Modern Documentary Fujifilm Recipe

Looking for a modern-looking, general purpose Fujifilm recipe that still packs some punch? Look no further!

Øyvind Nordhagen

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The keyword for this recipe has to be “versatility”. For the past 6 months I have been shooting street photography like a madman. In the process I have been testing just about every film sim under the sun, as well as the stock film simulations that come with my cameras unchanged. I wanted to find something that could be my go-to settings for street photography. For that I wanted something a bit contrasty and with punchy colors that would still control highlights and color gradients in a nice way.

Why not just Classic Chrome?

Yes, Classic Chrome is a fine film simulation. Even with all other settings at their defaults Classic Chrome is a very tempting option, but I have a couple of problems with it:

  1. It’s too desaturated for my taste.
  2. It has a tendency for clipping shadows.
  3. You get cyan blues whether you like it or not.
  4. Everyone else uses it.

That last point is getting more important for me by the day as Classic Chrome seems to be the darling of every Fujifilm shooter these days. I don’t necessarily want my style to be the same as every other Fujifilm shooter out there.

Why “Modern”?

Classic Chrome and a lot of the Fujifilm recipes you can find online have a very stylized look to them. Most try to emulate a particular film stock. This is kind of ironic since most of the photographers we idolize for the style of images they produced with these films would have loved to have the detail and color accuracy of modern digital sensors. So instead of trying to emulate a particular film stock with this recipe I specifically took inspiration from images that look like they are shot on modern equipment. The only tweaks I made were towards giving the images punch and texture. Like if they were shot on modern film and modern lenses, then scanned professionally and color corrected to look natural.

Let’s begin with Provia

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Øyvind Nordhagen

Photographer based in Oslo. I write about photographic technique and editing.