Tool(s) of the Trade

I’m not professional. 

Not in the least bit.

But I have guts and a wicked eye and a willingness to learn from a minimalist perspective. And a bit of internet digging. I’m a firm believer in testing another man’s tips and if they don’t work then I scrap it. I’ve learned that photography is much like a tailored suit: it’s cut for the person, not the audience. 

Let me explain, in my experience you have to shoot what you know. Much like writers, crime novelist are well versed in the world of bad behaviors. You wouldn’t catch them writing self help books from the perspective of a saint. They choose to write from the eyes of the bad guy because it’s what they know. 

My relation to this is use what you know. 

If you’re proficient with an iphone or android camera, rock the fuck out with it. I actually got most of my practice done with a several models of cell-phone devices.  Went on to deeper waters by way of a Pentax K2 35mm film camera. I love that thing and is one camera I’ll never part ways with. 

The itch for speed hit me when I realized how developing film can be cumbersome if the environment is not right. Lack of space and a lack of local support made it a far worse experience when you are self taught. 

Everything had to be mailed out. 


So a chance encounter with a Canon T2i made life a little more… adventurous. See, most of my photographic practice was done while driving. Had no other choice when, at the time, I worked more than practiced and I have a family so that narrowed my time down to nilch. So I used my daily commute to test different methods and experienced some of the same frustrations other shooters felt: missed shots, not focused or under/over exposed. It was a great learning experience albeit a dangerous one. 

Then I graduated to something a bit more involving Street photography. I can’t specify what type of street photography I do because i’m still a student of the craft. Leaning towards environmental portraits, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ m not afraid to ask to take a shot. Or I just take it. 

But the slap of a DSLR mirror was not going to cut it and I needed something compact and fairly( take this with the taste of salt) new. Enter my Fuji Xpro1. A classic, faux rangefinder looking camera. You can find most of the info on this camera here:

The Fuji X-pro1 has been broken down among various sites since it’s creation years ago and it’s still a beast of a camera. I recently mated it with the Fuji Ef-X20 Flash and one of their latest lens creation Fuji XF35mm F2 WR. 

Previously I used various vintage lens and enjoyed it but a chance opportunity to shoot a few pictures at a wedding changed my opinion on native lenses. Also, digging deeper into other photographers work led me to invest more in a native system. 

And so far, I love it. 

I shoot manual more than anything and I’m still getting used to flash photography but I love it. And it makes shooting on the fly fun. No real complaints. 

IS it a camera that I’d recommend to casual users? Nah, I wouldn’t. Causal users would probably feel more comfortable with a dslr until Mirrorless and Micro 4/3 create enough of a buzz that every understands. Some people may feel like they’ve been shafted since it is not a Canon or Nikon and I don’t blame them. Those names carry significant weight. 

Would I recommend this camera to someone that want to go hard in the streets? Yes. Yes I would. Along with a few other models of camera and lens. 

This blog post is kind of random but that’s me.

Copyright © James Dickerson 
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