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TAKE TEN: Joerg Kemminer

To call Joerg Kemminer a Fujifilm-enthusiast might be an understatement, with five cameras lining his camera bag. With a love of landscape photography and an appreciation of shooting street with the X100V, we chatted to him about what drives his passion for photography.

Why do you love photography?

I love being outdoors, I see many beautiful and interesting things around me and I want to preserve these sometimes very fleeting moments. For me, photography is painting with light. It gives me the opportunity to express my ideas of aesthetics. It comes in the form of balanced compositions, beautiful colours and touching moods.

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

My focus is on landscape photography. This is also the genre from which I chose the 10 images for this feature, all from my recent work here in Southern Africa. Besides that, I like street photography very much and since I am here in South Africa, I also enjoy wildlife photography opportunities.

Photography gives me the possibility, in the truest sense of the word, to put things into a perspective or into the ‘correct light’ if that makes sense. What I try to capture and depict is to find the underlying aesthetics, even in things that may not be so beautiful.

An example is the photo of the charcoal-making men in Namibia above. Their job is hard, probably harmful to health, poorly paid, and definitely not good for the environment. The picture doesn’t hide any of that, but it shows the whole thing in a very aesthetic way.

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

I got to know Fujifilm from a photo guide with whom I had been on a photo trip back in 2013 to Ireland and initially bought an X-M1 out of curiosity. I quickly replaced it with an X-E2 because of the lacking viewfinder, and at some point, realised that my heavy full-frame equipment was staying in the cupboard more and more often.

In 2016, I switched completely when Fujifilm brought the X-T2 onto the market. Its operating concept and size reminded me of the camera of my youth, a Minolta X-700, which awakened my passion for photography.

Which Fujifilm camera(s) do you use and what’s your favourite lens?

I own and use both GFX and X Series cameras. In total I have five cameras: GFX100S, GFX 50R, X-H1, just recently replaced my X-T3 with the brand new and wonderful X-T5, plus I also have a X100V. For street photography the X100V is the camera of choice, for dedicated landscape photography trips of course, I love to take the GFX system.

The question about my favourite lens made me curious and I checked my photo database. It turned out that it is the 23mm of the X100V, a camera that I have used the most together with the X-T3. From the interchangeable lenses, it’s the XF16-55 f/2.8.

The question is, of course, whether the most used lens is also the favourite lens. For the X100V with its 23mm, I would definitely say yes, as the 35mm full frame equivalent for me is what other photographers see as the standard 50mm lens.

What do you love most about them?

The Fujifilm X100V is a beauty of a camera and the new 23mm f/2 has everything I could wish for: the right focal length, it’s small, super sharp even at open aperture, provides a reasonable depth of field and has no distortions.

But what I love most about Fujifilm in general are the colours. Cameras from other manufacturers may be better in one aspect or another, but when it comes to colours, no one can hold a candle to Fujifilm.

What’s on your photography bucket list?

Oh, that’s easy: as a landscape photographer I have to go to Patagonia once in my life. I booked a trip for February 2020, but we all know what happened at that point in time. The trip was cancelled two weeks before it should start. One other bucket list destination I ticked off last year: Namibia and especially Sossusvlei. What an amazing place and a landscape photographer’s dream.

Do you have one photography tip to share?

Whether someone is a good photographer or not is not because of the equipment. It helps of course, but it’s much more about training your ‘photographic eye’, developing a sense of aesthetics and then, of course, being able to realise it technically well. You can start with it on your doorstep – everything out there is a potential motif.

Find more of Joerg’s work here:

Instagram: @joergkemminer
Website: joergkemminer.zenfolio.com
Read his review of the Fujifilm GFX100S here.

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