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03.01.2018

GFX Panorama & Street Photography by Takashi Nakagawa

Takashi Nakagawa

Born in 1981 in Kyoto. Travels around the world for street and documentary photography. His works are published through various international media such as National Geographic. He has won National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year and other international photographic competition. 

Ever since my first trip 6 years ago, I have been fascinated with Iceland and have constantly been going back to take more photographs. I’ve travelled around the world and have visited numerous countries, but there is something special about Iceland. For my last trip, I travelled with the GFX to capture Iceland in winter. This was a trip to learn the people, culture, and history of Iceland and find personal connection with the country.

It was during my first trip to Iceland that I instinctively felt I needed to capture the scene in panoramic view, but the only available option back then was to trim the images in post production. (I’ve been in the market for TX-1 and TX-2 film cameras by FUJIFILM, but they are very much sought after and rare!)
When I learned that GFX had 65:24 aspect ratio, I immediately knew that this was the camera that I’ve always wanted. The panoramic view is displayed in EVF and on LCD monitor. I can get the composition right at the scene. I have no worries about the image quality of GFX with its large sensor and high pixel count.

The weather resistant structure is also an important aspect for Iceland. This is located almost in the Arctic and the weather changes dramatically. The rain pours like no other, the winds blow at 30m/s, and you can barely see anything in heavy snow. GFX turned out to be a good choice as it worked well under all these conditions. Another thing you need to be careful in Iceland is the temperature change in winter. The glass can easily get fogged due to the drastic temperature change from outdoor to indoor. The rule of thumb is to keep all glasses in a bag to adapt the temperature change. From time to time, I had the GFX on me, but not inside the bag, but I did not encounter any problems. The glasses did not get fogged.I’ve had other brand glasses getting fogged even when handled it with care in the past. This shows the built quality of GFX and its toughness of the weather resistant structure.

A lot of people think GFX is mainly for landscape, fashion, or commercial photography. But, this camera is great great for street and documentary photography, too. The medium format broadens creative expressions. You can see the rich detail of not only the subject but also of the background. It adds depth to the photo.

The GFX is a medium format camera, but is compact and lightweight enough that I can take it anywhere. With this trip, I found new possibilities with the GFX.