01.29.2021 Jonas Dyhr Rask

GFX100S: The Urban Cowboy Project

Jonas Dyhr Rask

Jonas Dyhr Rask (1980) is a General Practitioner of Medicine, G.P. M.D. from the university of Aarhus with a burning passion for the photographic medium.
His photographic career started in 2008 when he got his first Canon DSLR. Since then he has ventured into film photography of various formats, as well as the FUJIFILM X-System. His father being a wedding photographer, he grew up around cameras.
His photographic inspiration comes from the interplay between humans and their surroundings. Drawing directly from his degree in medicine, his type of street photography seeks to isolate the human element and direct focus towards it, using the cityscape as a stark material contrast. He brings this documentary street photography style to his contract photography work, where he functions as a documentary wedding photographer, as well as a childrens portrait photographer.
Using only available natural light, and using a candid approach, he seeks to document true life as it happens on the streets of Denmark without interfering or intervening.
Photographing mostly using high contrast black and white, he seeks to eliminate colors as a distraction to the subject and scenery, trying to bring story and emotion to the viewer.

One of the reasons why I’ve never seemed to settle on just one genre of photography is my constant curiosity and quest for new forms of expressions through creative thinking. To the majority of those who know of my work, I’m best known for my dark, and moody fine art street photography. But for this project, I wanted to do something completely different.

In my work I’ve always sought to eliminate boundaries, and try to break free from what people of refer to as the norm or “rules”. To me there is just one rule within a creative field such as photography, and that rule is: “There are no rules”

GFX100S & GF80mmF1.7 R WR

This quest to explore my own creativity, and push the boundaries has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I think it comes from the simple fact that before we even learn how to speak, we know how to play. We instinctively know how to best acquire new skills, through exploration and playing.

I often feel just like a small child putting crayons to paper. The possibilities of creation are limitless. That child doesn’t yet know the rules, so that child does not conform to them. It’s raw expression. Raw creativity.

GFX100S & GF80mmF1.7 R WR

Through playing I explore emotions. Explore causality and effect. Gaining knowledge.

I think that somehow we’ve all been that child. I think it’s quite universal. Through the experience of life, I now know the rules. I know the boundaries. But I refuse to let them restrict my creativity. I let my curiosity roam free, and I start to play.

I have failed, many times. I have succeeded. But no matter what, I always feel like I come out the wiser.

For me to realise all my creativity, I need a camera that doesn’t get in my way.  A camera that doesn’t restrict my imagination. A camera, that like me, knows no boundaries. I need a camera that will allow me to stay within my playful mindset no matter the situation.

The GFX100S is that kind of camera.

GFX100S & GF80mmF1.7 R WR

During the past 3 months I’ve used the GFX100S vigorously through my everyday photography. No matter the scenario, the output from the GFX100S has been phenomenal. On a technical level this camera is probably one of the most advanced cameras ever created. Combined with the GF lenses, and particularly the GF80mm f/1.7 R WR I found that the 100 megapixel medium format sensor delivers images that has unparalleled depth and tonality. 

The handling of the camera is equally amazing as the images that it produces. I still cannot believe that FUJIFILM was able to make a 100mp medium format camera with In Body Image Stabilisation and make it the size of a mirrorless full frame camera.

GFX100S & GF80mmF1.7 R WR

For about a year me and Brian Mogensen who owns the local jeans store “Blue Caviar” in Aarhus, Denmark had been talking about doing a modelled photographic storytelling piece on the concept of the “Urban Cowboy”.

I wanted the mood to be a mashup of the old western type movies, and the futuristic/present day lighting from modern day dystopian sci-fi movies. The car would be his steed, the parking garage the stable, the middle of the busy urban road would be the old town square. I wanted to tell that story through me images. 

This photographic piece would need to be made during the dark danish winter nights, for it to achieve the right feel. A challenge that on smaller format sensors would be associated with unacceptable loss in image quality because of picture noise and high ISO color inconsistencies. I also needed a camera that could give me added tonality especially in the darker areas of the image. I wanted these pictures to be rich in texture, depth, tonality and detail.

GFX100S & GF80mmF1.7 R WR

It wasn’t until I was presented with the GFX100S and the GF80mmF1.7 combination that I finally thought hat the story could be realised and created in a way that lived up to my own creative vision. 
The key features that finally made this shoot possible for me was the GFX100S image stabilisation, the backlit 100mp medium format sensor, the light gathering ability of the fastest ever medium format lens (The GF80mmF1.7) as well as the compact portable build of the GFX100 body.

GFX100S & GF80mmF1.7 R WR

We spent an evening walking around the city of Aarhus doing environmental portraiture work. In my concept of the “Urban Cowboy” I had envisioned a couple of key shots, all depending mainly on the naturally occurring lightsources found across the locations, as well as a using a couple of LED sticks for creative fill lighting.

GFX100S & GF80mmF1.7 R WR

It was an absolute pleasure walking around the streets of Aarhus, seeing my vision of the shoot slowly take form. We experimented with so many different lighting setups and scenarios.

In other words, we we’re busy playing. We were putting crayons to paper, with no respect for any boundaries or rules. It was a session of pure creativity. We had fun. We laughed, shared ideas and used all sorts of weird lighting techniques.

GFX100S & GF80mmF1.7 R WR

And in the midst of it all was the GFX100S. Not only living up to, but far surpassing my wildest expectations of what a camera is capable of delivering. But the main reason why the GFX100S is such a great camera is that despite all the cutting edge technologies that the camera entail, it feels like an extension of my creativity. There are no functional hindrances. No boundaries, no limits! It was as if the camera wasn’t even there.

And that’s the key thing. The best camera for me is the one that I don’t even notice I’m using.

And in the midst of it all was the GFX100S. Not only living up to, but far surpassing my wildest expectations of what a camera is capable of delivering. But the main reason why the GFX100S is such a great camera is that despite all the cutting edge technologies that the camera entail, it feels like an extension of my creativity. There are no functional hindrances. No boundaries, no limits! It was as if the camera wasn’t even there.

And that’s the key thing. The best camera for me is the one that I don’t even notice I’m using.

GFX100S & GF80mmF1.7 R WR