Classic Negative Simulation Examples

A couple of days ago I posted a photo of my cat made with Fujifilm’s Classic Negative simulation. I’ve been using it off and on since then to see what it’s good for. If anything. Here are a few results.

Photographed from the hallway of another building in the complex.

Sometimes I bring my camera into the hall while my cat does his daily tour. I think this is the best version of the scene I’ve done so far. Looks balanced, etc. I also like the tones and colours here. I really like the blue of the sky. The shadows are deep but there is still some detail. This is straight out of the camera except for for some straightening.

Anything is art if it’s neatly arranged and you think too hard about it.

One of Fujifilm’s managers said in an interview that Classic Negative is not suited for food photography, but I think this looks fine. Maybe he meant the food doesn’t come out looking Insta-worthy with blinding colour saturation. The simulation tends to make photos look warm, depending on the situation. I tried auto white balance on this photograph. The colours became accurate, but not as good. I like the warm colour cast here.

On the other hand, fixing the white balance made this photo look much better. Maybe because we expect white fur to look white in a photograph. Amice’s fur isn’t quite as dark as this. The colours of this film are not accurate, but they are usually pleasing. The consensus seems to be that Classic Negative is modelled after Fujifilm Superia negative film. I don’t have much experience with that film, so I can’t really say. But I guess it does look like negative film.

One last example photo. I made this late in the afternoon to see how the simulation handled high contrast scenes. Very well, I think. The shadows are deep, but, well, they’re shadows and I don’t really expect to see much in them. I could lift the shadows in Lightroom, but that usually looks fake. I rather like how the photo turned out. I shifted the white balance a bit, but otherwise no adjustments.

I’m going to leave my camera set to this simulation for a while. I thought it was a bit gimmicky when I first tried it, but it’s growing on me. I just have to mind the white balance and the highlights. I’d like to get out to the beach soon to see what holiday snaps might look like using this setting.

Apartment Hallway

Amice whined until I brought him into the hallway so he could do his usual tour.

Amice in Apartment Hallway.

While I was out with the camera, I decided to try the ‘pram at the end of the hallway’ photo again. I’ll get the ultimate version someday . . . .

Stroller in Apartment Hallway

From the Archive: Moving Van

Moving Truck Going Over Namdae River

I was walking home one day when I stopped and framed the bridge and the apartments with my mobile phone. I made several photos of passing vehicles before this moving van came by and thematically completed the composition. I wasn’t waiting for a moving van to come by – any large truck would have done. It was just fortunate that a vehicle with a connection to the background appeared.

I’ve always like this photo, but now I wonder if it would be better if I had included another bridge support on the right. I have the sensation that the weight of the truck is going to tip over the bridge.

What’s Missing?

Bus Parked Under Ponam Bridge

There are things to like about this photograph. The layers of light and shadow from top to bottom, the brake lights of the bus peeking out of the darkness like a cat under a blanket, the relative simplicity of the composition, and, um, it’s level.

But it’s boring. Flat. Static. There’s something missing that would turn this decent photo into a good or very good photo. But I couldn’t see it when I was there pressing the shutter button. I saw a bus, a bridge, the light and shadows, the apartments in the background, and the brake lights in the patch of light. There was something there, I’m sure, that I could have included or excluded to transform this bit of documetary into art. But I’m not skilled enough to find it.

How do I get to that level? Keep looking at great photographs, I guess. And maybe I need to spend more time looking at a scene before photographing it. When I was younger I could sometimes get a good poem to appear by staring at a blank sheet of paper for half an hour. (Being hopped up on many mugs of sugary tea probably helped as well). I just need to stare at things more.

The next time I go out I’ll make a point of choosing just one subject and working on it for more than a minute like I usually do. And bring some tea . . . .

View From the Kitchen Window

Hoesan Village in Winter

Each apartment in my complex has two views. Some apartments have a view of an apartment building in the same complex and a view of the apartment complex across the road. Some apartments have a view of a neighbouring apartment building and a view of a scene similar to the one above. The units in my location of the complex are the only ones where you can’t see any other apartment buildings (unles you stick your head out the window and look hard left or right). We have the view above, and we have a view of a dale and hills. We can only hope it’s not all bulldozed and replaced with coffee shops and convenience stores.

Photograph It While You Can

Gangil Transport, Gangneung

This taxi company office building is not beautiful or interesting, but I made the photo because it is probably only a matter of time before developers realise they can build apartments or coffee shops on this piece of land and this place will get flattened. I’m not against the tearing down of ugly buildings, but with a slowly shrinking population does Gangneung need more apartment complexes built for the sake of real estate investment?

A Walk

One of the walks I like to take near my apartment brings me to the riverside. There’s almost no water in the river during the dry winter months, but there is never a shortage of vehicles parked next to it.

Namdae River Parking Lot, Gangneung.

The car in the foreground is quite an old model, but the driver must take good care of it because there are no rust spots that I can see. The digger on the flatbed truck isn’t tied down in any way. Maybe it’s not required by law. In the weeks before the start of the Olympics I remember seeing a group of foreign engineers walking past a similar truck and being shocked that the digger in the back wasn’t secured.
On the other side of the river there is a shrine dedicated to, if I remember correctly, a local goddess, though I can’t remember who or what she is the goddess of. I should walk over there some day and see if there is anything worth photographing.

Namdae River Parking Lot, Gangneung.

I think the slang term for this sort of vehicle is ‘honey truck’. When I lived in a house, one of these would come around twice a year to clean out the septic tank. I remember the guy who did the work was quite jolly. Well, he probably makes a fortune doing the work no one else wants to.

Hillstate Apartments, Gangneung.

On the way home I made this photo because I liked the clouds above the apartments. These buildings were completed about one year ago, replacing fields. They look like something you would build out of a basic Lego set.