You might or might not have noticed the recent RitchieCam 1.6.1 update. The App Store description states, “Temporarily removed HEIC format on certain operating systems until a future RitchieCam update.” So what’s going on?
There’s a weird bug on iOS 17 that affects RitchieCam. While iOS 17 isn’t officially out yet, the Beta test version is available today. Sometime between two and three weeks from now, Apple will make iOS 17 available to all compatible iPhones (which will be most), and your phone might even automatically update itself to the new operating system overnight as you sleep. It’s uncertain if Apple will fix the bug prior to publicly launching iOS 17 in mid-September.
The weird bug only affects HEIC format, and not JPEG. Photos captured using the HEIC format on RitchieCam display strangely like a double-exposure, as if the picture is offset and enlarged over itself with a 50% opacity. If you share the images (text, airdrop, email) to a non-iOS 17 device (for example, an iPhone with iOS 16, or a computer) it displays normally, but on iOS 17 phones, it displays super weirdly. HEIC images captured with the standard Apple camera app don’t seem to have this issue.
I don’t know what exactly is causing the problem, so I don’t yet know how to fix it. It’s been reported to Apple, so I’m hoping that when iOS 17 is released next month, they’ll have fixed whatever it is that they did to cause this issue, but I have no way to know if they will or not. If not, I hope to get to the bottom of it and have HEIC working properly again soon.
The temporary fix that RitchieCam version 1.6.1 provides is simple: disable HEIC on iPhones that have iOS 17. If your iPhone has iOS 16.6 or older, there’s no change for you. Whatever you have selected, whether HEIC or JPEG, will work as normal. But if you have the iOS 17 Beta, or the public version when it is released soon, RitchieCam will default to JPEG, and HEIC will be unavailable for you to choose. I’m really sorry if this causes any trouble. Hopefully it will be short-lived, and HEIC will be available in the near future for iOS 17.
I also want to say “thank you” to everyone who reported this issue to me. Your feedback allowed this temporary fix to be made available before the new operating system rolled out to the masses. I really appreciate your help!
For those with an iPhone, you can access Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipes right on your wrist! With the latest Fuji X Weekly update for iOS (1.6.0), the App is available for Apple Watch. If your iPhone didn’t automatically update the App, be sure to manually do it now.
Why might you need Film Simulation Recipes on your Apple Watch? First, for some it will be easier to enter a Recipe into your camera with the parameters on your wrist, rather than trying to do it while holding a phone (especially when out in the field). Second, if you left your phone behind (say, in the car), you can still access a particular Recipe if you have an Apple Watch on your wrist—a scenario that actually happened during the process of creating this update. Third, the Random Recipe selector is more readily available, and can make your photo outing even more fun. Fourth, the Fuji X Weekly Apple Watch App has a unique feature.
On the Apple Watch, the Fuji X Weekly App will display the five most recently-viewed Film Simulation Recipes (it will begin tracking this once the App has been updated). If you viewed a particular Recipe, then maybe looked at a couple others, but now want to go back to the first, it’s easy, because the App keeps track of the last five viewed—this is whether the Recipes were opened on the Apple Watch or the iPhone. This is also for the Random Recipe selector, so you could have the Fuji X Weekly App pick (for example) three different Random Recipes to use on a photowalk, and you’ll find all three in the Recently Viewed list on your watch. Cool, right?! This is the new feature that’s only available on the Apple Watch.
If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron subscriber, whatever Filtering you have on your iPhone will carry over to the watch App. So if you have (for example) Filter by Fujifilm X-T4 and Filter by Black & White selected, the watch will only display B&W Film Simulation Recipes that are compatible with the X-T4. The Apple Watch mirrors whatever Filter options are currently selected on the phone App. Also, multi-colored Stars for Favorite Recipes behaves the same on the Apple Watch as the iPhone; you cannot add or modify a Star on the watch—only the phone—but it will display the same on the Apple Watch as the iPhone. Oh, and any Custom Recipes you’ve created in the phone App will be displayed in the watch. The best App experience—including the best Apple Watch App experience—is reserved for Patron subscribers!
Any notes that you have added underneath the Film Simulation Recipes on the Fuji X Weekly iPhone App will be displayed in the Apple Watch; you cannot type any notes on the watch App, only on the phone, but you can view the notes you’ve already added.
The Recipes on the Apple Watch are sorted A-Z. Whatever Sort option (Z-A, New-to-Old, etc.) you have selected in the phone App will not carry over to the watch. The logic behind this is that you’re not likely going to use the Apple Watch to browse Film Simulation Recipes, but are most likely seeking a specific Recipe, and it’s probably going to be significantly easier to find when displayed in alphabetical order. For this reason, the watch will only Sort A-Z, and the other options are unavailable.
When you update the Fuji X Weekly App on your iPhone (if your phone didn’t automatically do it), be sure to open the App on your phone first. The Fuji X Weekly App should automatically be added to your Apple Watch, but if not, here’s the fix: open the Apple Watch App, tap My Watch, scroll to Fuji X Weekly, and select Install. If that doesn’t work, ensure that the iOS on your iPhone and Apple Watch are up-to-date. For those on Android phones or with a third-party watch, this update doesn’t affect you, but I am looking into the feasibility of potentially adding that compatibility in the future; however I’m not sure at this time if it will happen, and (if so) when. For those with an iPhone and Apple Watch, I hope that you enjoy this update!
Don’t have the Fuji X Weekly App? Download for free today!
Very quickly I began to receive reports that the App was only displaying Spanish and not English, despite English being the language the iPhone was set to. After some sleuthing and testing, we were able to isolate the issue to this: there’s a bug in iOS 15 (maybe 14, too, I’m not certain) that Apple fixed in IOS 16.0. So if you haven’t updated the operating system on your iPhone or iPad in a long time, now might be the time to do so. By updating to iOS 16.0 or newer (16.5 is the latest), the problem will be resolved, and the Fuji X Weekly App will display in English (as long as the language on your device isn’t set to Spanish).
For those who really just don’t want to update the iOS on their device, a patch is currently being developed to circumvent the bug, which will also fix the problem; however, it might take a few days or more to become available.
I’m really sorry about this issue, and I hope that it hasn’t been too big of a problem—I apologize if it has been, and for any frustration it has caused.
The Fuji X Weekly App has been updated for both Apple and Android! Aside from some small maintenance items that you’re unlikely to notice, the big improvements are Widgets for Android and Spanish Translation for Apple. Your phone likely already updated the App for you, but if it didn’t, simply visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and download the most recent version.
If you don’t already have the Fuji X Weekly App on your phone or tablet, be sure to download it for free today! Consider becoming a Patron to unlock the best App experience and to support Fuji X Weekly.
What are Widgets? Larger than app icons, Widgets give you quick access to information or provide a different way to interact with the app. My phone has literally been taken over by Fuji X Weekly Widgets, and it’s transformed how I interact with the App, turning my home screen into a Film Simulation Recipe launchpad!
Once you’ve opened the Fuji X Weekly App at least once since installing the update, Widgets are available to add to your home screen (click here if you are not sure how). Fuji X Weekly App Widgets greatly improves the user experience, and I bet they will take over your phone just like they did mine.
Spanish Translation for Apple
Thanks to the help of Fuji X Weekly community member Lucía Wiesse, the Fuji X Weekly App has now been translated into Spanish on Apple devices! Hopefully this will be available for Android, too, in the near future. I’m also hopeful that the Fuji X Weekly App can be translated into even more languages someday, since it is used worldwide. For now, I just think it’s really awesome that a Spanish translation is available for iOS users. If your iPhone’s Language is set to Spanish, the App will automatically translate; set your phone to English for the regular English version. Thanks, Lucía, for all your help!
Check out this video!
Photographer Tim Northey, known as TKNORTH on YouTube, posted a really cool video using the Random Recipe Selector in the Fuji X Weekly App while in Tokyo. This is exactly how I envisioned Random Recipe being used—such a fun way to use Fujifilm cameras and Film Simulation Recipes with your friends! Check out the video (above) if you haven’t yet seen it.
The Fuji X Weekly App now has Widgets! This can transform how you use the Fuji X Weekly App, turning your home screen into a Film Simulation Recipe launchpad!
If you have an iOS device, you now have this new feature—if your iPhone or iPad didn’t update automatically, be sure to manually do it now. Those with Android devices don’t fret, as Widgets are in the works for Android, too.
What are Widgets? Larger than app icons, Widgets give you quick access to information or provide a different way to interact with the app. Specifically to Fuji X Weekly, you now have six Widgets to choose from: Newest Recipes (one recipe), Newest Recipes (two recipes), Recipe of the Day, Selected Recipe, Recipe Detail, and The Big X.
For Newest Recipe Widget, you have two options: small and medium. The small Widget is a shortcut to the newest recipe, and displays the lead photo of the recipe, which, when tapped, will take you right to it in the Fuji X Weekly App. The medium Widget is a shortcut to the two newest recipes, displaying the lead photo of each, and will take you to whichever of the two recipes that you tap. These Widgets are excellent for those who don’t always visit the Fuji X Weekly Blog, yet want to know when a new recipe is released.
The Recipe of the Day Widget is for when you’re not sure which recipe to use. Each day a new Film Simulation Recipe is provided, and the exact recipe will be different for each user. Between this and the Random Recipe selector, you should be able to find a recipe to use whenever you find yourself stuck for one. This Widget could be incorporated into an interesting project, such as using a different recipe each day for 30 days, or something like that. Today, on my iPhone, Kodak Portra 400 v2 is my Recipe of the Day.
Next is Selected Recipe, which is my personal favorite Widget. You can have quick access to any of the over 250 recipes right on your home screen! In order to use this, you have to tap-and-hold on the Widget, then select Edit Widget, then choose the recipe you want. Tap the Widget to open the recipe in the Fuji X Weekly App.
Recipe Detail displays the parameters of a recipe in a medium-sized Widget. To set it up, you have to tap-and-hold on the Widget, then select Edit Widget, then choose the recipe you want to display. Tap the Widget to see the recipe in the App.
Finally, there’s the Big X, which is just a four-times-size Fuji X Weekly App icon, should you find the regular-sized one to be too small.
The wonderful thing about these Widgets is that you can have as many as you’d like. If you want just one, or seven, or 20—there’s no limit! My iPhone has literally been taken over by Fuji X Weekly Widgets, and it’s transformed how I interact with the App, turning my home screen into a Film Simulation Recipe launchpad.
How do you add Widgets to your iPhone? Tap-and-hold anywhere on your home screen (except directly over an app icon), which will make all of your icons wiggle. Tap the plus in the top-left corner, which opens the Widget menu. You can either scroll down to find the Fuji X Weekly App in the app list and tap on it, or simply search for Fuji X Weekly in the search bar at the top. Find the Fuji X Weekly App Widget that you want to add to your home screen, and tap Add Widget. You can move the Widget to wherever you want on your home screen. I have several pages that are nothing but Fuji X Weekly Widgets! You can also add Fuji X Weekly Widgets to the Today View screen.
This year I’ve had the opportunity to visit five different National Parks! I love going to National Parks to experience the wonder of nature. They’re great for photography, and they’re great for the soul. Anytime the opportunity arrises to visit a National Park, I jump at it. In winter, I traveled to Arches National Park in southern Utah, Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah, and Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming. In spring, I visited Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah and Hot Springs National Park in central Arkansas. These are wonderful locations that are worth the effort to experience!
While my main cameras are Fujifilm—such as the X100V and X-E4—I also use my iPhone for photography. Chase Jarvis famously coined, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” He was specifically stating that if your cellphone is your only option, then it’s the best option; however, I would go a step further and say that your cellphone can be used in conjunction with your main cameras. Why? Your phone might have a different focal length than the lens on your camera (versatility). It’s quicker and easier to share the pictures from your phone (convenience). You don’t have to think about the settings (simplicity). Your phone is more easily portable—you can have it with you when your camera isn’t as practical to bring along (compactness). It doesn’t have to be either your camera or your phone—it can be both, and I used both on my visits to these five National Parks.
Of course, when I photograph with my iPhone, I use my very own RitchieCam App, which is a streamlined camera app with no-edit filters. RitchieCam is intended to help you capture everyday moments—including those that happen while visiting National Parks—more beautifully while maintaining simplicity (anyone can use it, not just photographers). The app is free to download and use—becoming a RitchieCam Patron unlocks the app’s full capabilities. If you have an iPhone, be sure to download RitchieCam today (click here)!
I utilized RitchieCam on my iPhone to photograph these National Parks, and so did others in my family: my wife (Amanda), my daughter (Joy), and my son (Jonathan)—they used RitchieCam, too! While most of the pictures in this article were captured by me, there are a few that they took. After our visits, it’s a lot of fun sharing our photos with each other. We all love going to National Parks, and being able to share the photographic experiences—thanks to RitchieCam—makes it even better.
Arches National Park — Utah
If you love unusual rock formations, Arches National Park in southeastern Utah is the place for you! Protruding from the high-desert sand are massive red rocks, which form bluffs, pinnacles, balancing acts, and (of course) arches. There are over 2,000 arches within the National Park, which is the highest concentration of stone arches in the world! Several movies have had scenes filmed in this National Park, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Thelma and Louise, and Hulk, among others.
Arches National Park is a great place to visit anytime of the year; however, it can be extremely crowded in the summer (not to mention hot), so the winter is my favorite season. It snowed while we were there—a somewhat rare occurrence, although it does happen at least a few days each winter. I loved photographing the park blanketed in white snow, but it melted quickly, and was mostly gone by the end of the day. While we only spent one day in Arches National Park, we made a lifetime of memories there.
Canyonlands National Park — Utah
The day after our Arches visit, we went to the nearby Canyonlands National Park. While Arches can get packed with people, I’ve never seen a crowd at Canyonlands—I’m sure it happens, but I’ve always found plenty of solitude. The Colorado River goes through both Canyonlands and the Grand Canyon, and they’re both on the Colorado Plateau—both are indeed natural wonders, and there are certainly some similarities between them, yet each offers a unique experience for visitors. Picking a favorite National Park is a difficult and unfair endeavor, but Canyonlands is without a doubt one of my top picks—maybe not number one, but definitely top five.
The reason why Canyonlands was on Day 2 and not Day 1 of our National Parks adventure is because it was closed the day prior due to the snowfall. A dusting of snow in Arches was a blizzard in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands, which sits about 6,000′ above sea level, and about 1,000′ higher than the terrain below. Thankfully, by the time we arrived, most of the snow had melted, and we had a fun day hiking, taking in the incredible canyon views that this park offers.
Bryce Canyon National Park — Utah
In southwestern Utah is Bryce Canyon National Park, which is known for its vibrant red hoodoos. While I’ve visited the nearby Zion National Park a couple of times, I had never made it to Bryce Canyon until this last spring. Wow! I was really missing out—Bryce Canyon is absolutely incredible! It’s a National Park that everyone should experience at least once, if they can. While Zion is quite nice, too, if you only have time for one or the other, I would go to Bryce Canyon.
The elevation of the park varies between 6,600′ and 9,100′ depending on where you’re at. Despite “canyon” in its name, Bryce Canyon is technically not a canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters. To really experience the park you’ll want to put on your hiking shoes; however, don’t expect an easy trail, as the paths are often steep and full of switchbacks. It’s completely worthwhile, though, and, if you are physically able to do it, I highly recommend going down a trail or two while you’re there.
Grand Teton National Park — Wyoming
The Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming is an amazing sight to behold! I had been once before—in late-spring several years ago—and this was my first winter visit. Unfortunately, the park was much less accessible this time, due to snow. Jackson Hole is a ski destination, so there were lots of tourists, but most of my favorite photography spots (that I was hoping to return to) were closed. I would say that it was disappointing, but when you view the towering range, despite the conditions, it’s impossible to be disappointed—it just made me eager to come again in a different season.
Within Grand Teton National Park are eight peaks that are over 12,000′ above sea level. The location of Ansel Adams’ famous Snake River Overlook picture is well marked and (normally) easily accessible—I had to hike through some knee-deep snow to get to it on this trip. Definitely worth seeing, but perhaps winter isn’t the best time.
Hot Springs National Park — Arkansas
Perhaps the strangest National Park I’ve ever experienced is Hot Springs National Park. Located in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, this park is free to visit (although the observation tower has a fee to access), but there’s not much to see. You can self-tour one of the bathhouses (which is now the visitors center). There are a couple of rather-ordinary springs that you can view—unfortunately, most of the springs are oddly capped with metal encasements. There are some trails that twist up a hill (along with a road), and at the top is a tower, which offers breathtaking views of the southern Ozarks. None of it comes close to the grandness that I have come to expect from National Parks, or even many state parks.
I was surprised by the beauty of this region. I liked Hot Springs. The National Park was a good place to spend a few hours. But I left wondering why in the world this was a National Park, because it doesn’t seem like it should be. It’s worth visiting if you’re in the area (and the area is worth visiting), but I wouldn’t make a special trip just to see Hot Springs National Park. Still, we had a good time, and made some family memories, and that’s what really matters.
There are 63 National Parks in America, and someday I hope to visit them all. It will take years—probably a lifetime! Five in one year is a good lot, and maybe the opportunity will arise to visit even more before January rolls around. I hope so. And if I do, not only will I bring my Fujifilm cameras, but my iPhone, too.