Fujifilm to the rescue

Hi there. A couple months ago my Fujifilm camera was sitting comfortably on my desk along with the usual equipment; laptop, speakers and amplifier, among stacks of paper and study books.

At that moment I was also seeking some comfort sitting behind my desk, so I leaned back and threw my legs on the desk amongst all the other objects. My desk is reasonably standard sized, so everything fitted the desk snuggly, including my two big feet. It was until I removed my feet, that i’ve slung along the camera to the ground. A little more than i thought was necessary. BAM! the camera fell on the wooden floor.

A quick inspection gave the impression that the camera was just fine. It was the lens which was damaged in a way that I couldn’t attach it to the camera anymore; I.E. the bayonet ring was demolished. A quick turn to the fujfilm support page, learned that there was a repair center in my country, so I send them the poor thing and they started to work.

About ten days later, my lens came back fully repaired, even a few scratches on the front surface were removed (kudos Fujifilm). Until now, i’ve never had to rely on the support from Fujifilm, but this experience gave me confidence in their support; even without warranty. The lens was repaired for a decent price (which insurance covered fortunately).

Thanks Fujifilm.

 

 

Why Fujifilm?

Credits: Ken Truong

A lot of people nowadays are taking shots with their phones. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I think the popular quote from Chase Jarvis still stands: “The best camera is the one that’s with you.”
The point being:

It’s easy to get caught up in a competition to see who has the best equipment. There’s always a better lens, more megapixels or a higher grade of camera. This photography quote is a good reminder that it’s capturing the images that really matters.

Over the years, i’ve learnt that good photography is all about accessibility. Without a camera to carry, you’ll never be able to register the moment. And without the right moments, a good photo will never come to fruition. Long story short; live life to the fullest, and always carry a camera!

What bothered me though, about my first digital cameras (and phone cameras) was the inability to capture a reasonable depth of field effect. The cheap point and shoots simply don’t offer the aperture or the focal distance to accommodate this. So that’s what brought me to analogue cameras in the first place.

Eventually one has to make the switch to digital. Purists aside. So when I started to orientate on the right digital camera, i wanted a compromise between good image quality and small form-factor. And it didn’t take long before I started looking at Fujifilm cameras. One of the main reasons was this:

Lots of analogue dials.

These dials are not so common these days anymore. Particularly shutter and aperture dials. After ‘rebooting’ to analogue cameras, i’ve gotten quite used to these dials, and using them became very intuitive; intuitive and fast. During my search; there was only one! Yes, one competitor in the same class that produced a decent alternative with the same dials (the Panasonic LX-100).

Fujifilm started the X series with the same passion for film cameras that most of us share. So what also triggered me towards these cameras were their Film simulations. Basically, these are modes which emulate old film products from Fuji to give certain subjects or scenes the best colors you can give them. Make no mistake, these are not the cheap filters you get inside every digital camera. These filters can keep you away from RAW editing and late lightroom sessions, as they can accommodate even pro photographers in their needs. But don’t just take my word for it, check out Lee Varis’ youtube material on this subject:

The last reason for me to choose Fujifilm is formfactor vs the sensor size (APS-C). Although this is not a unique selling point, it certainly comes in handy. I try to take my camera everywhere, and my experience with DSLRs (short from their great image quality) they can be a bit too bulky to take with you everwyhere. This ultimately means missed shots, when you’re out without a camera.

These were my main reasons to choose Fujifilm. What’s your pick, and why do you shoot your brand?

Cheers, Dennis

Photo impressionism

Art can be very subjective. The first 20 years of my life were only dominated by musical arts. Music has always been an integral part of my life, still is. But around the age of 25, the music started to change. I started to listen to classical music and wow did it hit me! It started with piano music from Debussy, Erik Satie, and I was really hooked. It broadened my taste in music.

Paintings
The same then, could be said for my taste in art. I was ready to move to Amsterdam for a new job, and with that came the opportunity to visit the Van Gogh museum. The few paintings that stuck to me were: Starry nightCafe terrace at night, and Garden in Montmarte with lovers. It was a total new experience to be struck emotionally by a painting! You just keep watching and almost lose touch with the surrounding environment. A quick study later on told me that this art movement was called Impressionism. And boy was I impressed!

From Wikipedia:
Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s.

To me, the dreamy scenes created by the visible brush strokes felt like magic. It didn’t just register a scene, it captured the feelings or emotions the painter wanted to communicate as well. Discovering artists like Monet and Cézanne, it was a great experience.

Photo impressionism
Fast-forward to 2016. Photography dominates my mind now. I haven’t really found my niche yet, but I’m also still learning every day.
But wait, what’s this? I’ve stumbled upon a blog mentioning Photo impressionism. The Phoblographer does an article on Thomas van Oost’ impressionistic photography, containing street scenes, clearly influenced by the classic painters from the same art movement.
I was stunned! This merged my love for the street photography genre together with the surrealistic world of impressionism! There had to be more people working on this great genre of photography?
So I did a search on Instagram first, and my thoughts were confirmed. Photo impressionism is here and it’s been going on for a while. I’ve started following multiple photographers and study how they work.

On the origins of photo impressionism, photographer Stephen D’Agostino writes:
Historically there is a close connection between photography as an artistic medium and impressionism. Both are contemporaries of each other and both relied on technological innovation that permitted easy mobility. In the case of impressionist painters, it was the introduction of tube paint. For photographers it was the Kodak camera. Not surprisingly, photographers began to use an impressionistic approach to their images almost from the beginning.

Technique
From what I’ve gathered so far, different photographers like to apply different techniques in this genre. Some people only want to use in-camera / manual techniques (slow shutter, camera shake) to create the surreal images. Others prefer to use post production to alter the image to their liking. I’m interested in both approaches to be honest. I could imagine the first technique creating very spontaneous shots which gives the whole workflow a unique experience.  Then again, working in post-production probably gives you some more control in creating the end result. I’ll have to give both a try to learn more.

In conclusion
Needless to say, I’ve picked up a great interest for this photographic genre and I will probably start experimenting with it very soon. I also wanted to feature some work from photographers who are already experienced with photo impressionism. You can find their work in the gallery below, together with links to their galleries. All photo’s are shared with permission of their author.

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism
http://www.thephoblographer.com/2016/12/10/thomas-vanoosts-awe-worthy-take-multi-exposure/
http://www.dagostino.ca/photo-impressionism/

Artist links:
Luiz Arduini – www.luizarduini.com
Deborah Hughes – www.debhughesphoto.com
(Deborah is doing a photo impressionism workshop in May 2017 at the Greater Yellowstone Photo Symposium)
Stephen D’Agostino – www.dagostino.ca