Fuji Conclusion and More

Links: See the images and read the full Fuji conclusion here. https://brentbergherm.com/shooting-xt3/

Announcements.

My Oregon coast workshop is coming up, just a few days away now. If you have been on the fence about this I encourage you to jump in and allow me to challenge you and encourage you in your growth as a photographer. David duChemin said in the last episode that the print “is a powerful evaluative tool.” In fact, I’m going to turn it over to him once again.

And I invite you to come out to the Oregon Coast with me and take the plunge into the world of shooting the beautiful coast and getting excellent prints from those images right there onsite as we dive deep into printing your photography.

Topic: 

There’s actually a few topics today. I’ll start out by wrapping up the story about my Fujifilm experiment, Mark Morris joins us with a drone safety concern and then I end the show with a listener chiming in on the love of photography. Here we go.

I wrote a blog post about my experience trying to switch to the Fujifilm X-T3 camera. The shooting experience was so wonderful. And I’ve talked about it a bit here on this podcast as well as on the Master Photography Podcast too. It’s time to wrap this up. 

In short, I sent the camera back. Please do read the post on my website, the link is in the show notes.

The reason I sent it back is both complex and simple at the same time. It really hurts to send it back because I just loved shooting it so much. It was amazing. But I couldn’t get over a few details with regards to the types of images the camera struggled with.

Most notably the sand image that not even the Fujifilm processing in camera could make look like sand, and an edge issue when shooting silhouetted objects. The processing in multiple programs just didn’t come out right so I lost faith in my ability to achieve my creative vision in post-production.

I owe many thanks to Ibarionex Perello, Dan Bailey and David duChemin for coming on the show and talking with me about creativity and shooting Fujifilm cameras. But in the end it just wasn’t for me.

For my photography, the ultimate purpose of a quality image is to make a gallery quality print out of it. I did a lot of printing comparing results from my Canon camera and the Fuji camera, and then I did a lot of further printing with just the Fuji files. I got a lot of very good and excellent prints. But a few subjects had too many challenges and I just can’t get passed it.

Dan Bailey was also suggesting that I skip the raw processing and go with the in-camera JPG files. I tried that and on the flower subject I photographed in open shade the results were stunning. I literally took the file from camera, resized it, applied minimal output sharpening and it was excellent. However, I did the same with the raw image, also using the Fujifilm color profile, and it was even better, not by much, maybe 2%, but still, it was better. So I think I’ll keep my flexibility of the raw processing for now. But, when you’re in a pinch it’s good to know that usually you’ll have such awesome quality images coming out of the camera’s JPG processor.

I also shot some star trails with the camera. My technique is to take multiple images over a period of time and blend them in Photoshop. I should have shot JPG for this process because in the raw as I switched from image to image the stars were not white. They were very distinctly blue, red or green, and they changed color depending on which frame you were looking at. This, of course, represents the rendering pixels but for the stars to not be recognized as white, it would just look too psychedelic. My Milky Way shot came out really great. But the star trails, not so much.

The main reason behind sending it back is that I know my shooting experience would be affected by these issues. Most scenes turned out really well with this camera. But a few scenes just didn’t work out. I don’t want to be out there shooting and thinking to myself “I can’t shoot this silhouetted tree because I know I’ll be unhappy with the edges.” Silhouettes is something I do somewhat frequently. And many times certainly with my Canon it messes up, but it’s more of a lens or dynamic range issue where I can overcome it with multiple exposures. But when you have a very rough edge that can’t be overcome I just had to call the whole camera into question. 

In my tests I found that Luminar processed the images really well. Unfortunately, about five days after I sent the camera back they announced Luminar Flex, a Lightroom plugin that brings the Luminar processing engine to the Lightroom Classic workflow. This may have been what I needed to make it work. I’d be willing to use a plugin like this for those odd times where Lightroom just doesn’t do the file justice. But I was under the pressure of a return deadline and I needed to make a decision sooner rather than later. 

As I look to the future I’m disappointed that I’ll not be able to lighten my load anytime soon. I’ll still lug the Canon around and shoot great images with it. I’ll keep my eye on what Sony just announced with the new Alpha camera, and we’ll see what Canon comes up with next and then there’s Sigma with the L-mount alliance and the cameras they’ll be producing. There’s so many good things on the horizon but let’s face it, it’s hard to be patient. I’ll do my best though J

This next section is an interview I had with Mark Morris regarding drone safety, so let’s head on over to that now.

I’m really grateful to Mark for coming on the show and telling us about this issue. If anyone else has a story like this please let me know and maybe we can talk about it too.

And finally, we have a listener submitted section. I asked for some submissions a while back and the theme was simply, “for the love of photography.” I was hoping to get several folks to record something with the voice memo app on their phone or anything like that and that would allow me to turn it over to them for a bit. I got a few submissions in the facebook group but only one voice memo app. Let’s talk about a few of these images and then I’ll turn it over to Gary who submitted an image.

Next is Gary Aidekman and his story behind this alpenglow image of a volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. 

Thanks so much Gary. You’ve given me an idea to record a show all about the images we can shoot while serving others. I’ve done quite a bit of that over the years and I have a chance to maybe head to India this December on a similar outing with a non-profit group.