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PROJECT 23 – Fujifilm X100S, street photography, in the most liveable city in the world - part 2 of 2

Posted by Maya Sugiharto

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 22 Hosier Lane

A love story…

As 2015 came to an end, sadly, so did PROJECT 23. It took me out onto the streets of Melbourne, with my trusted Fujifilm X100S for 23 weeks, and gave me the opportunity to collaborate with Fujifilm Australia.

I was left with mixed emotions. I always feel great after completing a successful creative project – to see the results, the feedback, and the experience itself is an extremely satisfying feeling. However at the same time, I always feel lost and find myself coming up with all these new ideas for new projects so that I can get myself back out there to begin something new. Whether the project is two weeks or six months, I have a longing and excitement when I’m finished to begin what’s next.

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 15 Afternoon Stroll

The day-to-day grind…

Photographer, to most, is seen as a really cool job, envied by many because it is perceived that we get to go out there, see the world, create beautiful images, and work with really cool gadgets and talented people. This isn’t far from the truth, because the job itself IS really truly amazing! I have to admit, it’s one of the things that inspired me to pursue photography as a career. I always refer to it as the best job in the world!

However, like with anything in life, when we’re looking at it from the outside, we often don’t see what’s really involved behind the scenes; the challenges, the really hard times, the grind, the down times, the mistakes and the learning, and what we need to push through to make our dreams into a reality.

In this day and age, especially with the rise of social media and digital technology, it makes it a lot easier and super fast for people to share their photographs and connect with other photographers from anywhere in the world.

Like many of you out there, I’m just another person following my passion, and it’s easy for me to get lost in the noise, but if I stay true to my passion and the work that I love, I believe that my work will always reflect the true me. 

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 14 Mojo Jacket

My vision, my tool…

I did my research. I read and heard so many good reviews about using a mirrorless camera before making my decision and choosing Fujifilm X100S as my tool for the vision I had for PROJECT 23.

I was blown away with the quality of the camera: its sleekness, its ruggedness, the easy to use menus and functions, as well as the inconspicuous look overall, all compacted into such a small beautiful body.

The buttons and dials are ‘all there’ in plain sight for me to see, in a ‘simplified’ form, so that any photographer who picks up the camera can focus on creating good quality imagery and spend less time on figuring out the technical side of things.

Using the Fujifilm X100S, I was able to create different styles of images using: the double exposure menu, the built in ND filter and the Bulb mode to create long exposure, just a few of many, and it performed every single time.

From my experience of being out on the streets of Melbourne with PROJECT 23, I know that the Fujifilm X100S is a superior camera at its class because of the ‘one-body one-lens’ concept. No frills, no hassle, just one good reliable camera.

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 16 Melbourne Star

Now that it’s all over…

I’m the type of person that is used to planning EVERYTHING! So when I began planning PROJECT 23, what I had in my mind 23 weeks ago, was very different to what came out of it at the end. I went out thinking that I would get a particular shot on that day. I had the scene in my head. And I went looking for it.

And it was a great learning for me, to know the importance of being in the moment for street photography – that often is when the best photographs come out when I least expect them.

I recall one of the nights I was out, and I had my mind set on a type of photograph I wanted to get, but I just wasn’t seeing any of that in the streets as I wondered around the city in Melbourne. It frustrated me so much. Then I surrendered and sat down, and just watched people. Then I saw it – and that was my photograph titled ‘Spring’ that I took on week 12.

I loved walking around the streets of Melbourne. It’s what I love most about photography itself. The city buzz, the people, the lights, the buildings. Just being out in the open air and seeing the world happen around me.

I learned a valuable lesson that I take from this project, and that is to always remain open, flexible and most importantly, to accept the unpredictability of street photography and to be in the moment.

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 18 Centre Place

 Gratitude…

I believe everything happens for a reason. Life is about creating opportunities and I’m grateful for this one. Collaboration is so important in my growth as a professional photographer. And even more importantly, to be able to find collaboration that works, because it’s like a marriage between different people with a similar vision; and I was fortunate to be able to experience that with Fujifilm Australia in PROJECT 23.

I am excited to continue working with my trusted Fujifilm X100S camera to see where it takes me!

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 21 St Kilda Pier

To view the full 23 photographs from PROJECT 23, you can head to the website, Instagram or my Facebook Page.

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