Dy Duyen is a female photographer living in HCMC, Vietnam. As a portrait photographer, Dy Duyen is well-known with gentle and delicate portrait photos of women that are very natural and emotional. Dy Duyen does not invest in expensive camera equipment, for her, it is more important to bring emotions into each portrait photo through communication with the model and understanding deeply about color and natural light. Dy Duyen is the photographer behind numerous dreamy and beautiful portraits of Vietnamese “Muses”.
MY APPROACH WITH FUJIFILM
Although I have touched and tried another X Series camera before, but this time is really my first official approaching and exploring in detail the colorful world of Fujifilm. When I got the invitation to be one of the first photographers to experience the new Fujifilm camera before the official product launch; I was extremely delighted and excited. I also enjoyed the challenge of attempting to tell my photography approach with this camera, in a very exciting way.
Holding X-S10 for the first time, I had a total crush on it. Light and compact, it felt very comfortable. Being a photographer who pursues the natural shooting style prioritizing the emotions and moment capturing; I prefer a simple, a small, and delicate camera which allows me to concentrate on lighting conditions, model’s emotions and to be able to capture the perfect moments.
The size of X-S10 fits perfectly in my hand and the handling is also great for shooting. It is so compact that I could keep it in my small bags and carry for a whole day without getting my shoulders hurt. This is the kind of camera that I could bring along everywhere; for my works, traveling, and even just for capturing my favorite daily life moments. Also due to its lightweight, I could go through all-day shooting sessions without the fatigues from handling a heavy, bulky camera.
Despite the compact design and the lightweight, the FUJIFILM X-S10 really surprised me, especially high-quality images coming from the camera. Each JPG file comes at 10MB and RAW file is about 20MB which is totally sufficient for high-resolution requirements of printing purposes.
As a portrait photographer, I’d like to connect with the models, hang out with them, follow their emotions, and let the beauty happens in a natural way. Therefore, I prefer a small & simplified camera that won’t distract the models & can help me easily capture all-natural expression suddenly.
X-S10 has abundant functions but as a first-time user, I found it not too complicated for people who haven’t experienced Fujifilm camera before. It also took little time to get acquainted with the most basic and important functions of the camera.
About the operations, X-S10 is a camera equipped with a lot of smart functions. The autofocus is very nice, fast, and quiet as well. It could be easily achieved by touching the LCD monitor without having to look through the viewfinder. This is a very useful feature for prolonged shooting sessions that helps relieve the eyes from the strain of squinting to look through the viewfinder. Moreover, the Face/Eye-tracking capability is not only fast but also precise and “sticky” to the subject. It’s essentially keeping up with the model’s fast movement.
And yet, another worth-mentioning function is Raw Conversion ability. I really surprised when I found out about this incredible function. I could edit images not only before but also after shooting such as highlight, shadow, saturation, sharpness, grain,… or even changing the film simulation over again. This is similar to mobile phone apps but without the process of transferring images to phone; allows photographers to make quick on-camera-editing images and let customers have previews right on-set.
One of the outstanding features that I like the most is the Film Simulations. I haven’t experienced all the profiles on the camera but the “Astia” Simulation I used on the first photoshoot is just nice with all the warmth, clarity, freshness, and even the affection it portrays. This film simulation was much suitable for my natural light shooting style, especially with afternoon sunlight or indoor incandescent light. Another interesting Film Simulation is “Eterna”. Even though I haven’t got the opportunity to shoot with it in a long session with different backgrounds, yet I found the colors and tones to be light, gentle, and affectionate; that would fit with my personal projects which tend to lean towards cinematic colors approach.
The Film Simulations is particularly beneficial for photographers to select for the best interest of the contexts and the requirements of customers. To me, a person who shoots mostly in natural lighting and weather-dependent, these Film Simulations help me “improvise” and be flexible to the ever-changing lighting conditions. More importantly, the JPG files coming straight from the camera have already achieved around 80% of my expectations. As a result, I could transfer the images to smartphones to share on my social networks or to send to models immediately without having to spend too much time editing.
To get the best idea for the Fujifilm challenge, I decided to shoot a portrait in an apartment and also an outdoor shoot in the evening. I wanted to attempt with the available light and low-light as well. Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 R was my choice. When combining with X-S10, it becomes a perfect combo, really fits well in my hand. And the focal length of 35mm (equivalent to 50mm on 35mm format) is familiar to my shooting style. Although within the dimly-lit daylight or low-light environment, this lens absorbs the light very well. I am impressed with the clear description and image quality. Even when shooting at F1.4, the sharpness is amazing and the background is dreamy with beautiful bokeh. Moreover, the autofocus is quite fast and I was surprised how accurately it worked.
My first approach with Fujifilm has brought many new and exciting experiences that help my creativity go further beyond the limit. After my first attempt, I am thrilled to keep discovering other interesting features of X-S10 as well as experimenting different lightings and photoshoot setups to fully appreciate this fascinating camera.