How To Add Texture To Your In-Camera JPEGs


Green Mountain On Canvas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

A creative option found in many photo editing programs is texture. The texture, which might be canvas, paper, cloth, wood, etc., is added as a layer which can be blended as strongly or subtly as one might want. It’s a fun technique that adds an unexpected element to pictures. I used to occasionally do this when I used Alien Skin Exposure software. There are even some specialty films that have texture built-in, such as Revolog Texture films.

When I was experimenting with my Faded Color and Faded Monochrome film simulation recipes, which use double-exposure photography to create a vintage film aesthetic, it occurred to me that I could use the double-exposure feature of my Fujifilm X-T30 to add texture to my pictures in-camera. I could get a textured look without software. Incredible! So I begun to experiment with textured JPEGs, and the results were interesting.


Canvas Daisy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

You might ask, “I can do this in Photoshop in only a few seconds, so why would I want to do this in-camera?” That’s a good question that deserves a lengthy explanation. I used to shoot RAW, but I rely on camera-made JPEGs now. Why? It saves me tons of time and makes my photographs more honest. Since I started shooting JPEGs, my photography production has gone through the roof while my total time investment in photography has noticeably dropped. I’m creating more with less. It’s all thanks to Fujifilm’s superb JPEG engine. The honesty statement is a little more controversial, but it’s clear that photography in general has taken a large perception hit when it comes to integrity. Non-photographers (photography consumers) don’t take a picture at face value anymore, and “Photoshop” has negative connotations. People ask me, “How much is this Photoshopped?” I answer, “None of it, this is how the camera captured it. This picture is unedited.” You’d be surprised at the overwhelming positive responses that I get from this answer. People find it refreshing. Photographers don’t see anything wrong with photo manipulation; however, many non-photographers feel that it’s not the image that’s being manipulated by the photographer, but the general public. They feel as though they’re being tricked by dishonesty. Whether or not that perception is fair or should exist is a whole different discussion, but you can avoid it altogether by shooting JPEGs. People are looking for authenticity, and this is one way to move in that direction.

To capture a photograph with texture on your Fujifilm camera, you will first need to enable the double-exposure feature of your camera. On the X-T30 it’s found on a knob on top of the camera. You can use any film simulation, but note that double-exposure pictures on the camera will be flatter (have less contrast), so Velvia, Classic Chrome and Acros work best because they have more contrast. Astia and PRO Neg. Hi work alright, as well. You will want to have Highlight and Shadow set no lower than +2, and more might give better results. Don’t be afraid to try +4 on one or both. I also recommend DR100, and DR200 if the scene has a lot of contrast. I find that for the main exposure, exposure compensation typically needs to be in the +1/3 to +1 range. The second exposure, which will be the texture exposure, typically needs exposure compensation set to -1 to -2, and I usually start at -2 and adjust as necessary. The camera will show you what the picture will look like, and it also allows do-overs if you need it.


Hanging B&W Picture – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

For texture, I found the best results came from a white stretched canvas for painting. I also tried other things, like burlap, cloth, paper, wood and metal, but the results weren’t as good in my opinion. I recommend trying different materials and seeing for yourself what you like or don’t like. After capturing the main exposure, capture a second exposure of the textured object. It’s really that simple. The camera gives a 50/50 blend of the two exposures, but because the first exposure is brighter and the second is darker, it will appear more in the neighborhood of 70/30, which is what you want. It might appear as though the image is actually printed on a textured surface.

This is a simple but creative way to use the double-exposure feature of your camera. You could really play around with this and get inventive. Try different settings, different subjects and different textures and see what happens. Below are examples of textured pictures I created using this technique on my Fujifilm X-T30:


Afternoon Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


Crop of the above image.


Spring Green Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


Crop of the above image.


Backlit Sycamore Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


Crop of the above image.


Hazy Light Tree Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


Crop of the above image.


Tree Trunk In The Corner – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


Crop of the above image.


Weed Flower Canvas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 -Canvas


Crop of the above image.


Yellow Flower on Canvas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


Crop of the above image.


Yellow Blossom Burlap – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Burlap


Bottle Still Life – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


Coffee Still Life – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Metal


Blue R – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


Film on Canvas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


E To H – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas


Zenit E on Wood – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Wood


Wood Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Wood


Knot A Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Wood


Window Birds Texture – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Cloth


  1. fragglerocking · June 27, 2019

    I am quite happy doing textures in Photoshop as I have a grand collection now and you can use the different blend options and mask areas you don’t want textured. I mostly use them on macro flower shots. I had a smile at you saying jpegs are more ‘authentic’ as surely the Fuji applies presets to process them. And you invent your own film presets!! Not using Photoshop doesn’t mean your photos are not processed! 😊

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 27, 2019

      I understand all of that, but it’s the non-photographer who doesn’t. For example, people used to believe that pictures never lie, but they’ve lied from the very beginning. Nobody believes that today, but not very long ago they did. I could show hundreds of headlines of stories where photographers got “caught” “cheating” because they manipulated their pictures. The perspective of the non-photographer, which is not an opinion that I personally share, is that pictures that have been “Photoshopped” are fakes and frauds. I don’t think camera-made JPEGs are more authentic than post-processed RAW, but in my experience many photography consumers do believe that. It’s no secret that photography in general has taken a pretty large credibility hit over the last 10 or 15 years, but especially over the last few.
      I think that there are three paths that photographers can take regarding this. They can ignore it, go on business as usual, since it’s not directly effecting them, which is a legitimate and fair reaction. They could also continue as always but try to educate the public about why there is nothing wrong with photo manipulation, which might be an effective strategy. Or the third option is reduce or eliminate photo manipulation so that the perceived dishonesty doesn’t apply. There’s no right or wrong answer, and one is not better or worse than the others. I see people choosing these different paths, whether consciously or not. I hope this clarifies what I was trying to say. It’s not my opinion, but my reaction to other’s opinions.

      • Ritchie Roesch · June 27, 2019

        I hope this all makes sense. I’m still not sure I wrote it clearly. My opinion: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using software to edit pictures. Many non-photographers’ opinion: Photoshop is cheating and inherently dishonest. My reaction to that opinion is to shoot JPEGs and edit as little as possible, which is in fact very little. That, plus shooting JPEGs saves me lots of time. Those are my two reasons, and everyone has their own legitimate reasons for why they do what they do. I hope this further explains it.

      • fragglerocking · June 27, 2019

        Ok 😊 definitely clarified!

  2. Aycan Gonenc · June 28, 2019

    That is a cool idea!
    One way of using this technique might be creating “in camera grain” manual way 🙂 If we find a paper with grainy texture and shoot second exposure with that for example? This might be more organic than digital grain. An other cool idea might me “wet plate look!” second exposure can be taken with a stain copper plate for example? By the way I like your “canvas idea” very much… Wow, I’m excited!

    • Ritchie Roesch · June 28, 2019

      Definitely let me know if you do something really creative with this. I think those are excellent ideas.

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