Traveling With Fujifilm, Part 2: Dirty Jobs & Failed Dreams in Rexburg

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Grease Work – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell”

Part 1

These photographs were all captured at the same place: a Jack-in-the-Box in Rexburg, Idaho. On the very first day of the road trip we stopped in Rexburg for lunch. You just never know when photographic opportunities are going to present themselves, so it’s a good habit to have a camera within easy reach. For me, that was the Fujifilm X100V. Surprisingly, that Jack-in-the-Box in Rexburg provided the chance to create some interesting pictures.

Rexburg is perhaps best known for being underwater when a dam broke 1976, which flooded the area. The town recovered. It’s the last city before Yellowstone, and seems like a nice enough place. Like everywhere, hard working people are what keeps things moving forward. It’s the thankless jobs that often go unnoticed, yet they’re critical to a functioning society. It’s the premise of the television show Dirty Jobs hosted by Mike Rowe. I encountered a couple of those important yet invisible people while in Rexburg.

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Blue Truck Trailer – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell”

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Drive Thru – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell”

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Out of Order – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell”

Right next to Jack-in-the-Box in the same parking lot was a closed and abandoned Wingers. According to the sign, it had been opened for 13 years. I’m not sure why it closed: lazy employees, poor management, mediocre food, bad location, current economic times? I can only speculate, but I’ll never know the answer—it doesn’t matter, anyway. What I found interesting is that just a few steps separated hard working yet invisible people from an empty building that had similar people in it, but no more. They’re gone. Their jobs are gone. They’ve moved on. The dream that inspired its opening failed, leaving only ghosts of the past behind, a haunting reminder of the fragility of it all. Invisible People and Ghost Dreams would be my alternative title to this post. Maybe we’re all ghosts. Maybe invisibility is a super power. Maybe I just inspired the next album for some indie rock band somewhere.

For the top four photographs I used my new “The Rockwell” film simulation recipe. In fact, these were some of the very first pictures that I captured with this recipe. The bottom four photographs were captured using my Fujicolor Superia 100 film simulation recipe. These two recipes are pretty much opposites of each other: one is boldly vibrant, while the other is rather dull in comparison. Juxtaposed recipes for juxtaposed subjects. One mundane stop in a rather ordinary town. You just never know when photographic opportunities will present themselves, so be ready.

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Available Building – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 100”

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Available – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 100”

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Thistles In The City – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 100”

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This Restaurant is Closed – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 100”

Part 3

Traveling With Fujifilm, Part 1: Introduction

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Sunrise & Travel Trailer – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Fujicolor Superia 1600

I recently returned from a road trip across several U.S. states, which I photographed with a Fujifilm X100V and X-T30. The trip began in Farmington, Utah, which is where I live, and over a week-and-a-half my family and I pulled a travel trailer across Idaho, Wyoming (just a little), and Montana, and back to Utah. I visited two national parks. I saw incredible lakes and rivers. It was just a great road trip!

Upon returning, I was unsure how to best share the experience with you. I decided to break the trip into a series of articles called Traveling With Fujifilm. I’m not sure exactly how many parts there will be in all, but there will be many! This is Part 1. It won’t necessarily be in chronological order, but I hope in a logical order that makes some sort of sense.

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Rural Diner – Tremonton, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Fujicolor Superia 1600

The trip began on July 2nd right after sunrise. The trailer was already packed and ready, and already attached to the truck. We just had to load ourselves into the truck and leave. There are six of us: my wife and I, plus our four children. The truck seats six. It was a tight fit. We bonded (and occasionally not), as we spent significant stretches of time together on the open road.

The first day took us from our home in Utah to Island Park, Idaho. For the most part it’s rural country. We made a few stops for gas and food, but mostly pushed through to the destination. Island Park is amazingly beautiful! I’ll save that for another article, so you can look forward to it.

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Phillips 66 – Malad City, ID – Fujifilm X100V – Fujicolor Superia 100

The film simulation recipes that I used for these three pictures are Fujicolor Superia 100 and Fujicolor Superia 1600. I only used the Fujifilm X100V for this section of the trip. This camera is great for this type of photography. No need to carry a camera bag filled with lenses. One camera, one lens. In fact, I used the X100V for about 90% of the pictures on this trip. While this article has only a few photographs, most in this series will have many more.

Come along for the ride! Join me on this adventure by following this series. I hope that you’ll find it enjoyable, inspirational and perhaps even helpful to your photography.

Part 2  Part 3

Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: The Rockwell (Velvia)

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Abandoned Dream – Red Rock Lakes NWR, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell”

Ken Rockwell likes to say that Fujifilm cameras aren’t good for landscape photography because the JPEG colors aren’t “wild” enough for him. Even on his review of the X100V, he says, “The as-shot JPG color palette and contrasts are quite sedate,” and, “the X100V won’t amp-up colors if they aren’t strong to begin with.” He adds, “The Velvia film simulation modes don’t look any better; certainly not like real Velvia.” He’s entitled to his opinion, but I think he just hasn’t used the “right” recipe, and he might change his mind if he did. This recipe is one that Ken Rockwell might approve of, as it’s inspired by him, and that’s why I call it The Rockwell.

Ken mentions that the Velvia film simulation isn’t like real Velvia, and he means Velvia 50. There are, in fact, a few different films that share the Velvia name. Straight out of the box, the film simulation differs a little from the film. My X-T30 Velvia recipe is intended to get the film simulation closer to actual Velvia 50 film. “The Rockwell” recipe is also in the ballpark of Velvia 50 film, although it might actually exceed it. I’ve heard it said that Fujifilm’s short lived Fortia film (which Color Chrome Effect and Color Chrome Effect Blue are inspired by), which is like Velvia 50 on steroids, was a mistake. Supposedly it (or at least the original Fortia 50) was a botched Velvia run, but instead of trashing it Fujifilm sold it as a new film. This recipe isn’t as crazy as Fortia, but it’s every bit as crazy as Velvia 50 and perhaps slightly more. Another film that is in the general vicinity of this aesthetic is Kodak’s Ektachrome 100VS, which was essentially Kodak’s closest film to Velvia, but this recipe is a little off from that film. No, “The Rockwell” isn’t an exact match to any film, it’s just a recipe that Ken might use on his X100V if he ever read this article.

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Gibbon Falls – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell”

This film simulation recipe is definitely not for everyone. Just like the person it was named after, it’s bold yet sometimes over-the-top. Many of you will find it to be much too much for your photography. But some of you are going to love it. In the right situations, this recipe is stunning! It uses Clarity, which slows down the camera considerably, but this is a recipe that you might want to work slow with anyway, so it should be alright. This recipe is only compatible (as if this writing) with the X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4.

Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -1
Shadow: -1
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +4
Clarity: +5
Grain Effect: Weak, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red & -1 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “The Rockwell” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

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Lake McDonald Shore Trees – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Driftwood Shore – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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McDonald Lake & Rocks – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Lake McDonald – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Flathead Lake – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Clear Blue Water – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Tree & Snake River – Idaho Falls, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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McDonald Creek Behind Pines – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Trees Obscuring the River – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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McDonald Creek – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Green Trees – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Forest Flowers – Glacier National Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Lake Daisies – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Blossomed Bush by the Lake – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Upper Red Rock Lake – Red Rock Lakes NWR, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Red Lake Light – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Morning Rays – Canyon Ferry Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Sunset Through The Trees – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Aspen Sunstar – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Johnny Sack Cabin – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Hanging Flower Pot – Big Sky, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Mountain Wildflowers 1 – Red Rock Lakes NWR, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Mountain Wildflowers 2 – Red Rock Lakes NWR, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Rural Blossoms – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Mountain Springtime – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Blossom by the River – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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River Grass – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Grassy Hills – Wild Horse Island State Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Pine in the Field – Wild Horse Island State Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Abandoned Rural Building – Wild Horse Island State Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Pop of Color Cabin – Polebridge, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Birdhouse Fence – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Playground at the Edge of Nowhere – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Hot Water – Yellowstone National Park, WY – Fujifilm X100V

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Blue Eye – Yellowstone National Park, WY – Fujifilm X100V

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Red Rock Turtle – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Colorful Pallets – Bozeman, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Westfield – Idaho Falls, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Pink – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Stop for the Pink Bus – Silos, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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18 – Silos, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Stop Here – Yellowstone National Park, WY – Fujifilm X100V

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Blue Trailer – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Grease Work – Rexburg, ID – Fujifilm X100V

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Fujicolor Superia 1600

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Red Rose – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 1600”

For some of you, this new Fujicolor Superia 1600 film simulation recipe will be your favorite! It is so good! It’s very analog-esque, and does a great job of mimicking the film in a number of circumstances. If you love my Fujicolor Superia 100 and my Fujicolor Reala 100 recipes, you’re bound to love this one, too!

For high-ISO color photography, Superia 1600 film was your best bet if you needed to go faster than ISO 800. It has higher contrast and lower saturation than other Superia films, and is also more grainy, but with a very nice look. There are people who use Superia 1600 just for its aesthetic. Fujifilm discontinued Superia 1600 in 2016, but supposedly Fujicolor Natura 1600 and Press 1600 are the same film, just sold to different markets.

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Sephora – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Fujicolor Superia 1600”

I didn’t include a “typical” exposure compensation with this recipe because you can get some very interesting looks by underexposing and (especially) overexposing—don’t be afraid to try -1 all the way to +2! This recipe is only compatible with the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 (hopefully someday the X-T3 and X-T30, too—Fujifilm, please!).

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +2
Color: -3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -1
Clarity: -4
Grain Effect: Strong, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: Daylight, +3 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: 1600 to 6400

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Fujicolor Superia 1600 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

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Electric Sunset – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Evening Overlook – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Sunlight Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Country Fence – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Rose Bush Shadow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Red Rose Bush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Yellow Flower – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Not Yet Blackberries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Backyard Girl – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Evening Light Tunnel – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Building in Evening Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Head On Illusion – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Walking Reflection – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Indoor/Outdoor Restaurant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Carbonaro – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Vegetables – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Dessert – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Willards – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Thank You For You Patronage – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Wall Pipes – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Closed Gas Station Store – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Abandoned Drive Thru Window – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Abandoned Gas Station Overhang – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Light at the Top – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Blue in the Middle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Moon Above – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Suburban Sunstar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Bike 48 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Sunstar in the City – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Strength and Endurance – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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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Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation: Kodak Portra 400

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Bridge Over Stream – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400”

This is a brand-new version of my X-T30 Kodak Portra 400 film simulation recipe, designed specifically for the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4. My “old” recipe isn’t, in fact, old, as I published it only one month ago, but already I have improved on it, thanks to Fujifilm’s new tools, and also thanks to Fuji X Weekly reader Thomas Schwab, who helped tremendously refine the recipe to be more accurate to actual Portra 400 film. You see, he captured some pictures with Portra 400 film and made some identical pictures with his X-Pro3. After a few small changes, this new recipe emerged. It’s very similar to the X-T30 Portra 400 recipe, the differences aren’t huge, but it is subtly better in my opinion.

Portra 400 was introduced by Kodak in 1998, and was redesigned in 2006 and again in 2010. As the name implies, it’s intended for portrait photography, but can be used for many other types of photography. It’s similar to Portra 160, but with more contrast, saturation and grain. Believe it or not, ISO 400 was considered “high ISO” by many photographers back in the film days, and Portra 400 was one of the absolute best “high ISO” color films ever made. Like all films, results can vary greatly depending on how it’s shot, developed and printed or scanned, and even which version of the film you’re talking about.

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Backlit Forest Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Portra 400”

This new Portra 400 film simulation recipe requires the use of Clarity, which slows down the camera considerably. Fujifilm suggests shooting RAW and adding Clarity later, but I just use the pause to slow myself down. The use of Clarity also means that this recipe can’t be used on “older” cameras, only the X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 (as of this writing), but feel free to apply the white balance shift of this recipe to the X-T30 version and see if you like it better.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: -1
Shadow: -2
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: +2
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Daylight, +3 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this new Kodak Portra 400 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

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Light Green Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Sunlight In The Tree – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Creek Through The Trees – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Light on the Water – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Creek – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Big Green Leaf – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Sunshine & Tree Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Sunlit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Stone & Blooms – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Jo Swinging – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Brother & Sister Driving – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Protect & Serve – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Seagull on a Lamp – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Stormy Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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 X100V Cine Teal Film Simulation Recipe

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Red Lights & Raindrops – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Cine Teal”

Baseball legend Lefty Gomez said, “I’d rather be lucky than good.” This particular film simulation recipe was a failure, but it was a lucky failure. I’ve been trying to create a Kodak Vision3 500T recipe, but I can’t get it right. I’ve tried a number of different combinations of settings, but I haven’t cracked the code (yet). This was one attempt. Under the right light, it does resemble Vision3 500T, but under most conditions it does not. Even though it was a failure, I like the look of this recipe, so I thought I’d share it with you.

I call this new film simulation recipe “Cine Teal” because it looks a bit cinematic thanks to the Eterna film simulation, and has a teal, green or yellow cast, depending on the light. This recipe looks best when used in the “blue hour” of dusk or dawn, and does well in shade and on overcast days. It can be used in other situations, but the results tend to be so-so, although you can still get interesting pictures sometimes. This recipe is a little limited in where it works best, but in the right situations it can look very nice. It’s not for everyone, but some of you will really appreciate it.

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Sunlit Tree Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Cine Teal”

Because this film simulation recipe requires the use of Clarity, it will slow your camera down considerably. Fujifilm suggests, if you shoot RAW+JPEG, to add Clarity later by reprocessing the RAW file in-camera or with X RAW Studio. I just use the pause to slow myself down. This recipe is only compatible (as of this writing) with the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -2
Shadow: +4
Color: -1
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Clarity: -5
Grain Effect: Weak, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Strong
White Balance: 4550K, +1 Red & -9 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Cine Teal” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

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Small Garden Flowers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Roses Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Roses are Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Waiting Wishes – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Subtle Rays – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Cloud & Half Moon – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Suburban Cloud – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Evening House – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Shadow of Self – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Apple & Bike – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Masked Man – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Urban Blossoms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Evergreen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Small Table & Chairs – Orem, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Grand Girl – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Mischievous Smile – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Learning to Play – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Lights Off – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Coffee Table – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Asian Decor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Dining – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Hood Ornament – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Open for Business – Orem, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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FedEx – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Movie Theater – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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Fujifilm X100V New Feature: HDR

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There’s a new feature on the Fujifilm X100V called HDR, which is an abbreviation for High Dynamic Range. You’ve probably heard of HDR photography. It was all the rage 10 years ago, but often looked terrible. Well, software has improved, and people are being more tasteful with their edits, and you likely see HDR pictures frequently and don’t even know it. I’ve never been a big fan of HDR photography, and I had very little interest in this new Fujifilm feature, but I thought that I’d try it anyway.

What is HDR? It’s the combination of a series of pictures, some overexposed and some underexposed, to maximize dynamic range. It prevents clipped highlights and blocked shadows. Fujifilm has other tools to deal with this: Highlight and Shadow adjustments, different Dynamic Range options, and D-Range Priority. HDR is now another option. You can select HDR 200, HDR 400, HDR 800 or HDR Plus.

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Bright Flowers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – HDR 800

On the X100V you have to go to the Drive menu to access HDR. One thing that I really appreciate about HDR on this camera is that you can select all of the different JPEG options except Dynamic Range (with HDR Plus you also cannot select Highlight, Shadow or Clarity). In other words, HDR becomes the Dynamic Range setting, and you still have everything else. You can also reprocess in-camera the RAW HDR file, but only as an HDR image. Cool!

Let’s take a closer look at the HDR options on the X100V, and also compare it to DR400 and D-Range Priority.

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DR400

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D-Range Priority Weak

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D-Range Priority Strong

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HDR 200

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HDR 400

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HDR 800

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HDR Plus

The only pictures where the shadows appear significantly different are D-Range Priority Strong and HDR Plus. Otherwise shadows are similar, and HDR doesn’t seem to affect it much. However, highlights are greatly affected by the different HDR settings. In the pictures above, there’s a big difference in how the sun is rendered.

You might also notice some similarities between some of these different settings. Let’s compare a few:

DR400 vs. HDR 400

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DR400

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HDR 400

D-Range Priority Weak vs. HDR 200

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D-Range Priority Weak

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HDR 200

D-Range Priority Strong vs. HDR Plus

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D-Range Priority Strong

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HDR Plus

You might notice that D-Range Priority Weak and HDR 200 look very similar, as does DR400 and HDR 400, as well as D-Range Priority Strong and HDR Plus. Why? D-Range Priority Weak and HDR 200 are both based on DR200, so it makes sense that they would appear similar to each other. HDR 400 is based on DR400, so it’s logical that they would seem similar, as well. HDR 800 is like DR800 if such a thing existed. Both D-Range Priority Strong and HDR Plus are basically the same as HDR 800 with lighter shadows.

I don’t see a benefit to using HDR 200 or HDR 400, as you can achieve the same thing with your different Dynamic Range options. I did find HDR 800 useful for maximizing the dynamic range of the camera in harsh-light situations. HDR Plus isn’t really any different than using D-Range Priority Strong, so you might as well use the D-Range Priority setting if you really need it.

Here’s another example of the different HDR settings:

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HDR 200

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HDR 400

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HDR 800

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HDR Plus

The picture above illustrates when HDR Plus could be beneficial, but you might as well use D-Range Priority Strong instead. You could achieve the same thing as HDR 200 and HDR 400  by using the Dynamic Range settings. HDR 800 is the only one that you cannot mimic by using other settings, but the difference is pretty small between it and HDR 400.

HDR Examples

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Light Flower – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – HDR 800

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Tiny Library – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – HDR 800

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Chopstix – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – HDR 800

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Jurassic Park – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – HDR 800

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Window Light on the Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – HDR 800

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Lunch – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V – HDR 800

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Health Parking – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – HDR 800

Back in the day, HDR photographs were notorious for halos and cartoonish renderings, but I didn’t find any of those issue on the X100V. The camera does a decent job of aligning hand-held shots. The new HDR feature far exceeded my expectations (which were admittedly pretty low). However, it turns out that HDR on the X100V is not especially useful. It also slows down the camera considerably as it captures a series of pictures and combines them. Besides that, it doesn’t always work well.

HDR Bloopers

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How many legs?

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An extra wheel and no driver!

If there’s anything more than very minor movements within the frame, you’ll get weird artifacts from the combination of pictures. Even if there’s no movement, but you are not very still when you capture the pictures, you can get blur from poor alignment. I had just as many busts as I had successes when using HDR because of alignment problems and artifacts from movement. Maybe there’s a way to artistically use this?

Conclusion

HDR was not a feature that I was especially excited about on the Fujifilm X100V, yet it turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. After playing around with it for a few days, I concluded that it’s not an especially useful tool. HDR 800 is the only selection that has a practical application, and the conditions have to be pretty extreme for it to be beneficial. While you can get good hand-held shots, you’re better off using a tripod, and don’t even think about using HDR if there’s anything more than very slow movement in the scene. While I think Fujifilm did a descent job in the programming, there’s plenty of room for improvement, and it’ll need to be made better before it’s a feature that will be used frequently. It’s good to have HDR as an option on the X100V, but I’m confident that I’ll rarely use it.

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[Not] My Fujifilm X100V Classic Negative Film Simulation Recipe

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Boy with a Bubble Gun – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

When the Fujifilm X-Pro3 came out late last year, which was the first camera with the new Classic Negative film simulation, I began to see some wonderful pictures that looked like they were captured using Superia film. Classic Negative is supposed to resemble Fujicolor Superia, most likely Superia 200, although Fujifilm doesn’t say. I believe there were more than 10 variants of Superia film made by Fujifilm, so it’s hard to know which version the film simulation was mostly modeled after. Whichever version of the film it’s intended to be, Classic Negative does a great job of mimicking it, because it definitely looks like Superia.

The Classic Negative look that was most intriguing to me was by Luis Costa, and I couldn’t wait for the day that I’d be able to try it for myself. Luis’ Classic Negative film simulation recipe, which can be found on his website, is nothing short of wonderful! It’s especially great for sunny days. It’s every bit as good as Luis made it look in his photographs. It’s programmed into the C1 slot on my Fujifilm X100V, and I doubt that it will move. It reminds me a lot of Superia X-Tra 400 with a warming filter, or maybe Superia 200 pushed one stop. Either way, it just looks good.

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Warm Light on Reeds – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X100V

I did modify Luis Costa’s recipe slightly. Nothing big, but I added Color Chrome Effect and Clarity, and set Grain to Weak instead of Strong. It doesn’t change the look much at all. Feel free to turn off Color Chrome Effect and Clarity and set Grain to Strong if you’d like, which is Luis’ exact recipe. I want to thank Luis Costa for making and sharing his great Classic Negative recipe, and for allowing me to post it here. I encourage you to visit his website.

Because the Classic Negative film simulation changes look depending on how it’s exposed, you can get a couple different aesthetics with this recipe. I encourage you to increase exposure on some shots and decrease it on others (over and under exposing slightly), and see how it renders the picture. You might find that you prefer one look over the other, or that you prefer one in some situations and one in another. It’s fun to experiment with, and I invite you to do just that.

Classic Negative
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: 0
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: +2
Grain Effect: Weak, Large
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +4 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Classic Negative film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:

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Red Rose Bush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Flowers by the Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Suburban Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Dragonfly – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Spring Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Girl in Evening Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Upside Down Wheelbarrow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Neighborhood Bubbles – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Suburbs Illuminated – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Boy in the Window Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Little Yellow Ball in the Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Lake Reeds – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X100V

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

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Fujifilm X100V New Feature: Clarity

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The Fujifilm X100V has a new feature called Clarity. It actually first appeared on the X-Pro3, and it’s also on the new X-T4, but the X100V is the first camera that I’ve used with it. I’m always very happy whenever Fujifilm gives us new JPEG options, as it allows me to  more accurately achieve the look that I’m after in-camera. I can create better film simulation recipes when I’m given more tools, and the X100V indeed has some new tools.

If you’ve ever done RAW processing, you’ve probably seen a Clarity tool within your software of choice. Maybe you use it all of the time, maybe you’ve never touched it. What exactly Clarity does with each software is slightly different, but the gist of it is that it increases mid-tone contrast, while (mostly) leaving the highlights and shadows untouched. This makes the image appear more contrasty while not blocking up shadows or blowing out highlights. Because Clarity often adds micro-contrast (contrast to fine lines), it can make an image appear to be sharper and more finely detailed than it actually is. Some software programs include sharpening within Clarity. Too much Clarity can often make a picture look unnatural and “over baked”.

I like the idea of having a Clarity option on my Fujifilm camera, but I was really unsure of how it would look. Is it actually a good tool? Does it produce pleasing results? Where should I set it on my camera?

In the manual Fujifilm states that Clarity increases or decreases “definition” while minimally altering highlights and shadows. The camera has the options of -5 to +5, with 0 being the default setting. Let’s take a look at some examples to see what exactly this new feature does to photographs.

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Clarity -5

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +5

You can see from the photographs above that there’s a noticeable difference between Clarity set at -5, 0 and +5. There’s a significant contrast difference between the three pictures. Even highlights and shadows are affected. The first picture looks “soft” while the third picture boarders being “over-baked” with too much definition. Let’s take a closer look at some crops, and add -2 and +2 while we’re at it.

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -2

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +2

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Clarity +5

When you look closely, you can appreciate using minus Clarity for softening skin. At -2 there’s a small difference, but by -5 there’s a big difference. The X100V has a new lens, and it’s sharper, especially when wide open. Some people (myself included) appreciated the softness of f/2 on the old X100 series lens for artistic effect, but the X100V is tack sharp across the board at all apertures. However, -5 Clarity will give a similar softness at any aperture as the old X100 lens does at f/2. Portrait photographers might especially appreciate selecting a minus Clarity option, and somewhere in the range of -2 to -5 seems to be nice.

On the other side, +5 Clarity is definitely too much for some circumstances, particularly portraits. Even +2 might be pushing it in this case, although the results are acceptable in my book. I find that minus Clarity is better when skin is involved, but you can use plus Clarity for more dramatic portraits, although I’d limit it to no higher than +3, unless you’re trying to accentuate something like wrinkled skin and a greying beard, in which case up to +5 might be acceptable. Outside of portraits, I like adding Clarity, and I find that +2 or +3 is a good range for me.

Here are some more examples:

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -3

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +3

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Clarity +5

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Clarity -5

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Clarity -3

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Clarity 0

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Clarity +3

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Clarity +5

The difference between -5 and +5 Clarity is pretty significant, but the in-between differences aren’t huge. It’s difficult to notice a plus or minus one difference. Going up or down two spots is a bit more obvious, although if you’re not closely comparing side-by-side examples you might not pick up on it. I think you’re perfectly fine selecting any of the Clarity options, but for portraits I’d consider using minus Clarity, unless you’re want a dramatic portrait look. For everything else adding a little Clarity helps the picture to pop more. I personally like Clarity set at +2.

Because Clarity adds contrast and does affect highlights and shadows, if you go higher than +3 Clarity, consider decreasing Highlight and Shadow by one to compensate. Also, if you go lower than -3 Clarity, consider increasing Highlight and Shadow by one to compensate. The X-T4 can do .5 Highlight and Shadow adjustments (please, Fujifilm, update the X100V to allow this, too), and that’s probably closer to what you need to compensate for the increased or decreased contrast due to selecting the far ends of Clarity. Just be aware that when you change the Clarity setting, you are changing the picture’s contrast.

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+3 Clarity

Something that I need to point out is that when Clarity is set to anything other than 0, it takes the camera longer to save the file. Fujifilm actually recommends setting Clarity to 0 and adding it later by reprocessing the RAW files in-camera. If you need to shoot quickly, this might be a good option, but if you’re not in a hurry, I’d just set it to what you want it to be so that you don’t have to change it later. Yes, it does slow you down, but if you’re not in a hurry, it’s not a big deal.

In my opinion Fujifilm did a good job of implementing Clarity on the X100V. It’s a useful tool. Those who appreciated the softness of f/2 on the older models will appreciate using minus Clarity on the new model. Those who want to add just a little more punch to their pictures will like using plus Clarity. Each situation might benefit from a Clarity adjustment, and you’ll have to decide which setting is the best for the scene. Whether it’s adding or subtracting Clarity, this is a feature you’ll find me using often. Fujifilm’s inclusion of Clarity on the X100V is something that I’m extremely happy with.

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Defending Tatsuo Suzuki

This will be a controversial post. I’m a bit hesitant to publish it, because it will cause a stir, and I’m not looking for trouble. The Fuji X Weekly audience has been extraordinarily civil, which is something I’m extremely grateful for, as the internet can oftentimes be the exact opposite of civil. The internet has a way of bringing out the worst in people, perhaps because they can hide behind anonymity, or maybe there is a disconnect that makes interactions seem a bit less human; whatever the reason, people sometimes are rude or downright mean on the web. I’m asking right up front for civility and human kindness in regards to this article.

The video at the top, entitled My Milestone, was produced by Fujifilm to promote the X100V. It was promptly removed by Fujifilm because of public outcry. The featured photographer, Tatsuo Suzuki, is controversial, not for his images, but for how he captures those images. This video created quite a stir on the internet, and the worst in people showed up strongly in the comments of various articles regarding the video.

Here’s another video that shows Suzuki’s photographs and technique:

It seems as though the majority of people are against Suzuki’s style and agree that the video is controversial, and they believe that Fujifilm should never have associated themselves with him. Fujirumors and PetaPixel even conducted polls that confirm it. Now Suzuki is no longer a Fuji X Ambassador, either because Fujifilm dropped him or he dropped them. I’m going to go against popular opinion and defend Tatsuo Suzuki. The reaction to the Fujifilm video has been a huge overreaction.

As best as I can gather, what Suzuki did in the video that sparked all the outrage is demonstrate his “aggressive” style of shooting. He’s very much “in your face” as he walks the streets of Tokyo with his camera. It comes across as rude, as he invades people’s personal bubbles. My opinion is that he does this because, in Japan, people are extremely guarded, and the photographs that he captures, which are very good, would be impossible with any other technique. It’s the technique that he chooses to use in order to fulfill his photographic vision. It’s abrasive, yes, but also effective.

Suzuki is not the first to use this aggressive technique nor is he the most extreme with it. Bruce Gilden, Garry Winogrand and Eric Kim come to mind, and I’m sure there are many others. These are all successful and celebrated, albeit controversial, photographers, including Suzuki. They are far from the only controversial photographers out there. Even the legendary Steve McCurry has been called controversial at times. My point is this: just because you disagree with something doesn’t make it wrong.

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Man In Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Was Suzuki doing anything illegal? No. In Japan, and many parts of the world, this type of photography is legal. Was he acting different than you or most people might act in public? Yes. Just because you don’t go around taking unsolicited closeup pictures of strangers doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to do so. Is it strange? Yes. Wrong? Not necessarily.

There’s a trend right now to shut down debate when faced with a differing opinion. If there’s something that you disagree with, it’s become common to attack the person whom one disagrees with. It used to be that people could “agree to disagree” and still be kind and caring and remain friends. Nowadays, if someone says or does something that you disagree with, you might attack their character and call them all sorts of names, demanding that they be stripped of their dignity until they change their ways. That’s exactly what I’ve seen in this debate. It’s really nasty and harmful. Those who go to war with their words against someone who did or said something that they disagree with, those people are the ones that stop dialogue, who encourage hate, and stifle civility. It’s good to say, “I don’t appreciate the way he conducts himself.” It’s not alright to call him all sorts of mean names and tear apart his character bit by bit.

I don’t know Tatsuo Suzuki personally. For all I know he’s the nicest guy in the world. Perhaps he helps little old ladies cross the street and rescues cats from trees and does all sorts of good deeds. Maybe he’s the “jerk” that people have been calling him, but maybe that couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t know. I don’t know. Why assume the worst in him when you don’t know him? We’d all be better off if we assumed the best in others.

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Ghosts of the Past – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

When I do street photography, I like to be the guy that nobody notices who stealthily gets the shot without being seen. One of the big reasons why I do this is fear, but I tell myself that it’s also out of respect for those I might be photographing. Is that really the best approach? I noticed that a lot of people called Suzuki a “creep” because of how he conducts himself when he photographs. But what is creepier: the guy in the shadows hiding and lurking or the guy who makes it completely obvious to everyone around him exactly what he’s doing? While it’s much more shocking to see Suzuki at work, I wonder how shocked people would be to find out someone has been secretly photographing them without them noticing? While ignorance is bliss, I do think being open and honest is better than being secretive and sneaky. Most people don’t have the guts to be open and honest in candid street photography, so they hide.

You might be saying to all of this, “So what?” There’s something that happened to me a number of years ago. Somebody that I don’t know wrote a college paper on the evils of Photoshop. They argued that manipulating photographs of woman was causing a self-esteem crisis among young girls. I had written an article (for a different photography blog) defending Steve McCurry’s use of Photoshop. Remember when that was a big deal? Anyway, whoever this person was that wrote the paper quoted (really, misquoted) me in it, taking my words out of context, and made it seem as though I wanted young girls to have self-esteem problems. It was completely absurd! The university published this paper on their website. Someone that didn’t know me assumed the worst in me based on a quote that they didn’t understand, and unfairly attacked my character. That was completely wrong of them to do it! The lesson here is that we have to be very cautious not to do the same to others that this person did to me. Thankfully, I don’t think anybody cared what the paper said and nothing negative came out of it. In the case of Suzuki, someone did care what was said and something negative did come out of it.

Fujifilm knew who Tatsuo Suzuki was when they invited him to be an ambassador. They knew who he was when they made the promotional video for their product. They should have stood by him and defended him. If they lost a few customers over it, that’s alright because they knew who he was and despite that (because of that?) decided to partner with him. It seems pretty crummy to toss him aside just because some people complained. It also seems crummy that people don’t care to understand Suzuki’s point of view, and prefer the easy route of character assassination instead. I think that the best advice moving forward is to take a deep breath and examine ourselves first before biting someone’s head off. We have two ears and one mouth, so we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. Or, in this case, slow to type.