Weekly Photo Project, Week 22

There’s an advantage and disadvantage to doing a photo-a-day project like this. The disadvantage is that it can be difficult and exhausting. There were a couple of days during this week that I wanted to stop. I had so much going on with the holiday season, and the weather is cold and the daylight is short, so making time for photography seemed unnecessary. It’s easy to make excuses, but it’s important to not allow them to stop us from achieving our goals. The advantage to doing a 365 project is that, because I forced myself to capture some images when I didn’t want to, I was able to create some pictures that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I can clearly see the benefit as I look back at the pictures I’ve captured over the last five months. The advantage significantly outweighs the disadvantage, and so I persevere, still on track going into the new year.

Monday, December 17, 2018

31422603097_a4341bdb34_z

Sparkle Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

31445368787_f84910be27_z

Mountain & Cloud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

44579927960_28ec418552_z

Christmas Glow – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, December 20, 2018

45677125804_5ca73364fa_z

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

Friday, December 21, 2018

46409197011_e43966b22a_z

Three 35mm Film Canisters – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Saturday, December 22, 2018

45698551674_f85e3657fa_z

Frosted Tree & Winter Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Sunday, December 23, 2018

45715926164_5e3c3851dd_z

Monochrome Architecture Angles – Woods Cross, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 21   Week 23

Art & Photography

42780209404_643855c4df_z

Pas Une Abeille – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Photography is a form of art, or at least it can be. Discussing art is kind of a dangerous proposition because it’s subjective, and you are bound to step on someone’s toes. I think it’s important to talk about art, and, even if someone might be offended, it is beneficial to have some understanding of what it is and how it relates to photography. I’ll make an attempt at defining art and demonstrating how it relates to you.

Most photographs are not art, which means most people who snap pictures with a camera are not artists. Most people who have a paintbrush in their hands are not artists. Most people who sing aren’t recording artists. Not all people who whittle are wood-carvers. Not all people who draw letters are calligraphers. You get the idea. Just because something is similar to art, does not make it art. There is something that separates actual art from facsimile “art” that’s not really art at all.

Before jumping too deep into this, I want to clarify that it is perfectly fine that most photographs are not art. There are many different purposes for the photograph, and art is just one of them. There is nothing wrong with pictures that aren’t art, as they have their place, just as photographs as art also have their place. Just because one uses a camera doesn’t mean that person must be or should be an artist. You may have little to no interest in art at all, but you love to photograph, and there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

27766622549_ee051d9011_z

Curtain Abstract – Mesquite, NV – Fujifilm X100F

Webster defines art as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination.” Oxford defines it as “the expression of human creative skill and imagination.” Both of these explanations are similar and describe the two critical components for determining if something is art or not: skill and imagination. If something is created skillfully but not imaginatively, it’s not art. If something is created imaginatively but not skillfully, it’s not art. It must be both skillfully and imaginatively completed in order to be considered art.

People have different levels of skill and creativity. You might be very skillful but only marginally creative. You can be highly creative but only marginally skillful. Either way, you can still create art, and you can work to improve your shortcomings. You can become more proficient and increase your creativity with practice. Obviously you want to be very skillful and highly creative if you wish to be an artist photographer. That’s a life-long process, and there are no easy one-size-fits-all instant answers. Just continue to work hard and be persistent.

Aside from knowing how to use your camera gear to achieve your desired results, and having imagination enough to know what you want the results to be in the first place, I think that there are a few more aspects to art that should be talked about. Look again at what Webster said of art, paying particular attention to the phrase, “conscious use of…” in the definition. You have to know what it is that you are creating. You have to be able to define it. You should be able to explain it to some extent. If you can’t, it’s not likely art that you’re creating.

41669491680_ae43ae0824_z

Ethos – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I used to show my photographs to people and they’d say, “Oh, that looks nice!” Or, “What a pretty picture!” Then one day someone asked, “What does this picture mean? What is its purpose?” I had no answer because I had never thought of that before. I really didn’t know what to say, and it was kind of embarrassing. I realized that I needed to have an answer for all of my photographs–I needed to know the purpose and meaning of each–but the answer needed to be made prior to exposure, not after. If I’m trying to make it up after the fact it will typically translate as artificial and weak. If a photograph is art, the photographer should be able to give a clear and concise explanation of the image. It doesn’t necessarily have to be profound. It doesn’t necessarily have to be obvious to the viewer. But the photographer should know clearly in their mind why they created the image and what the meaning of it is. And it’s okay if the viewer doesn’t see it the same way that you see it, it only matters that you know why you created it.

I believe that if something is art it should convey something to the viewer. It might be a strong and obvious message, it might be a subtle concept, it might be an emotion–there should be some kind of nonverbal communication, whether clear or vague. The photographer must decide what it is that the picture will convey, and then make decisions prior to exposure that will most strongly speak it. The Oxford explanation of art uses the word “expression” which can be defined as making one’s thoughts and feelings known. When you are an artist photographer, that’s exactly what you are doing. You are expressing your thoughts and/or feelings to others through your pictures. You are giving the viewer a glimpse of yourself through your photographs. Art is self expression. How you do this is entirely up to you. What glimpses you give of yourself is entirely up to you. You have to make those decisions, then skillfully and imaginatively create something from it.

Not everyone will appreciate your art. Not everyone will get it. In fact, if you are truly expressing yourself, you should expect criticism. People have opinions that are different than yours. People have experiences that are different than yours. People see the world through different eyes than yours. Strangers will look at something that you think is great and they’ll think it’s terrible. That’s completely okay, and you may not realize it, but you do the exact same thing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

34190840780_642ff55cfc_z

Snake River Fog – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E1

If you are an artist photographer, you have to expect that criticism will come. Take it for what it’s worth, and, most likely, it’s not worth much. Listen to people who you trust, and take their criticism to heart. They mean well with what they say, and they’re just trying to help you. For everyone else, give the criticism a listen, but don’t put much stock into it, and don’t let it bother you. If you’re not getting any criticism at all, it’s most likely because you are not creating art, and you are not expressing yourself through your photographs enough.

Not everyone is an artist photographer, and not every artist photographer is always creating art. Photography as art happens when someone consciously expresses themselves in a masterful and creative fashion. It happens when the photographer communicates thoughts or emotions through pictures. I’m constantly striving to be an artist photographer. Sometimes I think I’ve succeeded, other times I feel like I’ve fallen short. But I keep at it, never giving up, always striving ahead.

The takeaway that I’d like to most impart is that you and I should continuously be working towards becoming more skilled with our gear and we should daily be practicing creativity. Constantly take baby steps to become a better and more artistic photographer. Even if things are slow developing or mistakes happen, don’t give up but instead keep moving forward. Be persistent. Tomorrow’s photographs can be better than today’s.

Capturing Family Photos – Being Both Behind & In Front of The Camera

32212591648_0b603a3918_z

Each year when it’s time to capture family portraits, my wife, Amanda, suggests that we hire a photographer to do the job. I have mixed feelings on this because if you want good pictures you should hire a good photographer, and I’m a photographer but it can be very tough to be both in front of the camera and behind the camera at the same time. I’m generally cheap but I’m also happy to help support the photographic community. Most years, including last year, I end up with the job and only a few times have we actually had someone else do it. Almost every year, though, the idea of hiring someone gets brought up.

This year we took our own pictures once again, deciding not to hire someone. There are  always challenges in doing this, and the results are a mixed bag. This is known going into it. I prepared myself mentally that things weren’t going to be perfect. When you are in front of the camera, you simply don’t have the control, vision or freedom that you are used to when you’re behind the camera. You rely a little more on preparation and luck, and really just hope for the best.

There were two shots that my wife and I were hoping to get good: one picture with the two of us and one picture with all six of us. Anything else would be the icing on the cake. We knew that we would do the photo shoot at Antelope Island State Park, and we purposefully chose a day that was supposed to be overcast so that we’d have softer light. We scouted out three different locations on Antelope Island for the pictures. We made a plan and had everything set.

For the photographs of Amanda and I and also the entire family, I used two cameras set on tripods. I had a Fujifilm X-T20 with a 90mm lens, and set closer (but out of the frame of the X-T20) was a Fujifilm X100F. I used the Fujifilm camera remote app to control the X-T20 from my phone and on the X100F I used the interval timer (set to capture an image every 15 seconds) to snap random shots. This turned out to be a good setup, providing two angles and capturing a little of the serendipity. For the rest of the pictures the cameras were taken off of the tripods and my wife and I both captured images, which were the “icing on the cake” photographs.

What was out of my control was the weather, or more specifically the temperature, as it was colder than we were dressed for. The kids were pretty miserable. We sent them to the car (which was never far out of frame) frequently to warm up. Besides being cold, my four-year-old son was nervous and didn’t have a good attitude for much of the shoot. Despite our best efforts, we really struggled to get him to have a look on his face that didn’t clearly say, “I don’t want to be here!”

Some of my favorite pictures are the random ones captured by the X100F. These “outtakes” are humorous and give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the “real” us. The out-of-focus shot of Amanda and I was a happy accident. I captured RAW+JPEG, and using the built-in RAW converter on the cameras, made both color and black-and-white versions of each picture. Our favorites are the black-and-whites, so that’s what I decided to share here. Overall I believe it went well. The pictures aren’t perfect. The photo shoot would likely have turned out a little better if I had hired someone to do it. Maybe next year I’ll do that. Or maybe once again I’ll find myself in two places at once.

The kids:

32221116998_c1d7a78443_z

32221697128_77e672f268_z

44280531070_5e209293c5_z

44267696330_1aae81142b_z

46092180891_1507746335_z

45172381335_0293737ca4_z

44276486740_ffa4fd1700_z

Amanda and I:

45179985475_4a6bc48436_z

44275532280_c9d5825c0c_z

44275531450_aa055f5c1c_z

45367608194_a0a6b87cfb_z

Partial family:

44275661640_76d459bb42_z

46092063501_bb7d84109e_z

45367926724_f1ebb77c60_z

45368317654_9cd95514b9_z

The whole family:

45181059995_1d8c06b269_z

44276175400_4c0a5eeb31_z

31145042747_43c7319d2e_z

44267687160_0802593f16_z

32221282118_6c856abdcd_z

Outtakes:

45172183005_6458874c72_z

32212636558_c92f32eb97_z

31145179547_b0b1fdafc4_z

45372610804_aa0ffeb3bf_z

32221247168_23a628642f_z

44275532150_04e2057b04_z

31153716377_44c524a105_z

45180197675_ec4a7f663e_z

31153088717_7ed5fa258a_z

Weekly Photo Project, Week 21

My weekly photo project is an attempt to capture one picture every day for a year, taking things one week at a time. I’m 21 weeks into it now, and perhaps you have not been following this project from the beginning. If you’d like to take a look back, here’s a link to Week 1, and from there you can see each week from the start. You could also browse through it backwards using the link at the bottom of this article. I hope that you enjoy the pictures!

Monday, December 10, 2018

46268318391_db12662b0e_z

Christmas Lights Display – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

46229159462_21318306e5_z

Reading To Children And Seniors – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

44504964080_62149e2712_z

Clouds Moving Across The Wasatch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, December 13, 2018

44491412130_b6eba7577d_z

Frosted Hill – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, December 14, 2018

45592498544_27afedaa58_z

Watching Trains – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Saturday, December 15, 2018

46384649441_a9817a8e5f_z

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

Sunday. December 16, 2018

44544206060_1d40e1ac4a_z

Ogden Airport – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 20  Week 22

My Fujifilm X-T20 Fujicolor Pro 400H Film Simulation Recipe


44583659780_66ef7dfffd_z

Taking Out The Trash – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

Fujifilm Pro 400H is a color negative film that was first introduced in 2002 (originally named NPH400). It’s a popular print film that has survived the digital era, as Fujifilm continues to manufacture Pro 400H to this very day, while many other films have seen the chopping block. It’s a fine-grain (for ISO 400), natural-color, versatile film that’s especially good for weddings and portraits. I have used it a couple times myself, although not anytime recently. I do remember some of the idiosyncrasies of the film. Interestingly, the “H” in the name stands for “high speed,” which is the designation that Fujifilm gave to all their ISO 400 films.

I’ve tried in the past to create a Pro 400H recipe for Fujifilm X cameras, but I was never happy with the results. In fact, you might recall that I suggested Fujifilm include this as a new film simulation in future cameras. Recently a Fuji X Weekly reader, Mauricio, shared with me his settings for Pro 400H, and he asked my thoughts on it. I was able to try it out and I liked it! His settings were indeed close, although I felt it needed some tweaking to better mimic the film.

Anytime that you are attempting to recreate the look of a certain film with a digital camera, there are variables that make it difficult. How was it shot? How was it developed? Was it printed, and how so? Was it scanned, and how so? Those are common challenges, plus more. With Pro 400H, there is an additional challenge: the film can look much different depending on the light and exposure. There are several distinct looks that can be achieved using the film, and it’s not possible to recreate all of those aesthetics with a film simulation recipe. Despite all of the challenges, I do feel that I was able to create a look that is in the ballpark of the film, thanks to the help of Mauricio.

There were several compromises that I had to make. I tried many different things to get the aesthetics as close as I could. For example, the film is known for cool blueish shadows and a warm pinkish highlights. Split toning is not possible on Fujifilm X cameras. I could get the shadow color cast more accurate but at the expense of the highlight color, or I could get the highlight color cast more accurate but at the expense of the shadow color. The white balance shift that I settled on, which is the same one that was suggested to me in the first place, isn’t spot-on accurate for the shadows or highlights, but it’s a nice middle ground that’s close enough to both to be convincing. What you get is a cool color cast showing through in the shadows and a slight red color cast showing up in the highlights. The light and exposure of an image will change the look of it in a similar fashion to the actual film, although not completely the same. It’s as close as I could get it.

31437082337_381f4e6131_z

Holiday Decor – S. Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

Fujifilm Pro 400H film has a huge latitude in the highlights. You can overexpose it by three stops easily (maybe four) and get a good print. In fact, a lot of people purposefully overexpose the film because the colors turn pastel and the images become more warm and vibrant. The X-Trans III sensor has a lot of dynamic range, but it cannot hold up to a three stop overexposure. I found that DR200 is a good setting in many circumstances, but in high-contrast scenes, DR400 might be a better option. I used DR200 for all of the pictures in this article, but some might have benefited from the higher dynamic range setting. I think in high contrast scenes, in order to prevent clipped highlights, if you aren’t going to select DR400, perhaps set highlights to -1. I debated on whether +2 or +3 is the best setting for shadows. I think a +2.5 option would be most correct, but unfortunately that doesn’t exist. My recommendation would be to use +2 in higher contrast scenes and +3 in lower contrast scenes. I used +3 for all of the photos here.

Another setting that I debated on was color saturation. I settled on +4, which I think is the most correct for simulating slightly overexposed Pro 400H. An argument could be made that +3, +2 and +1 are also correct, depending on how the film was exposed and handled. If you think that +4 is too saturated for your tastes, simply find the color setting that works best for you. Pro 400H is definitely a tough film to make a recipe for. I think these settings are going to be your best bet for achieving a look straight out of camera that mimics the film’s aesthetic. Even though I captured these photographs using an X-T20, this film simulation recipe is compatible with all Fujifilm X-Trans III and IV cameras.

PRO Neg. STD
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +3
Color: +4
Grain: Weak
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
White Balance: Auto, +2 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-T20 Fujicolor Pro 400H Film Simulation recipe:

46384649441_a9817a8e5f_z

Red Chairs In Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

45662766704_9c26430f25_z

Up From The Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46371027452_7922b3981a_z

Second Day of Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

45698551674_f85e3657fa_z

Frosted Trees & Winter Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

45698551654_f4d5ec3073_z

Cold Neighborhood Morning – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46400688281_db0bb799f6_z

Some Lady’s Book Store – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

45677209454_2fd4d34bc1_z

TV Fiasco – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

45662765274_e24c361d9c_z

Pierre’s Miniature Bakery – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

45473991005_91ae99e45e_z

Christmas Decoration – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

44592379250_e92555d970_z

Faith – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

31445359407_0db2b4a650_z

FED 5c Rangefinder – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

32551063558_6ed5b24a95_z

Bolsey Behind Bars – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46335544862_b545c3409c_z

Fake Grass In A Box – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46384650641_5cdc3423bd_z

Lavender & Twine – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

45687655244_db2dca52c5_z

Pentax & Fujifilm – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46409197011_e43966b22a_z

Three 35mm Film Canisters – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46384650611_cc7c8a2090_z

Vase Arm – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

31461046687_2feee2c29d_z

Red Fire Hydrant – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46336590922_1cbe6aeb61_z

Neighborhood Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

32513897738_d50f75bcb3_z

Dead Rose Bush Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46370965692_880ff70830_z

Frozen Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46400611141_8379b86642_z

Moon Rise Over The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

45662767134_6004eb1ce0_z

Snow Dusted Peak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

31445368787_f84910be27_z

Mountain & Cloud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46335544402_2ed50ab9ec_z

Brick Wall Boy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46335800942_f31e1803ff_z

Car Play – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

46386808841_7fecc31194_z

Girl By The Window Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

31457433447_ed5d12134c_z

Green Night Shed – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Pro 400H”

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Current Fujifilm X-T2 Deals

I wanted to pass along some great deals on the Fujifilm X-T2 that are currently going on at Amazon. While the X-T20 is my top recommended Fujifilm camera, right now the X-T2 is probably the best value because it’s a really high quality camera that has been steeply discounted (thanks to the X-T3). If you’ve thought about getting this camera, now is the time, as I understand that these prices will change on January 1st. Also, if you use my links to buy the camera, you’ll be supporting this website, which is something that I appreciate! Oh, and it’s not too late if you are Christmas shopping.

Here are the current deals on the Fujifilm X-T2:

The Fujifilm X-T2 (body only) is $1,099, which is $500 off!
The graphite Fujifilm X-T2 (body only) is $1,199, which is $600 off!
The Fujifilm X-T2 with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens is $1,400, which is $500 off!

Weekly Photo Project, Week 20

I had a couple days of productive photography during this week. Because of my busy holiday schedule, the sometimes less-than-ideal weather conditions, and fewer daylight hours, there were some days where I almost didn’t capture a single picture. Luckily I did manage to take at least two images each day, which is great! Twenty straight weeks capturing at least one photo each day is certainly an accomplishment, one that I wasn’t sure I’d pull off. Now if I can string 32 more weeks together I’ll have successfully finished a 365 project. I want to challenge myself moving forward to improving the quality of the pictures. I feel as though on certain days all I’ve done is made a quick snapshot in order to have a picture. I want to make sure that I’ve created a quality image on each day, which is a challenge within a challenge, I suppose.

Monday, December 3, 2018

46117409362_7aa806d6ca_z

Sunset Painted On The Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

46127884332_8f21bf04e2_z

Snow Blowing Off The Roof – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

46193276021_439fa12272_z

Time For A Photographic Adventure – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Thursday, December 6, 2018

46158402952_6b385fd5e2_z

Holding On Despite The Challenges – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Friday, December 7, 2018

32352882958_6989341b03_z

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

Saturday, December 8, 2018

45326017005_38e91a097b_z

Lonely Road Cross Process – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Sunday, December 9, 2018

31313405387_4013a84cf9_z

Somewhere To Elsewhere – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 19  Week 21

Focus On What Matters

46327737271_f009ba52b7_z

I’ve been thinking about focus a lot lately. Not focus of the lens, but focus of the mind and life. How can I photographically improve? How can I use my time better? What should I be doing different? There are a lot of different aspects of this that I could talk about, and I’ll try to get to several of them in this article.

What comes to my mind first regarding focus and photography is composition. Something catches your eyes and you want to capture it with your camera. You have to consider what it is exactly that you wish to make a picture of. There is something about the scene that fascinates you, but what is it? Is it the light? The color? Design? Juxtaposition? Contrast? How can you best photographically communicate that? Once you’ve answered those questions and many others, then you can go about creating a meaningful image by cutting out everything that isn’t important.

Photography is a lot like sculpting. The sculptor starts with a rock and chisels away everything that isn’t the finished sculpture. The photographer starts with a vast scene and removes everything that isn’t the picture that’s in his or her mind. Focus on what the picture should look like, and then take out of the frame everything that doesn’t belong.  Less is more. Successful photography is often about non-verbally communicating as clearly and concisely as possible.

I get asked sometimes how I find time to photograph every day. Life is busy. I have four young kids that keep me immensely occupied. I have to put food on the table and a roof over my family’s heads. There are so many different people and things that require my attention. It’s often easier to not photograph. On the flip side it’s also easy to photograph too much and neglect the more important things around me. I get pulled in a lot of different directions. Finding balance is difficult, but possible.

32221247168_23a628642f_z

When you are passionate about something you find the time for it. I’m passionate about my family. I’m passionate about photography. I’m passionate about writing and other things. I make time for the things that I love. Something’s got to give, so I spend less time on the things that don’t matter as much to me.

You have to focus your time deliberately and wisely. If you are flying day-to-day by the seat of your pants you’ll spend too much time on one thing and ignore the others. Everything will find itself unbalanced. You have to focus your time and energy with purpose. You have to set aside a predetermined amount of time to your passion, and focus on accomplishing what you need regarding that passion within that time.

Sometimes things can spill over from one thing into another. For example, I love photography and I love my family, so I can sometimes photograph while I’m doing things with my family, or my family can become the subject of my photography. The caution here is to not let the camera interfere with family time, and not let family interfere with camera time. It’s important to set aside time that’s just for family and just for photography. There has to be a balance. It takes careful planning, but it is possible to accommodate a lot of different things in life.

Everyone should have passions and everyone should have dreams. Your passions will be the focus of your life. Where two (or more) passions meet is where you’ll do your best work. For example, if you love photography and also horses, you should combine the two passions and create your best work. Dream of what you could possibly create by photographing what you love!

34490458291_bb3fd50512_z

 

I think a lot of people photograph whatever it is that catches their eyes at any given moment. I know that I do this often, and there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with it, but it creates disjointed work. It’s better to focus one’s efforts onto refined ideas. The more specific you can be about what you photograph the better. You could call it specializing, but I don’t think you have to pick just one genre. I suggest focusing your attention on very specific photographic topics and create a cohesive body of work. If there is some subject, object, genre or style that you are particularly fascinated by, focus your efforts on that. I believe that the more specific you can be the more successful you are likely to be.

Richard Steinheimer once said something to the effect of, “Photography is about being in the right place at the right time, and that often means going places that others aren’t willing to go and at times that they’re not willing to be there.” In other words, a big part of photography is luck, but you can create your own luck through determination and preparation. Focus your energy into being in the right places at the right times to capture great photographs. This might entail extra research, it might entail going down the road less traveled (metaphorically and literally), it might entail getting out of bed and venturing out into the cold while everyone else is warm and comfortably sleeping. Whatever it means, you have to be determined to do it.

I find myself too often with metaphorically blurred vision. I feel that sometimes my efforts are going nowhere, that I’m just spinning my wheels. I need to focus better, and that includes my time, my dreams, my efforts, my subjects, my compositions and more. It’s about refining, which means removing the unnecessary stuff that just takes up time and space, and clearing away all of the useless distractions that abound each day. Focus more on the things that matter and less on the things that don’t.

Why Bokeh Is Overrated

43255159744_3ca762eac6_z

Kitchen Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Within photography circles, bokeh is an often discussed aspect of an image, and this is especially true over the last ten or fifteen years. If you aren’t sure exactly what bokeh is, don’t worry, you are not alone, as a lot of people misunderstand it. I will do my best to explain it to you and also explain why it’s not as important as many people think.

Bokeh is defined as the quality of the out-of-focus area of an image. It’s how well a lens renders blur, the aesthetics of it. It’s often described in terms like good, creamy, smooth, bad, harsh, distracting, swirly, soap bubble, and so forth. It’s very subjective, and you can use any adjective you want to help describe it. What might be characterized as good bokeh by you might be described differently by another person.

I don’t remember hearing the word bokeh spoken even once when I studied photography in college 20 years ago. It’s not that it didn’t exist, because obviously bokeh did exist, but it didn’t really matter. You either liked how a certain lens rendered blur or you didn’t, and few were trying to quantify it or rate it. Nowadays people spend a lot of time and energy searching for lenses that produce the best bokeh, analyzing reviews and charts that attempt to rate it.

You will hear terms like “bokeh monster” when describing a lens and “bokeh master” when describing a person. People will say that a certain lens produces a lot of bokeh, which doesn’t make any sense, because bokeh is defined by character and is not a measurement. It’s a misunderstanding of what bokeh is. You can’t have more bokeh or less. You can only have nice or ugly bokeh, or some other description of the quality of the aesthetics.

45592498604_8857fd9faa_z

Holiday Decor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 & 90mm

People confuse bokeh with depth-of-field, but they are two entirely different things. Depth-of-field is the amount of an image that is in focus, determined by the aperture, subject distance and non-subject distance, focal length of the lens, as well as the physical size of the sensor or film. A lot of people mean depth-of-field when they say bokeh. It’s a misunderstanding of terms! Depth-of-field is a mathematical calculation, while bokeh is subjective. Depth-of-field is objective and can only be described by measurement terms. A shallow depth-of-field creates a blur in a photograph, while bokeh is the description of the quality of that blur.

To achieve an out-of-focus area within an image, one needs to use a large aperture or focus really close to the end of the lens or both, which will create a shallow depth-of-field. A lot of people think that you need a large aperture, such as f/2, to achieve blur, but it depends on how close the subject is to the end of the lens. For example, in macro photography, you might have a shallow depth-of-field with an aperture of f/16 because the subject is so close to the lens. It is a math equation, and people have created calculators to help more easily understand what settings are needed to attain certain results. Generally speaking, you will have a smaller depth-of-field, which will render more blur, when using a larger aperture.

Rating bokeh is overrated. It’s something photographers on message boards talk about much too much. It doesn’t matter anywhere close to what some people would have you believe. The vast majority of people who view your pictures have no opinion whatsoever on the quality of the blur that they’re looking at. For anyone to even notice, there has to be something about it that stands out, such as swirly bokeh or really bad bokeh. Most modern lenses are precision engineered, so the flaws that make bokeh stand out don’t exist. Almost all newer lenses produce bokeh that’s at least mediocre, and most people, particularly non-photographers, cannot distinguish mediocre bokeh from great bokeh.

34497306045_54807e81e5_z

Tricycle In The Woods – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Helios 44-2

Bokeh doesn’t matter because it’s subjective. What looks mediocre to you might look fantastic to someone else. People have different opinions. As long as it’s not bad bokeh, which I would define as being distracting to the image, then I’m perfectly fine with the quality of the blur, however the lens renders it. It’s actually difficult to find a lens that produces bad bokeh. Perhaps some cheap zoom lenses are prone to it. Most lenses render blur decently enough that viewers don’t notice the quality of it and, perhaps more importantly, they don’t care.

Ansel Adams said, “There’s nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” A fuzzy image of a fuzzy concept might be worse. Either way, the point is that the concept is what’s most important, and the other aspects, such as sharpness and bokeh, are not particularly critical. You can have a great image with poor bokeh and a poor image with great bokeh. The quality of the bokeh has little to do with the outcome of a photograph. It’s better to spend time and energy on image concepts than technical qualities.

Bokeh is the quality of the blur in an image. I’ve already said that, but it’s a good reminder of just how insignificant it really is. Think about it, we’re talking about the background blur. There are so many other more important things that we could be discussing! Bokeh is a popular topic, and a lot of people want to know more about it and are searching the internet for opinions. It’s good to know what it is, but it’s not something to get wrapped up in. You either like how a lens renders blur or you don’t, and either way it’s not a big deal.

Where To Find All The Film Simulation Recipes

28149931448_3110375c3e_z

I put all of my film simulation recipes in one easy to find (and perhaps easy to share) location. If you want to find them, they’re located in the upper-left “hamburger” menu under Film Simulation RecipesYou can also access them by clicking here. I put them all on one page, so feel free to bookmark it for quick access later. I will add any new recipes that I make to that page, so you might want to review it every so often. I do have several different film-looks that I have been working on, and so you can expect new stuff to trickle out over the coming weeks and months.

 

 

Weekly Photo Project, Week 19

I don’t feel as though this week was particularly photographically productive, but I did manage to capture at least one photograph every day. I also managed to create a few pictures that are decent. The end of this week marks 133 straight days with at least one image captured, which is a pretty darn good accomplishment. Hopefully I can keep this going through the winter, which I anticipate being the most difficult season for this project. Even if each photograph isn’t amazing and only one each week is good, that still means I have 52 good pictures over the course of a year. I still have a long ways to go, and it’s best not to count chickens before they hatch, so I better keep moving forward one day at a time.

Monday, November 26, 2018

45369262674_4de893bea3_z

Cow Field – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

32212591648_0b603a3918_z

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

31154283197_533851b805_z

The Last Two Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, November 29, 2018

45387666724_ee5821752d_z

Light Beyond The Wet Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, November 30, 2018

45206728965_65fe414491_z

Boots – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Saturday, December 1, 2018

44316468570_54e918bbc7_z

Light Dust of Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Sunday, December 2, 2018

31216071927_4c529580fa_z

Frosty Fall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 18  Week 20

How To Add “Light Leaks” To Your Photos Using Page Markers

44403818830_20eeeb6aa2_z

I much prefer to create a look in-camera than to use software to achieve it. I’m a big fan of avoiding post-processing whenever I can because I don’t like sitting in front of a computer anymore than I absolutely have to. Sometimes it’s not possible to achieve my photographic vision without editing, but most of the time with a little care I can get the exact look I want straight out of the camera. Whenever I find a trick that might help me get in-camera the results I want, I’m willing to give it a try.

Recently I came across an article where photographer Maciej Pietuszynski used colorful sticky page markers, also sometimes called popup index tabs, to create light leak effects without software. Stick the colorful page markers in front of the lens and watch the magic happen! It works quite well and is surprisingly convincing.

In the film days, light leaks would happen when a camera became worn or damaged. When the seal that keeps the inside of the camera completely pitch black is compromised, unwanted light enters and exposes the film. If film isn’t handled correctly during development, it’s also possible to get light leaks that way. The two pictures below are examples of light leaks that I have experienced.

31281658007_1a5d8184bd_z

45307913415_fea755ab5a_z

Light leaks come in all sorts of colors and shapes. They’re not typically uniform. Some people love them and some people hate them. There are some photographers who actually seek out cameras that leak light, and even a few who will purposefully damage a camera in order to create light leaks. There was even a 35mm film that was produced that had light leaks already on it, so that you could get the effect with a camera that wasn’t damaged.

In the digital world, you can mimic the light leak effect using software, which is something that I occasionally did using Alien Skin Exposure (I haven’t done this in several years). Using a faux light leak is fun every once in awhile, and it works well for certain images, but it can seem kind of gimmicky if you apply it too often. Below are two pictures of mine that include fake light leaks using software.

15301915645_1b7ae6a134_z

14527191624_cf7ae02cd3_z

Using page markers is a good technique to achieve a light leak effect without using software. I played around with it on my Fujifilm XF10 over the last two days, and I was able to get some interesting results that did in fact resemble light leaks. In my opinion, it made the images look a little more analog. In the pictures where the effect is really subtle, it gives the images a slight atmospheric feel that is still intriguing. I don’t think this something I’d want to do all of the time, but in the right situations it can be effective. At the very least it’s a fun technique to experiment with. It’s very lomography in spirit.

If you find yourself bored on a Saturday morning or you just want to try a new technique to produce a more analog-like result, I invite you to give the page marker light leak trick a try. It’s something that you could file away for use at some later time when you have a certain look in mind, or maybe you’ll find it to be useful in your regular workflow. Below are photographs that I have captured using this technique.

45296461085_4ea3616b80_z

When Film Photography Is On The Table – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

46158403542_29eb5110c2_z

Norfolk Southern Caboose – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

44408081620_cd5e35f7cf_z

Caboose Interior – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

46225117191_51ccff2d7f_z

Creepy Brakeman – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

31286282537_d2e180acdd_z

Light & Mural – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

32352879948_1a9792f3e9_z

Window Vase – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

32352882958_6989341b03_z

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

46225146691_2000c2d4b6_z

Dry Lavender Dish – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

44391907600_0d195dcbf3_z

Christmas Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

45312349315_90cb9e418a_z

Yosemite Ornament – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

46225151631_4d6fa6a493_z

Merry And Bright – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

45312352225_c295213a6f_z

Dead End Sign – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm XF10

32336846268_b3425f77aa_z

Icy Leaf & Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

46158402952_6b385fd5e2_z

Holding On Despite The Challenges – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

32336818418_5bc6cf26ca_z

Snow On A Tree Trunk – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

46158359302_e0985ff8a1_z

Boy, Sledding – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

44392213720_f4774585b0_z

Joy In The December Yard – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

46209467941_e1a71e4592_z

Winter Fun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

46208986441_cae267265d_z

Not Much of a Rose – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

32336818848_8392fb0fc2_z

Late Autumn Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

My Fujifilm Camera Recommendations

45045072121_397d6d0597_z

I’ve been asked several times lately which Fujifilm camera one should buy. People are looking for camera recommendations, and they’re interested in my advice. Since it’s December and Christmas is right around the corner this is something that’s on many people’s minds. I don’t necessarily like giving my opinion on this because everyone’s wants and needs are different, so what would be great for one person might not be for another, but I will do my best since it is a topic of interest for some of you out there.

Fujifilm makes many different cameras with many different features because the wants, needs and budgets of photographers can vary greatly. There is, however, one camera that’s easy to recommend, and that’s the Fujifilm X-T20. This is a great all-around middle-road offering that’s rich on features, not too expensive and a great choice no matter your skill or budget. The X-T20 is a camera that’s easy to suggest to anyone.

40552450734_738de38c55_z

Stark Salt – Wendover, UT

If you’re thinking that the X-T20 is not high-end enough for you, there are four great alternatives: the X-T2, the X-Pro2, the X-H1 and the X-T3. The X-T2 is the best bargain of the four, the X-Pro2 is my personal favorite of the four, the X-H1 is the only one with in-body-image-stabilization, and the X-T3 is the latest and greatest. If video capabilities are important, the X-H1 and the X-T3 are your best bets. If you want the very best, that’s probably the X-T3, although I’d argue that any of the four could be “best” for different reasons.

If you’re thinking that the X-T20 is too expensive, you have three good options: the X-T100, the X-A5 and the X-A3. These three cameras have a traditional Bayer sensor instead of an X-Trans sensor and have a more basic processor, but they are still good cameras that are capable of excellent image quality. The X-T100 is the best of the bunch, but even the X-A3, which is a couple of years old now, is a great low-budget option and perhaps the best choice for someone’s very first interchangeable-lens camera.

34190840780_642ff55cfc_z

Snake River Fog – Grand Teton NP, WY

There are a few alternatives to the X-T20 that I haven’t mentioned yet. The first is the X-E3, which is very similar to the X-T20 but with a different design and slightly different features. The X-E3 would be my second-place recommendation and is definitely worth taking a look at. Next is the X100F, which is a fixed-lens camera that is quite excellent and easy to love, but it might not be for everyone. Perhaps it is a good gift option for the photographer who has everything. Finally, there is the XF10, which is also a fixed-lens camera but is on the bargain end of things. It’s the smallest camera mentioned in this article (and one of the cheapest, too), yet it is capable of capturing beautiful pictures.

There, you have it! If you are camera shopping, look first at the X-T20, then decide from there if you need to move up to the more expensive models, move down to the cheaper models, or look at one of the other alternatives. You really can’t go wrong with any of the cameras, because they could all serve a purpose no matter who you are, but I think the middle is a good place to begin a search.

31001876117_65c6bf3ba8_z

Keyhole Monochrome – Salt Lake City, UT

Alternatively, buying an older model second-hand isn’t a bad idea at all. My first Fujifilm camera was a used X-E1, which I captured many great pictures with. It’s very much a capable camera today. There are a lot of great Fujifilm models that are a little older, but are still good quality cameras, such as the X-T1, X-T10, X-E2 (with or without the “s”), X-Pro1, X70, X100T, etc. You can get a used model that’s not quite as good as what’s brand new but not all that far from it either, for significantly less money.

You might be wondering about the photographs above. I purposefully didn’t label what camera they were captured with because I wanted it to be a surprise at the end. The picture Stark Salt towards the top was shot with a Fujifilm X-A3, which is an incredibly cheap camera right now because it’s not the latest model. The next image, Snake River Fog, which is one of my all-time favorites that I have hung on my wall at home, was captured using a Fujifilm X-E1. The last picture, Keyhole Monochrome, was shot using a Fujifilm XF10. These three cameras can be found for $500 or less, which demonstrates that even the cheapest options are still good options. It’s never about how expensive your camera is, it’s always about how you use what you have.

Downtown Salt Lake City With A Fujifilm XF10

45216479674_dbfc96d892_z

Downtown Keyhole – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. I had my Fujifilm XF10 with me and hoped to do a little street photography. It was a cold Sunday morning, and downtown was basically a ghost town. I barely saw anybody! Undeterred, I proceeded to walk around and capture some photographs.

Did I mention that it was cold? The sun was just beginning to rise and it hadn’t warmed up at all yet. I wasn’t really dressed for the temperature, which was in the upper 20’s Fahrenheit. I kept moving, though, and survived a trip around the block. It reminded me of some photography advice, I believe from Richard Steinheimer, that I heard many years ago: for great photographs you often have to be at places others don’t want to be and at times when others don’t want to be there. After getting back to the car I was more than happy to jump in and warm up!

The XF10 did a great job of capturing pictures. It’s small, lightweight and inconspicuous. It can be easily shoved into a pocket, which I did many times on that morning while trying to keep my fingers from freezing. I didn’t stay long. All things considered I’m pretty happy with the pictures that I came away with, even if I didn’t capture exactly what I was hoping for.

32069530998_11eced1bb4_z

Parking – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

45891399272_034851688a_z

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

32069559808_989e30d7ca_z

Blue Line – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

32069568658_a472275561_z

Downtown Buildings – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

45940611691_b22cd3260d_z

Lights & Reflections – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

31001873637_cbd749e8b9_z

Ever Reaching – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

44124341740_0337b96a6c_z

Diamond In The Sky – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

31001887047_c6c5402e23_z

Morning Reflections – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

31001876117_65c6bf3ba8_z

Keyhole Monochrome – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

32069345628_3d7ae6afcd_z

Abstract Reflection – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

32069385868_7e7e2763ec_z

Falcon Bird Watch – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

45891200302_f2652d8ce0_z

Jungle Gym – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

My Fujifilm X-T20 Kodak Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation Recipe


44330246970_7f6d629e2a_z

Ektachrome was a line of color transparency (slide) films made by Kodak that used the E-6 development process. Some people preferred it to Kodachrome because of the faster ISO (100 vs 64 or 25), more saturated colors and easier development (although Kodachrome had finer grain, a larger dynamic range and didn’t fade as easily). A lot of National Geographic photographs were shot on Ektachrome back in the day.

There were a number of varieties of Ektachrome produced over the years, and I’ve used five of them myself. My favorite was Ektachrome 100VS (VS = “very saturated”), which was Kodak’s attempt at Fujifilm Velvia. Occasionally I used Ektachrome 100SW (SW = “saturated warm”), which was introduced in 1996 and produced vivid photographs with a warm color balance. Kodak stopped production of Ektachrome 100SW in 2002 and all Ektachrome film in 2012. Just a few months ago a brand new Kodak Ektachrome film was released, although I have not tried it yet.

A Fuji X Weekly reader, Ilya Struzhkov, took my Kodachrome II recipe and made a simple modification: he used Velvia instead of Classic Chrome. He shared the results on Instagram and I immediately felt like the images had a Kodak Ektachrome 100SW aesthetic. I had to try it out myself! Sure enough, the results looked a lot like the film: saturated colors (not as much as Velvia but more than most films), a warm color balance, and shadows that easily turned black. It’s amazing that this one change to the recipe could transform it from 1970’s Kodachrome to 1990’s Ektachrome.

31390732704_c462c12909_z

The title of this film simulation recipe says “Fujifilm X-T20” but it can be used on any X-Trans III or IV camera. In fact, at the bottom of this article you’ll find some Fujifilm X100F examples. The only other change I made (besides Velvia instead of Classic Chrome) is that I set sharpening to 0 instead of +1 on the X-T20, but it’s set to +1 on the X100F. That’s just how I set up the cameras, and there really isn’t much of a differences between 0 and +1 sharpening, so either one is fine. Because the settings are essentially the same as my Kodachrome II recipe, it’s super easy to toggle between the two when out shooting. Really, it’s just brilliant!

Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: -1
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
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 camera-made JPEGs using my Fujifilm X-T20 Kodak Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation recipe:

44316468570_54e918bbc7_z

Light Dust of Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

46111730401_dd67537573_z

Frozen Fall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

32240502018_af0ca04bd6_z

Frosty Leaf & Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

45200371695_01489ea382_z

Sandstone Peaks – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

46111757691_3d8d09c977_z

Evening Moonrise – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

46061844092_78d5baaa18_z

Zion Sun – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

32240501898_78b0ab0b4f_z

Evening On The Cliffs – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

45200368785_c27cb04038_z

Amanda & Ritchie – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

46111740361_30531d5ccd_z

Still Water & Rocky Shore – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

46083052472_1a37fb1372_z

Old Dry Lavender – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

45206728965_65fe414491_z

Boots – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

Fujifilm X100F:

32246866938_a49e7f5163_z

Autumn Tree Below Bridge Mountain – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

44301680450_f4d261dcf2_z

View From Mount Carmel Tunnel – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

44301680280_3b9781af2b_z

Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

31130402817_ac131d591d_z

Sandstone Trees – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

See also: My Fujifilm X-T20 Aged Color Film Simulation Recipe

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Weekly Photo Project, Week 18

During this week I used my wife’s Fujifilm X-T20 quite a bit. I promised her that I wouldn’t take it over, but I’ve enjoyed using it so much that I kind of did take it over. Well, I asked nicely if I could use it each time, and I’ve also shared my cameras with her (or, at least made the offer to). I think when the X-T30 comes out, which might be sometime next year, it will be very tempting to pick one up.

Monday, November 19, 2018

44155883880_33a150cfa9_z

Crevasse Tree – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

31055374387_cc58604156_z

A Pine Among The Rocks – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

45994089001_279ecc4aec_z

Past & Future, or Fad? – Nephi, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Thursday, November 22, 2018

46005272141_e06d6a6ea8_z

Where Fall & Winter Meet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, November 23, 2018

32146614198_42ac239019_z

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

Saturday, November 24, 2018

44232622900_99376288d9_z

Cold & Chancy Commute – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Sunday, November 25, 2018

45324134014_4a961f1cb2_z

Mountain Snow Cloud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 17  Week 19

Fujifilm X Deals

44549481104_426c13e586_z

It’s December 1, and if you haven’t already started shopping for Christmas you will likely start very soon. I wanted to pass along some discounts on Fujifilm cameras that are currently being offered at Amazon. If you use the links below to purchase something, I will get a small amount from Amazon for referring you to them. This money will be used to improve the Fuji X Weekly experience. I know that some of you have already done so, and I want to say thank you! Expect some positive changes to come soon!

Current discounts being offered on Fujifilm X cameras: the Fujifilm X100F is $100 off and is now available in brown (yea!), the X-T100 is $100 off, the X-A5 with a 15-45mm lens is $100 off, the X-E3 is $100 off and there is a bundle option with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens plus extras for $1,150, the X-T20 is $200 off and there is a bundle option with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens plus extras for $1,000, the X-Pro2 is $200 off, the X-H1 is $250 off, and the X-T2 is $500 off, which is an incredible deal!

Current discounts being offered on Fujinon X lenses: the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 is $150 off, the XF 16mm f/1.4 is $150 off, the XF 80mm f/2.8 is $150 off, the XF 10-24mm f/4 is $150 off, the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 is $200 off, the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 is $200 off, and the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 is $200 off.

Current discounts being offered on Fujifilm Instax: the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera is $60 off, the Instax Mini 9 Instant Film Camera bundle is $57 off, the Instax Mini 70 Instant Film Camera is $40 off, the Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera is $38 off, and the Instax Mini Film 3-Pack is $22 off. My 11-year-old daughter loves her Instax camera.

Also, if you are looking for t-shirts, coffee mugs, iPhone cases and other items with Fujifilm and photography related designs, check out the Fuji X Weekly store! You’ll find several great gift ideas for photographers. I have ordered some of the items for myself, and they’ve all been good quality. I’m quite happy with how they turned out.

My Fujifilm X100F Ilford HP5 Plus Film Simulation Recipe


32807510504_66e6bc1697_z

Back when I shot lots of film, my favorite black-and-white options were Ilford Delta 100, and Ilford Delta 400 when “high ISO” was necessary, as back then I considered ISO 400 to be high ISO. I didn’t use Ilford HP5 Plus very often, but I have used it on several occasions. I still have a few rolls of the film lying around, which I should go out and use just for the fun of it. The differences between Delta 400 and HP5 Plus aren’t huge. Delta 400 uses tabular-grain, which is supposed to be a finer grain that produces sharper images, but I think in real-world use it’s not really noticeable. Delta 400 has a hair more contrast than HP5 Plus and in my opinion is a bit better for push-processing, but HP5 Plus seems to have more exposure latitude, making it more forgiving if you didn’t get the exposure quite right. Overall the two films produce very similar results.

I’ve been asked a number of times to make an Ilford HP5 Plus film simulation recipe for Fujifilm X-Trans III cameras. The title of this article says “Fujifilm X100F” but these settings can be used on any X-Trans III or IV camera. In fact, you’ll find a few Fujifilm X-T20 examples at the bottom. I already have a number of different black-and-white film simulation recipes that I like, so I didn’t really need to make a new one, but I enjoyed doing this and I’m pleased with how it turned out.

A few days ago I was asked if my Agfa Scala recipe is a close match to HP5 Plus, and as I thought about it I realized that it’s not all that far off, and only some small changes would be necessary to get it right. Of course, any time that you attempt to mimic a certain film the problem is that the film can vary in look. How was it shot? Developed? Printed? Scanned? There isn’t necessarily one aesthetic that’s right because there are so many variables. Still, I feel like this is recipe is in fact pretty close to Ilford HP5 Plus film.

I captured the photograph below, Airport Lobby, using a Canon AE-1 about 20 years ago using Ilford Delta 100 film. I printed it on Agfa Classic paper using a split-filter technique and toned it with sepia (just barely). This is a (rather poor) scan of the print. I included it in this article for the heck of it, as it doesn’t really have much to do with this film simulation recipe. My experience with Ilford films goes back pretty far, and perhaps that’s the point of including the picture with this article.

28875865790_b13ea7baeb_z

Airport Lobby – McKinney, TX – Ilford Delta 100 printed on Agfa Classic paper.

You could modify this recipe to shadows +3 if you need more contrast or shadows +1 if you needed less, or highlights to +3 if you need to prevent clipped highlights. If you feel as though the recipe needs some changes to best capture an image, don’t be afraid to make those adjustments. I don’t always stick rigidly to my recipes, and I’m not afraid to adjust them when needed. The example photographs in this article are all the exact recipe, but with some other pictures (that I didn’t include) I made some modifications to the settings because the scene required it. A few of the pictures here might have been better off with a modification to the shadow or highlight, but I wanted to demonstrate the aesthetic of this recipe as is.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +2
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
Grain Effect: Strong
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X100F Ilford HP5 Plus Film Simulation recipe:

46083857881_149e9f9a21_z

Grey Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

44280531070_5e209293c5_z

Kids On The Salt Lake Shore – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

45372610804_aa0ffeb3bf_z

Hurry Up & Wait – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

45353266984_2eace403ab_z

Downtown Workday – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

31138771547_8e2c175cbd_z

Monochrome Caution – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

31138778537_37f99f2dec_z

Window Pentax – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

45157485985_7c66ae107c_z

Tunnel Chevy – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

46069158191_619c268d44_z

Virgin River From Canyon Jct Bridge – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

32197900618_5cd39e17d0_z

Monochrome Vista In Zion – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

45157486205_4860f6d9c5_z

Zion Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

31130402917_b6c43ca102_z

Rock & Trees – Zion NP, UT – Fuji X100F “Ilford HP5 Plus”

Fujifilm X-T20:

31138316247_90b7d7e072_z1

Frozen Leaf & Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ilford HP5 Plus”

45369155314_25d3ec603a_z

The Last Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ilford HP5 Plus”

45206708745_058ee9de06_z

Morning Clouds Around The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ilford HP5 Plus”

46092414101_0afe930115_z

Grey Sky Over Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ilford HP5 Plus”

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00