Back to Mauritania, with a Fuji x100s
It didn’t take long for me to be back to this fascinating country. It’s winter here and, everything looks much more lively. I talked about how much I loved the Fuji x100s in Istanbul and I was serious, so, I took it with me to Mauritania. This’ll be a very quick post, since, so far I’ve only had a total of 2 days of actual shooting anywhere. We’re off for a fairly big trip into the desert tomorrow though.
I’m in Mauritania because I really loved being here the first time and, it was damn hot then. 44C during the day and not much colder at night. I felt that there was still much more to explore and, I particularly wanted to photograph the nomads here. Mauritania is one of a few countries in the world where one can still encounter fairly traditional nomadic communities, which haven’t been marginalised and made to settle because of modernisation.
We’re planning a much longer trip later, but, we decided to do a sort of a warm up trip, while we’re waiting for a few things to come together. So, we went out into the mountainous desert around Atar to search for some nomads.
We found one settlement, away from any main roads and decided to invite ourselves over. The funny and I’d say pretty wonderful thing with people in the desert is that, you can be an alien/foreigner like me and just stroll into their lives. You’ll instantly be invited for tea and if language permits, chit-chat will ensue.
I didn’t see many camels in this community, which probably meant that they weren’t very rich. Here Jaime takes one of the camels out to graze.
How did the Fuji x100s perform?
I have to say, I am loving this camera more and more every time I use it. The fact that it’s so small is one good thing, the silent shutter is another. I’ve also been shooting using the screen on the back of the camera rather than putting it to my eye and looking through the viewfinder. All in all, these factors make the shooting much less intrusive. My subjects don’t see a guy rolling around on the ground (as I often used to have to do to get the right angle) with him head stuck in the camera and, they don’t hear non-stop shutter clicking, as I take one photo after another.
As you can see, the image quality is basically the same as the larger DSLRs. The 35mm equivalent fixed lens is much less limiting than most would think, especially when your aim is to make fairly intimate photographs. Having a slightly wider angle sometimes would have been nice, but the benefits far outweigh the lack of a wider angle.
This was to be my other main camera, along with the 75mm f/1.8 Voigtlander lens. I mostly wanted to use it for portraits, but, I haven’t actually shot many portraits yet. The lens isn’t so usable for almost anything else. As, it has crazy chromatic aberration. So, that’s a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps I’ll pick up the 85mm equivalent when I am back in Australia.
That’s it from me for now! I hope to have something amazing to blog about in the near future.