The Certainty of Change

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Gate To Indifference – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

If there is one thing that is certain it’s that things change. Nothing stays the same forever. Changes can be big, and they sometimes happen overnight. Sometimes they’re quite small and are hardly noticeable, occurring over years and years. But you can rest assured that change will happen, whether big or small or fast or slow.

The photographs you see in this article of the abandoned homes are an example of slow change. It took years for these structures to transform from nice living spaces to derelict dumps. After a place is no longer maintained, the change seems to accelerate as vandals and nature take over. For these abandoned buildings that’s not where the change ends. There would soon be rapid developments that made the property essentually unrecognizable.

I captured these photographs in April of last year. I’d pass by the buildings often and wanted to stop and make some exposures. I used to do a lot of urban exploration type photography. I don’t venture into that genre much anymore, but I still get excited when I see an abandoned place, and I still have the desire to capture it. After a year of seeing these abandoned houses on a large property in Salt Lake City, Utah, I decided to stop and photograph them.

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Losing History – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Little House In The Valley – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Abandoned House – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Still, I Love You – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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The Place Had An Air of Neglect – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Tree of Broken Glass – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

It wasn’t but two weeks after I captured the photographs above that the buildings were demolished. Big machines came in and knocked them down. The rubble was removed. Then more big machines came in and removed the trees and leveled the ground. Soon enough there was nothing left but a huge patch of flat dirt.

I watched as things changed rapidly. In a matter of weeks the property was unrecognizable. It looked absolutely nothing like it had before. As time passed concrete began to pour and after that walls went up. Something big was being constructed on the site where the abandoned homes once stood.

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Sitting Large – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Diversity – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Caterpillar – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

From start to finish, the project took about 16 months to go from a neglected property with derelict buildings to a finished distribution center. Now huge structures sit on the land, complete with sidewalks and nice landscaping and such. The transformation is almost unbelievable!

The moral of this story is that you should get out and capture the things that interest you, because things will change, and your opportunity might disappear. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. The time is now! Grab your camera and capture that thing you’ve been eyeing before it’s too late, because eventually it will be too late.

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Distribution – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Industrial Mirror – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Distributing Abstract – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 3 – West Texas

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Cadillac Spray Cans – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm – I-70 / Route 66

Colorado  New Mexico  East Texas  Oklahoma In Color  Oklahoma in B&W  Wyoming

West Texas is vast and empty. There are small towns scattered around, most of which have seen better days, and a few larger cities. But, for the most part, there’s a whole lot of nothing. It’s a rural life that’s lived here, and that is likely an understatement.

You might think that the opening paragraph was written with a negative tone, but I don’t mean it to be. I’m actually quite fascinated with the region, and I’d love to spend some significant time photographing it. Each little town offers something of photographic interest. There’s something that draws me in. There’s a story to tell.

My photography instructor in collage was June Van Cleef. Her most important work was capturing the life and times of rural west Texas. She spent years in the small dusty towns that seemed to be barely hanging on, camera in hand, capturing the people who called the place home. Perhaps it’s her perspective that I took away from those many months in her classroom.

I don’t have a real draw to west Texas other than I can clearly see the photographic potential. I have never made the time to act on that potential. Like most people, I just pass through on the way to somewhere else. That’s what highways are good for: taking you someplace else. Like all the times before, I came and went quickly, and saw the view from behind the car windshield. Someday, though, I will take my time and immerse myself in capturing this rural land. I hope to, anyway.

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Cans & Cars – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm – I-70 / Route 66

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Ex Lover – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X100F – I-70 / Route 66

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Def Bus – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X100F – I-70 / Route 66

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No Truck Parking – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 287

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Steel Snowman – Childress, TX – Fuji X100F – US HWY 287

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Potted Flag – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 287

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Rural Ranch – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 287

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Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 287

 

Weekly Photo Project, Week 3

Another week of photographs done. So far I haven’t missed any days in my quest to capture at least one photograph every 24 hours for a year, which is good. I’m taking things one week at a time, though, so that if I’m not able to do it here and there, I can keep moving forward. I’ll just tack a week or two onto the end if I need to. Still, my aim is to not miss any days and string 365 daily pictures together. I hope that you enjoy watching this project unfold on Fuji X Weekly!

Monday, August 6, 2018

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Window Seat – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

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Cafe Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

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Motorcycle Mart – Burlington, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Thursday, August 9, 2018

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A Trucker’s Life Is Lonely – Fort Bridger, WY – Fujifilm X100F

Friday, August 10, 2018

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Dusty Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Saturday, August 11, 2018

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Breakfast Berries – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Sunday, August 12, 2018

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Morning Fix – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Week 2  Week 4

[Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe

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Hail Storm – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

Fuji X Weekly reader Luis Costa shared on his website, Lifeunintended.com, a brilliant black-and-white film simulation recipe for Fujifilm X-Trans III cameras. I’ll get into why it’s genius in a moment, but I wanted to give Luis a big “thank you” for coming up with these settings and sharing them. I strongly encourage you to visit his site and check out his photography and articles, as it’s worth your time to do so.

For most of the 20 years that I’ve been making pictures, one rule of thumb has been to keep the ISO as low as you can get away with. A big reason for this is that high-ISO film typically wasn’t very good. In fact, my favorite choice for high-ISO photography was Ilford Delta 400, and if I needed something higher than ISO 400 I might push that film a stop or two. So, if I really needed to, I’d go as high as ISO 1600. I did shoot Delta 3200 once and found it barely usable. Usually ISO 800 was my limit. Most often I was shooting between ISO 50 and ISO 100.

I was a little late to the digital photography game. Even so, my first digital camera, a Pentax DSLR, didn’t look great at ISO 1600 except for “grainy” black-and-white pictures. At one time I used a Sigma Merrill camera that even ISO 400 was pushing it. The crazy high ISOs that are common today are a recent development. Now ISO 3200 doesn’t seem all that high, and many people use it freely without thinking twice about it. It’s really quite amazing!

I have found on X-Trans III cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-Pro2, that ISO 12800 is the upper limit, and it’s better for black-and-white than color. Even so, I stopped using ISO 12800 and made ISO 6400 my upper Auto-ISO limit some months ago just because I felt that ISO 6400 was a better top ISO for color photographs and I didn’t want to bother changing the ISO depending on if I was shooting color or black-and-white. Besides, ISO 6400 is plenty high for almost any situation. As it turns out, that wasn’t the greatest idea I’ve ever had, and I’ll explain why.

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Shutter Speed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

Luis made a film simulation recipe that requires the ISO to be high. In fact, he uses ISO 12800, and only moves the ISO down when he has to because there is too much light. In case you didn’t catch that, he purposely chooses ISO 12800 because of how it looks. This is a radical move! It works because of the genius of the Acros film simulation. You see, Fujifilm designed Acros to have a built-in grain effect that automatically increases the graininess of the photograph as the ISO increases. At and near ISO 12800 the grain looks absolutely beautiful, and his recipe takes full advantage of that.

The film simulation recipe that Luis invented produces results that resemble Kodak Tri-X 400 film that’s been pushed one or perhaps one-and-a-half stops, and I would add using Agfa Rodinal. The grain pattern and structure isn’t a 100% match, but for straight-out-of-camera results, it’s pretty darn convincing. I’ve only been using it for a week, but it has already become one of my favorites! It’s better than my Acros Push-Process recipe that I use frequently, and I like that one a lot, too.

The one thing that I do different than Luis is I set Auto-ISO to be between ISO 3200 and 12800, with the minimum shutter speed 1/500. I find that ISO 3200 is the lowest ISO that still gives an acceptably grainy result (but the results are better when the ISO is higher). Using 1/500 as the minimum shutter speed forces the camera to use a higher ISO except for when there is a lot of light. Initially I tried a lower shutter speed, but it wasn’t pushing the ISO up enough, so I found 1/500 to be better. Now the camera will often choose an ISO of 6400 or higher, which is where this recipe shines.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -1
Grain Effect: Off
ISO: Auto between 3200 & 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically) 

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs made using [Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation recipe:

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Camera Shutter Dial – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Aperture – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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35mm Film Rolls – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Strange Plant – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Chair Stripes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Canadian – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Tri-X Push-Process”

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Storm Building Over Wasatch Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fuji X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Writing Lessons – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push-Process”

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Learning The Letter S – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Joshua Bowling – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Watching The Rainfall – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Boy On A Rocking Chair – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push-Process”

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Cracker Barrel Checkers – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Deer On The Wall – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Reverends – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

See also:
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Film Simulation Settings

Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 2 -New Mexico

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McTaos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – NM HWY 68

Colorado  West Texas  East Texas  Oklahoma In Color  Oklahoma In B&W  Wyoming

The highways of New Mexico took me through some incredibly beautiful areas! I was surprised at just how interesting the northern part of the state is. Unfortunately, we were on a time schedule and had to view much of it from the car window. We did stop in Taos to see the famous Pueblo. This area was an early stomping ground for Ansel Adams, and it was a thrill to see it for myself. The Taos Pueblo is not located directly off of any highway so the pictures don’t meet the qualifications for this article, but I will get around to sharing them in a separate post. Santa Fe was also interesting, but I discovered that the photographs captured there were also not along any highway.

The east side of the state is the least scenic, as this is where the Great Plains begin (and, as my kids would say, “I can see why they call this area ‘plain.'”) Still, a gas stop near Santa Rosa provided an opportunity for photography, and even an unassuming spot in a mundane landscape can prove to be photogenic if one keeps their eyes open.

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Once Becomes Obsolete – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – NM HWY 68

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Warrior – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – NM HWY 68

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Empty Table – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X100F – I-40

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Air1 – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X100F – I-40

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Semi & Dinosaur – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X100F – I-40

Weekly Photo Project, Week 2

Welcome to week two of my photo-a-day project! I’m taking things one week at a time, capturing at least one photograph each day for seven days, and hoping to string 52 weeks together. These seven images were all captured using my trusty Fujifilm X100F, which is such a great camera for this type of project because it’s easy to carry around and does a great job at making exposures.

I used my Agfa Scale Film Simulation recipe for all of the black-and-white images. I used my Dramatic Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe, slightly modified, for the color image. Enjoy!

Monday, July 30, 2018

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Flower In The Pond – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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Walk This Way – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

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Trash Pallet – McKinney, Texas – Fujifilm X100F

Thursday, August 2, 2018

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Kitchen – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Friday, August 3, 2018

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Forgotten Sandals – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Saturday, August 4, 2018

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Grain Hoppers – Westlake, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Sunday, August 5, 2018

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Storm Shelter – McKinney, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Week 1  Week 3

My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe

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Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

I was asked by a couple different Fuji X Weekly readers if I could create some film simulation recipes that mimic the look of renown photographers Ernst Haas, Luigi Ghirri and William Eggleston, each of which are known for their unique style. As I was contemplating how to go about this, I learned that all three of them used Kodachrome film. Although none of them used Kodachrome exclusively, they all used it extensively at one time. If I could make a Kodachrome recipe, I would have something that covers Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston. To copy their look using this recipe, simply find color and light in the same manor as those famous photographers did (easy, right?).

You might be thinking, doesn’t Classic Chrome already look like Kodachrome? No, it actually resembles Ektachrome more than Kodachrome, but it is a good starting point since it has a general Kodak aesthetic. What about the Kodachrome recipe I already made? Actually, that mimics an earlier version of the film, which has a little different look than what I was going for here. You could use that, as I’m certain that some of Haas’ early color work was shot on that era of Kodachrome. Primarily, the Kodachrome that Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston used was Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X.

In 1961 Kodak replaced the original Kodachrome with a new and improved version called Kodachrome II and a higher-ISO sibling called Kodachrome-X. These films had more accurate color, finer grain and faster ISOs (ISO 25 and 64, respectively, compared to ISO 10 of the original) than the previous version. It was a big leap forward for color photography, and so it is no surprise that the innovators of color photography in the 1960’s and 1970’s relied heavily on it. It’s also the version that Paul Simon sang, “They give us the greens of summer, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day.”

Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X produced a very similar look to each other. The main differences were in grain, contrast and saturation, but overall the variations were quite minor. Kodachrome-X was slightly more bold while Kodachrome II was slightly more clean. Even so, comparing slides, it’s tough to distinguish one from the other (conveniently, I have my grandparents old slides at my home). Even though I have named this film simulation recipe “Kodachrome II” I think it more closely resembles Kodachrome-X, but I find it to be a reasonable match for both.

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Chair Shadow – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

Because of the toxic chemicals used in the development of this era of Kodachrome, plus the complexity of the process, Kodak changed from K-12 development to K-14 development, which ushered in new Kodachrome in 1974, called Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome 64. This version of the film is the one that I have personally used. Interestingly enough, even though this version wasn’t all that much aesthetically different than the previous, there was a big outcry among photographers, and a large group who used Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X did not appreciate the change.

I believe that Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston continued to use Kodachrome even beyond 1974 when the new version came out, but it seems they used it less extensively, especially Eggleston, who became known for his work with color negatives. Still, each of these three photographers captured some of their most recognizable images on the second era of Kodachrome. And that’s the look that the film simulation recipe below is based on.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: -1
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 1
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +3 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photos, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation recipe:

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Roof & Sky – Wichita, KS – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Small Green Hill – McAlester, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Ranch View – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Foal Shy – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Blackberry Lemonade – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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McDiner – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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McTaos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Pawhuska Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Open Window Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Kitchen Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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White Water Lily – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Park Boys – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Rural Sunset – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Weed At Sunset – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

See also: My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe

Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 1 – Colorado

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Uncertain – Delta, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

My wife and I, along with our four children, took a road trip across several states over the course of 16 days, and we returned about a week-and-a-half ago. It was, at times, especially epic, and we saw some amazing places. I, of course, captured the whole thing using my Fujifilm X series cameras.

Upon returning, one of the first things I did was review the images that I had captured. I noticed that there were a lot of pictures of things I saw along our highways. Oftentimes when we stopped for gas or to eat, I’d capture some images of what was around. I had many photographs of different sights that were found along the highway. Some were immediately off the highway, while others were perhaps a half-block away from the highway. I felt that, as long as the highway was clearly visible from where I captured the photograph, it was alright to include it in this series.

I decided to break this Photoessay, called Along The Highway, into several segments organized by states. The first part, which are viewing now, is Colorado. These are the pictures that I captured while traversing along the highways in that state.

The highways in Colorado were open and oftentimes lonely. That is, outside of the city limits, as we sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic in Denver at one point. Sometimes towns were far apart and it seemed like we were far outside of civilization. We crossed mountain passes and saw some amazing scenery! Many of the towns we drove through had quite obviously seen better days, and they sharply contrasted the natural wonder that was never far away. It was almost as if these communities were not supposed to be there, that they were holding on with their last inner strength against an unseen force to rid them from this place. Either that, or the residents lost sight of the wonder around them, and neglected to maintain what those who came before had begun. This is not unique to Colorado, but a phenomenon seen throughout the west. It was simply more obvious this trip. It was, at times, depressing. But the highway compelled us on.

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Discovered Truck – Fruita, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – I-70

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Fresh Wind – Fruita, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – I-70

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Warehouse Sunset – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US Hwy 50

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Campground – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US Hwy 50

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85 Pounds – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

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Tough Times – Gunnison, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

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Safe – Gunnison, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

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Regular Sign – Gunnison, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – CO Hwy 135

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Continental Ride – Monarch Pass, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

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Motorcycle Mart – Burlington, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – I-70

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County Road V – Burlington, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – I-70

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Old Truck & Mt. Lindsey – Fort Garland, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US Hwy 160

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Monarch Pass – Monarch Pass, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US Hwy 50

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Storm Over San Luis Valley – Alamosa, CO – Fujfilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – CO HWY 150

New Mexico  West Texas  East Texas  Oklahoma (Color)  Oklahoma (B&W)  Wyoming

Weekly Photo Project, Week 1

A Fuji X Weekly reader shared with me his Photo-A-Day project, which is a personal challenge to capture at least one picture each day. This is a great way to photographically exercise. Athletes practice daily. Musicians practice daily. If you want to be great at something and stay great at it, you need to regularly challenge yourself. This is just as true with your camera as it is with everything else.

I’ve wanted to do a photo-a-day project for many years, but life has a way of getting in the way of such things. I did start one once and made it about three months into it before missing a day. There are times when capturing just one picture is impractical. That’s why I haven’t even attempted this kind of project for several years.

What I’m doing different this time is taking things one week at a time, which is perfect for this blog because of the name, Fuji X Weekly. My goal is to capture at least one picture each day for seven days. Then, the next week, begin again. I hope to string 52 consecutive weeks together, but, if I can’t do that and I miss a day during the week, I will try again the following week. So it might take longer than one year to complete this 52 week series. How long it ends up taking depends on how much life gets in the way between now and then. Still, I’m challenging myself to not miss any days and capture at least one photography every day for a year.

I hope that you enjoy the pictures and that this series inspires you to try your own photo-a-day project.

Monday, July 23, 2018

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Apple Tree Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

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Succulent Spiderweb – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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Sunset Boy – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Thursday, July 26, 2018

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Great Sand Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Friday, July 27, 2018

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San Geronimo de Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Saturday, July 28, 2018

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Semi & Dinosaur – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X100F

Sunday, July 29, 2018

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Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Week 2

My Fujifilm X100F Agfa Scala Film Simulation Recipe

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Kitchen – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

I love the Acros film simulation that Fujifilm included in their X-Trans III cameras. It’s the closest thing to actual film that I have ever found in a digital camera. I made two different Acros recipes for my X100F: original recipe and Extra Crispy Push-Process. I love both; however, I find myself using Acros Push-Process more than my “standard” settings just because it’s more dramatic. I will sometimes adjust each recipe to taste, depending on the situation.

What’s interesting about black-and-white film photography is that all the different film options look fairly similar, yet people have their one or two film stocks that they absolutely love. The differences in contrast, dynamic range and grain aren’t typically wildly different. Black-and-white films are more alike than not alike, but there are indeed differences, sometimes very subtle, sometimes quite noticeable. What is more unique to each film is what can be done in the lab, as each film will respond to different development techniques differently. There’s a lot that can be done in the darkroom to set apart the films from each other. In fact, one film stock could have many different looks, depending on what exactly you do with it.

This film simulation recipe was made by just messing around with the settings. I found something that I liked so I shot with it for awhile. The more I used it the more I liked it. As I was shooting with it, I kept having this feeling that it resembled some film that I’d used before, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly which one. After a few weeks I finally figured it out: these settings produce results similar to Agfa Scala.

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Taos Tourist – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

Agfa Scala was a black-and-white slide film. It was unusual in that it was a reversal film and not a negative film. Most black-and-white films are negatives, and most reversal films are color. If you shot a lot of slides, this was an intriguing choice. I used it a number of times. The last roll of Scala that I shot couldn’t be developed as it required a special process that had been discontinued (it’s my understanding that there is a lab in Denver that can now develop Scala). There were people who really loved Scala, and there were people who really did not, mostly because it wasn’t a negative film. Since it was a slide, there wasn’t a whole lot one could do to manipulate the look it produced.

It was quite by accident that I created an Agfa Scala film simulation for my Fujifilm X100F. I’m glad that I stumbled upon it, because it produces excellent results. Interestingly enough, it only looks subtly different than my original Acros recipe, and I think that real Acros and real Scala also produce similar results, and the small differences are, to an extent, accurately replicated in the two recipes. It was a happy accident, and sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: 0
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
Grain Effect: Weak
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photos, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X100F Agfa Scala Film Simulation recipe:

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Two Towers – Dallas, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Santuario de Guadalupe – Santa Fe, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Cafe Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Monochrome Silos – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Storm Shelter – McKinney, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Ex Lover – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Semi & Dinosaur – Santa Rosa, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Grain Hoppers – Westlake, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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BNSF Alliance Yard – Haslet, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Kitchen Camera – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Apples To Apples – Haslet, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Forgotten Sandals – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Flower In The Pond – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

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Apple Tree Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”