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09.13.2017

How I Use My Cameras by Xyza Cruz Bacani

Xyza Cruz Bacani

Xyza Cruz Bacani (b.1987) is a Filipina Street and Documentary photographer based in Hong Kong who uses her work to raise awareness about under-reported stories. Having worked as a second-generation domestic worker in Hong Kong for almost a decade, she is particularly interested in the intersection of labour migration and human rights. She is one of the Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellows in 2015, has exhibited worldwide, and won awards in photography. She is also the recipient of a resolution passed by the Philippines House of Representatives in her honour, HR No.1969. Xyza is one of the Asia 21 Young Leaders (Class of 2018), the WMA Commission grantee in 2017, a Pulitzer Center grantee, and an Open Society Moving Walls 2017 grantee. She is one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the World 2015, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2016, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016, and author of the book We Are Like Air.

I had my first experience with a mirrorless camera three years ago with the FUJIFILM X-E2. I saved my money to get one because I was drawn to its classic design. As a woman photographer, I enjoyed the style and lightness of the X-E2.
A year after, I became one of the FUJIFILM X-Photographers around the world. It is one of the proudest moments in my career. I travel a lot for work and assignments and the Fujifilm cameras never failed me.

My main camera has been the FUJIFILM X-Pro2 up until the much anticipated medium format was introduced. The FUJIFILM GFX 50S gives me the confidence to produce high quality files that can be printed in large format. While most of my work is in black and white, the GFX 50S made me fall in love with colors again. The unique color palette is something that only Fujifilm can produce, because of its long history with film. Most of my work now are taken with the GFX 50S. Sometimes, I even use it for street.

The X100F, on the other hand, is a tiny camera packed with amazing functions. It is my everyday camera for street photography. People do not notice me when I am photographing them – making me a ninja. This camera is fast and invisible.
I also enjoy the fact that I do not need to worry about my cameras under bad weather. The GFX is a weather resistant camera and I’ve used the other Fujifilm cameras without worries, rain or shine. I love that these cameras let me do my work and enjoy photography daily.
On a recent trip to Japan, I went to a Mosque on assignment to shoot for a paper. I used my X100F on the first day and noticed that the people I am photographing are more relaxed because I was not using a big DSLR. In my line of work, it is critical to establish trust between the subject and I on the first day. I was able to get the access and take some intimate images with the X100F. It is compact, quiet and not intrusive on first day shoots yet it still gives me high quality images especially on print.