Visiting Five National Parks …with RitchieCam!

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Color Negative — Arches National Park

This year I’ve had the opportunity to visit five different National Parks! I love going to National Parks to experience the wonder of nature. They’re great for photography, and they’re great for the soul. Anytime the opportunity arrises to visit a National Park, I jump at it. In winter, I traveled to Arches National Park in southern Utah, Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah, and Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming. In spring, I visited Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah and Hot Springs National Park in central Arkansas. These are wonderful locations that are worth the effort to experience!

While my main cameras are Fujifilm—such as the X100V and X-E4—I also use my iPhone for photography. Chase Jarvis famously coined, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” He was specifically stating that if your cellphone is your only option, then it’s the best option; however, I would go a step further and say that your cellphone can be used in conjunction with your main cameras. Why? Your phone might have a different focal length than the lens on your camera (versatility). It’s quicker and easier to share the pictures from your phone (convenience). You don’t have to think about the settings (simplicity). Your phone is more easily portable—you can have it with you when your camera isn’t as practical to bring along (compactness). It doesn’t have to be either your camera or your phone—it can be both, and I used both on my visits to these five National Parks.

Of course, when I photograph with my iPhone, I use my very own RitchieCam App, which is a streamlined camera app with no-edit filters. RitchieCam is intended to help you capture everyday moments—including those that happen while visiting National Parks—more beautifully while maintaining simplicity (anyone can use it, not just photographers). The app is free to download and use—becoming a RitchieCam Patron unlocks the app’s full capabilities. If you have an iPhone, be sure to download RitchieCam today (click here)!

I utilized RitchieCam on my iPhone to photograph these National Parks, and so did others in my family: my wife (Amanda), my daughter (Joy), and my son (Jonathan)—they used RitchieCam, too! While most of the pictures in this article were captured by me, there are a few that they took. After our visits, it’s a lot of fun sharing our photos with each other. We all love going to National Parks, and being able to share the photographic experiences—thanks to RitchieCam—makes it even better.

Arches National Park — Utah

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Instant Color 3

If you love unusual rock formations, Arches National Park in southeastern Utah is the place for you! Protruding from the high-desert sand are massive red rocks, which form bluffs, pinnacles, balancing acts, and (of course) arches. There are over 2,000 arches within the National Park, which is the highest concentration of stone arches in the world! Several movies have had scenes filmed in this National Park, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Thelma and Louise, and Hulk, among others.

Arches National Park is a great place to visit anytime of the year; however, it can be extremely crowded in the summer (not to mention hot), so the winter is my favorite season. It snowed while we were there—a somewhat rare occurrence, although it does happen at least a few days each winter. I loved photographing the park blanketed in white snow, but it melted quickly, and was mostly gone by the end of the day. While we only spent one day in Arches National Park, we made a lifetime of memories there.

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Analog Gold
iPhone 7 — RitchieCam — Analog Gold — Photo by Jonathan
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Standard Film
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade

Canyonlands National Park — Utah

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Faded Film

The day after our Arches visit, we went to the nearby Canyonlands National Park. While Arches can get packed with people, I’ve never seen a crowd at Canyonlands—I’m sure it happens, but I’ve always found plenty of solitude. The Colorado River goes through both Canyonlands and the Grand Canyon, and they’re both on the Colorado Plateau—both are indeed natural wonders, and there are certainly some similarities between them, yet each offers a unique experience for visitors. Picking a favorite National Park is a difficult and unfair endeavor, but Canyonlands is without a doubt one of my top picks—maybe not number one, but definitely top five.

The reason why Canyonlands was on Day 2 and not Day 1 of our National Parks adventure is because it was closed the day prior due to the snowfall. A dusting of snow in Arches was a blizzard in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands, which sits about 6,000′ above sea level, and about 1,000′ higher than the terrain below. Thankfully, by the time we arrived, most of the snow had melted, and we had a fun day hiking, taking in the incredible canyon views that this park offers.

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Standard Film
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Vibrant Color
iPhone SE — RitchieCam — Analog Color — Photo by Joy
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Dramatic B&W

Bryce Canyon National Park — Utah

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Standard Film

In southwestern Utah is Bryce Canyon National Park, which is known for its vibrant red hoodoos. While I’ve visited the nearby Zion National Park a couple of times, I had never made it to Bryce Canyon until this last spring. Wow! I was really missing out—Bryce Canyon is absolutely incredible! It’s a National Park that everyone should experience at least once, if they can. While Zion is quite nice, too, if you only have time for one or the other, I would go to Bryce Canyon.

The elevation of the park varies between 6,600′ and 9,100′ depending on where you’re at. Despite “canyon” in its name, Bryce Canyon is technically not a canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters. To really experience the park you’ll want to put on your hiking shoes; however, don’t expect an easy trail, as the paths are often steep and full of switchbacks. It’s completely worthwhile, though, and, if you are physically able to do it, I highly recommend going down a trail or two while you’re there.

iPhone 13 Pro — RitchieCam — Vibrant Color — Photo by Amanda
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Standard Film
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade

Grand Teton National Park — Wyoming

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Color Negative Low

The Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming is an amazing sight to behold! I had been once before—in late-spring several years ago—and this was my first winter visit. Unfortunately, the park was much less accessible this time, due to snow. Jackson Hole is a ski destination, so there were lots of tourists, but most of my favorite photography spots (that I was hoping to return to) were closed. I would say that it was disappointing, but when you view the towering range, despite the conditions, it’s impossible to be disappointed—it just made me eager to come again in a different season.

Within Grand Teton National Park are eight peaks that are over 12,000′ above sea level. The location of Ansel Adams’ famous Snake River Overlook picture is well marked and (normally) easily accessible—I had to hike through some knee-deep snow to get to it on this trip. Definitely worth seeing, but perhaps winter isn’t the best time.

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Analog Color
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Instant Color 1
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Instant Color 1
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — Dramatic B&W

Hot Springs National Park — Arkansas

iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade

Perhaps the strangest National Park I’ve ever experienced is Hot Springs National Park. Located in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, this park is free to visit (although the observation tower has a fee to access), but there’s not much to see. You can self-tour one of the bathhouses (which is now the visitors center). There are a couple of rather-ordinary springs that you can view—unfortunately, most of the springs are oddly capped with metal encasements. There are some trails that twist up a hill (along with a road), and at the top is a tower, which offers breathtaking views of the southern Ozarks. None of it comes close to the grandness that I have come to expect from National Parks, or even many state parks.

I was surprised by the beauty of this region. I liked Hot Springs. The National Park was a good place to spend a few hours. But I left wondering why in the world this was a National Park, because it doesn’t seem like it should be. It’s worth visiting if you’re in the area (and the area is worth visiting), but I wouldn’t make a special trip just to see Hot Springs National Park. Still, we had a good time, and made some family memories, and that’s what really matters.

iPhone 13 Pro — RitchieCam — Sunny Day — Photo by Amanda
iPhone 13 Pro — RitchieCam — Sunny Day — Photo by Amanda
iPhone 13 Pro — RitchieCam — Instant Color 1 — Photo by Amanda
iPhone 11 — RitchieCam — B&W Fade

There are 63 National Parks in America, and someday I hope to visit them all. It will take years—probably a lifetime! Five in one year is a good lot, and maybe the opportunity will arise to visit even more before January rolls around. I hope so. And if I do, not only will I bring my Fujifilm cameras, but my iPhone, too.

Find RitchieCam in the iOS App Store!

RitchieCam Update!

B&W Fade Filter — XPan 65:24 Aspect Ratio

I just released RitchieCam update 1.2.0! If you have RitchieCam on your iPhone and it didn’t update automatically, be sure to manually do it right now. If you have an iPhone but don’t have RitchieCam, go to the Apple App Store and download it today!

For those who don’t know, RitchieCam is an easy-to-use streamlined camera app intended to bring one-step photography to the iPhone. There are 18 analog-inspired filters so that you don’t have to edit your mobile pictures if you don’t want to. It is intended to be simple enough to be useful for anyone and everyone with an iPhone, and robust enough that even seasoned photographers should find it satisfying. Visit RitchieCam.com to learn more. Also, be sure to follow RitchieCam on Instagram!

What’s new in this update? There are three new features: drag to switch filters, 65:24 aspect ratio, and straight-down level indicator. Each one of these is discussed in detail below. There are also several small improvements and refinements, which will mostly go unnoticed—the most obvious is the enlarged EV +/- switch, hopefully improving its ease of use. Many other features and improvements are in the works, but it takes time to bring them to fruition, so be patient if this update doesn’t include what you were hoping it would—for certain, many great things are coming down the road.

Let’s take a look at the three new features!

Drag to Switch Filters

There’s a new way to select your desired RitchieCam filter even faster—simply drag your finger across the viewfinder! If you are a RitchieCam Patron, far-left is Standard Color, far-right is Dramatic B&W, and the 16 other filters are in-between; otherwise, left is Standard Color, middle is Analog Color, and right is B&W Negative. This is a quick and fun way to get to whichever filter you want to use, or to see which filter might be the best fit for the scene.

The video above is a screen-recording I made using this new feature. Just picture a finger dragging across the screen, left-to-right. I was trying to be slow and smooth, but this is a snappy function, so it is as quick as you are—you are in control of how fast or slowly you swipe through the filter options.

Drag-to-switch is a new way to find and select filters, but the previous methods still work as they always have. I think a lot of you will prefer this new method, but it is completely optional, so nothing changes for you if you like your current process; however, if you ever wished that there was a quicker way to switch filters, now there is!

65:24 XPan Aspect Ratio

Analog Color Filter — XPan 65:24 Aspect Ratio

The 65:24 aspect ratio was made popular by XPan cameras, a joint venture between Fujifilm and Hasselblad. I received a lot of requests for this aspect ratio, so I am happy to announce that it is now an option on RitchieCam! You can capture panoramic pictures straight from RitchieCam, no cropping required.

Currently there are six aspect ratios to choose from: 4:3/3:4, 5:4/4:5, 1:1, 3:2/2:3, 16:9/9:16, & 65:24/24:65. The panoramic 65:24 ratio can be challenging to use, but also highly rewarding, producing cinematic feelings that are only possible by going wide—give the XPan ratio a try today!

Dramatic B&W Filter — Xpan 65:24 Aspect Ratio

Level Indicator for Straight-Down Photography

If you ever do product photography that requires you to shoot straight down, it can be difficult to get the camera level. I’m always off by a little, tilted slightly one way or another. But RitchieCam is here to help!

Now, when the phone is flat (parallel to the ground), the gyroscope activates a white and yellow plus that, when aligned (indicated by the yellow plus as the only one visible), lets you know that the phone is level, not tilted in any direction. This feature is always on, so anytime the phone is flat when using RitchieCam, the pluses will appear. Some of you might not ever use this, but for some of you this is a really big deal.

Level
Tilted

Fuji Features: Fuji X Weekly App

You guys all know about the Fuji X Weekly App, and I’m sure many of you have it on your phone. I wanted to mention the app again because early work has begun on a big update coming (hopefully) later this year. It will take awhile to get ready, but it will add some great functionality and features that will make it even better, and I think you’ll really appreciate the changes. I can’t yet discuss the specifics—just know that some great improvements are in the works.

Below are some articles and videos that I found via Google and YouTube that mention the Fuji X Weekly App. I’m sure that I missed a few (if you know of one, feel fee to share it in the comments), but you’ll find quite a few if you need some material to help you get through another Monday.

Exibart Street
Fujirumors
PetaPixel
Island in the Net
Fujistas

***Edit: I missed this one from just today!***

Petapixel

Over 150 Film Simulation Recipes on the Fuji X Weekly App!

The Fuji X Weekly App surpassed a big milestone: it now has over 150 film simulation recipes!

Those recipes in the app are the same ones that you know and love from this website, but now take them with you on the go, and have them at your fingertips wherever you are! I made most of the recipes myself, which you can imagine takes a lot of time and work. There are some recipes that were created by others—fans of this website—and I always ask for and receive permission before publishing; plus several recipes that were a collaborative effort between myself and others. With all of these recipes, there are a whole lot of different picture aesthetics that you can get straight out of your Fujifilm camera. There’s nothing like this with any other camera brand!

Really, though, the app is just the beginning. There are so many great things that are in the works right now! I wish that I could share them with you, but I’m keeping it all under wraps until they’re closer to being ready. It takes time, and there are plenty roadblocks that I could encounter. I don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver. What I can say is that these things wouldn’t be possible without the support of Fuji X Weekly Patrons. Yes, becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron unlocks advanced features on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App and gives you the best app experience, but what it really does is allow these great things that are in the works to become reality. Without the Fuji X Weekly Patrons these things wouldn’t happen, so let me give a big “Thank you!” to all the Patrons! Hopefully within the next few months I can begin to reveal and announce some of these great new things.

As always, I’m continuously working on new film simulation recipes. I have many that are being tested right now, and a long list of others that I plan to tackle. At the current rate, there could be over 200 film simulation recipes on this website and the app by the end of the year! Amazing!

Let me know in the comments which recipe is your personal favorite!

Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App

The Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App is now available for both Android and iOS!

The Fuji X Weekly app is a mobile film simulation recipe library containing over 100 recipes for Fujifilm cameras! The film simulation recipes in the app are the same ones that you know and love from this website, but now take them with you on the go, and have them at your fingertips wherever you are!

The Fuji X Weekly app is free! No annoying ads. Get access to 100+ film simulation recipes, which can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically. Each recipe contains an assortment of sample images, as well as a list of compatible cameras. Within each recipe there’s a place where you can keep notes, a useful feature for many of you, no doubt. The app will work offline, so if you don’t have internet access but need to find a certain recipe, no problem! The Fuji X Weekly app is a handy tool for Fujifilm photographers, an essential app to accompany your X-series camera. 

This app does have some advanced features that can be unlocked by becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron! These advanced features include filtering by sensor or camera, as well as by film simulation or color/B&W, and the ability to favorite recipes for quick access. The best app experience is reserved for Patrons!

Fuji X Weekly Patrons also get early access to some new film simulation recipes. There are currently 9 brand-new film simulation recipes that only Patrons can view. These recipes will eventually be published on Fuji X Weekly—free to everyone—but right now they’re available only to Patrons. These recipes currently are: Kodak Portra 400 v2 (for X-T30 and X-T3), CineStill 800T (for X-Trans II), Fujicolor Negative (for X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4), LomoChrome Metropolis (for X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4), Porto 200 (for X-Trans III + X-T3 and X-T30), Kodak Portra 400 Warm (for X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4), Provia (for X-Trans I), Vintage Negative (for X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4), and Fujicolor NPH (for X100V, X-Pro3, X-T4, X-S10 and X-E4). As new early-access recipes are cycled into the app for Patrons, the others will be made available on this website and on the app free to all, so no worries.

By becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron, which is only $19.99 annually, you unlock the app’s full potential, you get early access to some new film simulation recipes, and you help support Fuji X Weekly! It’s a win-win!

Fuji X Weekly App featured on FujiRumors & PetaPixel!

The Fuji X Weekly App for iOS has been making the rounds on the web! FujiRumors shared it on December 24th, a Christmas Eve surprise! Today, PetaPixel published an article about it! These were both completely unexpected! Being featured on these websites is a big deal, and this is a first appearance for me on Petapixel. I’m really honored.

Here’s a quick update:
The Android version of the app is being worked on and progress is so far going quite well. I’m hoping that it will be available before March, but there’s still a long ways to go before it’s done, so it’s hard to say for sure when it will be released. The Fuji X Weekly Patrons are the ones who are making this happen, and the Android app would be nowhere close to where it is now without the Patrons. Your support is going to produce some amazing things that would not be possible without you. Thank you, Patrons!

Once the Android version is out, the next big thing is an update that will bring new features and functionality to the app. Some things will be made available to everyone, and some things will be made available only to Patrons, and some current Patron-only features will be unlocked for everyone. I don’t know how long it will take to get the update up and running, but I’m really hoping it can be done before the summer.

The Fuji X Weekly app has been downloaded 20,000 times! That’s incredible! I’m happy to provide this free resource to you, and it will only get better and better! I’m extremely appreciative of all the Patrons, because without your support none of this would be possible. We all owe you a debt of gratitude! I want to give a big “thank you” to those who have downloaded the app, to those who have shared the app on their websites and social media, and especially to all the Patrons!

Thank You, Fuji X Weekly App Patrons!

The Fuji X Weekly App for iOS has been out for one week! It really has been an amazing seven days.

I want to say Thank You to everyone who has downloaded the app! I hope that it’s a useful tool for your photography. I appreciate everyone who has shared it on their social media. I’m grateful for those who left such positive reviews in the app store! The feedback and suggestions that I’ve received are invaluable. You all are the best part of the Fujifilm community!

I want to give a very special Thank You to those who are Fuji X Weekly Patrons! There’s a little bit of an immediate reward you received because you unlocked some features that give you the best app experience. But, more importantly, is the reward that you don’t yet see! The Fuji X Weekly App, as it is now, is just the beginning. There’s so much more coming, and it’s only possible because of Patrons!

An Android version of the app is being worked on, and I’m concentrating my efforts on getting it out as quickly as possible. It’s coming! But the road is still long, and I can’t say when it will be ready. Because of Fuji X Weekly Patrons, this version of the app will be out more quickly than I originally anticipated. Yea!

Once that’s complete, we will begin working on some updates to the Fuji X Weekly App that will add new features, functionality and other improvements. There will be some really interesting changes, with additions to both the free and Patron sides. The app will become better, and more fun! I can’t give you the details yet, but I can say that you’ll love it and Patrons are the ones making it possible. Thank you!

If you have an iPhone or iPad and haven’t yet downloaded the Fuji X Weekly App, you should go to the app store now and do so! If you have the app and find it useful, let me know in the comments!

Fuji X Weekly App: Filtering by Camera or Sensor?

The Fuji X Weekly app has the ability, for Patrons, to filter by Camera or Sensor. It might seem most obvious to pick your camera, but that might not be the best choice. Why? Let me explain.

With each recipe, I only included the cameras that are 100% compatible with that recipe. There are many situations where a recipe is 99% compatible. For example, the Fujifilm X-T4, X100V, X-Pro3 and X-S10 aren’t 100% compatible with X-Trans IV recipes intended for the X-T3 and X-T30, despite having the same sensor. Why? Because the X-T3 and X-T30 models don’t have an option for Grain size, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if it should be Small or Large, and also B&W Toning is different. Because of this, recipes like Kodak Gold 200, Eterna, Kodacolor, and many, many, many more won’t show up if you filter by X-Pro3, for example. They will, however, show up if you filter by X-Trans IV sensor. If you have an X-Pro3, if you filter by Sensor instead of Camera, you’ll see a lot more recipes. In fact, you could filter by both X-Trans III and X-Trans IV!

It’s a similar story if you have, for example, a Fujifilm X-E2. X-Trans I and Bayer recipes will work on your camera, but they’ll look a little different. Those recipes won’t show up if you filter by Camera, but they will if you filter by X-Trans I, X-Trans II and Bayer.

If you have an X-Trans III camera, it makes more sense to filter by Camera because all of the recipes that are compatible will appear (including X-Trans IV recipes that are also compatible). If you have an X-Trans IV camera, it makes more sense to filter by Sensor; however, the X-T3 and X-T30 are an exception, and like X-Trans III, it makes more sense to filter by Camera if you have either of these models. X-Trans II is a mixed bag because not every camera has the same film simulations, so if your model doesn’t have Classic Chrome and the PRO Neg. options, it will be better to filter by Camera, but otherwise by Sensor so that you can also access the X-Trans I and Bayer sensors. X-Trans I and Bayer cameras have a similar limitation (not all models have all of the film simulations), so filtering by Camera will reveal what’s for certain compatible, and filtering by Sensor will reveal what may or might not be compatible.

I hope this isn’t too confusing. My recommendation is to try both filtering options, and decide what makes the most sense for you.

Introducing the Fuji X Weekly App for iOS!

The Fuji X Weekly app is a mobile film simulation recipe library containing over 100 recipes for Fujifilm cameras! The film simulation recipes in the app are the same ones that you know and love from this website, but now take them with you on the go, and have them at your fingertips wherever you are!

The Fuji X Weekly app is free! No annoying ads. Get access to 100+ film simulation recipes, which can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically. Each recipe contains an assortment of sample images, as well as a list of compatible cameras. Within each recipe there’s a place where you can keep notes, a useful feature for many of you, no doubt. The app will work offline, so if you don’t have internet access but need to find a certain recipe, no problem! The Fuji X Weekly app is a handy tool for Fujifilm photographers, an essential app to accompany your X-series camera. This is my Christmas gift to you!

This app does have some advanced features that can be unlocked by becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron! These advanced features include filtering by sensor or camera, as well as by film simulation or color/B&W, and the ability to favorite recipes for quick access. The best app experience is reserved for Patrons!

Fuji X Weekly Patrons also get early access to some new film simulation recipes. There are 7 brand-new film simulation recipes that only Patrons can view. These recipes will eventually be published on Fuji X Weekly—free to everyone—but right now they’re available only to Patrons. As new early-access recipes are cycled into the app for Patrons, the others will be made available on this website and on the app free to all, so no worries.

By becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron, which is only $19.99 annually, you unlock the app’s full potential, you get early access to some new film simulation recipes, and you help support Fuji X Weekly! It’s a win-win!

So much time (and money) has gone into creating this app. I believe that it will be useful to many of you, and I also believe it can grow into so much more. I can’t do it without your support. I appreciate everyone who has helped in one way or another already. I appreciate everyone who becomes a Patron! The Fuji X Weekly audience (that’s you!) truly is the best!

The Fuji X Weekly app will be available in the iOS App Store on December 1st. Download it to your iPhone or iPad! If you have a Mac with an M1 chip, you’ll be able to download the app, too, which might be useful for those who use X RAW Studio (it should be available for all Mac computers in a future update). I hope that an Android version will come along sometime next year, but right now it’s only available for Apple (if you don’t have an iPhone and don’t want to miss out on the app, you can probably find a good deal on an iPad this holiday season). I know that you’ll love the Fuji X Weekly app, and I’m super excited for its release!

I want to give a shout-out to Sahand Nayebaziz, the app developer (and Fujifilm photographer) who turned this idea into a reality. Thank you for all your hard work, and for lending your skills to this project!

Look for the Fuji X Weekly app in the iOS App Store on 12/01/2020!