What are you here for?

What are you here for?

Writing and sharing my work on this blog and interacting with you has been one of the greatest pleasures and privileges of my life. From the start, I have always tried to share everything that has been buzzing around in my mind even if I knew the subject or my photographs would not please everyone. After all, I had to make personal and artistic choices, which will always trump over my commercial goals (notice, no ads on my blog!). Many of you have stayed with us over the years and you don’t know how much we appreciate your support and feedback.

Thank you!

Recently and quite unintentionally I observed a very interesting phenomenon. In fact, I was surprised by the scale of it. Let me explain.

I got to be known on the internet as one of the first X-series shooters with a special zest for the X100-line of cameras. In fact, all the imagery on this blog has been shot with the Fujifilm X-series cameras. I will not go over why I started shooting with the original X100 many years ago and worked with all of them over the years. You will find plenty of articles about it on these pages.

Recently, Fujifilm has released a medium format camera, the GFX50S, something I have been waiting for, for many years. I believe that it was one area of the market that was waiting for a disruption (full frame is too crowded and the image quality difference between the FF and X-series is negligible!). I am glad that Fuji went for it!

For the last few months I had the opportunity to shoot with the GFX and have already shared some thoughts and imagery on this blog. I also hinted that I may consider reshuffling my gear mix so I could implement the medium format in my work. I even posted an ad with SOME of my X-series gear for sale in order to raise funds for the GFX. That is when things got really interesting!

I started receiving some highly opinionated (nothing wrong with sharing strong opinions!) emails and messages regarding my gear choices. Some people hinted to me that by doing so I am “abandoning” them and the whole X-series universe. Others blamed me for changing my tune and suffering from the G.A.S. syndrome. Hmm? It really got me thinking.

The core of this blog and my photographic activity has been and always will be visuals and seeing, creating imagery that is strong and unique. Sometimes I achieve that, sometimes I fail but that is always my ultimate goal. The only reason we use the X-series cameras and lenses comes down to this: it works for us and fits the way we approach seeing and photography. In other words, the X-series (with the X100F in particular) are the best cameras out there for me. Period! It doesn’t mean they are the best tools for everyone.

That led me to another question. What if I am a Nikon shooter? What if I switch to Olympus? Would you follow me? Would you visit this blog and see our imagery? Or would you go somewhere else since I no longer shot with the same brand as you?

That led me to yet another question. Are you following me and/or other blogs/photographers for their imagery and photographic philosophy or for the gear they are shooting with?

I asked this question to some of my photographic friends, especially those that recently switched brands. Interestingly enough they told me that they lost some followers. WOW! I thought. So maybe imagery is not so important after all?!

Terrified? You shouldn’t be. No, I am not leaving the brand. I do believe that the Fujifilm cameras are the friendliest cameras for photographers out there. I have shared my opinions on why I think so on this blog many times and Ted Forbes in his recent online video arrived at the same conclusion.

In fact, I am quite shocked that Nikon and Canon still don’t get it. Designing and marketing a simple modern camera like the X100F shouldn’t be a problem for them but somehow, they continue focusing their resources only on those monster SLRs with 300-plus page manuals. Come on, just make a simple camera with physical knobs which allow a photographer to control aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation, add a high quality electronic viewfinder and that’s all! (Okay, Olaf you are getting off topic here!)

Too bad for them because Fujifilm keeps doing the right thing. This is exactly the reason the Fujifilm X100F remains my core, every day, always-with-me camera! If I had to choose just one camera to keep – that would be it! Having said that, after trying the GFX medium format I am more and more convinced that I could implement this system in my seeing universe. In addition, new photographic projects I am starting would really benefit from the spectacular rendition that the medium format offers (yes, large, very large prints will be required!) Whether the GFX would replace my Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the lenses or not, I don’t know yet. Of course, I would love to keep them all but financially it is not possible right now. Any sponsors out there? 🙂

Here is the bottom line:

Am I selling ALL my X-series gear? No way!

Am I suffering from the G.A.S syndrome? Yes, and for very good reasons! (I even know one doctor who suffers from it)

Am I abandoning the X-series? NO!

Is the X100F going to remain my first-to-reach-for camera? YES!

Are you going to see me shooting new things in new ways? YES!

Do I hope you will stay with me for the imagery, not for the cameras I am shooting with? YES!

Is there always someone disappointed with something? YES!

Is my dog happy that I am writing such a long article, instead of taking her out? NO!

 

Here are my upcoming LIMITED EDITION prints of ONLY 10! Stay tuned for more details including pricing.

Next time I would like to share with you a story about two amazing people who are not afraid to learn and live their lives to the fullest!

 

 

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