Photoessay: Cold Winter Daze

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

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

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

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Frozen Lake – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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

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

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

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Cold Horse Coat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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White Landscaping – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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

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

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

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

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Winter Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Winter Stream – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold Hillside – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Buddhist Instagram – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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

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Evening Cold – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Weekly Photo Project – Intermission

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

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

Week 1

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Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Week 2

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Grain Hoppers – Westlake, TX – Fujifilm X100F

Week 3

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Window Seat – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Week 4

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Halfway Done – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Week 5

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

Week 6

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

Week 7

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

Week 8

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Flag On A Pole – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 9

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Cloudy Day Train – Clearfield, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 10

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Ghosts of the Past – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 11

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

Week 12

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

Week 13

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Capital Lamp – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 14

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Joy Rider – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Week 15

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Empty Church Seats – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 16

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Peculiar Waters – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 17

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

Week 18

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

Week 19

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

Week 20

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

Week 21

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Ogden Airport – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 22

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

Week 23

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

Week 24

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

Week 25

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

Week 26

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Winter Horse – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

 

Fujifilm X-T30 Will Have Joystick

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

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

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

Fujifilm PRO Neg. Std Film Simulation Recipes

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

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

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

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

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

Fujicolor Superia 800

CineStill 800T

Eterna

Aged Color

Fujicolor Pro 400H

Welcome to Fujixweekly.com!

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

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

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

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

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

House Underwater – Thistle, Utah

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

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

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

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Photo by Richard Steinheimer

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

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

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

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Ice Cold Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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

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

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