Recently I had a couple of free days up in Sydney. The weather was glorious, and after checking out some fabulous art at the Biennale and upgrading my knowledge of native birds at the Australian Museum, I wanted to spend some time just wandering the city centre, camera in hand.
The Fujifilm X-T2 is my go-to travel camera – if you haven’t got one I simply can’t recommend it highly enough – and for this trip I restricted myself to taking a single lens only, the XF 23mm f2
Using just one fixed-focal length lens changes how you shoot – it forces you to work a bit harder to ‘find’ the images you’re after without the luxury of fine-tuning with a zoom to include/exclude the exact elements you want.
The Fujifilm 23mm is the equivalent of 35mm on a standard DSLR, so it’s a great angle of view for capturing cityscapes and architectural photography. This particular lens is also physically small and I love it on the X-T2 body because the whole kit weighs next to nothing and is a joy to effortlessly sling over your shoulder as you meander the streets.
Once I started walking around, I quickly became engrossed in the many buildings in central Sydney that had a distinctively retro feel. I decided to shoot an architectural photography series concentrating on the buildings that caught my attention, and specifically went looking at the shapes and patterns in the architecture as well as the interplay of light and shadow. Lights visible through windows, lighting reflecting in glass or dappling across surfaces. Or sometimes just the all-over bright bask-y sunshine.
While doing the edit I noticed a strong theme of cool vs. warm – bright blues playing against yellowy brick and concrete, and took the grading strongly in that direction. I don’t generally grade images this much so it was a bit of experiment for me. I also wanted to experiment with a darker, moody feel and resisted my usual habit of opening up the shadows.