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Sydney
Australia

LIFE:CAPTURED began in August 2013 when we held our first full-day workshop at RAW Space in Sydney, Australia. Our mission is to help people document their stories and create tangible keepsakes to be treasured for generations to come. We offer intensive design, photography, and memory keeping workshops, as well as interactive online classes. We are advocates of honest photography, minimalist design, and memory keeping that's simple, beautiful, and tangible. We are the pioneers of the story book, and we offer flexible templates that enable everybody to tell their story. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. LIFE:CAPTURED was founded by Rhonda Mason (of the Pink Ronnie blog) and Trish Chong (of Tealily Photography).

The blog

The official blog of LIFE:CAPTURED Inc, the modern school of memory keeping. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. We blog about design, photography, and how you can preserve your story with timeless, tangible keepsakes.

The Fujifilm Finepix X100S: How I'm going with my new(ish) camera

Ronnie

The Fujifilm Finepix X100S: How I'm going with my new(ish) camera - A blog post by Rhonda Mason for LIFE:CAPTURED Inc (The modern school of memory keeping)

| Written by Ronnie |

It's now been eleven months since I started shooting almost exclusively on the Fujifilm X100S, and I thought I might give you guys an update on how I'm going with it. You can read this post if you want to know why I bought it in the first place.)

First of all, I've been shooting in the manual focus mode for the past six months at least. Despite the fact that Fuji claims the X100S has the fastest focusing system, I just could never get mine to focus correctly and reliably. In the end, I switched to the manual focus mode and I haven't looked back. The manual mode gives me the option to focus manually or use the back button to auto-focus. This is just fantastic because I can easily choose one or the other without any switches to flick. Plus, the X100S comes with an awesome functionality called Focus Peak Highlight which basically helps with accurate manual focusing by enhancing parts of the frame that have high contrast. Who knew that manual focusing could be so simple and so much fun?

My preference is to shoot in aperture priority mode (ie. with the shutter speed set on auto). Before I acquired the X100S, I always shot on full manual mode with my Canon EOS. However, the dedicated exposure compensation dials on the X100S make it so easy for me to control the brightness of my images that it's been brilliant shooting on aperture priority. For the most part, I just leave my aperture as wide as possible and so the only thing I really need to do is to adjust my ISO when the lighting conditions change dramatically.

Speaking of aperture, I still do crave a wider aperture. 1.4 would be such a dream but I've grown to become content with 2.0. In fact, the bigger aperture has forced me to re-think the way I photograph and it's taught me to photograph differently because I can't always just rely on a blurry background to make my photos 'nice.'

I'm permanently on the eye sensor mode and I only ever use the electronic viewfinder.  I'm sure everyone has their personal preferences (and opinions) on this, but this combination makes perfect sense to me and it's such a pleasure to use. The eye sensor mode means that I can take photos using the back screen when I want and I can take photos using the viewfinder if I want to - and I can do this without flicking any switches. The X100S always picks up when my face/eye is near the viewfinder. And the electronic viewfinder is just awesome: it allows me to see what the lens sees, it offers up the 'focus peak highlights' when I'm focusing manually, and I get to see information about my digital image as I'm shooting. Yes, I'm sure the battery gets drained more quickly but I always carry around a spare one anyway so that's no problem at all.

I don't shoot on raw. I've done my research on this and it seems that most X100S photographers out there are 95% happy with their JPEG files. In the new year, I'll probably start experimenting with raw to see whether it's worth it but in my eleven months of shooting just JPEGs on the X100S, I've been very happy with the results.

One thing I've noticed is that I haven't yet gotten into the habit of shooting videos with my X100S, which is something that I do want to do more of. I'll keep you posted on that one.

I have really grown used to holding and using the X100S. It fits really well in my hand. My fingers immediately know what they need to do. My iPhone now feels too small and flimsy and my Canon EOS feels way to big and bulky. And if I'm to be completely honest, I love the feel of the 'leathery' grain under my fingers. Sad, but true.

In all seriousness, the X100S is such a flexible camera. I find that I can take all sorts of photographs on it. My dark and moody images. Abstract images. Crisp images. Product shots. Portrait shots. Event photos. And photos of everyday family life. It's like a little all-in-one camera which also happens to have excellent quality output.

But you know what's the best thing about the camera? It's so compact, I take it everywhere with me. Enough said. 

If you have any questions about the X100S, feel free to ask me in the comments.

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