It’s hard not to be smitten: the GFX 50S takes everything we love about Fuji files—the color, the rendering...and it adds a huge sensor behind all of it. But what we get out of this combination isn’t just a high megapixel count—which frankly, is great but not all that important to me—what we get is the look of a larger sensor: the dynamic range, the detail, the incredibly smooth fall-off. It’s something I used to dream about...that I now get to work with everyday.
The images from this camera are insanely sharp—of course— but that doesn’t tell the entire story: more importantly, these files are precise. Resolving power counts. And on a shoot such as this one, with a product as beautifully and meticulously engineered as the Lexus LC 500, that precision very much came into play. The lines and curves became clearer, the textures richer and more vivid. I’ve said this before...but there’s a hush to GFX images. And I know referencing sound may seem peculiar when describing visual content, but it’s a kind of quiet rumbling of power—perfectly synced to the ethos of this particular car.
I’d done a few sketches beforehand and already had some ideas laid out for this project—some composition concepts, a few lighting setups (I was familiar with this model from another recent assignment for Lexus Canada). All of it became clearer once we had scouted the location, a day before: I’d be using natural light for high key shots but would also need to use strobes, ideally with high speed sync, in order to tame all of that ambient and shape some of the images further. The GFX 50S delivered on all counts.
At a certain point during most shoots, I try to distance myself from the subject. Not to disengage but to try and see beyond that first superficial layer. I want my brain to stop imposing preconceived notions on whatever or whomever it is I’m shooting. It’s like squinting your eyes: eventually all you’re left with are forms...areas of light and darkness. A collage of surfaces. And in this moment, I want my tools to disappear: they should blend into that rhythm and get out of the way. I shot the bulk of this work with the GF63mmF2.8 R WR (I remain a 50mm guy at heart). But the GF 120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro was a huge surprise: I grabbed it for details and had trouble letting go. Stunning optics, both. The EVF Tilt-Adapter was also a revelation, creating a very different point of view while shooting, yet still feeling natural. At every step of the way however, that all-important flow remained unbroken.
As I write this, I’m almost six months in with the GFX 50S—I purchased it as soon as it became available. I still use and love the X Series cameras for both paid and personal work. But medium format has opened up a brave new world for me. Possibilities, novel beauty...a fresh, bold palette to paint life with.
My name is Patrick La Roque and I'm a freelance photographer based in Montreal, Canada. I shoot people, spaces, street, products; I shoot to expose a narrative, no matter the subject.
I'm a founding member of the KAGE COLLECTIVE, an international group of independent photographers focused on visual essays and documentary projects, and operate a studio specializing in portrait and commercial work.
But at the end of the day, I'm really just a guy looking to tell a story.