Postcard from Liguria, Italy

In Postcards From..., Travel, Workshops and Events by David16 Comments

We’re wrapping up the first week of the Italy Within The Frame. We’ve been on the Mediterranean for a week and now heading for Venice to begin one more week of great food, wine, and photography, all of which there is in abundance.  I’m not going to lie to you, it’s been rough. 🙂

I’ve given myself new constraints on this trip. These intentional constraints fire me creatively, but they also push me in new directions and keep me learning. This trip I’m using my Fuji XE-1, mostly with the 14mm lens, and I’m shooting square, and mostly black and white. The image at the top , made in Vernazza, will be presented in black and white as a series below, but the colours, straight out of the camera like this, still wow me. These limitations push me to make different decisions than I might normally, to see differently that I usually do, and I’m having a blast with them.

The Fuji continues to surprise me with how good it is, and it’s performed extremely well for both landscape work and street candids. The only weird surprise was finding the word SUPER on my images, though reversed. It took me a while to figure out that my longer exposures were getting reflections from the writing on the lens (from the ring around the front element), after bouncing off my filters. Why manufacturers insist on writing all this stuff where it can be reflected is beyond me. I’ve gaffer-taped it for now, but I’ll probably track down some matte black model paint when I get home and do it right. At least I don’t have to worry about light leaks through the viewfinder as I do with my D800.

Carrying such a small kit makes all the difference for me, and many of the little features of the Fuji are winning me over – the virtual horizon as I compose, the in-viewfinder histogram, even the depth of field markers on the lens of the 14mm which makes street shooting without focusing easier – all of these make a nice change from shooting the larger DSLRs.

On to Venice now for one more week, and then home to finish SEVEN while I pack for my trip to the Khutzeymateen to photograph the grizzlies up north. We launched The Created Image a couple days ago, and if you’re interested in a two-day photographic intensive with me, in Vancouver, this July, you can get more details on the related post.


  1. Love this image, it makes the case “for” the Fuji that much stronger, must ask the wife if i can afford one! What a great shot so peaceful, serene, still… 🙂

  2. Hi David,

    While I’m fond of B&W I must say I prefer the color one this time 😉

    Seeing you’re using a X-E1, and knowing that you’re a filter user, would you mind sharing how your deal with the fact that it seems every other XF lens has a different filter diameter (I’m not yet a X-E1 shooter but doing my homework to ditch my beloved D700 for something lighter) ? Some kind of step-up ring or just accept the burden to have a different filter size for each lens ?


  3. Fuji has been doing some great stuff for a long time, but especially in the past couple of years… some wonderful and very useful innovations as you have noted…

  4. While in Venice, try to catch the Manet exhibit currently at the Palazzo Ducale. Known as a painter, Manet was a close friend of several photographers in Paris. He was also known for his large collection of photographs which he used to help develop his eye for design and casual expression of scenes from everyday life. Some could easily argue that he is the father of street photography. Enjoy…

  5. Wow beautiful images as always David. I must say you took me by surprise when I read that these images are from the XE-1. I thought for sure they were from your DSLR. Stunning.

  6. xpro2 and xe2 with x100s AF will be killer cams … i loooooove my xpro1.

    i hesitate between a x100s and the 14mm … though choice

    1. David,
      Interesting post.
      For what it’s worth, I find the emotional impact of the colour version to be stronger. Such fluid and warm colour…
      I’ve been liberated by restricting myself to a Fuji (X-Pro 1) and three primes.

      I’m going through the same considerations. I know the 14 will open new perceptive for me and so challenge me in new ways.

  7. Sounds like you have recovered from the flu…. congrats…..

    Black and white is great, but I, personally, just could not give up the soft, beautiful colors of the top image. Guess I’m just too much of a colorist, but truly, the colors in that image are just to wonderful.

  8. Beautiful images and great tip about the matte black model paint. I love hearing that you are using constraints to push you creatively.

  9. Welcome to Fujiland. I too love my X-E1. Lusting after the 14mm and will have it shortly. Happy to hear you too are enjoying it. Looking forward to my copy of Seven.

    1. Hi JB,

      Same here, loving the X-E1 and wanting the 14mm also. The 35 f/1.4 is a sweet lens also, perfect for low light and very sharp.


  10. Hi David,

    Beautiful images, as always. Love the composition and light. So happy you are using the Fuji X-E1. I too have recently discovered the Fuji and purchased one, with the 18mm-55mm and the 35 f/1.4 lens. Beautiful camera and beautiful quality. The zoom is surprisingly impressive also, and there is nothing “kit” about it. Looking forward to trying the 14mm as well. Love your images, but I’m a little jealous about you “working so hard” in Italy, haha. Also, I’m looking forward to receiving my “limited” edition of Seven, as I was one of the lucky few that order the Special Limited Edition. Keep up the great work and great vision. Alan

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