52Frames – 2021-44 – Shot with a Phone

A Fujifilm XT-30 mirrorless camera and a Pentax K-1 II DSRL, side by side on a blue mat.

You know what’s the worst timing? Getting a brand new camera, and having the same week “Shot with a Phone” as the weekly theme for 52Frames.

On the other hand, I get to show off my new camera, and the size difference with my lovely, lovely Pentax Monster. The new camera is the Fuji on the left; it’s an XT-30 II with a 18-135 lens attached to it. That whole setup is lighter than the Pentax body, and the lens of the Pentax is again as heavy, so…

I got the Fuji as a more compact, more transportable “travel camera”, and today was the first day I properly tested it. I’m happy to report that it is, so far, meeting my expectations: I like the interface (and the two control dials ❤️, and all the proper mechanical controls ❤️) except for a couple of minor things that feel more like a question of habit than anything else. It also has some neat features such as a panorama mode, that works pretty well (but seems to take a toll on the battery). I have a first set of pictures here: Fuji XT30 Test Walk in Zürich – 2021-10.

Oh, and regarding the picture for this week’s 52Frames – it was also an opportunity for me to test the new masking features of the latest version of Lightroom. ‘Cuz the initial picture was this:

And, honestly, it’s pretty good – may avoid a few roundtrips through Photoshop in the future, which I’m quite happy about.

52Frames – 2020-27 – Complementary colors

The theme for 52Frames this week was Complementary Colors (I chose Red/Green) – which works particularly well with colorful board game pieces such as meeples. I grabbed a couple of these, and I saw my Rubik’s Cube in the shelf – so I threw it in the picture as well. And then I did something I hadn’t done yet: I used Lightroom to edit the picture.

I had a profound lack of motivation for this week – which means that I started shooting around 21:30, which may well be a new record. My goal was to “Just Shoot Something” and not break the streak – and the very first version was just the three meeples on the cube shot with a phone on the table. But I realize I couldn’t even manage to click “take the picture” on the phone – I felt the need to grab the softbox (which has a white background, at least) and a Lume cube (see previous remark about 21:30 – even 2 weeks awy from the solstice, it’s getting dark!). And then I tried to take the picture again with the phone, grumbled a bit, grabbed the camera and took a couple of pictures.

And then… well, then, I installed Lightroom. I’ve been experimenting with switching back to Windows after 15-20 years of Linux usage. And one of the reasons for that (by far not the only one) is “this way I can give Lightroom a try”. I’ve been using Darktable on Linux for quite some time now, and I do love the project and the software. They’re really doing a terrific job. Buuuuuuuuuuuut. I don’t particularly enjoy processing pictures (unless I’m doing specific creative edits). And I must admit that “dammit, Lightroom streamlined that thing A Lot.” I very much enjoy Darktable’s creative options, but when it comes to speed and automation of edits, I cannot deny that Lightroom does a great job, at least as far as my first perfunctory tests go. I was also expecting to fight and sweat my way through it… and I didn’t.

All in all – no, it’s not a great picture – it’s neither very creative nor technically flawless. But I still learnt more today than I expected, and it started with “I’M NOT LOSING MY 52FRAMES STREAK”.