Back to the Fuji X30

I finished a few side projects so decided yesterday to leave work early and go back to experimenting with how I shoot a variety of types of photographs on the X30. I’m a rank amateur but have found a few things which just seem to work.

  1. Shooting around town with buildings and people. I have been using Program mode for this since there is no real thinking about things and one can simply bring the camera up or tilt the monitor at an angle and be able to take frames from the hip so to speak. I’ve read that Program mode is for lazy people that don’t want to learn more complex modes. To that I say who cares what you think about the way I shoot photographs? Program mode just works on the X30. When you take a photograph of a person or thing that’s happening what do you want? Futzing with manual settings and by the time you figure it out its already happened? Nope.
  2. Shooting at some kinda landscape mode. I like to shoot pictures of natural stuff. I’ve read that the X30 for the purists is not the best for landscape photography. To that I say Nope. It works fine for me in Aperture Priority mode shooting the types of photographs I will want to shoot on vacations. In this mode you set the Aperture and the camera decides what works for the shutter and ISO. This mode works well for me. Forget what others may say regarding whether it should be on manual for now.

My next mode to learn is the opposite so to speak of Aperture Priority. I will next learn when and where to use Shutter Priority by taking the requisite photographs with that mode given what the others have said and using it as a baseline.

Here’s a few photographs of my ongoing attempts.

This was shot in Aperture Priority mode. This is letting the X30 decide what the shutter and ISO should be.

This was shot in Program Mode. In this mode, the X30 decides it all but I can set overrides or do what are called Program shifts if I want. I do use a custom Photo simulation called Velvia and back off some details using negative values. Here’s another shot in the same mode.

One thing to notice here is the color of the sky. In the past, I had serious over exposure issues when I got too complex with the camera so I decided to use simpler methods that still have overrides when I may want them.

I also thought over during my Friday night binge beer event what I expect out of this learning experience with a better camera. I came away realizing I am not a candid street photographer completely or a landscape photographer only. I am some kind of mix and want the best of both but still want ultimate control over what the camera is doing so its a continuous learning experience. Its okay to make mistakes and then go back and use a workflow to address. Learning to use the X30 is not about proclaiming I am only going to shoot on Manual or I won’t use Program because of some reason. Its more about what works between me and the camera. I don’t want to be bothered shooting something in a city with nagging doubts whether I got a setting right or not. People or things moving are not gonna be there so Program mode in my downtown mode works better. My landscape photography includes things that don’t move so much. Mountains, hills, trees, and grassy fields do not change so Aperture mode works.

Workflows

The final thing I have been working on my Samsung Chromebook Plus is a workflow to get the photographs from the camera card to my Google Photos. I now upload all the photos from the card to Google Drive and then I told Google Photos to include my Google Drive as an image source. This works really well and means I can see everything in my cloud photo service simply by using the flow I have established. Its also easy to use Snapseed in this workflow if I want to change a thing in post processing. I don’t do that a lot. I just accept, delete, or retake  the photograph these days. It shows back up in the workflow on all my devices since everything uses Google Photos as the cloud source.

So there’s the current state with Mike moving from taking photographs with a Android phone that requires no real decision making to learning something and then learning new things. Learning is good. Whether I keep the camera workflow and custom settings the way they are or move to Aperture Priority for everything only depends on me.

Perhaps I’ve simplified the camera or perhaps the camera offers these modes for some reason. I think there is  reason and its not to “dumb down” the exercise. I think Fuji offers Program mode and the ability to override it for people that want to take pictures when in a busy or saturated environment like street photography. There should be a way to make a few changes using the Q menu that are not available in automatic shooting mode. If you are a purist, that’s great. At the end of the day you will take your photographs and perhaps you publish them or sell them. I don’t. This is about my own enrichment which does not include justifying why the camera I use can capture the picture while you are still fiddling around with the triangle.