I get asked frequently to create film simulation recipes for all sorts of different looks. Sometimes I’m successful, oftentimes I’m not. I received one such request recently that was a little unusual: the stills from the television series True Detective. The set photographer for this show is Michele K. Short. The show itself was shot using Kodak Vision3 50D and 500T film. Michele likely photographed the stills with her Leica M10-P, and edited them to look like analog pictures. Honestly, I have no idea what specific film they’re supposed to resemble, but I was able to pretty quickly create something that is in the ballpark of those stills.
I looked and looked at different films to figure out what this aesthetic might be close to. I didn’t find anything that I was satisfied with. There were a couple of films that I thought, “Well, you can make an argument, but it’s a stretch.” I decided that it most reminds me of Polaroid peal-apart film, perhaps 669. It’s not intended to resemble Polaroid, and perhaps it doesn’t do so very well, but I needed a name, and I wasn’t going to call this recipe “True Detective” so I went with “Polaroid” instead. Whether this does or doesn’t resemble Polaroid, I think you’ll find it produces interesting results. Some of you are going to really appreciate this film simulation recipe!
You can get good results with this recipe when you over, under or correctly expose, but some of my favorite pictures were overexposed. There’s a lot of latitude with this recipe. It’s fun to play around with. It seems especially well suited for high contrast scenes, although it can still be used in mid and low contrast scenes. It’s compatible with all X-Trans IV cameras and the Fujifilm X-H1.
Dynamic Range: DR400
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -2/3 to +1 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Polaroid” recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:
See also: Film Simulation Recipes
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