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TAKE TEN: Brandon Powell

There are worse ways to spend your days than taking gorgeous photos of awesome cars. Joburg-based automotive photographer, Brandon Powell shares with us his ten favourite Fujifilm shots, chatting about his love of the new linear motor lenses along the way. (Image by @the_only_fee.)

Tell us a bit more about your photography and what you would like to achieve through it.

Automotive photography is where I started. I have always loved cars, the love for the open road and adventure. It’s a genre I will always document, even just for myself.

As a full-time photographer, I shoot automotive, commercial portraits, lifestyle and event work for big brands and agencies throughout South Africa. I am always looking to work with new brands, especially adventure and automotive brands.

Why do you love photography?

Photography gives me an opportunity to pick out scenes and memories out of a day that I feel were the most memorable and share them with the world. For me, sunset and sunrise missions are the most enjoyable, these have always been my favourite times of the day, way before I picked up a camera.

What made you switch to Fujifilm and when did this happen?

I switched to Fujifilm in 2019, having only just started out my photography career early that year. My first camera felt like a computer, it just wasn’t something that inspired me to get out and shoot, so rather soon after buying it, I sold it.

The experience of shooting is just as important to me as the image quality. I moved to Fujifilm for the amazing user experience and aesthetics. The classic film camera design and all-metal build appealed to me so much. Being fun to use, the lens options, amazing colour reproduction and design were what sealed it for me though.

I did switch to another well-known brand in October 2021 but moved back to Fujifilm after three months. Those cameras again just felt like computers, completely uninspiring, and the highlight roll-off was harsh. Fujifilm lenses have a film-like highlight roll off that feels organic.

Since the new line of linear motor lenses have been launched, the AF speed and accuracy is just incredible, it feels like a completely different camera system.

Which Fujifilm camera do you use, and do you have a favourite lens?

I use two X-T3’s, and I’ve recently bought the new 23mm F1.4 LM WR and the 33mm F1.4 LM WR lenses. I’ve always loved the 56mm F1.2, but the new linear motor lenses are just so incredibly accurate, fast and sharp that they are slowly becoming my favourites. Those along with the 90mm F2, some of my favourite images have been made with the 90mm F2.

What do you love most about the camera and lenses?

The X-T3s do absolutely everything I need with ease – image quality is exceptional, fast AF, reliable, weather-sealed and they are just so dang good to look at, that definitely counts, right?

I’ve owned and used almost all the Fujinon primes, but one that I just can’t do without is the 90mm F2.  I have bought and sold it a couple times, but I’ve recently just bought another one and this time it’s staying with me for good. It’s super sharp, renders beautifully and the AF is always accurate. It’s a lens that always churns out the ‘hero’ shot on a project.

Find more of Brandon’s work:
or @brandonpowellphoto on Instagram.

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