OWH Chrome and OWH Street Fujifilm recipes

Everybody loves Classic Chrome for street photography it seems. I’m here to give you what you want, but also to tell you that there’s a better way.

Øyvind Nordhagen

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Oslo Barcode District. Øyvind Nordhagen with OWH Chrome

If you have been following me for some time you will know that Astia is my go to film simulation. I just think it has the most film-like contrast response and beautiful tonal gradients. I still think that, but people have been asking me to have a go at making a recipe for street photography based on Classic Chrome and I finally decided to do just that.

The lure of Classic Chrome

I have experimented with Classic Chrome pretty much since I got into Fujifilm. You can’t avoid it really. It’s all the rage in the community. People part with thousands of dollars to upgrade their cameras bodies just to have access to this film simulation.

These are the the benefits of Classic Chrome and these remain the same for me regardless of the subject:

  • It is excellent at compressing highlights and harsh daylight.
  • Dark yellows and oranges are substantially held back in certain ranges, letting other colors pop than the street itself.

These are my biggest reasons for not putting Classic Chrome back on the box. What I’ve found is that I both like and dislike it for these reasons:

  1. You get a pretty hard contrast curve.
  2. You get a strong cyan hue in the blues.
  3. If you like your images with very saturated colors you are out of luck.

These can be good things, but they are not versatile qualities. In addition to that there is the fact that Classic Chrome is pretty much the hallmark of a Fujifilm photographer these days. This means your photos look the same as everyone else’s.

The alternative

Maybe you disregarded Pro Neg Hi as a boring film simulation, but look again! In many ways it’s very similar to Classic chrome. It has less highlight compression so you get a little more mid tone. It has a more neutral palette, but still a chrome-ish look. The right colors still pop, but gone are the cyan skies.

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Øyvind Nordhagen

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