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.

No Excuses

No Excuses - San Francisco - 2015

Citicorp Center in San Francisco is at One Sansome Street – just across from the former Crown Zellerbach building.

This stretch of Sansome just off Market Street is the province of motorcyclists – the parking is just for them. The architecture of the Citicorp Center provides an interesting stage – and there’s the Montgomery Street BART station entrance just off to the left. A locus for some fun street photography in San Francisco!

On a bright March morning in 2015, this bike rider was eyeing for a spot.

Tour Saint-Jacques in Paris

Tour Saint-Jacques - Paris - 2014

I was looking back through my Paris 2014 photos last night and came across this image of Tour Saint-Jacques in Paris. Our small group spent about 30 minutes exploring the small park adjacent to the tower – capturing some wonderful people shots.

This 52-metre (171 ft) Flamboyant Gothic tower is all that remains of the former 16th-century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie (“Saint James of the butchery”), which was demolished in 1797, during the French Revolution, – like many other churches, leaving only the tower.

I was shooting with my Fujifilm X-T1 with the 18-135 mm zoom – and shot this at about 96 mm (roughly 144 mm in terms of full frame equivalent. I love the white background with just a touch of sky breaking through on the left to add some visual interest. Sort of along the lines of other “white seamless” backgrounds – which work well with this kind of extreme architectural photography.

The Bottle

The Bottle - San Francisco - 2015

San Francisco’s AT&T Park is known for many things – among them is the Coca-Cola bottle in the outfield.

Last Sunday I was heading out sailing with my friend Rob Theis who keeps his boat at the South Beach Harbor which is just adjacent to AT&T Park. After parking my car, I noticed the glove and the bottle sculptures – from behind. I took this shot – and processed it in the white seamless tradition!

The Blue Angels on White Seamless

Blue Angels - San Francisco - 2015

A while back, Scott Kelby posted a series of architectural shots styled with a “white seamless” background look. As I was looking back at a few of my Blue Angels images from yesterday, I wondered how that “white seamless” look might work for one of them.

As it turns out, we had a lot of white seamless background during their performance as San Francisco’s Karl the Fog kept intruding into the Bay – forcing the Blue Angels to mostly do a “high program”.

This shot of Blue Angels 5 and 6 doing their slow flight demonstration seemed like a great candidate for the technique – even though the original of this image has a normal blue sky in the background and not Karl the Fog! A started out using Kelby’s white seamless technique and then added a few tricks of my own.

What do you think?

Shot with my Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fujinon 55-200mm lens.

Blue Angels 2015 over San Francisco Bay

Blue Angels - San Francisco - 2015

There’s a certain rush to watching the Blue Angels perform. They fly noisy jets (F-18A’s with twin engines) – and their routines combine a smooth rush with a loud punctuated hit of thrust. So they make a wonderful noise – a powerful sound – something special.

And then there’s how they fly – oh so close. Nobody does it better. The aerial ballet of the Blue Angels is quite something – each time I’ve seen them fly, I come away in awe of their precision work – and an appreciation for the work they put into being so perfect.

Today I was out on the Bay in a sailboat of a good friend of mine – Rob Theis – and, although the fog was dancing with the Blue Angels stars, we still came away with that special feeling about these guys – and a few great photos of the Blue Angels in action over San Francisco Bay – 2015 edition. This image was shot with my Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fujinon 55-200mm lens.

Two Views of the Paris Skyline

Deuce - Paris - 2014

I’ve been having fun going back through some of my images from a year or two ago – including the images I shot in Paris last October.

Here are two examples – of the Paris skyline shot from the Pompidou Center – and processed a bit differently to get to monochrome.

Thanks to Valérie Jardin for her beautiful Paris workshop!

October Light - Paris - 2014

Playing with Empty Space in Street Photography

Enter - San Francisco - 2015

Composition – and subsequent cropping (if we choose to cheat a bit) – really shapes the images we capture on the street. Sometimes, rarely, it’s empty space that makes the composition.

This is a recent example – shot at Vinton and Grant Avenue in San Francisco with my Fujifilm X-T1 – and, I’ll admit, cropped to perfect.

The focus of the image is the woman moving into the doorway on the left edge. But the empty space – and the dramatic light – really fill the frame. The No Parking sign on the right really anchors that side of the image.

I opted to leave the image in color instead of converting to monochrome. I found the colors of the wall on the left, the woman and the street shadows added a lot to the image. In monochrome, without the colors, the empty space seemed too overwhelming.

The Two Genres of Street Photography

Attitude - San Francisco - 2015

Street photography has become my favorite genre – after having gone through a serious period of landscape (including HDR) photography. Landscape is beautiful – you shoot from stunning locations – but the hours are tough (up very early before sunrise – and out until after sunset). Seems a younger person’s pursuit.

Street shooting prefers crowds – typically at mid-day. You can sleep in – and not stay up late.

But there are at least two genres of street photography. One is based on shooting with a wide angle lens (think 35mm). The other is based on shooting with a zoom (think up to a 200mm). They’re very different – but both can be fun. In May 2014, I took a workshop in New York City with Jay Maisel. Jay’s a proponent of the zoom approach. More recently, in June 2015, I took a workshop in New York City with Peter Turnley. Peter’s a proponent of the wide angle approach.

Late last year, after I signed up for Peter’s workshop, I decided to exclusively shoot with my Fujifilm X100T – a classic 35mm rangefinder camera. I came to love the images it produced – and it taught me how see in that 35mm format.

Today, for the first time since I made that commitment, I shot with my Fujifilm X-T1 with the 18-135mm lens. For some street work, having the extra reach of that zoom is just perfect for the street candid style of photography. But the X100T is beautiful for street portraits.

Both genres have their place – I’m going to continue to explore them both!

Rear Guard - San Francisco - 2015

Street Artist - San Francisco - 2015