The two-wheeled photographer
“My passion for photography stems from a life within the vivid culture of skateboarding and bicycle communities. My drive is to document the beauty of my surroundings, from dusty back roads to neglected buildings and my observations on the road.”
My name is Gustaf Wiking and I live in Malmö, in the south of Sweden. I am forty years young and live with my wife, Sophie, and our dog, Farfar. Just like many others, I lost my job when the Covid pandemic hit, and so nowadays I spend a lot of time in our little paradise in the city, our allotment, doing gardening and woodwork. Apart from that, my time has been spent photographing, taking long rides with my bike, and applying for new jobs.
One of my biggest passions, apart from photography, is cycling. Cycling has always been a big part of my life. Initially, I was hooked on fixed gear and road bikes, but in recent years I have found my true calling in gravel bikes. I love the feeling of freedom that bike riding gives you, especially when you go on unpaved roads and trails in the forest. There are no cars, no people, just yourself and mother nature, and it’s a great way to clear your head. My preferred brand is a quality German brand called Bombtrack, and I use a single speed as my everyday bike.
Ok, so let me tell you about my photography and where that interest comes from. My first camera was a Pentax. It was a classic 35mm film, point and shoot camera. I actually don’t remember when I got it, but I do know that my interest in photography and visual documentation began back when I started skateboarding.
When skating, it is very common to document the action with both moving and still pictures, so me and my friends used to make short videos and shoot tricks. So that’s where my photography roots originate. When I graduated high school, I got my first “real” camera from my uncle. It was a Nikon FM, and that sparked my camera interest even more.
But it was when I got my first digital camera, an Olympus, that I started to bring my camera with me everywhere. Later on I bought a Canon 7D, which I loved, and this was the camera that steered me into the direction towards the style I like to shoot now. However, after a few years, I felt that it was too clumsy due to its size.
Then, there it was, the Fujifilm X-E3, just shouting my name. I got the kit with the 18-55mm lens (it’s really good by the way), but soon realized I missed the pancake I had on my Canon, so I had to get the 27mm too. I really like the size of the Fujifilm X-E3 with that lens. It’s super light and it doesn’t really get any attention when you shoot on the street, and a setup which is easier for me to bring with me on my bike rides.
I did consider the X-T series too, but I liked the design of the X-E line better, and I still do. It’s a superb camera at a really nice price point. I find the size to be pretty convenient, although I can understand that some people might find it too small. I mainly shoot with the EVF rather than using the display, and it works really well for me. I disabled most of the touch screen features too, because they weren’t for me.
The X-E3 has a great display which is nice when you want to look at your shots. The menu system is very well thought out and user friendly. It is easy to program the buttons so that you can make changes while looking in the EVF. I have only experienced some minor issues with the camera; I have a small issue with the on/off switch.
It is quite close to the front settings wheel, so I have turned off the camera by accident every now and then, and the exposure compensation wheel is easy to accidentally move when the camera is hanging over the shoulder. But to me, these are minor things, and all in all, it’s a great camera!
Regarding the 27mm lens, I appreciate it for its size and weight, and it also takes great photos. I really like shooting with prime lenses as it makes you think more about how you frame your photos. On the downside, the 27mm struggles a little bit with the autofocus when it becomes darker and it is not weather sealed. However, it is a great lens and I use it almost all the time. Rumor has it that an updated version will be released soon, and I’m excited to see what that brings to the table.
My overall impression of the above combo is that it’s a very good setup for everyday photography and a great value for money. I have seen many exceptional photos taken with this camera. I find the X-E3 incredibly user friendly, and what makes it unique is that it works well for both beginners and pros.
The size and weight make it easy to bring almost anywhere – just throw it over your shoulder or in your pocket and go. Even though this is a rather small camera, it’s a great build. The autofocus is quite fast (I have tried it on speeding seagulls with success!), however, it may struggle a bit when it switches from light to dark.
But there’s nothing wrong with using manual focus, right? Let’s not forget to mention the film simulations, I really like them a lot as well. They make it more fun to shoot and for me, that’s what photography is all about.
My post-production routine is quite quick. I use the film simulation Classic Chrome most of the time and then I use the preset ‘Gammaldags’ (translates to ‘old fashioned’) or the ‘soft contrast’ in Adobe Lightroom Classic, and tweak them just a tad to get the feeling I want.
For black and white photos, I often start off with the “landscape” preset and then tweak it slightly from that, or I just use go straight to the tweaking. I would really like to learn more about post-production in the future.
In conclusion, I can highly recommend the X-E3 with the 27mm lens. It is a powerful camera which is easy to bring everywhere. Still, I do miss the weather sealing, so I will upgrade to an X-Pro3 later this year with the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0. I’m looking forward to using an even more robust camera for future adventures with the bike, when skateboarding, and of course, on the allotment.
“My name is Gustaf Wiking and I live in Malmö, in the south of Sweden. I am forty years young and live with my wife, Sophie, and our dog, Farfar.”
September 9, 2020 @ 3:55 pm
“In conclusion, I can highly recommend the X-E3…”
I’m a late adapter to the X-E3, having used the XPro2 and X-T2 for a couple of years. I can concur with your testimonial to its capability. My ego made me get the upper level cameras initially and they are great, but the petite X-E3 is being taken out most often lately when I go out for general photography. It has the same sensor and processor as the other two cameras in my stable, but at a fraction of the weight and size. Now after using the X-E3 for some time, my XPro2 feels huge.
September 9, 2020 @ 7:31 pm
I hear what you’re saying! I probably would stick to the x-E3 if it was weather sealed since i bring it everywhere and might fall on my bike. I know the X-Pro3 is bigger, but i used to cary around a canon 7D all the time so it is still a decent size 🙂
September 9, 2020 @ 8:01 pm
Yeah… the X Pro series is bigger than the X-E3, but its smaller and lighter than my Nikon full frame, even with a 50mm equivalent.
All the X-series fujis are a joy after DSLRs.
You will like the 23mm f/2, even on the X-E3 it is quick and sure to focus and that extra stop of light can’t hurt.
September 10, 2020 @ 10:09 pm
I hear you! They sure are! Looking forward to it. Thinking of selling the x-e3 with the 18-55 since i hardly use it, to get some more cash towards the x-pro3
September 10, 2020 @ 11:08 am
Great photos my friend, and I loved hearing your story. I shot with the 27mm for a long time too (mainly on the XT20) and totally agree with you regarding its size – how could anyone feel threatened by that stumpy little thing haha!
I then went to the 23mm f2 (on my XT3) and can assure you that you’ll appreciate and still enjoy it.
Here’s a little sample from last weekend: https://www.driftwoodjournals.com/sarah-drives-a-photo-journal-fuji-xt3-23mm-f2/
It’s just as sharp but you get much better depth, and it’s still a tiny and un-intimidating lens. I’m actually thinking of selling my 27mm now as I never used it (although I can’t actually bring myself to part with it).
Anyhow, I will look forward to seeing more of your images and hearing how you get along with your new setup.
September 10, 2020 @ 10:13 pm
Thank you for taking your time to read my article! I’m really glad you like my work and the article! I checked you blog too, looks really nice! Will spend some time there too, for sure!
I’m looking forward to the new set up with the 23mm. Just need a new job 🙂
I think I will keep the 27mm or get the updated version when, or if, it comes along!
Keep up the good work!