2022 marks a decade since the Fujifilm X Mount system first appeared on the X-Pro1. To mark the occasion, we’re featuring the work of local Fujifilm photographers. Nicky Newman is leaving a distinct mark on the photography scene, not just locally but also internationally. (Image by Oliver Barnett)
Why do you love photography?
I love photography because is so multi-faceted, so immediate, and evolving so rapidly.
It informs, documents and preserves in a fast-changing world.
It entertains, inspires, moves and connects us.
It can initiate change, make the invisible visible, literally change the world.
It’s an art form that is now so accessible to so many, morphing before our eyes.
It’s like a golden key, granting me access to spaces and people I might not ordinarily have.
I seem to process the world through images, so it’s a tool of alignment, keeps me in the moment, and on my toes, literally and figuratively.
What made you switch to Fujifilm and when did this happen?
About seven years ago I heard Leon Oosthuizen (a former Fujifilm X-Photographer) raving about his own Fujifilm cameras. Mirrorless was new to me, and my first point of attraction was that you can shoot on electronic shutter without the shutter click – something I really needed for intimate situations or for people who struggle in front of the camera.
I wasn’t intending to change brands, but Hein Hough at Fujifilm Cape Town lent me the X-T2 to get a feel for it and I was hooked! I bought the X-T2 immediately and although I kept my other camera, I didn’t use it once in a year and sold it for a second X-T2 body.
Even though I can upgrade, I’ve stuck with my X-T2’s and they’re still going strong!
I’m now a Fujifilm super fan.
What do you love most about the cameras?
I learned photography on old DSLRs, so the external dials fit my muscle memory perfectly. I especially love how compact and light the camera is, particularly good for documentary photography and travel. I’m predominantly a natural light photographer and the low light capacity is great.
I love the ability to shoot without the sound of the shutter sounding, electronic shutter mode for the win! And I love the Fujifilm community and the responsive communication between the brand and photographers.
Tell us a bit more about your photography and what you like to achieve through this.
Photography is my addiction for sure. There’s something magical about holding this small black box up to my eye, being able to stop time for a fraction of a second, and then share that with other people.
For me, it’s equal part documentation, social activism, artistic expression and personal processing. I particularly like long-form storytelling using images.
I’ve always been drawn to movements calling for social action and people who are change agents in the world, shifting our ways of being. And then on the flip side, water, animals and nature allow for much calmer, gentler images.
I’m also growing my fine art business and I’ve been selling archival prints for some years now. I absolutely love seeing a still image of mine on a wall in collections, galleries, or people’s homes.
Last year I was part of the Rand Merchant Bank Talent Unlocked programme for women artists and had work sold on Strauss & Co. This really helped upgrade my knowledge of the fine-art world.
I also love teaching, I think it’s important for people to be the authors of their own stories, so I do a fair amount of lecturing and mentoring as well.