Creative: The Fuji File Magazine

The first issue of “The Fuji File” is here. This isn’t the OFFICIAL copy just yet but the test copy is in the bag. I’ve created upwards of 220+ publications with Blurb, dating back to 2007, but I still make test books and magazines on a regular basis. I’m not sure how someone doesn’t make test copies? The reasoning behind this particular publication was to print something comprised entirely of images from my beloved Fuji XT2. The simple truth is the camera provides a style of image that is very different from what I created with my film Leica, so I needed to run a full test of every type of image I will find myself making with the Fuji, and most importantly, learn how those images will print.

This is a bare bones publication. A lone paragraph of copy. The rest of the magazine, all 150+ pages, are doubletrucks and full-page images with a small white border. Time required to complete entire magazine, start to finish, about one hour. In my humble opinion this is called a good use of my time. Not to mention… looks fantastic.

Okay, learned a few things. First, the magazine came with two 5×5 inserts, from Blurb, the first highlighting Client Services, which is the division of Blurb that deals with high volume, offset and custom books, a service that MANY people don’t know about. The people that say “If Blurb did “X” then I would do a book with you,” only to have me say “We do that, and have done that for X amount of years.” These inserts are beautiful and provide not only needed info but also a discount on your next book. Pretty cool. The second…can’t remember what it was now but it was beautiful…
For those of you who love the saturation slider this little bit of info is for you. The color space of your camera and the color space of paper are wildly disparate meaning you can’t get paper to hold the same amount of information that your camera holds. So if you love your saturation slider at +999, although you might like wearing welding goggles while you edit, you can’t get ANY paper to hold that kind of color. So you have to print for paper. The Blurb premium magazine paper holds ink well, and I learned my Fuji files print really well with very little manipulation required. Did I mention my loathing of all things tweak? Wanna know my ENTIRE workflow for tweaking images for this publication? Here it is. Get your pen ready.

1. Import
2. Edit
3. Apply preset
4. Export

Yep, that’s it. I’m busy and can’t imagine spending time doing anything more. And why should I? The images printed precisely as I imagined. There are things I will keep in mind moving forward however. Minding my contrast is important. Digital images have that “film” on them that needs to be wiped away, which is one of the things the preset does, but I still need to make sure my contrast level is where I need it. No sharpening required. No color boost. Oh, and the ONLY people who hold magazines up to their face are other photographers, so just know that most people who will view your work in print form don’t care about any of this. Start with great images and the world is your printing oyster. My cost was $25 not including shipping. I don’t think you can make a better portfolio for less money. And one that you can change every single time you print it. If I had access to something like this when I started in photography it would have been a game changer. And let me say this, a print piece like this is SO MUCH more powerful than your IG feed, at least with “real” clients, the ones who assign the “real” jobs.(Don’t get me started on the scalable photographer nonsense that IG has fueled.)

The magazine format is also the ultimate collaboration tool. For those of you out there who lust over equipment, why not start a monthly publication with all the other people who lust after equipment? Get your work in print, become part of the tribe and have something physical to show off. I will tell you with 100% certainty, making publications like this will get you assignments, projects you never even saw coming. I am living proof of this truth. Now go forth and print.

11 Comments on “Creative: The Fuji File Magazine”

  1. “my beloved Fuji XT2”. I fully understand this: the results from my Fuji X100t have a certain ‘something’ that has taken me by complete surprise; so much so that I sold my Leica M10 (it was sitting at home while I was out with the 100t) with no regrets. I love my t.

    Great idea to test how a camera’s files print, Daniel; I can even see the advantage to printing the same photograph, post-processed in different ways. Test printing is never a waste of time and Blurb magazines look brilliant. Looking forward to more, Daniel.

    1. Mike,
      What’s odd to me is that the Fuji 100t, of all their cameras, seems to be a bit pricey in my mind, but when you compare it to the M10 it feels like it’s been stolen. I had the first gen, dropped it and broke it, got the second gen but sold to friend. Third gen looks good. The XT is slightly more flexible and I find myself with this longer lens need but otherwise I’m sure I’d be happy with that thing and surely would be happy to ONLY carry that around. Printing separates the wheat from the chaff.

  2. Dan,

    I am positive that you could enhance the income stream (last I checked you were holding down four jobs not counting the charitable efforts you make here at the website; things have got to be tight) by releasing the Milnor OG presets pack. All your favourite emulsions the way an old PJ remembers them; it’s about feeling, not accuracy. Updated, pushed, pulled and weaponized for your protection and comfort…
    This was fun to read. I appreciate how you raise your voice for emphasis at key points. I’m still pouring over the workflow you shared with us. Obviously there is more layered in there than first meets the eye. Dan would expect us to take this and embellish and extrapolate….what does he mean by “edit.” So deceptively simple it must either be genius or….madness. Surely there is Easter egg in here somewhere, DaVinci code like …but where?! I’m going to the Blurb website forthwith!

    1. Aaron,
      My presets are kinda pathetic. I was a solid “D” student in math, so my code is easily broken….

  3. You should add: once you start printing your work, you will become addicted and won’t be able to stop. I’d be willing to sell my plasma to fund my next zine, if necessary.

    1. Nick,
      I’ve said that millions of times. And you are entirely correct. That first package on the doorstep and it’s all over….

  4. “my beloved Fuji XT2” so glad to hear this. Mine is in the mail, couldn’t get it in town so I gambled ordering it but I love my tiny Fuji X-20 so much I figured I couldn’t go wrong.

    1. Mathieu,

      If you like the other this will be just a bit more camera but will also feel like home.

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