Fujifilm X RAW Studio

Fujifilm recently launched X RAW Studio, which is a new RAW photo editing software with a twist. What’s unique is that it uses your Fujifilm camera’s built-in RAW editor to do the actual work. The program basically allows you to view and edit pictures on your computer monitor instead of the back of the camera, but you are still using the camera to post-process.

The latest firmware updates for X-Trans III cameras (plus the GFX-50S) allow you to pair the camera to the X RAW Studio software. For the X100F this was the “big” change with the 2.0 firmware update. If you don’t have the latest firmware update, you can’t use X RAW Studio. As of December 2017, X RAW Studio is only available for Mac, but a Windows version is slated to be released sometime in January of 2018.

To use the software, you must first go into the camera’s settings menu and, under the wrench, choose Connection Setting, then PC Connection Mode, and then USB RAW Conversion. If you don’t do that it won’t work. If you select the USB RAW Conversion setting and you normally upload your pictures to your computer using a USB cable, that will no longer work, so consider how you transfer your photos from your camera to your computer.

Speaking of transferring images from the camera to the computer, I thought that you could do this using X RAW Studio, but you cannot. Even though the camera is attached to the computer via a USB cable, you cannot transfer anything or even view the pictures. You have to transfer your images to the computer before you can use the software. If your files aren’t already on the computer X RAW Studio won’t be able to find them. It would be much more convenient if you could use the software to transfer files from the camera to the computer, and I hope a future update will allow this.

24528193657_1f741e3f1f_z

Old Log In Kolob Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

If your Fujifilm camera is set to RAW or RAW+JPEG, you can use X RAW Studio to edit the RAW files and convert them to JPEGs. The software sends the RAW file through the USB cable back to the camera (where it is processed) and then sends a finished JPEG to the computer. When using the GFX-50S, there is an option to save as TIFFs instead of JPEGs, but it’s only available for that one camera. It would be appreciated if a future update allowed the TIFF option no matter the camera.

The post-processing options that X RAW Studio provides are the exact same ones found on your camera’s built-in RAW converter. Using this software is the same as doing the RAW conversions on your camera. The only benefits are that you can see it on a large screen and you can batch edit. I like that there’s a histogram, and so you get a better idea of what exactly each adjustment is doing. But beyond that, there’s nothing particularly exciting about X RAW Studio.

I was hoping it was something that would give me the flexibility of fixing the occasional exposure that I didn’t get quite right in-camera while not slowing down my process too much. What I found is that it slowed me down a whole bunch, but I was able to fix some photographs that needed work because I screwed up when I captured them. So it was helpful in one aspect and not in another.

I think, for the RAW+JPEG shooter, the best way to use the software is to set aside the RAW files for the occasional pictures that need work, and then use it for those few pictures. If you’re sorting through hundreds of exposures, it’ll take much too long using X RAW Studio. It could simply supplement your current process from time-to-time when needed.

39392278991_3e544dd25f_z

Nagunt Mesa Monochrome – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

If you are a RAW-only photographer, I don’t suspect you’ll find much use for this software because you probably paid money for something that’s much more capable. However, if you like the look of the different film simulations, perhaps you might find some use for it. If you are a JPEG-only shooter, this software does nothing for you.

I hope Fujifilm improves X RAW Studio in the future. Besides adding the ability to transfer photos from the camera to the computer with the software and the option to save-as TIFFs, I have a couple of other suggestions that would make it more useful. I think adding a Digital Teleconverter would be great. When you shoot RAW+JPEG you cannot use the camera’s built-in Digital Teleconverter, so having the option to use it in X RAW Studio would be very helpful. Another suggestion would be the ability to crop, even if it is the same simple crop option found in the camera.

Fujifilm’s X RAW Studio is a unique software for converting RAW files to JPEGs. I imagine that some people will find it useful and many will not. It’s brand new, and I think that some improvements are coming in the future, and if done right, it could be a nice tool. I suggest trying it and seeing what you think for yourself. Just keep your expectations low.

Old Log In Kolob Canyon was originally captured in-camera using my Velvia Film Simulation recipe, but, using X RAW Studio, I reprocessed the RAW file using my Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation recipeNagunt Mesa Monochrome was originally captured using my Velvia Film Simulation recipe, but I reprocessed it using my Acros Push-Process Film Simulation recipe.

Merry Christmas!

38573678576_cfe18082a1_z

Roesch Family Christmas 2017 – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Merry Christmas from Fuji X Weekly and the Roesch family! I hope this holiday finds you doing well and that all your wishes and dreams are realized. May your tree stay green and fresh until the new year dawns.

My gift to you is a prayer that you will be surrounded by love and peace this Christmas. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, but when things aren’t going well it can seem especially bleak. The colorful lights, the carefully wrapped gifts under the tree, the classic carols on the radio, these things and more all point to a hope that exists. There is hope. There is always hope, and we must hold onto it tightly and never let go.

Hope brings joy, and joy comes in the morning. Each day begins anew, a clean slate, a fresh start. Make that phone call. Connect with friends and family. Don’t let this time slip away. There is indeed magic in the air. Offer your heart as a gift. Give your time. Give forgiveness. Be the blessing. Be the change. Be the joy.

Christmas is not about the gifts under the tree. It’s not about the stores filled with toys and the half-price sales. It’s never about getting things. Charlie Brown knew this, but it took Linus to explain what this season is about. An undeserved gift given in a humble fashion is what we celebrate. The message is simple: love is the greatest.

38573653946_d6835c2f27_z

Jon, Josh, Joy Downtown – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

38597199342_1858bdaea9_z

Amanda, Johanna & I – Ogden, UT -Fujifilm X100F

Food Photography With A Fujifilm X100F

37126133323_619a3a052b_z

Scone & Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My wife, Amanda, likes to cook and bake. She’s pretty good at it. My kids and I are very fortunate, privileged really, to be able to taste her culinary creations on a regular basis. We are frequently treated to exceptionally tasty food. She’s routinely complimented by friends and family who have the opportunity to try something she’s made.

She hasn’t always been great in the kitchen. That’s not to say that she was bad, but simply that she’s made significant progress, striving for improvement, trying different ideas, and finding new techniques. She is constantly refining recipes. I guess the thing about Amanda is that she always gives 100% with whatever she does, so eventually, with practice, whatever it is will become great. Good isn’t good enough. It’s got to be great, and she will find a way to make it great.

I told her that she should publish a cookbook. She’s got a lot of simple yet great dishes and desserts that she makes that should be household staples across the country. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but it would be a great cookbook if she ever did write it.

I’m not one to snap pictures of whatever it is that I’m eating. But I have occasionally captured the food that my wife has cooked or is cooking. The Fujifilm X100F is an excellent tool for this job, always nearby ready to go and never in the way. I find that natural window light is best. As with any genre of photography, it comes down to light and storytelling. Tell an interesting story and do so in nice light and you’ll have a great picture.

25272379678_63840b140a_z

Birthday Cake On A Plate – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

36314578311_aa66221e46_z

Cilantro – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

37287970791_b2bb008e9e_z

Tomatoes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

36794052522_8709c7c2c7_z

Apples – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39073308581_aedf676ebb_z

Holiday Sugar Cookies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

37763696952_7b478a537e_z

Scone Dough – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

37086080634_a28787a400_z

Scone Cutting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

38211069305_6fe31b01de_z

Icing On The Sweet Casserole – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39062343882_6b0bab7ed8_z

Cinnamon Roll Casserole – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm X100F Noise Reduction & Sharpening

36047246386_cb18d8741f_z

America First Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

The Fujifilm X100F has noticeably improved noise reduction and sharpening over the first generation X-Trans cameras. That’s to be expected and may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s important to note because neither were particularly great on the early models. I don’t think it was necessarily a “Fujifilm issue” so much as cameras in general don’t do a great job at those functions, and so many people use software on their computers instead. However, things are better on the X100F, and I let the camera do many things that I wouldn’t have in the past.

I’m not sure if you noticed, but on my early Film Simulation recipes, such as Classic Chrome and Acros, I set Noise Reduction to -2 and Sharpening to +2, while my newer recipes, such as Astia and Acros Push-Process, I set Noise Reduction to -3 and Sharpening to +1. Why the change? What difference does it make?

Noise reduction will make an image look cleaner, but at the expense of sharpness. Digital noise is kind of the modern equivalent of film grain, except that it’s much less aesthetically pleasing, and a lot of people don’t like it. Because of the way Fujifilm programs the X-Trans sensor, digital noise on the X100F (and other Fujifilm cameras) resembles film grain more than typical noise–it just looks better, more analog–and so I don’t mind it being visible in an image.

24884231758_cd38fda6e9_z

Johanna & Santa – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Sharpening, which (I believe) on the X100F is a combination of an unsharp mask and micro contrast (clarity), makes an image look more crisp, but at the expense of artifacts and occasional weird effects. Apply too little sharpening and an image will look soft, apply too much and an image will look strange.

Noise reduction and sharpening work together to determine how clean, sharp and detailed a digital photograph is or isn’t. There are compromises that must be made, and keeping things balanced can be tricky. It’s important to not under or over do it with either.

After playing around with the settings, I initially determined that -2 Noise Reduction and +2 Sharpening was ideal. Not too soft, not too noisy, and not too many artifacts and such. I felt like it was the Goldilocks settings. But after a few months of use, I’ve refined it just a little.

One thing that I noticed with the +2 Sharpening is an occasional “Lego Brick” effect on diagonal high-contrast lines. Sometimes I’ll see it, and then zoom in and it’s not there. That’s due to the resolution of the monitor that I’m viewing it on, and that’s not an image quality issue whatsoever. Other times I’ll see it, and when I zoom in the Lego effect remains. That’s due to over-sharpening, and it drives me nuts. American First Building has the Lego effect on the walkway railing just above the glass. I dislike it when my photographs look “digital” because it seems unnatural. I’ve yet to see the Lego effect when using +1 sharpening.

37741622555_2fffd654ae_z

Johanna Out On The Town – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Something I’ve noticed with the -2 Noise Reduction is a very slight waxy skin effect at really high ISOs. This waxy skin effect has been a Fujifilm issue for awhile, and it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be (not even close), so they’ve made significant progress. However, it still rears it’s head occasionally, and a simple fix is -3 Noise Reduction. The trade off is that high-ISO images don’t look quite as clean, and I question if ISO 12800 is actually usable or not because of the amount of noise.

I don’t think there’s a huge difference between -2 Noise Reduction and +2 Sharpening and -3 Noise Reduction and +1 Sharpening. It’s very subtle, and the end results are nearly identical. When you make changes to these setting there are some compromises. There isn’t a “perfect” setting. There are positives and negatives to consider. The photograph above, Johanna Out On The Town, has a little more noise because of the -3 Noise Reduction, but the skin doesn’t look waxy.

Playing around with the settings, I find that -2 Noise Reduction combined with +1 Sharpening leaves an image looking slightly soft. I find that -3 Noise Reduction combined with +2 Sharpening seems to be too much. In the middle photograph, Johanna & Santa, the +2 Sharpening is a little too much when combined with -3 Noise Reduction (note, this photo received some minor post processing). I’m being picky, and you may find what works for you is a little different than what works for me.

While on this topic, something to note is that you cannot turn off Noise Reduction and Sharpening. Zero is just the default standard setting. Even at -4 the camera is applying a small amount of noise reduction and sharpening to the images. That’s the lowest setting, and it’s much too low, in my opinion, unless I was planning to do those things myself in post (in which case I would shoot RAW, and none of this would matter).

Road Trip: Seattle With A Fujifilm X100F – Part 6, Goin’ Home (Day 6 & 7)

37721580025_b2639ccedc_z

Dock Remnants – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Before leaving town on our final day in Seattle, Washington, we visited one last beach, Picnic Point Park in Edmonds. This rocky beach had great views of Whidbey Island and the Puget Sound. It was a drizzly day, but for the most part the rain paused while we were there, and the sun briefly shined through the grey sky, exposing a beautiful but fleeting blue.

The kids combed the beach for seashells, unusual rocks and anything related to sea life. My wife and I took in the view, breathing in the moist Pacific air. This was going to be our last view of the ocean for awhile, and so we tried to make the moment last as long as we could. We had a great time at this spot.

It was bittersweet to leave, not just this beach but Seattle. The trip had been a lot of fun! It was great to relive old memories and make new ones. Washington is such a beautiful state. We wanted to stay longer, but it was time to go. We had a long day of driving ahead of us.

38607571001_7aecf9983c_z

Umbrella Overpass – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37889930694_1cdea94042_z

Yellow Bush & Red Berries – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37889789224_018e8d8700_z

Driftwood – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38574772042_b2ca2d8d03_z

Across Towards Whidbey Island – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

24735100178_2f9e12e1ff_z

Possession Point In The Distance – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

26830646549_b6998457c6_z

Three Old Dock Posts – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38550258166_9d62ca94d3_z

Old Dock Post Remnants – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38574780632_7caf3c5573_z

Kids Throwing Rocks – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38574865832_38ed1ce6db_z

Beach Combing – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37719358605_8791bd9caf_z

Seashell Hunter – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38607381491_ccd3f34f0f_z

Seashell Found – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38574889562_edd54d1191_z

Johanna’s Face – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38574855302_e7a9a69581_z

Grey Day At The Beach – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37719137065_b5a2626991_z

Barnacle Heart – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37889856344_a3fee0d6c1_z

White Glove Art – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38574912992_caf3d4d0ba_z

Coastal Tracks – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

The drive across the state of Washington was long. It rained hard and then snowed crossing the mountain pass. It was mostly sunny on the west side of the state. We made good time by making minimal stops, only braking for gas, food and restrooms. The kids did surprisingly well, including the baby–they were all troopers. Our hotel was in Boise, Idaho, and we arrived very late, exhausted from the long trip.

37889769474_8b403f9fdd_z

Pumping Gas – Yakima, WA – Fujifilm X100F

24734993988_6a61b446da_z

Face On The Bathroom Wall – Pendleton, OR – Fujifilm X100F

We awoke the next day to wet weather in Idaho. We took our time leaving because we were no longer in a hurry. Some old friends of ours live in Boise, and we met up with them for a little while before beginning the last leg of our journey.

It was dark before we entered Utah and it was late when we got home. We appreciated that we took our time on this last day, and we didn’t feel so stressed upon arrival. It was good trip, but it was good to be home. It felt good to sleep in my own bed.

The photographs on these last two days were captured using a Fujifilm X100F, all camera-made JPEGs using my Acros Push-Process Film Simulation recipe and my Velvia Film Simulation recipe. I used my wide-angle conversion lens for some of the pictures. One fully charged battery lasted both days.

 

38550118756_8f9470ccc5_z

Three Leaves On Concrete – Boise, ID – Fujifilm X100F

38550112606_1bfda87271_z

Walk And Not Faint – Boise, ID – Fujifilm X100F

26830462719_5f47d45632_z

Corvair Corner – Boise, ID – Fujifilm X100F

38574570212_dbeb82846e_z

Wet Parking Lot At Night – Twin Falls, ID – Fujifilm X100F

In the end, after seven days on the road, I captured 792 exposures, keeping 198 of them. That means I had a success rate of one in four, which is incredible! Many of those were personal family pictures, but still, I didn’t delete nearly as many pictures as with other cameras I’ve traveled with in the past. I shared 144 of those images with you in this series of posts. Perhaps I included too many photographs in each section, but I felt it was better to share too many than too few. I hope you enjoyed them!

The Fujifilm X100F proved to be a great travel camera, fitting into my pockets without a problem, never getting in the way, and always ready to capture in whatever environment I was in. The wet weather was no problem. The different light situations were no problem. I came home and had minimal post-processing–almost all of the images from this trip are straight-out-of-camera, no editing. A few needed some minor manipulation, but only a small handful of them.

Even better than the photography was the experience of the trip. People invest a lot of money in camera gear. I find it better to instead invest in experiences whenever possible. Don’t buy that new lens, but go someplace that you’ve never been and use what equipment you already have. Keep your gear simple and be content with it. You’ll be happier for it, I’m sure.

Road Trip: Seattle With Fujifilm X100F – Part 5, Bonney Lake & Tacoma (Day 5)

38550510666_6e7f3c7dbc_z

Mount Rainier From Bonney Lake – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

For the third full day in the Seattle, Washington, area we planned to explore south of downtown, roughly around Tacoma. After experiencing mostly good weather on the trip, this day saw lots of rain, which is typical weather for the time of year. After breakfast and coffee we got in the car and headed south.

We drove around for awhile, seeing the different suburbs and such. It was wet outside so we didn’t stop much. We found ourselves in the town of Bonney Lake, which is a community situated in the trees with great views of Mount Rainier. The rain briefly stopped, so we got out of the car and relaxed outdoors, just taking it all in. We found a little park for the kids to play and sat by a fire to keep warm, which was very nice. We made our way down a trail through the woods. It really reminded me of the things about the Pacific Northwest that I loved as a kid.

37719618215_9c3e9cf37e_z

Forest Trail – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575034982_d270d07517_z

Five Yellow Leaves – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37890139704_3b9c7b11af_z

Johanna & Mommy – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37890124314_5f1cc19444_z

Keeping Warm By The Fire – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575115382_1f5cab226f_z

Kids By The Fire – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

24735401068_9090070d6e_z

Road To Mt. Rainier – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38574986232_d910e5030d_z

To Keep Us Warm – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

24735279648_a58144aec8_z

Baby Lunchtime – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38550382056_676028e9da_z

Salute Your Story – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38607679131_ac102a6099_z

Where The Fern Grows – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

24737334598_841f907529_z

Mount Rainier Behind The Pines – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

After awhile it was time to leave Bonney Lake and so we made our way to downtown Tacoma for lunch. As a kid I remember Tacoma being a bit of a rundown dump. We discovered that it’s not, but a delightful little city on the coast. I’m not sure if my memory was incorrect, or if they’ve really cleaned the place up. Whatever the case, Tacoma was a pleasant surprise.

We found a tasty restaurant in downtown Tacoma. We wanted to explore downtown, but the weather kept us from doing much. We did manage to walk around a little and see a few local stores.

We got back in the car and explored the area more. We motored across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (and back) and through the Point Defiance Park, but didn’t get out. It was just raining too much, and so we saw the sights by looking out the car’s windows.

38607605011_faa87623e7_z

The Harmon – Tacoma, WA – Fujifilm X100F

24735247438_68a726807e_z

Bleach – Tacoma, WA – Fujifilm X100F

We hopped on a ferry boat and floated onto Vashon Island. I’d always heard great things about Vashon, that it was a beautiful place and a must-see for a visit to Seattle, and I’d never been. It was high on my agenda for this trip.

Unfortunately, the rain came down even harder and we didn’t get to see much. We found a country store and picked up some local jelly. We drove to the Point Robinson Lighthouse on Maury Island (which is connected to Vashon Island). Everyone kept dry in the car while I trudged down a muddy trail to get a picture.

It was beginning to get dark and dinnertime was approaching, so we floated on another ferry to Seattle. We had dinner at a restaurant that I ate at as a kid and remember liking. It tasted exactly as I remembered.

In retrospect, this day included too much driving and not enough fun. We should have explored less and maybe visited a museum. My wife and I agreed that this was the least enjoyable day of the three full days that we were there. Still, we did see some interesting things and there were some great moments. I came away with a few decent pictures.

All of these photographs are camera-made JPEGs from my Fujifilm X100F, using my Acros Push Process Film Simulation recipe, my Velvia Film Simulation recipe and my Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe. One fully-charged battery lasted the whole day no problem. I left my wide-angle conversion lens at the hotel. Even though the X100F isn’t weather sealed, it got wet a number of times and survived just fine.

26830704789_aeb8d6e117_z

Point Robinson Lighthouse – Maury Island, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 6

Why I Dislike The PASM Dial (And Love The Fujifilm X100F)

26501745626_2d11e55d61_z

When I started out in photography there was no such thing as a mode dial, often called a PASM dial. My first camera, a 35mm Canon AE-1, was all manual. If you wanted to adjust the aperture, you did so by turning a ring on the lens. If you wanted to change the shutter speed, you did so by turning a knob on top of the camera. If you wanted to set the ISO, you did so by turning a wheel around the knob. Sound familiar?

The PASM dial became a standard feature as camera technology advanced. It’s hard to find a digital camera nowadays that doesn’t have it. Turn the dial to “P” for Program mode, turn it to “A” for Aperture-priority mode, “S” for Shutter-priority mode, and “M” for manual mode. It’s supposed to make it easy to move between the different shooting modes.

I was a digital photography holdout. I liked film photography and I thought it was better than digital. I could tell whether an image was captured with film or digitally just by looking at it. There was a quality difference. However, after a number of years had passed, things changed, digital technology made huge leaps, and I purchased my first DSLR, a Pentax camera, about 10 years ago. I’ve been shooting (mostly) digital ever since.

The digital learning curve was steeper than I ever imagined. Photography is photography, right? Wrong. I didn’t realize how much different digital capture was, how much different the cameras were and how the “darkroom” on my computer was nothing like an actual darkroom. It was as if I had to learn photography all over again.

I figured that things like the PASM dial were necessary byproducts of complicated technology. You can’t take something that’s complex and make it simple, you just have to learn how to handle all the features. It is what it is, I figured, and I better get used to it.

36048378846_28039b002c_k

Fujifilm happily proved me wrong, and demonstrated that PASM dials are completely unnecessary. They looked at old film cameras, and figured out how to make complex technology simplified for the user. It boils down to aperture, shutter and ISO. It always has. It’s always been simple, but camera makers moved away from placing it in a simple package.

With the X100F (and other Fujifilm cameras), there aren’t shooting modes. You can create whatever “modes” you want, but this isn’t a mode camera. It’s about controlling what you want to control. And the controls are right where you’d want them to be and operate as you’d expect them to operate. A ring around the lens for the aperture. A knob on top of the camera for shutter speed. A wheel around that for ISO. No PASM, simply set aperture, shutter and ISO to whatever you want them set to.

That makes perfect sense to me. It’s designed for people like me who learned on manual cameras. It’s very natural, simple and logical. But I realize that many photographers have never operated a camera that doesn’t have a PASM dial. Not having modes might be foreign to them. It might take some practice to “get” it.

To achieve Program mode, simply set the aperture and the shutter to “A” and set ISO to whatever you want. To achieve Aperture-priority mode, simply set the shutter (and, optionally, ISO) to “A” and set the aperture to whatever you want. To achieve Shutter-priority mode, simply set the aperture (and, optionally, ISO) to “A” and set the shutter to whatever you want. To achieve manual mode, simply set everything to what you want. For full auto mode, set everything to “A” and you’re there. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I’m glad the PASM dial is nowhere to be found on my Fujifilm X100F. I don’t like it, I don’t need it and I don’t want it! I just want to control the things that I need to control without moving through unnecessary modes. One reason that I love my X100F is that it doesn’t have modes, and can be controlled simply and logically. I can change the aperture, shutter and ISO to whatever I want them set to without fuss. This is one aspect that makes the camera great.

Road Trip: Seattle With A Fujifilm X100F – Part 4, Downtown Seattle, 2nd Impression: Pike Place (Day 4b)

26830970289_403db2e530_z

Meet Farmers – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

After Seattle Center, the next stop on our agenda was Pike Place Farmers Market. This is another iconic Seattle site, best known for flying fish and the original Starbucks. It’s popular among locals and tourists alike, and so you can imagine that it’s very busy, packed with people.

Trying to find parking was a nightmare. With some patience and luck, we were fortunate to find a space that wasn’t too expensive and was within a reasonable walk. Once we were at the market, the crowds were so thick it was hard to get around, and it was a constant battle to not get separated from each other.

We had a list of places that we wanted to visit. We didn’t get to most of them because there were long lines just about everywhere. We did eat some delicious cheesecake. We saw some fish being thrown, which was a highlight (I really wanted to catch one, but I didn’t want to smell like fish the rest of the day). We bought some colorful local flowers.

Pike Place turned out to be both fun and disappointing. We had a good time at times, but it was overly crowded, and not a good place to take four young kids because of that. We didn’t get to experience everything we wanted, things that my wife and I had talked about for weeks leading up to this trip, but what we did get to experience was enjoyable.

As far as photography, this is a great place for street-type pictures. The biggest issue is that it’s been photographed so much, trying to capture something that hasn’t been done before by hundreds of other people is a near impossible task. Also, I noticed that many of the vendors have signs prohibiting photography, which brings up legal and ethical questions. Still, I enjoyed making exposures at Pike Place and the X100F was a great camera for this location.

38608086441_eb4b03aa3c_z

Time For The Public Market – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37719932085_d4a371228f_z

Public Fish Market – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37719853005_860eac9085_z

Pure Fish – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38607937691_28c43350bc_z

Silver Salmon – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38608005891_3e22f20dbd_z

Market Snack – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

24735542118_fc2627d1ec_z

Exiting Entrance – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38608068241_e94c579586_z

Seattle From Inside Pike Place Market – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37719963535_e63304c1f9_z

Public Parking – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38608036711_1e64aa6b2f_z

Standin’ On A Corner – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

26831020739_e1f39647b1_z

Left Bar – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

26831043889_48f4dfe00e_z

Quality Always – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

26831126309_eece165739_z

Local Grown – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38550653296_fbc0bf98e4_z

Fresh Crab – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

26831017309_35dda47dfa_z

Soiled Babies That Way – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38607895291_78e2dbe569_z

Seafood Stand – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38607887541_eb50cff2c0_z

Crab Toss – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575206752_7d67272555_z

Pike Place Farmers Market – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Next, we went to the Ballard Locks, which are also known as the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. This is where boats get lowered into the salty sea water from the fresh lake water or vice versa. The Puget Sound connects to Lake Union (which connects to Lake Washington) through Salmon Bay, which is where the Ballard Locks are located. The lake level is a little higher than the ocean, and the locks allow boats to go back and forth.

We arrived right at sunset, and the light for photography quickly disappeared. We didn’t stay very long, but we did get to see one boat go through the locks. It was the wrong time of year to watch the salmon (something this place is known for), but other sea life was active. It was an interesting stop and the kids had a good time.

38575173432_7a2554d0f2_z

Watch Your Lines – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38550556416_644199a48f_z

Salmon Bay Boats – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

We ended our downtown Seattle adventure with dinner in the Ballard neighborhood. There’s a small-city-downtown area (that’s how I would describe it) with shops and restaurants. It was well after dark. Parking was terrible (had to circle the area a few times), but we found coffee and pizza that were both excellent. It was a good way to end a great day.

I exhausted the battery on the X100F for the first time, but I had a spare in my pocket. I was pretty much done taking pictures, so I only made a few exposures on the backup battery. I had my wide-angle conversion lens with me, but didn’t use it. All of these pictures are camera-made JPEGs using my Acros Push Process Film Simulation recipe, my Velvia Film Simulation recipe and my Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe.

37890177034_c3d7049c70_z

Upstairs Clearance – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38550524406_500e77317d_z

Strong Coffee – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 5 Part 6

Road Trip: Seattle With A Fujifilm X100F – Part 3, Downtown Seattle, 1st Impression: Seattle Center (Day 4a)

37890538864_293a511b45_z

Downtown Seattle – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 Part 2

The fourth day of our road trip was dedicated to downtown Seattle. After finishing breakfast at the hotel, we jumped into the car and drove to Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle, which is perhaps Seattle’s most iconic landmark.

We found parking and coffee and made the short walk to the tall, pointy tower, which we discovered is currently being remodeled. A glass floor is being added to the bottom. Thankfully the Space Needle’s observation deck was still open during construction and the elevator operational. We purchased tickets and had an hour to kill before our scheduled time.

Seattle Center, as it turns out, is home to a lot more than just the Space Needle. There are museums, restaurants, a monorail, a fountain and a park. This was the site of the 1962 World’s Fair, and Seattle has made it a destination. One could spend an entire day at Seattle Center and perhaps not see and do everything. It felt like this was the Pacific Northwest’s version of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, just without the roller coaster and with some homeless loitering.

We didn’t visit any of the museums, although if I had planned the trip better I would have. Instead we walked around for awhile, just taking it all in. We found a guy making huge bubbles, and the kids (ours and stranger’s) were going nuts for this. Soon it was time to take the elevator to the top, and see Seattle from Space… er, I mean, see Seattle from the Space Needle’s observation deck.

Even though I lived a few different places in the Seattle area as a kid, I never once went to the Seattle Center. I had never been inside the Space Needle. I’m not sure why, but my parents never took me there. It was a first-time experience for me as well as my wife and kids.

My three-year-old son would later say that riding the Space Needle’s elevator was his favorite part of the trip. It was a quick and smooth trip up, and soon we were overlooking the Puget Sound area, with spectacular views of the ocean, islands, skyscrapers and even Mt. Rainier. It turned out to be a lovely day to take in the views, with partly sunny skies and tolerable temperatures.

Inside the Space Needle they had some virtual reality goggles set up where you can experience (sort of) skydiving off of the tall building. My two older kids enjoyed this, it was an extra treat for them, the icing on the cake, to this memorable experience.

The Space Needle was a highlight of our trip, and my kids talked about it for days after returning home. It’s an iconic site that’s a must-see for anyone visiting the city. It should come as no surprise that it’s a great place for capturing photographs. Some of my favorite pictures from the trip were photographed here.

I used a Fujifilm X100F to capture these images. I started out with my wide-angle conversion lens attached, then, while at the top of the Space Needle, took it off for a few exposures. These are camera-made JPEGs using my Velvia Film Simulation recipe and my Acros Push Process Film Simulation recipe.

38575687792_cfab7d64f0_z

Seattle Grind – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575674602_8326be9fc9_z

POF – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38551211636_827e9ce5a8_z

Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

26830407059_9fcf4ed7a8_z

Up Towards Space – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38574652852_26d10b267e_z

Pointy – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

26830430829_fa5bc700ec_z

Space Needle Remodel – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37889692564_13074d7efc_z

Way Up There – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

24735911318_ca0942bfff_z

Seattle’s Space Needle – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38608344081_40a5842809_z

We Were Here – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38608221801_cffcdf0c06_z

Autumn At Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575613122_d10bf0575d_z

Bubbles In Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575587252_4e53f8d720_z

Bubble Play – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575568472_87a5227551_z

The Key To Fun Is Bubbles – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37720185845_df54ec1cb2_z

Minimal Amusement – Seattle, Washington – Fujifilm X100F

38552668676_5fc30b342e_z

Bubble Hazard – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575544712_01d648f672_z

Kids At The International Fountain – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37890620884_7ba33d9442_z

Puget Sound Vista – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

24735797068_e4fddeb789_z

Looking Pacific Northwest – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38550980276_aa83c06084_z

Seattle From Space – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38550964796_8b4ac04a68_z

Downtown Seattle Vista – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38550953116_0ce3b2ed0d_z

Seattle Skyline – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38550932876_a3f48e57e1_z

Monochrome Seattle – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575440752_11c6fc1f4f_z

Questioning Face – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575427882_b88ab276dd_z

Virtual Boy – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

37720027175_99b1977ed8_z

Vive – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

38575396602_6ce533c8e1_z

Virtual Crowd – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

26830393579_8259e28fd3_z

Space Needle Monochrome – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 4 Part 5 Part 6