The Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 cameras have a new tool for toning black-and-white pictures in-camera. I mentioned in my article about this new toning feature that there’s the potential to get creative with it, especially when combined with multiple exposure photography. I thought that it might be possible to create color pictures using the Acros film simulation, B&W toning and multiple exposures. This is certainly an unusual use of those tools! A sturdy tripod is a requirement for this experiment.
On my X100V, there are 1,368 possible colors to tone B&W pictures, but I concentrated on the more bold options. To make this work, the best results are found in the +/- 15-18 range. My camera has four multiple exposure options: Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Additive and Average won’t work for this project because it muddies the colors. Bright and Dark will work, and they work similarly. For Bright, the camera compares the exposures and chooses only the brightest pixel at each location; for Dark, it chooses the darkest pixel. I found that one option typically works better than the other, depending on the scene. You could get creative and adjust the exposure of each image to control which colors are chosen; however, I didn’t do that for these pictures.
At first I tried using just three exposures: one with Toning set to WC -18 MG 0 (Blue), one set to WC +18 MG -18 (Red), and the other set to WC 0 MG +18 (Green). This worked alright, but there are not any in-between colors. The transitions from one color to the next are harsh. Still, I was able to create color pictures this way.
After a little experimenting, I decided that eight exposures worked better (you can combine up to nine). In addition to the Toning described in the previous paragraph, I added one with WC 0 MG -18 (Magenta), WC -18 MG -18 (Purple), WC -18 MG +18 (Teal), WC +18 MG +18 (Yellow), and WC +18 MG 0 (Orange-Red). This made the color transitions a little less harsh, but it’s still not ideal. The pictures look strange and nothing like “normal” color photographs. I also tried reducing some colors to as low as +/- 15 (instead of 18) in an attempt to control the outcome a little, but it’s hard to know what you’ll get until you’ve made all eight exposures.
The results remind me of some cross processing experiments that I did a number of years ago. You can get weird results, depending on the film and process. The toned B&W multiple exposures on my X100V loosely resemble the “worst” cross-processing results from those analog experiments years ago. This isn’t something that I’d want to do all of the time, but it was fun nonetheless. Most people will never try this, but a few of you will. I can see someone doing an abstract photography project using this technique.
I never really thought that I’d be creating color images from black-and-white in-camera. The results aren’t especially great, so it’s not really a practical thing, more gee-whiz. I do believe, with practice and experimentation, it’s possible to get better results. I hope that you found this article interesting, and perhaps even a few of you were inspired to do your own experiments.
This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.