This time we have Brian Fulda from San Francisco.
When did you find out about the Xpan?
Around this time last year!
When did you get your Xpan?
I got my Xpan in September of 2014.
What attracted you to the Xpan?
I think probably what most other Xpan photographers are attracted to, which is the cinematic-like format. The images look and feel like film stills. Additionally, though, I think the reason that this format is so interesting is because in my opinion, the panorama seems closer to what the human eye actually sees. A lot of people say that a 50mm lens is the equivalent focal length to what we see, but I think the panorama does a much better job of this.
What lenses do you have?
Just the 45mm f/4.
Which is your favourite lens?
I can’t speak for any of the other lenses since I haven’t tried the 90mm or the 30mm!
What do you like to take photos of with your Xpan?
Being primarily a landscape photographer, those are so much more fun to play with in the Xpan format. But since I’ve spent some real time with this camera, I think that people might be my favorite subject. I tend to center my subjects, so the panoramic format leads to some really beautiful room for the eye to wander on either side. With a normal say, 3:2 format, there’s not really much room for the background to stick out if it’s a portrait of someone close up.
What would you like to take photos of with your Xpan?
Anything that catches my eye, really. Might seem like a copout answer, but I want to explore new, untraditional panoramic subject matter with the Xpan.
What is your favourite film to use in the Xpan?
This is tough. I think my every day, go-to film is just Portra 400. One of my biggest gripes with the Xpan is that none of the three lenses available for it are faster than f/4, which means I have to compensate by using a higher ISO film than usual for handheld shooting. I’ve actually been doing a lot of C-printing in the color darkroom recently, and higher ISO films really show their grain at anything larger than 8×10 prints, which is a bummer.
That being said, I’ve been really enjoying Cinestill’s 800T Tungsten balanced film lately. Even though it’s ISO 800, I’m in love with the blueish tones I’ve been getting. Living in San Francisco, we get a lot of fog here, which is maybe my favorite kind of weather to shoot in, and the tungsten balanced film nails those tones perfectly.
What are your three favourite shots that you have taken with your Xpan?
1. I took this photograph of myself last week using the Xpan’s self timer. I think I love this one because it reminds me of how fast I had to run and climb onto the log (all in 10 seconds!) and how I’m actually quite out breath, haha. For art!
2. This one was taken of the Philadelphia skyline a few months ago, when I was visiting my family back east. I grew up in a town near Philly, so this skyline will always be home to me. I don’t know if a normal 3:2 format would be able to capture it as well as the Xpan.
3. This last one was taken a few weeks ago when I went to Mono Lake with my buddy Shaun. We camped out in the woods near the lake and woke up at sunrise to go photographing, which is when I took this of him out standing on the tufas. As a photographer I just enjoy playing with people imposing on the landscape, and how we as humans can end up almost imitating the land around us.
What is your favourite shot that someone else took with an Xpan?
I really like this shot that Matthew Joseph on Flickr took. I think what I enjoy most about it is its unconventional use of exposure. Most photographers would have metered this scene and exposed for the water and the scene in front of them, rather than the bright sun. The underexposure on this shot, in my opinion, makes it more interesting because it really forces the viewer to look at the person standing there, and lets the beautiful shadows from the sun really pop.
(Thanks man! – MRJ)
Which photographers inspire you?
Too many to list, but I’m inspired by a wide variety of photographers. Aaron Huey, Gregory Crewdson, Chris Burkard, Abelardo Morell, Ellen Kooi, to name a few. All of them incorporate beautiful landscapes into their images somehow, whether they’re photojournalists or creative fiction photographers.
What other cameras do you like to use?
I often photograph with a Hasselblad 500C, which is how I originally found out about the Xpan. I went out on a limb and bought one without knowing a damn thing about it, and it reinvigorated my love for film for the first time in years. It really came at a time that I was struggling as a photographer to create unique work, but it breathed life into my photography again. It just has one of the sharpest lenses I’ve ever used, the Planar 80mm 2.8. Brilliant lens, brilliantly designed camera. Mine is 52 years old, and still works swimmingly.
If Hasselblad made a digital Xpan, would you buy it?
Hard to say. With the way Hasselblad has been acting as a company these days, I don’t know. They’d probably charge a small fortune for a digital Xpan. However, if I could afford it, then yes, definitely. I’m always looking for ways to stick out as a photographer, and the panoramic format absolutely draws attention.
Where can we see your work?
My blog, http://brianfulda.tumblr.com/ is serving as my working site for now while I finish redesigning my website.