Urban Abstraction with Fuji X100T

I had to interrupt my weekend chores today to take advantage of the incredibly warm weather here in Saint Paul. It's February, it's winter, and it's like 60 degrees!

I was in the mood for abstraction. Subconsciously, I was inspired by a documentary I recently watched on Christoph Niemann, the talented illustrator who's done numerous New Yorker magazine covers. Most of the shots I took are looking upward. The sky creates a simple, minimalist background and the X100T, of course, is the perfect minimalist camera.

Fuji X100T Captures Faces of Italy

First, let me admit the obvious -- the photos posted here aren’t flawless. I made plenty of mistakes using my new Fuji X100T on our family’s recent trip to Italy. In looking at some out-of-camera jpegs on a larger screen, it became clear that I hadn’t mastered focusing technique. For example, too often I used servo-mode autofocus with too-shallow depth of field (e.g., aperture priority f4.0). Since returning home, I’ve read about zone focusing and other ways I could have achieved superior results. However, I’m not hung up on these technical errors. Instead, I’m absolutely thrilled with the instant memories these images have created for me and the possibilities of the Fuji X100T as a street photographer’s dream!

Italy is a feast for the eyes. Around every corner lies a spread of visual delights. Ancient ruins, medieval fortresses, marble statues, Venetian canals and rolling Tuscan hills greet you in gasp-after-gasp splendor. But it is the people of Italy who truly bring this country to life!

The richness and depth of their culture is reflected in the expressive eyes of everyday Italians. To capture their visages, I had my X100T on a Peak Design Clutch wrist strap 90% of the time, making the camera instantly accessible. In some cases, I did request my subject’s permission for a photo. In most instances, however, I shot in more stealth fashion, holding the camera in my right palm at waist-level, with my thumb on the release and the lens aimed 90 degrees to the left. The compactness of the X100T made this ergonomically feasible -- something I could never do with my Nikon D600. I had the X100T set on silent mode so there was no audible click upon shutter release, an invaluable feature in street photography!

My favorite photo of the entire trip, excluding those that feature my family, is the one I’ve dubbed “Monterosso Matriarch”.  I had observed this lovely older woman in the fishing village of Monterosso Al Mare in the morning carrying groceries up steep stairs to her home. I spotted her again later that evening, seated on a bench and still wearing the same recognizable cotton house dress. She stared ahead with a piercing gaze, seeming a bit lonely. Her weathered skin, walking cane and visible veins suggested a long tenure here – and thousands of accumulated stories. I have since regretted not engaging her in conversation and can only hope to amend this mistake in the not-too-distant future with a return visit.


Monterosso Matriarch

Rain in Rome

Dogue de Bordeaux and owner at Milano Centrale train terminal

Siena shopkeeper

I left my heart in La Spezia

Cinque Terre tuber

Monterosso mommas

Pisa Polizei

Monterosso Beachcombers

Roman runners

Dino e Toni, Rome

Sleepy in Siena

Thirsty in Rome

Siena Cigarette

Pisa enforcement

Florence directions

Vatican uscita