Breathing Fresh Air into Your Photography with Fujifilm — An Interview with Matt Giesow of VAST Media

Photo by Matt Giesow

I wanted to follow-up my interview with Troy Paiva (click here to read it), which wasn’t directly related to Fujifilm cameras and Film Simulation Recipes (although it was highly relatable), with something directly connected to the topics that are typically found on the Fuji X Weekly blog. Just as I was contemplating who I was going to interview and what the exact subject might be, I received a message from Matt Giesow of VAST Media, a photo and video production company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “I have been running my production company for nearly five years now,” Matt told me, “and picking up a Fuji has been a breath of fresh air.” He stated that using Film Simulation Recipes on his camera allowed him to deliver some images immediately to the client, and that his JPEG workflow is “so nice.”

His words echoed in my head for the rest of that day. I felt similarly when I first started in Fujifilm: it was like a breath of fresh air—cool, crisp, mountain air. That was before I had even discovered the great JPEG output of the cameras, and before I had begun to make recipes. It must be even more refreshing nowadays, with so many resources available—such as Fuji X Weekly. It’s an honor to help others also experience that “fresh air” that Fujifilm cameras can provide. I knew that I wanted the next interview to be with Matt, so the following morning I asked if he’d be willing. Thankfully, he was very enthusiastic, and we were able to accomplish it rather quickly. So, without any further delay, here’s my interview with Matt Giesow!

Photo by Matt Giesow

FXW: Hi, Matt! Thank you so much for taking time out of your day today to do this interview! Let’s begin at the beginning. Tell me how you got started in photography?

Matt Giesow: Hey, Ritchie! I’m a self-taught photographer, dating back to 2017 from “YouTube University”—that, and being on staff at a pretty creative church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, created a great launching pad into the world of photography and videography. 

FXW: What was your first camera?

Matt Giesow: An iPhone 4 and the VSCO app. My first camera purchased to learn photography on was the Canon 80D.

Photo by Matt Giesow

FXW: What were your early photographic interests?

Matt Giesow: I remember when instagram first came out, I tried to make my shots look like film using Insta’s built-in filters [laughter]. Today and I’m still interested in photographing people, places, and things with a nostalgic vintage look. 

FXW: What are your current photographic interests? What do you shoot just for fun?

Matt Giesow: I enjoy street photography. Exploring cities—both ones I know and ones that I’ve not yet been to—and finding hidden gems to capture. I also enjoy photographing my family (I’m a proud dad), documenting all of our memories.

Photo by Matt Giesow

FXW: Tell me about your production company. How did you get started with that?

Matt Giesow: VAST Media started about four years ago with a desire for me to create what could exist. We primarily focus within architecture and the real estate market. I have grown the business from a solo entrepreneur to a full team and a full service company now. It’s been amazing to be a part of it from day one—with the vision of the company—to now continuing to work within the company and have several people alongside me helping to move it forward.

Photo by Matt Giesow

FXW: What services do you provide?

Matt Giesow: VAST provides real estate listing marketing, brand advertising, and full-scale video production for anyone—from a business owner to a real estate agent to major organizations—that need to share their brand and story.

FXW: What else would you like people to know about VAST Media?

Matt Giesow: What I want people to know is that VAST Media is more than a single person with a camera. From the moment it launched, my goal was to make it not about me but about we. Often people get stuck relying on one solo creative. I wanted to create a brand that, no matter who showed up from my team, was consistent, and the brand was apparent—it’s all under one umbrella, and the product was not contingent upon a single person.

Photo by Matt Giesow

FXW: What made you pick up a Fujifilm camera?

Matt Giesow: Shooting with Sony cameras throughout most of my professional career, I always wondered about owning a Fuji. This last year I began to experiment with 35mm film photography. I realized very quickly that I love the process of shooting film, but I always want my images right away [laughter]. I found the solution to my problem on the Fuji X Weekly website, where I discovered Film Simulation Recipes. I began to see what shooters like me were doing to scratch that itch. I headed to eBay and quickly found an overpriced Fujifilm X100V and went for it. The X100V is my first and only Fujifilm camera at the moment.

Photo by Matt Giesow

FXW: What do you like most about it?

Matt Giesow: It’s been a dream to shoot with! So small—it’s a daily carry. I find myself pulling the car off numerous times throughout the day to get out and snap something that, in the past, I would have used my iPhone to capture. I love shooting straight out of camera with the film simulations baked in. It’s totally changed the way I shoot! Enjoying the process now, something that only 35mm film had given me before. 

FXW: Which Film Simulation Recipes do you like best and why?

Matt Giesow: Classic Negative is my go-to recipe in most scenarios for color. It fits the vibe and style that for years I tried to edit my Sony photos to look like. It’s perfect for street photography, travel—the reds are just gorgeous! Reggie’s Portra and Kodak Gold 200 are some other big favorites. For black-and-white, Ilford XP2 Super 400 is my go-to for darker, punchier pictures, and Ilford HP5 Plus 400 is my favorite for slightly softer, less contrasty black and white photos. 

Photo by Matt Giesow

FXW: How has using Fujifilm cameras impacted your professional photography and your personal photography?

Matt Giesow: Honestly, picking up a FujiFilm camera has been a breath of fresh air. Over the years I’ve invested a great deal in filling our gear lockers at VAST Media, but I’ve never had a personal connection with a camera quite like I do with my X100V. For me, shooting with a fixed focal length, and working so hard to nail the perfect shot in-camera is causing me to sharpen areas of my craft that I didn’t even realize were dull.  This in turn has kindled a new passion for photography that makes me feel like I did back in the beginning. The X100V doesn’t replace my ”professional” arsenal, but it’s a happy addition to every set I am on. The ability to take incredible behind-the-scenes photos on-set straight out of camera and deliver something right to the client’s hands before leaving is something very new—and I love it!

Photo by Matt Giesow

FXW: In wrapping this up, is there anything else you’d like to say?

Matt Giesow: A big “thank you” to you, Ritchie, for Fuji X Weekly! The Fuji community is just a different breed—friendly, helpful, and encouraging. It’s so great.

FXW: Thanks again, Matt, for allowing me to interview you!

Matt Giesow: Cheers!

Please visit VAST Media’s website, VAST Media’s Instagram, and Matt Giesow’s Instagram! Be sure to give him a follow, and tap the heart on some of his pictures.

All of the photographs in this article are © Matt Giesow, who captured them using his Fujifilm X100V and various Film Simulation Recipes.

Visiting Five National Parks …with RitchieCam!

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Color Negative — Arches National Park

This year I’ve had the opportunity to visit five different National Parks! I love going to National Parks to experience the wonder of nature. They’re great for photography, and they’re great for the soul. Anytime the opportunity arrises to visit a National Park, I jump at it. In winter, I traveled to Arches National Park in southern Utah, Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah, and Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming. In spring, I visited Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah and Hot Springs National Park in central Arkansas. These are wonderful locations that are worth the effort to experience!

While my main cameras are Fujifilm—such as the X100V and X-E4—I also use my iPhone for photography. Chase Jarvis famously coined, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” He was specifically stating that if your cellphone is your only option, then it’s the best option; however, I would go a step further and say that your cellphone can be used in conjunction with your main cameras. Why? Your phone might have a different focal length than the lens on your camera (versatility). It’s quicker and easier to share the pictures from your phone (convenience). You don’t have to think about the settings (simplicity). Your phone is more easily portable—you can have it with you when your camera isn’t as practical to bring along (compactness). It doesn’t have to be either your camera or your phone—it can be both, and I used both on my visits to these five National Parks.

Of course, when I photograph with my iPhone, I use my very own RitchieCam App, which is a streamlined camera app with no-edit filters. RitchieCam is intended to help you capture everyday moments—including those that happen while visiting National Parks—more beautifully while maintaining simplicity (anyone can use it, not just photographers). The app is free to download and use—becoming a RitchieCam Patron unlocks the app’s full capabilities. If you have an iPhone, be sure to download RitchieCam today (click here)!

I utilized RitchieCam on my iPhone to photograph these National Parks, and so did others in my family: my wife (Amanda), my daughter (Joy), and my son (Jonathan)—they used RitchieCam, too! While most of the pictures in this article were captured by me, there are a few that they took. After our visits, it’s a lot of fun sharing our photos with each other. We all love going to National Parks, and being able to share the photographic experiences—thanks to RitchieCam—makes it even better.

Arches National Park — Utah

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Instant Color 3

If you love unusual rock formations, Arches National Park in southeastern Utah is the place for you! Protruding from the high-desert sand are massive red rocks, which form bluffs, pinnacles, balancing acts, and (of course) arches. There are over 2,000 arches within the National Park, which is the highest concentration of stone arches in the world! Several movies have had scenes filmed in this National Park, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Thelma and Louise, and Hulk, among others.

Arches National Park is a great place to visit anytime of the year; however, it can be extremely crowded in the summer (not to mention hot), so the winter is my favorite season. It snowed while we were there—a somewhat rare occurrence, although it does happen at least a few days each winter. I loved photographing the park blanketed in white snow, but it melted quickly, and was mostly gone by the end of the day. While we only spent one day in Arches National Park, we made a lifetime of memories there.

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Analog Gold
iPhone 7 — RitchieCam — Analog Gold — Photo by Jonathan
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Standard Film
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade

Canyonlands National Park — Utah

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Faded Film

The day after our Arches visit, we went to the nearby Canyonlands National Park. While Arches can get packed with people, I’ve never seen a crowd at Canyonlands—I’m sure it happens, but I’ve always found plenty of solitude. The Colorado River goes through both Canyonlands and the Grand Canyon, and they’re both on the Colorado Plateau—both are indeed natural wonders, and there are certainly some similarities between them, yet each offers a unique experience for visitors. Picking a favorite National Park is a difficult and unfair endeavor, but Canyonlands is without a doubt one of my top picks—maybe not number one, but definitely top five.

The reason why Canyonlands was on Day 2 and not Day 1 of our National Parks adventure is because it was closed the day prior due to the snowfall. A dusting of snow in Arches was a blizzard in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands, which sits about 6,000′ above sea level, and about 1,000′ higher than the terrain below. Thankfully, by the time we arrived, most of the snow had melted, and we had a fun day hiking, taking in the incredible canyon views that this park offers.

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Standard Film
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Vibrant Color
iPhone SE — RitchieCam — Analog Color — Photo by Joy
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Dramatic B&W

Bryce Canyon National Park — Utah

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Standard Film

In southwestern Utah is Bryce Canyon National Park, which is known for its vibrant red hoodoos. While I’ve visited the nearby Zion National Park a couple of times, I had never made it to Bryce Canyon until this last spring. Wow! I was really missing out—Bryce Canyon is absolutely incredible! It’s a National Park that everyone should experience at least once, if they can. While Zion is quite nice, too, if you only have time for one or the other, I would go to Bryce Canyon.

The elevation of the park varies between 6,600′ and 9,100′ depending on where you’re at. Despite “canyon” in its name, Bryce Canyon is technically not a canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters. To really experience the park you’ll want to put on your hiking shoes; however, don’t expect an easy trail, as the paths are often steep and full of switchbacks. It’s completely worthwhile, though, and, if you are physically able to do it, I highly recommend going down a trail or two while you’re there.

iPhone 13 Pro — RitchieCam — Vibrant Color — Photo by Amanda
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Standard Film
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade

Grand Teton National Park — Wyoming

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Color Negative Low

The Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming is an amazing sight to behold! I had been once before—in late-spring several years ago—and this was my first winter visit. Unfortunately, the park was much less accessible this time, due to snow. Jackson Hole is a ski destination, so there were lots of tourists, but most of my favorite photography spots (that I was hoping to return to) were closed. I would say that it was disappointing, but when you view the towering range, despite the conditions, it’s impossible to be disappointed—it just made me eager to come again in a different season.

Within Grand Teton National Park are eight peaks that are over 12,000′ above sea level. The location of Ansel Adams’ famous Snake River Overlook picture is well marked and (normally) easily accessible—I had to hike through some knee-deep snow to get to it on this trip. Definitely worth seeing, but perhaps winter isn’t the best time.

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Analog Color
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Instant Color 1
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Instant Color 1
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Dramatic B&W

Hot Springs National Park — Arkansas

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade

Perhaps the strangest National Park I’ve ever experienced is Hot Springs National Park. Located in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, this park is free to visit (although the observation tower has a fee to access), but there’s not much to see. You can self-tour one of the bathhouses (which is now the visitors center). There are a couple of rather-ordinary springs that you can view—unfortunately, most of the springs are oddly capped with metal encasements. There are some trails that twist up a hill (along with a road), and at the top is a tower, which offers breathtaking views of the southern Ozarks. None of it comes close to the grandness that I have come to expect from National Parks, or even many state parks.

I was surprised by the beauty of this region. I liked Hot Springs. The National Park was a good place to spend a few hours. But I left wondering why in the world this was a National Park, because it doesn’t seem like it should be. It’s worth visiting if you’re in the area (and the area is worth visiting), but I wouldn’t make a special trip just to see Hot Springs National Park. Still, we had a good time, and made some family memories, and that’s what really matters.

iPhone 13 Pro — RitchieCam — Sunny Day — Photo by Amanda
iPhone 13 Pro — RitchieCam — Sunny Day — Photo by Amanda
iPhone 13 Pro — RitchieCam — Instant Color 1 — Photo by Amanda
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade

There are 63 National Parks in America, and someday I hope to visit them all. It will take years—probably a lifetime! Five in one year is a good lot, and maybe the opportunity will arise to visit even more before January rolls around. I hope so. And if I do, not only will I bring my Fujifilm cameras, but my iPhone, too.

Find RitchieCam in the iOS App Store!

SOOC is LIVE on Thursday!

The next SOOC episode will be live on Thursday, August 11! Join Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry and myself as we finish our discussion of the Fujicolor Pro 400H Film Simulation Recipe and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month: Vintage Agfacolor. The PreShow starts at 9:30 AM Pacific, 12:30 PM Eastern Time; if you can’t make the PreShow, be sure to tune in by 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern to catch the broadcast.

For those who don’t know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different Film Simulation Recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

If you missed the last episode when it was live, you can watch it below:

See you on Thursday!

Fujifilm X-Trans III + X-T3/X-T30 Film Simulation Recipe: Melancholy Blue

Pops of Pink – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Melancholy Blue”

For this Film Simulation Recipe I wanted to combine the beautiful blues of the new Pacific Blues recipe with the dark moodiness of the Vintage Agfacolor recipe. The result is a slightly melancholic aesthetic that can also produce dramatic results in certain circumstances. It’s great for daylight photography—delivering interesting (yet quite dissimilar) results in both overcast and bright sunlight conditions, including Low Key photography—and it also seems like a good option for some artificial light situations. Despite its versatility, it’s not a recipe that everyone will love; however, I know that a few of you will really appreciate it.

Unless your camera is an X-Pro3 or newer, you cannot save a white balance shift with your C1-C7 custom presets; however, your camera will remember one shift per white balance type, so if each C1-C7 recipe uses a different white balance type, you won’t have to remember to change the shift when you change recipes. There aren’t very many recipes that use the Incandescent White Balance, but now you have another recipe option if you are using this method.

Enlightened Nature – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Melancholy Blue”

This “Melancholy Blue” Film Simulation Recipe is intended for Fujifilm X-Trans III cameras, plus the X-T3 and X-T30. I used it on my Fujifilm X-H1 and X-T30, and it did well on both. For newer X-Trans IV cameras, set Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Clarity to 0, and Grain size to… either Small or Large, you’ll have to decide which you prefer.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +3
Shadow: -1
Color: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -1
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off/NA
White Balance: Incandescent, +4 Red & -9 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400

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

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Melancholy Blue” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujifilm X-H1 cameras:

Prickly Fruit – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1
Yellow on Top – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1
Dark Saguaro – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1
Buddies – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1
Lights Along A Wall – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30
Backyard Blooms – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1
Backlit Trumpets – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1
Twin Blooms – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30
Climbing Trumpets – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30
Bougainvillea Branch – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1
Block Wall Shadow – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1
Does Not Stop – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-H1
Roof Lines – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

Find this Film Simulation Recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly App!

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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Creative Collective 026: Simple Hack for Dreamy Lens Flare

I like using vintage lenses because they often have character, and sometimes that character is pronounced in the lens flare. When light is scattered within the lens system, such as reflected between the elements, you get lens flare. Some people love it and some people don’t. Modern lenses are precision engineered and coated to avoid lens flare as much as possible. If you’re one of those who like it and try to incorporate it within your photography, you might be disappointed that newer glass just doesn’t produce very much lens flare; however, there’s a cheap and simple hack for increasing the flare in your photographs.

If you are using a lens that’s not especially prone to lens flare and you want a little more of it in your pictures, it’s very easy to do.

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Fujifilm X-E4 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Pacific Blues

Coastal Blooms – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Pacific Blues”

Sometimes—like “Arizona Analog“—Film Simulation Recipes come together quickly, and sometimes—like this recipe—they don’t. This particular recipe has been in the works for over a year! I’ve made several attempts, and I finally feel satisfied that it is right—or at least as “right” as I’m going to get it. But what is it?

I’ve had a few requests to mimic the aesthetic of Lucy Laucht‘s Spirit of Summer series, particularly the Positano Blues photographs. Lucy is most known for shooting with Leica cameras—both film and digital—but she also uses others, and I wasn’t sure what she employed for this project. Recently I discovered that Positano Blues was shot on film, but (as far as I’ve found) she doesn’t discuss which film. I did find a reference (not related to this specific project) that mentioned she has used Kodak Gold and Kodak Portra, and that she digitally edits the film scans to some degree. She mentions using VSCO with her digital images, and I wonder if she also utilizes it with her film, too. When I first saw the pictures in this series, I thought it had a Classic Negative vibe—a film simulation that emulates Fujicolor Superia film. Lucy’s pictures are warmer than Superia typically is, but so much depends on how a film is shot, developed, scanned, etc., on how exactly it looks, and she certainly could have used warming filter. No matter the film and process used by Lucy, there’s a certain “look” to the Positano Blues photographs that is recognizable and beautiful—no wonder why people want to emulate it!

Coast Blue – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Pacific Blues”

While Lucy Laucht’s pictures have a recognizable aesthetic, there are subtle differences between the images. Once you study them closely, you realize that some are warmer and some are cooler. Colors are rendered slightly different in some pictures. In past attempts, I felt like I’d get it “right” for one picture but “wrong” for others; however, with this final attempt, I feel like it’s possible to get close to the “look” of most of the Positano Blues photos. I’m very satisfied with how this one turned out, and I know that many of you will appreciate it, too. Obviously it is intended for a summer day at the beach, but it will do well in many different daylight situations. This “Pacific Blues” Film Simulation Recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. I assume that it will also work on the X-H2s and newer GFX cameras, but I haven’t tried it to know for sure.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -2
Shadow: +3
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -2
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 5800K, +1 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Pacific Blues” Film Simulation Recipe on a Fujifilm X-E4:

Pier Feet – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Water Taxi – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Harford Pier – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Bird & Boats – Avila Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Bird ‘Bout To Get Wet – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Ocean Post – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Pacific Plants – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Rocks in the Water – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Central California Coast – San Simeon, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Grass in the Sand – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Beach Frisbee – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Sax at the Beach – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Surf Rider – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Lone Rider – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Two on the Wave – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4
Evening Wave – Pismo Beach, CA – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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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RitchieCam Update!

B&W Fade Filter — XPan 65:24 Aspect Ratio

I just released RitchieCam update 1.2.0! If you have RitchieCam on your iPhone and it didn’t update automatically, be sure to manually do it right now. If you have an iPhone but don’t have RitchieCam, go to the Apple App Store and download it today!

For those who don’t know, RitchieCam is an easy-to-use streamlined camera app intended to bring one-step photography to the iPhone. There are 18 analog-inspired filters so that you don’t have to edit your mobile pictures if you don’t want to. It is intended to be simple enough to be useful for anyone and everyone with an iPhone, and robust enough that even seasoned photographers should find it satisfying. Visit RitchieCam.com to learn more. Also, be sure to follow RitchieCam on Instagram!

What’s new in this update? There are three new features: drag to switch filters, 65:24 aspect ratio, and straight-down level indicator. Each one of these is discussed in detail below. There are also several small improvements and refinements, which will mostly go unnoticed—the most obvious is the enlarged EV +/- switch, hopefully improving its ease of use. Many other features and improvements are in the works, but it takes time to bring them to fruition, so be patient if this update doesn’t include what you were hoping it would—for certain, many great things are coming down the road.

Let’s take a look at the three new features!

Drag to Switch Filters

There’s a new way to select your desired RitchieCam filter even faster—simply drag your finger across the viewfinder! If you are a RitchieCam Patron, far-left is Standard Color, far-right is Dramatic B&W, and the 16 other filters are in-between; otherwise, left is Standard Color, middle is Analog Color, and right is B&W Negative. This is a quick and fun way to get to whichever filter you want to use, or to see which filter might be the best fit for the scene.

The video above is a screen-recording I made using this new feature. Just picture a finger dragging across the screen, left-to-right. I was trying to be slow and smooth, but this is a snappy function, so it is as quick as you are—you are in control of how fast or slowly you swipe through the filter options.

Drag-to-switch is a new way to find and select filters, but the previous methods still work as they always have. I think a lot of you will prefer this new method, but it is completely optional, so nothing changes for you if you like your current process; however, if you ever wished that there was a quicker way to switch filters, now there is!

65:24 XPan Aspect Ratio

Analog Color Filter — XPan 65:24 Aspect Ratio

The 65:24 aspect ratio was made popular by XPan cameras, a joint venture between Fujifilm and Hasselblad. I received a lot of requests for this aspect ratio, so I am happy to announce that it is now an option on RitchieCam! You can capture panoramic pictures straight from RitchieCam, no cropping required.

Currently there are six aspect ratios to choose from: 4:3/3:4, 5:4/4:5, 1:1, 3:2/2:3, 16:9/9:16, & 65:24/24:65. The panoramic 65:24 ratio can be challenging to use, but also highly rewarding, producing cinematic feelings that are only possible by going wide—give the XPan ratio a try today!

Dramatic B&W Filter — Xpan 65:24 Aspect Ratio

Level Indicator for Straight-Down Photography

If you ever do product photography that requires you to shoot straight down, it can be difficult to get the camera level. I’m always off by a little, tilted slightly one way or another. But RitchieCam is here to help!

Now, when the phone is flat (parallel to the ground), the gyroscope activates a white and yellow plus that, when aligned (indicated by the yellow plus as the only one visible), lets you know that the phone is level, not tilted in any direction. This feature is always on, so anytime the phone is flat when using RitchieCam, the pluses will appear. Some of you might not ever use this, but for some of you this is a really big deal.

Level
Tilted

Fujifilm X-E4 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Arizona Analog

Building Storm Over Desert Ridge – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Arizona Analog”

Inspiration can come suddenly and unexpectedly, and it’s important to be open to it when it comes.

I was at the grocery store the other day, waiting in line to checkout, standing right next to the magazine stand. My wife points out the latest issue of Arizona Highways, which I previously subscribed to, but (with my move from Utah) I let the renewal lapse. She says, “Wanna get it?” I shake my head no, then begin to load the groceries onto the belt. I didn’t want to get it because the subscription price for a year is the same price as four issues at the stand, and because I’m pretty busy right now (still unpacking boxes and such) and I might not read it anyway.

“Do you mind getting me an iced coffee?” My wife asked a moment later. Then, pointing at the stuff on the belt, she stated, “I’ve got this.” There’s a Starbucks in the grocery store, and I was happy to jump out of the line and get a couple of coffees. A few minutes later, just as the barista was done with our order, my wife walks up with the basket of bagged groceries. Sitting right on top was the Arizona Highways magazine.

Old Saguaro – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Arizona Analog”

When we got home, after unloading the car and putting everything away, I thumbed through the August issue. On page 10 was a photograph by Scott Baxter of a rancher wrangling cattle, which was in a small article called Sierra Bonita Ranch (the picture can be seen if you click the link—click on the picture to see the whole thing—I find it interesting how different it appears on my screen vs in the magazine). I grabbed my Fujifilm X-E4 and threw in some settings that I thought might be close.

I snapped a few photos in the yard, then showed my wife. “Those look good,” she said. “This is where I got the inspiration,” I stated as I showed her Scott’s picture in the magazine. She viewed the picture, then gave me a puzzled look. “We’ve only been home 10 minutes. You made this recipe from that picture?”

“Yes!” I replied with a smile. “Wow,” she said, “that’s really amazing!”

Suburban Americana – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Arizona Analog”

This recipe isn’t a 100% accurate match to Scott’s picture—it’s pretty close, but not perfect. Not surprising, it’s closer to the printed aesthetic than the digital look, as I hadn’t yet seen it online when I created the recipe. I considered attempting to more closely replicate the aesthetic of the picture, but I really like the look of this recipe—accurate or not—so I decided not to change it. I have no idea what Scott used to capture his picture… apparently he shoots a mix of film and digital.

Thanks to Scott Baxter, Arizona Highways, and my wife’s thoughtful gesture, the inspiration for this recipe came quickly. It was one of the fastest recipes that I’ve ever created. Certainly it’s not for every person or every situation, but I’m sure for some of you in the right situations, you’ll appreciate the aesthetic that this “Arizona Analog” Film Simulation Recipe delivers. It’s compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras—I assume the new X-H2s, too, but I haven’t yet tested it on X-Trans V.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +3
Color: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -2
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Daylight, +6 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Arizona Analog” Film Simulation Recipe on a Fujifilm X-E4:

Pavillion – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
The New West – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Curved Trellis – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Evening Flowers – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Flower Garden Blossoms – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Real Bloom over Artificial Turf – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Trunk & Flowers – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Wall Flowers – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Fishhook Barrel Cactus Blossom – Mesa, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Rocky Hill Saguaro – Buckeye, AZ – Fujfilm X-E4
Desert Cholla – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Dusty Desert – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4

Find this film simulation recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Creative Collective 025: FXW Zine — Issue 09 — August 2022

The ninth issue of FXW Zine is out, and if you are a Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective subscriber, you can download it now!

What’s in the August issue? The cover story is a visit to the Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus in Mesa, Arizona, captured with my Fujifilm X-E4. There are a total of 24 photographs this month, including the cover image (above). I hope that you find it enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring!

If you haven’t joined the Creative Collective, consider subscribing today to get access to bonus articles and the FXW Zine—not just this issue, but the first eight issues, too!

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