Since purchasing the FujiFilm 35mm f2 i've wanted to put it through its' paces during a model shoot. The effective field of view being 53mm on a full frame camera, I thought this would be appropriate. I know this isn't an ideal portrait lens and that there are many other lenses by FujiFilm that would be more appropriate. In addition to this lens I also own the 56mm 1.2 and love it for portraiture, but for this shoot I was looking for a wider field of view.
Here in Northern California we are blessed with some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline that exist on this amazing planet. I've always wanted to do an implied nude/nude photoshoot at one of the local beaches but the stars hadn't aligned until recently. I have been working with an amazing local model that I found on modelmayhem.com . Marie Jean is great to work with and I love the results we are able to obtain together. After a short conversation she suggested the location and we set up the shoot. My hope was to include the sunset but the weather gods weren't on our side. The fog rolled in and wasn't going to lift. We decided to go ahead with the shoot regardless. I actually prefer to shoot in flat light or overcast skies. You don't have to worry about harsh shadows or trying to balance the light on the model with the light of the sun.
I'm a run and gun photographer. When I shoot outdoors I don't like to lug around a ton of equipment. I love natural light and believe that you don't always need a flash to make a great image. Don't get me wrong, I love working with off camera flash and have done so often. I usually reserve flash photography for my indoor work or when the light is just too harsh to balance with reflectors. For this shoot I was lucky that all I needed was my Fuji XT1 and the 35mm f2 lens.
The focus speed is fantastic with this lens. There were a few times where I switched to manual focus and used the focus peaking feature. For this shoot background blur or "bokeh" wasn't as important to me. Most of the shots have distant backgrounds and this lens handled them beautifully.
Lately i've been exploring shooting implied nudes. I have set out to push the boundaries of my photographic abilities and experiences. I believe that you will never improve your craft unless you get outside of your comfort zone. I was lucky enough to be working with an amazing young lady that put me at ease and was generous with her experience, suggesting spots and poses throughout the shoot.
I've gotten to the point where I no longer have to worry about my equipment or settings. I shot film for close to 25 years with a manual focus camera. Settings come naturally to me. The Fuji system is as close as I can get to using an old school film camera and is much like my old Nikon FE2. The 35mm f2 lens is unbelievably compact and a joy to use. The only draw back that I could possibly mention is that the provided lens hood is practically useless. I can't imagine it makes much difference at all when attached. There are aftermarket hoods available, but so far I haven't needed to use one. This camera lens combination made this shoot effortless and fun. I wouldn't hesitate to use it again in the future.