Lawrence Ripsher

THOUGHTS ON TECH, PHOTOGRAPHY AND MINDFULNESS

I recently returned back from a 4,000 mile road trip through Utah and Arizona. This was a two week drive with my wife and two dogs through some of the most beautiful scenery in N.America. I designed the trip almost entirely around photographic sites we wanted to see and the trip yielded some of my favorite shots I’ve taken this year. Above are my favorite ten images or so from the two weeks. This was the second trip I’ve taken with my Fuji X-E2 (the other being a drive along the Oregon Coast in November). The X-E2 performed flawlessly - as usual, excellent portability, amazing low light performance and awesome colors. At this stage, the only thing that could ever make me change cameras is a Fuji X-T1 :)

A beautiful weathered tree showing its age in Canyonlands National Park. Taken with a Fuji X-E2 & processed in Capture One & Lightroom. 

A beautiful weathered tree showing its age in Canyonlands National Park. Taken with a Fuji X-E2 & processed in Capture One & Lightroom. 

Camping out under a starry night in Utah. The shadows in the tent are my dogs wondering what we’re doing camping on a night where the temperature dropped to 15 degrees

Camping out under a starry night in Utah. The shadows in the tent are my dogs wondering what we’re doing camping on a night where the temperature dropped to 15 degrees

Double Arch in Arches National Park. I ‘light painted’ the structure using my hiking head lamp. 

Double Arch in Arches National Park. I ‘light painted’ the structure using my hiking head lamp. 

The Bonneville Salt Flats. Drove by on our way down to Utah. Was hoping for a drier view but this was pretty cool too. Am sure will end up back at this awesome place. Fuji X-E2

The Bonneville Salt Flats. Drove by on our way down to Utah. Was hoping for a drier view but this was pretty cool too. Am sure will end up back at this awesome place. Fuji X-E2

I’ve always wanted to take a unique shot at Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ. I guess this qualifies only because no one else has a shot of my feet :). Shot taken with a Fuji X-E2. Boots are Vivobarefoot Synth Hikers :)

I’ve always wanted to take a unique shot at Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ. I guess this qualifies only because no one else has a shot of my feet :). Shot taken with a Fuji X-E2. Boots are Vivobarefoot Synth Hikers :)

Just finished a driving back from Salt Lake City today. It was the last leg of our 2 week / 4,000 mile road trip through Utah & Nevada. Amazing time. Happy new year everyone! I’ll post my favorite 20 or so shots. Here’s the first one from our first hike - to a little known location in Canyonlands known as “False Kiva”. Pretty magical place. Shot with a Fuji X-E2 + Fuji 14mm f2.8

Just finished a driving back from Salt Lake City today. It was the last leg of our 2 week / 4,000 mile road trip through Utah & Nevada. Amazing time. Happy new year everyone! I’ll post my favorite 20 or so shots. Here’s the first one from our first hike - to a little known location in Canyonlands known as “False Kiva”. Pretty magical place. Shot with a Fuji X-E2 + Fuji 14mm f2.8

I’ve been asked a number of times about that jetty / sunset shot I shared recently in my “top 10 from the X-E2” post. The questions were how I post process, how the colors were so rich and finally, whether the sunset actually looked like that! :) I’ll answer all theae questions in a second but quickly, the short answer to that final question is most definitely a resounding “yes”.
The longer answer is that the sunset was particularly beautiful when I shot this. The sunsets in Seattle recently have been spectacularly clear for this time of year and I was lucky enough to have my camera with me when it was lighting up that day. So that certainly helped. Ultimately no processing can make up for or replace what nature is capable of and this was one of those lucky days.
I also use a couple of filters whenever I shoot long exposures. The first is an B+W ND 110 filter (10 stops) to get the long exposure effect. A side effect of this filter is it warms the image up. In scenes like this when the light begins to fade, i find that effect to actually be corrective. The second filter I use is a Cokin grad filter. For scenes like this, I notice it tends to shift colors towards magenta. I like the effect, although have recently purchased a Tiffen HT 0.6 grad filter and will see how I like that as well.
I did post process this image - but I took my typical approach which is to limit to a lot less than a minute in Lightroom. To illustrate and share some of the details, I just reprocessed it using an even simpler set o steps - you can see this here from the screen grab. In this particular example:
+0.5 exposure to counter the intentional underexposure
+30 contrast which I prefer for this kind of scene
+10 shadows to pull out detail in the bridge
-10 blacks to increase vignetting at the edges
+15 vibrance and +15 saturation to accentuate the colors further
So, hopefully folks find that helpful. I’m always happy to share thoughts / dialog on post processing. LMK if any questions. Cheers! 

I’ve been asked a number of times about that jetty / sunset shot I shared recently in my “top 10 from the X-E2” post. The questions were how I post process, how the colors were so rich and finally, whether the sunset actually looked like that! :) I’ll answer all theae questions in a second but quickly, the short answer to that final question is most definitely a resounding “yes”.

The longer answer is that the sunset was particularly beautiful when I shot this. The sunsets in Seattle recently have been spectacularly clear for this time of year and I was lucky enough to have my camera with me when it was lighting up that day. So that certainly helped. Ultimately no processing can make up for or replace what nature is capable of and this was one of those lucky days.

I also use a couple of filters whenever I shoot long exposures. The first is an B+W ND 110 filter (10 stops) to get the long exposure effect. A side effect of this filter is it warms the image up. In scenes like this when the light begins to fade, i find that effect to actually be corrective. The second filter I use is a Cokin grad filter. For scenes like this, I notice it tends to shift colors towards magenta. I like the effect, although have recently purchased a Tiffen HT 0.6 grad filter and will see how I like that as well.

I did post process this image - but I took my typical approach which is to limit to a lot less than a minute in Lightroom. To illustrate and share some of the details, I just reprocessed it using an even simpler set o steps - you can see this here from the screen grab. In this particular example:

  • +0.5 exposure to counter the intentional underexposure
  • +30 contrast which I prefer for this kind of scene
  • +10 shadows to pull out detail in the bridge
  • -10 blacks to increase vignetting at the edges
  • +15 vibrance and +15 saturation to accentuate the colors further

So, hopefully folks find that helpful. I’m always happy to share thoughts / dialog on post processing. LMK if any questions. Cheers! 

A photo from a couple of weeks back. Found late at night while driving along the border of Oregon and California. Fuji X-E2 (ISO 3200)

A photo from a couple of weeks back. Found late at night while driving along the border of Oregon and California. Fuji X-E2 (ISO 3200)

kaplanphotography asked: How are you liking your XE2?

Love the X-E2! Just shared some thoughts and some of my favorite photos in the post below. LMK if any questions