Brian Carr | United States | Fuji X100
myfujix: Where are you from, and where do you currently live?
BC: Well, I say I’m from Texas, because that’s where I spent most of my life, but I was actually born about 20 miles from where I live now, which is Washington, DC. I’ve been here 11 years now, and consider myself an East Coaster for sure. I do miss Texas though — my family’s all there.
myfujix: Tell us about yourself.
BC: I just turned 40, and just ended a four-year relationship, so I’d say that I’m not sure about anything in my life right now. I feel like I’m transitioning, but to where I don’t know. I got lucky in life: I was born an Army brat, and got to live in Italy and Panama growing up, and my dad bought this awful wood-paneled station wagon that we took trips everywhere in — we were constantly on the road. That feeling has never left, for better or worse.
I constantly save up money, then put my life on hold and head out. My last big trip came about because I qualified for a free around-the-world plane ticket. I told my company about it, and they said, “That’s awesome! Take two or three weeks off, and come back.” And I was like, two or three weeks? For an around-the-world ticket? I ended up traveling through China, New Zealand, and Africa for about nine months, which changed my life.
I was in South Africa, in Cape Town, and had run out of ideas. I was sick of being a backpacker and a tourist. I hated it. I drank so much I passed out in a movie theater one day, and that night, I told myself I couldn’t do this anymore. The next day I hiked up Table Mountain and met a group of volunteers working near Durban, taking care of about 90 kids. I told them my story, and the next day I was in their van, driving back to Durban to work as a volunteer.
myfujix: Why are you into photography?
BC: Because it’s the best way I have of communicating a feeling. I always had crappy cameras with me when I was traveling, but more importantly, I never had much courage to take pictures of what I thought truly mattered. In Durban I started taking more pictures — the kids, the volunteers, the rural farmland we lived on — which corresponded with the happiest time in my life. The place was just so damn full of love. When I left, I traded photos with everyone, and have thousands of them. Most of them aren’t technically good in any respect, but holy cow can you see the emotion. I’m into photography because I want to keep doing that.
myfujix: Who is your favourite photographer, and why?
BC: That’s a tough question, but honestly, I think it’s the next phase for me: to start studying the people who are damn good at this, learning from their work. The first photographer that really knocked me on my butt was Alex Webb — he has this way of creating such haunting, perfect street photos that quite honestly look like luck. He interjects himself in other people’s worlds, and stays long enough to capture something wonderful. To me that’s very, very hard to do.
myfujix: What X-Series camera do you use, and why?
BC: An X100 that I will never, ever get rid of. I rented an X100S a few weeks ago, and liked it, and just yesterday I was 99% on my way to buying a used X-Pro1, but stopped myself at the last minute. I’m really afraid of falling into the gear trap. There’s just something so wonderful about the tonal ranges of the X-Pro1 and X100S, but will they make me a better photographer?
What has made me a better photographer is keeping it simple. I love the X100. It’s a temperamental pain, and it frustrates me to no end sometimes, but I love it — I’m so damn emotionally attached to the thing. It has this way of rendering the world in such a lovely, lovely way.
myfujix: Tell us about this image: