Monday, February 8, 2016

Fuji X-camera's Classic Chrome look

One reason I love using the Fuji X cameras so much is the way they seem to mimic the film era look and feel. This is helped greatly by the film modes that are built into the camera. These have become quite popular and lately been extended in the new X-Pro2 to include an Acros black and white film look.

The film modes are only applied to jpg images, and, since I like to have the flexibility of shooting in camera RAW for its greater range in post-processing, most of the time I set my Fuji cameras to shoot both RAW and jpg at the same time. This provides me with a jpg reference photo to use while processing the RAW image in Photoshop. All the Film modes are available within Adobe Camera Raw so it is easy to apply them after the fact in post. But I also tweak my camera with further settings of tone and color that enhance the images. These, too, need to be applied later in post, but the effects are sometimes a bit more elusive to achieve.

On a recent lifestyle shoot in the studio I decided to set up my X-T1 to shoot in my favorite mode of Classic Chrome. This color mode has more dialed-down colors and a punchier contrast that results in more of a candid look suitable for lifestyle where I'm trying to create more of a believable situation. Although this mode already delivers more muted colors, I like to dial it down even further with a setting of -2 for color. I sometimes also play with the contrast by dialing in more or less in the shadows and/or highlights depending upon the type of available light I am using.

For the first time in a shoot I chose to go exclusively with the jpg images instead of processing from the RAW. With less latitude for correction, this meant getting the scene just right in the camera. I shoot mostly with back light so on a bright day this resulted in blasted out highlights with no detail. In RAW I could have brought back some of the detail, but with the narrow jpg palette this was not possible.

Here are a few takes from this latest shoot -- all jpgs straight from the camera and done with Classic Chrome and -2 Color settings.


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