Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Fuji X100S made me a better B&W photographer


So let me share my "secrets" to getting great B&W results from the Fuji X100S with you.


Exploring new directions - Fuji X100S
B&W photography can give your photography a new direction


I started my photography with a cheap plastic camera from a grab bag and a roll of B&W film in the 70's. I must have been 5 or 6 years old at that time. I guess that is where my emotional attachment to B&W photography started.

But when I switched to mainly digital cameras I shot generally in color. This was in big part due to the fact that I did not like the in camera results that the JPG B&W modes produced. And once the color file ended up on my computer, I often just stuck with color.

But since I own the Fuji X100S this has changed! The Fuji X-Cameras create superb color files straight out of the camera. But for the B&W lover in you, Fuji has also created some wonderful B&W filters.

I can see between the lines - Fuji X100S
This reflection would have drowned in a busy color background


My favorite B&W setting on the X100S for most situations are:

- Film simulation: B-R (B&W Red Filter)
- Sharpness: +1
- Highlight Tone: +1
- Shadow Tone: +2
- Noise Reduction: -2

This will give you a fairly contrasty B&W look when exposed correctly.

Late summer day in Copenhagen - Fuji X100S
The lack of color can be visually relaxing


And in case you don't have a lot of experience with B&W photography the Fuji X cameras with EVF or LCD will take you by the hand and guide you to your first successful exposures. When you switch your JPG to B&W you will see a B&W image in the EVF / LCD preview. Now use the exposure compensation dial (in Aperture priority mode) to increase or decrease the exposure and get a more predominant black or white  look.

Remix the World Copenhagen - Fuji X100S
B&W works great for structures and patterns


Through the live preview in the EVF I got this next photo exposed the way I wanted in my first try. It feels like cheating, but the result is what counts! ;)

Shadow mirroring BMX - Fuji X100S
Got this exposed the way I wanted on the first try - and this pose in motion would not have had time for a second try



This is a X100S portrait with my B&W settings plus on board fill flash straight out of the X100S:

Happy Bokeh Friday 11.10.2013 - Fuji X100S
This is a JPG straight out of camera!


If I still want some more contrast in my photo I upload the JPG file to my iPad and do some  quick adjustments - et voilĂ !

Harbour Landscape B&W - Fuji X100S
The sun flare was visible in the EVF. This way I was able to time it just right when the ship passed underneath it.


Still not sure if you want to deprive your exposures of the color for good? No problem! Set the Fuji X100S to shoot JPG + RAW and the RAW file will contain all of the color information just in case you change your mind later. The EVF will still show the B&W preview. Feels like cheating again? Don't worry! It is all about the images that come out of the camera :)

Happy Hamburg Bokeh Friday 27.09.2013 - Fuji X100S
Be adventurous and try to some B&W photos with your Fuji X-Camera


 I have to admit that I sometimes shoot JPG + RAW and end up using the RAW file to convert it into a B&W JPG in post processing. I will do this when I shoot in very contrasty situations and might need to recover some highlights later. The other occasion is when I shoot close to or at ISO 6400. I have set the Noise Reduction to -2 but at those high ISO the X100S tends to smooth out a bit too much details despite the NR -2 setting.


Night portrait at ISO 6400 and 19mm - Fuji X100S
At ISO 6400 I prefer RAW to keep more details


So, are you ready to give it a try? Then why not just save the B&W settings as one of your custom settings in your X100S for those occasions when you feel like shooting Monochrome :)

Copenhagen - Bike and Run City - Fuji X100S
The Fuji X100S is the perfect B&W camera for me!


If you have any further questions or want to share your Fuji X B&W experiences just leave a comment below, Twitter me @HamburgCam or visit my Homepage at www.MarcoLarousse.com

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)