The New Resolution Revolution

Historic 25th Street Dragon – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – 16-megapixel

I think there’s a new resolution revolution about to be unleashed on the photography world.

Fujirumors is reporting that the X-H2S will have a 26-megapixel X-Trans V stacked sensor, which will be much like the X-Trans IV sensor but faster; however, the X-H2 will have a 40-megapixel X-Trans V sensor that’s not stacked, and the X-H2 will be less expensive than the X-H2S. My interpretation of this is that “regular” X-Trans V cameras will be 40mp. Wait, what? The upcoming Fujifilm cameras will be 40-megapixels?!

I saw today that Canon Rumors is reporting that an over-100-megapixel full-frame camera is in the works to be released next year—I also saw that Sony “may have” a 102mp camera coming later this year. Yesterday I saw that, according to 9to5Google, Motorola will release a cellphone with a 200-megapixel camera.

Morning Drive – Fort Stevens SP, OR – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – 12-megapixel

While many people will get very excited over this, and I do find it a bit fascinating, I’m not all thrilled about it. Why? I would prefer to see advancements in dynamic range (particularly highlights) and high-ISO performance over resolution. I haven’t encountered many situations where I found my cameras lacking the resolution required for what I needed. Honestly, 16-megapixels are more than enough for the average person, and 26-megapixels are more than enough for 99% of people. Very few people (although there are some) actually need 40mp, and even fewer (although there are some) actually need 100mp. Yeah, it’s fun to pixel-peep a 100mp picture, or even a 50mp picture, but in a practical sense, it’s not “better” than 26mp or even 16mp. And, of course, the bigger the file, the more storage is required, and the longer it takes to upload/download.

Instead of extra resolution, I’d actually prefer a new film simulation or two, and a couple new JPEG options, that allow me to achieve in-camera some things that I currently cannot. I’d get really excited for that! I bet a number of you would, too. I think there are a lot of improvements and advancements that could happen that don’t require any increase in resolution, but megapixels are easy to market—it’s the tried and true method to gain sales—so that’s what we get.

Ready or not, the next resolution revolution is here. I certainly won’t complain as I pixel-peep, but I might have to replace my SD cards, buy a larger external hard drive, and get more memory on my next iPhone….

Photograph Wherever You Are — Seeing the Extraordinary in the Mundane

Two Caballeros – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”

I had an epiphany today. It’s been building in my mind for several days now, but it was only today that I believe I fully understood it: photograph wherever you are. Whichever place it is that you find yourself, capture it with your camera.

When I was 16-years-old, my family moved to a small unincorporated community in Texas called Culleoka, which is north of Dallas near Lake Lavon. At that time it was in the middle of nowhere—and it still is—but the city has been inching closer and closer, and is now at its doorstep. I finished high school while there and enrolled in college. I studied photography for two years before leaving home—and Texas—at 19. That was a long time ago; however, my parents still live in the same house in Culleoka.

I bring up all of this because I realized that, despite learning photography while I lived there, and despite all of the times that I’ve visited over the years, I’ve never photographed Culleoka. I never thought this place was photographically interesting. I always traveled elsewhere with my camera, whether it was McKinney, Plano, Dallas, or any number of other towns in the region. I never photographed where I lived.

Courtesy Dock Closed – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”

Visiting my parents now, for some reason—maybe because I’m older—I find Culleoka to be a much more interesting place. Yes, there’s still not much to see. If you blinked while driving through you’d miss it. There’s a gas station. A Dollar General, which is a fairly new addition. An auto body shop. A fireworks stand. A couple of churches. Maybe a couple hundred people live in Culleoka, many in mobile homes. There’s access to Lake Lavon at the far edge.

I regret now not photographing where I was, because there’s actually a lot of opportunity, if only I had had an open mind. I didn’t see it before. I just thought it was a boring place. Those “other places” were much more fascinating. I had to drive somewhere else to capture interesting pictures. Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you believe that wherever it is you are isn’t worth your camera’s attention, and because you see it day in and day out it is difficult to view it with fresh eyes.

How do you view a highly familiar location with fresh eyes? For me, I think it was just being away for a few years. Actually, I saw some interesting sunlight on the gas station, and a lightbulb went off in my mind. I was reminded of Wim Winders book Written in the West, which inspired me to photograph Culleoka using my Fujifilm X-E4 programmed with the Kodachrome 64 Film Simulation Recipe. Some ideas are to envision yourself as a tourist experiencing the place for the first time, simply keeping a photographic eye out for interesting light, or reading photography books where some pictures are similar to your current location.

W.S.C. – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”

Just because you believe that where you are is uninteresting, doesn’t mean there aren’t things worth photographing. You have to keep a constant eye out. Maybe you need to view it through a fresh perspective. Perhaps you just need to get out with your camera on a regular basis and keep at it until you finally “see it” as some new inspiration hits you—I think just getting out with your camera is the best advice that I have.

Don’t be like me and fail to photograph where you are. Just because you don’t think it is worthwhile doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile—with a fresh perspective, you’re likely to find things that actually are interesting, things you maybe passed by hundreds of times and it never caught your attention. You have a great opportunity, and perhaps an interesting series of pictures will emerge from it.

It’s an easy trap to think that you have to go someplace else in order to capture interesting pictures. I certainly believed that for awhile, even though I used to say that the job of a photographer is to find the extraordinary in the mundane. I didn’t always practice what I preached—I assumed that where I was wasn’t interesting enough—but my statement was correct: it’s my job to find what others overlook in the places I find myself, and create compelling pictures with my camera. I hope that I’ve accomplished that this time around.

Some of the pictures that I captured in Colleoka, Texas, over the last few days:

Abandoned Houses – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”
Boaters Warning – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”
Man at Lake Lavon – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”
Abandoned Shack – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”
Red Taco Trailer – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”

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PASM is NOT for Me

I hate PASM.

I think PASM is a terrible camera design idea, and I cannot understand why it became a standard feature in photography. Yes, different strokes for different folks—many people like it—but PASM is not for me. It’s probably not for most of you, either, and one thing that likely attracted you to Fujifilm cameras is that they don’t have one.

What is PASM? I’m sure most of you know, but for anyone who might not: it’s a shooting-mode knob (or sometimes a switch) almost always placed on the top of the camera. The “P” is for Program (can vary a little by brand, but is essentially nowadays ISO-Priority), “A” is for Aperture-Priority, “S” is for Shutter-Priority, and “M” is for Manual. Turn the knob to switch between the different modes. Usually the command wheels are what you use to adjust the settings, and (brand dependent) sometimes you have to dig through the menu to make adjustments.

My first experience with PASM was over 20 years ago, way back in my early days of photography. I was shooting all-manual with a Canon AE-1, and someone let me try their Canon EOS-3, which was a “modern” SLR with a bunch of buttons and a little electronic display. I was pretty lost and frustrated with the camera, and only shot one roll of film (I probably would have done less than that, but I wanted to finish the roll) before giving it back. To me at that time, I couldn’t understand the point of this “advanced technology” if all it did was complicate something inherently simple.

Lake Ducks & People – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pentax-110 50mm – “Kodachrome 64

I didn’t have another PASM experience until I finally gave in and purchased my first digital camera, a Pentax DSLR, in 2009. I tried many different digital cameras from a number of brands (Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Sigma, Panasonic) before finally buying a Fujifilm X-E1 in 2016. While I did get used to using PASM, I always found it to be frustrating and miserable, so going back to the traditional controls found on Fujifilm cameras was a breath of fresh air. I literally said out loud to myself, “Why aren’t ALL cameras like this?!”

The traditional shutter knob and aperture ring make a lot of sense to me because that’s how I learned photography. That’s how I did photography for over a decade. The concept is simple, but it does require a prerequisite knowledge of the exposure-triangle to use them in manual mode.

You might be surprised to learn that Canon introduced the very first PASM camera, the A-1, back in 1978. It was a huge hit with “amateur photographers on a budget” due to its “ease of use” and relatively affordable cost. PASM was originally intended to make photography more accessible to the inexperienced. As time went on and PASM became more common, more and more people learned photography on it. I would bet that most people who started photography on or after the year 2000 (and probably a fair amount of people who started in 1990’s, and maybe even some who started in the 1980’s) had PASM on their first camera. Since that is what they learned photography on and what they used day in and day out, PASM makes sense to them. That’s why almost all cameras today have PASM dials.

Fujifilm is unique. While there are some Fujifilm cameras with PASM, most don’t, and instead have traditional controls. I bet that’s one of the main reasons why many of you bought a Fujifilm camera—it was for me! It’s not the only thing that’s unique about Fujifilm, but it is an obvious difference that’s clearly visible just by looking at it.

After I posted my thoughts on the upcoming X-H2S, which according to Fujirumors will have a PASM dial, I received a couple different reactions: Fujifilm needs to appeal to those who prefer PASM, and Fujifilm has forgotten what made them great.

Brendan’s X-T3 – Haslet, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pentax-110 50mm – “Kodachrome 64

The first point is that since most photographers are used to PASM (because that’s what they’ve always had), the traditional dials don’t appeal to them. Fujifilm cameras are intimidating, and the traditional controls are confusing. Probably more than anything, it’s simply not what they’re used to and it’s not what makes the most sense to them. In order to attract these people, Fujifilm should philosophically pivot, and make multiple models that are more appealing to the masses. While I think it’s fine to make some cameras that have PASM, I believe that instead of trying to be just like “Canikony” (a.k.a. everyone else), it makes more sense to me to double-down on what is different about your brand. What makes Fujifilm unique? Those are the things that attract people from other brands. Make those unique things the best that they can possibly be, and have a solid marketing campaign that shows the world why these unique things are something they should desire. That’s my advice to Fujifilm.

The second point is that by replacing the traditional controls with PASM on the X-H line, Fujifilm is losing its analog-inspired soul. Maybe they are. I cringe at the thought of the X-H2S having a PASM dial. But, this is just one camera. I think instead of Fujifilm losing their soul, they’re just shifting their focus for this particular model line. The X-H2S isn’t intended for you, the current Fujifilm photographer. Yes, some of you will buy it and love it, but it will likely be more like the X-S10, which was (generally speaking) a little bit of a disappointment for those who already owned other Fujifilm cameras (I know this because many have told me so), but has sold really well to those coming from other brands. The X-H2S is intended to convince Canikony photographers who aren’t completely happy with their current cameras to look at Fujifilm as an alternative. In other words, for those with a Fujifilm X-H1 who would like to upgrade to an updated version, this probably isn’t the X-H2 you’ve been waiting and hoping for.

My worry is that Fujifilm is going to have a split personality—a customer base with competing desires. On one hand, there are those who want a traditional experience, with manual controls and film simulations and such as essential aspects. On the other hand, there are those who basically want a better Canon or Sony, and they want Fujifilm to create that (somehow, despite the smaller budget). Where is Fujifilm going to focus their time, energy, and R&D? It’s an important question, because it determines the trajectory of the business, which in turns affects future camera models. Yes, there’s room for both, and probably some people sit in-between these two camps; however, I’m concerned that Fujifilm might be shifting their focus away from what matters to me (and likely the majority of you) in hopes to gain market share through morphing models to be more similar to what other brands are making. I think Fujifilm can gain market share by hyper-focusing on what makes their brand unique and better engaging the community, but I’m no expert, so my opinion might not be worth much.

I won’t buy another PASM camera. I have used many, and even currently have a few. At this point in my life, the photography experience is just as important to me as the photographs that I create. Fujifilm cameras with traditional controls are what works for me because they provide the shooting experience that I appreciate (plus the picture aesthetics that I want!). I understand that it’s not for everyone, and probably not for most people, and that’s ok. The X-H2S is not for me quite literally by design, but it is for the masses, and perhaps it will sell very well, and convince many people to try Fujifilm for the first time. That’s great if it is successful—I truly hope it is! I still won’t buy it, though, because PASM is not for me.

My Opinions on the Upcoming Fujifilm X-H2S

Fujifilm X-H1

People have been asking me what my opinions are on the upcoming Fujifilm X-H2S, which is the unannounced upcoming X-Trans V camera that Fujifilm will reveal before the end of the month. The only reason why we know about this camera is because of, which is the best place to find information on upcoming gear. Fujirumors has shared many details about the X-H2S, so we have a pretty good idea of what is about to be announced.

I have this impression that the Fujifilm corporation doesn’t like Fujirumors very much—it’s a thorn in Fujifilm’s side when it comes to new releases, although they also seem to use Fujirumors to gauge the pulse of the Fujifilm community. So they use ’em when they need ’em and otherwise don’t like ’em. I think that Fujifilm might feel similarly about Fuji X Weekly: they like how it builds excitement within the community, converts photographers to the X system, and generates plenty of sales—yet I use competing brand names (Kodak, for example) and occasionally speak critically of the company, which they don’t appreciate.

I want to circle back around to a word: community. Patrick, the guy who runs Fujirumors, pretty much single-handedly built the Fujifilm community. This wonderful kinship is unique in the photography realm. Yes, there are fans and fan sites for every brand, but none compare to the Fujifilm community, particularly when it comes to things like energy, commitment, kindness, generosity, and probably many other nice words that I didn’t write. Really, there should be some sort of annual Fujifilm convention… actually several throughout the world—I think people would love the opportunity to meet those in-person whom they’ve seen and spoken to online. People love their Fujifilm cameras, and that enthusiasm percolates to those within their sphere of influence. With today’s technology, one’s sphere of influence can easily be worldwide.

Fujifilm needs to do more to embrace this great global community that’s built around their brand. I think because they didn’t create it themselves and have no control over it, they shy away from it. They enjoy the benefits of it from a safe distance, and then deride it behind closed doors when something happens within it that they don’t like. What can Fujifilm do? First, they need to drop the negative attitude towards Fujirumors and other people and websites that are the heartbeat of the community. Next, they need to find ways to engage the community, using already existing channels (find where the community gathers online), as well as double-down on their own efforts (10 Years of X Mount is a great example). Third, they need to bring back Kaizen, and realize just how important this is to the community—by ignoring Kaizen, Fujifilm is ignoring the community.

Last Warm Light on Wasatch Front – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Negative Print

Now that I’ve said all of that, what about the X-H2S? What are my opinions?

The Fujifilm X-H2S is the long-awaited successor to the X-H1, which was a wonderful yet overlooked X-Trans III camera. The X-H2S will introduce the X-Trans V sensor and processor. It would seem the improvements that X-Trans V will bring over X-Trans IV is speed: faster processing, faster autofocus, etc.. There will likely be some new JPEG options, too, such as the Nostalgic Negative film simulation.

I have no doubts that the X-H2S will be a great camera: fast and eager—a true workhorse in the Fujifilm system; however, there are two things that concern me about it: heat and PASM.

Apparently, the X-H2S will overheat if used for video for too long (which is a common problem), and apparently Fujifilm’s solution is an external cooling accessory that can be purchased separately. If you plan to use the X-H2S for video, this accessory will be essential. I want to remind people that the X-H1 does not have an overheating problem.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you likely already know my feelings on it, but for those who don’t: I passionately dislike PASM. It’s clear to me that the Fujifilm X-H2S is not for those already within the Fujifilm system, but is intended to attract those from other systems, such as Sony and Canon, and bring them into the Fujifilm fold. It’s for people who are used to PASM, and are intimidated by the classic controls that most Fujifilm cameras have. I would definitely prefer the camera to not have PASM.

I have no intentions of pre-ordering the X-H2S when it is announced in the coming 10 days. It’s not for me. It will be a great camera for some of you, though, and if you think it’s the right model for you, don’t let my opinions influence you to not get it. I’m more excited for whatever the second X-Trans V camera will be—I’m hoping for an X80, the even-longer-awaited successor to the X70. I have no idea if this is in the works or not, but it certainly should be if it’s not.

Are you excited for the Fujifilm X-H2S? What X-Trans V camera do you think Fujifilm should release next? Let me know!

Photographing Panguitch — Fujifilm X100V + Kodak Tri-X 400

Empty Lumber Yard – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V

The first stop on the epic road trip that I’m currently on was Panguitch, a small town in southern Utah. Panguitch is close to Bryce Canyon National Park, not too far from Zion National Park, and within reach of Capital Reef National Park. Tourism is the main reason Panguitch is even on the map. People eat, sleep, and get gas here, while visiting the various natural wonders of the region. That’s why we were there.

I only stayed one night in Panguitch, but I was able to get out with my camera and photograph the quaint town. It’s obvious that Panguitch has seen better days—it seems to be just hanging on. The town has a lot of character, though. It was a great location for photography—if I had a few weeks, it would make for an incredible photo project—but alas I only had one night, as we left early the next morning.

For the pictures in this article I used my Fujifilm X100V loaded with the Kodak TRi-X 400 Film Simulation Recipe. I also had a 5% CineBloom filter attached to the camera. The X100V is such the perfect travel tool (and my “desert island” camera), and I always make sure that I have it with me. I love black-and-white photography, and the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe is my favorite. The camera and recipe combo were ideal for Panguitch, and I’m quite happy with this set of pictures; however, I realize that I need to go back. This town (and so many others) are yearning for the camera’s attention. There is so much photographic potential, and I barely scratched the surface.

Thanks For Shopping Local – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Auto Entrance – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Chairs Along A Fence – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Fake News – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Folding Chairs – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Window Canopy – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Souvenir & Gift – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Delicious Dinner – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Raya – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Condiments – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
The Duke – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Henrie’s – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Old Sign – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
House Roof – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
One Way Garage – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Motel – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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New Fujifilm X-Trans IV FXW App Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe: Expired Velvia

Red Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Expired Velvia”

The Fuji X Weekly App is free, yet becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron unlocks the best App experience! One benefit of being a Patron is you get early access to some new Film Simulation Recipes. These Early-Access Recipes will eventually become available free to everyone in time, including this new one. In fact, many Early-Access Recipes have already been publicly published on this Blog and the App, so now everyone can use them. Patrons help support Fuji X Weekly and, really, without them there would be no App. So I want to give a special “thank you” to all of the Patrons!

This new “Expired Velvia” Fuji X Weekly App Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe came about after a Fuji X Weekly reader shared with me some photographs that he had captured on long-expired Velvia 50 color reversal film. He didn’t have the lab adjust the development time for the expired film, so they were all underexposed; however, they turned out really interesting, with an aesthetic that leaned more towards Superia than Velvia. I think this recipe does a great job of mimicking that look. If you are searching for a Film Simulation Recipe that’s a little different, this is one to try! It’s definitely not for everyone, but some of you will love it. It’s compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras.

If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, it’s available to you right now on the App!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Expired Velvia” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Light Post – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Hotel Door – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Restaurant – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Webs We Weave – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Outdoor Chair Cushion – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Jo Playing with Roly Polies – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
A Boy & His Fishing Pole – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Covered Boat Dock – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Lake Houses – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
‘Bout to Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Wet Rose – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4
Triangles – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Fenced Sun – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4
A Whale of a Sunset – Branson, MO – Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm X-E4 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Pushed CineStill 800T

Snow on the Stormy Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Pushed CineStill 800T”

This “Pushed CineStill 800T” Film Simulation Recipe came about after I stumbled across an amazing picture that was captured on CineStill 800T film during daytime with an overcast sky. It turned out that the film was push-processed, but I never learned by how many stops (I’m guessing one-stop). After some extensive Googling, I was able to find several more examples of push-processed CineStill 800T film shot in overcast daytime light. I then set out to mimic that aesthetic on my Fujifilm camera.

Interestingly enough, even though this recipe is intended for daytime photography, it does quite well at night, too; however, I do believe it more faithfully mimics the film in cloudy daytime conditions. It does produce nice results in daylight or night, so feel free to use it anytime. Film can look different depending on how it is shot, developed, or scanned (among many other things). This recipe doesn’t replicate pushed CineStill 800T film under all circumstances, but in certain conditions it’s a good facsimile. I really like how this one looks, and I think some of you will really appreciate it, too!

Book & Minolta – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Pushed CineStill 800T”

Because this “Pushed CineStill 800T” recipe uses the Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation, it is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. It’s possible that this recipe is also compatible with the GFX100S and GFX 50S II, but I’ve never tested it to be certain. This was a Fuji X Weekly App Patron Early-Access Recipe, so App Patrons have had access to it since October, but now it’s available to everyone! A new Early-Access Recipe replaced it find—it in the Fuji X Weekly App!

Eterna Bleach Bypass
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -0.5
Shadow: -1.5
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: 0
Clarity: -3
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 7700K, -9 Red & +5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Pushed CineStill 800T” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Happy Birthday Wish – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Ready To Go Nowhere – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Pipe Door – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Night Urban Path – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Empty Parking Garage – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Empty Harmons Fuel Stop – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Night Hydrant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Wet White Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Little Wild Berries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Clouds Building Over Green Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Pumpkins In A Patch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Bee Boxes – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Hidden Townhomes – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Winter Dusting – Farmington, UT – 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 023: Easy Double Exposure Photography

In Camera Double Exposure – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400

Sometimes I get into a double exposure mood. It might seem difficult to create good double exposure pictures—thankfully, Fujifilm cameras make double exposure photography easy! In this article I’ll explain just how simple it is to do it, and also explain why it’s difficult to do it well.

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Travel: Big Steak at The Big Texan – Amarillo, Texas

72 Once Competitor – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Natura 1600

As you might know, I’m currently on a road trip. We passed through Amarillo, Texas, and stopped at The Big Texan restaurant for dinner. The Big Texan is famous for their 72 ounce steak that, if you can eat it in under an hour, is free. Most who attempt it don’t succeed. I didn’t try, but someone did while I was there, which was neat to see. I don’t know if he was successful or not because he was still at it when I left.

I always try to carry around a camera, because you never know when a photographic opportunity will present itself. If I don’t have a Fujifilm camera with me, I have RitchieCam on my iPhone (if you have an iPhone, be sure to download the app!) or a Ricoh GR. On this occasion I had my Fujifilm X-E4 with the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 attached to it, which is a great combination for travel! I snapped a few pictures while I was at The Big Texan, mostly while waiting for our table to be ready.

A restaurant might not seem like a good place for photography. This spot, which is along old Route 66, is quirky and fun, and anyplace that’s quirky and fun is likely to produce at least one good picture. The Big Texan didn’t disappoint, photographically and taste-wise. The food was delicious! The portions were Texas-sized. The photographs turned out alright I think.

I published last year my “ultimate” travel kit, which consists of a small camera bag, with the Fujifilm X-E4 and Fujifilm X100V inside. This is perfect to ensure that I have a camera with me all of the time, so that I don’t miss any opportunities to capture interesting pictures. You never know what you’ll find, so it’s best to be ready for anything—even a quirky steak restaurant in Amarillo, Texas.

Steak Makers – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Underneath the Table – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Metal Hook – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Fenced Sun – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – Upcoming Recipe
Worth One in the Hand – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Junk Monkey – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Vivid Velvia

Fujifilm X-E4 (X-Trans IV) Film Simulation Recipe: Vibrant Velvia

Hoodoos – Bryce Canyon NP, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Vibrant Velvia”

I really like The Rockwell Film Simulation Recipe, but sometimes it’s just a hair too much for me. I decided to create a new yet similar recipe that just tones it down a tad. Don’t get me wrong: this new recipe is still wild with vivid colors and definitely not for every situation or even every photographer. It will produce similar results to The Rockwell recipe, but (by a small margin) just a little more soft and tame.

This new “Vibrant Velvia” recipe is for when you want colors to pop. It’s a vibrant recipe for bold pictures. While it’s very colorful, it has low contrast, so it works especially well on sunny days, but I also had good luck with it in grey overcast conditions and in the shade. It’s not well suited for portraits or artificial light; instead, use it outdoors for colorful landscape photography. While I didn’t try to mimic Velvia film specifically, the results do remind me a little of Velvia 50 slides as viewed through a projector, although that is an impression (“memory color”), and not anything I studied specifically for this recipe.

Green Dew – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Vibrant Velvia”

The “Vibrant Velvia” recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. Because it uses Clarity and Color Chrome FX Blue, it isn’t compatible with the X-T3 and X-T30—try the Velvia v2 recipe on those cameras, which is fairly similar. Those with newer GFX cameras can try this recipe, too, although the results will be very slightly different.

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

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

Junk Monkey – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4
Rose Singular – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4
Rose Bloom – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4
Vibrant Green Garden – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4
Church in the Ozarks – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4
Waterfall Over Table Rocks – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4
Blue Water Fall – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4
Nantucket – Branson, MO – Fujifilm X-E4
Orange Rocks – Bryce Canyon NP, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Pine Tree & Colorful Cliff – Bryce Canyon NP, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

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

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Using Partially Compatible Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipes on Newer Cameras

Boat on Lake Hamilton – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Vision3 250D

I get asked somewhat frequently, “Can I use X-Trans III recipes on my X-Trans IV camera?” I’ve published almost 250 Film Simulation Recipes on this website, and there are at least a few recipes that are compatible with whatever Fujifilm X camera you own. Sometimes, though, someone wants to use a recipe on a camera that it wasn’t intended for. Can that work? What modifications does it need? I hope to answer those questions in this article.

If you have the Fuji X Weekly App on your phone and are an app Patron, you have the ability to filter the recipes by camera model or sensor generation. If you Filter by Camera, and that camera is the Fujifilm X100V (for example), there are currently 74 Film Simulation Recipes that will appear. These are recipes that are 100% fully compatible with the X100V. If you were to Filter by Sensor, and choose X-Trans IV, there are currently 170 recipes that will appear. Why the discrepancy? Some of these recipes aren’t compatible with the X100V because it requires an option only found on the newest cameras (such as the Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation), but most of them are nearly compatible with the X100V—only some small tweaks are needed for it to work.

What kind of small tweaks? To use X-Trans III recipes on a Fujifilm X-T3 or X-T30, simply set Color Chrome Effect to Off and you are good to go (feel free to try it Weak or even Strong if you’d like). To use an X-Trans III recipe (or a recipe intended for the X-T3 & X-T30) on an X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, or X-T30 II, you’ll have to decide on Grain size (either Small or Large). For the picture at the top of this article, I chose Small for the Grain size, and the picture below I chose Large. It’s a decision that you’ll have to make for yourself—whatever you think is most appropriate for your pictures. Set Color Chrome Effect (unless it’s an X-T3 & X-T30 recipe that calls for it) and Color Chrome FX Blue to Off; however, don’t be afraid to try Weak or Strong because you might like the results. Set Clarity to 0 (or try +2 or -2 if you want). For X-T3 & X-T30 black-and-white recipes with toning, you’ll have to figure out what the equivalent tone is, because it works a little different on the newer cameras. With all of that, now the recipe will work on your newer camera. Suddenly the options for the X100V have more than doubled!

Table Rock Waterfall – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Superia 800

What about other sensor generations? Will X-Trans I recipes work on X-Trans II? Will X-Trans II recipes work on X-Trans III? What about Bayer recipes?

Technically there is some cross-compatibility; however, the results will be different. That’s not necessarily “bad” because you might like the results. For example, I really love using the Bayer Classic Chrome recipe on my X-T1, an X-Trans II camera. The recipe wasn’t intended for that camera, but it works really well on it. If you have an X-Trans II camera, try X-Trans I and Bayer recipes and see what happens—just know that it will render the pictures differently on your camera, which you might really like or really not like (but you won’t know until you try!). For those with Bayer cameras, try X-Trans I and X-Trans II recipes. There are a few X-Trans II and Bayer recipes that those with X-Trans I cameras can try if they’d like—just look to see if your camera has the required film simulation.

For those with X-Trans III cameras, the cross-compatibility is a little less. You can try X-Trans I, II & Bayer recipes, but it will definitely render differently. You’ll have to decide on Grain (Weak, Strong, or Off). You might find something that you really like, so don’t be afraid to see what happens. For “older” GFX, try X-Trans III and X-T3 & X-T30 recipes. For “newer” GFX, try the X-Trans IV recipes intended for the newer cameras. Also, try GFX recipes on X-Trans IV cameras.

No matter your Fujifilm X camera, there are some Film Simulation Recipes that are 100% fully compatible; however, there are a lot more that are “mostly” compatible. You might have to make some modifications, or just know that the results won’t be exactly as they’re intended—what’s most important it whether or not it works for you. My advice is to give it a try, because you might find something that you really love.

Kodak Vision3 250D Film Simulation Recipe — SOOC Viewers Images!

This video is the viewer submitted photographs from SOOC Season 02 Episode 03. Yes, your pictures! The recipe-of-the-month was Kodak Vision3 250D. I hope that you enjoyed shooting with it! Thank you to everyone who shared their images, to everyone who participated, and to everyone who tuned in!

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 Episode 03 when it was live, you can watch it now (below).

The next episode of SOOC will be live on June 9th, so mark your calendars now!

SOOC was Live Today — Watch it Now if You Missed it!

SOOC was live today! If you missed it, don’t fret! I’ve included the video above so that you can watch it now. In today’s broadcast (Season 02 Episode 03) we concluded our discussion of the Kodak Vision3 250D Film Simulation Recipe and introduced the next recipe-of-the-month: Fujicolor Superia 800 (the X-Trans III version). I want to give a special thank-you to those who tuned in, participated, and submitted pictures—you are the ones who make these broadcasts great!

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.

Once you’ve loaded the Fujicolor Superia 800 recipe into your Fujifilm camera and have had a chance to shoot with it, be sure to upload your photographs captured with the recipe (click here) to be shown in next month’s live broadcast.

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

The next SOOC broadcast will be live on June 9th, so be sure to mark your calendars now!

Adventures in Kodachrome: Revisiting Pawhuska

Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II”

Pawhuska is a small town in rural Oklahoma with about 3,500 residents. The town saw its heyday over 100 years ago when there was an oil boom—people and money poured into the area, and for a short time Pawhuska was bustling; however, the Great Depression left a large permanent scar, and the town never recovered. Over the last five years Pawhuska has seen new life, thanks to “The Pioneer Woman” who has turned this quaint town into a tourist destination of sorts. People come from all over the country—maybe the world—to visit The Mercantile, my wife and I included!

In 2018 I passed through Oklahoma while on an epic family road trip, and we stopped in Pawhuska to visit The Mercantile. I had just created the Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe and was shooting it on a Fujifilm X-Pro2. The Kodachrome II recipe is intended to mimic the “second era” of Kodachrome film, which was from 1961 through 1973. I feel the recipe delivers a vintage-Kodak-slide aesthetic that’s very easy to love. The second episode of SOOC was about this specific recipe, so check that out if you haven’t watched it.

Abandoned at 618 – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”

Just a couple of weeks ago, on another epic family road trip, we passed through Pawhuska again. This time I used my Kodachrome 64 recipe, which is based on the “third era” of Kodachrome film, which was from 1974 through 2009. The Kodachrome 64 recipe also produces a vintage-Kodak-slide aesthetic, but it definitely looks different than the Kodachrome II recipe. I used a Fujifilm X-E4 on this visit, and I didn’t capture nearly as many frames of Kodachrome 64 as I did of Kodachrome II on the previous trip.

“You’ve got to go back to get the good ones,” photographer Chuck Abbott stated in the September 1955 issue of Arizona Highways magazine. His point was that good photographers return to a location or subject over and over. Don’t be satisfied with the pictures that you’ve captured in the past; try instead at a different time of day, in a different season, under different light, and from a different angle. Maybe you’ll make a more compelling picture on a future endeavor. I don’t know that I did any better the second time than I did the first, but I did go back, and I do like a few of the frames.

Window Grill – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II”
Open Window Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II”
Studio – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”
Abstracts – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”
Boarding House – Fujifilm X-E4 – Pawhuska, OK – “Kodachrome 64”
Kitchen – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”
Dodge To Go – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodachrome 64”
Window Seat – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II”
Chair Shadow – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II”
Kitchen Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II”
Drummond Ranch Vista – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II”
Foal Shy – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – “Kodachrome II”

SOOC is Live this Thursday!

SOOC Season 02 Episode 03 will be live this Thursday! We’ll conclude our discussion of the Kodak Vision3 250D Film Simulation Recipe and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month: Fujicolor Superia 800 (the X-Trans III version). Tune in at 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern—be sure to show up 30 minutes early for the Pre-Show!

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 first two episodes of Season 02, you can watch them below.

Fujifilm X-E4 + Fujinon 90mm = Great Combo with Challenges

Fujifilm X-E4 with Fujinon 90mm

I was cleaning out the notebook on my road trip two months ago—it was a whirlwind to the Grand Teton National Park and to the furthest northwest corner of Oregon—and I was trying to figure out what to write about. The remaining pictures are a hodgepodge, but I wanted to share them nonetheless. I then realized that many of the remaining images were captured with a Fujifilm X-E4 and Fujinon 90mm combination. Suddenly I had my article idea!

You might recall that the 90mm lens doesn’t fit into my “ultimate” travel camera kit, so I couldn’t bring it with me; however, my wife, Amanda, brought it in her camera bag to use with her X-T4. The three lenses that she likes to use are the Fujinon 10-24mm zoom, the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8, and the 90mm f/2, and the 27mm is her (and my) favorite. I had the 27mm in my bag on the X-E4, so on several occasions we swapped. This arrangement ended up working out pretty well for both of us.

Snake River Sun Rays – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Ferrania Solaris FG 400

The Fujinon 90mm is one of my favorite lenses, but the 135mm full-frame-equivalent focal-length isn’t always easy to use. It’s great for headshots, but definitely challenging for landscape and travel photography. Challenges are actually good if you embrace them because they force you to think outside-the-box and try new things, which will make you a better photographer. While this lens is one of the absolute best in the Fujinon lineup, it’s not always easy for this type of photography; however, if you are up for the challenge you will certainly be rewarded.

The lens isn’t especially compact or lightweight, either. I find that it balances better on bigger camera bodies, such as the X-T4 or X-H1. Using it on the small X-E4 can be a bit awkward, especially if you’ll be shooting all day with it. In other words, it’s not a convenient option. Those who obsess over ergonomics will hate this camera and lens combination. If you can get past that, though, the X-E4 and 90mm will deliver excellent images. Both the camera and lens are highly capable photographic tools, and together, from an image quality point-of-view, they’re a dream team!

Columbia River Rainbow – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Velvia v2

If you have an X-E4, should you pair the 90mm with it? I love the camera and I love the lens, and they’re great when used together, but they’re not without their difficulties. They’re philosophical opposites. The X-E4 is about “less”—less size, less weight, less complications—while the 90mm is about “more”—more reach, more sharpness, more bokeh. With the Fujifilm X-E4, less is more. With the Fujinon 90mm f/2, more is more. They don’t belong together, yet the images they create together speak for themselves. The pictures are what matter most, and you do what you’ve got to do to create them. That means dealing with the challenges as they come, and, for me, using these two great tools together.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujinon 90mm f/2 Amazon B&H

Haystack in Monochrome – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400
Pinnacles & Crashing Waves – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Astoria Bridge – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
River Boat – Astoria, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Winter Sage – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”

Fujifilm X-E4 Film Simulation Recipe: Fujicolor Natura 1600

Tree Blossom Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”

Fujifilm produced Fujicolor Natura 1600, a high-ISO color negative film, from 2003 through 2017. It was only sold in Japan, but it became renown worldwide as word got out about this wonderful film. A lot of speculation has surrounded it. Is it simply renamed Fujicolor Superia 1600? Many people think so. Is it slightly modified Superia 1600 for Japanese skin-tones? Some people think so. Is it slightly modified Superia 1600 made specifically for the Fujifilm Natura camera? Perhaps so. I haven’t found any definitive evidence to conclude if Natura 1600 is unmodified Supera 1600 or a slightly modified variant of it—if it isn’t identical, it’s very similar.

I have a Fujicolor Superia 1600 Film Simulation Recipe already, and it’s a recipe that I personally quite like. I had no desire to remake it, but (you know) one film can have many different aesthetics, depending on a whole host of factors, including (but not limited to) how it was shot, developed, and scanned. With that in mind, I looked at Fujicolor Natura 1600 examples that I found online, and from scratch (not using the Superia 1600 recipe as a starting point) I made a whole new recipe to mimic Natura 1600—not surprisingly, the settings ended up being similar to the Superia 1600 recipe. Alternatively, this could be called Fujicolor Superia 1600 v2.

Clown Truck & Geo – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”

A fun thing that I did for some of these pictures is set the ISO to 1600—I think the results are especially good at that particular ISO; however, it’s more practical to use a larger range of ISOs. So set the ISO to 1600 if you’d like, or set it to Auto (up to ISO 6400) if you’d prefer—I tried both, and found either to be acceptable. This particular recipe is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you have an X100V or X-Pro3 and want to use this recipe, I suggest setting Highlight to -1 and Shadow to +2. The results will be similar, but not identical.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1.5
Shadow: +1.5
Color: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -2
Clarity: -4
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 5500K, -1 Red & -2 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Fujicolor Natura 1600” Film Simulation Recipe on a Fujifilm X-E4:

Carpet & Curtain – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Crown Railroad Cafe – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Dinner Conversations – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Daily Specials – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Dynalift – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Ice Cream – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Concrete Blossoms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Tulips for Sale – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Hazy Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Evening Sun Through Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Flower Cluster – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Easter Egg Hunt – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Pine Tree & Rocks – Bryce Canyon NP, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Two Bridges – Bryce Canyon NP, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Fujicolor Natura 1600 recipe compared to the Fujicolor Superia 1600 recipe:

“Fujicolor Natura 1600”
“Fujicolor Superia 1600”

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 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!


Creative Collective 022: FXW Zine — Issue 06 — May 2022

The sixth 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 May issue? The cover story is Goodbye, Utah, which is an ode to Utah, since I am moving from that state. This issue concludes with an article about double-exposure scenes-in-jars photography. There are a total of 19 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 five issues, too!

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you join the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective today. Click here to learn more!

Goodbye Utah, Hello Adventures!

Denny’s Days – Beaver, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Kodachrome 64

Goodbye, Utah.

I’ve called Utah home for six years, but now it’s time to move on. It’s bitter-sweet, as I will certainly miss the unbelievable natural beauty of the state, but I’m excited for the new adventures that await. Utah is a great place to live—I feel very lucky to have called it home.

What you don’t know is that (quite literally) as soon as the last episode of SOOC ended, I began packing. And loading. And everything else that goes along with moving. I’ve been extraordinarily busy, to say the least! I apologize for not being very responsive to comments and emails and such over the last couple of weeks. I’m definitely behind on that, but I hope to catch up soon. I appreciate your patience!

Leaving the Neighborhood – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – Upcoming Recipe

What now? Where am I going?

The family and I started out on an epic all-American road-trip. We’ll be traveling for five weeks (!!!), which will allow for some awesome picture opportunities (and probably a few new Film Simulation Recipes). My goal is to keep up with Fuji X Weekly and all the other projects that I have going on, including SOOC, which will be live on May 12. I think some days will be particularly productive, and some days will be especially not, but with some luck it will all work out. I just ask for a little patience during those less-productive periods.

After the road trip is complete, we will end up in Arizona. We’re saying goodbye to mountains and trees and snow and hello to deserts and cacti and sunshine. We’ll get there just in time for the heat of summer, and I hope that we survive (I mean that humorously)—my wife and I used to live there years ago (it’s where we met and got married), so in a way it is a homecoming.

Utah was very good and will be greatly missed; however, many wonderful new experiences are just around the corner, and we’re very excited for that. Be sure to follow my journey on this blog and on Instagram!

Criticisms & Curation

Low Sun over Tetons Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Ferrania Solaris FG 400

I receive a lot of feedback—while most of it is positive, some of it is negative. Negative feedback isn’t inherently bad—in fact, it can be extraordinarily valuable—so I’m happy to receive it; however, not all of it is equal: there’s constructive criticism and destructive criticism.

Just guessing, about 70% of the negative feedback could be classified as destructive criticism, which is simply a put-down. It’s negativity for the sake of negativity. It’s meant to make the person saying it feel better about themselves by way of making someone else (me in this case) feel worse about themselves. People are mean sometimes, and that’s just the way it is. The world needs less destructive criticism and more kindness—the antidote is to be the kindness that the world desperately needs.

Constructive criticism is negative feedback that is meant well and is given with the intention of being helpful. Roughly 30% of negative feedback is constructive criticism. Within this, there are two sources: those who you should listen to and those who you shouldn’t. Just because someone has a complaint about something and they mean well doesn’t mean that you should listen to them. Do you trust them? Are they an authority or have some specific experience that makes them particularly qualified to offer quality advice? I would estimate that it is fifty-fifty on whether the constructive criticism is something valuable or not. That 15% of negative feedback that is constructive and from a trustworthy source is pure gold and much appreciated—well worth weeding through the 85% that isn’t.

Sometimes there are grey areas. Sometimes it’s not clear if the criticism is constructive or destructive, or whether the source is someone I should listen to or not. I tend to spend a lot of energy on these criticisms because I’m trying to figure out if there is value in it. So I have to process it. One such “grey area” criticism that I recently received is this: the pictures in one of my articles were not good enough for the words and subject—the article demanded better pictures to illustrate the point, and because the pictures weren’t good enough, I shouldn’t have published the article. Ouch!

Teton Blue – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Velvia v2

One thing that I’ve always struggled with is curation. Advice that I’ve received over and over and over again is that I should only show the best of the best photographs. If you only show the absolute cream-of-the-crop pictures, people will think you’re a better photographer. Perception is reality, right? People will think you’re a great photographer if all of the photographs of yours that they view are great. But if they start seeing mediocre images, they’ll think you are a mediocre photographer. The truth is that everyone—even the greatest photographers—captures “lesser” pictures sometimes, but some people don’t share those pictures, so nobody knows.

I think sometimes showing these mediocre pictures is more authentic and honest. I’m not sure where the line should drawn when trying to balance perception with vulnerability. Obviously you want people to think the best of you; however, if what you let them see is too carefully curated then you’ll come across as fake, or you’ll leave people disappointed if they do ever find out the truth. I find this to be a tough balancing act. I share more of my frames than most people do, and perhaps I do show too many “lesser” pictures, and that might not be good.

Because I share some of my mediocre pictures with you on this website, I’m able to publish more content. If I waited until I had 12 or more great photographs before publishing a Film Simulation Recipe, I’d have far, far fewer recipes. That’s always a struggle: quality vs. quantity. I have a large quantity of material, but have I not focused enough on quality? Have I sacrificed quality too often for the sake of quantity? Does the quality make the content relatable? These are questions that I ask myself, but I don’t have good answers to them. I hope that I can continuously review and refine what I do, and hopefully this website becomes better and better with time.

Am I not curating enough? I’m I publishing too much content too quickly? What is the right balance? I have to really consider these things. Perhaps these are questions you, too, are pondering. I’d love to hear what you think, especially if this is something you are working through yourself or have had to work through in the past. If you have criticisms, please try to make them constructive and not destructive, but I definitely want to hear your feedback, so leave me a note in the comments!