CrunchDay no. 1

Last April, the weather was getting warmer and I was getting stir crazy from winter, so I decided it was time to pull out the Fuji XT20 for an excursion. I hadn’t practiced photography for quite a while, so my intention was to re-familiarize myself with all of the different features of this camera. It was a brisk day, and J was ready to fish the Madison so we packed up our gear and headed out despite the questionable weather.

As we drove to our starting point, I flipped through my camera’s manual for reminders on how to switch “films” and the different types of “camera styles” that the Fuji software can emulate. There are a lot of features and I wanted to put them to the test. I do like the Fuji emulated films… I started with those turned on, trying different options. Here are a couple samples.

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There are pros and cons to shooting with the camera’s film. Pro: little to no editing can, or needs to be done. Your in-camera shot is what you get; just like shooting film. Con: the file format is JPG and this limits any additional editing that might improve marginally good shots. Again, this is like shooting real film. But, if you could save a photo shot a little quickly without all the correct settings, or if you decide later that you would have liked a different film style, the JPG format is limiting.

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After trying out a few of these films and different camera features, I switched over to my usual method of shooting RAW, fully manual photos – which I would process later. The Fuji XT20 takes great images, and I love its size and form for almost all shooting scenarios. I also love VSCO Film for my post-processing in Lightroom. I think VSCO really captures the feel of film, with great grain and vibrancy just like what I get when shooting analog. If you’re interested though, hurry over to VSCO for some film packs. They have decided to pursue their mobile editing platform and are discontinuing their desktop offerings at the end of the month (February 2019). Makes me sad… I hope their presets work forever, even as Lightroom progresses.

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The landscape along this river has become so familiar to me, I found it difficult to see anything interesting to shoot once I had finished testing out camera features. So, I clamored down the steep bank to get a better view of J fishing.

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This helped me re-set from what was essentially a user’s class on my camera, to a photo adventure where I could appreciate my surroundings. Burned trees are always a sad sight initially, but beauty can be found even here if you look. My eyes started to adjust to see this more clearly as I relaxed and breathed in all the fresh mountain air roiling in my direction from the approaching storm. It was a great kick-off to a season full of adventures.

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