Floral Dance with the GFX 100S

Floral Dance with the GFX100S

I find inspiration in many different aspects of life, it may be from my Portuguese Heritage, family’s culture and traditions, cinema, dance and especially nature inspire me as well. Normally I work with a wide variety of styles and subject matter, that range from Fashion, Portraiture, Dance Photography, and fine art.

So it is crucial that my camera gear can give me the maximum quality available, but at the same time it should also be versatile, ideally, it has to be the most comfortable and smallest form factor possible.

When I am photographing the last thing that I want to think about is my camera and complicated menus, that just interferes with the creative process and I admit I am a bit of a perfectionist for example when it comes to printing my images I love seeing my images in larger formats plus I sell selected words to collectors, so this process requires the highest image quality possible. What I am asking for might sound impossible, but Fujifilm has consistently created amazingly simple to use and affordable technical wonders. All that keeps inspiring me and helps me give my clients the best image quality possible and they just did it again with the amazing new GFX 100.

My name is Joao Carlos and I am a Fuji X- photographer,

I love photographing detailed close up of flowers, the color, the texture always makes for beautiful images, and it’s an excellent way to test the detail and color of a new camera.

The concept for my most recent project started with the idea of how nature inspires art like dance and photography. To merge all these ideas I wanted to photograph a dancer with beautiful colourful dresses, so every time she moved she would look like a flower that is blooming and that’s how the little test flower images ended up inspiring something bigger. I sent images of my flower photographs to the creative team at Libli designers and asked them to create four beautiful dresses that would have multiple layers and beautiful colours with soft flowing fabrics. This collaboration early on was very important, I knew I wanted to test and experience the outstanding color accuracy of the GFX100S ability to output 16-bit images. The micro shifts in color tones are recorded by the camera’s large sensor which delivers incredible detailed and exquisite images with up to 281 trillion colours, all on display. When I unpacked the box with the four gorgeous colourful dresses, tailored for this concept our dancer and I began to in-vision the shoot, I couldn’t imagine the results would look so good! 

Dancers are amazing athletes and artists, ballet dancers are especially driven and are perfectionists. I worked with an incredible dancer and model  Anyah Siddall who was restless in getting every pose and jump perfectly executed. This was an ideal opportunity to test the revised focusing algorithm, this means GFX100S can easily stay focused on a moving subject.  To do that simply align the focusing point over the subject and wide/tracking mode will ensure subjects stay sharp as they move around the frame. GFX100S redefines what is possible in terms of autofocus speed and accuracy for large format cameras. With highly accurate phase detection pixels across approximately 100% of the frame, reliable Face/Eye detection, responsive subject tracking for moving subjects, all this helped me get the perfect shot of my dancer. 

The Advanced Face and Eye Detection autofocus algorithm also comes in handy because it ensures that portrait images are perfectly in focus. For ultimate precision, I used Eye Detection AF and prioritise the right eye to focus on, and also used Face Detection AF in combination with GFX100S’ newly designed Focus Lever to select, track, and perfectly expose the dancer’s face in movement, jumping in the air.

Further for this project I also collaborated with the super talented Makeup artist Claudia Fonseca who did an outstanding creative eye make up given the concept of the project and the flowers and colours of the dresses. To assure the most perfect close-up photos of the make up I always prefer to start with them while it’s still fresh and beautiful.

I used a huge gray hand-painted canvas backdrop from Stillfundo, I prefer the canvas backdrops to paper to photograph dancers, it’s less prone to slipping and sliding. The gray created a beautiful neutral backdrop for the vivid color palette we used in the makeup and dresses. Overall, I think the results look amazing. I never thought it was possible to shoot dancers with flowing dresses with a large format camera handheld. 

Lighting wise, I used three Profoto Strobes two B10plus and a B10, all with Westcott Light Modifiers, I used a 6 ft octabank and deep 6ft umbrella with soft diffuser panel as my main light source, from above and in front of my Dancer, on the opposite side I used Strip bank and 2×6 screen jib reflector to bring a little more detail and fill light overall. It is a simple light set up with beautiful soft shadows. 

These were the first and second of four shoots I did over a short time period when I was allowed to test the new GFX -100S.


Dancer: Anyah Siddall
Make up and Hair: Claudia Fonseca 
Dresses: Libli Atelier
Bts Camera: Maria Rita
Assitant & Retouching: Petko Angelov
Editing: Pedro Davim