Fujifilm South AfricaTake TenWesley JacobsX-CommunityX-SeriesX-Trans II SensorX-UserX100TXF16-55mm F2.8

TAKE TEN: Wesley Jacobs

Cape Town-based Wesley Jacobs started shooting landscapes as personal therapy, but soon it turned into a fascination. We caught up with him to chat about craftsmanship, the value of personal vision and why he connects with Fujifilm.

Wesley Jacobs

What made you pick up a camera for the first time?

I think it’s the urge to create that’s always been in my blood. To be able to suspend a moment in time, kick-start a memory from yesteryear or evoke a lost emotion – to me those are powerful and probably the biggest drivers for me in picking up a camera and investing in learning the art form.

Why your focus on landscapes?

It started off as a bit of personal therapy, a chance to just slow down and connect with the moment. It grew into a fascination with natures’ pulse, the ebb and flow of the tides, clouds being formed and dissolved almost instantly, patterns in the land.

It is now, like most genres of photography, about trying to compose a moment that will never exist again in that exact shape or form. The other side of it is also to try and bring a sense of beauty into my viewers’ lives. There is so much turmoil, negativity and anxiety in the world, that, if an image I created gives you a little bit of pause, or peace, or evokes an emotion in you, then I’m happy to have made a positive impact, no matter how fleeting.

What inspires you?

A couple of things really. For one, my wife. She has a drive and determination that’s second to none and hard to keep up with a lot of the time, and an incredibly kind heart.

Craftsmanship and great design is another. It shows a dedication in thought and execution, both which can only be mastered by repetition and hard work.

Lastly, kindness. With all the negativity that we’re exposed to on a daily basis, acts of kindness really gives me hope in humanity for a healthy future.

When and why did you switch to Fujifilm?

I switched to Fujifilm in 2022. I had reached a point where the previous system I was using didn’t really connect with me nor provide any real satisfaction in “getting the shot”. I have a belief that the tools you use are an extension of you, they have to get the job done but also inspire you to want to use them.

I can cite all the usual (and well deserved) reasons that all gear reviewers give, like Fujifilm’s amazing colours, the size and weight savings, the bang-for-buck value proposition of the gear, the incredible glass they produce or the supreme flexibility of their film simulations. Ultimately though, I switched because I connected with the way Fujifilm designs cameras – the tactility, the intuitive nature of the system, the retro style of it all and their investment in the process of taking the photograph. There’s a bit of soul in Fujifilm’s gear and it feels soulful using it.

What camera and lens do you use most? What do you like about it?

This is a bit of a split at the moment. On the one hand, it would have to be the X-T4 and the XF16-55mmF2.8 for landscapes. The combination is really bulletproof, reliable and built like a tank. It gives me enough focal range and flexibility for the majority of what I do. I don’t ever feel that I need something else in terms of versatility.

My other go to, which is also my daily carry, is the X100T. It’s such a powerful little camera, completely unobtrusive and I do love that X-Trans II sensor. Arguably, I think the X100 series is the benchmark for point-and-shoot compacts.

Please share one photography tip with our readers.

Value your vision (and try to make it the best version it can be). Only you can see the world from your viewpoint. Everybody can learn the technical aspects of making an image but nobody else will be able to capture the world in the way you see it. Place value in that.

Is there a specific place you would still like to capture?

We don’t have enough time for that list, ha-ha! I think the beauty of landscape photography is that there isn’t a place on Earth I wouldn’t love to capture. But if I have to narrow it down to some bucket list locations, it would be the Namibian Skeleton Coast, the Dolomites, Yosemite National Park, Iceland and Hawaii.

Find more of Wesley’s work here:

Website: www.retinaandglass.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/retinaandglass/

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