Tor Arne Hotvedt
My name is Tor Arne and I am a photographer from Oslo, Norway. I enjoy taking city and street photos, but I also love being out in nature shooting close-ups and grand landscapes (in the right weather conditions).
I try to find symmetry and patterns wherever I go, making even the most chaotic scenes as simple as possible. I find this most pleasing to the eye.
I started photography in 2015 with a DSLR from Canon, first the 700D and then the 6D. I had a lot of different lenses, but always preferred to use an ultra-wide angle and a “nifty fifty” – these are still my two favourite lenses today, although I use another camera system.
A camera is merely a tool, but you must enjoy using it. The Canon 6D I had was so bulky and heavy, along with the full frame lenses that go with it, to the point that it was weighing me down. It was such a hassle to carry and pick up, it mostly stayed in the backpack, I took fewer photos when I had it.
This made me look for a smaller and lighter camera option, I found that Sony and Fujifilm had these qualities in their mirrorless options. The Sony system was not that mature back then and also very expensive.
We were about to go to Japan for two weeks, I researched for places to visit and found some Japanese photographers taking beautiful photos with the Fujifilm system.
I bought the Fujifilm X-T10 along with the excellent Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4 lens (equivalent to 50mm in full frame) and the 18-55mm f/2.8 zoom on this trip. I fell in love with this system and its simplicity of having the exposure triangle as physical buttons, I always shoot manual anyway. I switched to the Fulifilm X-T2 right after the trip to Japan and I have been using this camera for about 2 years now.
When it comes to lenses, I use primes for the most part, as that forces you to get creative, use your feet to zoom and find interesting angles. My lens selection includes XF 14mm f/2.8 (recently switched it with the XF 10-24mm f/4 to get even wider perspectives), XF 23mm f/2, XF 35mm f/1.4 and XF 90mm f/2.
My favourite lens by far is the XF 35mm f/1.4, due to the handy focal length and the incredible bokeh it delivers. At times I play around with long exposure photography, especially with cityscapes at night or seascapes in daylight to create a silky-smooth water effect. For the latter, I use the Lee Big Stopper, which is a 10-stop filter.
I also use a drone to get different and exciting angles, I’m a big fan of top-down shots. I use the DJI Mavic Pro for these shots. In addition, not so long ago I got curious about old film cameras – especially TLRs like the Yashica-Mat, but I haven’t had the time to play around with it just yet.
I still very much enjoy using Fujifilm, although I am considering a full frame option as I have recently started selling big prints of my images and will therefore benefit from a full frame with a high megapixel count for the best image quality. There are also other advantages such as using high ISO without getting too much noise and the option to crop the images a lot more.
Having said that, remember that a camera is only a tool, so choose what suits your style and needs.
To see more of my work, you can follow me on Instagram and 500px (links below). If you would like to buy any of my prints, you can visit Veggbilder at the link below (although this page is only in Norwegian, you can find contact details there).