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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