I was surfing twitter this morning and came across a video posted by Fujifilm. It's a photographer talking to the Fuji crew in Japan about his photography and the X Series. I've seen most to the recent ones that happened when Fuji brought in a bunch of the internet X-celebs to talk X-Series but I had not seen this one. I hit a couple of things that I closely identify with - especially in the beginning.
I talk a bit here and there about these things as they relate to myself and my photographic journey which has been a bit tangled. I thought I would connect a few dots that connect for me and it's relationship to Fuji's success in the camera market place so far. First off here's the video…
- One, I found myself in a very similar place a few years ago and am still digging my way out but I am heading towards a direction I am more comfortable with. Slowly. I am sure that will have it's twists and turns but directionally my head is in a different place. LaRoque and I had a little conversation yesterday that had similar undertones - I'm not certain but I think his thinking is tuned the same way. He didn't seem to venture as far into the weeds as I had - maybe he did - only he knows.
- I found the images I felt I had to make were so far from what I cared about and what I liked for so long that there was no way back - pandora was out of the box. You see the images I didn't care about were far more technically challenging and a lot of that hard won experience and skill is very difficult to walk away from. Somehow I felt compelled to bring every trick to the table. Somehow I didn't do this with images I was making of one of the most important things to me at the same time - my daughters. For some reason that subject escaped the onslaught of "stuff" - maybe it was because I decided to shoot it on film on very simple cameras during the mass digital transition. I kind of remember that decision was based more on the fact that I had already amassed a great many image of daughter #1 and #2 on just a couple of my go-to film stocks and wanted cohesion going forward. An accident.
- Fuji and specifically with the X-series somehow hit a bunch of notes that appealed to this feeling - this divergence of what they really liked about photography as an art and a medium and what they were making. Finding a lot of other photographers had similar feelings - a hell of a lot of them attracted to the little Fuji cameras. Maybe for different reasons, maybe similar reasons, who knows.
All of this boils down to something a bit less than tangible or quantifiable - the irrational or emotional effect certain gear may have on your image making. Maybe not for everyone but for some people wired like I am for sure. Are the Fuji cameras nice cameras - sure, do the make decent images - sure, are they somehow technically superior to everything else out there - probably not.
It doesn't matter though - they happen to hit a couple of the right notes both as a total package and emotionally/irrationally that seem to attract a similar mindset. One of the reasons I go berserk when I see iteration after iteration of things that don't hit those notes - like the XM-1, XA-1, etc… I know my lone voice means nothing but want to make sure some of the other folks that have gravitated to the Fuji cameras are maybe more subtly letting Fuji know what those particular notes are. It's definitely not all about some techno-crap… It's about a lot of things - some quite irrational. I really can make the same images on an NEX, etc, etc - technically.
Just some thoughts.