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.

Provia/STD
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: Cold Winter Daze

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Melting Ice – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

When I moved to Utah from California, one thing that I wasn’t prepared for was winter. Before California I lived in Arizona, so having temperatures below freezing and white fluffy stuff on the ground was something that I didn’t have much experience with. This is my third winter in Utah, and while I’m now a little acclimated, winter is not my favorite season whatsoever. In fact, I dread winter.

Even though I’d rather be warm and have long hours of seemingly endless sunshine with green fields and blossoming flowers, there is a certain beauty to the drabness of the cold season. Winter brings clouds, and an approaching or clearing storm can be incredibly dramatic. Those clouds blanket the entire landscape in pure white that sparkles like glitter when the sun finally shows. Winter is a transformation season, and while the days are short and the air is frigid, it’s a worthwhile time to capture pictures. This is the time to keep an especially watchful photographic eye on things, because the opportunities for interesting photographs abound, but they are fleeting, so one must be quick and ready.

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Frozen Lake – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Pond & Tree Trunk – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Wasatch Homes – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Snow On Red – Spanish Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold Horse Coat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Equestrian Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Red Tractor In Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Snow Removal – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Too Cold For Basketball – South Weber, Ut – Fujifilm X-T20

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Sled In The Yard – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Cold Picnic – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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White Landscaping – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Winter Mountain Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Snow Blowing On The Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold White Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Backyard Snowfall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Winter Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Winter Stream – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Cold Hillside – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Buddhist Instagram – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Ice Cold Branches – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Evening Cold – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T20