Creative Collective 010: 14 Film Simulation Recipes for Snow Photography

Two Cold Horses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Winter Slide”

I recently created an X-Trans II film simulation recipe specifically for wintry conditions called Winter Slide. While I have many recipes that will do well photographing snow, creating a recipe specifically for that particular condition is unusual. Since winter is here, I thought it would be a fun exercise to examine how several recipes do when photographing snow. By several, I mean 14 recipes!

So let’s take a look at how these 14 different film simulation recipes do photographing in wintry conditions!

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Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Film Simulation Recipe: Winter Slide

Winter Neighborhood at Sunset – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Winter Slide”

This recipe began with a weather forecast. It had been unusually dry and warm here in Utah, but cold temperatures and plenty of snow was on the way. At this time of year I get asked regularly which film simulation recipes are best for snow—there are plenty that will work well, but not many that are specifically made for it. A camera like the Fujifilm X-T1, which is weather-sealed, is great for these type of conditions, so I thought, with the forecasted wintry weather, I’d create a good-for-snow recipe for X-Trans II cameras that I could use on my X-T1. When the snow finally came, I’d be ready!

The initial inspiration for this recipe was Agfa Precisa CT 100 color slide film, which I read was one of the best film options for winter situations. I wasn’t having good luck recreating the aesthetic of it, but, in the process, I made some settings that I thought might be good for snow. So I failed at mimicking Agfa Precisa CT 100, but I succeeded at what I set out to do, which was a film simulation recipe that works well in snow. Interestingly, when I created the recipe, it wasn’t yet snowy, so I wasn’t completely sure how it would do. Luckily, it did every bit as well as I had hoped it would.

Two Cold Horses – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 – “Winter Slide”

The trick to snow photography is to overexpose (based on what the meter says) because the camera sees a lot of white and wants to make it grey. So if you follow the meter, you’ll get a lot of dark pictures. By increasing the exposure compensation, you’ll get brighter pictures—I found myself often using +1 exposure compensation. If you are using this recipe when it’s not wintry white, you won’t have to increase the exposure compensation quite as much, and +1/3 to +2/3 will likely be better. This film simulation recipe is compatible with all X-Trans II cameras.

Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: 0 (Standard)
Shadow: +2 (Hard)
Color: -2 (Low)
Sharpness: -1 (Medium-Soft)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: 5000K, -1 Red & -3 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 3200

Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs captured on my Fujifilm X-T1 using this “Winter Slide” film simulation recipe:

Ice Cold Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Winter Red Berries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Snow on Branch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Snow on Tree Trunk – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Winter Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Winter Bush with Red Berries – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Snow on a Bush – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Winter Girl – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
White House in Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Lamp with Bow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
Winter Blue Home – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1
One Light in a Tree – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

Find this film simulation recipe and many more on the Fuji X Weekly — Film Recipes App!

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Photoessay: Snow Drifts In Acros

The first snowfall of the season arrived a couple days ago. About two inches of the cold and fluffy white stuff accumulated on the grass. The kids loved waking up to a winter wonderland of sorts, with snow blanketing the neighborhood

For Utah this wasn’t anything significant, but the temperature remained cold and the snow didn’t melt. The wind kicked up yesterday and created some tiny snow drifts. I noticed that the low winter sun was creating some interesting shadows. It reminded me of sand dunes–miniature sand dunes, only made of snow.

I grabbed my Fujifilm X100F, attached my wide-angle conversion lens, and set the camera to my Acros Push-Process Film Simulation. I chose the wide-angle converter because I wanted to make the pictures more dramatic–I wanted to exaggerate the scene because it was such a small scale. I chose Acros because color was unimportant to the scene, and so black-and-white was the obvious decision. Besides, it would help with the abstract nature of the images.

Here are seven photographs of the tiny snow drifts that I captured yesterday:


White Hill – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F


Barren Landscape – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F


Plateau & Cliff – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F


Little Mound – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F


Hills & Valleys – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F


Sparse Vegetation – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F


Small Cliffs – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F