Marginal Gains

❐ Kaizen: 01 – Jul 1, 2020

In keeping with its name, the inaugural Kaizen newsletter is all about continuous improvement. Looking for ways to close the gap between taste and ability one small step at a time.

Progress is gradual. Failure is instant. It’s easy to get discouraged, but incremental improvement – no matter how small – can make a huge impact over time.

Quick tip: Formatting cards the quick way

Hold the delete button for 3 seconds, then (whilst still holding) press in the rear command dial. This shortcut brings up the formatting option, without having to dig through the menus. Formatting cards regularly in-camera helps prevent data corruption. Formatting after import is also a good habit to make workflows more efficient and prevent duplication.

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Focusing on process rather than progress can offer an escape from the distraction of self doubt. So this month we're keeping it simple and removing the distraction of choice. One camera. One lens. And thinking only about framing and composition.

Sub-framing #

In the image above, the runner is sub-framed by the tunnel. This compositional technique draws the viewers attention to the intended subject. It can also simplify a composition and remove distracting elements. In many cases it will also add depth to a scene, adding a prominent foreground in front of the subject. Look out for windows, doorways, tunnels, branches, columns or even strong shadows.

Aligning the frame #

Two in-camera tools that can be helpful in balancing composition are: the two-axis level and the framing guidelines. The two-axis level is available on the X-H1, X-T3/4, X-Pro3, X-T30 & X100V and is accessed through an assigned function button. Keeping the camera level on the roll and pitch axis prevents additional distortion. The framing guidelines are available in 9 (rule of thirds), 24 and HD (16:9 ratio) and are assigned in the screen setup options.

Shortcuts #

A few ways to save time and focus on creating images:

  • Even when in manual focus mode, you can set a custom function button (such as AF-L) to activate auto focus.
  • Press in the rear command dial to zoom-in and check focus. Whilst zoomed-in, rotate the rear command dial to zoom further again. This also works when reviewing images and defaults to the area of focus.
  • To see 100% zoom when reviewing images you have to shoot JPG as well as raw. If using a body with two card slots, make sure to switch to the card (in playback) which has the JPG images on it.
  • You can combine focus peaking with a black and white profile (e.g. Acros) to make the peaking more visible.
  • To quickly change function buttons, press and hold 'DISP/BACK' button
  • To quickly change Q menu, press and hold Q button

You might have missed... #

Fujifilm webcam #

Fujifilm released official webcam software for select models. MacOS support is also coming this month. The X-T200 and X-A7 now have similar capabilities through a firmware update (Webcam mode).

Capture One 20 #

For those of you who use Capture One 20, a significant update was released last month, adding features such as: advanced heal and clone, Before/After features, improved Lightroom importer, XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR support