Make your Jpegs look like film

Hey guys and as always welcome back! This post is due to a request by @kmore on instagram and Kerry in real life. His request basically forced my hand because I’ve been toying with the idea of this post for a while. Its all about making the most of the Fujifilm Jpegs; which are amazing, but with a few tweaks or sometimes a lot of tweaks, they can be made even better. Anyway, thats the intro to the post out of the way, lets dive in!

So I know this blog is called FujiFeels but that doesn’t mean I want to disregard any people who shoot other brands. Many of my posts can be applied across the board as general photography topics rather than Fujifilm related topics. But, this post is geared towards Fujifilm, sorry anyone who stubbles across this post but doesn’t shoot Fujifilm.

In my last post, I talked about how I am really starting to shy away from the editing phase of photography. After all, thats not really photography, its editing (duuurrrrr I know). A few things led me to being very keen on finding a few Jpeg recipes, and sticking to those for all my work. This has made me enjoy my photography a lot more. My mindset towards photography has changed drastically over the last 2 months. For the better in my opinion. I feel like I’m taking better shots due to this change in mindset. I try to shoot like I’m shooting film.

Now, because I love the look of film not just the process of film. I decided to gear my Jpeg files as close to a film look as possible. To do this I looked at countless instagram feeds that consisted of purely film photography. I narrowed my preference down to a few specific film stocks that I loved the look of. Unfortunately I can’t name all of the pages I follow on Instagram because I’m a really slow typer and I’d be here for weeks. A few of my favourites are @ioegreer, @willemverb, @charliethom, @ej.leff and last but not least @samuelelkins.

I would like to offer you some advice if this method of photography sounds appealing to you. Now this may sound obvious but it really helps. The more film photography that you can look at the better! You will begin to develop an eye for what a film photograph looks like when compared to most digitally shot images you see on social media these days. Better still, you’ll begin to understand what kind of film shots you like.

General Tips For That Filmic Look

So before I go any further, there are a few things you can do to nudge your Jpegs more towards that film look. The first thing I would say is, DON’T BE SCARED OF GRAIN! Thats a big one, and I usually turn the grain effect on in my Fuji Cameras. Second is don’t get overly contrasty. Film rarely looks contrasty in the way most people edit their digital images these days. So a quick change from DR 100 to DR200 or even DR400 on your Fujifilm will help achieve that filmic look. The next tip is just my opinion but I find if you slightly over expose, coupled with what I have already mentioned, that can help you get a nice filmic look. Lastly, don’t choose the overly colourful film presets that Fujifilm offer. Velvia especially is too saturated for my taste and doesn’t look very film like to me, unless, you trying to achieve a look for a film stock that is very colourful! I would advise Classic Chrome, Eterna, and Pro Neg. If your lucky enough to be using the new Xpro 3, then Classic Neg is also a great choice.

Lets get back to it.

After scrolling for hours on end through instagram, it became apparent to me that I liked the bright, maybe even slightly over exposed film shots. There are also a few favourite film stocks that I like the look of for their colour and tones, that takes me nicely into sharing some of my favourites that I use regularly.

My first recipe I use is similar to the look that Kodak Gold 200 creates. It has a lovely warm colour, and this is one of the films that definitely looks better when slightly over exposed. You need to bare that in mind when shooting with this film recipe. 1/3 to 2/3 stops over exposed is usually nice, at least in my opinion anyway. This is a great all rounder, and I will definitely be using this a lot more over the next few weeks and months. Here are the settings you need:

Film Preset: Classic Chrome
Highlights: +2
Shadows: -2
Colour: 0
Sharpness: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Colour Chrome Effect: Weak
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, Red +5, Blue -5
Dynamic Range: DR200
ISO: Auto ISO up to 6400 is fine

Remember, shoot this 1/3 to 1 full stop over exposed for the best results.
Here are some sample shots using this film preset!

(Remember none of these shots have been edited in any way! Straight out of camera as they are. I love the look of these film presets!!!)

So my second colour film profile is similar to the look of Kodachrome. I think this is my favourite so far that I have tested and really recommend trying these settings for yourself! Again this gives a nice warm look and greats a gorgeous effect on any blues and greens in the image. For me, this preset cries out film. I love it! Again shoot this 1/3 to 1 full stop over exposed for the best results. Here are the settings you need:

Film Prest: Classic Chrome
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +1
Colour: 0
Sharpness: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Colour Chrome Effect: Weak or Strong, which ever you prefer
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Daylight, Red +2, Blue -5
Dynamic Range: DR400
ISO: Auto ISO up to 6400 is fine

Like I said earlier, shoot this recipe 1/3 to 1 full stop over exposed.
Sample shots? Why not!

(Again, all of these images are straight out of camera, unedited! The look is burnt in from these presets.)

Finally, we have my black and white settings. I don’t have a specific film that this is geared towards, its just the look that I liked for my Jpegs. It is a little more contrasty than the colour recipes but thats fine, most black and white film has slightly stronger contrast. When used in the high situations, this black and white recipe is just gorgeous! Helped massively by the Across R Fujifilm Preset, there is a special feel the images it produces. Here are the settings you need:

Film Preset: Across Red Filter
Highlight: +2
Shadow: 0
Colour: 0
Sharpness: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Colour Chrome Effect: Strong
Grain Effect: Off
White Balance: Auto (set to 0 Red and 0 Blue)
Dynamic Range: DR200
ISO: Auto ISO up to 6400 is fine

Here are some sample shots with these settings;

(No editing at all! I love using this black and white preset for street photography. The images look great straight from camera.)

There you guys! Thats it. They are the three film presets I use the most right now. Its very rare that I use any kind of editing at the moment. I only ever edit when I feel it will enhance an image in a tasteful way. Having said that, I find if I slow down and shoot more deliberately, I can usually get the image almost as I want it in camera, using one of these three presets.

Feel free to borrow and use these settings but if you do, I’d love for you to start using the hashtag #fujifeels so I can see all of you images. I may even make a post featuring some of the best image that use that hashtag! So go on then, get of your arse and go make some great photographs.

Thanks Guys!!!

"I'm Arran, creator of FUJIFEELS and general photography addict. I carry my camera pretty much everywhere I go. I shoot all sorts of things but, professionally I'm a wedding photographer and my main personal work revolves around street photography."

6 Comments

  1. You have obviously done a lot of trial and error to arrive at these settings, so thank you for being so unselfish with your “secret recipes”.

    I am also a shooter that prefers to shoot and not edit, and Fujifilm cameras allow me to be very productive with the customizable film simulations.

    I will be trying out your Kodachrome formula for sure…. I have thousands of yellow boxes in my closet from decades of shooting that very emulsion. Again, thanks.

  2. I see your point, but actually editing is a big part of photography, for better or worse. That’s why the classic Ansel Adams books are three volumes: The Camera, The Negative, The Print. With digital editing may be more important whether you are letting Fujifilm’s algorithms produce pleasing jpegs in camera or if you shoot raw and edit in Lightroom. It’s still editing and still a hugely important part of the photographic process. Nice images, cheers.

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