Dark and Moody Experimentation with the X-E4 and the XF27 F2.8 WR using Film Recipes

· 8.August.2021

Photography is an activity full of emotional connection. When I’m in a good mood, I shoot colorful, vibrant flowers and landscapes. When I’m feeling melancholy I shoot dead flowers and abandoned places. The challenge is matching that mood and feeling I was going for later in post-processing. Sometimes I’m in a totally different mindset, and it’s a little difficult to connect with the original vision I had.

I’m normally a RAW-only kind of guy. I’ve always thought that anything I shoot with RAW can be adjusted later, and since that’s the highest quality setting we can set our camera to, then that’s what we should be using. With RAW, a lot of the work has to come in the editing process, and when my moods don’t match up, then there’s a disconnect there.

Lately though, in the spirit of learning and growing, I’ve been shooting on JPG only as an experiment. I’m trying to do more to match my emotional state and vision for the photographs in the camera by shooting JPGs dialed into different settings. This is something fairly unique to Fuji because of the amount of control we have over color, clarity, grain and more.

So I took my new X-E4 and 27mm out for a spin and dialed in some Fuji Recipes to experiment with. What I’m doing is trying to match the subject matter and my emotions, and on this day I was feeling mostly a bit dark. It was cloudy out – a possible storm coming. I wanted to use my X-E4 to see if I could get photos in-camera with minimal editing.

I adjusted my JPGs with various grain, clarity and color settings, experimenting and finally setting on a “feel” that I enjoyed in camera.

For the most part it worked out wonderfully. It’s enjoyable to dial-in these settings to see how they work out. It’s also fun to shoot JPG knowing that I need to be a little more on my toes in terms of exposure. Sure – the Fuji JPGs are wonderful, the JPG processing in-camera is amazing, but JPGs still have less dynamic range than RAW files do, so getting things right in-camera is a good idea. (I am also considering making my next endeavor to use Fuji’s RAW processor that allows us to process JPGs out of the RAW files by connecting the camera to the computer. That’s my next project!)

Check out the photos and let me know: did I succeed? Did my dark thoughts coalesce with my surroundings and camera to produce a set of images that succeed?