House Underwater – Thistle, Utah

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House in a Frozen Pond – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Thistle, Utah, is a strange place. It’s a little ghost town in Spanish Fork Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains. It was established in 1878 and was a railroad town, situated along the Rio Grande mainline. U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 89 intersected in Thistle. A lot of people and cargo passed through there, but the town never really became much of anything. At it’s peak in the 1920’s, the town had a population of just over 400 people.

I had heard of Thistle many years ago, because photographer Richard Steinheimer had captured two of his most well known pictures there. I had never visited it, nor did I have any idea of what it looked like, outside of a couple black-and-white prints captured in the 1950’s. It was a recent adventure that led me to stumble upon Thistle quite by accident. I passed through it not knowing what I was passing through, and stopped because I saw something interesting.

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Photo by Richard Steinheimer

Steinheimer, if he were still alive, would not recognize Thistle. Both highways have been rerouted and the tracks have been realigned. Even the Spanish Fork River isn’t entirely in the same place. The town is almost entirely gone, with the exception of a half-submerged house and some crumbling ruins that are barely hanging on. In 1983 there was a massive mudslide that demolished the little town of Thistle. It completely destroyed the area. At the time it was the costliest landslide in U.S. history.

The ruins of Thistle are easy to miss. On the west side of Route 89 are a couple crumbled buildings that almost blend into the landscape. On the east side of the highway is an old house that’s halfway deep in water, hidden behind some tall brush. I’m sure many people drive right through Thistle and don’t even realize it. There’s not much to see. There wasn’t much to see when the town was still a town, but there’s really not much left today.

I visited Thistle on a cold winter day, much like Steinheimer did back before my parents were even born. The location is beautiful, and the snow hides the tragic remains. I’m glad that fate took me to this cold and lonely place as I appreciate the adventure. Thistle will soon be completely gone and I’m thankful that I got to see it before then. Still, I don’t think I’ll be returning anytime soon.

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Ice Cold Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Defaced & Decaying – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Hidden Hiemal Haggard Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Old Frozen Home – Thistle, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Travel: Snow Canyon State Park – St. George, Utah

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Crevasse Tree – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Earlier this week my family and I traveled to southern Utah. One place that we visited was Snow Canyon State Park, which sits just outside of St. George. This place was new to us. I saw it on a map and thought it might be interesting, so we went. I knew nothing about Snow Canyon State Park other than how to get there. I didn’t have any expectations, but if I did they would have been blown away. This is a really neat state park!

Despite the name, Snow Canyon doesn’t receive much snow. It was named after the Snow family, who were early settlers to the area. The park features beautiful red sandstone, petrified sand dunes, a couple of small arches and different lava formations. It’s a place that begs to be explored. It’s a great location for hiking, camping and rock climbing–oh, and definitely photography!

We arrived about 30 minutes before sunset and stayed for about 15 minutes after. We didn’t have a long visit, which is a shame because it seems like an awesome park! In the short time that we were there we had a lot of fun. The kids ran around and explored as much as they could. From what I can tell the park has a lot to offer, including some large lava tubes that would have been fun to find. I didn’t know about the lava tubes until after we left, so we’ll have to find them the next time that we visit.

There are most certainly some great photographic opportunities in Snow Canyon. The place has something worthy of your camera’s attention at every turn! The quintessential red rocks of the region and the unusual land formations create the potential for great images. I was there for less than an hour and created the pictures in this article, which were captured using a Fujifilm X-T20. Zion National Park, which isn’t far away, get’s a lot of attention, but Snow Canyon State Park shouldn’t be overlooked! It is definitely worth your time to see.

Color

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Last Light On The Cliffs – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cliff Hanger – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Petrified Sand Dune – Snow Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Overcoming Adversity – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Crevasse Tree in Color – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fuji X-T20

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Autumn Tree – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Autumn Tree In Snow Canyon – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Exploring Kids – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Moon Over The Rocky Ridge – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

B&W:

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Rock Hills – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Monochrome Moon, Snow Canyon – Snow Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Using A Phone Because I Had Her Camera – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Small Arch In Monochrome – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Wood In The Sand – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Window Rock Joy – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Alone At The Top – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Monochrome Moonrise – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fuji X-T20

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado – Part 2: Color

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Sangre de Cristo & Sand Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

Part 1 – Monochrome

The Great Sand Dunes National Park lends itself well to black-and-white photography because of the highlight-and-shadow play that is so prevalent, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good place for color pictures. While I definitely came away with more monochrome images, a couple of my favorite pictures are in color. I imagine that autumn would be especially nice for color photography at this location, and perhaps late-spring or early summer when there is an abundance of fresh green. Late summer features a lot of brown, tan, and yellow, which can still be alright.

All of the photographs in this article are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro lens attached to the front. I used my Kodachrome II film simulation recipe for most of them. Enjoy!

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Sand Beneath The Peak – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Adversity Alone – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Long Walk Back – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sand In My Boot – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Approaching The Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sandal – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Torrid Terrain – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

Road Trip: Black Hills, South Dakota – Days 5 & 6

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East North East – Lusk, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

Days 1 & 2  Day 3 – Part 1  Day 3 – Part 2  Day 4 – Part 1  Day 4 – Part 2

The final two days of the road trip to South Dakota involved packing up the trailer and driving home. It was stormy and at times the wind was blowing hard, which meant a lot of white knuckles as I tried to stay on the road. Needles to say, I didn’t capture a whole lot of photographs! I did manage to get a little photography in here and there, which are the pictures you see here.

The Black Hills turned out to be more beautiful and interesting than I had imagined. I felt like I could have stayed several days longer to really experience the place. While Mount Rushmore was a slight let-down, the rest exceeded all expectations. If you’ve never been you’ll have to be sure to someday go.

You might have noticed that I didn’t capture a single photograph using my Fujifilm X100F. All of the photographs in this series were captured using my X-Pro2 (unedited camera-made JPEGs, by the way). The reason for this is that my wife was using the X100F on this trip. Now she has her own camera, an X-T20, so I have my X100F back.

You may have also noticed that I used the Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens a lot on this trip. I learned photography with a nifty-fifty, and for a long time that’s all I had. So having a 50mm (equivalent) focal length lens was a nice change of pace, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The Meike lens, while far from perfect, is well worth the small price it goes for.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this series. I know that viewing other people’s photographs of someplace is never the same as going yourself and creating your own images. But I hope that this inspires you to get out on your own road trip, camera in hand, to see the wonderful world that’s around you.

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Wyoming Thunderstorm – Orin, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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On Track To Rain – Orin, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Storm Over Orin – Orin, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Unleaded Sky – Orin, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Fingernail Moon – Alcova, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Always Moving Ahead – Rawlins, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Trucks, Stopped – Rawlins, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

 

 

Road Trip: Black Hills, South Dakota – Day 4, Part 2

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Paddling Sylvan Lake – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

Days 1 & 2  Day 3 – Part 1  Day 3 – Part 2  Day 4 – Part 1

After my adventurous morning in Custer State Park, I returned back to the campsite as everyone else was waking up. Once breakfast was finished we drove a short distance to Hill City to visit the small railroad museum and watch the steam train arrive (which we almost missed because we were in the museum). Afterwards we had lunch and then returned to camp.

The afternoon was kept low-key. In the early evening we returned to Sylvan Lake to catch some fish. My eight-year-old son, Jonathan, was eager to attempt fishing in South Dakota. Unfortunately, the kids didn’t catch anything, although we could see the fish jumping all over the place. Still, we had a great time and Sylvan Lake is incredibly beautiful.

That night, after everyone was asleep, my wife and I did some astrophotography (my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were camping with us and stayed behind with the kids). We drove up the Needles Highway to Needles Eye, set the camera up on a tripod, and did some long exposures. It was extremely dark and a little creepy, as we heard plenty of noises around us–that area is full of wildlife. The night sky was full of stars and simply breathtaking. Unfortunately, the cloud-like Milky Way wasn’t visible, and I knew it wasn’t going to be because I had done some research before the trip, but I still wanted to get some nighttime photography in.

I used a Fujifilm X-Pro2 for these photographs, which are all camera-made JPEGs using the different film simulations. I attached a Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens and a Fujinon 16mm f/1.4 lens to the camera. Enjoy!

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Semaphore – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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1880 – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Telegraph Office – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Tall Train Tales – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Hartmann – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Wood Cart – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Save Money – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Caboose Roof – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Amanda, Looking Through The Lens – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Boy With A Fishing Pole – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Preparing To Cast – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Fishing With A Worm – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Fishing Can Be Gross – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Line In The Water – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Joshua Fishing At Sylvan Lake – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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The Cast – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Impatiently Waiting – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Casting The Line – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Johanna Watching From Her Stroller – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Rocks & Trees, Sylvan Lake – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Sylvan Lake In May – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Wood & Stone – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Sylvan Lake Reflection – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Stars & Stones – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Stars Over Stones – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Needles Eye Night – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

Days 5 & 6

Road Trip: Grand Canyon National Park, Part 2: Monochrome

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Canyon Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 – Color

I’ve heard it said that at Grand Canyon National Park your widest lens isn’t wide enough and your longest lens isn’t long enough, no matter how wide-angle or telephoto those lenses might be. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon several times, and each time I’ve felt that way. The place is amazing, yet it seems difficult to do it justice with a camera.

The canyon is huge! The national park is almost 2,000 square miles. The Colorado River traverses 277 miles through it. At its deepest point (or, really, the highest part of the rim to the river) is 6,000′. The longest stretch across rim-to-rim is 18 miles. It’s hard to effectively portray this scale in a photograph.

The Grand Canyon is the most photographed landmark in Arizona and one of the most photographed places in America, with tens of thousands of images created within the park daily. The task of creating something that’s photographically unique is nearly impossible. I’m sure that there are hundreds of pictures that look almost identical to mine. One has to spend significant time within the park, as well as exercise the creative mind, in order to capture something different than what’s already been done before.

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Watchtower Sky – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

I was attempting art with some of the photographs that I captured at the Grand Canyon. Other images were family snapshots meant simply for memories. There’s a difference between interpreting and documenting. Both are valid and serve different purposes, and they each take a different approach to accomplish. In this article you’ll find both.

I used my Fujifilm X100F for most of these pictures, which are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. The Acros Film Simulation makes for exceptional monochrome images, and I used my Acros and Acros Push-Process film simulations for these X100F images. I used my Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens for three of these pictures, which are also camera-made JPEGs. I used the Monochrome film simulation, which isn’t as good as Acros, but the X-A3 doesn’t have Acros so I couldn’t use it.

I love black-and-white photography, and Grand Canyon National Park is a wonderful place to create monochrome images. I look forward to returning. Grand Canyon is a special place, and it’s been much too long between visits. Maybe next time I can stay a little longer.

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Kids Approaching The Rim – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Maricopa Point – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M 

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Canyon Juniper – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Boy Riding Backwards – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Strapped In Her Stroller – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Joy of Window Shopping – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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From Behind Glass – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Two Young Explorers – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Tree Over Arch – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Of Light & Shadow – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon Grand – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Scraggly Tree At Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Looking West From Desert View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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The Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Mary’s Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Watchtower Sun – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Desert Watchtower – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Telescoping – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon River – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Sky Above The Canyon Below – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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The Grand View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Heavenly Sky – Valle, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Passed By – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Road Trip: Grand Canyon National Park, Part 1: Color

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Grand Canyon From Desert View – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

A couple of weeks ago my family and I jumped in the car and made the long drive to Grand Canyon National Park. From my house to the hotel we booked in Williams, Arizona, was nine hours of driving, not including stops. We left early and arrived late, weary from the road. Really, it was too many hours in the car for one day, but we only had a short time for this adventure, so we pushed through to our destination.

The next day we got back in the car and drove 45 minutes to Tusayan, the tiny town right outside the entrance of the national park, and had some breakfast. After our bellies were full, and with cups of hot coffee, we continued the short trek to Grand Canyon Village and to the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon several times before, and the reaction for first-time visitors, as well as those who haven’t been in awhile, is the same: “Whoa!” That first look is always awe-inspiring and breathtaking. It just appears so impossibly grand! Everything seems so small and insignificant in comparison. It really is the magic of this incredible place.

We walked along the Rim Trail for awhile, stepping into some of the historic lodges and buildings along the way. We encountered the Bright Angel Trail and headed down, but only to the tunnel, which is probably about a mile trek round-trip. Someday I’d like to hike all the way to the bottom, but this wasn’t the trip for that.

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Grand Sight – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Lunch was at the Harvey House Cafe. Then we headed to the car to drive around and see more sights. Heading east on Highway 64, we made it to Desert View and saw the Watchtower, which is at the eastern end of the park. On the way back towards the village we stopped at a few overlooks. It was approaching dinner, so we said goodbye to Grand Canyon National Park and traveled back to Williams.

I cannot say enough how amazingly beautiful Grand Canyon National Park is! If I had more time I would have made sure to be there for sunrise and sunset. This was just a quick visit, so I missed both golden hours. Early the next morning we left for home, which is near Salt Lake City, Utah. We encountered some winter weather, so the drive back ended up being longer than the drive out. To say that we were happy to be home when we arrived close to midnight would be a huge understatement. It was two full days of being crammed in the car just to be at the Grand Canyon for one day, but it was completely worth it!

For these photographs I used a Fujifilm X100F and a Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens. The X100F was great because it fit into my jacket pocket and captured wonderful pictures with ease. The X-A3 with the Jupiter lens was bulky and heavy and became tiresome carrying around my neck, but it allowed me to capture some images that I simply couldn’t with the other camera. When you travel, smaller and lighter is almost always better, but sometimes something more is needed.

These are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, and I used Velvia, Classic Chrome, PRO Neg. Std, and PRO Neg. Hi film simulations. Not editing the pictures saved me tons of time, and both cameras did an excellent job thanks to Fujifilm’s fine JPEG engine, which I rely heavily on. If I had post-processed RAW files instead, the results wouldn’t be much different to what you see here, except that I’d still be sitting in front of the computer editing them. Instead, they were finished before I even got home, and you’re able to enjoy them today.

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Kids At The Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Amanda, Johanna & I – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F – captured by Joy Roesch

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Kids On Bright Angel Trail – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Evergreen Tree & Red Canyon – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Canyon Behind The Pines – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Grand Canyon Railway – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Lamp In The Lodge – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Hopi Art – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Unforgiving Environment – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Colorado River of Green – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Red Canyon Walls – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Trees, Rocks & Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Light Over A Barren Landscape – Valle, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Get Your Gifts On Route 66 – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Neon Gifts – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Cheap Room – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Neon Bistro – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Drink Coke – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Steaks & BBQ – Williams, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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BBQ & Coke – Williams, AZ – X100F

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Fire In The Sky – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Spiked Cactus – Kanab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Kids At Moqui Cave – Kanab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Anderson Mountain – Paragonah, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

Part 2 – B&W

Travel: Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

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Endless Canyons – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

The day after visiting Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah, I checked out Dead Horse Point State Park. It is located very close to the Island In The Sky district of Canyonlands and offers stunning views of the national park. It’s essentially a smaller Island In The Sky with some good views of the Colorado River.

The story behind the name is tragic. Early settlers used these “sky islands” as natural pens for livestock and other animals. Even the local Native Americans did this to an extent. Some early American settlers trapped a group of wild horses on the mesa that’s now the state park. They picked the mustangs that they wanted to tame, then left the others on the mesa to die of thirst. That’s why it’s called Dead Horse Point. My 10-year-old daughter loves horses, and she was particularly appalled at the story. That, of course, is just a brief dark period for this land, but the name stuck, even though it is a little grim.

Dead Horse Point State Park is breathtakingly beautiful! The views are stunning. For the most part, what you see is Canyonlands National Park, just from a little different angle. You actually get better views of the Colorado River here than on Island In The Sky. It’s surprising to me that this section isn’t included in the national park system.

If you have the choice between the two, definitely go for Canyonlands. If you have time for a little more, visit Dead Horse Point. On the way out from Moab on the way home, my family and I detoured to see the state park. It took us, from the time we left U.S. 191 to the time we returned, a total of three hours. We could have stayed much longer, but we were a little strapped for time.

Lighting was terrible for photography when I was at the state park. There was a thin high overcast layer of clouds that did just enough to make the light ugly. Also, I was there mid-morning, well past the golden hour. I used a Fujifilm X100F and Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens attached to capture these images. I edited the camera-made JPEGs using Nik Color Efex and Nik Silver Efex software, with the exception of two, which are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I would have preferred to rely just on the JPEGs unedited, but the light was just so ugly for photography while I was there that they needed some work to make them look decent.

I didn’t capture any great photographs while at Dead Horse Point State Park, but I definitely saw the potential. At the right time under the right light, the opportunity to capture some portfolio worthy images certainly exists at this place. I hope to return sometime in the near future to capture better photographs.

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The Dead Tree – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Erode Down – Dead Horse Point State Park, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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La Sal From Dead Horse Point – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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South Vista – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The River Bend – Dead Horse SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rock Temple – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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A River Runs Through It – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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River Island – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Cliff Above The Canyon – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Hanging On – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Long Ways – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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

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Desert West – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Red Desert Cliffs – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

Travel: Canyonlands National Park, Part 2: Monochrome

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Subtlety – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

Part 1

I surprised myself with how few images I captured in monochrome of Canyonlands National Park. During that visit I most often chose color, as the lighting made for wonderful color photographs, and I only went with black-and-white here and there. This is the opposite of what happened at Arches National Park earlier in the day, in which I chose monochrome more often because of the poor light. In general, I’m more drawn towards black-and-white photography, and so it was very unusual for me to focus so much on color.

Canyonlands was a  joy to photograph and I felt like I came away with some print-worthy exposures. The pictures in this post were mostly captured using my Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens attached, which is a good telephoto combination. I used the Monochrome+R film simulation, which isn’t as good as Acros, but the X-A3 doesn’t have Acros and so I couldn’t use it (the lone Fujifilm X100F image was captured using Acros). All of these photographs are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, which I prefer because it saves me tons of time. A couple of them could have been slightly improved if I had edited the RAW exposure, but the JPEGs are certainly good enough in this case.

If I ever have the chance, I’d love to spend a week at Canyonlands National Park. I feel like I barely touched the surface of the potential photo opportunities there. It seems like a place that could provide plenty of portfolio material. It was just so breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful. I just can’t say enough about Canyonlands! If you ever have the chance to go, definitely go, you won’t be disappointed.

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La Sal Moon – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fuji X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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La Sal From Island In The Sky – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Mountains Through Mesa Arch – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Tree at Grand View Overlook – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Oh, Deer – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Monochrome Mesas – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

See also: Dead Horse Point State Park

Travel: Canyonlands National Park, Part 1: Color

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Canyon Pinion – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

On the same day that I visited Arches National Park in Utah, I also made it to Canyonlands National Park, which is right around the corner. Even though these two national parks are quite close, they are very much different places. Arches is known for unusual and seemingly impossible rock formations, while Canyonlands, which also has some unusual rock formations, is more known for amazing vistas and seemingly endless canyons.

My visit to Arches was marked by poor midday light. On the other hand, since I arrived at the park entrance about 90 minutes before sunset, I managed to catch Canyonlands under much better late-evening light. Even though I spent twice as much time at Arches National Park, I felt that my best pictures on this trip were captured inside Canyonlands National Park.

Another difference between Arches and Canyonlands is that one park had many tourists and the other had only a few. Canyonlands seemed more open and peaceful, and I felt a deeper connection with this place. I enjoyed Canyonlands immensely, and my biggest regret was not spending more time there.

Canyonlands National Park is huge, and I only did the Island In The Sky tour, which is a small portion of the park. Because my time was limited, I missed out on some great locations within the Island In The Sky quadrant. I imagine that one could spend a few weeks at Canyonlands and not see and experience everything.

My gear was a Fujifilm X100F and Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens attached. I used many different film simulations, including Velvia, PRO Neg. StdPRO Neg. Hi, Astia, and Classic Chrome, but mostly Velvia. All of these are camera-made JPEGs. I think a few of them are worth printing.

I love America’s national parks, and one of my favorites is Canyonlands National Park. It has a peaceful yet draw-dropping beauty that begs you to explore and experience. I’ve never been to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, but I image it to be a similar experience. It’s a place where you can relax, reflect and restore. It’s a great place to photograph. I will return, camera in hand.

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Rural Fork – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fuji X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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No – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Young Explorers – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Feeling Blue – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Green Tree – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Mesa Arch – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Family At Mesa Arch – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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La Sal Through Mesa Arch – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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La Sal Behind Mesa Arch – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Mesa Arch View – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Plateau & Mesa – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Canyonlands View – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Hoodoos – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Canyons – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Full Moon Over Grand View – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Juniper – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Orange Canyons – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Canyonlands Evening – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Canyonlands Sunset – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

Part 2 – Monochrome

Travel: Arches National Park – Part 2: Monochrome

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Arch & La Sal – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

Part 1

As I mentioned in part one, the lighting for photography was pretty terrible during the few hours that I was at Arches National Park. Still, the place was nothing short of amazing! I wanted to capture it all, and found that black-and-white was often a better choice than color. I think if I had been there closer to sunrise or sunset, color would have been the way to go. Because I was up against the harsh midday sun, monochrome seemed to better express the abnormally stunning landscape.

On the X100F I used my Acros and Acros Push-Process film simulations, except that I had the dynamic range set to DR400. I often chose Acros+R to simulate the use of a red filter (making the blue sky darker), although the results are closer to what one would get with an orange filter in real black-and-white film photography and not a red filter. On the X-A3 I primarily used the B&W+R film simulation with the highlights and shadows set to +2, which seems to give the right amount of contrast in most situations.

All of the photographs in this article are camera-made JPEGs. If I had relied on RAW and used Lightroom or some other software on my computer, I’d probably still be editing the pictures. Instead, I saved a ton of time and relied on the camera’s great JPEG processor. I’m happy with the results. I didn’t capture any portfolio worthy pictures, but all things considered, I managed at least a few decent photographs that I’m proud to show here. I just hope for the opportunity to return and photograph Arches National Park in better light.

If you ever have the chance to go, I highly recommend this place. It’s so unusual, filled with seemingly impossible formations and brilliant colors. It’s a landscape photographer’s playground. Or just a great place to wander in the wonder of nature. I enjoyed my short visit to Arches National Park, and I cannot wait to return, hopefully sooner than later.

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Park Avenue – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Queen Nefertiti – Arches NP, UT – Fuji X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Beanpole – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Mt. Peale In The Distance – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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La Sal Range – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Monochrome Rocks – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Gossip – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Balanced Rock – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Balance – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Graboid – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Monument – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Window Arch & La Sal – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Bird Flew – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Monochrome Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rock Window – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Mt Peale – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Tree In Rocky Terrain – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Window Arch In Monochrome – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cairn & Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Desert Is Unforgiving – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Three Stone Peaks – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Monochrome Layers – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Over The Desert Ridge – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Hidden Human Head – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

Travel: Arches National Park – Part 1: Color

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North Windows Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I moved from California to Utah almost two years ago. One reason that my wife and I chose Utah was its proximity to many great National Parks. So far we’ve made it to a few, but not nearly as many as I would like. Last week the opportunity came to take my family to Moab, Utah, to see Arches National Park, and so we went.

When I was a kid my family visited Arches National Park, but it had been nearly three decades since I was last there. In fact, I was near the age of my two oldest children. Even though it had been a long time, the park seemed familiar, and I was constantly saying, “Oh, I remember this!” It was really good to return, and to share the experience with my family.

The weather was quite pleasant. It was sunny with blue skies. The temperature was little cool but not cold, far from scorching hot like it gets in the summer and not freezing cold like it was that same day at my house near Salt Lake City. We were there midday, so the lighting was about as awful for photography as one could find. The shadows were deep and the light-colored rocks were reflecting the brilliant sunlight. Trying to balance the exposures was a tricky task, because it was easy to have blocked-up shadows or blown highlights or both.

Arches National Park is simply amazing! The odd red rock formations seem like something from another planet. The place looks fragile and even sometimes impossible. It’s a grand landscape in a harsh and barren desert. It’s worth seeing, if you ever find yourself in southern Utah. If you do go, make sure you download onto your phone the GyPSy automated tour guide app. It’s the best few dollars I’ve spent on an app ever.

I brought along a Fujifilm X100F, which is the camera I most enjoy using, and a Fujifilm X-A3 with a Jupiter 21M lens attached, which is my telephoto option. I used DR400 on both cameras because of the harsh light conditions. I used Velvia, PRO Neg. HiClassic Chrome and Eterna film simulations for these images. All of these pictures are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs.

I don’t believe that I captured any great color images at Arches National Park, but I do think I got a few decent exposures. It just wasn’t a good lighting, and photography is about light perhaps more than anything else. I do hope to return sometime in the near future, and maybe I’ll be able to photograph the place under better conditions.

It’s very difficult to capture anything remotely unique when visiting a heavily photographed location. Thousands of pictures are made inside Arches National Park every day. I always attempt at unique, knowing full well that I will probably fail. Are these pictures art? Maybe a couple of them. Mostly they’re snapshots, simple memory aids for my family. I hope you appreciate what I captured and that you enjoy these pictures.

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Close Knit Rock Family – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Cliff Dwelling – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Outdoor Kids – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Birds Allowed – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Green Tree, Red Rock – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Down The Steps – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Under The Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Kids In The Window – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Looking Through Windows Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Turret Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Trail To Turret Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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South Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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A Harsh Dry Land – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Red Desert – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Reaching – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Hot & Cold – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

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Delicate Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3 & Jupiter 21M

Part 2: Arches National Park in Monochrome

Fujifilm X100F, The Chronicle Camera (At McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park)

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Train Ride Through The Christmas Tunnel – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

There are many reasons to photograph. It might be because someone is paying you money to do so. It could be because you want to hang a pretty picture on your wall. Perhaps you want to share what you ate for lunch with your social network followers. Maybe you have a message you want to photographically convey. Or it might be because you are compelled to create art. There are any number of reasons to take a picture.

Ever since I purchased my Fujifilm X100F, I have found myself much more than ever before using the camera to chronicle my family and the adventures we have. I’m documenting us, the Roesch family. This is something I’ve always done, but never to the extent that I’ve done over the last six months. I’ve captured a heck-of-a-lot of family snapshots lately.

There are several reasons why I’m photographing my family more, and it comes down to gear. The X100F is the perfect chronicle camera. It’s small and lightweight enough to fit in my pocket, so I carry it around with me and it’s never in the way. The image quality is nothing short of fantastic. Many of the different film simulations are great for people pictures. The leaf shutter and built-in fill-flash are great for portraits. It produces wonderful pictures right out of the camera that don’t require editing, so I’m not bogged down with post-processing.

That last point is an important one. I used to spend hours and hours and hours sitting in front of a computer screen editing RAW files. That’s time spent away from family. My workflow was constantly backlogged. I found myself purposefully not capturing images because I knew that meant editing them, which required time that I didn’t have. In fact, I still have thousands of RAW exposures sitting on hard drives that I never got around to post-processing.

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Joyful Johanna – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

With the X100F, I not only have more time to capture pictures, but I’m also not worried about the time that I would have to spend with each image after exposure. I click the shutter and the image is done. It’s ready to be uploaded to the web (which is where I backup my pictures). I’ve saved so much time, and I believe that this more than anything accounts for why I’m now taking more family snapshots.

Years from now these pictures will be worth more to my family and I than any of the other ones. These will be the cherished photographs. I have an old box of slides that my grandparents captured, mostly in the 1950’s and 1960’s. There are images of Yosemite and Yellowstone and such in that box, but the pictures that are most interesting are the family snapshots. Pictures of my dad and his siblings as young kids, or my grandparents when they were young adults, are particularly fascinating.

The photographs in this post are from our family trip to Arizona last Christmas. There’s a really neat place in Scottsdale called the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, which is just an incredible place for any train enthusiast (and what kid isn’t a train enthusiast?). We spent an afternoon at the park, and these are the family snapshots that I captured. The kids had a blast! It was a really good couple of hours. Because I chronicled it with my camera–the adventure was documented–my kids and their future kids will have these treasured exposures. This will be meaningful to them.

The Fujifilm X100F is a great camera because, among other things, it makes family snapshots easy, producing excellent results without fuss. I’m so glad that I purchased it six months ago. I can’t wait to use it to chronicle the next family adventure, wherever and whenever that might be.

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Looking Out The Bright Window – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Christmas Joy – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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What Time Does The Train Leave? – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Leaving The Station – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Learning Scale – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Joshua At The Train Museum – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Trolley Driver – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Bottle Time – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Happy Holiday Baby – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Happy Girls – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Joy On The Lighted Path – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Christmas Bulb Reflection – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Our Arizona Christmas – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F (captured by a stranger)

Road Trip: Seattle With Fujifilm X100F – Part 5, Bonney Lake & Tacoma (Day 5)

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Mount Rainier From Bonney Lake – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

For the third full day in the Seattle, Washington, area we planned to explore south of downtown, roughly around Tacoma. After experiencing mostly good weather on the trip, this day saw lots of rain, which is typical weather for the time of year. After breakfast and coffee we got in the car and headed south.

We drove around for awhile, seeing the different suburbs and such. It was wet outside so we didn’t stop much. We found ourselves in the town of Bonney Lake, which is a community situated in the trees with great views of Mount Rainier. The rain briefly stopped, so we got out of the car and relaxed outdoors, just taking it all in. We found a little park for the kids to play and sat by a fire to keep warm, which was very nice. We made our way down a trail through the woods. It really reminded me of the things about the Pacific Northwest that I loved as a kid.

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Forest Trail – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Five Yellow Leaves – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Johanna & Mommy – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Keeping Warm By The Fire – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Kids By The Fire – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Road To Mt. Rainier – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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To Keep Us Warm – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Baby Lunchtime – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Salute Your Story – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Where The Fern Grows – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Mount Rainier Behind The Pines – Bonney Lake, WA – Fujifilm X100F

After awhile it was time to leave Bonney Lake and so we made our way to downtown Tacoma for lunch. As a kid I remember Tacoma being a bit of a rundown dump. We discovered that it’s not, but a delightful little city on the coast. I’m not sure if my memory was incorrect, or if they’ve really cleaned the place up. Whatever the case, Tacoma was a pleasant surprise.

We found a tasty restaurant in downtown Tacoma. We wanted to explore downtown, but the weather kept us from doing much. We did manage to walk around a little and see a few local stores.

We got back in the car and explored the area more. We motored across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (and back) and through the Point Defiance Park, but didn’t get out. It was just raining too much, and so we saw the sights by looking out the car’s windows.

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The Harmon – Tacoma, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Bleach – Tacoma, WA – Fujifilm X100F

We hopped on a ferry boat and floated onto Vashon Island. I’d always heard great things about Vashon, that it was a beautiful place and a must-see for a visit to Seattle, and I’d never been. It was high on my agenda for this trip.

Unfortunately, the rain came down even harder and we didn’t get to see much. We found a country store and picked up some local jelly. We drove to the Point Robinson Lighthouse on Maury Island (which is connected to Vashon Island). Everyone kept dry in the car while I trudged down a muddy trail to get a picture.

It was beginning to get dark and dinnertime was approaching, so we floated on another ferry to Seattle. We had dinner at a restaurant that I ate at as a kid and remember liking. It tasted exactly as I remembered.

In retrospect, this day included too much driving and not enough fun. We should have explored less and maybe visited a museum. My wife and I agreed that this was the least enjoyable day of the three full days that we were there. Still, we did see some interesting things and there were some great moments. I came away with a few decent pictures.

All of these photographs are camera-made JPEGs from my Fujifilm X100F, using my Acros Push Process Film Simulation recipe, my Velvia Film Simulation recipe and my Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe. One fully-charged battery lasted the whole day no problem. I left my wide-angle conversion lens at the hotel. Even though the X100F isn’t weather sealed, it got wet a number of times and survived just fine.

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Point Robinson Lighthouse – Maury Island, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 6

Road Trip: Seattle With A Fujifilm X100F – Part 4, Downtown Seattle, 2nd Impression: Pike Place (Day 4b)

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Meet Farmers – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

After Seattle Center, the next stop on our agenda was Pike Place Farmers Market. This is another iconic Seattle site, best known for flying fish and the original Starbucks. It’s popular among locals and tourists alike, and so you can imagine that it’s very busy, packed with people.

Trying to find parking was a nightmare. With some patience and luck, we were fortunate to find a space that wasn’t too expensive and was within a reasonable walk. Once we were at the market, the crowds were so thick it was hard to get around, and it was a constant battle to not get separated from each other.

We had a list of places that we wanted to visit. We didn’t get to most of them because there were long lines just about everywhere. We did eat some delicious cheesecake. We saw some fish being thrown, which was a highlight (I really wanted to catch one, but I didn’t want to smell like fish the rest of the day). We bought some colorful local flowers.

Pike Place turned out to be both fun and disappointing. We had a good time at times, but it was overly crowded, and not a good place to take four young kids because of that. We didn’t get to experience everything we wanted, things that my wife and I had talked about for weeks leading up to this trip, but what we did get to experience was enjoyable.

As far as photography, this is a great place for street-type pictures. The biggest issue is that it’s been photographed so much, trying to capture something that hasn’t been done before by hundreds of other people is a near impossible task. Also, I noticed that many of the vendors have signs prohibiting photography, which brings up legal and ethical questions. Still, I enjoyed making exposures at Pike Place and the X100F was a great camera for this location.

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Time For The Public Market – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Public Fish Market – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Pure Fish – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Silver Salmon – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Market Snack – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Exiting Entrance – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Seattle From Inside Pike Place Market – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Public Parking – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Standin’ On A Corner – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Left Bar – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Quality Always – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Local Grown – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Fresh Crab – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Soiled Babies That Way – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Seafood Stand – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Crab Toss – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Pike Place Farmers Market – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Next, we went to the Ballard Locks, which are also known as the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. This is where boats get lowered into the salty sea water from the fresh lake water or vice versa. The Puget Sound connects to Lake Union (which connects to Lake Washington) through Salmon Bay, which is where the Ballard Locks are located. The lake level is a little higher than the ocean, and the locks allow boats to go back and forth.

We arrived right at sunset, and the light for photography quickly disappeared. We didn’t stay very long, but we did get to see one boat go through the locks. It was the wrong time of year to watch the salmon (something this place is known for), but other sea life was active. It was an interesting stop and the kids had a good time.

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Watch Your Lines – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Salmon Bay Boats – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

We ended our downtown Seattle adventure with dinner in the Ballard neighborhood. There’s a small-city-downtown area (that’s how I would describe it) with shops and restaurants. It was well after dark. Parking was terrible (had to circle the area a few times), but we found coffee and pizza that were both excellent. It was a good way to end a great day.

I exhausted the battery on the X100F for the first time, but I had a spare in my pocket. I was pretty much done taking pictures, so I only made a few exposures on the backup battery. I had my wide-angle conversion lens with me, but didn’t use it. All of these pictures are camera-made JPEGs using my Acros Push Process Film Simulation recipe, my Velvia Film Simulation recipe and my Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe.

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Upstairs Clearance – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Strong Coffee – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 5 Part 6

Road Trip: Seattle With A Fujifilm X100F – Part 3, Downtown Seattle, 1st Impression: Seattle Center (Day 4a)

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Downtown Seattle – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 Part 2

The fourth day of our road trip was dedicated to downtown Seattle. After finishing breakfast at the hotel, we jumped into the car and drove to Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle, which is perhaps Seattle’s most iconic landmark.

We found parking and coffee and made the short walk to the tall, pointy tower, which we discovered is currently being remodeled. A glass floor is being added to the bottom. Thankfully the Space Needle’s observation deck was still open during construction and the elevator operational. We purchased tickets and had an hour to kill before our scheduled time.

Seattle Center, as it turns out, is home to a lot more than just the Space Needle. There are museums, restaurants, a monorail, a fountain and a park. This was the site of the 1962 World’s Fair, and Seattle has made it a destination. One could spend an entire day at Seattle Center and perhaps not see and do everything. It felt like this was the Pacific Northwest’s version of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, just without the roller coaster and with some homeless loitering.

We didn’t visit any of the museums, although if I had planned the trip better I would have. Instead we walked around for awhile, just taking it all in. We found a guy making huge bubbles, and the kids (ours and stranger’s) were going nuts for this. Soon it was time to take the elevator to the top, and see Seattle from Space… er, I mean, see Seattle from the Space Needle’s observation deck.

Even though I lived a few different places in the Seattle area as a kid, I never once went to the Seattle Center. I had never been inside the Space Needle. I’m not sure why, but my parents never took me there. It was a first-time experience for me as well as my wife and kids.

My three-year-old son would later say that riding the Space Needle’s elevator was his favorite part of the trip. It was a quick and smooth trip up, and soon we were overlooking the Puget Sound area, with spectacular views of the ocean, islands, skyscrapers and even Mt. Rainier. It turned out to be a lovely day to take in the views, with partly sunny skies and tolerable temperatures.

Inside the Space Needle they had some virtual reality goggles set up where you can experience (sort of) skydiving off of the tall building. My two older kids enjoyed this, it was an extra treat for them, the icing on the cake, to this memorable experience.

The Space Needle was a highlight of our trip, and my kids talked about it for days after returning home. It’s an iconic site that’s a must-see for anyone visiting the city. It should come as no surprise that it’s a great place for capturing photographs. Some of my favorite pictures from the trip were photographed here.

I used a Fujifilm X100F to capture these images. I started out with my wide-angle conversion lens attached, then, while at the top of the Space Needle, took it off for a few exposures. These are camera-made JPEGs using my Velvia Film Simulation recipe and my Acros Push Process Film Simulation recipe.

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Seattle Grind – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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POF – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Up Towards Space – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Pointy – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Space Needle Remodel – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Way Up There – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Seattle’s Space Needle – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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We Were Here – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Autumn At Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Bubbles In Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Bubble Play – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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The Key To Fun Is Bubbles – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Minimal Amusement – Seattle, Washington – Fujifilm X100F

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Bubble Hazard – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Kids At The International Fountain – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Puget Sound Vista – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Looking Pacific Northwest – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Seattle From Space – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Downtown Seattle Vista – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Seattle Skyline – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Monochrome Seattle – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Questioning Face – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Virtual Boy – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Vive – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Virtual Crowd – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Space Needle Monochrome – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 4 Part 5 Part 6