Road Trip Through France

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in Projects | 35 Comments
Road Trip Through France

My wife Rebecca and I went to Provence, France in May to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. We took an overnight ferry, the Oscar Wilde, from Rosslare, Ireland to Cherbourg, France. The ferry crossing was followed by a great road trip through the whole country to get down to Provence in south of France. We had a wonderful time.

Between the two of us we had brought eight cameras, only two of them being digital. I brought my Fuji X-Pro1, Leica MP and Hasselblad. While my Hasselblad is my favorite camera of all times (see my images shot with it here), I also enjoyed shooting my Leica MP and Rebecca’s Contax 645. The camera I ended up using most was the little Fuji X-Pro1.

I had the X-Pro1 with me everywhere and every day to capture moments and stories to remember for our travel blog. I really loved it. It’s so discreet, unobtrusive and the image quality and color rendition are simply stunning. I made one LR4 preset for color and one for black and white when I first got the X-Pro1. I am still using these two presets on every single image.

All images below were taken with the Fuji X-Pro1 and the Fujinon 35mm 1.4 lens:

































  1. Tom W
    23. July 2013

    I have to say I love the feeling that you captured here, the mood seems so relaxed.

    Great work!

  2. Rebecca Lily
    23. July 2013

    What a wonderful variety of images you brought home from your X-Pro1! The colors are great, I love your preset combined with the Fuji colors. And it’s fun to see you cropping square now and then!

    The shot of the older couple on the ferry is brilliant, and I love the landscape with the rooftops.

    These pictures make me feel homesick… as little sense as that makes.

  3. Johnny
    23. July 2013

    Thank you, Rebecca. For your kind words and the wonderful trip.
    I cannot wait to go travel with you again! :)

  4. Jeffrey K. Edwards
    23. July 2013

    Well done!

    I agree with the Rebecca, the image of the couple is the strongest on so many levels… the trick is to stay together that long and remain in love, no? Compositionally it is wonderful as well.

    The other two images that really resonate for me are the first one with the leading lines and change in exposure effect – stunning.

    And of course I am always a sucker for killer bokeh, loved the wildflowers, not as strong compositionally, but the dof, color and bokeh go a long ways!

    Growing out of my X100, good thing I am picking up my XP1 and the 35mm on Saturday. Your images are inspiring for sure. Now the challenge will be getting close enough to the subjects here in Kenya… or just stick with people/landscapes.

  5. Johnny
    23. July 2013

    Thanks very much for your feedback, Jeffrey.

    I am excited for you to get an X-Pro1 soon, I love mine. I shoot everything with the 35mm 1.4 and never had problems with the focal length. But you are right, I have to get pretty close sometimes. There are more lenses on the Fuji roadmap that might interest you.

  6. James
    23. July 2013

    Just fantastic… found myself saying out loud here’s a man who understands colour, whilst dragging my poor wife to the Mac to look at your shots.

    I have created some in camera setting in my favourite camera the X-E1. I bumped up the sharpening by “1” and lowered the noise reduction by “1”. I love the in camera pro-neg film simulation, but you have taken it a stage further.

    Do you edit the RAW or the JPG?
    Would you to let us know what your Lightroom setting were to produce such stunning results?

  7. Johnny
    23. July 2013

    Thank you, James. I’m glad you like the pictures.

    I shoot in RAW and edit in Lightroom 4. But I think the SOOC JPGs are also stunning. I shoot my X-Pro1 with the standard settings as the camera modes and settings only apply to the JPG files, not the RAW files. I shared a lot about my post processing in previous write-ups, I am sure you will find a lot of useful information there if you are interested.

  8. Zach Davis
    23. July 2013

    Great stuff here. Love the market and alley shots. The motorcycle one is wonderful!

  9. A road trip through France | Johnny Patience
    24. July 2013

    […] The camera I ended up using most was the little Fuji X-Pro1. I had the X-Pro1 with me everywhere and every day to capture moments and stories to remember for our travel blog. I really loved it. […]

  10. Billy
    25. July 2013

    Hi Johnny, after seeing this wonderful photography I need to give you my compliments. I’ve been following you since you were a member on Flickr, where I fell in love with that limited dof and sparkling colors. I can’t find those anymore, but you seem to have stepped up another gear though. Your pictures have a sort of ‘creamy’ look to them (for lack of a better word) which I, like others, would like to emulate. I’ll have a look at your tutorials. In the meantime, keep up the good work! And keep posting! ;)

  11. Johnny
    25. July 2013

    Thanks very much for your feedback, Billy.

    I’m glad you are still enjoying my pictures, it has been a long time since I deleted my work off Flickr. My photography changed over time but you can still find some of my earlier shots in my portfolio if you’re interested.

    I would be happy if my tutorials help you finding the right look for your own images! :)

  12. Wim
    28. July 2013

    Johnny well done! You captured the atmosphere so beautiful! I love it when I look at photographs and start dreaming! Thanks!

  13. Johnny
    28. July 2013

    Thank you, Wim.

    I’m happy you like the shots. I can’t wait to see what you bring home from Canada.

  14. Andrew
    8. August 2013

    Hi Johnny,

    The images you shot are wonderful on many levels and the colours and tones are really nice and film like in feeling. Looking forward to your future work.

  15. Johnny
    8. August 2013

    Andrew, thank you so much for your feedback.

    I’m happy that you like my images. And I’m very excited to see that you share your work on your own website now! It was about time. :)

    All the best to Australia!

  16. Daniel Marin
    8. August 2013

    Hey Johnny,

    Like I said in my previous e-mail your work is very inspiring. The compositions are spot on and the colors are beautiful. Just picked up the EX-1 last night. I couldn’t hold it any longer. :) Keep up the good work!

  17. Johnny
    9. August 2013

    Thanks again for your kind words, Daniel.

    I’m so excited for you! It looks like you will be able to photograph your trip to Europe on a Fuji after all. Congratulations! I’m sure you’ll love it. Please keep me posted about your work with it.

  18. Robert
    28. August 2013

    I like all your pictures, the colors are very natural looking and the framing, the composition is very accurate. Personally I have not yet bought an X camera, but very close to do it!


    P.S. For me the 4th photo is an absolute winner!

  19. Johnny
    28. August 2013

    Thank you very much, Robert.

    Maybe you can try an X-Pro1 for a weekend, they’re really fun to work with. I’m glad you enjoyed my pictures.

  20. Ray
    30. August 2013

    Ok, I’ll admit it. I am totally jealous of your color pallet. :)

  21. Johnny
    30. August 2013

    Haha! Thank you very much. :)

    You’re really too kind, Ray. But I attribute most of my color palette to the Fuji X-Pro1 and the beautiful light in Provence.

  22. Brian
    27. September 2013

    The color looks amazing with your presets. I don’t care for digital BW but your compositions were stunning! Great post!

  23. Johnny
    29. September 2013

    Thank you, Brian! I’m happy you enjoyed the post.

  24. Ana
    5. October 2013

    Beautiful photos! Where did you go in Provence?

  25. Johnny
    5. October 2013

    Thanks, Ana!

    We were mainly in the Apt region. A lot of the pictures are from surrounding towns like Gordes and Oppède le Vieux.

  26. Mat
    7. October 2013

    Very nice photos.
    What are your black and white and colour presets on your X-Pro1?

  27. Johnny
    7. October 2013

    Thank you, Mat.

    I use two Lightroom presets for my digital work that I created when I first got the Fuji X-Pro1. The color version is inspired by Portra 400 and the BW is inspired by Tri-X, as these are the films that I usually shoot.

    You can find a lot of information on my color work if you use the search.

  28. David
    11. October 2013

    Hi Johnny,

    I discovered your (really great) work while searching for 400H/Portra 400 on Google, and became a daily follower of your blog. ;)

    Your photos from France are really nice.
    However, I’ve noticed that you seem to not embed color profile in the photos you put in your posts. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not but I think your photos would greatly benefit from having profile assigned.

    Finally, if you plan an other trip to France & Paris in particular I may have some address to advise you. ;)


  29. Johnny
    11. October 2013

    David, thank you very much for your kind feedback.

    You are right, color management is a very important topic. I convert all of my images to sRGB when I export them as that’s the easiest way to get consistent results across most plattforms.

    I would very much appreciate your advise in regards to Paris. We will hopefully be there in November this year. :)

  30. Bianca
    5. November 2013

    Hi Johnny,

    I just recently stumbled upon Rebecca’s blog and fell in love with her work. Then I stumbled upon yours and was equally in awe. Your photos are stunning! Both yours and your wife’s. Now, I am reconsidering a Fuji despite being dead set on the new Sony A7 full frame camera. You’re right about the colors of Fuji… they’re so similar to film and I had forgotten about that until your posts (I wonder how the Sony will fare in this department?). I was considering the X-Pro1 when it was announced but opted for the OMD because of the AF speed issue. I’m hoping the new X-E2 addresses this properly as I usually photograph my children and speed is of the essence! If so, I may just consider it.

    But anyways, I wanted to ask what presets you used for this series? I just bought Rebecca’s Pro Presets I and II for Lightroom a couple of weeks ago and was wondering if it’s something from there. Also, right now I am using the Olympus OMD-EM5. Do you know a good workflow in Lightroom 4 that will achieve this sort of film-like effect? Will the one on your tutorial on Jose Villa’s colors work? That was an awesome post by the way. I love his work!

    I would greatly appreciate your advise on this. And I’m looking forward to your next post! :)

  31. Johnny
    6. November 2013

    Thank you very much for your kind feedback, Bianca.

    Fuji did a really good job addressing their AF issues with firmware upgrades. My X-Pro1 is issue free now, even in low light. The X-Pro1 uses a contrast detection AF, which is slower than phase detection, but much more precise. The second generation of Fuji X cameras (X100s, X-E2 etc.) use a hybrid AF system which features both, phase and contrast detection.

    The two presets I am using are not included in Rebecca’s Pro Sets. I created these when I first got the Fuji X-Pro1. The color version is inspired by Portra 400 and the BW is inspired by Tri-X. My tutorial will work with all RAW files, but you can save yourself the trouble and try Rebecca’s pastel presets if you already own her products (“Honeycomb” looks most like overexposed Fuji 400H). These will give you much better and more consistent results.

  32. Bianca
    7. November 2013

    Thanks so much for the response Johnny! That’s really good to know about the XPro1. Fuji seems to be the one company that is good about firmware updates on their cameras/lenses which is awesome to note. I may seriously think about getting myself one of them after all.

    I will start playing around with Rebecca’s presets and experiment with that tutorial on my RAW files. Haven’t actually tried doing that on Lightroom yet. Hopefully the Olympus color palette works well with these for now.

    Again, many thanks!

  33. Johnny
    8. November 2013

    No problem, Bianca. Have fun!

  34. Sophie
    28. May 2018

    Very inspiring pictures. Well done.

  35. Johnny
    28. May 2018

    Thank you, Sophie! Glad you enjoyed them.

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