Mystic Port Moody Morning

The September-October period has always been my favourite time for photography. At this time of the year, places are often pillowed by fog, the sun’s rays are much more gentle and… I don’t have to wake up at 4:00 AM to witness a sunrise.

Today, I stopped by Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, British Columbia equipped with my Fuji X-T1 paired with the XF 50-140mm F2.8 lens and the XF 14mm F2.8. 

Enjoy.

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2015 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

 

Welcome to Classic Chrome

Along with the rise of Instagram and iPhone photography, there has been a flood of filters and film simulations. Unfortunately, the majority of these tools are formulated very poorly and the results can be quite grotesque.

When I heard that Fujifilm is working on a new film simulation, Classic Chrome, I was intrigued. After all, Fuji has been known for its expertise in film and the JPEGs coming out of the X-series cameras have been one of the best in the industry.

The latest Fuji X100T and Fuji X-T1 Graphite came with Classic Chrome. Some photographers who got their hands on these cameras posted some photos bearing the Classic Chrome look and we really liked what we saw. Those who practise street, documentary photography or fine art photography should be very pleased with this modern take on the Kodachrome-like look. The colours are subtle and slightly suppressed but pleasing and natural to the eye.

Although we haven’t had a chance to shoot with the Fuji X100T or Graphite X-T1, the recent Lightroom 5.7 update offers an opportunity to paint with light – Classic Chrome style. We couldn’t resist applying this new colour palette to some chosen photos. Here they are:

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Also, watch this space for a full review of the XF 50-140 F2.8 OIS WR, the Fuji X-100T and more Classic Chrome images – this time straight from the camera.

 

2014 © Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

Timeless Quality of Film

Despite years of digital photography, many photographers, including us, have moments when they indulge in the timeless quality of film. One of my favourite B&W films were Kodak 400 TMAX or TRI-X 400. Their strong contrast and graininess created a particular visual atmosphere. Fortunately, today’s programs such as NIK Silver Pro allow the photographer to recreate this look (even though it will never be the same as shooting film!).

Here are some recent images taken with the Fuji X100S and processed in NIK Silver Pro.

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Today you can find the best film-like simulations in the Fuji X-series cameras. We are big fans of Provia and Astia film simulations. Fuji has recently introduced a new Classic Chrome film emulsion in its new Fuji X100T. Our first reaction: What a stunner it is! For those who do lots of street/documentary photography and want to stay away from processing pains, it is a real game changer. This slightly de-saturated emulsion is reminiscent of the best colour films and we can’t wait to start using it. For now you can check out some samples here.

In the meantime we have a few more recent images all shot with the Fuji X100S, Fuji X-T1 paired with the 56mm F1.2 lens.

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2014 © Olaf & Kasia Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

The Photographer’s Camera – Follow up

Our last write up, “The Photographer’s Camera,” has met with a great response. Thank you all for your comments and thoughts. No, we are not switching to Nikon or Sony. The purpose of this article was to share our thoughts about the industry and compliment companies that push the envelope.

Some of you interpreted my article as a restart of a “full frame vs. APS-C” argument. Let me clarify. I don’t think it is necessary for Fuji to go full frame at all. The current Fuji X-series line-up is excellent. The whole hysteria around full frame is way overblown if you take a look at how people use their cameras or even look at prints (how many people actually print their photos?). For our work, Fuji X-Pro1, Fuji X-E1 and X100s are more than adequate. Most importantly, the “feel” of those cameras and how they engage a photographer and let him/her focus on key elements is much more important to me than discussion about full frame or not. After all, the Fuji X100s is the camera that I breathe in my daily photographic life.

This leads to the subject of design and philosophy. When I said, “the ball is in your court” when referring to Fuji, I meant please don’t stop innovating and improving/simplifying your products, especially the high-end of your line-up. I do believe that Fuji with their X-series strikes a chord because photographers like me have had enough of do-it-all, heavy and non-engaging cameras.

A fascinating fact about how Fuji approaches design was shared by Bert Stefani is this post (link here). Here is a quote: What struck me most is that the technical part doesn’t seem the starting point in the development process. It’s not about: “Let’s produce a sensor with as many pixels as possible.” Instead they start from the kind of colours, contrast and “feel” people like in pictures. And only then do they start looking for a technical way to capture that. A fine example of this philosophy is the fact that one of the main guys in sensor development has been involved in the development of some of the iconic films that Fujifilm has produced such as Velvia, Astia and Pro. Bert Stefani moved from chemicals to microchips but his job is still the same – making sure the image is pleasing, has character and the right “feel”.”

This is the direction I think the industry should be taking. It reminds me of the way Apple approaches their product development. It is not about components or engineering (that comes later) but it always starts with design, idea and “feel”.  Of course, “feel” is a very subjective idea but there is no better company to sense this photographic “feel” than Fuji with their expertise in film.

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© Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.