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!

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.

One-Step Photography

I believe that it’s often better to spend money on experiences rather than new gear. Sometimes a book can be just as good as an experience; perhaps it can be an experience in and of itself. For Christmas my family gifted me three photography books, each one featuring the legendary photographer Ansel Adams. One of the three books was especially surprising: Polaroid Land Photography by Ansel Adams.

Did you know that Ansel Adams, the renown black-and-white landscape photographer who invented the Zone System and who was celebrated for his darkroom mastery, loved Polaroid photography? I didn’t. I was surprised to learn that one of his well-known Yosemite pictures was a Polaroid (Type 55), and this picture was found in one of the other two books I was gifted. Adams’ Polaroid book is a thorough and highly technical look at instant film. It’s the ultimate guide to Polaroid, at least from 1978 when this second edition was published. I want to share a few quotes from the book, then circle it back to this blog and Fujifilm.

“It is unfortunate that so many photographers have thought of the Land camera as a ‘toy,’ a casual device for ‘fun’ pictures, or, at best, a gadget to make record pictures! The process has revolutionized the art and craft of photography….”

—Ansel Adams

It’s clear right from the beginning of the book that Adams considered the Polaroid camera a serious photographic tool. He felt it was under-appreciated and underutilized by the photographic community at large.

“By making it possible for the photographer to observe his work and his subject simultaneously, 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. The process must be concealed from—non-existent for—the photographer, who by definition need think of the art in taking and not in making photographs. In short, all that should be necessary to get a good picture is to take a good picture, and our task is to make that possible.”

—Edwin H Land, co-founder of Polaroid

Adams included that Edward Land quote in Chapter 13, Principles of One-Step Photography, and he immediately followed it with this:

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

—Ansel Adams

Polaroid Land Photography is an extensive user’s manual—Adams referred to it as such many times—yet it is full of inspiration, both in written words and great photography. There is so much that I could quote, but I will refrain myself and add just one more.

“As with all art forms, we must accept the limitations of the medium as well as revel in the advantages.”

—Ansel Adams

I was reading all this as I was simultaneously celebrating the fact that I had so easily finished the pictures of my kids opening their Christmas presents. By finished, I mean finished. I captured the pictures, and in the time it takes most people to load their RAW files onto their PC or Mac, I had already uploaded them to my phone, put them into storage, and shared them to loved ones. Done. It occurred to me that this is the modern equivalent of one-step processing.

Over the last several months I have been pondering why my different film simulation recipes are so popular. Tens of thousands of photographers across the globe, from newbies to experienced pros, are using these camera settings on their Fujifilm cameras. I get feedback daily from people telling me how these recipes have changed their photographic lives. There’s been a very real impact that this blog has had on the photography continuum. Yet the why has been illusive to me, until today.

Polaroid changed photography 50, 60, 70 years ago. The biggest name in photography not only embraced it but called it revolutionary. There are a few parallels to Polaroid cameras and film simulation recipes on Fujifilm X cameras, but the biggest is perhaps one-step processing. Yes, if you shoot RAW+JPEG, you can always reprocess the RAW, but there is fun in not having to do so if you don’t want to. There’s a certain satisfaction, not to mention time saved, in having a completed picture right out of camera that needs no editing, or maybe only some small, quick adjustments. I wonder if Ansel Adams were still around today, if he would embrace the film simulation recipe the same as he did the Polaroid. Honestly, the answer isn’t important, because so many photographers are embracing it, and it’s revolutionizing photography.

Here is a small sampling of those pictures that I captured on Christmas morning. I used my Fujifilm X100V camera loaded with my Superia Premium 400 film simulation recipe.

Little Angel – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Christmas Joy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Sister & Brother – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Girl, Christmas Morning – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Learn To Draw – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Time to Open Gifts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Pokemon – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Small Gifts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
The Big Box – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Girls Love Horses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Christmas Brothers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Photo by Amanda Roesch
How-To Draw Book – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Santa Was Here – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V
Josh Playing Christmas Songs – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V