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PROJECT 23 – Fujifilm X100S Street Photography in the Most Liveable City in the World - Part 1 of 2

Posted by Maya Sugiharto

 

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“Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 01 Flinders St”

The beginning…

After the announcement that Melbourne was named the most liveable city in the world for the fifth year running this year, I had an idea to venture out into this beautiful city, my city, and capture its people, the places, the culture and essence of what makes it the most liveable city in the world.

Throughout my entire photography career I have used a DSLR camera, an avid Nikon user – but for a project such as this, I felt bogged down carrying so much weight, unable to move around as freely and swiftly as possible to capture what’s going on around me. I have wanted to use a Fujifilm mirrorless camera for a while for Street Photography, so when I saw the Fujifilm X100S camera, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity for the job.

PROJECT 23, in collaboration with Fujifilm Australia, is a showcase of 23 photographs of Street Photography over a period of 23 weeks, which started on the 23 July 2015. Each week I share the latest photograph on Instagram and Facebook. I am currently half way through the project and it’s been an amazing experience so far.

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 03 Papa Gino's

 

Little bit of background…

I am part of a two-women team, in a creative business partnership called Agent Morphe Design based in Melbourne, Australia. Our work has a focus on creative projects that make a difference in people's lives, to inspire women and people in general. I am the photographer and one of the short film makers in the business.

I had a 180-degree career change when I was 35 – from the corporate world to the creative industry, two polar opposites. I took a huge risk, because I believe you can do anything you set your mind to. Five years later, I have fallen more deeply in love with being able to tell people's stories visually and do it in a way that they deserve to be told – through editorial, commercial, documentary, adventure, sports and lifestyle photography.

My philosophy of photography… I think photography should be fun, simple and meaningful. It’s not just about being good technically, or having a solid concept in mind, but I think we should stay true to our passion. If you feel it, chances are people who see your work will feel it too and connect with you.

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 05 St Kilda Pier

 

Out on the streets…

With my Fujifilm X100S in hand, I ventured out into the cold streets of Melbourne’s winter.

As I had expected, the Fujifilm X100S was perfect for this project. Light, simple, easy to use and carry. With a 23mm lens attached to its sleek yet rugged body, I could concentrate on photographing the world around me.

It wasn’t all easy sailing though when I began. I knew that there may be some adjustment, after having always used a DSLR and then moving into a mirrorless camera.

I was used to photographing subjects that had been planned. I would have a brief, an idea of how the photograph would look, who I’d be working with, a concept and subject matters. With PROJECT 23, Street Photography using the Fujifilm X100S, I had to get used to a whole different way of approaching this. I needed to learn to be spontaneous, in the moment and that was a challenge for someone who always likes to plan and prepare for everything! I found myself resisting, and still trying to plan the shot, but the photographs were missing something, I could feel it. Finally I let go and embraced it, and half way through the project, I now love being able to feel free, not only physically with the size and weight of the camera, but also the freedom to be in the moment.

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 06 Alice In Wonderland

What I didn’t expect was the intuitiveness of the Fujifilm X100S menu. To me, it’s very ‘Apple’ like, and makes it so easy to navigate and transition from Nikon DSLR with its logic. It has allowed me to produce a different style of photography than I would do with my DSLR, and I’ve really enjoyed the creative side of it.

I adapted to the difference in using the Fujifilm X100S and each time I get out there into the streets of Melbourne, I’m excited about what I’m going to find and capture next.

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 09 On Two Wheels

 

What’s next…

Well, I am at the halfway point of the project right now and the weather is warming up dramatically. PROJECT 23 in its entirety is due to be launched by mid / third week of January 2016.

Once the project is completed, I will publish the images on my photography portfolio online, and will also be on the lookout for opportunities where I can publish a small book to showcase Melbourne a little differently, or a part of an exhibition. I love collaboration, so I am also interested in working with other parties on new projects or extensions of PROJECT 23. The possibilities are endless.

There’s no turning back once you’ve had the chance to try a Fujifilm mirrorless camera. It’s provided me with an opportunity to grow as a photographer; and although primarily I am still very much a DSLR user, the mirrorless camera serves a purpose that no other camera can fulfil. It was the perfect choice for PROJECT 23 for me.

I look forward to all the adventures that lie ahead of me as I carry my camera in my hand all over the world and Australia.

To view the photographs to-date from PROJECT 23, you can head to the website, Facebook Page or Instagram:

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Project 23 - © Maya Sugiharto 2015 - X100S - 12 Spring

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