In my series, Which Film Simulation Recipes, When?, I’m trying to help out those who are unsure what Film Simulation Recipe to use in a given situation (after all, there are more than 250 to choose from). One of those situation is when you’re shooting in overcast conditions on a dreary day. I provide a recipe suggestion, plus five alternatives, to try. This topic was also discussed briefly in the last SOOC broadcast. The problem is that it’s all subjective; what I think might work well on a rainy day, you might disagree with. The aesthetic that I like you might not. Everyone has their own opinions.
What makes a Film Simulation Recipe work well on an overcast day? First, I think it needs to accentuate the mood. To me, that’s most important, although feelings are abstract and variable, so the task of saying “this recipe has the right mood” is difficult. Whether it should be punchy or muted, warm or cool, depends on the mood you want to convey. The recipe also needs to be able to handle the grey sky and not blow it out, while also dealing with low-contrast situations that you’re likely to encounter. It also has to look good at higher ISOs, because if it’s thick overcast, you’re likely dealing with higher ISOs (thankfully, most recipes do well at higher ISOs because of the X-Trans sensor and processing).
Fujifilm X-Photographer Nathalie Boucry published an excellent article today tackling this topic that I want to direct you to (click here—I promise that it is worth your time to do so). Obviously she doesn’t look at every recipe or even most recipes, but she does a comparison of a handful of them, and you can decide for yourself which one (or ones), if any, stand out to you as something to try. Since it is subjective, what she likes—or what I like—might be much different than what you like, and that’s perfectly ok—it’s about finding what works for you. Nathalie and I are both trying to take you on a path of discovery, so that you can find the recipes that work for you, and in the process you’re likely to find some that aren’t your style.
The best path to discovery involves action. You have to try a recipe in a given situation to figure out if it does well or not, and if you appreciate the results of it. You have to be willing to fail—by fail, I simply mean that you might find a recipe that you don’t like to use in a given situation while attempting to find one that you do like for that situation. In a way, it’s a little like playing the classic board game Clue. Was it Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick? Maybe. You have to suggest it to find out. Will the Elite Chrome 200 recipe work well for you on a rainy day? Maybe. I can suggest it, but you need to try it for yourself to find out. Nathalie’s article might be particularly helpful to you, because she did the hard work, and one of those recipes that she used might just stand out to you as one to try the next time you are photographing in the rain.
Now it’s your turn! What is your favorite Film Simulation Recipe to use on overcast, dreary, rainy days? Let me know in the comments!
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Thank you so much for the mention and for featuring my article. It was a lot of fun to research and put it together. I can only recommend it to others and I hope it will be useful!
I think it is indeed useful! Thanks for putting in the hard work!
I love those “which-simulation-when?” series. More of them please! 🙂 Currently I use Kodachrome 64 for rainy autumn days…this simulation is a super all-rounder, but I find the contrast excellent and foliage and raindrops look very atmospheric.
Awesome! I appreciate the feedback! More of these articles are coming 😀
The first Ektar 100 recipe : ) as rain appears artificial light kicks in and that recipe, using astia, has those little colorful details vibrant, while the overcast surroundings are muted as they appear to eyes : )
Awesome! That’s a great option. Thanks for suggesting it!