Weekly Photo Project, Week 27

After a short intermission, I’m back on track with my photo-a-day challenge, where I’m trying to capture at least one picture each day for a year, taking things one week at a time. I’ve shifted my week slightly, going Sunday through Saturday instead of Monday through Sunday. In 2018, starting out on Monday made sense with the flow of my week, but things have changed slightly this year, and so starting out on Sunday works well with how things are now.

You might notice that I have two different themes this week: monochrome and location. All of these pictures are black-and-white and they were all captured at or very near my home. You don’t have to go far to find interesting things to photograph. Sometimes you don’t even need to leave your home. Look for what’s right around you, wherever you happen to be. I chose monochrome simply because I had captured a number of black-and-white pictures this week, and decided to keep things consistent. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

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Cold Mountain Monochrome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Monday, February 4, 2019

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Snow Falling On The Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

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Wood Gate – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

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Pentax 35mm Film Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Thursday, February 7, 2019

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February Storm Over Wasatch Mountains – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, February 8, 2019

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Illuminated Decor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Saturday, February 9, 2019

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Winter Ridges – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 26  

Fujifilm X-T30 Now Available For Pre-Order

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Fujifilm announced the upcoming X-T30 yesterday, and today it’s officially available for pre-order. It won’t ship until March 20 (and not until June 30 for the charcoal grey version), but, if you don’t pre-order, it might be out of stock until sometime in April or even May if it sells really well. If you aren’t sure whether to buy the X-T30 or X-T20, I wrote an article that might help, explaining some reasons to choose one over the other.

If you want to pre-order the X-T30 through Amazon, here are the links:

Fujifilm X-T30 Body-Only Black $900
Fujifilm X-T30 Body-Only Silver $900
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 15-45mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 18-55mm lens $1,300
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 15-45mm + 50mm f/2 $1,150 (save $300)
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 15-45mm + 50mm f/2 $1,450 (save $300)
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 18-55mm + 50mm f/2 $1,150 (save $600)
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 23mm f/2 $1,050

Also, Fujifilm announced the XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR lens, which will also be released on March 20, for $400.

I am an Amazon Affiliate partner, and I receive a small payment if you use my links to order an item. Nobody pays me to write the articles that you find on this blog. One way to help support this website is to use my Amazon links to order things. If you were already planning to order this camera through Amazon, it would be much appreciated if you used the links above to do so. If not, please feel zero pressure from me to order anything. Thanks so much!

5 Reasons To Choose The Fujifilm X-T30 & 5 Reasons To Choose The Fujifilm X-T20

Fujifilm just announced the upcoming X-T30. It’s expected to be released in late-March for $900 for the camera body. This camera replaces the X-T20, which was my top recommended Fuji camera. What’s new? What’s improved? Which should you buy? I will attempt to answer those questions by listing five reasons to choose each one. Only you can decide if either of these cameras are right for you, but hopefully I can help add some clarity to your decision.

5 Reasons To Choose The Fujifilm X-T30:

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#5 – Joystick

Fujifilm chose to replace the D-Pad that’s found on the X-T20 with a joystick and touch-screen controls. This is the same setup that’s on the X-E3 and other Fujifilm cameras. If you like the focus joystick, the X-T30 has it and the X-T20 doesn’t.

#4 – Charcoal Grey

Besides all-black and silver-and-black, Fujifilm has made a third color option for the X-T30 camera body: grey-and-black. I’m on the fence if I love it or hate it, but if you love it, it’s available on the X-T30.

#3 – New JPEG Features

The X-T30 has a few new features not available on the X-T20, including Color Chrome effect, Eterna film simulation, and color toning of Acros. If you shoot JPEG, these are nice options that Fujifilm has included to help you achieve your desired look in-camera.

#2 – Improved Auto-Focus

The X-T30 has the new X-Trans IV sensor and processor, which produces less heat that in turn allows for quicker operations. The X-T30 is a faster camera than the X-T20, and it’s most prevalent in the improved auto-focus. If you shoot fast moving subjects, the X-T30 will be the better choice.

#1 – Impressive Video

Perhaps the biggest improvements found on the X-T30 are with regards to video. Things like DCI 4K 30fps, H.264 4:2:2 10-bit external, and F-Log make this a better option for video than the X-T20. It’s not quite as good as the X-T3, which is to be expected, but it’s definitely a step up from the camera it is replacing. No doubt, the X-T30 could be used for serious videography.

5 Reasons To Choose The Fujifilm X-T20:

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#5 – D-Pad

While some people might prefer the joystick on the X-T30, others will prefer the D-Pad on the X-T20. If that’s you, you might appreciate the X-T20 more. Want both the joystick and D-Pad? You’ll have to get an X-T3 or other high-end model.

#4 – It’s Essentially the Same Camera

Aside from some small changes and improvements, the X-T20 and X-T30 are not much different from each other. The X-T20 has a good auto-focus system and decent video capabilities, and if you don’t need them to be better, there’s not a big advantage to owning the new camera.

#3 – You Have Another X-Trans III Camera

Although still image quality is nearly identical between X-Trans III and X-Trans IV sensors, there are still some very minor differences that might require processing exposures slightly different. If you already have a different X-Trans III camera (say, and X-T2, X-Pro2 or X100F) you might want to choose the X-T20 just to keep post-processing the same.

#2 – X-T20 is Cheaper

While the MSRP is the same between the X-T20 and X-T30, the X-T20 has been discounted for several months now. In fact, at Amazon, the X-T20 is currently $700 for the body and $1,000 bundled with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens. That’s $200 cheaper for what is 95% the same exact camera. With the imminent release of the X-T30, the X-T20 might see even bigger discounts in the coming weeks.

#1 – You Can Buy the X-T20 Now

The X-T30 won’t be released until late-March. It’s not even available yet for pre-order (although it should be soon), and if you don’t pre-order you won’t likely get your hands on one until sometime in April, and, depending on how popular it is, maybe not even until May. The X-T20 is in-stock and could be in your hands within a couple of days.

Fujifilm Provia Film Simulation Settings – Or, My Agfa Optima 200 Recipe

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Colorful Chalk – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

With the start of the new year I decided that I wanted to rethink my Fujifilm film simulation settings and make new recipes with each option. I wanted to start with Provia, not only because it’s the “standard” option on Fujifilm X cameras, but also because I’ve been asked many times to create a film simulation recipe that uses Provia as the base. I do have a film simulation recipe that uses Provia, but it’s definitely not for everyone. This one could actually be someone’s standard recipe on their camera.

I’ve never been a fan of the Provia film simulation on Fujifilm X cameras, partly because the film simulation looks very little like the film that it derives its name from. Curiously, Provia film actually more closely resembles the Astia film simulation and Astia film more closely resembles the Provia film simulation (although neither are close to being an exact match). I don’t think Fujifilm ever considered making the Provia film simulation resemble the film that it was named after or really any film, they just wanted to use the trademark name for their standard setting. The Provia film simulation is designed to give generally pleasing results to the masses. Some people love it, but I personally find it to be the least interesting of the color options available.

While I never intended to mimic the look of any specific film with this recipe, I think that it fairly closely resembles Agfa Optima 200. If you are looking for an Agfa Optima recipe, look no further! Agfa made many different films over the years. They were never as big as Kodak or Fujifilm, but they weren’t that far behind, either. Agfa Optima 200 was a color negative film that was introduced in 1996, replacing AgfaColor XRS 200, and was discontinued in 2005. I never used this film myself, but I have seen it in person and on the internet plenty of times, so I have a good idea of what it looks like. Even though I didn’t intend to recreate the look of a film with this recipe, the fact that it happens to resembles one is a very happy accident. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

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Morning Egg Bowl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

I’ve found that this particular film simulation recipe looks best when using an ISO between 1600 and 3200. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use a lower or higher ISO, because I certainly do, but for some reason that ISO range seems to produce the most pleasing result. I have flirted with the idea setting the ISO range to be between 1600 and 3200, but I have yet to do that. This recipe says to set ISO to Auto up to ISO 6400, but please don’t feel like you have to set it to that just because that’s what settings I typed out. As always, choose what works best for you and your photography.

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: -2
Shadow: +2
Color: -2
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, -1 Red & -1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs made using this Provia film simulation recipe:

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Coca-Cola Cans – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Bolsey 35 Model B – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Mercantile Coffee Cup – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Durable Nonstick Pot – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Oil Pastels – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Table Curve – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Window Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Indoor Decor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Blinded – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Shrub In The Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Waiting For Warmer Weather – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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For Everything There Is A Season – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

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Fading Light On The Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Agfa Optima”

Photoessay: Cold Winter Daze

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Melting Ice – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

When I moved to Utah from California, one thing that I wasn’t prepared for was winter. Before California I lived in Arizona, so having temperatures below freezing and white fluffy stuff on the ground was something that I didn’t have much experience with. This is my third winter in Utah, and while I’m now a little acclimated, winter is not my favorite season whatsoever. In fact, I dread winter.

Even though I’d rather be warm and have long hours of seemingly endless sunshine with green fields and blossoming flowers, there is a certain beauty to the drabness of the cold season. Winter brings clouds, and an approaching or clearing storm can be incredibly dramatic. Those clouds blanket the entire landscape in pure white that sparkles like glitter when the sun finally shows. Winter is a transformation season, and while the days are short and the air is frigid, it’s a worthwhile time to capture pictures. This is the time to keep an especially watchful photographic eye on things, because the opportunities for interesting photographs abound, but they are fleeting, so one must be quick and ready.

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Frozen Lake – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Pond & Tree Trunk – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Wasatch Homes – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Snow On Red – Spanish Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold Horse Coat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Equestrian Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Red Tractor In Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Snow Removal – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Too Cold For Basketball – South Weber, Ut – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sled In The Yard – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Cold Picnic – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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White Landscaping – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Mountain Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Snow Blowing On The Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold White Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Backyard Snowfall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Winter Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Winter Stream – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold Hillside – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Buddhist Instagram – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Ice Cold Branches – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Evening Cold – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Weekly Photo Project – Intermission

After completing half a year without missing a single day, I purposefully took a break from this photo-a-day project. At first I was a little anxious, because I felt as though I was selling myself short. I mean, I made it halfway, why can’t I just pull up the bootstraps and persevere? However, the break was refreshing, and perhaps necessary, and those initial feelings soon subsided. I was able to reflect back on the 26 weeks that had passed. I now feel ready to tackle the second half. I said this before, if I were to do this again, I would schedule periodic breaks, maybe once a quarter. In a way it goes against the idea of capturing a picture each day, but, at the same time, if one needs a mental refresher, one should take a mental refresher! I definitely needed one, and I’m happy that I took it.

Below you’ll find one photograph that I’ve selected from each week of this project. What I found interesting as I looked back at each post is that for some of the weeks there were several good pictures to choose from, and other weeks there were seven mediocre-at-best pictures posted. Those weeks that had several good photographs in them, I remembered that there were other good images that I could have also included, but I had to pick just one for each day. Good photography doesn’t happen daily, as it takes the right subject at the right time in the right light and with the right vision. Doing a project like this increases the odds, but it’s still not going to happen every time I have a camera in my hands. But when the right conditions occur, it’s usually not just one good frame that I come away with, but several. It’s important to take advantage of those moments when everything comes together, and really squeeze the best pictures possible out of them.

Week 1

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Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Week 2

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Grain Hoppers – Westlake, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Week 3

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Window Seat – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Week 4

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Halfway Done – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Week 5

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Beams Over The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Week 6

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California Dreamin’ – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Week 7

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Wasatch Ridge Autumn – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Week 8

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Flag On A Pole – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 9

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Cloudy Day Train – Clearfield, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 10

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Ghosts of the Past – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 11

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Clouds Around The Timpanogos – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Week 12

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Wasatch Orange – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Week 13

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Capital Lamp – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 14

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Joy Rider – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Week 15

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Empty Church Seats – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 16

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Peculiar Waters – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 17

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Waiting Alone For The Train – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 18

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The Little Engineer – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 19

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Amanda & I at the Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Week 20

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Fake Flowers In The Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 21

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Ogden Airport – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 22

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Wasatch Mountain Moon Rise – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 23

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Great Salt Lake Evening – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 24

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Frary Fence – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 25

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Morning Mountain White – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 26

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Winter Horse – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

 

Fujifilm X-T30 Will Have Joystick

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The upcoming Fujifilm X-T30, which will be officially announced next week, will have a joystick instead of a d-pad, according to some leaked photos by nokishita-camera.com. This is no surprise to me. In fact, I predicted it in my vlog episode #008.

There are advantages and disadvantages to a joystick instead of a d-pad. There will be more touch controls on the rear screen that will accomplish some of the functionality of the d-pad. It will be similar to the X-E3, or even the XF10. Some people will appreciate the change, while others won’t. I personally would have liked both the d-pad and joystick, like on the X100F, but I didn’t really expect it since this isn’t Fujifilm’s flagship model.

For better or worse, a joystick and touch-screen functions will replace the d-pad on the X-T30. It’s not a huge deal, but it is a change, and with any change there will be those who like it and those who don’t. If you end up buying this camera when it comes out, you’ll get used to it after awhile. It’s not a big deal. But at least now you know, and if you don’t like it, there’s still the X-T20, which is basically the same camera with a d-pad and without a joystick.

Fujifilm PRO Neg. Std Film Simulation Recipes

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Great Salt Lake Evening – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – PRO Neg. Std

PRO Neg. Std is one of the least popular film simulations available on Fujifilm X-Trans cameras, so you might be surprised by the number of different film simulation recipes I created that use it as the base. At first PRO Neg. Std may seem flat and dull. It has the softest tonality of all the film simulation options, and it is one of the least saturated. Fujifilm modeled it after Fujicolor Pro 160 NS film printed on Fujicolor paper. It has a great analog print quality to it that can be quite appealing!

The PRO Neg. Std film simulation was inspired by a portrait film, so it’s no surprise that it is great for skin tones. By adjusting the settings, it can be made to resemble different negative films or produce different analog looks. I particularly appreciate how this film simulation handles shadows. Many of the different color film simulations that Fujifilm offers on their cameras handle shadows similar to reversal film, but not PRO Neg. Std, which has a negative film quality, particularly in the shadows.

Below you will find all of my different film simulation recipes that I have created that use PRO Neg. Std. If you haven’t tried them all, I personally invite you to do so and see which are your favorites! My personal favorites are Superia 800 and Pro 400H, but they each have their own usefulness and charm. Let me know in the comments which recipe you like most!

Even though the different recipes say X100F and X-T20, they are completely compatible with any Fujifilm X-Trans III or newer camera. For example, you don’t have to use the X100F recipes exclusively on the X100F. You can use any of my recipes on any X-Trans III camera.

Fujicolor Superia 800

CineStill 800T

Eterna

Aged Color

Fujicolor Pro 400H

Welcome to Fujixweekly.com!

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On August 21, 2017, I began the Fuji X Weekly blog with the photograph above and several paragraphs explaining why I started this thing and what I envisioned it becoming. Several twists and turns have taken place along the way. What this blog is today isn’t exactly what I originally had in mind. It has evolved in ways that I didn’t anticipate back in late-summer of 2017, as well as some ways that I thought could potentially happen. That’s alright, because it’s much greater than I thought possible! I’m not bragging. It’s because of you all that Fuji X Weekly is what it is. Like you, I’m just going along for the ride, and we’ll find out together where things go over the coming months and years.

I wanted to announce two changes that are big, yet may not be completely obvious at first. These changes are the direct result of you guys and gals out there that have ordered products using my Amazon links. I recently received the first payment, and it was just enough money to accomplish what I hoped to accomplish. Like I promised, the purpose of the links is to improve the Fuji X Weekly experience. It’s thanks to you that these changes happened. Thank you!

The first thing you might notice is that this blog is officially fujixweekly.com. Yea! You don’t have to use “.wordpress” anymore. If you’ve linked to this blog, those links will still work even though “.wordpress” is in the address. However, from here on out, the address is shorter and simpler, and hopefully that makes things easier for you when you wish to visit or share. Also, I’m hoping that it gives this website a little more credibility, as “.wordpress” has an amateur air to it.

The second big change is that the WordPress advertisements should be gone forever. Because I was using their free service, WordPress was plastering advertisements all over this blog. It was annoying! I didn’t benefit from those ads except that I didn’t have to pay WordPress any money for this website. Now that I’m not using the free service, there are no more advertisements. This should make the blog look more clean and less cluttered, and hopefully you won’t feel hounded for money. I will still post Amazon links here and there, but I hope that you find that to be a helpful service and not an annoying ploy.

Anyway, welcome to fujixweekly.com! Expect more positive changes to come, and those changes are all thanks to you!

House Underwater – Thistle, Utah

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House in a Frozen Pond – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Thistle, Utah, is a strange place. It’s a little ghost town in Spanish Fork Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains. It was established in 1878 and was a railroad town, situated along the Rio Grande mainline. U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 89 intersected in Thistle. A lot of people and cargo passed through there, but the town never really became much of anything. At it’s peak in the 1920’s, the town had a population of just over 400 people.

I had heard of Thistle many years ago, because photographer Richard Steinheimer had captured two of his most well known pictures there. I had never visited it, nor did I have any idea of what it looked like, outside of a couple black-and-white prints captured in the 1950’s. It was a recent adventure that led me to stumble upon Thistle quite by accident. I passed through it not knowing what I was passing through, and stopped because I saw something interesting.

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Photo by Richard Steinheimer

Steinheimer, if he were still alive, would not recognize Thistle. Both highways have been rerouted and the tracks have been realigned. Even the Spanish Fork River isn’t entirely in the same place. The town is almost entirely gone, with the exception of a half-submerged house and some crumbling ruins that are barely hanging on. In 1983 there was a massive mudslide that demolished the little town of Thistle. It completely destroyed the area. At the time it was the costliest landslide in U.S. history.

The ruins of Thistle are easy to miss. On the west side of Route 89 are a couple crumbled buildings that almost blend into the landscape. On the east side of the highway is an old house that’s halfway deep in water, hidden behind some tall brush. I’m sure many people drive right through Thistle and don’t even realize it. There’s not much to see. There wasn’t much to see when the town was still a town, but there’s really not much left today.

I visited Thistle on a cold winter day, much like Steinheimer did back before my parents were even born. The location is beautiful, and the snow hides the tragic remains. I’m glad that fate took me to this cold and lonely place as I appreciate the adventure. Thistle will soon be completely gone and I’m thankful that I got to see it before then. Still, I don’t think I’ll be returning anytime soon.

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Ice Cold Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Defaced & Decaying – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Hidden Hiemal Haggard Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Old Frozen Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20