FujiLove Magazine featured a series of mine on their socials, “5 tips for shooting SOOC with the Fujifilm X Series”. Since it is packed with lots of info that might be beneficial for anyone who wants to level up their SOOC game, I’ll share the recap:
Heard about #SOOC, but not sure where to start? Keen to get your feet wet, but need a nudge in the right direction? Well then, no more buts. Here are 5 #tips to get you in the SOOC driver’s seat.
Wait a minute: did you ask “Why straight out of camera?” Okidoki. “Looks like film” “no edits”, “decelerating”, and “beautiful looking jpegs” are some of the thoughts that dance inside my head when I am asked why I shoot jpegs straight out of camera. My list is long and growing because the more time I spend shooting this style, the more sense it makes to me.
Your Fujifilm camera is capable of WYSIWYG – it will show you what your image will look like before you’ve even taken it. It is an amazing feature, but first, you have to setup your camera.
Let’s do that in 3 quick steps in your camera’s MENU:
- ✅ Scroll to 🔧 SET UP menu and select SCREEN SET-UP
- ✅ Set PREVIEW EXP./WB IN MANUAL MODE to PREVIEW EXP./WB
- ✅ Set NATURAL LIVE VIEW to OFF or PREVIEW PIC. EFFECT to ON
Wanna know why? This ensures that you can preview the way your image will look in the EVF and on the LCD before creating your jpeg!
✅✅ PRO TIP: Set your EVF and LCD BRIGHTNESS to zero. This ensures that the brightness levels of the scene are correctly represented. Together with the excellent light meter in your camera, you can set the exposure of your images to your personal taste.
Starting out or want to play it safe? Set IMAGE QUALITY to FINE + RAW to have the benefit of great in-camera jpegs and peace of mind in RAW files that you can edit later. My take on this? You will switch to shooting jpegs only in no time!
📷: X-Pro 3 + XF50-140F2.8 (f/2.8, 1/2200s, ISO 160) in Cross Process
More and more people are shooting jpegs straight-out-of-camera. Wanna know why? It’s fun and extremely rewarding! You get the experience of creating images with a film look – gorgeous analog looking jpegs – while reducing or eliminating the need for any further editing.
Here’s how you get that “look”: you dial in “recipes”, settings that you save into your C1-C7 menu that, usually, simulate specific analog film stocks of yesteryear! These settings in the I.Q. MENU affect the dynamic range, grain effect, white balance, contrast, colour, sharpness, clarity and noise reduction in your image to create fabulous looking jpegs.
And thanks to an active community, there are tons of recipes to choose from 😉. You only have to settle on a few that you like and get started with those.
Let’s get a recipe in 3 quick steps into your camera’s CUSTOM SETTINGS menu:
- ✅ Choose a recipe from an online source. The largest collection with over 300 recipes can be found at Ritchie Roesch’s ‘Fuji X Weekly’ but there are many other talented creators of recipes like Immanuel Sander’s ‘Captn Look’, Marcel Fraij’s Hemelsteen, Luís Costa’s ‘Life, Unintended’, Mark G Adam’s ‘One Camera, One Lens’, Piotr Skrzypek’s ‘FujiFilm Recipes’, Øyvind Nordhagen’s Recipe Collection and Justin Gould’s ‘Film Recipes’
- ✅ Press the Q button on your camera and then long press it again to access EDIT/SAVE CUSTOM SETTING
- ✅ Select one of the C1-C7 banks to begin loading the settings for your recipe
✅✅ PRO TIP: Watch the video walk-through on how to load a recipe. Yep, I’ve got your back!
Most camera models allow you to save a custom name so that you know which recipe is saved in which custom bank. Voilà! Your “digital film camera” is born!
📷 X-T5 + XF16mmF1.4 (f/16, 1/80s, ISO125) in Classic Slide
Getting it right in camera is not only about the result. There is more to be had in the experience of it too. “If you rush, you may never get there!”, a Chinese proverb that so describes this approach.
Draw close, here goes.
- ✅ Before you take your photograph, check your scene
- ✅ Be weary of stray light, fringe objects, poles protruding out of heads – yep, all that weird stuff that ruins great shots
- ✅ Then compose your image, keeping in mind what’s in and what’s out of the frame
This seems obvious at first, but because we’ve been using digital devices for a long time now, we are accustomed to grabbing the crop tool or the healing brush in post-production. So, we may need a bit of time to wean ourselves off of them. Then where to? That sweet spot where your images look exactly the way you want them to, from the moment you press the shutter.
Part of the experience and SOOC process is creating “the one” image, the one that you like without the need to “take another one, and another one”. Remember, only because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Want one last sweetener? Shooting this way will also cut out the painful need to scroll through multiple variations of the same image, save you time and storage space! 👍🏻
✅✅ PRO TIP: Before gently pressing the shutter button, take a breath and hold it through the shot to ensure sharpness.
📷 X-T5 + XF50mmF2 (f/8, 1/250s, ISO500) in Kodak Gold 200
One serious issue to deal with when shooting SOOC is “skewwhiff” horizons. Really? Yes, really. It may sounds stupid but the number of my images that required a slight rotation left or right in post were be highly irritating. It was tedious and such a time-waster that it became be a priority to address.
Following on the previous Tip 3: Slow Down, be mindful and level your horizon before taking a shot. Here is how:
- ✅ Use the Electronic Level in your camera to help you
- ✅ Turned it on in SCREEN SET-UP
- ✅ Use the virtual horizon line that appears across the EVF and LCD. It turns green when the camera is level
Practice, practice. It’s easier said than done though trust me, you will enjoy getting it right the first time.
✅✅ PRO TIP: Select the 3D option for the Electronic Level setting for horizontal and vertical level guidance
Shout back in the comments and let us now if this helps you bag more keepers.
📷 X-Pro 3 + XF23mmF2 (f/16, 1/250s, ISO1000) in Cross Process
The best thing about shooting #SOOC – like icing on a cake – is being able to share your images immediately. Shoot, share real-time. It is that simple.
Once you get into the swing of it, you can save loads of time that editing would usually require and instead, get on with enjoying your images.
To make this even easier, the Fujifilm X App is a trusty team player and you can use it to instantly transfer your digital images from your camera to your smartphone or tablet.
So let’s complete the “SOOC circle” and set you up to share your images on-the-go:
- ✅ Install the XApp on your smartphone or tablet
- ✅ Give it a test drive and get familiar with using it
- ✅ If you are shooting with a camera model that is not compatible with the new XApp use an SD card adapter to import your images
✅✅ PRO TIP: Turn on GEOTAGGING in your camera. Your images will be tagged with location data and this will make it easy to have date, time and place recorded for your travel diary when you are sharing that with family and friends.
Sharing is caring. So how about you share some of your SOOC images on Instagram and tag me (@nathalieboucry) and @sooc.live so we can celebrate them too.
Welcome to the SOOC family!
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