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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

Fuji X Weekly Blog Update

Fuji X Weekly hit two important milestones today.

First, this morning, three people began following this blog, which put it over the 100 mark. Yes, more than 100 people follow Fuji X Weekly! That’s a tiny number compared to the big websites, but that is an unbelievable number to me, as I never imagined that this blog would be that well received. I appreciate everyone who follows Fuji X Weekly, as well as those who read this blog but don’t subscribe. If you don’t already follow Fuji X Weekly I invite you to do so, just so you don’t miss anything.

Second, this afternoon, the blog topped 15,000 page views for the third consecutive month. That is nothing short of amazing to me, and there is still enough days left in the month that 20,000 views are a real possibility. Wow! Thank you to everyone who came, and also to everyone who shared an article on social media or their website or wherever it is that you posted a link back to this place.

A final note is that I will be out on an epic adventure over the next couple of weeks. I pre-wrote several articles that will publish automatically over that time, just so there is some new content on here for you. Nothing particularly great, and I apologize in advance for that, but I felt that something was better than nothing. I will have some better articles to write upon returning.

Thank you, again, to everyone for coming to Fuji X Weekly and reading the articles, commenting, liking posts and sharing. I really appreciate you!

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 

Recent Suburban Photographs

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Home Flag – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

I mentioned in yesterday’s urban photography post that I love photographing in downtown environments. However, where I live and where I experience day-to-day life is in the suburbs, which is a place where a lot of people live and experience life. There’s a pretty good chance that you live in the suburbs, too.

William Eggleston is perhaps the best known suburban photographer. He captured the mundane life found in the bedroom neighborhoods of Memphis, and, while not originally well-received, his work is now highly celebrated. There is beauty in the ordinary if you look for it, and he certainly found it.

It’s difficult to get excited about photographing the suburbs. It seems so boring. It seems so humdrum. But there are plenty of interesting things all around if you take a moment to look for them. If you live in the suburbs, it’s an easy subject to photograph because you are already there, no travel required. Just take a walk around your neighborhood with your camera in hand.

The photographs in this article, most of which are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, were captured recently using a Fujifilm X100F, X-Pro2 and X-E1. Like the previous post, none of these pictures were previously shared on this blog. As I was grouping images together, I noticed that these fit nicely with each other, so I made an article out of them. Enjoy!

Color:

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Red Roof – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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JO IN A lEAGUE – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Meike 35mm

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Waiting Blues – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cloud Decor – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Ikea Carts – Draper, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Outdoor Patio Lights – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Car Under The Street Lamp – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 7artisans 25mm

B&W:

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Rooster On The Roof – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Thin Clouds Over Roof – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Meike 35mm

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Get One Back – Draper, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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OK Hardware Clerk – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Awesome Fan – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Recent Salt Lake City Urban Photographs

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Urban Crescent – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

I was going over the photographs that I’ve captured lately but haven’t shared yet on Fuji X Weekly, trying to group them into categories, and I realized that I have a number of urban photographs captured in Salt Lake City, Utah. I live about 30 minutes outside of Salt Lake City in one of the suburbs, and occasionally find myself venturing into the urban landscape.

These photographs were captured using an X-Pro2, X100F and X-E1. I’ve previously shared some other photographs from these outings in different articles, but the specific images seen here have never before been included in any article on this blog. They are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, with the exception of one which received some minor cropping.

I enjoy photographing the urban environment because there is so much diversity. There are a lot of different things that you could focus on all around you, including architecture, street, colors, abstract, etc. Ten photographers could walk along the same road downtown and come away with vastly different images.

The first time that I attempted urban photography was in downtown Dallas, Texas, back when I was in college two decades ago. It was for a project in Photography 102, and I just loved it. If I could (and maybe I can) I would spend a lot more time capturing the urban environment. It is a heavily saturated genre, though, so capturing it in a unique or meaningful way is difficult. But, perhaps, the reward is found in the challenge.

Color:

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No Overnight – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Meike 35mm

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Time To Come Home – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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West – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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US Alone – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Fountain of Youth – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

B&W:

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Walker Center At Night – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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KeyBank – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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

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Afternoon Coffee Walk – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Lines In Monochrome – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

See also: Recent Suburban Photographs

Fujifilm Announces XF10

The upcoming Fujifilm XF10 was just announced today, and a Fuji X Weekly reader asked if I would share my opinion about it. I have never used the camera or seen it in person, so I don’t know how valuable my thoughts might be, but since I was asked I will share them with you.

To understand the XF10 you have to go back a couple of years to when the X70 was released, which was basically a smaller, lighter, more wide angle, and cheaper X100T. It was a very popular camera, especially for street photography and travel landscapes. The X70 was also the very last X-Trans II camera, and right after its release Sony announced it was discontinuing production of the 16-megapixel APS-C sensor, so its availability was limited.

A lot of people figured that Fujifilm would release a successor to the X70, perhaps called X80, with the new 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor, but that didn’t happen. Fujifilm came out and said that the new sensor required too much computing power and generated too much heat to simply fit into an X70 body. It was either going to run very slow or they were going to have to make a bigger, heavier, more expensive body to house it in, which would defeat the purpose of the camera in the first place.

There are a lot of similarities between the X70 and the XF10. There are some differences, as well, but the two cameras are more alike than not. The XF10 lacks a flip screen and has a PASM dial instead of a shutter speed dial. The XF10 is 4K capable (sort of). The XF10 has a snap-focus option. Oh, and the sensors are different.

The X70 sports a 16-megapixel X-Trans sensor while the XF10 has a 24-megapixel Bayer sensor. What this means for practical purposes is you will get similar image quality from both cameras. For example, the X-A3 camera I used to have also had a 24-megapixel Bayer sensor, and the images that it produced were very close to what X-Trans II produced.

I believe, based more on a gut feeling than anything else, that Fujifilm is still working on a true follow-up to the X70, but they haven’t got it all figured out yet. It might take the upcoming X-Trans IV sensor and improved processor to make it possible. There are plenty of issues that have to be worked through, and I’m sure some compromises will be required.

The XF10 seems like a cheaper, more entry-level version of the X70 than anything else. If Fujifilm is still hoping to release an X80 in the coming year or two, it would make sense to have a stop-gap option in the meantime. They want to capitalize on sales in this niche market, but they don’t want to do so at the expense of the future model.

If you’ve been waiting for an X80, then the XF10 is not the camera that you are looking for. If you’ve been considering a used X70, you will have to decide if the XF10 is a good alternative for you or not, and, for the $500 MSRP, it might be. If you have been considering a Ricoh GR II, then you might also take a look at the XF10.

I imagine that sales for the XF10 will be pretty hot for awhile after it is released, but only because there aren’t many cameras to compete with it. It’s lightweight, small, pocket-sized and cheap, yet capable of fantastic image quality. It would be a good option for street or travel photography. If you have some cash lying around it might be worth having. Otherwise, it’s not a camera to get all that excited over. If you were hoping for an X80, you’ll have to wait awhile longer.

One Year Later: Fujifilm X100F

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I have made the same amount of pictures in the last 12 months as the previous five years combined. I realized this when I discovered that half of the photographs that I’ve uploaded to Flickr (which is where I backup my images) are from the last 365 days. I’ve been capturing images at a pace well beyond that of any point in the two decades that I’ve been carrying around a camera.

That statistic surprised me, because it’s not as if I wasn’t capturing a bunch of pictures before. In fact, not very long ago, I was spending too much time on photography, and it was beginning to interfere with family life. I made a change. I’m now significantly more photographically productive and I’ve improved my home life simultaneously. How did I do this?

My Fujifilm X100F arrived in the mail on July 19, 2017. Yes, I’ve had this great fixed-focal-length, fixed-lens camera for one year, starting today. Time has flown by! Since I purchased this camera I have relied on camera-made JPEGs, and I no longer fiddle with RAW files on a computer.

It used to be that I would need roughly two hours to post-process one hour of photography. Obviously sometimes it would be much quicker and sometimes I’d spend an hour on just one image, but the two-for-one estimate proved to be generally accurate over the course of years. I spent twice as much time editing as I did capturing.

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Things changed when I got my X100F. The straight-out-of-camera JPEGs resembled post-processed RAW files. They looked like they would if I had edited them, and nothing like typical camera-made JPEGs from other cameras that I have owned. This meant post-production time dropped dramatically. Now I estimate 15 minutes of post-production (typically just reviewing and transferring, and occasionally cropping and minor manipulations) for every hour of picture-taking. It’s all thanks to Fujifilm’s excellent film simulation options.

The time I save by using the X100F (and also the X-Pro2, as of a few months ago) is substantial. It has allowed me to create photographs at breakneck speed while also spending more time with my wife and kids. This camera has been amazing, and I cannot thank Fujifilm enough for making it. It may sound like hyperbole, but it’s true, the X100F has changed my life for the better.

Ansel Adams said, “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” I don’t anticipate ever creating an image as significant as any that Adams did, but I took that quote and ran with it for this article, showcasing my favorite picture captured with the X100F in each month that I’ve owned it. Some months were easy because I knew exactly which photograph to choose. Other months were difficult, either because I had three-to-five great options and I debated extensively over which one to showcase, or because I had three-to-five mediocre options and I was trying to pick the least worst.

It can be difficult for a photographer to know which are his or her best pictures. Photographers are often biased based on the circumstances surrounding the exposure. Typically others are the ones who decide which images are the greatest. For example, Steve McCurry’s well-know Afghan Girl photograph, which was on the cover of the June issue of National Geographic, was not his favorite of the photo shoot. Steve actually preferred a different slide, but the publisher liked the one that would later make the cover, so he chose it instead, and now it’ renown. The image that Steve thought was the best has pretty much been forgotten. If you were to pick the pictures for this article, perhaps you would have selected an entire different set. Still, I hope that you appreciate these images that I hand-picked to demonstrate how I have used my X100F over a year’s time.

July 2017

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KeyBank Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

August 2017

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Ilford Harman Technology – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

September 2017

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Walking Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

October 2017

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Fortuity – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

November 2017

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Pure Fish – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F

December 2017

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Curtain Abstract – Mesquite, NV – Fujifilm X100F

January 2018

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Caramel Macchiato – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

February 2018

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Canyon Pinion – Canyonlands NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

March 2018

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Watchtower Sky – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

April 2018

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Sunset Rock – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

May 2018

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Jump – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

June 2018

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Peach City Drive-In – Brigham City, UT – Fujifilm X100F

July 2018

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Ethos – Riverdale, UT – X100F – double exposure

Multiple Exposure Monday, Part 1

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My Mourning Essentials – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – double exposure

I’ve been doing multiple exposure photography off and on for a long time. It seems as though every year or two I get a short-lived urge to be creative in that way. I’ll make a number of multiple exposure photographs over the course of a few weeks, then I’ll stop until that urge returns in another year or so.

This type of photography can be done in-camera on film, in the darkroom on paper, in-camera digitally, or with Photoshop or some other similar software. At one time or another I’ve done it each way. I think in-camera on film has the best potential for great results, but it can be very tricky, requiring great skill and great luck. Getting good results in Photoshop can be tricky because, most often, it’s easy to spot when one has done that technique. I find that in-camera digitally is a good method, not quite having the potential that film provides but not producing obviously fake results like what one often sees when done with software.

Here are some examples of multiple exposure photographs that I’ve done in the past:

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Ghost Garage – Redlands, CA – Pentax K-30 – double exposure

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Photography Is A Drug – Stallion Springs, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill – triple exposure

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I Am Nature – Ogden Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – double exposure

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Preserved Steam Wheel – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – double exposure

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Preserving The Library Stairs – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – double exposure

The bug to create multiple exposure pictures bit me again recently. Last week I used my X100F and X-Pro2 to capture several double exposures. I looked around for interesting opportunities to combine scenes. One difficult aspect of multiple exposure photography is combining two exposures in a way that brings new meaning, that changes what both scenes are about. It’s definitely abstract in nature, but there has to be a point to it other than just abstract, or else why do it?

Fujifilm makes it pretty easy to do this type of photography in-camera because you capture the first image, then it superimposes that onto the second as you are capturing it. You can see exactly what the results are going to be. Typically, even with highlight and shadow set to +4, the straight-out-of-camera picture looks flat, so some post-processing is required, although I try to keep it to a minimum.

Hopefully I will have some more opportunities to create even more double-exposure pictures coming up in the next few days. I have a number of ideas floating around inside my head. I hope you enjoy the ones that I captured below.

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Yearning – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 – double exposure

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Not An Entrance – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F – double exposure

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Blue Diamond – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – double exposure

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Abstract Rectangles – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – double exposure

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Trade Tools – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – double exposure

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Two Tone Carts – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F – double exposure

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Lens Target – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F – double exposure

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Double Shot – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F – double exposure