For the last few months, I had grown tired of photography. Every time I went to locations I felt like I did not get the photo I wanted. The light was not right, at a wrong angle, the background too busy, too many people in the area, and so on and so forth. I was still doing photography, but it had lost its excitement.
In September, I went on a photo tour to Iceland with a friend. I figured if Iceland could not cure me from the sad state my photography was in, nothing could. Iceland was amazing! If you have never been, I can only encourage you to go. It is breathtaking! We went to see black sand beaches, waterfalls, and the absolutely stunning Diamond Beach.
I took over 2,000 photos during that trip. I loved every minute of being there, taking photos, and exploring new locations in different lighting conditions. I dreaded going back home, sitting in front of my computer having to develop thousands of images.
Some people may say “Well, why don’t you do your photos more deliberately? You end up with less photos to go through and better images in the first place!” Those people are absolutely correct. I should do that and strife to do that. But be honest: Have you never before got really excited being at a great location, where you just wanted to photograph everything? This excitement carries you away, and you take photos that you question later, when you are no longer in the moment. Instead you sit in front of your screen and judge every single decision you made, probably being too judgmental about your own work.
Nevertheless I started on the RAW development process, but did not enjoy it at all. I did not like sitting in front of a screen for hours, when I could be outside taking photos. I do not like trying to develop the images towards what I was seeing and feeling in the moment I took it. That moment might have been several weeks ago. I no longer feel the same way, so the photos do not come out the way I want. I got frustrated, and so it took me way longer to develop them then necessary. And after all that work I still was not happy about a lot of them.
Then I came across a video on YouTube where someone talked about Fuji Film Recipes. That someone turned out to be Ritchie Roesch, over at FujiXWeekly. I had a Fuji X-T4 and have now moved on to the X-T5, and I really enjoy working with these cameras. Both are able to store up to 7 recipes and I started to test some of those that I found on FujiXWeekly. And you know what? I was surprised how fun it was! I no longer had to wait and see how I could develop my photos later, I could see it right there. I no longer had to waste hours of my life in front of a screen. “Now hold on a minute! Those photos are only available in jpg not in RAW!” You are correct dear reader. The camera applies those recipes only to the jpg files, not the RAW files.
Recipe: The Big Negative by @TheBigNegative-PhotoChannel
When I first started to get into photography, the one sentiment I always came across was: “If you want good quality and be professional, you can ONLY shoot RAW!” So I followed that mantra for years. I shot RAW and I suffered through the development process. But guess what: as soon as I started shooting with Fuji Film Recipes in jpg, the fun was back in photography! I once again started to take my camera everywhere. Walking the dogs? Take the camera! Drive to an appointment? Take the camera! You never know where you come across a scene worth taking a photo of.
And not only that. It has also made me explore more topics in photography. I started to become more interested in street photography, architecture, and abstract. I have taken more photos in the last few weeks than I have in the last several month (excluding Iceland). It also encouraged me to watch more videos about photography. Being excited about it again, learning again. Realizing that as a Photographer I need to look for light, not the fancy location. You can take amazing photos in your backyard when you see and feel the light. When you understand how it interacts with objects and how you can take advantage of that. I am still learning so much every day and I am finally excited again. I started two photo projects, just to be able to channel that feeling and use it to get better in my craft.
Recipe: Provia Italia by me
I can only encourage you to look beyond what everyone might tell you what you should or should not do in photography. Question them, challenge them, and do photography the way that works for you, the way you get enjoyment out of it.
I would like to thank Ritchie and all the other great photographers and content creators out there that talk about Fuji Film Recipes and work to educate people. I will add some of the sources that I found below. If you are interested about this topic, please consider checking them out. They contain a lot of amazing information. If you have other websites please let me know, I am always looking for more information and more recipes!