Using filters in black & white

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.

ACROS +R and ACROS +Ye – © Narrating Images

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 Monochrome +Ye – © Narrating Images

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.

ACROS and ACROS +Ye – © Narrating Images

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.

Monochrome and Monochrome +Ye – © Narrating Images

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.

ACROS + Gr and ACROS +R – © Narrating Images

Fujifilm XF10 Monochrome+R Recipe

I HAVE BEEN SHOOTING WITH Fujifilm equipment since the launch of the X-Pro1 in 2012 and migrated to the X-Pro3 in January 2020.

Fujifilm XF10 | Narrating Images

I HAVE BEEN SHOOTING WITH Fujifilm equipment since the launch of the X-Pro1 in 2012 and migrated to the X-Pro3 in January 2020. I adore this Rangefinder ‘style’ of camera. It allows me to photograph up-close naturally composed photos….. However, I’ve lost count of the number of times when shooting at an event, I wished I could have pulled a second camera from my pocket. The X-Pro3 is small, but not small enough to sit unobtrusively in a pocket. So recently, I purchased a tiny, lightweight Fujifilm XF10. I love its minimalist design, and it looks fantastic in Black.

After a few days of using it, I was so pleased with it. Wow, what a powerful little camera, I wish I’d got it years ago. Don’t get me wrong, its not an X-Pro3, nor will it ever replace it. However, it is ultra-compact, has a fixed-lens, fixed-focal-length, wide-angle, inexpensive, and has a massive 24-megapixel APS-C sensor camera. Its also so simple to use, it starts up quickly and has a brilliant Snapshot feature. Snapshot uses zone focusing and has two predetermined settings. Either five meters with at f/5.6 or two meters at f/8. This is brilliant, it enables quick, spontaneous photos as the focus and aperture have already been set

Fujifilm XF10
Fujifilm XF10

My only issue with the camera is it doesn’t use the X-Trans filter, nor can it hold more than one film simulator at a time. It uses a Bayer sensor, producing images that feel more like they come from my original X-Pro1. In addition, it doesn’t have film simulators, like Acros and Classic Negative, which are on the XPro-3. Yet, it’s still possible to get beautiful JPEGs from the XF10. Also, other options like Grain, Clarity and Colour Chrome Effect are missing. Don’t get me wrong, it produces simply stunning quality images. Therefore, I use the XF10, a little like a modern digital version of my old Olympus or Minolta 35mm cameras. I pull it out of my pocket, when I want a more analogue experience or image, but have the benefits of digital.

I have created many film simulation recipes for my X-Pro cameras over the years; the X-Pro3 uses an X-Trans IV sensor. But none of them were obviusly created for my Fujifilm XF10, with its Bayer sensor. So I have started developing new set of film simulation recipes specifically for this camera.

As mentioned, the XF10 can only save one film simulator at a time. The whole reason for me owning this it to replicate the experience I get when using my old 35mm Olympus or Minolta cameras. I typically use black and white film with these. Therefore the below recipe is the one I use most of the time, giving me that Black and white look and feel.

I hope you enjoy it, I’ve simply called it, Monochrome+R.

Film Sim : Monochrome+R
ISO: 3200
Dynamic Range: 200%
Sharpening: -1
Highlight: +1
Shadow: +2
Noise Reduction: -2
Exposure Compensation: -1/3

When cloudy and overcast, I increase the Highlight setting to +2

I created this recipe for my XF10, but it will work on all cameras with a Bayer sensor, such as the X-A1, X-A2, X-A3, X-A5, X-A7, X-A10, XF10, X-T100, X-T200. I’m sure there are other cameras I have missed off the list too!

Pizzeria – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R” Narrating Images
Pizzeria – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R” – © Narrating Images

Never Feel The Cold – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R”
Never Feel The Cold – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R” – © Narrating Images

Sculpture – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R”
Sculpture – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R” – © Narrating Images

Signpost – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R”
Signpost – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R” – © Narrating Images

Cirencester Friendly – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R”
Cirencester Friendly – Cotswolds, UK – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R” – © Narrating Images

Dashboard – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R”
Dashboard – Fujifilm XF10 – “Monochrome+R” – © Narrating Images

Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott was born in Springfield, Ohio who became an assistant to Man Ray, who wanted someone with no previous knowledge of photography.

Berenice Abbott (July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991), née Bernice Alice Abbott, was an American photographer best known for her portraits of between-the-wars 20th century cultural figures, New York City photographs of architecture and urban design of the 1930s, and science interpretation in the 1940s to 1960s.

Berenice Abbott - Street Photography - 1938 - The Old Print Shop. Hester Street.
The Old Print Shop, Hester Street, 1938. (All Copyrights respected)

Early years
Abbott was born in Springfield, Ohio and brought up there by her divorced mother, née Lillian Alice Bunn (m. Charles E. Abbott in Chillicothe OH, 1886).

She attended Ohio State University for two semesters, but left in early 1918 when her professor was dismissed because he was a German teaching an English class. In Paris, she became an assistant to Man Ray, who wanted someone with no previous knowledge of photography.

Photography career

Trip to Europe, photography, and poetry
Her university studies included theater and sculpture. She spent two years studying sculpture in Paris and Berlin. She studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris and the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin. During this time, she adopted the French spelling of her first name, “Berenice,” at the suggestion of Djuna Barnes. In addition to her work in the visual arts, Abbott published poetry in the experimental literary journal transition. Abbott first became involved with photography in 1923, when Man Ray hired her as a darkroom assistant at his portrait studio in Montparnasse. Later, she wrote: “I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else.” Ray was impressed by her darkroom work and allowed her to use his studio to take her own photographs. In 1921 her first major works was in an exhibition in the Parisian gallery Le Sacre du Printemps. After a short time studying photography in Berlin, she returned to Paris in 1927 and started a second studio, on the rue Servandoni.

Photograph by Abbott of her friend Margarett Sargent taken in Paris in 1928
Abbott’s subjects were people in the artistic and literary worlds, including French nationals (Jean Cocteau), expatriates (James Joyce), and others just passing through the city. According to Sylvia Beach, “To be ‘done’ by Man Ray or Berenice Abbott meant you rated as somebody”. Abbott’s work was exhibited with that of Man Ray, André Kertész, and others in Paris, in the “Salon de l’Escalier” (more formally, the Premier Salon Indépendant de la Photographie), and on the staircase of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Her portraiture was unusual within exhibitions of modernist photography held in 1928–1929 in Brussels and Germany.

Abbott’s photograph of Janet Flanner in 1925
In 1925, Man Ray introduced her to Eugène Atget’s photographs. She became interested in Atget’s work, and managed to persuade him to sit for a portrait in 1927. He died shortly thereafter. She acquired the prints and negatives remaining in Eugène Atget’s studio at his death in 1927. While the government acquired much of Atget’s archive — Atget had sold 2,621 negatives in 1920, and his friend and executor André Calmettes sold 2,000 more immediately after his death — Abbott was able to buy the remainder in June, 1928, and quickly started work on its promotion. An early tangible result was the 1930 book Atget, photographe de Paris, in which she is described as photo editor. Due to a lack of funding, Abbott sold a one-half interest in the collection to Julien Levy for $1,000. Abbott’s work on Atget’s behalf would continue until her sale of the archive to the Museum of Modern Art in 1968. In addition to her book The World of Atget (1964), she provided the photographs for A Vision of Paris (1963), published a portfolio, Twenty Photographs, and wrote essays. Her sustained efforts helped Atget gain international recognition

Changing New York

Bowery restaurant photograph for Changing New York, 1935.
In early 1929, Abbott visited New York City, ostensibly to find an American publisher for Atget’s photographs. After New York when she was doing portrait photography most of the time, she moved on to documentary photography. Upon seeing the city again, Abbott recognized its photographic potential. She went back to Paris, closed up her studio, and returned to New York in September. She was a central figure that created bridge with photographic hubs in New York City. Her first photographs of the city were taken with a handheld Kurt-Bentzin camera, but soon she acquired a Century Universal camera which produced 8 × 10 inch negatives. Using this large format camera, Abbott photographed New York City with the diligence and attention to detail she had so admired in Eugène Atget. Atget died in 1927 and she bought all his work which contained over 5000 negatives and glass slides from him and brought it to New York in 1929. Her work has provided a historical chronicle of many now-destroyed buildings and neighborhoods of Manhattan. Her work appeared in an exhibition “Changing New York” at the Museum Of City in 1937. This was a book made to show the transformation of New York City. She focused more on the physical part of the transformation rather than the mental part of it, such as the change of neighborhoods and the replacement of skyscrapers to low rise buildings.

Abbott worked on her New York project independently for six years, unable to get financial support from organizations (such as the Museum of the City of New York), foundations (such as the Guggenheim Foundation), or individuals. She supported herself with commercial work and teaching at the New School of Social Research beginning in 1933.

Manhattan skyline in 1936
In 1935, Abbott was hired by the Federal Art Project (FAP) as a project supervisor for her “Changing New York” project. She continued to take the photographs of the city, but she had assistants to help her both in the field and in the office. This arrangement allowed Abbott to devote all her time to producing, printing, and exhibiting her photographs. By the time she resigned from the FAP in 1939, she had produced 305 photographs that were then deposited at the Museum of the City of New York. Abbott’s project was primarily a sociological study embedded within modernist aesthetic practices. She sought to create a broadly inclusive collection of photographs that together suggest a vital interaction between three aspects of urban life: the diverse people of the city; the places they live, work and play; and their daily activities. It was intended to empower people by making them realize that their environment was a consequence of their collective behavior (and vice versa). Moreover, she avoided the merely pretty in favor of what she described as “fantastic” contrasts between the old and the new, and chose her camera angles and lenses to create compositions that either stabilized a subject (if she approved of it), or destabilized it (if she scorned it).

Berenice Abbott - Street Photography - 1932 - Bowery Bum.
Bowery Bum, New York, 1932. (All Copyrights respected)

Encampment of the unemployed, New York City, 1935
Abbott’s ideas about New York were highly influenced by Lewis Mumford’s historical writings from the early 1930s, which divided American history into a series of technological eras. Abbott, like Mumford, was particularly critical of America’s “paleotechnic era”, which, as he described it, emerged at end of the American Civil War, a development called by other historians the Second Industrial Revolution. Like Mumford, Abbott was hopeful that, through urban planning efforts (aided by her photographs), Americans would be able to wrest control of their cities from paleotechnic forces, and bring about what Mumford described as a more humane and human-scaled, “neotechnic era”. Abbott’s agreement with Mumford can be seen especially in the ways that she photographed buildings that had been constructed in the paleotechnic era—before the advent of urban planning. Most often, buildings from this era appear in Abbott’s photographs in compositions that made them look downright menacing.

In 1935, Abbott moved into a Greenwich Village loft with the art critic Elizabeth McCausland, with whom she lived until McCausland’s death in 1965. McCausland was an ardent supporter of Abbott, writing several articles for the Springfield Daily Republican, as well as for Trend and New Masses (the latter under the pseudonym Elizabeth Noble). In addition, McCausland contributed the captions for the book of Abbott’s photographs entitled Changing New York which was published in 1939. In 1949, her photography book Greenwich Village Today and Yesterday was published by Harper & Brothers.

Ralph Steiner wrote in that Abbott’s work was “the greatest collection of photographs of New York City ever made.”

This article uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Slim Aarons

Slim Aarons was an American photographer, who worked at West Point, and later served as a combat photographer in World War II and earned a Purple Heart.

Slim Aarons (born George Allen Aarons; October 29, 1916 – May 30, 2006) was an American photographer noted for photographing socialites, jet-setters and celebrities.

Slim Aarons, The High Life, 1968.  Photographer
Slim Aarons, The High Life, 1968. (All Copyrights respected)

Photography career

At 18 years old, Aarons enlisted in the U.S. Army, worked as a photographer at West Point, and later served as a combat photographer in World War II and earned a Purple Heart. Aarons said combat had taught him the only beach worth landing on was “decorated with beautiful, seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun.”

After the war, Aarons moved to California and began photographing celebrities. In California, he shot his most praised photo, Kings of Hollywood, a 1957 New’s Year’s Eve photograph depicting Clark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper, and James Stewart relaxing at a bar in full formal wear. Aaron’s work appeared in Life, Town & Country, and Holiday magazines.

Aarons never used a stylist, or a makeup artist. He made his career out of what he called “photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” An oft-cited example of this approach is his 1970 Poolside Gossip shot at Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House, with owner Nelda Linsk as one of the models in the photo. “I knew everyone,” he said in an interview with The (London) Independent in 2002. “They would invite me to one of their parties because they knew I wouldn’t hurt them. I was one of them.” Alfred Hitchcock’s film, Rear Window (1954), whose main character is a photographer played by Jimmy Stewart, is set in an apartment reputed to be based on Aarons’ apartment

In 1997, Mark Getty, the co-founder of Getty Images, visited Aarons in his home and bought Aarons’ entire archive.

In 2017, filmmaker Fritz Mitchell released a documentary about Aarons, called Slim Aarons: The High Life.

Death

Aarons died in 2006 in Montrose, New York, and was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This article uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Fujifilm’s first twin-lens reflex camera!

In 1954, Fujifilm introduced the Fujicaflex, which it developed to be the finest TLR produced in Japan.

IN A TWIN-LENS REFLEX CAMERA (TLR), one of two vertically arrayed lenses is for the viewfinder, and the other is for taking the actual photograph. In the 1950s in Japan, the demand for twin-lens reflex cameras (TLRs) suddenly took off for several reasons: they typically offered good image quality, were sturdy and durable, and were available at a reasonable price.

In 1954, Fujifilm introduced the Fujicaflex

But using two lenses meant that what the photographer saw in the viewfinder wasn’t exactly what appeared in the shot. In particular, it was difficult to capture the same relationship between the subject and the background that one saw in the viewfinder. Moreover, the closer the camera was to the subject, the harder it was to achieve an accurate focus, making it difficult to shoot anything closer than a meter or so. 

In 1954, Fujifilm introduced the Fujicaflex, which it developed to be the finest TLR produced in Japan. Distinguishing itself from the many cheap TLRs then on the market, the Fujicaflex incorporated a cutting-edge lens that delivered beautiful, high-resolution photos. A single mechanism altered the position of the front lens element of both the taking lens and the viewfinder lens to achieve simultaneous focus, making possible in-focus shots at the short distance of 70cm. The camera embodied several other clever and advanced ideas as well. For example, the nob on the side smoothly adjusted the point of focus; when pulled outward from the camera body, this same knob wound the film forward. It was a nice detail that made taking pictures just a little more speedy and convenient.

The Fujicaflex was very favorably received by photographers who at the time credited it as a new height in Japanese camera technology. It was a product that greatly enhanced the brand image of Fujifilm cameras and paved the way for future innovations.

The world’s first autoflash point-and-shoot camera

In the 1970s, point-and-shoot cameras became quite popular among amateur photographers. The film came in a cartridge and was easy to load, while shooting was as simple as locating the subject in the viewfinder and pressing the shutter button. When Fujifilm decided to enter this segment of the camera market, the company partnered with Kodak, signing a licensing agreement. Then, in 1975, Fujifilm launched the Pocket FUJICA lineup of point-and-shoot cameras, five models ranging from basic to high-end.

After introducing the Pocket FUJICA in Japan, Fujifilm expanded sales to overseas markets. In order to make the camera easier to hold and help prevent bad shots due to camera shake, in later models Fujifilm changed the positioning of the film inside from horizontal to vertical. These and other innovations encouraged more people to take up photography and spurred sales to even greater heights.

Fujifilm continued to look for new ways to enhance the Pocket FUJICA line. Market research conducted by the company indicated that 75% of point-and-shoot camera users found flash photography difficult and inconvenient. So, in 1978, Fujifilm introduced the high-end Pocket FUJICA 550 Auto, which featured an integrated pop-up flash. The flash was automatic and light output even adjusted to match lighting conditions. In combination with the camera’s autoexposure function, the autoflash made it easy to take beautiful photographs and avoid mistakes that wasted valuable film. This feature was a world’s first for a point-and-shoot camera and made the Pocket FUJICA 550 Auto yet another milestone product for Fujifilm.

Welcome

Professional documentary style photographer, based in the Cotswolds!

Documentary Style Photography

I’m a documentary style photographer, based in the Cotswolds, who started shooting professionally some ten years ago now. Since then, I’ve been commissioned to photograph around the world. I shoot in a relaxed documentary style, telling a story, rather than creating conventional ‘staged’ photos.

The Fujifilm equipment provides everything I need to capture discreet, unobtrusive photographs. Documentary style photography captures the everyday lives of people and record snapshots of how and where we live.

If you look at the work of some of the photograhers I’ve also featured on this website, it’s obvious Street Photography is a vibrant and evolving art.

Naples Pier, Fl - Fujifilm X-Pro-3 - 'Social Distancing' | Narrating Images
Naples Pier, Fl – Fujifilm X-Pro-3 – ‘Social Distancing’ – © Narrating Images