Fujifilm Upgrade

My beloved Xpro-1 died on our recent trip to Paris, so while I’m waiting for it to come back from repair I pulled the trigger on a long-needed camera upgrade. After a lot of reading/research/fretting, I finally pulled the trigger on the Fujifilm X-T20 after seeing some results from a friend who has been shooting with it quite a lot. One of the best pieces of advice a teacher gave me in regards to photography gear was to invest in good quality lenses in whatever system you were shooting; there’s no point in constantly upgrading your camera body if you aren’t shooting with decent glass. I currently own four of the Fuji Lenses (18-55mm, 35mm 1.4, 56mm 1.2, and 14mm 2.8). After only a week of shooting with the T20 I’m kicking myself for not upgrading sooner, as the Fuji system has improved in leaps and bounds since the Xpro-1 and I’ve been wasting these amazing lenses on such an outdated system.

I’ve been falling more and more in love with this system and am going to invest further in a few more lenses for wedding work. I’ve been a canon shooter for much of my life and career, but I love the low profile and quiet shutter of the Fuji and it’s become my only go-to travel kit camera. Just for fun I challenged myself to shoot first with the 18-55mm kit lens, as it’s a lens I’ve never really liked much and was considering selling. It’s optics come across much nicer on the Xt20 and while I’m happy with these results, I’ll likely sell it and invest in the 16-55mm 2.8 next.


Vivian Maier, Incredible Street Photography

Imagine you’re at a swap meet. Or a garage sale. Or an estate auction.

You see a box of negatives for sale. They are of the city, people, places, beaches. Do you purchase the box out of curiosity, or do you move onto something a little less dusty?

Faced with this situation, John Maloof chose to purchase these many boxes of negatives and when sorting through them, discovered a nearly unbelievable treasure. Once he realized the scope of the work, he began to research the photographer behind the images. Vivian Maier was a nanny in the suburbs of Chicago who for years she would leave her home to photograph in the streets of the city. She left behind over 100,000 negatives, most of them medium format, along with thousands of prints and boxes of undeveloped rolls of film. To print and process her work, she had converted her bathroom into a darkroom – participating in a long tradition of diy darkroom artistry. Her work is, simply put, stunning.




Had her work not been found by someone who could appreciate it, it’s quite easy to imagine those boxes heading straight for the dump. And we would have been denied the work of a true master of the medium. Sadly, Ms. Maier died shortly before her work was found and began to get the international attention she very much deserves. I find her story deeply moving, her work inspiring, and hope you do as well.

John Maloof’s blog on her work is here.

Kickstarter, where you can support a documentary on Vivian Maier’s work and pre-order a copy of the DVD as well as a forthcoming book of her photography.

A flickr discussion on the topic, with his initial request for help in what to do with these materials.

Nytimes lensblog coverage of this story.

An exhibition of her work is currently up at the Chicago Cultural Center. I’m trying to think of ways to get there and see it in person!