Making Color Pictures Using Acros, B&W Toning & Multiple Exposures


This is a combination of 8 B&W Exposures with different color toning applied to each.

The Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 cameras have a new tool for toning black-and-white pictures in-camera. I mentioned in my article about this new toning feature that there’s the potential to get creative with it, especially when combined with multiple exposure photography. I thought that it might be possible to create color pictures using the Acros film simulation, B&W toning and multiple exposures. This is certainly an unusual use of those tools! A sturdy tripod is a requirement for this experiment.

On my X100V, there are 1,368 possible colors to tone B&W pictures, but I concentrated on the more bold options. To make this work, the best results are found in the +/- 15-18 range. My camera has four multiple exposure options: Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Additive and Average won’t work for this project because it muddies the colors. Bright and Dark will work, and they work similarly. For Bright, the camera compares the exposures and chooses only the brightest pixel at each location; for Dark, it chooses the darkest pixel. I found that one option typically works better than the other, depending on the scene. You could get creative and adjust the exposure of each image to control which colors are chosen; however, I didn’t do that for these pictures.

At first I tried using just three exposures: one with Toning set to WC -18 MG 0 (Blue), one set to WC +18 MG -18 (Red), and the other set to WC 0 MG +18 (Green). This worked alright, but there are not any in-between colors. The transitions from one color to the next are harsh. Still, I was able to create color pictures this way.

After a little experimenting, I decided that eight exposures worked better (you can combine up to nine). In addition to the Toning described in the previous paragraph, I added one with WC 0 MG -18 (Magenta), WC -18 MG -18 (Purple), WC -18 MG +18 (Teal), WC +18 MG +18 (Yellow), and WC +18 MG 0 (Orange-Red). This made the color transitions a little less harsh, but it’s still not ideal. The pictures look strange and nothing like “normal” color photographs. I also tried reducing some colors to as low as +/- 15 (instead of 18) in an attempt to control the outcome a little, but it’s hard to know what you’ll get until you’ve made all eight exposures.

The results remind me of some cross processing experiments that I did a number of years ago. You can get weird results, depending on the film and process. The toned B&W multiple exposures on my X100V loosely resemble the “worst” cross-processing results from those analog experiments years ago. This isn’t something that I’d want to do all of the time, but it was fun nonetheless. Most people will never try this, but a few of you will. I can see someone doing an abstract photography project using this technique.


I used three exposures for this picture.


Another three exposure picture.


This is an eight exposure image.


Another eight exposure picture.


I used eight exposures for this picture. 


Another eight exposure picture.


Eight exposures. The wind moved the grass between exposures.


This is another eight exposure image.

I never really thought that I’d be creating color images from black-and-white in-camera. The results aren’t especially great, so it’s not really a practical thing, more gee-whiz. I do believe, with practice and experimentation, it’s possible to get better results. I hope that you found this article interesting, and perhaps even a few of you were inspired to do your own experiments.

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Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
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Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: B&W Toning


One great new feature found on the Fujifilm X-T30, which first appeared on the X-T3, is the ability to tone black-and-white photographs in-camera, either warm or cool. Back in the days of film, in the darkroom you would dip your prints into certain chemicals to tone them. You could make them warm or cool or any number of different colors, including split toning, depending on the exact process and chemicals. I’m glad that Fujifilm has finally created the option to tone black-and-white photographs in-camera.

The reason you might want to tone a photograph is to add emotion to it. A warm image will give a different feel than a cool image. It’s part of the nonverbal communication of the photograph. In the days of film there may have been other benefits, such as archival, but that won’t apply to a digital image. I used sepia quite frequently myself, both for the warm tone and the archival benefit.

The X-T30 has the option to tone from +1 through +9 for warm, and -1 through -9 for cool, with 0 being not toned. I find that +9 and -9 are both much too much, and that +5 and -5 are the limits for my tastes. I think that plus or minus one is often enough, and plus or minus two is more than plenty for most pictures. Subtlety is often preferred when it comes to black-and-white toning. Below is an example of +5, 0, and -5:


Toned +5 (warm)


Set to 0 (not toned)


Toned at -5 (cool)

It’s easy to see how toning an image changes how it feels. It’s also easy to see that plus or minus five is quite pronounced, and you can imagine how going beyond that would be even more so. My opinion is that the beauty of the toning that Fujifilm offers on the X-T30 can be found in the weaker application of it, such as plus or minus two or less. But everyone has different tastes, so you might prefer different settings than me.

Below are a few more examples of toned black-and-white photographs that I captured with the X-T30.


Snow Falling Gently On The Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Wasatch Rain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Storm Beyond The Frozen Lake – Echo Lake, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Piano Wire – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Filmed In Black & White – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


Two Pots – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also:
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: D-Range Priority
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Eterna
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Color Chrome Effect