Feb 20, 2012

100X100 – epilog

At the end of May last year I received my Fujifilm FinePix X100, one of the first batch arriving in Belgium. The end of a long waiting period, as I first saw (and immediately fell for) that beautiful camera at the 2010 Photokina. It turned out to be a significant milestone, as the X100 has strongly influenced my photography ever since.


Within days I decided this camera is worth the effort of getting deeply acquainted with. It seemed and later proved to be a tool that will not simply adapt to whatever your shooting habits may be… The X100 opens up to a wealth of photographic pleasure and lots of creative stimuli, but only when you accept to explore and embrace its essence and particularities.


I decided to share my journey with the X100 on this blog. The result: twenty ‘100X100’ episodes that document my learning process, five images at a time. I also determined that I would not once put a 35mm prime on my D700 (my favorite street shooting combo at the time) before completing this X100 series.


And so I started growing into the X100 more and more. Light and compact to come along to any occasion. Clear and sharp from the hand and from the hip. Vibrant colors and smooth tones, whatever the lighting, dynamic range or ISO setting. Super quiet and unobtrusive, stealthy as needed. Simply said: a pure gem.


I relived the pleasure of letting the eye dominate the equipment. Somewhat forgotten, but never unlearned from the days that cameras were either simple and compact, or else  not affordable. Remembering to anticipate, reposition, preset and zone-focus.
To see before shooting, to capture without chimping. That joy!


The X100 also got me firmly back into ‘shooting’ black&white. Admitted, Nik’s wonderful Silver Efex Pro played a big role there too: that software allows me to dust off my tricks from the  darkroom past, as well as taking images past old frontiers.

That’s why, for this 100X100 epilog, I picked some of my favorite color shots from the series and spinned them through the B&W machine. Hope you enjoy!

Gear notes: Fujifilm X100, Silver Efex Pro

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Feb 2, 2012

100X100 – episode 20

So glad to escape form my desk for an hour or two! Today we had a cold and windy but also rather sunny day: ideal to make the hop to a nearby recreation ‘park’, a former clay pit turned into a not-too-fashioned collection of ponds, trails, sports facilities and event areas. And the X100 came along – of course.


That little camera handles wide dynamic range situations oh so well! Its RAW files leave plenty of room for adjustment to match your memorized impression or any other creative rendering. And the latest Lightroom spin (a.k.a. beta 4) brings new strings to pull. That doesn’t just sound like fun: it is!


If you know your way around the 185 acre terrain, you can find some relics of the brick making industry that thrived in this area for centuries, until it mostly died in the seventies. Rust and dust, tones and structures: time to fire up some of the usual post-processing plug-ins!


And finally, none of these posts will do without a square and/or black&white image… Here we go!


Gear notes: Fujifilm X100, Lightroom 4 beta, Nik Color Efex Pro 4

Click on the image(s) to see a larger version