A good walk around my town is like fresh water in the morning: it makes body feel good.
There’s nothing like going around freely around the streets following my little daily projects to take away all the pressure as a Professional photographer and feel myself alive more than ever, refreshed and more sensitive and inspired.
A good read, traveling and personal photography are three things that can definitely do this.
Over the years, while photography got serious and became a profession, I’ve tried different setup of cameras, and got overweighted with gear, choices, and technical tricks you end up learning in order to cover every assignment or need that you have to face while working, but the urge of photography I remember with the most joy is the one that comes from the first 35mm compact camera I had (and I still have it) when I started to document the world around me.
It was called “Memory maker”, can you think of a better name?
Friends, BMX rides, places I went to, school days were my subjects. A very precious collection of moments and little obsessions in time, in order to keep a memory of it, in little albums that are still around in some way, despite many movings I’ve made since those years.
Nowadays cameras can be complicated, I observe everyday photographers get in trouble in deep menus, shooting modes and having to need five fingers together to set something as simple as exposure compensation, or needing a scientist degree to set their camera at first use.
Fujifilm cameras made a difference since day one in this “scenario”, with classical dials and direct controls. Fuji X-E series, and the most recent X-E2S is probably, in my opinion, the best example of a simple intercahangeable lens camera system.
“Less is more” is a way of life to me, the less options you have, the more clear will be the choice you will have to do.
In my (only personal) opinion, and from my experience and pleasure of use, when you are documenting your life and preserving memories from time, it’s not a good idea to think too much at the tool you are using. In this model, they took away almost everything, and I’m so glad to see a brand that does not simply keep adding.
Shutter times, aperture value, focus and exposure compensation are the thing that really count…they teach you the most important controls in photography despite being in one or another program.
You can check everything with a quick look while walking around, so that you can be really concentrated on framing and subject when the camera is at eye level, knowing exactly how it is set to.
When you end up mastering these three aspects (time, aperture, compensation) everything gets easier, it becomes a so simple act of doing a set-up. If you like to work in manual focus, like I do, there’s a quick display guide of depth of field in the viewfinder…after a while it gets automatic to know what you are about to get.
The AF button can help even if you are working in manual focus, just to be reactive if there’s a change of focus scenario.
So, this is a simple and pure camera. Not even two different viewfinder mode like on the X-Pro2 (that is a different camera in many ways), you have one choice only, that I think is definitely better.
Electronic viewfinder is so good if you are a night shooter because you see really better in the dark and if you love the “spot” metering mode, it gives you direct control over exposure compensation…is the classic “you get what you see” philosophy.
I still find myself using some external viewfinder mounted on the hotshoe sometime, to give myself a more “reality-like” way of seeing.
I have forced myself to find a simple way of operating any camera…i work 99% of the times in manual mode, leaving Iso-auto active, so it just allows the camera a wide adjustment chance.
Almost any idea or need can be obtained in this way, differently from other shooting mode that give you less control.
I use RAW for professional needs just to be sure to have more chance of post-production, but since JPEGs are so good, I use most of the times only those for my personal needs, and I like to leave them as similar as possible to what I see.
This camera has been a lot with me recently every time i’m not in shooting film, only the X70 has been a competitor in choice, but that’s another story we’ll maybe talk about another time.
Take it easy and have fun!