I get a lot of questions about my “processing”. Like… A lot. And I’ve never hidden the fact that I usually process my images using VSCO Film and variants I’ve derived from their various packs. I usually have a specific look in mind when I edit a shoot and I treat each image on its own, hopefully finding what works best on any given shot.

But one of the things that made me switch to the Fuji cameras was the film-like nature of the files. I know this sounds like some PR BS, and some photographers will probably call hype or foul on this statement… But from the very first time I looked at an X100 image I felt something was different, more organic. And this became even more obvious with the X-Trans sensor. Call me crazy if you want.

Professional photographers are expected to shoot raw. But the not so well kept secret about the X series is the spectacular nature of their jpeg files. I usually shoot jpeg only on anything that’s not work related; on work stuff I’ll shoot raw+Fine just to have that unaltered data as a security… But most of the time I’ll still end up using the jpegs; sue me. All that matters to me is the final image, the starting point is irrelevant if everything’s there that needs to be there. My days of being a raw snob are behind me. Whatever works.

Beyond the quality of the files there’s another incentive to shooting jpeg on these cameras: creative license. There’s a lot of stuff to play with that can really give a very personal look to the images you shoot. The film simulations are the obvious things to begin with, but you can also add your own tonal curve by altering Highlight and Shadow tones individually in the Q menu. Same goes for Colour.

And when selecting Kelvin in the White Balance menu you can tweak the colours using a four-point grid while previewing the results live in the EVF. I’ve used this to get exactly the colour I wanted under mixed natural and fluorescent lighting — one of the worst shooting scenarios.

Of course all of these tweaks can be saved as custom presets. Kind of like having several films to choose from at the flick of a finger.

So today I thought I’d do something I’ve never done before: post OOC jpegs. All of these (except for the very last one) were shot with that goal in mind, tweaking all the parameters on the fly, relying on the EVF to get it right in-camera. I used Pro-Neg, Velvia, Astia, BW; I changed the curves and pushed or pulled the colour. On image #6 I used Multiple Exposure. Everything was shot on the new X100S but this is all available on the X-Pro1 or X-E1 as well.

The reason I’m doing this is simple: I think the so-called “look” is there already. Yes I process my images, but a lot of it happens before hitting the shutter, a lot of it comes from the files themselves and the options that are available.

OOC. God I feel naked.

Have a great weekend :)

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada