In 1972, Fantoft Student housing, designed by Erik Fersum & Jørgen Djurhuus, was ready to make space for some 1300 new students in Bergen, Norway. I would have liked to be there. Although, having lived there on and off while studying, about thirty years later, I can admit to having some mixed feelings for the housing project. I can’t deny my fascination for this kind of buildings—large concrete monoliths—but this fascination seems to reach only as far as my own doorstep. They certainly look good in magazines, but in the role of my home, Fantoft and I never became friends.
That said, as I strongly believe that experiences have value, that’s that’s how I feel about my time at Fantoft—valuable.
So let’s change the subject
Architecture and photography and a Fujicam
A Fuji X100 series camera does a number of things well, but an architectural camera it is not. Nevertheless it is interesting to photograph architecture and be constrained within the limitations of a tool like this and its rigid lens.
Speaking of the lens, the photographs here were made with the wide angle aux. lens available for the system—or WCL–X100 as it’s called. Translating to a focal length of about 19mm the first obvious thing to note is that it simply isn’t wide enough to be practical for many applications, architecture included and interiors especially. Although, one could go far with this field of view if only the camera offered the necessary amount of rise, 7–8mm would go a long way. Coming to think of it, an X100–like camera with such an option would indeed be lovely, only then it wouldn’t be very X100–like.
Accepting its rigidity, what bothers me more is that I have yet to find a decent profile to correct its distortions, so the files tend to require quite a bit of manual tweaking, just to get the geometry about right.
I doubt that anyone ever purchased a camera like this to photograph buildings, I certainly didn’t. Still it’s nice to step out of the comfort zone every now and than and work within a set of limitations, even to such a degree where a tool is unsuitable for the purpose.
But the files, oh the files! They are indeed quite lovely, going back to the 5D leaves a lot to be desired in that respect.