This article looks at the Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Chrome-DR (Classic Chrome – Documentary Ready). A documentary specific recipe intended to yield sharp images with lifted shadows that will reduce your time in post-production or abolish it entirely.
1. Reason For Creation
I have been working with the classic chrome Modern Chrome Fujifilm recipe for some time now. And I believe it to be a superb setting to achieve a modern take with a retro documentary film twist.
However, instead of incorporating both styles, I wanted to create a recipe that mimics a modern digital documentary-style only.
The rationale behind this is to reduce my time in post-processing when it comes to achieving the style I want from my photographs.
Much of the time, I do love a good film simulation. The aesthetic created by the Fujifilm XT-4 is one of the main reasons I purchased the camera in the first place.
However, there are times when I do want my JPEGs to conform to image standards seen in the work of contemporary photojournalism.
2. Recipe Development
Modern-day photojournalism does not rely on heavy editing to achieve stylised photos. On the contrary, It is the opposite.
For example, National geographic will not accept edited photographs in any way. And require the photographers to submit the RAW, unedited versions of their images for publication.
In photojournalism, it is necessary to leave images as they were captured and not manipulate them. Because by doing so, the photographer will reduce that photograph’s authenticity.
Of course, there are instances where some editing is permitted, such as achieving the correct exposure, cropping and sharpening of a photograph. However, dodging, burning, selective editing, and colour grading is entirely out of the equation.
So for this recipe, I aimed to follow these modern fundamentals as best I could with the classic chrome simulation as its base. I have found it to be the best simulation to document things.
I started by ensuring the grain effect was off and increased the high noise ISO reduction. This way, the grainy film effect produced by the camera will be somewhat mitigated.
Secondly, I turned up the sharpness and clarity to a point I felt achieved a good level of focus in the photographs.
Setting the dynamic range to 200 gives the images some depth, but not too much it looks unnatural.
The colour was raised by two to give the moderately desaturated simulation a little extra colour.
Finally, I raised the highlights and the shadows by an equal amount to maintain a balance but lift the shadows slightly.
3. Positive Observations
My initial impressions of the images are positive. I believe they have achieved the desired result.
The images are sharp, have a good level of clarity and display little to no noise.
The colours are strong enough to establish themselves in the compositions. Yet not so saturated, they become the focus.
4. Negative Observations
Because of the settings used to sharpen and reduce the noise in the images, they lack an authentic film aesthetic. Although this was the intention, admittedly, some magic is lost that many Fujifilm camera lovers enjoy from their JPEGS.
Furthermore, due to the high noise reduction, there is a high level of artefacts visible where the grain would otherwise be, reducing the image’s authentic aesthetic further.
5. Where/How To Use
Use this recipe when shooting photo-documentary style photography. Where the intended outcome is to tell a story with the images, and you do not want to spend time post-processing the images.
I would not recommend using this in instances where colour is a vital element.
6. The Recipe
- Film Simulation: Classic Chrome
- Grain Effect: Off
- Colour Chrome Effect: Weak
- Colour Chrome FX Blue: Weak
- White Balance: Auto
- Dynamic Range: 200
- Tone Curve: H+1 S+1
- Colour: +2
- Sharpness: +4
- High ISO NR: +4
- Clarity: +4
If you enjoy sharp photo-documentary style images and dislike spending time post-processing your photographs, then this may be the ideal recipe for you.
Why not program it now and give it a go? Your results may vary considerably from mine. I’m sure they will be far superior.
Let us know what you think of the recipe in the comments section below. And tag your results on Instagram @shuttergangofficial for a chance to be featured.
If you don’t already own a Fujifilm camera and would like to achieve results like these straight from your camera I recommend you purchase the XT-4 with the 16-80mm (the same lens used for these photos). UK readers click here. US readers click here.
Another great resource for film recipes is Fuji X Weekly which you can visit by clicking here.
Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Chrome-DR, Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipe: Classic Chrome-DR.