Why Shooting JPEGs Is So Popular

I wrote an article for MomentWhy Shooting JPEGs Is So Popular (& 10 Fujifilm Simulation Recipes)—and they published it today! If you have a few minutes, click the link and check it out.

What’s the story behind this article? I had a great conversation with Moment recently, and we discussed various ways that we might be able to collaborate. Moment is the coolest camera store, so it’s really an honor to partner with them in any way that I can. And we have in the past. I wrote part of an article—Why I Never Shoot RAW — FujiFilm Simulations, Recipes, and More!—with Joshua Martin that they published back in September of 2021. Right around that same time we gave away five CineBloom filters, too. Although not a collab, I also reviewed Moment’s 58mm Cellphone Lens. The article they published today came out of the recent conversation we had.

I hope the Why Shooting JPEGs Is So Popular article will achieve several different things. First, I want to reach Fujifilm photographers who have never heard of Fuji X Weekly and Film Simulation Recipes (yes, there are some), and perhaps they will find it all very fascinating and give one a try. Second, I want to reach those who shoot Fujifilm cameras and have heard of Recipes, but perhaps have been too apprehensive to actually use them, and maybe now they will. Third, I want to convince some who shoot Canikony and are frustrated with their current RAW workflow to buy a Fujifilm camera and give Recipes a try. Fourth, I want to explain to those who just don’t “get it” why more and more photographers are choosing to shoot JPEGs and not edit their images, because some of those who have never tried it just can’t fathom why anyone would. Fifth, I want to encourage those who do shoot with Film Simulation Recipes and some grumpy stranger on the internet tells them that they’re doing it wrong; there’s a movement within photography, and you’re a part of it, which is really an incredible thing when you think about it.

There might be more collaboration opportunities between Fuji X Weekly and Moment—this article was simply the next step in a growing partnership. I don’t know for sure what the future collabs might be, but we definitely tossed around several cool ideas. We’ll have to wait and see which ones happen and which don’t, and if other new opportunities arise. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the article!

There’s an Easier Way — JPEG Photography for a Faster Workflow

Arches National Park, Utah — iPhone 11 — RitchieCam App — Analog Gold filter

“I’ve been working on my photos from October rather than reviews….”

—Ken Rockwell, February 2, 2023

I just stumbled upon that quote from Ken, which was followed by an iPhone photo from October (that’s why this article begins with an iPhone picture). I bet a lot of you can relate to his statement. When you photograph a lot, your post-processing workflow can get backed up quite a bit. I have thousands of unprocessed RAW files that have been sitting on a now-obsolete computer’s hard drive for at least seven years now. I get it: you’ve got stuff to do, and your limited time is being pulled every which way, so something’s got to give.

I discovered that there’s a better way. There’s no need to get four or five months behind. There’s no need to let your photographic work back up so much. You can can accomplish so much more with the time that you’ll save. What is this better way? It’s really simple: shoot JPEGs, and skip the picture editing step (called One Step Photography, as explained by Ansel Adams in his book Polaroid Land Camera). More and more photographers are embracing this approach.

Sitting Above Horseshoe Bend – Horseshoe Bend, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Pergear 10mm – “The Rockwell” Recipe

Ken Rockwell knows this. Not only does he often shoot JPEGs, but he once tried one of my Film Simulation Recipes on a Fujifilm camera. He shoots with a lot of brands, and Fujifilm isn’t his main make. I have Film Simulation Recipes for Fujifilm cameras, I have Recipes for Ricoh GR cameras, and I have an iPhone camera app called RitchieCam; if you don’t shoot with Fujifilm, Ricoh, or iPhone, your options are much more limited (I did make a few Recipes for Nikon Z, too, but it’s a pretty small number).

The reason why it’s important to shoot with Recipes is because the settings have been fine-tuned to produce a particular aesthetic that doesn’t require editing. The images look good straight from the camera, as if they had been post-processed or perhaps were even shot on film. Except they weren’t, which saves you a ton of time, money, and hassle. If you aren’t shooting with Recipes, you are most certainly doing some amount of post-processing, whether you shoot RAW or JPEG. There are some people who do still edit their camera-made-using-Recipes JPEGs, but they’re doing much less editing than they otherwise would be. The point of using Film Simulation Recipes is to edit less or (preferably) not at all, which has a huge upside, but it does require Recipes that produce excellent results, and a little extra care by the photographer in the field, since “I’ll fix it in post” isn’t really an option.

If Ken had used a Fujifilm camera programmed with Fuji X Weekly Recipes, surely he would not be busy right now post-processing pictures captured way back in October. Instead, he’d be writing those reviews that have been delayed, or out on some other photographic adventure. The October exposures would have been completed in October, or maybe early November at the latest. If he had used RitchieCam, there would be no need to process his iPhone images with Skylum software, because they would have been ready-to-publish the moment they were captured. Ken, you should try my iPhone camera app. And you should shoot with Fujifilm cameras more often.

Captured at the end of October, posted to Instagram the next day, and published on this website November 8th.

With the Canikony brands, shooting awesome straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) JPEGs isn’t as easy or prevalent. Sure, it can be done, but it is much more often done with other brands because of things like the Fuji X Weekly App, which contains approaching 300 Film Simulation Recipes for Fujifilm cameras, so no matter your desired aesthetic, there’s a Recipe for you. Download the Fuji X Weekly App for free today (Android here, Apple here), and consider becoming a Patron subscriber to unlock the best App experience. Ken is sitting at a computer right now fiddling with files, since he didn’t shoot with Fujifilm cameras programmed with Film Simulation Recipes.

People seem to either love or hate Ken Rockwell. To be clear, this article is not bashing him. I’ve actually had correspondence with Ken, and he seems like a very nice guy. I think his “real” personality is much more kind and genuine than his online persona, which can sometimes come across as abrasive and perhaps even offensive. If you hate him, I would suggest that you reach out to him with an open mind and heart, and try to get to know him a little, because your mind might get changed, even if just a bit. Personally, I have found some of his articles, insights, and commentary to be quite helpful; however, I certainly don’t agree with everything that he says, and I take his words with a grain of salt (as you should with mine). He’s very successful at what he does, so he’s obviously doing something “right” even if I don’t fully agree with what it is.

All of that is to say, if you don’t want your workflow backed up for months because you have so many exposures to edit, and you’d rather spend your time doing something else—including capturing more photographs—then SOOC JPEGs might just be the thing for you. If you don’t own a Fujifilm camera, consider picking one up. Download the Fuji X Weekly App. Select a few Film Simulation Recipes to try. Let your RAW editor subscription expire.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 in black:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-E4 in silver:  Amazon   B&H  Moment

SOOC Live Season 3 Kicks Off February 9!!

We’re two weeks away from kicking off SOOC Live Season 3! Join myself and Nathalie Boucry as we talk about Film Simulation Recipes, Fujifilm cameras, photography, and so much more. There will be quite a few changes to the show, which we’ll discuss in the initial episode, so you’ll want to tune in. We’ll be broadcasting live on February 9th at 9 AM Pacific Time, Noon Eastern Time, and we hope that you will join us. Mark your calendars now!

One big change is that SOOC Live has its own YouTube channel. All of the “old” episodes will be added there, but it is a work-in-progress and will take some time, so please excuse the construction. You’ll want to take a moment right now to subscribe to the SOOC Live channel, that way you’ll get notified of new broadcasts. Also, the Season 3 Kickoff episode has already been scheduled, so be sure to set the reminder. You know, hit the bell and smash the button and all that fun stuff.

If you haven’t uploaded your photos, don’t forget to do so soon (click here)! Which pictures should you share? Submit up to three of your favorite images captured with the Mystery Chrome Film Simulation Recipe (which was created live during the last episode of Season 2) and/or festive photographs captured over the holiday season with any Film Simulation Recipe. Be sure to include your name and the recipe used in the file name. All the pictures submitted will be included in a slide show, and some will be shown during the show. Everyone who submits a photo will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a 12-month Patron subscription to the Fuji X Weekly App. Please submit your pictures by February 7th.

If you haven’t visited the SOOC Live website, you’ll want to do so and bookmark it. It’s also a work-in-progress, and you’ll see a few changes and updates over the coming weeks and months.

There are some big things in store for SOOC Live Season 3! Come along for the ride and see where this journey takes us.

The SOOC Revolution

Fence & Desert – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Vintage Bronze” Recipe

“The effect of one-step processing on both amateur and professional creative photography has been revolutionary.”

—Ansel Adams, Polaroid Land Camera

I woke up this morning unsure what to write about. It just so happened that I had a handful of exposures I captured yesterday evening still sitting on the SD Card in my Fujifilm X-T5. Using Fujifilm’s Cam Remote App, I transferred the pictures from the camera to my iPhone, cropped and straightened a few of them, and uploaded the images to cloud storage. It took maybe 10 minutes tops start-to-finish, and I don’t even think it was that long. One-step photography, which removes the second-step (the editing step), is truly revolutionary, just as Ansel Adams stated. Of course he was talking about instant film—something he was a big fan of—and we’re talking about straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, something that I’m a big fan of. Now I know what to write about today!

First Sign of Spring – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Vintage Bronze” Recipe

Why is shooting straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) JPEGs revolutionary?

First, it allows for a faster, more streamlined workflow. When you use Fujifilm cameras and Film Simulation Recipes, the camera does all the post-processing work for you. You don’t have to spend hours and hours sitting in front of a computer fiddling with images. This can save you an extensive amount of time and effort, which can significantly increase your productivity, plus make photography more enjoyable. It’s not only a faster workflow, but an easier workflow. Achieving a desired aesthetic is as simple as programming the correct recipe into your camera.

Yellow Wildflowers – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Vintage Bronze” Recipe

Next, SOOC JPEGs allow you to be more consistent. Because the camera is applying the recipes, the photographer doesn’t have to worry about inconsistencies in their editing process. This makes achieving cohesive results for a photo series or project much easier.

Also, JPEGs are more efficient than RAW in terms of storage space. You don’t need to buy a larger SD Card or external hard drive or pay for more cloud storage nearly as quickly. Upload and download times are faster. You have a ready-to-share photo the moment that it’s captured—you don’t have to wait for a program to process it first.

Jon at the Fishin’ Pond – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Vintage Bronze” Recipe

Finally, SOOC JPEGs might be considered more authentic. Film Simulation Recipes often replicate the look and feel of classic film stocks and processes, and seem less digital-like in their rendering. There is a growing sentiment among photography consumers (not photographers, but those who view pictures) that “Photoshop” is bad, and picture manipulation equals people manipulation; however, unedited images don’t carry that stigma, and can come across as more authentic.

All of this and more are why there is a revolution in photography right now. More and more photographers—from first-camera beginners to experienced pros with recognizable names—are using Film Simulation Recipes and shooting SOOC JPEGs. It’s a growing trend, and I believe it will become much bigger in the coming years. I’m truly honored to be a part of it, and I’m glad that you’ve come along for the ride.

Budding & Blooming – Buckeye, AZ – Fujifilm X-T5 & Fujinon 35mm f/2 – “Vintage Bronze” Recipe

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-T5 in black:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-T5 in silver:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujinon 35mm in black:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujinon 35mm in silver:  Amazon  B&H  Moment

Find this Film Simulation Recipe and over 250 more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

3 (More) Nikon Z Film Simulation Recipes

When the Nikon Zfc was announced in 2021, I preordered it, and waited a long time for it to come. When it finally arrived, I pulled the Zfc out of the box and began to use it, and I was quickly disappointed. I said that it was most similar to the Fujifilm X-T200, yet significantly bigger, heavier, and more expensive. Still, I put the camera through its paces, and even created 11 Nikon Z Film Simulation Recipes using the Zfc. Then the camera went back into its box, and I strongly considered selling it.

After months and months of none-use, and after moving to a different state, I decided to give the Zfc one more try, but with a significant modification: I ditched the lousy Nikkor 28mm lens in favor of the TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4. Why? Because the TTArtisan lens has an aperture ring, and the Nikkor doesn’t. The TTArtisan lens is better optically than the Nikkor, too—I’m much happier with this setup.

Right now I’m working on my full-review of the TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 lens, and that means using it. Initially on my Zfc I was using the recipes that I had already created, but then I decided to make a few new ones—I guess I couldn’t help myself. If you add these three to the 11 others, I now have 14 Film Simulation Recipes for Nikon Z cameras!

Obviously, I made these JPEG recipes on the Zfc, so it will render differently on the full-frame models, but I’m not sure exactly how differently, as I’ve never used a full-frame Z camera. The reports have been positive, though, so I assume that they work well, including on the more expensive bodies—I just have no first-hand experience.

For those who might not know what “Film Simulation Recipes” are, they’re JPEG camera settings that allow you to achieve various looks (mostly analog-inspired) straight-out-of-camera, no editing needed. It can save you a lot of time by simplifying your workflow, and it can make the process of creating photographs more enjoyable.

Vintage Teal

Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal

Vintage mood with a deep-teal cast.

Picture Control: Sepia
Effect Level: 40
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: +1.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +2.00
Clarity: -2.00
Contrast: +1.00
Filter Effects: Red

Toning: 7.00
Active D-Lighting: High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Cloudy
WB Adjust: A1.0 G4.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal
Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal
Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal
Nikon Zfc — Vintage Teal


Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”

Similar to Kodak Gold with the film spooled backwards (redscale).

Picture Control: Red
Effect Level: 50
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: -1.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: 0.00
Clarity: -1.00
Contrast: +2.00
Filter Effects: Green

Toning: 6.00
Active D-Lighting: Normal
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Day White Fluorescent
WB Adjust: B2.0 G4.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”
Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”
Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”
Nikon Zfc — “Redscale”

Bright Negative

Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”

Reminiscent of brightly exposed color negative film.

Picture Control: Melancholic
Effect Level: 100
Quick Sharp: 0.00
Sharpening: 0.00
Mid-Range Sharpening: +1.00
Clarity: -1.00
Contrast: +3.00
Saturation: +3.00
Active D-Lighting: High
High ISO NR: Low
White Balance: Daylight Fluorescent
WB Adjust: A6.0 G6.0
ISO: up to 3200

Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”
Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”
Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”
Nikon Zfc — “Bright Negative”

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Nikon Zfc — Amazon — B&H
TTArtisans 35mm f/1.4 — Amazon — B&H

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I Love Getting Analog Looks SOOC

Captured with a Fujifilm X100V using the Fujicolor Pro 400H recipe.

I love getting an analog aesthetic right out of camera! Fujifilm X cameras offer many great tools to get film-like results straight-out-of-camera without the need to edit. By adjusting the JPEG parameters, you can create various looks that I call film simulation recipes—I have published nearly 200 of them! These settings save you time, simplify the photographic process, and make capturing pictures even more enjoyable.

“By making it possible for the photographer to observe his work and his subject simultaneously,” wrote Edwin H. Land, co-founder of Polaroid, “and by removing most of the manipulative barriers between the photographer and the photograph, it is hoped that many of the satisfactions of working in the early arts can be brought to a new group of photographers.”

Ansel Adams called it One-Step Photography, and added, “The effect of one-step processing on both amateur and professional creative photography has been revolutionary. As with all art forms, we must accept the limitations of the medium as well as revel in the advantages.”

Land and Adams were specifically talking about Polaroid pictures, but I think it applies similarly to Fujifilm X cameras and film simulation recipes. The “manipulative barriers between the photographer and the photograph” have been removed! Now you just have to decide which recipe you want to use, like picking which film to load, and start creating, without worrying about how you’re going to later manipulate the pictures, because the straight-out-of-camera pictures are pretty darn good, and don’t require manipulation. Sure, edit if you want—there’s nothing wrong with that—but you don’t have to if you don’t want to, and there’s nothing wrong with that, either. Ansel Adams called it “revolutionary” and said to “revel in the advantages.” There’s freedom in this.

All of the pictures in this article are unedited (except for perhaps some minor cropping) straight-out-of-camera JPEGs that I recently captured using a Fujifilm X camera and a film simulation recipe.

Captured with a Fujifilm X100V using the Kodak Tri-X 400 recipe.
Captured with a Fujifilm X100V using the AgfaColor RS 100 recipe.
Captured with a Fujifilm X-E4 using the Kodacolor VR recipe.
Captured using a Fujifilm X-E4 with the Fujicolor Superia 1600 recipe.