Using Fujifilm JPEG Film Simulations

The delights of using Fujifilm cameras include the film simulations that Fujifilm includes for application to JPEG images. I’m a big fan of Classic Chrome for color images and Acros for black and white images.

UK wedding photographer Kevin Mullins has just posted a blog post and accompanying video describing how he uses these film simulations in his wedding photography. He sets up his favorite setting using the Custom Settings feature of his Fujifilm cameras.

On the streets with the Fujifilm X-Pro2

Lantern

My Fujifilm X-Pro2 arrived a few days ago – and I headed out today on a very wet and ugly day in Menlo Park to take my first few shots with this new camera.

I mounted the Fujinon 35mm F2 lens on the X-Pro2 body and put the camera into Acros film simulation mode. On Crane Street in Menlo Park is the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church – one of my favorite local places for architectural images.

Here’s an example – one of my first images shot on the X-Pro2 – shooting with the 35mm lens wide open at f/2.

Into the Light in San Francisco

Spear Steet - San Francisco - 2016

Earlier this week I was in San Francisco for meetings – and I went in a bit early to do some street photography.

Here’s one of the first images I captured after just coming up from the Embarcadero BART station.

I was shooting with my Fujifilm X-E2 with the new v4.0 firmware. An amazing upgrade by Fuji to this great little camera!

Looking into the light is one of my favorite scenes – taught to me by looking at the amazing work of Fan Ho!

Scooter

Scooter - San Francisco - 2016

Yesterday was my first time on the streets of San Francisco after upgrading my Fujifilm X-E2 to the latest firmware update (V 4.0). One of the best things about using Fujifilm cameras is how they have regularly provided significant firmware updates to older cameras – and this update to the X-E2 is a significant one – especially to the autofocus capabilities of the camera.

This is an example – shot into the morning light using the camera’s zone focusing mode.

San Francisco Streets – January 2016

Doug Kaye - San Francisco - 2016

My photo buddy Doug Kaye and I met up yesterday in San Francisco for our first walk together of 2016. As usual we met at the Ferry Building – and immediately got immersed in the setup activities for Super Bowl City which is opening tomorrow. It was very cool to see the scope of this event – as lots of craftsmen, stage hands, and security staff did their work in Justin Herman Plaza and up Market Street.

Doug was shooting with a new – used but mint – Rolleiflex film camera. It was fun watching him look down to capture shots – Vivian Maier style. Meanwhile, I was shooting with my first Fujifilm X camera – the Fujifilm X-E2. I had a new lens – the 35mm f/2 prime – and put the X-E2 into black and white (with yellow filter) mode – and had a great time shooting. This camera really does work wonders in your hands – and the Fujifilm monochrome film treatment just looks superb right out of the camera.

Some examples follow. It was a very good day.

The Beard - San Francisco - 2016

Plugged In - San Francisco - 2016

Love to Sign - San Francisco - 2016

Plans - San Francisco - 2016

Philz - San Francisco - 2016

Light, Gesture and Color

Peppers - San Francisco - 2014

This a quick grab shot from one of my Friday photowalks in San Francisco with Doug Kaye. Shot with my Fujifilm X-E2, we were walking across an overhead walkway looking down at this food truck selling pizzas. These two women caught my eye – the first sprinkling red peppers on her pizza and the second frizzy blond with her 49’ers jacket on.

Combine them with the red shirt and finger gesture from the guy in the food truck and things get interesting!

The Power and Beauty of Monochrome

Arise - Klamath Overlook - 2014

2014 has been an amazing photographic journey for me. For example, my Lightroom catalog currently has almost 68,000 images in it – spanning the years 2000-2014 – with over 25,000 of those (37%) shot just in 2014. It’s almost crazy how many images I’ve taken this year!

Something I regularly revisit is the split between my earlier work on landscape photography and my more recent interest in street photography. They’re very different – but, in some sense, both deliver very satisfying feelings as I look back on my work.

Another always interesting insight is the color vs monochrome difference – how color can really enhance an image and how monochrome can to – by reducing the distractions of color. It’s a dichotomy – one that’s always fun to explore.

I recently watched a brief series of videos by John Sexton – and he inspired me to look back and explore more fully some of the landscape shots I’ve taken this year. This is one example – an image shot with my Fujifilm X-E2 at early morning at the Klamath River Overlook in far northern California as part of Michael Frye‘s Mystic Forest workshop. The color image is quite beautiful – shot as the sun was rising in early June. But I think this monochrome treatment is especially good – with its drama, composition and mood. This is an image I need to print and frame – I think it’s one of those special ones!

For Sale: Fujifilm X-E2 with 18-55 mm lens

Fujifilm X-E2

I’m selling my Fujifilm X100S and Fujifilm X-E2 with the 18-55 mm lens.

My first Fujifilm camera was an X100S that I bought in June 2013 and just sold today. It’s a delight for street photography. In October 2013, I added the Fujifilm X-E2 with its interchangeable lens capability. These two cameras have the same beautiful X-Trans sensor from Fuji – and operate very similarly in terms of menus, etc. They’re just superb cameras.

So, why am I selling them?

Earlier this year, I upgraded to the Fujifilm X-T1 – which made the X-E2 sort of redundant in my kit. Much more recently, I decided to upgrade to the Fujfilm X100T – primarily for its new WiFi capabilities. Along the way, I sold off all of my Canon and Nikon DSLR camera bodies and lenses – making my migration to mirrorless cameras complete!

If you’re interested in either of these cameras, see my listings on Amazon.com (X100S and X-E2) or contact me directly.

Playing with Sepia Toning of Highlights in Monochrome Images

Moody #2 - San Francisco - 2014

I recently got reacquainted with the beautiful monochrome work of Michael Kenna. His images have a number of striking qualities – mostly long exposure, his use of grain, and the square (and small 8×8 inch) print size. But for me it’s the light in his images that grab me.

Doing a bit of reading of interviews of Kenna, he has spoken about his he uses a light sepia toning in the highlights of his images – and how, by doing so, the mind’s eye sees the highlights as a bit forward in space while the shadows are pushed back – adding a sense of dimensionality to an image.

This is an image of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge shot from San Francisco’s Embarcadero with my Fujifilm X-E2 on a particularly moody February morning. I used it as an example for applying this kind of technique – sepia toning of the highlights. To do so, it’s an easy process in Photoshop CC. Select the RGB channel to create a selection, then add a gradient map adjustment layer – the selection will automatically be loaded into the adjustment layer’s layer mask. Then select the photographic toning Sepia 1 tone – and you’re done with the highlights.

I took it a bit further, duplicating that process but inverting the layer mask to add a Selenium 2 tone to the shadows – pushing them further back in the mind’s eye.

Below is the original monochrome version of this image – you can see the difference. Click on either to see a larger version.

Moody - San Francisco - 2014

Silent at Damnation Trail

Silent - Damnation Creek - 2014

When you walk among the redwoods on a foggy morning, life slows down.

You start to see things you might otherwise just walk by. It’s a beautiful switch – your mind goes from busy, busy left brain into the much more creative right brain. Your eyes see new things. You hear the sounds of the forest. You hear your own breathing.

And life slows down…