Blog

Kenai Fjords National Park and the Fujifilm X-T3

We made our first trip to Alaska this summer. After spending a night in Anchorage, we rented a car and headed out to explore the Last Frontier. We started our journey in Denali National Park, made our way to Seward to explore Kenai Fjords National Park, and wound down in Girdwood at the Alyeska Resort. I had no idea how much I would enjoy Alaska before leaving on our trip. I’d seen pictures of Mt. McKinley and watched videos of glaciers calving, but looking at these scenes through a screen paled in comparison to experiencing them in real life. Alaska is simply an amazing place and definitely somewhere that I would like to revisit soon.

Before leaving for the trip, I purchased a Fujifilm X-T3 to replace my 5 year old X-T1. I had put off upgrading my camera because the X-T1 still seemed to be working just fine. After spending a week with the X-T3 however, I have to admit that I’m pretty happy with the upgrade. The biggest things I noticed going from the X-T1 to the X-T3 were the usability improvements. The camera started up and responded more quickly, the auto focus (with most lenses) was snappier, the buttons were more tactile, and the addition of a joystick made switching auto focus points so much better. I’ll have to spend more time shooting with the X-T3 before writing up my final thoughts. Until then, here are a few of my first photos from the X-T3 shot while we were enjoying our time with Kenai Fjords Tours.

Dotonbori in Black & White

Our hotel in Osaka was in the Namba district near the bright lights of Dotonbori. After checking in and getting settled, we headed out to explore and to find dinner. Having spent the previous three days in Kyoto, we had to readjust to the chaos and commotion of the big city. Even though each of the tourist destinations we visited in Kyoto were crowded, Kyoto itself was relatively calm compared to Osaka. Once we readjusted however, we were able to enjoy all that Osaka had to offer.

A interesting side note about the following set of images from our first night in Osaka. They were all shot on an iPhone and converted to black and white using Lightroom CC on an iPad. This is a first for me because I’ve never posted images from an iPhone on the site before. Having used many iPhones over the year, I must say that the image quality (especially in low light) has really come a long way. This may not be news to most, but for me, it’s a confirmation that I no longer have to worry about heading out without one of my Fujifilm cameras by my side.

Kyoto

We traveled to Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara in Japan at the end of 2018. While we had a great time visiting all three places, we both enjoyed exploring the sites in Kyoto the most. During our three days in Kyoto, we made our way to the Bamboo Grove in Arashiyama, walked through the Senbon Torii at the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, and took in the view from the Kiyomizudera Temple. Since our trip coincided with the fall foliage season, we were also greeted by spectacular fall colors at each of the places we visited.

Glacier National Park

Our vacation this summer was spent exploring the grand and majestic Glacier National Park. We spent our time venturing between the east and west sides of the park and taking in all the sights that the crown of the continent had to offer. Fortunately, we arrived after the Going-to-the-Sun Road opened so we were able to visit Logan Pass and hike to the Hidden Lake Overlook. If you plan to visit Glacier National Park, give yourself plenty of time to wander and bring your adventurous spirit. For photographers, I recommend packing lenses to capture lakeside views or distant waterfalls and a tripod for those early mornings when you’re rewarded with a stunning view at sunrise.

Grouse Mountain in Velvia

We spent a long weekend in Vancouver in March and found some time for a day trip to Grouse Mountain. I brought my Fujifilm X100T on the trip so I was able to get some images from my first visit to Grouse Mountain. On the Fujifilm cameras, the Astia preset is my favorite so I almost always end up processing my images using that preset. This time around, I decided to try something different and processed my images using the Velvia preset. I really like how the images turned out and this exercise was a good reminder of why I love shooting with the Fuji cameras so much.