Creative Collective 014: Using a Fujifilm X100V as a Disposable Film Camera

Well, this is going to sound crazy, but I turned my Fujifilm X100V into a disposable film camera. No, I didn’t disassemble my digital camera, rip out the sensor, and adapt a film spool. Instead, I configured my X100V to capture pictures that appear as though they were captured with a cheap throwaway film camera. Why? I’ve done crazier things before, including distressing a camera, so it shouldn’t be too shocking that I’d do this—perhaps it was just a matter of time.

The inspiration for this project has been building for awhile. I have a picture displayed on my dresser that’s over 20 years old—it’s my wife and I, captured sometime shortly after we got married. A friend took the picture with a disposable camera. I can tell that it was a Fujifilm QuickSnap camera by the color palette, which is clearly Fujicolor. The picture is special to me because it’s a very personal (and happy) moment that’s been frozen in time through photography. It’s nothing more than a snapshot captured on a cheap camera, and would be completely meaningless to almost anyone else. I have a box full of these type of pictures, mostly 4″ x 6″ prints. You might have a box like this, too—snapshots that are meaningful to you.

Bread Truck – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm developed the QuickSnap camera, a “one-time-use” 35mm film camera, in the mid-1980’s (Kodak released its version, called FunSaver, a couple years later), and it was an instant hit. These “disposable” cameras were extremely popular in the 1990’s and 2000’s. They came preloaded with 27 frames (a 24-exposure roll of film, but you got three extra shots), and were point-and-shoot. You’d push the shutter-release and advance the film, but otherwise there typically weren’t any other controls, so anyone could use these cameras—no skill required. Once you exposed all of the frames, you’d take the camera to the 1-hour lab, where they removed the film for development and recycled the camera. 60 minutes later you’d have a packet of 4″ x 6″ prints.

Cheap digital point-and-shoots made a dent in disposable camera sales, but it was really the cellphone camera that rendered them obsolete; however, you might be surprised to learn that you can still buy disposable cameras today. Thanks to the Lomography movement and an increased interest in film photography, there’s enough of a market for these cameras to continue to exist in 2022. I briefly considered purchasing one, but instead of that, I decided to capture QuickSnap-like images on my Fujifilm X100V.

Now you know the why, so let’s get into the how.

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Creative Collective 013: How To Use 2 Cameras To Create Dreamy, Surreal Photos

Frozen Marsh & Bird Sanctuary – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 + Fujifilm X-Pro1

I figured out a simple technique for creating dreamy, surreal photographs using two cameras. It’s pretty simple, really, but it will require some specific tools. What you’ll achieve with this technique is something Lomo-looking—perhaps toy camera or even instant-film-like. If you are drawn to a soft, analog-esque aesthetic, this is something you’ll want to try!

Let’s dive in!

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Creative Collective 012: FXW Zine — Issue 02 — January 2022

Happy New Year, everyone!

The second issue of FXW Zine is out now, and if you are a Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective subscriber, you can download it now.

What’s in the January issue? How big is it? There are four articles: Behind the Picture: The Story of Rock BalancedRising At DawnThe Man Who Came Back, and Yosemite In Vintage Color. There are 29 photographs, including the cover image (above). This issue is 20 pages long cover-to-cover. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring!

If you haven’t joined the Creative Collective, consider subscribing today to get access to bonus articles and the FXW Zine.

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Creative Collective 011: (Pin)Hole-Y Macro!

It’s nearly Christmas, and a lot of people have time off of work at this time of the year. While this is a wonderful season for many reasons, there’s a chance that at some point you might find yourself a little bored. If you do, this article could be just what you need, because we’re going to do something fun and crazy. We’re going to capture surreal images without a lens!

Below is a photograph that I captured using a homemade pinhole “lens” (pictured above) that takes peculiar pictures. In this article I’ll show you how you can do this yourself—no special tools or skills required. It’s cheap (probably free, in fact), easy, and fun. All you need is an interchangeable-lens camera and a body cap.

Let’s do some homemade pinhole macro photography!

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Creative Collective 010: 14 Film Simulation Recipes for Snow Photography

Two Cold Horses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Winter Slide”

I recently created an X-Trans II film simulation recipe specifically for wintry conditions called Winter Slide. While I have many recipes that will do well photographing snow, creating a recipe specifically for that particular condition is unusual. Since winter is here, I thought it would be a fun exercise to examine how several recipes do when photographing snow. By several, I mean 14 recipes!

So let’s take a look at how these 14 different film simulation recipes do photographing in wintry conditions!

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Creative Collective 009: 36 Frames – Fujifilm X100V – Kodachrome 64 Recipe – All Manual

Red Freightliner – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Kodachrome 64 – Frame 05

Back in the film days, most of the cameras I had were fully manual. No auto or semi-auto modes. No autofocus. Manual everything. In the digital age, modern cameras are pretty good at taking care of some tasks for you. You can afford to be a little lazy and still get the shot with ease. It’s a marvel of modern camera technology!

Nowadays I mostly shoot in Aperture-Priority (with Shutter and ISO set to A), or occasionally Shutter-Priority (with Aperture and ISO set to A). Only on rare occasions do I manually select shutter, aperture, and ISO. It’s not uncommon that I manually focus, especially if I’m using a vintage lens, but most of the time I’m allowing the camera to autofocus for me. It’s just easier. But sometimes easier isn’t better. It’s good to stay in photographic shape, and to challenge yourself from time-to-time.

I decided to challenge myself yesterday to this: shoot 36 frames (like a roll of film) with the same film simulation recipe, using manual everything. Manual aperture. Manual shutter. Manual ISO. Manual focus. The camera I chose was the Fujifilm X100V, and I loaded it with my Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe. I headed out right at sunrise.

This was my experience.

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Creative Collective 008: ISO — How High Can You Go?

Dark Cloud Over The Dark Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Ilford HP5 Plus Push Process” film simulation recipe — ISO 25600

When it comes to ISO, how high can you go? On your Fujifilm camera, how high is too high? 3200? 6400? 12800? 25600?

This article will explore the topic of high-ISO photography on Fujifilm X cameras. Can you bump it more than you think? Will it look good printed? How does it compare to film? Those are the questions that this post intends to answer.

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Creative Collective 007: FXW Zine — Issue 01 — December 2021

Introducing the FXW Zine, a publication of Fuji X Weekly!

This new eZine is an extension of this website and a part of the Creative Collective. If you are a Creative Collective subscriber, then you can download the inaugural issue of FXW Zine right now (below).

What’s in the December issue? How big is it? There are four articles: Behind the Picture: The Story of Jacob’s Ladder, The Beauty of Grey, Perfectly Pine, and Photograph Before It’s Too Late. There are 17 photographs, including the cover image (above). This issue is 12 pages long cover-to-cover. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring. I plan on this being a monthly publication, but I don’t want to promise that in case I have to skip a month here and there, but it should be roughly a once-a-month thing.

If you haven’t joined the Creative Collective (learn more about it here), consider subscribing today to get access to bonus articles and the brand-new FXW Zine.

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Creative Collective 006: Blurry Bokeh Balls As Abstract Art

Bokeh Abstract – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Retro Gold” recipe

Bokeh is an often discussed aspect of picture quality. A lot of people use the term, but I don’t know how commonly it is understood. Bokeh is a misspelled Japanese word that means fuzziness. In photography, it is used to describe the out-of-focus portion of a photograph. Good bokeh simply means that the quality of the blurry part of an image is pleasant. Obviously what is “good” is subjective, as different people have different tastes. When there are bright points (such as lights) that are out-of-focus in a picture, the camera will render them as blurry orbs, which are sometimes called “bokeh orbs” or “bokeh balls” or “bokeh circles” (depending on who you ask). Sometimes when people discuss “bokeh” they’re specifically talking about these orbs and not the rest of the blurry part of the picture, even though technically all of it is bokeh, and not just the bokeh balls.

In this article we’re going to purposefully create blurry bokeh balls as abstract art. We’re going to do some things in the name of creativity that might seem photographically unusual or even outlandish.

Hold on tight, because things are about to get fuzzy!

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Creative Collective 005: Are You A Better Photographer Than A Middle Schooler? — Photography Challenge

Jonathan capturing pictures for his middle school art project.

Do you remember the television gameshow hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy called Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? If not, the premise was pretty simple: answer questions from elementary school textbooks, with the most difficult questions taken from the fifth grade. Actual fifth grade students were on hand to offer help if the contestants should need it (and they always did). It turns out that most adults don’t remember the things they learned in elementary school—only two people ever won the million dollar grand prize. Those who lost had to admit on camera that they were not smarter than a fifth grader.

My 12-year-old son, Jon, is taking an art class in school, and one unit of this class is on photography. A project that he had to complete for this was to capture 10 photographs, each using a different and specific element of art. I let Jon use my Fujifilm X-E4 with a Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens attached. I did this same project right along side him, and I used a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached. Were my pictures going to be better than a middle schooler’s? How about you—are your pictures better than a middle schooler’s?

Let’s do this challenge together! There’s no prize, but it will be fun.

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Introducing The Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective!

The Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective is a new aspect of this website that begun just a couple days ago, and it’s something that you might have noticed but don’t know what it is. I’ve been asked several times now, “What exactly is the Creative Collective?” Here’s my explanation of it…

The Creative Collective is a bonus-content subscription, where you get access to extra articles. What kind of content is a part of the Creative Collective? These articles are largely exercises in creativity. They’re experiments, focused on trying new things, and they’re invitations for you to do it, too. We dive deeper into settings and techniques. We go down some rabbit holes just to see where they go. This is a journey, and it will be interesting to see what we discover together. Whether you are an experienced Fujifilm shooter or brand-new to photography, there is something for everyone. If you want to adventure with me on this, the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective is only $2 (USD) per month.

I usually post between 15 and 25 articles each month that are free to everyone—this includes film simulation recipes. I’m not sponsored by anyone. Fujifilm doesn’t sponsor this website, nor does B&H, KEH, or anybody else. I don’t get paid for the content that I publish, other than a little ad revenue, which isn’t much and barely covers the expenses of web hosting and such. These additional articles are bonus content for Creative Collective subscribers, and are in addition to the regular 15 to 25 articles that I will continue to publish each month. If you subscribe, there’s even more Fuji X Weekly articles for you to enjoy!

The main hub of the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective is the Creative Collective Corner. That’s where you’ll find all of the Creative Collective articles. So far, because I just launched this, there are three articles: Stacking Diffusion Filters, When Film Simulation Bracket is Actually Useful, and Double Exposure Art — A Simple Method. Obviously there will be more and more added as time goes on.

To join the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective, simply click on any of the Creative Collective articles and select Subscribe. If this sounds interesting to you, I hope that you’ll join me on this journey!

Creative Collective 003: Double Exposure Art — A Simple Method

In-camera double exposure using Fujifilm X-E4 & Ferrania Solaris FG 400 recipe.

I love double exposure photography! If done right, you can cleverly create exceptionally artful pictures. But how do you do it on your Fujifilm camera? What are some easy techniques that give good results? In this article I’ll discuss this topic in detail and provide some useful tips to help you make your own artistic double-exposure photographs.

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See also: The Creative Collect Corner

Creative Collective 002: When Film Simulation Bracket Is Actually Useful

All Fujifilm X cameras have a feature called Film Simulation Bracket. Select three different film simulations, and the camera will process each exposure as three different images using whichever film simulations you selected. Unfortunately, with Film Simulation Bracket, you cannot change any other parameter, only the film simulation. This means that the camera will not apply three different film simulation recipes. When Fujifilm designed this feature, I’m sure that they were unaware of how people would be using their cameras, and Film Simulation Bracket definitely demonstrates that. Instead of what it is, it should be Custom Preset Bracket—you pick three different C1-C7 presets, and the camera will generate an image using each with every exposure. That would be amazing! But, sadly, that’s not an option. I’ve never really liked or used Film Simulation Bracket until recently, and I discovered that it can sometimes be a useful tool.

In this article we will look at what Film Simulation Bracket is, how to use it, and when it is a useful feature.

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Creative Collective 001: Stacking Diffusion Filters

In my article No Edit Photography: 7 Tips To Get The Film Look From Your Digital Photos, I suggested that you should sometimes use diffusion filters (Tip 3) in order to better achieve an analog aesthetic. In that article I stated, “You want the effect to be subtle.” I think that’s generally good advice, as in most circumstances subtleness will get you the best results. But what happens when you ignore the “rules” and get crazy? What happens when you use multiple diffusion filters together in order to get a bold effect? This article will explore those questions, and hopefully it will inspire you to do your own experiments with diffusion filters.

Ready to get crazy?

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