Miyazaki Prefecture. This is where Marlies lives, whose home I have been wanting to visit for a long time. She enjoys yoga, music, and picking wild plants to make balm, and is an expert in devising new ways of living. I visited her with my X-S20 to observe her daily life through photography. Whenever I travel, I always decide on one or two people to visit and try not to make any plans for the rest of the trip. Allowing the flow of the trip to take its course, I snap away as I go.
Unplanned travel invites the unexpected. In order to be ready to take on new encounters and be open to unexpected events, you need to be light on your luggage and your mind. I think the X-S20 is the perfect camera for such a trip, as it can be carried around without restraint. The body is small and the lenses are also available in compact sizes. It makes me want to explore as I go, looking for coincidences.
I very often travel with my camera. As I visit various places taking photographs, I realize that the landscape is created by the actions of people. Tending gardens and fields, handling tools, and maintaining the living space… Where people have come and gone, becomes a road. The daily activities that have accumulated over time create the landscape we see today. I believe that photography can discover and capture this beauty.
Miyazaki appeared to be a warm and relaxed place. When I visited Sado Harajinugata, a local toy workshop that has been in existence since the Edo period (1600-1868), I found the faces of the dolls and the personalities of the craftsmen to be generous and relaxing, just as I had imagined Miyazaki to be. It seems that Miyazaki’s people are living peacefully in the warm climate. Miyazaki’s handiwork reflects the people of Miyazaki.
The joy of photography lies in the ability to change perspectives with different lenses. For example, the XF80mm macro lens captures subtle details that cannot be captured by the naked eye, and visualizes the sense of presence that is created by the details. The XF30mm and XF33mm single focal length lenses can capture in a natural perspective, enabling the photographer to shoot the target environment or landscape together or take a step deeper to face it. It is interesting to play with the distance perspective. The X series lenses are small enough to carry around several lenses, making it easy to change lenses and enjoy discovering different perspectives.
Spending time surrounded by the spectacular scenery is also my favorite time of the day. It was before dawn when I left the lodge and headed to the cape where the wild horses live. Beneath the ever-changing colors of the sky, the horses glowed in the light of dawn. It is humbling to be alone in the midst of nature of such a vast scale feeling one’s own puniness. Although it is somewhat unsettling, I find that this feeling, which is akin to fear, is close to the sense of beauty.
In order to capture that feeling in the moment, it is also important to be able to instantly operate the camera. The film simulation of the X-S20 is easily operated with a dial, making it stress-free and intuitive to select the colors and textures. Since I can shoot while seeing the finished image, I can take a photo straight from jpg without having to develop the RAW image.
I also use a large-format camera, the GFX 50S, which I find to be a great combination of the two, thanks to FUJIFILM’s film simulation, that allows me to shoot with a common color palette. Shooting with a large-format camera is great when you are settled in, however, the compact X-S20 is perfect for casual travel or just enjoying the time to experience and discover.
Yes, when you have a camera in your hand, you feel the urge to discover. Visiting people and places and going out of your way to photograph them is an act of deepening your appreciation of this world. A camera can be a trigger to travel and make the journey itself a deeper and more colorful experience. The X-S20 is a compact camera that allows you to intuitively capture the sensations of the place with your camera, and I believe it is a camera that is very well suited for travel.