My wife and I spent Memorial Day weekend in New York City, and it was an exciting return to a city that offers so many opportunities for photography. I’d only visited once before, in July 2001, with the first digital camera I owned: a Sony Mavica CD-1000 that stored photos on 3″ cdr’s, and topped out at 1.7 million megapixels. It had the largest optical zoom at the time at 14x, and I really enjoyed having what was a pretty leading-edge camera at the time.
I’m glad, however, that cameras have evolved. Without getting too deep into the cameras I’ve had over the years, in the past couple of years I’ve transitioned away from Nikon and moved over to Fuji. The Fuji X70 was my gateway drug. After we became parents we started traveling less, and I felt like my photography opportunities got smaller. I soon realized that while my focus had always been on landscapes, the city around me in Chicago, where I work, provided countless things to shoot on a daily basis. Not wanting to carry around a large DSLR, I picked up a Fuji X70 in 2016 and promptly made it a part of my everyday life around town, and I loved it. After years of taking RAW photos, importing them to Lightroom, and trying to find time to edit them sufficiently, shooting in-camera jpg’s with the Fuji film simulations changed my process for the better. It made me think more about what I was shooting, compose shots better, and just generally enjoy photography more than I ever had.
After about a year with the X70, I added the XT2 to my Fuji lineup, along with the 16mm f1.4, and the 35mm f2.0, and I’ve loved every second of using it. Our trip to New York was only my second trip out of town with it, and it was a blast to use it so much as we explored the city. Like most Fuji users, I find incredible enjoyment in using the film simulations, forcing me to think on-the-spot about what simulation suits the moment. I’ve shot some film in the past few years, and that notion of being “forced” into using whatever film I have in it is something I try to apply to using either of my Fuji cameras, and it was so much fun to put this to practice in New York.
We spent time in Manhattan and Brooklyn, ate plenty of good food, did a ton of walking, and realized we should probably go back once a year, because there’s no way you can ever do close to everything. I was really happy with a great spot to take photos of the Brooklyn Bridge at night after pizza at Grimaldi’s – two of those photos are included below.