24.11.2020 Herbie Yamaguchi

#SOOC: Herbie Yamaguchi x X-S10

Herbie Yamaguchi

Born in Tokyo in 1950, photographer and essayist
In 1973, at the age of 23, he moved to England where he spent ten years. During that time, he worked as an actor in a theater company and then became a photographer. He was exposed to the punk rock movement, and pointed his camera to the living people of London.
After returning to Japan, he took many photos in the style of black-and-white snap portraits of unadorned figures from artists such as Fukuyama Masaharu to the people of the city.
His neat and clean style has attracted many fans of his work, and he has received support from a wide range of age groups. In addition to photography, he writes essays and is a radio personality (currently on FM Yokohama, “Herbie’s Radio” from 18:20 to 18:40 every Friday.
He was awarded the 2011 Photographic Society of Japan Award. He is currently a guest professor at Osaka University of Arts and Kyushu Sangyo University.

I have been taking pictures for 50 years now. I have always taken pictures of the moments when I felt “dreams, hopes, excitement and energy”. As long as these are not lost, people will feel happy to be alive. The people and times I have met during these 50 years have nurtured me. As a photographer, I must never forget my encounters with some great cameras in them.

This time, I used the X-S10 to photograph two young staff working in a beauty salon.

The X-S10’s lightness and size make it easy to shoot, which is a huge factor in photography. It’s an advantage to be able to carry it with you everywhere you go without being a burden, and it’s not too noticeable. Also, the autofocus performance is important in a snapshot like mine. In this photoshoot, I had the subject move freely, and I was able to track their expression without losing focus.

What we demand the camera as a tool is to be able to shoot without disturbing your intentions and expression.  And it is to capture a surface beyond your expectations. When you want to capture this moment, you can release the shutter and capture it without bending your honest feelings. It’s important to be able to take pictures without stress, which make you demotivated to carry the camera because of its too heavyweight and too complicated settings to lose the moment.

Although I also shoot in color for my work, I shoot almost all of my work in black and white. Fujifilm has an established reputation for the color of “strait out of camera” with JPEGs, and the ACROS Film Simulation mode, which follows the feel of monochrome film to digital cameras. The ACROS will be especially attractive to the generation who knows analog film. I love the ACROS mode, which digitally reproduces the fine particles and smooth tones that are so attractive in monochrome film.

After more than 50 years in photography, I have had many opportunities to come into contact with young people who want to become photographers. I feel that it is necessary to combine the new generation’s worldview and the experienced photographer’s perspectives. The important things are to keep taking pictures, to have your own view of the world, to be aware that your photos will lead to the future of humanity and happiness, to express yourself honestly, and to always look at other works and study them.

On this shoot I could meet nice young people and camera again. The X-S10 was a gentle in-hand and undisputedly excellent performing camera that will appeal to beginners.