I have historically had a bit of a weird relationship with photography. I didn't grow up taking pictures although I was always artistic. As a kid, I studied several art forms including oil painting and sculpture. It wasn't until I was studying for a degree in graphic design (after earning degrees in psychology and sociology) that I was first properly exposed to photography. Still, I didn't really take to photography right away. Sure, I would take lots of photos on holidays, but for many years they remained largely standard holiday snaps.
The dawning of digital photography was the planting of the seed that would eventually blossom into the love of photography. The ability to edit, remix and mash-up my photos without even the need for a darkroom changed everything. My first DSLR, a Canon Rebel T3i, further opened up my world to professional level photography and it was my move from small-town central Illinois off to England that opened my eyes to new visual delights to spur my imagination.
A few more years of refinement and an upgrade to a Canon T3i continued to hone my technique and my eye. But throughout this journey, there was one issue that continued to put a damper on my excitement for taking photos—the size and weight of DSLRs. I found myself never wanting to take my camera out with me because I didn't want to deal with the bulk, and that attitude is the death of creativity.
Then a few years ago I started hearing about mirrorless cameras, though at this point they were still mostly as large as standard DSLRs. Then came reviews of a new model by Fuji, a brand that had never previously been on my radar, the Fuji X-T20. Repeated glowing reviews combined with the camera's small form factor, analogue controls and superb optics eventually put this camera at the top of my wish list. Then with a trip to Yosemite looming, I decided that the only way I could do the trip justice would be if the Fujii X-T20 came along for the ride. Shortly into the trip, my love affair with Fuji mirrorless was in full swing as I no longer dreaded carrying my camera and the ease of manual shooting significantly boosted my technical prowess.
Full blog posts about the X-T20 and the Yosemite trip will be forthcoming but I learned at least one major lesson on that trip—it is about the camera. Don't get me wrong, I fully agree with the notion that you don't need a super expensive camera to take good photos, but you do need a camera that allows you to work in a way that the hardware gets out of the way of your creativity. And for me, the Fuji X-T20 does this in a way that no other camera has ever achieved. My love affair with photography has been rekindled and I'm excited to see where the creativity allowed by this camera will take me next.