The Rig
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The Rig: Donovan Bond

Who are you and what’s your profession?

Name’s Donovan Bond. I live in Toronto, Canada with my wife Melissa, and 4 cats.

My last job was as a “Senior Art Director” at a marketing agency. I would typically hire photographers rather than actually be one, but I was always the one who’d shoot parties, events, and employee headshots. Lately, I’ve been working as a freelance creative art director for agencies and entrepreneurs. Being a photography enthusiast has helped in my work immensely.

I run a site called Fuji vs. Fuji. Freelancing has given me a bit more time to work on it, but I constantly feel like I’m not getting enough done. I want to do so much more with it. This extended winter is not helping with testing equipment outdoors.

Lastly, I’m a cofounder of FujiTuesday, a Fuji-based photo walk and meet-up group. It’s great opportunity to meet local Fuji fans, and has resulted in my cofounder, OT and I becoming Fujifilm X Ambassadors. All 3 of The Fuji Guys have been to our events and we actually had the X-T1 on-hand 3 days before the media event which was pretty cool.

What’s your rig?

It all started with the X100S, a camera I now affectionately refer to as “the gateway drug.” That camera is probably responsible for more conversions to Fujifilm than any other. I opted for it over a 35mm lens for my Nikon D700. Once my wife saw the X100S, she decided she needed her own Fuji. A couple weeks later we had an X-E1 kit for her, and a 14mm ƒ/2.8 and 35mm ƒ/1.4 for me to use when she let me borrow her camera. And that’s when the fire-sale began. Over the next 3-6 months, every last bit of my Nikon equipment was sold.

Here’s where I need to digress slightly.

Soon after buying the X-E1, the 23mm ƒ/1.4 and X-E2 were announced. With the 23mm, I remember thinking to myself that I’d wait and see how it stacked up against the X100S in reviews, and decide if I’d switch over. Then it dawned on me that I could be the guy who compared the two. I knew it would be a comparison that Fuji fans would want to see, and would surely garner a lot of interest. I also had this feeling that Fujifilm was a camera company to watch over the next little while, and so, Fuji vs. Fuji was born.

Digression complete.

As a result of conceiving Fuji vs. Fuji, it became imperative for my Fuji G.A.S. to shift into high gear. This is both a gear-lust convenience, and a necessary evil. It’s great having an excuse to have as much gear on hand as possible, but it’s also expensive. Fujifilm aren’t helping matters lately either. It seems like every other week there’s something new coming out or announced.

So, my current photography equipment lineup is an X100S, X-E1, X-E2 with an X-T1 on preorder. For lenses I’ve managed to acquire the 14mm ƒ/2.8, 18mm ƒ/2, 23mm ƒ/1.4, 27mm ƒ/2.8, 35mm ƒ/1.4, 18-55mm so far, with the 56mm ƒ/1.2 and 10-24mm ƒ/4 also on preorder.

I use a Really Right Stuff Series 2 support system that I’d like to downsize to their compact package. For lighting, I’ve had my finger poised above the “Buy” button for a Strobist LumoPro setup from Midwest Photo a bunch of times. For now, I make use of natural light, and the little EF-X20 on occasion.

What hardware do you use?

I work on a 15 inch retina MacBook Pro. I recommend every photographer get their hands on a retina display. I’m literally an Apple hipster. I’ve been a fan since long before it was cool.

For backups I have a Time Capsule for local, and Backblaze for offsite. The initial backup was excruciating, but it works extremely well, and I feel a lot better knowing I have it.

What software do you use?

I started using Lightroom when the very first public beta came out. I can’t escape it. I’ve tried Aperture, DxO Optics, and CaptureOne, but Lightroom suits my needs best.

I only move to Photoshop when more intense imaging work is necessary, or I want to use Nik’s plug-ins. I love ColorEfex, Sharpener Pro and SilverFX, and I’m sad Google bought them.

I’d love to dump Photoshop altogether in favour of Pixelmator or the like, and if it wasn’t for Fujifilm’s Film Simulations being available in Lightroom soon, I’d look at switching to Aperture (again) as my main cataloguing and editing app.

I recently switched all my writing over to Ulysses iii, in no small part thanks to Jorge’s recommendation. It’s a fantastic writing tool. I link Daedalus Notes to it from my iPhone.

All the sites I run or am I part of are on Squarespace. Overall they’re fantastic. Lately there has been a few “known issues that we’re working on,” but their service is unmatched. It’s really handy having a familiarity with HTML and CSS to get exactly what you want, but not necessary.

What would be your dream rig?

With the gear I have, you’d think my dreams had all but come true. As a matter of fact, before starting Fuji vs. Fuji, I was either going to buy up as much Fuji gear as possible to start the site, or get rid of everything but two X100S’s (along with a Wide Conversion Lens). The silver one would stay permanently affixed to my tripod, and the black one I knew had to be coming would be my daily/street shooter camera.

I have a blog post half written about just how versatile a camera the X100S is, so I won’t give the whole thing away, but I honestly do feel that way. I think the main thing Fujifilm are missing from it, is network functionality. I’m looking forward to when the X200 has AF speeds that match or surpass the X-T1, and I’m hoping for phase detect across all the AF points too. Weather sealing would be great, but I could do without the increase in MP or a tilt screen which I think will add to its wonderfully pocketable size.

What’s your favorite photography quote?

I think the quote that has stuck with me the longest is from a photography teacher whose name I don’t remember. In a pithy exchange with me he said “There is no ‘perfect’ exposure.” I think the subjective simplicity of that statement is spot on.

A photographer in the family also once told me that the only thing that photographs black is velvet. I’ve been making use of that tip a lot lately.

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