The first three were taken before the penumbra even reached the moon. The weather had just begun to clear but a few clouds still managed to cross the sky before clearing moments before the Earth's penumbra began to cast itself upon the moon's surface. The full moon's glow and reflection on the passing clouds created an eerie look that was just too good to not photograph. All three were bracketed shots but the second is an HDR stacked in Lightroom. The first and third were fully recoverable from single images at the proper exposure.
What If: Could Fujifilm Go APS-H In The Future?
Fujifilm proudly declared they would not be going with a 35mm sensor size in the future, for one, believing that it's a bit redundant since they currently cover APS-C and cropped medium format. There are significant benefits to both formats: the former covers a Super35 area and is currently fast enough for excellent video capabilities that consumer level 35mm cameras are currently unable to match, while medium format has a level of detail and low light capability that exceeds all current 35mm format sensors.
The Learning Continues…
So I've revisited a few photos from the past year and applied what I've learned in Lightroom since then. The hope was to take what I felt were good photos and try to make them better, possibly even worth printing, since I liked the views.
Hot Take: So, I Bought the Fujifilm X-T3
I went out and bought the Fujifilm X-T3 on release day, which was September 20th. The spec sheet intrigued me because a lot of the bullet points revealed improvements that would improve my ability to shoot under less than optimal conditions, situations that can sometimes stump my X-T2. Mind you, this is not my review of the X-T3. That will come later when I've spent more time with it. As for the features relevant to me, they are as follows:
I went back and took a fresh look at some of the photos taken during my vacation in Long Beach, WA. Decided to process some of them with the Acros emulsion courtesy of Fujifilm and Lightroom. As a peek into my process, I normally shoot in the default Provia simulation but rarely use the OOC jpegs. My preference is to manually post process from a RAW file converted from the original RAF using X-Transformer. The first step in Lightroom is to add a Fujifilm emulsion, either Provia or Astia for portraits, or Provia or Velvia for landscapes. If the photo calls for it, I'll then return later and apply the Acros emulsion once all other adjustments have been completed.
I ended up taking some of my best photos so far, ones that truly display how far along I've come in my hobby since picking it back up again. Obviously I'm quite proud of these. Side by side with photos I've taken a year ago, the progress made is immediately apparent. Of course I still have a long way to go before I achieve anything truly remarkable, but these are noteworthy for demonstrating my progress.
Nobody Makes the Perfect Bag, so Roll Your Own
If you read my review, you'll know I really like my Lowepro Freeline 350 BP backpack. Despite all of it's improvements over the Peak Design backpack, there's one outstanding regression in the design and that's the shelving and dividers. Peak Design's origami inspired shelving system is possibly the best solution I've seen for carving up bag space to organize and protect your camera gear. Lowepro's solution is adequate but inferior. So I decided to combine the best of each into a FrankenBag.
For me, summertime means Obon Festival
Every year when I'm in Seattle, I do my damndest to attend Seattle Buddhist's Obon Festival and this year was no different. It's something my family has been doing for as long as I can remember and one of those cultural touchstones in my life that reminds me of who I am. This year however, I decided to give myself a shooting challenge by limiting myself only to shutter dragged shots as a way of emphasizing all of the action, movement and colors associated with Bon Odori.
Photowalk with a Pro and a Model: The Fujifilm Photowalk Hosted by Kara Mercer
The other day I received an opportunity usually reserved for working or aspiring professionals: The chance to have a guided shoot with a Fujifilm X Professional Photographer FOR FREE! Fujifilm Pro Photographer Kara Mercer hosted the event, bringing along a metric ton of lendable gear, but more importantly, a wealth of knowledge and an outgoing attitude you usually don't find between photographers in the pro photo world.
Sometimes Monochrome Can Make for a More Vivid Photo
Last weekend I took a few photos of Snoqualmie Falls while staying at Salish Lodge. The weather was gray, the clouds lifeless. The photos didn't come out half bad, all things considered, but then I decided today to process a few with the Acros film emulsion. Suddenly the photos came to life.
Quick Thoughts After 24 Hours: Fujifilm X-T2 v4.0 Firmware
Just a quick little non-review of my first 24 hours with the v4.0 firmware for Fujifilm's X-T2.
V4.0.0 Kaizen Firmware for Fujifilm X-T2 is Out
It's on like Donkey Kong! On the way out this morning to Wallace Falls for a shoot and the news shows up on my twitter feed. I know I shouldn't mess with the firmware at this hour right before a shoot, but the excitement over the list of improvements got to me. Autofocus improvements, especially the increase in sensitivity down to -1EV is exciting...
How to Connect Your Fujifilm X-T2, X-T20, X-Pro2, X-E3, X100F or GFX-50S Camera with X RAW Studio
The question, "why don't the photos on my (insert model) camera show up in X RAW Studio?" has popped up far too frequently but wrong answers have been popping up even more. The X-T20's firmware was updated recently, bestowing upon it compatibility with X RAW Studio, leading to a surge in people downloading the firmware but not downloading the updated user manual linked directly below it. So now they seek people to give them the answer to their boggle in exchange for minimal effort expended, their keyboards lacking a button to activate any "search feature." The most popular response has been, "you must transfer the RAW files from your camera to a folder on your computer first." Wrong.
#SeattlePlayedOut: Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Edition
Hitched a ride with Craig and Brianna to Mount Vernon to find a tulip farm on Monday evening before the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival of 2018 came to a close. We figured Monday would be the best day of the week to avoid large crowds, while going as late as possible would afford us the widest range of natural light and hopefully include golden hour. Our needs were met by Roozengaarde Tulip Farm: They were open until 7pm and ejected patrons at sunset, far later than the oft shared Tulip Town, which closes at 5pm. As a welcome surprise, the weather was exceptionally nice as high temps crept to nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit and mostly clear skies...
Anecdotal Evidence: Reviewing AF-C on the Fujifilm X-T2
On Sunday, I decided to give my X-T2 its first test of the ability to continuously autofocus during high speed burst shooting by attending the PAC-12 North Beach Volleyball Invitational Tournament held at Alki Beach in Seattle. As I plan on using this camera for a few airshows and motorsports events this season, specifically Seafair and motorcycle road racing, knowing what the Fujifilm X-T2 can, and can't, do while shooting 11 FPS bursts is sort of important to me. My needs are quite simple and easily achievable with a professional-grade dSLR like the Nikon D5 or D850, but based on all of the blogs reviewing the X-T2, it may not be so simple. So, I went out to find out for myself...
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