Spontaneous experimentation with Fujifilm
My name is Tyler Silvestri (@omni_krill on Instagram), and I am a Navy Veteran currently living in Portland, OR. Visual arts has been a passion of mine since a young age. I grew up skateboarding, which I lend all the credit to for exposing me to all kinds of art that came along with skate culture. I would watch skate videos and read magazines like Thrasher, which got me really interested in photography, videography, graphic design and music.
My first introduction to creating content was when I picked up an old family VHS camcorder to record myself and my friends skateboarding when I was in grade school. Once I got into high school, I started taking black and white photography classes where we would use old film cameras and develop our photos in a darkroom. Shout out to Mr. Benike for teaching me the fundamentals of photography. These classes were by far my favorite, and furthered my interest and appreciation for photography.
After high school, I joined the US Navy and found myself onboard the USS Carl Vinson, where I did two deployments. I brought along a point-and-shoot Canon G16 with me to take photos in various ports. I was honorably discharged in 2015. I wanted to slow down, focus on my mental health and enjoy life, so I moved to Lake Tahoe, where I got my Bachelors Degree in Digital Art and Marketing — while getting to snowboard and enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe at the same time as my studies.
During that time, I was shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II. I mainly shot landscapes around Lake Tahoe just for fun. That camera was very large, and I would often think twice about bringing it with me when going out, missing visual opportunities. I dabbled in photography here and there, but it wasn’t until 2020, when I purchased a Fujifilm X-T30, that I really started to carry my camera everywhere and began to shoot whatever was around me.
I felt that with a bigger camera, I just wasn’t as inspired to carry it around with me and with the Fujifilm X cameras, that’s completely changed. I think the design and ergonomics of the X-T30 and X-T4 really inspire me to go out and shoot because of the compact size, and the nostalgia I feel that relates back to the days when I very first picked up a professional film camera and became stoked on photography.
It just feels more comfortable for me compared to the Canon systems I used in the past. I mostly shoot for fun, because it really helps me express myself in a way similar to the feeling that skateboarding brings me — taking a good photo is like landing a trick.
I moved to Portland in 2020 and saw a dramatic shift in my subject matter from landscapes to street-style photography due to the new environment I was in. I soon purchased an X-T4 for the dual memory card slot and longer battery life for professional contract work, which has mainly been revolving around real estate photography. I take photography jobs when I can, but I mostly shoot as a hobby.
The lenses I own are as follows: XF 35mm f1.4 / XF 50mm f2 / XF 50-140mm f2.8 / XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 / XC 15-45mm f3.5-5.6 / Laowa 9mm f2.8.
I started out with the XC 15-45mm because I was going on a trip to Hawaii and wanted to travel with minimum weight while still having a variety of focal lengths to choose from, so I purchased the X-T30 with this lens. As the lens is not as sharp as the prime lenses, it was a great introduction into the X system, and I still use it every now and then.
The Laowa 9mm I mainly use for interior real estate photography for its wide-angle and zero distortion. I love the 50-140mm f2.8, but since it is so large, I generally do not use it as much as I would like to. I have been using the original XF35mm f1.4 a lot recently because I love the compact size, focal length, and sharpness of the lens.
I also enjoy the XF50mm f2 for these similar reasons. I have been shooting at night recently and appreciate the wide aperture of the XF35mm f1.4 and the XF50mm F2. The 18-55mm is also one of my favorites for having multiple focal lengths in a compact size. I enjoy traveling light, and being more inconspicuous when shooting in public.
I switch off between the X-T4 and X-T30 quite regularly. If I’m shooting video then I always go with the X-T4 for the benefit of having internal stabilization, and the ability to shoot 4K at 60fps.
When skating around the city, I generally like to shoot public transportation like buses, trains, buildings, neon lights, ominous-looking streets, and classic cars when I spot them. I really love to shoot in the rain, and on foggy nights whenever possible to get some nice reflections and glowing lights.
Taking candid shots of my environment has been a great way for me to appreciate my surroundings and community while enjoying being in the moment, and I find my Fujifilm cameras have definitely inspired me to get out more. While I appreciate bright colors in photography, I also find pleasure editing photos in black and white to limit distractions in the image, and because black and white photography will always have a special place in my heart.
I like to shoot in the rain when I can, and The X-T4 plus the Xf50mm f2 is a great weatherized package for shooting in these conditions. When shooting portraits, I typically only photograph people I know, simply because this style of photography is so personal, I do not feel super comfortable shooting portraits of strangers when I don’t know much about them or their story.
I shoot raw, and edit my photos in Adobe Lightroom – primarily working with exposure and color dials, nothing too fancy. If I had to explain my photography, I guess I would call it “spontaneous experimentalism through a lens”. I don’t strive for any type of planned aesthetic to my photos because I don’t want to put myself in a box or worry about committing to any one style.
When I see an opportunity to shoot something that interests me, I take it. I practice photography for myself because I enjoy it, and it makes me feel good. I want to thank Fujifilm for making the X system, because just the sight of my X-T4 and X-T30 get me excited to grab them and take them with me whenever I step out of the house. I can honestly say I have seen the quality of my photography take a big leap after using my Fujifilm cameras due to the fact that I am shooting more often.
“My name is Tyler Silvestri (@omni_krill on Instagram), and I am a Navy Veteran currently living in Portland, OR. Visual arts has been a passion of mine since a young age. I grew up skateboarding, which I lend all the credit to for exposing me to all kinds of art that came along with skate culture. I would watch skate videos and read magazines like Thrasher, which got me really interested in photography, videography, graphic design and music.”