Daily Inspiration #341 by Sebastian Ruehimann

Dear Steve,

I came across your site some months ago when I was researching the Fuji x100 and found your review very helpful. I’ve been a fan of your site ever since and it is part of my daily reads now.

After returning from a trip to Hawaii, where I yet again lugged around my heavy Nikon SLR setup, including an 85mm 1.4 and 70-200mm 2.8, while additionally carrying a toddler, I had it. I couldn’t possibly imagine carrying around my Nikon on one more trip. At the same time, I couldn’t possibly imagine traveling without a camera at all, and I’m too much in love with fast high quality lenses, to ever use a point-and-shoot. That’s when I came across the Fuji x100 for the first time, and it seemed to fit my needs very well. Partially because of your review, partially because of the positive buzz around the internet, I took the plunge and ordered the x100; I couldn’t be happier. I realize that by now the x100 is old news, but I figured I’d share a few images anyhow. I hope these show, that despite the tiny package, single focal length and the two-year old technology, this little guy is more than capable of producing even pretty decent, album-worthy wedding photos. All three shots taken with the x100, manual mode, wide open at f2.

Sebastian Ruehlmann (Seattle)

PS: Now let me take a closer look at this Olympus OM-D…



  1. Wow Sebastian! I really wanted to say something cheeky about all of these technical perfectionists, but it’s so beyond not worth getting into, ya know? Those are smashing images which convey and invoke emotions (in me at least, since I’m not a robot) that really bring the point of making an image/art in the first place. Even the first photo, if one is older and has any experience with a now, vintage car like that, sparks feelings of nostalgia, as well as a sense of a story about to begin or perhaps even end.

    I must admit that out of the few times I’ve picked the X100 up to play with it in B&H, I had always thought that it was too fumbly and complicated in terms of setup, switching settings etc. Maybe I’m just dense lol. My point being, you’ve really nailed things down!

    Now, a quick question about your processing again.. real quick. I also use LR (just upgraded to 4) and totally get where you’ve gone with these images. But is it not possible to adjust the blue channel at all without going in to PS? And if not, I’m wondering how much different the images would look if you tried to either emulate that adjustment or just left it alone. Would it be too much to ask to post #2 without it?

    No worries if you can’t. I do have PS, but am really terrible with it, and try to never use it unless I have to for cloning things out in an emergency. I tend to use LR for getting rid of blemishes on skin as well, which I guess isn’t nearly as efficient as what you can do in PS?

    Anyway, fantastic images bro!


    • Thanks Doug and sorry for the delayed response. I’m not sure how one would selectively manipulate the blue channel in Lightroom. It’s probably possible, but I wouldn’t know how to. You can selectively manipulate individual colors in Lightroom, like blue, but that’s different than a whole channel. Every image is comprised of a red, green and blue channel. I’m not sure that what I do to it in photoshop makes a huge difference at all. Unless one looked at a before and after next to one another, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference. Try it out for yourself. Click on “channels” in the panel on the right bottom, right next to layers. Command-click on the blue channel, that selects it (you can see the marching ants in the picture). Then go back to the layers panel and hit command-j to copy the blue channel onto it’s own layer. Then change the blend-mode on that new layer to “soft light”. Now add a new fill layer above (inside the layers menu) and choose “solid color”. In the color-picker dialogue that comes up after you click ok, type in 40, 80, 85 for the H, S, B fields. That will give you a solid orange layer. Choose “soft light” for blend mode on that layer. Then option-click between the fill layer and the blue channel layer to clip the color layer to the layer below. That’s it. Now you can decrease the the opacity of the blue channel layer to the effect of your liking. Give it a try.

  2. Photos really justify the quality of this great little camera! Photos are definitely not overprocced, but right on! I find the placement/composition of the window on the second also rather odd, but maybe that is making the moment! Thanks for sharing!

  3. wow!! all these shots are AMAZING 😀

    I own an X100.. guess I haven’t maxed out the usage… really great shots dude.
    thanks for sharing

  4. The shots are lovely.

    But I feel it is a little ridiculous to compare a DSLR with the 70-200 2.8 and and 85 1.4 kit to a camera with a single focal length. Take the DSLR and 35mm with you and the problem of having heavy equipment is solved.

  5. I really like the colors. The skin tone is perfect. I’m interested what you did for post-processing.

    Keep it up. I’m inspired to share some of my photos here one of these days. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I agree with cydereye. Many will scoff at the 3rd pic because of some technical issue they feel is pertinent. In my opinion more photos are ruined by fear of running afoul of some rule than anything else. The worst art in the world is that which was never created.

  7. Great work, They capture the moments perfectly, and that is the most important thing an image can do. Your website images are really outstanding as well. I have bookmarked the page so I can see more.

  8. Love the first two shots. Tell about how you processed these shots and what program you used to produce the nice colors and vignette effects.

    • Thank you very much for all the kind words.
      95% of the post-processing was done during the raw-conversion in Lightroom. I adjust highlights and shadows to my liking, desaturate the image somewhat and boost selective color saturation, like the red in the car. I reduce the clarity a little to get a softer feel. I then add quite a bit of warmth to the shadow tones with the split-toning panel. I sharpen and add the vignette. Then I go into photoshop and add some warmth to the blue channel, which really helps to get the skin tones back and increase the warmth feeling without looking overly yellow. The final step is some selective retouching inside of photoshop, like dodging and burning on the skin, blemishes etc.
      Thanks again for asking!

  9. Nice shots Sebastian
    Having both a Nikon DSLR (with the lenses you referred, among some others) and the X100 I agree with you but in one point – the X100 may not be breaking news anymore but it is still great news for sure.
    Keep enjoying it

  10. Great shots! I love my X100, it is just the most fun to use out of any camera I have ever owned! I agree with a few other comments, that second shot is beautiful!

  11. See, that 3rd shot is technically wrong and total cr@p in many peoples eyes (so called experts! pah) on the www but that is where they are oh so wrong! Nothing wrong with using either/or flare/over exposure so long as it achieves the anticipated end goal. This does and it works oh so well IMHO, well done! 🙂

  12. The 2 last ones are great shots!!!.. (I think I can see you in the car reflection in the 2´nd one) 😉

  13. Very nice, the most awesome part of this Daily Inspiration is that there is a Ford Mustang in the picture 😉 That X100 is still a very tempting camera but i just gonna wait and see what’s next! In fact, that is the main reason I buy so few digital cameras becaus I know withn six months something else is coming!

    Thanks for the post, I shoot some weddings too when I get them ‘

    Regards, Andy

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