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gdanmitchell
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Re: GFX users


Pavel wrote:
so after a while walking and shooting the gear disappears and I just flow with the creative process. Everything in the world slows down kind of, my "monkey mind chatter" recedes and I'm fully convinced that those are the moments I am most in tune with my creative side. I tend to capture better photos, as opposed to only the technology contributing soullessly to better photographs.


A very important concept and something I think about a lot.

For me it comes from several sources. They include:

- A "present" state of mind that is wholly in the current moment and focused on an almost unconscious level on ones surroundings. There is a term for this — no joke — and it is a "flow state." The concept is often described in terms of athletic focus and performance, and first became conscious of it during a period many years ago when I was a climber — and moments of intense and natural focus often were moments when I could do things on the rock that were otherwise beyond me. I also recall the first time I was conscious of the state as a photographer. I was photographing in a location that most would not regard as anything all that special, alone on a winter morning. I began to photograph some trees in interesting light... and about a half hour later I looked up and realized that I had been so focused on this for the past half hour that the time had essentially disappeared and I realized that I had not even noticed sound during this period. (As a person professionally trained in music, the best performance experiences put one in a state like this as well — deep focus, deep awareness, essentially to the exclusion of outside distraction.)

- Knowing your tools (musical instrument, hands and feet if you are a climber, camera and lenses if a photographer) so well — largely from having practiced with these tools so much — that operating them becomes essentially invisible. With the camera, at this point, you don't operate a camera as much as you see with a camera. The camera gets out of the way of your seeing, but only because it was previously "in your way" so much as you practiced using it.

- The range of tools that can allow one to function effectively in this state range from none (or only your own body, in the case of the climber) to quite sophisticated (a high performance vehicle). In my experience, being in this state is not a function of using any particular piece of equipment. I have experienced it when working quite slowly — for example with certain landscape subjects that barely seem to change at all or in which patient waiting is necessary. But I have experienced it equally when working with fast equipment in rapidly moving circumstances — for example, when photographing birds in flight.

In any case, to bring this back to the Fujifilm GFX one more time, I point out again that this particular camera is not one designed in ways that compel the photographer to work slowly. A view camera more or less does that, and certain older film MF cameras might be said to do so. But the GFX largely transposes the functionality of modern crop sensor and full frame DSLR and mirrorless cameras to a body that has a somewhat larger sensor. One of the design goals of the GFX — and here I think Fujifilm was clearly successful — was to bring the more responsive design of these smaller digital systems into the lower end of the digital MF world.

But still, a skillful, well-practiced photographer should be able to achieve that "flow" state with the GFX as well as he or she can with a wide range of other gear.

Dan



Oct 01, 2017 at 04:27 PM





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