Roadtrip to Zuberoa and Falling in Love with Fujifilm All over Again

I became interested in Fujifilm because I wanted a smaller system to bring along with me to my travels when I was not shooting landscape photographs with all my Canon set up (filters, tripod...). Last year, after an exhausting trip around Portugal where I walked around with over 1.5kgs around my neck for 7 days, I got the Xpro 1 with the 35mm 1.4. I really loved the aesthetics of the camera and I had already seen what other photographers were able to do with it, so I gave it a go. Even though the camera was a few years old, I didn't really care, I am not interested in the latest gear, as long as I can manage to make photographs with it, I can use any old camera, really. Oh! how I love my 1976's Canon Ae-1... 

On my first session, I took some portraits for a project that was later exhibited in India, and I totally fell in love with the camera and lens set up. After that, I took it with me to all my portrait sessions and everytime, I loved it more and more. When we went to the US and Canada last summer, I decided to bring it along and get the 18-55mm for the trip. I just needed a walk around camera, I wasn't trying to change systems, and guess what? It was a perfect experience. 

But after shooting with it so much, I decided that I wanted a daily carry and I chose the Fuji X100T, which is phenomenal. It's tiny and the 35mm field of view is wonderful. I really enjoy shooting in Classic Chrome and it's so great that it made me finally leave my big dslr at home when I traveled to Paris back in March. I realized I was much better off with a film camera and this small Fuji combination. 

Up until now, I had only used this system for travel, street, architecture and portrait photography. I had tried shooting landscapes, but somehow I wasn't really enjoying how my images looked. Was it the sensor? the sharpness? maybe my inability to work around X trans files in Lightroom? I don't know...but I wasn't convinced because I wasn't getting the same results as with my Canon 6d set up. I love the compactness, the joy of using the cameras but there's something about landscapes that personally, it doesn't convince me. 

My Xpro 1, although it is very special to me, it often gets on my nerves when I'm trying to nail focus, so I saved for many months and just got the XT1 as a birthday present. And there we go...I'm in love all over again. If I could overcome the learning curve of developing landscape files in Lightroom, I would switch immediately. Sell the Canon body and all L lenses in order to get new adapters for my filters and a Fujinon wide angle lens. However, I am not there, yet... but getting close... after this weekend roadtrip to Zuberoa, France. 

We left on Friday evening and got there 3 hours later. We parked our van in a beautiful place surrounded by mountains and we slept until 9am Saturday morning. We had already been to Sainte Engrace, but because the area is so wonderful and the Kakueta canyon is a perfect short hike, we visited once again.  I only took the XT1 with the 18-55mm, a Manfrotto Pixi Mini tripod and spare batteries. I like one camera one lens combination and I couldn't have enjoyed it more. 

After the Kakueta Canyon, we visited the Holtzarte suspension bridge which sits 170m above the river. The hike is quite intense but the surrounding area makes up for it. 

And here I am developing all these beautiful files using VSCO and Lightroom, and somehow I am enjoying what I see. Don't ask me about technical stuff, if my eyes like it, then I am happy. I loved the shooting experience and I would love to work with my Lee filter system and this camera. Probably what I didn't really like was that in order to stop down to ISO 100 (to make long exposures), I had to sacrifice shooting in Raw...but I guess that I could have gotten around it using filters instead. Anyways, these 1 sec, F22, ISO 100, Jpeg long exposures aren't bad either, just different to my workflow. 

After these two successful hikes, we crossed over the Pyrenees to come back home. The snow and foggy ambiance made the mountains look spectacular and moody. It was really windy, but having lunch with the heating on and surrounded by this scenery, it was a perfect way to end our roadtrip.