SOOC eMagazine

There’s a new online magazine called SOOC that’s dedicated to Fujifilm straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I encourage you to take a look at issue one and to support James Posilero‘s efforts, and not just because yours truly is in the magazine. There’s been an unfair sentiment within the photography community for some time that you are a second-rate photographer if you rely on camera-made JPEGs. The argument is not true, but unfortunately you will find this attitude spread throughout the internet, and you might even encounter it in person. This magazine turns that preconception on its head and debunks the fallacy, simply by the photographs found within. I personally look forward to seeing more of SOOC, and I wish much success to James.

The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, Part 3: Trees

Part 1 – Water  Part 2 – Flowers  

Utah is a beautiful state with a diverse environment. There are snow-capped mountain peaks, green forests, extensive lakes, snaking rivers, vast red deserts and pretty much everything in-between. This photoessay series is intended to exhibit that diversity through my photographs, and each part will have a specific theme. This article, which is Part 3 of The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, is about trees.

When a lot of people think of Utah, they think of the red-rock deserts found in the southern part of the state. You might be surprised to learn that approximately 1/3 of Utah is forested. Many of these trees are found in the mountains of the northern region, but even the deserts can be dotted with Pinyon and Juniper. There are a wide range of trees found throughout the state. It shouldn’t be surprising that trees have found their way into my photographs many times, especially in the fall when their leaves turn autumn colors. I’ve noticed that the leaves are already beginning to change this year, so it’s time once again to find some vibrant trees to capture.

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Timpanogos September – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F 9/29/2017

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Autumn Beginnings – Ogden Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 9/3/2018

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Autumn Forest Trail – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 10/14/2018

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Red Leaves In The Forest – Wasatch Mountain SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 10/2/2018

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Fuji Provia 100F'

Vibrant Autumn Forest – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – 11/20/2018

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Vibrant Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 10/13/2017

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Scattering of Red – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 9/28/2018

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Winter Forest Impression – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – 12/27/2018

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Night At The Lake – Mirror Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 8/6/2016

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Lake In The Uintas – Mirror Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 9/4/2016

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Deadwood – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 3/30/2019

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Green Tree on Red Cliff – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 3/31/2019

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Monte Cristo Snow – Monte Cristo, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 10/16/2016

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Winter Saturday Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 2/16/2019

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Old Log In Kolob Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 10/27/2017

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Feeling Blue – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 – 2/28/2018

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Canyon Pinyon – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 2/28/2018

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It’s Not Easy Being Green – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 3/1/2018

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Kodak E 100G'

Yellow Tree Against Red Rock – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 11/20/2018

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Sunlight Through The Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10 – 9/13/2018

[Not] My Fujifilm X Urban Vintage Chrome Film Simulation Recipe


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Refine – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2 – “Urban Vintage Chrome”

Fuji X Weekly reader Thomas Schwab recently shared with me a film simulation recipe that he created. He calls it “Urban Vintage Chrome” because it has a classic analog aesthetic, it’s based on the Classic Chrome film simulation, and it pairs especially well with urban scenes. I tried it out and was highly impressed with the results. Thomas agreed to let me share it on this blog, and even allowed me to use some of his pictures in the article.

What the Urban Vintage Chrome recipe reminds me of is Bleach Bypass, which is a technique where, during development, you fully or partially skip the bleach. It increases contrast and grain and decreases saturation. The results can vary depending on the film used and how exactly it’s developed, but generally speaking this recipe produces a look that is similar to it, or at least the closest straight-out-of-camera that I’ve seen. It’s compatible with all Fujifilm X-Trans III and IV cameras.

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Hazy Rural Sunset – Woods Cross, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm – “Urban Vintage Chrome”

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +2
Color: -4
Sharpening: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: 4300K, -1 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

I want to give big “thank you” to Thomas for sharing this recipe and allowing me to use some of his photographs in this article. I really appreciate it! Be sure to show your appreciation in the comments!

Example photographs using this film simulation recipe:

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Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X-T2 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany – Fujifilm X100F – Photo by Thomas Schwab

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Creek Ducks – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Green Locomotive – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Oil Toil – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Tracks By The Refinery – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Gate Arm Nut – North Salt Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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CF Trailer – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Hidden Wall Street – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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!

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[Not] My Fujifilm X-T30 “Warm Contrast” Film Simulation Recipe


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Flower Pots – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Warm Contrast”

Fuji X Weekly reader Manuel Sechi recently contacted me regarding some camera settings that he was working on. He was trying to replicate the look of the “Warm Contrast” preset in Lightroom. He felt that he was close but was hoping that I might help refine the settings to get a little closer. He showed me some of his pictures where he had applied the preset, which was helpful as I don’t use Lightroom. I tried out his settings and indeed they looked very close to the photographs that he shared. I made some small adjustments to refine it to what I thought might be a closer match to the preset, although not having the preset at my disposable was admittedly a challenge, and I can only hope that I made the recipe better and not worse.

While I call this film simulation recipe “Warm Contrast” due to its intended replication, it’s not particularly warm nor especially high in contrast. It seems to work best in mid-contrast situations, and when the light is already a bit on the warm side. When it works, though, it looks really good. I can see why Manuel was interested in creating it. I’m sure some of you will appreciate these settings, and I’m eager to share them with you.

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August Wasatch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Warm Contrast”

Thank you, Manuel, for sharing your settings, and allowing me the opportunity to tweak them. While I put “Fujifilm X-T30” in the title, this recipe can be used on any X-Trans III or IV camera. In low-contrast situations, going +4 on Shadow and +2 on Highlight might produce better results. In cooler light, -1 Red and -5 Blue might prove to be better. As always, don’t be afraid to season this film simulation recipe to taste.

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

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using these settings on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Fighting Flamingos – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Duck In A Stream – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rural Stream – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bee On A Pink Flower – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bee At Work – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Kids on a Bridge – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Confident Direction – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Leaves of Various Colors – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Looking Bird – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Yarn Owl – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Green Mountain Majesty – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sloping Ridges – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Canvas Sky – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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American Fair – Salt Lake City, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30

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

The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, Part 2: Flowers

Part 1 – Water  Part 3 – Trees

Utah is a beautiful state with a diverse environment. There are snow-capped mountain peaks, green forests, extensive lakes, snaking rivers, vast red deserts and pretty much everything in-between. This photoessay series is intended to exhibit that diversity through my photographs, and each part will have a specific theme. This article, which is Part 2 of The Diversity of Utah Landscapes in Color, is about flowers.

For some people, flower photography is the bread and butter of what they do. I’ve never considered myself a flower photographer, but in the spring and summer when there are beautiful blossoms all around, it’s hard not to find it an interesting subject for the camera. Utah seems like an especially good place to capture the blooming beauty, as there are many lush flower gardens and plentiful wildflowers to choose from, including sometimes one’s own front or backyard.

Flowers:

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Vibrant Flowerbed – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 4/29/2019

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Little Blooms, Big Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Urban Flowers – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Summer Sun Blossoms – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 7/10/2018

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At the Edge of the In-Between – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 5/28/2017

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Dark Rose Blossom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 6/13/2019

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Drops of Water on a Lily – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 7/2/2018

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Yellow Tipped Petal Bloom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 6/22/2018

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Beeutiful – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 6/17/2018

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Purple Flower Petals – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 5/28/2017

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Purple Macro – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 10/2/2018

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Bloom Purple – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 6/1/2019

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Butterfly Bloom – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 10/2/2018

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Red Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 5/4/2018

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Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Tulip Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Tulips by the Creek – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 4/18/2017

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Blossoms By The Pond – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 5/4/2018

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Flowers By The Stream – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – 5/4/2018

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Field of Flowers – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – 4/29/2019

Stay tuned for Part 3!

Thoughts On Samsung’s 108 Megapixel Sensor + How It Relates To Fujifilm

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We Will Deliver – Rosamond, CA – Nokia Lumia 1020

Samsung announced (in conjunction with Xiaomi) that they have made an 108-megapixel 1/1.33-inch camera sensor that will soon be found inside of cellphones. At first glance it sounds absurd. What kind of image quality could it possibly have? How ugly will it be above base ISO? How much resolution do you really need for social media posts? But there are some interesting innovations that might someday be applied to Fujifilm cameras, so let’s take a closer look.

How this new sensor directly relates to Fujifilm is that it’s an ISOCELL Plus sensor, which requires a materiel developed by Fujifilm, and only Fujifilm has this material. What Samsung did with it is develop a sensor that has less “cross talk” between pixels, which improves color accuracy, dynamic range, high-ISO capabilities and fine-detail rendering. Essentially, it allows smaller pixels to perform similar to larger pixels. You can put 108 million teeny-tiny light sensitive sensor elements on a small sensor with ISOCELL Plus, and it will perform similar to 108 million larger-but-still-quite-small light sensitive sensor elements on a little bit larger sensor without this technology. Whether the lens will be able to resolve that much detail, as it will need to be a heck-of-a-sharp lens, remains to be seen, but if it can, that would be quite the leap in cellphone camera technology.

I used to have a Nokia Lumia 1020 cellphone, and the phone itself wasn’t especially great, but the camera, with a 41-megapixel 1/1.5-inch sensor and Zeiss lens, was surprisingly good. Well, sort of. It had a very narrow margin, as you needed to stay close to base ISO, and the dynamic range was small, but in the right situations it delivered stunning pictures that you’d never guess came from a cellphone. I have no idea if Xiaomi’s phone with the new 108-megapixel sensor will be similar or not, but it might be, and it might even be better.

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Energy – Tehachapi, CA – Nokia Lumia 1020

Aside from ISOCELL Plus, the other interesting innovation from Samsung with this sensor is quad-Bayer array. Instead of the typical two green, one red and one blue Bayer square arrangement, this has a four green times two, four red and four blue square arrangement, with the four pixels of the same color next to each other in a square. The idea is that the four same-color pixels can be merged through software into one pixel, turning the camera into a 27-megapixel traditional Bayer array. Why wouldn’t Samsung use larger light sensitive sensor elements and set the megapixel count at 27? Why do this weird tiny-pixel quad-Bayer pixel-merge thing? Well, it allows software to do some interesting tricks. For example, it can capture up to four independent 27-megapixel exposures simultaneously and blend them together, extending dynamic range, reducing noise, and/or increasing high-ISO capabilities. Or, if the dynamic range doesn’t need extended, and the noise doesn’t need to be reduced, and the ISO doesn’t need to be increased, it can produce a very large fine-detailed full-resolution picture.

Slowly the technological advancements of the small sensor world trickle up to larger sensors, and someday a version of ISOCELL Plus and pixel-merge could very well be found in Fujifilm cameras. What might this look like? If you were to take this same Samsung chip and increase it to APS-C size, it would have roughly 216-megapixels, and would deliver a pixel-merged 54-megapixel image. I’m sure, however, that there would be a reduction in noise performance, dynamic range and high-ISO over current X-Trans sensors, and, even with the excellent Fujinon lenses available, the question of whether that much detail can be resolved would still need to be answered. What I see more likely to happen is sensor elements being used that are twice as large as those on the tiny Samsung chip, and an APS-C sensor with 108-megapixels produced, which could be pixel-merged to 27-megapixels. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe a quad-X-Trans array is possible. Essentially, it might be feasible to have nearly identical resolution as X-Trans IV, but with improved dynamic range and high-ISO capabilities, and the option for full-resolution 108-megapixel pictures when the ISO is under a certain amount (say, ISO 640). It’s still questionable whether or not Fujinon lenses can take advantage of that much resolution, but even if it is “only” able to produce resolution equivalent to 50-megapixels, that’s still double what it is now. If ISOCELL Plus and pixel-merge ever do come to Fujifilm X, it could very well be a game-changer type of thing. Or perhaps the required processing power and heat dispersion are too difficult to overcome, and it never makes its way to larger sensor cameras. Time will tell.

Weekly Photo Project – Conclusion

With my 365 photo-a-day project complete, I wanted to share some thoughts about it. Was it worth it? What did I learn? Would I do it again? I’m sure there are a number of you who have considered doing your own, so perhaps answering these questions will be useful insight to you.

One reason why I wanted to do this project in the first place was for practice. In the very first post I said, “Athletes practice daily. Musicians practice daily. If you want to be great at something and stay great at it, you need to regularly challenge yourself. This is just as true with your camera as it is with everything else.” A 365 project is one way to photographically exercise. It keeps you in camera shape and hopefully builds camera muscle. With each exposure there is an opportunity to learn. I do believe that I did improve my photography skills over the last year, at least a little.

If you do something everyday for long enough it will become habit. Picking up my camera and having it with me is now habit. Thinking photographically while I have my camera nearby is a habit. Capturing daily pictures is a habit. More importantly than all of that, taking note of the exposures I made and whether or not they’re good enough, and, if not, trying again a little harder to capture something better is now a habit. Those are good habits that I can thank this project for.

Something else that I gained from doing this photo-a-day project is I captured some pictures that I would not have otherwise captured. I forced myself to make some exposures “because I had to” and some of those pictures I quite like. I wouldn’t have made them if I wasn’t forcing myself to do so. This project increased my productivity.

My advice for someone who wants to do a project like this is, first of all, to do it. Actually decide to start and follow through. I took things one week at a time (which is why I called it “Weekly Photo Project”), so if I happened to fail at one week I wouldn’t feel like I failed the whole project. It’s easier to say, “I have just three days left” than “I have 147 days to go!” Taking things in small chunks was mentally very helpful. My advice would be to schedule breaks, perhaps once a quarter or maybe at the mid-point, to allow yourself the opportunity to guilt-free miss a day or week. I found that the winter, with its cold and short days, was the hardest. The second half of the project was much easier than the first because habits were setting in.

I’m not continuing this project because I have other things that I want to devote my time and energy towards. I will still be photographically exercising because I want to continue to build my camera skills, but it will be different exercises, such as the Film Simulation Challenge. It was great to do, and I’m very happy that I completed this project, as it was very beneficial to me, but I’m glad that it’s now over.

I’ve selected one picture to represent each week for the second half of this project. I did this already for Weeks 1-26. Some weeks I had several good pictures to choose from, and some weeks I had seven mediocre ones. That’s just the way it goes. I hope you’ve enjoyed following this project, and I hope that it has been an inspiration to you.

Week 27

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

Week 28

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Brush Strokes Over The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 29

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Wide Load Chairs Out In The Cold – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 30

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Shopping Cart Return – Roy, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 31

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

Week 32

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

Week 33

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

Week 34

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Fresh Neighborhood Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 35

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It’s Lit – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 36

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Neon Reflection – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 37

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Frozen Reservoir – Causey Reservoir, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 38

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Ilford Delta 100'

Oquirhh Rain – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 39

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Vibrant Flowerbed – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 40

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Colorful Cactus Blooms – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 41

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Yellow Palo Verde – Black Canyon, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 42

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Treeline Impressions – Eagle Island SP, ID – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 43

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Dark Cloud Over The Dark Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 44

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Red Tricycle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 45

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The Corporate Ladder – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 46

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Morning Mountain Rain – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 47

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Blue Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 48

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Waterfall Into The Ogden River – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 49

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Wearing Grandpa’s Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 50

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Monochrome Sunset – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 51

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Traffic Lamp – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Week 52

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Onaqui Wild Horses – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

 

Current Fujifilm Deals

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There aren’t a whole lot of headline deals on Fujifilm currently, but if you’ve been eyeing the X-E3, it’s nicely discounted and right now stands as the best bargain among Fujifilm X cameras. GFX still has the discounted bodies, and if you’ve wanted to get into medium-format, $4,000 will get you a camera, which was unfathomable just last year.

Fujifilm X Cameras:

Fujifilm X100F Silver $1,170
Fujifilm X-T20 (Body Only) $700
Fujifilm X-T20 w/16-50mm lens $800
Fujifilm X-T20 w/18-55mm lens $1,000
Fujifilm X-E3 (Body Only) $600
Fujifilm X-E3 w/23mm f/2 lens $850
Fujifilm X-E3 w/18-55mm lens $900
Fujifilm X-H1 (Body Only) w/power grip $1,300
Fujifilm X-Pro2 (Body Only) $1,500
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Graphite w/23mm f/2 lens $1,950
Fujifilm X-T100 (Body Only) Dark Silver $400
Fujifilm XF10 $450

Fujifilm X Lenses:

Rokinon 12mm f/2 $275
Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye $270
Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 $400

Fujifilm GFX Cameras:

Fujifilm GFX 50R (Body Only) $4,000
Fujifilm GFX 50S (Body Only) $5,500

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Eterna Low-Contrast Film Simulation Recipe


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Gap of Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Eterna Low-Contrast”

After choosing my Eterna film simulation recipe for the Film Simulation Challenge, I thought it might be interesting to attempt a low-contrast Eterna recipe. I wanted to replicating the look of low-cost color negative film, but I didn’t have any specific film in mind, and didn’t do any of my typical film research. What I did do was play with the settings until I found something that I thought might look good. Even though Eterna is supposed to look cinematic, I’ve found it to be a great starting point for color negative aesthetics, and in the case of this recipe, it sometimes roughly resembles Fujifilm C200 and it sometimes (oftentimes?) doesn’t.

I almost didn’t share this recipe. I do sometimes create film simulation recipes that I don’t share, usually because I’m not happy with the results. There’s something not right about it, so I keep it to myself, and either shelve it or attempt to improve it. I was really on the fence with this one. On one hand it can sometimes produce really lovely results, and on the other hand it can be too flat and boring. It seems to require strong light and bright colors, and it makes something beautiful and soft out of it. Even outside of those parameters it can occasionally render a picture quite nice, but often it just delivers a boring rendition. It’s for those times where it might be the just-right recipe that I decided to share it, and hopefully it will be useful to some of you.

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Stock Photography – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Eterna Low-Contrast”

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -2
Shadow: -1
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -4
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
White Balance: 5900K, -3 Red & +3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using my Eterna Low-Contrast film simulation recipe on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Red – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sunset In The City – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Vintage & Antique – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Been Better – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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No Trespassing – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Everyone Has A Cross To Bear – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joe Shortino – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Good Stuff – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Shopping Cart Line – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cart – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Fishing For A Laugh – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sitting In The Evening Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jo Cool – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Kitchen Towel Roll – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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R Is For Roesch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Too Many Coffee Beans – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Third Wheel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Backyard Shed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Green Tree Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cottonwood Tree Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Film Simulation Challenge – Roll 3: Eterna

For this third installment of the Film Simulation Challenge, where I use the same settings for 24 or 36 exposures, similar to shooting a roll of film, I chose my Eterna film simulation recipe. This particular recipe isn’t meant to mimic the look of any real film, but nonetheless it has a color negative aesthetic. I “loaded” this “film” into my Fujifilm X-T30, and exposed 36 frames. Sometimes I had a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to the front of the camera, and sometimes I had a Fujinon 90mm f/2. Both of these lenses are fantastic. I like the way this Eterna recipe looks, and I think Eterna in general is under appreciated. Only a few cameras have this film simulation, so perhaps that’s why it’s not discussed as much as it deserves, but I think it’s great, and I was glad to use it here.

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Frame 2: Can’t See The Forest #1 – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 4: Can’t See The Forest #2 – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 8: Trying To Understand – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 9: Unsure Smile – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 10: Peeking White Clouds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Frame 12: Cotton Cloud Above The Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Frame 14: Summer’s Summit – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Frame 15: Old Wheelbarrow Tire – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Frame 16: Red Shed Roofline – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Frame 17: Rose Remains – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Frame 19: Purple Bloom Flower – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Frame 22: Line of Clouds over the Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm

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Frame 25: Junk Trailer – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 26: Eastern Sky – South Weber, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 27: Outdoor Toilet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 28: Brothers – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 30: Summer Evening Light On The Wasatch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 34: Quarrel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 35: Superhero Juice – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Frame 36: Coffee Beans In A Jar – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Roll 1: Kodachrome 64   Roll 2: Kodacolor

Arizona Highways & Vintage Kodachrome

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Last night when I checked the mail, waiting inside the metal box was the September issue of Arizona Highways. For those who may not know, this magazine has a long history of  publishing great photographs, and many renown artists have been found in its pages throughout the decades. The newest issue of Arizona Highways features many pictures from the 1950’s and 1960’s, including the cover photograph by Allen Reed, so I found it especially interesting.

As I was flipping through the pages of the magazine this morning while sipping coffee, I was drawn to the Kodachromes, which can be seen many times in this issue. I was impressed with how well my Vintage Kodachrome film simulation recipe mimics the aesthetics of these pictures. It shouldn’t be too surprising since I consulted (among other things) some old Arizona Highways magazines when I created it, but it is a bit surprising that it’s possible to get this look right out of camera. Studying this issue was good confirmation that I got those settings right, and it made me want to shoot with it more. Perhaps later this week I’ll use Vintage Kodachrome for my Film Simulation Challenge.

If you can, pick up a copy of the latest issue of Arizona Highways so you can view these pictures for yourself. Look carefully at the vintage photographs captured by Ansel Adams, Ray Manley, Chuck Abbot and others. Esther Henderson’s pictures were especially impressive, and this was my introduction to her work. It was great inspiration for me, and perhaps it will be for you, too.

 

Weekly Photo Project, Week 52

Here it is! These pictures are the final week of this photo-a-day project, taken one week at a time for 52 weeks. It’s very hard for me to believe that it’s over, but it is also a relief, and now I can tackle some other things that I’ve been putting off. There will be one more post, which will summarize the entire project. I hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing these articles and that this has been an inspiration to you in some way.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

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Hay Stack – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 – 1/1700, aperture unknown, ISO 640

Monday, July 29, 2019

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Onaqui Wild Horses – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm f/2 – 1/1900, f/6.4, ISO 640

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

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Shopping Cart Car – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/1700, f/5.6, ISO 640

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

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Pollen Collecting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm f/2 – 1/240, f/5, ISO 640

Thursday, August 1, 2019

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Jar of Coffee Beans – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm f/2 – 1/140, f/5.6, ISO 640

Friday, August 2, 2019

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Sun Bee – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/1300, f/7.1, ISO 640

Saturday, August 3, 2019

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Firesky Watchtower – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/110, f/5.6, ISO 640

Week 51  Conclusion

Film Simulation Challenge – Roll 2: Kodacolor

My first “roll of film” for the Film Simulation Challenge was Kodachrome 64. For my second “roll of film” I choose my Kodacolor film simulation recipe. I “loaded” the “Kodacolor film” into my Fujifilm X-T30 camera, which had a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it, and exposed 36 frames. The Film Simulation Challenge is where you capture 24 or 36 exposures using the same settings much like shooting a roll of film. It can be a fun (and educational) experiment to use your digital camera similarly to an analog camera.

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Frame 1: Taco – Layton, UT

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Frame 3: Sweet Job – South Weber, UT

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Frame 6: Smooths – South Weber, UT

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Frame 10: Big League – South Weber, UT

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Frame 11: Illuminated Top – South Weber, UT

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Frame 13: Setting Sun Over Suburban Street – South Weber, UT

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Frame 18: Users Own Risk – South Weber, UT

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Frame 23: Stop Voting Only One Way – South Weber, UT

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Frame 24: Red Stripe – South Weber, UT

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Frame 26: Hiding Behind The Tree Branches – Farmington, UT

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Frame 28: Colorful Urban Nature – Farmington, UT

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Frame 32: Not A Clock – Farmington, UT

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Frame 34: Moon Beyond The Maverik – South Weber, UT

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Frame 35: Gas At Night – South Weber, UT

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Frame 36: Night Pumps – South Weber, UT

Roll 3: Eterna

Weekly Photo Project, Week 51

I love using vintage lenses. They add character to the image. Modern lenses are great, but they are also precision engineered, which means that they lack flaws. It’s flaws that give these old lenses personality. Each picture this week was captured with an old, manual lens attached to the front of my Fujifilm X-T30.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Antique Tricycle – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 – 1/125, aperture unknown, ISO 3200

Monday, July 22, 2019

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Country Sunflower – Downey, ID – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 – 1/200, aperture unknown, ISO 5000

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

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Waiving Flag – Draper, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 – 1/9000, aperture unknown, ISO 640

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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Morning Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 – 1/200, aperture unknown, ISO 6400

Thursday, July 25, 2019

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Coffee Beans – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Helios 103 – 1/200, aperture unknown, ISO 3200

Friday, July 26, 2019

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Summer Green Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 – 1/200, aperture unknown, ISO 5000

Saturday, July 27, 2019

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Traffic Lamp – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2 – 1/2000, aperture unknown, ISO 640

Week 50   Week 52

Weekly Photo Project, Week 50

This week is represented by a hodgepodge of pictures. Overall these seven days were fairly productive, with the usual couple of barely-productive days thrown in. You might note that there are only two weeks left, which I’ve actually already completed, so in real time this project is finished, but I still have more to share on this blog. Expect those posts shortly, with a wrap-up article to nicely tie a bow around this whole thing.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

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Monochrome Sunset – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/1600, f/5.6, ISO 640

Monday, July 15, 2019

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Faux Flowers Monochrome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 4000

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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Kodak Flying Disc – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/640, f/9, ISO 640

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Cottonwood Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/200, f/13, ISO 640

Thursday, July 18, 2019

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Unlocked Gate – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/3500, f/5.6, ISO 640

Friday, July 19, 2019

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Shelf Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/120, f/2, ISO 6400

Saturday, July 20, 2019

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Gold Medal – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm f/2 – 1/680, f/5, ISO 640

Week 49   Week 51

Film Simulation Challenge – 1st Roll: Kodachrome 64

Last week I introduced the Film Simulation Challenge, which is where you pick one film simulation recipe and shoot either 24 or 36 frames before changing settings. It’s kind of like loading your camera with a roll of film, and you are stuck with whatever film you loaded until that roll is completely exposed. This challenge is the digital equivalent of that analog issue. I thought it would be a fun experiment to encourage photographic vision while sharing the joy of Fujifilm X cameras.

For my first attempt at the Film Simulation Challenge, I chose my Kodachrome 64 recipe. I “loaded a roll” of “Kodachrome” into my Fujifilm X-T30, which had a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it, and shot 36 exposures at a park in Layton, Utah. I did this in the late morning, and unsurprisingly the light was quite harsh, which wasn’t the best match for this particular film simulation recipe. But I stuck with it, just like I would have done in the film days. I used quite a few of the middle frames attempting hand-held slow-shutter exposures to blur moving water, making a number of tries, and ending up with a few frames that were sharp and a bunch that weren’t. I didn’t capture any spectacular pictures, but sometimes that happens with a roll of film, too. I will try another day in a different light and hopefully get better results.

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Frame 1: Sprinkler Rainbow #1

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Frame 2: Sprinkler Rainbow #2

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Frame 5: Sun Tree

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Frame 6: Grasshopper

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Frame 8: Ducks Beyond The Fence

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Frame 12: Branch Over River

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Frame 25: Water Over Rocks #1

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Frame 31: Water Over Rocks #2

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Frame 34: Bright Yellow Blooms

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Frame 35: Lots of Yellow Blooms

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Frame 36: Bright Seagull

Roll 2: Kodacolor

 

Kodachrome Compared

I have made film simulation recipes for all three major eras of Kodachrome film. The first recipe is called Vintage Kodachrome, which simulates the look of pre-1960’s Kodachrome. The next recipe is Kodachrome II, which mimics the look of 1960’s through mid-1970’s era of the film. The latest recipe is Kodachrome 64, which resembles the final version of the film, from 1974 through 2009.

You might wonder how these settings, which all share the Kodachrome name, compare to each other. Well, I made multiple versions of the same images to see. I wanted to place them against each other to observe their differences. It’s interesting to see how they render the same scene differently. Vintage Kodachrome is the most dissimilar. Kodachrome II and Kodachrome 64 sometimes look very similar (much like the real film), and sometimes there’s an obvious difference. One reason why they might be noticeably different is because the Kodachrome II recipe uses auto-white-balance while the Kodachrome 64 recipe doesn’t. You could use warming or cooling filters in conjunction with the Kodachrome 64 recipe (much like the real film) in order to better control the white balance. I sometimes did this back when I shot actual Kodachrome, but I haven’t tried it with the recipe.

I surprised myself in that I prefer the Kodachrome 64 versions more often than the Kodachrome II. I have said many times that Kodachrome II is one of my all-time favorite recipes, but I think I might prefer the new version just slightly more. It’s a close call, though, and in certain situations Kodachrome II would probably be the better choice.  Which recipe do you prefer? Which version of Kodachrome is the winner in this comparison?

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

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Vintage Kodachrome

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Kodachrome II

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Kodachrome 64

The Film Simulation Challenge

 

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#filmsimulationchallenge

Back in the analog days, I would load film into the camera, and I was stuck with whatever was in the camera until the very last frame was exposed. The most common options were 12, 24 or 36 exposures, and frequently the roll of film that I loaded was either 24 or 36 exposures. Once the film was fully exposed, I could then change to another film if I wanted, or load another roll of the same. What I appreciate about this is that you know what you’re going to get, the strengths and weaknesses of the film, and your photographic vision is tuned into that. You look for picture opportunities that best fit what the film is good at.

With digital photography, it’s easy to make the exposure first and think about the end result later. If you don’t like how it looks one way, it’s simple to change it to another look. You might even post-process one frame to have several different aesthetics and decide later which version you like best. There’s nothing wrong with this technique, but I personally find it better to consider in advance the finished photograph, and do what you can to get as close as you can to that finished picture in-camera.

One way that you can practice this using your Fujifilm X camera is to load it with “film” and force yourself to capture a predetermined number of frames with that film before changing. The film in this case is a film simulation recipe, programming into your camera in advance the one that you want to use. You tell yourself that you’ll capture 24 or 36 exposures with those settings, then, when you’re done with those frames, consider if you want to use another “film” or shoot a second “roll” of the first one. I call this the Film Simulation Challenge.

Back when I shot a lot of film, I would consider three to five good pictures from one roll of film to be average. If I got more than five good pictures from 36 exposures, that was a good day for me. If I had less than three, it wasn’t a good day, unless one of those frames was especially good. The idea with the Film Simulation Challenge is that from each “roll” of “film” that you capture, you share three to five (or more if you had a good day) of your best photos from that roll. Share it on your blog, share it Facebook, share it on Instagram, share it somewhere. You can use the hashtag #filmsimulationchallenge if you’d like. You can link to Fuji X Weekly if you want (you certainly don’t have to), or post a link to it in the comments. The purpose of this is to practice photographic vision in a fun way, while also sharing the joy of shooting with Fujifilm X cameras.

You can consider yourself officially challenged. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do, which films you choose and the pictures that you create. Best of luck in this challenge! I’ll be doing the Film Simulation Challenge, too, and I’ll share the results periodically on this blog.

My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe


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Kodachrome Slides – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

Kodachrome 64 is probably the most requested film that people have asked me to create a recipe for. Kodachrome has a long history, with the first successful version debuting in 1935 (film simulation recipe here). In the early 1960’s Kodak replaced that version of the film with Kodachrome II and Kodachrome X (film simulation recipe here). In 1974 Kodak made the final version of Kodachrome, available in ISO 25 and ISO 64 (and later ISO 200) versions. This Kodachrome was discontinued 10 years ago. Kodak also discontinued the chemicals to process Kodachrome, and nine years ago the last roll was developed. This film simulation recipe is meant to mimic the aesthetics of Kodachrome 64.

In the early 1970’s there was a movement to end Kodachrome. The process to develop the film was toxic and complex. Kodachrome is actually a black-and-white film with color added during development, which you can imagine isn’t a simple procedure. Instead of discontinuing their most popular color film, Kodak made a new version that required a less-toxic (but still toxic) and less complicated (but still complicated) development process. This appeased those who wanted the film gone, but the new version of Kodachrome was not initially well received by photographers, many of whom liked the old version better. William Eggleston, for example, who used Kodachrome extensively in his early career, wasn’t a fan of the new version, and began to use other films instead.

The photography community did come around to Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome 64. Due to Kodachrome’s sharpness, grain, color, contrast and archival characteristics, this film was a great all-around option that worked well in almost any circumstance. The film became incredibly popular, and was found on the pages of many magazines, including National Geographic, which practically made its use a requirement. Steve McCurry was perhaps the best known photographer to extensively use this era of Kodachrome. He said of the film, “It has almost a poetic look with beautiful colors that were vibrant and true to what you were shooting.”

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Onaqui Wild Horses – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

I shot many rolls of Kodachrome 64, and a few rolls of Kodachrome 25. My favorite was Kodachrome 64 because it had a little more contrast and was slightly more saturated. It was a sad day for me when Kodak discontinued it. I was just getting into digital photography at that time, and in retrospect I wish that I had paused on digital and shot a few more rolls of Kodachrome. Kodak has hinted that they might resurrect it, but I would be surprised if they actually did because of the complex development process.

When I decided to attempt a Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe for my Fujifilm X-T30, I did some experiments, and after a few tries I thought that I had it figured out. Excitingly, I snapped many frames with these settings, but then I figured that I should consult some actual Kodachrome 64 slides to make sure that it matched. It didn’t. Kodachrome 64 looked different than how I remembered it. I was close, but not close enough, so I went back to the drawing board. A handful of experiments later I got it right, which is the recipe that you see here.

Of course, the issue with all of these film simulation recipes that mimic actual film is that one film can have many different looks, depending on how it was shot, under what conditions, how it was developed, and how it’s viewed, whether through a projector or light table, a print (and how it was printed), or a scan (and how it was scanned and perhaps digitally altered, and the monitor). There are a ton of variables! Kodachrome looks best when viewed by projector, no doubt about it, but that’s not how Kodachrome is seen today, unless you own a projector and have some slides. While I don’t think that this recipe will ever match the magic of projected Kodachrome, I do think it’s a close approximation of the film and it deserves to share the famed name.

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Mayhem – Tooele, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Kodachrome 64”

I have Grain set to Weak, but I feel that when using this recipe at higher ISOs Grain should be set to Off. While I chose DR400, in low-contrast situations DR200 is a good Dynamic Range option. For X-Trans III cameras, which obviously don’t have Color Chrome Effect, this recipe will still work and will appear nearly identical, but it will produce a slightly different look. To modify this recipe for Kodachrome 25, I suggest setting Shadow to +1, Color to -1, Grain to Off, and Sharpness to +3.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
White Balance: Daylight, +2 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Shopping Cart Car – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Traffic Lamp – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Tricycle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hay Stack – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Pony Express Trail – Faust, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wild Horse Country – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wild Horse Grazing – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lonely Horse – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wild & Free – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Onaqui Horses – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Spotted Green – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Grassland – Dugway, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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In The Dust – Faust, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Roar Forever – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jon In The Backyard – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Big Wheel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Evening Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Look Up To The Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lavender Bee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lavender Sunset – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sunset Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sun Kissed Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Summer Tree Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jar of Coffee Beans – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Beans To Grind – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sugar Dish – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Morning Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Processed by Kodak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Kodachrome 64 for X-Trans II

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