I feel somewhat guilty that this project we are embarking on revolves around Consumerism.

It’s because of my post earlier in the year that we came up with this idea, as a collective, to explore consumerism…..but with a twist.

As you will have already gathered, by reading the other posts this month, we have tasked ourseves with shooting with our oldest available digital camera.

In my case, it’s the venerable original X100. A camera I adore, has a great place in my heart and recently I had it signed by Masa-san, the designer of the camera.

Over the last month, I’ve traveled a little. Probably not as much as Jonas, but I’ve been to places as consumer driven as you can get - namely Dubai and Bristol - where all these pictures are yielded from.

As I’m one of the last to go in this series, there isn’t much I can add to the words and thoughts of others with regards to the theme.

However, I’d be contite to exlaim that consumerism is bad. It’s not. It’s life and I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to have stuff that I probably don’t need.

However, when I look around and compare places like Dubai airport and then the less afluent areas of Bristol you can’t help but to consider the huge bend in the equilibirum.

Even though Dubai’s economy is not strong right now, there is no real outward sign of it. In Bristol, the shops are closing and the “Sales” are all year long.

Consumerism is, in part, to blame - I guess. But the economics of life, the beating heart that we all have, is partly to blame too.

I’m on a downsizing mission right now. I’ve sold a lot of gear, cancelled unecessary bills and am desperately trying to get my kids to eat all their food at dinner (not an easy battle!).

The world we inhabit is still beatuful. I’m proud of the human race. All races, creeds and colours. I feel we are starting to work together more as humankind. The cogs are turning, slowly, and the people are understanding more.

Less waste, more sense. 2019 +

All photographs taken with the original FujiFilm FinePix X100

My consumerist confession



It’s a funny thing really. When I first heard the theme for the whole consumerism issue, I thought to myself that it would be one of the most hypocritical things we could do as a collective.
Why, do you ask?
Well first and foremost because 6 of us either is or was brand ambassadors for Fujifilm at some point in time. That means playing a big part in ensuring continuing growth and success for the Fujifilm corporation, which in terms actually translates directly into adding to the consumerism within the camera industry.
Obviously we tried to lighten the mood a bit by agreeing to use our oldest available digital camera. A way to show, that using the newest tech doesn’t always matter, even though we ourselves have a real knack for creating hype surrounding a new camera release.

To make matters even worse, on a personal level I’m so addicted to buying new camera stuff that I make myself sick! - I consume cameras at a rate that most people only dream about. So for me to write about consumerism is like having a certain US president write about humility and altruism.

But I thought to myself, why not just embrace it, and show the world that I am a big part of this consumerist train. I chose to take my X-Pro1 and XF35mm f/1.4 with me on vacation.
A vacation so filled with consumation, that it actually made me sick to my stomach at times.

We went on a trip starting in the fasionable West Palm Beach, followed by a 7 day cruise and ending up in South Beach Miami before heading home. I cannot think of a more point-proving vacation that that.

USA is the epitome of consumerism. We drove around in cars with 6.4L V8 engines that had 30 gallon tanks. We consumed gasoline at a pace that wasn’t even funny. At breakfast cafés we had the most grotesque sized servings of eggs and pancakes. So large that 6 children shared a 10USD order of pancakes and only ate 2/3 of it.
Shopping is conveniately and safely done inside malls. Outlet malls, center malls, childrens malls. Oh boy did my family get some shopping done!

Then the boat. - Superflous in all its appearance, environmental footprint, Phillippine labour forces, food consumation and wastegeneration. Complete with casino, bars, restaurants and buffets the size of manhattan.
What a machine! Perfectly tuned for consumerism!

Miami beach was a site to behold. One car bigger and more noisy than the next. People flashing their latest fashion accessories, pets- or plastic surgery procedures. A real theatre grotesque.
But you know what? I had a GREAT vacation. I consumed, like I usually do, and didn’t give it much thought. Just like I usually do!

Well maybe I did think about it this time - because of this project!

As it turns out I did think more and more about it. And in hindsight I made myself sick to my own stomach. Will I change things a little bit? I sure hope so. Will it be lasting change? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll evaluate at the end of next year.

But I sure hope so.

Common Wealth

Common Wealth

You hear a lot about ‘common wealth’, here: this is, after all, the Commonwealth of Australia - which is part of the Commonwealth of Nations (along with Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and many former British territories around the globe). We have a Commonwealth Bank, with branches everywhere, and Commonwealth St is just a few blocks from where I live and work in Sydney.

I like to imagine that all of this adds up to something, that the principles of the country are that good fortune is to be shared; and yet what we see more and more isn’t a collection of boats rising with the tide.

Amused To Death

But on eliminating every other reason
For our sad demise.
They logged the only explanation left.
This species has amused itself to death
— Roger Waters

We have finally reached the dream. Affordable goods and enough money to buy them. A lot of them in fact. Items that lasted for a decade or more are now being replaced yearly (helped I’m sure by manufacturers building things NOT to last). With the advent of the internet, we shop almost daily. We use YouTube to show us shiny new toys by our modern day evangelists and then use the affiliate link springboard like an Olympic diver, landing headfirst into the deep blue pool of the Amazon. There we swim around, basking in the majesty of it all. Delivery by 9 pm tonight. Fat arses clad in pajamas need not leave the sofa. We shop like our lives depended on it and feel good because we are a Prime member. Yes, a Prime member in every sense of those two words!

We shop constantly and it makes us feel great. Yes, it makes us feel great for around 10 seconds after we press that buy button. But don't worry, there's still the thrill of waiting for delivery. But we might as well go back to YouTube and take a look at the accessories, just in case we might need them. And so it continues. The chase for the transparent dangling carrot.

The truth is; the more we consume, the more empty we feel. We're not filling a hole...we're digging one. Shame we can't use that hole as a landfill to dump all that crap we bought. But there is another truth that is just as serious. We are prisoners and we are slaves. We work to make money. Money to buy stuff. That stuff will need to be replaced whenever the manufacturer decides they want more of your money. The cost of these goods increase but income rarely does. You want better, you want more. So you buy on credit and you work more to pay for it, and so the cycle continues. But at least you have that giant screen TV to sit in front of after each hard working day. Entertainment to numb the empty feeling consumerism brings to the table. All over the world, millions of us are sitting in front of bright screens. It's as though we are waiting to be amused to death.



You probably know by now that we are shooting this month [Consumerism] essays using our oldest digital cameras. I first moved to digital using Olympus and then Nikon, but those cameras are long gone now. So the original X100 is my oldest digital and my oldest Fuji camera. 

I looked back to see when I got the X100 and my first shot was taken on the 22nd of March 2011 (I think I bought the camera the day before). The image above was shot with this X100 three days later and although this looks like some sort of protest, it is actually people waiting on the Apple store to open on the release day of the latest iPhone. The queue actually goes around the corner and up the next street too.

So my X100 has come full circle, covering consumerism in 2011 and now again in 2019. I wish I could say I’ve enjoyed using this camera again, but although I have a soft spot for my original X-Series camera, it just made it blatantly obvious how far these cameras have come in the past eight years. So it's going back in the box, and a very nice box it is too. It's more like a jewelry box than a camera box. A far cry from the poor cardboard boxes we get these days.

*This post was partly inspired by Roger Water's ‘Amused To Death’, which is the title track from what is, in my opinion, the greatest rock n’ roll album in the last 40 years. That album was inspired by the book of the same name.

**You can win an imaginary balloon and whistle if you name all the gear pictured in the table shot. The prize will be sent via telepathic thought waves on the first Sunday during the week.

And on the Seventh Day



Like in pretty much every country in the world, consuming is the national occupation of choice in Belgium. But on Sundays consumerism takes a break. There are exceptions but by law, stores have to close on Sunday. There’s a lot of pressure on the government to loosen or even completely change the rules. Multinationals have to feed their ever growing machines and consumers want to shop 24/7.

But honestly, it’s not so bad to be unable to buy more meaningless stuff once a week.

My oldest working digital camera is the X-Pro1 and my oldest lens for that camera is the 35mm F1.4, so that’s what I used for these pictures. The viewfinder is a bit low res and the controls are a little sluggish in 2019. But if I’m completely honest, I could probably still do 80% of my photo work with this “old” combination. The original X-Pro forces you to slow down and that’s necessarily not a bad thing. Shooting this story reminded me how enjoyable the slow simplicity can be. My X-Pro1 was pretty much retired, but it’s still way too good to sit in the back of my cupboard.

A week's worth


By Patrick La Roque

We barely realize how much stuff we consume on a daily basis. We go through the motions, take out the trash, recycle as much as we can and now compost most of it...but it still just moves constantly, in/out, flowing like a river.

The images below barely scratch the surface. I picked through the recyclables before dumping them in the bin outside. I could’ve added Amazon packages and at least ten times more boxes and wrappers and cans. With five of us sharing the house and the kids growing up, it’s quite an exponential curve. And you can’t help but imagine all of this multiplied across every household, a thousand million times...we ingest and reject at a dizzying pace.

As photographers, this extends to our gear as well: the appeal of the shiny and the new is a siren’s song that’s hard to resist. This is why we made a point this month of shooting all our essays with our oldest camera—well, our oldest digital and usable camera anyway. In my case (and a few of my colleagues as well I think) this was the Fujifilm X100. Back when these were still called Finepix. And you know what? It wasn’t a pleasure to shoot and it quickly highlighted just how far we’d come. Technology really does shift insanely fast and our reflexes and expectations shift along with it. And yet I was profoundly surprised when I loaded the images on my computer: the files from this camera totally stand up, even in 2019; even on a 5K Retina display. In the rush of new features and medium format and ever faster performance I’d forgotten how good this little camera was, despite its flaws.

Images should always spring from who we are, not what we shoot—and yes, we know this in our bones.
But it was damn good to be reminded.