Perfecting your photography

Over the course of this website, One Camera One Lens has offered a great deal of articles written to help you improve and expand your photography knowledge. They are all within the blog section, but this is a list of quick links that can get you to the article you need quickly.

Maximising Your Histogram Accuracy
Your histogram is not as accurate as you think, unless you take into consideration the points mentioned within this brief article.

The Benefits Of Shooting In Jpeg
Not everyone shoots in the raw format, and in fact, the majority of people shoot in jpeg. And there are some excellent reasons why you would want to shoot in jpeg.

Who Is Artificial Intelligent Software Aimed At?
A look at the new software that uses artificial intelligence, and who it is aimed at.

Edit Photographs For Your Wall
Have you ever wondered why you can’t sell, or where you are going wrong? This article gives you some fascinating tips on getting your images to look right, so that everyone can appreciate them!

The Best Editing Software You’ll Ever Need!
You’ll need editing software, and here is some huge advice!

Storing Film Simulations On Your Fujifilm Camera
If you are a Fujifilm user, this guide is a necessity!

Improve Your Photography With A Prime Lens
It’s a simple trick, but if you really want to get better at photography, take a read and let it sink in!

Never miss a shot with this trick!
It’s simple, it’s effective, but you will always get your shot using this trick!

Printing Your Photos, And Why It Is Important
Probably the most important this you will read in this list of articles!

Why 35mm Is The Perfect Focal Length
No serious photographer should be without this focal length, and I discuss why that is!

20 Tips For Better Photography
An essential list of common sense tips!

The Importance Of Presents & LUTs
They are important, you should have a few ready to hand… And the article tells you why.

The Importance Of Backing Up Your Photographs
It should be second nature, but so many people don’t do it. This article should help you!

Hopefully you will find something you need in this list of articles. You can delve deeper into the blog section for much more information, and don’t forget to come back on a regular basis for more updates to the website.

Storing Film Simulations on your Fujifilm (A simple guide)

One of the reasons we love and use Fujifilm cameras is because it’s easy to replicate old film stocks, invent new ones, and have more control over the image before we take the photo than any other camera. Some of us only ever shoot in these film simulations that we’ve made, others only use the stock Fujifilm film simulations, while others shoot in raw and then add these simulations using Fuji’s X Raw Studio on their computers.

This guide will take you though a typical Fujifilm X camera set-up, although there may well be differences to which camera you use. The basic idea will be the same regardless of what you use. This is NOT a technical post, and not a discussion on white balance, just a way to help you get to the settings quickly.

Step 1: The Look

The first step is to decide what look you are after. Are you looking to replicate old film stock? If so, One Camera One Lens has a page dedicated to over 15 unique film simulations and recipes. Take a look once you’ve read this article!

You’ll notice that these recipes have various settings that you must alter to change the look of your finished image. Each of these settings, when altered, changes the look of the photographs you take.

Step 2: Enter Your Settings

I’ve seen many articles taking you the long way off entering these settings, this is the quick way and is simple.

1. Press your “Q” button – the screen will change to your Quick settings.
2. Press and HOLD your “Q” button for about a second – you’ll be given a list of C1-C7.
3. Scroll to a C number you want to use.
4. Press “OK” – You’ll be greeted by the various settings. Scroll through them and change them as you need.
5. Press “Back” and it will ask you to save the recipe.

And that is how simple it is. If you’ve disabled the “Q” button for any reason, you can get to step 2 by going into the menus. (Found at IQ>Select Custom Setting)

(Your menus may look slightly different)

Press the “Q” Button to get here.
Press and HOLD the Q button for a second to get here, and choose your Custom number.
Inside this menu you can go ahead and change your settings!

For most people, this will be more than enough to complete the setup of a Film Simulation, however, you may want to add an R/B offset for your white balance, and this is where the fun really begins!

Step 3: The White Balance R/B Offset Conundrum

If you do not need to change the Red and Blue (R/B) offset for your recipe, you can skip this part of the instructions.

This is a step that most confuses new and not so new Fujifilm users. While you can alter many aspects of the White Balance in the Q editing of your recipes, you can’t assign a R/B offset directly into the customising function (in some cameras).

To adjust your R & B values (should you wish) you must adjust one of your three Custom White Balance settings, or other White Balance options, please see the notes on this below the instructions.

To do this, simply follow this instructions:

1. Press your “Menu” button.
2. Scroll down to “White Balance”
3. Choose Auto, Custom 1-3 (whichever you want to assign the R/B offset if needed and not using Auto WB) or any of the other settings such as Kelvin, Daylight, Shade etc. – Press the right arrow/joystick to enter the offset mode.
4. If in the Custom 1-3 setting you Press “OK” on the first screen, it will bypass it (and use the last value*) and you can then enter the Red and Blue values.

* To get a correct white balance if you have changed it in the past, you can point your camera at a white object filling the screen, and then press the shutter release to capture this White Balance. Alternatively you can adjust the offset in the “Auto” section and this will need to be changed each time you change settings to a new simulation. Auto, Kelvin, Daylight, Shade etc can all only have one R/B offset attached. Yes… I know it’s confusing!

(Your menus may look slightly different – Older X cameras may be missing the offset option)

Open the menu and go to “IQ” and then down to “White Balance” . *Choosing “Auto” will allow you to change the R & B values and give them auto WB. This will need to be changed for each Film Simulation. *Choosing “Custom 1-3” will give you the option to offset based on a White Balance that has been set by you when asked to press the shutter below. *Remember when saving your recipes you can only set ONE WB offset per WB setting (Auto, Custom, Daylight etc).

You’ll need to remember which Custom White Balance is for which recipe, as you’ll need to assign it to that recipe.

** White Card Technique **
To assign a custom white balance correctly, the manual states to point your camera and fill the screen with a white object when confronted with the “Shutter: New WB” option. This will then set your white balance for that environment.

Step 4: Use them!

Once your C1-C7 are full, get out and use them! Ideally I would set up my camera so that C1 is a default setting, with just a plain, untouched film simulation, with the ISO settings etc that you know you can rely on, and then have C2-C7 as film simulation edits.

Conclusion

It’s great fun shooting in film simulations, if you shoot in raw and jpeg, you’ll have even more options as you can take the raw file into Fuji X Raw Studio and choose different film simulations (another blog entry coming soon on this).

Don’t be afraid to experiment, and if you want the full experience, don’t forget to print your images! The film simulations you use from the internet are great starting points, and sometimes a little tweak or two can make all the difference if you’re not quite happy with the results.

Don’t forget to check out our main page which hosts film simulations, plus like and comment if you have found this useful, as it really helps me out!

— There are different variants of software in each camera, this guide is a general one and your camera may have more or less options, but the general idea should be the same in each case.

Improve your photography with a prime lens

A lot of people fail to understand how using a prime lens can make you a better photographer than you are at the moment. There’s a mindset that believes that you are constrained by using a single focal length, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In this article I’ll explain why using a prime lens can, and will, make you a better photographer. You’ll see things differently, and your photography skills will become enhanced in ways you never thought possible.

There are five major points to using a prime lens, all of which give you more discipline in what you do, and all of which will give noticeable difference to photographs and attitude. Of course, as perfect as the one camera one lens and one focal length is, there are times when you will need a longer, wider or zoom lens, it would be silly to think otherwise.

So, here’s the guide to why using a prime lens will make you a better photographer, and the advantages of brings.

One: The Hunt

Although the phrase “Zoom with your feet” is one that is thrown away each time people mention prime lenses, a better term would be “Hunt for your composition”. With the constraint of just one length, you simply just can’t stand in one place and zoom in and out on a composition, getting the same old compositions that everyone else gets. You have to move around and hunt for compositions that are not as obvious. You’ll wander around, get closer or further away, you’ll move more around the perimeter and your eyes will concentrate on your subject.

It may not sound much, but hunting for your composition is much more rewarding. You’ll discover things on the way to your composition, you’ll have different angles and different points of view to what you would get with a zoom lens. Most of all, you’ll be engaging with your brain. No longer will you be lazy and point and shoot from a couple of spots, you’ll figure out each move, step by step.

Two: Creative through assumed limitation

Because of the nature of having a fixed lens, you’ll find yourself being far more creative when taking photos. You’ll usually have a shallower depth of field to play with, giving you a more artistic approach to teaching the photograph.

In other ways you’ll be able to experiment with things such as panoramas, combining numerous shots to make wider landscapes, or play with with Bokeh to get better depth if field. You’ll also generally benefit from using the lens in low light as generally speaking prime lenses have much wider apertures, meaning they let in much more light.

Three: Consistency

Having a focal length you know, and get used to give you a number of advantages. First of all, and most important if you want a body of work to stand out, is that all your photographs will have a consistent look due to the single lens and focal length you are using. A lot of people get confused by this simple point. The human eye hates juxtaposition. If you’re looking at something, and the images vary widley from one focal length to the other, it can seem rather messy if viewed as a body of work. Simply put, your work will look much better, and people will appreciate it much more by being consistent.

Another great advantage of using a prime lens is that your eyes and brain will know exactly how a composition will look before you take the photograph. You’ll be able to envisage the subject in the frame, without lifting your camera, and at the right moment pick up the camera and instantly know your composition before you even less the button. It’s why the 35mm prime lens focal length is so perfect. You look, you see, you photograph, and it’s exactly as you pictured it in your mind.

Four: Set yourself free

A prime lens is usually (but not always) smaller than a zoom lens. For photographers who photograph street photography, weddings, portraits, events or even go on long walks and do landscape, you no longer have to worry about the weight of your lens, you can have the one or two prime lenses and be covered for all occasions.

You’ll be set free because you can forget about putting up a zoom lens to your eye and endlessly moving zoom in and out, you can simply look at your subject and press your shutter button. It’s an invigorating experience, that once you understand, will set you free.

Five: Don’t worry about light

As mentioned, with a prime lens you usually get much wider apertures. Where as most zoom lens start at around F/3.5 or above, prime lenses average anywhere between F/1.2 and F/2.8. You’ll find most are around the F/1.4-F/1.8 range, leaving in a couple of more stops than an average zoom. It’s the difference between shooting at ISO1600 and ISO6400 if you are looking at nighttime shooting!

You’ll find you won’t care about what light your are taking photos in, you won’t mind what your top end auto ISO is set to, and you know you can set a minimum shutter speed of 1/60th with next to no issues. Prime lenses really are your friend in do many situations!

Conclusion

Set yourself a task before questioning these five steps. Put a 35mm or 50mm equivalent lens on your camera (that would be approx 23mm or 33mm on a crop body), and make it the only lens you use the next ten times you go out. Don’t think about it, go out and shoot (use common sense, you wouldn’t use a 23mm taking photos of birds). At the end of the ten photography sessions, print out a couple of photos from each shoot (printing is an important part of learning). Then think to yourself how you felt, and how much more unique your photos are. Think how you learned everything from above, and how you didn’t need to zoom at every opportunity.

There’s no denying some people won’t feel comfortable with a prime lens, and there’s no right or wrong, that’s the way of the World. But just take the time to take your prime out like mentioned above, and after that you may not want to stick to it, but you sure as hell will improve your photography!

Which Prime Lens?

Ideally you need to choose a prime lens that is great for general use. Forget the 50mm on a crop sensor camera, that’s equivalent to 75mm on a full frame camera, and in no way useable day in and day out. You need to use equivalent to 35mm or 50mm (so 23mm or 33mm/35mm on a crop) for the best results and to understand why Prime lenses are so amazing at making your photography better.

If you don’t own a prime lens, there always the option of using your basic lens (usually 18-55mm or thereabouts) at 18mm or 55m (27mm and 82.5mm) and not moving off that focal length.

Creating Film (Fujifilm Film Simulations)

Introduction

Onecameraonelens hosts over a dozen film simulations which were created by myself. Leica M10, Agfa, Kodachrome and Fujicolour are just a few of the examples of film simulations that have been based on classic film stock, while others are tweaked versions of Fuji’s own film simulations, giving an altogether different look.

The idea of this site is to build up a collection of simulations based on real film stock, however, the approach taken is slightly different from others, and this blog will explain how much work goes into creating the perfect film simulation (or as perfect as possible).

Why?

The point of creating film simulations is to get the camera to reproduce as close as possible, straight out of camera, a look that resembles film stock, or one that needs little to no editing in software later. Because of the experience of using a Fujifilm camera is very similar to using an old fashioned 35mm film camera, a lot of people like to recreate this as closely as they can. There’s nothing quite as exciting as taking photos with your Fujifilm camera and looking at the jpegs to see such stunning retro (or modern) images.

Capturing photographs with the Minolta and Fujicolor 200

Process

The first part of the process is to decide what film type needs to be emulated. This will be done by researching different looks of film, discovering old 35mm photographs and looking at other sources such as presets and LUTs on various computer programs. You can never do enough research to get things right.

Once an idea for a film simulation comes to mind, the process officially begins and the recipe starts to take shape.

A photograph, either digital or printed is placed near the screen and the camera is attached to the computer to use Fujifilm X Raw Studio. At this stage I have three images that I work on, one a photo with a person on it, one a photo of flowers and the final photo one with blue sky, green grass and trees in it. I constantly tweak one of the photos until it looks like the sample image and then go back and forth to my test photos until it starts to look like the real thing.

It is trial and error at this stage, and deciding on the right in-camera film emulation as a base point is priority. A lot of older chrome type films can easily have Classic Chrome as a base, while more colour film types will use Provia or Astia etc. Black and white is a bit simpler, but you still need to get your black and white type (monochrome or Acros) correct, along with adding the Red, Green or Yellow.

The process is literally, at this point, going through the settings in Fuji X Studio Raw and changing each one. Once you know the contrast, highlights and shadows are roughly what you need, it’s the all important White Balance section that takes the most amount of time to get looking right.

The White Balance affects everything in the image, and the offset settings of Red and Blue can make all the difference between getting things right and wrong. Quite often it will look right on one image, and then you take it across to an image with a person in it and the colour tones will be completely wrong. So you must tweak, with your test images to find a middle ground.

Classic film stock

End Results

Once happy with the test images, the next stage is to try out the film simulation on even more photographs, with different subjects in them. When happy with this, the film simulation is stored in the camera and taken to the next shoot. At this point I will use the particular film simulation on location, and take photographs as normal. If I can see things not looking right through the viewfinder, I will tweak the settings in camera slightly to try and correct them, before getting back to the computer and just running through the process again to ensure things are as close as they can be to the look of the old film stock.

The process can take a few hours to perfect, and sometimes I label film simulations as Version 1 or Version 2. This is usually because looking at original photographs/LUTs etc, these can have slightly different looks in different circumstances, so Version 1 might be a general version of the new film simulation, while Version 2 might be more for people or different light conditions.

Conclusion

I do this for fun, and to hopefully bring other people some enjoyment. Some people will like some looks, some people will like other looks, that’s why I’m building up the collection as a resource for people. These film simulations may not always be perfect, because of the nature of photography, but hopefully they are damn close to what they are intended to be.

Think of film simulations as a starting point. In perfect conditions they should not need any tweaks in software once you’ve taken the photo, but it’s up to you. Please support me and my work by mentioning the website onecamreaonelens.com or using the hashtag #OneCameraOneLens and I will continue to create the most authentic film simulations that I possibly can.

Please like and share this blog so that people will understand how much work goes into making film simulations.

PART TWO coming soon – Complete guide to storing simulations on your Fujifilm.