On Top of the World with a Fujifilm X100V: Driving Farmington Canyon to Francis Peak

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Francis Peak in Green – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

From my house I can see Farmington Canyon and Francis Peak in Utah. It’s an amazing view! But I had never been up the canyon or to the top of the mountain. There’s a narrow dirt road that snakes up the canyon side and leads to the peak. At the top is a radar site. Recently I grabbed my Fujifilm X100V and drove up the winding dirt road seeking adventures and vistas.

The road up the canyon turned out to be much too crowded with cars, UTVs, ATVs, bicyclists and even pedestrians. It’s not especially wide, sometimes not wide enough for two cars to pass. It’s a sketchy drive at times with steep drop-offs and rough sections. The difficult road rewarded me with beautiful scenes and incredible views.

I used three film simulation recipes on my Fujifilm X100V: Kodak Tri-X 400, Fujicolor Reala 100, and a new Velvia recipe that I’ve been working on (expect a modified version of this recipe to be published in the coming weeks). In a way this was like loading my camera with three rolls of film, but of course in the film days you could only have one roll loaded at a time. With the X100V (and most Fujifilm cameras) you can have up to seven! Amazing!

The view from the peak is nothing short of breathtaking! It feels like standing on top of the world. You can see for miles and miles and miles. I could even see my house way down at the bottom. I feel fortunate to live so close to this place. It’s great that I can make this journey again if I want, and I surely will!

Kodak Tri-X 400

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Bicycling Up – Farmington Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Dirt Road – Farmington Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Farmington From Above – Farmington Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Valley Peek – Farmington Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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New Mexico – Farmington Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Mountain Road – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Tough Tree in a Rough Place – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Family Above Everything – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Road Above the Valley Below – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Valley Below from High Above – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Salt Lake Valley from a Wasatch Peak – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Salt Lake Valley – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Wasatch Mountains Monochromatic – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm Fujicolor Reala 100

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Dusty Road – Farmington Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Might As Well Jump – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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ATVs – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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High Voltage – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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A Few Dead Trees – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Mountain Green – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm Velvia

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Spring Green – Farmington Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Vibrant Green Hill – Farmington Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Mountain Thistle – Farmington Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Wasatch Green – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Mountain Vista – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Morgan Valley – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Mountain & Valley – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Trees at the Top – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Compass Rock – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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View From the Top – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Salt Lake Valley From High Above – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Trail Down to the Valley – Francis Peak, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Wasatch Mountains in Spring Green – Francis Peak, 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

Film Simulation Review: Changing Light, Part 2: Ilford HP5 Plus

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Clouds On Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

Changing Light, Part 1: Velvia

I get asked sometimes how do I decide between color and black-and-white. I don’t remember where I heard this, but a long time ago somebody told me that if color is important to the scene then it should be a color picture, and if it’s not it should be black-and-white. Back then you had to make this decision before loading your camera with 24 or 36 exposures. Nowadays you can wait until after capturing the picture before deciding, although I find it best to choose before making the exposure.

Color pictures are (primarily) about three things: light, shadow and color. Black-and-white pictures are (primarily) about two things: light and shadow. It’s easy to see that if color isn’t an essential element to the picture, then it only serves as a distraction to light and shadow; however, that’s an oversimplified way of looking at it. There are many different color theories, and whether color is important or unimportant is highly subjective. One thing is for certain: black-and-white pictures are about light and shadow and those in-between grays.

Whenever I photograph in monochrome my mentality changes. They way that I look at the scene is different. When I photograph in color, I look for color. When I photograph in black-and-white, I look for tones. That’s why it’s important for me to decide before capturing the picture whether it will be color or not. For the pictures in this article, I decided that they needed to be monochrome. I chose my Ilford HP5 Plus film simulation recipe because I thought it would offer me the right amount of contrast. It’s not my most contrasty black-and-white recipe, but it has a good amount of contrast—not too much or too little. I think it was a great choice for these scenes.

I captured these pictures over the last several days from my house. I didn’t go anywhere. There were a lot of clouds and the light on the mountain was constantly changing. Oftentimes it was rather dull, but sometimes it was amazing! The camera I used was a Fujifilm X-T30. Most often I used a Fujinon 100-400mm lens, but occasionally I used a Fujinon 90mm. These longer focal lengths allowed me to “bring close” the mountain, making it appear as though I was in them, and not at a distance. Sometimes you don’t have to go anywhere to capture interesting pictures. That’s especially true if you have a great view where you are.

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Wasatch with Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Dramatic Sky Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Silver Sky Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Clouds Over the Peak – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Clouds Around the Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Mountain Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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White Cloud – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Cloud Reaching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Clouds & Dark Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Lightly Snowing On Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Gray Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Obscurity – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Mountain Rain Shower – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Downpour – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Mountain Mist – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Francis Peak Rain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Monochrome Radar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Dark Hills – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Storm Over Dark Mountains – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Storm – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Clouds on the Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Covered by Clouds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

Film Simulation Review: Changing Light, Part 1: Velvia

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Wasatch Spring – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

Over the last few days I’ve captured a number of pictures from my house of the nearby Wasatch Mountains. I’m very fortunate that I live so close to such a majestic and beautiful landscape. I can see it from my living room. I can sit on my patio and watch the light change and the seasons change on the mountains. It’s right there! I feel very lucky to witness this and be able to capture it with my camera.

It’s been between overcast and partly-cloudy lately, with conditions changing rapidly and dramatically. It’s gone from fairly uninteresting to amazing and back to mostly uninteresting in a matter of moments. This has repeated over and over. I’ve tried to keep an eye out for it, and tried to be quick enough to photograph it before it disappeared. That’s not always possible, and many times I wasn’t successful, but sometimes I was.

The film simulation recipe that I chose for these pictures is my Velvia recipe (I also used my Ilford HP5 Plus recipe, and those pictures are in Part 2). These settings are bold and vibrant, much like actual Velvia film. I really appreciate this film simulation recipe for landscape photography where I want colors to pop. The mountain is covered in the fresh green of spring, and these settings are the best for highlighting that. If I want vivid colors, my Velvia recipe is what I choose.

The gear that I used for these pictures is a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 100-400mm lens attached to it. I like to use a tripod or monopod with the 100-400mm lens, but these pictures are all hand-held. If I had waited to attach a tripod to the lens, I would have missed many of these shots. The long telephoto lens allows me to bring the mountains up-close, like I travelled into the mountains to capture these pictures, yet I didn’t even leave home. It really is amazing that I was able to make these photographs without going anywhere.

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Clearing Clouds Above the Ridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Cold Spring – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Francis Peak Veiled – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Mist – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Spring Green Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain in May – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Radar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Sliver of Illumination – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Spring Green Hill – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Wasatch Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

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Mountain Spring – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

Changing Light, Part 2: Ilford HP5 Plus
See also: Film Simulation Reviews

Mountain Hike – Maples Trail – Wasatch-Cache National Forest – Snowbasin

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Forest Trail Uncertain – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I recently took my kids on a mountain hike. One great thing about where I live is easy access to the mountains. We can see them prominently from our backyard, and it only takes a half-an-hour drive to be up in them. While my kids were eating breakfast I asked them what they wanted to do. One answered, “Go on a hike,” while another said, “Climb a mountain.” So, as soon as breakfast was over, we did.

We drove up to the Snowbasin Resort, a popular place to ski in the winter, and found the Maples Trail, which begins off a parking lot at Snowbasin. This is located in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest on the other side of the ridge from Ogden, Utah. The trail more-or-less follows Chicken Spring Creek and later Wheeler Creek. It’s a fairly wide path along much of it, and our three-wheeled stroller had no issues. We went only 30 minutes down and 30 minutes back, which was a good length considering it was a hot day and the four-year-old can only handle so much.

I used a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 60mm macro lens and a Fujifilm X100F to capture the sights along the trail. Even though it is deep into summer, up on the mountain it seems more like late-spring, and there are lots of flowers in bloom. There were also lots of butterflies. A few of these pictures are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, but most of them saw some post-production using the RNI Films app on my phone to give them more of an analog-film look.

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Forest Service Trail – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Logs In A Pond – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dead Trees In The Water – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dead Trees In A Pond – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Meadow Beyond The Trees – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Sunlight Through The Canopy – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Fallen On The Forest Floor – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Chicken Spring Creek – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Mountain Creek – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Creek Grass – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fuji X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Still Springtime In The Mountains – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Butterfly Nectar – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Butterfly On Thistle Blossom – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dandelion Macro – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Spider Web Leaves – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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White Tree Trunk – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Trees In The Wasatch – Wasatch-Cache NF, UT – Fujifilm X100F