My Fujifilm X-T30 Dramatic Monochrome Film Simulation Recipe


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The Obscurity of Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Dramatic Monochrome”

A couple of weeks ago when I was discussing the possibility of Fujifilm creating a black-and-white only camera, something that I came to learn by accident is that the Monochrome film simulation is pretty darn good. On X-Trans III & IV cameras, I have always used the Acros film simulation because it is beautiful and has a film-like quality to it. But there’s something about the “old-fashioned” Monochrome film simulation that’s nice, as well. I had never made a Monochrome film simulation for X-Trans III & IV cameras, so I set out to do so.

At first I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, so I decided that the best starting point was to revisit the iconic photographs of the great photographers from the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s—people like Ansel Adams, Andre Kertesz, Robert Doisneau, Weegee, Pual Strand, Elliott Erwitt and others. I realized that I was drawn to the high-contrast pictures that these photographers had created. I wanted to create a recipe that mimics that look in-camera. These settings, which I call Dramatic Monochrome, are what resulted from that.

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Francis Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Dramatic Monochrome”

For those with X-Trans III sensors, which don’t have the Color Chrome Effect, you’ll get similar results, but it won’t be quite as dramatic. The difference isn’t very big, so don’t worry about it. I would consider using +2 for Sharpness on X-Trans III instead of +3. On X-Trans IV cameras, you could give a +1 toning for a subtle warm look, such as what would happen if you gave a print a quick Sepia bath.

Monochrome (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: 0
Sharpening: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Dramatic Monochrome film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Chair Near a Window – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Shadow Ware – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Santa Fe – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Young Piano Hands – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Clouds Above The Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Wasatch Ridge Winter – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lines In The Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Clouds Over The Frosted Hill – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Beyond Dark – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Frosted – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Darkness & Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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Photoessay: Passing Through Nevada, Part 2: Monochrome

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Terrible Ford – Boulder City, NV – Fujifilm X-T30

Part 1: Color

I’ve passed through Nevada many times, often only stopping for gas or lunch. It never seems to be my destination. I’m headed somewhere else, and I have to go through the Silver State to get to where I’m going. While I have stayed longer than a few hours, most of the time I’m through Nevada so quickly that it’s easy to forget that I was ever there. The photographs in this article were captured during those times where I just passed through, and didn’t stay. In fact, many of them were captured from inside my car. I hope that you enjoy this set!

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Plaza Hound – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X-T30

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I-15 Overpass – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F

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Chance of Rain – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X-T30

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Abstract Roof Lines – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X-T30

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Empty Hoppers – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X-T30

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Palm Shadow – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F

See also: November Arizona

Photoessay: Monochrome Sun Rays Over Willow Beach, Arizona

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Rays Over Colorado River – Lake Mead Nat’l Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

Along U.S. Highway 93, about 12 miles south of the Hoover Dam, there’s a scenic view pullout, which offers tremendous views of desert mountains and canyons and a glimpse of the Colorado River at Willow Beach. This is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It’s easy to drive right on past this spot, as I have done many times before. Those who do stop here are rewarded with an incredible vista. It’s not the Grand Canyon, but it’s like a small glimpse of the Grand Canyon. It’s a quintessential Arizona landscape. Actually, you can see both Arizona and Nevada, as the river marks the boundary between the two states.

When I was at this scenic pullout last week, there was a storm passing through, which provided a dramatic sky with streaking light rays from the peeking sun. It was an amazing sight, yet short lived. I had my Fujifilm X-T30 with me, alternating between a Fujinon 35mm f/2 and a Fujinon 90mm f/2 attached to the front. A more wide-angle lens might have been nice, but these are the two lenses that I had with me. I captured a number of frames, then the great light disappeared as quickly as it had come.

Because I had a camera with me, and I decided to stop, I was able to witness and record this beautiful moment. Many cars zoomed down the highway, perhaps witnessing the scene quickly from behind their windows, or perhaps not noticing it at all, and only a few stopped. I’m thankful that I was one of the few who stopped, and what a great reward I was given for doing so. Sometimes the journey is the destination, especially if you are a photographer.

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Light Streaming – Lake Mead Nat’l Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Light & Mesa – Lake Mead Nat’l Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Shining Down – Lake Mead Nat’l Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Pouring Light Over Desert – Lake Mead Nat’l Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Dramatic Desert Sky – Lake Mead Nat’l Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Rays Over The Desert – Lake Mead Nat’l Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Rays Over Willow Beach – Lake Mead Nat’l Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

Photoessay: Suburban B&W

You might think that you live in a boring neighborhood. You might think that there’s nothing of interest to photograph where you live. You might think that you have to go somewhere to capture good photographs. This photoessay is intended to debunk that. I live in a boring suburban neighborhood, but I have still made an effort to walk the sidewalks with my camera in hand. This particular collection features some recent black-and-white images that I’ve captured in the neighborhood where I live. In the past I’ve shared many pictures captured in my neighborhood, so these are far from the only ones or even the best ones–they are simply ones that I have not posted on here before. I hope that this article inspires you to get out into your local area with your camera, even if “getting out” is just a short trip around the block.

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Home Peek – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Shadow Maker – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Suburban Pathway – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Monochrome American Flag – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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Geo – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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House Work – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Alaskan Engineer – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Ray Above The Roof – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Hill Behind The Homes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Curious Cow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Grey Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Antelope Island State Park In B&W

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Brush Strokes Over The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

The Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River, the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere and the 33rd largest lake in the world. It’s massive! It can seem almost ocean-like, or perhaps more like a large ocean bay, but it is located far from any ocean. One difference between the Great Salt Lake and an ocean is that the lake is much saltier, and brine shrimp are the only thing alive in it. It is one of Utah’s natural wonders!

The largest island in the Great Salt Lake is Antelope Island, which is 15 miles long and five miles wide. The highest point, Frary Peak, is 6,594′, and is often snow-capped in the winter. It’s accessible by road via a causeway. Antelope Island is managed by the Utah State Park system.

Kit Carson and John C. Fremont, who visited Antelope Island in 1845, gave it its name after hunting pronghorn antelope on the island. Daddy Stump and Fielding Garr would build homes on Antelope Island over the next few years. This is a place that people have been coming to for a long time. In fact, there is evidence that native people have spent time on the island since at least the time of Christ.

Antelope Island seems like a world away from the Salt Lake City metro area, even though it is located very close to the city. It looks remote, and it must have been very remote before the road was built and the city grew. Interestingly enough, the oldest non-Native American structure in Utah is located on the island: an adobe ranch house built in 1848. The Fielding Garr Ranch was a working ranch from 1848 to 1981, and now the old ranch is open to the public for self-guided tours.

Wildlife abounds on Antelope Island, including buffalo, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, big horn sheep and many other animals. At one time the bison herd on Antelope Island was the largest in America. There are a huge variety of birds that migrate across the area.

The water is often calm and the reflections can be incredible. There are sandy beaches. There are trails that curve across the rugged landscape. There is a unique beauty to Antelope Island that draws me back. It’s one of my favorite places to photograph. But it’s also disgusting! There’s a certain “rotten egg” smell that can be found near the shores. There are tons and tons of bugs, including biting no-see-ums, brine flies (that cover the shore like a thick cloud), mosquitoes, tons of spiders (venomous and non-venomous), among other things. It’s pretty common to see dead birds. There’s plenty to love and hate about this place. I try to look beyond the gross to see the beauty.

Something interesting that I’ve discovered since moving to the Salt Lake City area almost three years ago is that most people who grew up in Utah don’t visit Antelope Island. Maybe they went on a school field trip as a kid, but they haven’t been back since. The majority of people you find on the island are from out-of-town. The locals who do visit are often those that moved to the area from someplace else. It’s too bad for those who don’t make the short trip to the island, because they’re really missing out!

Antelope Island is incredibly beautiful and tranquil. It is indeed odd, and one has to purposefully look beyond the negative aspects of the place to truly appreciate it. I feel like it is a secret treasure that is easily overlooked, and I feel honored to have found it and photographed it.

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Frary Fence – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Coming Storm – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Island Beach View – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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White Rock Bay Vista – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Bush In The Crag – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Clouds Over The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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White Rock Bay – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Land & Lake Layers – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Promontory Peninsula – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sunlight Falling On The Salty Water – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Light Streaming Over Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Wasatch Mountains From The Causeway – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Frary Peak Reflected – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Deer Statue – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Old Salty Stump – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Frozen Stump – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Ice, Lake & Mountains – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Cracked Earth – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Buffalo Snow – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Bison In The Road – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Area Closed For Bison – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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One Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Pulling Hard – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Park Patrol – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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On The Fence – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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State Park Workday – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting Game – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Leather Gloves – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Circle Hashtag – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Fielding Garr Ranch Fence – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Empty Marina – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Boys Playing In The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Pollution – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park Buffalo Corral

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Buffalo Corral – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. It’s home to about 700 wild buffalo. Every year Antelope Island State Park rounds up the buffalo herd so that they can be counted, examined, and vaccinated. This event, which is open to the public, happens every autumn and takes place over a seven day period.

I had the opportunity to photograph a portion of this year’s buffalo roundup, which I was very excited about. I missed the actual roundup, where a bunch of cowboys on horseback traverse the island to guide the bison to the corral, but I did get to witness the second phase, where the animals are seen one at a time by a veterinarian. This operation takes a team of about 40 people several days to complete. It’s fascinating to watch, but it’s also a slow process and there is a lot of downtime where very little is happening.

I used my Fujifilm X100F to capture these photographs, which are all unedited camera-made JPEGs. For the camera settings I used the [Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Cross Process Film Simulation Recipe, utilizing the X100F’s built-in neutral density filter so that I could use high ISOs even in bright midday light. I took a photojournalist approach, and I think these settings worked particularly well for it. I’m pleased with how this series turned out and I hope that you enjoy the pictures!

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White Rock Bay – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Park Patrol – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Time To Watch Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting For A Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Buffalo Corral Workers – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Buffalo Head – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cautious Buffalo – Antelope Island, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Running Bison Calf – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Roundup Downtime – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rope On The Gate – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Leather Gloves – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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A Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Workers Waiting – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Between Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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On The Fence – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Utah Cowboys – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Park Ranger – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bison Barriers – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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From The Holding Pen – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Mother & Calf – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Buffalo Track – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Three Bison – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Tractor Ride – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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State Park Workday – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujfilm X100F

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Circular Gate Operator – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rope Preparation  – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bison Spying – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rope Pull – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Pulling Hard – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rope Runner – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting Games – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bison Skull – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Island Shore View – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm XF10 Film Simulation Recipes


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I have created many wonderful film simulation recipes for X-Trans III cameras, but none of those can be used on my Fujifilm XF10. I had to create brand-new film simulation recipes for this camera. I used my experience with other Fujifilm cameras to create different straight-out-of-camera looks that I would appreciate.

You can only have one custom setting saved on the XF10. The default settings that I have programmed for the camera are my Classic Chrome recipe. If I want a look with more saturation I’ll adjust the settings to my Velvia recipe. If I want black-and-white I’ll adjust the settings to my Monochrome recipe. It’s a little bit of a pain to be constantly switching, so I try to not go back-and-forth any more than I need to.

While I use these recipes on my XF10, they’re compatible with the X-T100, X-A5, X-A3 and any X-Trans I or X-Trans II camera. The rendition might vary slightly from model-to-model, but the overall look should be fairly consistent. These settings won’t translate to X-Trans III or X-Trans IV.

Aside from some minor cropping, the photographs in this article are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I like to keep my workflow as simple as possible, and Fujifilm’s different film simulation options allow me to rely on camera-made JPEGs. Using JPEGs instead of RAW saves me a ton of time. I appreciate being in front of a computer less and behind a camera more.

Below are my Fujifilm XF10 film simulation recipes!

Classic Chrome

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Ghosts of the Past – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

This is my go-to film simulation option. I use it significantly more often than the other recipes. It has a classic Kodak film look, although not exactly like any one in particular. I think it most closely resembles 1960’s era Ektachrome, but it’s not an exact match. Even so, it looks great and is quite versatile. It has a lot of contrast, just vibrant enough colors and a warm tone.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: +1 (0 sometimes in high-contrast situations)
Shadow: +2
Color: +1
Noise Reduction: -2
Sharpening: -1
White Balance: Auto, +3 Red & -4 Blue

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Kids At The Lake – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Bolsey 100 – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Terminal Windows – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Flag On A Pole – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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FED 5c Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Velvia

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Vibrant Bloom – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Velvia was one of my favorite films. It produced incredibly vibrant colors. Apparently Fujifilm didn’t intend to make such a wild film, it was more of an accident than anything else, but it quickly become the standard film for color landscape photography. Something interesting that I recently learned is one of the people who helped develop Velvia for Fujifilm also helped develop the Velvia Film Simulation. The film simulation isn’t a 100% match to Velvia 50, but perhaps closer to Velvia 100F. My recipe is intended to produce a look that is closer to Velvia 50.

Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: 0 (+1 in low-contrast situations, -1 in high-contrast situations)
Shadow: +1
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -2
Sharpening: -1
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red & -3 Blue

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Historic Dragon – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Scattering of Red – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Sunlight Through The Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Green Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Yellow Amid Red – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Monochrome

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Shy Horse – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

The XF10 lacks Fujifilm’s greatest film simulation: Acros. Instead it has the old Monochrome option, which is alright but not nearly as good as Acros. Despite this, it is possible to get nice black-and-white camera-made JPEGs from the XF10. There are four different options, and to understand what each does one must understand what different colored filters do to black-and-white film, as +Y simulates using a yellow filter, +R simulates a red filter and +G simulates a green filter. If you know how to use color filters on black-and-white film then you know when to pick which option on the XF10.

Monochrome (Monochrome+Y, Monochrome+R, Monochrome+G)
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: +1 (+2 in low-contrast situations)
Shadow: +2 (+1 in high-contrast situations)
Noise Reduction: -2
Sharpening: -1

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Wishes Waiting – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Plastic Fingers – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Hat Abstract – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Dream – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Tilted Pier – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Taos Pueblo, New Mexico – Part 2: Monochrome

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Storm Over Pueblo – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Part 1 – Color

One thing I found particularly fascinating about the Taos Pueblo is that this historic site is still inhabited. This is a real home to many people. The doors and windows belong to someone. Inside there are living spaces, bedrooms and kitchens. Surrounding the two large pueblos are even more houses. There’s a church. This is a community.

Visiting Taos is like being invited into a stranger’s home. You have the opportunity to see a more intimate side of things, and perhaps come away with a different perspective. What I found in Taos was not what I had pictured in my mind prior to visiting, but something much more interesting. There’s a certain profoundness to this place that’s difficult to put into words.

I appreciate those in Taos for allowing me in, answering my questions and showing hospitality and kindness. Unfortunately, my stay was much too short. I had only a couple of hours to spend at the pueblo, and then it was time to continue down the highway to Santa Fe. I truly hope that the opportunity to return comes sooner than later.

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Taos Tourist – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

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Jacob’s Ladder – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dream Ladder – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

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Tree & Shed – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Bells & Crosses – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Pueblo Sky – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

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Taos & Sky – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Second Floor Pueblo – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Pueblo Roof – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Boxy – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Taos Pueblo Apartments – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Storm Approaching Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 6 – Oklahoma in Monochrome

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Stu – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

Colorado  New Mexico  West Texas  East Texas  Oklahoma (Color)  Wyoming

Pawhuska is a rural town in northeastern Oklahoma that once boomed. The 1920’s were especially roaring, but the 1930’s included an oil bust, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, scars of which are clearly evident to this day. The Boy Scouts of America began in Pawhuska over 100 years ago. The town is also home to Drummond Ranch, which is one of the largest ranches in the country. Ree Drummond has a popular television cooking show and has authored a number of books. She also has a store and restaurant in town, and that’s why my wife and I were there.

The town is quite small, but photographic opportunities were numerous. In fact, I made more exposures in Pawhuska than any other place we visited on our road trip. There’s a lot of history, character and hospitality packed into the little town in the middle of nowhere. Pawhuska proved to be a great experience! I felt as though I left many potential pictures unphotographed, so perhaps another visit will be in store in the future.

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Double Flag – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Kitchen Window – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Bakery – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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County Courthouse – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Broken Glass Through The Glass – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Industrial Brick – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Industrial Design – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Star – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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The Other Mother – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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The Merc – Pawhuska, OK – X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Mercantile – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 60

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Cafe Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 60

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Wet Tables – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 60

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Unlikely – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Pawhuska Rain – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 60

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Osage County – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – OK HWY 99

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Thunder Sky – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – OK HWY 99

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Rural Cows – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Horse Gate – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Two Horses In The Grass – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Rural Mail – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado – Part 1: Monochrome

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Great Sand Dunes Sign – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

In July my family and I visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa, Colorado. This national park features the tallest sand dunes in North America. The towering Sangre de Cristo Mountains loom in the background. It’s an impressive and unusual landscape!

During wetter months the Medano Creek flows beneath the sand dunes, and in order to get to the dunes one must get their feet wet. We were there during a dry month and there was no water in the wide creek bed. Unsurprisingly, a visit to the sand dunes requires a significant amount of walking on sand, which means that it takes more effort and more time to get from one point to another. It’s no walk in the park, and it’s best to come prepared with plenty of water and ready for the hike.

While we were there, once on the dunes, the wind was blustery and it kicked up the sand quite fiercely. It pelted our legs and would occasionally blow in our faces and get into our eyes. It was more of an issue for the kids since they’re shorter. It was not a fun experience, so we did not stay on the dunes for very long.

The place offers amazing photographic opportunities. If you like working with shadows and highlights and abstract shapes, this is the place for you! The Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of those special landscapes where it’s difficult to come away with bad pictures. I had with me a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro lens attached to the front. The X-Pro2 is weather sealed, but the lens is not. Thankfully I did not get dust on the sensor. I would strongly recommend not changing lenses while at the dunes, as you’re just asking for trouble by doing so.

We were only at the sand dunes for a couple of hours. It would have been great if we could have stayed longer. I think that a sunrise hike to the top would have been epic, but time just didn’t allow for it. Even so, we were glad for the opportunity that we did have. I’m happy with the photographs and memories that I came away with.

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Great Sand Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Mountains & Sand Across The Valley – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Mountain of Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Stroller Alone – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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

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Running In The Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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It’s A Long Ways To The Top – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Mountain, Sand & Sky – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sand & Sierra Sky – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Improbability – Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO

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Sand Walkers – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Passerby – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Silver Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sandal In The Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

Part 2 – Color

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

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: 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

For The Love of Fujifilm Acros Film Simulation

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Mount Nebo – Mona, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I really love the different film simulations available on my Fujifilm X100F. There is one that I like more than the others, and it’s Acros. The contrast, tonality and grain are simply beautiful, and Acros has a true film-like aesthetic.

I know, that’s been said so much that it’s almost cliche, and, besides, not everyone wants a film look. I appreciate the look of film and I like it much more than the digital aesthetic. I grew up on analog photography, I shot tons of 35mm and 120 film, and to me it’s how photography should look. Digital is far more convenient than film, so it can be hard to justify the hassle of film. The best of both worlds would be the convenience of digital with a film aesthetic.

I’ve been trying to get a film look from my digital files for awhile. I’ve used different software options, such as Alien Skin Exposure and Nik Silver Efex, which are both excellent, to achieve the look that I want. The Acros Film Simulation on my Fujifilm X100F is every bit as good (maybe better) as what I would get using either of those editing programs, and I get it straight out of the camera, no editing required.

One aspect of Acros that Fujifilm got especially right is the grain. Digital noise, which is the modern equivalent of film grain, doesn’t match the look of actual silver grain, and the aesthetic of it is far inferior (although X-Trans noise is better looking than most). Adding a layer of faux grain over top of an image can get you closer (and Alien Skin does a better job with this than anyone in my opinion), but it’s still not the same. The “grain” found in my Acros JPEGs more resembles actual film grain than anything else I’ve found in digital photography.

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Apache Sky – Mountain Green, UT – Fujifilm X100F

If you were to scan actual film and compare it side-by-side to images captured with the Acros Film Simulation, you’d have a tough time identifying which is film and which is digital. Same thing if you printed from the film and from the digital file, and asked people to identify which is which. The Acros Film Simulation doesn’t look all that digital as it more closely resembles analog.

Images captured with Acros look beautiful. They look nice viewed from a distance and up close, on a computer screen or printed and hung on a wall. Even though the film simulation produces a JPEG file and not RAW, the results are what one would expect to achieve if they post-processed a RAW file. This isn’t typical camera-made JPEG stuff.

Great black-and-white results without hassle is what the Acros Film Simulation delivers. That’s the convenience of digital photography merged with the quality of film photography. I have two different settings, a “standard” Acros and a “push-process” Acros, that I frequently use, and they’re very good. The photographs in this article are examples of both that I’ve captured over the last several weeks.

I remember the “old days” of film photography. It was a slow process. Loading the film, using the entire roll before you could change it, rewinding it by hand, then all of the darkroom work–winding it onto a reel in complete darkness, baths in chemicals and water, drying, printing a contact sheet, then making prints. One print could take hours of work to get right. It wasn’t easy, but that’s the way it was, and the results made it worthwhile. Now, thanks to the X100F and Acros, I can achieve similar results with ease.

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One Way Or Another – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Sanitary Sewer Surprise – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Palm Shadow – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F

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I-15 Overpass – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F

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Serious Coffee – Taylorsville, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Agave Drops – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Shelf Owls – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Hot Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bird Bath – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Aunt & Niece – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

Photoessay: B&W Cacti

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Barbs – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

One thing that I did on my Christmas visit to Arizona was photograph cacti. You can find cactus all over the place there. The spiky shrubs are common in Arizona landscaping, and a short walk into the desert will reveal even more. There are over 60 varieties of cactus that grow there. I only photographed a few different types, including Organ Pipe, Saguaro, Barbary Fig, Cholla, and a couple others that I couldn’t identify.

The ten photographs in this article are all camera-made JPEGs; however, I used X RAW Studio to process the RAW files (if you aren’t sure what X RAW Studio is, be sure to click the link), fine-tuning my Across Push-Process Film Simulation recipe. For most of these I increased the shadows to +4, and for some of them I reduced highlights to +3. I adjusted the exposure by 1/3 stop (either plus or minus) for a few of the pictures, as well.

I love the film-look that the Fujifilm X100F produces. A few years back I captured some cactus pictures in Arizona using a Minolta XG-1 and Kodak T-Max 400 film. What I get from the X100F using Acros and what I got back from the lab using the film gear are surprisingly similar. You can achieve film-like results with any digital camera using software, such as Nik Silver Efex or Alien Skin Exposure (both of which I’ve used extensively in the past), but with Fujifilm you can get it straight from the camera if you want.

People have told me, “I don’t get your fascination with film. I don’t like the film-look.” Different strokes for different folks. I personally don’t like pictures that look digital. I compare it to listening to an MP3 file versus an analog record. The MP3 will be more cold and clean, while the analog sound will have more warmth and character. Digital music is way more convenient, and that’s why it is so common.

Digital photography is way more convenient than analog photography, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better. I appreciate the characteristics of film, and the ability to achieve that look while enjoying the conveniences of digital is something I’m thrilled about. One thing I especially like about Fujifilm is that they maintain their analog soul in the digital age.

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Cactus Needles – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Cactus Shrub – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Arms Up – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Old & Weathered – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Layers – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Minimal Protection – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Drama – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Finger Spikes – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

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Still Surviving – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

5 Acros The Autumn Sky

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve captured a bunch of pictures with my Fujifilm X100F. Most of them have been color photographs. During the autumn months I tend to shoot more color than black-and-white, mainly because of the changing leaves.

Even though I’ve shot a lot of color, I still have captured many monochrome images. As I was looking through some of those pictures this morning, five stood out as a mini-set. They’re not really related to each other (well, two of them are), but they don’t seem out of place side-by-side either.

The commonality between these pictures (besides lack of color) is that they show the changing weather of the changing season. Note how the sky looks in each image. It’s the same autumn in every photograph, but the conditions are different. It’s not just the tree leaves that change in fall. This mini-set demonstrates that. The autumn sky takes on many different looks, even on the same day.

The photographs below were all captured using my Fujifilm X100F within a two-week period between late-September and early-October. They are all camera-made JPEGs using my Acros Film Simulation recipe.

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Alpine Loop Monochrome – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Wasatch September – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Farm Windmill – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Monochrome Architecture – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Snow Dusting The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm X100F & Monochrome Street Photography

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A lot has been said about using the Fujifilm X100F for street photography. Some have even called it the perfect street photography tool. It does seem like a good camera for the genre.

I’m not necessarily a street photographer. I do dabble in it sometimes and enjoy it whenever the opportunity presents itself. I would never call myself a street photography expert.

For those that don’t know what street photography is, it can be typically defined as “candid photographs in public places” (most often urban locations). I say typically because there are always exceptions to the rule. Some street photographers pose their subjects. Some street pictures aren’t captured in public places. Some don’t even include people. Some are in suburban or rural locations. The line is grey. I stray outside the definition regularly.

I simply like capturing the quickly-gone moments. Things move fast and you’re trying to be completely inconspicuous. It’s very challenging. There is a little bit of a rush to it, since people don’t typically care for strangers taking their pictures. You have so little control over the elements. But it is also very rewarding, and some of my favorite pictures that I’ve captured are street images.

The Fujifilm X100F is a great street photography tool, but it isn’t perfect. I actually prefer ultra-wide-angle for my style, and the 35mm (equivalent) focal-length is nowhere near wide enough. I work around this, no big deal. It alters my approach significantly, but perhaps the good is that it pushes my comfort zone, which can only make me better. Sometimes the auto-focus misses, but this has become less of a problem the more that I’ve used the camera. I’ve tried zone-focus (which is a manual-focus strategy), but I haven’t done it enough to be good at it with this camera.

For my black-and-white street photographs I use my Acros Film Simulation recipe. I just love the way it looks and very rarely do I edit anything. The camera just makes fantastic-looking pictures! I don’t even shoot RAW anymore. I cannot tell you just how much time this has saved me, but it’s a lot!

The twenty pictures below are my favorite street photographs that I’ve captured with the Fujifilm X100F during the first two months of use. I hope you enjoy them!

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Train Watching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Man In The Straw Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Coffee & Wifi – Orem, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Walking Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Skateboarding – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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One Step At A Time – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Departures – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Tortilla Maker – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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McWaiting – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Library Stairs – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Smoke And A Coffee – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Never Too Old To Learn – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Ack! – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bike & Rider Shadow – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Multitasking – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Creative Minds – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Girl By The Escalator – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Baggage We Carry – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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City Creek Directory – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Lonely Internet – Orem, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also: Fujifilm X100F & Color Street Photography

Fujifilm X100F @ Yellowstone National Park, Part 2 – Monochrome Photographs

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Dying Tree At Grand Canyon Rim – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

Part 1 – Color Photographs

I learned plenty from this one-day trip to Yellowstone National Park. One thing is that a heck-of-a-lot of people visit this place from all over the world. The park was down right crowded from the west entrance all the way to Old Faithful. Even the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was packed with people.

Since summer break was well over and it was a Thursday, I figured we’d have the park almost to ourselves. I was way off! I talked briefly with some people while waiting for Old Faithful to erupt who have visited the park numerous times, and this was actually considered a small crowd for Yellowstone based on their experiences. I’d hate to come in the peak summer season!

You really get a sense that you’re on top of an active volcano while in Yellowstone. All of the geothermal activity is a big clue, but you can also tell that you are inside the caldera by observing the rim, which you can spot throughout the park. The place feels a bit unsettling, like it could blow at any moment. Hopefully the big eruption is many millennium away.

Old Faithful was alright, but the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was breathtaking! It was our favorite sight in the National Park. A definite must-see! The Dragon’s Mouth was my favorite geothermal spot. I would have liked to see more of the geysers and such, but the weather didn’t cooperate.

This was my first real travel adventure with the Fujifilm X100F, and it didn’t disappoint. It fit nicely into my jacket pocket, so it was always with me yet never in the way. The dark-grey sky made high-ISO a necessity, and the camera had no issues with that. When I wanted to zoom (but didn’t want to walk out in the rain), I used the Digital Teleconverter. I used the fill-flash several times. Despite no weather sealing, the camera got plenty wet several different times and it handled that like a champ, no worse for the wear.

The photographs in this post are all out-of-camera JPEGS using Acros Film Simulation. I love the Acros settings, and I feel like I get film-like results with it. It saves me tons of time not having to post-process my files. My workflow has been greatly simplified and quickened by the Fujifilm X100F, yet I’m not compromising on results. Enjoy!

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Hebgen Lake – West Yellowstone, MT – Fujifilm X100F

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Mountain Obscured – West Yellowstone, MT – Fujifilm X100F

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Meadow & Mt Haynes – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Firehole Falls – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Lodgepole Pines – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Faithful Steam – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Old Faithful Erupting – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Old Faithful Geyser From Old Faithful Lodge – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Faithful Crowd – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Bear & Fish – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Family At Kepler Cascades – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Kepler Cascades Monochrome – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Yellowstone Lake – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Pines On The Lakeshore – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Steamy – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Hot & Muddy – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Rising Steam – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Mud Puddle – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Mud Volcano – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Dragon’s Mouth – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Photographing Lower Falls With A Phone – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Lower Yellowstone Falls Monochrome – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Grand View of Grand Canyon – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Roadside Raven – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Thin Crust – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

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Beryl Steam – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

Photoessay: Street Feet

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Stepping – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

There are certain photo series that I’m actively working on, such as abandoned businesses in color (entitled Space Available), that are purposeful personal projects. Then there certain photo series that are more by happenstance, not created on purpose, where I notice a common thread among images. This series, Street Feet, falls into the latter category.

I had no intentions of this becoming a project. I didn’t try to make a series. It just sort of happened. I just subconsciously did it, and didn’t even notice that I had done so until reviewing my street photography images. I saw a pattern. I realized that I was creating these related pictures.

Street Feet is pretty straight forward: street-style black-and-white photographs of people’s feet. You can’t see the full body because I was photographing the lower extremities. Sometimes it’s a closeup of someone’s shoes, while other times the view is broader.

I used a Fujifilm X100F to capture these images. My Acros Film Simulation recipe was used for every picture, and the Digital Teleconverter was utilized for many. These are all out-of-camera JPEGs. Enjoy!

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Walking Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Walking Away – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Together – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Skateboarding – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Going Somewhere – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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One Step At A Time – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Siblings At City Creek Mall – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Outside The Elevator – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Walking Shoes – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Film Simulation Recipe


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Fujifilm offers “Film Simulations” on their cameras instead of traditional JPEG settings. One of the most popular, available only on X-Trans III cameras, such as the X100F, is Acros.

Neopan Acros is an ISO 100 film made by Fujifilm available in 35mm and 120 formats. I’ve used it before and it’s quite good. While Fuji recycled the Acros name for their black-and-white digital Film Simulation, it’s not an exact match to the film. But that’s OK.

The Acros Film Simulation is a wonderful option that has great contrast, beautiful tonality and lovely faux film grain. An interesting fact is that the amount of film grain applied increases as the ISO increases, like what you would find if you shot actual film. So an image shot at ISO 1600 has noticeably more grain than an image shot at ISO 200.

And it really does have a film look! You’d be hard pressed to tell apart an image shot on real black-and-white film and one shot using the Acros Film Simulation. Straight-out-of-camera JPEGs look like black-and-white prints made from 35mm film. Amazing!

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Sitting Large – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

There are four Acros options: Acros (no filter), Acros+R (red filter), Acros+Y (yellow filter) and Acros+G (green filter). Acros+R is more like using a real orange filter on actual film than a red filter. Acros+Y and Acros+G are a little more subtle than if you used real filters on actual film.

I use Acros+R for landscapes (which darkens blues and lightens reds), Acros+G for people pictures (which darkens reds and lightens greens) and standard Acros for everything else. If you know what each one does, you can choose what’s best for each situation. The rest of the settings are the same.

While I have my Acros recipe programmed (custom settings 3, 4 and 5), I’m not afraid to deviate when necessary. Sometimes a little more or less contrast is needed, so I increase or decrease the highlights and shadows. If I want more grain, I will turn the Film Grain to weak (which adds more faux grain to what’s already included in the Acros Film Simulation). I might add or decrease the Dynamic Range. Each situation is different, so I try to be dynamic when shooting.

Acros/Acros+R/Acros+G
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2
Shadows: +2
Noise Reduction: -2
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Off
ISO: Auto up to 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Acros Film Simulation recipe:

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Ilford Harman Technology – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Train Watching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Track 1 Platform – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Black Conduit – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Safety Features – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Diversity – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Industrial Spur – North Salt Lake, Utah – Fujifilm X100F

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KeyBank Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Salt Lake Cityscape – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Building Through The Tree Leaves – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Light Bulb Shadow – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Building Storm Over Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Man In The Straw Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Joy’s Joy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Look What I Drew – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also: My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe

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