Björn Kupper Fuji lm
Björn Kupper is a German photographer who has been based in Greece since 2009. After attempting a career in music, he gained a master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and chose to express his artistic desires through photography. He mainly shoots the seemingly artless, ordinary aspects of everyday life. Follow Björn Kupper on Instagram at @bjoern_kupper and check out more of his work at www.bjoernkupper.com.
I MOSTLY use the Single AF mode with the smallest available centre focus point. Although Continuous AF mode is very helpful in many scenarios, I prefer to have more control over the situation. With Single AF I have the possibility to quickly re-compose a frame, which requires some practice, but gives me great compositional freedom. It also lets me use the pre-focusing technique, which fits my style of shooting. I can carefully compose a frame and wait for the scene to happen. Of course, this needs some experience and empathy in terms of how a situation will develop.
When shooting during the night or in difficult lighting situations, I often use MF mode to gain full control of the whole process. You’re always running the risk of obtaining an out-offocus result, but I feel more comfortable with MF in such situations. In AF-S mode I just use the smallest available centre focus point. I seldom use AF-C mode and I don’t customise these presets at all. The various AF-C presets of the Fujifilm cameras are very versatile and do an excellent job, so I’ve never felt the need to set up a custom AF-C setting. With the exception of some extreme situations, my favoured method of focusing is AF-S.
I don’t assign any focusing modes to any buttons. I always focus by half-pressing the shutter release button as I am a fanatical ‘old school, single AF-mode, centre focus point shooter’. Thus there is no need for back button focusing as I very seldom use the zone focusing or tracking mode – the AF-L button is still assigned as per the factory setting.
I always tend to set up my camera in a way that gives me as much control and freedom as possible. In several photographic genres, such as street photography, where composition is usually the most crucial factor to make a photo unique, I will, whenever possible, choose pre-focusing in order to keep my mind only on catching the decisive moment. Hence, in terms of focusing, the AF-S mode is the mode for me. It’s a focusing mode every photographer should practise using in order to expand their artistic freedom.
I’ve gathered lots of equipment over the years. What I carry with me depends on where I am and what I am shooting. Usually, I try to stick with prime lenses and might bring a little zoom lens in the backpack just in case. Sometimes I carry two cameras, equipped with prime lenses covering two different focal lengths, say 16mm and 50mm. Very rarely I’ll carry a tripod as I hate these things for slowing me down – the high ISO and dynamic range capabilities on my Fujifilm cameras are brilliant anyway.