Unanticipated Passion

I am a passionate amateur photographer, and I come from the beautiful town of Bardejov, in Slovakia. I like to travel, and I can’t imagine my day without some good music. I have been playing the drums since I was a child, and it became my first passion. I am currently working and living with my family in Vienna, Austria.

Vienna as a city provides a great opportunity for street photography, even in these times, when travelling isn’t an option. I love the diversity of people, architecture and events. Photography as such has always fascinated me, but I never thought I would start actively doing it. The turning point came about six years ago when visiting the island of Sylt. This country fascinated me so much that I didn’t even realise that I was constantly taking photos. I mostly took photos with my smartphone (like every tourist) and my wife’s camera.

After returning home and looking at the photos, I realised that the photos captured not only memories, but also my emotions and my perception of the country, the world. Since I now have less opportunity to focus on music, it was probably natural that something new appealed to me – Photography.

I decide to buy my own camera. I accurately reviewed the opinions of bloggers, photographers, and in the end, I decided on the Fujifilm X-T20, where ergonomics and colours suited the best for my liking.

I travelled to different countries (Faroe Islands, Sweden, Italy…), where I photographed many landscapes and felt like I needed to move further with photography, not only thematically but also technically. As much as I love capturing nature’s beauty, I am also fascinated by life in big cities.

I bought a Fujifilm X-Pro2, because I was interested in the rangefinder-style of the camera. I liked the camera so much that I keep working with it to this day. Another thing that I really like about this camera is the sound of the shutter. Later on, I also bought the X-Pro3.

The X-Pro cameras helped me evolve as a photographer, and I started taking more street photography pictures, details. I am one of those people who always loved the colours of old photos, old cameras. And so, with the new film simulation recipes on this camera, it´s very easy for me to mimic the colour schemes of old cameras and imitate their retro feel.

And what do I like about X-Pro cameras?
• Size and weight
• Build quality
• Weather sealed
• Viewfinder (visible movement)
• Film simulations (I mostly use Classic Chrome)
• Aesthetic (The camera looks very cool and I like to shoot with it :-), I always have it with me)

My Lens selection – I prefer prime over zoom lenses, because it gives me more options with a bigger aperture to work with.
XF 16mm F1.4 – Mostly for details and close up photos.
XF 23mm F2.0 – This one is great for street photography.
XF 35mm F2.0 – One of my favourites. It is great for pretty much any type of photography (such as portrait, street and architectural photography).
XF 56mm F1.2 – I use this one mainly for portrait photography, sometimes for street, and I like the creamy background for bokeh shots.
XF 90mm F2.0 – another of my favourites. I use it more than the XF 56mm F1.2. The sharpness of this lens is great.
XF 10-24mm f 4.0 – This lens I use for architectural photography and when doing photos during a sunset in a city, with an ND-filter.
XF 50-140mm F2.8 – I would recommend this one for landscape and inconspicuous street photography.
Voigländer 40mm F1.4 Nokton (manual) – A great classic-retro look and very compact lens.

When I leave the house, I have both of my cameras with me, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 with 16mm F1.4 for capturing wide-angle and details, and the Fujifilm X-Pro3 with the 35 or the 90mm.

I use the X-Pro3 and the 35mm mainly for street photography, and because of the hidden display, which allows me to be ’’invisible’’ among people, it helps me capture the perfect moment. For portrait and product photography, I use the 90, 56, 35 and 16mm.

I take pictures every day, a lot of them, anywhere, in any weather and of anything. This way, I can achieve a variety of photos in terms of lighting, atmosphere, situation and mood. At home, I go through the photos and choose the best ones, which I then edit in Lightroom Classic, and maybe even more often in Lightroom mobile.

According to the feeling of the photo, I choose a suitable preset. When a photo is taken in 3:2 or 16:9 format, I will usually crop it and change it to 4:5. Why? Because this format works the best for approaching followers, Otherwise I prefer the 3:2 or 16:9 format. I also often use a JPEG from the raw photo without any editing.

Of course, I needed to publish my photos somewhere. Instagram looked like a good choice for me. I started by publishing landscape photography, and later on street, urban and details. My goal was to achieve uniformity in the appearance and for my photos to become more authentic.

I published photos 2 or 3 times a week, and then after a while, I switched to posting once a day, which essentially brought me more followers. I always try to respond to all comments and dm’s, both positive and negative. I try to learn from negative feedback and improve my photos.

I have some favourite Instagram photographers whom I follow and I am inspired by. Instagram is also an ideal place to attract someone and address them for cooperation. I enjoy working with other people and companies.

Photography has no boundaries, and it never fails to move me further. The X-Pro series changed my perception of photography and slowed down my thinking and usage.

"I am a passionate amateur photographer, and I come from the beautiful town of Bardejov, in Slovakia. I like to travel, and I can’t imagine my day without some good music. I have been playing the drums since I was a child, and it became my first passion. I am currently working and living with my family in Vienna, Austria."

3 Comments

  1. “When a photo is taken in 3:2 or 16:9 format, I will usually crop it and change it to 4:5….”

    This is the one thing that I never understood from Fujifilm. Being mirrorless, the aspect ratio can be very flexible. That they don’t include a 4:5 format which can be viewed in the finder and composed for at the time the photo is being taken seems like a good idea not taken. Just think about making perfect 8 X 10 inch prints without needing to figure out what to crop.

    Enjoyed your story and photos.

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