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05.02.2017Valerie Jardin

X100F: A Reiteration of Pure Joy

Valerie Jardin

Photography changed my life forever. The day I picked up a camera I became a storyteller. Photography is my passion, my obsession, my addiction. I live and breathe in pixels! My passion for humankind drives me to shoot mostly street photography. I thrive on searching and waiting for just the right moment when a story unfolds in a single frame. I also look to shoot the extraordinary in the ordinary - it's in the details. I've learned to see when I look, to find beauty everywhere. Although I love wandering the streets of large cities, the natural world around me always amazes me. I feel so privileged to see it all through my lens. After working as a commercial photographer for 14 years, I am now devoting my time and energy to educate others. Teaching is my opportunity to share my passion and skills with others while leading international photography workshops. I also give talks and presentations at photo conferences. I also share my passion for photography by writing articles. I'm a writer for Australian-based dPS magazine and the host of my very own street photography weekly podcast Street Focus. I fell in love with the X100S when it came out and never looked back. The gear should never get in the way and this little camera has simply become an extension of my vision. Born and raised in France, I currently live in Minnesota, USA. Living the dream…

My love affair with the X100 Series started 4 years ago with the X100S. It was love at first shutter click. I was about to leave for a 5 week trip to Iceland and France. My backpack full of gear was packed and ready to go when I made the spontaneous decision to leave it all behind and only take the X100S which I had just purchased. I wasn’t’ that familiar with it yet but I knew that I would only make it ‘mine’ if I gave it my undivided attention. What happened next was the most liberating experience in my photography career. I rediscovered the pure joy of photography.

I’ve always embraced limitations. I’m a gear minimalist and even when I had the option of changing lenses, I never hit the streets with more than one camera, one lens. I believe that this forces you to put more intent in your photography, to work the frame more and also to respond much quicker on the streets. So why not take this practice to the next level and use a camera with a fixed lens? It all made so much sense and gave a new life to my photographic endeavors. The smaller size camera also added a sense of rediscovery to the adventure. I had never felt that way about any piece of gear before. I had always considered camera bodies and lenses as just tools for a job. This camera was bringing the experience to a new level, it was also a tool, but one that I would never replace. The X100S followed by the X100T and now the X100F has always been my go-to camera. The one that accompanies me everywhere, whether I’m meeting friends for coffee or on a trip to Paris or New York. Others have had their fair chance, but never came close.

A new camera won’t make you a better photographer but if it feels so good that you’re going to take it out more often, then you will grow in your craft. And that, in my opinion, is the magic of the X100 Series.

What makes this camera so special? From my personal experience, it has become an extension of my vision. I don’t even have to think about it, it’s so intuitive that it almost feels like a part of me. The latest version is very impressive. I loved many of the improvements from the S to the T but the latest version feels even more ‘complete’ and responsive. Some of the features that I particularly enjoy are the faster auto focus, the added ACROS film simulation, the focus joystick, the faster minimum shutter speed in auto ISO, the longer-lasting batteries. Of course, let’s not forget the much sought-after 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor. I’m not a techie but I know when things feel right and this camera feels SO right!
I’m more in love with it than ever!