“Waiting for the parade” – Shooting the backstage of the Caras Moda fashion show with the Fuji X100T

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Néstor Grassi

"My name is Néstor Grassi, I'm from Argentina and I live in Buenos Aires. I'm married and I have two beautiful daughters, one turns twenty these days and the other has twelve. Almost thirty years ago I dedicate myself to photography. I am an advertising and fashion photographer and since ten years ago I am part of the staff of Diario Perfil, in Buenos Aires, as a photojournalist. I also do fashion photography for MIA and LOOK magazines and catalogs for small clothing brands. I started professionally in the early '90s and I used all formats, from plate, with Sinar, medium format, with Rolleiflex and Hasselblad and 35mm with Canon and Nikon. Since two years ago I don't separate myself from my Fuji X100T for anything in the world."

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I had been commissioned to shoot the annual Caras Magazine parade for its special edition, Caras Moda. It is a great event in the fashion world in Buenos Aires, where the most prestigious brands show their fall-winter collections and where the cream of the Buenos Aires society attends. But they called me, by mistake, several hours before. So, seeing that I could access the place where the models were preparing for the event, I decided to use my Fuji X100T to hang out and document the backstage a bit. The result is in sight and I am very pleased.

I think that the camera, being so small and producing files of such quality, complied very well with what I needed: to go unnoticed or, at least, not to bother. At times the girls, very young and beautiful, are in almost intimate situations, with their bodies subjected to long sessions of makeup and hair and that puts them in a position of high defenselessness.

I wanted to be cautious, and I moved around the place taking pictures with total naturalness, making the models ignore or even see me as an acceptable and even desirable presence: a professional who with his camera documented an event that for the most of them meant a kind of baptism of fire in the big leagues. Experience provides wisdom and security. But, in this case, the camera behaved like a cover letter, with its vintage and professional appearance at the same time. And that helped me spend those hours doing some pictures of which, I have to say, I’m proud.

I think that the general climate was very well achieved, it is clear how these young women wait for the moment to go out to the catwalk fighting the boredom or the tension between talks and exhaustive reviews of their cell phones. There is an atmosphere of sensuality, concentration and annoyance that fascinates me and in part it seems to me that it is due to the desaturation of the colors. I also love working with a fixed lens: the 23mm Fujinon is a marvel, it behaves in this format as a 35mm, an ideal focal to cover this type of work. And, in truth, for almost all types of work.

Although it was necessary to go through a period of rehabilitation, after so many years of using zooms, now it almost costs me to work with another type of focal. And a separate mention deserves the optical viewfinder (I don’t use electronic viewfinder, I don’t like it, although at times it can be very useful).

The optical viewfinder was the main reason why I bought the Fuji X100s first and then this one. I find it very stimulating to see the scene through the frame without any mirrors or any other device. It reminds me of that first camera that my parents gave me, a Kodak Brownie, when I turned eight. I loved the way the little viewfinder cut reality before my eyes. Then there were others, Minolta Hi-Matic, Canonet 28,…

Somehow, when I started using this camera, I felt that after almost thirty years of work, it started again. And that moved me and it excited me very much. It was like a second air in my profession. I’m not saying that it happens to everyone, but that’s what happened to me and I wanted to share it.

I always use it in RAW + Jpeg, in Monochrome or in Classic Chrome. In general I shoot in manual mode, although I use the AF, which is quite fast. I also use LR to process the files.

From the series that I showed here, I like how the Automatic WB solved the issue of the mixture of lights, since the place was surrounded by tungsten spotlights and, from above, LED lights. I did a couple of tests and I kept what the camera indicated. Then I hardly corrected in LR.

As I said, the team that has assigned me the publisher for which I work is Nikon. But since two years ago I don’t separate myself from my Fuji X100T for anything in the world.


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