My Opinions on the Upcoming Fujifilm X-H2S

Fujifilm X-H1

People have been asking me what my opinions are on the upcoming Fujifilm X-H2S, which is the unannounced upcoming X-Trans V camera that Fujifilm will reveal before the end of the month. The only reason why we know about this camera is because of Fujirumors.com, which is the best place to find information on upcoming gear. Fujirumors has shared many details about the X-H2S, so we have a pretty good idea of what is about to be announced.

I have this impression that the Fujifilm corporation doesn’t like Fujirumors very much—it’s a thorn in Fujifilm’s side when it comes to new releases, although they also seem to use Fujirumors to gauge the pulse of the Fujifilm community. So they use ’em when they need ’em and otherwise don’t like ’em. I think that Fujifilm might feel similarly about Fuji X Weekly: they like how it builds excitement within the community, converts photographers to the X system, and generates plenty of sales—yet I use competing brand names (Kodak, for example) and occasionally speak critically of the company, which they don’t appreciate.

I want to circle back around to a word: community. Patrick, the guy who runs Fujirumors, pretty much single-handedly built the Fujifilm community. This wonderful kinship is unique in the photography realm. Yes, there are fans and fan sites for every brand, but none compare to the Fujifilm community, particularly when it comes to things like energy, commitment, kindness, generosity, and probably many other nice words that I didn’t write. Really, there should be some sort of annual Fujifilm convention… actually several throughout the world—I think people would love the opportunity to meet those in-person whom they’ve seen and spoken to online. People love their Fujifilm cameras, and that enthusiasm percolates to those within their sphere of influence. With today’s technology, one’s sphere of influence can easily be worldwide.

Fujifilm needs to do more to embrace this great global community that’s built around their brand. I think because they didn’t create it themselves and have no control over it, they shy away from it. They enjoy the benefits of it from a safe distance, and then deride it behind closed doors when something happens within it that they don’t like. What can Fujifilm do? First, they need to drop the negative attitude towards Fujirumors and other people and websites that are the heartbeat of the community. Next, they need to find ways to engage the community, using already existing channels (find where the community gathers online), as well as double-down on their own efforts (10 Years of X Mount is a great example). Third, they need to bring back Kaizen, and realize just how important this is to the community—by ignoring Kaizen, Fujifilm is ignoring the community.

Last Warm Light on Wasatch Front – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Negative Print

Now that I’ve said all of that, what about the X-H2S? What are my opinions?

The Fujifilm X-H2S is the long-awaited successor to the X-H1, which was a wonderful yet overlooked X-Trans III camera. The X-H2S will introduce the X-Trans V sensor and processor. It would seem the improvements that X-Trans V will bring over X-Trans IV is speed: faster processing, faster autofocus, etc.. There will likely be some new JPEG options, too, such as the Nostalgic Negative film simulation.

I have no doubts that the X-H2S will be a great camera: fast and eager—a true workhorse in the Fujifilm system; however, there are two things that concern me about it: heat and PASM.

Apparently, the X-H2S will overheat if used for video for too long (which is a common problem), and apparently Fujifilm’s solution is an external cooling accessory that can be purchased separately. If you plan to use the X-H2S for video, this accessory will be essential. I want to remind people that the X-H1 does not have an overheating problem.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you likely already know my feelings on it, but for those who don’t: I passionately dislike PASM. It’s clear to me that the Fujifilm X-H2S is not for those already within the Fujifilm system, but is intended to attract those from other systems, such as Sony and Canon, and bring them into the Fujifilm fold. It’s for people who are used to PASM, and are intimidated by the classic controls that most Fujifilm cameras have. I would definitely prefer the camera to not have PASM.

I have no intentions of pre-ordering the X-H2S when it is announced in the coming 10 days. It’s not for me. It will be a great camera for some of you, though, and if you think it’s the right model for you, don’t let my opinions influence you to not get it. I’m more excited for whatever the second X-Trans V camera will be—I’m hoping for an X80, the even-longer-awaited successor to the X70. I have no idea if this is in the works or not, but it certainly should be if it’s not.

Are you excited for the Fujifilm X-H2S? What X-Trans V camera do you think Fujifilm should release next? Let me know!

Photographing Panguitch — Fujifilm X100V + Kodak Tri-X 400

Empty Lumber Yard – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V

The first stop on the epic road trip that I’m currently on was Panguitch, a small town in southern Utah. Panguitch is close to Bryce Canyon National Park, not too far from Zion National Park, and within reach of Capital Reef National Park. Tourism is the main reason Panguitch is even on the map. People eat, sleep, and get gas here, while visiting the various natural wonders of the region. That’s why we were there.

I only stayed one night in Panguitch, but I was able to get out with my camera and photograph the quaint town. It’s obvious that Panguitch has seen better days—it seems to be just hanging on. The town has a lot of character, though. It was a great location for photography—if I had a few weeks, it would make for an incredible photo project—but alas I only had one night, as we left early the next morning.

For the pictures in this article I used my Fujifilm X100V loaded with the Kodak TRi-X 400 Film Simulation Recipe. I also had a 5% CineBloom filter attached to the camera. The X100V is such the perfect travel tool (and my “desert island” camera), and I always make sure that I have it with me. I love black-and-white photography, and the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe is my favorite. The camera and recipe combo were ideal for Panguitch, and I’m quite happy with this set of pictures; however, I realize that I need to go back. This town (and so many others) are yearning for the camera’s attention. There is so much photographic potential, and I barely scratched the surface.

Thanks For Shopping Local – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Auto Entrance – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Chairs Along A Fence – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Fake News – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Folding Chairs – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Window Canopy – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Souvenir & Gift – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Delicious Dinner – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Raya – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Condiments – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
The Duke – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Henrie’s – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Old Sign – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
House Roof – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
One Way Garage – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Motel – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H
CineBloom 5% Filter 49mm Amazon B&H

New Fujifilm X-Trans IV FXW App Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe: Expired Velvia

Red Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Expired Velvia”

The Fuji X Weekly App is free, yet becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron unlocks the best App experience! One benefit of being a Patron is you get early access to some new Film Simulation Recipes. These Early-Access Recipes will eventually become available free to everyone in time, including this new one. In fact, many Early-Access Recipes have already been publicly published on this Blog and the App, so now everyone can use them. Patrons help support Fuji X Weekly and, really, without them there would be no App. So I want to give a special “thank you” to all of the Patrons!

This new “Expired Velvia” Fuji X Weekly App Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe came about after a Fuji X Weekly reader shared with me some photographs that he had captured on long-expired Velvia 50 color reversal film. He didn’t have the lab adjust the development time for the expired film, so they were all underexposed; however, they turned out really interesting, with an aesthetic that leaned more towards Superia than Velvia. I think this recipe does a great job of mimicking that look. If you are searching for a Film Simulation Recipe that’s a little different, this is one to try! It’s definitely not for everyone, but some of you will love it. It’s compatible with the Fujifilm X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras.

If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, it’s available to you right now on the App!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Expired Velvia” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Light Post – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Hotel Door – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Restaurant – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Webs We Weave – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Outdoor Chair Cushion – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Jo Playing with Roly Polies – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
A Boy & His Fishing Pole – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Covered Boat Dock – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Lake Houses – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
‘Bout to Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Wet Rose – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4
Triangles – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4
Fenced Sun – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-E4
A Whale of a Sunset – Branson, MO – Fujifilm X-E4

Creative Collective 023: Easy Double Exposure Photography

In Camera Double Exposure – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400

Sometimes I get into a double exposure mood. It might seem difficult to create good double exposure pictures—thankfully, Fujifilm cameras make double exposure photography easy! In this article I’ll explain just how simple it is to do it, and also explain why it’s difficult to do it well.

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Using Partially Compatible Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipes on Newer Cameras

Boat on Lake Hamilton – Hot Springs, AR – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Kodak Vision3 250D

I get asked somewhat frequently, “Can I use X-Trans III recipes on my X-Trans IV camera?” I’ve published almost 250 Film Simulation Recipes on this website, and there are at least a few recipes that are compatible with whatever Fujifilm X camera you own. Sometimes, though, someone wants to use a recipe on a camera that it wasn’t intended for. Can that work? What modifications does it need? I hope to answer those questions in this article.

If you have the Fuji X Weekly App on your phone and are an app Patron, you have the ability to filter the recipes by camera model or sensor generation. If you Filter by Camera, and that camera is the Fujifilm X100V (for example), there are currently 74 Film Simulation Recipes that will appear. These are recipes that are 100% fully compatible with the X100V. If you were to Filter by Sensor, and choose X-Trans IV, there are currently 170 recipes that will appear. Why the discrepancy? Some of these recipes aren’t compatible with the X100V because it requires an option only found on the newest cameras (such as the Eterna Bleach Bypass film simulation), but most of them are nearly compatible with the X100V—only some small tweaks are needed for it to work.

What kind of small tweaks? To use X-Trans III recipes on a Fujifilm X-T3 or X-T30, simply set Color Chrome Effect to Off and you are good to go (feel free to try it Weak or even Strong if you’d like). To use an X-Trans III recipe (or a recipe intended for the X-T3 & X-T30) on an X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, or X-T30 II, you’ll have to decide on Grain size (either Small or Large). For the picture at the top of this article, I chose Small for the Grain size, and the picture below I chose Large. It’s a decision that you’ll have to make for yourself—whatever you think is most appropriate for your pictures. Set Color Chrome Effect (unless it’s an X-T3 & X-T30 recipe that calls for it) and Color Chrome FX Blue to Off; however, don’t be afraid to try Weak or Strong because you might like the results. Set Clarity to 0 (or try +2 or -2 if you want). For X-T3 & X-T30 black-and-white recipes with toning, you’ll have to figure out what the equivalent tone is, because it works a little different on the newer cameras. With all of that, now the recipe will work on your newer camera. Suddenly the options for the X100V have more than doubled!

Table Rock Waterfall – Ridgedale, MO – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Superia 800

What about other sensor generations? Will X-Trans I recipes work on X-Trans II? Will X-Trans II recipes work on X-Trans III? What about Bayer recipes?

Technically there is some cross-compatibility; however, the results will be different. That’s not necessarily “bad” because you might like the results. For example, I really love using the Bayer Classic Chrome recipe on my X-T1, an X-Trans II camera. The recipe wasn’t intended for that camera, but it works really well on it. If you have an X-Trans II camera, try X-Trans I and Bayer recipes and see what happens—just know that it will render the pictures differently on your camera, which you might really like or really not like (but you won’t know until you try!). For those with Bayer cameras, try X-Trans I and X-Trans II recipes. There are a few X-Trans II and Bayer recipes that those with X-Trans I cameras can try if they’d like—just look to see if your camera has the required film simulation.

For those with X-Trans III cameras, the cross-compatibility is a little less. You can try X-Trans I, II & Bayer recipes, but it will definitely render differently. You’ll have to decide on Grain (Weak, Strong, or Off). You might find something that you really like, so don’t be afraid to see what happens. For “older” GFX, try X-Trans III and X-T3 & X-T30 recipes. For “newer” GFX, try the X-Trans IV recipes intended for the newer cameras. Also, try GFX recipes on X-Trans IV cameras.

No matter your Fujifilm X camera, there are some Film Simulation Recipes that are 100% fully compatible; however, there are a lot more that are “mostly” compatible. You might have to make some modifications, or just know that the results won’t be exactly as they’re intended—what’s most important it whether or not it works for you. My advice is to give it a try, because you might find something that you really love.

SOOC was Live Today — Watch it Now if You Missed it!

SOOC was live today! If you missed it, don’t fret! I’ve included the video above so that you can watch it now. In today’s broadcast (Season 02 Episode 03) we concluded our discussion of the Kodak Vision3 250D Film Simulation Recipe and introduced the next recipe-of-the-month: Fujicolor Superia 800 (the X-Trans III version). I want to give a special thank-you to those who tuned in, participated, and submitted pictures—you are the ones who make these broadcasts great!

For those who don’t know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different Film Simulation Recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

Once you’ve loaded the Fujicolor Superia 800 recipe into your Fujifilm camera and have had a chance to shoot with it, be sure to upload your photographs captured with the recipe (click here) to be shown in next month’s live broadcast.

Find this film simulation recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

The next SOOC broadcast will be live on June 9th, so be sure to mark your calendars now!

Fujifilm X-E4 + Fujinon 90mm = Great Combo with Challenges

Fujifilm X-E4 with Fujinon 90mm

I was cleaning out the notebook on my road trip two months ago—it was a whirlwind to the Grand Teton National Park and to the furthest northwest corner of Oregon—and I was trying to figure out what to write about. The remaining pictures are a hodgepodge, but I wanted to share them nonetheless. I then realized that many of the remaining images were captured with a Fujifilm X-E4 and Fujinon 90mm combination. Suddenly I had my article idea!

You might recall that the 90mm lens doesn’t fit into my “ultimate” travel camera kit, so I couldn’t bring it with me; however, my wife, Amanda, brought it in her camera bag to use with her X-T4. The three lenses that she likes to use are the Fujinon 10-24mm zoom, the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8, and the 90mm f/2, and the 27mm is her (and my) favorite. I had the 27mm in my bag on the X-E4, so on several occasions we swapped. This arrangement ended up working out pretty well for both of us.

Snake River Sun Rays – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Ferrania Solaris FG 400

The Fujinon 90mm is one of my favorite lenses, but the 135mm full-frame-equivalent focal-length isn’t always easy to use. It’s great for headshots, but definitely challenging for landscape and travel photography. Challenges are actually good if you embrace them because they force you to think outside-the-box and try new things, which will make you a better photographer. While this lens is one of the absolute best in the Fujinon lineup, it’s not always easy for this type of photography; however, if you are up for the challenge you will certainly be rewarded.

The lens isn’t especially compact or lightweight, either. I find that it balances better on bigger camera bodies, such as the X-T4 or X-H1. Using it on the small X-E4 can be a bit awkward, especially if you’ll be shooting all day with it. In other words, it’s not a convenient option. Those who obsess over ergonomics will hate this camera and lens combination. If you can get past that, though, the X-E4 and 90mm will deliver excellent images. Both the camera and lens are highly capable photographic tools, and together, from an image quality point-of-view, they’re a dream team!

Columbia River Rainbow – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Velvia v2

If you have an X-E4, should you pair the 90mm with it? I love the camera and I love the lens, and they’re great when used together, but they’re not without their difficulties. They’re philosophical opposites. The X-E4 is about “less”—less size, less weight, less complications—while the 90mm is about “more”—more reach, more sharpness, more bokeh. With the Fujifilm X-E4, less is more. With the Fujinon 90mm f/2, more is more. They don’t belong together, yet the images they create together speak for themselves. The pictures are what matter most, and you do what you’ve got to do to create them. That means dealing with the challenges as they come, and, for me, using these two great tools together.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujinon 90mm f/2 Amazon B&H

Haystack in Monochrome – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400
Pinnacles & Crashing Waves – Cannon Beach, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Astoria Bridge – Hammond, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
River Boat – Astoria, OR – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”
Winter Sage – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Kodak Tri-X 400”

Fujifilm X-E4 Film Simulation Recipe: Fujicolor Natura 1600

Tree Blossom Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”

Fujifilm produced Fujicolor Natura 1600, a high-ISO color negative film, from 2003 through 2017. It was only sold in Japan, but it became renown worldwide as word got out about this wonderful film. A lot of speculation has surrounded it. Is it simply renamed Fujicolor Superia 1600? Many people think so. Is it slightly modified Superia 1600 for Japanese skin-tones? Some people think so. Is it slightly modified Superia 1600 made specifically for the Fujifilm Natura camera? Perhaps so. I haven’t found any definitive evidence to conclude if Natura 1600 is unmodified Supera 1600 or a slightly modified variant of it—if it isn’t identical, it’s very similar.

I have a Fujicolor Superia 1600 Film Simulation Recipe already, and it’s a recipe that I personally quite like. I had no desire to remake it, but (you know) one film can have many different aesthetics, depending on a whole host of factors, including (but not limited to) how it was shot, developed, and scanned. With that in mind, I looked at Fujicolor Natura 1600 examples that I found online, and from scratch (not using the Superia 1600 recipe as a starting point) I made a whole new recipe to mimic Natura 1600—not surprisingly, the settings ended up being similar to the Superia 1600 recipe. Alternatively, this could be called Fujicolor Superia 1600 v2.

Clown Truck & Geo – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”

A fun thing that I did for some of these pictures is set the ISO to 1600—I think the results are especially good at that particular ISO; however, it’s more practical to use a larger range of ISOs. So set the ISO to 1600 if you’d like, or set it to Auto (up to ISO 6400) if you’d prefer—I tried both, and found either to be acceptable. This particular recipe is only compatible with the Fujifilm X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, and X-T30 II cameras. If you have an X100V or X-Pro3 and want to use this recipe, I suggest setting Highlight to -1 and Shadow to +2. The results will be similar, but not identical.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1.5
Shadow: +1.5
Color: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpness: -2
Clarity: -4
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 5500K, -1 Red & -2 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Fujicolor Natura 1600” Film Simulation Recipe on a Fujifilm X-E4:

Carpet & Curtain – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Crown Railroad Cafe – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Dinner Conversations – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Daily Specials – Flagstaff, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4
Dynalift – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Ice Cream – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Concrete Blossoms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Tulips for Sale – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Hazy Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Evening Sun Through Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Flower Cluster – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Easter Egg Hunt – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Pine Tree & Rocks – Bryce Canyon NP, UT – Fujifilm X-E4
Two Bridges – Bryce Canyon NP, UT – Fujifilm X-E4

Fujicolor Natura 1600 recipe compared to the Fujicolor Superia 1600 recipe:

“Fujicolor Natura 1600”
“Fujicolor Superia 1600”

Find this film simulation recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Creative Collective 022: FXW Zine — Issue 06 — May 2022

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

What’s in the May issue? The cover story is Goodbye, Utah, which is an ode to Utah, since I am moving from that state. This issue concludes with an article about double-exposure scenes-in-jars photography. There are a total of 19 photographs this month, including the cover image (above). I hope that you find it enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring!

If you haven’t joined the Creative Collective, consider subscribing today to get access to bonus articles and the FXW Zine—not just this issue, but the first five issues, too!

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you join the Fuji X Weekly Creative Collective today. Click here to learn more!

Goodbye Utah, Hello Adventures!

Denny’s Days – Beaver, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Kodachrome 64

Goodbye, Utah.

I’ve called Utah home for six years, but now it’s time to move on. It’s bitter-sweet, as I will certainly miss the unbelievable natural beauty of the state, but I’m excited for the new adventures that await. Utah is a great place to live—I feel very lucky to have called it home.

What you don’t know is that (quite literally) as soon as the last episode of SOOC ended, I began packing. And loading. And everything else that goes along with moving. I’ve been extraordinarily busy, to say the least! I apologize for not being very responsive to comments and emails and such over the last couple of weeks. I’m definitely behind on that, but I hope to catch up soon. I appreciate your patience!

Leaving the Neighborhood – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 90mm – Upcoming Recipe

What now? Where am I going?

The family and I started out on an epic all-American road-trip. We’ll be traveling for five weeks (!!!), which will allow for some awesome picture opportunities (and probably a few new Film Simulation Recipes). My goal is to keep up with Fuji X Weekly and all the other projects that I have going on, including SOOC, which will be live on May 12. I think some days will be particularly productive, and some days will be especially not, but with some luck it will all work out. I just ask for a little patience during those less-productive periods.

After the road trip is complete, we will end up in Arizona. We’re saying goodbye to mountains and trees and snow and hello to deserts and cacti and sunshine. We’ll get there just in time for the heat of summer, and I hope that we survive (I mean that humorously)—my wife and I used to live there years ago (it’s where we met and got married), so in a way it is a homecoming.

Utah was very good and will be greatly missed; however, many wonderful new experiences are just around the corner, and we’re very excited for that. Be sure to follow my journey on this blog and on Instagram!

Criticisms & Curation

Low Sun over Tetons Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Ferrania Solaris FG 400

I receive a lot of feedback—while most of it is positive, some of it is negative. Negative feedback isn’t inherently bad—in fact, it can be extraordinarily valuable—so I’m happy to receive it; however, not all of it is equal: there’s constructive criticism and destructive criticism.

Just guessing, about 70% of the negative feedback could be classified as destructive criticism, which is simply a put-down. It’s negativity for the sake of negativity. It’s meant to make the person saying it feel better about themselves by way of making someone else (me in this case) feel worse about themselves. People are mean sometimes, and that’s just the way it is. The world needs less destructive criticism and more kindness—the antidote is to be the kindness that the world desperately needs.

Constructive criticism is negative feedback that is meant well and is given with the intention of being helpful. Roughly 30% of negative feedback is constructive criticism. Within this, there are two sources: those who you should listen to and those who you shouldn’t. Just because someone has a complaint about something and they mean well doesn’t mean that you should listen to them. Do you trust them? Are they an authority or have some specific experience that makes them particularly qualified to offer quality advice? I would estimate that it is fifty-fifty on whether the constructive criticism is something valuable or not. That 15% of negative feedback that is constructive and from a trustworthy source is pure gold and much appreciated—well worth weeding through the 85% that isn’t.

Sometimes there are grey areas. Sometimes it’s not clear if the criticism is constructive or destructive, or whether the source is someone I should listen to or not. I tend to spend a lot of energy on these criticisms because I’m trying to figure out if there is value in it. So I have to process it. One such “grey area” criticism that I recently received is this: the pictures in one of my articles were not good enough for the words and subject—the article demanded better pictures to illustrate the point, and because the pictures weren’t good enough, I shouldn’t have published the article. Ouch!

Teton Blue – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X-E4 & 90mm – “Velvia v2

One thing that I’ve always struggled with is curation. Advice that I’ve received over and over and over again is that I should only show the best of the best photographs. If you only show the absolute cream-of-the-crop pictures, people will think you’re a better photographer. Perception is reality, right? People will think you’re a great photographer if all of the photographs of yours that they view are great. But if they start seeing mediocre images, they’ll think you are a mediocre photographer. The truth is that everyone—even the greatest photographers—captures “lesser” pictures sometimes, but some people don’t share those pictures, so nobody knows.

I think sometimes showing these mediocre pictures is more authentic and honest. I’m not sure where the line should drawn when trying to balance perception with vulnerability. Obviously you want people to think the best of you; however, if what you let them see is too carefully curated then you’ll come across as fake, or you’ll leave people disappointed if they do ever find out the truth. I find this to be a tough balancing act. I share more of my frames than most people do, and perhaps I do show too many “lesser” pictures, and that might not be good.

Because I share some of my mediocre pictures with you on this website, I’m able to publish more content. If I waited until I had 12 or more great photographs before publishing a Film Simulation Recipe, I’d have far, far fewer recipes. That’s always a struggle: quality vs. quantity. I have a large quantity of material, but have I not focused enough on quality? Have I sacrificed quality too often for the sake of quantity? Does the quality make the content relatable? These are questions that I ask myself, but I don’t have good answers to them. I hope that I can continuously review and refine what I do, and hopefully this website becomes better and better with time.

Am I not curating enough? I’m I publishing too much content too quickly? What is the right balance? I have to really consider these things. Perhaps these are questions you, too, are pondering. I’d love to hear what you think, especially if this is something you are working through yourself or have had to work through in the past. If you have criticisms, please try to make them constructive and not destructive, but I definitely want to hear your feedback, so leave me a note in the comments!

Shooting with the Kodak Vision3 250D Film Simulation Recipe

Working – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”

One of my favorite Film Simulation Recipes is Kodak Vision3 250D. It produces wonderful warm tones, and has a vague cinematic feel. Colors pop but not overly so. There’s a lot of contrast, yet it rarely feels like too much, and shadows aren’t overly deep. If you have an X-Trans IV camera and haven’t tried this recipe, you really should!

The Kodak Vision3 250D recipe is intended for the X-T3 and X-T30 cameras, but with some slight modifications it can be used on “newer” X-Trans IV cameras, like my Fujifilm X-E4: I set Clarity to 0, Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, and Grain size to Small. If you have an X-H1, which has the Eterna film simulation, you can also use this recipe, but it will look slightly different because you don’t have Color Chrome Effect. Also, I used this recipe with much success on a GFX 50S camera, as seen in the video below.

In the last SOOC broadcast, Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry and I introduced the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe as the recipe-of-the-month. Shoot with this recipe and upload your pictures here to be included in the next SOOC episode, which will be live on May 12. Also, all those who upload their images captured with this recipe will have a chance to win a one-year subscription to the Fuji X Weekly App.

If you missed the last episode of SOOC, you can watch it below. Also, Season 02 Episode 03 is already scheduled, so be sure to mark your calendars and set a reminder. We will finish our discussion of the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe, showcase your images, and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month: Fujicolor Superia 800. It will be a great time—both fun and educational—and I hope that you can join us! SOOC is interactive, so the more that can tune-in and participate, the better the show is.

I captured the photographs in this article recently using my Fujifilm X-E4 with the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens attached to it. I love this combo! It’s great for travel, street, or just everyday walk-around photography. And the Kodak Vision3 250D recipe works great on it! It doesn’t matter if it’s street, landscape, or candid portrait photography—or almost anything else—this recipe does quite well.

The Kodak Vision3 250D recipe, along with over 200 others, is on the Fuji X Weekly App. If you don’t have it on your phone, be sure to download it now!

Dancing Joy – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”
No Fun – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”
Urban Daisies – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”
Ivy Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”
Willow – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E4 & 27mm f/2.8 – “Kodak Vision3 250D”

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Black + 27mm f/2.8    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver + 27mm f/2.8   Amazon   B&H
Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR   Amazon   B&H

Fujifilm X-Trans I (X-E1 + X-Pro1) Film Simulation Recipe: Ektachrome

Diesel – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Ektachrome”

Ektachrome is a line of color transparency film introduced by Kodak in the 1940’s. I did some research, and counted 40 different emulsions over the years that carried the Ektachrome name! Generally speaking, Ektachrome was less warm than Kodachrome (although it depends on which Ektachrome you’re referring to), and also less archival. While Kodachrome was discontinued in 2009, Ektachrome can still be purchased today. I’m not certain which (of the 40) Ektachrome films this recipe most closely resembles. It has more of a general Ektachrome feel rather than being an exact copy of a specific emulsion.

This was a Patron Early-Access recipe, but has been replaced by another, so it is now available to everyone! If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, be sure to look for the recipe that replaced this one. This “Ektachrome” recipe is compatible with the Fujifilm X-E1 and X-Pro1 cameras. Unfortunately, even though the X-M1 is X-Trans I, this recipe is not compatible with that camera. I really like how this one looks, and I think some of you will really appreciate it, too!

Two Cans – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1

Pro Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1 (Medium-Hard)
Shadow: +2 (Hard)
Color: -1 (Medium-Low)
Sharpness: +2 (Hard)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Daylight/Fine, -1 Red & +3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Ektachrome” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-Pro1:

House Flag – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Dead Wood – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Cattails – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Succulent Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1 – “Ektachrome”
Boy On Couch Watching TV – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Drinking Fountain – Weber Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Two Trees – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Berries in a Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Blackberry Bush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1
Francis Peak Summer – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro1

Find this Film Simulation Recipe and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

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SOOC Is Live This Thursday!

SOOC Season 02 kicked off last month, and it’s hard to believe but Episode 02 is right around the corner: this Thursday, April 14, at 10 AM Pacific Time, 1 PM Eastern! In this broadcast we’ll conclude discussing the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month, which is Kodak Vision3 250D. Also, as a reminder, if you have some spare time, join us for the Pre-Show, which begins 30 minutes before the broadcast.

For those who don’t know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different Film Simulation Recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

What kinds of things do we talk about? Well, in this “SoundBite” (as we’re calling it) from the last show (below), we give some ideas of recipes that might work well in artificial light situations. These aren’t the only recipes, obviously, that work well in artificial light, but just some that you can try. If you missed Season 02 Episode 01, be sure to watch it now!

An Open Letter To Fujifilm… In B&W

Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition

Dear Fujifilm,

Please make a black-and-white-only camera. I’m writing this because I want one, but—more importantly—it has become quite obvious to me that many Fujifilm photographers want one, too.

How do I know this? A few days ago I published a Creative Collective article entitled Introducing the Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition, and the response that I’ve received has been overwhelming (in a good way). If Fujifilm made a monochrome model (which I propose is called “Acros Edition”), people would buy it. I have zero doubts about this. I’d buy one. A number of Fuji X Weekly readers would buy one. I’m not suggesting that it would do as well as the X-T3, but it would get a lot of attention. People would talk about it. There is a real interest and demand for a black-and-white-only Fujifilm camera.

I know that it’s not as simple as just removing the X-Trans color array from the filter and—presto!—a B&W-only camera. It’s far, far more complicated than that. Because of this, it’s understood that the camera will cost more than the X-Trans version. I personally think that the X100V or X-Pro3 would be the best base for an “Acros Edition” model, but the X-E4 could also work if you want to reduce the cost of the camera. Even if it was in an X-T3 or X-T30 body, I’d definitely still buy one—just don’t put it into a body with a PASM dial and I’ll be happy.

Unneeded Boat Cleat – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Moody Monochrome

There needs to be some schtick, too, because people will say, “I’ll just use the Acros film simulation, and it’s basically the same thing, yet I can still get color pictures if I want.” There are advantages to monochrome-only, and while it might seem that making such a camera would be enough on its own, it isn’t—there has to be at least one more trick that makes the camera unique, in my opinion. Something that not only further separates it from other Fujifilm models, but other monochrome-only models. What exactly? I have a few ideas. Perhaps a new film simulation: Neopan (based on Neopan 400 Pro, Neopan 1600 Pro, or Neopan 400CN)—the “Acros Edition” camera would have Acros, Neopan, Monochrome, and Sepia (I suppose) as the four film simulation options. I think it would also be cool if there were push and pull process options for these simulations, where the pictures become more or less contrasty and grainy (much like push and pull processing film), depending on the settings selected. Another idea is to have a removable IR filter like Sigma did with their SD Quattro cameras, allowing photographers to easily use their cameras for full-spectrum B&W photography whenever they want. How about built-in colored filters? Since there would be no +Y, +R, & +G faux filters, it would be interesting to have real color filters built into the camera, sort of like the ND filter on the X100V. Adding some sort of extra uniqueness would give the camera even more buzz and would make it even more desirable.

My only point here is that I know for certain that there is an interest in a black-and-white-only camera made by Fujifilm. So, if there’s anyone at Fujifilm who happens to read this, please pass it up the chain that such a demand exists. People would pay a premium for a monochrome model. I personally would.

Sincerely,
Ritchie Roesch
Fuji X Weekly

Now it’s your turn! Would you be interested in an “Acros Edition” Fujifilm camera? Which body would you want it in? What special feature should it have? Leave a comment! I don’t know if Fujifilm will ever read it, but they might, so it’s worth a try!

Fujifilm X-Trans III (+ X-T3 & X-T30) FXW App Patron Early-Access Film Simulation Recipe: Fujicolor Pro

Last Light on Brush – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Fujicolor Pro”

The Fuji X Weekly App is free, yet becoming a Fuji X Weekly App Patron unlocks the best App experience! One benefit of being a Patron is you get early access to some new Film Simulation Recipes. These Early-Access Recipes will eventually become available free to everyone in time, including this new one. In fact, many Early-Access Recipes have already been publicly published on this blog and the App, so now everyone can use them. Patrons help support Fuji X Weekly and, really, without them there would be no App. So I want to give a special “thank you” to all of the Patrons!

This “Fujicolor Pro” recipe is intended to produce a nice analog-like color-negative-film aesthetic with a classic Fujicolor palette. Those with cameras older than the X-Pro3 don’t have access to the Classic Negative film simulation, and there’s no substitute to mimic Classic Negative, so I wanted to create a next-best-thing recipe. While I didn’t attempt to mimic any specific film, I had Fujicolor Pro 160NS in my mind as I made this. There are already recipes for that film (here and here), and this recipe isn’t “better” than those two, but more of an alternative version that you might really like. I also had pulled-process Fujicolor Pro 400H on my mind (there’s also already a recipe for that); again I didn’t necessarily try to mimic that film and process specifically, but had the intention of producing a general Fujicolor Pro “memory color” (similar to what I did with my Nostalgic Color recipe). This “Fujicolor Pro” recipe is a good all-around option that works well in a variety of daylight situations.

Parking Garage – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1 – “Fujicolor Pro”

This “Fujicolor Pro” Patron Early-Access Recipe is compatible with Fujifilm X-Trans III and X-T3 & X-T30 cameras. For those with newer X-Trans IV cameras, set Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, Clarity to 0, and I’d suggest Grain size Small.

If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron, it’s available to you right now on the App!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured using this “Fujicolor Pro” Film Simulation Recipe on my Fujifilm X-H1:

Stairs Up – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Main St. Market – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Yellow Among Green – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Frary Peak Sage – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Great Salt Lake Rocks – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Lake Between the Rocks – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Salt Lake From Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Island Brush – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Jetty – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1
Sunset Over Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-H1

Find this Film Simulation Recipes and over 200 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There’s a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

SOOC Season 02 Episode 02 This Thursday!

SOOC Season 02 kicked off last month, and it’s hard to believe but Episode 02 is right around the corner: this Thursday, April 14, at 10 AM Pacific Time, 1 PM Eastern! In this broadcast we’ll conclude discussing the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe and introduce the next recipe-of-the-month, which is Kodak Vision3 250D. If you haven’t uploaded your photographs captured with the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe, be sure to do it soon (click here). Also, as a reminder, if you have some spare time, join us for the Pre-Show, which begins 30 minutes before the broadcast.

For those who don’t know, SOOC is a monthly live video series, with each episode focused on a different Film Simulation Recipe. It is a collaboration between Tame Your Fujifilm (Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry) and Fuji X Weekly (Ritchie Roesch). SOOC is a fun and educational experience where we not only talk about Fujifilm camera settings, but also answer your questions and give tips and tricks. Basically, we’re trying to help you master your Fujifilm camera, with a focus on simplifying your photographic workflow.

If you missed Season 02 Episode 01, you can watch it below.

If you missed last month’s Pre-Show, you can watch it below.

And if you missed the Viewer’s Images, you can watch it below.

See you Thursday!

Creative Collective 021: Introducing the Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition

The Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition

I’ve said for awhile now that Fujifilm should make a black-and-white only camera. There’s actually an advantage to a monochrome sensor. With a typical Bayer color array, only 50% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information, while the other 50% are recording color information. With an X-Trans sensor, 55% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information while 45% are recording color information. With a monochrome sensor, 100% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information. Because of this, you get a higher perceived resolution, as pictures will appear more richly detailed, and there’s more shadow latitude, which also improves high-ISO capabilities. You can also use color filters like with black-and-white film.

Fujifilm has said that they have no plans currently to make a monochrome camera. You can actually convert any Fujifilm camera to be black-and-white only, but it is expensive and extreme. I’ve wanted a monochrome-only Fujifilm camera for awhile, but I’m not willing to convert one, and I’m impatient waiting for an official model to come out. So what did I do? I made my own.

Introducing the Fujifilm X100V Acros Edition!

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Thoughts on Apps & App Development

Since I have three apps now—Fuji X Weekly, Ricoh Recipes, and RitchieCam—I’ve been asked by several people for advice on app development. I’ve also been meaning to discuss some of the things I’ve learned, because it’s interesting, and maybe it’s useful information to a few of you. I’ve hesitated to write this as it might seem like a boring topic—perhaps even controversial or offensive at times—and unrelated to Fujifilm, but I truly hope that by the end there’ll be something for you. I write from real-world experience, but I’ve also researched this fairly extensively over the last year-and-a-half (including reading several books on the topics), so I’m not making this stuff up.

I have received a lot of criticism over the pricing structure of my apps. There are three options: free, freemium (the app is free, but there’s a fee for some features), and premium (not free). Within freemium and premium are three options: one-time fee (to unlock everything), à la carte fees (pay individually for this or that), and subscriptions (reoccurring monthly or annually).

One-time fees used to be the most common, but are much less so now. Why? Apps used to be popular for a season, then the next trend would make them irrelevant, so the life cycle of apps was typically pretty short, usually two years or less. Nowadays apps have a much longer lifespan—often a decade or even indefinitely—so the one-time fee model makes no sense. You wouldn’t buy a vacuum cleaner and expect it to be up-kept and improved upon by the manufacturer for years to come—not without additional fees, anyway—but people expect that from apps and software. Apps that use this model are abandoned as soon as new customers become less frequent. There are numerous apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store right now that succumbed to this fate. In my research I came across countless apps that hadn’t been updated in years, where the most recent review was two years old, and it was begging the developer to update the out-of-date app. This model is good for short-term projects, but is not good if you want an app to be around for years and years to come, because as soon as the financial motivation dries up, the app is neglected and abandoned.

The apps that use à la carte fees are often gaming and dating apps. You pay to unlock something, such as a level redo, puzzle hint, or something like that. This can be affective, but you have to be careful because if not done tastefully it can come across as scammy. People don’t like paying “hidden” fees around every corner.

So that leaves us with the subscription model, which is a win-win, and allows the app to continuously improve into something greater over time. This is best-case for the developer because it ensures continuous resources, and best-case for the customer because it ensures the app will improve regularly over time and not be left abandoned. More and more apps are going this route, and it is now the most common model. It’s all rainbows and roses except for one thing: many people don’t like subscriptions in general, and some people passionately oppose it with all their heart, as if it were some great evil.

Premium apps are good if you can get the word out. It can be tough to gain traction, because most people don’t want to pay for things, so they won’t buy it. That’s why freemium is often preferred. Here’s the thing, though: 95% of people will use the app for free, and only 5% will subscribe—it’s actually more like 8% on Apple and 2% on Android (yes, this is true!). Apple users are much more likely to spend money on apps than Android, but either way we’re still talking about small percentages. That also means that 95% of people will pass on premium apps. With freemium, for 95 people who are using it for free, they’ll tell others, which will lead to 20 new users, and one of those will subscribe. That’s why a lot of developers choose freemium over premium—it’s a little easier to gain the traction you need to be successful.

Now let’s talk about free apps, or even the “free” aspect of most freemium apps. There are two sayings: there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and if you aren’t the customer than you are the product. Both are true. In addition to all of the time I put into creating, maintaining, and improving apps, there’s a real cost that I pay out of pocket. In fact, each time one of my apps is opened on your phone, I am charged an extraordinarily small fee, which does add up. Just because you are not paying, doesn’t mean someone else isn’t paying on your behalf. That lunch might be free to you, but it isn’t free.

If you aren’t willing to be the customer, app developers turn you into the product. They sell you ads or—much worse—sell your data. Ads are annoying, but a lot of people are willing to put up with them in exchange for something being free. For app developers, unless you have millions of users, ad revenue doesn’t add up into anything more than pocket change. The real money is in data harvesting. Companies want to serve personalized ads that are highly affective, and they need to know everything about you in order to do this. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry because it works, and, because of this, you unknowingly spend much more than the cost of an app subscription. That’s the cost of being the product.

Here’s the creepy part. If I were to harvest data with, say, the RitchieCam app, I could know so much about you. If I have access to your GPS, I could know where you live, and, comparing that with Zillow, I could know more-or-less how affluent you are. I could track where you work, and, referencing Google maps, could know what industry you are in. I could know where you shop. I could know where you eat out at. I could know where your kids go to school. Since I have access to your camera and library, I could deduce the size of your family, your family’s genders, who your friends are, if you have pets, I could read the text on your screenshots. I could do all of this and so much more. Rest assured that I do not collect or sell any data whatsoever, which isn’t particularly common, because I’m leaving money on the table. Most free and freemium apps are indeed collecting and selling your data, because there’s no free lunch, so they’ve turned you into the product for profit.

What I have said might sound farfetched, but it isn’t. In fact, what I pointed out was really just the tip of the iceberg. You have apps on your phone right now—apps that you regularly use and trust—that go well beyond what I described in the previous paragraph. Have you ever talked about something out-loud and five minutes later see an ad for it? Ads are highly personalized and targeted because your apps know so much about you, and companies pay big bucks for that knowledge, because it means even bigger bucks—your bucks—become their profits.

Again, I want to make it clear that none of my apps collect or sell data. It’s to my own detriment that I do this, but I do it for you because you deserve it, and it’s the right thing to do, even if it is rare. On my apps, you are never, ever the product. I “pay for your lunch” for you if you are using the apps for free, and I happily do that.

You might be surprised to hear this, but I am told frequently that I do not give enough away for free. I am told that I am selfish and greedy because I have the audacity to charge “so much” for things. I am told that my approach is wrong. I am sorry if you feel that way, but I deserve something for my work, right? Trust me, I’m not rolling in the dough or becoming wealthy from this. I have enough to put food on the table, a roof over my head, and take trips sometimes (adventures are often more worthwhile investments than gear), but I couldn’t go out and purchase a GFX system right now. This is to say that the perception of my compensation is often exaggerated and misunderstood—I’m doing alright, but if I were indeed greedy and selfish I could be doing better. The accusations are hurtful because they’re untrue.

There’s a lot that can be debated on what exact paths are the best paths. I chose the freemium model after much research and advice from others with experience within the industry. Some might disagree with that decision. I chose not to turn those using the apps for free into products. Some would say that’s leaving money on the table, and everyone else is doing it anyway. I chose the subscription prices for a reason—I’ve received a lot of criticism from that, and many “Monday morning quarterbacks” tell me that I got it all wrong, although the books I’ve read and those I’ve spoken with within the industry tell me that I am where I should be (I “got it right” thanks to all the research that wen’t into the decisions to begin with, but there’s always different paths and varying philosophies). As Abraham Lincoln stated, “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” In other words, nothing that I do will make everyone happy, but I hope that many people find my apps to be helpful and worthwhile tools. I hope that most of those who subscribe find it to be worth their money, and that they don’t feel ripped off or swindled—that they’re good values for what they deliver. Not all will feel that way, though, and that’s just the way it is.

For those wanting to create an app, you have to know that, no matter how much research you do, and no matter how much of your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears you pour into it, there are some who won’t like it and some who will criticize your decisions. Mean and hurtful things will be said about you. You can’t make everyone happy, and you have to know that and accept that, but if you do what you believe is right—especially if you’ve done extensive research—you’re going to make some people happy just for the fact that you did it. The tricky part is figuring out how to maximize happiness and minimize the dissatisfaction, while also being fair to yourself, because you deserve satisfaction and compensation for your time, money, and hard work that you poured into it. It’s definitely a difficult and precarious balancing act that has to be regularly analyzed and addressed, and perhaps adjusted if needed.

I know this lengthy article has nothing to do with the regular content of this website, but I hope it is helpful for a few of you, and that most of you got something out of it (even if it is simply awareness of what your apps are doing behind the scenes). I didn’t write this as any sort of complaint or “woe is me” statement, because I don’t mean it that way whatsoever. I am quite happy with what I’m doing, and I know that it is helpful to many of you—it is even having an impact on the photography continuum, something I never imagined would happen! I’m really honored and blessed to be a part of this. I’m extraordinarily flattered and humbled if I’ve impacted your photography in some small way. It really is my pleasure to do all that I do for the Fujifilm community. With all of that said, I think it is important to be authentic, which means being vulnerable, and sharing this information is one way to do that. Perhaps somehow this was a meaningful article for some of you, and maybe it was worth your time today to read, even if it wasn’t about Fujifilm cameras.

Fuji X Weekly App: Android Apple
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RitchieCam App: Apple

RitchieCam Update #1

I just released the first “major” RitchieCam app update. For those who don’t know, I created an iOS camera app to simplify and streamline your iPhone photography. The app is free, and is intended to be a useful free tool, yet becoming a RitchieCam Patron unlocks all of the filters and the best app experience.

There are a lot of features that I want to incorporate into the app, but it takes time and work to implement them all, so they will roll out over time. In other words, RitchieCam is just going to get better and better! I just released the first significant update—if you have RitchieCam on your phone and it didn’t automatically update, be sure to manually do it in the App Store now.

One new feature is the volume button—either up or down—as a shutter release. Depending on how you hold your phone, this is a more convenient way to take pictures. Instead of tapping the circle shutter at the bottom, you can press either volume up or volume down to accomplish the same thing. The ability to use the volume buttons to capture photographs was highly requested, so I’m pleased to be able to include it in this update.

Another new feature is additional aspect ratios. Originally, all RitchieCam photos were in iPhone’s standard 4:3 aspect ratio, which is necessary if you want to use the full resolution of the sensor. But if you prefer a different shape, there are now five aspect ratios to choose from: 4:3, 3:2, 5:4, 1:1, & 16:9.

Here are some photos, all captured using the Standard Film filter on RitchieCam, illustrating the different aspect ratios:

4:3 / 3:4

3:2 / 2:3

5:4 / 4:5

1:1

16:9 / 9:16

RitchieCam saves the pictures in Apple’s High Efficiency Image Container (HEIC, also called HEIF) format, which maximizes image quality while simultaneously taking less space on your phone. It’s also necessary for implementing some new features down the road. The downside to HEIC is that it is less universally compatible with non-Apple programs. For those who prefer JPEG over HEIC, you now have that option—tap the Gear icon, and you’ll find the Format toggle about halfway down.

The other improvements are less obvious. RitchieCam will now remember the last Flash and EV settings used (as well as the aspect ratio), which will hopefully improve the user experience for some of you. There are several behind-the-scenes optimizations to improve speed, stability, and quality, which you’re not likely to notice, but micro improvements add up over time, so they’re important to continuously work on.

And that’s the update! Already work has begun on the next one. If the feature you were hoping for isn’t in this one, with any luck you won’t have to wait too long for it, but I do ask for your patience, because these things do take awhile. In the meantime, I hope there’s something in this update that you find helpful to you.