Last year in July I bought a Fuji GFX100. If you know anything about this camera its either a big deal or not, everything is subjective isn’t it? For me, it was a big deal. In all honesty, “excited” is an understatement!
I’ve been racking my brains since it landed in my hands, I still find it hard to remember the last time I had felt like that about anything, but I feel I’m there now: I was 8 and I had asked Santa for the Triceratops Zoid figure. It’s that level of excitement where, I quite literally felt like my body was experiencing some kind of euphoria and numbness all at once. My head was clear and had clarity like I was in a perfect white empty room with nothing but that sole item in the centre.
It’s fair to say mind, the financial outlay made me wince a bit…!
After my initial excitement, the drive home seemed like travelling to Australia via train. No words could be spoke – I needed to save all my focus for the unboxing.
Peeling back the cellophane and pulling apart the tabs was pleasing, finding the body and just holding the weight of this behemoth – it really was something to behold.
Attaching a lens and firing those first shots off to hear that mechanical shutter for the first time – it was like the crunch of snow beneath my feet; pleasing and everlasting, it evoked a big smile across my face.
After that initial flurry of excitement, I pretty much left it alone and just thought about what I could do the following day with my new toy.
The next day, I’m pretty certain I slapped on the 45mm lens, which is my go to lens for most things. The lens is snappy and fits my speed and style of shooting – I like running in and out of my subject to get what I need.
My first day of snapping was just of the countryside and the kids playing at home. It just felt like a natural thing to do with it – it didn’t feel forced, and the images just flowed.
It was the first camera in a long while – since the Canon 5D range, in fact – that just felt right in the hand to me. It doesn’t feel heavy to me, or even cumbersome at all – at least for reportage work or just the kids and family stuff. Though, it’s fair to say that after a day hanging around my neck at a wedding I might tell you something different…
When the first images hit the computer I was just so happy with the honest rendition and colour, it sort of justified itself – though I hate to use that term, that is nonetheless how I feel.
After all of this, in a way, I felt like I had fallen in love with photography all over again – it was weird, I’d not felt like this for a long time. In honesty, compared to the kit I was shooting before, I wasn’t missing or gaining anything, not in real terms. But, irrespective of how some might play it down I feel there is that connection with a camera – when it fits, it fits.
Yes, I missed the whole analogue side of things but with the newer digital age expanding I reckon I can get that same vibe! The weight, the shutter clunk the upload to the computer it’s all just therapy surely? My work is the same too I think – I’m still the run and gun type of shooter I always was.
In the end though, it still boils down to this just being another camera. It’s just the camera that makes me think “I got this, let’s move on” – so I just don’t need for anything else.
And maybe this sounds like a U-turn on what I’ve just said, but in the end it is just a camera. People say “you’re only as good as your last shot” and “the camera is just a tool” and in all honesty, even with a camera that fits me so well, these adages all still ring true. My passion has expanded but the conclusion is the same, it’s just another tool which lets me create my vision. Money, format, medium, none of these things make images, it’s all just down to me.