Family Holiday Portraits: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

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Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

Every November my wife, Amanda, asks me to take some family pictures for the Christmas card. Actually, for several years now she’s been wanting to hire a photographer to capture our annual holiday portraits. But, you know, I’m a photographer, and I’m also stubborn and cheap, so I usually tell her that I’ll take care of it, no need to hire anyone. I know that it’s a big challenge to be both in front of the camera and behind it at the same time, but I’ve done it before, so no big deal, right?

Amanda likes to pick the location and our clothes. Actually, location scouting is a joint venture; Amanda has an idea in her mind of what she wants, then I help her find it. Last year I photographed our family at Antelope Island State Park. The year before we went to downtown Ogden. This year she wanted a tree-lined road, and we found a good location not terribly far from our house. You wouldn’t know from the pictures that we were actually in the city, right behind a restaurant.

Everything was set, we were all dressed and ready to go, but I had already encountered a problem: one of my tripods was missing. I discovered in past photo sessions that I get the best results when using two cameras. I have a primary camera that I shoot using a remote, and I have a secondary camera offset to the side, which has the interval timer set to snap a random picture every five seconds. The primary camera captures the staged portraits, while the secondary camera captures the natural moments in-between. This setup has worked well for me, but without the second tripod it wasn’t going to happen. After much searching without success, I found some step-stools and books to stack onto each other to form a makeshift tripod, which was far from ideal but better than nothing.

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

Upon arriving at the photo-shoot location, I encountered another issue. The plan was for our family to be far away from the camera to make us smaller in the frame, but I discovered that the camera remote range was not large enough. I was too far away from the camera to remotely activate the shutter. After trying a few different things, and after much frustration, I settled on ditching the remote and using the camera’s interval timer, set to snap an exposure every three seconds. This is like spray-and-pray to the extreme. The wheels were beginning to come off, but we put on a smile and pressed forward.

I’m not a family portrait photographer. I’ve done it before a few times, but it’s really not my cup of tea. Trying to get everyone to look good simultaneously is nearly impossible. There’s inevitably always someone with a goofy look on their face. And even if you think an exposure looks good, one of the adults (usually but not always the wife) will find something insignificant to nitpick about. It seems like, as the photographer, you just can’t win. Maybe some of you have better experiences than me, but I just don’t find much joy in family portrait photography. Still, doing it myself is better than paying someone, I told myself.

In my family, the two youngest children, ages five and two, are the goofballs, and they also don’t follow instructions well, sometimes defiantly so. If you’re behind the camera, you can observe their behavior, and offer some words or bribes (candy works well) to get them to pose appropriately. When you are in front of the camera and not behind, it’s much more difficult to catch them in the act, and so you’ll get a bunch of shots where they don’t look good. The ten-year-old tries much too hard to smile, and often looks as unnatural and uncomfortable as possible. Only by telling funny jokes can you get him to loosen up. The 12-year-old thinks that she’s the boss of the other three, which sometimes causes unnecessary conflicts. The challenge is somehow getting all of this under control at just the right moment when the shutter clicks. And it’s clicking every three seconds one one camera and every five seconds on the other.

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Fujifilm X-T20 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

It’s actually a tiny miracle that any of the pictures turned out decent. The light was rapidly changing. At one point the sun found a place between the clouds and the trees, and put a bright hazy flare right through the middle of the frame (and not the good kind, either), and during this time someone walked through the scene. I couldn’t see this because I wasn’t behind the camera. As the sun got lower the temperature rapidly dropped, as did the spirits of those being photographed. It was all a mess, beginning to end. We did it anyway, determined to have a nice picture on the Christmas card. Afterwards we had some hot cocoa to warm us up.

The primary camera was a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens attached to it, set on a tripod. The secondary camera was a Fujifilm X-T20 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it, which was set on top of a stack of stools and books. I used the Provia film simulation, DR400, Grain Weak, Highlight 0, Shadow +1, AWB +1R & -2B, Color +2, Sharpening +2 and -4 NR on both cameras. This is a new recipe that I created for these pictures.

This article would not be complete if I didn’t share with you the outtakes. Below are the pictures that were failures, where things didn’t go as planned, and the pictures are far from the “good” photos that we had hoped to capture. These are the “bad” and “ugly” images that show what really happened during our family holiday portrait session; not what we wanted, but certainly real life.

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

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Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm f/2

Photoessay: November Arizona, Part 1: Color

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

I love Arizona! It is perhaps the most beautiful state in America. Some might disagree with that sentiment, thinking that the desert is dull and brown, but I find it to be a colorful and diverse landscape. Others might consider California, Colorado or my current home state of Utah, or perhaps another state like Maine, Alaska, Hawaii, etc., to be more majestic, and they are each certainly majestic, but to me Arizona is at the top of the list, and my heart belongs there.

My family and I like to travel to Arizona whenever we can, which is usually once or twice each year. A few weeks ago we visited some family of ours in Phoenix, and of course I brought my Fujifilm X-T30 along, with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 attached to the front. I appreciate this setup for travel because it’s small and lightweight enough to not get in the way, yet can produce some stunning pictures. The film simulations I used were Velvia, Kodachrome 64, and “Classic Negative” (for Quit My Job). This wasn’t a photography trip, but as always I captured a number of pictures. I hope you enjoy!

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In It Together – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Gravel Road Above The City – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Desert Above, City Below – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Desert City – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Saguaro Above Phoenix – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Desert Neighborhood – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Lookout Mountain From North Mountain – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Phoenix From North Mountain – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Above The City – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Two Palms – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Palm Tree Bees – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Desert Hill – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Red Barrel Cactus – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Foothills Saguaro – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Desert Warmth – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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The Desert – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Bright Spikes – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Palo Verde Sun – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Quit My Job – Lake Mead Nat’l Rec. Area, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Lucy – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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New River Trail – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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New River – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Water Under The Bridge – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Falls & Foam – Peoria, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Pigeons Over A Roof – Surprise, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

Part 2 coming soon!

See also:
Willow Beach, Arizona
McCormick Stillman Railroad Park, Scottsdale, Arizona

Fujifilm Grain Settings

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Blue Winter Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Many of my film simulation recipes call for faux grain, in order to achieve a more analog aesthetic. The picture above was captured using my Kodachrome 64 recipe, which requires Grain set to Weak. Fujifilm cameras with X-Trans III or IV sensors have a faux grain option, which can be set to Off, Weak or Strong (the X-Pro3 has additional grain options). The Acros film simulation has built-in grain that increases as the ISO increases. I have often said that X-Trans digital noise is also grain-like in appearance. But all of this is hard to see, especially when viewed at web sizes, so it can be tough to know exactly what the different settings are doing to pictures. I thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at the grain on Fujifilm cameras. For this post I used a Fujifilm X-T30.

Let’s take a closer look at Blue Winter Sky, the picture at the top of this article. Here are some crops:

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ISO 640, Grain Off.

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Grain Weak

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Grain Strong

You likely can see the grain in the bottom crop, which has Grain set to Strong, but the middle one with Grain set to Weak is a little more difficult to notice. It’s subtly there, but the difference between Grain Off and Grain Weak isn’t huge by any stretch, and you have to look very closely to find it. Even Grain Strong isn’t particularly obvious, but it’s certainly noticeable upon close inspection.

Let’s look at some massive crops from another picture:

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ISO 640, Grain Off

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Grain Weak

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Grain Strong

This example is a little bit deeper of a crop, and so it’s also a little easier to spot the differences in grain. Still, there’s not a huge distinction between Grain set to Off and Grain set to Weak. Grain set to Strong stands out from the others, but again it’s still not especially obvious.

Can you spot the difference between Grain set to Weak and Grain set to Strong in the two images below?

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ISO 400, Grain Weak

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ISO 400, Grain Strong

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ISO 400, Grain Weak

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ISO 400, Grain Strong

I think if you study the crops above long enough, you can see that the bottom one has a stronger grain, but just barely. It’s not obvious whatsoever, even when viewed this closely.

Can you spot the differences between the two crops below?

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The top image is ISO 400 with Grain set to Weak. The bottom is ISO 6400 with grain set to Strong. You could probably tell that the top image is slightly cleaner and crisper, but it is very subtle, and not something you’d ever notice without closely comparing crops side-by-side.

Now let’s take a look at some Acros crops. Can you spot the differences?

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ISO 400, Grain Weak

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ISO 400, Grain Strong

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ISO 6400, Grain Strong

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ISO 6400, Grain Weak

There’s not much to notice, but there’s (once again) a subtle difference between ISO 400 with Grain set to Weak and ISO 6400 with Grain set to Strong, and you’re not likely to spot it without closely comparing crops. In real life, nobody does that.

The conclusion is that the faux grain options on Fujifilm cameras aren’t especially obvious without a close study. Grain Strong stands out much more than Grain Weak, but neither are particularly noticeable without a close inspection. Even the difference between ISO 400 and ISO 6400 (with or without grain) isn’t all that big, especially if you aren’t viewing the pictures large. The more you crop, the more you zoom into the image, or the larger you print, the more you’ll notice the differences. For internet viewing, you’ll have a tough time even noticing. It’s perfectly fine to set Grain to Off if you don’t like it. I personally enjoy seeing the grain, even if it’s not immediately apparent, because I first learned photography in the film era and I love grain. I look forward to someday trying out the new grain options that Fujifilm has included on the X-Pro3, and I hope it’s added to the X-T30 via a firmware update, but in the meantime I’m happy to use the faux grain that’s currently available to me in my camera.

Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 + Fujifilm X-T30

Asahi Pentax Macro Takumar 50mm f4 Fujifilm XT30

Asahi Pentax Macro Takumar 50mm f4 Fujifilm XT30

I recently purchased an Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 lens from Fuji X Weekly reader Tony Reidsma. I love Takumar lenses! Generally speaking, they are super sharp and have great character. There’s something special about them. They are often quite affordable, so you can add a bunch of Takumar lenses to your collection without going broke.

Asahi was the original name of Pentax. Up until the mid-1970’s when they switched from M42 screw-mount to K-Mount, Pentax used the Asahi brand name for their lenses. Asahi called their lenses Takumar in honor of the founder’s brother, Takuma Kajiwara, who was a famous photographer and painter. Asahi Takumar lenses require an M42 to Fuji X adapter, which can be found for cheap, to attach them to your Fujifilm camera.

The Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 is, no surprise, a macro lens. It has a 1:2 magnification ratio, which is not as close up as some macro lenses. An earlier version of the lens (without SMC) does, in fact, have a 1:1 magnification ratio. This SMC Macro-Takumar has a similar close-focus capability as the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro, which is good-but-not-great.

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What I love about the Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 lens is that it’s very crisp. There’s some corner softness at f/4, but the lens is edge-to-edge super sharp at f/5.6 through f/11 (diffraction begins after f/11). I haven’t noticed much distortion, vignetting or chromatic aberrations. This lens has excellent contrast and controls flare very well. Bokeh is pretty nice, too. The lens is made of metal and feels very solid. It was a quality lens when it was new, and all of these decades later it is still a quality lens.

The Macro-Takumar is an all-manual lens. You’ll have to manually set the aperture and manually focus. The aperture ring on my lens is a little stiff, but otherwise works as it should. The focus ring is super smooth and accurate. Because it’s a macro lens, it takes a little effort to get from the close end to infinity, and the lens will actually focus just past infinity, which isn’t entirely unusual.

On the Fujifilm X-T30, because of the APS-C crop factor, the 50mm focal length is equivalent to 75mm. Essentially the Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 is a mid-telephoto prime that’s very sharp but with a maximum aperture of only f/4, which isn’t especially fast. It doubles as a macro lens, and it’s quite good at that, just as long as you’re not trying to get really close, as the magnification ratio isn’t particularly impressive. There are certainly shortcomings with this lens, but it has the “it factor” when it comes to image quality, producing especially lovely pictures. If you find this lens for a good price, be sure to buy it, because it’s worth having around. The technical specs of this Macro-Takumar lens won’t knock your socks off, but the images that it produces very well could.

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Micro Christmas Lights – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

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Christmas Berries – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

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Amanda’s Eyes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

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Citrus Ladder (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

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Country Barn (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

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Highway Sunset – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

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Sierra Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

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Old Truck & Old House (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

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Two Horses Monochrome (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

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Speedy Super Chief (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

See also:
Industar 69
Asahi Super-Takumar 135mm

Travel: McCormick Stillman Railroad Park, Scottsdale, AZ

McCormick Stillman Railroad Park

Ol’ Number 11 – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

Almost two years ago my family and I visited the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale, Arizona, and I captured it with a Fujifilm X100F. The McCormick Stillman Railroad Park is one of the best city parks in America (it’s actually been ranked #1), and it truly is a neat place to go. If you are in Phoenix, Arizona, with your family, I highly recommend that you stop by this park. It’s especially magical around Christmas, as they elaborately decorate it for the holiday season. Last week my family and I returned to the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park, but this time I had a Fujifilm X-T30 and Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens to photograph the visit.

What I love about this park is that there’s something for everyone. There’s a large playground for the kids. There are barbecue grills and pavilions and large grassy areas to throw a ball or Frisbee. There’s a gift shop where you can buy ice cream in the summer and hot cocoa in the winter. There’s a museum. There’s a carousel. There are scale trains which you can ride that loop around the park. It’s both modern and historic. You can feel mindfulness and nostalgic simultaneously. It really is unique. And, of course, it can make an interesting subject for photography. I used my Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe for most of these pictures.

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Trains Boarding – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Santa Fe Sun – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Aguila – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Happy Train Riders – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Looking Back – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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P&P 42 – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Train Rides Today – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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Little Trolley Rider – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

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It’s Not Too Late – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X-T30

Photoessay: Monochrome Sun Rays Over Willow Beach, Arizona

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rumor: Classic Negative + Other X-Pro3 Updates Not Coming to X-T3 or X-T30 Anytime Soon

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Fujifilm announced that the X-T3 will receive a couple of firmware updates, one in December and one in January, which will improve the camera, but neither will include the new features of the X-Pro3. No Classic Negative. No clarity or curves or custom grain, etc., etc. No ability to save white balance shifts with each custom preset. There are a bunch of new tools that Fujifilm has included on the X-Pro3, but none of them will be in these upcoming firmware updates. That doesn’t mean they won’t make their way to the X-T3 and X-T30, it just means it’ll be in the spring at the earliest. And perhaps not all of the new features will ever be added to the X-T3 and X-T30. You might have to wait until the X-T5 and X-T50 (they’ll skip the number four because it’s unlucky in Japan), or buy the X-Pro3. I bet the upcoming X100V will have the same tools as the X-Pro3, so there’s that, too. I was hoping that Fujifilm would add the capabilities of the new camera right away to the two “old” models that share the same sensor and processor, but it looks like they’re delaying it for awhile. I just hope that they don’t delay it indefinitely.

Film Simulation Challenge –Roll 4: Classic Negative (with Ree Drummond)

Back in August I introduced the Film Simulation Challenge, which is where you pick one film simulation recipe and shoot either 24 or 36 frames before changing settings. It’s kind of like loading your camera with a roll of film, and you are stuck with whatever film you loaded until that roll is completely exposed. This challenge is the digital equivalent of that analog issue. I thought it would be a fun experiment to encourage photographic vision while sharing the joy of Fujifilm X cameras.

The “film” that I loaded into my Fujifilm X-T30 was a 36 exposure “roll” of my new “Classic Negative” film simulation recipe. This recipe is the closest that I could come to matching the new film simulation of the same name that’s on the X-Pro3, but I have to admit, it’s not a complete match. The Classic Negative film simulation changes depending on the light and how you expose it, which is different than the other film simulations. I don’t think it’s possible to create an exact match, but hopefully my “Classic Negative” recipe is at least in the general ballpark. Or, if it isn’t, I hope that some of you appreciate it nonetheless.

My wife, Amanda, is a big fan of Ree Drummond (also known as The Pioneer Woman). She’s a famous blogger, author and television personality best known for her cooking recipes. She has a store, restaurant and bakery in Oklahoma, which my wife and I visited two summers ago. Ree has a new cookbook, and she’s been traveling the country doing book signings. Amanda insisted that we go so that we could meet her, and so we did! We stood in line for almost an hour in order to have a thirty second conversation with her. It was a very quick meet-and-greet that seemed like it was over before it even began. What you might not know is that Ree’s a pretty good photographer, and I was able to suggest that she create a photojournal book of her ranch that features her black-and-white photographs. She replied that she needs to get the pictures off her SD Card first.

I made 36 exposures using my “Classic Negative” film simulation, and most were of this event, especially while waiting in line. The lighting inside the bookstore was terrible, with some crazy mixed artificial lights, and this recipe wasn’t a good choice for it. I did reprocess in-camera the RAW image of Ree Drummond, and I’ve included that at the bottom of this article. I used a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens for these pictures. I hope that you enjoy!

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Frame 1: Pink Sleeve – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 2: Sunset 218 – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 3: Changing Nature – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 5: Sweetaly Gelato – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 7: King of Books – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 8: Waiting For The Bus – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 9: 15th Street – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 15: Brick Chimney – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 18: A Roof – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 19: Waiting In The Waning Sun – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 22: Rick – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 24: No Trucks – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 26: Salt Lake Neighborhood – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 28: Ree Drummond – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 30: Open – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 31: Happy Amanda – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 32: Bank On It – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

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Frame 33: Brews – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Classic Negative”

Reprocess of frame 28:

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Ree Drummond – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – PRO Neg. Hi

See also:
Roll 1: Kodachrome 64
Roll 2: Kodacolor
Roll 3: Eterna

My Fujifilm X-T30 Provia Film Simulation Recipe (Fujichrome Sensia 100)

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Evening Flag – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Provia

The film simulation that Fujifilm calls “standard” is Provia, but of all the color options, Provia is my least favorite. For the most part, I prefer the other film simulations instead. In fact, the only recipes that I’ve created that use Provia are Agfa Optima 200 and Cross Process, both of which are great in their own way. The problem with Provia is that it’s somewhat boring. And it doesn’t resemble the film that it’s named after. The Astia film simulation looks more like real Provia film, and the Provia film simulation more resembles Astia film. Weird, huh? Well, I decided that Provia needed a little more of my love, so I created a new recipe for it.

This Provia recipe reminds me of Fujifilm Fujichrome Sensia 100, although that is strictly coincidental, as I wasn’t attempting any specific film look, just a general analog aesthetic. Fujichrome Sensia 100 was a general-purpose slide film that was discontinued about 10 years ago. It was a popular choice for cross-processing, although that’s not the look you find here. There were three different generations of the film, and each looked very slightly different. I shot a little of the second version of Sensia back in the day, but I usually preferred Velvia or Provia film. This recipe’s accidental resemblance is a happy accident.

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Autumn Tree Branches – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Provia

The white balance required for this recipe is Warm-White Fluorescent, which is also known as Fluorescent Light 2 or Neon 2. It’s the second fluorescent white balance option underneath cloudy/shade. It’s a bit unusually to select this in daylight, but it works in this case.

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +2
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: Warm-White Fluorescent (2), -1 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

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

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Lost In Thought – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Summer Is Over – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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The Last Yellow Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Abscission – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Leaves of Autumn – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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

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Autumn Tree Trunk – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Neighborhood Snowfall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Baseball Boy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cottonwood Fall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

My Fujifilm X-T30 Lomography Color 100 Film Simulation Setting

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Misty Mountain Sunset – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Color 100”

Several different Fuji X Weekly readers have asked me to create a film simulation recipe based on Lomography Color 100 film. Lomography is essentially low-fi film photography, and it’s also the name of a company that sells cameras and film. One of their negative films is Color 100. It’s a popular film among lomographers, but even those who wouldn’t consider themselves a part of the lomography movement have taken notice of it. I’ve never used this particular film myself, as it didn’t exist when I shot a lot of film, so I only had the internet to assist me with creating this recipe.

Besides the fact that I don’t have any first-hand experience with this film, another big hurdle for creating these settings was the film itself. As I researched it, I discovered that Lomography Color 100 film isn’t one single emulsion. In fact, at least two, possibly three, and maybe even four different emulsions have been sold under the name Lomography Color 100! At least two of those, and maybe all of them, are Kodak films. Lomography bought these emulsions at a discount, either because too much was manufactured and the film was approaching its expiration, or because it didn’t pass quality control, and Kodak sold their unwanted film cheaply to Lomography. Which films, you ask? Gold 100 and Pro Image 100, for sure. Ektar 100 possibly. The fourth, if there is a fourth, would be a non-Kodak film, possibly Fujifilm Fujicolor 100, but there’s a good chance that a fourth emulsion for Color 100 never happened.

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Curious – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Color 100” 

Another hurdle with this film simulation recipe is that a lot of people use alternative techniques with Color 100, such as push-process. There’s a big variety with how it’s typically handled by photographers, which makes creating a look that resembles Color 100 quite difficult. Results may vary would be the best description of the film. Despite that, I do believe that this recipe is in the neighborhood of the film, and those looking for an aesthetic that’s close to Color 100 film will appreciate this facsimile of it.

Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +1
Color: -3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
White Balance: Cloudy/Shade, -3 Red & +7 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Color 100 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Yellow Cottonwood – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Morning Yellow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cold Backyard Autumn – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Tree Snowfall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Ball Hitter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Girl In Bright Sunlight – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Autumn Leaves – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Backyard October Winter – South Weber, UT

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October Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Ice Cold Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Camera Shelf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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R Decor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: My Film Simulation Recipes