Friday, October 14, 2016

PRIME TIME IN BANGKOK - taking the Fujifilm 23mm F2 lens for a walk

As a Street Photographer, I'm often asked what gear I use the most when I go hunting on the streets... Till a few months ago, my go-to lens was the Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 lens paired with a X-T1/2, giving it a 50mm equivalent focal length. 

X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 2000, f4.5, 1/250s

While famous Street Photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, preferred the 50mm on their film cameras, I sometimes like to come in a little closer, although there is definitively a place for both!

So, before I left for a short layover in Bangkok last week, I decided to only take my two favourite primes; grabbing my trusty 35mm f2 and the brand-new 23mm f2. Together with my X-T2 , they would make for a great Street Photography set-up!

X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 2000, f3.6, 1/250s

Well, although I brought both in my small Retrospective bag, it was the 23mm f2 that did all the work...

X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 1250, f3.6, 1/250s

First stop, was the main Bangkok railway station! It was Thai street photographer Rammy Narula, who just like myself, appeared on the Valerie's Jardin Street Focus podcast, that inspired me to visit the place. Rammy has published a photography book (Platform 10 - click here for more) with some amazing images all shot on Platform 10 of the station. Made over more than a hundred visits, the photos were all taken in the same 20 min block where the light was at its best and are very moody and Noir. 

X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 400, f3.6, 1/600s
Valerie on the other hand has just set-up her own new podcast, called "Hit the Streets"; if you are not subscribed yet, make sure you do so here
X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 3200, f4, 1/240s

Although, I wasn't there when the light was at its best, I did enjoy my visit and will likely be back!
X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 2000, f6.4, 1/250s
The remainder of the time was spent strolling around China Town in search for some more  interesting images. Something that was challenging given it was a quiet weekend morning, unlike the normal vibe the place has on a weekday morning or later at night... 
X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 1000, f5, 1/320s

Although some might disagree, I personally think that Street Photography doesn't need to be limited to only shooting people. Be it a decorated tree, 
X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 3200, f5, 1/300s

or a couple of mannequins hanging on a fence; both made me smile!
X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 400, f5, 1/250s

Bangkok (Thailand) might not be the first place that comes to mind when picking a city to do Street Photography, but it is definitively full of opportunities!

To come back to the 23mm f2 lens; since I didn't even take the 35mm out of the bag, it looks like it will become my new favourite lens for Street Photography. In case you missed my "First Look review" on the release day, please click here.

Lastly all of the images were shot using the Fujifilm Classic Chrome Film Simulation mode on the Fujifilm X-T2 camera.
X-T2 with 23mm f2 lens, ISO 1000, f6.4, 1/250s

To all the Thai people, my sincere condolences for the loss of your King on October 13, 2016.

Now "Hit the Streets" and have a great weekend! 


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