Photoessay: Autumn 2019

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Mountain Autumn – Big Mountain Pass, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

Fall might be my favorite season, but it’s always too short. Summer often overstays its welcome. Winter usually comes too quickly. Autumn gets squeezed in the middle. You have to be quick, because it’s fleeting. It comes and goes so quickly! If you don’t take time to see and experience it, you’ll flat out miss it, and you’ll have to wait another year for fall to return.

Autumn is the season of change. The weather changes. The colors of the leaves change. The food we eat and coffee we drink change (if you want them to). There’s beauty in change, and uncertainty. It ends cold and gloomy as winter budges in, but before it does autumn puts on a spectacular show. Autumn can be breathtakingly beautiful!

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Apple Harvest – Logan, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

The photographs in this post were captured during the 2019 fall season. Many of them I’ve yet to share on the Fuji X Weekly blog, but you’ve probably seen a few of them in other articles. Some of the pictures are from early autumn when the weather was still warm and the leaves only beginning to change colors. Others are from late fall when the temperatures dipped cold and the scene turned drab. Still others were captured during the height of vibrant colors, which unfortunately didn’t last very long, yet long enough for me to get a few exposures made.

I used a Fujifilm X-T30, which is a great all-around camera, for all of these pictures. A number of different lenses were attached to it, depending on the image. I used a Fujinon 35mm, a Fujinon 90mm, a Fujinon 50-230mm, a Rokinon 12mm, an Industar 69, and an Asahi Super-Takumar 135mm. There’s a number of different film simulation recipes that I used, including Velvia, Kodacolor, Eterna, “Classic Negative” and possibly another one, I’m not certain. I hope that you enjoy!

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Leaves of Autumn – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Bent Trunk – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Icy Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Changing Nature – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Tree Star – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm

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Autumn Sun At Ogden Station – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Rokinon 12mm

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Drab Autumn Drive – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Flowing Creek – Bountiful, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Flowing Fall – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 135mm

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Gradations of Color – Big Mountain Pass, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Change Begins – Big Mountain Pass, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Winter Kissed Autumn – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 50-230mm

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Mountainside Autumn – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 50-230mm

See also:
5 Tips For Fall Foliage Photography
Zion In Autumn

Photoessay: Fall Meets Winter

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Autumn & Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

One thing that’s great about where I live is the view. The Wasatch Mountains loom over our house, and are clearly visible from the back windows and throughout the yard. Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year because the mountains behind our house become dotted with the vibrant colors of the season. That’s how it is right now. The view doesn’t get old, and I feel fortunate to live where I do.

A few days ago a storm rolled through and dusted the top of the mountain with snow and ice. The contrast between the autumn trees and winter weather was intriguing and beautiful. It seemed much too early for these two seasons to meet, but there it was on display for those willing to take a moment to look. It caught my attention, and I proceeded to capture it with my camera.

Despite the front-row seat from my yard, the white mountain peaks were actually a good distance away, and required a long telephoto lens to bring the scene close enough to photograph. Attached to my Fujifilm X-T30 was a Fujinon 50-230mm zoom lens, which is my longest telephoto option. Actually, this lens belongs to my wife, Amanda, but she graciously let me borrow it. I photographed all the pictures in this article from my yard using this camera and lens combination, along with my Velvia film simulation recipe. I hope that you enjoy these pictures of when fall meet winter a few days ago.

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Frosted Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Veiled Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Autumn Snow

Vibrant White – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Winter Kissed Autumn – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Autumn Mountain Utah

Mountainside Autumn – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Frosted Autumn – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Wasatch Mountains Utah

Peeking Peak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Wasatch Mountains Utah

Lifting Autumn Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Hoya Intensifier Filter For Fall Photographs

Hoya Intensifier Filter

The Hoya Intensifier filter claims to increase the intensity of reds and oranges within an image while not adding an overall color shift. It’s a great promise that might be especially beneficial for fall foliage photography. But does it work? Is it worth buying?

I have had my Hoya Intensifier filter for several years now, but I rarely use it. It does, in fact, intensify the reds and oranges within an image, but the promise of not making an overall color shift is false. The filter has a purple tint to the glass, so it should not come as a surprise that it adds a slight purple cast to the picture. That color shift is what makes the reds and oranges appear intensified. That’s how it works. In fact, if you don’t use the filter, but shift the white balance a couple spots towards purple, you can accomplish something similar. While I think that this filter could be beneficial for photographing autumn leaves, I don’t think it’s anywhere near an essential item for that purpose. If you like how it makes pictures look, by all means buy it and use it. If not, skip it. That’s my advice.

Here are two examples of how the Hoya Intensifier filter effects the picture:

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No filter.

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With intensifier filter.

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No filter.

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With intensifier filter.

There is another reason why you might use the Hoya Intensifier filter. This filter reduces light pollution in astrophotography. It does a decent job of it, in fact. If I’m photographing stars somewhere that I know will have light pollution, I like to use this filter to reduce the effects of it in my pictures. If I’m photographing stars somewhere where there is little to no light pollution, I won’t use the filter, as I prefer to not put extra glass between the subject and the sensor if I don’t have to. If you are interesting in astrophotography but aren’t near any dark sky parks, the Hoya Intensifier filter is probably worth buying and using.

To conclude, the Hoya Intensifier filter is perhaps OK for autumn foliage pictures. On one hand it does seem to intensify the reds and oranges within the picture, but on the other hand it does so by way of a color cast, which can be done in-camera with a white balance shift, and is opposite of what Hoya claims. But if you like to photograph stars and want to reduce the effects of light pollution on your pictures, this filter is a good option for that.

5 Tips For Fall Foliage Photography with Fujifilm X Cameras

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Fuji Provia 100F'

Vibrant Autumn Forest – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year for photography. The weather gets cooler, the coffee turns pumpkin flavored, and the leaves change to vibrant colors. Autumn is the season of change, perhaps more than any other season. Autumn begins almost summer-like, yet ends wintry cold. The trees begin green, but quickly turn yellow, orange and red, before becoming bare and dormant. It’s a vibrant season, that is until winter begins to grab hold. You can’t let time slip away from you or else you’ll miss the annual autumn show, as it never seems to last long enough.

If you don’t have much experience photographing fall foliage, you might not know how to get the most out of it. Since autumn officially began a couple of days ago, and I’ve already seen a few leaves begin to colorfully transform, I thought this would be a good time to share with you some tips for photographing the season of change with your Fujifilm X camera. Below you’ll find five tips for fall foliage photography.

1. Light

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Color – Wasatch Mountain SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

You need quality light to capture good autumn pictures. All great photographs begin with great light, because, after all, without light there is no photograph. Fall foliage pictures feature trees, so you’ll often find that a certain type of light situation works especially well: back-lit. I think, generally speaking, the best light to capture dramatic tree photographs is when the sun is behind the tree. This is even more true in the autumn, as the sunlight illuminates the colorful leaves, displaying them in their most vibrant fashion.

I find that early morning or late evening, when the sun is low to the horizon, provides the best light for fall foliage photographs. Sometimes when the weather is changing, you might find low clouds or fog, which could provide a softer quality of light that can be especially beautiful. While I highly recommend seeking back-lit opportunities, don’t limit yourself strictly to that, but also try to find those fleeting moments of diffused sun.

2. Location

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Kodak E 100G'

Yellow Tree Against Red Rock – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Not everyone has a brilliant autumn display near where they live. Those colorful fall landscapes aren’t found everywhere. When I lived in California, I had to drive several hours to find a good show, but I would still try to capture the small amount of colorful leaves that were nearby. There would be a tree at the park, or in someone’s front yard, and even at my own house, that would have a less-than-spectacular display, but nevertheless the leaves would change colors. There were times that by really isolating the subject with a tight crop, I could create a decent picture with what was there. Don’t overlook the small opportunities that are nearby.

Oftentimes, unless you happen to live in the heart of fall leaves, such as one of the New England states, you’ll have to travel to photograph a grand display. Do a little research and plan your trip wisely. You’ll want to find out where a good location is, when the leaves are at their colorful peak, and what the weather will be, so that you can make the most of your photographic adventure. Pre-planning goes a long ways, and as the saying goes, “Location, location, location!”

3. Leaves

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Sycamore Autumn – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Robert Capa famously said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” That’s not always true, but often it is, and you might find it to be helpful advice for your autumn pictures. Get close to the leaves, capturing their shapes and patterns. Don’t be afraid to use a macro lens and get super close. Make the leaves the main subject, and don’t even show the rest of the scene in your composition.

Some of the best autumn pictures that I’ve seen have a narrow focus. Isolate the scene with a tight crop. Make the scene a bit abstract. Oftentimes less is more. The vibrant leaves are what make this season so colorful, so don’t hesitate to make that the clear subject of your pictures.

4. Lenses

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Yellow & Green Trees – Wasatch Mountain SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

You can use any lens to photograph fall foliage, but I find that telephoto lenses are especially useful. The Fujinon 90mm f/2 is a good one for creating tight compositions. The Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro is another good one for this, plus it’s a macro lens, so you can focus close to the leaves. Another strategy is to go wide-angle, and showcase the larger scene. It’s a little trickier, but the results can be very rewarding. The more wide-angle, the more dramatic, but also the more difficult. The Fujinon 16mm f/2.8 might be a good option for this.

My recommendation is to have a few lenses in your bag, if you can. If you’re only going to have one, consider a telephoto lens instead of a wide-angle. Best case is that you have a telephoto, a wide-angle and a “standard” prime. A zoom lens, like the Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8, would be a very good alternative, especially if you don’t want to carry a bunch of gear around.

5. Lively

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Red Leaves In The Forest – Wasatch Mountain SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Go bold when capturing the vivid colors of the season. My favorite film simulation recipes for autumn pictures are ones that use Velvia, either my original Velvia recipe, the new Velvia, or my Ektachrome 100SW recipe. Astia can work well, too, and my Ektar recipe, which utilizes Astia, is a good option. I’ve even had good luck with my Vintage Kodachrome recipe, so don’t be afraid to try different settings, but, generally speaking, the lively colors of Velvia deliver the best results for fall foliage pictures.

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