Photography is, quite literally, the art of ‘drawing with light’ ( having Greek roots; φωτός (phōtos), genitive of φῶς (phōs), “light” and γραφή (graphé) “representation by means of lines” or “drawing”, together meaning “drawing with light”). The camera as a tool is designed to capture and record light. When in 2012 I decided that I wanted to, in some way, develop my love of photography into something more than just an occasional hobby, I chose the name ‘Light & Life Images’ for my website. Those three simple words ‘light’, ‘life’, and ‘image’ sum up what this art is all about, light, capturing life, produced into images for all to enjoy – or not – depending on your tastes!
My tools are all X-series cameras from Fujifilm, owning three at the present time and another, an X-T10 hopefully once I’ve saved my pennies… I had always liked Fuji camera’s but my sole camera for a few years had been a tiny Fujifilm S1500. It was early in 2012 when I became aware of their release of the Fujifilm X100. At over £700 it was a tad over my budget but I was very taken by the retro looks, the very ‘Leica-like’ appearance. The reviewers raved however about it’s build quality, overall performance and IQ. When, a little later Fuji released the X100’s little brother, the X10, again to solid reviews but at a more reasonable price for my budget, I decided this was the camera for me. I have never made a better decision in purchasing a camera. The X10 is a beautiful, classic photographic tool, occasionally blighted by inconsistent auto-focusing (and the infamous ‘orbs’ on the first version), but nonetheless capable of producing stunning images. My current X10 is actually my second.. When Fuji updated the X10 to the X20 I was fooled into swapping mine for the newer model. I sold my X10 to my friend Alex, and bought the X20. It’s an odd thing, your relationship with your camera. It is by it’s very virtue your most basic and important tool as a photographer. The X20 looked exactly the same as the X10 but for me, it had lost something in the upgrade, something intangible but missing nonetheless… After a year of trying to come to terms with what I thought was a reduced image quality somewhere – I may be alone in thinking that – I sold the X20 on E-bay, to no great financial loss, and bought another new X10. I am glad I did. The X10 is now out of production. I love this little camera. It goes everywhere with me and while Fuji have again up’d the game with their X30 – a noticeably different successor camera to the X20 – I have not been and will not be, tempted to part with my little black magic box… it’s a keeper.
So I was out in the town of Colne in Lancashire, UK just after Christmas 2012 when I captured the image above. I had been doing a few shots of the town after sunset, all the Christmas lights were still on but the shops were closed and the streets were deserted. I had the camera set on it’s Pro-low-light mode when I saw this boy half riding, half pushing his bike up the long and steep main high street; you know when there is an image to be made and this was that time. It’s a lovely image I think, possibly my favorate photograph; the blur of the passing vehicles heading out of the town adding to the image in contrast to the boys’ efforts at pushing his bike up-hill, it’s grainy and not-so-sharp, but it works. Ultimately, that is the essence of photography.
*Note January 2016. In October last year and going against what I wrote above, I bought the new X30… it was ‘OK’, but really not much of an improvement on the X10 apart from the ‘classic chrome’ film mode and so I sold that to and reverted back to the X10 as my ‘pick-up’ camera.