My Fujifilm X-T30 Cyanotype Film Simulation Recipe

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Ball Flowers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Cyanotype”

Cyanotype is an early photographic process that produces blue prints. It was invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, and was popular in Victorian England. The chemicals needed are simple: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanid. It’s a contact process, so positives have to be placed right over the paper. Sunlight or UV light is required for the exposure. Cyanotypes are pretty simple, and anyone can do them at home.

I thought it would be fun to make a film simulation recipe to mimic cyanotype prints. Fujifilm X-Trans IV cameras have the ability to tone black-and-white pictures, either warm or cool. By toning the pictures blue, I was able to get in the neighborhood of cyanotype photography. Unfortunately, going all the way cool, which is -9 on toning, is only marginally blue enough to pass for cyanotype. Still, this was a fun experiment. If you are bored, why not give it a try yourself?

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Blue Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Cyanotype”

Acros
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -4
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: -9
White Balance: Auto
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this “Cyanotype” film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Orbit – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Caged Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Blue Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Succulent Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Light Bulb Blues – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Stems – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Welcome – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Daffodil Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Falling Water – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Post & Wire – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Threatening – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Growth in the Rocky Place – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Studying Blues – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Monochrome Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe


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Light on the Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Monochrome Kodachrome”

Kodachrome was a black-and-white film. No, really, it was! The color dyes were actually added during development. The process to develop Kodachrome color transparencies was complex and toxic. As demand for the film decreased and Kodak experienced financial troubles, both the film and the chemicals to develop it were discontinued. If you still have some undeveloped Kodachrome film sitting around, there’s absolutely no place in the world that can process it; that is, except as black-and-white negatives. It’s true: Kodachrome can be developed to this day as a black-and-white film!

While I think that this recipe does more-or-less mimic the look of Kodachrome developed as black-and-white, that’s not necessarily the intent of it. This recipe began as an experiment by Fuji X Weekly reader Thomas Schwab, who created the Urban Vintage Chrome recipe. He took my Vintage Kodachrome recipe and replaced the Classic Chrome film simulation with Acros, Monochrome and Sepia, and the results were quite interesting! I made a couple of minor adjustments to create this recipe. This is definitely a joint effort, and it wouldn’t exist without Thomas Schwab’s experiments and willingness to share the results. Thank you!

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Window & Blinds – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Monochrome Kodachrome”

What I like about this Monochrome Kodachrome film simulation recipe is that it has a great film-like quality to it. This recipe pairs especially well with vintage lenses (I used an Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm for about half of these pictures). Even though it says “Fujifilm X-T30” in the title, it can be used on any X-Trans III & IV camera. You can also use this same recipe with the Monocrome+R film simulation, for a slightly different result.

Acros+R
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Toning: 0
White Balance: AWB, 0 Red & +9 Blue
ISO: Auto, ISO 3200 to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Monochrome Kodachrome film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Roman – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Cleaning Cart – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Fake Potted Plant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tree Shadow on a Brick Wall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Small Bridge – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rural Road – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monochrome Mountain Landscape – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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B&W Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Tennis Swing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Engaged In Television – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Little Jo – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hand Washing – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Faceless – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Muffins – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Pronto! – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Daylight Balanced – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

Help Fuji X Weekly

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Split-Toned B&W Film Simulation Recipe


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Vintage Bolsey Camera – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Split-Toned B&W”

While creating my “Bleach Bypass” film simulation recipe, which requires double exposures, I also discovered how to split-tone black-and-white pictures in-camera using double exposures. Split toning was originally a darkroom technique where one would give their black-and-white print a bath in two different toning chemicals, which resulted in shadows and highlights having two different colors. There are many different ways to split tone and many different potential results. This Split-Toned B&W recipe loosely mimics the aesthetic of ferrocyanide toning (blue) with diluted sepia (reddish-brown). You can get similar results very easily with software, but it’s fun to achieve a split tone effect straight out of camera.

For this recipe, you’ll capture the first exposure as normal. I find that increasing the exposure by 1/3 to 2/3 stop over what you might normally do produces better results. For the second exposure, photograph blue paper. I used an 8.5″ x 11″ medium-blue construction paper for my pictures. I like to purposefully make the second exposure out of focus, although I’m not sure that it matters much if you do. You can control the strength of the blue tone by how bright the second exposure is. The darker the exposure, the less blue there will be and the less faded the picture will appear. The brighter the exposure, the more blue there will be and the more faded the picture will appear. It’s fun to experiment with this, because you can vary the look significantly by how you expose the second image. If you want the highlights to be warmer, simply increase the tone of the first exposure to be more warm, or even use the Sepia film simulation instead of Acros. You could use a different color paper, or even use a cool tone instead of warm on the first exposure, if you wanted. You could really play around with this and come up with all sots of different looks.

Exposure 1
Acros
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Tone: +6 (warm)
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Grain: Weak
Sharpening: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

Exposure 2
Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Color: +2
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Grain: Weak
Sharpening: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
White Balance: Auto, 0 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: -1 to -3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Split-Toned B&W film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Open Blinds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Ocean – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Faux Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Monochrome Floral Arrangement – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Lily Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Throw Pillows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Dirt Play – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Girl In The Sunlight – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

Help Fuji X Weekly

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Fujifilm Monochrome

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Mountains Dressed In Monochrome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

Leica recently announced the M10 Monochrom, which is their third black-and-white only camera. It can’t capture a color picture because it doesn’t have a Bayer array. It only does black-and-white photography. Fujifilm should do something similar, even though most won’t buy it.

Believe it or not, there’s actually an advantage to a monochrome sensor. With a typical Bayer color array, only 50% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information, while the other 50% are recording color information. With an X-Trans sensor, 55% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information while 45% are recording color information. With a monochrome sensor, 100% of the light-sensitive sensor elements are recording luminosity information. Because of this, you get a higher perceived resolution, as pictures will appear more richly detailed, and there’s more shadow latitude, which also improves high-ISO capabilities. You can also use color filters like with black-and-white film.

I think an X-Pro3-M, a black-and-white only version of the X-Pro3, or an X100V-M, a black-and-white only version of the upcoming X100V, would do well enough commercially. Yes, it’s clearly a niche product, as there’s only a tiny market for it, yet Leica found a way to make it profitable, and Fujifilm could, too. There are plenty of photographers who use their X-Pro or X100 series camera to only shoot black-and-white. A Monochrome version would make things simpler for them, while improving perceived resolution, dynamic range and high-ISO. And, Fujifilm has a cool marketing angle: call it the X-Pro3 Acros or X100V Acros. People would eat that up. Increase the price a couple hundred dollars and it would sell well enough to be profitable, in my non-expert opinion.

The flip side to this is that Fujifilm X-Trans cameras, particularly X-Trans III and IV cameras that have the Acros film simulation, are already fantastic for black-and-white photography. Would a monochrome-only camera really produce enough of an improved image to justify buying one? I think that’s a tough question to answer, but my guess is probably not for most people. Still, a monochrome-only camera wouldn’t be for “most people” as it would be for a very small crowd, and for those people the difference would indeed justify buying it. For most, your current X-Trans camera is a great black-and-white photography tool, and there’s no need to get a monochrome-only camera. Some, however, would absolutely love to have one, and I think there’s enough of those people that such a camera could be profitable for Fujifilm, if they ever wished to create one. I hope they do.

Photoessay: Suburban B&W

You might think that you live in a boring neighborhood. You might think that there’s nothing of interest to photograph where you live. You might think that you have to go somewhere to capture good photographs. This photoessay is intended to debunk that. I live in a boring suburban neighborhood, but I have still made an effort to walk the sidewalks with my camera in hand. This particular collection features some recent black-and-white images that I’ve captured in the neighborhood where I live. In the past I’ve shared many pictures captured in my neighborhood, so these are far from the only ones or even the best ones–they are simply ones that I have not posted on here before. I hope that this article inspires you to get out into your local area with your camera, even if “getting out” is just a short trip around the block.

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Home Peek – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

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Shadow Maker – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Suburban Pathway – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Monochrome American Flag – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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Geo – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Pentax Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2.2

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House Work – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Alaskan Engineer – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Ray Above The Roof – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 90mm

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Hill Behind The Homes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Curious Cow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Grey Fence – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Comparing Film Simulation Recipes


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I shoot JPEGs, but it’s not uncommon for me to shoot RAW+JPEG, since it gives me the opportunity to reprocess the picture in-camera, which is helpful when developing different film simulation recipes. Because of this, I was able to process a single picture I captured recently on my Fujifilm X-T30 using many of my different recipes to compare the differences. I thought that this might be helpful to some of you. Perhaps there’s one recipe that stands out to you in the pictures below that you’ve never used. Obviously different settings look better in different situations, and in this article there’s just one picture to compare, so even though you might not like how one recipe looks in this article doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t like it with different subject and in a different light. The scope of this article is quite limited, but I hope that seeing the various film simulation recipes applied to a single exposure is helpful to someone.

Not every recipe was used for this post. Some of them require a specific parameter that was not available. For example, the picture at the top was made using my HP5 Plus Push-Process recipe, which requires an ultra-high ISO, so it wasn’t possible to apply it to the exposure below. Other recipes, such as my faded color and faded monochrome, require double exposures. There are other film simulation recipes that you could try not represented below, and I invite you to investigate the different options to see if there’s one or more that work well for your photography. Let me know in the comments which film simulation recipe is your favorite and which in your opinion fits the exposure below best.

Color

B&W

My Fujifilm X-T30 Acros Film Simulation Recipe (Agfa APX 400)


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Cloud Over The White Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

I made a new Acros recipe! I’ve been playing around lately with the Acros settings on my Fujifilm X-T30, trying to create a certain look (which I’m still working on), and I stumbled upon some interesting settings. I tried them out for a few days and wanted to share my findings with you. I think some of you might like this one!

This recipe is not intended to mimic the look of any particular film, but it’s in the neighborhood of a couple different black-and-white stocks. The closest might be Agfa APX 400 (the newer version), but it’s not an exact match for that film. I don’t think it really matters if it’s an exact match or not, it has an analog black-and-white look that’s easy to appreciate!

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Shopping Carts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

The idea behind this film simulation recipe is to have a lower-contrast option that doesn’t look flat. It seems to be especially well suited for high-contrast scenes, but there’s a certain beauty in low-contrast scenes where it produces almost a faded aesthetic. This Acros recipe is really great for certain situations, and it’s one of my favorite Acros recipes that I’ve created. If you don’t have an X-Trans IV camera, you can still use this recipe, except you can’t use Color Chrome Effect or Toning, so the results will be slightly different, but still very similar.

Acros (Acros+Y, Acros+R, Acros+G)
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -2
Shadow: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +4
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Toning: +1 (warm)
ISO: Auto up to ISO 12800
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1-1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this recipe on the Fujifilm X-T30:

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Frozen Reservoir – Causey Reservoir, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Mid Morning Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Head In The Clouds – Ogden Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Mountain Obscured – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Reaching For Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Jo by a Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Girl Sitting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Bread Cutting – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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The Course Toward – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Asleep – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Couch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Three Vases By A Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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White Flower Bouquet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Dead Rose Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

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Hiding Hydrant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Acros

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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Understanding Acros Film Simulation Options On Fujifilm X Cameras

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B&W Film With Colored Filters – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Fujifilm has included on X-Trans III and IV cameras four Acros Film Simulation options: Acros, Acros+Y, Acros+R, and Acros+G. I’ve been asked a few times to explain the differences between these options. On my Acros Film Simulation recipes I never mention which one to use, I only say to use any or all of them, so that has left some confusion on what’s the best choice. Which Acros Film Simulation should you choose?

With real black-and-white film, you can use colored filters to manipulate the shades of grey. Since there are no colors, the film interprets colors between black and white. You can change how the film interprets the color, and what grey you get, by using different filters. Take a look at the graphic below to see an explanation of how different color filters change the grey on black-and-white film.

You cannot use colored filters on your X-Trans camera to achieve this same effect, so Fujifilm has given you three “filter” options for Acros: +Y, which simulates the use of a yellow filter, +R, which simulates the use of a red filter, and +G, which simulates the use of a green filter. You might notice that, in black-and-white film photography, there are more options than you are given on your X-Trans camera, but at least you have some choices.

While these different “filter” Acros options simulate the look of using filters, the actual results aren’t a 100% match. The manipulation of grey is not nearly as pronounced as using colored filters on film, and it’s not exactly the same shift, either. One thing that can help achieve desired results is using the white balance shift in conjunction with the different Acros options. It takes a little extra thought to figure out how adjusting the color balance will change the way the film simulation interprets the color in grey, but it can be worth the effort.

To help you understand what the different Acros Film Simulation options are doing to different colors, I made an image in color and re-processed it in-camera using all four Acros choices. Take a look!

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Fujifilm X-T20 – Velvia

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Acros

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Acros+Y

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Acros+R

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Acros+G

The differences between the different Acros Film Simulations might not seem immediately obvious, but take a closer look. Notice that the red paint is a little lighter and the blue paint is a little darker in the Acros+R image. However, in the Acros+G image the red paint is darker and the blue paint is lighter. These small manipulations in the shades of grey are what the different Acros options provide.

How do you use this information in a practical way? When should you consider using the different Acros Film Simulations? When would you want to change the shade of grey of a particular color? It’s really difficult to give generalized answers to those questions because what works for one person and one photograph may not work for another. You really must think in grey and consider how contrast will work in an image, and how to best achieve that using the different Acros options.

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Monochrome Mountain Majesty – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – Acros+R

A common example of when Acros+R might work well is in landscape photography where the sky is a deep blue. You can turn the sky dark grey or even black, which will create dramatic contrast against clouds or a snow-capped peak. Acros+R will lighten reds, so sometimes in portraits it can lighten a face, but it can make lips blend in, which might be bad. Acros+G, which darkens reds, can sometimes work well for dramatic portraits.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the most appropriate Acros Film Simulation for a particular circumstance. You have to know what each one will do, and decide what shade of grey you want the different colors to be, in order to make the right selection. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but it’s not too hard to figure out with practice. My suggestion is to try them all in different situations, and study the differences closely to better understand what each one does.

Fujifilm Acros Film Simulation Recipes

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Taos Tourist – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Agfa Scala”

Acros is one of the most popular film simulations available on Fujifilm X-Trans cameras. It looks incredibly similar to the black-and-white film that it was named after. In fact, in my opinion, it produces the most film-like results of any settings on any camera! It’s easy to see the draw to the analog-esque results produced by the Acros film simulation.

I love Acros and I have used it as the base for a bunch of different film simulation recipes. It’s possible to achieve a number of different interesting looks straight out of camera by adjusting the settings. I plan to create even more film simulation recipes using Acros in the coming months. As I do, I will add them to this article.

Below you will find all of my different film simulation recipes that I have created that use Acros. If you haven’t tried them all, I personally invite you to do so and see which are your favorites! My personal favorite is Tri-X Push-Process, but they each have their own usefulness and charm. Let me know in the comments which recipe you like most!

Even though the different recipes say X100F and X-Pro2, they are completely compatible with any Fujifilm X-Trans III or IV camera. For example, you don’t have to use the X100F recipes exclusively on the X100F. You can use any of my recipes on any X-Trans III camera.

Original Acros

Acros Push-Process

Agfa Scala

Ilford HP5 Plus

Tri-X Push Process

Using White Balance Shift For Black & White

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Dramatic Sky Over The Wasatch Front – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Just a couple of weeks ago I posted an article about using white balance shift to achieve different looks in color photographs. What you may not be aware of is that white balance shift can be used to adjust the look of black-and-white images, and it can sometimes be surprisingly dramatic how much it changes things. White balance shift is an unexpected tool that allows you to better achieve desired results in monochrome.

When you shift the white balance it changes how different colors are rendered, so it only makes sense that the grey interpretation of those colors would also be different. Some colors might appear as darker shades of grey and some as lighter. The tones shift, creating a slightly different rendering of the scene. It could be very subtle or it could be quite apparent, but indeed the monochrome interpretation has been altered.

Let’s take a look at the photo below. I reprocessed the same exposure using the RAW developer built into the Fujifilm X-T20, with each version having identical settings except for the white balance shift. I used the Acros+R Film Simulation for this image. As you can see, each adjustment changes the look of the image. For instance, the sky has some areas of bright white in the top version, which is the overall brightest picture, but not the bottom version, which is overall the darkest picture. The highlights on the mountain are handled a little differently in the top and bottom versions. The two middle versions fall in-between, and are only very subtly different from each other.

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White balance shift: +9 Red & 0 Blue

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White balance shift: 0 Red & -9 Blue

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White balance shift: 0 Red & +9 Blue

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White balance shift: -9 Red & 0 Blue

If I were to use Acros+G, the white balance shift would manipulate the image differently than what you see above. It still changes things, but not in the same way. That goes for Acros and Acros+Y, as well. It makes sense when you consider that Acros+Y, Acros+R, and Acros+G settings are designed to simulate the look of using colored filters on real black-and-white film. One must consider the color cast that is being applied to an image, and how the different Acros options will render that.

I’m still figuring out how to use this knowledge in actual real life situations. It’s one thing to apply it when redeveloping a RAW file, and another thing to use it in the field, applying it before the exposure. The latter option is where I’d like to be, but it will take a lot more practice. It’s certainly fun to play with! White balance shift is an interesting option for getting the grey tones more precisely where you want them to be in black and white photographs.