It isn’t only our Film Simulation modes that simulate some of the unique characteristics of analog photography…
Selected X Series and GFX system cameras feature effects that can be applied alongside Film Simulation modes to further enhance the colors and tones in your image. One of these is Film Grain and another is Color Chrome, which shouldn’t be confused with the CLASSIC CHROME Film Simulation mode.
The Film Grain effect adds a controlled amount of random noise to an image to simulate the grain pattern that photographers using film see in their images. It’s largely a matter of personal taste, but for some subjects the texture of film grain adds to the atmosphere and feeling captured in the photo.
- With grain
- Without grain
You’ll find the Film Grain option in the camera’s IMAGE QUALITY SETTING menu system. There are three options: OFF, WEAK, and STRONG.
Color Chrome aims to produce deeper colors and a wider range of tones in subjects such as flowers and bright landscapes. Traditionally, when shooting scenes like this in high-contrast conditions, colors can easily become oversaturated and look artificial. Color Chrome aims to fix this by reproducing high-contrast without over-cooking the colors.
The inspiration for this look comes from FUJICHROME fortia, a color reversal film that was only available in Japan between 2005 and 2007. Fortia famously promised ‘more contrast and color than Velvia’. The ultra-saturated look that fortia delivered attracted a cult following, but because it was only made in limited quantities, not many photographers had the chance to try it – until now! However, Color Chrome is about more than just turning up the color (it’s very different to using Velvia with saturation set to +4, for example).
How does Color Chrome work?
Usually, when photographing colors such as red, orange, or green under high-contrast conditions, it’s easy for an RGB color channel to become overloaded – as if individually too bright. Under these conditions – with contrast and brightness at a maximum – there is no room for a full range of tones and the scene tends to look a bit flat. But with Color Chrome switched on, subtle differences of tone can be detected and enhanced. The result is a punchy, high saturation image that doesn’t lose its impact and depth.
You can turn on Color Chrome in your camera’s main menu, or add a shortcut to the Q Menu for instant access. The effect can either be applied while shooting or when processing RAW files in-camera (or when using FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO software) and is available in WEAK and STRONG settings.
The effect can be used alongside any Film Simulation mode and applied to images shot in either sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces. It has no effect on RAW files.
What should I use Color Chrome for?
Color Chrome is best known for enhancing the colors and contrast in images of flowers, where it can help give photos real depth. This is especially evident in blooms like bluebells, which are famously difficult to photograph because of the UV light they reflect – we see a little of this with our eyes, but not with our cameras.
The effect is also good for landscapes and outdoor scenes photographed in high-contrast sunlight. This can easily produce oversaturated colors with the Velvia Film Simulation mode, forcing photographers to try a different, less saturated look and feel. But with Color Chrome it’s possible to shoot with that Velvia look, while maintaining a more natural appearance.
The same can be said for shooting bright and colorful fashion images in high-contrast sunshine. Color Chrome keeps things under control, giving you a unique approach to creativity.
- © Gareth Pon
- © Daniel Malikyar
Your Next Steps
• CHALLENGE Shoot a still-life picture of a flower (or flowers) using Color Chrome and post the results to social media with the hashtag #MyFujifilmLegacy and #colorchrome. You can also submit your work here for a chance to be featured on our social media channels.
Header image © Bill Fortney