How To Add Texture To Your In-Camera JPEGs

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Green Mountain On Canvas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

A creative option found in many photo editing programs is texture. The texture, which might be canvas, paper, cloth, wood, etc., is added as a layer which can be blended as strongly or subtly as one might want. It’s a fun technique that adds an unexpected element to pictures. I used to occasionally do this when I used Alien Skin Exposure software. There are even some specialty films that have texture built-in, such as Revolog Texture films.

When I was experimenting with my Faded Color and Faded Monochrome film simulation recipes, which use double-exposure photography to create a vintage film aesthetic, it occurred to me that I could use the double-exposure feature of my Fujifilm X-T30 to add texture to my pictures in-camera. I could get a textured look without software. Incredible! So I begun to experiment with textured JPEGs, and the results were interesting.

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Canvas Daisy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

You might ask, “I can do this in Photoshop in only a few seconds, so why would I want to do this in-camera?” That’s a good question that deserves a lengthy explanation. I used to shoot RAW, but I rely on camera-made JPEGs now. Why? It saves me tons of time and makes my photographs more honest. Since I started shooting JPEGs, my photography production has gone through the roof while my total time investment in photography has noticeably dropped. I’m creating more with less. It’s all thanks to Fujifilm’s superb JPEG engine. The honesty statement is a little more controversial, but it’s clear that photography in general has taken a large perception hit when it comes to integrity. Non-photographers (photography consumers) don’t take a picture at face value anymore, and “Photoshop” has negative connotations. People ask me, “How much is this Photoshopped?” I answer, “None of it, this is how the camera captured it. This picture is unedited.” You’d be surprised at the overwhelming positive responses that I get from this answer. People find it refreshing. Photographers don’t see anything wrong with photo manipulation; however, many non-photographers feel that it’s not the image that’s being manipulated by the photographer, but the general public. They feel as though they’re being tricked by dishonesty. Whether or not that perception is fair or should exist is a whole different discussion, but you can avoid it altogether by shooting JPEGs. People are looking for authenticity, and this is one way to move in that direction.

To capture a photograph with texture on your Fujifilm camera, you will first need to enable the double-exposure feature of your camera. On the X-T30 it’s found on a knob on top of the camera. You can use any film simulation, but note that double-exposure pictures on the camera will be flatter (have less contrast), so Velvia, Classic Chrome and Acros work best because they have more contrast. Astia and PRO Neg. Hi work alright, as well. You will want to have Highlight and Shadow set no lower than +2, and more might give better results. Don’t be afraid to try +4 on one or both. I also recommend DR100, and DR200 if the scene has a lot of contrast. I find that for the main exposure, exposure compensation typically needs to be in the +1/3 to +1 range. The second exposure, which will be the texture exposure, typically needs exposure compensation set to -1 to -2, and I usually start at -2 and adjust as necessary. The camera will show you what the picture will look like, and it also allows do-overs if you need it.

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Hanging B&W Picture – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

For texture, I found the best results came from a white stretched canvas for painting. I also tried other things, like burlap, cloth, paper, wood and metal, but the results weren’t as good in my opinion. I recommend trying different materials and seeing for yourself what you like or don’t like. After capturing the main exposure, capture a second exposure of the textured object. It’s really that simple. The camera gives a 50/50 blend of the two exposures, but because the first exposure is brighter and the second is darker, it will appear more in the neighborhood of 70/30, which is what you want. It might appear as though the image is actually printed on a textured surface.

This is a simple but creative way to use the double-exposure feature of your camera. You could really play around with this and get inventive. Try different settings, different subjects and different textures and see what happens. Below are examples of textured pictures I created using this technique on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Afternoon Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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Crop of the above image.

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Spring Green Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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Crop of the above image.

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Backlit Sycamore Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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Crop of the above image.

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Hazy Light Tree Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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Crop of the above image.

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Tree Trunk In The Corner – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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Crop of the above image.

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Weed Flower Canvas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 -Canvas

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Crop of the above image.

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Yellow Flower on Canvas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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Crop of the above image.

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Yellow Blossom Burlap – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Burlap

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Bottle Still Life – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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Coffee Still Life – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Metal

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Blue R – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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Film on Canvas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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E To H – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Canvas

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Zenit E on Wood – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Wood

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Wood Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Wood

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Knot A Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Wood

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Window Birds Texture – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Cloth

Kodachrome vs. Ektachrome – A Film Simulation Showdown

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I have two very similar film simulation recipes that both produce results quite close to their namesake slide films: Kodachrome II and Ektachrome 100SW. Even though the settings are nearly the same, the looks that they produce are quite different. As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of the old “Kodachrome vs. Ektachrome” debate from the days of film. There were people who preferred one over the other for various reasons. Kodachrome was more iconic. Ektachrome had more variations. Despite the fact that they were both color transparencies made by the same company, I could probably write a long article about the differences between the two films, but this blog is about Fujifilm X cameras and not Kodak film stocks.

What I wanted to do here is compare the two film simulation recipes side by side. I will show them both, and you can decide which is best for you. It’s kind of a revival of the old debate, but with a modern twist. Kodachrome or Ektachrome? You get to decide which is the better film simulation recipe!

Take a look at the pictures below:

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Welcome to Ogden – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Kodachrome II”

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Winter Mountain – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Desert Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Kodachrome II”

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Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Pueblo de Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 “Kodachrome II”

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View From Mount Carmel Tunnel – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Kodak Transparencies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Kodachrome II”

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Kodak Transparencies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

What I like about the Kodachrome II recipe is that it produces a vintage color look that reminds me of the images found on the pages of old magazines, such as National Geographic and Arizona Highways. As I look through my grandparent’s old slide collection (which I have at home), I can see this look in their old photographs from 50 or so years ago. It’s such a fantastic recipe for Fujifilm X cameras, and I just love it!

What I like about the Ektachrome 100SW recipe is that it produces a color look that reminds me of some images that I have captured with the actual film. The film was good for western landscapes or any situation where you needed some color saturation with a warm color cast. It wasn’t around for very long because it was only marginally commercially successful, but it was one of the better variations of Ektachrome film in my opinion.

What do you think, Kodachrome or Ektachrome? Let me know in the comments which film simulation recipe you like best!

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

Fujifilm Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipes

Classic Chrome is one of the most popular film simulations available on Fujifilm X-Trans cameras. It produces a look similar to quintessential Kodak color transparency films like Kodachrome and Ektachrome, which graced the pages of publications like National Geographic and Arizona Highways for many years. With all things vintage being in style, there is a huge draw to the analog-esque results produced by the Classic Chrome film simulation.

I love Classic Chrome 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. Honestly, I think that I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. I plan to create even more film simulation recipes using Classic Chrome 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 Classic Chrome. If you haven’t tried them all, I personally invite you to do so and see which are your favorites! My personal favorite is Kodachrome II, 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, X-Pro2, and X-T20, 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.

My original Classic Chrome recipe.

My dramatic Classic Chrome recipe.

My Vintage Kodachrome recipe.

My Kodachrome II recipe.

My Vintage Agfacolor recipe.

My Kodak Portra recipe.

See also:

My Classic Chrome recipe for Fujifilm Bayer and X-Trans II.

If you like these recipes, be sure to follow Fuji X Weekly so that you don’t miss out when I publish a new one! Feel free to comment, as I appreciate your feedback. Please share on social media this article or any other that you found useful so that others might find it, too.

My Fujifilm X-T20 Kodak Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation Recipe

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Ektachrome was a line of color transparency (slide) films made by Kodak that used the E-6 development process. Some people preferred it to Kodachrome because of the faster ISO (100 vs 64 or 25), more saturated colors and easier development (although Kodachrome had finer grain, a larger dynamic range and didn’t fade as easily). A lot of National Geographic photographs were shot on Ektachrome back in the day.

There were a number of varieties of Ektachrome produced over the years, and I’ve used five of them myself. My favorite was Ektachrome 100VS (VS = “very saturated”), which was Kodak’s attempt at Fujifilm Velvia. Occasionally I used Ektachrome 100SW (SW = “saturated warm”), which was introduced in 1996 and produced vivid photographs with a warm color balance. Kodak stopped production of Ektachrome 100SW in 2002 and all Ektachrome film in 2012. Just a few months ago a brand new Kodak Ektachrome film was released, although I have not tried it yet.

A Fuji X Weekly reader, Ilya Struzhkov, took my Kodachrome II recipe and made a simple modification: he used Velvia instead of Classic Chrome. He shared the results on Instagram and I immediately felt like the images had a Kodak Ektachrome 100SW aesthetic. I had to try it out myself! Sure enough, the results looked a lot like the film: saturated colors (not as much as Velvia but more than most films), a warm color balance, and shadows that easily turned black. It’s amazing that this one change to the recipe could transform it from 1970’s Kodachrome to 1990’s Ektachrome.

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The title of this film simulation recipe says “Fujifilm X-T20” but it can be used on any X-Trans III or IV camera. In fact, at the bottom of this article you’ll find some Fujifilm X100F examples. The only other change I made (besides Velvia instead of Classic Chrome) is that I set sharpening to 0 instead of +1 on the X-T20, but it’s set to +1 on the X100F. That’s just how I set up the cameras, and there really isn’t much of a differences between 0 and +1 sharpening, so either one is fine. Because the settings are essentially the same as my Kodachrome II recipe, it’s super easy to toggle between the two when out shooting. Really, it’s just brilliant!

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

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs using my Fujifilm X-T20 Kodak Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation recipe:

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Light Dust of Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Frozen Fall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Frosty Leaf & Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Sandstone Peaks – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Evening Moonrise – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Zion Sun – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Evening On The Cliffs – Snow Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Amanda & Ritchie – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Still Water & Rocky Shore – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Old Dry Lavender – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Boots – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Ektachrome 100SW”

Fujifilm X100F:

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Autumn Tree Below Bridge Mountain – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

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View From Mount Carmel Tunnel – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Juniper – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

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Sandstone Trees – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Ektachrome 100SW”

See also: My Fujifilm X-T20 Aged Color Film Simulation Recipe

My Fujifilm X-T20 Aged Color Film Simulation Recipe

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White Duck – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 “Aged Color”

During World War II there was a shortage of rubber, and an effort was put forth to create synthetic rubber. There were many ideas and experiments to create rubber in the lab, most of which failed. One of those failures was a silicone-based elastic substance that could bounce, float in water, and lift print off of newspaper. This substance was created by mistake while trying to invent something else. It was a twist of fate. It was a happy accident. It was Silly Putty.

Recently I was experimenting with the JPEG settings on a Fujifilm X-T20, trying to replicate the look of some different films. I’ve been working on four different film simulation settings for several months, only hitting dead ends. I haven’t been able to achieve the desired results, but I did stumble across an interesting look. Like the discovery of Silly Putty, I made a happy accident! Even though I used an X-T20 for this recipe, you could apply these settings to any X-Trans III camera and get the same exact results.

This look doesn’t quite resemble any specific film that I’m aware of. I think it produces an analog film aesthetic, even though I couldn’t tell you which one. There are a couple of films that I can see maybe some resemblance, but overall it’s not an exact match. Actually, what it reminded me of is a group of four Alien Skin Exposure presets under the “Color Films – Aged” tab called Color Photo. These presets are similar to each other but each one has a slightly varied look. My new film simulation, which I’ve named Aged Color, produces a look that resembles those Exposure presets, although I will admit that it’s more of general aesthetic than a carbon copy. It’s just what I think it most closely resembles, by coincidence.

Below are three pictures of mine that were edited with those Alien Skin Exposure Color Photo presets:

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Hidden Waterfall – Lava Hot Springs, ID

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South Pasadena – Pasadena, CA

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Three Kids In The Water – Carlsbad, CA

While Alien Skin Exposure gives you four preset options for this look, and each of those can be heavily customized, I only have one Aged Color recipe, but you are more than welcome to tweak it to your liking. I find that it produces muted yet lovely colors and slightly faded shadows. If the scene doesn’t have a lot of contrast the images can come out a little flat. The skin tones in the pictures below show a lot of red, but some of that can be attributed to cold temperatures, and I think that under normal conditions skin will look a little more natural. This film simulation recipe is an interesting option to achieve a look that is perhaps unexpected from a digital camera and looks a bit more film-like. I doubt that it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but I think some of you will really appreciate it.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +3
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 (typically)

Example photos, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured on a Fujifilm X-T20 using my Aged Color Film Simulation recipe:

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Brother & Sister Fun – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Playground Play – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Joshua Throwing Leaves – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Evening Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Swingset Post – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Oak Tree Autumn Sun – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Last Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sunlight Through The Branches – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Ducks Swimming In A Pond – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Late Blooms – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Dry & Yellow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Old Town Clock – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Little White Pumpkin On The Mantel – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Lego Food Stand Creation – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Boy Reading – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Hot Coffee Brew – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Potted Succulent  – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Asahi Pentax SLR – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

 

Fujifilm X-Trans III Sharpening & Noise Reduction

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About 11 months ago I published an article entitled Fujifilm X100F Noise Reduction & Sharpening, which detailed my opinions on these two features. I felt like this topic needed a quick refresher, but I didn’t want to rehash what I’ve already said. I think I came up with a good way to approach this topic while not repeating myself.

All Fujifilm files, whether RAW or JPEG, have some level of sharpening and noise reduction applied to them. The options found in the camera for sharpening and noise reduction are specifically for in-camera JPEGs. If you shoot RAW you apply whatever sharpening and noise reduction you’d like with the software of your choice in post-production. If you shoot JPEG you decide this using the options that Fujifilm provides inside their cameras. You cannot turn these off, and the lowest setting, -4, still applies some sharpening or noise reduction, even if a tiny amount.

I don’t think Fujifilm named the setting levels very well. It should be +1 through +9. Naming it -4 through +4 just causes confusion. Instead of thinking of 0 as zero, think of it as the middle option. 0 is really 5 on a scale of one through nine.

Sharpening and noise reduction are great because they make your photographs crisper and cleaner. They help give your images a polished look. However, too much of a good thing is not good at all. Apply too much of either and weird things start happening to your pictures. It’s a balancing act, and it’s easy to go too far.

How far is too far on Fujifilm X-Trans III cameras? That’s up to you to determine. I will give you my opinion, and you can take that for what it’s worth. I will say that for internet use or prints no larger than 8″ x 12″ it really doesn’t matter what settings you choose because it’s difficult to notice the difference between -4 and +4 when viewed that small. If you don’t pixel-peep or print large, using the default settings of 0 are a perfectly fine approach. If you do pixel-peep or print larger than 8″ x 12″ you may want to more carefully consider your choices.

Sharpening:

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Sharpening -4

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Sharpening 0

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Sharpening +4

What can be determined from the three crops above? Not much, because to notice anything you have to look much closer. If you do take the time to study them you can spot the differences. The change from -4 to +4 isn’t especially obvious, so, as you can imagine, a plus or minus of one is very difficult to perceive. My opinion is that anything from -2 to +2 sharpening is where the best results are found, and I stay in the -1 to +1 range for my own photography, which I believe is the sweet spot. I used to use +2 all of the time but I haven’t used that high of a sharpening setting in probably a year.

Noise Reduction:

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Noise Reduction -4

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Noise Reduction 0

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Noise Reduction +4

By looking at the three crops above it might seem as though there’s not much of a difference between -4 and +4 noise reduction, and you are correct, but it’s actually a bigger difference than you might initially think. In my opinion, the noise reduction setting is a little more critical than the sharpening setting as Fujifilm applies it a little heavy-handed on X-Trans III cameras. I think the best results are found between -4 and -2. In my opinion -2 can be marginal sometimes so I typically use -4 or -3.

If you aren’t pixel-peeping, and you are just sharing to Instagram or Facebook, none of this matters. Worry about sharpening and noise reduction if you like to zoom way in on your pictures or if you like to print them large. I personally worry about it, but I take great care with all of the settings so that I get exactly the results that I want. Just because I worry about something or like things a particular way doesn’t mean that you should, too. Find what works best for you, even if it’s unconventional or goes against popular opinion.

My Fujifilm X100F Cross Process Film Simulation Recipe

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Silos – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

Cross processing film is a technique where you develop a film in chemicals intended for another film. For example, the most common cross process is to develop color transparencies, which require the E-6 process, using color negative film chemicals, which is known as the C-41 process. For slide film, the photographs typically increase in contrast and grain and the colors shift dramatically. There are other types of cross processing, as well. I’ve done cross processing before, and the results can be fun. It’s a great experiment if you’ve never done it before!

Different films will look different when they are cross processed. Overexposing or underexposing or even how the development is handled can effect how the image is rendered. The aesthetic can vary significantly, but usually you can spot a cross processed photograph when you see it. Below are a few examples of actual film that I’ve cross processed:

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Westbound CA HWY 58 – Tehachapi, CA – Fujifilm Velvia 50 cross process

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Flare & Flag – Barstow, CA – Fujifilm Velvia 50 cross process

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Old Tractor – Tehachapi, CA – Kodak Gold 400 cross process

Notice how the three photographs are quite a bit different from each other. There is not a singular look that is cross process, but rather an aesthetic spectrum. The images tend to be less literal and more abstract.

There is a significant challenge in developing a film simulation that mimics the look of cross processing. Most notably, which film and process? There are so many, and besides, one film can give many different looks. For example, the two Velvia images above were from the same 36 exposure roll of film, and one has a much more pronounced yellow-green cast than the other. What I decided to do was create something that could conceivably fall within the aesthetic spectrum, while not copying any specific film.

While this film simulation recipe does not copy one specific film, I do think it’s close to Kodak EliteChrome that’s been cross processed, or perhaps Ektachrome 100G. I think it’s close to Fujifilm Sensia sometimes, although I’d emphasis the word sometimes. These settings are never going to produce results that will always match a certain film because one film can vary in look from frame-to-frame. It’s convincing, but should be thought of in generic terms.

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Truck Stop Cross Process – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

Because the results of actual cross process film can vary so much, it would be fun to change up this recipe as you shoot. Maybe add a little more to the shadows or highlights sometimes and change the white balance shift a little after a few frames. I haven’t tried this, but it sounds like a good idea. I did change the Dynamic Range setting a number of times, going between DR100, DR200 and DR-Auto. After some playing around I settled on DR200, although I think you’d be fine with whichever Dynamic Range setting you’d prefer.

Provia
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +3
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: 0
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, -3 Red & -8 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs using my Fujifilm X100F Cross Process Film Simulation recipe:

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Taos Umbrella – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

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Pentax Shutter Dial – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

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Get 1 Back – Draper, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

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Umbrella Tie – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

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Covered Hoppers – Westlake, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

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Counters – McKinney, Texas – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

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Kitchen Cross Process – Waco, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

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Speaker – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

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Grain Elevator – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

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Two Towers Cross Process – Dallas, TX – Fujifilm X100F “Cross Process”

The Power of White Balance Shift

Truck Stop Cross Process – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm film simulation recipes often call for a white balance shift. A couple of weeks ago I was thinking that I’ve never explained what a white balance shift is, how it changes an image, and how to use it. Then last week a Fuji X Weekly reader asked if I would write an article on this topic, so I knew it was time to demonstrate what this is.

White balance is the Kelvin temperature of an image. There are different temperatures so that the image color matches the light in the scene. If the white balance temperature is too cool, your photograph will have a blue cast. If the white balance temperature is too warm, your photograph will have a yellow cast. Most people use auto white balance and let the camera figure it out, but you can set it manually. In fact, some photographers purposefully use a “wrong” white balance to make their images have a cool or warm feel. I could write a whole article explaining white balance, but what I want to talk about in this post is white balance shift, which is related but different.

Many cameras, including Fujifilm, have an option to customize the white balance by shifting the color cast. In fact, Fujifilm allows you to choose between over 300 different color casts! You can shift the colors quite subtlety or obviously. White balance shift is a great tool for creating a specific look, and that’s why I rely on it for creating my film simulation recipes.

Different color films had different color casts. Different films showed color differently, and, because of this, some films were better for landscapes and some were better for portraits. Some people preferred one film over another because of how it rendered images. Not every film is for everyone or every purpose, but one can create a variety of looks depending on which films they choose and how they process those films.

Taos Umbrella – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

White balance shift allows one to create a variety of different looks for different purposes and situations, much like one would choose different films for different looks and purposes. It’s simple to give a photograph an orange cast or green cast or blue cast, etc., etc., which will alter how the image renders colors, by using white balance shift. It’s possible to mimic film aesthetics or create something new using the tools that Fujifilm provides on their cameras.

When you change the color cast, you do a couple of different things to your pictures. The first is that you give your image feeling, either warm or cool. A warm image will portray happiness, like an inviting warm light inside a house at dusk. A cool image will portray sadness, like endless grey skies on a lonely winter day. You can change the emotional response from viewers by adjusting the color cast to either a warm or cool color. The side effect of adjusting the color cast is that it changes how different colors are rendered. Blues, reds, greens–every color–changes slightly to a new shade as one shifts the white balance. You may want to pick a certain color cast because of how it shifts the colors in an image.

I created the image above to demonstrate all of this. The middle picture has the white balance shift set directly in the middle: 0 red and 0 blue. Each of the other pictures show what happens when you pick the extremes of white balance shift. Starting at the top-center and moving clockwise around: 0 red & +9 blue, +9 red & +9 blue, +9 red & 0 blue, +9 red & -9 blue, 0 red & -9 blue, -9 red & -9 blue, -9 red & 0 blue, and -9 red & +9 blue. Normally you wouldn’t choose to adjust the white balance shift to the degrees shown here, but choose something a little more subtle instead. Typically you want it to be barely or at most moderately perceivable. However, there might be times that an image would benefit from a wild white balance shift. You have a lot of color cast options, which allows you to be as creative and crazy as you’d like.

White balance shift is a great tool for customizing the look of your photographs by changing the color cast. You can control the emotion and color shade by adding or subtracting blue and red. You can create looks that mimic classic film stock or you could invent something unique. Unfortunately you cannot save anymore than one white balance shift preset. I hope that someday Fujifilm will allow you to make many different ones that can be assigned to the quick recall presets, because white balance shift is a powerful tool that I use frequently.

My Favorite Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipes

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Fujifilm – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

I’ve shared many film simulation recipes for Fujifilm X-Trans III cameras, such as the X100F and X-Pro2, and some of them have become quite popular. I’ve been asked a few times to share which ones are my favorites. Which film simulation recipes do I use?

I have used all of them at one time or another, but there are a handful of recipes that I really appreciate and use regularly. I have my favorites! Let me share with you which ones I currently use.

Kodachrome II

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Quaker State – Midway, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

My favorite film simulation recipe that I created is my Kodachrome II Film Simulation recipe, which I initially made for the X-Pro2 but I also use on the X100F. I really love the way these settings render color images. It gives my exposures a beautiful vintage analog look right out of camera. It takes Classic Chrome to a whole new level of goodness! I use this recipe as much as the scenes allow because I love it so much.

Velvia

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Red Leaves In The Forest – Wasatch Mountain SP, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Typically I use my Velvia Film Simulation recipe only occasionally, but with the autumn season I’m currently using it often. However, I’ve modified the original recipe to be Highlight +1, Shadow +2 and color +3 to give it more punch, while also setting Noise Reduction to -3 and Sharpening to +1. This is a better version of the recipe, except when there is a lot of contrast, which is where the original settings will likely produce better results. The great thing about these different recipes is that they can be seasoned to taste.

Upcoming Recipe??

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Sundance Chair Lift – Sundance, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I’ve been working on a new film simulation recipe that I’m currently only moderately happy with. It’s a work-in-progress, and right now it only produces good results occasionally. It seems to be very situation specific, and that means it’s difficult to get enough quality example photographs to publish an article. Even if I get everything ironed out and I find the best settings, it may still be awhile before I can share it. I’ve been shooting with this now and then over the last couple of weeks, and I’ll probably continue to do so over the next several weeks or months.

Honorable Mentions

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Flat Tire – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

There are other recipes that I use for color photography, including PRO Neg. Hi, Ektar 100 and Portra 400, but as I was going over my recent photographs I realized that I haven’t used these much at all lately. It seems that my Kodachrome II recipe has essentially replaced them. That’s not to say that I won’t use them, as I like these recipes and they have their place, but I just haven’t picked them very often lately.

Tri-X Push Process

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Disc 4000 – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

This Tri-X Push Process recipe is my favorite black-and-white film simulation option, but it’s not my invention. I stole it from Luis Costa who published it on his blog. It’s absolute genius, but its limitation is that it doesn’t always work in bright-light situations because it requires a high ISO. Whenever I can use it I do use it. It produces the most film-like results that I’ve ever seen from a digital camera.

Acros Push Process

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Clouds Around Timpanogos – Heber City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 50-230mm

Whenever I want results that are similar to the Tri-X Push Process settings but I need to use a lower ISO, I choose my Acros Push Process recipe. It’s not quite as good as Tri-X Push Process, but it’s a close second best. It was my favorite monochrome recipe until I discovered Luis Costa’s settings.

Agfa Scala

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Epic Zip Line – Sundance, UT – Fujifilm X100F

When I want a black-and-white image with a little less contrast, I use my Agfa Scale Film Simulation recipe. It produces great results in higher-contrast scenes or whenever you need something that’s a little less bold than the two “push process” options. I don’t use it all of the time, but it definitely comes in handy from time-to-time.

Your Turn

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Which film simulation recipes are your favorites? It can be one of mine or your own creation. Please share in the comments what JPEG settings you use on your Fujifilm cameras because I want to know!