On the streets of Mumbai with the Fuji x100

Its getting harder to source b&w film and developing chemicals in Mumbai and so I was forced to start shooting digital again when I recently ran out of tri-x.  However I found that I had become very selective with my image making and therefore enjoyed the digital process a bit more than I did before.  I was shooting with a compact camera though and needed a camera which would give me SLRish quality but was small and unintimidating.  Started coveting the x100 and suddenly everything I read about the camera made me want it more (for some reason I ignored the weaknesses that were splattered all over the internet).

My x100 arrived and I took it out for a test run and have to say it felt so right in my hands.  Just made shooting the streets a joy.  Has a few quirks but easy to work around them.  The poor focus and slow start up forces you to slow down and to me it felt like shooting film – I shot 18 frames in about 2 hours. And i keep the instant image playback option off.  Has other issues like terrible battery life but who cares – nothing in life is problem free.  And there are so many good points to boast off such as image quality and high ISO performance which is good upto 3200. The OVF is delectable and of course the camera looks fantastic.  In short I love the x100 especially for street photography.

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship:-)

Started early morning in a small fishing village in Mumbai. The x100 has visible distortion but it can be corrected in post

This guy was very confused (not angry although he looks it) with what I was trying to shoot.  Had pre focussed on him and the camera was pointing away from him so he had no clue that he was my subject.

Sneak preview of the village night feast

In the evening I headed to Marine Drive which offers a view of the sea and the sunset.  Slight issue here with blown highlights but I still think the image looks ok.

The minute I turned the camera, so it didn’t face the sun directly, the highlight control was way better.  Marine drive is a haven for romance.

Also not sure why some of the images have a bluish tint

The sharpness of the lens especially when the subject is close up is amazing

This is a part of Marine Drive where people throw the ashes of loved ones who have recently passed away.

The man was in deep shade and the road was much lighter but the camera handled it really well in this image.  I did open up the shaded region a bit.

Chowpatty beach in the centre of the city is a great attraction for tourists from all over the country.  It is also where the idol Ganesh is immersed during the Ganapati festival.  I witnessed a slight precursor to the main event.

Small idol being carried into the water in the distance.  This and the next few images were shot very late in the evening.  The beach was lit by a few powerful lights.

shot at f2 ISO 1600

This is the idol Ganesh which was probably washed ashore.  This image was shot with the inbuilt flash.

Overall very excited with my x100 🙂

Will post my Fort Cochin images soon – couldn’t wait to post this one!


23 thoughts on “On the streets of Mumbai with the Fuji x100

  1. WOW Kaushal! looks like you got a great tool for the expression of your vision… as David duChemin says “Gear is good. Vision is better” great images as usual..

    However, I have one gear related question. Its pretty long and so I’m sending it by email. Looking forward to some suggestions..
    Thanks in advance

  2. Hi Kaushal, Thank you for visiting my blog. I really enjoyed viewing your photographs (especially those from Istanbul). In the series above I mostly like number 8 with the dog stepping down. It is a great composition with the two couples adding a rehearsal element to the photograph. And the man and the dog seeming to walk away from each other. In my opinion the best of the above photographs.

    1. Thanks Wouter. That is my favourite too! Glad you enjoyed my Istanbul images too.
      Istanbul was a dream to photograph in the streets…i hope i can go back there someday. Thank you for visiting my blog and look forward to your future posts.

  3. It would be an injustice to say these photographs are great because of your x100, but great stuff truly. I love street photography and I’m glad to see that it’s pretty much prevalent in Mumbai thanks to photographers like you. And it is indeed helpful if you have a camera that is compact enough for such street shots.

  4. Great images. I guess Marine Drive is the road down to Nariman Point. Must try it next time I am in town. I am not as sold on the X100 but it certainly has some nice features. I also shoot much slower with film (M3) and find it a more thoughtful experience. Found your blog through Steve Huff’s site. Wonderful stuff. Congratulations.

  5. I love the photos. I commented on Steve Huff’s site but I’ll do it again here. I love the parallels of the dog and the street-sleeper, the depth of intrigue and emotion of the window shot, the anxiety you capture with the cats and the fish, the way the shadow indexes the sense of place in the shoe salesman’s image, and the contrasting textures in the bubble shot.

    I like your processing but I feel your contrast is too high and many of the details of the blacks are lost. The black and white is great, and high contrast looks great on these shots, but it’s too high. It’s apparent that contrasting textures are everywhere in those streets so show it off a bit more by bringing down the slider to the highest contrast you can get without losing detail, and keep the mid tones where they are already at.

    I’m also a film shooter and develop myself. Instead of an X100, I’ve got the X1. They are both great.

    I just got around to finally starting a project I’ve wanted to get going on for a while, and my new wordpress blog is central to it. I’d love to feature the images there and ask you a couple questions to post with the images. Let me know if you’d be interested.

    I’ve subscribed and look forward to future posts!

  6. hmm i want this camera too, seems like a nice one. i don’t follow the x100 reviews and rumors much, i’d rather look at people’s shots. these are all great. i think my d200 needs to retire, the x100 would be a perfect addition to the M6…

  7. nice set kaushal! your photos show an uncanny resemblance to the places I used to shoot in Manila– people by the water, their homes, etc. This is actually getting me excited to shoot more!

    I use the X100 too and I think your photos show that there’s a lot more I can get out of the camera if I work around its quirks. Thanks for posting this!

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