When Weather Sealed Cameras Matter

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Cold Cargo – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

I’ve always felt that, for me, a weather sealed camera isn’t essential. It’s certainly a nice feature, but not something I just have to have. Cameras that aren’t weather sealed can handle the elements to an extent, and oftentimes there are easy steps to mitigate the weather conditions (such as an umbrella), so I haven’t found it to be a limiting factor to my photography. Yet, there have been times that having a weather sealed camera has allowed me to “get the shot” when I might not have otherwise.

Fujifilm has a few cameras with weather sealing. The X-T0, X-Pro, and X-H series are all weather sealed, while the X-T00, X-T000, X-A, X-M, XF, X-E, X100, and X00 series (am I missing any?) are not. I’ve owned a few of these non-weather-sealed cameras, and I’ve used them with success in conditions that might warrant weather sealing. Take a look at the pictures below:

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Monte Cristo Mountain Snow – Monte Cristo Mountains, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Out In The Cold – Cedar City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Umbrella Overpass – Edmonds, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Dust In The Wind – Bonneville Salt Flats, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

The photographs above were all captured in conditions where a weather sealed camera would have been nice, but I got along just fine without it. The X-E1, X100F and X-T30, which are the cameras that I used for those pictures, are not weather sealed; despite that, I was able to get the picture that I wanted. I didn’t allow it limit my photography.

A weather sealed camera allows you to photograph with confidence in more extreme conditions, such as cold, rain, snow and dust. While non-weather-sealed cameras might get the job done, a weather sealed camera definitely will. Each time that I pushed the envelope on what my camera was designed to handle, it worked fine, but I worried about it. I hoped that I wasn’t ruining an expensive photographic tool.

There was one situation where I know that if I hadn’t used a weather sealed camera, I would have ruined the camera, or at least would have had to have it serviced. More likely, I wouldn’t have photographed at all, knowing that the camera couldn’t handle it, and I would have missed some great pictures. But I did have a weather sealed camera, and I have the shots that I wanted. Those pictures, which were captured on a windy day at Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado using an X-Pro2, are below:

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Sandal – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Passerby – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

The conclusion is this: you don’t need a weather sealed camera until you do. Almost always your non-weather-sealed camera will suffice, especially if you take action to mitigate the conditions, but occasionally you might run into a situation where you really do need weather sealed gear. In those circumstances, you’ll either get the shot because of your camera, you’ll get the shot in spite of your camera (and you might find yourself in the market for a new one), or you won’t get the shot because of your camera. I do think those situations are rare for most people, and whether or not you have weather sealed gear is unimportant for most, but it’s sure nice to have it when you need it.

Review: Fujifilm X-Pro2 – Is It Still Relevant?


Fujifilm X-Pro2 Blog

The new Fujifilm X-Pro3 will be released on November 29, and there’s a lot of buzz around it, but what about the X-Pro2? Is it still relevant? Is it a camera that you should consider? Is it a good option even though it has the old sensor and processor? I hope to answer those questions in this review.

The X-Pro2 was released way back in March of 2016. It replaced the X-Pro1, which was the very first X-Trans sensor camera by Fujifilm. The X-Pro2 was the first camera to have the 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor. The X-H1, X-T2, X-T20, X-E3 and X100F would later share this same sensor and processor. The 26-megapixel X-Trans IV sensor, which is the same sensor found in the upcoming X-Pro3, was introduced with the X-T3 in September of 2018. The X-Trans III sensor inside the X-Pro2 is almost four-years-old, and perhaps a year out-of-date, but is it still good?

The main advantage of the fourth generation sensor over the third generation is heat. The new sensor runs cooler, which means it can be pushed further. It’s quicker, and the processor can be asked to do more. There’s very little image-quality difference between the two sensors. Pictures captured with the X-Pro3 won’t look much different than those captured with the X-Pro2. But the older camera won’t be as quick, especially regarding auto-focus, and it has fewer features. The X-Pro3 is loaded with new tools, which may or may not be useful to you. Even though the X-Pro2 isn’t as quick or feature-rich, it’s still sufficiently quick and feature-rich for most photographers.

The X-Pro line isn’t about quickness anyway. It’s about having a solid quality camera that’s a joy to use. It feels good to have in your hand and to hold to your eye. It’s something to take to the city and wait for just the right light and moment. It’s a photographer’s tool. And what a great tool it is!

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Fujifilm blog Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens

Something that I appreciate about the X-Pro2 is that it’s weather-sealed. Pair it with a weather-sealed lens, and you can use it in situations that you wouldn’t dare take another camera. For me that was the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, where the winds were whipping the sand, which pelted my skin. The X-Pro2 handled it like a champ, and I was able to “get the shot” that I was after.

Another thing that I really appreciate about the camera is the viewfinder. The X-Pro2 has a unique hybrid viewfinder that can be used electronically or optically. It’s a part of the experience of the camera. The X-Pro line isn’t about test charts or stat sheets, it’s about the user experience. Fujifilm calls it “pursuing pure photography” with “a body design that maximizes practicality.” While the X-Pro2 offers identical image quality and similar features to the X-T2 (and, really, the X-T20), what sets it apart is the experience of it, and the great viewfinder is a big part of that.

Even though the X-Trans III sensor is almost four-years-old now, it doesn’t come across as “old” in practical use. It offers more than enough resolution, dynamic range and high-ISO capabilities for most people and situations. The X-Pro2 is plenty quick and feature-rich to warrant consideration. It wasn’t designed to be your typical “throw-away” digital camera, which you own for perhaps two years, and then unload on eBay at a bargain basement price when the latest model is released. The X-Pro2 was intended as a camera that you keep for years. It’s a camera that you’ll still want to have around when it’s ten years old, and if it still has some clicks left in the shutter, perhaps longer.

The X-Pro2 is a beautiful camera! I think the only camera that’s better-looking in the Fujifilm lineup is the X100F, and only by a little. Fujifilm got the design right, and it’s cameras like this that have given Fujifilm a great reputation. Strangers will ask you about the camera around your neck, and fellow photographers will comment to you about the beautiful design. There’s a certain pride in owning one.

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I don’t want to dive deeply into the technical aspects of this camera. I’m not going to share stat sheets or show massive crops comparing the image quality to other cameras. You can readily find that information on the web. What I want to offer is my opinion of the X-Pro2. Is it a good camera to buy?

If you are in the market for a camera and are considering the X-Pro2, but you are unsure because it’s not the latest-and-greatest, I want to help you. You will love it! But with the caveat that the X-Pro series isn’t for everyone. If you are the type of person who has to have the newest, fastest and greatest, this might not be the best camera for you. If you find yourself constantly searching the internet for side-by-side crops to compare the tiny differences between cameras, this one might not be for you. If you are the person who buys a new camera every year, you might want to consider something else. If you’re the kind of person who likes to capture pictures at your own pace and in your own way, and you appreciate the way Fujifilm cameras render images, then the X-Pro2 might very well be a good choice. If you are after an experience that’s different from your typical digital camera, something with an analogue soul perhaps, the X-Pro2 is something you should strongly consider. It’s a great camera, even in 2019, and I’m sure still in 2026, and while it’s not for everyone, I do believe that most people would appreciate it.

You can buy the Fujifilm X-Pro2 here:  B&H  Amazon

These are affiliate links, which, when you purchase something using them, I get a small kickback. It doesn’t cost you anything, yet it helps to financially support this website. I would never ask you to purchase something that you don’t want, but if you found this article helpful and are planning to buy this camera, using my links to do so helps me tremendously. Thank you for your support!

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs from my Fujifilm X-Pro2:

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Twisted Tree – Keystone, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Jacob’s Ladder – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Passerby – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Storm Over San Luis Valley – Alamosa, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Old Truck & Mt. Lindsey – Fort Garland, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Clouds Around Timpanogos – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Bells & Crosses – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Needle’s Eye Night – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Night Sky Over Needles Highway – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Securely In Father’s Arms – Mount Rushmore NM, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Red Leaves In The Forest – Wasatch Mountain SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Green & Blue Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Wasatch Spring – South Weber, UT – X-Pro2

See also: Fujifilm Gear

Help Fuji X Weekly

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

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Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 5 – Oklahoma in Color

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Small Green Hill – McAlester, OK – Fuji X-Pro2 & 60mm – Indian Nation TPKE / US HWY 69

Colorado  New Mexico  West Texas  East Texas  Oklahoma In B&W  Wyoming

When we were planning our summer road trip, the one state that I was least interested in was Oklahoma. I’d been to Oklahoma a couple times, and nothing I saw was particularly memorable. But I had never traveled through the eastern part of the state, which is where my family and I drove through, and I was quite impressed with what I saw. Oklahoma blew my expectations out of the water!

I captured a whole lot of photographs while there, mostly in and around the town of Pawhuska. We stayed the night there, so the images were taken over a span of two days. I used my Fujifilm X-Pro2 for the color pictures, utilizing my Kodachrome II film simulation recipe. If Pawhuska sound familiar to you, it’s because Ree Drummond (“The Pioneer Woman”) lives there. She has a gift store and restaurant in the town. The best food we ate on the entire trip was in Pawhuska, hands down!

We drove down many miles of rural highways in Oklahoma, and saw some surprisingly beautiful scenery along the way. We passed through several quaint towns and experienced firsthand some great hospitality. I hope to one day return, but I’m grateful for the time I spent there, even if it was short.

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Foal Shy – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Open Window Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Buckin’ Flamingo – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Locked Door – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Oklahoma Flag – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Brick – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Window Grill – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Pawhuska Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Contemplation – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Paint Ladder – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Backwards Gear – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Window Seat – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Rural Sunset – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – OK HWY 99

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Sunset Through The Branches – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – OK HWY 99

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado – Part 2: Color

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Sangre de Cristo & Sand Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

Part 1 – Monochrome

The Great Sand Dunes National Park lends itself well to black-and-white photography because of the highlight-and-shadow play that is so prevalent, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good place for color pictures. While I definitely came away with more monochrome images, a couple of my favorite pictures are in color. I imagine that autumn would be especially nice for color photography at this location, and perhaps late-spring or early summer when there is an abundance of fresh green. Late summer features a lot of brown, tan, and yellow, which can still be alright.

All of the photographs in this article are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro lens attached to the front. I used my Kodachrome II film simulation recipe for most of them. Enjoy!

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Sand Beneath The Peak – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Adversity Alone – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Long Walk Back – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sand In My Boot – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Approaching The Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sandal – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Torrid Terrain – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado – Part 1: Monochrome

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Great Sand Dunes Sign – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

In July my family and I visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa, Colorado. This national park features the tallest sand dunes in North America. The towering Sangre de Cristo Mountains loom in the background. It’s an impressive and unusual landscape!

During wetter months the Medano Creek flows beneath the sand dunes, and in order to get to the dunes one must get their feet wet. We were there during a dry month and there was no water in the wide creek bed. Unsurprisingly, a visit to the sand dunes requires a significant amount of walking on sand, which means that it takes more effort and more time to get from one point to another. It’s no walk in the park, and it’s best to come prepared with plenty of water and ready for the hike.

While we were there, once on the dunes, the wind was blustery and it kicked up the sand quite fiercely. It pelted our legs and would occasionally blow in our faces and get into our eyes. It was more of an issue for the kids since they’re shorter. It was not a fun experience, so we did not stay on the dunes for very long.

The place offers amazing photographic opportunities. If you like working with shadows and highlights and abstract shapes, this is the place for you! The Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of those special landscapes where it’s difficult to come away with bad pictures. I had with me a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro lens attached to the front. The X-Pro2 is weather sealed, but the lens is not. Thankfully I did not get dust on the sensor. I would strongly recommend not changing lenses while at the dunes, as you’re just asking for trouble by doing so.

We were only at the sand dunes for a couple of hours. It would have been great if we could have stayed longer. I think that a sunrise hike to the top would have been epic, but time just didn’t allow for it. Even so, we were glad for the opportunity that we did have. I’m happy with the photographs and memories that I came away with.

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Great Sand Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Mountains & Sand Across The Valley – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Mountain of Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Stroller Alone – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sand & Sangre de Cristo – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Running In The Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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It’s A Long Ways To The Top – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Mountain, Sand & Sky – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sand & Sierra Sky – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Improbability – Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO

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Sand Walkers – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Passerby – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Silver Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sandal In The Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

Part 2 – Color

[Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe


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Hail Storm – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

Fuji X Weekly reader Luis Costa shared on his website, Lifeunintended.com, a brilliant black-and-white film simulation recipe for Fujifilm X-Trans III cameras. I’ll get into why it’s genius in a moment, but I wanted to give Luis a big “thank you” for coming up with these settings and sharing them. I strongly encourage you to visit his site and check out his photography and articles, as it’s worth your time to do so.

For most of the 20 years that I’ve been making pictures, one rule of thumb has been to keep the ISO as low as you can get away with. A big reason for this is that high-ISO film typically wasn’t very good. In fact, my favorite choice for high-ISO photography was Ilford Delta 400, and if I needed something higher than ISO 400 I might push that film a stop or two. So, if I really needed to, I’d go as high as ISO 1600. I did shoot Delta 3200 once and found it barely usable. Usually ISO 800 was my limit. Most often I was shooting between ISO 50 and ISO 100.

I was a little late to the digital photography game. Even so, my first digital camera, a Pentax DSLR, didn’t look great at ISO 1600 except for “grainy” black-and-white pictures. At one time I used a Sigma Merrill camera that even ISO 400 was pushing it. The crazy high ISOs that are common today are a recent development. Now ISO 3200 doesn’t seem all that high, and many people use it freely without thinking twice about it. It’s really quite amazing!

I have found on X-Trans III cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-Pro2, that ISO 12800 is the upper limit, and it’s better for black-and-white than color. Even so, I stopped using ISO 12800 and made ISO 6400 my upper Auto-ISO limit some months ago just because I felt that ISO 6400 was a better top ISO for color photographs and I didn’t want to bother changing the ISO depending on if I was shooting color or black-and-white. Besides, ISO 6400 is plenty high for almost any situation. As it turns out, that wasn’t the greatest idea I’ve ever had, and I’ll explain why.

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Shutter Speed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

Luis made a film simulation recipe that requires the ISO to be high. In fact, he uses ISO 12800, and only moves the ISO down when he has to because there is too much light. In case you didn’t catch that, he purposely chooses ISO 12800 because of how it looks. This is a radical move! It works because of the genius of the Acros film simulation. You see, Fujifilm designed Acros to have a built-in grain effect that automatically increases the graininess of the photograph as the ISO increases. At and near ISO 12800 the grain looks absolutely beautiful, and his recipe takes full advantage of that.

The film simulation recipe that Luis invented produces results that resemble Kodak Tri-X 400 film that’s been pushed one or perhaps one-and-a-half stops, and I would add using Agfa Rodinal. The grain pattern and structure isn’t a 100% match, but for straight-out-of-camera results, it’s pretty darn convincing. I’ve only been using it for a week, but it has already become one of my favorites! It’s better than my Acros Push-Process recipe that I use frequently, and I like that one a lot, too.

The one thing that I do different than Luis is I set Auto-ISO to be between ISO 3200 and 12800, with the minimum shutter speed 1/500. I find that ISO 3200 is the lowest ISO that still gives an acceptably grainy result (but the results are better when the ISO is higher). Using 1/500 as the minimum shutter speed forces the camera to use a higher ISO except for when there is a lot of light. Initially I tried a lower shutter speed, but it wasn’t pushing the ISO up enough, so I found 1/500 to be better. Now the camera will often choose an ISO of 6400 or higher, which is where this recipe shines.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -1
Grain Effect: Off
ISO: Auto between 3200 & 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically) 

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs made using [Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation recipe:

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Camera Shutter Dial – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Aperture – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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35mm Film Rolls – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Strange Plant – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Chair Stripes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Canadian – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Tri-X Push-Process”

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Storm Building Over Wasatch Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fuji X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Writing Lessons – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push-Process”

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Learning The Letter S – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Joshua Bowling – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Watching The Rainfall – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Boy On A Rocking Chair – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push-Process”

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Cracker Barrel Checkers – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Deer On The Wall – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

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Reverends – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Tri-X Push Process”

See also:
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Film Simulation Settings

Help Fuji X Weekly

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

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My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe


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Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

I was asked by a couple different Fuji X Weekly readers if I could create some film simulation recipes that mimic the look of renown photographers Ernst Haas, Luigi Ghirri and William Eggleston, each of which are known for their unique style. As I was contemplating how to go about this, I learned that all three of them used Kodachrome film. Although none of them used Kodachrome exclusively, they all used it extensively at one time. If I could make a Kodachrome recipe, I would have something that covers Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston. To copy their look using this recipe, simply find color and light in the same manor as those famous photographers did (easy, right?).

You might be thinking, doesn’t Classic Chrome already look like Kodachrome? No, it actually resembles Ektachrome more than Kodachrome, but it is a good starting point since it has a general Kodak aesthetic. What about the Kodachrome recipe I already made? Actually, that mimics an earlier version of the film, which has a little different look than what I was going for here. You could use that, as I’m certain that some of Haas’ early color work was shot on that era of Kodachrome. Primarily, the Kodachrome that Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston used was Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X.

In 1961 Kodak replaced the original Kodachrome with a new and improved version called Kodachrome II and a higher-ISO sibling called Kodachrome-X. These films had more accurate color, finer grain and faster ISOs (ISO 25 and 64, respectively, compared to ISO 10 of the original) than the previous version. It was a big leap forward for color photography, and so it is no surprise that the innovators of color photography in the 1960’s and 1970’s relied heavily on it. It’s also the version that Paul Simon sang, “They give us the greens of summer, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day.”

Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X produced a very similar look to each other. The main differences were in grain, contrast and saturation, but overall the variations were quite minor. Kodachrome-X was slightly more bold while Kodachrome II was slightly more clean. Even so, comparing slides, it’s tough to distinguish one from the other (conveniently, I have my grandparents old slides at my home). Even though I have named this film simulation recipe “Kodachrome II” I think it more closely resembles Kodachrome-X, but I find it to be a reasonable match for both.

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Chair Shadow – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

Because of the toxic chemicals used in the development of this era of Kodachrome, plus the complexity of the process, Kodak changed from K-12 development to K-14 development, which ushered in new Kodachrome in 1974, called Kodachrome 25 and Kodachrome 64. This version of the film is the one that I have personally used. Interestingly enough, even though this version wasn’t all that much aesthetically different than the previous, there was a big outcry among photographers, and a large group who used Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X did not appreciate the change.

I believe that Haas, Ghirri and Eggleston continued to use Kodachrome even beyond 1974 when the new version came out, but it seems they used it less extensively, especially Eggleston, who became known for his work with color negatives. Still, each of these three photographers captured some of their most recognizable images on the second era of Kodachrome. And that’s the look that the film simulation recipe below is based on.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Color: -1
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 1
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +3 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photos, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation recipe:

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Roof & Sky – Wichita, KS – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Small Green Hill – McAlester, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Ranch View – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Foal Shy – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Blackberry Lemonade – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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McDiner – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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McTaos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Pawhuska Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Open Window Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Kitchen Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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White Water Lily – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Park Boys – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Rural Sunset – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

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Weed At Sunset – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm “Kodachrome II”

See also: My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe

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Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 1 – Colorado

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Uncertain – Delta, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

My wife and I, along with our four children, took a road trip across several states over the course of 16 days, and we returned about a week-and-a-half ago. It was, at times, especially epic, and we saw some amazing places. I, of course, captured the whole thing using my Fujifilm X series cameras.

Upon returning, one of the first things I did was review the images that I had captured. I noticed that there were a lot of pictures of things I saw along our highways. Oftentimes when we stopped for gas or to eat, I’d capture some images of what was around. I had many photographs of different sights that were found along the highway. Some were immediately off the highway, while others were perhaps a half-block away from the highway. I felt that, as long as the highway was clearly visible from where I captured the photograph, it was alright to include it in this series.

I decided to break this Photoessay, called Along The Highway, into several segments organized by states. The first part, which are viewing now, is Colorado. These are the pictures that I captured while traversing along the highways in that state.

The highways in Colorado were open and oftentimes lonely. That is, outside of the city limits, as we sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic in Denver at one point. Sometimes towns were far apart and it seemed like we were far outside of civilization. We crossed mountain passes and saw some amazing scenery! Many of the towns we drove through had quite obviously seen better days, and they sharply contrasted the natural wonder that was never far away. It was almost as if these communities were not supposed to be there, that they were holding on with their last inner strength against an unseen force to rid them from this place. Either that, or the residents lost sight of the wonder around them, and neglected to maintain what those who came before had begun. This is not unique to Colorado, but a phenomenon seen throughout the west. It was simply more obvious this trip. It was, at times, depressing. But the highway compelled us on.

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Discovered Truck – Fruita, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – I-70

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Fresh Wind – Fruita, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – I-70

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Warehouse Sunset – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US Hwy 50

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Campground – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US Hwy 50

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85 Pounds – Montrose, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

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Tough Times – Gunnison, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

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Safe – Gunnison, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

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Regular Sign – Gunnison, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – CO Hwy 135

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Continental Ride – Monarch Pass, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 50

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Motorcycle Mart – Burlington, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – I-70

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County Road V – Burlington, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – I-70

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Old Truck & Mt. Lindsey – Fort Garland, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US Hwy 160

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Monarch Pass – Monarch Pass, CO – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US Hwy 50

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Storm Over San Luis Valley – Alamosa, CO – Fujfilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – CO HWY 150

New Mexico  West Texas  East Texas  Oklahoma (Color)  Oklahoma (B&W)  Wyoming

Summer Lemonade Stand

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Fire & Ice Cold Lemonade – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

My kids have been begging to have a lemonade stand for awhile. The problem is, where I live doesn’t have much traffic, so they wouldn’t sell much of anything. Finally my wife and I caved in, but decided to have them set it up at a city park rather than at our home. That turned out to be a smart plan because they had a lot more customers than they would have otherwise.

This was a good experience for them. There were lessons in business, money, customer service and the value of hard (-ish) work. Yes, the lessons were small, but they’re also young kids. They had a lot of fun, and that’s important, too.

I brought along my Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon 60mm macro lens to capture their first business venture. This was a good combo to capture the action, from portraits to the smaller details. This should serve as a memory aid for them and us for many years to come. These photographs are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs using the PRO Neg. Hi film simulation.

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Happy To Serve Lemonade – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Jon, Lemonade Salesman – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Lemonade Joy – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Lemonade Girl – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Lemonade Service – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Lemonade For The Summer – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Glass Lemonade Jar – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Tablecloth – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Ice – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Frozen Color – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dispensing Ice Cubes – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dispensing Lemonade – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Lemonade Cup Served – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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One Dollar – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Multiple Exposure Monday, Part 2: The Treachery of Images

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Pas Une Abeille – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – double exposure

In the late 1920’s, Belgian painter Rene Magritte shocked the art world by painting a realistic pipe for smoking, printing underneath it, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” which is French for, “This is not a pipe.” You look at it and ask, “If it’s not a pipe, what the heck is it? It sure looks like a pipe to me!”

Factually, his painting, entitled The Treachery of Images, is not a pipe, it’s a painting of a pipe. A picture is never the object that is represented on it, but a facsimile of that object. Rene said of his painting, “The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture, ‘This is a pipe,’ I would have been lying!”

This is an important point for photographers. No matter how real an image may look, the fact is that it is a photograph and not the actual scene. It’s a likeness, and a heavily biased one at that. The photographer makes all sorts of decisions before and after opening the shutter that effect the outcome. Whatever it is that you are photographing, you could print underneath it This is not a [insert name of scene being photographed] and you’d be absolutely right. As a photographer, you are making a one-sided representation of a scene. It’s not possible for the viewers of your image to step into the scene and touch things or move stuff around. It’s a picture, and that’s all.

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Not A Light – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – double exposure

This revelation is liberating! Because it’s not possible for you to photographically make whatever the scene is, only a biased portrayal of it, you can make it look however you wish. You are the artist and you get to decide everything. You are not merely capturing, you are interpreting. You are creating something unique. You are communicating through the picture your thoughts and emotions about the scene in front of the lens. There is no need to be accurate, unless that’s what you, the artist, wants. More important than accuracy is having something interesting or important to nonverbally speak to the viewer.

I copied Rene Magritte’s idea, and made double-exposure photographs that say, in French, “Not a [name of object in the picture],” to remind myself and others of his imperative point. This was a very simple in-camera combination. The first exposure was of black paper with white writing and the second exposure was of the object itself. I did give the photographs some post-processing because, straight-out-of-camera, they’re a little flat.

This was an interesting project that I did over the course of a couple of days. What I appreciate about it is the message. The pictures are nothing more than representatives of the objects, so how I compose, what my settings are, and how I edit are my prerogative, and if you don’t like it that’s fine. I’m the artist, not you. I’m simply communicating through my pictures what I think or how I feel about the object in the picture. Those are my thoughts and my feelings, and I’m allowed to have them. I’m free to create pictures that express myself through them, things that I might have a tough time communicating with actual words.

Besides, this was a fun project and I find photography in general to be fun. If it’s not enjoyable, then why do it? I get a lot of satisfaction from creating images. I hope that others like them, as well, but it’s alright if they don’t, because that’s not why I created the pictures. I hope that my intended message is meaningful to you. I hope that you appreciate these photographs as much as I do. It’s alright if you don’t because it’s not a pipe and you are entitled to your opinions. Sometimes there aren’t any right or wrong answers, and sometimes what seems untrue is actually true and vice versa. Simply put, create what you want to create how you want to create it, and don’t worry what others will think or say about it.

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Not A Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – double exposure

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Pas Une Fleur – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – double exposure

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Pas Une Feuille – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – double exposure

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Not A Bird – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – double exposure

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Pas Une Montagne – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – double exposure

See also: Multiple Exposure Monday, Part 1 

Road Trip: Black Hills, South Dakota – Days 5 & 6

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East North East – Lusk, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

Days 1 & 2  Day 3 – Part 1  Day 3 – Part 2  Day 4 – Part 1  Day 4 – Part 2

The final two days of the road trip to South Dakota involved packing up the trailer and driving home. It was stormy and at times the wind was blowing hard, which meant a lot of white knuckles as I tried to stay on the road. Needles to say, I didn’t capture a whole lot of photographs! I did manage to get a little photography in here and there, which are the pictures you see here.

The Black Hills turned out to be more beautiful and interesting than I had imagined. I felt like I could have stayed several days longer to really experience the place. While Mount Rushmore was a slight let-down, the rest exceeded all expectations. If you’ve never been you’ll have to be sure to someday go.

You might have noticed that I didn’t capture a single photograph using my Fujifilm X100F. All of the photographs in this series were captured using my X-Pro2 (unedited camera-made JPEGs, by the way). The reason for this is that my wife was using the X100F on this trip. Now she has her own camera, an X-T20, so I have my X100F back.

You may have also noticed that I used the Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens a lot on this trip. I learned photography with a nifty-fifty, and for a long time that’s all I had. So having a 50mm (equivalent) focal length lens was a nice change of pace, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The Meike lens, while far from perfect, is well worth the small price it goes for.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this series. I know that viewing other people’s photographs of someplace is never the same as going yourself and creating your own images. But I hope that this inspires you to get out on your own road trip, camera in hand, to see the wonderful world that’s around you.

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Wyoming Thunderstorm – Orin, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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On Track To Rain – Orin, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Storm Over Orin – Orin, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Unleaded Sky – Orin, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Fingernail Moon – Alcova, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Always Moving Ahead – Rawlins, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Trucks, Stopped – Rawlins, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

 

 

Road Trip: Black Hills, South Dakota – Day 4, Part 2

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Paddling Sylvan Lake – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

Days 1 & 2  Day 3 – Part 1  Day 3 – Part 2  Day 4 – Part 1

After my adventurous morning in Custer State Park, I returned back to the campsite as everyone else was waking up. Once breakfast was finished we drove a short distance to Hill City to visit the small railroad museum and watch the steam train arrive (which we almost missed because we were in the museum). Afterwards we had lunch and then returned to camp.

The afternoon was kept low-key. In the early evening we returned to Sylvan Lake to catch some fish. My eight-year-old son, Jonathan, was eager to attempt fishing in South Dakota. Unfortunately, the kids didn’t catch anything, although we could see the fish jumping all over the place. Still, we had a great time and Sylvan Lake is incredibly beautiful.

That night, after everyone was asleep, my wife and I did some astrophotography (my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were camping with us and stayed behind with the kids). We drove up the Needles Highway to Needles Eye, set the camera up on a tripod, and did some long exposures. It was extremely dark and a little creepy, as we heard plenty of noises around us–that area is full of wildlife. The night sky was full of stars and simply breathtaking. Unfortunately, the cloud-like Milky Way wasn’t visible, and I knew it wasn’t going to be because I had done some research before the trip, but I still wanted to get some nighttime photography in.

I used a Fujifilm X-Pro2 for these photographs, which are all camera-made JPEGs using the different film simulations. I attached a Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens and a Fujinon 16mm f/1.4 lens to the camera. Enjoy!

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Semaphore – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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1880 – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Telegraph Office – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Tall Train Tales – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Hartmann – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Wood Cart – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Save Money – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Caboose Roof – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Amanda, Looking Through The Lens – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Boy With A Fishing Pole – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Preparing To Cast – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Fishing With A Worm – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Fishing Can Be Gross – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Line In The Water – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Joshua Fishing At Sylvan Lake – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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The Cast – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Impatiently Waiting – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Casting The Line – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Johanna Watching From Her Stroller – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Rocks & Trees, Sylvan Lake – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Sylvan Lake In May – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Wood & Stone – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Sylvan Lake Reflection – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Stars & Stones – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Stars Over Stones – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Needles Eye Night – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

Days 5 & 6

My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe


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Always Moving Ahead – Rawlins, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

I stumbled across a new film simulation recipe while travelling through Wyoming last month. I saw this peculiar classic car parked in front of a gas station with an old radio station in the background, and an analog-film-esque photograph seemed most appropriate for the scene. Normally I’d go with my Vintage Kodachrome recipe, but I decided to play around with the setting and came up with something new.

At first these settings, which I’m calling Vintage Agfacolor, reminded me of Autochrome, an early color film from France. But after using the recipe for a few images, I decided that it more resembles 1950’s Agfachrome. It’s not exactly Agfachrome, but it definitely produces a vintage Agfacolor look.

While never as popular as Kodak, Agfa produced many great films (and other photography products) for still pictures and cinematography back in the good ol’ days. I used a few of their products, including paper for my black-and-white pictures. I liked Agfa, and it’s too bad that they don’t make film anymore.

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Purple Weed Bloom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 60mm

While the title says “X-Pro2,” this film simulation recipe can be used by all X-Trans III cameras. I have it saved on my X-Pro2, and I’ll likely plug it into my X100F at some point in the near future. All of my film simulations are interchangeable between the latest generation of Fujifilm cameras.

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

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation recipe:

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Johanna In A Swing – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 60mm

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Scout – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 7artisans 25mm

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Handbag Abstract – South Weber, Utah – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 60mm

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Clouds Over Mountain Green – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 60mm

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Winnie The Pooh – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 60mm

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Red Handles – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 60mm

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Left Behind Lunch – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 16mm

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City Sun – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 16mm

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Airport Walkway – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 16mm

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Window Waiting – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 16mm

See also: My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Dramatic Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe

Help Fuji X Weekly

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Road Trip: Black Hills, South Dakota – Day 4, Part 1 – Early Morning In Custer State Park

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Black Hills Sunrise – Custer SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

Days 1 & 2  Day 3 – Part 1  Day 3 – Part 2  

Late to bed and early to rise is the life of a photographer, especially when travelling. Even though I had stayed up the night before capturing star pictures, on Day 4 I woke up when it was still dark to catch the sunrise along the Needles Highway, which is within Custer State Park. This area features unusual granite rock formations, many of which are pillars. There’s also an arch called Needles Eye that is unusual in that it is tall and not wide. The highway is narrow and curvy with several small one-lane tunnels. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful drive, and I wanted to capture it in the early morning hours.

I arrived at the Needles Eye area about 10 minutes before sunrise. I didn’t have a chance to scout the location ahead of time, so I was hoping to quickly find some good spots for photography. I think I did alright in that regard, but if I had a chance to visit before hand I would have come away with some better photographs. As far as sunrises go, the one that morning was mediocre since there were no clouds. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to try again another time.

The Golden Hour was spent in the general vicinity of Needles Eye, trying to find different angles and views of the rocks. On the way back to the campsite I stopped at Sylvan Lake. You might recognize this lake if you’ve seen the movie National Treasure: Book of Secrets. It’s a very scenic spot, and I enjoyed a peaceful morning hike around it, capturing photographs as I walked.

All of the photographs in this article are camera-made JPEGs using my X-Pro2 and either a Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens or a Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 lens. Both are great options for landscape photography, depending on if you want wide-angle or a “standard” focal length. One costs about 10x as much as the other. I used Acros, Velvia, Astia, PRO Neg. Std, and Classic Chrome film simulations.

There is one photograph that I did not include, called Father Nature (if you want to see it, click the link). It seems inappropriate, but I assure you that it is a natural granite rock formation found along the Needles Highway in Custer State Park. Since I want this to be a family-friendly website, I decided to simply link to the photograph instead of posting it directly on this page. Take a look if you want, or don’t click the link if you don’t want to.

Enjoy the photographs!

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Meager Pine – Custer SP, SD – Fuji X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Monochrome Needles – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Black Hills Above The Great Plains – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Dawn At Cathedral Spires – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Morning In The Hills – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Needles Eye Tunnel – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Improbable – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Needles Eye – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Needles Eye Arch – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Reaching Up – Custer SP, SD – Fuji X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Rugged Rocks – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Jagged Landscape – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Tunnel At Needles Eye – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Overlook At Needles Eye – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Needles In The Black Hills – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Towering Rocks & Trees – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Sylvan Lake Monochrome – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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The Dam Bridge – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Black Hills Pine Forest – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Morning Sun Through The Trees – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Looking Down The Dam – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Risky Tunnel – Custer SP, SD – Fuji X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Sylvan Blue – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Chairs On A Dock – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Sylvan Lake & Blue Sky – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Boats Ashore – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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River Canoe – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Spill – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Grazing – Custer SP, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

Day 4 – Part 2  Days 5 & 6

Road Trip: Black Hills, South Dakota – Day 3, Part 2

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Rocky Ridge – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

Days 1 & 2  Day 3 – Part 1  

After leaving Mount Rushmore National Monument, we drove around the Black Hills a little, and then returned to our campsite to relax. After spending the two previous days on the road, it was good to limit the time in the car. We kept the evening low-key, playing board games and throwing around a football.

That night, once everyone was in bed, I tiptoed out into the darkness and did a little night photography. I set my X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 16mm f/1.4 lens on a tripod for some long exposure photography, utilizing Fujifilm’s Cam Remote app. The sky was dark but full of stars. I shined a flashlight into the forest and saw about 100 eyes looking back at me–deer, and perhaps other animals, were all over the place!

These photographs are all camera-made JPEGs. The black-and-white are Acros and the color are Velvia. I really appreciate the look that Fujifilm gear creates in-camera. I could spend hours in front of a computer post-processing, or I could rely on straight-out-of-camera JPEGs that look like they’ve been post-processed. I choose the latter whenever possible, because my time is important to me.

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Black Hills – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Norbeck Overlook – Keystone, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Twisted Tree – Keystone, SD – Fuji X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Leaning Tree & Stars – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm f/1.4

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Night Forest – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm f/1.4

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Night Sky Over Needles Highway – Hill City, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm f/1.4

Day 4 – Part 1  Day 4 – Part 2  Days 5 & 6

Road Trip: Black Hills, South Dakota – Day 3, Part 1 – Mount Rushmore

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Four Fathers – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

Days 1 & 2  

On the morning of the third day of our South Dakota trip, which was the first full day in the Black Hills, after breakfast, we headed out to see Mount Rushmore National Monument. This is an iconic landmark of America. The heads of four quintessential presidents were carved into the rocks: George Washington, the first president and Revolutionary War general, on the far left, Thomas Jefferson, the third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, on the middle-left, Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president and Rough Rider, on the middle-right, and Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president and slavery abolisher, on the far right.

Gutzon Borglum is the sculptor who, along with his team of over 400 people, carved Mount Rushmore, which is an incredible work of art. The work began in 1927 and finished in 1941. It was mostly carved by careful use of dynamite. Borglum was a renown artist even before Mount Rushmore, but this is certainly his biggest and best known accomplishment.

When we arrived we were surprised to learn that our National Parks Pass didn’t do us any good. There is a “parking fee” (but no entrance fee), and they offer no discount for those who have an annual pass. The parking garage, which resembles something you’d find at a large airport or downtown, is a big expense, I’m sure, so I certainly understand the need to charge money to park. I just think that, if you have an annual pass, they should give a discount of some sort.

The way that this monument is set up is you traverse a walkway towards the sculpture, with things on your right and left as you make your way down. It kind of feels like much of it was an afterthought instead of integrated design. Still, it’s laid out in such a way that you could choose to get as much out of it as you want. Except, when we were there, half of the trail and the Sculptor’s Studio were closed. Still, we found the museum to be interesting enough.

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Mount Rushmore Monochrome – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

Our ten-year-old and eight-year-old kids did the Junior Ranger program. This is a great way for them to not only learn about the park, but to be engaged and excited about it. Afterwards, once they had completed the requirements, they were sworn in as Junior Rangers and received a badge. This was a highlight of the trip for them.

The four heads are very large, but it is difficult to really appreciate the scale from the main viewing area. There is a trail that takes you closer, and it isn’t until you reach the end that you can better appreciate the size of the carvings. After we left the park we decided that Mount Rushmore was a neat place to see, but mildly disappointing. On the other hand, it made us want to watch the Alfred Hitchcock classic North by Northwest, which takes place, in part, at Mount Rushmore.

One takeaway from visiting this place is that photography is a lot like sculpting. Borglum’s job wasn’t all that much different from yours and mine, except the tools are different. He removed all of the stone that wasn’t Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. What was left was his great work of art. When you and I compose, our job is to remove everything that doesn’t belong so that what we are left with is the strongest image possible. Often less is more.

The photographs in this article, which are all camera-made JPEGs, were captured using a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens attached to it. I really like this camera-lens combination, and I thought it was a good choice for the location. One of the things that I appreciate about my X100F is the simplicity and restriction of one-camera and one-lens, and I found that not changing lenses on the X-Pro2 while at a location provides a similar experience.

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Forefathers – Mt. Rushmore, SD – X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Heads Up – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fuji X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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George – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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George Washington – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Monumental Proportions – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Junior Oath – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Getting Ranger Badges – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Junior Rangers – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Making Connections – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Securely In Father’s Arms – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Along For The Ride – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Josh, Joy, Jon & Forefathers – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Amanda, Johanna & Forefathers – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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American Heroes – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Monumental – Mt. Rushmore, SD – X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Avenue of Flags – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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State & Federal – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Umbrella of Liberty – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

Day 3 – Part 2  Day 4 – Part 1  Day 4 – Part 2  Days 5 & 6

My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Dramatic Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe


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Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

This film simulation recipe, which I’m calling Dramatic Classic Chrome, is the first that I’ve created for the Fujifilm X-Pro2. Up until this point all of them have been for the X100F; however, what I’ve discovered is that these settings are 100% compatible with all X-Trans III cameras. I figured that this was the case, but it wasn’t until my X-Pro2 arrived in the mail a few weeks ago that I was able to verify it. Any of my recipes will work on the X100F, X-Pro2, X-T2, X-T20, X-E3 and X-H1, even though the title says, “My X100F Film Simulation Recipe” or “My X-Pro2 Film Simulation Recipe.” Use this on any and all X-Trans III cameras, including the X100F.

I was experimenting with the JPEG settings on my X-Pro2, and specifically I was attempting something that looked vintage-film-like, perhaps similar to cross-processed slide film. I didn’t have a specific film in mind, just a certain look. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to achieve exactly what I had in mind, but what I did create I like, and I think it’s actually a good Classic Chrome recipe. It’s a little bit grittier and dramatic than my standard recipe.

Interestingly enough, the look changes a bit depending on the light and lens. In high contrast situations, you’ll get a high contrast image, with dark shadows and bright highlights. In low contrast situations, you’ll get a good amount of contrast with shadows and highlights that retain their details. This film simulation definitely has a film-like quality, but not any specific film or process. Perhaps it’s in the neighborhood of Agfa transparency film that’s been cross-processed, but that’s not really accurate. Maybe Ektar that’s been push-processed a couple stops? I’m not sure about that, either.

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Securely In Father’s Arms – Mount Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

One thing that I did different with this film simulation recipe is set Dynamic Range to auto. In auto the camera almost always chose DR100, so you could just set it to DR100 instead of auto and get the same results. I did not use DR200 because I wanted more contrast, although on a couple occasions, in really high contrast scenes, the camera chose DR200. I’ve yet to find a situation where the camera chose DR400.

Something else to point out is, while I have the saturation set to 0 in this recipe, on some photographs I changed it to +1 and some other photographs I changed it to -1, situation specific. I think 0 is good for most pictures, but some seem to look better with just a little more or a little less color saturation.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +3
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, -1 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 or +2/3 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs, using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 Dramatic Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe:

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Monumental – Mount Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Starry Nites – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Waiting To Arrive – SLC, UT – Fuji X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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National Drink – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Red Drum – Unitah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Bike Flag – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Empty Carts – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Yellow Door – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Train of Thought – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Instamatic – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16-50mm

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White Flower Blossoms – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

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Yellow Pots – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Radius Lines – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Slow – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

 

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Another Difference Between the Fujifilm X100F & X-Pro2 (or, I Hate Dust)

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Storms Over Wyoming – Rawlins, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

One week ago I published an article explaining the differences between the Fujifilm X100F and the X-Pro2 with the 23mm f/2 lens. There is one important point that I left out that sets the X100F apart (either good or bad, but I believe good), and that is dust on the sensor. Anytime you have an interchangeable-lens camera, you open up the possibilities (probabilities, really) of finding dust spots in your images.

I have owned my X100F for about 10 months now. I have never encountered one single dust speck on any of my pictures captured with that camera. I purchased it second-hand, and the camera is about two-years-old. No dust, no problems. It might never have a dirty sensor!

The X100F is not weather sealed, and there is a small possibility of dust finding its way onto the sensor. It has happened to some people. If it does happen, there’s no dust-removal option built into the camera, and so you are out-of-luck. You either just deal with it, or you send it off somewhere to have it cleaned, which I understand is an expensive option. If dust does manage to land on the sensor, that really stinks! But so far, knock on wood, that has not happened and I’m hopeful that it won’t ever happen.

I’ve had my X-Pro2 for a few weeks now, and I’ve found dust spots on my pictures several times. I’m very careful when I change lenses on this camera. I never do so in an obviously dusty place. I have the lenses prepared so that it is a quick change. I never point the camera up when there is no lens attached. I set the dust-removal to activate at both start-up and shut-down, and I’ll turn the camera on-and-off several times immediately following a lens change. Even with all of these precautions, I still manage to find dust specks sometimes, like on Storms Over Wyoming at the top, which has some obvious specks on the upper-right side.

I hate dust! Dust and photography don’t mix well, and it’s been an ongoing battle since the invention of the camera. Back in the film days dust was a constant problem, and it seemed impossible to win. I would carefully clean the film prior to printing, and I would still find dust spots and lines on my prints. It’s not as bad in the digital photography world, but it is still a significant issue. It’s still an ongoing battle. And it still infuriates me! I’m just as frustrated by it now as I was 20 years ago.

With the X100F dust is no issue whatsoever, and that’s awesome! However, if dust ever does get on the sensor, that would be a big problem. With the X-Pro2, dust is a continuous problem, but most of the time it’s not tough to overcome. It only rears its ugly head occasionally, and it can be dealt with when that happens without a lot of heartache (but some heartache nonetheless). The fact that I’ve not had to deal with dust at all with the X100F is great, and the fact that I’ve already had to deal with dust with the X-Pro2 is not great. For me, that’s a significant contrast.

First Street Photography Images With Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Slow – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a popular camera for street photography. It looks cool. It has a silent shutter (the electronic one, not the mechanical shutter). It’s weather sealed. It makes wonderful images. What’s not to love? So when my X-Pro2 arrived in the mail less than two weeks ago, one of the very first things that I did with it was shoot some street photography.

I’ve had the chance to take the camera to Ogden, Park City and the Salt Lake International Airport (all in Utah), and capture some street images. I used a Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens, a Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR lens, and a Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens, all three of which are great lenses for this genre of photography. All three of them pair well with the X-Pro2. I’ll be discussing each in more detail in the coming weeks.

All of these images are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. The color photographs are Classic Chrome (a mix of my X100F Classic Chrome recipe and a new more punchy recipe that I’ll be sharing soon). The black-and-white images are Acros. Those are both great film simulations for street photography. I use these two film simulations the most, followed by Velvia, Astia and PRO Neg. Std., although I rarely use anything but Classic Chrome and Acros for this type of photography.

I look forward to even more street photography with the X-Pro2 (and X100F) in the coming months. I’ll be sure to post the images here on Fuji X Weekly, so I invite you to follow this blog if you aren’t already.

Take care!

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Into The Darkness – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Famous Monster – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Button For Walking – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Urban Bicycling – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Lounge Talk – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Good Life – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Time To Clean – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Carry Out Wayward Son – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Train of Thought – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 35mm

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Waiting To Arrive – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 35mm

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Starry Nites – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Window Shopping – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Coffeehouse Conversation – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Sidewalk Job – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Walking & Talking – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Never Shop While Hungry – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Going Down – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

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Long Boarding – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival With Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm Lens

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Tulips In Acros – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

Lehi, Utah, is a suburb of Salt Lake City. Within Lehi is Thanksgiving Point, which is a not-for-profit farm, garden, museum, sports, food and entertainment complex. It was founded by Alan Ashton, who invented WordPerfect software back in the late 1970’s. Within Thanksgiving Point is Ashton Gardens, an incredibly beautiful 55 acre oasis that seems miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city that’s outside the gate. The largest man-made waterfall in the western hemisphere can be found here.

Every year in mid-April through early-May there is a tulip festival inside Ashton Gardens. It’s reminiscent of spring in Holland. In fact, the nearly 300,000 tulips found at Ashton Gardens are imported from Holland. It really is an amazing sight to behold!

As you can imagine, if you are a landscape photographer or love photographing flowers, there are very few places that are better for capturing great images than Aston Gardens in the spring. It’s such a lovely place! There is so much beauty around every corner. If you are in the area during spring, be sure to plan a visit to Thanksgiving Point.

I went to the tulip festival at Ashton Gardens with my newly acquired Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR lens. It’s a very good lens that I’ve been very happy to use, and its 24mm equivalent focal-length is great for this type of photography. The X-Pro2 and 16mm combination proved to be perfect for this photographic endeavor. All of these images are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I used Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome and Acros film simulations for these pictures. Yes, the same recipes that I use on my X100F also work on my X-Pro2.

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Bright White Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Red Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Orange Blossoms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Cherry Blossom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Sun Flower – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Looking Up – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Blossoms By The Pond – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Flowers By The Stream – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Color of Spring – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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European Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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And It Was Called Yellow – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Blue Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Poppies Among Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Garden Flowers – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Flowing Water Feature – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Red Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Paper Wings – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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3 Waterfalls – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 16mm

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Secret Garden Door – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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White Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm