The world hidden behind the viewfinder

Summer is around the corner and here in London is sunny as it’s never been before. The pandemic is forcing us all home, but so far I have had the strangely relaxing feeling that I’m spending the days just as I should. Over the years I have become a careful observer, perhaps my studies in architecture make it worst, yet this moment of pause seems to make everything even more focused, ritualised, and slow. With a quiet silence in the city background, I spend my days catching details I had never noticed before. Luckily, right now there’s my Fuji with me (well, there’s also my partner LOL).

Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @27.90mm . f/4.2 . 1/60″ . ISO 3200 – Val Des Monts, Canada
Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @30.90mm . f/4.3 . 1/6″ . ISO 12800 – 1000 Islands, Canada

In college, when I learnt that there was a world behind the automatic mode, I enjoyed using my Nikon DSLR camera. Switching to Fujifilm as an adult was a great surprise. It reminded me of the Fujicolor rolls my father would put in his manual camera, and my first Fujifilm zoom 90s camera I used to go on school trips with as a kid. Finding those colours back in my new camera gave me an incentive to keep exploring.

Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @34.50mm . f/4.3 . 1/800″ . ISO 200 – Cotsword UK

After the photography course at the Metropolitan University of London, I now understand what a wonderful world was hiding behind the viewfinder. There I learnt how to shoot with a manual, to develop, I burnt films, I’ve learned that you can develop on anything and the frame is important. Moreover, I understood that composition was important but light and time really make the difference. I have also realised that is not really important how good you are at editing a raw file, but instead it’s what leads you to the shot that matters, how you make it. After those studies I was able to switch from Landscape to Portrait, to Architecture… and I haven’t found something to focus on yet.

Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 @19.20mm . f/6.4 . 1/450″ . ISO 200 – Grand Canyon USA
Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @34.50mm . f/5.0 . 1/30″ . ISO 200 – Gatineau Park Canada

I still like to shoot with my father’s Canon AE-1, mainly with a black and white film, and every time it’s exciting to go develop these rolls. As a child of the digital era, one where you can take thousands of pics per second, all my travels as a teen were followed by my DSLR camera, and its lenses. Eventually, my trips got longer, luggage fares got more expensive, so I realised it was the time to switch to something practical, like a mirrorless.

The possibility of being able to still use lenses despite the lack of a mirror made me curious and after a careful research I ended up with Fuji. Beginning with a starter level was a price-driven choice, I wasn’t sure I wanted to fully convert to mirrorless. The X-T100 was able to do its job and managed to convince me that you can live without the sound of the mirror. I was attracted by the vintage look but what impressed me the most is the wide choice of lenses that Fuji offers for the X-mount.

Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @20.10mm . f/6.4 . 1/400″ . ISO 400 – Peak District UK
Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @122.60mm . f/11 . 1/320″ . ISO 250 – Peak District UK

For a while, I’ve used the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens, but the versatility of the XF 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Zoom Lens made it my first choices for many of my last trips. It’s not as bright as the prime lenses, but it’s a great lens for traveling, as it has a wide range. The only flaw is when you carry it around on your shoulder the lens doesn’t stay in place so you always need a case in order not to damage it. The chance to use a 4K video was the icing on the cake to make me go for Fuji. Although it wasn’t love at first sight with video function I figure that this could come in handy sometime.

Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @110mm . f/9 . 1/320″ . ISO 400 – Mont-Tremblant Canada
Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @36.60mm . f/5.0 . 1/100″ . ISO 200 – Montreal Canada
Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @41.30mm . f/5.0 . 1/160″ . ISO 200 – Montreal Canada

Despite trying to find new inspiration in video editing, the photos continue to be my great passion. Over the last few years, I have mainly focused on landscape and architecture photography mostly while I travel. Because that is the time when I like the most to observe what’s around me, leaving my profession aside for a bit and just enjoying observing what the world has to offer.

Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @52.40mm . f/16 . 1/250″ . ISO 250 – Jurassic Coast UK
Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @122.60mm . f/20 . 1/250″ . ISO 250 – Jurassic Coast UK

With no chance to travel now, I have time not only to discover things around me and find shooting ideas but also to dust off some old photos and compare some of these. Lightroom and Camera Raw on Photoshop are the main softwares I use, even though I always try to retouch as less as possible as the shot itself should do its job. I’m firmly convinced that I made the right choice by switching to Fuji and I’m looking forward to being back on a train, plane, car whatever will drag me around hopefully soon with my new lens.

Fuji X-T100 . Fuji XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 @74.40mm . f/5.3 . 1/2500″ . ISO 200 – Italy
Nikon D3000 . Nikkor 18-55mmF3.5-5.6 @40mm . f/6.3 . 1/160″ . ISO 100 – Ponza Islands Italy

Alessia is an Architect by profession, a photographer for fun, and a ceramist for aspiration. After packing my old Nikon DSLR in the drawer now I shoot digital and film, Fujifilm X-T100 and Canon AE-1. I shoot all sort of things but mainly landscape, architecture, pattern and details. I always ask myself a lot of questions and I travel around the world to find the answers. My photos are stories that my brain can't tell.

3 Comments

  1. Good article and pretty photos. Happy that you seem to have enjoyed visiting my home town (Montreal) as much as I enjoyed visiting yours (London) last year. Hopefully we will all have the ability to travel again soon.

  2. Amazing photos! You inspire me to get my first camera, and open up this whole new world to me. Thanks for sharing!

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