
Pål specifically highlighted a number of GFX 100 features that stood out on the shoot. These included the accuracy of the Hybrid Phase Detection autofocus, the speed of the X-Processor 4 quad-core processor, the intuitive controls and comfortable ergonomics, the outstanding color reproduction, and, of course, the high-resolution 102 megapixel back-side illuminated sensor.
He also highlighted the GFX 100’s 4K/30p video capabilities as an important addition. “The film function is the deciding factor,” says Pål. “In addition to creating amazing stills, it’s a joy to film with.”
In fact, Pål believes the GFX 100 will revolutionize the industry. “The GFX 100 will break the high-resolution sector. There is nothing that compares with it,” he enthuses. “Every now and then, a new product comes along that really excites you. This is one of them. I think Fujifilm has created the ultimate camera for now. It will really change the way people work.”
Pål Laukli is a compensated FUJIFILM X-Photographer. To see more of Pål’s work, visit his website.