Finding Creative Inspiration Using the Fujifilm XT1: In-Camera Filters and Advanced Settings

So a few weeks ago when I was shooting the Tour of Hermann Gravel Challenge, I ended up dropping my XT2 and shattering the rear LCD screen. Thankfully this was near the end of the race and as ALWAYS I had my backup XT1. I’ve gotten so accustomed to my XT2 and there are so many advancements in it since the XT1 that I almost thought I didn’t enjoy or want to shoot the XT1 (which let’s be real, that’s utter horse shit and a camera is a camera, of course I enjoy it). But the focus is improved, and of course the settings such as ISO were improved vastly. The added thumbstick for menu navigation and selective focusing helps the camera become so comfortable and familiar you don’t even need to think about what you’re doing.

I haven’t been out shooting in so long. We’ve moved. I’ve been investing in my vehicle for traveling comfortably and saving money for bigger trips for the rest of the year and the next. While my Fujifilm XT2 is in for repairs, we took a family trip to Missouri Botanical Garden. First off, that place is a real Saint Louis gem. A beautiful place to decompress in the middle of the city. And our climate zone here allows a very diverse range of plants to grow. But that’s not what I’m here to discuss.

I’m here to discuss the need for creative inspiration and motivation. Sometimes that means going out and doing something you’re not used to. Time to get out of your comfort zone and out of the (your) ordinary. For the last couple of months, as I said above, we’ve been extremely busy. Really the only thing I’ve photographed is the gravel race. Part of that too is that I’ve been feeling burnt out, unoriginal in my creativity in my images. Part of that is the heat that just recently set in, part of it is my undying love for and still wanting to be back home up north (I still have my moments), and part of it is all just how the arts work. Creativity needs a spark sometimes.

Today that spark was getting out to a beautiful garden and really playing with my backup camera’s JPEG capabilities using the in-camera filters and drive settings. While I am almost always one for shooting in RAW to allow fuller artist and deeper artist control within the elements of the image, today was an absolute blast to play with a camera manufacturer so famous and known for its JPEG abilities. And I’ll say it was well worth it. Fujifilm has done an excellent job giving its users all of these options within the camera. And now I feel much more inspired, just by getting out of my element for a day.

*All images captured with Fujifilm XT1 and Fujinon XF35mm f2, and Fujinon XF 50mm f2; some images were very slightly improved in Adobe Lightroom; settings used: color isolation, miniature, soft focus, low key, and toy camera.

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