My meeting with Fuji X System

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Eddy Raffin

"My name is Eddy Raffin. I’m 44 years old and I live in Montpellier, in South of France, with my wife and my two beloved sons. I work in IT Business. I am not a full time photographer but it takes a big place in my life. Street Photography, Portrait, Landscape or Still Life, everything interests me if I can produce a beautiful image."

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Hi Eddy, could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Eddy. I am 44 years old and I live in the South of France, in the dynamic city of Montpellier. I am a Freelance IT Engineer.

When did you get interested in Photography and what genres of photography you started to do initially?
This passion arrived later in my life. I started taking pictures first with my smartphone (HTC One, the very first one) 4 years ago during hiking in the French Alps in Summer holidays. This smartphone was so great for taking pictures. One day, I decided to understand the feature HDR in the settings. I found a photographer’s blog with the explanation. I can say that all started here. This blog had plenty of images taken by a DSLR. I was so impressed by the quality, the composition, the colors of the photographs, that I decided to buy a second hand DSLR, the Canon 450D at a very affordable price (later replaced by a 70D). I wanted to know if I would appreciate this kind of device in my hand to take pictures.

I started to shoot everything: landscapes, city places, monuments, flowers and a few portraits. I bought some books on the subject and discovered several photographers Youtube channels. I can say that I am a self-taught photographer but thanks to more than 100 teachers found on the web. It really speeded up my learning.

I was fascinated by photo compositing. I spent hours viewing tutorials on how to mix a background that I shot with an image of a subject grabbed in Google images. It helped me to be more and more at ease with Photoshop. Creativity is part of my vision as photographer. Photo compositing is an art that obliges you to be always creative.

I then decided to to come back to the fundamentals of photography: taking pictures, thinking about the composition, the light, the contrast, the emotion… It didn’t matter the genre at this moment. I was able to switch from Architecture to Landscapes, Night photography to Cityscape, …

For how long have you been using the Fuji X system and what were you using previously?
I have been using the Fuji X system for 2 years and a half. I discovered the X100F first (the silver version). So nice but too expensive for my budget. It was why I decided to buy the X-70 (black version) and you know what, it was the best choice for me. The form factor, the ring on the lens to control the aperture and a button for the shutter speed. The tilt screen. The mirrorless technology. Those points were the elements that made me decide to buy it. I discovered some weeks later all the options that gave me more control on the images out of the box (film simulation, the possibility to save different configuration for a same film: I set 3 BNW settings more or less contrasted). During my Street Photography sessions, I can be close to the people and shoot their silhouette easily.

My Canon 70D is finally used for very specific usage: portraits and some landscape images.

What happened to your X70? How did it die and what reasons led you to choose the X-T100 as a replacement?
My beloved X70 passed away due to a wave in the Mediterranean Sea. I was shooting one of my sons in the sea with a low angle and… splash… I was so sad to lose my companion.

What’s your opinion on the X-T100? Without an X-Trans sensor, did you find any differences to the X70 files?
Honestly, I miss the X70 sometimes because of the form factor and the settings were more complete than in the X-T100 (several settings can be saved for a same film simulation and quickly reachable).

With the X-T100, I experience rolling shutter (image distortions when capturing fast moving or vibrating objects) and flickering (horizontal banding with rows of different light intensity) that I never seen with the X-70 before (with Electronic Shutter mode only). I finally keep using the Mechanical Shutter mode even in street photography.

What lenses do you use?
With the X-T100, I use the kit lens and the 27mm f/2.8 prime lens. With the Canon 70D, I use the Tamron 35mm f/1.8.

Shooting Street and Portrait photography, what attracts you to each of these genres?
What I love in shooting street is that I am the beholder of my own photographs. Most of the times, I don’t know what I will shot 5 min later. I walk in the street watching the people who are moving in front of me, the lines, the light and shadows (Montpellier is usually a very sunny city).

In portrait photography my approach is very different. I prepare the shooting: I want to keep control in the light, the model’s posture, the background, the composition and the global mood of the image. I know what kind of treatment I will give to the image in post.

What are your usual camera settings?
I use Standard/Provia and Monochrome Film simulation.

Highlight -1, Shadow +1, Color -1, Sharpness -1. It’s a starting point and I shoot essentially in JPEG.

I am not a big fan of the Electronic Viewfinder. I use the LCD with the AF-S and shoot with the screen touch most of time.

What’s your usual workflow regarding file processing?
I start uploading my files into LR, do some little adjustments and then export the photograph to PS. I prefer to work with layers and masks. Google Nik Collection for Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro are also used.

 

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