By Bane Visnjic
As a photographer one of the toughest tasks when asked is to choose some of my own favorite photos. It borders on impossible because it is such a personal thing. We photographers have such emotional attachment to every final image we create because there is so much invested in it. I should correct myself and say that I am speaking for myself, but I know this is true for any artist who creates with passion which pours out of them. It's not a choice or something you learn. It's just there inside of you, a part of your DNA.
I use exclusively Fujifilm equipment. My camera of choice is XT-2. It feels like an extension of my hand and my eye, and it makes me want to shoot. Beyond that it's like a piece of beautiful art, and it gives me the feeling like I'm back in time holding a beautifully designed old camera with the state of the art newest tech inside which produces nothing short of incredible images. I love holding it, I'm a very tactile guy, and I love the feel of the design, craftsmanship, and all the analog dials and details. When I shoot I rarely go into the menu. I could go on forever but this is not a camera review. Main thing for me is whatever tool you use, make sure that you love using it and that it gets you out there creating. That's what Fujifilm does for me.
Focal length choice. Another difficult choice. I'm not going to write about different lenses, but I do want to mention that I am a prime lens shooter, and that I create my images with my feet not just my eyes. Obviously some work requires zoom lenses and that's perfectly fine. My favourite image look and feel comes out my XF56F1.2 lens, no question. However, my favourite lens that is on my XT-2 permanently is XF35f2WR. I get asked a lot which one is your favourite lens for street photography and in general, 35mm or 23mm, of course we're talking about APS-C cropped sensor lenses, full frame equivalents would be 52.5mm and 34.5mm respectively. So about 53mm and 35mm. Without getting into explaining pros and cons for each one, my only suggestion, to everyone not sure yet which one they should use and which one would be their favourite for street photography, is, use both for a while and you will surely learn which fits you, your style, taste, and needs.
Images I picked to demonstrate the amazing versatility of XF35mm cover two different situations. One is a set of street images from my recent trip to Lisbon, Portugal, and one is from photographing actors and actresses at Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony.
The images from Lisbon give me a beautiful feeling inside because this was my first time in this truly incredible city and i was extremely focused on the detail of everything around me. Everything. Lisbon also gave me a very strong sense of nostalgia with a bit of melancholy for Europe. I am a European myself and have not been back to visit from the US for seven years until this trip. It will sound like a cliche, but when walking through the city for hours, I literally was living in the moment, feeling and being so aware of everything around me. I felt like my senses were enhanced and I felt so alive, bursting with curiosity, taking everything in. I already "suffer" from a curse some photographers know of, where you look at everything around you like you're looking through a viewfinder. Walking through the streets of Lisbon didn't overwhelm me though as I thought it would. I felt so content and so alive. I hope some of these images convey some of those feelings I had at the time.
The second set of images are candid portraits of some of the actors and actresses at Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony and obviously it was a completely different experience, but it shows the versatility of xf35mm. I did use XF16-55 for the event also, but when I photographed the award winners for official portraits with the Actor award after they received it, I actually used XF35F2. Having very limited space and having so many people around, xf35mm was a better choice than XF56F.2 which was too tight, and it was faster than XF16-55F2.8. I was asked by several photographers about which camera I was using, because they couldn't see the logos. I put a black gaffer tape on Fujifilm and XT-2 logos on my camera making it more stealth and less distracting. I still get a lot of "oh you're shooting with an old film camera, very cool" comments all the time. The unassuming look of my camera prompted a conversation with a wonderful actor Liam Cunningham about him choosing Sony over Fujifilm and then regretting his decision almost immediately, haha.