I stumbled across an old police car while in Branson, Missouri. If you’ve never been to Branson (I hadn’t), it’s a quirky tourist town, so finding unusual things—such as a 1950’s Ford police car—parked along a road for seemingly no reason isn’t unusual. I had my Fujifilm X-E4 with the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens with me, so I decided to snap a couple of pictures. I used the Fujicolor Natura 1600 Film Simulation Recipe for these images.
To my surprise, the car was unlocked, so I opened the doors and captured some pictures of the inside. One of the windows was broken, and it smelled strongly of mold inside, so I didn’t climb in; instead, I stood outside while reaching inside with the camera. Most of my pictures are of the inside—the outside had a ton of reflections, and I didn’t have a polarizer, so it was extremely difficult to capture the car without capturing myself, too.
I’m not an automotive expert, so I could be completely wrong, but I believe this is a 1957 Ford 300 (if you know, let me know in the comments!). Because Branson is a weird town, it’s possible that this never was an actual police car, but was simply made to look like one. Whatever the case, it’s kind of a shame that it is left the way it is because it’s clearly deteriorating. This would be a great restoration project for someone, but it’s probably not for sale. I’m just glad that I stumbled upon it, and decided to photograph it with my Fujifilm camera.
My friend, James, has a 1994 Rover Mini Cooper. It’s such a cool classic car! He imported it from Japan, and the driver sits on the right side instead of the left, which is unusual in America. What I love about this car is its vintage features; it looks older than the year it was built. It has great retro styling, and you don’t see many of these older models on the road. I asked him if I could photograph it, and he graciously agreed.
The camera that I chose for this photo shoot is the Fujifilm X100V. It’s a fun camera to use, and it unsurprisingly handled this situation well—there’s not much that this camera isn’t a good choice for (wildlife photography, perhaps?). For automobile photography it did nothing but deliver beautiful picture after beautiful picture.
The film simulation recipe that I programmed into the X100V is Kodachrome 64, which is a film that was very popular in 1994 when this car was new. I thought it would be appropriate to give the pictures an aesthetic that matched its year built, as if these images could have been captured when the car was new. In 2010 Kodachrome was discontinued, including the chemicals to develop it, so it’s impossible to capture with Kodachrome today. My Kodachrome 64 film simulation recipe might be the closest you can get to the film straight-out-of-camera.
My wife, Amanda, who created the video at the top of this article, programmed my Kodachrome 64 recipe into the Fujifilm X-T30 and X-T20, two cameras that she used to record this photo shoot. Something that some of you might be unaware of is that my film simulation recipes can be used for video, too! No need for color grading. No need for LUT presets. I bet some of you just had your mind blown! She also used a GoPro Hero 8, and we tried to color match it to the Fujifilm clips, but that proved to be a difficult task. If you want Kodachrome-looking clips, you might be better off simply using the film simulation recipe on your Fujifilm camera instead of trying to recreate it in software.
When we started the photo shoot, it was evening light just before sunset. Smoke from the wildfires in California diffused the sun and gave a warm glow, which was quite nice; however, the sun quickly disappeared below the horizon and the light changed significantly. It was dusk by the time we stopped shooting. The great light was short lived, but we worked quickly to take advantage of it while it lasted.
One challenge with car photography is that there are often lots and lots of reflections, which can make it difficult to keep yourself (or other things you don’t want) from showing up in the images. You have to be very conscious of the entire frame. Yes, unwanted reflections can be removed in software, but the point of this exercise is to not use software, but get the desired results out-of-camera unedited. Reflections can also be used creatively, so it’s not just a challenge to avoid unwanted reflections, but to maximize good reflections.
I want to give a big “Thank You” to James for allowing us to photograph his Rover Mini. I enjoyed collaborating with him. If you like the video, be sure to give it a thumbs up and let us know with a comment! Please subscribe to the Fuji X Weekly YouTube channel if you don’t already. Thanks for watching!
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