Defending Tatsuo Suzuki

This will be a controversial post. I’m a bit hesitant to publish it, because it will cause a stir, and I’m not looking for trouble. The Fuji X Weekly audience has been extraordinarily civil, which is something I’m extremely grateful for, as the internet can oftentimes be the exact opposite of civil. The internet has a way of bringing out the worst in people, perhaps because they can hide behind anonymity, or maybe there is a disconnect that makes interactions seem a bit less human; whatever the reason, people sometimes are rude or downright mean on the web. I’m asking right up front for civility and human kindness in regards to this article.

The video at the top, entitled My Milestone, was produced by Fujifilm to promote the X100V. It was promptly removed by Fujifilm because of public outcry. The featured photographer, Tatsuo Suzuki, is controversial, not for his images, but for how he captures those images. This video created quite a stir on the internet, and the worst in people showed up strongly in the comments of various articles regarding the video.

Here’s another video that shows Suzuki’s photographs and technique:

It seems as though the majority of people are against Suzuki’s style and agree that the video is controversial, and they believe that Fujifilm should never have associated themselves with him. Fujirumors and PetaPixel even conducted polls that confirm it. Now Suzuki is no longer a Fuji X Ambassador, either because Fujifilm dropped him or he dropped them. I’m going to go against popular opinion and defend Tatsuo Suzuki. The reaction to the Fujifilm video has been a huge overreaction.

As best as I can gather, what Suzuki did in the video that sparked all the outrage is demonstrate his “aggressive” style of shooting. He’s very much “in your face” as he walks the streets of Tokyo with his camera. It comes across as rude, as he invades people’s personal bubbles. My opinion is that he does this because, in Japan, people are extremely guarded, and the photographs that he captures, which are very good, would be impossible with any other technique. It’s the technique that he chooses to use in order to fulfill his photographic vision. It’s abrasive, yes, but also effective.

Suzuki is not the first to use this aggressive technique nor is he the most extreme with it. Bruce Gilden, Garry Winogrand and Eric Kim come to mind, and I’m sure there are many others. These are all successful and celebrated, albeit controversial, photographers, including Suzuki. They are far from the only controversial photographers out there. Even the legendary Steve McCurry has been called controversial at times. My point is this: just because you disagree with something doesn’t make it wrong.

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Man In Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Was Suzuki doing anything illegal? No. In Japan, and many parts of the world, this type of photography is legal. Was he acting different than you or most people might act in public? Yes. Just because you don’t go around taking unsolicited closeup pictures of strangers doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to do so. Is it strange? Yes. Wrong? Not necessarily.

There’s a trend right now to shut down debate when faced with a differing opinion. If there’s something that you disagree with, it’s become common to attack the person whom one disagrees with. It used to be that people could “agree to disagree” and still be kind and caring and remain friends. Nowadays, if someone says or does something that you disagree with, you might attack their character and call them all sorts of names, demanding that they be stripped of their dignity until they change their ways. That’s exactly what I’ve seen in this debate. It’s really nasty and harmful. Those who go to war with their words against someone who did or said something that they disagree with, those people are the ones that stop dialogue, who encourage hate, and stifle civility. It’s good to say, “I don’t appreciate the way he conducts himself.” It’s not alright to call him all sorts of mean names and tear apart his character bit by bit.

I don’t know Tatsuo Suzuki personally. For all I know he’s the nicest guy in the world. Perhaps he helps little old ladies cross the street and rescues cats from trees and does all sorts of good deeds. Maybe he’s the “jerk” that people have been calling him, but maybe that couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t know. I don’t know. Why assume the worst in him when you don’t know him? We’d all be better off if we assumed the best in others.

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Ghosts of the Past – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

When I do street photography, I like to be the guy that nobody notices who stealthily gets the shot without being seen. One of the big reasons why I do this is fear, but I tell myself that it’s also out of respect for those I might be photographing. Is that really the best approach? I noticed that a lot of people called Suzuki a “creep” because of how he conducts himself when he photographs. But what is creepier: the guy in the shadows hiding and lurking or the guy who makes it completely obvious to everyone around him exactly what he’s doing? While it’s much more shocking to see Suzuki at work, I wonder how shocked people would be to find out someone has been secretly photographing them without them noticing? While ignorance is bliss, I do think being open and honest is better than being secretive and sneaky. Most people don’t have the guts to be open and honest in candid street photography, so they hide.

You might be saying to all of this, “So what?” There’s something that happened to me a number of years ago. Somebody that I don’t know wrote a college paper on the evils of Photoshop. They argued that manipulating photographs of woman was causing a self-esteem crisis among young girls. I had written an article (for a different photography blog) defending Steve McCurry’s use of Photoshop. Remember when that was a big deal? Anyway, whoever this person was that wrote the paper quoted (really, misquoted) me in it, taking my words out of context, and made it seem as though I wanted young girls to have self-esteem problems. It was completely absurd! The university published this paper on their website. Someone that didn’t know me assumed the worst in me based on a quote that they didn’t understand, and unfairly attacked my character. That was completely wrong of them to do it! The lesson here is that we have to be very cautious not to do the same to others that this person did to me. Thankfully, I don’t think anybody cared what the paper said and nothing negative came out of it. In the case of Suzuki, someone did care what was said and something negative did come out of it.

Fujifilm knew who Tatsuo Suzuki was when they invited him to be an ambassador. They knew who he was when they made the promotional video for their product. They should have stood by him and defended him. If they lost a few customers over it, that’s alright because they knew who he was and despite that (because of that?) decided to partner with him. It seems pretty crummy to toss him aside just because some people complained. It also seems crummy that people don’t care to understand Suzuki’s point of view, and prefer the easy route of character assassination instead. I think that the best advice moving forward is to take a deep breath and examine ourselves first before biting someone’s head off. We have two ears and one mouth, so we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. Or, in this case, slow to type.

Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm just announced the much anticipated X100V, which replaces the much loved X100F. The X100 series hasn’t changed much externally since it began. This is one of the most beautifully designed cameras in the digital era, so why change it? There’s no reason, so Fujifilm doesn’t. The X100V looks nearly identical to the original X100. What’s different is internal.

Fujifilm redesigned the lens. It looks the same and has the same specs, but with improved sharpness, particularly corner sharpness wide-open. The rear screen now tilts and is a touch-screen. Unfortunately, and this is perhaps the biggest external change, the D-Pad is now gone, but this isn’t a huge deal, as you get used to the touch controls pretty quickly. The viewfinder has been given a small upgrade. The X100V is weather-resistant, which is not the same as weather-sealed; it’s designed to handle the elements a little better than previous versions.

The biggest upgrade for this camera is the X-Trans IV sensor and processor. This is the same sensor and processor found in the X-T3, X-T30 and X-Pro3, yet the X100V has the new features found in the X-Pro3 that aren’t (yet) found in the X-T3 and X-T30, including the Classic Negative film simulation. The X100V is faster, more feature-rich, and has better video capabilities than the X100F.

Fujifilm X100V

Is the X100V a camera that you should buy? Whenever a new camera is released, it’s easy to want it. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype. It’s easy to have camera envy. The X100V will be a fantastic camera, no doubt about it! The X100 series cameras are easy to love. But should you really drop everything and order your copy today?

My opinion is this: if you already own the X100F, keep it! The upgrade isn’t significant enough to justify buying the new model. The X100F and the X100V are very similar to each other. If you wear out your X100F, then buy the new model, but if it still works just fine, don’t change cameras. If you have an older model, such as the original X100, X100S or X100T and are considering upgrading, I say sure, why not? But if those cameras still work and bring you joy, why rush to get the new model? If you are trying to decide between the X100F and X100V and money is no issue, go with the X100V, which is a little better than its predecessor. But if you are like most people and have a tight budget, the X100F is nearly as good and can be found for a little cheaper.

The X100V will be released on February 27 with an MSRP of $1,400.

This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking my links.

Fujifilm X100V black:   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X100V silver:   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X100F black:   B&H   Amazon
Fujifilm X100F silver:   B&H   Amazon

An interesting side note: I predicted that this version of the X100 would be called the X100V way back in September of 2017. The “S” in X100S stands for second, the “T” in X100T stands for third, and the “F” in X100F stands for fourth, so nobody really knew what the next one would be called. Some predicted X200, or X110, or X110F, or X100N (“N” for new or next), or X100A (because A is the first letter of the alphabet), or X100Z (because Z is the last letter of the aphabet). I took a guess at “V” because it’s the Roman numeral for five, and this is the fifth iteration of the X100. I have no idea what the next one after the X100V might be called. Any guesses?

My Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Kodacolor Film Simulation Recipe


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Man in Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Kodacolor”

Yesterday I published my Kodachrome 64 recipe for X-Trans II cameras, such as my Fujifilm X-T1, and today I will share with you my Kodacolor recipe for X-Trans II! Because this Kodacolor recipe requires the Classic Chrome film simulation, those with X-Trans I cameras can’t use it, but those with X-Trans II or Bayer sensor cameras can. While I got the overall aesthetic pretty darn close to the original Kodacolor recipe for X-Trans III and IV, the one thing that I wish I could change is the grain. Newer Fujifilm cameras have faux grain options, but older ones don’t. If you want to mimic the grain in-camera, your best option is to use a higher ISO, such as 3200 or 6400, and let the digital noise act as faux grain. Otherwise, I’m quite pleased with how this Kodacolor film simulation recipe turned out.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1 (Medium-High)
Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
Color: -2 (Low)
Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: 6300K, -3 Red & -2 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodacolor recipe on my Fujifilm X-T1:

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Front Runner – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Fro – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Cross at Crosswalks – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Look Both Ways – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Pipe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Rusty Shadows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Stop by the Rack – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Nord’s Stop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Mall Across the Mud – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Pond Among Reeds – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Grass on the Water – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Lake Reflection – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Antelope Island Beyond Farmington Bay – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Camera Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Green is Good for My Soul – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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My Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe


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Sun Roof – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Kodachrome 64”

One of my favorite film simulation recipes is Kodachrome 64. It’s also one of the most popular recipes on Fuji X Weekly. Those with X-Trans III and IV cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T30 that I created it on, have been enjoying it since August, but those with X-Trans II cameras—X-T1, X-T10, X-E2, X-E2s, X100T, and X70—have been left out of the fun. Those with Bayer sensor cameras, such as the X-T100, XF10, X-A7, etc., have been out of luck, too. That all changes, starting now. I have cracked the code, and created a Kodachrome 64 recipe for my X-Trans II camera! Unfortunately, it won’t work on the X100, X100S, X-E1 or X-Pro1 because it requires the Classic Chrome film simulation, which those cameras don’t have. But those who own a Fujifilm X-Trans II or Bayer camera, which do have Classic Chrome, I’m sure will appreciate this Kodachrome 64 recipe.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +2 (High)
Shadow: +1 (Medium-High)
Color: 0 (Medium)
Sharpness: 0 (Medium)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Daylight, 0 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodachrome 64 recipe on my Fujifilm X-T1:

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Watered Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Reflection in the Grass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Reed Grass – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Reeds In Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Sisters on a Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Red Mustang – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Wrangler – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Parking Lot Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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January Evening Hill – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Rooftop Birds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Suburban Silver Lining – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Coffee Cup – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Prerequisite – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Yellow Pillows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Smiling Jon – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also: First three Fujifilm X-T1 Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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