Little did I know when I bought my first Fujifilm X series camera, the X-T20, that moving from Nikon would be such a huge change in what I do and how I perceive photography. They say you’re led on a path when fate intervenes, and I made my own fate by switching to Fujifilm.
The initial hunt for a new system
One of the reasons I left Nikon was I really never liked the colour science. Of course I shot raw and jpeg, but you don’t always want to spend time editing and there are times you just want to get the look you want out of camera, so you can enjoy more time taking photos and spend less time at your computer editing them.
I weighed up my options, looking at everything from full frame from Nikon’s and Sony, to micro four third options from Panasonic. But it was Fujifilm that stole my heart. I had shot with them before in the distant past when digital technology in cameras was still developing, but I remember always loving their colours. I watched hours of videos and read a million reviews, and pretty soon I had a brand new Fujifilm X-T20 of my very own.
And so it begins
I initially started using the Fujifilm X-T20 in a similar way to the way I used the Nikon’s. Landscape shots, with other things (such as family, flowers and general shooting), and shooting in raw plus jpeg. But very soon I realised something very important… My images were coming out of the camera looking absolutely beautiful. It was at that point I started playing around more with developing and tweaking Fujifilm infamous film simulation recipes. I was hooked, my editing time had been cut down as I rarely had to use the raw file, you could get the looks you want perfectly in camera and the camera itself was a joy to use, with tactile button placement, analogue control and super fast speed. This is not a look at those things, but I have written about my experience with Fujifilm after leaving Nikon which can be found here.
At the time, I had never heard of any of sites or people who were developing film simulation recipes for Fujifilm, and so all my early efforts were experiments and just slight tweaks to the X-T20s already beautiful film simulation modes. But then I discovered people were emulating film in addition to the film simulations already built into the camera. It was revolutionary, and I soon started a process of grabbing old photos or looking at examples online and trying to match them using Fujifilm’s X Raw Studio software (the full process described here).
And it got addictive
Moving forward a couple of years and my camera is always loaded with six film simulation recipes recreating old film or stylistic looks. Yes, the Fujifilm’s can hold seven recipes, but I always keep C1 as a “base” setting, basically almost default settings of inbuilt simulations (only the highlights and shadows are adjusted to my liking).
I love it when a photograph looks like it was taken decades ago, I love it when an image looks filmic in quality and more recently I love the square crop. Quite often I’ll put frames around the images to give them even more authenticity.
Most of all, and this is a big one. I just enjoy taking photos and not having to do much, if any editing other than add a frame. For me, this has really brought back the joy of just taking a photograph.
Moving to Fujifilm brought the fun back into photography, a change of direction also really help that feeling. I haven’t been the most productive on the blog lately, but I’m always involved with photography. You can join us on our new Facebook community or find me on various other sites and share my enthusiasm and love for photography.
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