Photographers Spotlight Series: Sebastian Boatca


Welcome to One Camera One Len’s Photographers Spotlight Series, where we discover other photographers who you may find extremely interesting. They share their love for photography, their stories and a selection of their images. This is a regular feature, see the end of the article for details.


My name is Sebastian Boatca, a photographer based in Brussels, Belgium, editor at FUJI X PASSION – Inspirational Photography Magazine and former vice-president of VIEWFINDERS – The Photography Club of Brussels. I embrace life through my experiences as a man, husband, father, traveler and photographer.

For me, photography is a way to express visions and feelings, a way to connect people with different views of the same universe. A camera is a tool , which captures a fragment of space in a moment frozen in time. The way each photograph looks is a result of a genuinely unique inspiration, a set of factors that will never repeat again. This is why in photography it is essential to be aware of all the elements involved in building a photograph.

I have started my interest in photography with a compact camera. Then, as a passionate amateur photographer, I have felt I needed something more than what a Panasonic Lumix can offer. This was my first digital camera for photography. Later on, the most significant upgrade was getting a Canon APS-C DSLR along with a few lenses, both zooms and primes. From here, the ultimate dream for me was to enter the Full-Frame territory and upgrading to a Canon 5D was the natural way, when expecting significant improvements in image quality and technical performance. However, Fujifilm, with the revolutionary X-Trans sensors and their amazing lenses, proved me two essential things, which shaped the way I did photography since then:

  • With a Fujifilm X system, there is no need to go Full-Frame, because you already have all the quality and the performance you need, in both their sensors and their wonderful Fujinon lenses.
  • Fujifilm revealed the fact that there is beauty, performance and flexibility in shooting JPEGs while forgetting about post-processing RAWs. With a carefully customized colour profile, I have discovered I have more time enjoying shooting. From my limited experience with different camera brands and models, I find that Fujifilm delivers the best quality in a JPEG file, thanks to their color science behind the sensor and their film simulations.

I put a lot of emphasis on aesthetics. I have this organic need to see functional, yet pleasing design principles. After using beautifully designed cameras from Fujifilm, when I hold and use a DSLR, I just find it as if it was coming from another world I do not want to interact with. What is the point of manufacturing tons of different photographic tools if we leave behind the touch of influential history in great camera design and a final architecture that pleases the eyes and hands?

I like to travel and using a Fujifilm mirrorless system is the key to a more pleasant experience when traveling light. Lightness and elegance mix themselves in an exquisite way. Sometimes it is important to minimize the “photographer’s print” you leave on a group of people, or community. Many times “silence” is the defining word when you really need to be inconspicuous. This is why my photo bag is getting smaller, with only a “survival kit” inside, comparted to what I used to carry with me a few years ago.

Over the last 7 years, I have been using six models of cameras from Fujifilm. I have started with the one-of-a-kind X-Pro1, then moved to X100S, which I had in parallel with the X-T1. The rangefinder style was so appealing that X-Pro2 was the camera I loved the most. The last phase is the one when I use the underrated X-H1 and lately, X100V has become the most loved camera of all six.

Using and enjoying this amazing Fujifilm X100V means following the two major principles in the way I do photography lately:

  1. Smaller is better. The best compromise in price / performance / sensor size and image quality / size and weight of the camera + lens is when you use a camera like the X100 series from Fujifilm and X100V is the more matured iteration.
  2. JPEG means freedom of enjoying more photography. With the highest quality that I ever saw in an APS-C camera for a JPEG file, Fujifilm gives you the liberty to customize their film simulations. If you learn how to use the camera to its true potential, the results are outstanding. I photograph in RAW format only for specific reasons and needs (from the point of view of a non-professional photographer).

I have printed and exhibited my work done from both RAW files and JPEG files. Lately, I like to challenge myself and get it right in the camera, while playing with my customized colour profiles, trying to reproduce some of my favourite film emulsions character, or just looking for a more original  and personal look.

Moving towards film photography was simply a dream come true, something more than a “photo project” limited in time. I feel like this is a commitment for life, while still enjoying the beautiful outcomes from Fujifilm digital photography.

Below, you will find a list of film types I have used until now:

CineStill 50D

Kodak Pro Image 100

Kodak Ektar 100

Fujicolor Industrial 100

Kodak Portra 160

Kodak Gold 200

Fujicolor C200

Kodak Ultramax 400

Kodak Portra 400

Fujicolor PRO 400H

Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400

It is hard to build a “Top 5 My Favourites Film Types”, but if you would ask me to do it, I would probably try to nominate there (not in a specific order): Fujicolor PRO 400H (great character and immensely flexible, Fujicolor Industrial 100 (full of charm), Kodak Portra (both 160 and 400), Kodak Gold (a very underestimated film stock) and Kodak Ektar (ideal for landscapes and travel, with the finest grain). I would be happy to have these five emulsions for the rest of time, even if I truly like to experiment with different types of film and discover their personality.

For the moment, I have three analogue cameras and around eight interesting (some quite famous) prime lenses for film photography. It is a joy to slow down, get away from the worries related to megapixels, subject tracking while moving, focus points and autofocus speed. Going back to the roots of Manual Mode and responsible photography feels so rewarding. When I come back to digital, it feels like I have the fastest camera in the world; we are truly spoiled with technology and yet we continue to be unsatisfied.

If an analogue camera does not captivate you for a daily use, just borrow one and use it from time to time; it is a great opportunity to exercise your skills, your composition, taking your time to create your shot and manually focus on your subject. Using manual focus lenses will surely refine your abilities as a photographer, bringing real improvements to your compositions. You will focus more on the artistic side of the photography, while being careful how to overcome the technical limitations and still deliver great results. I find this to be a wonderful world, full of possibilities and creativity, filled with mysteries waiting to be revealed – and it is always nice to feel special and do special things.

Sebastian Boatca – October 2020

www.sebastianboatca.com


We’re always looking for photographers to share their stories, websites, social media and more. Please contact me if you would like to contribute! People always enjoy reading about others. Get yourself seen today!


Perfecting your photography

Over the course of this website, One Camera One Lens has offered a great deal of articles written to help you improve and expand your photography knowledge. They are all within the blog section, but this is a list of quick links that can get you to the article you need quickly.

Maximising Your Histogram Accuracy
Your histogram is not as accurate as you think, unless you take into consideration the points mentioned within this brief article.

The Benefits Of Shooting In Jpeg
Not everyone shoots in the raw format, and in fact, the majority of people shoot in jpeg. And there are some excellent reasons why you would want to shoot in jpeg.

Who Is Artificial Intelligent Software Aimed At?
A look at the new software that uses artificial intelligence, and who it is aimed at.

Edit Photographs For Your Wall
Have you ever wondered why you can’t sell, or where you are going wrong? This article gives you some fascinating tips on getting your images to look right, so that everyone can appreciate them!

The Best Editing Software You’ll Ever Need!
You’ll need editing software, and here is some huge advice!

Storing Film Simulations On Your Fujifilm Camera
If you are a Fujifilm user, this guide is a necessity!

Improve Your Photography With A Prime Lens
It’s a simple trick, but if you really want to get better at photography, take a read and let it sink in!

Never miss a shot with this trick!
It’s simple, it’s effective, but you will always get your shot using this trick!

Printing Your Photos, And Why It Is Important
Probably the most important this you will read in this list of articles!

Why 35mm Is The Perfect Focal Length
No serious photographer should be without this focal length, and I discuss why that is!

20 Tips For Better Photography
An essential list of common sense tips!

The Importance Of Presents & LUTs
They are important, you should have a few ready to hand… And the article tells you why.

The Importance Of Backing Up Your Photographs
It should be second nature, but so many people don’t do it. This article should help you!

Hopefully you will find something you need in this list of articles. You can delve deeper into the blog section for much more information, and don’t forget to come back on a regular basis for more updates to the website.

Photographers Spotlight Series: David Ellinsworth


Welcome to One Camera One Len’s Photographers Spotlight Series, where we discover other photographers who you may find extremely interesting. They share their love for photography, their stories and a selection of their images. This will be a regular feature, see the end of the article for details.


I took up photography as a hobby in April 2017 after being inspired by a number of landscape images posted on several local social media groups. I started with just the awful phone camera I had at the time, but despite being on an extremely tight budget I have gradually built up a kit list that includes two DSLRs, one 35mm film camera and five lenses (see below for details) covering angles from ultrawide up to long telephoto for pretty much every shooting scenario. For 99% of the time I shoot in full manual, but occasionally switch to aperture priority or manual/auto ISO. I only ever shoot in RAW for maximum processing power, and I’m also a recent convert to back button focus. In addition, while many photographers are quick to dismiss the validity of a mobile phone for anything more serious than a holiday snap, I use my current phone regularly in parallel with my other cameras because its RAW files are a joy to work with (and it’s with me wherever I go).

I use a variety of techniques to overcome limitations of dynamic range and depth of field, such as bracketed exposure merging (using luminosity masks) and focus stacking, plus I regularly shoot panoramas and long exposures. I also love to experiment with whatever brainwave is floating around my wandering mind at the time. If I’ve learned anything during the past three years then it’s most definitely the importance of experimentation.

I really enjoy shooting architecture, nature and portraits. However, my number one favourite genre (by miles) is landscape photography. For me, there’s nothing quite like being able to visit a beautiful location in (hopefully) beautiful light and being creative and artistic at the same time. I prefer to avoid very bright, harsh, middle-of-the-day sunlight with “postcard blue skies” for landscapes. These conditions can be good for black and white photography, but in general it does absolutely nothing for me. Rather, I favour drama and mood in my landscape images, and will always opt for either golden hour, dappled light as a storm is breaking, fog or mist. Anything that doesn’t involve “holiday brochure” weather.

For three years I have used Affinity Photo for all my editing. It was a very steep and lengthy learning curve to get to grips with this very complex piece of software, but once past that I have loved it ever since. It does 99.9% of what I need it to. Very occasionally I use Nik Collection as a plugin with Affinity if I’m after a specific effect that is otherwise time consuming to create from scratch (when I get lazy, basically, which isn’t often).
I’ve never really thought about whether I have a particular editing style or not. However, after scrutinizing my website and various social media galleries recently it does appear that I have a relatively consistent look to my photos. This will undoubtedly continue to evolve as I relentlessly seek to improve. My website and social media pages are always up to date, and I regularly write blogs on various photographic topics.

I’m really looking forward to experimenting with film photography once my recently gifted Minolta comes back from having a service and repair. With my digital photography I’m looking to eventually upgrade to a full frame 24MP sensor (D750 or Z6, for example; any higher than 24MP is overkill really) mainly for the far superior low light performance. In the meantime my aim is just simply to refine my current methods, shoot in more favourable conditions and just generally get better… much better than I currently am. I don’t tend to do things by halves, and photography definitely isn’t an exception to this.

Thanks for reading

David C. Ellinsworth PhD

ellinsworthphotography.webstarts.com

Facebook Page: facebook.com/DavidCEllinsworthPhotography

Instagram: instagram.com/davidellinsworth

Flickr: flickr.com/photos/davidellinsworth

Twitter: twitter.com/DCE_Photography

Cameras
Nikon D7100 (DSLR)
Nikon D3200 (DSLR)
Minolta SRT101b (Film SLR)
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Phone)

Lenses
Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D II
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR ED IF
Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.4

Filters
Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarizer
Gobe ND1000
Zomei ND2-400

Tripod
Manfrotto 05XB (tripod)
Manfrotto 222 (tripod head)

Software
Affinity Photo (Serif)
Nik Collection


We’re always looking for photographers to share their stories, websites, social media and more. Please contact me if you would like to contribute! People always enjoy reading about others. Get yourself seen today!


Maximising Your Onscreen Histogram Accuracy

It’s a little understood fact that when relying on your histogram to take photographs, or using your blinkies for highlight warnings (among other on screen information based on your exposure), the histogram is based on the jpeg profile that you are currently taking photographs in, and not in the raw image produced by the camera. This article will take a brief look at ways in that you can maximize the accuracy of your histogram in a few easy steps.

How to maximise your histogram

There are four primary things you need to understand and be careful with when maximising your histogram. I will touch on each one, and a simple Google search will bring up much more in depth explanations that I can give you.

The first thing you should do is choose a colour profile from your camera that is as flat and low contrast as possible. Stay away from Vivid and saturated colour profiles. The flatter the profile the better. This was the histogram isn’t confused by the bright colours when looking for highlighted areas.

The second thing you should do is avoid using any dynamic range enhancements such as the Dynamic Range or D-Lighting settings that can be found on most cameras. Again, this will force inaccurate measurements of the light as the camera exaggerates the light areas in your image.

Thirdly, and one that so many forget about is your white balance. Make sure that you use manual white balance as with auto white balance, your histogram can really be fooled when it reads a scene wrongly (which it can do a lot of the time in certain conditions).

Finally, your choice of AdobeRGB Vs sRGB will also have an effect on your histogram, as AdobeRGB had a larger colour gamut compared to sRGB, meaning there’ll be a discrepancy in you histogram once again.

Other things to consider

Of course, while these measures above will help get your histogram accurate, there’s still one more setting that will have an affect, and that is your ISO setting. But realistically you need this option more than the others mentioned, and in most cases you will be trying to keep the ISO setting as low as possible in your composition.

All of the above is relevant if you are shooting in raw. If you are a jpeg shooter, you may have to compromise the colour profile setting, or tweak your image later in post processing.

Conclusion

Every situation is different, and solely relying on your histogram is obviously a huge mistake. However, getting the histogram as accurate as possible is important. Be sensible, use your histogram, highlight warnings and any other tools you may have on your camera, Most importantly though is use you eyes!

An Autumn Walk

We woke up this morning, looked out of the window and could see it was going to be a nice day. We dropped off Samuel to school and got in the car and headed out with the camera to take some autumnal photographs while we had the chance.

The idea today was to just get some lovely photographs to go with the ones we’ve taken with Samuel over the years. When Samuel is off school next week we will do the same with both the boys, so this was great practise to get some things right. I chose to take the Viltrox 23mm F/1.4 and Viltrox 85mm F/1.8 and have my settings set to the MGA Colour Chrome setting (which can be found in the Fuji section of the website).

The idea today blossomed into doing everything away from home, so I’m writing this in the car while Llinos is shopping and George is sleeping. The photos were transferred from the camera to my mobile phone via the Fuji mobile app, which works amazingly. Editing consisted of a couple little crops and a border added to the photographs, all performed in Snapseed.

So, here are the images after going through this process… Autumn is certainly upon us!

As can be seen, this all turned out really nice! It was quite a nice challenge that I set myself, and it turned out well.

Hopefully in the coming days I will share with you the shots that I took that were not of the family, but I just think this will be a change to a lot of my readers.

If you liked what you have seen, please remember to comment, like and share my blog and website. Thank you everyone!