Tip: How to Remember Which Film Simulation Recipe You Used

I get asked sometimes how I know which film simulation recipes I used for certain pictures. Especially when I take a road trip where I might use a number of different recipes, it can be difficult to remember which ones I used when. Honestly, I didn’t have a good method for this. I would limit myself to only a few recipes, and tried to avoid using similar-looking recipes on the same day. If I still didn’t remember, I would go back into the camera and display the picture information to give myself a clue. However, I recently became aware of a much better method.

In Episode 02 of SOOC, X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry shared her smart solution for this common problem. Whenever Nathalie is out shooting, when she switches to a new recipe, the very first exposure that she makes is a snap of her phone with the Fuji X Weekly App open and the recipe she’s using displayed. Then she knows that every picture after that (until she reaches the next image of her phone) was captured with that recipe. I began doing this myself, and it works very well. Yes, it takes an extra moment “in the field” to snap an image of your phone, and it does take a little extra space on the memory card, but it can definitely save you time (and sanity) later as you try to figure out what recipe you used for that picture.

First image captured after switching recipes is an image of the Fuji X Weekly App with the recipe displayed.
Now I know that I used the Positive Film recipe for this picture.

This is a tip that I know will be helpful to some of you, because it was helpful to me. These kinds of tips and tricks are what you’ll find in the SOOC live video series. Episode 03 is this Thursday, September 9. It’s an interactive program, and your participation makes the show even better, so I hope to see you then!

If you haven’t downloaded the Fuji X Weekly App, be sure to do so. It’s free, and available for both Android and Apple. If you are looking for a way to support Fuji X Weekly and all that I’m doing for the community plus unlock the best app experience, consider becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron (available in the app)!

7 Incredibly Cheap & Easy Photography Hacks

In the video above I share seven simple and inexpensive (or free!) photography tips and tricks. Feel free to use them, and if you like the video be sure to share it so that others can learn the tricks, too.

Here are the seven hacks in the video:
– mini string lights for foreground bokeh (click here for the mini string lights)
colored page markers for light leaks (click here for the page markers)
– crumpled tin foil bokeh background
– coffee sleeve lens hood
faux wood ceramic tiles for worn wood setting
– backwards mount macro lens (click here for the adapter)
shift the white balance

You’ll notice that I included links above to Amazon where you can see and purchase some of the items that I used in the video. I am an Amazon Affiliate partner (so that I can improve the Fuji X Weekly experience), but I did this more so that you can see the actual product used than for you to go buy something (the items are under $10 each, so I don’t expect the links to be particularly financially beneficial). Perhaps doing this is helpful to someone.

I hope that you appreciate the video and find it useful! It was fun to make, and I hope to do many more videos over the coming days, weeks and months. If you like it, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss anything!

How To Add “Light Leaks” To Your Photos Using Page Markers

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I much prefer to create a look in-camera than to use software to achieve it. I’m a big fan of avoiding post-processing whenever I can because I don’t like sitting in front of a computer anymore than I absolutely have to. Sometimes it’s not possible to achieve my photographic vision without editing, but most of the time with a little care I can get the exact look I want straight out of the camera. Whenever I find a trick that might help me get in-camera the results I want, I’m willing to give it a try.

Recently I came across an article where photographer Maciej Pietuszynski used colorful sticky page markers, also sometimes called popup index tabs, to create light leak effects without software. Stick the colorful page markers in front of the lens and watch the magic happen! It works quite well and is surprisingly convincing.

In the film days, light leaks would happen when a camera became worn or damaged. When the seal that keeps the inside of the camera completely pitch black is compromised, unwanted light enters and exposes the film. If film isn’t handled correctly during development, it’s also possible to get light leaks that way. The two pictures below are examples of light leaks that I have experienced.

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Light leaks come in all sorts of colors and shapes. They’re not typically uniform. Some people love them and some people hate them. There are some photographers who actually seek out cameras that leak light, and even a few who will purposefully damage a camera in order to create light leaks. There was even a 35mm film that was produced that had light leaks already on it, so that you could get the effect with a camera that wasn’t damaged.

In the digital world, you can mimic the light leak effect using software, which is something that I occasionally did using Alien Skin Exposure (I haven’t done this in several years). Using a faux light leak is fun every once in awhile, and it works well for certain images, but it can seem kind of gimmicky if you apply it too often. Below are two pictures of mine that include fake light leaks using software.

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Using page markers is a good technique to achieve a light leak effect without using software. I played around with it on my Fujifilm XF10 over the last two days, and I was able to get some interesting results that did in fact resemble light leaks. In my opinion, it made the images look a little more analog. In the pictures where the effect is really subtle, it gives the images a slight atmospheric feel that is still intriguing. I don’t think this something I’d want to do all of the time, but in the right situations it can be effective. At the very least it’s a fun technique to experiment with. It’s very lomography in spirit.

If you find yourself bored on a Saturday morning or you just want to try a new technique to produce a more analog-like result, I invite you to give the page marker light leak trick a try. It’s something that you could file away for use at some later time when you have a certain look in mind, or maybe you’ll find it to be useful in your regular workflow. Below are photographs that I have captured using this technique.

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When Film Photography Is On The Table – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Norfolk Southern Caboose – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Caboose Interior – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Creepy Brakeman – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Light & Mural – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Window Vase – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Fake Flower In The Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Dry Lavender Dish – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Christmas Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Yosemite Ornament – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Merry And Bright – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Dead End Sign – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Icy Leaf & Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Holding On Despite The Challenges – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Snow On A Tree Trunk – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Boy, Sledding – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Joy In The December Yard – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Fun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Not Much of a Rose – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Late Autumn Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Back To Basics: Exposure Triangle

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My wife, Amanda, approached me a few weeks ago and asked that I teach her photography. I was honored, and, really, I was hoping that this day would come. She’s creative and has an interest in art, but she’s never had a fascination with the camera. I’ve always tried to include her, one way or another, in my photographic pursuits. To say that I’m happy that we can do something photographically together would be an understatement. I’m thrilled to teach her photography!

One thing that I realized is that the Fujifilm X100F is an excellent camera to learn photography on. It has easy-to-access manual controls. If you want to learn how to use a camera, the auto functions need to be disabled. You learn by doing. You learn by messing up. You learn by practice. Each exposure is an educational opportunity. My wife is learning photography on the X100F one frame at a time, in a similar way that I learned photography one frame at a time on a Canon AE-1 two decades ago.

Her first lesson was on exposure and the exposure triangle. I thought it might be helpful to some Fuji X Weekly readers to bring my wife’s lessons to written words and share them here. Even if just one person finds it useful it will be worth the time it took to type this out. If you’re the person who keeps everything in “A” because you’re not sure what it all means, I invite you to continue reading.

In photography, exposure is the amount of light that reaches the sensor or film combined with the sensitivity of the sensor or film to light. There are three aspects that determine exposure: aperture, shutter and ISO. In a moment we will look at all three in-depth, and how they affect each other, working together to make an exposure.

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The goal is to achieve a correct exposure. Not enough light and the frame will be underexposed. Too much light and the frame will be overexposed. The window for a correct exposure is actually very narrow. It doesn’t take a whole lot of variance to move outside of a properly exposed photograph.

That brings up the question: what exactly is a correct exposure? The answer is subjective, and there is a bit of grey area. One picture might look good dark, or what some may call “low key” and what some might consider underexposed. Another picture might look good bright, or what some may call “high key” and what some might consider overexposed. Due to the limitations of the sensor or film, there is an issue where highlights can become overexposed and lose details, and this is known as “clipped highlights.” And there is an issue where shadows can become underexposed and lose details, and this is known as “blocked shadows.” Camera sensors and film have a limited ability to capture the full spectrum of tones, and this is known as dynamic range.

Exposure is a balancing act, where the picture is appropriately bright for whatever the subject is, and clipped highlights and blocked shadows are kept to a minimum, except in cases where they are purposefully included for effect. What exactly that is must be determined by the photographer. It’s the photographer’s job to decide what exposure is most appropriate for the subject.

There are tools to aid the photographer in determining the correct exposure, and the main one is a light meter, which reads the light and displays what settings it thinks would be good for a proper exposure. All modern cameras have a light meter built-in. There are usually a few different options: spot, center and matrix. The Fujifilm X100F has spot and center meter options, and two different matrix options called multi and average.

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Spot metering reads the light in just one location of the frame and ignores everything else. Center metering reads the light in just the center of the frame and ignores the edges. Matrix metering takes readings at different places within the frame and determines what would be the correct settings based on what it finds all over. There are reasons to use each of these, and in different situations one option will produce better results than the others.

Even if one doesn’t have a light meter, there are rules of thumb that could help determine the correct exposure, such as the “Sunny 16” rule. If the scene that you are photographing is in bright sunlight, then the ISO and shutter speed should be (roughly) the same number (e.g. ISO 100 and 1/125) if the aperture is f/16. From there you could figure out the approximate correct exposure no matter the lighting conditions. It’s not important to remember this rule, I simply wanted to illustrate that with knowledge and experience it’s possible to be able to fairly accurately guess proper exposure even without the assistance of a light meter.

Many cameras, including the X100F, have a histogram, which is a graphic display of the luminous tones in an image. It shows exactly where the highlights and shadows fall. Some photographers use this to determine if an image is or will be exposed correctly. Many cameras, including (again) the X100F, have the ability to give a clipped highlight warning, and some people use this as an aid to determining correct exposure.

Another method that is popularly used is exposure bracketing. Typically one will set up the camera to make three exposures (with one press of the shutter release button), with exposure compensation set to -1, 0 and +1. It can be customized to be different than that, but the idea is to underexposure and overexpose (as well as properly expose) what you believe is the correct exposure, just in case you got it wrong. One of the three will most likely be right.

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In my opinion, the single best tool for achieving correct exposure is to review the image on the back of the camera. Take a picture, and if it’s too dark increase the exposure and if it’s too bright decrease the exposure. It doesn’t have to be complicated. The fact is that most cameras nowadays have phenomenal light meters that will give you the correct exposure 95% of the time. It’s just a matter of verifying that it is indeed correct, and making adjustments if it’s not.

I mentioned earlier that aperture, shutter and ISO work together to make the exposure. All three of these functions will change the brightness of an image. The value settings of each are called “stops” and adjusting them one way or another will either double or half the light from that feature. To make things more complicated (and precise), many cameras also have intermediate stops (usually 1/3 stops, sometime 1/2 stops) in-between the regular stops.

The aperture is an opening in the lens that controls the amount of light that’s allowed to enter the camera. On the X100F this is adjusted by a ring around the lens. Common settings, known as f-stops, are f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, and f/16, although some lenses also have larger and/or smaller apertures. The smaller the number (for example: f/2) the larger the opening is in the lens and the larger the number (for example: f/16) the smaller the opening is in the lens. Obviously the largest opening will allow the most light in and the smallest opening will allow the least light in. Aperture f/4 will allow half as much light to enter the camera as f/2.8 and twice as much light as f/5.6.

The aperture does more than just regulate light. It also controls the depth-of-field, which is the amount of the image that’s in focus, and can effect things like sharpness, chromatic aberrations and vignetting. For a large depth-of-field (lots in focus) choose a small aperture such as f/11. For a small depth-of-field (little in focus) choose a large aperture such as f/2.8. Typically, although not always, the middle apertures tend to be the sharpest. Oftentimes the largest apertures will be less sharp away from the center of the frame, and the smallest apertures suffer from diffraction, which softens the entire image.

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Amanda & The Boys, Bonneville Salt Flats – Wendover, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

When setting the exposure, it’s important to consider what aperture you want in order to achieve an appropriate depth-of-field and maximize image quality. For some images a large aperture may be required, for others a small aperture might be necessary, and for some a middle aperture could be best. It’s up to the photographer to determine this.

The shutter is like curtain that briefly opens and closes, and it controls the length of time that light is allowed to hit the sensor or film. Most of the time it’s a tiny fraction of a second. On the X100F this is controlled by a knob on top of the camera. Some typical settings are 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, and there are many others, including “B” which allows you to control a long shutter speed. Yes, those numbers are fractions of a second, and you’ll notice that they double or half the length of time that light is allowed to enter the camera.

A quick shutter will freeze motion while a slow shutter will show things that are moving as a blur. If you want something that’s moving fast (kids, pets, automobiles, etc.) to be sharp and not blurry, a shutter speed that’s also fast must be selected. How fast exactly depends on the speed of the object and its proximity to the camera, but 1/500 is a good starting point. You might find that 1/250 or even 1/125 will work, depending on the situation. If you want something to be blurry, such as a flowing river or panning (which is when the subject is sharp but the background is streaked), then something slower must be selected, and 1/15 or 1/30 might be appropriate.

The slight movement of the photographer holding the camera can cause blurring, known as camera shake. To prevent this, the slowest shutter speed that one should choose is the same number of the lens focal length. For example, the lens on the X100F is 35mm (equivalent), and so the slowest handheld shutter speed should be no slower than 1/30. For anything slower than that a tripod should be used. Using good techniques I’ve been able to achieve sharp results handheld using the X100F with a shutter as slow as 1/4, but I’ve also experienced camera blur when not using good techniques with the shutter set to 1/60. It’s important to use a steady hand, brace yourself if possible, and regulate breathing when using a slow shutter in order to prevent camera shake.

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Caramel Macchiato – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/4 – shallow depth-of-field

The shutter does more than just regulate light. It controls how motion will be shown in an image. Will moving objects be frozen still or will they be a blurry streak? It’s the photographer’s job to select an appropriate shutter speed that will allow motion to be shown in a manner that the he or she wishes.

ISO, which is sometimes called ASA or film speed, is a value that represents the sensitivity to light of the sensor or film. Digital and film work a little different with regards to this, but the outcome is similar. Low ISO images will look clean while high ISO images will look grainy or noisy (grainy being a film term and noisy being a digital term). On the X100F the ISO is controlled by a ring around the shutter knob.

Once upon a time ISO was a big deal, because what we now would consider high-ISO looked pretty awful, especially for color photography. Most photographers would keep the ISO as low as possible, and many tried hard to never venture above ISO 400. Those days are gone thanks to advances in digital technology, and most cameras nowadays are capable of producing good results to ISO 3200, and some cameras can go much higher than that. I find that the X100F looks good at ISO 6400 and can sometimes look fine at ISO 12,800.

Even though ISO choices aren’t nearly as critical as they used to be, the best image quality results are still found at the lower ISOs. It’s still a good practice to keep the ISO as low as the situation will allow, and only increase as necessary. But don’t be afraid to go higher when needed, and don’t hesitate to use ISO 6400 on the X100F when the situation calls for it.

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Old Log In Zion – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/11 – large depth-of-field

Typical ISO values are ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200 and ISO 6400, although some cameras and film have ISO values that are higher or lower than those. Increasing the ISO value doubles the sensitivity to light and decreasing the ISO value halves the sensitivity to light. ISO 800 is twice as sensitive to light as ISO 400. ISO 200 is half as sensitive to light as ISO 400.

Adjusting the aperture, shutter or ISO by one stop has the same effect. It’s should be pretty easy to see how they relate to each other. If your light meter told you that the correct exposure is aperture f/8, shutter 1/125 and ISO 400, you can manipulate those settings and still maintain a correct exposure. For example, aperture f/5.6, shutter 1/250 and ISO 400 would give you the same exposure because, with these new settings, the aperture is letting in twice as much light while the shutter is open for half as long. Aperture f/4, shutter 1/250 and ISO 200 would also be the same exposure. Aperture f/16, shutter 1/60 and ISO 800 would give a correct exposure, too. You can adjust the settings any number of ways, you just have to think about how much each adjustment, either plus or minus, is changing the exposure, and then compensate with a different aspect of the exposure triangle.

Your job, then, is not only achieve a correct exposure, but to have the right depth-of-field by selecting an appropriate aperture, to either freeze or show motion through the shutter speed, and to have as clean as practical image through the ISO selection. You might have to sacrifice some things if the lighting isn’t just right. You might have to choose a larger aperture than you really want to. You might have to select a slower shutter speed than you really want to. You might have to use a higher ISO than you really want to. The photographer must decide what’s most important and what can be bent a little. A lot of times it’s not about being perfect, but about being as perfect as practical while considering what you can get away with.

If you are learning photography, this is a lot to take in at one sitting. My recommendation is to take the camera out of “A” and just take some pictures, playing around with the different settings. You probably won’t capture anything great right away, and you might even delete most of the exposures, but you’ll learn quite a bit through the process. Don’t be worried about making mistakes. This is about learning how it all works so that when the time comes to capture a great photograph you’ll have the technical know-how to do so.

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Kiki – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ 1/240 – frozen motion

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Ghostly – Fort Casey, WA – Fujifilm X100F @ 1/6 – blurred

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Girl By The Escalator – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ ISO 8000 – noisy image

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Walking Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ ISO 400 – clean image

 

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Wide Angle Conversion Lens Alternative For The X100F (Nikon WC-E68)

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The Fujifilm X100F has a 23mm (35mm equivalent) focal length lens permanently attached to the front of it. The built-in Digital Teleconverter does a good job of increasing the camera’s versatility, with options for 50mm and 75mm. There’s also a 50mm (equivalent) teleconverter lens that you can buy. But what if 35mm isn’t wide enough for you? What are your wide angle options for the X100F?

Fujifilm makes a wide angle conversion lens for the X100 camera series called WCL-X100 (there is also a nearly identical new version called WCL-X100 II). It’s received much praise for optical quality, and it’s been called an essential accessory for X100 series cameras. But it’s also a bit on the expensive side, ranging from $250 to $350.

I like the dramatic results you can get from going really wide angle. I find it to be challenging yet rewarding. Occasionally I wish that the X100F was more wide angle than it is. So I thought it would be a good idea to buy a wide angle conversion lens for my camera.

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Having an extra lens kind of defeats the purpose of the X100F. It becomes less pocket-sized and gains some weight. You move away from the one-camera-one-lens philosophy. I think it’s nice to have the option of going wider, but it’s not something that I would use frequently. I figured that the conversion lens would mostly sit on a shelf, seldom used. My suspicions were that I’d only dust it off occasionally when wanting to shoot more dramatic wide angle pictures.

The WCL-X100 also doesn’t change the focal length all that much. You go from 35mm to 28mm. I really liked the 18mm (equivalent) lens that I used to pair with my X-E1. The 28mm focal length of the wide angle conversion lens is a long ways off from 18mm, which is where I’d love to be if I could.

I decided that I couldn’t justify spending $250 or more on a lens that would mostly go unused and wasn’t what I really wanted anyway. I set the highest price that I’d be willing to pay at $150. Over the last few months I searched online for a WCL-X100 but the cheapest one I found was $200. I almost jumped on it, but talked myself out of the purchase because it was more than I wanted to spend.

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Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

A couple of weeks ago I began to look for alternatives to the WCL-X100 wide angle conversion lens, figuring that I’d never find one for $150. Surely there is a third-party option, I thought. I discovered that Vivitar (also sold under a couple other brand names) makes a wide angle conversion lens for the X100 camera series, and it can be found for as little as $30. That’s a bargain!

Having owned a few different Vivitar products over the years, I know that it’s hit-or-miss with that brand, and usually miss, so I looked for some product reviews to get an idea of the quality of their conversion lens. The most glowing reviews that I found said it was mediocre. The worst reviews said it was a piece of garbage, not worth even $30. I decided to pass, hoping for something of better quality.

Then I discovered an old blog post by photographer Noah Kavic, where he figured out how to use a Nikon wide angle conversion lens on his X100 camera, and it cost a fraction of the price of the WCL-X100. I also found a few other photographers who did this same thing. I decided to give it a try!

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Fall Leaves, Wet Road – Richland, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

It takes a few different pieces to make it work, but I found it all online for about $60 (including shipping). I waited for everything to come in the mail, and the last item arrived the day before heading off on a road trip to Seattle. Perfect timing! It was pretty easy to figure out how it all pieced together.

Here’s the parts list:

The Nikon WC-E68, which converts the focal length to 24mm on the X100F, is actually more wide angle than the Fujifilm WCL-X100, which is 28mm. While 24mm compared to 28mm may not seem significant, it is definitely closer to where I want to be, and it is something I’m quite happy about. Use caution when buying the conversion lens as Nikon has similar products that won’t work–make sure it is the WC-E68 that you are purchasing. I paid $50 for mine.

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Up Towards Space – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

You need an attachment ring for the X100F, which, if you buy a generic brand, can be found for under $10. Screw the 49mm UV filter (which was something that I already owned) onto the attachment ring. The UV filter is important because corner sharpness is improved when the conversion lens is placed slightly further away from the camera’s lens. The 49mm-46mm step-down adapter ring, which I found for $2, allows the WC-E68 to screw onto the camera. If you have a lens hood, it can be on or off, it doesn’t really matter.

I captured a number of photographs on my road trip using the Nikon WC-E68 wide angle conversion lens, putting it to the test, and I come to some conclusions. First, my suspicions about wanting to use the lens only occasionally was proved true. The camera is bulkier and heavier and less travel-friendly with the wide angle conversion lens attached. I found myself leaving it behind at the hotel room. With the conversion lens attached it barely fit into my jacket pocket.

Something I noticed is that there’s some obvious purple fringing in situations with a strong back-light. Lens flare is also more prevalent when using the conversion lens. I found it best to avoid shooting towards the sun, although the results aren’t horrible if you do. On a positive note, distortion is well controlled.

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Seattle Grind – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

I found that there is some significant corner softness when using large apertures. At f/4 it’s downright awful. At f/5.6 it’s not great but usable. By f/8 corner softness isn’t bad at all, but it is still there a little. Even though you won’t find corner-to-corner tack sharpness, corner sharpness is reasonably good when the aperture is f/8 or smaller. The WC-E68 is a lens to use when there is plenty of available light. If you crop the exposures to 28mm you are able to remove some of the corner softness, and I wonder if this is why Fujifilm doesn’t offer a wider conversion lens. The center is sharp no matter the aperture, and I didn’t notice any significant drop in center sharpness when using the conversion lens.

My opinion is that the Nikon WC-E68 wide angle conversion lens is a decent alternative to the Fujifilm WCL-X100 if you have a limited budget, don’t plan to use it often, when you do use it you do so carefully, and you prefer something more wide angle than 28mm. I do appreciate the 24mm focal length and the fact that I only paid $60 instead of $250. The WC-E68 does a reasonable job when the situation calls for something more wide angle than the 35mm focal length of the X100F, and I will happily pair it to my camera every once in awhile.

Below are ten photographs that I captured, all camera-made JPEGs, using the Fujifilm X100F with the Nikon WC-E68 wide angle conversion lens:

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Starbucks Coffee – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Oversize Potato – Burley, ID – Fujifilm X100F

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Walk And Not Faint – Boise, ID – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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No Parking That Way – Ellensburg, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Puget Sound From Howarth Beach – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Sticks In The Water – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Puget Sound Vista – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Seattle’s Space Needle – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Bubble Hazard – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Autumn At Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

Don’t Buy A Cheap Crap Camera Strap

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I love how the Fujifilm X100F is small enough to fit into a pocket. It makes it much more convenient to carry around than a bulky camera that has to be hung around your neck or stuffed into a camera bag. A small wrist strap is all that the X100F needs.

You would think that a decent wrist strap could be found for a reasonable price. I was a little shocked at how much most want for one. I did find a nice-looking leather wrist strap on eBay for $10. That’s closer to what I wanted to spend, so I bought it.

The leather wrist strap arrived in the mail and attached easily onto the camera. It was a little tight on my hand, but not too bad. I liked the aesthetic. The camera still fit into my pockets with the strap attached. I was happy with it.

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I’ve used the camera with the wrist strap attached for three months now. I’ve made a lot of exposures during that time. I wouldn’t say that I’ve abused it, but I’ve certainly put it through the wringer. It didn’t look any worse for the wear.

I just got back late last night from a road trip to Seattle. On the very first day of the trip I stopped in Twin Falls, Idaho, to see Shoshone Falls (“Niagara Falls of the west”). I made several exposures. My family was with me. We all admired the massive waterfall that sits inside a deep canyon.

As we were about to leave my three-year-old son tugged at the leather wrist strap that was attached to my X100F. It broke right off! Thankfully I had a firm grip on the camera body.

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Shoshone Falls – Twin Falls, Idaho – Fujifilm X100F

The leather camera strap was crap, cheaply made and unreliable. It busted off much too easily. My camera could have fallen down the cliff and into the canyon below! It would not have survived the fall. It occurred to me that I was precariously handling my camera, and I was completely unaware because I didn’t realize the wrist strap was poorly constructed.

The lesson here is don’t go cheap on your camera strap. It’s what’s preventing your camera from falling, possibly to a tragic end. I got lucky, and my X100F is perfectly fine. Spend the extra money and buy a quality product. That’s what I’m going to do this time. I should have done so in the first place.

I still don’t want to spend gobs of money, but I see the value in having a reliable strap. I don’t want my camera to fall onto a hard surface or into a deep canyon. It needs to be securely handled, and I have to be able to trust that the strap will hold up. With some luck I will find a quality product for a reasonable price. I will keep you updated when I do.

Still Life Photography With Ceramic Tiles & Fujifilm X100F

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I try to capture at least one photograph every day. It keeps me in good photographic shape. If you are an athlete or musician you practice daily, so why should it be any different for photographers?

I usually am able to accomplish this daily routine, but sometimes life gets in the way and it’s just not practical. I don’t feel too bad when this happens. Sometimes I might even need a short break. There aren’t any strict rules. I simply understand that it’s good to photograph as much as I can to maintain or even improve my skills.

The Fujifilm X100F helps me with this goal. It’s small and lightweight, which makes it easy to carry around. It creates fantastic pictures in-camera, so I don’t have to worry about my workflow piling up. I’m just able to shoot.

On days that I’m not able to get out with my camera and capture photographs, one thing that I like to do is set up some faux wood ceramic tiles and make some still-life type images of my cameras and film. This is very quick, easy and cheap, and I feel good that I’ve made some exposures.

I found some faux wood ceramic tiles at a local hardware store, and they were only a couple dollars each. I started out with two and now I have six of them. Each one looks a little different than the next. I might lay them all flat and capture from above, or I might stand one up at a 90 degree angle and shoot from a low perspective. I use natural light from a window to illuminate the scene.

When I arrange a scene, I try to think of a story as to why the items are placed they way they are. Photography is storytelling, so things shouldn’t be completely random. Sometimes window light can be soft and sometimes it can be harsh, depending on the exact conditions, so consider how to best use whatever lighting is available (whether soft or harsh) to further tell the story. In other words, use photographic vision.

The Fujifilm X100F, which has a fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens, isn’t necessarily the best choice for this type of photography because of the wide angle focal length. I typically prefer telephoto for this. But the camera’s Digital Teleconverter comes in handy, and the 50mm option makes using the X100F more practical for still-life pictures.

If you find yourself stuck at home wanting to photograph something and you’re all out of ideas, try using ceramic tiles and natural window light to create some still-life images. It’s good practice and you might even capture something interesting.

B&W:

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Ilford Harman Technology – Fujifilm X100F – Acros

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Holga 120 – Fujifilm X100F – Acros

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Classic Photography – Fujifilm X100F – Acros

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Ilford HP5 Plus 400 – Fujifilm X100F – Acros

 

Color:

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Kodak Colors – Fujifilm X100F – “Vintage Kodachrome

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Yashica Rangefinder & Fujicolor – Fujifilm X100F – Classic Chrome

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Kodacolor – Fujifilm X100F – Classic Chrome

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FED 5c & Film – Fujifilm X100F – Astia

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Road Trip Essentials – Fujifilm X100F – Classic Chrome