There’s no right or wrong way to do photography. One technique or method might work for one person but not another. Whatever works for you is what you should do. With that in mind, I can think of three ways that you can approach using film simulation recipes on your Fujifilm camera.
The SOOC live video series that Nathalie Boucry and I are doing focuses on one of those approaches: straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. Shoot JPEG (or RAW+JPEG) with your recipe of choice, and use the unedited or lightly edited pictures (crops and very minor adjustments) that come out of the camera (which is one-step photography). This is probably the most common way to use film simulation recipes, and this is the method that works for me, as it saves me a lot of time (which allows me to be more productive), and I find it to be more fun. Shooting RAW and using X RAW Studio is a similar approach, although it does add a step to the process.
The photographs at the top of this article, which I captured over the last two days, are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs (aside from some minor cropping on a couple). The recipes that I used for those pictures (the top three are one, the bottom two are another) are future recipes that will be published on this website (and the app) soon. The entirety of my post-processing workflow was simply this: 1) transfer the pictures from the camera to my phone, 2) crop the pictures that needed to be cropped, 3) upload them to my online storage. Done.
Another option is to shoot RAW with a recipe and post-process the pictures using a software like Lightroom, Capture One, RAW Power, Exposure, etc., etc.—the software will apply its interpretation of many (but not all) of the JPEG settings to the RAW file (obviously each program is a little different). This gives you a head start with your editing, as you’re already 70% “there” when you start, and you just need to finish it. This is a great way to speed up your workflow without losing the flexibility of RAW.
Another approach is a mix of the first two: shoot JPEG (or RAW+JPEG) and edit the JPEGs using a software like Lightroom, Capture One, VSCO, Exposure, etc. This might sound like an odd approach at first (why not just shoot RAW if you’re going to edit?); however, if you like the way the straight-out-of-camera JPEGs look, and feel only minor refinements are required to achieve the exact aesthetic you desire, this is a good option. The JPEG is 90% “there” and just needs small adjustments to finish. This is my wife, Amanda’s, preferred approach. This is also what Vuhlandes describes in the video below.
Whether you rely strictly on straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, or you edit your JPEGs, or you post-process your RAW files, film simulation recipes can be used on your Fujifilm camera to help you get the look that you want. There’s not one path that is right for everyone. What’s important is that you find the method that works for you. Hopefully, no matter your preferred process, there’s something on this website that you have found helpful in some way to your photography. If so, let me know in the comments! Also, tell me how you use film simulation recipes—which of the three method works best for you. Or, if you have a different approach that I didn’t mention, I’d love to hear it.