A few weeks ago Omar Gonzalez did a video on youtube entitled “Introducing Fujifilm Noir“, talking about reserving a camera especially for “Noir” – which actually means Black & White in French. Obvious ? well, no, I don’t think so. I think it’s a great idea from our friend Omar, who doesn’t have a digital camera lying around that he or she doesn’t use anymore – right, pretty much everyone I think. I have a camera that screams for it, my old original Fujifilm X100, and as Omar also states, a camera with a designated lens, the X100 has a fixed lens, so that is definitely checked.
At the time I fell in love with the X100 on sight, but that love quickly turned into annoyance. The list of problems was endless, but after a few updates most of it was resolved, yet it remained a very slow camera. This resulted in a camera ending up in the drawer. But now there is “Noir” and this might breathe new life into the X100.
I did not write this to just copy an article from someone else, I believe there is really an opportunity here to revive a digital camera which is hopelessly outdated, slow and has been replaced, but is actually a good working camera. Old 35mm cameras also had their limitations, and certainly compact cameras with a fixed lens, your film was not that sensitive, and you also had other limitations, taking pictures was certainly not easier. So it’s not just about the “Noir” development, but I think it’s also about using the “analog camera” mindset, embrace its limitations. An original X100 or any camera that has slow speed or other quirks could be a good candidate to do this experiment, you may still have a lot of fun with it, plus reusing/recycling is environmentally friendly.
I’m going to break one rule of Omar, no Jpeg only RAW.
First, the use of “Recipes” on an X100 is very limited (this is also with other old cameras I think), and I can’t get the atmosphere as intended with Noir in the old gangster movies (very dark and moody).
Secondly, using only RAW forces me to “develop” the “film”, in my case in RawTherapee – which also gives me a “real film experience” – more specifically, I (more or less) have to wait for the results to be developed by RawTherapee on the computer.
New rule: develop your RAW with one specific B&W or Noir Lut.
Which means :
1) go out and take your camera
2) take an indefinite number of shots
3) go back home
4) develop your film with one specific Lut or preset.
5) format the card of your camera – next time, with another set of Raw’s, you can use another Lut, juist like loading your analog camera with a different type of film.
You could break the above rules, but you could also do that on your camera with jpeg, it’s just an agreement with yourself – And of course, it is only necessary in a case like the X100, where settings are limited, under all other circumstances you can just follow Omar’s rules.
The original video from Omar on Youtube.
I don’t know about other photographers, but at least I have a hard time staying photographically active in these times of Covid19. And do you know Murphy? I think he must have moved into our house, permenantly. Disaster after disaster. And as a result, enjoying and making pictures has come to a halt, completely.
I have just managed to take a small number of photos on a rare excursion recently in Planckendael, a Zoo / Park in Belgium – Hence the few pictures below. I can only hope that Mr. Murphy and Mr. C. soon find accomodation on another planet, as far away as possible!
I can only hope you, readers and fellow photographers are doing better.
Stay healthy – stay safe, and close the door for Mr. Murphy and Mr. C.
The photos below are taken according to the principle I have written about above.
Only Raw and one development profile.
The chosen “film simulation” is PictureFX Noir Ortho Blue, I think it gives the photos a real retro feeling.
Hope U like it!
P.S. Shooting with the X100 in Raw only mode was really surprisingly enjoyable, he also seemed faster, perhaps because less internal editing was needed, or all the disabled software and electronics such as the external LCD, it certainly had more battery power to, annyway, pretending to take pictures with a “real film” camera makes you see the camera completely different, if only because the comparison falls away with its much more advanced younger brothers.