My interview with Fujiholics
First posted on http://www.fujiholics.com/blog
Tell us about yourself, and what got you into photography?
As to all of these things there is a short story and a long version; I guess I can give you a mix of both. A few years ago, 2008 I think, I got my first camera – Nikon D800. I shot a few people and some bands that year before going on to assist on some weddings. My interest in the fashion world grew along with my interest in working with bands. Today, I am a brand ambassador for a number of amazing companies such as Fuji, 3 Legged Thing and Smug Mug. Something I particularly am enjoying is working as a community pro for Adobe. For me, my love affair started with Photoshop then Photography followed. Still to this day it amazes me that I take photographs for a living.
[Check out our FUJIFILM home page for more Fuji info, tips and tricks]
Even as a child, I loved taking photos, I loved documenting things. We had this blue Fuji Instamatic film camera which I was let loose on every now and then. I hope I can find the photos one day. I remember being told I should photograph things when I saw them as I might never get the chance to see them again. It was one of those things your mum says that you never forget. I can remember everything about that moment for some odd reason. Last year I got to go back to Cyprus where we lived when I was little, and I tried to find the very spot to retake a photograph of the same cliffs. I didn’t have enough time, but I am hoping to go back one day and find that little moment where the spark was formed.
So, you’re a Fujiholic?
Why did you choose Fujifilm cameras and where did you originally hear about Fujiholics?
A few years ago, I was asked to do a head to head review of the D800 and 5Dm3 for when they came out. The plan was to take the cameras to North Africa and the USA to do a proper test. It dawned on me that for trips like this there was only one camera that I really wanted to take. This was the X-Pro. It looked the best and was the best suited for the trip. The styling for the camera was right, the images were super amazing; it was the camera that documented the whole trip. This started the love affair between me and Fuji. Wandering around the streets of Marrakech with the X-Pro made me feel like a real fucking photographer.
There is something about the spirit of Fuji I like. Maybe it comes from Theo and the team in the UK or something about the styling of the camera, but, it’s me all over. I like the community and I was very proud to be among the very first X-Photographers in the UK, and also very proud to have an image in the 80th anniversary book that Fuji made. I would say I qualify as a Fujiholic for sure.
Which is your favorite lens? Why?
This is a tough question. I would have said pre 16-55mm it was the 35mm. But the 16-55mm is going to have a place in my heart for many reasons other than the fact that is an amazing lens. At the end of 2014 I got a call from Marc Horner asking if I wanted to produce some images on a pre-production version of the 16-55mm. I was so humbled and honoured to take on such a job and it really marked a milestone in my life as a photographer. I didn’t get to see it in person, but I saw the image Marc sent to me of a massive print Fuji made for a show in Japan that I took for them.
When it comes to shooting though, the 35mm which is pretty much bolted to the front of my Lizard Yellow Signature X-Pro, just melts me every time I use with it. It is the sort of camera and lens combo that sits on my desk looking back at me like a puppy asking to play.
This is the image they used in Japan
When you next go traveling, what gear will you take?
The X-t1 and my signature X-Pro. Zero hesitation on that thought, even over taking a pair of X-t1’s these two cameras cover all I need in the way I want to shoot.
Lens wise – the 35mm, 16-55mm and the 50-140 would cover anything that could need to be photographed. These lenses are just beyond amazing. The 56mm would be interesting to add in, but that would depend on the amount of kit I could carry and how I was traveling. Again, the beauty of the system is you can go and travel and work with just one camera and one lens and not have many worries.
When out shooting, what are your settings/typical set-up? Why?
This is a massively tough question as each shoot tends to be different. For example one day I could be shooting a gig and the next in a studio. The great thing about these cameras, and especially the X-T1, is the way the camera is so good at working within different styles. This year I photographed the runways of London Fashion Week then did a beauty shoot the next day with the very same kit.
This being said, I am really enjoying how the Fuji Kit leads me to shoot in a very simple way. I have found myself shooting with lots of filters, too. I am big, big fan of the Lee Filter system in both the 75 System and the larger 105mm system. Pretty much everything I have shot in the last two years has been shot through ND filters; from portraits to landscapes to beauty; everything.
What kind of tools do you use for post processing?
As I mentioned earlier, I am an Adobe Community Pro, so my workflow pretty much reflects that. I find that the cameras are amazing with skin tones. The images are wonderful to work with in regards to post processing too. The raw conversion thing is interesting though. Maybe it is the subject matter I find myself shooting, but I find the Lightroom processing suits me just fine, but I do put things though Capture One every now and then as well. There are lots of cool videos and retouching things on my website and stuff about workflow for both the Fuji and other systems, too. I also seem to be going through a bit of a black and white phase!
What is your favorite Film Simulation? Why?
Classic Chrome. It is just totally me and my style; I love it. It suits the range of tones I usually add in post processing while it looks after the shadow detail created by my excessive use of ND filters.
Are you working on any personal projects at the moment?
What are you looking forward to in photography this year? (Events, Workshops, Gear)There is so much coming this year in a planning sense, but the big things are all going to happen in 2016 and 2017. This year I have some fun jobs in Malta & NYC in the pipline they will be fun and the Fuji’s will play a vital part in these trips. I want to get out more on my motorbike, and again, I can’t think of a better system to take with me on a bike!