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I can’t remember when but I stumbled upon a post of an Instagrammer who wanted to publish a photography book of his eight chosen mobile photographers. His initial target was to produce 1,000 books through ulele. I was very excited as I have browsed through their feeds and found different styles which I could use as an inspiration.

So I immediately checked out the site and signed in as one of the supporters. I paid through PayPal. I was a bit hesitant at first because I don’t know if it was legitimate and I don’t know the credibility of the author. Besides, it was too expensive since I also have to shoulder the international shipping and postage fees. And my speculation was strengthened when the author announced that it failed to meet the target. But I held on and he announced that he will lower down the target to 200 copies.

Last Friday, October 16, I received a text message from my aunt saying that the postman is asking for a Php100.00 fee for a package. I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting any; then I remembered about ARTmobile. I told her to pay it first then I’ll pay her later.

I got the package from her and immediately opened it and found a black shirt with an ARTmobile print and the book itself. I was ecstatic when I started browsing through the pages. The images were so good to think that they were taken from mobile phones.

On the last page, I saw my name printed as the author acknowledges all the supporters of his project.

So I told to myself that, one day, I’ll publish my own book, even for personal consumption. I know I can produce the same quality of photographs with the use of a mobile phone and the VSCO app. One day.

Congratulations to Alberto Rubio and Ana López for the initiative and to the eight photographers, namely Christina Nørdam, Fabs Grassi, Luis Rodriguez, Naomi Meran, Niall O’Leary, Marco Lamberto, Sébastien Pélegrin, and Thomas Kakareko.

Fujifilm X100T

At long last… I now have a Fujifilm X100T!

A few months before it was announced, I promised to myself that I won’t give up my X100S since, for sure the upgrades will just be incremental. And I was right! Even some die-hard Fuji fans aren’t recommending X100S users to upgrade to the X100T. Here are the similarities:

  • Fujinon 23mm f/2.0 fixed lens
  • 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor
  • EXR Processor II
  • Start-up time of 0.5 second
  • Shutter lag of 0.1 second
  • 10cm close focus

But why did I upgrade? Basically, it’s the refinement of its predecessor. After using the Sony A6000, I found that Wi-Fi is a necessity for me. I initially thought that it’s not that important until I start using it. I post photos on Instagram and VSCO Grid, and I want to post them in an instant instead of a longer workflow of transferring the image to my Mac when I reach home, then send it to my phone through iMessage or email so I could edit it on VSCO Cam. Apart from Wi-Fi, here are some of the minor improvements that made the X100T better:

  • Advanced hybrid viewfinder with electronic rangefinder
  • 92% optical viewfinder coverage
  • Real-time optical viewfinder parallax correction
  • ±3EV exposure compensation
  • 1/32000 maximum electronic shutter speed
  • 1040K-dot 3-inch LCD
  • Focus peaking with colors other than white
  • Cross-hatched grip dials
  • A more precise focus-mode selector
  • A more improved button layout
  • An addition of the Classic Chrome film simulation
  • Added aperture stops

I admit that I don’t shoot a lot and my photos aren’t as pleasing as the others’. But this is where I’m happy. I probably have the Gear Acquisition Syndrome and sponsored-professional photographers might be shaking their heads as they always say “Buy Books, Not Gears”. Yeah they can say that since they don’t spend money for gears, again they’re sponsored. 

My iPhone 6 may be enough for sharing photos on Instagram and Facebook. But most of the time, I shoot in low light, indoors and the iPhone camera isn’t capable yet to produce good-quality photos due to noise/digital grain/artifacts. Plus the feel of holding a real camera is really different. But I will still use the iPhone.

I had gone black this time after buying silver X100S and X-E2. The silver is sexier, more elegant and more photogenic; the black may probably look dull but it looks more serious than hipsterish. I need that change. I feel like I did not upgrade if I see the same colors, it’s just me. I will proudly show off the “T” branding, heck I paid for this camera with my own money! Haha! And yeah I no longer have my X100S and XE-2 cameras.

Look at some of the first photos I took this morning using my new buddy: these untouched/unmodified Velvia-simulated jpegs were transferred using the Fujifilm Camera Remote app via the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi to the iPhone 6, then uploaded to WordPress for iOS.