Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: B&W Toning

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One great new feature found on the Fujifilm X-T30, which first appeared on the X-T3, is the ability to tone black-and-white photographs in-camera, either warm or cool. Back in the days of film, in the darkroom you would dip your prints into certain chemicals to tone them. You could make them warm or cool or any number of different colors, including split toning, depending on the exact process and chemicals. I’m glad that Fujifilm has finally created the option to tone black-and-white photographs in-camera.

The reason you might want to tone a photograph is to add emotion to it. A warm image will give a different feel than a cool image. It’s part of the nonverbal communication of the photograph. In the days of film there may have been other benefits, such as archival, but that won’t apply to a digital image. I used sepia quite frequently myself, both for the warm tone and the archival benefit.

The X-T30 has the option to tone from +1 through +9 for warm, and -1 through -9 for cool, with 0 being not toned. I find that +9 and -9 are both much too much, and that +5 and -5 are the limits for my tastes. I think that plus or minus one is often enough, and plus or minus two is more than plenty for most pictures. Subtlety is often preferred when it comes to black-and-white toning. Below is an example of +5, 0, and -5:

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Toned +5 (warm)

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Set to 0 (not toned)

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Toned at -5 (cool)

It’s easy to see how toning an image changes how it feels. It’s also easy to see that plus or minus five is quite pronounced, and you can imagine how going beyond that would be even more so. My opinion is that the beauty of the toning that Fujifilm offers on the X-T30 can be found in the weaker application of it, such as plus or minus two or less. But everyone has different tastes, so you might prefer different settings than me.

Below are a few more examples of toned black-and-white photographs that I captured with the X-T30.

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Snow Falling Gently On The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wasatch Rain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Storm Beyond The Frozen Lake – Echo Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Piano Wire – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Filmed In Black & White – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Two Pots – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also:
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: D-Range Priority
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Eterna
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Color Chrome Effect

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Weekly Photo Project, Week 33

Last week’s theme was black-and-white, and this week continues that theme. One thing you might notice is that my new Fujifilm X-T30 has begun to appear. It’s been a blast to use, as I’ve been trying out the new features. I’m sure you’ll see a lot about this camera on this blog over the coming weeks. I will try to not make it “all X-T30 all the time” so that there’s something for everyone.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

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Hat – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Monday, March 18, 2019

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Stair Railing – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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Black & White – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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Pillow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, March 21, 2019

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Fujifilm X-T30 Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, March 22, 2019

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Wasatch Rain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Saturday, March 23, 2019

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Horse & Girl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 32  Week 34

Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Eterna Film Simulation

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The X-T30 has Fujifilm’s latest film simulation: Eterna. The only other cameras that have Eterna are the X-H1 and the X-T3. This film simulation mimics the look of actual Eterna film, which was a motion picture film that also had a very limited run for still photography. You’ve likely seen movies and television shows that were captured on Eterna and just didn’t know it. I’ve never shot this film myself, so I have no personal experience with it.

I was quite excited to try the Eterna film simulation. It is the lowest contrast and lowest saturated color film simulation that Fujifilm offers, kind of the antithesis of Velvia. It definitely has a cinematic quality to it. It makes lovely pictures that have a softer feel, but I think it requires the right lighting and the right subject to really work. Below you’ll find a few images that I created using the Eterna film simulation. At some point, once I’ve played around with it more, I’ll make a film simulation recipe that uses Eterna.

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Johanna Eating A Cracker – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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What Do You Want? – Layton, UT – Fujifim X-T30 – Eterna

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Empty Church Pews – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

Last year I made an Eterna film simulation recipe, but one that doesn’t use Eterna. Instead, it uses PRO Neg. Std, and it’s designed for X-Trans III cameras that don’t have Eterna. It’s “Eterna” for those who don’t have Eterna. It was a guess, since I had not used the actual film or the film simulation, but had only seen some samples online. Now that I’ve had a chance to use the Eterna Film Simulation, I can say that it was close but not quite right. Below you’ll find my updated faux “Eterna” film simulation recipe:

PRO Neg. STD
Dynamic Range: DR400
Hightlight: +2
Shadow: -2
Color: -3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, 0 Red and 0 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3

Here’s a comparison of real Eterna and fake Eterna:

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Eterna Film Simulation

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Faux “Eterna” using PRO Neg. Std

I debated about the Highlight setting. I feel that +2 is too much but +1 is not enough (if only there was a +1.5 option). I went with the brighter option, but +1 is a legitimate choice, so you’ll have to decide which you like better. I also debated on the Color setting, as -3 is almost not saturated enough, but I felt that -2 was too saturated, so there’s another choice that you’ll have to make. Another thing I went back and forth on was the White Balance Shift, as I think -1 Blue or even +1 Red and -1 Blue could be justified, so there’s another thing to consider. There are different settings that can be fine-tuned to taste, but I think overall this is pretty close to actual Eterna for those who don’t have Eterna.

See also:
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: D-Range Priority
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: B&W Toning
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Color Chrome Effect

Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: D-Range Priority

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Since my Fujifilm X-T30 arrived last week, I have been trying out all of the different new features, and over the coming days I will be sharing with you my findings. Today I will discuss D-Range Priority. This new feature first appeared on the X-H1, then the X-T3, and now the X-T30. I’m sure it will be included in all future X-Trans cameras, such as the X-Pro3 and X100V, which might be released before the end of the year. I wasn’t sure exactly what D-Range Priority is, how it works, or how to best use it, so I was eager to try it out. And I made some interesting discoveries.

The manual doesn’t give a lot of information on what exactly D-Range Priority is, except that it reduces contrast when activated. When you select D-Range Priority, you no longer have control of the Dynamic Range (DR) setting, Highlight and Shadow. You get what you get, which is a lower-contrast image. There are three D-Range Priority options: Weak, Strong and Auto (as well as Off). I’m not sure exactly how this might effect RAW, as (thanks to Fujifilm’s excellent camera-made JPEGs) I haven’t post-processed a RAW file in over a year (with the exception of using the in-camera RAW conversion to reprocess some images). For the JPEG shooter, D-Range Priority applies a flat curve to help control blown highlights and blocked shadows in high-contrast scenes.

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D-Range Priority Strong

The best way to think about D-Range Priority is an extension of the Dynamic Range settings. You have DR100, DR200, DR400, and now D-Range Priority Weak and D-Range Priority Strong. D-Range Priority Auto selects either Weak, Strong or Off, whatever the camera thinks it should be. I haven’t tried Auto, so I can’t comment on how well it does or doesn’t work. The only times that you’d want to use D-Range Priority are those rare circumstances when DR400 isn’t enough, and you need to squeeze a little more dynamic range out of the camera (again, this is for JPEGs, as you could make these same adjustments yourself from an underexposed RAW file in software).

The first D-Range Priority test that I conducted can be seen below. I captured a scene with a little bit of contrast in it and applied the two D-Range Priority options. As you can see, the DR100 version could use a little boost in the shadows, but D-Range Priority Weak is slightly too flat and D-Range Priority Strong is much too flat. This is a case where using DR200, or simply adjusting Shadow down a notch, probably would have been sufficient.

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DR100

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D-Range Priority Weak

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D-Range Priority Strong

I did another test, this time with a higher contrast scene. This is a case where you might actually benefit from D-Range Priority. The first image shows what DR400 looks like (Pro NEG Hi, with Highlight and Shadow at 0), the second shows DR400 with Shadow and Highlight at -2, the third shows D-Range Priority Weak, and the last image shows D-Range Priority Strong. You might notice that D-Range Priority Weak has only subtly less contrast than DR400 with Shadow and Highlight set to -2. There’s a clear difference between using DR400 and D-Range Priority Strong, but you can almost achieve D-Range Priority Weak by using DR400 and setting Shadow and Highlight to -2. I can’t imagine you’ll encounter all that many situations where DR400 isn’t enough, but you might and Fujifilm has given you the option to go beyond it when you need to.

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DR400

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DR400 with -2 Shadow & -2 Highlight

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D-Range Priority Weak

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D-Range Priority Strong

I wondered what exactly the camera is doing when I select D-Range Priority. As I said, the DR setting, Shadow and Highlight are no longer adjustable when D-Range Priority has been activated. I didn’t find the answer, but I do have a theory. I believe that Fujifilm programmed a very flat tone curve that it applies to D-Range Priority images. It’s the same curve whether you use the Weak or Strong option. For D-Range Priority Weak I believe that it is applying this flat curve to a DR200 setting, and for D-Range Priority Strong it is applying the same curve to a DR400 setting. There’s no option to adjust Shadow or Highlight because the curve has already been set. That’s what I think is going on, but I have no proof. It’s just a theory.

Whatever the technical mumbo-jumbo might be, the practical aspect of D-Range Priority is that in very high contrast scenes, this setting might help you achieve the look that you want in-camera. I did one final test, where I used some very normal settings and made an image that’s not particularly good, and I also used D-Range Priority to create a more usable (but perhaps still not very good) image of the same high contrast scene. This is the type of situation where this new option is beneficial. It’s not something that I suspect anyone will use every day, but it’s good to know that it’s there when you need it, however infrequent that might be.

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“Normal Settings”

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D-Range Priority Weak

Click here to buy the Fujifilm X-T30 at Amazon.

See also:
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Eterna Film Simulation
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: B&W Toning
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Color Chrome Effect

Weekly Photo Project, Week 32

The theme of this week’s photographs is black-and-white. And mountains. Oh, and they were all captured with a Fujifilm X-T20. And I used a Fujinon 50-230mm lens for all of them. This was a good week photographically speaking, and I could have chosen a few different themes (or no theme at all), but this one stood out to me for some reason. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

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Cloud Over The Wasatch Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Monday, March 11, 2019

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Helper Locomotive – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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Wisp Above The Wasatch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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

Thursday, March 14, 2019

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Lifting Morning Mountain Mist – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, March 15, 2019

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

Saturday, March 16, 2019

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Strongs Peak Behind The Rocky Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 31  Week 33

First Quick Fujifilm X-T30 Impressions

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Fujifilm X-T30

My brand-new Fujifilm X-T30 showed up at the door yesterday evening, a whole day early. That was a pleasant surprise! I haven’t had a chance to use it a lot yet, but I have made some exposures and have some quick impressions that I wanted to give ahead of the full review and host of other articles that will begin to appear in the coming weeks and months. I know that some of you are interested in this camera and are eager to learn more about it.

The first thing that I noticed, which is the only real change to the body, is the focus joystick. This has been well-publicized and I don’t want to talk too much about it now, but I will say that there are both positives and negatives to this setup. I don’t love it or hate it. It is what it is, I guess. I know that I’ll get used to it quickly and I won’t even think about it anymore. I did want to mention that the placement of the Q menu button on the thumb grip, which is similar to how the X-E3 is designed, is a bit frustrating, as I have accidentally pressed it a number of times already.

I have not yet used the X-T30 for video, but between the impressive stat-sheet and extended menu options, it is clear that Fujifilm designed this camera to be a more serious option for videography. If you do a lot of video, the X-T30 is clearly an upgrade over the X-T20.

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Warm Light On A Cold Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

I wasn’t anticipating being overly impressed with the improved auto-focus system because I never found the X-T20 to be lacking in this area. It was plenty sufficient for my photography. However, the X-T30 is noticeably faster and tracks moving objects better, in the small tests that I have put it through so far. There’s a definitely a difference, and if you need fast auto-focus, the X-T30 is the camera you want to get. I would say that all-around the new camera is snappier than its predecessor.

If you shoot RAW, Fujifilm included several new features that won’t matter to you whatsoever. But if you shoot JPEG, these new features will help you get the polished look you want right out of camera. One is Color Chrome Effect, which I’ve been impressed with right from the start. It deepens colors and makes them more vibrant. It’s something that I want to play around with more, and it might be a feature that I use routinely. Another is toning black-and-white images, making them either warm or cool. I really appreciate this new addition and I’m glad that Fujifilm included it on the X-T30.

There are a number of other new things. The camera’s menu is noticeably longer. There’s a lot that I have yet to try. Heck, I’m still trying to set up the camera! While the outside of the X-T30 is quite similar to the X-T20, the inside has a lot of additions. I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far. This new model is an upgrade over the previous one, no doubt about it, but if you don’t shoot video, don’t require a super fast auto-focus system, and don’t rely on camera-made JPEGs, there’s not a lot here to justify choosing this camera over the X-T20. For me and my photography, I can immediately see the benefit of the X-T30. It’s a darn good camera, and I’ve only just begun to use it.

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Snow In The Bowl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Strongs Peak In The Distance – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Surviving Succulent – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Neon Red – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wasatch Rain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wasatch Front In March – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Arrival – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Steak, Sushi & Shutter

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Japanese Lamps – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

I try to carry a camera with me wherever I go because you just never know when a photographic opportunity might present itself. One recent example of this was dinner. Specifically, my family and I ate out at a local Japanese restaurant called Kobe Teppanyaki, which was a fun and delicious place. Because I had a camera with me, I was able to capture a few photographs of the experience, a couple of which turned out decently enough.

The camera I used was a Fujifilm X-T20. I sometimes like to use vintage lenses, and I had an Asahi Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 attached to the front of the camera. This is one of my all-time favorite lenses, as it produces lovely images. The dark environment proved to be challenging. It’s a restaurant, and people move pretty quick to get their work done. The lens is a manual focus lens, and nailing focus with a large aperture is not an easy task. The added challenge is that I had my one-year-old daughter in my lap, so I was one-handed photographer much of the time. Still, I managed to capture a few pictures that I’m happy with.

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Japanese Cook – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sushi Makers – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Itamae – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Fujifilm X-T30 Now Available

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I received an email last night that my Fujifilm X-T30 is on its way! The tracking information states that it will arrive sometime on Friday. Needless to say, I’m excited! You can expect many articles in the coming weeks and months regarding this camera and the X-Trans IV sensor.

If you didn’t pre-order, you might have a hard time getting this camera right away. Amazon has a limited quantity left, and they’re currently on back-order for the prime lens bundles (which, by the way, I understand that this great discount won’t last much longer). The charcoal version will be released on June 30.

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

What Is This?

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Captured on Antelope Island with a Fujifilm X-T20

A few days ago my wife and I visited one of our favorite places nearby: Antelope Island State Park. I captured a bunch of images, but one frame (and only one frame) showed something strange. I’m not sure what it is. There are some unusual dark vertical lines on the right side of the frame. Take a look at the photo above to see for yourself.

The camera I used was a Fujifilm X-T20 and the lens was the Fujinon 50-230mm zoom. It was near sunset and the hill at the bottom-right is hiding the low sun. There were some distant clouds and plenty of haze. Below are a few other pictures captured near this same location and near this same time.

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Distant Sailboats – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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

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Rocky Bluff – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Buffalo Point Puddle – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Citrus Sky – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Low Sun Over The Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Afterglow – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Vibrant Salt Lake Glow – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

The weird lines only appear in that one frame, and I didn’t notice them when I made the exposure. It wasn’t until later when reviewing the pictures at home that I noticed the lines. I’m really unsure what it is. Was it how the light from the setting sun was interacting with the haze? Is it something with the camera’s sensor? The shutter? I guess I’m wondering if this was a natural phenomenon or a gear issue, and if it was a gear issue, what specifically happened to cause this.

Here’s a closer look at it:

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What do you think it is: natural or gear, and if gear, what caused it? Have you ever seen something like this in your photographs? I’d love to get your feedback!

Weekly Photo Project, Week 31

As has been the usual since pretty much the beginning of this project, I had a couple of photographically productive days and a couple of days where I barely squeaked by. What I’m appreciating are the longer days, now that winter is coming to a close. The extra minutes of daylight are a huge asset to my photography. I look forward to the photographic opportunities that await me in the spring.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

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Wasatch Ridge In Late Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Monday, March 4, 2019

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Dex Knows It’s Obsolete – Riverdale, UT Fujifilm XF10

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

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Silver Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

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Process E-4 – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, March 7, 2019

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A Fujifilm Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, March 8, 2019

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Japanese Cook – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Saturday, March 9, 2019

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Soft Wasatch Evening – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 30  Week 32