The X-Pro1 Great Shots: Camera or Coincidence?

Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro1 lust/hate/love story:

Part Twenty Three: The X-Pro1 Great Shots: Camera or Coincidence?

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately, specifically about images I’ve shot that not only do I like, other people like them too!

Let’s be honest, it’s great when other people like your stuff, it’s not the be all and end all of course, but still… it’s a nice enough feeling.

I think the least important attention that our images get is the attention derived from social media. The digital plaudits of strangers is a fairly empty acquisition, people you don’t know, who’s work you’ve never seen like one, (just the one mind) of your pictures. It’s better than a group of strangers not liking your work, but still… In my opinion it’s something that one should find merely pleasant and flattering, rather than any deep endearment of one’s photographical shizzle

But it is pleasing when it happens, there’s no denying it!

A lot of the images I’ve been recollecting about have been images that had been popular (within context) on my flickr stream.

Not long after I reacquired the X-Pro1 I remember that I still took a lot of X-T1 shots and without fail these shots would get more positive attention on Flickr. I started a post about it on one of the Fuji X Forums.

The consensus of opinion was that because the X-T1 was the newer camera then people were more likely to use that as a search term and look at pictures taken with it!

But then a funny thing happened…

On Flickr, my X-Pro1 shots keep receiving increasing amounts of attention!

I’ve been on Flickr 8 years, and suddenly my X-Pro1 album was getting a fair few views!

The period that my shots started getting additional attention was also the time I really started falling for the X-Pro1

I wonder if this validates my belief that the best camera is the one you love to use the most, that somehow because I was delighted to be using my X-Pro1, so enjoying the way I was using it to take pictures, that this passion was somehow captured in with the shot?

Do you think that holds any logic?

If you really enjoy using a tool, then you’ll enjoy the work you do with that tool.

I think there might be some truth to that… It feels intrinsically possible!!

So, that’s the question I posed in the title…

Camera or coincidence?

Is it just a coincidence that my shots started getting a lot more attention online, after I truly fell for my camera? Or can it be that there’s some mileage in the belief that having equipment with which you feel emotively attached, means you work harder to get better pictures?

Perhaps a little of both, no?

But I certainly like the idea, the idea that we can gain an edge in our output, by being happy and content with what we shoot with.

Of course the pale nirvana of Flickr is being accepted on to their ‘Explore’ page of the daily top 500 rated shots.

Something I’d never managed until this year! So far the X-Pro1 has got me ‘explored’ 3 times in the past 3 months (but never once in the previous 7.5 years!)

Being explored is of course nothing meaningful or special, but again I see that pattern, the pattern of me using a camera I really enjoy seems to produce the best work.

That’s not to say that you all should go and buy X-Pro1s and love them, but I think that the wider take away here is that being contented with your kit can produce stronger work.

I’m not sure that the X-Pro1 got me into Flickr explore (or print and competition results either!) but even if it was all a big coincidence….. I’m pleased to have a camera that I feel content with, and I hope you do too!

Here’s the 3 shots that were explored and how the X-Pro1 helped me get them!

The Calm Sea
For this one, the fast nature of the XF35 and the subtle and discrete form of the X-Pro1 helped me get this shot! I’m pleased that it’s a ‘street’ genre of shot, I’ve put a lot of effort into street this year, so it’s good to get some positive attention

Low Lights
I dug this shot out because I was testing some new RAW PP software. The organic look and colours to this shot are, to my eye, very, very Fuji X.

Love at First Sight
Another street scene, another score for the X-Pro1 being discrete! I thought there would be a shot with the woman, the dog and the skateboarder. I had to follow them around for a bit, pre focus and chose my moment using the OVF. I’m pleased with how this came out.

So… That’s not to say a X-Pro1 will reinvigorate your photography, but using a camera that you love just might!

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4 thoughts on “The X-Pro1 Great Shots: Camera or Coincidence?”

  1. Hi Adam the theme of your blog is Great shots camera or coincidence? , and i have to say right off that i like your shots and interesting not too mention honest blog , but i don’t see any “great” shots .
    I like your shots they are good and competent but none of them jump out to me as great.
    I am not having a go at you as i feel my shots are the same , i have made Explore about 15 times some of them with the Xpro 1 and i agree its a good feeling but short lived as its not down to any great photographers choosing them as far as i know and some of the shots that make Explore i scratch my head at.
    I think that great shots live on in the mind and dare i say the heart and they are very few of them wouldn’t you agree?
    There are many good photographers out there just like there are many good painters and these make up the majority.
    Being famous and selling pictures for vast sums of money and getting big on you tube also does not equate to producing great shots as can be clearly seen by the “bigger” you tubers i.e. Fro, Tony and Chelsea etc they are again competent but hardly great .
    I think its an interesting but ultimately pointless avenue to compare but rather just to enjoy and if our pics make someone happy then thats an achievement in itself.
    I love using my Xpro as you do and the excitement of getting an image i am happy with is another achievement , often though the one i like others don’t.Hey ho.
    Thanks for the blog and i my we don’t have to be world beaters or the best at anything to enjoy and help others enjoy life.
    Cheers John

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    1. Hi John,

      Thanks for the comment. I have to say… I agree with every word you’ve written to be honest!

      Of course no where on my site or in that article do I state “I’m a great photographer” personally I don’t think that’s a label that one can apply to oneself.

      What this article is asking, is it a coincidence that when you enjoy your photography, the output is apparently better received?

      I suspect it’s not a coincidence – a bit like how people can sort of tell if you’re smiling during a telephone call!

      It is nice to have a picture be well received on social media, but I’ve enjoyed it far, far more when magazines and clients have paid me for my work or when one of local galleries uses my stuff.

      But to be honest I wouldn’t say that made those shots ‘great’ either – there’s just something nicer about real human attention, vs an algorithm that selects ‘interesting’ pictures out of the ones uploaded that day.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying my site, I have to say… it’s a lot of time and work, but the responses and dialogues and interactions it gives me with people around the world (give or take the occasional idiot) make it worth while.

      I particularly enjoy when someone has a point to share and discuss, such as you with this comment, so thank you very much

      Cheers
      Adam

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  2. HI Adam thanks for the reply and i agree with you , and enjoy your interesting thoughts on photography .
    I know you were not blowing your own trumpet by saying that your pics were great (whatever that really means).
    I apologise for the last paragraph on the last comments as i should have read it first, i think predictive text is such a pain and forget to check most of the time.it should have said “in my mind” not “i my”
    There is a key to enjoyment in all things written down thousands of years ago that makes myth of the happiness of wealth/fame attitude so prevalent these days and it is this “there is more happiness in giving than receiving ” and i find that to be true of everything we do and applies so well to photography , i don’t care as much for the financial reward i may get for a job i do ie a wedding as much as i do about pleasing the couple .
    More power to you Adam and look forward to more of your work.
    John

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