No Edit Photography: 7 Tips To Get The Film Look From Your Digital Photos

An unedited JPEG from a Fujifilm X100V using my Xpro ’62 recipe.

Digital photography is convenient. You can review your pictures immediately after they’re captured—no waiting for rolls of film to come back from the lab. You can manipulate the images as much as you’d like in software to achieve any aesthetic that you can dream of. You can get extremely clean, sharp, bright, and vibrant pictures with extraordinary dynamic range that just wasn’t possible in the film era. Perfect pictures are prevalent today—a wonder of contemporary photography, no doubt.

Sometimes I think that digital photography is too good, too flawless, too sterile. Perfect pictures can be perfectly boring. Pulitzer-Prize winning author John Updike stated, “Perfectionism is the enemy of creation.” I think that statement is true in multiple aspects. For example, if you are working hard to create perfect pictures, you will not create very many images. I think, also, that creativity is rarely born out of perfectionism. Creativity is serendipitous. It’s not calculated. Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) wrote, “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

With film photography, mistakes happen fairly frequently. You don’t know what you have until you have it sometime later. There are a lot of variables that can affect the outcome, which are sometimes out of your control. Occasionally you accidentally and unknowingly discovery something extraordinary. There’s a lot of uncertainty, and when you fortuitously stumble upon something interesting, there’s a lot of joy in that. Film photography is imperfect—it has flaws—and, because of that, it is rewarding. This is one reason why there’s a resurgence of interest in analog pictures.

Film photography is inconvenient. The serendipity of it is fascinating, but I prefer the instant reward of digital. I’m not patient enough anymore for analog. Don’t get me wrong, I shot film for many years. I prefer how film looks, but digital is more consistent, convenient, cheaper (after the initial investment is made), and quicker, so I choose digital. But what if it is possible to get the best of both worlds? What if you could get the “film look” from your digital camera? What if you could do it without editing. Straight-out-of-camera. No Lightroom or Photoshop needed. Would you try it?

The Film Look — What Is It?

Captured on Kodachrome 64 color reversal film.

What exactly is the so-called film look? That’s actually a difficult question to answer, because one film can have many different aesthetics, depending on how it was shot, developed, scanned and/or printed, and viewed. There have been hundreds of different films available over the years, each with unique characteristics. Film can have so many different looks that it could take a lifetime to try and describe them all.

Most simplistically, the film look can be defined as a picture that looks like it was shot on film, but really the answer is more elusive than that. The best way to understand it would be to look at pictures captured with film. Find prints from the 1990’s or 1980’s. Photographic paper (and film, too) fades over time, so the further back you go, the more likely it will appear degraded. Maybe that’s something you prefer? There are as many different film looks as there are tastes, and there’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all answer to what exactly film looks like.

Captured on Elite Chrome 200 color reversal film that has faded.

The biggest difference between film and digital is how highlights are handled. With film, there’s a gradation to white that’s often graceful, but with digital it is much more abrupt. Shadows can also sometimes be more gradual and graceful with film than digital, but definitely not to the same extent as highlights, and definitely not always. Another difference is that film grain is usually considered more beautiful and artful than digital noise. With film photography, there are sometimes surprises that stem from gear (or film) imperfections that don’t typically happen naturally with digital capture. Beyond that, digital images can be effectively manipulated in post-editing to resemble film photographs, especially in the era of Lightroom presets and software filters.

There are two responses that I expect to receive. First, someone will say, “Shoot film if you want the film look.” Nobody is going to argue against that, but this article is not about merely getting the film look—it’s about getting the film look from your digital camera, because digital is more convenient. Second, a person will argue, “I can easily get this look with software, so why bother doing it in-camera?” Getting the look straight-out-of-camera saves time, simplifies the photographic process, and makes capturing pictures even more enjoyable. There’s no right or wrong way to do things—I’m just discussing one method, which you may or may not appreciate. If you enjoy post-processing, that’s great! I personally don’t enjoy it, so I go about things differently, which works for me.

1. Shoot A Fujifilm Camera

Fujifilm X-E4.
Fujifilm X-T30.
Fujifilm X100V.

Step One to achieve the film look from your digital photos without the need to edit is to buy a Fujifilm camera. Which one? It doesn’t matter. If you already own one, you can skip ahead to Step Two.

Why do you need a Fujifilm camera? Why not a Canon, Sony, or Nikon? Because Fujifilm has, in my opinion, the best JPEG engine in the industry. They’ve used their vast experience with film to give their digital cameras an analog soul. In other words, Fujifilm has made it easier than any other brand to get a film look out-of-camera. Could you do it with another brand? Sure—I created JPEG settings for film looks on Ricoh GR cameras. You can do something similar with other brands, but, in my experience, Fujifilm gives you more and better tools to do this. The best brand for achieving a film look that doesn’t require post-processing is Fujifilm, so that is why you need a Fujifilm camera.

I’ll recommend the Fujifilm X100V or Fujifilm X-E4, both of which I own and use often. I also own a Fujifilm X-T30, Fujifilm X-T1, and Fujifilm X-Pro1, and those are very capable cameras, too. Additionally, I’ve shot with a Fujifilm X100F, Fujifilm X-Pro2, Fujifilm X-T20, Fujifilm XQ1, Fujifilm XF10, Fujifilm X-T200, Fujifim X-A3, Fujifilm X-E1, and Fujifilm X-M1. It doesn’t matter which model you buy, but, if you can afford it, I would go for one the newer models (X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10, X-E4, or X-T30 II), because they have more JPEG options, and it’s possible to get more looks out of those cameras. Don’t worry if a new camera is out of your reach, as there are many quality used options that are affordable.

2. Use Film Simulation Recipes

Film simulation recipes are JPEG camera settings that allow you to get a certain look straight-out-of-camera. They’re basically a customization of the stock film simulations that come with the camera, adjusted to achieve various aesthetics. I’ve published over 175 film simulation recipes for Fujifilm cameras, most based on (or inspired by) classic film stocks. They’re free and easy to use. I even created a film simulation recipe app for both Apple and Android! If you have a Fujifilm camera, you should have the app on your phone. Film simulation recipes go a very long ways towards achieving a film look in-camera. Programming a recipe into your camera is kind of like loading a roll of film, except that you can capture as many frames as you wish on each roll, and change the film anytime you want. 

There are a lot of wonderful options to choose from, including Kodachrome 64, Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Tri-X 400, Fujicolor C200, Fujicolor Pro 400H, AgfaChrome RS 100, and so many more! There are nearly 200 of them on this website, plus some more on the Community Recipes page. No matter your Fujifilm X camera, there are some great film simulation recipe options for you to use. I even have a number of unusual recipes, like Cross Process, Expired Slide, and Faded Negative, intended to mimic some alternative analog aesthetics. The three example pictures above are unedited (aside from, perhaps, some minor cropping), just to give you a brief taste of what recipes look like.

3. Use Diffusion Filters

10% CineBloom.
5% CineBloom.
5% CineBloom.

As I already mentioned, the biggest difference between digital images and film photographs are how highlights are handled (and, to a lesser extent, shadows). Diffusion filters help with this. They take the “digital edge” off of your pictures by bending a small percentage of the light that passes through the filter, which causes it to be defocused. The images remain sharp, but a slight haziness is added, especially in the highlights, which produces a more graceful gradation to white.

There are various types of diffusion filters by a few different brands. I recommend Black Pro Mist filters by Tiffen or CineBloom filters by Moment. You want the effect to be subtle, so I suggest a 1/8 or 1/4 Black Pro Mist—I used a 1/4 in the picture at the very top of this article—or a 5% or 10% CineBloom, which I used in the three pictures above; however, I have seen some good results with the stronger options (1/2 Black Pro Mist and 20% CineBloom). A slight effect from a diffusion filter in the right situations can subtly improve a photograph’s analog appearance.

4. Shoot With Vintage Glass

Fujifilm X-T1 & Pentax-110 50mm f/2.
Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi-Pentax Takumar 55mm f/2.2.
Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi-Pentax Takumar 55mm f/2.2.

I love using vintage lenses on my Fujifilm cameras, because they often have flaws that give pictures character. Some of the charm of analog photography stems from imperfect gear—that serendipity I mentioned earlier is often from flawed glass. Modern lenses are precision engineered and meant to give you perfect pictures. But they can be too good and too sharp. They’re great if you photograph test charts, but vintage lenses often have seemingly magical qualities that make real-world pictures better, and definitely more film-like. A lot of time you can find these old lenses for pretty cheap, but you do need an adaptor to attach them to your Fujifilm camera.

If you don’t want to buy used gear and adaptors, a great alternative is to get yourself some inexpensive manual lenses, like the Pergear 50mm f/1.8, 7artisans 50mm f/1.8, and Meike 35mm f/1.7. There are, of course, lots more manual options like these, many of which have flaws and character similar to vintage lenses, except that they’re brand-new and don’t need adaptors. Manual lenses are trickier to use, especially if you don’t have much experience with them, but I find them to be a rewarding, delivering wonderfully imperfect photographs.

5. Don’t Always Nail Focus

With digital photography, you have many tools to make sure your focus is spot-on; if you are unsure that you precisely nailed it, you can immediately review the image and zoom in to make sure, and retake if necessary. With film photography, not only are the focus tools much more limited, you don’t even know if you got it exactly right until the film comes back from the lab. If you study classic photography, you’ll notice that many iconic pictures didn’t spot-on nail the focus. You’ll even notice this in old movies and television shows, too. It was common, and nobody cared. It has become a small part of the film look.

Worry more about composition and storytelling, and less about getting perfect focus. In fact, my recommendation is to not review the LCD after each shot to check. Take the picture, and if you got focus perfect, great! And if you didn’t, don’t let the imperfection bother you, but celebrate that a little softness can be a part of the analog aesthetic. A little blur is not always bad, especially if the picture is otherwise interesting or compelling.

6. Use Higher ISOs

One of the big differences between digital and film is that film has lovely silver grain while digital has ugly noise. Grain can be ugly, too, but digital noise is generally regarded as undesirable, and usually it is, while grain is general regarded as artful. Fujifilm has programmed their cameras in such a way that the noise has a more film-grain-like appearance than other brands. It’s definitely not an exact match to any film grain, but it’s certainly better than typical ugly noise. So why not incorporate it into your pictures?

A lot of photographers are afraid to use high ISOs. Back in the film days, I remember that ISO 400 was considered to be a high-ISO film. Some people thought you were nuts if you used an ISO 800 or 1600 film. ISO 3200 film was only for the most daring, or for use under extreme circumstances. Early digital cameras were pretty bad at higher ISOs, too, but camera technology has made incredible progress, and now cameras are pretty darn good at high ISO photography. I routinely use up to ISO 6400 for color photography, and even higher for black-and-white. Those ultra-high ISOs just weren’t possible or practical 10 or so years ago. Now combine high-ISO photography with Fujifilm faux grain (found on X-Trans III & X-Trans IV cameras), and the pictures begin to appear a little less digital and a bit more film-like.

7. Overexpose and Underexpose Sometimes

Transparency film often requires a very precise exposure because there’s very little latitude for overexposure or underexposure. Negative film often has a much greater latitude—generally speaking it can tolerate more overexposure than underexposure. Each film is different. But here’s the thing: you don’t know if you got it right until later when the film is developed. In the moment you don’t know for sure if the exposure is really correct. With experience you can get pretty good, and exposure bracketing can help (not something you want to do all of the time because you’ll go through your film too quickly), but it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll end up with a few overexposed or underexposed frames. Sometimes this can affect the aesthetic or mood of the image, and by chance your picture is actually more interesting because of your mistake—that analog serendipity again. If you discover something you really like, you might even begin to do it on purpose (like overexposing Fujicolor Pro 400H by several stops).

Your digital camera has many great tools to help you get the exposure perfectly correct, which is great. And if you don’t get it right, you can know right away, and capture another exposure if need be, or fix it later by adjusting the RAW file. However, purposefully not getting the exposure just right, whether by overexposing or underexposing, is a good way to mimic the film experience, and sometimes you’ll get an unexpected result, which can be a very happy accident. I wouldn’t do this all of the time, but occasionally it is a fun and fruitful exercise.

Conclusion

An unedited JPEG from a Fujifilm X100F using my Fujicolor Superia 800 recipe.

Step One, which is using a Fujifilm camera, and Step Two, which is using film simulation recipes, are the most critical of these seven tips. You could use Ricoh GR cameras instead of Fujifilm, but I definitely recommend using Fujifilm. Step Three through Step Seven are optional, and they aren’t necessarily intended to be used all together or all of the time, although you certainly can if you want. Pick a couple of them—perhaps diffusion filter and vintage lens or high-ISO and underexposure—and see what results you get.

There are two things that I’d like for you to get out of this article. First, you don’t need software or editing apps to achieve an analog aesthetic. You can do it in-camera. All of the pictures in this article are unedited (except for some minor cropping). This saves you a whole bunch of time, and you might even find the process more fun. Second, I hope that this article inspires you to try something new. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Mistakes can be highly rewarding, and you might even discover something extraordinary.

A few more example photograph:

Vintage Color recipe & 1/4 Black Pro Mist filter.
Fujicolor Pro 400H recipe & 1/4 Black Pro Mist filter.
Kodacolor VR recipe – 5% CineBloom filter.

Find these film simulation recipe and many more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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24 comments

  1. Marc Beebe · October 26

    Sound advice, but a bit “Fuji-centric”. I recommend turning off auto white balance to start with (film doesn’t have this and it interferes with the colour variances), use an old CCD sensor camera is possible and/or lower resolution, definitely use ‘vintage glass’ on manual if you can (old lenses tend to have better sharpness and contrast), and don’t be reluctant to do a little post-shoot tweaking to get the look most suitable to the particular image.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 26

      Film is usually either Daylight or Tungsten balanced, so AWB doesn’t mimic that real well. Of course, I used to carry warming and cooling filters back then to adjust it. It’s possible to do that with a digital camera, too (which I have tried), but definitely convenient that you don’t have to. Great advice, I appreciate the input!

      Like

  2. stuartshafran · October 26

    Superb post! This is really interesting and the photos are excellent. The use of a filter to help with the highlight falloff is very useful advice. One question – does shooting jpeg restrict you to whichever film preset you have chosen in camera, or can you select a different look afterwards using the Fujifilm X software, like you can with raw files?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 26

      What restricts you is dynamic range. If you shoot in DR100, you can only use DR100. If you shoot in DR200, you can only use DR100 or DR200. If you shoot DR400, all three are available. Otherwise, using X RAW Studio or in-camera RAW processing, you can apply other recipes as you see fit.
      I appreciate your kind words!

      Like

  3. Martino · October 26

    I had a digital telephoto that I barely used once or twice. So I just sold it last week and with that money I’ve got m42 adapter, takumar 50 mm, takumar 135 mm, helios 44, pergear 35 mm, m42 extension tubes, and I still buy i photography backpack. Photos I shot with those lenses this weekend have a film vibe that I’m loving too much.,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 26

      It’s amazing how many great vintage lenses can be purchased for so little. Thank you for the comment!

      Like

  4. nickblackburn · October 26

    Hi Ritchie
    That’s a really great article, setting the scene for anyone setting out and a useful reminder for those already using recipes.
    Thanks, Nick

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Khürt Williams · October 26

    The complete quote is:

    Perfectionism is the enemy of creation, as extreme self-solitude is the enemy of well-being.

    I’m sceptical. A lot of times, these quotes are misinterpreted. For example, I often hear that “blood is thicker than water”, but the original proverb is, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”. The “water of the womb” refers to family, and the “blood of the covenant” is the blood of soldiers at war.

    Is it possible that Updike is being taken out of context?

    I think mediocrity is the enemy of striving for perfection. For example, I had a photograph that looked great SOOC. My friend, a professional photographer, challenged me to use the RAW image and push myself. I used Lightroom and Photoshop, and after a few days, I had a spectacular image.

    My point is. SOOC is fine. It’s good enough. But it’s not great. Learn to see where good enough will do and when you need to push further to make great. Don’t settle for mediocrity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 26

      I don’t think the complete quote changes the meaning. I just finished reading the book Finish by Jon Acuff (a good read), and his big point is that the number one thing that holds people back is perfectionism. I get that you want to be as good as you can, and as close to perfect as you can—that’s a lofty goal—but it’s only good if it serves you well (which it may or may not, I’m not making a judgement). So if perfection motivates you to be the greatest photographer that you can be, that’s wonderful. If it prevents you from becoming a great photographer (for lots of reasons, as laid out in the book), then it should be abandoned.

      I don’t think the antithesis of perfect is mediocre, nor does the lack of perfection mean that something is mediocre. Something can be really, really great and not perfect. I’m not trying to suggest that my photography is “really, really great” (because it’s not), but I don’t think it’s mediocre just because I don’t edit RAW pictures. Nor is something that is technically “perfect” mean that it is automatically great (also covered in the book). A lot of this is subjective, and there are certainly different strokes for different folks. That’s why I said that there is no right or wrong way, because there’s not—there is only what does and doesn’t work for you, whatever that is. I’m just trying to point out one way that works for me and may or may not work for others.

      I appreciate you pointing out the full quote. I didn’t realize that I was leaving a part of it out, and it definitely wasn’t because I was trying to take it out of context.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Francis.R. · October 27

    There are three aspects, from my amateur experience, that I get:

    The first is that the look of film people like is mostly from the 60’s or 70’s I think, Agfa negative film or old slide film; vintage lenses with not that much contrast and usually warm due their coatings. My Canon Eos 7, a film camera whose autofocus is set by sensors that register where are you seeing, produces, along its EF lenses and colorplus 200 film, sometimes images that could be taken as digital. Portra 160 is to me the closer to the way digital renders colors.

    The second is about the digital part. Software editing like Lightroom, which another commentator feels like is something that helps to get out of mediocrity, as it is his opinion I respect it as anyway the person that should be happy with our photos is oneself. Nevertheless I seldom follow people that use Lightroom, I can notice when somebody uses it and regardless of the myriad of filters I always can say “a ha!, lightroom.” It has gotten boring, because it alters the geometry of the lenses (“corrects” them), the sliders allow extreme changes and in the end I feel like I am not seeing a photograph but a digital image. I am not a Luddite, I have edited a lot at first with Lightroom, my personal preference is towards Photo Ninja and I have Affinity Photo, Nik Software and Aurora HDR for those rare occasions I think they will help me to represent what I saw with my eyes.

    And the last part is about cameras. I love my X100S because you can feel you are doing the photographs. Today lenses relying in digital corrections alter the photo to geometries that are not natural; colors technically perfect are not related to how we experience color or recall things. Fujifilm lenses are mostly optically corrected, I recall with much love the 35mm f1.4, not the geometric interpretation of what they see. Add to that a high tech optical viewfinder and you don’t have to stare more screens in a time of computers and cellphones make them omnipresent. And buttons and dials! I have a Samsung S20 FE cellphone, I am amazed by what it can do by touch, only has two buttons, no led lights nor a headphone jack; but my other cellphone, a thirteen years old Sony Ericsson R300, is now a very basic feature phone, and its backlight blue neon buttons, the sounds, the lateral buttons to check fast data, feels, ironically, quite futuristic and always is enjoyable to use despite being a caveman in comparison to the latest phones. I can set the fujifilm x100 by just turning dials, it is something that makes you feel, in a digital age, that you are in the action, rather than watching it from television seeing a digital machine doing it for you.

    I still shoot color negative film but in my country where I live the cost of consumer film is thrice what was before the pandemia, only one lab remains processing film and the staff has not much experience processing it, so I have to scan those negatives with my Fujifilm as scanner technology is out of reach and outdated. I think I would have to get a Canon to use my EF lenses, although I’d wish for a small full frame camera as the Canon EF, or maybe save for much longer and to get a Fujifilm medium format xD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khürt Williams · October 28

      Fujifilm lens distortions are auto-correct in-camera (X or GFX). I normally use this website’s native Fujifilm film simulations and sometimes film recipes (which one could consider filters/presets). From that perspective, if one is shooting a Fujifilm X or GFX camera, one is always creating corrected images with a filter. The photographer chooses some processing in-camera just by selecting a film simulation. 🤷

      Ritchie has written multiple times that he doesn’t want to post-processing and that the JPG images meet his needs, and he has no time for post-processing. But consider that other photographers may not be happy with the JPGs and want to do more with the RAW file.

      If one thinks the SOOC image is finished and meets their needs, then stop there. If one “sees” beyond the JPG that the camera has produced, then keep going. FYI. Since all the data is recorded in the RAW file, one can generate a JPG from the Fujifilm RAF using Fuji X RAW Studio. Assuming the dynamic range was the same, what’s the difference between the SOOC JPG and the JPG produced in Fujifilm X RAW Studio?

      I can notice when somebody uses it, and regardless of the myriad of filters, I always can say “a ha!, lightroom.”

      Assuming the person has left the metadata in the file, it’s easy to determine if someone used Lightroom. But I’ve always had a problem telling much of anything, just from viewing images online. I’m glad others can see all nuances. I can’t.

      … my personal preference is towards Photo Ninja, and I have Affinity Photo, Nik Software and Aurora HDR

      It seems that you are ok with digital processing as long as it’s not Adobe Lightroom. Use whatever makes your vision. Most of my photography friends are successful professionals who have taught me a lot, including using digital imaging software. I use Nik Software (even before Google and DxO), Affinity, Luminar AI, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Photomatix Pro. So do they.

      I am not a photojournalist. I use whatever tool helps me achieve my vision.

      in the end, I feel like I am not seeing a photograph but a digital image.

      A digital camera, by definition, always create digital images. Whether RAW or JPG, or DNG, the image file you export has already been processed by the camera CPU before being saved to the memory card. Even film cameras are not immune from manipulation. Go re-read point #7 in this article. Every image you’ve ever seen has been manipulated.

      If we think this through, all images (film or digital) are post-processed as we never actually display the image as recorded in the sensor or the film. We only see the result.

      I am a Fuji X Weekly Patron. I appreciate what Ritchie has been doing and use some of the film recipes. But more often than not, even when I try to get everything right in the camera before the exposure, I will be post-processing the RAF. I don’t think it matters how much effort was involved in the creation of a photograph. I stopped caring several years ago. Maybe some people think their image is more impressive if little to no post was needed to get the shot. 🤷

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · October 28

        “I use whatever tool helps me achieve my vision.” That’s the whole thing right there! Achieving one’s vision is what matters most, and the road to get there doesn’t. Each person’s vision is unique, and there’s no right or wrong way to get there, just as long as the person actually gets there. Each individual has to figure out what that means to them.

        I stated my path, and that might or might not be a helpful path to others. There are some who exclusively use my recipes and SOOC JPEGs. There are others who use my recipes but edit the SOOC JPEGs. There are others who use my recipes as a starting point for RAW processing. There are, of course, far more that don’t use my recipes at all. None of these routes (or the many other possible paths) are better or worse than another, as long as it leads the photographer to fulfilling their vision. And each one does for somebody. Each one has to figure out what works for them, and hopefully my story (my path) is helpful to some people trying to figure out their own path. My way isn’t better (or worse), it’s just what works for me. If someone’s path is different but leads to fulfilling their vision, then that’s a wonderful thing, which certainly should be celebrated.

        I appreciate the comment!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Khürt Williams · October 31

        Exactly. Use what works. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Francis.R. · October 29

        Thank you for your time reading my long answer, Khürt. There are few misunderstandings:

        Lightroom is a great software developed by extraordinary engineers. Each software has a specific way to interpret colors from raws, add the use of their powerful highlight and shadow tools, their lens correction geometry, and you have a noticeable style, even in the mobile app. I don’t say it is wrong, is rather like not finding magic when you learned the nature of the trick; and finding it not particularly interesting when you see it frequently.

        “Digital image” to me is when the digital photograph is just a source to make something that is not there, and I know that is possible with film too. It is not wrong, to me is simply closer to digital art than photography. This is a subjective measure, as some only accept SOOC JPEGs and others consider even Second Life screenshots as photographs, in my case the limit is deleting parts as people, electrical cables, or so, although helpful to achieve an ideal composition to me is not the reality.

        I don’t say post-processing is wrong. I use the built-in raw convertor to convey what I am drawn to, which usually is golden tones and deep shadows. The VSCO app for android 4.4 had very basic options so it was impossible to overdone the editing; now it is too saturated and the tools, rather than the filmic look they appear digital presets over an image. I love Ritchie recipes because they work within the limited controls of the camera, it is impossible, in my ancient X100S, to get something overdone resembling computer software renderings; instead they are precisely like shooting in film, adding a gel to a flash in a film camera, or choosing Kodak for the warm tones or Fujifilm for greens or blues.

        I am sure your photographer friends are excellent professionals if they inspire you to surpass yourself. I am just not attracted to professional photography, especially in digital. I mostly follow travelers (a photographer goes to a place to get a perfect photograph; a traveler will go even without a camera), storytellers and groups of Pentax XP and Contax film cameras. I follow Ritchie because to me he is a storyteller, his recipes get along stories and memories, conversations with friends or family, funny posts as the Rockwell, even his reason to made the blog is an interesting story, if I had not a Fujifilm camera I still would love to read him. His recipes are not, under my personal criteria, manipulations; they are not deceptive, the only playful exception maybe would be the one that turns day in night. His recipes are rather moods you apply to give a certain emphasis. No deleted people, not stretching geometry as if our eyes would watch perfect lines (you can look for the use by Greeks of entasis in columns), not altering some colors nor adding wasp waists in portraits.

        About the lenses quite probably you have more than me. I only have had the 35mm f1.4 and the fixed 23mm f2 in the X100s. In Photo Ninja, which does not apply automatic lens corrections, raws and jpegs were equal, if the raws are pre-cooked I don’t see evidence of stretched pixels in the corners. My Sony R1 had a perfect lens too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Khürt Williams · November 7

        Thanks for the clarification, Francis. It took many years using Adobe Lightroom to develop the skill where I can quickly edit most images to get them to look the way I want them. My mentor, a retired professional photographer who now teaches, uses the phrase “making a photograph”. He teaches that capturing the image – digital or film – is just 3% of the effort. The remaining 97% is post-processing. I guess I’ve adopted his philosophy.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 28

      Unfortunately, film has become so expensive. Not just because the cost for a roll is so much, but the cost of development (and scanning, if you want that service) is so much, too. When you end up spending $20 or more (probably more) for 36 exposures, it doesn’t take long to be in the hundreds of dollars spent, and pretty soon that X100S is a bargain in comparison. Thanks for the input!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. walker · October 29

    Such a lovely reading.
    I stopped worrying about whether a photo is good or not. I started worrying about capturing the cool moments.
    It works for me. Period.YMMV, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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