The development of Colour Chrome Effect is derived from a reversal film: fortia.
My stunning XPro-3 and I think all ‘newer’ Fujifilm X-Trans IV sensor cameras, have a ‘Colour Chrome Effect’ feature. If you have had the chance to shoot with the XPro-3 or say GFX, then you already know the effect from your hands-on experience.
The development of the Colour Chrome Effect is derived from a reversal film: fortia. The film was introduced to the market in 2004 with the catchphrase “Higher contrast and more vivid colour than Velvia”. It was a limited run, so although many talked about it, only a few have had a chance to try it out.
Fortia was praised among the enthusiasts. We often received questions like “how can you adjust the setting so that it resembles fortia?” or “if you set Colour +4 in Velvia mode, would it become fortia?”
Unfortunately, no matter what you do in Velvia mode, it will never turn into fortia. The colour reproduction ideal is different, to begin with. One of the characteristics of reversal colour film is that tonality remains even in the high contrast range. This is the reason why the colour never gets saturated and achieves depth in images shot with fortia, even though the contrast is higher than Velvia.
One of the reasons that fortia was a limited run was simply that the perception of this film was that it was only useful in certain situations. But the characteristic of low saturation with high contrast is much needed in the digital era. And if we were able to simulate Velvia, PROVIA, and ASTIA successfully, we had to try fortia.
When expressing colours such as red, orange, yellow, or yellow-green in high contrast, high brightness tends to exist. If contrast and brightness both reach their peaks, there is no room for tonality. As a result, the image becomes very flat.
However, by analysing the light and information received on the sensor surface, one can detect slight gradation. Colour Chrome Effect uses this to create tonality while maintaining high contrast. As a result, an image is achieved without losing its depth.
The effect is universal. Both the Adobe RGB and sRGB users can see the difference. But there is also a side effect: processing power is required. Even the X-Processor Pro needs about 1.0 sec. to process the Colour Chrome Effect. If you are a single-shot user, then this is not a problem. But you cannot shoot continuously or set it to AF-C mode.
Fujifilm recommends that you turn off the feature while shooting, and only have it on when processing RAW files in-camera. The XPro-3 can output Super Fine JPEG mode and TIFF. You can convert the RAW files in-camera first and brush up the final image on your Mac or PC.
Fujifilm asked the image designer who created the Colour Chrome Effect to replicate the Colour Chrome Effect by using image processing software. His answer was “yes, but it would take me an hour for each image. I also need to know the sensor characteristics of each image.”
The image design team does not think the film simulation is the final touch on the colour. Every photographer seeks a different colour. But if a few clicks on the camera could save you an hour of labour, then you might as well just take advantage of it.
Fujifilm aims to perfect the film simulations so that no editing will be required, but if it only means a starting point, that is also perfectly fine.
As someone who has worked as a photographer for over ten years, I have a particular way of working when I attend an event.
As a photographer for over ten years, I have a particular way of working when I attend an event, whether it is at my local football club or local Equestrian events.
Much has been said about what camera and lenses to use, but, for me, preparation is a key factor in getting better shots. The better prepared you are, the better your images will turn out, and this doesn’t just apply to sports photography; it is right for all genres. Below are my top ten tips for shooting fast action sport.
Know Your Sport
Before you can shoot something well, you need to know your subject. If you know how an event is run, then you have a better chance of anticipating the action unfolding in front of you.
If you are shooting a sport for the first time, do some research online – YouTube is an excellent resource for sports videos. Watch the sport, but also make a note of where the photographers are standing.
Contact the Teamor Event
If you are attending an event where you have to pay an entry fee, such as a football stadium, then it is best to check in advance that cameras with interchangeable lenses are allowed in. There is nothing worse than turning up at the gate to be stopped from going into the stadium because you have a ‘professional’ camera.
Horse Jumping is one sport where you are actively encouraged to bring a camera, and your local football club at the local park will probably also have no issues. But as a rule of thumb, if you are going into a stadium and paying for a ticket, its best to give them a ring first, to make sure you are allowed to take your camera.
Know Your Camera
I liken using a camera to driving a car. Experienced drivers don’t think about changing gear or turning the steering wheel; it’s second nature when you drive regularly. It should be the same with your camera and lenses. If you are fiddling with the controls at a critical moment, then you might miss the shot.
I also have all my cameras set the same way so I can move quickly and smoothly from one camera to the other, which reduces the need to swap lenses.
Dress for the Conditions
Billy Connolly is quoted as saying “There is no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes.” Never a more accurate word has been spoken when it comes to sports photography as you have to be out in all weathers and conditions.
You could be indoors, but you’ll still need to wrap up warm if you are shooting, say an ice hockey match. In the summer, wear clothes that will keep you cool and protected, especially if you are out in the sun.
Always check the weather forecast 24 hours in advance and plan accordingly, and that means planning for the worst-case scenario – because you never know with British weather!
Get into Position
Choose your shooting positions carefully and always look at the backgrounds for distractions. It could be some parked cars or a steward in a bright yellow jacket or something else that will take the viewer’s eye from the subject.
For most sports, make sure you stay behind the barriers and you never stand in what are classed as Red Zones (danger areas). If you are attending as a spectator try to get a position where you can shoot over the fences to get a clear shot, or get up close and shoot through a linked fence using a wide aperture to blur out the links.
If you are shooting team sports at your local club, you should be able to move around. Try and shoot head on to the players but make sure you don’t cause a distraction. I also like to get down low to give a better angle. At the big games, we usually sit on stools behind the goal or try line so we are shooting lower than if we were standing up. This is actually a good perspective to shoot.
Choosing the Right Camera and Lens
Now, this obviously depends on the sport you are shooting. To be honest, any X Series camera with interchangeable lenses is capable of shooting sport but, obviously, the top end bodies like the new Fujifilm X-Pro3 or GFX cameras offer certain advantages, especially when it comes to autofocus speed and accuracy.
It is the lenses that makes the difference, and you should always buy the best you can afford. The good news is all XF lenses offer great optical quality. The focal length of the lens is an important consideration. There is no point trying to get a frame-filling action shot at a motorsport event with an XF18-55mm zoom, but you can still get great shots with that lens if you shoot to show the environment around the subject.
The best choice for sports photography is either the XF 200mmF2 and 1.4x converter or the XF 70-300mm F4-5.6. If you don’t need such a long focal length, then consider the brilliant XF50-140mmF2.8 (with or without converters) or the highly capable XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8. Don’t ignore standard and wide-angle lenses for sport; just choose your subjects wisely.
Capturing the Action
For team sports freezing the action usually means setting a fast shutter speed (1/1000s or faster). However, it depends on your subject. For example, a horse rider on the course doing 30mph will be frozen if you shoot at 1/2000s, which doesn’t convey the sense of speed you get while watching the race. With static legs, the horse can look like it stopped on the course rather than moving at high speed.
You can use high shutter speeds for Equestrian events, but it is usually used for horse racing, when they are battling for a position or for head-on shots, such as the start shot. If you drop the shutter down to 1/125s or slower and follow the subject as you press the shutter release (a technique known as ‘panning’) you can inject a real sense of speed into the image.
This technique can also be used in other sports to give a different image from the norm. Don’t be afraid to experiment with shutter speeds.
Think Out of the Box
When attending a sports event, it is very easy just to concentrate on the action on the field or on the track. Look around you and try to capture a flavour of the whole event. It could be fans enjoying the event, the celebrations of the winning team or the dejected look of the losers. Look beyond the obvious photo opportunities.
Automatic or Manual Exposure?
This really depends on what you are shooting. I shoot in manual exposure and control the shutter speed on the rear dial of my X-Pro3, the ISO on the front dial and the aperture on the lens.
Some photographers prefer to use shutter priority with the aperture left on its widest setting, the shutter set to the speed needed to capture the action and the ISO left on auto. However, when shooting sport where sunlight hits the water or headlights on a car, it could cause the image to be underexposed. Conversely, capturing skiing or ice skating could mean the predominantly white background means the images are underexposed. In these situations, you need to override the automatic setting by dialling in some exposure compensation.
This is the main reason I choose to shoot in manual exposure and use my experience, and what I see in the EVF, to judge the exposure.
Bumping Up the ISO
Don’t be afraid to bump the ISO up to 6400 or even 12800 if you can’t maintain an action freezing shutter speed with the maximum aperture of the lens you are using. The latest X-Trans sensors can handle high ISO settings really well.
It is far better to have a noisy image rather than a blurred image due to the shutter speed not being high enough. You can always add a bit of noise reduction in post.
I have also underexposed an image when shooting RAW files and then adjusting the exposure in post-production. Be careful, however, if you are using this method as this can introduce noise into the final image.
I grabbed this shot on the evening before the end of the second Covid lockdown. It was taken with an old Olympus 35mm film camera
I grabbed this shot on the evening before the end of the second Covid lockdown. It was taken with an old Olympus 35mm film camera, loaded with Kodak Gold film – I then used a ‘little’ post-production to remove some of the grain, giving the image more clarity and structure.
The X-Pro range of cameras I use has two options for ‘Depth of Field Scale’: Pixel basis and Film format basis. This will enable you to adjust the camera setting to suit your need and style.
Where do you set the focus? This is a question we should always consider. How accurately do you want to focus? That is another critical question is on what basis are you adjusting the focus? Does it suit your needs and style?
The X-Pro range of cameras I use has two options for ‘Depth of Field Scale‘: Pixel basis and Film format basis. This will enable you to adjust the camera setting to suit your need and style.
Technically, the only region that is in focus is one particular plane parallel to the optical axis. All other areas will be out of focus, even when moved by 1mm. All other planes are in ‘bokeh‘; theoretically that is. The reality is that the amount of bokeh is so tiny that it appears to be sharp. You can basically ignore it. ‘Depth of Field‘ is about the plane in focus and areas in front and back of the plane that appear to be in focus (although it is defocused in theory).
The bokeh in the defocused area is referred to as ‘circle of confusion’. The ‘permissible circle of confusion‘ is the bokeh that is almost indistinguishable. Bigger the maximum permissible circle of confusion, the deeper the depth of field it gets. They are proportionally related.
The problem is this ‘permissible circle of confusion‘ changes depending on the image sensor resolution and the viewing condition.
The resolution of the image sensor is much higher than that of the silver-halide films, and the circle of confusion is therefore smaller. In addition, pixel-peeping has gotten popular, so the ‘permissible‘ circle of confusion is much more restricted—the ‘shallower‘ depth of field demands for much more accurate focus position and area. The depth of field scale on a pixel basis is optimised for such needs.
However, for some people, the depth of field becomes useful only when it is deep. Snap shooting, for example, takes advantages of the deepness of the depth of field and does not demand a more accurate and strict scale.
Go out in the street. Set the aperture to f/8. Search for the light. Find the composition. Predict the subject movement. Set the focus position based on the prediction. Do not get overly concerned about the accuracy; the ‘depth of field‘ will cover the error…. You can see that in such a style of photography, one benefits from the greater permissible area.
This is something that is inherited from the silver-halide film days. And to match this sense of feeling, we have the ‘Film format basis’. (*The value is based on the 4P print viewed at a standard distance.)
There is no correct answer. You should make the selection based on your style and needs. If the viewing size is already determined, then you can make your choice based on it. You do not have to stick to one basis either; you can always go back and forth.
For your information, the XF14mm, XF16mm, and XF23mm has a depth of field scale on the lens barrel based on the film format. If your style is to grab a shot by eye measurement or manual focus, these three lenses can help you.
Rain doesn’t stop me from shooting. My Fujifilm XPro-3 and lenses are weather proof.
Choose the right location
Good locations are safe places to shoot that, in some cases, are close to amenities like a coffee shop and a toilet. They have a variety of interesting backgrounds to work with and have some top cover, too. Good locations include country parks and urban areas in need of regeneration.
Plan for the weather Rain doesn’t stop me from shooting. My Fujifilm XPro-3 and lenses are all weatherproof. Choose styling items and accessories like hats and gloves for the person you are shooting to keep them warm if required. I find that, even on a sunny day when I’m working in the shade near tall buildings, the wind can be pretty chilling, so bear this in mind.
Travel light The less kit you take, the fewer decisions there are to make. I often shoot with just one lens on one camera body. It simplifies the shoot and keeps the picture style consistent.
Practice, practice, practice I find that I need about three shoots a week to keep my photography evolving and improving. It is a practice that delivers the experience necessary to be relaxed and confident. This air of confidence relaxes sitters, and it shows in the pictures.
Purpose Understand precisely who the audience will be. Are the pictures for you or the person in the picture? Perhaps you are shooting for someone else entirely; a magazine picture editor or a company website designer. Have the user of the images in your mind throughout the shoot, and you will find yourself tweaking the mood, expression and poses to suit their needs.
Prepare your camera Adjust your camera’s JPEG settings to give you as close to the final look of the shot you want. Don’t say, “Oh, I’ll fix that in post later”. If you are planning to present the images in monochrome but want to shoot colour too, switch the camera to a monochrome Film Simulation but shoot RAW and JPEG so you can have the best of both worlds. With the correct settings for the look you want set in the camera, you can control the shadow detail, highlights and exposure.
Start with the end in mind If the shot is going to be published as part of an editorial, leave space for text. If it might make the cover, shoot in portrait orientation and leave room for the title. If it is for social media, think square. If it is to be printed on art paper, give the shadows an extra stop of exposure etc.
Keep the shoot fun Even if you are shooting serious portraits, have fun between the setups. For a lot of people, being photographed is like going to the dentist. Give your subject something to laugh about, and the whole experience can become fun. A better rapport will express itself in the depth of the pictures.
Connection is everything
If you have eye contact in the photograph, make the expression engaging. Pull the character from the sitter into the lens. If you don’t have eye contact in the shot (many of my portraits are profiles), consider using an extended cable release or the Fujifilm Remote App to trigger the camera. Set the camera on a tripod, focused and framed correctly, then move into the eye line of your subject, create the moments you want to capture and take the shots remotely.
Work together Share the images you shoot with your model as you go, so you can both have input into the creative process.
The Fujifilm X-Series have a stunning range of lenses, giving me high-quality images that can be printed without concern.
MY FIRST FUJIFILM CAMERA WAS the X-Pro1, which I purchased back in 2012. Until then, I’d been a Canon user. However, I never felt a connection with my Canon’s; it was like holding just another electronic device. Don’t get me wrong, they are great cameras, but the X-Pro range instantly felt like an extension of my hand. The X-Pro range has a soul and a great analogue classic design too. Another advantage is the X-Pro3, and most of my lenses, is they are weather-resistant, avoiding extra stress when working!
I usually, when we’re not in lock-down due to Coronavirus, travel a lot for work. My Fujifilm cameras, touch wood, have never let me down. They are some light and small; I don’t need to lug a heavy backpack around.
The Fujifilm X-Series have a stunning range of lenses, giving me high-quality images that can be printed without concern. While most of my work is in black and white, I do love with colours my X-Pro3 can produce. The ability to create different colour recipes and simulate the look of the traditional film is indispensable.
I’ve also recently purchased the tiny Fujifilm XF10, its a camera packed with amazing functionality. It is my everyday camera that I take everywhere, as it fits unnoticed in my pocket. People never look at me when I’m photographing them with my XF10. However, my X-Pro3 does sometimes gain attention – despite it being small. When people don’t think they are being photographed, they act more relaxed and natural.
Using Fujifilm equipment really enhances the joy of photography. When I was in Miami a couple of months ago, I had so many people spot my X-Pro3 when I was relaxing in a cafe or restaurant and ask me questions about it. I felt almost like a sale representative, the way I was reeling off details about it. Just in case you’re wondering, nope, I’m not a Fujifilm salesperson, and nope they don’t pay me to say nice things!
Don’t get me wrong; there are always things that can be improved. The more I use it, the more features I’d like added or design features I’d change. I have written to Fujifum with a list; I’ll write them up and post them here soon.
Some best street photography can be done during the hours of darkness, and night shooting is something we should all try; it’s almost a rite of passage.
An excellent article by Brian Lloyd Duckett
BRIAN IS A PROFESSIONAL STREET photographer who runs workshops across the UK and Europe. He shoots exclusively on Fujifilm; the X100F, X-Pro2 and X-E3 being his weapons of choice. Some of your best street photography can be done during the hours of darkness, and night shooting is something we should all try; it’s almost a rite of passage. Think neon lights, shop windows, reflections, car lights, bars, restaurants, people having fun, street lighting . . . there’s masses of material to explore.
I try to get out there regularly, particularly between late October and late March when there’s a bigger window of opportunity with more hours of darkness in the day. You can shoot in any town or city where there are strong light sources. Somewhere like London’s Soho and Chinatown are ideal, with lots of coloured and neon lights. You can even get great shots just by relying on ambient lighting from the regular street lamps.
There’s no reason that shooting in the dark should be any more difficult than daylight shooting – but, as well as the aesthetic issues; there are some different technical and practical considerations to take into account. Here are my top tips for shooting street photography at night…
Chase the light Just like all street photography, shooting a night is all about finding good light. I often find it helpful to find my light source first, then build a composition around that. Try to stop and think about the intensity, direction and colour of the light source and how it falls on potential subjects. Watch how the light changes as you move around it; observe reflections and see the impact of changing light patterns such as car lights. I’m always drawn to strong reds, oranges and yellows, of which there are plenty in areas such as Chinatown.
High ISO is your friend Don’t think twice about whacking up your ISO. I’m usually shooting at 3,200 by default – a rating which most modern cameras can handle with ease (it’s a breeze for cameras like my Fujifilm X100F or X-Pro2). I’ll go to 6,400 and beyond if I need to. Some people struggle to get their head around this, believing that noise will be an issue. Well, it isn’t – it can sometimes even add to the atmosphere – and the alternative (a blurred or massively underexposed image) is simply not an option.
Slow down To really absorb and become part of night-time street life you should slow right down, frequently stopping to take in your surroundings, watching the light and waiting for that ‘moment’. You’ll probably be using a slower than ideal shutter speed, so stopping to take a picture is more important than ever.
Experiment with different lenses
I prefer prime lenses (for their lightness, image quality and wide apertures). In my bag, for night shooting, is a variety of primes, usually including an XF18mmF2 (28mm full-frame equivalent), an XF23mmF1.4 (35mm equivalent) and an XF56mmF2 (85mm equivalent). This gives me an ideal range and also the option of shooting with very wide apertures for some great bokeh effects. If all you have is a zoom, fine – I’ve used the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 and the wonderful XF16-55mmF2.8 for night shooting, and both produce sharp high contrast images.
Leave your flash and tripod at home A tripod will slow you down and strip any spontaneity out of your shooting. It might be fine for a perfectly exposed cityscape with fabulous light trails but for street photography, forget it. And try to avoid using flash, which will draw (sometimes unwelcome) attention to yourself and could compromise some of the ‘documentary’ feel you may be trying to achieve.
You want dark images A controversial statement, maybe, but one I believe in. Modern cameras will often strive to produce what their processor believes to be a correctly exposed image; at night, this can mean an over-exposed image – and usually an unrealistic one. If you wanted your pictures to look like they were taken in daylight, you would have shot them in daylight. You need deep shadows and areas which are almost too dark to comprehend. If in doubt, look at your histogram – if it’s significantly to the left, you’re probably in a good place.
Try motion blur As you’re often forced to use a slow shutter speed, why not make the most of it? Go with it – use it to your advantage! Use a speed of, say, between 1/2 and 1/8 second to get some deliberate blur into moving elements in your frame – cars, people, buses, rickshaws, bicycles, trams etc. With a steady hand (with the camera either hand-held or on something), you should be able to keep the desired area of the image sharp. You could even experiment with a little ICM (intentional camera movement).
Get your settings right Whilst there is no right or wrong for this, I use a tried and trusted formula which consistently works for me and it goes something like this: • ISO 3,200 by default but will increase to 6,400+ when necessary • Aperture priority (‘A’) mode • Aperture value likely to be at the wider end of the scale – usually between F1.2 to F5.6, depending on the subject • Exposure compensation (+/-) occasionally used for fine-tuning exposure • Manual focusing (AF can be too slow). You’ll find that with practice, this will become quick and easy, especially when using red focus peaking
Shoot close-up and from a distance Remembering Robert Capa’s advice, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”. I enjoy shooting at close quarters at night, whether the image is based on an abstract, a narrative or a ‘moment’. Shooting close-up can produce striking images but don’t be a one-trick pony – also consider shooting wider street scenes, where you can often construct a fascinating tableau of nightlife.
Stay safe Take more care at night than you would during the day. You’ll be a little more vulnerable and exposed, so be aware of who is around you and always have an ‘escape route’ in mind. Don’t go down dark, quiet alleys alone and try to stick to busier areas. Shooting with a buddy or in a small group is often the best option.
THE FUJIFILM XF10 HAS A MONOCHROME black & white film simulation mode. My Fujifilm X-Pro3 has both Monochrome and ACROS film simulators. These modes have a Red, Green and Yellow variation, giving your monochrome photos a different look and feel.
These sub-options are more convenient than having to physically put the optical filter in front of the lens and can be used for similar purposes.
Many photographers use Monochrome+Ye and ACROS+Ye yellow filter modes to darken blue skies a little to help clouds to stand out.
Monochrome+R and ACROS+R red filter modes are used to darken blue skies even more and lend landscape shot a more dramatic look and feel.
Monochrome+Gr and ACROS+Gr yellow filter modes are used to lighten foliage and look great for portraits.
When shooting portraits in black & white, less is definitely more. Without the distraction of colour, we are free to concentrate on the subject’s face and expression – including any striking features they might have, like freckles, wrinkles, or piercings. Keep the rest of the frame simple and don’t let anything get in the way of this.
Create contrast with side lighting from a single light source and try to place light-toned subjects against a dark background, and darker subjects against a light background.
In landscape photography, look for scenes that contain bold shapes, like the curve of a wooden fence in the sand dunes, or the lead-in line created by a road snaking its way through the foreground.
Contrast is important, too, and can help you create minimalist compositions that are beautiful because of their simplicity, such as a lone tree in the snow or the white spray of a waterfall in front of black rocks.